Women’s News: 22 Things You Should Never Say To A Skinny Woman


The Huffington Post  |  By 

Women of all shapes and sizes are (unfortunately) subject to judgment and scrutiny based on their bodies. We’ve written extensively about the very specific prejudice that exists toward women who are considered larger, but we’ve heard stories from many of our naturally skinny readers about the frustrating comments they’ve encountered based on their smaller frames. Sadly, no matter your body type, you are not immune from hurtful jibes about your appearance.

HuffPost Beauty Editor Dana Oliver recently wrote a blog post about the “skinny-shaming” she’s experienced:

Whether a physician’s assistant is forcing me to get an EKG because my weight and height don’t correlate with what she’s learned in med school or I’m getting backhanded compliments from juice-crazed fashion insiders for being “so darn skinny,” my size is always a hot topic. But what everyone seems to forget is that it’s my body, and if I’m healthy, why all the criticism?


The beauty of human beings is that they don’t all look the same. Unfortunately, our frustrating standards of attractiveness get in the way of acknowledging the awesome diversity of women’s bodies. Everyone probably slips up from time to time and says something you later regret about another woman’s figure. So to avoid those mean-spirited comments in the future, we asked our Facebook and Twitter communities for things that you should never say to a skinny woman.

Readers, strike these phrases out of your lexicon once and for all:

1. “You look anorexic!”

2. “You’re so thin, you make me sick.”

3. “Eat a hamburger!”

4. “You look like a toothpick.”

5. “You’re probably too skinny to breastfeed.”

6. “Do you ever eat anything?”

7. “Must be nice to be so thin.”

8. “Do you have an eating disorder?”

9. “You’d look so much better if you’d just put some meat on your bones.”

10. “You’re too healthy.”

11. “How can you be insecure when you’re so small?”

12. “You know, my other friend just got help for her bulimia.”

13. “You’re so skinny, I hate you.”

14. “Do you need help?”

15. “You’re skinny. You never have to worry about what you eat.

16. “‘Real’ women have curves.”

17. “Why do you need to work out? You’re skinny!”

18. “How much did it cost to get your body like that?”

19. “Of course you’re cold! You have no fat on you.”

20. “I wish I had your problem.”

21. “Be careful or you’ll get blown away.” (On rainy or windy days.)

22. “You look like a boy.”

In other words, don’t make assumptions about a woman’s health or eating habits based on her looks alone — regardless of her size. Almost all of us could stand to be kinder to ourselves about our appearances, and to other women about theirs.

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  1. Wow thanks for this post! I was a premature baby, so I’m still small even though I’m 20- and I also was very active in middle school and high school, so that didn’t help matters. I’ve heard several of these from my parents; both with tones of disgust and tones of worry; and a few from well-meaning teachers. Nice to know I’m not the only one with this problem. And then every time someone mentions that being thin is unhealthy or that the media pressures people about their body size I often jump in and say it goes two ways: Don’t assume all small people are unhealthy just because a small percentage of the population is.

  2. Thank you for postingthis! I am a skinny woman (who struggles with binge eating) and I have heard so many of the above comments which can be very hurtful. I used to go home and binge after hearing those words…. so I could just make myself “acceptable” in the eyes of others…. but I refuse to be held hostage to my inner binge eating people pleaser anymore. I love this quote, “Stop trying to please the haters… you are NOT the jerk whisperer.” I appreciate this so much.

  3. I agree. Women come in all shapes and sizes, and skinny is natural for some people (for me when I was young!). Though I have a girlfriend who’s very thin and seems hardly to eat, and she’s constantly tired/ill. I think eating more would be a good idea! But I don’t say so (much).

  4. word! i’ve gotten lots of these and, frankly, it pisses me off.


  5. It’s so true. I went to a dance school where so many of the girls had real eating disorders. I was thin, but healthy so I dealt with my teachers calling me fat and everyone else saying I was too thin. I drove me crazy. All I wanted to do was dance and they wouldn’t leave me alone.

  6. number 17 always gets thrown at me and I am fed up with it. lol. Happy holidays and have a great year ahead.

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