Don’t Assume These 10 Things Just Because I’m Skinny

For some reason, people think it’s acceptable to say certain things if you’re slender or below average weight that they would never say to someone who was on the opposite end of the spectrum. Here are 10 things you shouldn’t assume about (or say to) anyone regarding their body—including people who are skinny.

  1. I can eat whatever I want without gaining weight. Okay, this may or may not be true— some people are born with fast metabolisms! Either way, you don’t know what someone’s going through, and assuming that they’re just able to eat whatever they want without gaining weight isn’t cool. Also, anything along the lines of, “One day, all of that pizza will catch up with you!” isn’t nice to hear, either.
  2. I never eat. It always amazes me how often people comment on the eating habits of others. I always find that it’s people I don’t know very well that comment on mine, ironically. I do eat, you may just not notice or it may be at different times of the day than you’re used to.
  3. I eat really healthy and/or love working out. People assume all the time that because I’m skinny, I must be really into clean eating and working out, which is funny because most of the time it’s the exact opposite. I would (and definitely should) love to eat healthier, but don’t assume that I don’t want that donut, I definitely do.
  4. I never have body image issues and am 100% happy and confident with my body. This could not be further from the truth. No matter what the scale says or the number on the tag of your jeans, there will be days when you look in the mirror and are unhappy with your reflection. I hope that these days are rare and that everyone can learn to love themselves for who they are but it still happens to everyone, no matter what size.
  5. It’s okay to make comments about my body size and/or what I’m eating. Basically, as a rule of thumb, you should just refrain from commenting on other people’s bodies and what they are putting into them, and although this seems obvious, many people with good intentions constantly comment on these things. I know that (usually) these comments are good-natured, but it makes me uncomfortable when people compliment me for being small or ask me how I eat so much/so little.
  6. Cracking jokes about my weight is funny, even if I do it myself occasionally. See, it’s okay for me to joke about how much food I actually eat, or how I shop in the kids’ section at Vineyard Vines (hello, so much cheaper!) but when other people do it comes off insensitive and hurtful.
  7. I’m lucky and have good genetics because I’m skinny. My genes may be the reason for my body type or they may not be, and if you aren’t sure, don’t assume. People struggle with things quite often that you have no idea about, which is why it’s better to avoid saying certain things, especially if you don’t know whether they are true or not.
  8. I have an eating disorder because I’m skinny (or that I don’t/never did). Either side can be harmful. When people assume you have an eating disorder, it can make people who have had one relapse, and generally makes me self-conscious. But, on the other hand, you shouldn’t just assume that someone who is skinny that you’ve seen eat (regardless of what the food is) doesn’t have or never had an eating disorder.
  9. You should say anything along the lines of, “Oh, you can eat that, you’re skinny!” It’s so crazy to me how often people say things like that when I politely decline a food item they are offering to me (and I really don’t decline food that often, to be honest!). I know that I can eat anything I want, but the reason I said no was that I wasn’t hungry,  I don’t like it, or I’m not in the mood for that particular food, not because I’m freaked out about gaining weight.
  10. My support of the body positive movement is insignificant, unimportant, or annoying. Why don’t we just stop putting women down in general, but specifically about anything that has to do with our bodies!? I’ve heard people say (or comment online), “Oh, she’s skinny, why does she use #bodypositive?” Body image issues don’t stem from one body type, and just because I’m skinny doesn’t mean I don’t support the body positive movement and don’t want to be a part of it! Just like every other woman in the world, I’ve struggled with body image issues and I want everyone to be more supportive, accepting and considerate of all body types, including mine.
Kerry is a freelance writer from Boston, Massachusetts who now lives in the Sunshine State with the love of her life and her 15 month old daughter. She writes frequently about her personal experiences (find more of her work on She has an Etsy shop with cute items: she's not writing, she loves to spend time outside, at the beach, and with her family.