As the Ashley Grahams and Iskra Lawrences of the world are on the rise in the public eye, some people are beginning to forget about the naturally slim Kendall Jenners of the world. On the extreme opposite side to “plus size” models, there are people like Kate Moss who famously once said, “Nothing taste as good as skinny feels.” – but what about those don’t want to be skinny in a currently curvy culture?
Whilst Kendall Jenner may be one of the highest paid models of the moment, she has spoken out about being skinny shamed before. Back in 2013, when the model was only 17 or 18, she opened up to Harper’s Bazaar Arabia on the topic. She said: “I’m constantly criticized for being too skinny. I’m trying to gain weight but my body won’t let it happen. What people don’t understand is that calling someone too skinny is the same as calling someone too fat. It’s not a nice feeling.”
*Poll for an article* – Do you think skinny shaming is as hurtful as fat shaming?
— Niamh Shackleton (@NiamhShackleton) August 2, 2018
Similar to Kendall Jenner is 25-year-old business owner, Leanne Holder. She explained the difficulties of being a 5ft 7 woman with a 24 inch waist: “I struggle to find clothes that fit well. Whilst there are shops for larger ladies, there are no shops for people my size.
“When size 4’s are introduced into shops, social media goes mad saying that shapes are encouraging people to be skinny but on the other hand, when a shop only stocks sizes 18 and above, it’s seen as great thing for society. They forget some people are naturally skinny.”
Leanne began to get comments from people about her weight when she was at high school where she was called hurtful names like “anorexic rat”. Due to this, at around the age of 14, Leanne developed a sugar addiction from her continued efforts to gain weight. “When the bullying was really bad at high school, that’s when the sugar addiction started. I was desperate to put on weight and therefore did the only thing I could think of which was to eat a lot of junk food,” explained Leanne.
“I literally lived on pizzas pot noodles, burgers, crisps, sweets and so on. When I realised I was having way too much, I began to cut down. Following me cutting down on my sugar intake I would get grumpy, shake, get splitting headaches and genuinely feel like I needed sugar. It was like someone had taken my oxygen.”
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On an average day, Leanne was having 9 packets of polos, several chocolate bars and several packets of crisps on top her lunch and dinner. After having a home cooked meal by her parents, she would often sneak additional crisps and biscuits to her room to eat afterwards.
In 1967, medical researcher, Ethan Sims, carried out an experiment at Vermont State Prison in the United States. He recruited inmates to eat as much as they could to gain 25% of their body weight, in return for early release from prison.
Some of the volunteers could not reach the target however hard they tried, even though they were eating 10,000 calories a day. Sims’s conclusion was that for some people, obesity is nearly impossible.
Since Leanne realised she had an addiction to sugar and that her efforts weren’t working, she began to accept her body more as she realised that there wasn’t much she could do about it – no matter how hard she tried.
“When size 4’s are introduced into shops, social media goes mad saying that shapes are encouraging people to be skinny but on the other hand, when a shop only stocks sizes 18 and above, it’s seen as great thing for society.”
She said: “Now I accept myself. I know my body shape is still small and I will never be a curvy lady, but I’m fine with that. I weight-lift to put on muscle which has given a little bit more shape and have been doing this since I was about 16 in a bid to put on size. I love the way I look now, I’m happy with being me and am not trying to be anyone else.”
“I never want anyone else to go through what I went through,” said Leanne. “I hope that everyone can accept that they are beautiful however they look.”