Wednesday, March 21, 2012

On 'Skinny-Fat'

The other day I heard the term 'Skinny-Fat', and my understanding of it from verbal and visual cues, was not flattering.

Now, take a second to read the Urban Dictionary's definitions here.

You're back?


In a society where we're so consumed with the battle of which is better, 'thick or thin', it is demoralizing to realize even being 'thin' isn't quite good enough for those people who think anorexia is a perfectly good fitness routine.

I've had a pretty strict workout routine for the last two years, that has involved P90x, kickboxing, Zumba, and most recently, yoga and running. Because of this, I've got well toned arms and legs, and to my happiness- a butt is finally forming. However, I'm thirty years old and have a child who was damn near two feet long when she was born. I've never been fat, and I'm nowhere near it now, but based off this I could be viewed as 'skinny-fat', because my stomach isn't as toned and flat as someone younger or more athletic, though it's better than it ever has been. It never will be as flat as Miranda Kerr's, and that is something I've accepted.

If this has affected me this way, I can imagine how it would affect other women. Especially one who isn't as self-confident as I usually am. Is there no end to the emotional depravity men and woman will foist on each other when it comes to fitness and size?

It makes me very, very happy I am not out in the dating game. With knowledge like this, I'd probably never leave my house. It was bad enough ten years ago--a time before social networking had such a huge impact on our everyday lives. Before Twitter was king, and youtube could make you famous. Now it's amazing anyone actually dates, because surely nobody can match up to the unusually high standards even the lowest pond scum, drunken twenty-one year old seems to have.

Knowing all this, I couldn't be more grateful the Marine never acted like this, and actually treated women with respect--even though it made life with his co-workers more difficult.

What are your thoughts?



  1. People need to realise it's actually not natural for women to have perfectly flat stomachs. We naturally carry a higher body fat ratio than men. We are the way we are because, like it or not, nature made us baby-making factories (no matter what else we might be at the same time, you can't really escape the fact you're a woman without having a sex-change operation...) .

    Even when I was 17, 47.5kg (104lbs), and my doctor was telling me to put on weight (I wasn't aorexic, just as the low end of my healthy weight range) my stomach was NOT perfectly flat. And after a woman has children, it almost certsainly never will be again without a tremensoud amount of effort, and who has the time and energy for that while working and/or mothering? I'm a full-time lawyer and mother, and I know I don't.

    I read somewhere that obsession with the perfection of physical form is a precursor to the fall of a civilisation. That worries me more than the fact my stomach is not and never will be perfectly flat.

  2. Skinny-fat is actually referring to people who are thin but unhealthy. I'm sure you know people like this: they are thin but don't exercise and eat a ton of junk. While the Urban Dictionary might make it sound like a social concept, it's actually a medical one. Too many people judge a person's health ( or value?) by their jeans' size. A person can have a "healthy" BMI but have high blood pressure, high cholesterol and be at risk for type II diabetes. Contrarily, a person with an "unhealthy" BMI can be fit, strong and healthy, with none of those risk factors.

    Slimness is not the definition of healthy, and looking to the Urban Dictionary to define a medical term is not a realistic concept.

  3. Ohhh that's just despicable! I happen to know a lot of skinny girls who wish they weren't skinny. It's all metabolism problems, people either have too much or not enough. It's really frustrating to see stuff like this out there. 

  4. I didn't know what "skinny fat" meant, now I do! Personally I think as long as the person is in good health and feel good in her body is all that matters. And it's still better than being overweight or obese.

  5. Well this post is a heavenly education in itself! Jeepers maybe I'm a skinny fat?? Either way I have learnt another shocking fact about our size obsessed society that I don't like. You write so wonderfully too. Delighted to stumble across your work. Thank you for sharing :)