Saturday, 12 March 2016

Size sighs

The stick who walks is giving some stick back

Apparently I was a chubby infant, but have been what is commonly called 'skinny' for as long as I can remember.

Clothes I wore as a teenager would probably still fit me now - until the opposite of liposuction is invented nothing is ever going to put weight on these bones.  I still have to put an extra notch in every new belt, and my decent height means that trouser shopping for a particularly absurd ratio between waist and leg measurements can take all day.
First world problems, right?

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t make a big deal of it, but other people sure like to.

It's certainly no news to me that remarks are directed at those sharing my body shape with a degree of casual cruelty that no one would dream of using on an overweight person. Not in these apparently more sensitive and enlightened times.

It’s a shame that the occasions when these comments have hurt me the most is when they’ve come from friends. But as we all continue to age I suspect there might be increasing amounts of envy in those remarks - who knows.
Who cares?

Well, apparently some people do. In the space of a year I’ve just completed my second illustration for an article about what is apparently now known as ‘thin shaming’. The first was written by a male broadcaster whose modest physical stature comes from his family’s Asian origins (below), and the most recent has been a compendium of interviews with a variety of women (top of this post).

It makes compelling reading, but my own experience leads me to conclude that unless the result is physical or psychological health problems, (and make no mistake, it can be), there are far worse things to be ‘shamed’ for.
During a long stint in martial arts, the look on every single opponent's face at the moment when they realised that, despite appearances, I wasn’t going to blow away after their first punch, was all I ever needed to cope. (Well, not their very first punch, anyway).
Maybe writing a blog named after a stick insect also demonstrates the arrival at a certain amount of peace with a lifetime of putting up with size-est nonsense.

The article I've illustrated ends with a much better solution, however. Simply put: perhaps we all just need to be kinder to each other.

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