No, no, I don’t think I’ve ever heard these words said to ME. Even when I was young, super short and sporty, I was always curvy, or athletic. No, these words are said to my sons, all the time. By friends, kids at school, even teachers and leaders.
It seems harmless, right?
But I’m on my soapbox to tell you, IT IS NOT HARMLESS.
Would you walk up to someone and say, “You’re so fat”? Of course not. We learned a long time ago that wasn’t okay.
But skinniness. That’s totally different, right? Doesn’t everyone want to be skinny?
Actually, no. Especially not teenage boys. Or men. No man wants to be skinny. He wants to be strong, which often means “big”—which is definitely not seen as skinny.
I want to get on my pedestal today and say,
Just quit commenting on BODY, already.
Find something else, something more meaningful to say about a person if you feel the need to say something. I’ll give you some ideas:
“You always put me at ease.”
“You have the best smile.”
If you HAVE to say something more superficial, try…
“Dude, your hair looks awesome today!”
“Lookin’ sharp, man!”
Thing is, boys have body images, too. And skinny just hurts a young man’s heart when all he wants is to appear strong and healthy and virile.
Please watch your words next time you’re talking to a young man. Remember there’s a growing, impressionable, and so, so eager to be a man, person in there.
And young men?
If you want to read more thoughts on this subject, particularly as it pertains to women and girls, check out this awesome article.