Sunday, November 22, 2009

Why I Hate the word "Skinny"

"How can he be so skinny and live?"

That was a real quote. I was a sentinel at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery when I was in the service. I was in the Army- not the Marines. Marines do not guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The United States Army Infantry does. A special unit that you have to be appointed to. It's not an open invitation to try out. A woman my eldest sister worked with TOLD me that the Marines guard the Tomb. I politely told her that she was mistaken and that I knew she was mistaken because I was, in fact, one of the guards. She told me I was wrong. Haha.

Back on track... there were three different uniforms worn during the day. All dictated by the weather and Army regulations that govern what a soldier wears during a specific time of year or temperature range. The dress blues uniforms were really awesome, the overcoat was killer and the raincoat sucked complete ass.

Here is why I say that. I am tall, and back then I was skinny. The dreaded "s" word. The rain coat made you look thirty pounds lighter than you already were. I was 6'5" and 160 pounds. A rail. The raincoat made me look like I was 130 pounds. A praying Mantis. When you go out to guard the tomb it is a very solemn place where people stay fairly quiet and you can hear everything they're saying. When I would come out in the raincoat I would hear this as a murmur throughout the crowd, "skinny, skinny, skinny, skinny, skinny, how can he be so skinny and live"

Ego trampled

Now, it seems that in our society that it is perfectly acceptable to walk up to someone and say- "man are you skinny", as if skinny people don't have feelings or emotions or complexes already. My comedian friend, Christian Spicer ( has a funny stand up routine regarding this. It is completely UNacceptable to walk up to someone and say "Man are you fat!". Probably because that would be rude. But guess what? It's the same damn thing!

Do you know how painful it was to be that skinny? To try everything to put on wait just to look like you're not a walking skeleton? I would eat two grand slam breakfasts' at Denny's and LOSE weight. Just like overweight and obese people can't lose weight, skinny people can't put it on. It's not funny (to the person trying to put on the weight). You get ridiculed by everyone who is at a normal or attractive weight and girls think you're Ichabod Crane! Not fun.

I'm no longer that skinny kid. I'm 225 pounds now. But I still see myself as that horribly skinny kid. On occassion, after I go a few weeks without being able to eat more than once a day, people will come up to me and say something like. "You've lost weight", which I translate into "You are skinny as f***". For a man, being skinny isn't a comliment. At least not to me. I wana be big, superhero like. Haha. Now I understand that to them it is supposed to be a compliment. But that rail thin person inside of me cringes in horror and becomes completely self conscious when I hear that.

I really have no idea what I look like anymore, what I see in the mirror doesn't match up to what I see in photos or to how I imagine myself in my head (which is pretty bad ass. I'm a superhero)

But don't call me skinny. I hate that word. For the same reason other people hate the word fat.

1 comment:

  1. haha! "have you lost weight?".. "you're skinny as fuck!"