I am about to say something that may blow your minds. Ok, maybe not. I have always been thin. Not even thin, skinny. A waif. A skeleton who somehow was blessed with proportional and shapely T and A but a skeleton nonetheless. And I hate it. THERE! Commence minds exploding.
I understand your pain, MK
I’ve always struggled with my body image. When I say that, people freak out and get angry at me and ask why. Why not? I was always the smallest girl. I’m short, I’m skinny, I’m pale to the point of transparency, and I was flat chested until high school. Someone once called me a carpenter’s dream (Get it? Cause I was as flat as a board). I’ve had my bra frozen at a slumber party in fifth grade. Well, lack of a bra. And who counts bra sizes during puberty?? That shouldn’t count! I was not fully developed! Being an actress, it was hard for me to watch any tape of me on stage because I was always the smallest one and easy to pick out. I watch the video of me playing Anybodys in West Side Story and all I see is my miniature frame in the front (of course, since you wouldn’t see me in the back) flailing around with my long arms and swan neck attempting to dance during “Cool” and being off a beat the entire song. It’s even harder with my profession because I look 14 with my size but I have a deeper voice and a mature manner about me so I’m almost impossible to cast unless I go for something specific that I know I’m good for. And somehow I’ve never played Anne Frank. What is up with that?
Girls tell me how jealous they are of my body and how they want to look like me. You really don’t. You want to be the girl that can’t find jeans and therefore still wears pants she has owned since 8th grade? Or the girl who can’t wear that cute fashionable top because an extra small doesn’t fit under the arms or around the shoulders? Do you want to have every single person you’ve ever met say “OH MY GOD YOU ARE SO TINY!” and feel they are allowed to grab you and pick you up and fondle you as much as they can before you freak out? Because that happens to me every day with people I barely know but feel the need to prove they can fit their arms around me twice. That’s really fun with strangers. They also like to tell me not to blow away or that they could kick my ass in a fight or that I may get lost in the snow. I’m not Piglet!
Being skinny makes people think they can say anything to you. Would you go up to someone and say “Wow, you’re huge” or “Jesus, you have the biggest boobs I’ve ever seen!” Well, maybe you would but still what’s the difference saying similarly rude comments to a skinny girl? I had a girl once ask me if I ate. I replied by saying “You mean, did I eat today?” And she said, ‘No. I mean do you eat ever?” Um. Yes, I do. I am a human. I have to eat to survive. And yes, in answer to your unasked follow up, I can eat whatever I want. But I don’t! I still eat healthy and have been getting on the plant based diet band wagon as much as I can. It’s been suggested I just start telling them I’m a pixie or “No, I have struggled with an eating disorder my whole life and now I have to go throw up”. I suppose that’s better than responding “Yes, I do and I can see you like to eat as well.” People ask what my workout routine is or how I got to be this way. I tell them I don’t have a workout routine hence my lack of strength and muscles and I stopped growing at 14 so I didn’t really try to be this size.
I went to prom my freshman, junior, and senior year. The first year, my mom made my dress which was lovely. The next two times, I wanted something specific and fancy. I searched every single store in the state of Vermont that sold prom dresses. Junior year, I found one my mother altered the best she could. Senior year was the dream crusher. All I wanted was a red dress. I looked great in red. I had a boyfriend and I was a senior and I just wanted a red hot classic gown. There were red dresses a plenty. None fit. At all. I had to settle for a pink two piece number that fit only because the top was corseted so I could pull the strings as tight as they would go and it wouldn’t fall off. The skirt however hung incredibly low on my hips and I kept feeling like my vayjay was gonna come out and party. And guess what every other girl wore to senior prom? A RED DRESS! I have panic attacks when I think about finding a wedding dress. There will be so so many of those pins holding that dress up and that alterations department is going to get rich off of me.
I have to wear children’s shoes. You see, most stores carry a few styles of footwear in size 5. They sell out pretty quickly. If I am not there at the right time, I will not get them. No, I can not wear a 6. Believe me, I’ve tried. I am a solid 5. Trust me. I got scolded at a casting for shoe models when they measured my foot and asked if I thought I was funny by posing as a size 6 model. I didn’t actually find it funny, I was just curious if they really needed a true size 6 model. They did. I have to Google search size 5 shoes to find anything fashionable or specific or stand at Payless for 20 minutes in the size 5 aisle trying to find something that won’t cut my feet open or fall apart in a week. A puppet wore my shoes in college. A PUPPET. I had worn them the season prior in our Shakespeare piece and the following season, a puppet wore the same pair. A Styrofoam fake child puppet.
Sizes differ at every store. Therefore, when I go to get new pants or clothes or whatever, I have to go to a least 20 different stores to find the proper extra smalls and zeroes. I have my go-to stores but unfortunately, they are Forever 21 and H&M and most of the smaller sizes are bought but either my fellow skeletons or girls who think they are an extra small and…they’re not. Most of them time, I can’t find anything that fits properly unless it’s cheap or extremely expensive. Shopping is not a pleasure for me, it’s a nightmare. I always end the day in tears or with like 85 tank tops in different colors because it’s the only thing I found that fits. I know many girls can relate to finding the perfect outfit and getting in that dressing room and trying it on to see that it’s bulky in weird places or it looks like a sack even with the zipper all the way up. This is my experience every time.
I have never had a conversation about diets. This actually sucks because girls talk about them a lot. It makes things so awkward when they come up in conversation because every girl turns and glares at me and says things like “Oh, well, you probably have no idea what we are talking about” or “I can’t even look at you right now, you makes me so jealous”. No, I don’t know what you’re talking about and I wish I did!!! I really do! Then maybe more girls would like me instead of hating me for how I look! I mean, it’s a girl thing, we all do that for one reason or another but it’s so awkward to have someone make you feel guilty for never having experienced something that everyone hates doing! I’m envious of girls who have been on diets! It sounds horrible to say out loud and I’m sure everyone will hate me but it’s such a huge thing that I am not a part of. I feel like I’m less of a girl because I don’t know anything about it besides from what some of you let me in on. I have shut conversations down when I try to join in and support. No one wants a skinny girl’s support but I’m very good at supporting!
When I was in Alia’s wedding, I paid double for my dress because the alterations were so much. I bought the smallest size dress and when I tried it on, I cried. It was huge and was supposedly an extra extra small petite size. Of course Bethany’s fit her perfectly. I had to get it almost taken apart to get it to fit. And it still doesn’t fit comfortably. The waist is too tight and the top too loose. When I wear it again, I’ll have to get it altered so it doesn’t balloon out over my boobs as it did if I didn’t stand up completely straight. Which I should do anyway, huh?
The reason I write this blog and vent is because no one speaks for the skinny girls. We have pain, too. We deal with abuse just as much as any other girl. But no one writes books about our struggles or writes musicals i.e. Hairspray about our obstacles. It makes me feel uncomfortable when others make me feel guilty about my size and strength ability. I never know how to respond when someone says they want to be me because when I’m honest, they get angry and say it can’t be that hard. But it is. Yes I’m skinny but I’m not some tall and thin supermodel. Nothing is made for me besides a costume and even then costumer’s hate me because everything they find or make for me usually doesn’t fit. My nickname on “Mildred Pierce” was “The Littlest Waitress.” They actually called me to set like that.
True, it’s not all bad. Though I rode bitch most of my life in cars, no one ever said I couldn’t ride with them because I always fit. Certain styles do look good on me if I can find them. Most people notice my ass more because I am so skinny and it does look amazing on my frame (thank you, genetics). But I wanted to share my side of the story. Don’t be jealous of me. It’s not fun being this size. And please stop hating me, ladies, because it’s not my fault I look like this. I want to have some curves and be more of an average size. A human size! I’m not. I’m me and I love me. Someone just needs to invent a diet where you gain weight and write a book or have a website about it so I can join in on girl talk once in a while.