A Skinny Man’s Plight and Grumblings You Have No Sympathy For

Yes, I’m skinny. But hold your applause; evidently this is no cause for celebration.

I’ve found skinniness is only admirable if you were once fat. Or better still, if people knew you were fat.

Did you know I haven’t always been a pasty rail? It’s true; in college I faithfully gained my “freshman 15” and maintained semi-puffy cheeks through the early years of my marriage.

Then I lost weight and everyone asked what the hell happened to me, not like a “hey, bang-up job on losing pounds, dude” but a “who the hell are you to lose some fat?” kinda way.

Because America, of course, has gotten more obese, to the point where adding weight is the norm. I realize our food industry, genetics, and sedentary work life make it hard to stay fit. If you struggle with weight, I understand, and completely support you in your efforts to be healthy. Hear that.

But also hear that it’s a little awkward to be ridiculed for being a damn beanpole. Truly, I deserve no sympathy, and realize I risk sounding like an ass for even broaching the sentiment.

Because it is strange. People tell me in jest that if I turn sideways they can’t see me, or that they hate me for my svelte corpus. I’m so sorry to have disappointed everyone. It’s apparent you preferred I made a few more late night runs to Taco Bell and engorged myself with Gorditas.

Really though, I’m wondering why skinniness is always brought up. Doesn’t part of it have to be that it’s abnormal? I mean, we’re not just pointing people out for wearing a shirt or brushing their hair.

Indeed, skinnies are the new freaks. It’s not everyday you meet one and when you do you’re somewhat perplexed on how to react.

There was a time when skinny—particularly male skinny—was en vogue. Adult men were praised for staying fit and victoriously warring against slowing metabolism.

Not anymore. Being 35 and yet to develop the patriarchal paunch is no longer a feat, but a farce. Like I’m some mutated anomaly, a slender Sasquatch roaming the Earth, unrecognizable to all accustomed to the quintessential Dad bod.

Nowadays, like the olden days, the gut is grand. Dudes used to show off their embonpoint in portraits, for it symbolized good eating and rich, healthy living.

Back then, people would be like, “Behold, the big bastard upon his horse. ‘Tis Lord Blakenship, a rich, happy, and good soul. And over there? That emaciated mule of a man? That’s Old Slim Billy. He’s 90 and still walking. He actually enjoys the act of breathing. So tragic he doesn’t partake in such jollies as a fourth helping of mutton.”

Seriously, people worry about me, like not having a double chin and man boobies is insalubrious to my health. There’s this odd, tacit idea that more fat would help me. Like, maybe it could be useful for my survival, perhaps keep me warm.

But that’s no concern of mine. I don’t reside in northern Manitoba. I’m not an elephant seal in need of blubber. I’m a skinny man living in the Southeast with access to good coats.

What I’m saying is, don’t be a thinist. Yes I’m skinny. But I’m a person. And I want to be an inspiration. I want to be living proof that you don’t need to be fat to be happy, but can find contentment with a diet of celery and yarn.

At the end of the day, I want to be so much more to the world than just some pencil-thin lad who reminds us all we have bones.

Skinny questions?