The skinny on “skinny”

I love almost everything about newspapers: The fast-pace. The excitement. The urgency.

However, I could do without the late nights.

Last night, I was in the editing room for more than nine hours… On top of my already full day of school.

Oh well, it is the fate I choose. Plus, there is a silver-lining to my mandated newsroom stake out: In between checking punctuation, ensuring accuracy and verifying sources, I do get a little free-time.

During my few precious moments, I took a mental vacation from the newsroom hustle by checking out the Web. Naturally, this meant checking out my blogroll.

One of my favorite blogs is “Carrots ‘N’ Cake.” I can generally rely on Tina to reinforce the importance of fitness, health and balance.

However, something unusually negative caught my attention: Tina referred to a recent article she wrote by the name “4 Skinny Tricks for Enjoying a Diet Splurge Guilt-free.”

Not to mention the problem I have with the phrase “diet,” the word that really caught my attention was “skinny.”

My experiences have taught me that skinny isn’t only unhealthy, but it is often unhappy. So, why should people be encouraged to pursue this?

Still, I wondered if it was just me. Does “skinny” really have a negative connotation?

I decided to do some investigation…

According to my handy-dandy dictionary, there is a difference between “skinny” and other adjectives. For example…

(click to enlarge)

I know that I’m nitpicking. After all, “skinny” is just one little word.  Still, that one word carries a lot of weight. No pun intended.

Here’s my challenge to you: Stop pursing skinniness. Rather than focus on shedding pounds, work on building muscle, endurance and energy. Pursue healthfulness.

Cutting “skinny” out of the common nomenclature may be a little thing, but I believe it can make a big difference.

Questions: Do you believe society reinforces the need to be “skinny?” How do you respond to this?

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3 responses to “The skinny on “skinny”

  • Katie

    Yes society definitely enforces it. Especially since I am still in college everyone tries to look super skinny and it feels pretty intimidating a lot of times. I am pretty skinny but I always would like to lose 5 pounds. I don’t do it for anyone else but just for me. I think a lot of girls do it for guys and to compare themselves to other girls but I do it for the sake of being healthy.

  • Erin

    Absolutely – to be skinny is important, especially here in America.

    I really didn’t pay attention to how I looked, body-wise, in high school – ignorance is bliss, I suppose. But in college I began to notice, especially after I gained the “Freshman 15”. In a way this was good, since I began paying closer attention to my body and working out more (though I have been athletic most of my life). However, I have been practically body-obsessed and on a diet since losing those 15 pounds.

    For me, I prefer to use the word “thin” rather than “skinny.” I do want to be thin, though. I workout for two reasons – to wear the clothes I want to (I am very into fashion), and also to be healthy. I do watch what I eat, and never ever deprive myself of food.

    • pursuitofhealthfulness

      I believe that there is a lot of unnecessary societal pressure, but I also believe in the importance of health. For that reason, yes, it is better to maintain a good “thinner” weight.

      I just think the difference between “skinny” and “thin” or “svlete” is important!

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