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Is skinny always considered a compliment?

155 Answers
Last Updated: 09/13/2020 at 3:40am
Is skinny always considered a compliment?
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United States
Moderated by

Melissa Hudson, MS Ed, PhD(c), LMFT

Marriage & Family Therapist

I work with clients of diverse backgrounds on a multitude of concerns. My approach is, at times, directive, yet always curious, nonjudgmental, collaborative, and validating.

Top Rated Answers
October 20th, 2016 1:13pm
Honestly, no. People could look at you and say "Oh, she's so skinny!" but throw you glares over their shoulders while walking away because they don't really think you're skinny at all. They could tell you you're skinny and then declare you're anorexic not 5 feet away from you. But at the same time, they could call you skinny and genuinely mean it as a compliment - much like slender or fit. After all, you don't have to have the perfect body to be perfect. You're still you and that's what makes you your own kind of perfect.
October 30th, 2016 9:42am
No, It's definitely not always a compliment. Sometimes people are worried about you because you are too skinny. You need to find a balance between being bony and being slim because it's not the same thing.
October 30th, 2016 10:28pm
It doesn't really matter if you're skinny or fat. You can be fat and still get compliments from people. What really matters is, if people like your personality.
November 20th, 2016 11:46am
I think skinny can be a compliment just as fat or curvy or any other body type. We have to stop thinking that being one way is good or bad, and just start loving all bodies.
February 27th, 2017 10:17pm
This question is a bit touchy. The reason is, whether or not something is a compliment is entirely up to you. If you like being called skinny and consider it a positive trait, you can take it as a compliment. If you don't enjoy being classified as skinny, then it may not be a compliment to you. It is entirely subjective.
March 15th, 2017 7:57pm
Most of the time yes, but not all of the time. It's hard to know without the context it was said in. But you by no means have to be skinny to receive compliments
April 20th, 2017 1:46pm
There's nothing wrong with either being called skinny or even telling someone that. I mean everyone's different and feels different things, so if you feel as though you or someone else might offended, just say they look nice and slim.
April 23rd, 2017 3:13pm
Not always. It's important to remember that different people (and different cultures) have different ideas about the "ideal" body size/shape. What's right for one person may not be right for another.
May 20th, 2017 11:56pm
Skinny is not always a compliment. In North American culture, being thin or skinny is considered ideal and thus most people would take being skinny as a compliment. However, it is possible that someone may call you skinny in such a way to point out that you might be at an unhealthy low weight. For example, at one point in my life I had an eating disorder and was very underweight. My friends frequently told me I was "soooo skinny". While superficially it sounded like a compliment, it was their way of showing concern about my weight loss without being forward and asking if I had a problem.
June 3rd, 2017 4:03pm
No, especially not if you don't eat on purpose or if you are ill or have some deficiency. You may have a normal weight and be unfit or you may be skinny and be very unfit. We all need a balanced diet and some good exercise on a daily basis. People should not starve themselves just to be skinny at the risk of getting sick.
July 11th, 2017 8:15pm
No. Not always. It can be quite harmful and damaging, especially whn talking to an ed sufferer. It is alright if you are speaking to someone who attempted to lose weight, but try not to use it too often x
July 19th, 2017 1:50am
Only consideration is the one you give it, be bold and state," thank you for the compliment, own how you feel about yourself and what someone else states,really only has the power that you choose to give it,...
September 1st, 2017 1:54am
"You're so skinny!" or "You've lost weight!" are phrases that most people think of as a compliment. However, for some people saying these things can do more harm than good, myself included. In my experience, whenever someone would say something to me along those lines, it made me feel vulnerable. My weight and appearance was something that took a lot of time and effort to finally be ok, and someone commenting on it was like rubbing salt on an open wound. I was aware that I had lost weight, but I still didn't see myself as skinny, or at least skinny enough. Hearing someone tell me that I was skinny just further fueled my insecurities.
September 24th, 2017 10:05am
Well, sometimes it's not. Some people really can't stand watching a sknny person. But usually it's not the case. Often they are just jealous and try to hurt you to make feel better about themselves. But don't care about anything they say to hurt you! If you like being skinny, don't you dare changing that because of what other people think! Just enjoy this wonderful life the way you'd like! :)
October 6th, 2017 1:22am
Depends on who it's from and what the context is. Can also depend on tone of voice, it can mean you look good or you might need help.
October 8th, 2017 3:07am
Not at all. While eating disorders which focus on the positivity of losing weight are such a big part of our society, people struggle with the opposite. Feeling as if they are "too thin" and look unhealthy, wanting to gain weight. There is nothing wrong with being bigger, or being skinnier, but it is important to remember that no body type is perfect, no matter how you look there is likely to be something you are not happy with. To some, being called skinny may be an insult.
October 9th, 2017 9:57pm
"Skinny" generally has positive connotation because people associate skinny with either healthy-thin (fit) or overall small stature (health varies). However, being skinny could also be used to insult by saying that one has little bodily substance (lack of curves or muscles) and is scrawnier than what would be "optimal". Being skinny based on fluctuating numbers is far less important than being healthy inside and out.
November 8th, 2017 1:23am
skinny has no correlation to beauty ( that does not mean you are not beautiful if you are thin ) i am saying that you can take it as a compliment if you want to
November 8th, 2017 8:01pm
No way! Skinny is a judgement. Calling someone skinny is body shaming through noticing. People should keep their body shape comments to themselves. Someone else's body is none of their business. Many of us struggle with body image and try very hard to manage our forms. Making body image comments mean you noticed. And many of us don't want to be noticed. So be careful making any body image kinds of comments. Listen and support instead.
November 22nd, 2017 4:22pm
Personally, skinny shouldn't be what you want to be. You should aim to be healthy. Health always trumps figure. If you are forcing yourself to be skinny, you need stop and get help. If you aren't, you just need to find how you feel happiest and healthiest.
December 9th, 2017 1:23am
Depends on what basis the compliment is given. The person can be naturally skinny and healthy at the same time. The person who is an ideal weight by healthy standard and becomes skinny/having lost a lot of weight in a short pace of time cannot be considered healthy and this unreasonable weight goal doesn't bring any benefits in a long term.
December 14th, 2017 12:06pm
No, skinny is not always considered a compliment, and fat isn't always considered an insult. This is because it's just weight, and weight doesn't define you, and as long as you're healthy, I feel you can be whatever weight you want. You can wear whatever you want, and you an eat whatever you want. Just as long as you're happy, and healthy, then it's all good.
January 20th, 2018 9:20pm
skinny is an objective observation to describe looks along with tall or short. Whether you chose to take it as a compliment is entirely up to you.
January 25th, 2018 3:53am
to me it is a double edged sword, Ed (my eating disorder) loves it; yet, it stings me because I know I'm not healthy and it means people are paying attention to my body.
February 7th, 2018 10:19pm
No, not always, it just depends on the context. Somebody could say it in a mean way or a kind way. People always find a way to make something mean.
March 4th, 2018 10:29am
That depends on the person its said to, and how it is said. For some people it would be a compliment, but for others they would see it as an insult.
March 7th, 2018 5:00pm
skinny may sometimes be considered a compliment as it is nice to look fit and healthy, but there is line between skinny and malnourished and one must be careful not to cross that line, someone saying you look skinny may be them expressing their concern
March 8th, 2018 1:29pm
I think happy would be a better compliment, Anyone can fit societies idea of beauty but not everyone who is skinny is happy and being skinny isn't going to suddenly solve all your problems. We always find flaws in ourselves even if you think 'if I loose weight I'll be happy' or 'if I had perfect teeth I'd be happy'. It isn't true, we find another flaw to obsess over. To say someone is happy in themselves or that they look confident is a bigger compliment than skinny.
March 28th, 2018 7:53am
No, that depends on the context, tone of voice and situation. Calling you "skinny" might be a way of saying something else including you are not looking well and you are not eating right. .. which you could find insulting. However calling someone "skinny" could be a very good way to wake them up and register your concern that they may not be alright and need help. People with anorexia can lose touch with their own body to the point of lacking insight and awareness to their dangerously low weight. As though they dont even "see it".
March 31st, 2018 6:40am
It depends on how that label makes you feel. Big isn't necessarily a bad thing, most people take it negatively because of their own definition of the word.