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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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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
sunshineForest73
April 5th, 2018 12:14pm
No, skinny can also translate to unhealthy, mal-nourished, or weak. Sometimes it is positive though.
Anonymous
April 8th, 2018 7:28am
Skinny isn't associated with a compliment. Skinny is a describing word more than a compliment. "The dog is skinny" whereas a compliment would be "Your dog is not fat nor skinny, it's considered a healthy weight"
Anonymous
April 14th, 2018 8:58pm
It depends on how you feel about it. There are some who don't like to be called that. There are some who do.
shiningGrace80
April 18th, 2018 12:17pm
Skinny isn't considered a compliment most of the time. People make fun of each other by calling them skinny. But that shouldn't affect one.
sweetPeace17
April 19th, 2018 1:48pm
It depends on your mind set. I always had issues with my eating habits and I always found skinny to be an insult despite the fact that I was going out of my way to be thin. However, if you’re naturally skinny then that’s a completely different think. It’s down to how you think and feel about yourself.
QueerChristianTeen2004
April 26th, 2018 3:00am
No. For those recovering from certain eating disorders it absolutely isn't. And for people trying to gain weight.
Anonymous
April 28th, 2018 7:02pm
Skinny is not always a compliment as too thin can be due to a host of reasons. I personally have suffered with an eating disorder from the age of seven. This was stemmed by insecurities sparked by parents who threatened me at anytime to sending me away to a boarding school. Every time I was out of control the anorexia kicked in. It wasn’t me deciding not to eat it happened as if the condition had a mind of its own. Once you have this it is common for it to continue. Also when I hit puberty it became a problem due to girls comparing each other’s speed and amount of development. Public images do a lot of harm to the body images of young girls. It is a term normally bonded about by larger people. So I wish we could stop using the phrase. However I’m sure if someone has been on a diet for a few months they would be flattered by the words
JudithAsk9
May 2nd, 2018 6:01am
Physical attraction or beauty varies from ones point of view. This also is attributed to cultures and countries. So I think it depends on the personal opinion of each of us.
MissLouise13
May 5th, 2018 3:09am
No skinny isn't always a compliment, many people suffer from body image issues no matter what size they are, you should refrain from using somebodies size as a compliment instead compliment their features.
Anonymous
May 9th, 2018 9:48pm
Most of people will think of it as a compliment, but it may not always be, depending on context of the situation. People with eating disorders won't take those "compliments" seriously and it may make them even more self conscious
Anonymous
May 9th, 2018 9:56pm
no, the social media mainstream favors skinny over anything else, and some are naturally thin and feel very self concious when people call them skinny, i have a friend like that, who is petite, and doesnt like to be called skinny.
Anonymous
May 11th, 2018 12:04am
No. To some people this can be seen as an insult and can lead to them having low self esteem and can also trigger some form of eating disorder.
keepgoing12
May 18th, 2018 4:35am
Not always, being skinny can be seen as an insult on the same level as fat is used as an insult sometimes. But based on the persons tone, you should be able to tell if it is meant as a compliment or not. If you're not sure, just ask them!
bountifulWhisper17
June 21st, 2018 6:52am
No, skinny is not always considered as a compliment. In some cases, it is. In other cases, someone may be implying that the person is to skinny and may need to gain wait.
LovableLokiDog
July 5th, 2018 6:38pm
Skinny is not always a compliment. When said in a condescending tone, it can make you feel guilty and bad about yourself. I feel attacked sometimes when people use it as an excuse for why have it "worse than you".
Eleuthromaniac
July 13th, 2018 3:30am
It depends on how the person is using it, the context of the conversation. For instance, if someone says, “you should eat, you’re skinny” than they are being extremely offensive and rude for no purposeful reason except to be judge mental and give two cents on someone else’s life. Yet a compliment for the word “skinny” can be, “wow you are truly glowing in that dress! You look so skinny!” This can be taken as a compliment by the giver! Either way, body types are gorgeous in that they embrace us for who we are as individuals!
Anonymous
July 25th, 2018 2:10pm
Not necessarily. Sometimes skinny is an insult, saying you aren't "curvy" or don't have enough fat to be considered "beautiful". However, whether you are skinny or not, you are beautiful.
Anonymous
July 26th, 2018 5:35am
Being skinny or not skinny does not indicate anything about a person, therefore it can be intended any number of ways. However, I believe it should not be an indicator of self-worth to be skinny or not.
Tvmv29
August 3rd, 2018 1:17am
Mostly yes but not if it means ,,too thin". It's just that much people use it as a compliment because skinny is considered as ,,beautiful " by many persons. For people who don't want to be skinny or who think it is meant as ,,bad skinny" it may not considered as a compliment.
Anonymous
August 5th, 2018 10:49am
Not always, not everyone likes compliments so it could be triggering or annoying for certain people. Some are also trying to gain weight and would rather not be skinny. I think it's best to not focus on appearance and more on personality instead
Anonymous
August 16th, 2018 7:20pm
Skinny is never always considered a compliment. And when you mock or tease someone for being skinny, it's basically fat-shaming but in reverse. Some people can't help being skinny, just like some people can't help it if they don't lose weight as easily or gain weight more easily. Some people are even told they are too skinny, but maybe that person can't help it, or maybe that person thinks they are fat and has an eating disorder. Being skinny, thick, curvy, or whatever should never be used for compliments. Someone might be called curvy as a compliment, but what if they secretly hate and long to be skinny?
peanutsarefriends
August 17th, 2018 4:11pm
As much as there are many people who think that it is a compliment, I do not think that it is always considered one. It is an individual thing. It also depends on what the complimenting person means, and what the complimented one thinks. I personally do not see it as one, although in most cases when people call me that, they do not mean to make me feel bad. In my opinion, there are many better words you can use to compliment someone. I guess people are just used to this one and they are willing to stick to it.
Maddiegrace16
September 30th, 2018 3:16am
No, definitely not. As a fellow skinny person, people can use it either way. They can use it as a compliment, or use it as saying you starve yourself or have a eating disorder. I believe it could go either way. You shouldn’t assume all skinny people have eating disorders because there are people that really have to go through them every day. Eating disorders are no joke and my heart goes out to every single person that has one.
Kaitlaz
October 12th, 2018 4:32am
I feel that the term 'skinny' can be meant as a compliment or an insult depending on the context. People may use it as a compliment to show envy, or as an insult to show their own displeasure. However, to me, skinny is neither a compliment nor an insult. The term 'skinny' simply describes someone's outward appearance. It describes a person who would be considered to be thin, or slim. To me, skinny is no different from calling someone fat. They are both simply words used to describe a person's outward appearance and therefore is not an insult or a compliment.
ryanjsmith
October 21st, 2018 3:07pm
It depends on context; some people want to be skinny, however some poeple *cough cough* me *cough cough*, don't mind so much. Some people might consider others too skinny or too fat, but as long as your're healthy I don't think it matters. Everyone deserves to be their own person; everyone is different and shouldn't have to change to fit an unreasonable social standard. Not everyone can be skinny, but even if they aren't it makes no difference. If you ask me, personality is everything, and if you're a good person (which i'm sure you all are) then no one will care about your weight, looks or anything else. Everyone is beautiful in their own, amazing way.
delicatdreamer16
November 2nd, 2018 12:29pm
For me, I've found that being called 'skinny' can sometimes be considered not a compliment. Having struggled to maintain my weight for a while due to health issues, being called skinny is usually I loaded statement. If I am being called skinny, it is rarely to compliment, it is usually to imply that I look sick or is followed with a question about an eating disorder. (There is no shame in dealing with an eating disorder, but because I don't it can be a little awkward trying to explain this without sounding like I am just denying it to avoid getting help). If you want to compliment someone's physique just try to make sure that its appropriate and is said in a tone that is complimenting and not backhanded.
coalescence7
December 28th, 2018 5:55pm
Ultimately, it depends on the person and if they have had their own weight issues as well. Someone who's weight conscious may not feel that being 'skinny' is something they are happy with nor would they think that it is a positive thing to hear because they may have underlying issues. More often than not, the possibility of it MEANT to be a complement is one thing, but whether it's received that way is subject to someone else who's emotions they are targeting. Someone who's anorexic or bulimic may not feel that 'you're so skinny!' is a complement because there may be some underlying issues. Individuals also with some body image issues may also feel that it's an issue because they may feel self conscious about it regardless of their size. The people saying it may be attempting to come from a positive place or position, but it doesn't always get accepted that way and ultimately it's something that people do not think enough about when it's said or when it's come out of their mouths but whether or not it's malicious with intent is unlikely but sometimes may be taken that way.
emidoo123
March 8th, 2019 8:10pm
It could be taken in a derrogative way, depending on if the person is implying that you are significantly underweight, and that you need to gain some weight. I prefer to steer clear of saying the word “skinny,” because it could be a trigger to those dealing with eating disorders or body dismorphia issues. Instead of skinny I tend to use words like fit, I feel like it’s a better compliment. So for example, if you’d like to compliment someone on their weight loss, instead of saying “you look really skinny,” try saying “you look great” or “you’re looking very fit.”
jenna888k
March 9th, 2019 12:18am
The easiest way to tell if it is a compliment or a sarcastic comment is, does the person who said the comment want to be skinny? Whether it is a compliment to you or not, the more important thing, I believe, is the intention. No matter how much you hate your body, if the person who calls you skinny wants to be just as skinny, then it is a compliment. This also applies to many things we hear throughout the day. It is very easy to overreact--or more accurately, wrongfully react--to comments. Even if something is not a compliment to you, try to think from that person’s perspective. Was that comment supposed to make you angry or offended? Most likely, that person just simply doesn’t know you enough to be more cautious. This is why reacting defensively or angrily to these comments (that you find insulting but actually meant to be a compliment) may lead to some shock. After all, they were just trying to be friendly, make small talk. Over time, this can lead to people thinking you are just a hostile person to be avoided. An example is my friend who looks very young for her age. She hates having a baby-face and being petite, yet people compliment her all the time. When this happens, she either says “ugh, don’t say that” or just awkwardly smiles and says thanks. Her frustration builds up over time, and she occasionally lashes out on random people who compliment her for looking “so cute”. The wiser thing to do is to just say “I’m going to assume you meant it as a compliment, but it is not a compliment to me.” It’s firm and concise to shut them up from complimenting on something you don’t feel comfortable about yet.
Abigail5757
April 5th, 2019 4:11pm
Personal experience also let's me realise that sometimes people can become "hooked" on being called things like "skinny" and that's not healthy. I prefer to use words like, healthy! :) especially now, with all of the fat/skinny shaming. I think that people have other things to be complimented on that isn't to do with their weight and I would avoid this so as to not invoke any negative feelings. Sometimes I think, like with "skinny shaming" that's obviously not complimentary, and people do use weight to be insulting, whether it be skinny or not. Your body is your own business!