Is skinny always considered a compliment?

118 Answers
Last Updated: 08/16/2019 at 8:10pm
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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
June 22nd, 2018 2:52am
Everything depends on the way you feel and love your body, being skinny can be healthy or unhealthy but everything depends on the love you give to yourself
June 27th, 2018 3:08pm
I think that would depend on the person it's coming from. Either way, I don't think it's something you should spend time dwelling on. Either way, it makes no difference to you or your body whether the person means it in as a compliment or not. Only you need to be okay with what you look like, there are always going to be people who have their opinions, it doesn't mean you're going to change every time to match everyone's preference.
July 5th, 2018 6:36am
Depends where you live. Many like it and many don’t. If you’re skinny and healthy and happy with your body, that’s all that really matters. There will always be those who like our size and those who don’t.
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".
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!
July 20th, 2018 7:01pm
Let me start by saying this: all bodies are beautiful. Some people consider skinny to be a compliment and others dont seem to think so. It is all based on the connotation given when that is being told.
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.
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.
July 27th, 2018 2:38am
No. Not for me. As a recovering anorexic, people complementing me about how good I look would set me off. Wow, I haven't eaten in 3 days, I'm doing good. Keep doing that. Or being told, now don't gain weight, you look good just like you have been. Secretly I've lost 5 lbs. I don't eat as a way to control my body which means my life.
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.
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
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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!
May 5th, 2019 11:06am
In my experience, I would say no. Since I'm already insecure about my weight, every time someone comments on how skinny I am it hurts me a little. And it happens constantly, so it's constantly eating away at the little self-confidence that I still have. Now I don't think that the people that are saying it are saying it to hurt me or to be malicious but they often use the same language to describe (usually women) that are malnourished or appear underweight. So that makes me think of myself in the same way they think of those women. Overall I feel like if it makes you feel good then it's a compliment, if it doesn't, then it's not.
May 26th, 2019 3:12am
No. I am considered skinny everywhere I go, but it is more than just skinny. Everyone says I am a twig and that really hurts. People are always saying that they wish they were skinny, but why would someone want that if people only see you as a stick? Being skinny is not better than being over weight.... in so many ways it is just as tough. I feel like the world has turned being skinny into something that everyone should be when it is actually not. For me, I have a very fast metabolism so all of the food I eat... just goes away. People tell me to eat more and I always reply back "I do". People don't understand how tough it is to be skinny. If you gain weight they will notice, and that is what causes so many eating disorders. The fear of gaining that weight... I don't know I guess that's my personal opinion. Based off my experience of course.
June 5th, 2019 8:29pm
in my experience, it depends on the context. i personally always stay away from complimenting people on their body type, but if you have a close relationship with the person that you're complimenting and you're absolutely sure of the context and situation surrounding it, then i think it can be a compliment. however, it could have negative consequences. i have struggled with disordered eating, and being called "skinny" always triggered me and encouraged me to lose more weight. in that context, it would not be a compliment. also, "skinny-shaming" is a terrible practice where, similar to fat-shaming, people shame someone for their body type, which is never a compliment.
June 27th, 2019 8:06am
Being called skinny can have different meanings. Some people might mean it in a mean way such as "she's /he's too skinny", which isn't nice at all. But others would actually really often mean that when they call you skinny it's a compliment! It's of course different from person to person, and why what kind of tone you can get called skinny in, but I'd take it as a compliment. I mean, if people told me I were skinny, I'd be happy. Not necessarily because they meant it good, but because of the fact that they took their time, to say it to me, and because they needed to call me skinny, instead of focusing on themselves.
July 24th, 2019 7:39pm
No skinny is not always considered a compliment. I have a friend that no matter what she did, she could not gain weight. She was very self conscious about it. One day someone came up to her and said, "Oh how do you stay so skinny!" I saw the look on her face and she looked at me and said, " I wonder how they would feel if I said, I wonder how you stay so fat?" I knew she was hurt. We never know what someone is battling with. I think just complimenting someone on how good they look instead of their weight is always a better choice.
August 8th, 2019 3:19am
Not exactly. Usually, people will use it as a compliment, but skinny does not always mean healthy. I know people that have always struggled with weight gain- they developed a lot of bad habits and their weight dropped, despite being healthy before. People noticed and complimented them, but they really weren't healthy at all. It's always important to consider the circumstances around it, because it can go both ways. I've also met people that have struggled with weight gain, and lost it in a healthy and natural way. In that case, I'd say that it would be taken as a compliment.
August 14th, 2019 8:27am
Certainly depends on the case we are talking about. Most of the time being called "skinny" is positive(meaning looking good). But watch for the tone being used when someone is saying this. It can also in some cases either indicate jealousy(if the person saying it isn't happy with the way their body looks and experience feelings of jealousy) or even worry( if the person in case is way too skinny, maybe underweight). Usually it is the tone that says it all in this kind of situations. Skinny is thin, pretty, means looking good in most cases. Whether it's a compliment or something else, what we think about ourselves and body is what truly matters in the end.