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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
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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
ACeme
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.
Anonymous
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.
Anonymous
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.
StarrySusan
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.
lyricalLight8242
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.
Anonymous
August 28th, 2019 3:27pm
I don't think so, I think you look healthy and well is the compliment. And your face has that happy glow that means as a compliment. I wish people would take care of there health and eat properly with good diet. It's more important that you are happy and healthy. I wish people could see that they are beautiful the way they are. I hope people support each other and always be helpful towards other people, I wish people would be kind to a stranger you never someone is going through alot, and your one act of kindness can change their day. I wish you all the best.
sincerelyyours18
October 2nd, 2019 7:27pm
No it isn't. It can trigger some people to lose weight, even tho they are already skinny. I think we live in a world where we compliment each other when we lost some weight, but we never ask why they felt the need to do it. I think we live in a society that makes us want to lose weight, even when it's not needed and that makes me sick thinking about it. We have to start looking after ourselves and accept the bodies we have and empower other bodies, because it's all we have. It is all we have guys.
peacefulforever333
October 31st, 2019 1:57am
If somebody compliment a person for being skinny, they mean it. But is it in physical sense a compliment, depends on what the person like to be or like to see in others. Maybe they like a certain figure or shape in selves. And does also depend on their and gender. For a young person it is nice to be kind of skinny but for an adult it is better if they are more full. We go back to how the person view things. And being skinny is nice. Some see it as attractive some not. So, it could be a compliment and it could be not. Being skinny could be nice if the person is taking of them selves in everyday and eating balanced food. but if the have a eating disorder, which help them stay skinny, could be hard on themselves. So, it could be a compliment for people who likes it that way. .
peacefullistener22
November 10th, 2019 12:58pm
No there is such thing as skinny shaming The below story is taken from https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/the-womens-blog-with-jane-martinson/2013/aug/05/skinny-shaming-fat-size-appearance: A few years ago when I worked in publishing, we'd gather for weekly commissioning meetings in the boardroom. There would be platters of pastries along the table. A senior colleague – a lovely woman in her 50s – would always urge me, loudly, to have a croissant. She would prod me in the side, in a friendly manner, and say: "Look, she's nothing but skin and bone!" The fact that I was deeply anorexic and that she was overweight is irrelevant. She was drawing attention to my size in a way that would have been unacceptable had I done the same to her. I'm aware I'm skating on thin ice: what could be more irritating than a thin person describing another person as fat? And yet – for a moment – think about how we describe thinness: skinny, angular, emaciated, bony, skeletal, lollipop-head. These terms are batted about in the media quite casually, without the caution we must now use in our references to fat. I happen to find the term "skinny" offensive, but of course that's foolish. You're lucky to be thin, you think, rolling your eyes.
CalVal
November 21st, 2019 9:12am
Not always! There are people who call someone "hey skinny!" with rude intentions just as calling someone "hey fatty!". Rude people will always exist. It take a huge amount of courage to be proud of who you are and ignore those people. Sometimes people will say "Whoah, you look skinnier.." because they notice some changes and their reaction will either be surprised or worried (depends). It's yours to judge! I personally take it as a compliment when people tell me I look skinnier because I've been trying to workout more, but I also take it as a compliment when someone tells me I look chubbier cause I know it's still me and I'm still healthy. People have different body types, prefer different body types, but remember that everyone is beautiful. Don't force yourself to be someone else, and always remember to take care of yourself! Much love!
Tyedyedbutterfly65
November 24th, 2019 1:29am
For some people it can be but for others it can be insulting or hurtful, depends how it is used when speaking to someone and also not knowing if they have a eating disorder. They could be anorexic , or suffer with bulimia , also some do not have money to eat on so they could be skinny for that reason. It is very hard to know what someone is going through so we want to assume they love being skinny but in reality they are hurting possibly. We have to work on how we speak to others and try to get too know them before we speak because words can hurt even if we mean nothing by our words.
wonderfulSunshine91
December 3rd, 2019 10:46pm
I would never see skinny as a compliment. As someone who volunteers at a hospice I see people literally waste away. It's awful to see. I also associate being skinny with being stressed as at a time in my life when I was very stressed I lost a lot of weight. Now that is not to say that you are not beautiful if you are skinny but it really depends on your perception of what the word means. That's the issue with adjectives, they don't mean the same thing for everyone. However, for me, skinny means emaciated and overly thin.
Anonymous
December 15th, 2019 10:29pm
Being skinny in modern culture is viewed as something that everyone should be. Don’t listen to this culture. Be the shape, size, color, or mood you think fits you. Being skinny should have nothing to do with how you are viewed in society. Be the person you were born to be and never let anyone try to conform you to a certain size. You are beautiful no matter what and should never view yourself as anything less. Let the world know that whatever size you are is a compliment. You are a complement to the world so let the world know it.
Anonymous
January 15th, 2020 6:31pm
It depends, a lot of the time it can be a compliment but sometimes it may be in regards to your health getting worse. How you feel when you get called skinny is an important factor too so try thinking about it. Everyone feels different ways and goes through different things so in some cases skinny may not be a compliment because they feel like they are being lied to and they want to be perfect or they just want someone to notice that they are screaming out for help. This is NOT attention seeking just to clarify. So the answer to your question is no it is not always a compliment, it can be a concern, an insult and so much more
gentleSun78
January 24th, 2020 7:11am
As meaning of every sentence or phrase depends on situation, also meaining of sentence that you are skinny depends on situation, in which context it was said, in which connotation it was said, by who it was said, where it was said, when it was said and so on. For example, if you are among overweight people who adore being overweight and see being overweight as something desirable, there being skinny wouldn't be considered a compliment but just a remark which can show that you don't fit into their group. If you are among people who value being skinny, above mentioned sentence could be considered a compliment.
treeHugger7
February 7th, 2020 9:59pm
Through my experience, no, although it is most of the time. People can use it to tease you for not being politicly correct enough, or tease you if you are very body-positive. It can also just be served plain. Someone may tell you you are skinny, and need to eat more to be pretty. As someone who has gone through the hell that is anorexia, this happens a lot. It is deliverd more freely then calling someone fat though, no one will frown upon you for saying someone needs to eat more. It is hard to wield the word as a weopon though.
Heather99
March 13th, 2020 9:42pm
Not always. Some people have commented about how skinny I am because they are concerned for my health. However, most of the time, when acquaintances say I'm skinny, they mean it as a compliment. I think it also varies depending on culture. In America, where I live, being skinny is almost always an admirable trait to have, so if a stranger says you're skinny then it's probably a compliment. However, context also matters. I have been to a doctor's office for a health check-up and was told that I was skinny and that it may be beneficial to gain a few pounds. In that case, they did not mean it as a compliment. They were stating it as more of a neutral or slightly negative fact, since gaining a few pounds could have meant better health for me at the time.
blackMist3479
March 25th, 2020 7:38am
I would say no. It depends a lot on the context. If a woman is derisively called "skinny" to insult a lack of curves or a man is called skinny to insult a lack of muscle, or if someone is teased for being too thin or appearing emaciated, all of those can feel pretty terrible, no doubt. Additionally, some people dislike their weight or size being commented on regardless, especially if that person has dealt with any types of eating disorder or weight issues in the past. I personally think that unless you know someone has a specific healthy weight goal and you observe that they are nailing it/sticking to that goal, there are a million better things to compliment than someone's size.
Dofly
March 27th, 2020 12:36pm
Depending on how you feel after it being said to you or someone else, say you felt happy then its a compliment and if you felt offended then its not a compliment. This because a compliment is suppose to make you feel good and appreciated rather than uncomfortable or irritated. This is my opinion toward how a compliment should be, although many prefer a better wording for it to be a proper compliment like saying you look fit/ fitter or thin/ thinner, since the word skinny is usually used as a bad thing. I hope this answered your question and/or was helpful.
Anonymous
April 9th, 2020 10:09pm
I would always consider people calling me skinny as a compliment but when my mom started to call me too skinny was when I started to feel bad and it started messing with how I felt. Calling people skinny may be considered a compliment depending on how or with what intention the person was trying to deliver.
Anonymous
April 18th, 2020 6:33am
No. This “compliment” is often what leads to eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia. People are so bent on always being called skinny, that they do lose and maintain a low weighted in an unhealthy way. Any body shaming is still body shaming and can be hurtful, triggering, or offensive. Please beware of the “compliments” that you give and make sure to be kind. Even for someone who has lost weight who used to be bigger, calling them skinny may make them happy, but they could feel that they need to lose more and more weight. You do not. You should feel comfortable in your own skin. You’re beautiful.
Anonymous
April 22nd, 2020 9:25pm
no! really depends on the person and if they like being called skinny. if someone is to skinny it could hurt there feelings, but if someone is bigger then it could be a great compliment. and someone with an eating disorder is could really affect them in a bad way. you have to get to know the person and how they feel about the word skinny, before throwing it out there. words affect every person in different ways. no one is the same and no one thinks the same way. you have to keep that in mind when talking to people.
KyrieNightgold
May 3rd, 2020 10:31am
No not always it depends on the context that it is said AND it also depends on the person. You could tell a girl that she was really cute and skinny but she might think that her being skinny is why she cute and obsesse over being skinny not necessarily because of your comment but she still might not think of it as a compliment she might think that because of her being skinny you think that shes cute. it is all up to the person whom you are calling skinny or fat. there are lots of people not just girls who think that because people call them skinny they need to gain weight or need to stay super skinny and that can lead to problems but then again that is just my thoughts on the matter.
HopingMagnolias
May 16th, 2020 5:11am
I personally dislike terms that compress our body sizes into symbols and such. Skinny is usually considered a compliment, however, it actually can be counterproductive for someone with weight issues or body dysmorphia. For someone trying to become an unhealthy weight, it can boost their motivation, not much better than insulting them. I feel like we shouldn't compliment on each other's bodies, period. On the other hand, for someone trying to gain weight, it can be depressing for them to not have their hard work recognized, or it can be embarrassing if used in a demeaning way. Physical comments are just... Dangerous ground.
blitheBlossom34
May 21st, 2020 1:43pm
not always some may take it a complement when someone says you are so skinny but others can takle offence which can lead to depression and other mental illnesses but also can lead to overeating of one if they dont like being skinny . Individuals are very self aware and one compliment can be taken as an offence instead of a comment as one can perhaps be perceiving individuals with fuller bodies as more appealing and when faced with a comment of wow you so skinny one can go into a really dark state of trying to get rid of this image they do not like.
BellatheHappyHelper
June 3rd, 2020 4:13pm
No, being called skinny is not always considered a compliment. A lot of times, being skinny doesn't commonly identify with healthy. Using skinny as a compliment to someone can be destructive to that persons mental health and can cause and/or participate in eating disorders. Comments on social media are always bashing the way someones body looks, whether they gained weight, lost weight, or acquired some cellulite (which everyone has by the way). Being curvy and voluptuous is beautiful, but so is being thin. Just because a person doesn't meet up with society's body image standards does not mean they are unhealthy, or fat, or starving themselves, or eating too much. Everyone's body shape, digestive system, metabolism, etc. is different. Therefore, we all gain and lose weight differently. Some people are naturally skinny, it is in their genetics. Others are naturally curvy, it is also in their genetics. We all just need to love each other and our selves.
Anonymous
June 10th, 2020 12:02pm
No it is not always meant as a compliment. Calling someone fat or calling someone skinny all fall under the category of body shaming. Although sometimes someone might mean it in a good way, it is not always considered a compliment. I have always been skinny my whole life and I have seen people shaming me for that. From calling me skinny to even calling me 'lanky', 'tree log', 'stick figure' and things like that. I used to be sad about that a lot a few years ago. But now I have come to accept my natural body and no longer feel bad if someone calls me skinny.
Anonymous
June 12th, 2020 7:29pm
Being “skinny” seems to be a very desirable trait. However it is not always the best option for people depending on their bodies and the stigma around being skinny, and especially when using the term as a compliment or insult, is very harmful. In many cases it can further harm a person’s self-image or even remind them of current or past issues about eating. There are so many other ways to more effectively and kindly let someone know they are great, including pointing out their beautiful personality traits. Even complimenting their outfit can allude to their gorgeous body shape (skinny or not) in a kinder and less stigmatic way :)
Anonymous
June 24th, 2020 5:47am
Just like taking a break from your job search is important, so is having the right mindset. It is hard to be a job seeker, applying for many jobs and possibly not hearing back from employers. Work to focus on the progress you are making with each application—honing your search tactics, getting efficient with your application process, and understanding what keywords to use for an ATS are all important tools to use as you go through your search. Each time you apply for a job, you are improving your process, and that’s great progress to landing a job. nice
martigum23
June 25th, 2020 9:41am
you can start by telling her that for a while you have noticed that you are starting to feel different, both inside and out, that you are discovering new sensations and that since you trust her and you know she loves you for what you are inside and not for the external aspect you are sure that it will accept you in any version of you. Or at least it should. Tell her that she is free to choose and take some time to think, remind her of the beautiful moments and tell her that you love her. It'll be fine.