Photo taken from
This isn’t the typical type of post from me today, It’s a somewhat controversial post, that I hope plenty of you can sink your teeth into (do not bite too hard, this is not a debate).

Let me start by saying that I am 5ft4″ and weigh 7st5lb (if you are unsure of these measurments, by all means convert them yourself) and have been the same height and weight for 2 years. Before I hit puberty, I’m pretty sure you would have taken one look at me and said “She is WAY too thin”, and let me tell you, I was. I was 5ft4″ before I even sprouted boobies, hips and bottom and I looked HIDEOUS. I would look in the mirror and despise what I saw.

“why don’t I have boobs like my friends do?” “why do all my bones poke out at every angle?” “where are my hips?” “why am I so skinny?”

I absolutely HATED it. I’d also like to point out, I in no way, shape, or form have ever had an eating disorder, those of you who know me, will know I eat whenever I like and whatever I like. Even then, I ate like a normal 14/15 year old girl. Pizzas, Burgers, Chips, Mcdonalds, Fizzy drinks. I ate no less than the average kid…yet why was I so incredibly skinny? The answer here is simply “Metabolism”. My metabolism is what i’d like to call “super metabolism”. For those of you who don’t know what metabolism is, it’s basically a chemical reaction that happens in all your living organisms to help maintain life, in non scientific forms, the rate at which your body burns calories and breaks down fat. Having a high metabolism means that it is impossible for me to put on weight, and maintain it. My body breaks down fat and burns calories at a stupidly fast rate. Now I know for a fact, that many of you will be reading this thinking “Shut up Zoe, I’d absolutely LOVE to have a high metabolism”..but let me tell you, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Whilst going through my teen stages of being a skinny bean pole, it had serious affect on the way I saw myself and the way others saw me. It’s pretty steriotypical that the fat kid in class doesn’t want to get into a swimming costume or be seen getting undressed for P.E, or get bullied or called names. I felt exactly the same way. I hated having to go swimming as people would point and stare at me for being so skinny, I’d hate having to get undressed and I did get called things and when I tried to put on weight, it was absolutely impossible. It also made me feel like crap. Think the reverse of a diet. I was essentially eating shit, crap, fatty foods to try and put weight on, therefore feeling groggy, tired and miserble.

You always hear about larger people going through a tough time trying to lose weight, slim people can go through just as much of a tough time trying to put it on, but nobody ever really thinks of that.

“Are you anorexic”, “you need to put some weight on”, “You are a bag of bones”, “why are you so boney”, “why are you so skinny”, “get some meat on your bones”, “are you okay?”

All this you would kind of expect from curious school children, but what astonishes me, is that people still ask me these things. People I don’t know. Quite strange as I now have boobs (of a generous size), hips, and wobbly bottom (yes, it wobbles…Just being honest haha) and I have filled out quite noticeably. Yet people still think it’s okay to say these things? Would you say these things to someone who was noticeably larger than the average person?

“Are you obese?”, “You need to lose weight”, “You are a big bag of fat”, “why are you so fat?”, “You need to get some meat off those bones of yours”, “Are you..okay?”

No. You just wouldn’t would you. So why is it acceptable to ask a skinny person questions of the same criteria? Do you think it doesn’t affect them the same way it would someone who was fat?

I was at the doctors 2 days ago, getting my prescription contraceptive pill, and as a standard procedure every few years, they weigh me, and check my height; just so they have the most recent details as possible. I had a different nurse than I normally do, and she made me feel really awkward and a bit, down. She measured me fine,

“Oh, 5ft4, yep, you’re exactly the same height”.

But when it came to weighing me, she made me feel very uncomfortable.

“When was the last time you weighed yourself? Recently?”
“No, I never weigh myself”
“Okay, well, if it’s okay with you, I’m going to weigh you, you don’t have to look”

Now I felt confused. Why wouldn’t I want to look? I don’t care what I weigh, but this nurse clearly thought I did.

“No, it’s fine, I don’t care about looking”
“Okay great…just step on then…hmmm”
“You’re the same weight exactly”
“Oh really! Okay”
“Yeh…are both your parents very skinny?”
“er..yeh they are actually”

She was now looking at me with concern.

“Okay, well, your BMI is lower than it should be”
“I know, it always has been”
“Oh okay…well, keep your eye on that”

I then walked away thinking, “had this been someone with a BMI that was slightly over average, would she have asked the same questions?”, would she have asked “Are both your parents fat?”

I hate that we have a BODY MASS INDEX, that we must all live by? Who decides what BMI we should be anyway? Who cares if i’m “slightly” below average, who cares if you’re slightly above it? As long as you feel happy in the skin you are in, is that not all that matters? Yes, I may seem smaller and skinnier than the average person, but I’m happy at the moment. If I put on any weight (which is impossible for me to do anyway) I’m almost sure it would all just go on my face and bottom. If I was to exercise, I’d be even skinnier, which as a result, means I’m incredibly unfit. Seriously, I’ll run up a flight of stairs and need to down a litre of water and catch my breath for 5 minutes. How bad is that?

There are still things I absolutely hate about my body, and they won’t change. I hate my hands. Who wants boney, old lady, veiny hands? haha. I also hate my legs, It’s pretty impossible for me to put on weight, but for some reason, any weight I do carry, is everywhere BUT my legs. Skinny little ankles and shapeless legs anyone? I am however, much more content with the way I am at the moment. I still wish I could be a little bigger, but I have the joy of being able to scoff a whole tub of ben and jerrys and not have to worry. Trust me though, my skin and organs probabaly do not appreciate this, and I’m very unhealthy. You won’t ever catch me eating a bowl of salad or nuts & raisins. I am almost sure my metabolism will not stay this way forever, it will all catch up with me, and then my decade of eating rubbish food, and having little exercise will probabaly result in me waking up and being 10x bigger. Think “Shallow Hal”.

I recently got upset by someone I hardly know, in fact they may aswell have been a stranger, approaching me and saying “Zoe, you are SO skinny”. For a start…how the hell do you even respond to something like that? I think I just stood with my mouth open, wondering what on earth made it okay to say something like that? What was going on in this persons mind? I eventually just walked away. Sometimes saying nothing is the best thing to do. This person then returned to say “You need to put some weight seriously”. C’mon? Really? I was firstly very embarassed, and secondly gutted. Would this person have said the same thing to a fat person? Nope. Because calling someone fat is seen as an insult, but calling someone out to be too skinny…is apparently acceptable? I think commenting on anybodies weight is unnaceptable. Who are you to judge someone by the size of them?

“That person is fat, they must eat nothing but mcdonalds and sit on their arse all day”
“That person is skinny, she probably has an eating disorder and needs help”

It’s really not fair. Nobody ever takes into account genes, metabolism, bone structure, medical problems. There are thousands or reasons people are how they are, and why people are the size they are. The above statements may be true in some cases, but for the majority, it’s probabaly not.

So, is calling someone skinny really acceptable? Or, do you agree with me that it’s just as insensitive as calling someone fat? As as naturally skinny person, I can tell you that it’s not very nice being called out for being “too skinny”, especially as i tried so hard to put weight on, and wanted so desperately to be “of average size” as I was growing up. It’s a bit of a touchy subject but one I wanted to address. I get a weird amount of people asking me my height and weight, and a part of me thinks they are trying to suss out if im underweight in a very sly and kinda creepy way. So now at least i’ve answered that for you…weirdos. ;)

Moral of the story here though, is that I don’t really think it’s ever acceptable to comment on anybody’s weight, skinny or fat. Why should you ever be allowed an opinion on someone else’s body or way of life? You can think it in your head, but the minute you open your mouth it becomes very dangerous, that is of course unless you are opening your mouth to give a compliment, by all means do this. haha. If YOU are happy with the way you look, that’s all that matters, and if you aren’t, chances are you are doing something about it and working towards something you know you will make you happy.

Everybody is different, and nobody is perfect. It would be a very boring place if this wasn’t the case.

  • Rachel

    Hi Zoe. I am really worried that my weight doesn’t match my body as I am quite skinny (nobbley knees, boney hips, just yuno..a bit boney), but what I don’t understand is that I weigh 8stone! I don’t feel the need to do much exercise apart from what I do in PE. But I can’t seem to understand why I am fairly skinny but weigh this amount. By the way I am 13. xx

  • Amy

    hi. okay, so i’ve had an Instagram account for a while now, on where i am anonymous so no one knows i’m me. i use it to explain my feelings and let out the emotions and thoughts that i can’t tell anyone in person; but yeah i guess i am one of those quotey accounts. i love going on there and posting and looking through other peoples (like me) posts. However, i have been struck by how negative we all are about ourselves and other people. We are all trying to reach the perfect weight or size; but what is that? What goes through our minds that makes us believe how insecure and so set on it all: the media itself. Most of the time people behave the way the way they think they should and the way they have seen others behave, and sometimes people comment because they are paranoid, paranoid that the person they are talking too will also create the same eating disorder or paranoia, and they would to check and check again that everything is fine. other times people do it to try to get the other person to switch the question and ask them. That last one is me… constantly helping others see better in themselves but hating myself at the same time, with no one to help me. The essence of the media is tricking us and i don’t know what to do… i need someone to ask me for once.

  • Khaiden

    HELLO ZOE!! Everything you have discussed I completely and utterly agree with, it is like you stole those words out of my mouth because that it is what I constantly think. However I am a guy and things work a bit more differently for men that have this issue. I have always been so thin and it hasn’t been easy to live with the constant remarks on my weight from all people including my own parents! You think they wouldn’t care but apperently they do…😒👌. I have been called anorexic and accused of doing drugs by “friends” which really stabs me in the back. As a guy there is a constant feeling to be big and muscular and just to look “manly” in general but it is hard to look and feel like this when it is nearly impossible to gain weight and maintain it. It is quite the struggle you see. So I wish there was just some people in society that would recognise men as feeling this peer pressure to look and feel masculine and the anxiety that comes with it. But I might be ahead of myself. Do you agree with this?
    And to the people in the comments you don’t need to change but I completely agree with you if you want to seek change in your appearance because we all should have the right to look like as we please, girl or guy. And thank you zoe for this post and the video you made with Louise, it really helped me in knowing that other people shared these issues. BYE!! 👋👋

  • Mia

    Hi Zoe, I’m not skinny (at all haha ) and I worry about my image far too much! I’m trying really hard to lose weight ( by running etc ) but this made me realise how many people who are skinny feel the same way as me – unconvident, insicure etc it’s made me feel like I’m not alone:) thank you xx

  • Clo’s Blog

    I completely agree with this Zoe, 100%. Well done for standing up against everyone and helping others out with the same thing. This is why your my role model xxxxx

  • bob-le-nutella andouillette

    first of all, I wanted to say I completely agree with this article. but I don’t know if it’s because I’m from a different country (I’m french) or for something else, but here no one ever called me names because I was too skinny or anything (1,73m, 50kg). It is true that when I was 14 some boys made fun of me because I had no boobs (and still don’t), but it was only once. It did bothered me a lot back then, but I just know it was because I was such an easy taget to make fun of. Otherwise, people are mostly impresse (well, if they even bother noticing I am skinny) as I can eat as much as I want.
    What I want to say is, there will be always people making fun of you, for a reason or an other, but being skinny doesn’t have to be an issue, and personnally I am proud of how I am and accept my body as it is

  • Adriana Tarri Vajová

    Hi Zoe,
    I am 13, and I past anorexia. I tell you I have very skinny friend Vera. She always want to gain weight and I was jealous that she has so fast metabolism. She is so skinny, so perfect. She is eating more than me even if I am eating normal. (before anorexia and after). And because I want to be like her my restriction started. I weighted (sorry I dont know past tense of word weight :). I dont know english very well) 10s1p and my high is 5´ 7´ or 171cm.
    My mom said that: “You wasnt fat, you was pretty skinny.”
    Me: “But my friend has faster metabolism than me!”
    Mom:” But you are not her!”
    But I want to be. So I start with hard sporting, fitness and this whole stuff. I ate less and less and my weight was 7s8p which was BMI: 16.5 for me. I was liing to doctors, parents, granny, auntie that I am fine but I wasnt. I was killing myself and I know hospital is the next step. So I started to eat. I eat pancakes, ice cream, water melon, apples, potatoes….. I started to gain weight. I was so happy cause my bones still looks like I am anorexia girl but I born with it. Now I am happy and healthy ( when I lost weight I lost also period and I colapse for about 4 times plus my breathing was very hard to do that) and I know this is the weight that I should have. Actually it´s 9s0p and my BMI: 19.5. Now I read this and I cried. A lot. I never think about how Vera could feel when I told her skinny skeleton or I want to change with you. I really know how to be skeleton (actually in bad way) and I am telling you. You are not skeleton Zoe. You look healthy and that is that thing that you need to know. I thought that I will be healthy even if I am going to weight so low. But I wasnt. If you feel good with your weight you are fine. And I totally accept your opinion with BMI. It is important when you ´ve got problem like me. But if you are healthy and happy it doesn´t matter how big or how low your BMI is. I know some people just born with fast metabolism and they are very rare. You are very rare Zoe. I love you. :) <3
    P.S. I love your book.
    P.P.S. I wrote this to you cause this post open my eyes right now. And I past anorexia I could help people who have trouble with loosing weight. I think I was stupid because I could ruined my whole life. Dont do the same wrong that I do.

    Your fan Aďka

  • Sydney :)

    Hi Zoe! I am 4 foot 7.5 (every .5 counts :)) and I weight 55.5 lbs. I was born with a growing disorder called Russell Silver Syndrome and I am super short and also super skinny. On my bus ride home from school one day this girl was asking why I was so skinny and if I had an eating disorder. I was upset because it’s not my fault and I try to gain weight just like you did by eating all that crap. I feel like people judge me all the time. Also I’m 13 years old and just starting to show slight a bit of boob (barely anything). I have not yet really grow to much. I have bone hips, super thin legs (I’m very insecure about them) and thin arms. I always feel so small around other people. In pictures I always look so thin and super short compared to my friends. The worst part is that both my parents are really tall ( 5 foot 10 and 6 foot 2 ). I am also a triplet and when I stand next to them I feel like I’m not even the same age as them. Its a terrible feeling. Being so small and fragile limits a ton of sports that I would like to try but my parents don’t want me getting hurt. Also clothing is a big problem. Somethings are so baggy on me. Your blog really helped and I related to you so much!

  • Pinky

    Hi Zoe,
    I am really short and more than a head shorter than most of my friends! I always feel selfconscious because I’m so short and i don’t have any boobs where as most of my friends do.I have been trying to put on lots of weight because my BMI is apparently too low (according to my doctor), but my weight always goes on my hips making my body look uneven. I am saying this as i know that there are other people who are self-conscious about their body need to know that they are beautifull! Thank you so much Zoe for making this post! I think it is really nice to know that you when through the tough times as well as many of other people!
    Thanks again, Pinky, xx( Im 13)
    P.s- keep a look out for a letter that i am about to send you!

  • Megan

    Hi Zoe, me and one of my very best friends feel the exact same way all the time. Some comments are really nice but calling some one skinny is an insult. Finally some one feels the same as what we have been saying through the whole of high school. 😊 xxxx

  • Amaris Waltho

    Hi Zoe, I just wanted to say I understand most of what you say I’m 13 and just entered year 9 I’m 5ft5-6 and I weigh 7st and a bit, to me honesty hips are slightly wider than some other skinny girls but not much because I have quite a small waist I have different weight proportions to though my thighs and legs have a nice is curve shape and thin ankles, sadly I have shortish legs and a longish torso. Because I’m mixed race I have naturally light tan skin and curly hair but I still have long piano hands, I have a strong super metabolisms and I get offended slot when some girls try to pinch skin on my back then say I need to gain weight… It’s my life and you inspire me to look at myself and say “I’m okay” I might have smaller boob’s than my friends and I’m in a situation where I don’t fit in an A but a B cup is slightly to big I have a bubble butt and people always say they envy me… But I always say if I could I would swap because you’re perfect and trust me your gonna miss it. (σ≧▽≦)σ

  • KATIE moore

    Hi Zoe I’m 15 years old and I have a low BMI and I’m so glad to hear someone knows how I feel in class the boys call out who has the figure of a twig and then look at me and laugh and the same as you I probably eat more rubbish than most people I am 5.8 and I have long legs so it looks worse! Today one of the boys pushed another one of his friends into me and I bump my head they don’t realise that I am much weaker than them and it realy hurt I wanted to cry! But I just want to say thank you for helping me to reply to them horrible questions and I adore your blog and YouTube channels xxxx

  • Lady

    I know you’re unlikely to see this, but I wanted to sincerely thank you for this post an the video you made on the subject. I’m 15 and going through the same thing. I’ve always been super slim. I’m 5’4, and tiny everywhere. I can never find shoes that fit (I finally was able to get my first pair of heels, but had to put things in them so they wouldn’t slip off) and clothes shopping is awful. Thankfully, my mom knows how to alter clothing.

    But the things people have said to me ring in my ears every time I look in the mirror or wear a swimsuit. When people imply, or even just plain ask if I’m anorexic, it hurts more than they seem to think. I mean I get that they mean well, but it’s uncomfortable and just confirms how I think I look to others. I’m beginning to fill out a tiny bit, but my body is certainly taking its time. Reassurance that I will fill out, knowing I’m not alone, and a reminder that everyone is built differently is extremely helpful. :)

    • Bex Gaffer

      OMG!!!!!! I get the same questions from people and feel the same way xxx

      • Samanta Rizzi

        Me too! Sadly, the people don’t think before they speak. Hopefully that changes soon. Every size is the right size, if you’re not dealing with some health issues. Have a nice day, ladies! ;)

  • Gwen Hammett

    Hi Zoe, I am 15 and I get asked this question by many people…including one of my so called “best friends” who always points out my small bum and boobs by making fun of them constantly. I was a sort of chubby child when I was in primary, not over weight but slightly bigger than most of the girls in my class. When I moved to secondary school I had a growth spurt, like any normal teenage girl would and naturally that ‘chub’ distributed evenly across my body. I was happy with my figure even though my boobs where small and I didn’t have much of a bum. All my friends would say things like “I would love to have your figure” “your figure is amazing” etc. Then when I was 14 I noticed that I started to get a bit more weight on the bottom of my stomach. For some reason this really bothered me so I started to cut down on my portion sizes…unfortunately because I was quite a sporty person and did a lot of exercise (and still am) so I dropped a lot of weight. Luckily my mum and athletics coach noticed because I looked hollow and sickly in the face. I got back on track and fortunately I wasn’t anorexic. Like you, I have a fast metabolism which meant it has been quite difficult to put the weight back on. I am now back to my normal weight but still don’t have big boobs haha. But even though I’m my normal weight and is healthy some people still seem to think I’m under weight, even though my doctor has proven otherwise. It really bothers me when people call me “skinny” because I feel like I’m not ‘womanly.’ Especially now in the media everyone seems to like curvy. I feel like people look at me and think that I don’t look like a girly girl because of my small boobs and bum. It never used to bother me but recently I’ve been self conscious of my appearance because people point things out that I never thought about before. You probably won’t see this but I just wanted you to hear my story and how I can relate to your blog post. No one should have to feel ashamed of their body, whatever shape or size they are! xxxx
    PS: your videos always cheer me up when I feel like this :)

  • Helena

    Hi Zoe! I just wanted to let you know how inspirational this is to people of all sizes :). I’m on the taller side (5’8″) and I always used to feel uncomfortable with my weight. I don’t weight much for my height (120lbs) but always significantly more than my shorter friends. Reading through this really helped me see everything from a different perspective! Kudos on everything, keep up the good work :)

  • Bex Gaffer

    I love this post because I can totally relate I’m 14 and I’m not even 5 foot yet and I have size 3 feet. Reading this post always makes me happy and makes me realise that I’m not the only one feeling this way and that there are others who are small and slim(not skinny)like me. Thankyou Zoe!!!!! You have made a massive difference in my life and I’m so glad I found your video with Darcy on my recommend section. Love you and never change xxxxx

  • simplyella

    dear zoe,
    i get picked on at school because i am a bit fat i am only 9 years of age i also suffer from anxiety

    • Alisha

      It’s OK, don’t listen to any of them who insult or pick on you. The only reason they do this is because they are jelous of something you have that they haven’t. There is not an ‘average size’ and therefore it is important that you are who you are don’t try and change that. I hope this helps x

  • Alisha

    I feel exactly the same way. I want to really thank you so much for this post as I am 15 nearly 16 and have the height and weight of a 9 to 10 year old (my 10 year old brother is nearly the same height and weight as me!!) My height is 4″10′ and my weight is 6 Stone 3 . When I was younger it didn’t find it so bad, but now being a teenager with all my friends going through puberty, and me well still looking like I’ve just stepped out of primary school it’s very difficult for me. I was very insecure about my body, I never have liked to go swimming or do any sport really because it means that people will have to see me in skin tight clothing or see me in a way i don’t want them to. I also suffer with several health conditions that limit what i can do and how i go about doing day to day activities, these conditions mean that i can’t do certain sports, therfore meaning that i can’t put on weight.
    This has really made me feel better about who I am and has made me realise that it’s not how we look, it’s who we are on the inside. 😊 . Thank you again Zoe this has helped me so much. Love you Xxxxx

  • Nikki

    Hi Zoe, I realise that this is a very old post so I’m a bit late to the discussion but I thought I’d add my two pennies worth anyway. Obviously it is unacceptable for people to cast judgment on anyone based on their physical appearance and I’m sorry to hear that you’ve had such negative experiences in the past. I clearly don’t know the exact circumstances of the interaction, or the tone in which things were said but I do feel perhaps in the case of the nurse you may have taken it the wrong way. As a medical student I have some experience of how health care professionals are taught to handle certain procedures. Rightly or wrongly, we are taught, and the media unfortunately seems to perpetuate, that weight is a sensitive issue that can make some people very uncomfortable. This, coupled with your comment about never weighing yourself, is probably what caused the nurse to react in the way she did. Instead of not weighing yourself because you don’t particularly care, she may have thought that you didn’t want to know so was trying to make you more comfortable about the situation. I have had the exact same thing said to me at the doctors and I’m definitely not “skinny”! I think it’s just one of their routine phrases. In terms of asking about your parents, I think she just wanted to make sure that there was unlikely to be underlying pathology to cause a lower weight, since it could be accounted for by your genetics. Finally, being advised to “keep an eye” on a measurement that is on the borderline of an expected range is not uncommon at all. Whilst you are unlikely to do so, if you happened to suddenly lose enough weight (perhaps through illness) it could have serious knock-on effects, e.g. dampen down your immune system (more prone to getting infections and wounds taking longer to heal), thinning of bones (more brittle and prone to fracture) and even stopping your menstrual cycle/infertility – obviously these are not nice things to happen so it would be almost irresponsible of her not to mention it. I hope this makes you feel a bit better – I wouldn’t take it so personally next time, although I know that’s easier said than done when it’s concerning an issue that you’re/”one is” sensitive about. I’d say, when it comes to size it doesn’t matter what number it is so long as you’re healthy and happy! Anyway sorry for the long comment and thank you to anyone who actually read down this far, I hope you’ve found it useful! Best wishes