There's Nothing Wrong With Being Thin, So Stop Editing Us

There’s this movement going on where people are trying to make it more socially acceptable to have a higher body fat percentage, proportionally thicker bones, shorter limbs and a larger waist. The photo above is a good example, where has taken 10 female video-game characters and transformed their physiques into what they feel better represents the average woman. These “realistic” makeovers have been shared to millions of people via BuzzFeed and HuffPo, among others.

Some people argue that these aren’t supposed to be average women, they’re supposed to be legendary action heroes. Due to their world class genetics and lifestyle focused on training, you could argue that them having a lower body fat percentage is more realistic.

That makes sense, but that’s not my issue with these makeovers. I don’t think the person doing the makeover was really concerned about what made sense for the fictional character, but rather what would have the best impact on the self esteem of her fans. That intention seems good, and if this can help people with bulimia feel better about their bodies, then this is great.

My issue is that this backlash against the thin ideal is making it seem like it’s wrong to be thin.

For people who aren’t naturally thin, they might not get it. I was listening to This American Life today and their most recent episode, Tell Me I’m Fat, had a few stories in it about the lives of people who are fat (fat being their preferred term).

The second story was about a woman who noticed that people treated her a lot better after she lost weight. She said it was like that Eddie Murphy movie where he dresses up as a white person and everyone treats him better. (I haven’t seen it.) She lost weight and all of a sudden she got the respect that she deserved all along.

It reminded me of my own experience. When I was 130 pounds my friends would playfully push me around, bros would occasionally shout insults at me as they drove by in their cars (“get a haircut, faggot!”), people would tell me I should “just eat more,” and sometimes I’d get asked if I was sick. When I got my weight up to 180 pounds everything changed. All of a sudden I wasn’t the incredibly skinny person, I was just a person.

In the b2Bomb community, this is the number one complaint that members come in with—being criticized by friends, family and loved ones for being born as someone with thinner bones, a higher metabolism, a smaller stomach, smaller muscles, a lower appetite, and a more slender bone structure.

I worry that this body acceptance movement is going to make it worse for the small minority of people who struggle with being considered too thin. I mean, being underweight and being overweight are both caused by a combination of genetic and lifestyle factors. Some of those factors are within our control, some are not.

We get frustrated by the “just eat more” or “eat a burger” comments from people who don’t understand us. We worry about losing weight when we’re stressed. We worry about postural imperfections because our body shape is entirely defined by our bone structure. And we want to be stronger, sexier and more resilient. We want people to look at us and see a healthy, capable person.

The naturally thicker, chubbier endomorphs (or apples) might struggle to eat less and exercise more, but we have the flip side of those same struggles. It can take a lot of heavy lifting to build muscle, and it can take a lot of intense eating to get our bodyweight into a nice, healthy range. As hedonistic as that might sound to someone who loves to eat too much, for us that’s really damn hard!

But even just saying that will often get us sneers or, “I wish I had your ‘problem.'”


And photoshopping away thin women is really not helping. It’s wrong to Photoshop someone in a magazine to make them thinner, shouldn’t it be wrong to Photoshop a thin person to make them thicker?

I know these aren’t real people, just video game characters. Still, it sends a weird message.

There is nothing wrong with making new video game characters who are endomorphs. In fact, there should probably be more of them—way more of them. There’s something refreshing about Blizzard’s new character Zarya (left), the mesomorphic Russian strongwoman-turned-superhero. Yes, it might take heavy steroid abuse or a genetic mutation to make that physique realistic, but she’s a cartoon superhero—she doesn’t need to be realistic. There are two kids right now with a genetic mutation allowing them to build steroid-like amounts of muscle naturally. Maybe she is like them.

Their parka-wearing endomorph Mei character (right) is awesome too.

Their non-skimpy outfits are perhaps the most awesome thing of all.

Thin Ectomorphs Given Makeovers to Look Like Average Endomorphs (Zarya and Mei)

As body image issues continue to be raised, and as more women get into game design, we may see more female characters coming out who look less like the fantasy of a male computer programmer (like the old Lara Croft). And if more women get into playing these video games, as I’m sure is Blizzard’s hope, then other companies will start trying to design characters that are more marketable to women.

This is good.

However, part of promoting body acceptance is promoting the acceptance of all body types, not just the most common one. We’re all in this together, after all.

Having an ectomorph character in a video game isn’t any kind of moral failing on the part of the game designer. The body on the right is totally cool, but Tifa Lockhart shouldn’t need to have her body digitally edited in order to be considered socially acceptable.

Thin Ectomorphs Given Makeovers to Look Like Average Endomorphs

My worry is that by taking these ectomorph characters and turning them into endomorphs, it’s making it seem like thin people “should” be bigger. I don’t think that’s the intention of the Photoshop wizards over at, but we’re already so tired of people moralizing our thinness.

As Forbes so eloquently put it in their article about these makeovers, “If fat-shaming is wrong (and it is) then thin-shaming is, too.”

I’m not trying to say that we should leave the status quo alone. I know that most fashion models do not represent a healthy ideal even for us ectomorphs. Just like someone who is naturally chubby probably shouldn’t be taking weight gain pills and force feeding themselves rice, we probably shouldn’t be taking appetite suppressing drugs and trying to eat as little as possible.

This is because being elite is very different from being healthy. Someone who is naturally extremely hefty might make a fantastic powerlifter, shot-putter or sumo wrestler, but it would be better for their longevity if they put some emphasis on staying reasonably lean and improving their cardiovascular health.

Same thing on the flip side. Someone who is naturally extremely skinny could run with their strengths and become an amazing marathon runner. However, for optimal health and attractiveness, it would be better to focus on their weaknesses. They might do better with more of a sumo wrestler lifestyle, where they lift heavy things and eat a lot of whole food.

Endomorph Woman Doing the Shot Put vs Ectomorph Woman Running a Marathon

As a rule of thumb, we should emphasize our strengths when trying to break world records, but we should bring up our weaknesses when it comes to health and attractiveness.

So I understand that aspiring to look like a fashion model is unrealistic for naturally chubbier people, and that it’s realistic yet unhealthy for naturally skinny people. That doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s wrong to be a fashion model or wrong for the fashion industry to prefer that extreme look, just like it’s not wrong to have a ton of respect for marathon runners or sumo wrestlers.

Or maybe it is wrong for the artistic idealists running the fashion industry to, for the sake of art, put forth a body type that they realize might have a negative impact on the self esteem of people who are into fashion.

For example, both of these people are making great health and lifestyle sacrifices in order to portray the extreme, exaggerated image that they’re trying to portray. Both are very successful because of it.


I remember my mum telling my naturally skinny teenage sister that she would make a great fashion model. My mum was thinking that it would be a good job to have while she got her degree. My sister decided that she wanted to be a boat captain instead (and she just finished her neuroscience degree), but that kind of comment seemed well-intentioned. Sort of like saying, “Hey, you have this really cool, rare genetic advantage!” I don’t think looking like a potential fashion model was this negative self esteem thing for her or anything, and my mum certainly didn’t see it as any kind of negative thing.

But now? Now there’s this stigma forming against skinny body types. What if my mum had been insisting that my sister eat more, gain weight, look more “normal”, look more “realistic”? (She was telling me all of that stuff, and I sure didn’t like it.)

Thin Ectomorphs Given Makeovers to Look Like Average Endomorphs (Cortana)

So my problem with these makeovers is that they’re taking perfectly healthy (albeit skimpily clad) looking cartoons of ectomorphs and making them into endomorphs. 

This latest Rise of the Tomb Raider Lara Croft looks like a fit ectomorph, not so unlike ol’ Indiana Jones. This is really not that unrealistic of a body type for someone with a thin bone structure who is very active and eats a lot of good food—especially if they lift weights. They gave the old Lara Croft an endo-makeover, but hopefully this new one doesn’t need one.

Lara Croft—The Ectomorph Action Hero

I’ve been playing the game with my girlfriend and we’ve been really liking it. She has naturally thin bones, well-used muscles, tan skin and dark brown hair. When she’s running around in the game it looks like she’s controlling a cartoon version of herself.

She shouldn’t need to gain 30 pounds in order to be considered socially acceptable, neither should my sister, and neither should you.

This is all to say that we’re about body acceptance too. However, we’re not just about accepting the “realistic” body types, we’re about accepting all of them. We’re also about taking what we have and making the best of it, and fortunately some of these pre-makeover women have some pretty inspiring ecto-physiques.

For example, this new Lara Croft represents a physique that almost every reader of this blog can achieve while improving their health and posture in the process. It doesn’t even need to take that long.

For example, here’s one of our members, Sara:

Bony to Bombshell Women's Weight Gain (Muscle) Transformation

Most of us around here want to make the most of our bodies, and that’s amazing. But we can make the most of our bodies from a place of confidence, not from a place of shame.

There are some pretty cool, thin role models out there for us. They don’t need to be thickened.

If you want thicker video game characters, make thicker video game characters in the future. Blizzard’s new game has tons of body shapes, and some of them are even fully clothed. Awesome, this is an incredible step in the right direction. But don’t go around photoshopping thin people. We might take that the wrong way, and it might give other people the wrong idea.

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Shane Duquette is the co-founder of Outlift, Bony to Beastly, and Bony to Bombshell, and has a degree in design from York University in Toronto, Canada. He's gained sixty pounds at 11% body fat and has over ten years of experience helping over 10,000 skinny people build muscle, get stronger, and gain weight.

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  1. Caroline on July 1, 2016 at 5:17 am

    It is definitely a recurring problem! Funny story; every morning I have to commute to work and the first fifteen minutes I travel with someone I know. She ALWAYS (that’s four mornings a week) asks me whether I’ve been losing weight and pats me on the knee. Just to tell me that I shouldn’t worry about it, I still look OK. (Wtf?)
    I always let it slide.

    Or…. 4 women at my sons school always go swimming and I asked if I could join them. Their response? ‘No sorry, we have a minimum weight for someone to tag along’

    I just had to laugh out loud and walked away.

    Kind regards… Caroline

    • Denise on July 1, 2016 at 9:39 am

      Oh my gosh those women! Don’t they realize that’s just as bad as if you were fat and they said, “sorry, we have a maximum weight for someone to tag along”? Dang.

    • Shane Duquette on July 1, 2016 at 12:49 pm

      Agh man, that’s awful. I’m so sorry that you have to deal with that, Caroline! Sounds like you handled as well as you could have. That’s a great attitude, to take it with a laugh and move on.

  2. Yasmine on July 1, 2016 at 5:46 am

    I really appreciate this article it’s complete.I have always been criticized about my body and my weight.However I don’t think that I am too thin I just need to gain muscles.I eat normally I am not starving. As you said it’s about genetic sometimes lol.People are being so judgemental these days.

    • Shane Duquette on July 1, 2016 at 12:50 pm

      Yeah, absolutely. Everyone is born with their genetic predispositions and raised with different lifestyles. I think the fact that we’re so rare means that most people just don’t understand us. When they prejudge us, they often come to a lot of the wrong conclusions.

    • Caroline on July 1, 2016 at 1:40 pm

      I guess people just cannot believe that naturally thin people are healthy..
      It all comes down to nutrition really. (And a lil something we call the b2b regimen..)
      It has to do with personal health!

  3. Nathalie on July 1, 2016 at 7:18 am

    Its definitely a problem. I get that. I get why they are editing them, but many of those pictures are just of a normal skinny girl that did´t need editing in the first place. I mean some of them are chubbier then me don´t I have a normal body in that case. Of course I do and there´s nothing wrong with my body. I hope it stops eventually people turns nasty everytime those articles pop up.

    But what I really hate is when others decide to judge me or those I spend time with for it, some people decided it was alright to think that they were desperate to go out with me or they I somehow bribed them. They even called me a anorexic and skeleton. I am neither. This would happen every time a guy was interested in me, yet he saw in me something beautiful. That´s what happens when there´s only two girls in in your class with the rest male. One girl gets jealous and tries to destroy everything else for the other girl, its not like everybody is forced to only like the rude girl and hate the nice girl.

    Ironically some people get mad when I eat more than they do. They cant say anything stupid then. They still get mad when you don´t have the acceptable weight that they envisioned, so they nag you to eat more. It´s a never ending cycle, for me to gain weight. They just don´t get how much effort that take. I don´t do it anymore in their presence. My body is what it is, accept it.

    • Shane Duquette on July 1, 2016 at 12:52 pm

      Aw man, yeah. Being called a skeleton or anorexic—we hear these things all the time and people don’t realize how hurtful they can be. I’m so sorry that you have to deal with that! I hope that articles like this one can help, even if it’s in the tiniest of ways.

  4. Freesoul on July 1, 2016 at 8:26 am

    Hmm slippery argument. Any ‘ideal’ is always going to leave a ton of people out . What I’ve never ever understood is why it is ok for people to comment on another’s weight if they are skinny or slim and not if they’re on the other end of the spectrum because it’s rude. An overweight girl I know who can’t stop eating too much but keeps going on about how fat she is (she’s not fat in my opinion but she’s obese in medical terms) said to me that “out of love” for her anorexic friend she yelled at her to eat more and get her life together already. Clear case of projection, no doubt about that. But how is it ok when both who have eating disorders (they do, I know them personally) that the under eater gets treated like an alien and the overeaters ego gets cotton woolled. I see this happening all the time. I’ve experienced it myself. And another perspective…One thing that worries me is i know I’m not healthy at the weight I’m at. But I get compliments on my weight all the time. And I look at them like, are you serious? This is not healthy for me. And then I’ve gotten healthy before and been happy with my weight and then say I’ve gone through a stressful time in my life and lost weight and people have congratulated me on my weight loss! I’m like, no! This is not good! I’m not happy! I’m not eating nearly enough! I don’t know, just forget the stupid friggin media and what others say, and like my new ‘skinny’ friend (yes the one above, she is the most beautiful soul I’ve met for a long long time) said to me ‘be your own kind of beautiful ‘.

    • Shane Duquette on July 1, 2016 at 12:57 pm

      Yeah, it’s a weird social phenomenon right now where well-intentioned (or politically correct) people are realizing that fat shaming is bad—and it is—but they aren’t using that same approach with thin people.

      Ahaha, I know what you mean about being congratulated for weight loss. Even apps like MyFitnessPal will list our weight gain in the colour red and give us a warning, whereas if we lose weight it’s green and we get a congratulations. Even if we set our goal as weight gain, the system just isn’t built that way. Because of how rare we are, seems like all of society has that same default attitude about weight gain/loss.

      I wish you the best of luck getting healthy, being your own kind of beautiful 🙂

  5. Kathryn on July 1, 2016 at 9:29 am

    I can’t agree more with this article. I’m considered by some to be skinny even though I’m actually a decent amount inside the healthy weight bracket. But people don’t think twice about passing comments on slim people, e.g. “your legs are like twigs” to name but one. I don’t know how people can’t see how offensive comments like these are? Imagine I turned round to an overweight person and said “your legs are like tree trunks”, can you imagine the reaction? I used to take these comments to heart but have stopped now for two reasons, one I lift now so I’ve got a bit bigger and shapely and secondly I am HEALTHY, and even before I started lifting, I was still a healthy weight. I can happily say I’m at a lower risk of heart disease, cancers etc, to name but a few benefits, and that’s nothing to be ashamed about. And that means more to me than uninformed, rude, and at times jealous, comments.

    • Shane Duquette on July 1, 2016 at 12:59 pm

      You’re so right about those two types of comments. One is totally politically correct, the other would get you banished!

      So glad to hear that you’ve become strong and healthy, Kathryn! I just wish you hadn’t run into all that flack on your way there.

      • Kathryn on July 2, 2016 at 4:31 am

        Thanks for the reply. I should also have added that due to the many negative comments regarding my naturally slender frame I developed Body Dysmorphic Disorder about my weight, I became really obsessed about it and would eat until I was ready to vomit, and cry when I looked in the mirror at my “skeletal” frame. As I say with the help of counselling I came toaccept that even my pre-workout body type was actually perfectly healthy, and it is in fact societies warped perception of what is healthy these days that is the issue. But just further proof of the detrimental effect of people’s thin bashing! I now pull people up on there comments rather than let them slide!

  6. Justine.C on July 1, 2016 at 11:04 am

    I really liked this article! I get thin-shamed everyday and told that people WISH they had my problem of not gaining weight. There is definitely a problem with people judging other people’s body type. What is perfect? Being healthy is, but that makes everyone look different. And different scares people. It shouldn’t, EMBRACE different. Be you and be proud. Happy Canada Day!♡

    • Shane Duquette on July 1, 2016 at 1:02 pm

      So true that everyone will look different when they’re at their healthiest. Fortunately, most people will look great at their healthiest, however different they look. I think being “attractive” is short hand for being conspicuously healthy, so if people can find their way to healthiness, I think they’ll be pretty happy with the result, both in terms of how they feel and how they look.

      The problem is exactly like you’ve noticed, I think—that there can be a lot of negativity from others when trying to find our healthy body as a skinny person.

  7. Beckett on July 1, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    Well said!

  8. Jill on July 1, 2016 at 5:42 pm

    I believe that today’s media is big on scapegoating girl’s weight issues and low body confidence on the typical fashion models and how they are promoted. The issues that the young girls have are not anybody else’s fault but their own. (Unless they are bullied, etc). Parents should regard that they need to take some responsibility for their children’s physical or emotional issues; instead of blaming it on “skinny people”. The people ‘fashion model’ structure were born that way, and should be respected just as much as a “curvy” or “body posi” person. Today’s media is scapegoating too many of their issues on easy targets, due to their lack of self responsibility, and respect for other people. For example, a lot of magazines promote the models that are in the best shape they can be. But people see it as an issue because these girls are naturally smaller. I believe that people should quit blaming their issues on others.

  9. Valeria on July 2, 2016 at 11:56 am

    This is so right and a lot of people just thin-shame most of us naturally skinny people! It is just as bad as a comment of “oh! aren’t you a little overweight?”. Thanks for making this article!

  10. Nikki on July 2, 2016 at 12:12 pm

    Great article. Now do you have a payment plan to spread the cost of signing up please?

    • Shane Duquette on July 4, 2016 at 2:00 pm

      We can do that, yeah. I’ll send you an email 🙂

  11. Sarah on July 4, 2016 at 4:02 pm

    I’m going to respectfully disagree with you on the idea that photoshopping those characters is harmful. I think there’s a point you’re missing about why they’re doing it. It’s less about changing an ideal and more about promoting body diversity.

    Because let’s face it, there is absolutely no shortage of skinny characters in media. In fact, it seems an overwhelming majority of female fictional characters are ectomorphs. And while skinny people DO face discrimination based on their weight, fat (and even average) women seem to be absent from video games, movies and other media altogether.

    I believe the folks at are trying to promote a body type that is more relatable to a statistical majority of people. When they talk about a “realistic” body type, they are not saying that thin people are unrealistic. They are talking about the realistic representation of an average body type. We see so much of the same body type when it comes to female characters, but there is a distinct difference between:
    – Pointing out a problem with the *sheer volume* of skinny female characters
    – Saying it’s wrong to be skinny

    In short, it’s easy to feel victimized by a social movement that celebrates something you’re not. While I understand the feeling, I would urge you to look beyond the face value and see the context of the movement and why it exists. Because yeah, at face value, photoshopping a skinny character can be harmful. But within the context of a world where being fat is considered worse than being skinny, you can begin to get an understanding for why they are photoshopping the characters.

    I’m a skinny woman myself and I have come to the understanding that the fat acceptance movement is not about me, nor is it about tearing me down. It’s about promoting acceptance to a body type that faces a lot of stigma and discrimination in our society. Thanks for the article Shane, it was a good read 🙂

    • J on July 5, 2016 at 11:43 am

      Great approach and attitude to the article. Being on a fitness team, (and probably the skinniest one on it), I have learned from endomorph to mesomorph to ectomorph we all struggle with body image and the body we want. The girls who are not ectomorphs always ask me what my goals are being on the team, I know they are indirectly asking why, if I am already skinny, am I spending time and money on what they think is a weight-loss program for them. But I respect that they will likely never understand, because as busy as they are searching weight loss tips is as busy as I am searching hard gainer tips. Media can try as hard as it wants to make race, skin color, body type, even BODY PARTS, as acceptable or as fantasy/perfect as it wants, its our jobs to raise our children and empower them with healthy habits and teach them the importance of self-love. How can we do this if we struggle with it ourselves. Lets not let the media define how we should feel or think, but rather decide for ourselves. If skinny is the new ugly according to media so be it, there will always be something about you that is not socially accepted, don’t expect media to cater to your needs (like its trying to by changing some fantasy characters) if you don’t love your body until your favorite video game character become more LIKE YOU then you are not taking responsibility to love yourself. That’s your loss. Barbie also did a great job of re introducing several body types alongside hair colors eye colors and even skin colors… but the Barbie still doesn’t have acne, or early grey hair, or body hairan criticize the media forever. But who’s job is it to define beauty and “normal” ?… we c

      • Shane Duquette on July 5, 2016 at 4:09 pm

        That’s a really amazing attitude to have, J. I love this comment.

        I do think there is something that we can do. Well, two things.

        First, I think that if we see a problem that isn’t being addressed, this means we have an opportunity to be the ones who address it. If there is a lack of video games with endomorph body types, this is an opportunity for someone to make that video game. If there is really a desire for that, and I think in this case there is, then they’ll do quite well—as they should. This ties in with the second thing.

        Second, we can vote with our dollar. If we want more video games with more body diversity, when someone creates one of those games we can buy it. If enough people do that, businesses will start to cater more towards those people. Even the most selfish and financially oriented businesses will go where the money is, right? So as consumers, we can each help shape the media.

        It’s like with the environment. If everyone started going out of their way to buy the more environmentally friendly option, more businesses would go out of their way to design more environmentally friendly products.

        However, while I think there is great potential with all of that, this won’t be instant, and it’s not something that any one of us can change on our own. You’re 100% right—what we can change on our own is how we see ourselves, how we treat others, how we raise our kids.

        And that’s another great point about Barbie—how they made a step in the right direction, but how nothing will ever be perfect. If we can’t make the most of the world, even with it’s many imperfections, how can we ever enjoy it?

    • Shane Duquette on July 5, 2016 at 3:50 pm

      Hey Sarah, glad to hear from you again!

      I don’t think we disagree all that much, and I agree with almost all of what you’re saying. I do think they’re trying to promote greater body diversity, and I think that’s amazing. I’m just not sure that photoshopping ectomorphs is the best way to do it.

      I love this social movement to accept non-thin body types, and I know it’s not about us—that’s okay. I just don’t like how in some cases this can lead to redirecting the stigma over to thin people. I realize that only 3% of people are trying to gain weight—that we’re a very small minority—but of those 3%, almost ALL of us are running into issues because of how our body type is seen.

      Imagine if this were the other way around, where someone was photoshopped thinner. That would be wrong, right? Isn’t that a huge issue right now? That celebrities and whatnot are having their bodies altered by photoshop? Isn’t that making the average person feel like they aren’t good enough the way that they are—that they need to be photoshopped thinner in order to be accepted by society?

      I think it’s the same in this case here, where thin body types are being made larger. Isn’t that sending the same, negative message? That some body types aren’t good the way that they are, so they need to be redone in a different way?

      I think there is a problem with an anti-fat bias, with eating disorders, with body dysmorphia, with how the mainstream media approaches fitness and health and beauty, and I agree that there should be more relatable video game characters. I agree that there should be a far greater volume of other body types.

      However, I think they should be making new ones instead of Photoshopping old ones, and this isn’t an unrealistic approach. Many newer games are already doing this. Blizzard has a wide variety of body shapes in their new game, Overwatch. Moreover, a lot of newer role playing games will even let you choose your body type. Dark Souls 3, for example, will let you create a super thin, super muscular, or super chubby character (male or female). Fallout 4 as well. And these are some of the most popular, highly rated games on the market right now.

      So I think things are headed in the right direction, and yes, that’s largely due to the efforts of this body acceptance movement. I just want to make sure that if fat-shaming is wrong, or photoshopping overweight people to be thinner is wrong, then so is thin-shaming, and so is photoshopping thin people to be bigger.

      We’re all in this together, so I think we should be positive about all body types—even the rarer ones.

      Still, although I do disagree slightly, this is a really great comment! It’s really good to be reminded that this body acceptance movement doesn’t need to actively advocate for all body types, just like Black Lives Matter doesn’t need to actively advocate for the value of the lives of other races. Sometimes movements will get flack for that, and I don’t think that’s fair.

      However, I do think that this body acceptance movement should at least respect all body types. (And to be fair, I think that most of the time it does. I’m not arguing against the movement, just this particular thing.) It’s okay to fight for a specific kind of positive social change without it needing to be expanded to everyone and everything, but I also think it’s okay for the people outside of that movement to say “hey, be careful” when we feel like our toes have gotten trodden on. And if I ever inadvertently present something in a way that other body types feel is negative towards them, I would hope that they would point it out to me because, while we primarily advocate for the thin, we also want to be kind to everyone, and sometimes it’s hard to understand the perspective of others.

      I don’t want to stop what they’re doing, I just want skinny people to know that it’s okay to be thin too—that we don’t need to be Photoshopped in order to be socially acceptable.

  12. Anna on August 4, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    Hey 🙂 I have been binge-reading your articles for hours now and I feel so damn good that I’m not the only one going through all of this. I just wanted to ask when will the next article come out? I know it takes a lot of research and time to write one and I really really apreciate all your work! Currently I’m saving to buy the whole program but it’s going to take some time…
    Thank you so much for everything!

    • Shane Duquette on August 4, 2016 at 4:50 pm

      Hey Anna, that’s a good question! Normally we publish a new free article every couple/few months, focusing on quality more than quantity, but there are a lot of topics we’ve already researched in-depth that we could be posting articles on quite soon! 🙂

    • Shane Duquette on August 4, 2016 at 4:51 pm

      Oh! And if you want us to set you up with a payment plan so that you can be doing the program WHILE saving up, shoot us an email at asking for the payment plan details 🙂

  13. a concerned citezen on August 12, 2016 at 5:54 am

    I really don’t think you understand the intention of these edits. I don’t think the aim is ever to “shame” skinny people, its more of an issue with representation.

    In a society where being skinny is pushed as being the ideal, any girl who doesn’t fit into that ideal cant find themselves in the media that they consume (with some exceptions obviously. though it should be noted that when they due get representation it is not always positive). Im sure it would be hard for you to understand, but when you look to the things that are supposed to tell you about the world and you CAN’T see yourself it makes you feel abnormal. It makes you feel like a freak, it gets you teased, it makes you hate yourself. And I don’t intend to being in the ethical discourse surrounding different fitness levels right now, that’s another discussion, I’m just trying to say that it is alienating when you are made to feel this way.

    And listen I can relate. I was always far taller than the “average” woman growing up (i am currently around 6″ and have always been tall, and I could NEVER find any girl in movies or tv or anything who was tall like me (especially not taller than men and I was a lot taller than many of my guy friends growing up) and because there was basically NOBODY in the media who looked like me I (and everyone around me) could only infer one thing. That being a tall girl was freakish. It made me feel bad about being myself and I was even teased in school (I remember everyone called me “Hagrid” at one point). But you know something that made feel better? When I was finally able to see a small glimpse, a single character in the media, who looked like I did. I was watching “We Bought a Zoo” in the cinema once and I noticed that the young girl love interest of the young boy was just slightly taller than the boy. I was so happy!! I had never seen that before and I was so relieved I nearly burst out crying!! That one moment of representation was almost enough to make me feel better about all the years of insecurity I suffered.

    And I think that’s a common reaction to have. You really want to seek out representation like that! I’m an artist and when I’m drawing fanart of characters I love and relate to I often, to this day, draw them taller. This doesn’t mean I have ANYTHING against short people, or that I’m saying being taller is better or more normal. It’s just something I do to make myself, and hopefully other tall girls as well, feel accepted and loved. Like they aren’t freaks and that they’re just as attractive and amazing as anyone else!!

    And it’s the same with these edits. So what I’m getting at is that skinny people shouldn’t be offended by this. The artist isn’t attacking them at all. They’re just tying to say “hey! Maybe, just maybe, these characters I love and identify with and look up to could look like i do as well!”. They’re just trying to bring some positivity into what is otherwise a very unrepresented and negative space for them. This has absolutely nothing to do with hating on skinny people or promoting any body type as being the average, they’re just trying to promote positivity and make people feel better about themselves.

    • Shane Duquette on August 12, 2016 at 7:30 pm

      Hey ACC,

      Thank you for taking the care to write this comment. I think you make a lot of excellent points, and I’ll address them in a moment. First though, I tried to make my intention clear right from the beginning:

      “That makes sense, but that’s not my issue with these makeovers. I don’t think the person doing the makeover was really concerned about what made sense for the fictional character, but rather what would have the best impact on the self esteem of her fans. That intention seems good, and if this can help people with bulimia feel better about their bodies, then this is great.”

      I don’t think they had bad intentions. I just don’t know if this approach is going to have the best impact on the niche that we cater to—the naturally thin.

      This doesn’t mean that I disagree with what you’re saying though. In fact, it means that we agree quite a lot.

      I know what you mean about not finding yourself in the media, and I 100% agree that it can cause a lot of pain. The only media characters I could relate to were guys like the Machinist, whose skinniness was used as a way to point out their illness. I remember seeing the skinny character of Seth in the OC growing up and thinking “if only I could gain 20 pounds and look as big as he does.”

      I think what you’re doing with your fan art is awesome. If were taking that approach then I’d be thrilled. But what they’re doing is more similar to taking the fan art that you made and photoshopping all of your characters shorter.

  14. Samantha Meserve on August 30, 2016 at 10:24 pm

    I really like the approach in this article because while it’s true both body types are ok to have, I am tired of being tiny. I feel ok now that I read this article to gain weight even more because I am actually classified as underweight. You see I am trying to go military and I live a healthy lifestyle, it’s just that I have a very high metabolism. I am often told I could be a model because of my weight. I don’t want to be a starved exercise induced person that sets impossible standards for society. Even plus-sized models aren’t even plus-sized. In my eyes they should be the actual model standard. So my goal is to gain the weight I need to make myself happy, even if society says it’s wrong. This article has made it ok.

    • Shane Duquette on August 31, 2016 at 6:23 pm

      I’m so glad you liked the article, Samantha! Best of luck gaining weight, and I hope the rest of the content on this site helps you with that 😀

  15. B on September 9, 2016 at 6:31 pm

    Finally!! Thank you! Someone stands up for us skinny women. I have been small all my life, you should hear the stuff that has been said to me for being thin. If you have never been thin then you do not know what it is like, just like being over weight. Love this and I am going to try the bony to bombshell program.

    • Shane Duquette on September 13, 2016 at 1:24 pm

      So glad that you liked the article, B! I’m stoked to hear what you think of the program 😀

  16. AC on September 11, 2016 at 3:54 am

    I’ve just come across this website and wanted to say thank you. I’m a UK size 6-8 and I am so self-conscious all the time of how I look to other people. Not because I am unhappy to be a slim person, but I am tired of fielding the “eat more cake” comments. Generally these come from people who are carrying a bit too much, would you call this size-ist? I even dress to hide my size rather than embrace it, but I am honest in admitting that’s down to my confidence about my body shape.

    As a person with a very small appetite it is REALLY hard to put weight on and with a busy lifestyle I have to be so careful to take in enough not to lose any weight – I have the metabolism that if I am stressed, it drops off me.

    I have been served by ladies in the supermarket who have told me how thin I am – if I hadn’t been so side-winded by it I would have answered back. You would never in a million years hear someone tell a person that they’re carrying a bit too much weight but it seems to be acceptable to do it to a slim person. People who say “oh I’d love to be like you, eat what I want and not put on weight” well no, you wouldn’t! I would much rather be a little too heavy than struggling to put it on.

    I’ve actually reached the age that I would like to get a little heavier (think bone density) and my ideal weight leaves me a little fuller in the face so less ageing. I am inspired by the before and after pictures of your b2bomb candidates and hope that by applying some strategic dietary changes and the right exercise I can get there too.

    • Shane Duquette on September 13, 2016 at 1:27 pm

      Size-ist? It could be. But I want to think that people are just totally clueless about what it’s like to be naturally skinny.

      Stuff like the “eat more cake” comments you get (and that I got as well) make me think that must be it—that it’s just super-naivety.

      For bone density, nothing beats heavy deadlifts and squats. Those are also great for putting on some size, too, and in quite flattering places 🙂

      Good luck with your gains, AC!

    • Leila on May 4, 2019 at 10:37 pm

      “Eat more cake.” The line is always, always “eat a cheeseburger” in the U.S. Obvious projection is obvious.

  17. Irene on November 22, 2016 at 3:44 pm

    I think this is a discussion that has to happen in a place where people with different body types can comment on the subject, since here we all seem to have gone through similar experiences- I relate to many of the stories above- and people still don’t seem to understand that telling someone to “eat more!” is just as wrong as if they were to tell someone to “lose some pounds!” (which they probably wouldn’t). Not only because it hurts when there’s nothing you can do about your genetics, but also because it seems like they don’t have any sensibility about the fact that some people could actually have an eating disorder, which is linked to many things, mostly psychological, were a comment like that could end up being even more hurtful. It’s funny how some people don’t realize the double standard of protesting against fat-shaming by thin-shaming others.

  18. Ashley on December 13, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    I HATE this problem! Everyone has given me so much shit for being ‘too thin’ and I’m over it. They thin-shame so much. I never fat shame people, so why can’t it be the other way around too?

    • Shane Duquette on December 20, 2016 at 10:29 am

      I feel ya, Ashley. I think there’s a lack of awareness of the fact that it drives us crazy.

  19. Anonymous on January 6, 2017 at 7:12 pm

    Thin people of both sexes have to put up with this nonsense and it’s infuriating. Especially when it’s from relatives/co-workers/people you’re forced to be around every day. I am thin. I like being thin. There is nothing wrong with being thin. How is this so hard?

    To hell with hypocritical “body-positivists” and America’s backwards notion of what constitutes a “healthy” body. What this country calls “underweight”, plenty of other places call “normal”.

  20. Erin on January 19, 2017 at 7:33 am

    I love this article. In our society, it seems that, in order to ‘fix’ the standards that have been created by years of the media choosing to promote a certain body type, we should tip the scales in the opposite direction instead of embracing every body type as beautiful.

    Case in point, the majority of this whole ‘body positivity’ movement (and I say the majority because there are the select few who understand what it actually stands for) is centred around people either slamming oftentimes naturally slender-figured women or telling overweight women that they should be happy with their bodies (whether they are or not). And we wonder why obesity is the number 1 health threat.

    As an ectomorph, I’ve always had body issues because, although I have always been slim, I wasn’t happy with the way my body looked (bony in some places, lumpy in others). So when I tried different diets and exercise – I always got the same response: ‘you don’t need to lose weight, why are you dieting?’. It wasn’t until later that I realised that I didn’t want to lose weight necessarily, but that I just wanted to be stronger and more toned. So I adopted a healthier lifestyle and began weightlifting.

    I’m improving myself within my own body limitations to feel more comfortable and happier with myself. There’s nothing wrong with that. There was something I once read that said, if you want to get people to think differently, don’t try to change what’s happened in the past because then you’ll always be dwelling on what was wrong in the first place. Instead, build new ideals for future generations to look up to and the prejudices of the past will just fall away.

    • Shane Duquette on January 31, 2017 at 12:00 am

      Well said, Erin! I couldn’t agree with you more about everything.

      Sounds like you took the exact right kind of action for your goals, too. Good luck! 🙂

  21. Aquarius Moon on January 29, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    What a lovely post! Thank you for speaking up for ectomorphs. I have nominated you for the Blogger Recognition Award. The details can be found in my blog. Hopefully more people can refer to your posts for workout tips!

  22. Illyana on June 13, 2018 at 7:49 pm

    Thank you so very much for speaking about this standpoint in body issues as well. Its a rarely spoken about body issue because no one thinks it could really be an issue. Thin people can recieve just as much criticism as heavier people. As a pale, hardly a hundred pounds (on a good day), 5′ nothing…ive heard comments my entire life about how I must have an eating disorder. I’m just now turning twenty one and I feel as though I’ve spent most of my life being prodded to gain more weight and I just can’t. Id love to have that Kylie Jenner body, but no amount of weight training and binge eating could make that a realistic possibility. Every doctor I’ve ever had insists that I’m healthy, but no family member, friend, peer, or stranger believes that. I used to change for swim class in a stall, just to avoid the, pretty, more athletic girls taunts. I’ve been call twig bitch, tweaker, anorexic. I’ve been told that my foundation shade must be white one ever took a moment to think how deeply that hurt and how much I wished I could be more like the fit, tan, bombshells. I’m even more concerned about my body now that there’s a trend for that body type..its like I never fit any ideal despite the efforts of weight training and self tanners. I’m still too pale, too thin, to be America’s beauty standard..any compliment I do receive I just can’t believe because I’m not what’s being publicized and shown in social media as desirable. I’d give anything for that womanly body, but when I try to speak openly, I just get shut down. people assume because you’re thin, you have it easy. I’ve seen the struggle of being overweight, as my mother is struggling with a thyroid tumor, but I know the contrasting struggle from my own experience. It’s like there’s a perfect ideal in the middle, where you have a perfect glowing tan, big breasts, a small waistline, and behind like jlo..some people can obtain that..However, if you’re on either side of that fence, it’s like you walk around knowing you’ll never be anyones ideal of perfection. even if someone says they love your body just the way it is, you can quit doubting they’d love that other body more. It’s hard to think you look nice, leave the house, and have all that doubt replenished as you see the people you wish you could be everywhere..on the streets, in tabloids, on Instagram..So thank you for acknowledging one side of a struggle that seems to be ignored. It feels dumb to cry about this article, but it’s the first time I’ve seen someone represent a pain ive felt everyday from adolescence. I just hope people can learn to accept every body type and quit glorifying one in each new decade.

  23. dontcallmeskinny on September 13, 2018 at 8:36 am

    Great article. Just one problem – in my early 20’s I looked pretty much exactly like the model in the picture you have labelled “extreme drive for female slenderness”. At the time I was eating upwards of 3500 calories per day (NOT exaggerating) and was so obsessing with trying to gain weight it took over my whole life and I had what you might even call reverse anorexia. I had nothing physically wrong with me and was 100% healthy according to every medical test I was just an extreme hard gainer. Just because someone is unusually thin please do not assume they are ‘striving’ to be that way and accuse them of promoting eating disorders and unhealthy lifestyles.

  24. Leila on May 4, 2019 at 10:34 pm

    The website is like the only one that gets me. Thank you.

    Now, the way I dress is probably considered “slutty” to you, Shane. There’s nothing wrong with different cultural perspectives on how much clothing to wear or what a “healthy” portrayal of sexuality is. Look at how kids in equatorial countries dress. I was frequently told in high school by a teacher to stop wearing too much makeup and tight-fitting clothes–that I didn’t need to do that because I was naturally pretty. I didn’t do it to attract boys! Honestly, as dudes, maybe you shouldn’t judge how much clothing is acceptable on a woman.

    Thanks for listening.

    • Shane on May 5, 2019 at 10:50 am

      So glad you liked it, Leila!

      I’m sorry if it seemed like I was judging people for what they wear. And I’m sorry if something I said is making it seem like I’m the sort of person who uses words like “slutty.” That wasn’t my intention at all. I don’t care what people wear or what consensual stuff they do.

      Anyway, speaking of which, I live in an equatorial country (Mexico), and here in Cancun people are often in some sort of beachwear. So you’re right. These things definitely vary quite a lot depending on the culture. I don’t have any issue with any of it. Sounds like you don’t either. I think that’s great.

      • Leila on May 5, 2019 at 2:00 pm

        I understand that you were surely standing against women being treated like meat haggis. It’s also a reminder for me that social commentary can very easily make me look like a hypocrite to outsiders–because I actually do have biases that define my personality, ya know. I guess they would be quite useful in writing.
        Alas lmao I’m picky about what I support financially (essentially the profiteer must be an extension of myself), so I’m glad I didn’t decide against a real trainer just to be cheap. Thanks for triggering my biased money sense. Enjoy this shit sandwich. 😉 Your before and after photos are legit tempting. Good work.

  25. Annie on October 9, 2020 at 2:10 am

    Hypocritical article. Criticizes skinny shaming yet goes on to skinny shame the thin model (Natasha Poly) by posting an unflattering photo of her and describing her as “unhealthy” and “unrealistic striving towards thinness”. You do not know her, who knows, maybe she sat down and ate 3 big Macs after that photo was taken.

    • Shane Duquette on June 21, 2021 at 5:17 pm

      I tried hard not to criticize neither the musclebound male bodybuilder nor the thin female fashion model. Both have intentionally brought their bodies to extremes and have excelled because of it. I’m not saying that it’s bad or that they shouldn’t have done it. They’re succeeding because of it.

      All I’m saying is that looking at these extremes of thinness and muscularity and crafting ideals around them may not align with the goals of most people. Most men don’t need to take steroids to look good and be healthy. Most women don’t need to drive themselves to extreme degrees of thinness to look good and be healthy.

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