Why Being Naturally Skinny Is Hard. And Why Some Asians Are Skinny

Being naturally skinny and thin isn’t always a blessing. It’s usually far from it. Just like those on the heavier side, a number of us skinny people often get grief and discriminated over the way we look.

For my whole life as an Australian of Chinese heritage, I’ve been skinny and never had an eating disorder. At school in Melbourne (and later Malaysia and Singapore), I was always the thinnest among my classmates. Skinny bones, twiggy, stick, flat chested like a surfboard…I heard all those nicknames back then and felt like a walking freak show.

No matter how skinny or curvy we look, we're all beautiful in our own ways | Weekly Photo Challenge: Intricate.

No matter how skinny or curvy we look, we’re all beautiful in our own ways | Weekly Photo Challenge: Intricate.

Today at twenty-something years of age, my collarbones protrude when I wear wide scoop neck T-shirts. When my arms are bent, my elbows look as sharp as the corners of a rectangular glass table. When I sit, my two kneecaps stick out on my chicken legs, looking like the tops of mushrooms. Only once in Australia have I met someone as skinny as me. According to a national health survey conducted in 2012, just 1.7% of the Australian population is underweight.

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