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I’ve never been a skinny girl.

All throughout middle school and high school, I was what people would call “chubby,” and what mean people would call . . . well, I don’t want to repeat it. I had always struggled with my weight, but when I entered college, I started getting more active, I joined my college rock climbing team, I started going on hikes, started doing jiu-jitsu, the works. 

After I graduated from college, I retained my active lifestyle as much as I could. I landed my first job, and I was lucky enough to be able to afford decent housing and a decent diet. Fast forward a few years and I get an invite to my high school reunion. I was so confident that I could show up all Miss Congeniality-style and shake up the entire gym with my glow up.

But then I go to my scale and — I weigh almost exactly the same as I did back in high school.

What gives? I looked at myself in the mirror and I didn’t feel like I was still overweight. I even love my body, I don’t have a lot of qualms with it, and I like the fact that I’m physically stronger than I ever was.

Thankfully, my husband came to the rescue and described me using terms I had only heard Gen Z kids say. He said Honey, you are what they call slim thick.

Slim what?

Slim Thick (or Slim Thicc)

Slim Thick (often stylized as slim thick) is a term that came about from Instagram and TikTok, and is usually used to describe a certain female body shape. 

Group of Women Wearing Bikini on Body of Water
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Slim thick girls are often women who have small waists, flat stomachs, wide hips, big butts, and thick thighs. Slim thick girls are often considered physically fit, or at the very least, have generally toned bodies.

It’s become popular with TikTok and Instagram influencers. Although it’s a good step toward being more inclusive of different body shapes, we also need to be aware of the dangers of body idolization; that is, slim thick is a great thing for women who were born a particular shape, but we need to make sure that it doesn’t become yet another impossible standard for women to achieve.

Body dysmorphia and other mental health disorders such as depression are sadly still common with many women (and men) today, and it’s all because we are told that particular body shapes are valued more than others. The inclusion of slim thick, or slim thicc, into mainstream acceptance should be viewed (with a cautious eye) as a positive step toward a more generally inclusive society.

Is Being Slim Thick Genetics?

Much like any other body shape types, being slim thick is determined largely by one thing: genetics. 

Genetics is the one that decides how your body distributes body fat, and other than a proper diet and exercise regimen, there’s really not much else you can do to influence it.

Height, the length of your legs, the width of your hips, and the breadth of your shoulders are all matters of bone structure, and this, too, is determined by genetics. Muscle mass and fat storage are also largely determined by, you guessed it, genetics.

Of course, over time, our metabolism and hormones will start to change, leading to changes in our body. This is most visible during puberty (hence my sudden weight gain from 6th grade to 8th), but it’s an ongoing process that happens even as you get older. This is why busts start to sag, or why you can’t seem to lose belly fat as fast as you used to.

And guess what? That’s OK.

But is Being Slim Thick Healthy?

Let’s get one thing straight: the state of your health should only be determined by your doctor. 

NEVER take health advice from a social media influencer. Unless they’re a licensed medical professional who has access to your health records and has examined you personally, anyone else’s opinion about you is null, void and invalid.

Although slim thick body types aren’t necessarily healthier, research has shown that a bigger waist-hip ratio has been associated with a reduced risk of chronic cardiovascular diseases, hypertension and even diabetes.

In general, doctors measure the fat around your waist to get a fairly accurate reading of your overall health. This is because fat generally tends to form around your midsection, which means that a larger waist circumference is almost-always a clear sign of excess fat storage around your internal organs. 

Women with smaller waists, usually those around less than 80cm, are considered to be low risk in developing chronic diseases, according to the British National Health Service.

Hip and waist measurements can give doctors a good idea of your overall health, but it’s not the only factor they read.

Is There a Way to Become Slim Thick?

As many of us can attest to, the only REAL way to lose weight, gain muscle, or get a toned body is through two things: a proper diet and a disciplined exercise regimen. 

Sportive Asian woman doing plank
Photo by Miriam Alonso from Pexels

Can you lose weight in specific areas of your body using belts or spandex tubes or any of that sort? No. 

Can you work out and isolate a small group of muscles in your body? Yes, but it isn’t recommended.

For the best way to lose weight, go on a calorie deficit. This means eating a little less than what you usually eat. If you want to get toned, do some lightweight training. There’s no magic bullet. 

If you want to be healthier and feel better about yourself, you’re going to have to make some changes to your overall lifestyle.

Now, excuse me while I ask my husband how he knew about “slim thick” in the first place!