Why I Dropped the ‘Skinny’

I’ve changed my blog’s name!

First of all, people are just dying to be offended. In a world where you can’t dress up for Halloween without being accused of cultural appropriation, the word ‘skinny’ has become akin to a racial slur.

In saying that, I actually really don’t enjoy upsetting people and the handful (and it really has been only a handful) of negative comments the name While I’m Young and Skinny has attracted were concerning me. They really made me question whether I was a terrible person. Friends told me not to change the name of something I’ve worked hard on for the sake of a few sensitive souls, but I felt it was time to clear things up.

The story behind this blog

I named my blog While I’m Young and Skinny because it was all about the places I’m travelling and things I’m doing in my youth, while I have few responsibilities and lots of freedom to try different things. The ‘skinny’ bit is completely irrelevant and I just tacked it on because I like to be a bit tongue-in-cheek. It reminds me of something your granny would say while reminiscing about what a fun gal she was in her youth. I imagined myself spilling my stories to my 500 grandkids; aged and haggard but with no regrets, wholeheartedly satisfied with how I had lived my life. Isn’t that everyone’s end goal?

People generally compliment the lighthearted name, but lately I’ve started to feel uncomfortable with it.  It sends the wrong message and paints this website in the wrong light.

I’m definitely one to stick to my guns (read: stubborn) and one of the things that influences everything I do is the awareness that you can’t please everybody. There will be indignant ladies who take offence to my emphasis on travelling while we’re young, who argue that age and freedom aren’t mutually exclusive. I agree – but you lasses aren’t my target audience and this blog is about travelling while the odds are in your favour. It’s about frantically engaging with life now so that whatever happens in the next few decades, you’ll never have to wonder what could have been.

I am all about body positivity, whatever your shape or size.

I understand why people might feel weird about my use of the word skinny and I apologise to anyone that’s felt personally hurt when they’ve seen my blog’s name. If I’d known that this website was going to become anything more than a place for me to practice running a site and writing, I would have chosen something less flippant. Aside from the fact that it makes me sound like a bit of a d*ck and it’s a mouthful, I want this website to be a source of inspiration and motivation, not something that makes people feel alienated and insecure. I’ve written before about how being skinny doesn’t equate to happiness or success, but books are judged by their cover and there are some people who won’t bother to actually read any of my writing because I sound like an annoying, skinny bitch. For this reason, I’ve decided to drop the ‘skinny’.

At the end of the day, if seeing this word while scrolling through social media makes even one person feel less than amazing about themselves, then I don’t want to be the one responsible for that. I’m not worried about offending those who just love to be outraged (we’d never be mates anyway). What I’m worried about is genuinely hurting people’s feelings and making them feel that this blog is not for them, because this blog is for anyone who wants to grab youth by the balls and make it their own.

Nothing lasts forever

Also, I have to think about sustainability. I plan to grow this website even more in the future, and things could get awkward when my love of pies catches up on me. Would I eventually have to add a caveat – ‘Or Fat, Pregnant and Past-it‘?

Nah, it was time for a change.

Anyone reading this who runs a website themselves knows what a headache rebranding is, so please let me know if you spot anything going wrong while I get whileimyoung.com up and running. My social media handles are all the same, so I haven’t lost the 25,000 or so pals I’ve made on there at least. I can’t help but feel my new blog name looks a bit unfinished, but I’m sure we’ll all get used to it.

I’ll never change the way I write, because it’s personality that makes a blog different from all the others. I’ll still be sharing travel tips, stories and destination guides along with my Dubai life updates and Love and Lust Lists, but I also want to feature some of you! I’ve used the name alteration as an opportunity to spruce the site up a bit and I’d like to invite you all to reach out with your own stories about how you’re making the absolute most of your youth.

How are you seizing the day to make your life outstanding?

The #WhileImYoung movement is all about how we’re spending these years we have to be completely selfish and make our own, milking them to the absolute limits and enjoying every second while also working our asses off to create our futures. I want to hear from the women who are designing a life they love. Whether that’s studying for your dream job, creating your own business or helping others; I want to know what you’re doing to embrace life. In my new #WhileWereYoung section, I’ll be featuring interviews with women who are working hard to achieve their dreams in the hope that it will encourage others to chase their own. Career women, sports women, travellers and young mums who want to tell their story are all very welcome to get in touch and find out how they can feature.

What are you working on while you’re young and you have the energy, drive and determination to make it happen?

I’d like to invite you all to use the hashtag #WhileImYoung on Instagram and Twitter to share images and stories showing how you’re killing it in your twenties. It might be your sassy little desk setup as you get ready to take on the day, a gym selfie or a wanderlust-inducing picture of you on your travels, with messy hair and not a care in the world. Let’s all inspire and motivate each other to be our best selves.

And remember, young and skinny is a state of mind 😉

Follow While I’m Young on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and don’t forget to tag your Instagram and Twitter posts with #WhileImYoung so I can share them!

If you’re interested in sharing your story on While I’m Young, please email me on noonandannielle@gmail.com.

Have I done the right thing by changing this site’s name? Did you refuse to read it beforehand? Let me know in the comments.

Kisses x

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9 Comments

  1. thefreckledmagpie
    November 15, 2016 / 5:12 pm

    Hi, i love your blog & content! But mostly i LOVE the way you write! I never minded the name before – i liked the tongue in cheek element of it & this was clear through your writing! I don’t think you need to explain yourself- you can’t please all the people, all the time! But you explained yourself well! 🙂 ANYWAY RAMBLER ALERT! Excited to see the #whileimyoung come along! 🙂 well done xo

  2. November 15, 2016 / 10:22 pm

    Oh wow, this is a big move Dannielle and while I will miss “While I’m Young and Skinny”, I completely understand why you’ve changed your blog name. I’ve been thinking about changing mine for a while as I want it to better represent my blog but it’s just getting the courage to make the move! I can’t wait to see where your blog goes from here!

  3. November 16, 2016 / 9:59 am

    I love the name and the spirit in which it’s meant but it’s important for you to feel comfortable with. The blog name really is part of your identity and you don’t ever want to feel that there are negative connotations.

  4. Carolina Colborn
    November 16, 2016 / 3:47 pm

    But then age is also a social definer. My blog touts that travel is not about age, it is about lifestyle. I am 68 and I try to enjoy as much as what you are enjoying. Maybe, “While I Feel Young!” would be more timeless and more inclusive!

  5. November 16, 2016 / 10:16 pm

    I hear you, Danielle, on how obnoxious it is to rebrand a website and all your social media. It’s a huge undertaking. Personally, I like the new name. It feels much more inclusive. As someone who has never been skinny a day in my life, I feel like this is a blog for me now. I also feel like it is a better reflection of your point that we should take advantage of our youth (no matter what our bodies look like) to explore, travel, and experience new things. Brava on being so open in this blog post, too!

  6. November 16, 2016 / 10:34 pm

    It’s a real shame you felt you needed to change get the name, I’m definitely someone who viewed it very tongue in cheek but I completely understand your reasons, I was called ‘another skinny blonde bitch’ by another blogger on twitter once and it felt so nasty, I spent my whole teenage years wanted to be called that and now it was an insult! I’m sure you’ll continue to do brilliantly! Xxx

  7. November 17, 2016 / 5:54 am

    The original name never offended me, and I appreciate your honesty about why you changed it. The new name works for me, and I think it will be able to transition through the decades yet to come more easily.

  8. mags
    November 18, 2016 / 6:46 am

    “While I’m Young” is offensive to old people! JK, People get offended too easily. I think both names are great.

  9. November 18, 2016 / 1:50 pm

    I understood the phrase and thought it was cute, but I also know that nowadays you have to be extra careful about everything so people don’t get their panties in a twist. The most important thing is that you don’t change the way you write because, like you said, it’s your personality and that is something we all love. Keep doing your thing and I look forward to seeing your new movement take off! 🙂