If anyone reads my blog and takes something from it, I really hope it will be this message! I have fallen into the trap myself of commenting on someone’s weight but now I know better. I don’t think that body image or weight should be this taboo subject and I don’t have it all figured out yet, but this message I do stand by 100%!!! So here’s why you shouldn’t be commenting and giving unsolicited advice to people about their weight…
First of all, most of the time, it is simply not your place to say something about it. You can tell very little about someone’s health just by looking at their bodies so you cannot be looking at someone and saying “I am concerned about your health..”. Oh really?! Why?! Because in your opinion, I look too small or too big?! That means absolutely nothing. If you are actually concerned about someone’s health encourage them to go see a doctor and make sure everything is OK. You are not a doctor so you cannot be offering ‘advice’.
Stop thinking you always know better!!! Are you really that naïve?! Do you truly think you know someone’s body better than they know it themselves? Think about yourself for a minute, you see your body in clothes and in no clothes, in different lighting, and at different stages throughout the day, you know how all your clothes fit you, you know your body so well! So why do you think this isn’t the case for someone else? People know their bodies and they know if they have gained or lost as little as 1kg. And if their weight has fluctuated enough for you to notice, WHAT MAKES YOU THINK THEY HAVEN’T?!!! They ain’t blind but even if they were they would still notice because people know what their bodies feel like!!! Please stop being so stupid. And if you are actually concerned about someone, like I mentioned already, the only thing you can do is encourage them to check in with their doctor.
Unless you are extremely close with an individual keep your opinions and your advice to yourself. I am sure most of us have that one family member that always feels like it’s their responsibility to comment on everyone’s weight. I mean give us a break! You know if and how close you are with someone so do not overstep your boundaries. Chances are they have people in their lives they are a lot closer with so it ain’t your place to discuss their body/weight.
Last but not least, stop trying to compliment people by commenting on their weight. I know that 99% of the time people do this, they have good intentions but it still doesn’t make it okay. You see somebody that in your opinion is too fat or too skinny and as soon as you see them losing or gaining weight you have this overwhelming urge to ‘compliment’ them on their progress. Please stop! I see so many things wrong with this ‘habit’ we have formed as a society. First of all, you never know if that person is sick and hence the weight change. That person could be fighting all sorts of serious illnesses or eating disorders you know nothing about. Do you really want to be complimenting their illness? Every time you want to comment on someone’s weight to compliment them, remember you never know what could be happening. But more than that, remember there are 1000 different ways you can compliment people! “You look so happy, you look like you’re glowing, you look so confident…”. It doesn’t have to be all about their weight or what their body looks like. I think back to comments I’ve heard (not about me but about other people) and I feel sick to my stomach but also so angry. “Oh you finally got some meat on your bones, you look like a woman now, good on you!” or “Ugh you look so skinny, you lost so much weight, good on you. But you know that’s enough, don’t lose anymore, you don’t want to be too skinny”… *eye roll*. These comments we do not need!!! Our weight does not define us but it sure feels that way when you haven’t seen someone in a while and the first thing they comment on when they see you is your weight. *I haven’t seen you in three months but you look like you have lost weight hence the first thing that has to come out of my mouth is “Wow babe you look so good, you lost weight didn’t you?!”… erm N-O. See people as people!
I know that we all do this with good intentions but it still doesn’t make it okay. If you know for a fact that a very close friend of yours is actively trying to gain/lose weight then perhaps it is okay to give them a little comment because of course you want to encourage them and let them know you can see they are making progress and their hard work is paying off. But please don’t let all your compliments be about weight/size/number on the scale. Remember, an uplifting compliment can also be something like “Ugh I love your outfit” or “Your make up looks so good”.
Thank you so much for reading this post if you have made it this far. I hope you remember all this next time you want to comment on someone’s weight or give them a ‘compliment’ and find a different way to go about it. At the end of the day just remember 1. you never know what someone could be going through and 2. no one wants to feel like their value is defined by their weight.