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to find uninvited comments about weight rude?

(57 Posts)
TheAwfulDaughter Fri 04-Apr-14 01:06:51

Firstly, I understand that some people are having very public battles with the scales over Facebook and other forms of social media and actually are very open with discussing their weight. I'd imagine some of these people would probably welcome comments from those who haven't seen in a while saying 'OMG, you've lost so much weight, you look great!'

However, I'm not doing this. I have massive issues with food, and I tend to yo-yo. I try and cut out carbs, hidden sugars and generally 'eat clean' in my day-to-day diet, but being in my last few weeks of study means that wine and peanut M&Ms are increasingly prevalent. I'm actually at my 'top weight' right now, but generally okay with it. It's not worth worrying about now!

Last night I saw one of the WAGs of DP's friends and the very first thing she said to me was 'OH MY GOD YOU'VE LOST SO MUCH WEIGHT'. I haven't. I know because last time I saw her I was at an event in a dress that I can't fucking zip up now. It was insincere and inaccurate. I don't think she was trying to be funny, but I feel like commenting on someone physique is the new 'your hair is fab' 'I like your top, where did you get it?'. I've had it said to me by DM's friends, customers in work, it's not just that isolated occasion. On some occasions I genuinely have, others you can just tell it's a stock filler compliment.

I didn't lose any sleep over it, but I think having a dear friend who is constantly at risk of a relapse into her eating disorder has made me look upon things differently. You can't tell who can laugh it off, like I did (I responded with 'No, I think my face is just really heavily contoured with make up') or those who will immediately think 'Was I fat before? Do I need to lose weight? Does she think I need to lose weight?'

Like I said, I know the woman meant well and it hasn't really affected me- but I know it can some people. You don't know who may have food issues, be recovering from an eating disorder, so I just think it's a stupid thing to point out when there are so many other ways to compliment people...

or AIBU?

Sandytrousers Sat 05-Apr-14 22:25:10

It's just plain rude to comment in someone's weight.

"Have you lost weight?"

"Have you had sex recently?"

"Do you shoplift?"

"What product do you use for your shamefully bad skin?"

As a PP said, what the hell is wrong with "how are you?"

It won't make me like you more if you pretend I've lost weight or if you draw attention to my body publicly and uninvited.

Glitterfeet Sat 05-Apr-14 22:13:12

YaNbu

Only comment on someone's weight if they start up a conversation with you about it, or you've had previous conversations about dieting with them.

At my last job there were 2 people who used to talk constantly about their weight, what diet they were on and what they eat. It wasn't a topic I had any interest in so stayed out of the conversations. One day I walked in and the bloke exclaimed loudly that I had lost weight, I hadn't. Then wouldn't let it drop."you've lost weight! Have you lost weight? You HAVE lost weight".

I shrugged my shoulders and said Dunno, as I had no interest in talking about my weight. So he turns to those around him and asks everyone if they think I've lost weight. So I'm stood there with a room full of people staring at my body.

I still don't join in, say don't think so and carry on. But he still felt the need to exclaim that I'd lost weight. As I walked out the door he said "she's so rude". What the actual fuck?

UncleT Sat 05-Apr-14 20:17:11

I also agree that it's simply not on to comment on people's weight, in the vast majority of circumstances anyway. I'm extremely sensitive about my weight, and even when I am happy with it I still don't like comments as they imply too much attention to my size.

RevoltingPeasant Sat 05-Apr-14 20:06:11

OP YANBU x 100.

I have used this example before on mn but it makes the point well.

In my last workplace there was a woman with a history of early MC. She got pg again and made it to I think just under 20 weeks, and then lost her baby.

Department numpty breezes into meeting "Oh, X, you look fab, you've really lost that weight off your tummy."

Awful silence. Woman unobtrusively goes to loo a few minutes later and never returns to meeting. Dept numpty clearly oblivious.

sad

Sicaq Sat 05-Apr-14 19:22:35

I once responded to a persistent weight-commenter's greeting of "Oh, you've lost WEIGHT!" with "Have I? Shit. [to barista] Can I have the large Rocky Road with my coffee, too, please?" To friend: "There, hopefully that will sort it."

Wasn't in the mood for cake but I felt like being contrary. Went over her head though ...

Wannabestepfordwife Sat 05-Apr-14 13:11:55

Yanbu dsis is a recovering anorexic and whenever anyone says don't you look healthy I want to kick them- I know most people are trying to be kind and she does look healthy but please think about how she might interpret it.

I hate it even more when people comment on what your eating- yes I'm going to eat all this and no it's none of your business twat!

drspouse Sat 05-Apr-14 11:50:58

My DH has diabetes and before it was diagnosed (as a young adult - he has type 1) and now, if he's been ill with something else that has caused his blood sugar to rise for a while, he can lose quite a lot of weight through being ill. He also, however, lost quite a bit of weight when our DS got a) heavier so was more work to carry/push around and b) started weaning so we started eating more from scratch, on top of the weight he lost when we stopped eating out much because we had DS initially.

People tend to comment on the "ill" weight loss because it is more dramatic - but it is a clear sign of him being very unwell. I also lost weight due to post-DS lifestyle changes, and until I realised that DH had also lost weight I was a little worried I was ill too. And I find that, after losing weight then every time people see me they comment, even if I haven't lost any more. I think they mentally compare me to myself a couple of years ago, not the last time they saw me.

PS kudos to everyone who's spelled "lose", "losing" etc. correctly in this thread, I am finding myself so influenced by misspellings that I'm struggling to write it correctly - coupled with iPad sabotage.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Sat 05-Apr-14 11:39:33

I was thin for years and then slim and the past decade the weight has come on. So I feel I have experienced both sides.

On a bad day - "Aren't you skinny" (subtext: scrawny, unwomanly) and "You're tall you can carry the extra weight better than me" (freakishly large) or "Goodness you're looking much much healthier these days" (what, healthy with arthritis, oh you mean my increased size, am I chunkier, thanks for that).

On a who cares? day the comments go over my head or I just smile and ignore. But I was brought up not to make personal remarks so unless invited to comment I wouldn't.

YANBU

NuggetofPurestGreen Sat 05-Apr-14 11:33:17

Also saying 'well it's supposed to be a compliment' perpetuates the idea that losing weight is a GOOD thing and therefore putting on weight is a BAD thing. Which I don't think is good for anyone. I try really hard not to say anything anymore either - unless it's a good friend and we are discussing weight specifically.

monkeymamma Sat 05-Apr-14 11:23:00

Oh god this is so rude. People especially love to comment on your body weight after you've had a baby. For years afterwards! My ds is two - TWO fgs, years not months! And if still get the 'oh you look so well! With an appraising glance across my abdomen

EllaMenopy Sat 05-Apr-14 11:02:04

YANBU.
I'm exactly the same. I had a lot of baby weight to lose, finally managed it when the last baby was three, and have been back to my "normal" pre-baby weight for about 18 months now. Every week, without fail, I will have someone comment on my weight.

I'm sure they mean it kindly- it seems to be one of those generally accepted compliments ("ooh, love your hair, that colour is great on you, haven't you lost a lot of weight, looks fab") we're expected to enjoy. I've always found it uncomfortable, it's none of their business and if I wanted to discuss my weight (loss or otherwise) I would bring it up in the same way I would bring up my battle with thrush.

treaclesoda Sat 05-Apr-14 09:23:10

yes, sicaq that's exactly how I feel. It's as if as a woman I have some sort of obligation to be always wanting to lose weight, and by extension I have an obligation to be delighted when someone comments on my supposed weight loss. I have never in my life discussed my weight with anyone other than my husband and my sister. I have never publicly declared that I am actively trying to lose weight, I have never claimed to be on a diet. I have never ever responded to an offer of eg a piece of cake with 'oh, I shouldn't, I'm trying to be good'. I might decline the cake, but I don't make a big show of it, a simple 'no thanks' always does the trick. With all this in mind, why on earth does anyone think I should be flattered if they comment on my weight? Or that I'm professionally offended for not liking it?

But there is a huge issue with women and weight anyway. I loathe the thinking that a woman who takes pleasure in eating something is somehow brazen or morally lax. Why can women not just either eat something or not eat something, why is it such a drama for so many of us? Why do we feel obliged to eat that cake whilst simultaneously beating ourselves up for eating it? (And I mean normal, healthy weight women, not women who are overweight and actively struggling to lose it).

Sicaq Sat 05-Apr-14 09:05:52

I find this very intrusive; I once started my own thread on the subject. By doing this to each other, we reinforce the idea that our weight is what defines us. Think of a more original way to greet friends!

Joysmum Sat 05-Apr-14 09:01:23

The correlation with positive weight comments for me come, not when I'm lighter, but when I'm actually feeling great about myself so I carry myself differently and face the world with more confidence. That's what people are actually reacting to and find more noticeable although they probably don't recognise it as such so can only put it down to weight.

JapaneseMargaret Sat 05-Apr-14 07:46:16

Taking on board everything said on this thread.

To be fair, it's not something I say to people often, but when I have said it, I've meant it sincerely and complimentarily. I've also witnessed people say it to others in my presence, and the recipient of the comment has visibly glowed with pleasure, so there are obviously plenty of people for whom such comments are welcomed and appreciated.

Obviously, for many, they're not. And that's fair enough.

8isalotoflegsDavid Sat 05-Apr-14 03:07:01

Any woman who's ever done that to me, loudly at any rate, has generally either been completely insincere or has wanted to draw attention to the fact that, while I may be slimmer, I still outweigh her by a considerable margin.

That is SO true!

Topseyt Fri 04-Apr-14 15:59:21

* adult life, not adult weight!!

Sometimes I could do with an edit button on here.

Topseyt Fri 04-Apr-14 15:57:53

I too am very uncomfortable with conversations about weight. I have struggled with my weight for just about all of my adult weight, with thyroid issues complicating it all and causing me to yo-yo between slender and obese for years.

When I was slender it was because I was ill. When the thyroid issues were (apparently) brought under control I thought that would be it, but I have settled in the obese range and no matter what I do nothing changes. Maybe it will at some point in the future. I can hope.

The scales are my enemy and I try to avoid conversations about weight. I try to never judge anyone in relation to what they weigh. There are all sorts of reasons for everything. I also understand that for many people it is a very, very sensitive issue, myself included. Not everyone seems to understand that though.

DorisAllTheDay Fri 04-Apr-14 15:51:05

I'm with you, OP. I'm a lifelong yo-yoer with big eating and food issues. I've lost a lot of weight recently and I absolutely loathe it when anyone comments. I find it embarrassing and awkward - I never liked talking about weight and food when I was big, and I don't like it now either. If someone I haven't seen in a while says, 'You're looking fantastic, you've lost so much weight,' what I hear is, 'You looked crap before and I've always judged you for it. You must have lost weight deliberately and you now measure up to what I think a woman should look like.' Whilst I recognise that that's not usually going to be the speaker's explicit intention, the implicit assumptions are there.

So my rule is never to comment on anyone else's weight unless they bring up the subject first, or I'm absolutely sure (e.g. postings on Facebook) that they've been losing/gaining weight deliberately and that they want to talk about it. If a very close friend seems to have lost/gained a lot of weight I might say in a more concerned way, 'Is everything OK?' but I'd still wait for them to open up a conversation about weight.

Lottapianos Fri 04-Apr-14 15:50:31

How do you respond lemonstartree? Sorry to hear you're feeling that way, it's so bloody exhausting, isn't it?

lemonstartree Fri 04-Apr-14 15:41:50

I have lost about 1.5 stone in a short time. This is because I am literally ill with stress and anxiety. I look better - was not very overweight but now have a BMI well in the normal range. - but I feel shocking. LOTS of people have commented - including my patients - I am a GP - I HATE it. If you must say anything - try " Its really nice to see you" ...

persimmon Fri 04-Apr-14 13:45:22

My worst 'weight moment' was when my MIL and FIL (both slight and skinny) said how much they weighed. DH then chipped in with how much he weighed. Everyone looked at me expectantly.

There was a very awkward silence.

Why would you do that??????

AngelaDaviesHair Fri 04-Apr-14 13:37:04

I'm with you on this one, OP. Any woman who's ever done that to me, loudly at any rate, has generally either been completely insincere or has wanted to draw attention to the fact that, while I may be slimmer, I still outweigh her by a considerable margin.

Why do some people think that women must be complimented the moment you clap eyes on them? I don't need an immediate compliment about my appearance to put me at ease. Generally, I don't want the subject of my appearance being brought to everyone's attention and I'm not so insecure as to need constant reassurance about it, especially from people I don't know well.

So the whole culture of instant fake or un-thought out compliments we've got into is something I do find a bit annoying, it infantilises women. Of course people can pay a genuine compliment, but what's wrong with just saying (as men tend to do with one another) 'Hello, Angela, it's really nice to see you', or just 'Hello, how are you?'

specialsubject Fri 04-Apr-14 10:40:00

I think it is never acceptable to comment about weight unless directly asked for an opinion.

or about most aspects of appearance. Just say it is nice to see someone and talk about something more interesting!

rabbitlady Fri 04-Apr-14 10:25:18

tell me about it. i lost seventeen pounds in a fortnight last year, due to emotional trauma, and everyone, everyone, had something to say about it.

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