To think it’s insensitive for slim people to talk about how fat they are around fat people?

(130 Posts)
treesandbirdsandbees Tue 24-Jun-14 21:14:21

Today at work a group of women were talking about how they’re all starting a diet because they are all ‘getting so fat and disgusting’ and how they can’t possibly get any bigger because they’d be embarrassed to leave the house and one of them who is single was saying she’d never meet a man if she was any bigger because no men ‘would ever find a fattie attractive’.

None of them are over a size 10

I am overweight. I am trying to lose it and it is gradually reducing but slowly and I know it’s my problem and other people shouldn’t moderate their conversation because of it but am I being unreasonable to think it’s insensitive to go on about it so much and make such offensive comments around people who really are overweight?

I don’t think it was aimed at me or that they were trying to be nasty but it made me feel uncomfortable as if that’s what they think of people who are overweight then it must be what they think of me.

Whocares156 Sun 29-Jun-14 21:11:13

Oops sorry wrong thread!

Whocares156 Sun 29-Jun-14 21:10:34

Rude to post? Did MNHQ ban it?

splendide Sun 29-Jun-14 20:47:32

Yes they are allowed to whocares but it would be rude.

Jenbob80 Sun 29-Jun-14 16:21:27

Things like this are all relative. It does sound like they were being a bit insensitive, but probably not deliberately hurtful. I would try to put them out of your mind if you can. It doesn't sound like they have very positive body images about themselves.

Whocares156 Sun 29-Jun-14 16:13:07

More like someone saying life without children is pointless to someone who is childless. And yes that would also be rude and insensitive.

Are people not allowed to say this in the presence of someone childless? Is it necessary to check everybody's marital status, weight issues, whether they have children or not before saying anything?

splendide Sun 29-Jun-14 16:06:37

So one shouldn't talk about their children in front of someone who is childless because that shows manners?

That's not the correct analogy. They weren't talking about being slim. They were saying being fat is disgusting. More like someone saying life without children is pointless to someone who is childless. And yes that would also be rude and insensitive.

MsCeritaCello Sun 29-Jun-14 16:05:05

I agree, Dozer - and also with Whocares. I don't understand why this very personal and loaded topic is considered OK for open discussion in most workplaces when there is so much potential for causing awkwardness and upset. I always find face-to-face diet and food conversations intensely embarrassing and I can never get into the mindset that enjoys them - but I guess lots of people must, or they wouldn't be so common.

I have, however, been known to join in the weight loss threads on MN, in the safe anonymity of an online forum where I don't feel embarrassed, and I don't have to worry about giving offence because people have chosen to be there (which often isn't the case in a workplace social situation).

OP, I don't think you are being unreasonable, and I think your colleagues sound plain stupid and rude.

Whocares156 Sun 29-Jun-14 15:44:52

Agree Dozer but it has been discussed extensively in every place I have ever worked in!

Dozer Fri 27-Jun-14 08:33:36

Diet/body talk is inappropriate at work IMO!

tobysmum77 Fri 27-Jun-14 08:24:40

I don't quite understand how you know all their dress sizes when I barely know my own. In any case a 10 now is what a 12 used to be 15 years ago. At 5'0 therefore it isnt that slim tbh you could easily be overweight.

Whocares156 Fri 27-Jun-14 08:14:55

I just don't think it hurts to think about the affect our words will have on the people around us instead of just prattling on with self indulgent waffle because the expectation is that if it's hard for someone else to hear that they should just toughen up

I think it is impossible to be considerate of everyone all the time. It is not prattling one with self indulgent waffle if someone talks about their children or relationship. There is a a woman at work who would love children but hasn't met the right partner yet. We have someone whose partner has just had a baby. Should he not bring the baby to show everyone because he should think how it may affect others?

HappyYoni Thu 26-Jun-14 19:07:54

Maybe if they knew someone was struggling to conceive or desperately wanted children but haven't met the right person yet, then yes going on about look at photos of my lovely children, or telling stories about what your children have been up to might be a bit insensitive.

I just don't think it hurts to think about the affect our words will have on the people around us instead of just prattling on with self indulgent waffle because the expectation is that if it's hard for someone else to hear that they should just toughen up.

Obviously we can only work with what we know, and we may not always know that something is a painful subject for others. But when it's blatantly obvious that you are smaller than someone else I think it's rude to go on about how big you are.

Whocares156 Thu 26-Jun-14 18:21:24

No people just have to have awareness and some manners but that seems to be a bit of an issue nowadays. (feels old)

So one shouldn't talk about their children in front of someone who is childless because that shows manners?

hmm

fascicle Thu 26-Jun-14 13:12:15

OP, are your colleagues aware that you are trying to lose weight?

If yes, you might have a point. If not, then for your colleagues to have considered your feelings/altered their conversation, requires them to have made the judgment that you are overweight. Perhaps, despite the inane generalisations that were made, they don't think of you in those terms. It's possible for people to obsess about their own weight without making judgments about other people's.

Alisvolatpropiis Thu 26-Jun-14 12:49:20

I do think people need to develop a thicker skin sometimes.

YANBU, would have upset me too. It is hard to hear when you are insecure about weight even if they didn't intend it to hurt your feelings. It is insensitive IMO and you aren't being oversensitive.

magentastardust Thu 26-Jun-14 12:41:26

Well it sort of was about OP if the girls were speaking about how disgusting it would be to be any bigger. It wasn't aimed at her but I can see how she felt it was about her. A bit insensitive.

I once had a friend who said they couldn't understand why people let themselves go and become overweight after having children, and that her DH found it disgusting which was a lovely thing to ponder out loud to the group of people which included me at the time size 20.
Yes she wasn't directly speaking about me but I left that conversation feeling rubbish about myself and aware that her husband probably thought that I disgusting.

Everyone is entitled to feel better about themselves at a particular weight and everyone is entitled to an opinion but surely you watch what you say in front of other company.

For example I wouldn't say in the staff room at work , "oh my god I look hideous today you can see a couple of grey roots. It is so ageing , It just look awful" in front of my colleague who doesn't dye her hair and has a lot of grey hair. Or I wouldn't moan about a single spot on my chin to someone with chronic acne.
It isn't a case of how thin or how fat someone is it is a case of not being so insensitive to others around you.

Alisvolatpropiis Thu 26-Jun-14 12:18:26

Yabu.

It wasn't about you nor aimed at you.

Pagwatch Thu 26-Jun-14 12:14:04

If they were making generalised comments along the lines of 'fatties are unattractive' then they were being astonishingly insensitive.

Having said that it is entirely posible to be a size 10 and very unhappy about your shape.
When I put on weight it is all on my arse and thighs. It makes me feel grim because my body becomes totally out of proportion and all my clothes stop fitting. Being squeezed into clothes that are too tight around the part of your body about which you are already self conscious does make one feel like crap.
The idea that (were I the sort of dull person who talks about diet in real life) I should not discuss that because my overall size is relatively slim is pretty harsh.

I went on a fitness and nutrition course once. 8 weeks of an hour nutrition advice and an hour basic fitness coaching. A woman there spent 5 minutes of every session saying 'well its difficult for me but you have nothing to worry about. It's alright for you. I don't understand why you are here - why are you here?'
Eventually I had to say something but it took about half the course of my feeling awful before I got her to shut up.

People can be insensitive in all sorts of situations. This op is another one where the idea that other people have it easy is trotted out as if it is always true. It rarely is.

gotnotimeforthat Thu 26-Jun-14 11:59:55

I'm very thin size 6-8 and weigh just under 8 stone. I have been trying for the past 3 years to gain weight as i'm fed up of having no shape to my body, having no bum and having comments on how 'i must never eat'.

should i take offense about other people talking about loosing weight just because i want to gain it? should they be more considerate as to how i might feel about my own weight before discussing theirs? No.

The would ever find a fattie attractive is out of order i will give you that.

magentastardust Thu 26-Jun-14 11:32:20

No people just have to have awareness and some manners but that seems to be a bit of an issue nowadays. (feels old)

Whocares156 Thu 26-Jun-14 10:48:48

How far does this go? Are people not allowed to talk about their partners because someone might be desperately unhappily single?

BoyFromTheBigBadCity Thu 26-Jun-14 09:54:56

Dare

BoyFromTheBigBadCity Thu 26-Jun-14 09:54:37

Just thought I'd reiterate what Words said - being perceived as slim doesn't mean that you are compliment fishing if you date voice insecurities about your body.

Monty27 Thu 26-Jun-14 02:20:58

I don't give a hoot about how thin/overweight people are. Some thin people hate being thin as much as overweight do. Some thin/overweight people are happy with their weight. So some thin/slim people think they are overweight, it's all about how they feel about themselves.

I'm happy with my weight, not my shape, show me a person with curly hair that doesn't want straight hair, or straight haired people wanting curly. White/brown skin, tall/short oh it just goes on.

You need to get older and not give a toss and feel happy with yourself really. smile

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