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.

WashingFanatic Tue 24-Jun-14 21:17:14

YANBU in that their conversation was rude and thoughtless.

FromPenToPaper Tue 24-Jun-14 21:17:36

It's not much insensitive as it is stupid. I would have just laughed internally at their shallowness. If they opened their eyes (and minds) they would see plenty of "fatties" who have partners.

WorraLiberty Tue 24-Jun-14 21:17:56

Sorry but they are entitled to want to lose weight no matter what size they are and what size you are.

If she really did say 'No men would ever find a fattie attractive', then that isn't nice at all.

But as for the rest of it, well I'm afraid people over a size 10 don't get the monopoly on diet talk.

It's a subject that's as boring as hell to many people anyway.

splendide Tue 24-Jun-14 21:19:18

Yes it's insensitive and boring. Likewise when people with plenty of money go on about being broke.

JohnFarleysRuskin Tue 24-Jun-14 21:19:21

I agree op.

BIWI Tue 24-Jun-14 21:21:23

So if they wanted to lose, say, half a stone but you want to lose, say, 3 stone, are they are less entitled to talk about it?

I think the issue here is yours. They have just as much right to be concerned about their weight as you.

Put it this way, if you lost 2.5 stones of that hypothetical 3 stones, would you stop there or would you want to carry on and lose the last half stone? That's all they're doing.

Having said that, their comments about fat people were unnecessary and clearly insensitive. Although it does give you an idea about how a lot of people do just those are overweight sad

CoffeeTea103 Tue 24-Jun-14 21:22:58

Well they are entitled to their opinion. Someone will always be offended won't they. As you say it wasn't directed at you, why can't people have a conversation without someone taking it personally.

magpiegin Tue 24-Jun-14 21:23:22

It's a tough one because weight loss is so personal to each individual. When I get over about 10 stone it feel huge and in my eyes I look dreadful and everyone looks better in their clothes then me, whether they are 7 or 17 stone. What they said was insensitive but i imagine they didn't even consider it would upset you or that you are concerned about your weight.

WashingFanatic Tue 24-Jun-14 21:24:11

Agree with Worra too. I'm a size 12 and trying to lose weight. My sister is a size 22 and is constantly making snide remarks about me trying to lose weight. I don't go on about it...but if I so much a refuse a biscuit she'll go into reams about how i' m ridiculous for watching my weight/diet, i'm so skinny I really shouldn't be etc etc. It's very irritating.

Pepsiaddict Tue 24-Jun-14 21:24:46

Yes, it is insensitive. On the other hand I really struggle if I put weight on - it's uncomfortable and I can feel the strain in my joints so yes you can feel fat at less than a size 10. I put a lot of effort into losing the baby weight as my pelvis was so sore - it wasn't easy. however, I got sarcastic and downright nasty comments about being a size 6/8 3 months post-partum so you can't win either way!

Helpys Tue 24-Jun-14 21:24:48

All diet talk is pretty boring tbh. But this was horribly insensitive.

specialsubject Tue 24-Jun-14 21:25:42

none of them are worth bothering about because they are clearly either stupid, bitchy or both.

unfortunately you don't get to choose colleagues and it sounds like you work in airhead central. live for 5pm.

MysweetAudrina Tue 24-Jun-14 21:26:23

People talk like that all the time. Fat is relative. I can remember joining ww when I weighed 10 St 4 lb. I would love to be that fat now.

noneofyours Tue 24-Jun-14 21:26:42

OP, regardless of size everyone can have their own body issues, YANBU to feel upset by it though. I have a friend whose the same and she's worse around her work mates because when one of them starts, they all start and it kicks off her body worry and makes her join in. She wouldn't use disgusting or say she'd be embarrassed to leave the house but she would say how fat she felt and how she needed to get down the gym- then she'd go and punish herself. I did used to feel uncomfortable when she said a lot about being fat when she was smaller then me but then I realised that was my issue because I felt like she was saying how fat I was in comparison. She wasn't, she had her own issues.

I've noticed when one person starts then, regardless of size, it tends to set a lot of other people off. Last time I went for a meal, one person said how they'd been saving themselves all day for it so they could splurge and treat and that was it! Everyone started to justify, then it got on to feeling frumpy, then it got on to gym. I'm a bit overweight like several of them and I think i was meant to justify but I just shrugged and said i loved my food and was a greedy fucker.

Never seen any of my male friends do it, only the female and it's almost all of them.

trappedinsuburbia Tue 24-Jun-14 21:26:54

Just thoughtless, ive got a stone to lose and internally obsess about it, im old enough to know to shut up about it though as most of my friends are much heavier and its also pretty boring conversation.

softlysoftly Tue 24-Jun-14 21:27:08

Well they can go on about feeling fat/losing weight etc so in that YABU

What they were saying was horrible and fat bashing though so in that YANBU

maddening Tue 24-Jun-14 21:27:57

To sit in an office saying insulting things about a trait that someone in the room has is rude and antisocial and thoughtless at best.

EmpireBiscuit Tue 24-Jun-14 21:29:11

I am apparently bad for this but suffer from body dis morphia, so don't know where I compare to others. I would never intentionally upset anyone.

RollingGreenMarble Tue 24-Jun-14 21:29:36

People talk about my weight all the time as a slim or 'skinny' person. It seems to be that I am fair game. So now I will say anything about my weight at all.

treesandbirdsandbees Tue 24-Jun-14 21:31:32

I didn't mean they shouldn't be saying they wanted to lose weight because they were slim, just that the comments they made about how big they were and how being any bigger would be disgusting that made me uncomfortable

maddening Tue 24-Jun-14 21:32:21

Ps talking about diets (whilst boring and tedious to have to hear) is fine, so is saying you want to lose weight whatever weight you are but to say fat people are disgusting, impossible to find attractive, should be embarrassed to leave the house etc is not

It also wouldn't be acceptable to say nasty things about very thin people if a very thin person was there - surely this is just basic manners.

CoffeeTea103 Tue 24-Jun-14 21:33:44

Op as someone else pointed out this is not about you. 'They' said 'they' feel disgusted with themselves, not that you are disgusting. If that is what they want to think then it's about them. Separate the two and you won't have an issue.

WorraLiberty Tue 24-Jun-14 21:35:53

just that the comments they made about how big they were and how being any bigger would be disgusting that made me uncomfortable

But they're telling the truth in so much as the fact they would feel disgusting. They're talking about their own bodies...not yours.

There have been a few threads like this in the past where the OP has said, "If that's what they think about them getting fat, what on earth do they think about me?"

The truth is, there's every likelihood that they don't think anything about your weight at all...they're only interested in their own.

I dye my hair because I think having big grey roots, makes me look awful.

I don't dislike grey hair on other people smile

GuybrushThreepwoodMP Tue 24-Jun-14 21:36:52

I think you are being oversensitive. And perhaps they were being insensitive. But would you really want them to avoid talking about any food / diet issues whenever you're around? Wouldn't that be worse? Like they would assume you would get upset?
Maybe they haven't noticed any difference between you and them so didn't think you'd be bothered. I'm a size 12 and talked about trying to lose half a stone with my colleagues today. Now I've read your post, it has occurred to be that they are a bit bigger than me- probably a 14-16. I genuinely hadn't noticed until just now.

HilariousInHindsight Tue 24-Jun-14 21:41:38

Yanbu in the sense that these women are saying fat people are not attractive and no man wants a fat woman.

Yabu to tell someone what they can think about themself and what they want to talk about to their peers.

In their eyes they may see themselves as fat - body dysmorphia of all types is fairly common.

My sisters bmi is 18.5 and she thinks she's fat but has always felt this way even when her bmi was 16.

I'd leave the room or tell them it's upsetting you if you get on well .

I'm overweight too - good luck with losing weight .

WorraLiberty Tue 24-Jun-14 21:53:30

In their eyes they may see themselves as fat - body dysmorphia of all types is fairly common.

Or they may actually be fat.

I'm a size 10 and sometimes I need to lose weight because my belly gets fat

I have no body dysmorphia issues though.

MyFairyKing Tue 24-Jun-14 21:55:07

All diet/weight talk is boring and makes me want to stick pins in my eyes.

HappyYoni Tue 24-Jun-14 21:58:22

YANBU winds me up a treat when people who are clearly the thinnest people in the room start banging on about hoe fat they are. It's like when the youngest person in the room starts saying "oh I'm soooo old I'm about to turn thirty" when everyone else is in their forties. It's insensitive and rude.
Of course everyone has their own body hang ups and can diet, dye their hair etc to their hearts content, but have a look around you before you start shouting about it.
I am overweight and will talk about it, but when I'm with people who are bigger than me I will bite my tongue because although I'm fat I'm still quite obviously thinner than them.

AnyoneForTennis Tue 24-Jun-14 22:00:09

What's being a size 10 got to do with it?

Frogisatwat Tue 24-Jun-14 22:04:42

I am very thin. I am 5'10" and weigh between 9.8 - 10 stone. I haven't been to the gym for months and I can feel my stomach 'flopping' over my jeans. I know I am thin. I just don't feel comfortable.
I would never be rude about someone else body shape. But just because I am perceived as skinnyvit doesn't mean I have no right to be unhappy about my body.
fwiw diet talk bores the shit out of me.

JohnFarleysRuskin Tue 24-Jun-14 22:11:26

Of course, slim people can be/are uncomfortable with their size or shape. But you'd have to be a special kind of nasty to go on about how fat you are - in a negative way- in front of fatter people.

It's just common courtesy.

ChelsyHandy Tue 24-Jun-14 22:17:07

YABU you cannot censor other people's conversations because you don't like what you hear.

If your jeans feel tight, you might feel you are putting on weight no matter what clothes size you are.

WorraLiberty Tue 24-Jun-14 22:18:16

Of course, slim people can be/are uncomfortable with their size or shape. But you'd have to be a special kind of nasty to go on about how fat you are - in a negative way- in front of fatter people.

I disagree that it's nasty

The OP's weight is only important to her

I seriously doubt it even registers on the minds of her work colleagues

shaska Tue 24-Jun-14 22:21:59

Bit thoughtless of them, and a bit annoying for you, but no more than many other thoughtless/annoying moments throughout the average day, I'd have thought. The way I'd think of it is that if they ARE all super slim already then I feel quite sorry for them, obsessing over weight when they don't really need to, and worrying that they have to stay super skinny in order to lure some gent in.

Also does seem to be a 'thing', for some people, even when pretty trim they love to talk about how 'fat' they are, presumably so others say 'oh but you don't need to lose an ounce!'. So it might've been a bit of that, as well.

I once upset an overweight friend by talking with another friend about wanting to lose weight. I was really upset that I'd upset her but at the same time suffered with terribly low self esteem at the time and genuinely felt I was overweight.

WorraLiberty Tue 24-Jun-14 22:24:24

shaska, the OP didn't say they are all super slim

She said none of them are over a size 10

defineme Tue 24-Jun-14 22:34:52

I have 2 friends that are size 8-one of whom is only just over 5ft so not ridiculously thin.
even when my bmi was obese I never felt bad if tbey talked about needing to lose a few pounds-if you cant fit in your clothes it's upsetting whatever size you are and why should they shut up around me?
However, saying no man would fancy a fatty is just grim-hopefully only men as shallow as the person who said that would think like that.

InterestedIgnoramus Tue 24-Jun-14 22:43:20

OP, I get the impression that your main worry is that if these slim women think they are disgusting, they must think even worse of you -- is that right?

I am, I suppose, conventionally slim, and I look in the mirror and just want to change everything about myself. The kind of things I think about myself are not things that I would ever think of another person. I don't know if that makes any sense but as some people have said upthread, when people think or say negative things about their own appearance, they are expressing their issues with their bodies. I'd never hold anyone to the harsh standards I hold myself to, because they aren't fair, and I can extend affection and understanding to everyone but myself.

So, YANBU to feel upset, but it might help to bear in mind that these women were probably expressing anxieties that they would only have about their own bodies, IYSWIM.

WorraLiberty Tue 24-Jun-14 22:46:49

I agree Interested

The OP's weight is only an issue for her. I'm quite sure no-one else even things about it because why would they?

RainbowSpiral Tue 24-Jun-14 22:48:54

I find this kind of talk annoying. I'm a size 16-18 and need to lose some weight, but I used to be a lot bigger. But people going on and on when they are just a few pounds over annoys me and I do find it insensitive.

HomeIsWhereTheGinIs Tue 24-Jun-14 22:49:55

Oh please. You cannot legislate to make people look around before every comment they make. Slippery slope from there to total silence because you want to curse all hamsters and didn't realise that you were hurting the feelings of the hamster owner sitting behind you etcetc

lifehasafunnywayofhelpinguout Tue 24-Jun-14 22:51:40

I just switch off when women go on about diets and how fat they are, when they are about a size 8. They're just fishing for compliaments, well sorry but I'D don't throw boquets at anyone. Certainly not posing bitches, who know quite well they have lovely figures.
I feel better for that rant xx

AnyoneForTennis Tue 24-Jun-14 22:51:52

A few pounds 'over' can be a whole dress size tho.... Why should it annoy you? Their weight problem is still very valid

BoyFromTheBigBadCity Tue 24-Jun-14 22:52:17

I think they made some hideous insensitive comments, but you can be 'thin' (a word j hate being used to describe me, it's nearly as bad as skinny) and have issues with your body. I'm a size 6-10 depending on the shop, and I hate my body, I have a flabby tummy and look chubby. However, I am never, ever allowed to voice these opinions, or share my insecurity to try and get some support, as I just get told to stop being ridiculous, or people think I'm compliment fishing, or I worry I'm being insensitive. I cry myself to sleep every so often about my weight, it has no reflection on anyone else at all.

AnyoneForTennis Tue 24-Jun-14 22:52:47

'Posing bitches' ?? Aren't you delightful?! hmm

cremedecacao Tue 24-Jun-14 22:55:58

Can understand how it would make you feel and they should NOT have been using language such as 'fatties' ...but yabu if you are expecting them to not have that discussion at all.

I am slim but am eating healthily to loose a few lbs for the summer. This is my choice. I was a fat child and I don't want to be fat again. I had snidey comments from a larger person at work when they overheard me talking about my 'get fit for summer' plan with someone else. I presume they felt the way you did.
What i WANTED to say to HER was 'I am skinny because I choose to be, I work hard to keep in shape and I look better that way. If you have a problem with your own body shape, deal with it and stop bothering about what everyone else does!"

I didn't, as that would probably have been vu... ;)

Everyones weight is personal and people are bothered about their weight to varying degrees.

Rainbunny Tue 24-Jun-14 23:00:59

They sound like complete idiots (and I'm sure their vapid personalities will be the thing that scares potential partners away, not their size.)

That said, if we are to be truly accepting of people's different sizes we shouldn't judge others if they are trying to lose weight whatever size they are. I am pretty slim but I have put on a solid 6-7lbs over the last winter that I cannot shift. I'm trying to diet though because it was enough to push me up a clothes size and frankly I can't afford a new wardrobe. I hate spilling out of my clothes and I especially hate how big my boobs have gotten (they were too big to start with). It does irritate me when friends notice I'm dieting and give me a hard time about though. I don't moan about needing to lose weight though, I can't imagine anything more boring to listen to.

What the fuck? This thread cannot be serious?! Weight is a personal thing.

This is as bad as a real men love curves campaign hmm

ChelsyHandy Tue 24-Jun-14 23:05:42

What if they were talking about their half marathon times, long distance cycling trips at the weekend OP or just their general levels of fitness? Would that be censored by you as well?

What if they were talking about healthy eating and describing eating salad instead of fattening food for lunch?

Perhaps they felt ok talking about their weight in front of you because they don't see you as a fat person but as someone who shares their goals?

cremedecacao Tue 24-Jun-14 23:06:30

Ooo don't get me started on that one Fated!!! If you are less than a size 12, flat chested and/or narrow hipped you are not a real woman, apparently! I hate all that rubbish.

ephpa95 Tue 24-Jun-14 23:09:28

Absolutely. Completely rude and insensitive and boring as well. Women speaking negatively about their bodies projects poor body images on young women and girls. So some people have different shapes and sizes so what? Have they really nothing better to talk about?

wadingthroughtreacleuphill Tue 24-Jun-14 23:14:56

I love a good diet talk. My friends and I often discuss our diets.

Mumsnet is full of intelligent and well educated women. It also has an entire talk topic dedicated to weight loss. It's a topic that has much relevance today, like it or not, and people are entitled to talk about it. Arguably a couple of the comments weren't kind, although I believe the lady in question was talking about herself, but the point is, it doesn't make people vapid, or stupid, or shallow.

Rainbunny Tue 24-Jun-14 23:15:04

Chelsy - but they were using extremely negative and judgmental language to describe their concern with putting on weight: saying they'd never leave the house and no man would find a fattie attractive etc... that's loaded language full of scorn for any woman who is overweight. It's one thing to want to be in better shape and to discuss it, but to sit around saying things like this is ugly and juvenile. I sense they were perfectly aware of the OP being within hearing distance.

Deverethemuzzler Tue 24-Jun-14 23:16:06

I can't stand people going on about their weight but I listen politely.
But its no less boring to hear someone who is a size 20 than it is to hear someone who is a size 10

Does it not cross your mind that those women who are thin actually perceive themselves as fat and disgusting?

That they may feel just as bad as you do about their bodies?

So many women have a skewed view of their bodies it is entirely possible that they think they need to loose weight as much as you think you do.

For goodness sake is there nothing that women won't criticise other women for?

WorraLiberty Tue 24-Jun-14 23:16:35

My goodness lifehasafunnywayofhelpinguout

What an ignorant rant that was

kali110 Tue 24-Jun-14 23:20:48

It wasn't about you it was how they felt about their own bodies

HappyYoni Tue 24-Jun-14 23:27:05

But as I said earlier, if you were freaking out about turning, say 40, and you felt that people over 40 were just past it, would you really choose to express that to a bunch of people say in their 60s? Or would you have enough insight into other peoples feelings to think hmmm I might talk about that with my younger friends/colleagues as it's a bit more rude to bang on about being so old when they are clearly older than me?

TheCraicDealer Tue 24-Jun-14 23:28:26

It's all relative. We've had a new member of staff join and she (at a very rough guess) must be around a size 22. She alludes to her weight sometimes but she doesn't seem uncomfortable in the slightest about it. As a consequence I've stopped 'seeing' her size, she's just my really nice colleague that will natter away about anything, including joining in on diet chat and "I do not feel fabulous today" discussions. None of us would ever come out with stuff like "I'd never find a man if I were any bigger", that's pretty bad, but maybe your weight issues aren't as noticeable to your workmates as they are to you.

WorraLiberty Tue 24-Jun-14 23:29:59

HappyYoni the people talking about losing weight, weren't expressing anything to the OP.

They were talking amongst themselves

If I had a problem with turning 40 and I was amongst a group of colleagues who were also in the same boat, why wouldn't I express my concerns to them?

HappyYoni Tue 24-Jun-14 23:30:47

The same way that even when I am feeling really skint I won't go on about it in front of friends who I know are more hard up than me. It doesn't matter whether you're talking weight, money, age whatever, it's still rude. Spots as well, sometimes I get a ginormous spot which I hate, but I wouldn't start saying oh I'm so spotty I must deal with my terrible spots, if I was in the company of someone who clearly had much worse spots.
Surely this is all just good manners and awareness of your audience??

HappyYoni Tue 24-Jun-14 23:32:25

Because saying I'm getting so old and disgusting in front of someone who is obviously even older would be really quite insensitive in my book.

WorraLiberty Tue 24-Jun-14 23:36:01

Oh I don't know

Weight is such a personal thing and not everyone takes offence when someone slimmer than them states that they need/want to lose weight.

The 'no men would eve find a fattie attractive' was nasty and ignorant though.

The rest is just boring diet talk imo.

CouldntGiveAMonkeysToss Wed 25-Jun-14 01:03:03

YABU. They made some stupid unkind comments, no justification for those but even slim people get unhappy with their weight. I'm a size six but have recently gained 2kg, I feel fat and less confident in my clothes so I'm eating more healthily. Should I wait until I've gained three stones before I address my eating? I think not.

I don't discuss this with people though as diet talk bores me shitless and I view it as a personal matter but there's no rule that says you have to be overweight to talk about losing weight.

PrincessBabyCat Wed 25-Jun-14 01:24:30

Body insecurity and low self esteem isn't limited to only fat people. There are just as many unhappy skinny people are there are fat people.

I'm on the heavier side of healthy weight so I'm not fat, but not skinny. If I'm feeling upset about being overweight, seeing a fat person also feeling overweight isn't going to make me feel any better. I really could care less how fat another person is, I'm upset about my weight on my body. I don't even think about other people's weight let alone judge it.

Monty27 Wed 25-Jun-14 01:48:37

I'm 5' 3" and weigh just over 8st so size 8-10. However, my midriff isn't flat so I still feel fat. Body issues belong to people of all shapes and sizes.

mrsmugoo Wed 25-Jun-14 02:28:45

YABU. I'm a size 10-12 but carrying 2 stone of baby weight (DS is 15 weeks). I feel fat and gross and want to get back to how I was. I don't care if someone who is bigger takes offence at that, it's all relative.

Tbh I think the op was rude listening to their conversation talking about their weight.

If they directed anything to you then that would be insensitive, but they were having a private conversation and you happened to hear.

Thomyorke Wed 25-Jun-14 05:29:13

I would rather they could have the conversation in front of me than behind my back, or worse still halt the conversation as I approached.

annielouise Wed 25-Jun-14 06:45:56

Yes, I do think it insensitive. I have a very overweight friend trying to lose weight. I need to lose just over a stone but don't talk about it to her. Why would I want her to feel bad, which she would.

JohnFarleysRuskin Wed 25-Jun-14 06:55:15

The idea the people saying "fat and disgusting" and "no man would ever find a fattie attractive" in front of a fatter woman is Not insensitive is beyond me.

TheWordFactory Wed 25-Jun-14 07:03:21

Anyone who calls fat people disgusting or unattractive ought to meet my mate.

She is larger than average and has men drooling at her feet. It's very blatant grin...

Ruebarb Wed 25-Jun-14 07:19:08

yawn - reminds me of when I worked in an office with loads of females talking about their weight and their latest diet. All about being 'good' all week and then 'treating' themselves at the weekend, the latest diet drink........yawn. At the end of the year most of them were the same weight as they were 12 months ago - nothing ever changed long term- and it was incredibly boring to have to listen to them. I never talked about my body, shape, size and I was considered 'fortunate' not to have to worry about such things - just smiled and nodded. I never passed opinions on their issues either - just left them to get on with it. First world problems!

Aeroflotgirl Wed 25-Jun-14 07:41:31

Yes they were very thoughtless and shallow. I have slimmed down from a 16, to a gargantuan. Size 10

MaryWestmacott Wed 25-Jun-14 07:53:09

Did the single girl actually say "no man fancies a fattie" or did she say something about wanting to lose weight herself as she was a fattie and didn't want to stay single? Don't take it as an insult, listen instead to someone blaming themselves for their situation.

And yes, size 10 can be overweight, I'm short so a size 6 still doesn't mean a flat stomach, size 10 is fat on my frame, a lot of woman aren't thin at a 10, and really it's best to diet when you've only got a few pounds to lose than to wait until it's a lot.

Bunbaker Wed 25-Jun-14 07:58:45

First of all congratulations on your weight loss.

Just to echo everyone else here that wanting to lose weight/get fitter isn't purely the domain of anyone over dress size 12.

And how do you know none of them are over a size 10? I am slim, but not in proportion and hate my hips and thighs, yet women who are larger than me are always saying that I am stick thin, which IMO is just as offensive as being called a fatty. They assume I am a size 8 and I'm not - I wear size 12 jeans.

Some of the comments were unpleasant, but as you said, they weren't aimed at you and you have to accept that women of all shapes and sizes aren't all happy with their weight. So you just have to suck it up I'm afraid.

DottyDooRidesAgain Wed 25-Jun-14 08:02:22

YABU. There conversation was about themselves. They were talking about how they feel about their weight.

You cannot censor every conversation about weight in case it upsets you. You do not have the monopoly on it just because you are over weight.

RedToothBrush Wed 25-Jun-14 08:20:31

Dress size does not = fat.

I would be overweight if I was a size 10.

But my friend who is a size 14 isn't.

It depends on your size and build.

I personally, don't feel comfortable around women larger than me talking about diets all the time, regardless of whether they need to go on one or not. I find it rather thoughtless and rude, because it puts you into a situation where whatever you say is going to sound wrong or patronising. And if you don't participate somehow, you are effectively excluded or separating yourself. I generally consider my friends to be extremely attractive in their own way, don't necessarily think they would benefit from loosing weight and just wished they were happier in themselves without feeling the need to obsess about their weight.

Not to mention virtually every time I hear women talking about diets I simply think they are completely clueless and the diet they are on is a total load of crap and they missing the real point of how to eat healthly.

Everyone should just be banned about talking about diets because its boring, just winds up EVERYONE, makes everyone paranoid and frankly cos 99% of diets are a crock of old shit anyway.

HappyYoni Wed 25-Jun-14 08:20:49

I still can't believe that all those saying that they are a size 8 or 10 or whatever but still feel fat can't see the insensitivity of saying that in front on someone who is maybe a size 18! No one is saying you shouldn't feel unhappy with your weight or do something about it, but maybe just don't go on about how big you think you are when there is someone there much much bigger than you!

Fluffyears Wed 25-Jun-14 08:27:43

I worked with someone who was 5' 10'' and a size 10-12 and was slimmest in our office but moaned incessantly about being fat.

She went on a diet and bored me to tears talking about it, I'm a size 18 and have struggled with my weight for a few years.

Once she put on weight and for three full fucking long days all I heard about was 'I put a pound and a quarter on, I'm so disgusted to gain sooo much weight. A pound and a quarter is a disgrace'. On the third day of this going on and on and on and on and on I held up my hand and said 'I do not want to hear this again I have put on a stone I have had shits that weigh more than what you gained. SHUT UP!' She look confused for a second and then went back on about it. I had to remove myself before I attacked her with my stapler.

Diet and food talk unless it's nice food bores the life outta me.

CeliaFate Wed 25-Jun-14 08:33:15

Perhaps they're also doing it for health reasons.
I'm a size 12 and weigh less than 10 stones, but I have a big midriff which I'm trying to reduce, as it's out of proportion and makes me miserable.
I have mentioned it in the company of other friends, not to make bigger people feel uncomfortable, but because it's a concern of mine.
YABU to think people shouldn't talk about weight loss when they're lighter than you, but YANBU if they're being cruel and unkind about overweight people in general.

Beastofburden Wed 25-Jun-14 08:33:47

I don't think the OP expects ppl not to want to manage their weight. It was specifically the comments about "disgusting" that she objected to.

TBH I would object a bit to that too, in the same way as I object when ppl say something is "spastic" meaning "useless". Not because I personally have cerebral palsy, but because its a nasty way to talk about a condition that affects other people.

Young people especially can be very dismissive and disrespectful without really meaning it. This kind of casual nastiness is often a habit; I bet they don't treat the OP personally as if she is a disgusting person.

In anthropology terms, they are grooming one another, it is bonding talk, they are going through some conventional "diet-talk" that probably dates from school days. So, OP, I doubt they really do think that about overweight ppl. But it would be nice if they could grow out of making that kind of comment. They probably will, especially if they like and value you as a colleague.

Ruebarb Wed 25-Jun-14 08:33:58

Hear hear redtoothbrush along with those who talk about how hard up they are financially - yawn -people who are really hard up don't want to talk about it. I was always taught it was rude to talk about how little or how much money you did or did not have - I know people who are really hard up and my heart goes out to them - but they would never want it discussed or commented upon by others

HappyYoni Wed 25-Jun-14 08:43:29

Celia I understand it's a concern of yours, it's just that personally I would choose to keep quiet about such concerns if I was clearly in the company of people with much bigger concerns.
As I said, doesn't matter if it's weight, spots, money, I wouldn't moan about something that's making me unhappy if I knew there were other people there who had it much worse.

U2TheEdge Wed 25-Jun-14 08:48:16

The only thing that was wrong of them was the horrible comments they made about fat people around someone who is overweight.

That was mean. I am sure they didn't think anything of it but that is insensitive.

I am slim in most peoples eyes but I feel fat right now. My stomach has too much flab on although no one can see it in clothes. I have put on half a stone at a guess and while I am still a size 10 I feel huge and uncomfortable. And yes, I have told my morbidly obese friend how I feel and she doesn't care. She is much more confident in her own skin than I ever will be though.

I am not going to not mention my weight just because someone around me is much bigger than me. Where do you draw the line? can someone for example, not moan about their child's behaviour because mine has special needs which makes his behaviour very hard to deal with? I remember being at school and hating people moaning about their fathers and thought they were insensitive because I would do anything to have one I could moan about! There is always going to be someone out there who is fatter than us, has it harder than us, so I don't see why I can't moan about my weight around someone bigger than me just incase it makes them feel bad.

Another example: I had awful adult acne. My friend moaned because she had a few spots. I would never expect her to not moan about her few spots just because I was going through treatment for cystic acne. My acne didn't take away the fact that she felt bad about her mild skin complaint.

RedToothBrush Wed 25-Jun-14 08:51:00

If its a health concern, then treat it like a health issue. Health issues generally don't end up being the sole topic of conversation and they involve following medical advice rather than the latest faddy diet.

Go to weight watchers or similar if you want to talk about it with other people. Don't do it in a work environment where everyone then ends up getting sucked into the void of self doubt about themselves.

PlumpPartridge Wed 25-Jun-14 08:58:35

Saying 'I want to lose weight because I am uncomfortable as I am' = fine.

Saying 'if I get any larger then all men will find me repellent, because fatties are repellent' = SO not fine.

There is a difference.

CeliaFate Wed 25-Jun-14 09:07:10

I agree with that PlumpPartridge.
But I also agree with U2TheEdge - where can you draw the line about what's acceptable to talk about in open conversation. Someone will always be offended about something.

OP, I would take them to task about openly offensive "sizeist" comments.

PlumpPartridge Wed 25-Jun-14 09:17:03

Yes, the social niceties are a bit fuzzy in this regard!

I think generally we conduct conversations (or at least I do) keeping half a metaphorical eye open for any signs of discomfort in other parties. This is often restricted to the parties involved in the conversation, so any potential discomfort felt by people who are merely nearby may not be noticed until it's a bit late to backtrack. Also, sometimes you can make the situation even MORE awkward by assuming they'll be offended.

e.g. 'Oh my god, I feel SOO fat today - I'm, like, a size twelve. Whoops - no offence Carol.' hmm

It's a minefield basically, isn't it. I think the best approach is to take each situation on a case-by-case basis (although in this case I do think the women might have been a bit insensitive to have the conversation in a public place where they could be easily overheard by colleagues who they knew were present).

Burren Wed 25-Jun-14 09:53:05

Look, no one is suggesting that people who are under a certain dress size/have a BMI within normal range aren't allowed to want to change their bodies or to bore on about diets (though I agree with those who find it duller than watching grey paint dry), but it's basic good manners to consider the feelings of those in your company when you speak.

Yes, these women were (probably) not consciously intending to be hurtful to the OP, but, frankly, they should have considered her feelings, the way any of us should when opening our mouths in someone else's company. It would be equally insensitive to complain about the difficulty of funding the mortgage and school fees in front of someone who is struggling to put food on the table. That's not to denigrate the first person's problem, and it's not censorship, but surely we all semi-automatically consider who we're talking to before embarking on a topic?

The difference in the situations being that it's possible a colleague wouldn't know about someone's financial difficulties, but weight is literally right there in the room.

Deverethemuzzler Wed 25-Jun-14 10:01:04

Do you think they even notice you are overweight?

I wouldn't know the dress size of someone standing in front of me unless they had their clothes on inside out.

Do you think you might be guilty of falling into the trap of thinking that any who is a 'size 10' spends their entire life judging the size of other people?

Because people do that a lot. I don't give a toss how much someone else weighs and I don't know how many calories there are in anything, I take sugar in my tea and I don't think 'fat' people are disgusting.

Apparently all of the above is startling information to people

I sort of agree - I used to work with a very slim woman who was always on about being a 'fattie'. I'm not exactly fat but fatter than her so by her logic, pretty much gigantic.

Tryharder Wed 25-Jun-14 10:58:51

I read this thread this early morning and thought about it a bit as my initial response was YANBU but a lot of people seemed to think it fine for 'thin' women to moan about weight in front of fatter people.

I agree that it's fine to say you want to lose a few pounds if you've put on weight and are generally slim.

But I think what the OP means is women who are slim and secretly know they are slim but make comments about how fat and disgusting they are in order to seek attention and compliments.


A: Oh my God, I am SOOOOO fat and repulsive, I just can't live with myself being a size 10.

Everyone else: Noooooo! you have a gorgeous figure, I wish I was as slim as you, you don't need to lose weight at all....

Etc etc

WorraLiberty Wed 25-Jun-14 11:06:35

But that is so often assumed by larger people Tryharder and very often it's just not true.

If someone who is considered by another person to be a 'slim woman' talks about losing weight, there is every possibility that she does actually want to/need to lose weight.

Dismissing her as simply attention seeking, says a lot about the person doing the dismissing.

maninawomansworld Wed 25-Jun-14 11:39:16

Insensitive? Yes it possibly is but they weren't aiming it at you personally. We are rapidly becoming the type of society that is always on the lookout for something to be offended by and it's pathetic.

Seriously, don't give them the time of day and get on with your own life.
I'm sure everyone has said something a bit thoughtless and been overheard at some time or another (even you) - it's just life.

MaryWestmacott Wed 25-Jun-14 11:57:34

Another question OP, you said the group started talking about it, were you part of that group at the time? Were you part of the conversation or just in the room? I might not consider discussing the fact I wanted to lose weight to someone who was a lot larger than me, but if I was talking to people who were thinner/about the same size, I might not think to check who else might overhear and be offended at me discribing myself as disgusting. (Not that I would)

Tryharder - it is perfectly possble to be a size 10 and fat if you are short, it's not attention seeking to go on a diet if you are a couple of dress sizes bigger than your ideal, in fact it's far more sensible to cut out the crap and start increasing exercise when it's 1-2 dress sizes rather than 6-8 dress sizes to shift. Some people will leave it until they are obese to start tackling eating and exercise habits, others take action when the weight starts to creep up a bit.

MannishBoy Wed 25-Jun-14 12:08:33

I don't get why overhearing something that other people said, that didn't involve nor was about you could be seen as insensitive to you?

Are they supposed to only talk in whispers, or just wait until someone who might be offended isn't in ear shot?

There are bigger things to be worrying about.

Sicaq Wed 25-Jun-14 13:02:03

Worra, you say you find diet talk boring and that you have no weight issues ... yet you pop up in every single weight thread. As do I, to be fair.


normalishdude Wed 25-Jun-14 13:06:16


RedToothBrush Wed 25-Jun-14 13:14:14

I find it boring, however I also have found it to be something that seems to be only seen by one side and has therefore affected me in real life in various ways.

I find myself feeling judged by the opinions of others. Frequently the most common thing is a feeling of being excluded or dismissed. Its very competitive and very jealous. I also am unable to say that someone is beautiful if I genuinely think they are, without being looked at as patronising or getting the 'its alright for you to say that'. And it doesn't mean that I don't have insecurities about the way I look. They are not lesser than someone who is bigger than me. People have different levels of coping, so can affect them to greater or lesser extents.

Plus the way you look, is MORE than whats underneath the clothes. Loads of women can be incredibly sexy and stylish in what they wear and have great hair for example.

The trouble is I do find that women judge themselves and others purely on looks and I seriously dislike that culture and feel it needs challenging. There is a lot more to us than that. You don't get men obsessing over it at work to the same degree. You don't get men bonding with each other about how 'bad' they look. Its damaging to us all.

Its different to other subjects in that respect. Talking about other subjects tends not to undermine self confidence in the same way.

Crinkle77 Wed 25-Jun-14 13:18:51

Do you think it was deliberate OP and that is why you are upset? Are they usually bitchy?

WorraLiberty Wed 25-Jun-14 13:49:42

Sicaq we're not discussing food and weight loss here though are we?

I find it boring when I'm working or socialising with people whose only topic of conversation is weight loss and food...which is different to choosing to participate in forum discussions if I'm in the mood to do so.

kali110 Thu 26-Jun-14 01:03:23

I don't call myself fat however i know im slightly overweight and very unfit! My bmi is close to being in the unhealthy range.
My top half is around size 10 but bottom is in between a 14-16. None of my friends believe me, so its very hard to judge what size someone is. I have no idea what size any of my friends are!
I only want to lose a bit of weight as my belly has rolls lol and need to loose some off my thighs as i feel really uncomfortable. People think i look thin however i feel awful about my body at the moment.
I also figure if i lose a bit of weight it may help my health problems.

magentastardust Thu 26-Jun-14 01:17:47

Its not about how big the other girls were or whether they felt they needed to lose weight is was about their lack of awareness of those around them.

yes everyone has their own weight/size that they feel is big for them whether# it is size 12 or size 22. You don't however say that you look so huge and fat and disgusting because you are so big when there is obviously someone that is a few sizes bigger than you in the room.

It would be like a group of colleagues sitting discussing how tacky/horrible they find tattoo's whilst aware someone in the group has tattoo's. It is rude and you just wouldn't say it out in public. People need to be more aware.

caruthers Thu 26-Jun-14 02:14:05

I'm a bloke and i'm fat but I just don't care enough about it to discuss it with my friends.

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

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.

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


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?

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)

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.

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.

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


It wasn't about you nor aimed at you.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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?


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 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?

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.

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

Diet/body talk is inappropriate at work IMO!

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

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

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.

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.

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?

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.

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

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

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

Rude to post? Did MNHQ ban it?

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

Oops sorry wrong thread!

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