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Fed up of being called fat at work

(72 Posts)
tortoiserock Mon 04-Apr-16 10:01:44

I'm worried everyone will have a go at me for being ageist and I'm not but I do a bit of work with elderly people and they do comment on weight all the time AIBU to be fed up with it?

fusspot66 Mon 04-Apr-16 10:04:35

No, you shouldn't have to listen to that. Would it be possible to say something like 'That's not a very kind thing to say.' And move on swiftly to.other subjects.
P.s Join us on the 5:2 thread . It can be life changing smile

BarbarianMum Mon 04-Apr-16 10:08:16

Why don't you challenge them - or take it up with your manager? Unless you work in a home for those with dementia (in which case sorry but you'll just have to try and not take it personally) you are entitled to be treated with respect.

originalusernamefail Mon 04-Apr-16 10:17:00

Some older people use their brain- mouth filter especially in cases of Alzeimers / Dementia. I remember looking at bridesmaids dresses with my nana, when a girl across the shop came out in a beautiful emerald green number. 'She's a bony lass' says my nana at the top of her voice, the whole shop thinks awww sweet, until she finishes with 'it's a shame she's so fat'blush. 10 years ago my nana would have been mortified to even think such a thing, luckily my nana is 4'9" and very cute so we didn't get beaten up!

Try not to let it get to you OP, I get it at the hospital I work in, I just say "that's not very nice" and move on.

5Hearts Mon 04-Apr-16 10:24:33

No - you shouldn't have to put up with that.

The only people who have ever commented about my weight have been elderly/older. My nan was the first - she was right I had put on weight but back then (she has been dead for 16 years) my absolute biggest was a sz 14 (and I am 5'6'' so it wasn't that bad...I was usually a 10/12 then though).

My dad (82) did it most recently "5hearts - you have got fat" - he is right - I am the biggest I have ever been at a sz 18/20 (week 3 of slimming world so hopefully not for that long). I have been fat for quite a long time now though so I think that is his dementia showing.

FIL & MIL (75) make passive aggressive comments. Things like if a celebrity who happens to be overweight is mentioned they will go on (and on) about how disgusting they are or give me a compliment about a top I am wearing and within 5 mins comment on someone who is wearing a similar style but it not suiting them because they are slim and why are they covering up a lovely figure? Nice. I did lose quite a bit of weight a few years back (yes, all back on) and was looking pretty good - they looked me up and down and then started commenting on how much smaller various parts were and then kept going on about how pleased they were. I guess that was their idea of a compliment but it made me feel horrible.

VioletTea Mon 04-Apr-16 10:24:45

You're entitled to be treated respectfully at work and to not be subjected to personal comments. It doesn't matter how old they are.

MattDillonsPants Mon 04-Apr-16 10:37:59

My Mother works with elderly people and she won't take any upsetting personal remarks. She doesn't say anything to the person at the time but she tells her line manager and the line manager has a quiet word. She's only had to do it twice in ten was a woman who used to snap and treat her like a Victorian skivvy and another was a man who would be sexist.

BillSykesDog Mon 04-Apr-16 10:39:44

That was a Freudian slip! And no, nobody should have to put up with personal comments at work. Totally inappropriate.

FredaMayor Mon 04-Apr-16 10:44:00

People arrive at a certain weight for all sorts of reasons, very few of which are any of my business. IME when people's size begins to be discussed I just say "I never comment on someone's weight". It stops the sniping and I really don't care what they think.

SOPH781 Mon 04-Apr-16 10:52:32

It does seem that people's (mostly women's) weight has become one of those topics that everyone seems to feel comfortable commenting on - negatively or positively. Like Freda, i try to make the point that it is no-one's business. It is just a number on a scale or a label in a dress.

CandyFlossBrain Mon 04-Apr-16 11:04:43

When I was bigger, I had to stop volunteering at Cats Protection bazaars because there was an elderly couple who had to comment on my weight every time they saw me. They weren't being nasty, just ignorant, but I didn't enjoy spending an afternoon helping them just to get verbal abuse in return.

shovetheholly Mon 04-Apr-16 11:13:23

I wonder if there is a bit of a generational issue here? Of course, not everyone is the same or has the same experiences, and there are sensitive and insensitive people of every age. But I wonder if women who grew up in the 40s and 50s were exposed to an awful lot more messaging about 'watching your figure' (as it used to be called) being fundamental to your identity as a woman - partly because it meant you got validating male attention, and in many ways that was your selfhood in a world where women had so many fewer equal opportunities.

My grandmother is obsessed with weight, to a very unhealthy degree. Being slim and attractive in a man's eyes is a woman's identity - and there is no personhood outside of it. To give an example, my aunt has early onset dementia that is sadly progressing very rapidly- she is unlikely to have that much time left. One of the few things she still enjoys is going to the shop and buying and eating chocolate. My grandmother tries to get the carers to stop her doing this because 'she's getting fat' and 'will look so unattractive'. It's like my aunt's weight bothers her way more than the fact she can no longer speak or enjoy many of the things she used to.

Frostycake Mon 04-Apr-16 11:39:14

When you say 'elderly' do you mean over 70? Do you work in care or nursing? If so, it could be generational as people that age (largely) used to watch their weight - especially women - and to get overweight was seen as a moral failing. My grandparents were like this (and parents to a lesser degree), all long dead now (would be over 100 if still alive today) and in their day, a woman's only worth in their eyes was in her youth and beauty so slimness was highly valued.

I remember when I was 15, my mother looked me up and down and told me I was getting rather fat and square and I had better do something about it or nobody would want me. The same if I continued to bite my nails.

If the people you are talking about are colleagues in their 50s or 60s, then have a word with HR or if you don't find confronting them, tell them that you find their comments hurtful and want them to stop or you will take it up with thier manager.

Jojoriley Mon 04-Apr-16 11:44:26

My mother is hugely judgy about 'fatties' I think it's a generation thing. She would never be racist or any other ism but fat people are fair game to her. I either let it wash over me, sometimes I say 'well we all have our troubles ' or some such. It's horrible though. Poor you

molyholy Mon 04-Apr-16 11:47:31

My Nan had no boundaries when it came to stuff like this. I remember she said to me once 'excuse me fatso' I said Nan how rude and she said 'Well what do you want me to cally you? Slimsy?' I certainly was not slim. Haha. You have just brought it back to me with this thread.

Also, my husbands Nan said to my SILs husband how he had gotten really fat. Not only was it rude, but it was his twin brother grin grin grin

Sorry - not helpful whatsoever.

LordoftheTits Mon 04-Apr-16 11:56:26

That's horrible. My granny (who is 4' 11 and as wide as she is tall angry) has called me fat twice, always refers to people by their appearance ("the big, fat bloke", "the blonde woman with the big nose", etc) and the first time she met my mum's sister she boldly asked, "so, have you always been fat?"

What the actual fuck?? She has all of her faculties too, she's just a horrible cow.

tortoiserock Mon 04-Apr-16 12:23:23

Yeah, it's not dementia (wouldn't mind that) but it is annoying, and I'm glad no ones had a go at me for being ageist because it really does seem to be people of a certain generation who think it's okay!

oliviaclottedcream Mon 04-Apr-16 12:23:56

you should reply. Yes but I'll still live longer than you, you rude old sod.

NerrSnerr Mon 04-Apr-16 12:24:26

Do you work in care and it's the people you look after who are saying this? Do they have dementia? If so have a look on google about frontal lobe damage. When the frontal lobe is damaged people will often lose their inhibitions. For example if we see someone with silly hair walking past we might think 'look at their silly hair' but not say anything, people with frontal lobe damage may say it as they do not realise it's inappropriate. Even if it is part of their dementia it is still ok to tell them it's not a nice thing to say.

Of course they may just be insensitive prats too.

NerrSnerr Mon 04-Apr-16 12:25:43

Cross posts. It is probably down to the damage in their brain. It is ok to tell them it's not ok, but it's possible they can't help it and won't remember they've said it to you before.

NerrSnerr Mon 04-Apr-16 12:26:30

Sorry- misread! Ignore me acting like a know it all. It's not dementia!! They're just idiots then.

Sorry again!!

oliviaclottedcream Mon 04-Apr-16 12:30:02

shovetheholly When I first moved to England in the mid 70's I witnessed girls at school patted on the arse by male PE teachers and Black children referred to as Monkeys. Would all that 'progressive' , 'Claire in the community' codswallop apply to me telling a victim of the same thing today to shut up and stop whining?

Well done for getting male attention in their as well..

oliviaclottedcream Mon 04-Apr-16 12:30:34

in there, rather

LittleCandle Mon 04-Apr-16 12:30:35

I work in a shop that sells clothes in larger sizes - we also sell clothes from a size 12 and size small in the gents - and we get lots of comments along the lines of 'that's the shop for fat people'. I had a young woman in the other day and asked her boyfriend if we sold 'clothes for normal blokes or just fatties'? My instinct was to tell her she would have to ask a normal bloke, but since I actually like my job, I bit my tongue instead and gave them the size range. She looked vaguely interested, but I suspect she didn't listen to me at all.

Princesspeach1980 Mon 04-Apr-16 12:36:27

My dad is so rude about other peoples weight, which wouldn't be so bad if he didn't wear XXXL clothing and has type 2 diabetes caused by his awful lifestyle! He usually starts with "I know I'm a bit of a big lad but..." and then goes on to be really nasty about anyone over a size 12. Much worse about women than men too. I can cope with him slating celebrities, but he does it to my sisters too, and compares me to them (I'm smaller built than them), which i really hate. It really upsets them. It may be generational but it's still bloody rude!

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