PS, piggybacking was the buzzword of the century when I was in college. Seriously. But moving right along!
Piggbacking off of my emotions regarding Rachel Frederickson’s weight loss, I’ve noticed this really weird phenomenon regarding women and their weight.
We can’t win.
In college, I gained a pretty decent amount of weight, which I’ve been really open about here. But I supposed a lot of people I’ve known in the recent years might not know that. So anyhoo, at the end of my freshman year, I was at Cram Jam, which was, coincidentally, a late night brunch so you could have fuel to study. I ran into this girl, Kea, who I’d known in high school. Kea greeted me by grabbing my stomach, and practically yelling, “Man, you’ve put on some weight.”
The day of Elon’s graduation, I actually graduated wearing this cute slinky skater dress because I couldn’t zip up the floral strapless garden party dress that I’d been intending to wear. Another blow.
So in my mind at that point, I’m thinking that if I lose the bit of weight that I needed to, the comments should stop, right?
After losing the weight, I got a few backhanded “compliments” from folks that would get filed in the same manila folder entitled “rude-ass comments that people need to keep to themselves.” One was when I saw a guy who I hadn’t seen in a while at the gym who stated “I wasn’t sure that was you! I knew you’d lost a ton of weight, but I couldn’t recognize you!” But the amount of weight I’d lost wasn’t like hundreds of pounds, so I’m guessing he was just saying that for dramatic effect. And most recently, a superior of mine directed my direct supervisor to grab me an extra brownie after I went for the salad in the conference room, as she was “concerned about my weight.”
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t take a whole lot of stock in what folks say about my weight, for larger or smaller, however I really feel like I can’t win between a girl physically grabbing my belly, and then the uncomfortable levels of attention I started receiving upon losing just a little bit of weight.
So how do you comment on someone’s appearance without making it about a number on the scale?
- Don’t mostly. Seriously, if you’re not good with your words, just don’t say anything.
- Try to avoid the words skinny, fat, or anything that is indicative of a number. One of the nicest compliments I received was from my dad, when he told me how strong I looked after a stint at the camp. I won’t ever forget that!
- If you’re truly concerned about someone’s weight, for bigger or for smaller, ask if they’re okay. “Are you okay? I’ve just been sorta worried about you lately!” Please avoid announcing to the room that they could lose a few or they could eat a brownie. If someone’s truly sick, your offer of a brownie really isn’t going to help them out. Just FYI.
So what do you think? You ever feel like you just can’t win?