#59 Don’t tell someone they look like they’ve gained weight unless it’s time for an intervention.

6 Jul

Have you ever had a family member say to you, “You look like you’ve gained weight” or had a friend ask, “Have you put on a couple of pounds?”  If you haven’t, lucky you.  If you have, I’m sure you replied, “No, but it looks like you have.”  Or maybe that’s just me.  Okay, I didn’t really say that, but I did think it.  (At least I hope I only thought it and didn’t actually say it.) 

I have never understood why people feel it is their place to always comment on other’s weight changes.  In a time when so many young women feel societal pressure to be thin, you would think that people, especially other women, would be careful with their words.  Constantly drawing attention to a young woman’s weight can affect her body image, and according to research, girls start focusing on their bodies at an early age. 

Take a look at a few shocking statistics:  42% of 1st through 3rd grade girls want to be thinner.  81% of 10 year olds are afraid of being fat.  51% of 9 and 10-year-old girls feel better about themselves if they are on a diet.  According to a study, over 50% of the females surveyed between ages 18-25 would prefer to be run over by a truck than be fat; and 2/3 surveyed would rather be mean or stupid.  (http://www.eatingdisorderinfo.org/Resources/EatingDisordersStatistics.aspx)

With this piece of advice, I’m not saying that you should never be concerned with a loved one’s weight.  Borderline obese?  Say something.  Looks like Skeletor’s twin sister?  Minus the muscular blue body?  (Ok, maybe Skeletor isn’t the best comparison, but the name Skeletor itself is so fitting.)  Might be time for an intervention.*  A little weight fluctuation?  That’s likely normal.  Gained 3 or 4 pounds over the last year?  Probably not a big deal.  Does she have a stomach pooch that she didn’t have before?  Maybe she’s bloated. 

The point is that no one wants to have their weight constantly scrutinized.  If the weight changes are drastic and you are truly concerned, then of course you should say something.  But for the slight changes in weight that happen to all of us, there is no need to broadcast it at the family Christmas dinner.  Would you want someone constantly talking about your weight?  Doubt it. 

*For more information on eating disorders, visit the website for the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) at http://www.nimh.nih.gov.


2 Responses to “#59 Don’t tell someone they look like they’ve gained weight unless it’s time for an intervention.”

  1. Mollie Mitchell July 6, 2010 at 11:12 pm #

    Thanks for making me take a look at myself and “others” in my family that often bring up weight at family gatherings. That sound you just heard was my lips being zipped.


  1. #89 Watch your weight. No one becomes overweight overnight. « Why Did She Do That Blog - July 11, 2010

    […] Jul With #59 being said (https://whydidshedothat.wordpress.com/2010/07/06/59-don%e2%80%99t-tell-someone-they-look-like-theyve-…),  I feel it’s only right to follow-up with this piece of advice.  While you may not want […]

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