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Never comment on someone's weight ever? Yes or No?



  • whitpauly
    whitpauly Posts: 1,483 Member
    I'm a hairdresser and I've had customers tell me I've lost weight, it irritates me cuz I think"jeez what did I look like before?!" I really never considered myself very big and to hear that really bugs me
  • GailK1967
    GailK1967 Posts: 58 Member
    Not appropriate ever.
  • LiftHeavyThings27105
    LiftHeavyThings27105 Posts: 2,086 Member
    Depends on several factors.....

    Would I walk up to the very overweight lady (or dude) in the grocery store check-out line and offer my opinions on how unhealthy her(his) excessive weight is? Heck no!

    If that same person (again, woman or man) were to see me in the check-out line and actively engage me in conversation and ask me my opinion - yes, I would absolutely. I would be as positive as possible and leave all judgement out of that conversation. I can say this because it happens more often than you might think.

    If my colleagues and friends ask me questions about weight training and nutrition then I offer my opinions. Yes - leaving all judgement out of that conversation. I have one friend - who is a former colleague - who really wants to loose weight. We talk about things....I share my experiences and my ideas and I introduce concepts to him and he runs with it. If he has questions then he asks me and I give him my ideas as to his question.

    Funny, though, how the other side of that question has a totally different answer. I will see a really fit dude and will strike up conversation with him. Same thing with a really fit woman. Age does not matter for either.

    I think that the key to this type of conversation is to leave judgement out of it. The people who are overweight....do we know their story/their struggle? Likely not. The really overweight lady in the grocery store line might be 220lbs at the moment, but three years ago maybe she was 360lbs. We just don't know. Speaking to her like she is some fat cow is really rude and disrespectful. Not to mention just plain mean! I don't like mean. Or rude. Or disrespectful.

    So, those snide comments about 'concentration camp survivor' will usually result in the recipient of that comment shutting down and not listening any more. Communication is about sending and receiving. If either one of those is missing then there is no longer communication.

    Maybe - just maybe - the person making that comment was genuinely concerned and simply expressed herself poorly. Who knows.

    Leaving all judgement out of that conversation is the way to go. At least, in my experience.
  • rlr5072
    rlr5072 Posts: 22 Member
    I'm sorry to hear that - that's a really tough position for someone to put you in.

    Like others have said, I think it depends on your relationship with that person and what the situation is.

    My brother recently passed, and my father had not been doing well for a few weeks afterwards, to the point where he was eating very little and was extremely weak. I completely understood why, and at first I was just silently taking note of his diet. When he visibly began losing weight after a few weeks of not eating much, I let him know and began encouraging him to eat more. For the most part, I tried to be supportive and tried not to criticize, but in a bad moment or two, I may have commented that he "was wasting away." Probably not the best choice of words, but my family was deeply concerned about him and it seemed to bring him back to reality. I talked to him about it and he is glad that we said something to him, and he's since been doing better and is almost back to his regular weight.

    My sister's boyfriend and my family were having a conversation recently about his weight gain. He was working at a pizza shop and gained a visible amount of weight (about 20 lbs, according to him). During this time, I didn't say anything because I thought it would be rude and hurtful. He then started working a manual labor job and has since lost the weight. He asked my family why no one ever said anything, to which we all realized nobody had ever remarked to us when we had gained weight either (about the same amount) at times in the past. Do I wish someone had said something to me when I began gaining weight? Kind of - I really didn't see it myself until I stepped on a scale for a work exam and saw the numbers for myself. But would I have responded well at the time? Probably not. It would have made my journey a lot shorter if someone had said something sooner, but I know I would have felt so hurt if someone had made me aware, especially more so if they were blunt and rude about it. It would have been a comment I would never have forgotten about. Then again, I am pretty sensitive.

    Long story short? I think it's okay if you're genuinely expressing concern and word it appropriately if you know that person well, but otherwise, I tend to refrain unless that person is openly discussing it with me. Even if that person is open to discussing their weight, try to think of how you could best phrase any comments instead of just blurting them out. Weight is an extremely sensitive issue and words are something a person can remember for a lifetime.
  • 2snakeswoman
    2snakeswoman Posts: 655 Member
    I do think you have to be careful. It's pretty awful to, for example, compliment someone's weight loss, then find out it's because of chemotherapy. It's too bad some people have no filter and just let hurtful words flow like vomit.
  • lessismoreohio
    lessismoreohio Posts: 910 Member
    I find it best not to make comments about another person's appearance (weight, clothes, hair, etc.) unless they ask me for my feedback. Too much can be misinterpreted or misunderstood.
  • KeepRunningFatboy
    KeepRunningFatboy Posts: 3,055 Member
    From my perspective, and I have struggled with eating disorders since 1983, Avoid bringing up another persons weight, avoid comments on strange eating habits, and don't ask how much they weigh.

    The only exception I can think of is if you are a close family member or their health orivider and it's obvious they need help.
  • Macy9336
    Macy9336 Posts: 694 Member
    Say if it is true, necessary and kind. If it doesn't meet those three things, don't say anything about a person's appearance.
  • rockn3babies
    rockn3babies Posts: 6 Member
    I recently has a co-worker who made the comment to me that I lost a lot of weight. She then proceeded to tell me not to loose any more, because skinny people never look healthy.
  • bmeadows380
    bmeadows380 Posts: 2,982 Member
    If I know the person is actively working on losing weight and they are openly discussing it and I know the person and count them as a friend, then I would comment positively on their effort. Otherwise, I'd keep my thoughts to myself. And I definitely keep my mouth shut if there isn't any positive to say - the old mantra "if you can't say something nice, don't say nothing at all" certainly applies for me!

    For me personally, I need that affirmation from friends and family who know I'm trying to lose weight, so hearing the occasional "you're looking great!" is a great booster for me. I know what I looked like before and it wasn't pretty. But that's me and my fragile confidence needing motivation and affirmation. I know some folks don't like their efforts to be commented on, and that's okay!
  • amusedmonkey
    amusedmonkey Posts: 10,330 Member
    For others, no. I know this can be a sensitive subject for some so I almost never comment unless I know someone has been trying to lose weight deliberately and since from the way they're acting like they want me to notice. For me, comment away. Too fat, too thin, just right, look better, look worse, lost, gained, I don't mind. A stranger in the street could stop and ask me how much I weigh and I would answer without flinching or thinking much of it other than "that's odd". It's very hard to offend me with comments about my weight because I've been happily fat for as long as I can remember so i'm not very touchy about it.

    As for your particular issue, I haven't read other comments but I would have a word with your mother and stand by your husband on this one.
  • RachelElser
    RachelElser Posts: 1,049 Member
    nevadavis1 wrote: »
    Just getting back after a long and complicated move.

    My mother came by on Sunday and commented 5 different times on my husband's weight. I didn't count--he did.

    He's been working day and night--working his "day job" and packing and then doing repairs on the new place to get it ready for us. He's been skipping meals and even I've been worried he's losing too much weight. He was slim to begin with and didn't need to lose any.

    My mother said things like

    "I brought you some cake, we need to put some meat on those bones"
    "Don't skip any more meals, you'll start looking like a concentration camp victim"

    And so on.

    I didn't think much of it because my mother non-stop harps on me about my weight being too high, and has done so since I was in pre-school. For example during the visit she said "you've lost a lot, but still need to get that last 10 or 20 pounds." Sigh.

    My husband was deeply offended and is pretty angry at her right now.

    He says it's never appropriate to comment on someone's weight ever. I appreciated that viewpoint when he defended me against people saying I was too heavy, but I have to admit that now that I've lost so much I really don't mind people saying to me "wow, you look so thin!" and stuff like that. But it does seem rude for my mother to imply he's unattractive so thin. For what it's worth, he still has muscle, just essentially almost no visible fat right now. My main worry is that if he keeps skipping meals it will start to affect muscle too and make him less healthy.

    Wow, your mom sounds so rude to both you and your husband! Honestly you should shut that down NOW, just because she's been doing it your life doesn't mean it's okay. 'That's just how he/she is' is not an excuse to act like a jerk. Are you okay with her saying that crap to your children (if you decide to have any) or nephews, nieces,young cousins? And if I were your husband I probably would have to told her to knock it off or get out of my house.

    That being said, for family and close friends if I was worried about their weight loss I would say something like "Is everything okay? You look like you've lost some weight" and if they say no, then move on. If they say yes, then I'd try and help. But mean comments aren't going to help!

    If I know someone who, like you, is purposefully losing weight then I would comment and encourage them. But if someone is losing weight and I don't know if they are doing it on purpose I would keep my mouth shut. What if they are losing weight due to an illness? Or stress because they parent/child just died? Of if they have started using destructive behaviors for the first time/again?
  • shaunshaikh
    shaunshaikh Posts: 616 Member
    Positive comments can really keep me going. I usually only make them about weight if I know first hand that person has been trying to lose weight. And I usually try to not directly comment on their shape but rather more generic comments about how they look great and to keep up the good work. I know today I'm personally having a really depressed/crisis day, so I wouldn't mind a spirit boost.
  • canadianlbs
    canadianlbs Posts: 5,199 Member
    edited October 2017
    i wouldn't normally, but for me it's all case-by-case and very personal. there's a guy in my lift club who's been fighting his weight all his life, and he lights up like a glow-lamp if you mention anything objectively visible about the results of the most recent path that he's on.

    so in his case i do it for sure, if there's something i see. he's one of the most enormously generous, encouraging people i've ever seen go through that club in three years of turnover, so it feels really good to be able to return the same favour to him.

    i don't paint the whole world with the brush that works so well for him though. even with him, i kept my own counsel for the first half of this year-of-keto that he's been on, and only said something one day because i hadn't realised it was him when he got out of his car.