Post # 1
Everytime we have dress down day, this happens. And for the past few months, I have not been wearing jeans on dress down due to comments.
I am 5’4, 105 lbs, and my pant size varies depending on where I buy them from. I eat a good diet and I exercise a lot. When I was younger, I had an eating disorder, but got treatment. However, I am still very hard on myself when it comes to food and weight. I think that is just something people with eating disorders carry with them their entire lives.
Anyway, there is a person at work who is smaller than me, and she always says stuff like, ‘I can’t wear jeans like that because I don’t have a ‘butt’ like you do’ or ‘you’re skinny but you have a butt, so you can wear x, y, z styles and I can’t’. Excuse me? Why do you think that it is ok to say to me? For the record, everyone else on earth has told me the opposite. I am tired of the comments. I refuse to tell these people that I had an eating disorder because I don’t want to talk about something personal like that with coworkers, but I really am starting to feel bad. As soon as she said that, my brain immediately switched over and I started thinking ‘you MUST do an hour of cardio tonight’ and ‘you shouldn’t eat lunch today’, although I know those thoughts are wrong. For some reason today, it really hurt my feelings more than usual and I actually feel like going home…partly to exercise and partly to just get out of here and wear what I want at home with no comments.
I shouldn’t have to spend 30 minutes putting on clothes in the morning and analyzing my side profile to make sure nothing sticks out for anyone to comment on. There are girls in my office that are bigger than me and would be considered ‘curvy’, but she never makes a comment to them. I am so sick of it. Leave.me.and.my.body.alone. I NEVER, EVER make a comment about anyone’s body, EVER, unless to say ‘that outfit is really, really nice!’, etc. I do not think that people should EVER say anything about someone elses’ shape unless they are asked an opinion, and even then, tread lightly! I am SO MAD right now. Thank you for listening, this is too hard for me to talk about in real life, which is why I posted here.
Post # 3
What a little rip! I’d probably revoke my (your) rule about commenting on other’s bodies in her case, and be like, “Try eating more, and maybe lift some weights and you might get some curves.” Blech.
It sounds like you’re actually a lil hottie, and she is jealous. I know, that doesn’t help the comments, but if it makes you feel any better, I’d love to even just split the difference between our weights. I wish I had a bit more self control, and I’m very impressed with people like you who can maintain a healthy lifestyle like you currently are.
Post # 4
I am sorry that you are going through this.
Body image is difficult for a lot of us.
I honestly think though, that she is trying to compliment you (may not be the most effective way).
Is there anyway you could jokingly get it across to her that you are feeling uncomfortable?
Post # 5
Don’t let her get to you. She sounds like she is just jealous. She also sounds like she doesn’t have an ounce of professionalism; things like that shouldn’t be said to coworkers. I’m sorry you’re feeling bad about it – try not to think about it and get through the day.
Post # 6
I’m going to play devil’s advocate here and say youre projecting your insecurites onto this woman and making it all about her.
Women say stuff like that to other women a lot. I can’t however vouch if she is being passive agressive and saying that to you so you feel that your butt is too big, and not nice as she is stating.
But as a women with massive boobs, I hear stuff all the time about them looking fake on my midget body or how could I please give commenter some of my boobs. Etc etc. And in return, sometimes I will comment on someone who ISN’T big boobed and say I wish I could give them some of my boobs and how I wish I was smaller chested like them.
Congrats on getting over a tough disorder but I would try to not let stuff like this bring you down. Maybe go for a counselling session so that a therapist can “sharpen you tools” for dealing with the negative thoughts.
Post # 7
@tranquility: I was going to say the same thing.
My SIL says this to me all the time and totally means it as a compliment.
I know how you feel, though, OP. When you’ve got a warped sense of body and weight any kind of comment can feel critical or trigger a strong negative reaction. Letting your coworker know that it makes you feel weird doesn’t have to mean disclosing your history. You can just say, “I know you mean this in the nicest way, but it makes me uncofrotable to talk about this stuff in a professional setting.”
Post # 8
I also agree that maybe she gave you a compliment..if you’re 105lb. no one can say you’re fat! She might just really meant that you look great in jeans because of how your body is built.
We are harsh on ourselves about how we look..sometimes we mistake someone being nice for being snide…in this case..i think she might be genuine in her remark that you are a hottie (but I don’t know the girl)..i compliment women on how they look all the time..and sometimes I do wonder if I compliment them on a new blouse that they would think I hate all the other things they wore up until now…..hmm..sorry, brain still on overdrive from my last final. =)
Post # 9
I’m so sorry you’re feeling this way. 🙁 You shouldn’t have to dread going to work on Fridays. Next time she says something to you, look her in the eye and firmly say, “Please refrain from making comments about my personal appearance, it makes me uncomfortable.” If she persists, see your manager. If your manager does nothing, talk to HR. Unless you are not appropriately dressed, comments like that shouldn’t occur in the workplace and some people at your work might need some sensitivity training if they think comments like that are appropriate.
Post # 10
I guess there are parts of my body that I am more sensitive to than others, and I always have been really afraid of having a butt. I don’t know where it comes from.
I like the suggestions about just saying that I am uncomfortable talking about it in a professional setting. Whenever she does this, it begins a daylong conversation throughout the office about bodies in general. The people I work with have erased the boundaries between personal/professional, so it can be hard in our office. I wanted to dress down today b/c it is raining and AGH I knew this would happen.
Post # 11
@IAmLemondrop: Yeh, this is much better advice than mine… I recommend ACTUALLY doing this, but you know. 🙂
Post # 12
@IAmLemondrop: I “third” this. Ask her to stop (and record the date and time). Talk to a supervisor (and record the date and time). Then get HR to deal with it.
Post # 13
It sounds to me like she is trying to be nice and compliment you.
I would just mention when she does it “Thank you for the compliment, but I’m really not comfortable talking about my body in the office.”
Post # 14
Um, it sounds like she was totally complimenting you. She said you look skinny but “have a butt.” That doesn’t mean, you’re skinny but have a huge behind. It means, damn you look good, you’re thin and have a nice a**. Take the compliment.
Post # 15
@soyjoy222: As some one who had an eating disorder a few years ago, and still suffers to this day from poor body image/weight issues, I would be furious and super upset if someone said anything like that to me. It would make me want to crawl into a hole and cry–and not eat for a week. Please don’t feel like you need to just take what she’s saying and deal with it…I would tell her, as suggested above, that it makes you uncomfortable to discuss these things in a professional environment. Or just walk away. But please don’t feel like you need to stand there and listen while you’re really upset inside.