Post # 1
At my current job I’ve had two middle-aged women comment on my weight. I am younger and thin, maybe slightly underweight at this point. The women have separately commented on how thin I am, in an admiring/complimentary way, I guess? But I don’t know what to say in response! I end up saying, “Oh my mom was also very thin before she had kids.” It makes me uncomfortable– I know they don’t mean any harm and maybe mean it as a compliment or something, but I feel that weight is a sensitive subject, and I don’t know exactly what to say back to them. This is in the workplace, and I like the women, but I don’t know either of them super well.
So what is your opinion? Is it okay to comment on someone’s weight in certain situations? What would you say if someone made a comment like that to you? Should I get over being uncomfortable about it? Or is it right for me to feel that way?
Post # 2
I never like to comment on someone’s weight unless they have been dieting and/or talking about losing. Then it’s appropriate, in some cases. I generally try to avoid it anyways. I had a coworker who would comment that I look like I have gained weight, and she meant well but it was offensive.
Post # 3
I am also in the same boat as you, except the women I work with are jealous, and mean. They always make fun of what I’m eating to stay healthy, how much time I spend in the gym(which is only on average 5 hours a week) and they make fun of the fact that I wear a fit bit. These women who make these comments to me, are very over weight, and if I turned the tables and talked to them about their weight, they’d be outraged. I don’t think it’s ok to talk about anyone’s weight, unless they bring it up themselves.
Post # 4
To me, no you shouldn’t make a comment about someone’s weight. But, I also have a history of an eating disorder and it just takes one wrong comment for me to start to feel like I need to deprive myself.
Post # 5
xdanielle: I have always been very petite, and I actually had a very similar situation! There used to be a woman who worked in my office that would make comments about how thin I an and ask if I work hard to maintain my weight, etc when she would see me in the restroom. She meant it in a nice way, but it made me really really uncomfortable. I was so happy when I found out she quit because I was looking forward to washing my hands in peace!
Unless it is someone you are very close with, I think it’s inappropriate to comment on someone’s weight – whether the person is heavy or thin. Unfortunately there is a double standard that supports skinny shaming.
Post # 6
MacKaylarae: I’m so sorry to hear that people are so rude to you! I think if people thought about how it is with the tables turned, they would see how inappropriate those comments are. Even in my situation, am I supposed to continue the conversation by talking about their weight? No thank you! lol. Keep strong, and I commend you for your commitment to be healthy even when you’re persecuted for it. How ridiculous!
Post # 7
I can’t think of a situation where it would be the best comment to give, honestly. If a person has to voice their opinion (which, you know, never) then they should be specific–“Your legs look great!” “Your waist to hip ratio is to die for,” etc…especially in a way that doesn’t highlight the shitty “fat=bad” “thin=good” dichotomy. Talking about weight in general is sensitive for most people regardless of body type or personal history and a weirdly clinical observation anyway.
So yeah, generally not appropriste to comment unless directly asked.
Post # 8
Yes, sometimes it’s ok. Not in the situation that’s it’s occuring though!
Post # 9
I’ve had comments at work about my “skinny” stature, but I’m not even that skinny! I just accept the compliment and move on. As long as it’s not said in malice, it doesn’t bother me. However, I can see how that kind of comment might be troublesome for someone who’s had an eating disorder.
Post # 10
I’m with PPs I’ve only commented when I knew someone was trying to lose weight or if they asked “can you tell I’ve lost … lbs”. I dropped a lot of weight really quick a few years ago due to stress and my supervisors made me very uncomfortable with the comments they made about my weight. I was told I looked sick, they would ask me daily how much I ate and the worst one was obviously you have an eating disorder, let’s buy her some cookies. Its so rude and hurtful.
Post # 11
It is rude to comment on someones weight. I think that people can take liberties when they think they are complementing you, ie saying you look thin. When I was teaching abroad my boss commented how my body looked S shaped- in his culture this is seen as a good thing but it still weirded me out (especially bc his wife was there when he said it.)
As for what to say, I would probably say what you say, or try to change the direction of the conversation.
Post # 12
I never make comments about weight, but I will comment if I notice for example one of my crossfit buddies has improved muscle mass.
If someone overweight complains about being overweight, I won’t coddle and say “no you’re not!” I’ll just recommend ways to be healthy, if they want it. I never offer it up.
Post # 13
Unless you have a PhD and I’m paying you, hush.
Post # 14
xdanielle: I think it’s never ok unless I know for a fact that person has been working on trying to lose or gain weight. and in that case, I only ever offer a compliment, and only if I mean it.
the workplace is espically tricky. I’d only compliment a friend there if we were close. I once had a jerk co-worker ask if I lost weight, and I’m sure he was just trying to kiss my ass and butter me up for one of his dumb project ideas.
Post # 15
I guess it depends on the situation/person.
Last year I got really into fitness and healthy eating, and ending up losing about 55 lbs. I was very open to talking about it and sharing what I was doing.
However… it made me uncomfortable when people would make “you need to stop losing, you’re too skinny” comments. By The Way I’m not skinny at all haha, just tall, but my weight is not a small number…