Earlier today we told you about Gabourey Sidibe’s feelings about people who congratulate her on losing a lot of weight. In case you missed it:
What had been happening is, since I’ve been losing weight over the past year, people have been saying, “Congratulations on your weight loss!” It doesn’t rock me. It just annoys me because I’m just like, don’t congratulate me on that. If you’re going to congratulate me on my weight loss, also congratulate me every time I pee. Congratulate me every time I’m burping. Because my body actually has nothing to do with you, and I don’t really need your support for it. It seems ill-placed. I don’t need your support. That’s weird to me because my body will always be my body and always had been, and you have nothing to do with it and you’re kind of a stranger. But the way it works is that this is just my body. In the same way that this is just my face, this is just mine.
And while you might think she’s overreacting, it’s true that there are certain types of weight loss “compliments” that actually make people uncomfortable. We might not always mean any harm, but these comments can feel like praise covered in shade.
“You’ve lost weight! You look great!”
Someone could read this seemingly harmless comment as a person saying one only looks great due to slimming down. I know, I know, it sounds like nothing, but ditching the “You’ve lost weight” and just saying “You look great” is the best way to go.
“You look so good these days!”
Reads as: “All the other days I’ve seen and known you, you’ve looked more on the ‘meh’ side to be honest.”
“I never realized how big you were…”
Yikes! This type of comment should speak for itself. Avoid comparing how someone used to look to what they look like now.
“You’ve lost so much weight! Don’t lose anymore.”
This sounds like a playful compliment, but not only is it kind of bossy, it also makes someone feel like they won’t look good if they get any smaller. That’s not cool — especially if the person is still working on a particular weight-loss goal.
“You’re wasting away!”
Reads as: “What are you doing to yourself?!”
“What size are you now?”
A bit too intrusive of a question. If someone gives that information, cool, but don’t ask for it.
“Aren’t you skinny!”
This is the type of comment people use when they’re doing too much and don’t fully know how to feel about a person’s weight loss. The person who lost the weight probably doesn’t want to be characterized as “skinny.” “Fit” maybe, but skinny might be something of an unhealthy-sounding extreme.
“You should eat! You’re so tiny.”
For someone who has been grappling with food addiction, the last thing they need is for people (even if they’re just trying to be funny) trying to push food in front of them because they feel a weight loss has been a little too successful. How about you eat it?
“Look how much weight she lost! Doesn’t she look great?”
This type of comment puts a little too much attention on people. It’s one thing to say, “I’ve noticed you’ve lost weight, great work” in private. It’s another to make someone into the center of attention.
“You looked cute with the weight on you!”
Again, it’s a good idea not to focus too much on what a person looked like before. As they’re doing, move forward.