fitness

“You’ve Lost Weight! You Look Great!” Isn’t a Compliment #tbt

From the archives. In 2013 the blog wasn’t even a year old and we were pretty focused at that time on getting our core themes out there. One of them that we have sustained throughout is the the theme of encouraging everyone not to preoccupy themselves with weight loss (their own or others).

This was not just for friviolous reasons. Fixating on weight loss as a thing that is assumed to be positive, policing others’ bodies in a way that makes it normal and natural to “compliment” someone when they’ve lost weight (even if you don’t know whether they wanted to–see our cautionary tale), and externalizing your fitness efforts so that your “success” is measured by the number on the scale, are just some of the ways we miss the mark when it comes to fitness.

Our aspirations for ourselves and hopes for others can come from a more loving place. One way to start on that new road is to refrain from offering “you look great, you’ve lost weight!” as a compliment.

FIT IS A FEMINIST ISSUE

compliment-42Last week, a friend reported how horrible she felt when someone in her workplace whom she didn’t know very well complimented her on her recent weight loss. As it happens, my friend is losing weight to prepare for a figure competition. But this remark made her question her “before” look.  In her case, her “before” body is the one she has whenever she’s not prepping for a competition because the competition body isn’t sustainable.  (see here for why that’s the case)

Implicit in the so-called compliment about weight loss is the assumption that you really didn’t look so great before.  But now!  Wowza!  Looking good!

There are lots of reasons to think that you’re not doing anyone any favors by trying to give them the “look at you! You’ve lost weight!” compliment.

1. When we think of it in that way, it’s not such a great compliment. It’s a set-up…

View original post 999 more words

7 thoughts on ““You’ve Lost Weight! You Look Great!” Isn’t a Compliment #tbt

  1. I agree with Sam. For me it’s so great when I know I’m going to be in an environment where people aren’t going to dissect my appearance. I just want people to be happy to see me.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Yes! Could not agree more. How about–You look strong and healthy. You look happy and easeful. You look like you’re loving life. Real compliments that are not about “appearance” but about how we are manifesting.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Yeah, I wish I didn’t look any different when my weight varies, because I get so mad when people say I look “better.” Screw you, ya jerk.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. See also my friend who lost a bunch of weight because she was dealing with cancer. She didn’t tell very many people so as you can imagine the “Wow you look great!” weight loss compliments were awkward to say the least.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. One of the most awkward “you’ve lost weight” moments I’ve dealt with was when an acquaintance who literally hadn’t seen me for years paid me that compliment and I informed her that the opposite actually was the case, which it was. And the before-and-after weights actually were both healthy for me. That whole encounter was just … weird.

    Liked by 1 person

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.