Have you lost weight?

From Feminist Eye View, Have you lost weight? 

Have you lost weight?

You look really good. How much do you weigh now?

Are you a size four? Oh, uh size two, eh? You look great.

For a person with an eating disorder, these questions do not come as a compliment.  No matter how much she weighs, what size pant she wears, or how skinny she looks in the mirror, it will never be enough. No matter what you say, it will never be enough.  No matter how healthy she is, it will never be enough.  And that is why I ask that you take a few things in consideration when commenting on a woman’s appearance

Then follows some useful advice for talking to people about food and weight, especially if you know they have an eating disorder. The post is directed at women obviously, but I think the advice holds for men and non-binary people with eating distress too.

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3 thoughts on “Have you lost weight?

  1. I wish people understood this. So many people think losing weight is a good thing and everybody would want compliments when it happens, but those compliments can be INCREDIBLY triggering. (Not to mention weight loss for some people, like anorexics, can be incredibly dangerous!) I don’t understand why society has the need to constantly comment on people’s weight, but from someone with eating distress, please, PLEASE don’t mention my weight gain/loss.

    • I know. I’m working on a post about office food culture at the moment – some of the bizarre behaviour around food that I’ve seen and all the body policing that goes on in those spaces. As I mentioned on twitter, one of the strangest ones was right after my father died and my colleagues started complimenting me on my weight loss. It was so odd, like they were saying “Your Dad’s dead, but at least you lost weight!” Of course, I immediately started wondering if that meant they’d thought I was “too big” before.

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