So, this photo is obviously not me. Yet. The hair’s totally the wrong colour to begin with. But I want to talk about judgement and making comments on people’s bodies. Any people.
One thing I’ve noticed lately, since I’ve discarded the extra flab that I carried for so long, is that people now feel that they can make comments. “Don’t lose any more weight, you’re starting to look too skinny”. No, actually I’m still 2kg over my healthy BMI range (sorry to mention the dreaded BMI, but it IS a nice convenient measure that applies to lots of people). “Your face is starting to look too thin”. And the one I’ve noticed most frequently lately, “You’ve lost weight!”
No shit Sherlock! Oh, really? I hadn’t noticed! Those are the responses in my head (no, I haven’t verbalised them yet, but I’m this >< close!).
I’d like to know what makes it appropriate or polite to comment on the appearance of someone who’s either thin or has lost a lot of weight (enough to be obvious). If it’s rude to comment when someone is obese, has a big nose, has an arm or leg missing or has a physical appearance that is otherwise slightly different, why is it not rude to comment on everyone’s physical appearance? Would the same people who said to me “You’ve lost weight!” have said “You’ve gained weight!” No, they didn’t. And they’d never even consider saying “Don’t put on any more weight, you’re starting to look a bit chubby”, would they? One would hope not anyway.
So how about we start treating each and every person with respect and dignity, no matter what their physical appearance? How about not commenting on how someone looks, ever? Unless it’s complimentary. How about following Grandma’s old maxim, if you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all?