Hands up if you’ve ever been on the receiving end of an unsolicited comment about your weight?
Most of us have been confronted with an awkward situation or two where a friend, relative, coworker or even a total stranger took it upon themselves to give us their two cents on what our bodies look like.
Unfortunately, many people simply don’t realise how damaging it can be to place such a heavy emphasis on a person’s weight, nor do they realise the impact that their words might be having – especially if the person that they’re talking to has existing insecurities about their weight, is struggling or recovering from an eating disorder or is going through underlying issues that affect their self-esteem.
People may comment on your weight for various reasons – including but not limited to links back to their own insecurities, a need to disempower others to empower themselves, jealousy or a feeling of being threatened and even feeling like they’re actually doing a really kind, considerate and helpful thing by commenting on your weight. Sometimes, you just wanna snap back at the person and other times, it’s best to just ignore and walk away (particularly if the comments are coming from a total stranger)… but sometimes, a well-timed reply that’s equal parts dismissive and informative can be just the ticket to give you back your power and make the other person stop and think about the implications of their comments.
Try one of these 50 flawless comebacks for comments about your weight:
“You look great — have you lost weight?”
- What does looking great have to do with weight loss?
- No, but I’m happy — that’s why I look great!
- I don’t know and I don’t care — I just feel good!
- Was that supposed to be a compliment?
- No, I just look great – full stop!
- Yes, I have lost weight for health reasons. I still feel as smokin’ as ever!
“Oh, have you gained weight?”
- Does it matter?
- Why do you feel that’s an appropriate question to ask?
- That’s not your concern. Would you care to discuss your weight instead?
- I’m healthy and happy, thanks for noticing!
- Yes. Why do you ask?
“How can you eat like that and stay so thin?”
- It’s the way my body works.
- Everyone has a different metabolism. People have different genetic backgrounds.
- Thin-ness isn’t my goal.
- I’m concerned with my health, not my weight.
- Why are you so concerned with what I eat?
“You shouldn’t eat so much.”
- My body and brain need energy, and I choose to nourish that in the way that I feel is healthiest for me personally.
- Unless you have a comprehensive rundown of my body’s health, please avoid making generalisations.
- And you shouldn’t make assumptions on subjects that you’re not educated in.
- Why are you so concerned with what I eat?
“You should go on a diet.”
- No thank you.
- I prefer not to set myself up to build negative emotional connections with food that will ultimately lead me to fail.
- I’d rather focus on sustainable health changes than quick fixes. But if you’re impatient, that’s fine for you.
- I have better things to focus my energy on.
- You should really try being a little less rude.
“You have such a pretty face…”
- Thank you! I’m quite happy with the rest of me, too.
- Thank you! So do you…
“You’ll blow over in the wind if you don’t eat something!”
- Please don’t assume that I starve myself just because I’m thin.
- Can I ask you something? If I was actually starving myself, do you feel that’s an appropriate comment for you to make to me?
- I’d appreciate it if you were a little more mindful in the way that you discussed body image.
- I’d appreciate it if you didn’t feel the need to pitch in about my weight.
“I wish I could be like you, you’re so thin!”
- Why is being thin so important to you? I think it’s more important for you to be healthy, whatever that looks like for you.
- Everyone’s body is different, and that’s okay.
- We shouldn’t compare ourselves to other people! We’re all amazing in so many ways, inside and out.
- I wish you could see your own beauty!
“You’d be so much prettier if you lost/gained a little weight!”
- Wow, that’s incredibly rude. Please keep your opinion to yourself.
- I don’t mind if you don’t find me attractive.
- My weight has nothing to do with my attractiveness.
- That’s a really insensitive thing to say, and I’m going to pretend that didn’t just happen.
- For your sake, please never make comments like that to anyone else. It’s really not your place.
“You were more attractive before you lost/gained weight!”
- Thanks for your opinion, I’ll be sure to run all my personal health decisions past you in the future….
- I feel I’m still attractive.
- If you don’t see me as attractive, that’s not really my concern.
- Good thing you’re not dating me then.
- And you seemed like a nicer person before you started insulting me.
“You shouldn’t wear that, it’s not flattering!”
- Isn’t judging people by their appearances ridiculous?
- People should be able to wear whatever they like. I don’t chime in about what I think of your clothing, please show me the same courtesy.
- It makes me feel confident and happy, so your opinion doesn’t really concern me.
- Why are you actively trying to put down my body? Please stop.
- If you don’t have anything positive to say, then you don’t need to comment on my clothing. I don’t mind if it’s not to your taste.
At the end of the day, please remember that it’s nobody’s business to comment on your body and often, people making insulting or derogatory comments about your body are merely reflecting the way that they feel about themselves or a subconscious bias that they have.
Body shaming is bullying – regardless of the intention that the person dishing out the comments have – and bullying is never your fault.
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