PHAT with a P.H.!!
“Is It Ever Okay to Comment on Someone’s Weight?” I saw this article recently and thought I’d “weigh” in on the subject.
So, is it ever okay to comment on someone’s weight? Well, that depends. Are YOU a doctor? No? Then mind your own business!!
I grew up kinda chubby. Not really fat but definitely not thin. In high school I had several eating disorders (see: https://welcometosandyland.wordpress.com/2012/01/16/my-secret-obsession/) and slimmed down. After high school I maintained my weight for a while, then gained some and in college lost some. But it was after college that I “ballooned” up. In college I had a little accident and spent 14 weeks on crutches and then a few weeks with a cane. This, of course, hindered my exercise regime. After college, when I started dating my now ex-boyfriend and he moved in, my weight started going up. In part because I was eating differently with him. I was never a meat and potatoes type of girl, but he was so I began eating meals with him. That definitely affected my weight. Also, I was on a medication that, aside from some crazy-ass night terrors, a side affect was weight gain. It took me years, however, to realize that this medication was a factor in me packing on the pounds. I knew I had put on a ton (pun!) of weight, I just didn’t completely know why.
But here’s the thing – and it’s important – I knew I was fat. I didn’t need anyone else to point it out to me. I knew I had grown out of my college clothes. I knew I didn’t look or feel my best. I knew that my jiggly parts shouldn’t be that jiggly. Was I proud of being fat? No. Was I embarrassed of being fat? Yes. Would it have been mortifying to have someone point out the obvious, that I was overweight? You’re friggin’ right! I would like to believe that I would have been a strong enough person, emotionally, to punch a person in the face had he or she addressed my weight issue. But, the truth is I would have cried for days and days. I would have been ashamed and embarrassed.
I know people judged me. I know they still judge me. We all judge each other. It’s an unfortunate part of human nature. But, we should, as often as we can, try to put ourselves in the shoes of other people and try not to be assholes. Fat people know they’re fat. But whose business is it to comment on it? Aside from a medical professional, it’s no one’s business. It’d be like telling a person with a lisp that he/she had a lisp. You think that person doesn’t already know? Now, you’re an asshole and that person feels like a big bag of nothing because you pointed out that he/she talks funny. Dick.
Just to be clear on this….commenting on someone’s weight is different than addressing a health concern with a loved one. When I was overweight my dad would often (and kindly) tell me that I should do what I can to try and get my weight down because it’d be “harder to do when you get to be my age.”
The article I read which prompted this post (http://www.chatelaine.com/health/wellness/is-it-wrong-to-call-melissa-mccarthy-fat-or-simply-stating-the-obvious/) has film critic, Rex Reed calling actress Melissa McCarthy “tractor-sized” and a “humongous creep”. To add insult to injury, this isn’t the first time McCarthy’s weight has been the topic of discussion. But I’m not going to address that at all because I refuse to give that writer any more “celebrity.” The issue at hand for Mr. Reed should be whether or not the movie sucked (I can’t comment because I haven’t seen it – tho I want to…and I will. Up yours, Reed!) and whether or not Melissa McCarthy can act…and she can. In fact, she’s a great actress. I enjoy her. I think she’s funny and I also think she’s beautiful. Do I think she’s overweight? Who cares? I’m sure she has addressed this issue to death. Do I feel the need to make comment on her weight when discussing her performances? No. I don’t. At all. A) Because it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t affect her ability to say her lines or hit her mark. She’s a believable actress. B) Because it’s none of my business.
It’s also unfortunate that it seems to be “overweight” women who are targeted for this ridicule. It’s never “Pencil-thin” Gwyneth Paltrow or “nearly-invisible” Claire Danes (LOVE AND KISSES TO YOU BOTH!!!). And men never seem to have the same weight-watchers that their female counterparts have: Chris Farley (RIP), John Candy (RIP), John Goodman (OMG YOU RULE!).
These dudes ruled the roost. Their performances funny and dramatic and right on cue…and (rarely) (n)ever did a critic seem to be concerned with their weight or that they were “tractor-sized.”
Regardless of the gender, tho, it is never right to comment on someone’s weight. That person could be suffering from an eating disorder or the loss of a loved one or could have a medical condition or could be overweight from a condition not yet diagnosed. Or that person could just be fat because he or she is fat. And guess what. He/she is well aware of it! So, be a good person and keep your trap shut.