Published on July 24, 2018
Does society (through the industries of entertainment and fashion mostly) bombard us with ridiculous standards of body image, especially when it comes to women? Yes.
Should we all do our part to reverse it by making normal-sized people feel confident in themselves and stop them from thinking they are fat? Yes
But things can be taken too far.
Some people think that it is always 100% wrong to ever admit anyone is fat and have a confused notion that to ever agree with anyone that they are overweight is to become one of society’s oppressors. If someone who is actually overweight says, “Oh man do I need to lose some weight,” these people’s knee-jerk reaction will be, “Oh no! What are you talking about?! You’re totally fine the way you are!” without even looking at them.
This happens the most when someone is just slightly overweight, like by 15 or 20 pounds or so, because that segment of the population — slightly overweight women — is the one we think needs the most coddling in terms of self-esteem, the most prone to spiraling into self-hate and anorexia at the slightest provocation. For some people, body image is a very sensitive thing, and a lot of tact is needed, but many people are actually capable of talking about being overweight as a matter-of-fact problem, like if their roof was leaking or their car broke down.
It can be a bit condescending when this kind of handle-with-care attitude comes from people who should know you really well and know you’re not a fragile flower who needs any comment about their appearance addressed with gentle euphemisms and patronizing reassurances — especially when they’re the one who brings it up!
In practice, it’s a big pain in the ass when people exchange meaningful looks when you order a salad for lunch and tell you with misplaced concern that you’re just fine and try to pressure you into getting a burger. It would of course be appropriate concern in the case of an actual anorexic, but not for someone whose doctor has told them they are 30 lbs. overweight and their cholesterol is in the danger zone.