10 Things You Should Never Say to a Woman About Her Weight
By The Editors of Eat This, Not That!
Even if you think you’re being complimentary, sometimes it’s best to say nothing at all.
Just like you should never ask a woman how old she is, you should certainly never ever ask her how much she weighs. It’s not just the number on the scale; other weight-related topics should be off-limits too, including commenting on someone’s body type, giving diet recommendations, or doling out unwarranted fashion advice. Not only is it rude and intrusive, but most people would rather talk about literally anything else besides their weight or overall appearance.
Since it’s better to be safe than sorry, here are some sentences that should never be uttered around a woman, lest you want to hurt people’s feelings and ruin relationships. Even if you mean well, there’s no telling how someone else will interpret your comments. And just like how a woman’s weight is a sensitive topic, so is what she eats. While you’re at it, be sure to read up on the 30 Things You Should Never Say to a Woman About Her Food.
“How much do you weigh?”
No, nope, never. Unless you are her doctor or the bungee cord safety operator at a bungee jumping site, this is none of your business. If she wants you to know this information, she will volunteer it herself.
“Are you expecting?”
Don’t ever assume someone is pregnant. Even if she looks like she swallowed a basketball, you can never be 100% positive, unless she discloses to you specifically that she’s expecting. Just offer up your seat on the subway like the kind, considerate person you are and don’t say anything else.
“You have an athletic build.”
It may seem like a compliment on the surface, but this can be taken any number of ways. A lot of professional athletes are bigger and bulkier (hello, muscle!) but not everyone is 100% comfortable with their body type. It’s best to not make any remarks about body type, regardless if you mean well.
“You should really try Atkins/Paleo/Keto”
If someone is overweight, odds are she has tried to lose weight in the past. She’s probably experimented with every fad diet under the sun, and guess what? Whether it worked or not is none of your business. Or, maybe she’s totally comfortable with her size and isn’t looking to shed any weight. Remember: if you’re not her doctor, you have no idea what her overall health is like.
“This outfit would look great on your body type.”
Singling out her body type implies that it’s different from the norm, which could be interpreted as a bad thing. Leave the fashion advice to a hired stylist or close friend who has been tasked with picking out her clothes.
“You’re not fat, you’re just curvy.”
As people are trying not to offend people with the word “fat,” they have turned to other more politically correct-sounding terminology: thick, curvy, voluptuous, etc. Even if it’s meant as a compliment, it can have a negative connotation. It’s best not to comment on anyone’s body type, regardless of how nice you are trying to be.
“You’re probably what, a size 12?”
Never assume someone’s dress size—what if it’s bigger? Smaller?. Just like the number on the scale, someone’s dress size is an incredibly personal factoid she probably doesn’t want to share.
“Real women have curves.”
So that means what, women who don’t have curves are fake? Real women are real people, and they come in all shapes and sizes. Just like fat shaming isn’t cool, neither is skinny shaming.
“Some men like thicker women.”
First of all, fetishizing someone’s body type crosses way over the line into inappropriate. Not to mention that people of all shapes and sizes have no problem finding a partner, and it shouldn’t be your responsibility to remind her of that.
“You’re smaller than so-and-so!”
Comparison is the theft of joy, especially when other people do the comparing. It’s not fair to blatantly pit two people against each other, especially when you’re not sure what her body image is like. Even if it’s meant to be a positive remark, pointing out someone who is much bigger might still make her feel uncomfortable and hyper aware of her body.
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