Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I don't care what anyone says—I think you're hot.

196 pounds
Okay, this is going to be a little bit ugly, but it needs to be said . . .

I've noticed something over the years that really irritates me, and it's this: when I see people I haven't seen in a while—old friends and family—they often tell me how good I look. Yes, I know I should be happy when people say this, and I also know that people usually sometimes say these things out of obligation. But I can almost always tell that when they say it to me it's genuine because it's an utterance that is repeatedly delivered in an incredibly surprised tone of voice:

"WOW, you look good."

Translation: "I honestly cannot believe how good you look because the last time I saw you, you looked like complete crap."

I got this a lot when I was younger. Back then I think people had the false sense that I was bigger than I was because I wasn't stick thin (though I was thin). And now I get it all the time—probably because I post my weight on the internet, and unfortunately no one in our society can fathom that a nearly two-hundred pound woman can look good.

No matter how you slice it, it's a backhanded compliment, and I hate it.

Really, the person saying it might as well have called you a fat-ass for how good it makes you feel to hear those words delivered in a completely astonished tone of voice.

So if you're going to tell someone they look good, please do us all a favor and don't act like it's the last thing you thought would come out of your mouth when you saw that person.

4 comments:

  1. Really? I would have taken this as you look younger than the passage of time might have led them to think.

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  2. FROM JENNIFER WEEMS O'LEARY:

    There is an aquaintance who sees me every once in a great while and a few times she has said "wow, you look svelte" and I think "wow, you're a bitch and I'm glad I don't hang around you much". Not to mention that she has a body to die for so...I hate her even more:).

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  3. Alison—that's a good point, but I mean friends and family I haven't seen in a few months (not people I haven't seen in years). If these comments had been made by people I hadn't seen in years, I would definitely take it as a comment on my youthful appearance!

    There was one aunt in particular who I would see almost every month for years and years, and she would always make a big deal of how surprised she was by how good and thin I looked—even though I'd looked the same for years. I was sure she had this image of me as being bigger than I was, and when she came face-to-face with the reality that I was actually pretty darned fit, it always shocked her.

    And that's just one person—I could go on.

    I do want to add that I do love it when people say I look good and/or in shape—just not when you can tell the person is thinking something like, "Wow, I can't get over the fact that YOU look so good." Genuine compliments, on the other hand, are always welcome.

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