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Fittingly Mad: "You Lost Weight—You Look So Good."

Fittingly Mad: "You Lost Weight—You Look So Good."

I have a friend from high school who was always on the heavier side. She wasn't extremely overweight, but she wasn't a skinny-minny either. For the past year, she's been working really hard, eating healthier, and getting in shape, and she's lost a lot of weight.

Last weekend we went to a mutual high school friend's engagement party, and when we got there, all I could hear was, "Oh you lost weight—you look so good." Of course, it made her feel ecstatic to have all those compliments and attention, but it really pissed me off.

Want to know why? Then

I know my friends meant well, but what kind of message is that? Losing weight and being thin equals looking good? So does that mean if you gain weight or you're overweight, then you don't look good? Why does there have to be so much emphasis on how we look and on being thin?

We all know keeping your weight down and exercising makes us healthy, but for most of us, that's not the main reason we diet and work our butts off. As women, we are bombarded with magazines, movies, and what we see on TV that tells us "thin equals beautiful," and we are so brainwashed that we even send that message to our fellow female friends.

Women need to support each other, and recognize the beauty that comes from within. We need to make an effort to send out a more positive message. Instead of focusing on weight and appearance, we can say things like, "You lost weight—you look really strong," or "You lost weight—you must have so much energy now." I agree that it's important to acknowledge the hard work a woman has done to get fit, but we need to encourage that kind of healthy lifestyle for the right reasons, and not just because it makes us look good.

Join The Conversation
ritokitax ritokitax 8 years
I completely agree. I lost some weight on the last months, and I can't stand people telling me that I look good. it just makes me feel that if they are saying it now, then they were lying all the time when they told me I was good before. especially because it's the same people who used to tell me I didn't need to lose any weight! it's just annoying. the weight-loss is the result, not the main goal.
elle86 elle86 9 years
Everyone keeps saying that to me................. it makes me wonder, did I look so bad before?
MsYuppieScum MsYuppieScum 9 years
In these situations, I think it's better to acknowledge someone's hard work than to do the whole "you've lost weight, you look great" thing because the latter sends a pretty back-handed message. I always bristle at that type of thing. Why not just tell someone that it's nice to see them instead of focusing on looks?
DeviousMuse DeviousMuse 9 years
That's one thing that annoys me about my mother. I love her to death, but when I come home and one of the first things she comments about me is, "Have you lost anymore weight? You're starting to look really good," it makes me cringe. Starting to look good? You mean, I've never looked good before? It's really all in how you phrase it. If my mother were to say, "Wow, honey, you look really good," and I were to offer up, "Oh, thanks, I've been spending more time at the gym," then it's my decision to bring weight into the equation. But the "Wow, honey, you look really good; how much weight have you lost?" just brings the focus back to my weight and makes me feel very self-conscious.
Soniabonya Soniabonya 9 years
I come from a family of big mexicans. My sisters and other female cousins have all been trying to fight the 'family creed'. Last week, while the family was all together, the uncles and aunts were commenting on how thin my sister and my cousin are, saying how they could be blown over in the wind and saying that they need to stay at Abuela's to get some meat on their bones. They looked at me and said, have you lost weight? You look good! Yes, I am bigger than my sister and my cousin and always have been. . . but was I truly fat before?? Friends and family have to be careful on how they say things. I know they were joking with my sister and cousin but I felt, I dunno, marked as the fat niece, and it's something I want to shed.
nikodarling nikodarling 9 years
It is kind of odd how thin equals compliments. I used to be incredibly thin when I was in my early 20's. I was technically underweight but I always got constant attention and praise for it. I was lucky to be that thin and still be a healthy person but I always used to think what if I was anorexic or had cancer or some other illness that leaves one very thin and these people were constatnly complimenting me. It actually used to make me bery angry - like why are you complimenting me for this.
EllaBella EllaBella 9 years
A friend of mine got underweight very quickly after delivering twins. I remember she told me she was so annoyed because people around her would say "wow you're so thin, you're so lucky!, how did you do it??" before they even asked her how the twins were doing! The truth was that she was exhausted with twins to breastfeed and take care of and really lost a lot of weight, far too much weight... and still people would give her compliments about how nice she looked!!
DeaconP DeaconP 9 years
I agree with Fit also - I lost about 15 lbs and people would say how great i look now that i lost weight. i was happy to have the compliments, but it was kind of annoying because i never thought i looked bad in the first place.
allthingsgrow allthingsgrow 9 years
I agree with Fit - even if the person means well, being super thin does NOT necessarily equate beauty. While I would probably look 'better' if I lost 10 pounds, I'm in a really healthy range right now and there's nothing unhealthy about it.
just_kelly just_kelly 9 years
I think most the time, if someone has lost weight and is still a healthy weight, they are more attractive. I think 99.9% of the population would agree too...
SeptemberLights SeptemberLights 9 years
I don't think FIT was saying the "You look great" compliment was bad. The article is title " YOU LOST WEIGHT-You look so good!" I lost 30 lbs in the past year and people would make 2 different types of compliments to me: 1- "WOW you lost so much weight- You look great!" OR JUST 2- "You look great!" The first type of comment bothered me because it implies that i didn't look good before. The second type of comment doesn't imply anything negative so there is no reason to take it that. I started to get really pissed off when even the guy at my taco place said "Wow you look so skinny" It made me feel really self conscious and i wished people would stop focusing on it.
Random2 Random2 9 years
What's wrong with the 'you look great' comment? I can see it being a problem if it's overdone, but when someone's gone through a lot to look that way, why not tell them they look good? I've been trying to loose weight and be healthier since this summer (and so far, it's been successful), and comments like that really helped. It's great to be complimented when you've tried really hard on your appearance, whether you've lost, gained, or stayed the same.
sparklestar sparklestar 9 years
Allytta: Your mother's weight potentially stays on because her body is in starvation mode and she actually needs to eat MORE in order to lose weight? It's just something to consider.. When I was overweight I barely ate. Then I switched to 3 healthy meals a day and BINGO it just fell off~
AmyLizK AmyLizK 9 years
If she were anorexic and receiving those compliments then, yes, it's absolutely wrong. BUT if she's following a new health regimen and now at a better weight for her body/ overall health than I think it's the exact compliment she needs to hear. 1. We should NOT berate people for being fat. Howevever, 2. We should congratulate people for taking steps to become healthier which usually involves losing weight. 3. People's faces do look different after losing a significant amount of weight. 4. The compliments are POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT of this woman taking her life in her hands and doing something GOOD FOR HERSELF. I understand why you got mad. And I don't think it should be, "Wow you're so skinny!" compliments but the quote of the piece isn't so offensive.
BerriesMtl BerriesMtl 9 years
i had an anorexic friend who was told she looked great as she started losing weight. this was more than enough incentive to keep starving herself. if someone has made it clear they are excercising and eating healthy to lose weight i will compliment them on the results, but i will never make an offhand comment.
georgie2 georgie2 9 years
As a child, my sister and I growing up would visit family in hong kong. Where we'd be bombarded with what they think are funny jokes about how Kangaroo meat must be why we're so big. Not that it stopped them from trying to then feed me and wonder why I was refusing food. My sister and I will never forget these jibs.
kiddylnd kiddylnd 9 years
I am with Fit. It is so wrong to imply that you look bad when heavier. I am in the process of losing weight (down 50 thus far) and I've had a few variations of the 'you look good' compliment. Although I feel great to hear it, I wonder how horrid I looked before. One man at work mentioned how much prettier I was now that my face had slimed down. WHAT?! My mom just gave me a good one the other day though. She said 'Now that you are losing weight, you look taller'. That was great, since I'm only 5'2"! It's a slippery slope, but I see where Fit is coming from. Why do we have to believe that only skinny women look good. Being that I'm still heavy, I can appreciate a woman who looks good and carries her size well. Not everyone can.
vitvit vitvit 9 years
of course it's great to hear that you look good, but speaking as someone who has been trapped in an eating disorder for 5 years, the implication that thin=good and fat=bad is something that seriously needs to be addressed and changed in our society. there is so much pressure on women to be thin and this horrible, unhealthy message that the media is presenting has proven to be so detrimental to people's lives (definitely including my own).
Zero_Cool Zero_Cool 9 years
If I worked my butt off (literally) for a long time and lost a lot of weight, I think I'd be sad if no one said I looked great! I can see where you are coming from, but just let your friend have the compliment! She definitely worked for it!
htiduj htiduj 9 years
i think it all depends on the context. in high school, i had an eating disorder and one of my mom's friends (who is really overweight) saw me and was like OH MY GOODNESS you lost so much weight you look amazing etc etc etc. I was 85 lbs, i did NOT look fabulous. If you look at pictures of me from then, I looked like starvation victim. And that sort of comment is exactly what Fit is upset about. And in retrospect, I was upset too. I stopped being anorexic, and gained back all the weight - and was still really thin. But so is most of my family. after an accident in 2003 I am on a pain medication which causes one to gain weight. So now I would have to say that I am normal sized. And I cannot tell you how many compliments I get now - even though I gained weight. And you know what, Im happy about it. Nobody says I looked bad before (post anorexia, but pre medicine induced weight gain) but its always nice to hear that you look good...just as long as its in a positive healthy context.
Spectra Spectra 9 years
I think it's really a backhanded compliment when people say that. I used to be really overweight and when I started losing weight and people noticed, I got really paranoid. I was thinking "Geez, I must've been REALLY fat and ugly before". Some people simply said "You look good!" And that's all they need to say. When I moved in with a new roommate in college, I showed her a picture of me when I was fat. She said "Wow, I would never have guessed you were fat. You're so skinny now you could have an eating disorder!" Um, was that supposed to be a compliment??
Allytta Allytta 9 years
i am overweight (157 lbs) and i still belive looking good is being slim. i know i can get rid of that weight very easily, that what makes me feel this way. i am healthy as a bull. i've been checked and had all the bloodwork done - all the levels are not good, but perfect. my mom is overweight, and she eats so little. if other people ate as little as her they might starve. but she doesn't need that much food, but the weight stays on. and she accepts that, dresses like a fashionista and everyone can see her confidence and not giving a damn and that's why she is fabuluos. so i believe you're right only for people like my mom - who do what is needed to lose weight and it doesn't work. and it doesn't for people like me. i need the bashing, to be motivated. cause i'm too lazy and if people accept me the way i am, i'm just gonna keep on gaining weight.
nikecold nikecold 9 years
Just a few weeks ago we were at one of those pageant coronation things and my friends kept bashing one girl because she was "fat and short" which I found ironic because she was actually the prettiest girl there, she was also the only one who kept herself looking classy and not tacky or slutty. I was just disguted by my friends's opinion just because I couldn't help wondering when fat became a synonym for ugly. I'm not fat I'm sort of in between, I'm a size 6, yet everytime I see my grandmother she mentions my weight she's always saying little backhanded comments like "you lost some weight you look good now" or "you're not as thick as you used to be" . Just recently I lost about 10 pounds and I ran into a friend and he told me how "great" I look. And then he istant messaged me and kept telling me how I'd lost weight and I looked great. I was completely annoyed until he advised me to not keep losing weight, and to keep healthy. I wish more people would say compliments like that, sure he complimented me based on weightloss but he also pointed out that I had always looked good and he was quick to keep me from thinking I should keep losing weight. Sure he probably said it so I'll mantain the "curves" but at least it was better said than my grandmother's compliments.
Leighanna Leighanna 9 years
I do understand what you're saying but I think it goes without saying that most people would also think that she did a great thing for her health. I really think though that most of us would like to hear how great we look. It's nice of others to notice and compliment her.
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