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Is It Ever OK to Talk About Someone's Weight?

Is It Ever OK to Talk About Someone's Weight?

If you've been watching The City, you're fully aware of how skinny Allie is. Despite the fact that she's a model whose "supposed" to be small, her weight was on everyone's mind on last night's episode, especially Kelly Curtone! Her incessant questions as to whether or not Allie was all right were uncomfortable to watch, so I can only imagine how she must have felt to be on the receiving end.

Even though Kelly claimed to simply be worried about her, do you think it's ever appropriate to talk about someone's weight — heavy or small? As we all know, body image is a very personal matter, but does being a concerned friend mean asking the tough questions sometimes? Or should this topic be completely off limits unless someone comes to you for help?

To get all the fashion from last night's episode, check out our new site, CelebStyle.

Photo courtesy of MTV

Join The Conversation
tarynitup tarynitup 8 years
Margokhan, I have to tell you that SOME people are also "genuinely concerned about ones health when discussing them being over weight. As a perpetually thin person, I want to tell you that no one has ever in my life been discreet when discussing my weight with me. Guess what?! People think when you're thin, it's because you want to be and you have no body insecurities. I was just diagnosed with Graves disease. I'm very insecure about my weight and body because of it. I hope this disease doesn't kill me and I'd rather not discuss it with strangers or anyone who is just a little to eager to tell me that it does NOT look good to be this thin.
sparklestar sparklestar 8 years
Weight actually means nothing to me. I have too much muscle on my body for it to be a sensible topic to discuss. I wouldn't ever discuss somebodies weight. Clothing size? If they are happy to do that but I honestly wouldn't say anything unless a friend lost a LOT of weight very quickly or seemed preoccupied by it.
kml032686 kml032686 8 years
I think it depends on the reason behind mentioning it. I've dealt with this before and it's horrible. I always felt like people were making fun of me when they mentioned that I needed to put on weight. Then when I gained a couple of pounds everyone talked about how much better I looked, which made me feel even worse because people were pointing out the fact that I had gained weight. It often seems like people are jealous of your weight loss when you lose it and that they are talking about it to make you gain weight so that they feel better about themselves. It's a touchy subject but I think it should only be talked about if you know the person and their eating habits and realize that something more is wrong than just the fact that they are very thin.
almostloli almostloli 8 years
it's not really okay if you're not close with the person and please be aware that your perception of "being close" to someone might be different with the particular person
lilxmissxmolly lilxmissxmolly 8 years
As someone who recovered from anorexia, I think that it totally depends on the situation, but in general you can express concern without embarrassing the person or pressuring them. just saying, "hey, i noticed your meals have been light/you've been losing a lot of weight. i just wanted to give you an opportunity to talk." but it does depend on the situation. For example, my mom would make comments and because of her involvement, and how much I cared for her, I got help. On the other hand, my best friend throughout the whole ordeal didn't say much: she did mention that she thought i was too skinny occasionally, but I knew during recovery that I could go to her without fear of judgment. There was also a girl I didn't know very well. She came up to me and said that she had experience with EDs and that she thought I needed help. At the time, I was furious. Now, looking back, I can only imagine how hard it was for her and how she was trying to help.
chatoyante chatoyante 8 years
It seems like people have learned that it's not OK to comment on one's high weight ("my, you're looking fat these days") but they still haven't gotten there when someone is looking thin. My family and friends do that (who to be honest are often a little overweight themselves) to me every couple of years, saying things like "ARE YOU EATING ENOUGH?!"...what are you supposed to say to that? My sister is recovering ED, and while I haven't had that, I do eat less when I am stressed. It's irritating to have to explain myself, especially when I then have to tell them they just gave me one more thing to be stressed about. It's not polite to tell someone they look too skinny, and it makes the recipient of the comment feel they must constantly scrutinize themselves, which is I'm not mistaken is one step towards ED behaviors. Ironic.
Smacks83 Smacks83 8 years
Party, I swear you are my culinary soulmate (besides all the awesome recipes) i have the same issue. I am not skinny (even when I'm thin and trim, my pear shape never lends to the word skinny) but I hate when people say "Never trust a skinny cook". Like what, are all good cooks supposed to be big and round? Sometimes a good cook knows how to eat better meals in smaller amounts and exercise a little. I used to get so pissed when people would "joke" that I can't be that good at cooking because I don't have a potbelly.
Lukin Lukin 8 years
My best friend and I are the same height, and people are constantly comparing our weight as if it's somehow okay to pit people against one another like that. It is very uncomfortable when I hear people say that I am the "perfect" size and body shape for my height/frame and that she is "too skinny." Of course she's too skinny -- she's a recovering anorexic! She has a very serious health problem that is causing her to be that way. It's not helpful to anyone if she hears comments like that, or that people think it's okay to compare two people who look good and feel good (well, she is working on it) with different body shapes and sizes.
Alice-K Alice-K 8 years
I agree with most everybody here: it depends on your relationship with the person and the reason for the discussion. If it's done out of a genuine health concern, whether underweight/overweight, then a gentle approach might be appropriate. Anything outside of that is a big no no in my eyes, weight is not an appropriate conversation subject outside of major health discussions. Also, I think you'd have to be seriously close to someone and have that kind of open communication in place to even think about having this conversation. When you do have this conversation though, the attitude you take on in this situation is everything. As a person that struggles with excess weight, I have to agree with margokhal about the excess weight conversations. Please, you think I don't know what my weight is every time I put on clothing and try to take action? Constant conversations about this can only be construed as nagging in my mind. On the other side of the spectrum, when I actually did lose weight, complements and "OMG, you must have lost _ lbs or something" can also be dispiriting sometimes depending on the tone of the commentator's voice, because the tone can imply "Man, you were seriously fat/ugly before."
sundaygreen sundaygreen 8 years
I would only ever comment on someone's weight if it was my best friend, and if I was worried about her (like, if she lost a LOT of weight very suddenly) - but usually we're so open about that kind of thing, it's not a 'behind closed doors' issue.
chatondeneige chatondeneige 8 years
Frankly, if my sister, my mom, or my besties said something about it, even behind my back, that'd be fine. If anyone but the four people in the above group said a thing - absolutely unacceptable. I don't consider weight to be something you talk about with strangers, any more so than period troubles or your relationship. babysoftpink, no wonder you can't lose 15 pounds! When you're eating so little daily, you're essentially telling your body that there's a famine, and so its holding onto everything it can in case there's a few days where you can't eat. What you're doing sounds pretty unhealthy. Please go see a nutritionist, you could be seriously hurting your body.
chatondeneige chatondeneige 8 years
Frankly, if my sister, my mom, or my besties said something about it, even behind my back, that'd be fine. If anyone but the four people in the above group said a thing - absolutely unacceptable. I don't consider weight to be something you talk about with strangers, any more so than period troubles or your relationship. babysoftpink, no wonder you can't lose 15 pounds! When you're eating so little daily, you're essentially telling your body that there's a famine, and so its holding onto everything it can in case there's a few days where you can't eat. What you're doing sounds pretty unhealthy. Please go see a nutritionist, you could be seriously hurting your body.
0fashionqueen 0fashionqueen 8 years
Not causing drama anybody in the room that has body battles, but I do not find anything wrong with my body and I thing that I am prefect in every kind of way, but when somebody else is feeling that opposite effect then that is when I think that the weight conversation should most definitely should come into play.
crayolasky crayolasky 8 years
It is not okay at all, to me at least. I've had lots of comments on my weight before, even random people telling me I'm too thin and whatnot. It's no one's business, honestly! I don't comment about anyone else's weight, so why should they feel they have the right? Anyway, I think Allie looked ok as she is a model; she'll lose work if she can't fit into the image of the fashion industry (sadly). I didn't even pay any attention to her weight until this episode though...mostly I had just noticed that she's very pretty. But even if she does have problems, it's none of Kelly's business as she had just met her. Whitney's quite thin too and KC hasn't ever commented on her appearance before.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 8 years
Only if there's a health concern, and the person seems sickly. Even then, it should be done gently.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
It really depends on how close you are to the person and why you're talking about their weight. If you are genuinely concerned as a family member or friend, it's a good idea to tell the person in private about your concerns. But if it's a coworker or an acquaintance, your comments could be misconstrued. I had coworkers at my old job actually confront me and TELL me that I "must have an eating disorder" simply because I was thin and I didn't eat a lot in front of them at work. It hurt my feelings because they didn't know me and the comments weren't true.
usinda usinda 8 years
If you're close to the person and you really are concerned, then yes. Just don't constantly heckle them or make careless remarks about it. Sometimes it can make all the difference. I am trying to recover from an ED, and it didn't help that everyone around me was too scared to tell me I looked bad or needed help.
margokhal margokhal 8 years
I absolutely cannot stand when people discuss weight, but I think it greatly depends on which end of the weight spectrum you're coming from. For me, being heavy, discussions about weight are a constant reminder that there is something about me that isn't right [as if I don't know the excess is there] and every comment, suggestion, or bit of "advice" is [at least for me] taken as "well, since you don't know you're fat, I'll tell you and THIS is what you need to do about it." I know what the situation is, and I work to do what I can, so it's not like I'm just a slob that eats whatever and doesn't do anything. This ALWAYS happens whether I'm close to a person or not, and I shouldn't have to explain to people what my situation is. If you're extremely thin, however, sometimes people have a genuine concern for your health and well-being, so I would think you could hold that conversation, but very discreetly! It's a big difference when someone says to you, "oh, you could stand to gain 20 pounds" rather than "oh, you could stand to lose 20 pounds". Serious differences in connotation.
campgirl84 campgirl84 8 years
depending on the severity of the situation and/or current health status. the way kelly broached the subject in "the city" was not at all appropriate-- in front of several people in an environment that was supposed to be laid-back and fun. if anything, kelly should have pulled her to the side or happen to run into her on the way to the bathroom. but never, in front of others!
cupcake_ cupcake_ 8 years
I mean it depends really. If you are close with the person and you are really worried about them, I believe it's ok then it will be genuine concern.
partysugar partysugar 8 years
I don't think its ever appropriate to talk about someone's weight. I especially hate it when people use the phrase "never trust a skinny cook" because I'm skinny and a great cook.
emalove emalove 8 years
I think it depends on the relationship and what the situation is.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
I think if ou are very close friends and you are seriously concerned it's okay, as long as you go about it the right way.
plus_2_kid plus_2_kid 8 years
I'm going to go in the opposite direction: I think it's OK for someone to mention something ("you're looking a lot thinner these days" etc) even if you/they don't know the other person well. Those are the comments I think people REALLY listen to. I find it easy to ignore comments from family - they're always worried about something and pick up on tiny changes. But if a casual acquiantance says something, my ears perk up because it might mean that the change IS dramatic, and something I should start thinking about. HAVE I lost too much weight?
TidalWave TidalWave 8 years
If there are serious health issues to be concerned with, then sure. But otherwise, I think it is overstepping.
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