Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Butt out on other people's appearance

Today's "Dear Abby" column revisits a letter about a woman who, as a child, was called "fat" by a friend's father.

Here's the rule, people: Shut the eff up about other people's appearance -- fat, skinny, pregnant, or other.

It's none of your business. And your comments -- no matter how you frame them ("helpful" or "complimentary") -- are just rude, insensitive, and sometimes hurtful.

Never tell an overweight person he or she is overweight, or "could stand to lose a few." They already know this. If they aren't seeking help, it's their own responsibility.

The opposite is also true: don't ever remark on someone's thinness. Yes, I realize that society holds women up to an impossible, ridiculous standard (I personally think Angelina Jolie and Sarah Jessica Parker are 2 of the ugliest women to roam this earth). But your "compliments" such as, "I hate you, you're so thin!" and "Oh, you can eat anything you want--you're so thin!" are offensive. I'm 5'2", 106 lbs., and I've been told how much I "don't need to go to the gym -- you're skinny as it is!" Um, I go to the gym for my health. Ever try it? If every Prozac addict got him/herself on a treadmill three times a week, a lot less of that crap would be sold. I go to the gym to maintain my health -- not to be skinny.

And if you wonder -- for your own gossipy mouth or out of genuine curiosity -- if a woman is pregnant, SHUT THE EFF UP. If a woman is pregnant, she may be keeping it to herself for a host of reasons, none of which are your concern. If she's not, and you open your mouth, you're about to insult her. I've just shared my vitals with you. Now picture me in a tie-back tunic shirt. I love those -- they look good, they hide flaws, they flatter your boobs.

After a workshop last month, a student came up to me and said, "Congratulations! When are you due?"

I had to tell her, then watch with joy as she backpedalled, "I'm not pregnant."

So, you have a thought about someone's body shape, fat, thin, or otherwise? Shut it. Go spend your energy on facebook. Or better yet, at the gym.