Let’s be honest, we’ve all at some point body-shamed someone be it intentionally or unintentionally. The one we’re mostly used to is Nigerian mums and aunties unashamedly dropping subtle hints and acting like it’s okay to say that. Giving insults in the form of compliments, which is really not cool. Just pure wickedness.
But unless you are a wicked person, and loves body-shaming, there are times you might have said some hurtful things to someone without actually realizing. Let’s talk about 7 ways you could be body shaming other women without realizing — so you can stop today!
1. “Did you lose weight? You look great”
I know you might mean well and just be really curious or something? But it’s really not your business. Does that mean she was ugly when she was fatter? Or how can you assume her losing weight is because she’s trying to get slimmer? It could be because of an underlying health issue that they don’t want to talk about or something more serious.
Saying this even from a nice place, can be insensitive. You can as well just say “you look good” if you have to compliment.
2. “You look good for a fat person”
Rudeee. Super rude! Are you trying to say fat people are ugly? Some compliments are often a subtle form of fat shaming, because this one implies that someone would look better if they lost weight, or as if they’re “attractive” for their body size. Beauty exists at all sizes. And saying this to someone is so not nice.
3. “Don’t you think you should eat Less or exercise More?”
Why now? What’s your business? Giving unsolicited advice about one’s diet or exercise routine especially if yours is working for you and you’re losing weight isn’t cool. It’s best to mind your business, enjoy your body goals/ banging body and let them ask for your routine if they need it. This is soo much better.
4. “You’re so lucky you can eat whatever you like without getting fat”
Fine, you can envy a slim person eating whatever they want in your mind, but saying it to their face when they could be struggling with body insecurities is a no-no! Just because you are dieting and some foods are “good” or “bad” for you doesn’t mean it’s labelled that way for everyone.
And commenting on someone’s food choices — even if you mean it in a positive way — places a moral value on them based on what they’re eating, or that they “get to” eat whatever they want because their metabolism might burn it off faster. Everyone has unique nutritional wants and needs, because every woman’s body is different.
5. “You look so skinny or too fat in that”
“I think you should dress more for your body shape, that outfit doesn’t look good on you”. No, please stop saying that if you do. Instead, pass on your suggestion in a nicer way like “that dress doesn’t flatter your body well” or “how about trying something else”. Sounds better, no?
Don’t make people feel bad about their body, whether intentionally or not. Saying this is a way of body shaming women without realizing.
6. “Oh, you lost all the baby weight”
Or “when would you lose all the baby weight?” Why? Why exactly? And the annoying part is women are the ones so obsessed about other women’s postpartum body. You already know it’s not easy, she would lose the weight if or when she wants. Stop commenting on it.
Best thing is to tell her she looks good and move on, don’t be dropping comments that sound like insults.
7. “You’re tall for a lady”
Please o, when did they make a height limit for ladies and didn’t send the memo? It could be a joke to you and could make the tall lady more insecure. Everyone is beautiful regardless of their height and a lady can be of any height and look super good.
Extra- “Can you eat all that food?”
Or something like “are you sure you can eat all that food”? Ughh. Who says ladies can’t eat large portions of food? If it’s a lot more than you’re used to seeing, it’s best to not say anything than to make her feel bad about eating.
No one should make anyone feel bad about eating, it’s a privilege!
Lovelies, I’m sure we are all guilty of this, and I’m sure you had some “oh sh!t” moments from reading this post and realizing you have been saying some wrong things. It’s fine, as long as you try to do better.
What other ways have we been body shaming other women without realizing that I left out? Share with us in the comments!