Something’s living rent free in my brain so let’s get it on out, shall we?

I’m gonna need everyone to stop commenting on people’s bodies. Any comments. All of the comments. Just stop, ffs.

Every woman I know  — I’d wager probably a fair number of men, too — has a story or fifty about people making comments on their weight. Can we just take a moment to acknowledge how messed up that is? Like, you’re picking apart my (or anyone else’s) body? Out loud?! SERIOUSLY?

Don’t jump down my throat, of course I’m not talking about close friends having a specific conversation. These are casual acquaintance or stranger comments or those random friend “compliments” that get tossed around. Are you my doctor working with me on an issue affecting or affected by my weight? Well then that also seems like an excellent example of someone who should be talking about my body. Otherwise I am going to kindly suggest you close your pie hole and think up something else to say.

Since nobody’s interested in a five page dissertation on how women’s bodies are considered fair game for public consumption and commentary let’s just go over some remarks that are most decidedly not necessary.

  • comments on what you think I weigh
  • thoughts on my weight gain or loss
  • comments about my body shape or height
  • comments about a specific body part
  • musings about how I used to look
  • comments like “gee, I wish I could        like you” – ie. eat desserts, not worry about going to the gym, enjoy carbs, embrace body positivity, not care what anyone thinks
  • comments about how tired I look

So basically your thoughts on how large, skinny, heavy, light, hot, curvy, solid, rough, or exhausted someone looks are quite simply unnecessary.

Now before someone comes at me with people are so sensitive, why do I have to worry so much about what I say, there’s an easy fix. This isn’t hard, I promise. How about saying “you look great!” and then stop talking.

Maybe “it’s great to see you again”, “I love how happy you seem”, or “you have such great energy” fit better for you. “I always look forward to spending time with you”, “you give the best hugs”, and “I love how I can always be myself around you” are also solid choices. It requires unlearning small talk patterns drilled in for years but I believe in you — you can do this!

Side note from an anxious, sometimes depressive person: resist the urge to add “these days” to your compliments. It just makes us think about how shitty we must have looked before and that’s a bad spiral. Please and thank you.

My point is there are lots of ways to compliment someone without tying it to a physical trait. Give it a shot. Most everyone will thank you for your thoughtful effort.