10/01/2016

BODY IMAGE | why saying 'you've lost weight' is quite problematic

TW: weight loss, eating disorders, body image



you have probably heard it uncountable times, either coming from the mouths of your relatives or from your long-time-no-see acquaintances - 'you've lost weight!'
what's more, you've probably said the exact same sentence to someone too.

'you've lost weight' is often meant as a compliment, but, when you think of it a bit more, is it really?
i don't think so.
why?

1) the impact
even though 'you've lost weight' is quite a short sentence, its impact is much larger. i've discussed this over and over again with so many friends - right upon hearing the devilish sentence being said by someone you know, the vicious cycle of blaming thoughts starts. 'did they think i was fat before? was i fat before? am i still fat? i should not eat this and that to keep my body the way it is now!' and so on. i guess i don't even have to go into explaining why and how much such thinking is harmful.

2) the cause
there are uncountable reasons and ways through which you can lose weight; it is not only about exercising and eating healthy. mental issues, serious illnesses, harsh life situations, stress, grief, eating disorders etc. etc. can all be the cause of weight loss. now, is it really appropriate to comment on, and perhaps even praise, someone else's body change when so many bad things can be behind it?

3) the shallowness
'you've lost weight' is often one of the first things you can hear from a person when meeting after a long time. yes, humans do tend to make up their minds based on visual impulses and it only takes a short while to judge / 'encode' someone based on their look, but do you really wanna show someone that that's the thing you care about more than how their life actually is?

4) the irrationality
and now we come to the most important part - why should you have to meet certain, very specific limitations of what a good weight is to validate your body, or your whole presence in fact? why should skinny equal ideal? why should skinny equal better? and, what's more, why are our bodies still objectified and turned into commodities so very much?

3 comments:

  1. Dunno, but when someone tells me I lost weight I am mostly flattered. I get you point, this is just from my point of view.

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    Replies
    1. see, that's the issue. we live in a society where we're told that weighing less is something better and that losing weight is an honourable achievement. why though?

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    2. Maybe it's more "me thing" because i want to lose weight so i am glad to hear it, but i get your point... for the people who don't want or need to it is very not so #body positive... but for someone who is trying to lose weight it is an achievement. But i also know this phrase mostly comes from people who don't know you so it is weird to hear from them. (like the people you see twice in a year). but in the end when you lose weight people will notice, problem is how they say it.

      and i should redirect some e-mails to notice me when my comments are published and they have reaction.

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