Etiquette Hell

Etiquette School is in session! => Complete Silence => Topic started by: hollandoates on November 06, 2011, 10:29:15 AM

Title: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: hollandoates on November 06, 2011, 10:29:15 AM
I am a plus size woman. As a result, random strangers will sometimes feel the need to insult me in some way- usually, when I am simply walking past them, minding my own business.

Generally, my response is to ignore them. My self-esteem will sometimes vacillate (doesn't everyone's?), but generally, I feel pretty good about myself- that's why I find these encounters more offensive in principle, than anything else. Really, who behaves this way?! It makes it difficult to know how to respond. I'd really like to dish out a line that is polite but also puts them in their place, but will settle for silence, if need be.

Anyone have any thoughts or suggestions?
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: Yvaine on November 06, 2011, 10:32:27 AM
I have no idea why this happens. It makes no sense to me--especially since when it happens, usually I'm out walking! You'd think that if they were really so conceeerrrrrrned about my weight, they'd be thrilled to see me getting some exercise.  >:D

I just ignore 'em. If they're shouting from a car, they're probably too far ahead before I can get a retort out. If they were also on foot I might shoot them an icy glare of death.
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: gramma dishes on November 06, 2011, 10:40:21 AM
How about "You're so light because you have no brain"?   >:D
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: Amava on November 06, 2011, 11:06:23 AM
I've not seen this happen in person but each time I read about something like this online, I am really puzzled.
I, like you, just do not understand, at all, why people feel the need to behave this way. I just simply do not get it. Is it their own low self-esteem, their own frustrations, trickling through? Is it a complete lack of empathy, that causes them to see other people not as persons with feelings, but as something they can use for their own entertainment? And then still, how is shouting ugly things to people "entertaining" them? How is that amusing or enjoyable to them? What are they *getting* out of it? Some sort of comfort? Some sort of "self-validation"?  ??? Are *they* the weird ones, or am *I* the weird one for not understanding their mindset?
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: Yvaine on November 06, 2011, 11:08:10 AM
I've not seen this happen in person but each time I read about something like this online, I am really puzzled.
I, like you, just do not understand, at all, why people feel the need to behave this way. I just simply do not get it. Is it their own low self-esteem, their own frustrations, trickling through? Is it a complete lack of empathy, that causes them to see other people not as persons with feelings, but as something they can use for their own entertainment? And then still, how is shouting ugly things to people "entertaining" them? How is that amusing or enjoyable to them? What are they *getting* out of it? Some sort of comfort? Some sort of "self-validation"?  ??? Are *they* the weird ones, or am *I* the weird one for not understanding their mindset?

In my experience, it's usually carloads of people riding together, and I think they're trying to show off for each other in some way. Now, why they want to "show off" that they're mannerless louts is beyond me.
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: Minmom3 on November 06, 2011, 10:24:08 PM
My dear darling grandmother was driving down the road with her 2nd husband, my step-grandfather, when a car load of idiots mooned them.  She asked her husband why that car had pigs in it....  He knew they were getting mooned, but Gram honestly thought the car had pigs in it, since the moons were large, pink and pale...  Yay Grandma!   ;D
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: Otterpop on November 06, 2011, 10:48:19 PM
They do it because they hate themselves and must unload it on someone else to feel better (mommy didn't love them enough, daddy bullied them or was absent, etc.).  That's what I've read anyway.  Secure people don't do that.

BTW, I'm an average size and my self esteem vascillates too:  I'm getting older, I have a pimple today, my teeth are crooked, it's always something.  But overall, I like myself - take it or leave it.  If you're nasty, self-loathing dweeb, leave me alone!  Ignore them and carry on like the queen you are.
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: EMuir on November 06, 2011, 11:20:44 PM
I'm plus size as well, and I've been insulted, but I've also seen other women insulted just because they happened to be walking down the street.  I like to shout "Compensate!" after them because it makes me chuckle when I think of why they need to insult strangers... Because they have to compensate for being inadequate in other areas of their lives.
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: tallone on November 07, 2011, 12:34:02 AM
People can be mean. It's honestly that simple. We can be perfectly respectful in one situation and frothing at the mouth offensive a moment later in another.

I've stopped agreeing with statements about inadequacies or people hating themselves or insecurities. It's not always likely and strays too close to a retaliatory insult. I've come to believe responding to insults with insults is akin to responding rudely to rudeness - something this forum explicitly discourages.

People are just mean sometimes.
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: Iris on November 07, 2011, 12:55:33 AM
*snip*

People are just mean sometimes.

I take your point, but I don't think it addresses the question. *I* have never been randomly mean to a total stranger. I don't think that it is because I am a super nice higher-order of human (sooo not that) but because the 'average' person needs some sort of connection to someone to be mean.

Usually when one stoops to meanness it is in some way motivated by a desire to hurt - you make a nasty remark to a loved one to 'punish' them for something, or because you have been hurt and want to hurt back, or because you want to show your friends that you are tough and don't care about anything. These are very human impulses but they require a connection with the victim. Hence you are much more likely to be physically harmed by someone you know rather than a stranger.

So for something like this, people (including me) don't understand WHY you would target a total stranger. It takes energy to be nasty - why 'waste' that energy on a total stranger? Literally, what do they get from it? Hence theories about insecurity etc.

I don't have the answer - maybe some people just are total jerks. However I don't believe that this type of jerkiness is a universal human condition.
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: iradney on November 07, 2011, 02:11:35 AM
I tend to ignore them, and envision the source of the comment bursting into flames. This normally makes me smile, which is not the reaction the bully wants. Which means I win.  ;D
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: Yvaine on November 07, 2011, 06:30:17 AM
I've stopped agreeing with statements about inadequacies or people hating themselves or insecurities. It's not always likely and strays too close to a retaliatory insult. I've come to believe responding to insults with insults is akin to responding rudely to rudeness - something this forum explicitly discourages.

It might arguably be rude to march up to the hecklers and give them a lecture about how much they must hate themselves. I don't think it's rude at all to talk about it on this forum in a general sense. I don't see why it's a "retaliatory insult" or "responding rudely." The hecklers aren't here, we're not even talking about anyone specific by name (in most cases they're total strangers and we don't know their names or ever see them again), and they aren't here to read our "insults." This is no different from when we speculate on the forum about any other rude person's motive for being rude.
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: That Anime Chick on November 07, 2011, 09:21:33 AM
Some people are just mean sometimes.

fixed that for you, because you can't encompass the entire of humanity as being mean.

I get this a lot. I ignore it, which for whatever reason just makes those insulting me angry. It makes them look like fools as they continue to insult and you continue to ignore them. So yes, silence really is the best response.
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: SamiHami on November 07, 2011, 10:59:25 AM
Well, you could have responded like this:

THEM: You're fat! Ha Ha Ha!
YOU: Oh, dear, you are right. Thank you so much for pointing that out. By the way, are you planning on getting your nose fixed? You really should, you know. It's quite unattractive. And that acne-are you seeing a dermatologist for that? How unfortunate for you. And those crossed eyes...oh my.
THEM: Uhhh...derp.
YOU: We were giving each other constructive criticism, weren't we? I mean, why else would you come up to me, a total stranger, and comment about my appearance?

Yeah, I know, retaliatory rudeness and all that. Can't really do that.

I'm sorry that happened to you. It takes a very small minded person to insult a total stranger like that.
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: BeagleMommy on November 07, 2011, 11:20:59 AM
I wish I knew why some people do this.  It seems that if people would simply remember the old adage "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all" we'd never have to have this type of discussion.

DH has struggled with weight loss these past few years.  I actually had a stranger at a party ask me how I could stand to play scrabble with an overweight man.  I was dumbfounded!  Who asks such a question?!  I wish she had been drunk.  It would have been easier to brush that off.

All I could do was stare and blink.
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: Kaypeep on November 07, 2011, 12:28:23 PM
I usually ignore and don't engage the crazy.  But last year I was walking and some drunk woman (a male friend was holding her up, helping her walk, she was so drunk) stopped and pointed at me and said "YOU NEED TO CALL JENNY!" (Jenny Craig.)  I stopped and looked at her and said "You need to get a life, and a punch in the face." She was kind of stunned and just shut up.  I kept walking.  I know it wasn't e-hell approved, but I felt pretty good as I walked away.
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: hollandoates on November 07, 2011, 12:37:51 PM
I wish I knew why some people do this.  It seems that if people would simply remember the old adage "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all" we'd never have to have this type of discussion.

DH has struggled with weight loss these past few years.  I actually had a stranger at a party ask me how I could stand to play scrabble with an overweight man.  I was dumbfounded!  Who asks such a question?!  I wish she had been drunk.  It would have been easier to brush that off.

All I could do was stare and blink.

Aside from the general rudeness of commenting on weight, she asked how you could stand to play scrabble with an overweight man?!? A game that requires absolutely no physical exertion? (Besides which, weight is not much of an indicator of a person's fitness- my SO is one burly man and he is crazy strong/fast etc). That's just downright baffling- as if a low weight is somehow conducive to a strong vocabulary??

This discussion is really interesting, I appreciate the feedback. It could be my studies in feminism coming out, but I'm really tempted to start responding with, "You have no right to police my body".
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: Yvaine on November 07, 2011, 12:40:04 PM
I wish I knew why some people do this.  It seems that if people would simply remember the old adage "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all" we'd never have to have this type of discussion.

DH has struggled with weight loss these past few years.  I actually had a stranger at a party ask me how I could stand to play scrabble with an overweight man.  I was dumbfounded!  Who asks such a question?!  I wish she had been drunk.  It would have been easier to brush that off.

All I could do was stare and blink.

Aside from the general rudeness of commenting on weight, she asked how you could stand to play scrabble with an overweight man?!? A game that requires absolutely no physical exertion? (Besides which, weight is not much of an indicator of a person's fitness- my SO is one burly man and he is crazy strong/fast etc). That's just downright baffling- as if a low weight is somehow conducive to a strong vocabulary??

This discussion is really interesting, I appreciate the feedback. It could be my studies in feminism coming out, but I'm really tempted to start responding with, "You have no right to police my body".

No, Scrabble as a euphemism for the blanket tango.  ;) (Which I have also found to have no correlation to the person's weight.)
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: hollandoates on November 07, 2011, 12:46:24 PM
Ohhh. Well, I feel silly- maybe I should re-read the lingo thread!

Well, playing Scrabble or "playing Scrabble"--really! What an insanely rude and invasive thing to say.

I think another thing that's bothersome to me about this kind of behavior is that it really doesn't acknowledge that people are diverse, in both appearance and preferences. It angers me that they think I should feel bad, which I guess is why I'm tempted to say the "no right to police my body" bit.
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: Calypso on November 07, 2011, 02:34:23 PM
O/T, hollandoates, but I love your moniker.  :D
(Calypso, she's a rich girl, and she goes too far but she knows it doesn't matter anyway.... 8) )
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: Moonie on November 07, 2011, 02:50:59 PM
Wow.   I'd probably be tempted to say , "I'm fat, not deaf.  Was there a reason you thought my weight was something to comment about?"
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: poundcake on November 07, 2011, 02:53:06 PM
Another fatty here. I've lost a lot of weight, and am very healthy, but am never going to be small. Usually I can brush off comments as the other person announcing their sickening insecurity, but it still hurts. A few times I've looked at them, genuinely puzzled, and asked "Why would you say something like that to a total stranger?" (sort of the "Why would I want to do that?" approach) and keep pushing the issue:

Them: You're fat! It's unhealthy! You need to go on a diet!
Me: I'm aware of what I weigh. I just don't get why you would go up to a complete stranger and make comments like that.
Them: You should eat healthier and you wouldn't be so fat!
Me: But why would you go up to someone you don't even know and start making comments about their weight and physical appearance?

Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: Emmy on November 17, 2011, 03:13:21 PM
My guess is people make rude comments to show off to their equally Neanderthal friends or because embarrassing or hurting another person makes them feel powerful.  Either way anybody who does such things is a small, inadequate person.  The drive-by insults are the most cowardly.  It takes a really big person to shout an insult to somebody walking down the street and drive away without hearing a response.

On more than one occasion I have a had a car load of boys shout things at me.  I guess I'm lucky I never understood them.  On another occasion, I had mini-van load of pre-teen twits give me the finger. 
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: Isometric on November 20, 2011, 02:00:14 AM
This makes me really sad and angry. How dare people treat others this way!  >:(

I have had this happen too, I'm short & have a small frame, but team a snug dress with a deliciously over proportioned meal and I got "don't wear that dress, it makes you look fat" yelled at me from across the street - it cut right to the bone. I can't imagine having that treatment all the time - disgusting.

In other instances where people have been cruel I have just said "that hurt my feelings" - unless the person has no soul it generally reminds them that you are a human with real human emotions.

I'm new to the forum so I don't know how to quote yet, but I also like the "I can lose weight, you'll be ugly for life"  >:D Don't think I'd be brave enough to say it though!
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: Flora Louise on November 22, 2011, 09:51:14 AM
Could you do a double take and fake a look of recognition and say something like, "Oh, hi! See you Friday night!" while hurrying off. IOW make them think they've just been rude to someone they actually know? Let em stew.
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: FizzyChip on November 24, 2011, 08:54:01 PM
As someone who has struggled with their weight all their life, I can certainly empathise with this situation. 

I think "fat jokes" are one of the last bastions in this PC world in which it's still perceived as ok to make fun of a group of people.  I mean race jokes are not ok, sexual orientation jokes are not ok, so why are weight jokes ok?  Weight issues are at the forefront of people's minds and for some reason it's still "ok" to ridicule someone for being over or under weight.  They're everywhere - even on prime-time tv and my own opinion is that they're a cheap laugh and I tend to switch programmes.  Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't find them funny at all.

I don't normally care about these sorts of comments too much as I've heard them all my life.  But recently a friend and I (both of us are trying to lose weight) were doing a power-walk along an area in our city which overlooks the beach - it's a lovely walk and the views distract from the burning feeling in your legs!  While we were walking, a group of people drove passed and hollered out something about "whale-watching".  My friend really took it to heart and was extremely upset about it.  But at the end of the day, we both took heart in the fact that we were the ones exercising and enjoying the view and they were the morons in their car getting pleasure out of screaming insults at complete strangers.



Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: MassachusettsMomx4 on November 25, 2011, 12:09:24 PM
Years and years ago when I was in college, in order to get to campus, I had to walk up the street that was bordered on both sides by dorms.  The dorms were multilevel.  As I was walking on my side of the street, past the neighborhing guy's dorm, I heard someone yell out the window "LOSE WEIGHT!"  I was not particularly overweight at the time but I was offended to be shouted at like that.  I could pretty much pinpoint where the yelling was coming from and these particular guys were jerks anyway.  I continued up the street and they start oinking like a pig really loudly.  I just happened to glance across the street at that moment, hoping that no one heard this stupidity, when I saw who they were harrassing.  There was a local young lady who worked in the dining hall for the dorms in that pod.  She was very large, yes, morbidly obese.  More importantly, she was a human being and such a kind and pleasant one at that.  Sometimes I would go for breakfast and she would be working the line with always a nice greeting for everyone. 

I felt so bad for her.  Here she was, walking to home or the parking lot, minding her own business and she gets yelled at.  There was no place for her to duck into, so she just had to take it.  In front of everyone nearby.  I can still see her, thirty years later, just walking on, trying to ignore this yelling, coming from people who were supposedly mature adults. 

I hope that they finally grew up.  More importantly, I hope that she forgot about it. 

Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: MissRose on November 25, 2011, 01:12:45 PM
It seems that making fun of people's weight seems to be okay even if its not okay to do so for other reasons.  I know my mother still likes to say stuff about my weight, my nephew's and my dad's.  We try to ignore her comments but it is not easy, and often gets us stressed / emotional to the point we may eat a lot of food to make ourselves feel better.
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: Ginger G on November 30, 2011, 03:53:56 PM
Ugh, so sorry that happened to you.  As another who has struggled with weight my whole life, I've been there myself - more times than I care to remember.  Sometimes I've retaliated verbally back and sometimes I haven't.

One of the more bizarre incidents that I recall happened when I was in college.  This was actually one of my "thin" periods, I had lost quite a bit of weight that year, was about a size 8, and thought I looked pretty good.  On this day, I had gotten off work from my waitressing job after a long exhausting shift.  I was walking towards my dorm and a group of guys passed by me.  One of them looked over at me and said, "You're ugly as s##t"  in this really cold, mean way.  Of course the others all laughed like it was the most hilarious thing ever.  I was completely stunned by this, but did turn around and yell "Yeah, well so are you!"  Not one of my finer retorts I admit.  I went up to my room and cried.  I had been insulted by strangers (and non-strangers) before, but no one had ever flat out called me ugly.  It bothered me way more than the fat comments ever had!  That was the only year I lived on campus.  That incident (and one other) sealed my decision to get an apartment with friends the year after that.

Of course I realize now that he was just a jerk that was  looking to hurt someone's feelings and that was the only thing his simple brain could think of.  Anybody that feels the need to make hurtful comments to a stranger for no good reason just has some kind of personality disorder in my opinion. 
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: TurtleDove on November 30, 2011, 04:08:09 PM
It seems that making fun of people's weight seems to be okay even if its not okay to do so for other reasons.  I know my mother still likes to say stuff about my weight, my nephew's and my dad's.  We try to ignore her comments but it is not easy, and often gets us stressed / emotional to the point we may eat a lot of food to make ourselves feel better.

I think some people rationalize this because they reason that an overweight person can lose weight by modifying her lifestyle, while things like gender, race, etc. cannot be changed (insert extreme examples of exceptions, but generally speaking).  And I don't think "fat bashing" is as accepted as some posts on ehell would indicate.  It happens, but I don't think it is accepted in mainstream society (anymore than racism or misogyny is accepted in maintstream society). 
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: figleaf on December 03, 2011, 07:40:16 AM
I've responded to this before with, "Do you feel better about yourself now?  Glad I could help."  I have never considered that to be a rude response, especially when provoked, although I guess it would be better to be silent.  Having spent 30+ years trying to walk with my head down, pretending to be deaf to their insults, I sometimes feel that I ought to be allowed to respond.
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: gramma dishes on December 03, 2011, 08:26:21 AM
You know, Figleaf, I think you're right. 

We've become so intimidated by all the "play nice" stuff, where you're not supposed to respond at all to blatant intentional insults that I think some people just get the mistaken idea that it must be perfectly acceptable to behave that way.  If their victims just sort of hang their heads and move on after someone has purposefully said something hateful and hurtful, it implies that such behavior is expected and okay to do.

Sometimes I wish we ALL had the gutsiness to respond, and if people who liked to do this sort of random drive-by insulting were suitably called out for it in some way that was embarrassing to them (particularly if they're doing it because they're trying to "impress" their friends), maybe such behavior would stop or at least drop in frequency.  Ignoring it doesn't seem to work.

There are circumstances of course where someone might be in actual physical danger for doing so and obviously those situations really are best ignored.  But I think maybe we've gone too far toward letting people be nasty with no consequences under the guise of  being the "better" person for not responding.  I'm afraid "ignoring" is sometimes interpreted to imply that the heckler is right (since the recipient of the heckling doesn't seem to be able to come up with a rebuttal)  and that's not the message they should be getting.

Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: Emmy on December 04, 2011, 07:33:29 AM
I think some people mistake any response as retaliatory rudeness.  I like Figleaf's comment because it is not rude, it is clever, and gives her the satisfaction of saying something back to the jerks.  I think the jerks have it easy when people put their head down and don't respond because they know they can get away without being challenged (although I can't imagine on what planet anybody thinks it is acceptable despite the person's response). 

Unfortunately, it can be hard to think of clever responses.  I can sympathize, the only two extremes I can think at the spur of the moment are "%$#& you" and silence.
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: Yvaine on December 04, 2011, 08:03:18 AM
I think some people mistake any response as retaliatory rudeness.  I like Figleaf's comment because it is not rude, it is clever, and gives her the satisfaction of saying something back to the jerks.  I think the jerks have it easy when people put their head down and don't respond because they know they can get away without being challenged (although I can't imagine on what planet anybody thinks it is acceptable despite the person's response). 

Unfortunately, it can be hard to think of clever responses.  I can sympathize, the only two extremes I can think at the spur of the moment are "%$#& you" and silence.

I hardly ever even get to think of any.  :D Most of the comments I get are from moving cars. No retort is all that effective when the car is already a block down the street!
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: Luci on December 04, 2011, 08:36:33 AM

I'm new to the forum so I don't know how to quote yet, but I also like the "I can lose weight, you'll be ugly for life"  >:D Don't think I'd be brave enough to say it though!

PMing you how to quote.
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: Iris on December 05, 2011, 12:23:18 AM
I've responded to this before with, "Do you feel better about yourself now?  Glad I could help."  I have never considered that to be a rude response, especially when provoked, although I guess it would be better to be silent.  Having spent 30+ years trying to walk with my head down, pretending to be deaf to their insults, I sometimes feel that I ought to be allowed to respond.

I love that response. I don't think there's any requirement to be silent and I don't think it's rude.
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: MissRose on January 25, 2012, 12:19:12 PM
It seems that making fun of people's weight seems to be okay even if its not okay to do so for other reasons.  I know my mother still likes to say stuff about my weight, my nephew's and my dad's.  We try to ignore her comments but it is not easy, and often gets us stressed / emotional to the point we may eat a lot of food to make ourselves feel better.

I think some people rationalize this because they reason that an overweight person can lose weight by modifying her lifestyle, while things like gender, race, etc. cannot be changed (insert extreme examples of exceptions, but generally speaking).  And I don't think "fat bashing" is as accepted as some posts on ehell would indicate.  It happens, but I don't think it is accepted in mainstream society (anymore than racism or misogyny is accepted in maintstream society).

Bashing someone based on their weight is still prejudice and still not acceptable, plus seems to be something that can still be done when you may not be able to call them a name related to race or religion etc
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: TurtleDove on January 25, 2012, 12:31:17 PM
It seems that making fun of people's weight seems to be okay even if its not okay to do so for other reasons.  I know my mother still likes to say stuff about my weight, my nephew's and my dad's.  We try to ignore her comments but it is not easy, and often gets us stressed / emotional to the point we may eat a lot of food to make ourselves feel better.

I think some people rationalize this because they reason that an overweight person can lose weight by modifying her lifestyle, while things like gender, race, etc. cannot be changed (insert extreme examples of exceptions, but generally speaking).  And I don't think "fat bashing" is as accepted as some posts on ehell would indicate.  It happens, but I don't think it is accepted in mainstream society (anymore than racism or misogyny is accepted in maintstream society).

Bashing someone based on their weight is still prejudice and still not acceptable, plus seems to be something that can still be done when you may not be able to call them a name related to race or religion etc

???  I suspect you misread what I wrote, or perhaps did not mean to quote me? 
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: SleepyKitty on January 25, 2012, 12:38:40 PM
I'm not overweight, but I've had my share of hurtful comments, cat-calls, etc. I actually find that this most often is directed at women - I just don't see men getting harassed in this way nearly as often as I see it happening to women. Personally, I think there is a kind of "underground" acceptance of fat bashing (underground in the sense that technically, mainstream society doesn't allow for bashing of ANYONE, but we all see the fat jokes on TV, etc) that ties very closely in with a similar type of underground acceptance of sexism (we've all seen the TV commercials that suggest a woman's love is bought by diamonds).

The most effective response that I have found to any type of rude comment or insult is laughter. It can be really hard to do when you're upset and hurt, but to me, it's the best response. I had been trying on dresses at the mall one day when I was a teenager, and two women who were a good fifteen years older then me were in the dressing area when I came out to look in the mirrors. One said to the other, quite clearly intending me to hear it, "Wow, that looks really slutty." The other responded, "Well, what do you expect?" with a significant nod in my direction - as though I was somehow inherently slutty and nothing better could be expected from me. I was deeply hurt by it (although I have to admit my chest was NOT contained by the dress - but how was I supposed to know that until I had tried it on and looked in the mirror?) but I was so shocked that I had a bout of nervous laughter.

In retrospect, it was the easiest way of showing the women that a) their behaviour was completely inappropriate, and b) that they did not hurt me, and I cared so little about their opinion that it was laughable to me (my actual hurt feelings notwithstanding, I wanted to give that impression to them). It also was a good way to deflect further engagement with the offenders - any type of verbal response only opened up the possibility for an even more unpleasant escalation of the whole situation.   

So, my advice is, if possible you should laugh in the face of anyone cruel enough to do this and walk away.
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: TurtleDove on January 25, 2012, 12:42:17 PM
I cared so little about their opinion that it was laughable to me

YES YES YES!!!!!!  This is what I have found to be the most healthful approach to so many unkind remarks about so many topics.
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: Xandraea on April 11, 2012, 10:30:07 AM
I cared so little about their opinion that it was laughable to me

YES YES YES!!!!!!  This is what I have found to be the most healthful approach to so many unkind remarks about so many topics.

This, exactly.  Bullies are looking for their preferred response from you, be it crying, screaming back at them, whatever.  The key is to NOT give them the response they're looking for.  My daughter and I have had many discussions about this, as it starts with really young kids.  Kids are cruel, in their attempts to find acceptance with some group, and will take ANY difference to pick on.  My intelligent, healthy, thin child has been called fat, stupid, four-eyes and nerdy (glasses).  I tell her this story of when I was in middle school:

There was a boy I'd actually been in the same friend-group with in elementary school, who had taken to, every time he passed me in the hallway in middle school, looking at me and calling me a bi*ch.  I'd smile like he'd given me a compliment and say, "Thank you!" and keep walking.  This happened daily, and each time he'd rudely call me that and I'd smile brightly and say, "Thank you!" .. after a while of this he stopped and asked, "WHY do you say 'thank you' when I call you a bi*ch?" I told him, "So you shut up and find something better to do." .. and you know what, he never again did that. I didn't give him the response he was looking for (hurt? annoyed? mad?), so it was of no pleasure to him to continue the behavior.

I agree with previous posts that silence can often be seen as accepting of the rude comments.  I really like the response, "Do you feel better now? Glad I could help!" said with a smile and continuing on unaffected.  Some of those middle-school kids just never learned how to properly behave in social situations, and won't ever learn if shouting insults at random strangers gets laughs from friends and silence from their "victim".
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: Hillia on April 11, 2012, 03:06:53 PM
I've been lucky, because I haven't been subjected to much of this abuse (where I could hear it, anyway).  I have been called 'Fat B*tch' by a few people irritated with the fact that I follow traffic rules, and it makes me giggle, because I know that means they've lost - they have nothing else to say, so they latch on to the obvious.

I also like Louie Anderson's response (he is a very large American comedian).  He talks of walking past two women in a grocery store, and hearing one stage whisper to another, 'Do you think he knows?'  He turned around, looked down at himself, spread his arms wide in shock and said, horrified, 'Oh NO!'
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: Miss Ann Thrope on April 26, 2012, 10:07:52 AM
One of my most treasured responses is, "Wow, that really hurt.  Every individual has a feature that someone can insult.   I just choose not to hurt you by commenting on it."  I also tell my teenagers, "You don't have to comment on everything you see because you may receive an unpleasant response about something they see."
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: emeraldsage85 on April 26, 2012, 06:48:17 PM
This has happened to me a few times. I don't know why people think they need to educate me that I'm overweight. I look in the mirror every day, don't I?

When a random stranger treats me this way, I usually ask, "Do I know you?" When the response is "no," I tell them, "You are a complete stranger. You do not get to comment on my body."
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: FracturedPoet on April 29, 2012, 06:50:54 PM
They're trying to elicit a reaction, don't give them the satisfaction. You're unlikely to gain anything by responding and are leaving yourself open to more insults. Complete silence (and ideally a look of complete indifference) is the right course of action here.
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: Jocelyn on June 12, 2012, 10:02:21 PM
My favorite response is to clasp my hands to my face, jerk my head left-right-left, and gasp, 'I'm FAT? I wasn't fat when I left home this morning! What happened?' in a mock-hysterical tone of voice.
If there are spectators, they generally start laughing, which takes away from the bully's joy.
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on June 12, 2012, 10:20:06 PM
I got a comment once from a janitor in a building I was working in, when I went to the vending machine in the basement break room to get a snack.  It was along the lines of "You don't need to be eatin' that!"  ::) Fer chrissake, I wasn't even chubby!

I said "No, but I want to" and walked away.

One thing I love about the area I'm living in now.  People don't seem as apt to comment on another person's weight, or at least I don't hear it as much. Where I used to live, people seemed to think there was nothing wrong about not only commenting about a person's weight, but what they were eating, too.  Even if that person wasn't overweight. 
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: Venus193 on June 13, 2012, 06:28:02 AM
The truly disturbing thing about all this is that we can only expect it to get worse.  I just witnessed a thread being deleted on another forum because of the derogatory remarks made about women who didn't shave off all their body hair and notes of pity to those young males who have been growing up on the latest p0rn whose performers look completely unrealistic.

One another message board about Snow White and the Huntsman (which I highly recommend) the longest threads are about what the two lead actresses look like, one going on about Kristen Stewart needing breast implants.

Dove has a social mission on the subject of the narrow definition of beauty, but I think it needs more exposure:

http://www.dove.us/Social-Mission/Self-Esteem-Statistics.aspx
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: MissRose on June 18, 2012, 07:17:14 AM
The truly disturbing thing about all this is that we can only expect it to get worse.  I just witnessed a thread being deleted on another forum because of the derogatory remarks made about women who didn't shave off all their body hair and notes of pity to those young males who have been growing up on the latest p0rn whose performers look completely unrealistic.

One another message board about Snow White and the Huntsman (which I highly recommend) the longest threads are about what the two lead actresses look like, one going on about Kristen Stewart needing breast implants.

Dove has a social mission on the subject of the narrow definition of beauty, but I think it needs more exposure:

http://www.dove.us/Social-Mission/Self-Esteem-Statistics.aspx

Thank you for the link Venus, will have to check it out sometime.

I can't believe some people would go on about which actresses and other female celebs need to modify their body in a certain way by weight or implant etc.



Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: Venus193 on June 18, 2012, 09:33:20 AM
It blows my mind.

When I began watching Spanish-language television I noticed that Venezuelan novela actors of both sexes and under the age of 40 looked like they were stamped out of a Xerox machine.  All the females looked like they stepped off the pages of Vogue while all the men looked like GQ models.  I recently checked out an episode and didn't see a single performer more than 35 years old, even for characters that should be 45 or more years old.

The Mexican ones still have people of all ages who look somewhat distinctive although most of the females under 40 have been surgically enhanced below the shoulders.

In Brazil (one of the plastic surgery capitals of the world) there are still actresses who have not gone down this road.  They have a casting option the others don't:  They can perform in novelas de epoca, or ones in period costumes.
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: TurtleDove on June 18, 2012, 09:38:00 AM
I wonder how Dove reached those statistics?  I must run with an atypically self-assured crowd because I can't think of the last time any close friend of mine bemoaned her appearance.  I wish all people were confident and happy being the best they can be without comparing to anyone else!
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: Venus193 on June 18, 2012, 10:03:55 AM
Most women I know don't discuss their body-image issues in public, so you never know.
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: TurtleDove on June 18, 2012, 10:10:24 AM
Most women I know don't discuss their body-image issues in public, so you never know.

Most women I am close to discuss races they are running or the new yoga class and are very positive about their bodies, though it's more a statement of "look what I can do!" rather than "look at my body!"  I guess that is what I meant - the women I am close to have pretty obviously positive body image and I wish that for everyone.  I should add that the women I am speaking of are not all cookie-cutter size zeros either - just confident women who are being their best selves and are proud of themselves (and we are all proud of each other)!
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: Jones on June 18, 2012, 10:12:24 AM
I was talking to a friend last week and I mentioned someone I knew who is trying to lose weight and fit into a wedding dress two sizes smaller than her current size. It wasn't rational, to me, to buy an undersized dress when it was obvious one would fit into a different dress; why add the stress of losing weight to the rest of wedding planning stress when you could easily look pretty and be comfortable in your current size?

My friend replied "But really, most of us aren't comfortable at our current size." I'll admit, I don't feel as fat as I am, I'm trying to lose some excess pounds so my image in the mirror matches the body I feel, but somehow losing weight to fit into an undersized wedding dress just didn't seem the same to me.
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: Autumn Rose on July 08, 2012, 07:14:06 PM

I havent read all of the responses....but I was reading the archives and I found a quote I think would be great to use!

"Better to be big in person, than small in heart"
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: CrochetFanatic on July 08, 2012, 10:08:47 PM
It's happened to me a couple times, and I had two very different responses to each one.

The first one was a woman behind me in the pharmacy line who tapped me on the shoulder and asked me, "When are you due?"  And she was completely serious, as far as I could tell.  I simply told her I wasn't pregnant, and faced the pharmacy counter once more.  She apologized, I said "That's all right." even though it wasn't, and that was the end of it.

The second one was a rather mean-spirited comment by an employee, though.  They got rid of the Borders in our mall back when that chain still existed, and replaced it with a clothing store.  I could tell before I went in that it was for people of a slimmer physique than I possessed, but I was Christmas shopping, and I thought I might find some gift ideas in there.  The girl at the sales desk completely ignored me (which I didn't really notice at first), but greeted the next two customers, who were quite slender.  I noticed that, but didn't really think anything of it until she finally began to look annoyed.  Finally, the girl said to me, "Excuse me, but I really don't think we have anything here that would fit you."  I realized I wasn't imagining an attitude where one didn't exist, and pasted on a fake smile, saying, "Actually, I'm doing my Christmas shopping.  I think I'll look elsewhere, though, thanks."  It worked out fine, because I found something similar to an item I'd had my eye on, for a better price, in another store.

I'd gotten comments like that all through middle and high school, so by that time I had a pretty thick skin.  It makes me angry, though.  Sometimes a person might not be able to regulate their weight for health reasons.  I have an under-active thyroid, and can't lose weight no matter what I try!
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: Fleur on July 09, 2012, 04:40:03 AM
It's happened to me a couple times, and I had two very different responses to each one.

The first one was a woman behind me in the pharmacy line who tapped me on the shoulder and asked me, "When are you due?"  And she was completely serious, as far as I could tell.  I simply told her I wasn't pregnant, and faced the pharmacy counter once more.  She apologized, I said "That's all right." even though it wasn't, and that was the end of it.

The second one was a rather mean-spirited comment by an employee, though.  They got rid of the Borders in our mall back when that chain still existed, and replaced it with a clothing store.  I could tell before I went in that it was for people of a slimmer physique than I possessed, but I was Christmas shopping, and I thought I might find some gift ideas in there.  The girl at the sales desk completely ignored me (which I didn't really notice at first), but greeted the next two customers, who were quite slender.  I noticed that, but didn't really think anything of it until she finally began to look annoyed.  Finally, the girl said to me, "Excuse me, but I really don't think we have anything here that would fit you."  I realized I wasn't imagining an attitude where one didn't exist, and pasted on a fake smile, saying, "Actually, I'm doing my Christmas shopping.  I think I'll look elsewhere, though, thanks."  It worked out fine, because I found something similar to an item I'd had my eye on, for a better price, in another store.

I'd gotten comments like that all through middle and high school, so by that time I had a pretty thick skin.  It makes me angry, though.  Sometimes a person might not be able to regulate their weight for health reasons.  I have an under-active thyroid, and can't lose weight no matter what I try!

If that is the store I'm thinking of, you should complain, though I suppose it's a bit late now. There clothes are so expensive that most teens (their core market) cannot afford them. I think that management would like to know that people were driving away the wallets ;) Seriously, there are several of these stores in my town, and I see lots of people in there that are not the target age or size. They are buying clothes for their daughters/sons or nephews/neices.
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: TurtleDove on July 09, 2012, 08:31:57 AM
I have an under-active thyroid, and can't lose weight no matter what I try!

I don't want to get into medical advice, but see an endocrinologist.  I have an underactive thyroid and mine is pretty easily regulated.
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: CrochetFanatic on July 09, 2012, 10:06:34 AM
Oh, I do.  :) I take something for it, but that only prevents new weight from being added on.  Losing five pounds is still a struggle.  As long as the other systems that are affected by it aren't out of whack, I'm not worried about the extra pounds too much. 

As for the store, I don't remember what it was called, but it didn't last long.  It closed after a couple years, and between the prices and the girl's attitude, I'm not a bit surprised.
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: JacklynHyde on July 09, 2012, 04:22:34 PM
My mother was once told at a Victoria's Secret, "We only have normal sizes."  At that point, my rail-thin aunt dropped the $200+ worth of merchandise she was about to purchase, grabbed my mother by the elbow, and marched her out of there.
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: Venus193 on July 09, 2012, 04:23:20 PM
I like that.
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: Sophia on July 09, 2012, 04:38:11 PM
My mother was once told at a Victoria's Secret, "We only have normal sizes."  ...

Totally not surprising.  Back when I was not overweight, I was told basically the same thing because I wanted a D cup. 

On that same shopping trip, I'd gotten the distinct impression that I was too old (early 30's) to shop in several other stores in the mall so I figured out that the malls didn't want my money.  That seems to have changed lately though. 
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: Venus193 on July 09, 2012, 05:20:42 PM
Really?  I never had problems finding D's in VS, but I don't shop there at the moment because I'm unemployed and living on savings.
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: greencat on July 09, 2012, 06:02:51 PM
I used to be incredibly thin due to genetics and people used to comment on my weight constantly.  It was usually obvious that the comments came from jealousy rather than concern for my health - they really didn't want to believe that someone could be as thin as I was without some kind of pathology involved.  I'm really sensitive to commenting on other people's weight as a result. 

Now that I'm firmly in the middle of the normal weight range for my height I don't really get the comments anymore.  I have been directed toward the plus size section and its extremely limited color and style selection when bra shopping.  In a lingerie store, I actually don't wear a large size - it's just non-specialty places where I have that problem.
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: Luci on July 09, 2012, 06:03:32 PM
I was checking out a teen-aimed clothing store. The sizes were not much of an issue, because I am pretty much a size 16 at the most, but I am obviously way old, I think about 60 at the time. My granddaughters find one store rather offensive (Rue21), so I was just checking the store out to see if the girls and I approved of the merchandise.

I was told that I was too old and probably not the right size to find anything. I made it clear that I was about ready to buy two $100 gift cards for my granddaughters, but I thought I didn't feel welcome so I would leave for Kohl's. Thank you.

I do think they (the sales people) might have learned their lessons.

(I ended up just giving the girls cash.)
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: Mental Magpie on July 10, 2012, 01:47:30 AM
I was checking out a teen-aimed clothing store. The sizes were not much of an issue, because I am pretty much a size 16 at the most, but I am obviously way old, I think about 60 at the time. My granddaughters find one store rather offensive (Rue21), so I was just checking the store out to see if the girls and I approved of the merchandise.

I was told that I was too old and probably not the right size to find anything. I made it clear that I was about ready to buy two $100 gift cards for my granddaughters, but I thought I didn't feel welcome so I would leave for Kohl's. Thank you.

I do think they (the sales people) might have learned their lessons.

(I ended up just giving the girls cash.)

That reminds me of a time when I was about 14-15.  I looked like the punk rocker I mostly was, but I was out shopping with Dark Sister and Dark Cousin Awesome.  They went into American Eagle or Abercrombie and Fitch (can't remember), so I followed...then was promptly watched over like a hawk.

Everywhere I went I was followed, especially when I was looking at the bracelet.  Among my billions (or so it seemed) jelly bracelets, their leather ones would have stuck out like a sore thumb.  They thought I was going to steal something apparently, until I set them straight.

E-Hell probably wouldn't approve of what I said, but Dark Sister and Dark Cousin Awesome both followed me out when I told the associates exactly what I thought.  I parted with, "Good thing you judge a book by its cover, it loses you money and makes you look like a fool!"  I would have been fine if I had only thought that, but unfortunately I said it loud enough for everyone to hear me.
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: Sanity Lost on July 11, 2012, 06:19:28 PM
The first time it happened to me, I was wearing sweats and coming out of karate class. This guy pushed me aside and said "Out of my way fatso!" My feelings were hurt. So I used the family credo "Don't get sore, get even". (I should mention, at the time I would have given a young Mae West a run for her money). I showed up the next day in my size 10 bongo jeans, and my favorite bodice of Man's ultimate doom and watched him run into a water fountain twice.  >:D Then had more fun leaving men tripping and falling all over themselves that day.... feelings assuaged. :D

The second time, I heard it, I turned around gave them my biggest ear to ear grin and said "Bless your obfuscated heart" and walked away. I loved the look on their faces as they tried to figure out if I had insulted them.  >:D
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: Emmy on September 02, 2012, 05:12:53 AM
I was in a small bar with a friend near our hometown the year we turned legal.  We were talking with a guy who knew my friend's sister.  The guy's friend comes up and says to us "Those girls must have really sweet personalities because they aren't much to look at".  We were too shocked to say anything and just ignored him.  Funny how it always seem to be the ugliest guys who make those type of comments. 
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: Redsoil on September 02, 2012, 07:21:20 AM
I find it peculiar that someone would adversely comment on another's weight/appearance etc. especially when they do not know them.  Obviously it's a bullying tactic for whatever reason.

I wonder if it may be of use (should the person remain within earshot) to turn it back on them in a polite and enquiring fashion?

"Oh, wow - you're one of those success stories are you?  That's great!  Can you tell me how you managed to lose all your weight?  You must be so happy now you're a model for the rest of us!"  Tone is everything with this one - light and happy, "genuinely" interested.  I'd imagine that'd throw them off-balance, especially as it's polite and essentially "calls" them on their comment.  Unless they really are just that nasty.  Some people you just can't do anything with.
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: Hollanda on September 02, 2012, 07:56:37 AM
I used to stare and say nothing. Or a polite "Thank you for your interest." I was rather large for a short while a long time ago whilst my thyroid meds were being reviewed. I was on too small a dose aand therefore put on weight.

Also when I was pg. Yes, I was expecting a baby. No, that does not give anyone the right to negatively comment on someone else's appearance.

I have never done it and don't understand why some people do.
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: Venus193 on September 02, 2012, 08:18:12 AM
Usually it's to make them feel better about themselves.  They don't care if they hurt you.

Which should make them realize they're jerks, but they never do.
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: Miss March on September 02, 2012, 08:43:32 AM
I was in a small bar with a friend near our hometown the year we turned legal.  We were talking with a guy who knew my friend's sister.  The guy's friend comes up and says to us "Those girls must have really sweet personalities because they aren't much to look at".  We were too shocked to say anything and just ignored him.  Funny how it always seem to be the ugliest guys who make those type of comments. 

That sounds like he was trying a "neg." It's this really bizarre pickup technique that I first heard about on some VH1 show called "The Pick-Up Artist." The man is supposed to say something to the woman that sort of insults her. The basic idea behind it is a man approaches a woman and she shoots him down. But if the man walks up and says something negative about the woman, that is supposed to challenge her to want to prove to him that she's NOT a negative, so she'll talk to him and he'll be in the power position.
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: Danika on September 02, 2012, 04:25:11 PM
I read this yesterday and felt so bad for the people who had this happen to them. I was teased a lot about my weight when I was a child and so I am super sensitive to people being mocked for their size (whether it's thin, heavy, tall, short) and will generally defend them if I overhear comments being made.

Last night, I kept trying to think of EHell approved responses that someone who is the target of such mean comments could use.

The reason bullies do this is to make you feel defeated and look sad so they can feel better about themselves. You have to do the opposite of looking soul-crushed because then the bully feels they've failed and isn't rewarded for their mean behavior.

I like the PPs suggestions of laughing. That's ideal, but very hard to pull off. If the offender is driving away, it's probably best to pretend that you didn't hear them at all, so they think their efforts were in vain.

But I think if they're still within earshot and there are witnesses, you want them to feel mocked instead. The best thing I can come up with is to say confidently "Gee, that's not what you said to me Friday night when you were trying to get me in bed." That'll get everyone laughing at the bully, which is the best way to stop that behavior and restore some of your self-confidence.
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: shadowfox79 on September 03, 2012, 05:49:29 AM
That sounds like he was trying a "neg." It's this really bizarre pickup technique that I first heard about on some VH1 show called "The Pick-Up Artist." The man is supposed to say something to the woman that sort of insults her. The basic idea behind it is a man approaches a woman and she shoots him down. But if the man walks up and says something negative about the woman, that is supposed to challenge her to want to prove to him that she's NOT a negative, so she'll talk to him and he'll be in the power position.

I've seen that too. The idea is that stunningly beautiful women are used to being fawned over, so if you act like they're nothing special, they'll work harder to convince you otherwise. Of course, if you try this on a woman with a more realistic opinion of her strengths and weaknesses, you're likely to get "Yeah, whatever" and the sight of her fast-retreating back.
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: greencat on September 03, 2012, 05:55:58 AM
That sounds like he was trying a "neg." It's this really bizarre pickup technique that I first heard about on some VH1 show called "The Pick-Up Artist." The man is supposed to say something to the woman that sort of insults her. The basic idea behind it is a man approaches a woman and she shoots him down. But if the man walks up and says something negative about the woman, that is supposed to challenge her to want to prove to him that she's NOT a negative, so she'll talk to him and he'll be in the power position.

I've seen that too. The idea is that stunningly beautiful women are used to being fawned over, so if you act like they're nothing special, they'll work harder to convince you otherwise. Of course, if you try this on a woman with a more realistic opinion of her strengths and weaknesses, you're likely to get "Yeah, whatever" and the sight of her fast-retreating back.

Not to mention, this particular technique is meant to be used with a great deal of subtlety, like the delicate touch of a feather, and most guys only hear "say something mean to a woman to get her to talk to you," and apply it with a sledgehammer.
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: RingTailedLemur on September 03, 2012, 05:59:45 AM
I can't imagine giving someone who just walked up and insulted me the time of day, pick up attempt or no.

Back on topic, I am frequently amazed that there are people who feel they have some sort of right or even duty to "tell it like it is" because "they have got to be told".  Ragen Chastain (I love her) has some excellent responses to that kind of thing on her blog.
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: TurtleDove on September 03, 2012, 06:35:57 AM
I am not advocating the "neg," but the idea is not to actually insult anyone, and done properly it's more flirting banter. I think sometimes people look for "insults" when really there is no actual insult intended (such as in a "neg" situation).
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: Fleur on September 03, 2012, 01:23:44 PM
I am not advocating the "neg," but the idea is not to actually insult anyone, and done properly it's more flirting banter. I think sometimes people look for "insults" when really there is no actual insult intended (such as in a "neg" situation).

I'm a little confused: are you saying it is more about tone, or wording?  I agree that with friends of long standing, things can be said in jest that are, by their tone, robbed of any sting of malice. But I don't see how that would apply to someone you (general) had just met. If a man came up to me and told me I was ugly, I wouldn't be offended: I know I'm not, and I have a thick enough skin to not bother what others think. So I wouldn't by crying into my wine spritzer, but no more would I be giving him the time of day.
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: GreenEyedHawk on September 03, 2012, 01:36:32 PM
The only time I've ever commented on a stranger's appearance is to say something complimentary like, "That's a really nice jacket!"  or "I love your shoes!"

Anything beyond that is no one else's business.  What would I possibly have to gain by insulting someone at all, never mind someone I'll probably never see again?

As a slight aside, the local radio station we listen to at work has a "nooner" type show where people call in at lunchtime (hence nooner) to comment on that day's topic of discussion.  A little while back, the topic of the day was things about modern life that get on your nerves. One...gentleman...called in and said he is bothered by "Huge, fat, 150lb(!!!) women working out at the gym.  They're gross to look at!"

First of all, 150lbs is not FAT.  I'm 5-foot nothing, and 150lbs would look fine on me!  Second of all, that's what the gym is FOR!  Working out, toning, dropping excess weight, getting fit.  The gym is NOT for ogling women.  Thirdly, I can't even FATHOM anyone thinking that that opinion is okay enough to air on a radio station with thousands of listeners.  All of which the DJ (a woman, I might add) pointed out to him.  She finished by saying, "Who do you think you are, judging women at the gym and calling them fat?  You know what you are?  You're a giant a**!"  Then she hung up on him.

I am a loyal listener of her show.
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: Fleur on September 03, 2012, 01:51:16 PM
The only time I've ever commented on a stranger's appearance is to say something complimentary like, "That's a really nice jacket!"  or "I love your shoes!"

Anything beyond that is no one else's business.  What would I possibly have to gain by insulting someone at all, never mind someone I'll probably never see again?

As a slight aside, the local radio station we listen to at work has a "nooner" type show where people call in at lunchtime (hence nooner) to comment on that day's topic of discussion.  A little while back, the topic of the day was things about modern life that get on your nerves. One...gentleman...called in and said he is bothered by "Huge, fat, 150lb(!!!) women working out at the gym.  They're gross to look at!"

First of all, 150lbs is not FAT.  I'm 5-foot nothing, and 150lbs would look fine on me!  Second of all, that's what the gym is FOR!  Working out, toning, dropping excess weight, getting fit.  The gym is NOT for ogling women.  Thirdly, I can't even FATHOM anyone thinking that that opinion is okay enough to air on a radio station with thousands of listeners.  All of which the DJ (a woman, I might add) pointed out to him.  She finished by saying, "Who do you think you are, judging women at the gym and calling them fat?  You know what you are?  You're a giant a**!"  Then she hung up on him.

I am a loyal listener of her show.

That is insane. I mean, it would be rude whatever weights the women were at. But 150lb? That is not in the least fat, even if it is a higher weight than some people would be comfortable with. I would hate to see this man's face if he saw a 300 or 400lb woman. He might just die on the spot (which would be no bad thing.)
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: Ida on September 03, 2012, 09:20:36 PM
"If thine eye offend thee, pluck it out."

Somebody or other said that, I do believe.
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: Iris on September 04, 2012, 01:21:37 AM
The only time I've ever commented on a stranger's appearance is to say something complimentary like, "That's a really nice jacket!"  or "I love your shoes!"

Anything beyond that is no one else's business.  What would I possibly have to gain by insulting someone at all, never mind someone I'll probably never see again?

As a slight aside, the local radio station we listen to at work has a "nooner" type show where people call in at lunchtime (hence nooner) to comment on that day's topic of discussion.  A little while back, the topic of the day was things about modern life that get on your nerves. One...gentleman...called in and said he is bothered by "Huge, fat, 150lb(!!!) women working out at the gym.  They're gross to look at!"

First of all, 150lbs is not FAT.  I'm 5-foot nothing, and 150lbs would look fine on me!  Second of all, that's what the gym is FOR!  Working out, toning, dropping excess weight, getting fit.  The gym is NOT for ogling women.  Thirdly, I can't even FATHOM anyone thinking that that opinion is okay enough to air on a radio station with thousands of listeners.  All of which the DJ (a woman, I might add) pointed out to him.  She finished by saying, "Who do you think you are, judging women at the gym and calling them fat?  You know what you are?  You're a giant a**!"  Then she hung up on him.

I am a loyal listener of her show.

That is insane. I mean, it would be rude whatever weights the women were at. But 150lb? That is not in the least fat, even if it is a higher weight than some people would be comfortable with. I would hate to see this man's face if he saw a 300 or 400lb woman. He might just die on the spot (which would be no bad thing.)

I recently read an opinion piece where the author was questioning why some women prefer to work out at women-only gyms. People like this jerk, that's why.
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: TurtleDove on September 04, 2012, 06:05:21 AM
Fluer, both tone and wording. For me, a "neg" wouldn't work unless I was attracted to the guy, but then no "pickup line" would unless I were attracted to the guy. My point was a true "neg" is flirting and generally I can tell when someone is flirting - there is no insult intended, usually more sarcasm or dark humor (both of which I enjoy). Some people do mean to insult....but then that us not a "neg."
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: RingTailedLemur on September 04, 2012, 06:10:05 AM
I've just looked up a few PUA website and read their "neg" examples.

Frankly I thought they all sounded PA and some of them downright nasty.
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: Venus193 on September 04, 2012, 07:04:32 AM
I agree.  Letting a guy like that pick you up is opening the door to future emotional abuse whether or not it's disguised as humor. 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/deadlineusa/2009/mar/16/rihanna-usa

This article is disturbing, as are these stats:

http://www.rwjf.org/files/research/startstrongbaselinetopline20120323.pdf
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: TylerBelle on December 07, 2012, 01:57:49 PM
Yeah, this hits close to home, I shudder when I see or learn about it happening to others. Even though I'm overweight, my height issue is what usually gets noticed more. I think I've mentioned before I'm a little person, just being a few inches over four feet. It amazes me how some people feel compelled to make comments, some nice, some not so nice and some down right nasty, and of course sometimes there's the unpleasantness of having "midget" called out.  :::Groan:::

It's *fun* to be out walking somewhere, like in a mall, and approach a big group of people, where one of them usually has glanced around and spotted you. They lean in and whisper to the others, and then everyone all turns and looks at you at the same time. I've learned to pretend they really want to look beyond me and I'm just in the way, so I step aside and make a show of looking back there, too. ;D
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: Outdoor Girl on December 07, 2012, 03:05:46 PM
It's *fun* to be out walking somewhere, like in a mall, and approach a big group of people, where one of them usually has glanced around and spotted you. They lean in and whisper to the others, and then everyone all turns and looks at you at the same time. I've learned to pretend they really want to look beyond me and I'm just in the way, so I step aside and make a show of looking back there, too. ;D

That made me laugh.  I'm not sure if it would be considered PA or not but I don't really care.  I think that's a great way to let people know they are being bacon fed knaves.
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: TylerBelle on December 07, 2012, 07:30:05 PM
Oops, if I leaned towards PA, it wasn't meant to be so :). It was a way to handle the awkwardness of being stared at en masse. Bacon-fed knaves, hee.
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: MissRose on December 12, 2012, 12:02:36 PM
I am a bigger girl, but no one has dared to say anything to me about it in public settings.  I'd much rather compliment someone on their clothes or their choice of a favorite musician as an example.

In private, my mother still loves to make comments and telling stuff she finds out via the mass media thinking it will make me lose weight.  With all of the nagging she has done over the years, I should be a size zero by now if she could simply by her words make my weight go away!
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: gramma dishes on December 12, 2012, 12:09:49 PM
...  With all of the nagging she has done over the years, I should be a size zero by now if she could simply by her words make my weight go away!

And if you WERE a size 0, she'd be just as concerned that you were anorexic or something!  Some people are just never satisfied with how 'other' people look!
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: Danika on December 12, 2012, 01:34:04 PM
...  With all of the nagging she has done over the years, I should be a size zero by now if she could simply by her words make my weight go away!

And if you WERE a size 0, she'd be just as concerned that you were anorexic or something!  Some people are just never satisfied with how 'other' people look!

gramma dishes, sounds like you've met my mother. She makes the same comments as the PP's mother.
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: Softly Spoken on December 12, 2012, 02:39:16 PM
Since this is such an emotional topic, I wanted to challenge myself to try and par it down to bare bones etiquette.
Leaving out issues of fat and bullying, etc., IMHO it comes down to this:

1) It is rude to comment negatively on another person's appearance. You are foisting your unwanted and unasked-for opinion on them. At worst you are insulting them and at best you are wasting their time by pointing out something they already know and have no desire to be reminded of.

2) Since this behavior (rude and/or unhelpful comments) is not acceptable, the simplest, most basic response (if you choose to respond instead of ignore) would be corrective:

"Excuse you."

You don't have to defend yourself, you don't have to argue, you don't have to justify why you are the way you are. You excuse them their ignorant behavior and alert them of the rudeness that has escaped their mouth like the uncouth belch the phrase is usually a response to. Brain-to-mouth "burps", whether done with malicious intent out a car window or out of misplaced "concern" by a friend or family member, are to be excused as inappropriate and then best forgotten. They do not deserve any further effort or thought on your part.

"Excuse you." can be said coldly, neutrally, calmly, or cheerfully. Repeat ad nauseum as necessary. :)

I only came up with this today but I plan on using it the next time someone says something to me.
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: Emmy on December 17, 2012, 05:09:02 AM
...  With all of the nagging she has done over the years, I should be a size zero by now if she could simply by her words make my weight go away!

And if you WERE a size 0, she'd be just as concerned that you were anorexic or something!  Some people are just never satisfied with how 'other' people look!

Over my adult life, I have ranged from US size 4-8.  I have a former friend who moved a few hours away after college.  When I was a size 4, she would comment on how skinny and anorexic I looked.  When I was a size 8, I looked really heavy and better watch my weight.  Apparently I could please her, but only when I was a size 6.  ::)
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: Otterpop on December 17, 2012, 06:27:03 AM
...  With all of the nagging she has done over the years, I should be a size zero by now if she could simply by her words make my weight go away!

And if you WERE a size 0, she'd be just as concerned that you were anorexic or something!  Some people are just never satisfied with how 'other' people look!

Over my adult life, I have ranged from US size 4-8.  I have a former friend who moved a few hours away after college.  When I was a size 4, she would comment on how skinny and anorexic I looked.  When I was a size 8, I looked really heavy and better watch my weight.  Apparently I could please her, but only when I was a size 6.  ::)

Sounds like if you reached a "6" she would have started on your hair, personality, decorating habits, children...glad she is a former friend.

(That's my exact size range too and I've always felt best in the middle of the range.  But, as I get older, I don't stress if I go up or down.  It matters how I feel.  And true friends do not pick on a healthy weight in either direction.)



Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: Emmy on December 20, 2012, 06:42:49 AM
...  With all of the nagging she has done over the years, I should be a size zero by now if she could simply by her words make my weight go away!

And if you WERE a size 0, she'd be just as concerned that you were anorexic or something!  Some people are just never satisfied with how 'other' people look!

Over my adult life, I have ranged from US size 4-8.  I have a former friend who moved a few hours away after college.  When I was a size 4, she would comment on how skinny and anorexic I looked.  When I was a size 8, I looked really heavy and better watch my weight.  Apparently I could please her, but only when I was a size 6.  ::)

Sounds like if you reached a "6" she would have started on your hair, personality, decorating habits, children...glad she is a former friend.

(That's my exact size range too and I've always felt best in the middle of the range.  But, as I get older, I don't stress if I go up or down.  It matters how I feel.  And true friends do not pick on a healthy weight in either direction.)

That's true.  This friend would always talk about herself, she would complain about her roommates, husband, medical problems, parents, school, other friends, ect. often going on for hours.  One time I got a new boyfriend and gushed a little bit to her about it (only a few minutes of gushing).  She later told a mutual friend that I am boy crazy and all I did was talk about my boyfriend.  The next time we met, things seemed to go fine.  Then when I e-mailed her to say 'hello', she replied with a nasty letter that I was very rude to her husband and ignored him the whole time.  I was dumbfounded.  I told her "I'm sorry you feel that way" (I know people hate that reply, but I felt it was very appropriate as I was not rude) and let the friendship cool.  She got angry when I declined to ask her to be a bridesmaid in my wedding and the friendship was over after that.  It was actually very freeing, no more drama.
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: Annoyed in America on January 06, 2013, 09:38:49 AM
I always assume that when a guy makes an ugly comment about another person, especially a woman, he's just trying to divert attention away from the fact that he has a micro p-nis.
LMAO  And where I live they also compensate by driving very large pick-up trucks.
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: Yvaine on January 06, 2013, 09:40:29 AM
I always assume that when a guy makes an ugly comment about another person, especially a woman, he's just trying to divert attention away from the fact that he has a micro p-nis.
LMAO  And where I live they also compensate by driving very large pick-up trucks.

With those truck testicles hanging off the back.
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: gramma dishes on January 06, 2013, 09:45:54 AM
I always assume that when a guy makes an ugly comment about another person, especially a woman, he's just trying to divert attention away from the fact that he has a micro p-nis.
LMAO  And where I live they also compensate by driving very large pick-up trucks.

With those truck testicles hanging off the back.

 ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: CrochetFanatic on January 06, 2013, 10:11:21 AM
I always assume that when a guy makes an ugly comment about another person, especially a woman, he's just trying to divert attention away from the fact that he has a micro p-nis.
LMAO  And where I live they also compensate by driving very large pick-up trucks.

With those truck testicles hanging off the back.

 ;D ;D ;D

The first time I saw those things on a truck bumper, I had to pull over to the shoulder.  I was laughing so hard that I was afraid I'd wreck the car! 
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: Annoyed in America on January 06, 2013, 10:20:35 AM
I always assume that when a guy makes an ugly comment about another person, especially a woman, he's just trying to divert attention away from the fact that he has a micro p-nis.
LMAO  And where I live they also compensate by driving very large pick-up trucks.

With those truck testicles hanging off the back.

Giggle giggle!!! 
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: Danika on January 06, 2013, 07:57:47 PM
I always assume that when a guy makes an ugly comment about another person, especially a woman, he's just trying to divert attention away from the fact that he has a micro p-nis.
LMAO  And where I live they also compensate by driving very large pick-up trucks.

With those truck testicles hanging off the back.

 ;D ;D ;D

 ::) Vehicles with hanging testicles always make me roll my eyes!
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: wolfie on January 06, 2013, 08:59:44 PM
I am not advocating the "neg," but the idea is not to actually insult anyone, and done properly it's more flirting banter. I think sometimes people look for "insults" when really there is no actual insult intended (such as in a "neg" situation).

I'm a little confused: are you saying it is more about tone, or wording?  I agree that with friends of long standing, things can be said in jest that are, by their tone, robbed of any sting of malice. But I don't see how that would apply to someone you (general) had just met. If a man came up to me and told me I was ugly, I wouldn't be offended: I know I'm not, and I have a thick enough skin to not bother what others think. So I wouldn't by crying into my wine spritzer, but no more would I be giving him the time of day.

That's the using it as a sledgehammer part. For a real "neg" it should be subtle, so that she might need to think about it before she realizes it was actually an insult. It also shouldn't be an opener. It would be something dropped in the middle of the conversation to let the woman know that he isn't THAT attracted to her so that she tries to compensate and prove that she is really that attractive, funny, intelligent, whatever. I've read one of those books by a pick-up artist too and realized that if it was done properly I would probably fall for it. It's one of those things that sounds like it is a lot easier then it really is to do properly. But, as the author pointed out, if you are trying to start a real relationship, playing games to pick someone up might not make for the best foundation.
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: greencat on January 06, 2013, 11:08:40 PM
Re: Negging: It's kind of like the instructions for it say: "gently tap the glass next to her with a brick to make a ringing sound to attract her attention," and many men abbreviate that into: "Tap her with a brick to attract her attention."
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: Jocelyn on January 12, 2013, 06:09:25 PM
What's especially scary about this: a research study came out earlier this week that found out a woman defendant's weight significantly affects juror perceptions of her guilt. Women did not use a defendant's weight in assessing guilt or innocence, and neither did overweight male jurors, but average weight male jurors judged an overweight woman to be significantly more guilty than a slender woman, when the cases were otherwise identical. (obviously, these were mock juries). Average sized men were more likely to perceive an overweight woman as having premeditated the offense, and with malice, than a slender woman.
Really scary stuff.
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: FizzyChip on January 16, 2013, 02:48:44 AM
What's especially scary about this: a research study came out earlier this week that found out a woman defendant's weight significantly affects juror perceptions of her guilt. Women did not use a defendant's weight in assessing guilt or innocence, and neither did overweight male jurors, but average weight male jurors judged an overweight woman to be significantly more guilty than a slender woman, when the cases were otherwise identical. (obviously, these were mock juries). Average sized men were more likely to perceive an overweight woman as having premeditated the offense, and with malice, than a slender woman.
Really scary stuff.

wow. just wow :-(
Title: Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
Post by: Sign Of The Times on January 16, 2013, 04:10:09 PM
I am a plus size woman. As a result, random strangers will sometimes feel the need to insult me in some way- usually, when I am simply walking past them, minding my own business.

Generally, my response is to ignore them. My self-esteem will sometimes vacillate (doesn't everyone's?), but generally, I feel pretty good about myself- that's why I find these encounters more offensive in principle, than anything else. Really, who behaves this way?! It makes it difficult to know how to respond. I'd really like to dish out a line that is polite but also puts them in their place, but will settle for silence, if need be.

Anyone have any thoughts or suggestions?
"How kind of you to take an interest."
"Excuse me?"
"Better big than boorish."

Would any of those work?