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Author Topic: Comments About Weight from Passerby  (Read 53332 times)

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hollandoates

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Comments About Weight from Passerby
« 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?

Yvaine

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Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
« Reply #1 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.

gramma dishes

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Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2011, 10:40:21 AM »
How about "You're so light because you have no brain"?   >:D

Amava

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Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
« Reply #3 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?

Yvaine

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Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
« Reply #4 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.

Minmom3

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Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
« Reply #5 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
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Otterpop

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Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
« Reply #6 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.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2011, 10:53:21 PM by Otterpop »

EMuir

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Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
« Reply #7 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.

tallone

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Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
« Reply #8 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.

Iris

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Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
« Reply #9 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.
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iradney

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Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
« Reply #10 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
“It is not who is right, but what is right, that is of importance.”
-Thomas Huxley

Yvaine

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Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
« Reply #11 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.

That Anime Chick

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Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
« Reply #12 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.
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SamiHami

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Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
« Reply #13 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.

What have you got? Is it food? Is it for me? I want it whatever it is!

BeagleMommy

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Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
« Reply #14 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.