Author Topic: Comments About Weight from Passerby  (Read 45431 times)

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figleaf

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Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
« Reply #30 on: December 03, 2011, 08:40:16 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.

gramma dishes

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Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
« Reply #31 on: December 03, 2011, 09:26:21 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.


Emmy

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Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
« Reply #32 on: December 04, 2011, 08:33:29 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.

Yvaine

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Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
« Reply #33 on: December 04, 2011, 09:03:18 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!

Luci

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Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
« Reply #34 on: December 04, 2011, 09:36:33 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.

Iris

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Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
« Reply #35 on: December 05, 2011, 01:23:18 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.
"Can't do anything with children, can you?" the woman said.

Poirot thought you could, but forebore to say so.

MissRose

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Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
« Reply #36 on: January 25, 2012, 01:19:12 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

TurtleDove

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Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
« Reply #37 on: January 25, 2012, 01:31:17 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? 

SleepyKitty

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Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
« Reply #38 on: January 25, 2012, 01:38:40 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.

TurtleDove

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Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
« Reply #39 on: January 25, 2012, 01:42:17 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.

Xandraea

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Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
« Reply #40 on: April 11, 2012, 11:30:07 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".

Hillia

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Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
« Reply #41 on: April 11, 2012, 04:06:53 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!'

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Miss Ann Thrope

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Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
« Reply #42 on: April 26, 2012, 11:07:52 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."

emeraldsage85

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Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
« Reply #43 on: April 26, 2012, 07:48:17 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."

FracturedPoet

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Re: Comments About Weight from Passerby
« Reply #44 on: April 29, 2012, 07:50:54 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.