and I would not want to recieve a vacuum cleaner, not because it spells "you need to clean your house" but because of the 1950s implication that my entire being is reflected through my being a housewife (which I'm not).
I'm in the NO WAY in any shape is a weight loss gift appropriate. Don't go there with your MIL. Something like this is too personal and although the idea of wanting someone to take care of themselves is sweet but, in my opinion, a very very inappropriate gift because it can easily make the "I think you are fat" statement instead of "I care about you."
FYI I'm not completely non-functional when it comes to gifts. I totally love receiving vacuums and other household items for mother's day and whatnot ... but the weight stuff is too much.
It's funny. What offends one person may not offend another. I would love something like a Bodybugg but would be offended to receive a vacuum (at least, as a surprise). I would hear "you don't clean enough or good enough" instead of "Here's a new vacuum!"
However, kitchen tools are safe because my family and friends know that is my weakness. But someone else could get offended and hear, "You don't cook enough/well."
(Wasn't there a novel where the women received a vacuum cleaner or toaster for her birthday and it did not.end.well for the hubby?)
I don't know what novel you may be thinking of but did you ever see The Father of the Bride (remake with Steve Martin)? His daughter flipped out and was going to call off the wedding because her affianced gave her a blender as a wedding present?"What is this, 1958?! Give the little wife a blender!?" - Annie Banks
OT: as DottyG mentioned someone with weight issues could be so hurt by a fitness gift. While I obviously had/have weight issues since I did lose 70+ lbs, I also manage an eating disorder. While I would love a fitness gift, I realize not everyone would. I think BuffaloFang's question has been asked and answered. Enough people have mentioned that they would be troubled by it that it would be best not to give it and be very careful about asking about it.
I also agree with TurtleDove and BuffaloFang below:
I kind of feel like it's coming very close to trying to be so sensitive that you're actually being more offensive.
Bingo. It seemingly forces a person to analyze another's body to determine whether they might be sensitive about their weight rather than simply doing an analysis of "Sally's been talking about how fun her workouts are - I bet she'd love a BodyBugg!"
See this is what is eye-opening:
Bobybugg fangirl here. They are awesome, but also they can be brutal. When you see the numbers in actual black and white (plus bonus graph form) of how much you ate vs. how much you burned, it can be a bit disheartening. If your MIL is the type to be in denial as to how much her eating choices are affecting her weight, I would not reccomend it.
However, if she has been doinf well on WW, then, why not just ask her? I think it is perfectly acceptable, if she has talked to you about her weight loss, to say, "Hey MIL, I have heard about this cool gadget. Would you be interested in one?"
The bolded did not dishearten me once I started tracking food and exercising. It opened my eyes to the denial I was in ('I don't know why I can't lose weight...I don't eat THAT much!'). But until someone's ready to see that, I guess it would be disheartening.
So I agree, 'loaded' gift. But I sure will be doing more research on it and hinting to my loved ones about it!