Author Topic: Would this be a rude gift?  (Read 5036 times)

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jpcher

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Re: Would this be a rude gift?
« Reply #15 on: November 24, 2012, 03:09:18 PM »

Ah! That is different then. If others say it's rude, then probably best to go with their advice. Personally, I don't see it as automatically rude in your MIL's case. She might very well like something like that.

That was why we even considered it.  I can see her really liking the realtime feedback and the charts and graphs, but wasn't sure if the potential implications might make it a bad idea.

I think it's terribly considerate and nice for you to want to give that as a gift. That's something I'd like because I maintain my weight loss by tracking that stuff!

I agree w/ PP's that it might be a 'loaded gift' but maybe you could show her an advertisement and just ask her if she'd enjoy something like this. Something like, "Hey look at this cool gadget! See all the things it does? I think it's neat-o!" and then see what she says. Based on her response (very enthusiastic with expressions of how she'd use it), then ask if it would be okay to get this for her as a gift if she really thinks she'd enjoy it. A lukewarm response would let you know that she's not very interested.

With the added info (above bold) I completely agree with bloo's approach.

WillyNilly

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Re: Would this be a rude gift?
« Reply #16 on: November 24, 2012, 04:22:48 PM »
I can see both sides of the argument.

So what I would do is perhaps give her a simpler device and see how she likes it, like a basic pedometer (the Weight Watchers one is actually really nice, it translates movement into points, it has a pause feature, etc).  She's probably already using the WW online tools to track her calories, etc so another device might just be redundant.

Then if she loves the pedometer, and uses it, then you get her the more advanced tool (personally i prefer the FitBit over the BodyBugg) for her birthday or next year or something.  Also by getting her a smaller fitness tool (basic pedometer for about $20) you can get her another gift as well so its not like Christmas is all about her weight loss efforts.

Bijou

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Re: Would this be a rude gift?
« Reply #17 on: November 24, 2012, 06:46:18 PM »
I don't recommend this as a gift for anyone. 
Twice I have been on the receiving end of 'you need to lose weight' gifts and both times I was very, very  unhappy about it. 
I've never knitted anything I could recognize when it was finished.  Actually, I've never finished anything, much to my family's relief.

Yankeegal77

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Re: Would this be a rude gift?
« Reply #18 on: November 24, 2012, 07:07:29 PM »
I really like bloo's idea! Maybe your DH can set the conversation in motion, as she's his mother and he might have a better idea of how to proceed.

FTR, I've lost about 70 pounds in the past few years and LOVED fitness gifts. There were tough times on that journey, but it was nice to receive the encouragement. It just depends on the person. If I received a BodyBugg, I'd be really excited.

Maybe you could find a sporting goods store that sells it, and give your MIL a giftcard? These places sell shoes, comfortable clothing and a lot of other fitness items. I bought my mom some workout clothes as a gentle hint one year because she is always trying to get out more and it did go over wonderfully.

All this said, it really depends on the person and while not necessarily rude, it might not have the intended effect. Again, love what bloo said!

Bramble

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Re: Would this be a rude gift?
« Reply #19 on: November 24, 2012, 07:42:11 PM »
I bought my mom a FitBit for Christmas last year, and she loves it.  However she'd already talked about wanting to lose some weight, and she does a lot of walking, so its cool for her to track her daily activity and how much she walks.  The FitBit, Fuelband, and Up all seem like fun fitnessy gadgets to get people that don't come across as so much of a not-so gentle hint to lose weight.

However, the Bodybugg is maybe to much of a commitment to buy for someone else.  Its much more of a weight loss focused gadget, and unlike most of the other fitness tracking gadgets, you need to have an ongoing subscription to the tracking website.  (I think they give you the first six months or so free.)  Its also a bit bulkier than the newer fitness gadgets that have come out recently.  I bought one a few years ago and wore it for quite a while, but while the data it gathered was great, and can't really be matched, it just got to a point where I couldn't wear it anymore.  It needs to be worn on the upper arm, and that restricts the types of clothes you can wear.   Plus wearing all day everyday really irritated my skin after a while.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2012, 07:48:56 PM by Bramble »

Venus193

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Re: Would this be a rude gift?
« Reply #20 on: November 24, 2012, 07:49:59 PM »
I think we once concluded that Pygmalion gifts are usually a bad idea.  If the BodyBug also comes with an ongoing expense for the recipient, that would make it doubly rude.

I vote Yes; this gift is rude.

Bijou

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Re: Would this be a rude gift?
« Reply #21 on: November 24, 2012, 09:25:41 PM »

Ah! That is different then. If others say it's rude, then probably best to go with their advice. Personally, I don't see it as automatically rude in your MIL's case. She might very well like something like that.

That was why we even considered it.  I can see her really liking the realtime feedback and the charts and graphs, but wasn't sure if the potential implications might make it a bad idea.

I think it's terribly considerate and nice for you to want to give that as a gift. That's something I'd like because I maintain my weight loss by tracking that stuff!

I agree w/ PP's that it might be a 'loaded gift' but maybe you could show her an advertisement and just ask her if she'd enjoy something like this. Something like, "Hey look at this cool gadget! See all the things it does? I think it's neat-o!" and then see what she says. Based on her response (very enthusiastic with expressions of how she'd use it), then ask if it would be okay to get this for her as a gift if she really thinks she'd enjoy it. A lukewarm response would let you know that she's not very interested.
Asking someone if they would like it is as loaded as giving the gift.  Either way you are making a statement about their weight.  And if you gave something like that to be opened in front of others, well...I just do not recommend it.
If someone pointed out an ad for such a thing to me and acted "oh, how cool" enthusiastic about it, I would find it a poorly veiled attempt at addressing my weight needs, unless they needed it themselves and were thinking of buying it for their own use.
It just isn't worth the risk of making someone hurt, insulted and angry. 
I've never knitted anything I could recognize when it was finished.  Actually, I've never finished anything, much to my family's relief.

kareng57

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Re: Would this be a rude gift?
« Reply #22 on: November 24, 2012, 09:34:53 PM »

Ah! That is different then. If others say it's rude, then probably best to go with their advice. Personally, I don't see it as automatically rude in your MIL's case. She might very well like something like that.

That was why we even considered it.  I can see her really liking the realtime feedback and the charts and graphs, but wasn't sure if the potential implications might make it a bad idea.

I think it's terribly considerate and nice for you to want to give that as a gift. That's something I'd like because I maintain my weight loss by tracking that stuff!

I agree w/ PP's that it might be a 'loaded gift' but maybe you could show her an advertisement and just ask her if she'd enjoy something like this. Something like, "Hey look at this cool gadget! See all the things it does? I think it's neat-o!" and then see what she says. Based on her response (very enthusiastic with expressions of how she'd use it), then ask if it would be okay to get this for her as a gift if she really thinks she'd enjoy it. A lukewarm response would let you know that she's not very interested.
Asking someone if they would like it is as loaded as giving the gift.  Either way you are making a statement about their weight.  And if you gave something like that to be opened in front of others, well...I just do not recommend it.
If someone pointed out an ad for such a thing to me and acted "oh, how cool" enthusiastic about it, I would find it a poorly veiled attempt at addressing my weight needs, unless they needed it themselves and were thinking of buying it for their own use.
It just isn't worth the risk of making someone hurt, insulted and angry.


Parking my Pod here, too.  There is simply no polite way to ask a potential-recipient if she'd "like" a gift like this.  The only exception that I can think of is if she'd recently said something like "I wish I had something that would help me keep track.." etc.

AnnaJ

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Re: Would this be a rude gift?
« Reply #23 on: November 24, 2012, 10:02:40 PM »
As someone who has spend several years fighting my weight, no this would not be a good gift.

Most people I know seesaw, and I do too - what if by Christmas your MIL is 'off' the weight loss wagon?  Then this gift would be more guilt inducing than helpful.  I know that some see that as an inspirational thing, but frankly guilt just pushes me further into negative behavior and depression. :(

Drawberry

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Re: Would this be a rude gift?
« Reply #24 on: November 24, 2012, 10:27:10 PM »
I wouldn't get it. There is a lot of pressure to lose weight and it sounds like your MIL has internalised that pressure and equates losing weight with happiness and fame. I think a gift should be a "I like you right now", rather than "Here, become a better person".

The kind of attitude your MIL has towards losing weight is not a healthy one. She's fallen prey to the media pushing the idea upon her that with thinness comes automatic happiness and success. Which is far from a healthy mental place to be in when facing body issues of any sort.

I think perhaps, unless explicitly asked, it's best to stay away gifting anything that implies a change is desired, expected, or needed of an individuals body.

If someone said "Yes I'd like some hand weights for the Holidays" you are explicitly being told that this item is so desired and would not cross the boundaries of that individuals personal being.

Or if she said "I really want to join the gym, I'd love a membership there."

Someone saying "I am struggling losing weight. Boy I wish I was thin so I'd be happy" is not an offering into crossing that boundary and is not an attitude you should be supporting in the first place.

If you are dead set on providing something you see as being supportive of her body-changing goals perhaps a non-weight related item would be more appropriate. Say, if you know she wants to start making energy smoothies, protein drinks and other such supplemental drinks you could purchase her a blender? They sell blenders that are small but carry something along the lines up 16OZ and the 'cup' part of the blender is made to be detached and carried like a mug with a screw on lid (some have straws that are thick plastic and made to be washed with the mug). 

This particular item is not implying anything of how you view her or her body or any expectations you might have of her. Nor is it an item specific to weight-loss.

Adding into it she's openly discussed having trouble staying on 'track' with her goals buying her a $100 tech system may simply end up being unused and collect dust.

BuffaloFang

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Re: Would this be a rude gift?
« Reply #25 on: November 24, 2012, 10:30:42 PM »
I can see both sides of the argument.

So what I would do is perhaps give her a simpler device and see how she likes it, like a basic pedometer (the Weight Watchers one is actually really nice, it translates movement into points, it has a pause feature, etc).  She's probably already using the WW online tools to track her calories, etc so another device might just be redundant.

Then if she loves the pedometer, and uses it, then you get her the more advanced tool (personally i prefer the FitBit over the BodyBugg) for her birthday or next year or something.  Also by getting her a smaller fitness tool (basic pedometer for about $20) you can get her another gift as well so its not like Christmas is all about her weight loss efforts.

See, another reason I considered this is a few years earlier she actually did ask for a nice pedometer for a christmas gift.  So we've given along the same vein, but as other posters pointed out, she did ask for one then, and I do realize the on/off the wagon approach does complicate things.

BuffaloFang

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Re: Would this be a rude gift?
« Reply #26 on: November 24, 2012, 10:41:59 PM »
I think we once concluded that Pygmalion gifts are usually a bad idea.  If the BodyBug also comes with an ongoing expense for the recipient, that would make it doubly rude.

I vote Yes; this gift is rude.

We weren't thinking about gifting this to her because we think she needs to lose weight, so I don't know that this applies.  We were thinking about gifting this to her because she's been trying to lose weight (by her own impetus), and the product is kind of cool and we thought she'd like it.  I'm a bit offended by the implication that thinking about giving this to her means I think she's a fat slob who "needs" to lose weight.  It was more of a "oh, this is what you're doing now?  Here, you might find this useful and cool!" Similar to how I bought my friend who enjoys cycling arm warmers, or my BIL who likes running a ton of running gear.

And had we purchased one, we likely would have bought a years subscription with it.  We actually were struggling with that bit, and had considered a fitbit instead, but it sounds like neither is appropriate for someone overweight.

Venus193

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Re: Would this be a rude gift?
« Reply #27 on: November 24, 2012, 10:54:35 PM »
Whether you mean it as such or not it can easily be perceived this way, especially by someone who is sensitive about or obsessed with her weight.

I've heard of people thinking that a gift of high-quality scented soap sends the message "You stink," which would never occur to me.

Raintree

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Re: Would this be a rude gift?
« Reply #28 on: November 25, 2012, 04:13:34 AM »
I don't know what a Bodybugg is but I'd also avoid giving it to her, even though she has herself talked about her weight loss. It's just too sensitive a topic for some people. I also have a friend who talks about the weight she wants to lose, or the fitness regime she is on, and at one point we both joined the same gym; she wanted to lose weight, I just wanted to tone up a little, lose 5 lb, get fitter and stronger. But no matter what I said about weight/the gym/fitness (in the context of my reasons for going), I was called insensitive. Example: she told me I didn't need to lose weight, and I agreed and said I was just trying to tone up. Insensitive. If I said I DID need to lose 5-7 pounds in response, I was insensitive. She complained about her weight and talked about her goals; I'd offer (I thought) some words of encouragement. Insensitive. Didn't matter what I said, it would later come back to me that she thought it was insensitive. So I would just never go there with a weight loss gift. And as a PP said, I'd also stay away from chocolates and other goodies. Not because I don't think she should enjoy occasional treats, it's just that when I was trying to lose my 5-7 pounds I'd inwardly groan when I was given chocolates as a gift. Because I like them a little too much and WILL eat them if given to me.

Fleur

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Re: Would this be a rude gift?
« Reply #29 on: November 25, 2012, 04:28:50 AM »
I don't recommend this as a gift for anyone. 
Twice I have been on the receiving end of 'you need to lose weight' gifts and both times I was very, very  unhappy about it.

I think, though, that it is different if the person has stated a desire to lose weight. I say this as someone who is overweight and losing. I would be thrilled with the BodyBug, and don't see it as a Pygmalion gift at all. Just a useful tool to help me do something that I already know I want to do.