This past weekend I was hanging out at my mum’s house for my sister’s birthday when my mum looked up from her knitting to say, “You’re looking very skinny at the moment.”
At first I did the usual female thing and deflect the compliment, explaining that it was a trick of the pants, an optical illusion.Then after a while I started to wonder why that was the go-to compliment for women these days and what it really meant.
Firstly, I feel like there’s some sort of passive-aggressive undertone to that sort of comment, like they’re really saying “Usually you look really fat and disgusting but today… not so much.”
But other than that I think that this can be really damaging language that values perceived skinniness over health, happiness or intelligence.
It’s these kind of well-intentioned comments that lead to so many of us being unhappy with our bodies and do dangerous things in an effort to obtain the “perfect” body – and that most likely won’t make us happy in the long run.
If I’m being honest I have lost a bit of weight this year, but it is due to stress and just generally not taking proper care of myself, which was something I hadn’t realised was taking its toll so obviously.
Don’t get me wrong, getting a compliment from a loved one can feel amazing and give you a happy glow, but I think it is time we retired this particular comment from our vocabulary.
The next time you see one of your friends and they’re looking amazing tell them that. Tell them they look hot, that they’re wearing the hell out of that dress, that they’re one of the most gorgeous creatures to walk the earth. That they’re one of the funniest, smartest people in your life.
Let’s just leave our weight out of the conversation.