Re: Fun With Family

1

I hope I do not transmit this down to the next generation, though.

Well, if they take care of themselves and are skinny it won't be a problem, now, will it?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 11:18 AM
horizontal rule
2

Dad doesn't say anything, but keeps a running commentary on the bodies of other women, so.

On the TV or while wandering the mall and stuff?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 11:20 AM
horizontal rule
3

On the second or third day, my mom said something about the new science of the biodome

Slimmin' down with the weaaaasel.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 11:22 AM
horizontal rule
4

Like if we have someone over for dinner, he'll make a comment after they leave. Or if he's recounting how they saw some mutual friends and how they were doing, their weight will be a part of the recounting.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 11:22 AM
horizontal rule
5

3: Heh.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 11:24 AM
horizontal rule
6

I don't think I've heard my dad comment on a woman's weight ever. Or on a guy who hasn't just broken on of his chairs.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 11:29 AM
horizontal rule
7

Good for him! It's obnoxious. But the kind of family-obnoxious where you don't realize it's obnoxious for the first twenty-five years.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 11:30 AM
horizontal rule
8

My father-in-law totally has this running commentary. "We're going out with Angela." Yes, I know who Angela is. "Lovely woman, she used to be enormous but now she has her weight under control."


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 11:32 AM
horizontal rule
9

He does refer to women as "dames" sometimes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 11:32 AM
horizontal rule
10

When they have a case?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 11:34 AM
horizontal rule
11

8: Both my in-laws do this, as well as comment on random people's weight within ear shot (though without intending to be overheard). Constant commentary about celebrities too. Very difficult for me (coming from a very different type of family) to deal with, though their good qualities far outweigh the habit.


Posted by: President So and So | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 11:36 AM
horizontal rule
12

My dad does this as well, although is fairly good about not pointing it at family members.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 11:37 AM
horizontal rule
13

10: It appears to be used mostly in reference women of his generation who haven't gone frail.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 11:41 AM
horizontal rule
14

3 was pretty great.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 11:42 AM
horizontal rule
15

I know. It made me want to leave the OP error intact.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 11:43 AM
horizontal rule
16

fecal transplants, and how they made fat mice skinny, and vice versa.

I was really worried this was going to lead to your own mother suggesting you shove someone else's poop up your ass. That would be more than I could take.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 11:48 AM
horizontal rule
17

My parents used to say shit about weight, though intra-family and not much about other people, but then I silenced them by getting much fitter than they ever were at any point in their unfit lives. Suck it, parents. Unfortunately my sister is still way fitter than I am so that's still a problem.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 11:48 AM
horizontal rule
18

I also learned this weekend that my six year old is incapable of a sit up. Kids are kind of roly-poly and so she just sort of rolls.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 11:50 AM
horizontal rule
19

I would be hesitant to assign weight-obnoxiousness as a generational, not something I've routinely experienced from oldsters compared to any other age group.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 11:51 AM
horizontal rule
20

The actual 0th reaction was: Mom had been told to get on probiotics, because post-cancer she's always at risk of losing too much weight, so she meets with a nutritionist regularly. So my immediate thought was "If it helps you gain weight, why is this something I'd want? Wouldn't I want a less-healthy, more inefficient gut?" Then I decided to see the forest, not the trees.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 11:51 AM
horizontal rule
21

19: Oh, sure. Within a family, there are clear generational patterns, but I'm only generalizing in order to...no good reason.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 11:52 AM
horizontal rule
22

I guess I was thinking that my parents seem to be about normal for the type of stories I've heard from my peers. But all of my peers in my immediate circle are intentional about trying not to pass this stuff down to our kids.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 11:54 AM
horizontal rule
23

My mother was plagued by her own mother's ceaseless remarks about her (my mother's) weight. She doesn't have that problem herself, but is frustratingly into talking about how pretty women and girls are. She's telling me about Jane's cousin's new teacher and mentions several times that this teacher is beautiful. She meets my friend's daughter and later spends five minutes observing over and over again that she is really very pretty! Don't I think so? But really! Very pretty! I wouldn't care much except that she does it in front of Jane.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 11:55 AM
horizontal rule
24

It may just be a parenting thing. My parents used to fret about my failure to primp and groom properly. That wasn't specifically weight related, more of a "You're a really pretty girl, if only you'd dress up more often." That was chiefly coming from my dad. He meant well.

In later, more recent life, my mom -- who herself went from stick-thin to gorgeous Sophia Loren-ish (! Seriously she was a babe!) to matronly, or portly, over the course of her life -- complimented me like you would not believe when I lost weight. She was complimenting the effort that had gone into it; she'd begun going to the gym herself, and we went together. I'd put a little bit, maybe 10 lbs., back on as of the last time I saw her, and she noted when she picked me up from the airport that my thighs were heavier. I could not deny it. Glad to see you too, mom.

Parents are maybe just like this.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 12:05 PM
horizontal rule
25

I think my mom is relieved that I'm heavier than she is and probably that she has an eating disorder. I know she judges my weight and she's talked to the girls a little bit about what kinds of foods build muscles, etc., which I've tried to squelch. The one who was in the hospital gained 10 lbs. in a week there, which is a whole lot on someone who's 4 feet tall, so dealing with weight is on all our adult minds now, as is buying clothes that are big enough but not made for someone taller. Lee would prefer to deal with this via shame and comments, but I'm trying to stop her.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 12:05 PM
horizontal rule
26

I also learned this weekend that my six year old is incapable of a sit up.

She shouldn't be doing situps anyway. Not only do they strain the lower back, but she should be getting all the core work she needs from squats, presses, and deadlifts.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 12:08 PM
horizontal rule
27

I wouldn't care much except that she does it in front of Jane.

Is it possible to ask her to stop? Not at that moment, but privately?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 12:08 PM
horizontal rule
28

Oh, this is very relatable. I can absolutely imagine my parents doing exactly the same thing, because they do similar-but-different things: well-intended comments which are grating, and which only appear unreasonable after the first 25yrs.

It's comforting to know I'm not alone, but I don't have any good tricks for dealing with it. Oh family.


Posted by: parodie | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 12:12 PM
horizontal rule
29

26: But she should be able to.

Kind of like how it's not awesome to go around breaking bricks in your day to day life, but somehow the ability is awesome.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 12:19 PM
horizontal rule
30

Two years ago, the boyfriend's mother (who is very petite and very pretty and feminine) told us proudly how she'd gotten one of her husband's daughters a gym membership for Xmas because the daughter was "still" struggling with the baby weight. The baby was five or six months old. I was beyond horrified.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 12:20 PM
horizontal rule
31

She meets my friend's daughter and later spends five minutes observing over and over again that she is really very pretty! Don't I think so? But really! Very pretty!

Do you think the positive comments are as obnoxious as the negative comments?

I've noticed this thing on FB where a woman will post a picture of herself, and she's stunning (like everyone in my FB feed.) My first instinct is to post a comment saying she's gorgeous, but I squelch that, because I know that if I posted that thought every time I had it, I would come off as a real creep. Soon, the comments start filling up with compliments from other women. No other guys comment, and I assume it is because they are like me, and don't want to come off as creepy.

This dynamic makes me uncomfortable, but I can't articulate why. I certainly don't want to defend the right of men to post their evaluations of women's beauty all the time. And I also don't want to say that women shouldn't compliment each other. And I like looking at the pictures. So I don't know what I'm saying at all.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 12:22 PM
horizontal rule
32

Stop thinking, Rob. Just get naked.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 12:23 PM
horizontal rule
33

31.last: There are ways to convey that compliment without going all the way to "You're gorgeous." You might say that that's a really nice picture. Or you could fall over all yourself explaining that you hope this doesn't seem misogynistic, but you think the lady in question looks lovely.

You could further fall all over yourself, I suppose, by asking whether she was trolling for compliments. But that might be rude.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 12:29 PM
horizontal rule
34

Do you think the positive comments are as obnoxious as the negative comments?

No, but certainly suboptimal, because it reinforces the notion that being pretty is always relevant/important.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 12:33 PM
horizontal rule
35

There are ways to convey that compliment without going all the way to "You're gorgeous."

"Those are really nice yoga pants."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 12:34 PM
horizontal rule
36

I get concerned comments when I lose weight.

Like, when I started college I was 5' 7.5" tall and weighed 190 pounds. Not super fat but definitely doughy and in the overweight BMI range. I lost 15 pounds freshman year (that's what the Freshman 15 is about, right?), mostly fat I think, because I was getting stronger, and when I came home for break, my mom blurted out, "You look gaunt!" I was still firmly in the "overweight" BMI category and had noticeable extra body fat. I was annoyed at not receiving, if not encouragement, at least silence.

When I lost another 15 recently, a coworker accused me of being anorexic. In jest, I think. He is also a pretty big guy so maybe he was anchoring on that. But it was kind of annoying, because it was literally the first time I've been in the "normal" BMI band.

I'm around 165 now, just at the BMI overweight/normal boundary, and I still have a noticeable amount of extra belly fat. (And again I haven't lost strength.) I do have a thin face, so if you met me you might think I was skinny, until I took my clothes off.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 12:35 PM
horizontal rule
37

I am pretty much always happy to be told that I look great on a given occasion, at least as long as it doesn't either have some kind of veiled criticism of how I might look other times or hitting on me feature.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 12:41 PM
horizontal rule
38

There are ways to convey that compliment without going all the way to "You're gorgeous." You might say that that's a really nice picture.

Oh, and I say things like that occasionally. I'm just worried about setting up a pattern that would look bad.

Actually, I don't know what I'm saying. Forget I said anything.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 12:47 PM
horizontal rule
39

31, 33: Compliment the photograph. "This is a great picture!"


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 12:52 PM
horizontal rule
40

So what types of uninvited off-key comments would be welcome?

"You seem unnaturally fixated on this blogging thing, maybe you're insecure?" "Wow, that red sports car really looks great, much more fun than the minivan you had been driving before the divorce." "There's someone in my life I'd love for you to know about, his name is Jesus."

Parents are flawed like anyone else, will believe and say loony stuff sometimes. Per the other post, relationships (which are both inevitably flawed somehow and come with personal remarks rather than just discussions of weather or best Seinfeld episodes) are worth nurturing.

If there's something that elderly parents are doing that rankles, tell them gently a few times and then accept it? Unless it's malicious.

I figure that when someone rubs me the wrong way about something, that the feeling is probably mutual, that there's some damn thing that I keep doing or saying that grates on them as well.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 12:52 PM
horizontal rule
41

My dad is horrible with comments about women and weight, especially to my mom. He's told her she's morbidly obese, thighs look like bags of angry cats, all sorts of things that I thought was normal for the longest time. But no, that's rude.

Now he asks me if I'm back to my pre-pregnancy weight yet. This started at two weeks postpartum. I mostly ignore it, but my sister just had a baby, and I know she will take a while to lose the weight, and I know I'm eventually going to light into him about something he'll say to her.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 12:55 PM
horizontal rule
42

My mom makes comments about my weight occasionally. It seems pretty clear to me it's because she's incredibly neurotic about her own weight, but she really has no boundaries. I was working at her company once and as she passed me in the hall she poked me repeatedly in the belly, saying "getting a little chunky!" or something like that. Actually I don't think it really registers to her that she shouldn't do this, or that it might make me feel bad; when I called her on it she seemed sort of startled to realize it might be inappropriate. On the other hand, compared to the rest of her chaotic interpersonal terribleness comments about my weight are really low on the scale, so I can't quite bring myself to get upset about it.


Posted by: Ulysses S. Grant | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 12:56 PM
horizontal rule
43

Some other suggestions:

"The natural light really complements your figure well - I can sort of see through the dress."

"I love the angle - this photo really shows off those boobs!"

"If you looked like this in real life I would totally do you."


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 12:57 PM
horizontal rule
44

I figure that when someone rubs me the wrong way about something, that the feeling is probably mutual, that there's some damn thing that I keep doing or saying that grates on them as well.

In my case, I know it is the horrible puns.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 1:00 PM
horizontal rule
45

I got some of this from parents and grandparents, but it was considerably damped by the long 19th. c we seem to have lived in. If I understood correctly, direct personal physical compliments weren't polite between most pairs of people; they were either condescending or courtship. Also, any visible evidence of trying to look attractive (beyond being perfectly neat and clean) was Wrong in a woman and Unimaginably Wrong in a man.

It was my mother who got it in the neck, since she essentially moved from the rural 1920s to the 1960s in Florida when she was sent back from abroad (and then she married a small-town Southerner). She was still transmitting some contradictory requirements in my youth, but we already had the alternate frameworks of hippiedom and feminism to run everything through.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 1:03 PM
horizontal rule
46

Maybe one frequent but basically minor perceptual bias (like this one) is strongly context-dependent.

For myself, I now think of myself as the responsible party. I am basically grateful for maintaining open communications with my folks, both because I love them, but also because I want to know about possible problems they are having before they are a crisis that demands an immediate solution.

If we were either more genuinely interdependent, or if the background emotion was more bitter, I could see where small disagreements would rankle more.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 1:08 PM
horizontal rule
47

36 is a refreshing story to hear from a man.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 1:13 PM
horizontal rule
48

45: If I understood correctly, direct personal physical compliments weren't polite between most pairs of people

Which is why it comes, when it does come, as a blurting-out.

She was still transmitting some contradictory requirements in my youth, but we already had the alternate frameworks of hippiedom and feminism to run everything through.

Thank god.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 1:16 PM
horizontal rule
49

My direct family, mother and father, were almost entirely conventional, but I had this unusual grandmother on my mother's side who was just a total hippie/feminist. Or rather, earthy-crunchy, 70s style.

She was into fabric arts, and arts in general, but not the fine ones. From her I learned that macrame was kewl, and beads were cool, and sand and stones and sticks were cool. She knitted me ponchos. She made just really great things. She would never, ever, have said a thing about anybody's weight. She'd probably just have asked them whether they would agree to make an audio tape about something, and asked whether they'd help her fetch this awesome large-ish white rock she saw over yonder which she would like to put over there.

She was a great lady. I didn't appreciate enough.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 1:27 PM
horizontal rule
50

fecal transplants, and how they made fat mice skinny, and vice versa.

Fecal transplants are the hot new therapy for the gut infection ive been fighting. Contemplating it if the current round of antibiotics don't do the trick. But now you're saying that in addition to figuring out how to ask someone to donate, I also have to consider what effect donor poop might have on my size?

Also, my family but especially my dad do that running commentary on people's bodies. I had started to say something to the BF about UNG being bigger than when we were married, but he cut me off: "I know. Your dad comments every time we see them."


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 4:04 PM
horizontal rule
51

My parents never say anything about my weight, and I've never heard my dad say anything about anyone's weight apart from his and my mum's. (My dad goes up and down a lot - he likes to eat, and then he diets really strictly.) My mum will occasionally mention other people's weight in conversation. I'd be pretty horrified if they commented on my appearance. Well, I'd be amazed if my dad did. My mum says, nice haircut, etc, which is fine.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 6:00 PM
horizontal rule
52

This morning I texted my MIL with Zardoz's height and weight from her 6-month doctor's appointment. She texted me back this afternoon telling me that the daughter of one of her employees, who was born on the same day as Zardoz, is the same length but weighs 3 oz less.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 7:09 PM
horizontal rule
53

That other baby has had work done.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 7:39 PM
horizontal rule
54

52: One hopes that's just harmless baby comparing. Oddly, the fact that the Calabat is a total butterball doesn't trigger any worry (which is good, babies are supposed to be chubby.)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 7:42 PM
horizontal rule
55

the fact that the Calabat is a total butterball doesn't trigger any worry

Except around Thanksgiving?


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 7:45 PM
horizontal rule
56

52: One hopes that's just harmless baby comparing

Haha not really


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 7:49 PM
horizontal rule
57

52: Give her the updates in obscure units of measure?


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 7:50 PM
horizontal rule
58

52: One hopes that's just harmless baby comparing
Haha not really... Oh god, can she hear us? Quick, run!


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 7:51 PM
horizontal rule
59

57: "Zardoz is almost a stone! No, I didn't mean that she weighed fourteen pounds. More that she appears to be slowly petrifying somehow -- looks like some kind of basalt, maybe." That should puzzle her long enough to slow down the commentary.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 7:56 PM
horizontal rule
60

I mean I guess it's harmless since we ignore her. But she seems to think it's important and/or a fun time to needle people with things that might plausibly make them feel bad, even if she does not personally care about those things.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 7:57 PM
horizontal rule
61

What a charming tendency!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 8:02 PM
horizontal rule
62

Wait. That's wrong now?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 8:03 PM
horizontal rule
63

Don't want a person to get a swelled head, I guess.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 8:07 PM
horizontal rule
64

Oh, sorry. That's obnoxious.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 8:32 PM
horizontal rule
65

62 to 64.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 8:37 PM
horizontal rule
66

Yeah, I mean, to be fair, it is how her family has done things since time immemorial (I assume).


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 8:40 PM
horizontal rule
67

My mother is generally a very nice person and is also, like her mother and sisters, nearly rail-thin. Sometimes when she's been visiting she makes unkind remarks about the weight of people she sees around here - often in a kind of backhand-compliment way, like saying how only a few people (like the person we just saw) around here are so large, compared with nearly everybody where she lives (Southern suburbs/exurbs). Or complaining about some teenager on the subway who was wearing too-tight jeans and has a bit of a muffin top. This would all be just kind of "oh, mom", except that my wife, who is not rail-thin, tends to hear it as generalized fat-phobia and bristles at it all, and I end up running interference between them.

(Personally, I'm up 35 pounds from when I entered college, and probably for the better - in retrospect, my junior high school and high school period could fairly be described as anorexic. You can only see my ribs sometimes now! And I'm allowed to give blood!)


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 8:47 PM
horizontal rule
68

Can I have some? It's for an art project.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 8:54 PM
horizontal rule
69

Anorexic with the psychological component? Or just as a yardstick for really skinny?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 8:55 PM
horizontal rule
70

68: he didn't mean BBQ ribs.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 8:56 PM
horizontal rule
71

I just noticed I've gotten fleshy enough again that only the bottom two ribs show and the muffin-top problem is eternal because of how jeans get cut. I should probably just wear skirts all the time, but I have enough gender presentation concerns as is. But I don't need a fecal transplant, so life is fabulous!

I was raises by Catholic ex-hippies who thought anything drawing attention to the body was vanity, so it's acceptable that I don't really wear makeup or do anything with my hair but my mom has complained in semi-public about my bra choices within the last year even. And she disapproves of my weight but doesn't want me to go back to being thin because she'd look less thin by conparison. Instead I am fleshy and decadent and she shows the purity and self-control I lack. This is probably why both full chador and being a nudist are more appealing to me than just looking like a normal person.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 9:07 PM
horizontal rule
72

A high school/college friend was a pretty, not-skinny/not-fat woman who told me that when they had people over, her parents used to say things like, "Come here and show them your thighs! Look how fat she's gotten!" (Greek immigrants, what can you do?) So while I get occasionally upset at my appearance-obsessed mom, I don't get *so* upset.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 9:25 PM
horizontal rule
73

Greek people are stereotypically creepy as fuck?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 9:27 PM
horizontal rule
74

Seems right.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 9:28 PM
horizontal rule
75

Grr. Sally's built like me -- broad shoulders, literally big bones -- and she's got a lot of muscle on her, which means that she's surprisingly heavy for her looks. We just had an annoying conversation with family friends the day after Thanksgiving who hadn't seen her for a year or so, who, while talking about how great she looked, somehow turned to asking her what she weighed, which then turned to exaggerated disbelief at the number. (A) Rude, but (B) I don't think it bothered her. I hope.

I hate all this shit. Why can't everyone just be sane? Not that I am all that sane myself, but if everyone else would work a little harder at it, I'd have it easier.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 9:43 PM
horizontal rule
76

Wearing a chador and nothing else seems like physically optimal comfiness. (Socially, not so optimal.) With maybe an interior shoulder harness, think of all the pockets one could have.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 9:45 PM
horizontal rule
77

75: Both you and Sally know why weighing a lot more than people think you do is wonderful. They try to shove and you don't budge. (Metaphorically or not.)


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 9:47 PM
horizontal rule
78

69: I'm not sure. Definitely really skinny, and built on some unhealthy eating habits. At some point in middle school I basically stopped eating lunch - school lunch was awful - but I didn't compensate by bringing in food from home. High school I would occasionally bring some lunch, occasionally have lunch as a candy bar from the vending machine, but basically never eat a decent meal at midday, and not really compensating at other meals. Finally, for the last year or so, I did a lot of after-school activity instead of going home at an hour where dinner would happen, so I would avoid lunch, then not really do anything for dinner and snack a little when I got home at 9pm.

I also got to the point of being defensive when other people tried to bring up the subject of food - the rest of e.g. the drama club I was in would go and get some takeout to eat while we were working on some show, and I would reflexively turn down any opportunities to go with them or chip in for any food. Partly this was because I didn't feel like I had the money to spend on food, but part of it was defining myself as someone who didn't really eat.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 9:49 PM
horizontal rule
79

47: I think this is the first time I've ever told anyone all that. I'm glad it was refreshing to hear, I had thought it was likely too commonplace to be worth anyone's time, but I felt like venting anyway.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 10:12 PM
horizontal rule
80

thighs look like bags of angry cats

This is such a great phrase that I am going to use it myself, misogyny be damned.

Give her the updates in obscure units of measure?

"Our baby is now 203mm calibre, with an aspect ratio of 0.2 and a Reynolds number of 6000 (more like 3,000,000 when he's in the bath)."

31 happens to me too, but the woman who does it most is actually a professional model so I reckon it's probably OK to comment on her pictures.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12-10-13 2:56 AM
horizontal rule
81

My own parents almost never comment on people's weight, probably because in the frozen north everyone wears so many layers that you can't tell.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12-10-13 2:58 AM
horizontal rule
82

I was in part raised by two grandmothers who make Karl Lagerfield look like a size acceptance activist. I was an extremely underweight kid (not even on the weight charts for my age) and on a special calorically dense diet, and even while stuffing me with high calorie foods, my grandmother would praise me for having such thin thighs and being so skinny. She also would urge me to eat more so I could grow tall, and that way I could weigh more without looking fat. When I went through puberty and hit three digits, she was completely disgusted, since according to her 16 year olds weren't supposed to weigh any more than 90 lbs. Between ages 12 and 22, my "fatness" was remarked on time I saw my grandmother, which was several times a week. My sister was one of those impossibly skinny kids during puberty, so I was 'the fat one' and she was 'the skinny one.' My other grandmother wasn't as vocal or obsessive about, but was equally bad. At one point she told me an adult female over 100 lbs was overweight. I pointed out that she had been 5'2" at her tallest, and that anyone much taller than that and under 100 lbs would be quite unhealthy, and she just kind of sniffed. I find it kind of amazing in retrospect I never developed an eating disorder. My mother definitely tried to not talk about weight, but every once in awhile it creeps in. My current annoyance is every time I see her, she remarks on how thin I am in a sort of surprised way. I am pretty sure she still thinks of me as "the fat one" even though I might actually weigh less than my sister now. The funny thing is I've never even been remotely close to overweight, and spent my entire life at the low end or even under a healthy BMI, yet I still got treated like I was overweight by my family.


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 12-10-13 5:08 AM
horizontal rule
83

A FB friend of mine recently posted an article about "thin privilege." The examples in the article weren't overly convincing, but realizing the pervasiveness of the commentary about other people's weight is rather eye-opening.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12-10-13 7:11 AM
horizontal rule