Feet standing on a scale

Old people are great. They regale you with stories of yesteryear and they just have so much knowledge. My grandma is always filled with these amazing tales of DC in the 50’s and 60’s. I learn a lot from her.

Old people are also brutally honest. My grandma, with all her sage wisdom and cautionary tales, has a fault: She loves to remind people of how much weight they gained. She’s done this as long as I’ve known her. And apparently, as long as my mom has known her. I suppose it’s her “thing.”

I don’t know about you, but when my jeans are tight or something that used to fit great just doesn’t, I know I gained weight. And since I can’t easily take that weight off as easily as I took off the snug jeans before I see my grandmother, I’d appreciate her not telling me about my growing ass. Anyone who doesn’t wear a wardrobe of primarily stretchy Lycra could tell you about non-scale body changes. As I said, you know when something fits differently.

Life happens. Cupcakes and champagne happen. Kids happen. Depression happens. Dodging your personal trainer’s calls happens. I’m not saying health isn’t important. It is. But I sincerely doubt anyone who could make such a callous comment was very worried about your health. They’re worried about your appearance. And I can’t go around chiding people for wearing white after Labor Day, you can’t go around talking about someone’s newly-touching thighs.

I’m here to say – once and for all – commenting on anyone’s body is rude. Whether they lost or gained weight, they don’t need to hear it from you. If you simply MUST say something, you know what you can say? “You look great!” That’s it. Don’t expand upon it. Don’t draw it out. Just say that and move on.

Fixating upon someone’s appearance as it relates to weight can make them feel self-conscious. Even if you are telling them they lost weight, this makes people think you were thinking something about their previous appearance.

Also, stop calling people “skinny”. So I don’t personally know how hurtful this is, but my very small friends have told me that they really don’t like the jokes about their perceived lack of appetite or small frame. While it may be more acceptable in society to be smaller vs. larger, ridiculing someone for being small is a jerk move.

Now I know old people will say, “You’re being too sensitive.” In fact, my grandmother did say this. Look, someone’s lack of emotional intelligence isn’t your issue. And don’t make it your issue. But just know that if someone makes a comment to you over the holidays about your spreading hips, please feel free to let them know that they are being rude, making you uncomfortable, and you don’t have to take it.