With so much in flux, and many of our bodies changing in response to unprecedented levels of stress, it’s a lot to process on the I Like Vodka And Bowling And Maybe Three People Vintage Shirt but I will buy this shirt and I will love this body image front—and becomes all the more complicated and emotionally taxing because of how normalized discussing weight, shape, and appearance is in our society. One of the most nuanced and detrimental cultural occurrences is, of course, the inherently backhanded weight-loss compliment, particularly during this time of crisis. “At best, they say, ‘You look better than you did before,’ leaving those on the receiving end wondering, ‘I wonder what they thought I looked like before?’” says Murray. “The most harmful part about weight loss ‘compliments’ is that you never really know what you’re complimenting. Does that person have a chronic illness or an eating disorder? Are they experiencing grief? Were they even trying to lose the weight? You likely don’t know, which is why it’s best to stay away from any sort of weight-based ‘compliment.’”
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If you’re on the I Like Vodka And Bowling And Maybe Three People Vintage Shirt but I will buy this shirt and I will love this other end of a weight loss compliment, it can be difficult to know how to respond, both internally and externally. According to Becker, a good place to start is by reframing why someone might feel this is an appropriate conversation topic. “It is a social norm for people to discuss weight in a diet-heavy culture,” explains Becker, noting the memes about weight gain that have been floating around social media during the pandemic and how they reflect negative attitudes towards weight gain, and fat-phobia. “Start by reminding yourself that weight comments may be less about you specifically and more about our culture and social norms.” In terms of responding directly to unwanted body commentary, she recommends starting by simply saying that you would prefer not to discuss weight or shape because there are so many other things you’d prefer to discuss right now, or even taking an irreverent approach, asking, “Why do you want to talk about weight? That is boring and always the same conversation.” If you feel comfortable, you can take it a step further by being honest about how those comments can affect you and may affect others. “Let them know that focusing on your weight can be triggering by inadvertently reinforcing [unhealthy] eating behaviors, and equates weight with all the other important changes in your life,” explains Becker.