Telling me how bad I used to look is really backwards
Friday, August 20, 2010
I’m currently visiting my grandma. I love her, and for the most part, she’s always been really sweet and warm. She lacks tact, however, and she never, never hesitates to tell you when she thinks you need to lose—or more rarely, gain—weight. Because I’ve struggled with my weight most of my life, this has usually been every visit. Since I started losing weight this time around, she’s changed gears and told me how good I look. In a completely backwards way that is beginning to really piss me off.
I know she’s old; I know she comes from a completely different generation. Maybe that generation was more direct. Even so, she's adapted to other changes over the years. Social niceties shouldn't be too difficult to learn. Seriously. WHY would you think it’s a compliment to tell someone, anyone, let alone your granddaughter, that they look “so much *better* now”? In what way is it nice to tell her she looks young now and she used to “look like an old lady before”? Why make all the nasty, hurtful analogies to what you think I looked like previously?
Here’s an idea. Instead of telling me I look better, tell me I look good. Tell me I look healthy or fitter. Leave out all the commentary on how disgusting you think I looked in the past. (Especially when you know that I’ve always struggled with my weight and that future weight gain is, sadly, a viable possibility.) These 'compliments' are completely backhanded, and I neither need them nor want them. They only make me feel horrible about myself.