Monday, September 19, 2011

Hi, You're Fat.

I was going to blog about a tea party today but I decided to switch gears instead and write about this topic, inspired after i got many passionate comments on this facebook status update i posted today:

"I love my culture, I do. I just don't understand why we think it's okay to call people fat to their faces. That person might laugh along with you and agree, but you don't know what's really going on inside."

I know this is common in Filipino culture (and probably many other Asian and non-Asian cultures, young and old) where you are greeted this way. Not even a "hello, how are you, you've gotten fatter" it's just straight up "you're so fat!" accompanied with a smile... not knowing the effect of their "casual" words. Many people use excuses like "we are just being brutally honest!" or "it's just our culture" or "it's just the way we were raised!" but...


would you feel comfortable using those excuses to someone who became anorexic because of it? bulimic? depressed? suicidal?

I guess what i'm trying to say is...

Words are powerful, let's use them
to uplift people instead!



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26 comments:

MeiBelle said...

I couldn't agree more! I have a family member who will say hi and then state "oh you got a little chunky" even if i've lost weight! I think it's some sort of defense mechanism. Damn Asian cultures! haha

mizzsandychau said...

my relatives always does this to me. they would say "haven't seen you in so long, you've gained weight!" and then i'd feel so bad but still have to casually laugh along just cuz they are family.

krissy ♥ said...

I so get these comments a LOT, although instead of being told "You're fat!" I get told "You're so skinny! Eat something!" even though I eat a lot naman, and even you can attest to that :D I just shrug these comments off and thank my lucky stars hehe.

Hello Kym, I hope everything's going great with you! :)

RicAdeMus said...

You're right Kym--and it's easier to be positive and uplifting than it is to be negative and insulting.

When "brutally honest" people say something to me, they get a flip response (flip as in mocking them, not giving them "the bird" :P). But when they say something to people I care about, it pisses me off. I think MeiBelle is right that a lot of people attack that way because they are insecure. The rest are oblivious to other people's feelings (but probably want THEIR feelings considered).

Dewi Sutjiati Lestari said...

totally agree with you Kym! it's just like they're the perfect human nature, ever. haha!

Stephanie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kalmo said...

I love this post. I'm Asian too so I know how harsh and terrible it feels to hear people criticize your looks or appearance just because. I love your advice, I'm def. want to use words to uplift people.

MizzJ said...

Argh I totally don't get the non-filter on these type of casual comments. I always feel like saying, "uhh! You look uglier!" At least fat you can lose ;)

Wenny said...

You are so right Kym. Being brutally honest may not sometimes be the best in another's interest. A simple hi and how are you, would've been enough if there's really nothing to say.

ShinyPrettyThings said...

omg so true, i hear it alllll the time from my Asian relatives. it's annoying and very rude, i agree!

Mar said...

I agree! I'm a Filipina and everyone just thinks its alright to say the meanest things and get away with it! Though I'm happy that things are slowly changing, or maybe it's just me. My point, if you can't say anything nice, better not say anything at all! Cheers everyone! - Mar
-Not Your Ordinary Beauty Queen-
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Gessyl Enchanted said...

i agree with you kym. If you have nothing good to say then better not say anything at all. people can be tactless at times. though i have to admit i am one at times. but i bite my tongue every time im about to make a snide remark.

suki pooki said...

Omg this is soooo typical of my relatives, though I get the "you're so skinny" one instead which you may think is a good thing but it could also be bad! But anywho, I think it's pretty rude for anyone to do this! Though I do pardon many who do because I give them the benefit of the doubt but still, I would never say this to anyone! I used to be really chubby and I know how hurtful it is to have even innocent jokes/questions directed to you =( 'tis not a good feeling people!

Omg the fairmont vancouver is haunted?! Too cool!....okay am I creeping you out yet? LOL Im glad you enjoyed the tea at the urban tea merchant, they amount of teas they have is overwhelming! I also know they changed carriers of tea or else I would have suggested you try the milky oolong, it's like heaven in a pot! Are you going anywhere else for tea so far? =D I feel so tea deprived whenever I talk about it LOL

Danielle said...

It also works the other way around too.. Calling someone tooo skinny or sooo skinny is no more better than being called fat. Well, it's kind of a weird feeling cause well what if I was anorexic? I wouldn't know what to say. I eat til I'm full and satisfied and I exercise, it's like well, not like I don't want to gain weight. It's harder for some than others, like losing weight. I just take it as a compliment now. : ) Agreed. Words are powerful.

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Nashe^ said...

True that!
Reminds me of what my mom always does- She tells me I'm fat whenever the opportunity arises! I think she does know the effect of such comments but she just can't help it.

simplyvonne said...

It's so common in the asian culture to call someone fat, and they think it's a compliment! :D I remember older ppl telling me I was skinny and not in a good way too :D

just became your new follower! love your blog!

Karen said...

Kym, I think there's definitely potential for these kind of remarks to damage someone's self-esteem. I have only experienced adults saying these kind of weight-comments to the younger generation within one's family, which is bad but not as bad as when a stranger does it? Anyways I don't think it's helpful or positive to say these statements so I completely agree with you.. better to use our words to help people!

Shop N' Chomp said...

Sadly this is quite common in Asian cultures it seems. =\ The older generation thinks they are helping us when they are not.

I am with you on uplifting people instead!! =D

Bonnie said...

People can be so mean. I don't understand what makes people so angry now.

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Amy said...

Something that you may not recognize because we are so....westernized is that more Asians believe that using formalities means distance or creates distance. Intimacy to Asians means being able to speak the truth - honestly and directly because you can be/feel close enough that they deserve respect and honesty.

My grandma tells me I'm too fat/skinny because she cares (that i'm eating enough or maybe over eating)

Just a thought.

Rosamond Kim said...

Yeah sometimes the honest relatives are too honest.

RicAdeMus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mumuji said...

Hahaha this is so prevalent in asian cultures, but I guess that they do it because they naively don't realise it can damage someones feelings and don't take it seriously at all.

And yes I definitely recommend a visit to Paris. I don't know anybody who wouldn't love it. French patisserie is soooo much better than ones in England for sure.

Steph said...

This post is SO true and I've experienced this SO many times... If I eat I'm getting fat and should exercise, if I don't eat or eat less I'm on a diet, there;s no end. I've noticed a lot of asian parents/ family say these things to "toughen" up their kids but I don't think it's the right way to go ><

ELF is awesome =] it's the same shipping price as US... around $6 ish -$7 I usually combine an order w/ someone so it's not that bad =p I used my credit card once... it was $20 + just for s&h >< now paypal is my friend haha

Nic Nic said...

they do this in Chinese culture too >_< I was pretty chubby as a teenager and my relatives would always jab comments about my weight. my mother was also critical too (she was thought it was best for me at that time..) Although now I appreciate what my mother did, I most certainly did not enjoy the comments from my relatives - I found them a lot more hurtful and embarrassing at that time. Luckily it did not destroy my confidence and it made wanna lose weight, and I did it in a gradual way. I wanted to prove them wrong, and I guess I have now :P I think teenagers are the most vulnerable to eating disorders - they should be careful how it said and done.

Diane said...

i couldn't agree more.. i hate that too..
OMG, wtf during my baby's bday party everyone greeted me with "ohh you've gotten fatter, what happened??? duh! i gave birth of course I gained much weight..
i super like this post hun!