By now, most folks have gotten the memo that body-shaming is never okay. But people can still say something — even with good intentions! — that hurts just as much.
So we recently asked the BuzzFeed Community to share ways that people body-shame without even realizing it. Here's some of what they had to say:
1. "Commenting on people's weight loss."
"I've been both fat and thin, but my natural state is fat. The few times I lost weight, I'd get showered with compliments. I know people meant well, and I'd say thank you and move on, but it just made me feel like I must have been some hideous monster before I lost the weight. And it adds to that fear you have that if/when you gain the weight back, you'll lose something."
3. "Telling a woman she's 'so brave' for wearing a bikini instead of a one-piece."
5. "Jokes about being tall, like, 'How's the weather up there?' and 'You must play basketball.'"
"I am a cis woman who is over 6 feet tall. Usually when I meet someone, they bring up my height, making me feel self-conscious and less feminine. Even the media is problematic. So what if the female partner is taller than the man?! Big deal!"
6. "Commenting on folks' postpartum bodies with either praise for 'bouncing back' or reassurance that they'll eventually 'lose the weight.'"
7. "Telling skinny people to eat more. You don’t think we know we’re skinny?"
"Telling me to eat a hamburger is insulting and rude. What if I had an eating disorder? What if my body just doesn't work the way yours does? What if I'm struggling with a debilitating medical diagnosis? Just don't comment on people's bodies. Period."
8. "Concern trolling. You can't click on an article talking about fat bodies without people leaving comments about 'glorifying obesity,' only giving positive feedback if it's about weight loss, or assuming that every person who is fat is also, by definition, unhealthy."
9. "Calling someone's natural hair 'unprofessional.'"
10. "Telling large men that they have bigger breasts than some women. Yes, they probably know, but they don't need to be reminded of it."
11. "Telling a plus-size woman at the gym, 'You’re such an inspiration.'"
"I was at the gym — and had been going consistently for a year at this point — when a woman came up and said this to me. I immediately felt so embarrassed and wanted to crawl into a hole. I felt like I had to explain my size; I prattled on about how I have PCOS and all sorts of other things. Then I didn’t go back to the gym for three months."
12. "Jokes about being short."
"It is never funny to pick up a short person and make some joke about it. Even worse is when they don’t put you down right away! It has happened my entire life and with complete strangers sometimes."
13. "Telling women who aren’t skinny that their clothes are 'flattering.' Such a backhanded compliment."
14. And finally, "Saying, 'You're so pretty for a big girl.'"
"If a compliment requires a qualifier, it's not a compliment. If I'm pretty, then say I'm pretty. It's not as if I was asking for your opinion on my looks. You went out of your way to compliment me, so why do you have to point out that I'm fat? Trust me, I'm aware. Also, people can be fat and attractive."
What are some ways that people body-shame without realizing it? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.