kalex

Backhanded compliments and how to respond

Almost every time I go out shopping or out to eat, whether I have only 1 kid or all my kids with me, I will get a question like, “How many kids do you have?” or “Are all those yours?” When I say, “I have 4” or “Yep, all mine!” I inevitably get told, “Wow! You look so good for having 4 kids!” I always give an enthusiastic “Thanks!” but it makes me wonder, what if I only had 2 kids? Would I still look good then? What if I didn't have any kids?


This statement is often followed by the question, “What do you do to stay so thin?” and an expression that implies they are waiting for some kind of epiphany. “I eat 3 pumpkin seeds and then do a somersault every day.” (I’ve never said anything like that but I’ve thought about it.)

If I try to keep it light and say, “Oh they keep me busy! I don’t sit down much!” Like the lady yesterday, I will get a story about how much running around she does and look at her… What am I supposed to say to that? Do they want me to agree with them or tell them they look great? If I give them the common sense answer,“ I don’t eat a lot of crap and I work out” I get a blank stare and a disappointed “Oh.”

Then I walk away feeling awkward and her probably thinking I’m a ______ (insert word that rhymes with itch.)


Thanks for listening to my annoyed rant. How do you handle similar situations? Any witty comeback suggestions?

neko333

Re: Backhanded compliments and how to respond

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Your sister sounds like me. I'm about 5'7 and I barley weigh in at 100 pounds. Before anyone says anything I have no disorders and am perfectly healthy, I'm not deficient in vitamins or anything either. Sometimes when I go on medication I drop weight scary fast, I've had to quit medicine several times because I dropped to 90 pounds. It took less than a month for me to accidentally drop the weight and about three for me to put it back on. I really wouldn't mind gaining a little but that does not seem like it will be happening anytime soon. My metabolism will probably slow down a little as I get older. 

 

I have a ton of problems with fitting clothes for my whole body. I have a long waist so you can pretty much assume if a shirt/dress is supposed to hit at the waist it will be at my ribs. Nothing is ever long enough to cover my stomach either. I need an XS in just about everything since my waist is less than 20 inches. However my chest, butt, and thighs don't fit that same model. My boyfriend laughs at me trying to get my jeans on because I can't get them up over my butt. Once I do have them on you can fit your whole hand down my pants because my hips and waist aren't that big. My chest can be irritating as well because often I need about a medium up top. Forget button up shirts. I've had some shirts get stuck on me because I'm broad shouldered. Also my chest is kind of high up, so if a shirt is supposed to sweep down to show a little cleavage you can bet I'll be about 80% uncovered. 

 

I have weighed in 115 before when I was exercising everyday. Unfortunately my body became really dense and I actually became smaller all over, just with well defined abs. I was really confused as to why my weight had gone up but my clothes had gotten really baggy. 

 

I really like my hourglass figure I just hate fitting it. I always look for simple things when shopping because I have less trouble with them. I love skirts as a result, I'm working on adding dresses to my closet but that is proving to be difficult. 

beautylovingirl

Re: Backhanded compliments and how to respond

I'm 5'3" and 115 all the time and I think it's a good weight because I am so short,but I could understand how your friend felt because 25 pounds would make a huge difference in someone's appearance.

shyvicki

Re: Backhanded compliments and how to respond

Yeah I had lost 20 lbs. in college thanks to good old fashioned eating less and exercising more. Now that I'm in my 30's and on birth control, maintaining that weight loss isn't as easy as it used to be. If a pregnancy is in my future, I know it'll take me forever to lose the weight.

nebel

Re: Backhanded compliments and how to respond

Some people think thin people are immune to the effects of body shaming- not true!

I am naturally on the slender side.  A couple of years ago, I got a terrible bout of viral gastroenteritis the week before I was supposed to defend my doctoral dissertation.  The combination of not being able to keep any food down for a week + the stress of "OMG THESIS DEFENSE"   and my weight had dropped to a severe, unhealthy  number in the double digits.  

 

I have a co-worker who STILL brings up how "awful" I looked when i started working my current job. 

 

Excuse me for getting sick TWO YEARS AGO and not looking fabulous every freaking moment of my life.  Sheesh.

Meg82

Re: Backhanded compliments and how to respond

I think there is a very narrow of what an appropriate body weight is and that everyone on either side gets slammed with body shame.  

and it sucks.

makeupmaven

Re: Backhanded compliments and how to respond

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I look like sh** at 135 (maybe it was 130, either way). My face is sunken in, I don't fill out my jeans, I don't feel like myself. Some wouldn't consider that too skinny, but for me, it's terrible (years and years ago when I had a sinus infection for the first time). They shouldn't be putting it that way, people have weird ways of saying you look better now, and maybe in a weird way, caring about your health!

orkira

Re: Backhanded compliments and how to respond

I used to get the oh when are you due comments when I was heavier.  Boy did that tick me off to no end but you should see the look on people's faces when you reply oh I'm not pregnant.  I remember one guy asking me when I was due when my husband was with me I didn't even have a chance to reply my husband said very loudly why is that any of your dang business when my wife is due...again not pregnant but boy was he more ticked then I was.  Now a days I get the when are you gonna have children from my family, you've been with your husband almost 11 years now...my answer when we are ready and why is it any of your business anyways!...I have a bit of evil streak in me when it comes to questions about having children.  People can just be so rude & impolite sometimes.  Like my life is a total strangers business.

 

Next time some stranger asks you if they are all your kids or how many kids you have ask them what business is it of yours?!?  I beat that will shut them up!  :smileyhappy:

Panda168

Re: Backhanded compliments and how to respond

I think when I'm pregnant and someone asks when I am due, it'll be funny to tell them I'm not pregnant... just to see their reaction. 

orkira

Re: Backhanded compliments and how to respond

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ROFL.  The look on their face will be priceless.  :smileywink:

DTalksAll

Re: Backhanded compliments and how to respond

That's a good one Panda... I'll have to remember that one! 

Panda168

Re: Backhanded compliments and how to respond

Frankly, I hope I remember it too haha

warriorwitch

Re: Backhanded compliments and how to respond

Or tell them none, these one just follow you around for no reason.

kalex

Re: Backhanded compliments and how to respond

LOL!  I've joked about that to my husband many times!  "I don't know who keeps letting these kids in our house."  But I've never thought about saying that in public.  Ha!  Definitely going to do that.

orkira

Re: Backhanded compliments and how to respond

LOL.  Now that's an awesome response to say!

Panda168

Re: Backhanded compliments and how to respond

hahaha!

fhgarman

Re: Backhanded compliments and how to respond

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Uggh! Both sides of my family as well as STRANGERS are always, always asking me when I'm going to have another kid. People see my 4 year old son, ask his age, comment on his cuteness or whatever and then immediately ask me about when I'm going to have another and then have the gall to tell me that my son "needs a sibling". The thing is my husband and I both want another kid so badly, but we simply, absolutely cannot afford one right now. I am an only child and while some only children loved growing up that way, I hated it. I always wanted a sibling - so I promised myself I would have at least two children. People have no idea how hurtful it is for them to ask me these things. :smileysad: So I could say "our family is perfect just as we are" even though that's actually not how I truly feel. What else can I really say? Even with our relatives I don't want to tell them why we actually haven't had another kid yet. I wish I had some line prepared in my head that expressed how rude they are being but in backhanded way.

anaa

Re: Backhanded compliments and how to respond

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I used to get all the time when my daughter was little, "when are you having another one?" or directly to her "do you want a little sister or brother?"  (she didn't and is now 33 and still thrilled to be an only child.)  It's just a rude question, and you shouldn't have to reply.  The amount of children you have is a personal decision based on so many factors, including financial, and is an individual decision not subject to group discussion!

DTalksAll

Re: Backhanded compliments and how to respond

People don't understand that everyone is built differently. My best friend & I have complete opposite body types. She can run every day & not loose an inch, where I would loosed 4 pounds. We can eat the same food every meal; she would gain weight & I stay the same. 

A lot of my friends had babies this past year, 1 did 0 exercise & is back to her pre-baby weight. Another worked her butt off at the gym & still has a ways to go... 

I can only imagine how much you run around taking care of 4 kids. Just come up with something silly like what you said above with the pumpkin seeds. & If they persists be honest. Everyone's view of "healthy" is different. It's like some people who become vegetarians to loose weight, some end up filling themselves with carbs or empty calories. 

makeupmaven

Re: Backhanded compliments and how to respond

Yep, and as a non-skinny person, it's sometimes hard for other people to see that you aren't looking to be skinny. All I work towards is balance-- healthy, happy, stress-free, toned. I love seeing results, but I'm curvy, this is just who I am and my husband loves it! I don't own a scale...it's more important to me that I'm happy with what I see in the mirror.

 

 

anaa

Re: Backhanded compliments and how to respond

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You have the right outlook!

DTalksAll

Re: Backhanded compliments and how to respond

YES! Balance! I keep my scale in the garage because it's A. old & ugly B. never unpacked it C. don't have a place for it in our bathroom :smileytongue: 

I can usually tell my weight by how my clothes fit & how I feel. I eat right & I try to exercise, but I still indulge. I have a tank top that fits differently depending on how toned/not toned I am. So instead of stepping on a scale, I put the shirt on. 

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