Home Beauty Who’s Allowed To Call You Fat?

Who’s Allowed To Call You Fat?

by Erika Nicole Kendall

One evening my Mother, sister and I sat at the bar in the house, and my Mother couldn’t stop staring at me.

“I’m just so proud of you. You just up and decided that you weren’t going to be big anymore.”

In an effort to not start smelling my own roses, so to speak, I shrugged it off.

“Hey, I would’ve never got moving had you not suggested that I hit the gym that had just opened. I only wish you would’ve done it sooner!”

At this point, my sister chimed in. “Now, you know full well you wouldn’t have listened if someone said to you ‘Hey, you’ve gained some weight.’ You would’ve flipped out!”

I don’t even remember what happened after she said that, because I’m still stuck trying to remember the person I was, and how I would’ve responded. I do remember responding to my mother’s suggestion about hitting the gym with a serious eyeroll (the kind where, if caught, you usually get slapped – grown or not).

So my question to you is, who’s allowed to tell you that you’re putting on the pounds? Even better, who’s not allowed to tell you you’re gaining weight? Have you been there before? Let’s chat!

Note: If you know me, you know there’s something coming behind this… so stay tuned! Check out “Who Do I Allow To Call Me Fat?

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Chanel March 16, 2010 - 9:49 AM

I think people who really have your best intentions at heart are allowed to express their concerns to you about becoming healthier; however, there is a thing called tact! I think that sometimes people think that its okay to say things to you just because of their age or relationship with you, but if you are sensitive like I am, it can come over the wrong way.

Heather Morris March 16, 2010 - 9:56 AM

I am probably the only one that can truly call me fat and it be okay… yet, when people say I look great from my weight loss then I tend to say “no, I still need to lose 10” or “I’ll look better this Summer when I tighten up”. they probably think I want more praise but I don’t… I seriously either have a slight case of dysmorphia where I don’t see what they see and I’m conditioned after so many years to simply be unhappy with my body. It is hard for me to get to that point where I can appreciate the success I’ve had to this date!! great question:)

Helena March 16, 2010 - 11:47 AM

Nobody better say nothing to me thats just plan rude.

Dee Bell March 16, 2010 - 12:56 PM

My father has a bad habit of calling the women in his life fat all the time. My mother and sisters are both overweight. I, too, rolled my eyes on my last visit home after being told I had packed on a few. My mother agreed, and I promptly gave her ‘the people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones speech.’ I know with my family it comes from a “generally” helpful place, but I wasn’t trying to hear it.
When my boyfriend asked what he could do to support my weight loss goals, I was offended that he didn’t love me, extra pounds and all. In short, it does no one any good to say anything to me, until I agree 🙂

elledub March 16, 2010 - 2:33 PM

i’d rather not have anyone call me fat except for me. I decide when I need to hit the gym and i decide when and if i am happy with how I look.

I really hated it when people would ask me if I was pregnant just because I had put on weight–the problem is that when ppl say you’re fat they often aren’t saying it out of love…they’re saying it according to their own idea of what an acceptable or healthy weight is and projecting it onto you–or at least that’s my experience.

the thing is, fat or overweight people KNOW they’re fat or overweight. I’ve been unemployed for 2 months and I know i’ve put on at least 10-15 pounds. I really don’t need anyone to tell me that as if it will jumpstart me to do what only I can decide to do for myself.

Dwana March 16, 2010 - 4:53 PM

It never fails. *smh smile* When I lost nearly 50lbs (still had a few to go) my sister would say they I was loosing too much. When I started gaining the weight back (20lbs due to health issues) she said I was getting fat. I’ve always been smaller than her so I never understood it really.
I am only trying to please myself. What I do shouldn’t be so important for anyone else, right? There’s no way I can conduct MY life/ looks for anyone’s approval. Save the criticism! Don’t need it.
No one should be allowed to use anything hurtful against you. Some people don’t mind being called fat, some are 50/ 50, others feel extremely hurt. You can never tell…just like you can never tell if the person saying it is trying to squeeze one in for their own pride/ pleasure.

PhluffyPrincess March 16, 2010 - 8:49 PM

fat…nobody. make comments about my weight…significant other (if present) & parents although in the past they have been insensitive about how they go about it. i think i would tolerate it from other family members more easily after I have decided to do something about it, not before.

Frankie1882 March 17, 2010 - 12:24 AM

Nobody really. I hated hearing it from my dad, because I used to want to be a reporter, and you know just about every female tv reporter you see is a skinny minnie. So everytime I talked to him, he’d say “you gotta do something about your weight, you gotta do something about your weight”

Now I’m hearing it from an already annoying acquaintance, who has to tell everyone what she’s doing and that they should do the exact same thing she did. Every time I see her, she has to tell me how she lost 26 pounds in 1 month on the South Beach diet, and that I should do it too, and that she wants to give me her old clothes that are too big (she had lap band surgery almost a year ago)

Yeah I know I’m fat, I just haven’t completely reached the last straw, yet. I recently lost 17 pounds on a fad diet, but I’m trying to find a more sane, easier way to lose the weight, and keep it off. And don’t NOBODY betta say NOTHING, LOL!

Tracy March 17, 2010 - 8:29 AM

Honestly, though I may dislike hearing it, I think my family and friends should be allowed to call me fat. I’ll tell you why. As I’ve stated before (maybe not here, but on my blog or Twitter), I didn’t really notice the weight gain. I knew it was creeping up, but I still looked (in my mind) pretty good. When people started making comments, inclusive of a student that had absolutely NO tact whatsoever, I took stock in what they were saying and decided that I needed to do something about it.

While we may dislike hearing it, sometimes we have to take those opinions into consideration. I was flouncing around with my “You can’t tell me nothing” face on, when in reality, I was getting thicker than a Snicker! Hearing it snapped me out of my bubble. Did the comments sting a little? Of course. Did I immediately spring into action? Not really. However, it still resonated with me that I needed to do something. And that’s exactly what I’m doing these days!

Now, if a stranger just walked up and called me fat, there might be a problem, but I’ll take the words of my friends and family into consideration.

winnie March 22, 2010 - 10:25 AM

Honestly, anyone who loves me had better tell me if I’m picking up weight. It’s a lot easier to lose 10lbs than 100lbs. My best friend and I live by the motto, “friends don’t let friends get fat”. We have a rule that we are allowed to 100 percent real about our weight with one another. With that being said, there’s a way to say it. I would never say, “Hey you’re fat.” That’s rude and not helpful. I will say, “You don’t seem like yourself anymore. You’re not excercising and you’re eating stuff you used to avoid like a plague. Is something going on? Can I help?” That comes from a place of love.

Saundra December 27, 2012 - 6:12 PM

Best, most positive answer I read so far. Like your approach for you and your girlfriend.

Sister Toldja March 22, 2010 - 11:37 AM

I wish to God one of my friends or family members had had the courage to tell me I needed to do something about my weight a few years ago. My mother made vague suggestions about excercising and eating better, and she always supported me the many times I said I was going to lose weight before I actually did it. But she’s big herself, as are my two sisters. My father, who is a a health nut and in TOP physical shape, told me on a few occasions that if I followed his advice, I could have the body I wanted. But he never said “You are too big”, because he never wanted to hurt my feelings and he didn’t see me often because I was away at school.

That leaves my friends at college who watched me get bigger. And I understand why they didn’t say anything (for starters, it happened gradually and I wasn’t slim when they met me). Now that most of the excess weight is gone, everyone is all “OMG, you look great”, but I can’t help but to wish someone had remarked on my weight before. But that’s easy to say on the other side of the fence…

Hidi April 27, 2010 - 8:54 AM

Interesting post…hmmm Who is allowed to call you fat? Fat is not a bad thing it’s just a description, so I say it depends on the person. Many do not want to be called fat and others don’t mind. I’ll say this: if you can call me fat, then I can call you skinny.

I am not “too big” (no pun) on the “fat” and “skinny” labels being used as a measurement of good health. Therefore, everyone has a right to their opionion but it does not make it “right”.

Zee March 14, 2011 - 9:30 AM

I agree with Chanel. There is such a thing called tact. My now ex-husband, told me that if my weight got out of control he would have nothing to do with me. Needless to say I threw his behind out. At the time I was taking care of his sick mother, partially paralyzed father ,supporting him building a barbershop business, dealing with his lazy 50 yr old brother and taking care of our household. I didn’t have any time for myself. Needless to say once, I dropped him and all the drama he brought to the marriage. I loss weight. Can you say no more stress and drama?


Jem June 10, 2011 - 3:02 AM

I fall in the “I wish someone had said something” category. I put on a lot of weight in college, mostly just from partying too much (never bothering to find out how many calories were in a rum and coke – or six!) and eating crappy dorm food then crappy poor and lazy student food. I didn’t notice – or was in denial – about how much weight I’d gained until I looked in the mirror one day (something I’d been doing less and less) and suddenly noticed red gashes on my stomach – it took googling to realise they were stretch marks! I was surrounded by great friends and family who were loving and caring, but even though it might have stung, really I wish one of them had – gently – suggested not ordering pizza and going for a walk…

icwatudid June 17, 2011 - 11:10 PM

1) People who dislike me and call me fat to insult me.

That’s pretty much the only people who cal call me fat; they can say whatever they want, actually. As far as people who can comment on my weight… they should be in decent shape or on their way to decent shape and under 65 (because I don’t expect grandma to start training in the gym). If anyone comments on my weight (even in a tactful manner) and it hurts me… it probably should hurt.

Dominique July 27, 2011 - 2:52 PM

My friends and I have been known to call each other fat (playfully of course), so we’ll say that including myself, they are the only ones who can rag on me about my size. A majority of the females I hang with are overweight anyway, so it doesn’t feel hurtful when coming out the mouth of someone who is in the same boat as you (maybe). Thankfully most of us have gotten started on our very own weight loss journeys.

The one person who does manage to get under my skin with weight issues though is my father. I’ve been big nearly my entire 24 years of living, and have always heard negative or quasi-meant to be nice but still offensive-comments. He’s told me (several times in the past) that I’d, ‘Be more attractive…’ and, ‘would have guys knocking down the door to get to me’ if I ever lost X-amount of weight. I’m guessing his heart was in the right place, and perhaps he thought he’d motivate me to lose weight by giving me the impression that I’d instantly become something of a sex symbol by just striving to make my body better.

…You know what that did for me? The opposite. I clung to my emotional eating to fill the void of not being that attractive, ’cause a traffic jam just to have a look at ‘cha’ girl as I was.

Most of the comments have [Thankfully] stopped since I made a change for all the RIGHT reasons, though there’s still the occasional, ‘There’s less of you now!’ statement thrown around. Ugh.

Hadiya W January 11, 2012 - 11:50 AM

My mom used to tell me I was fat, but the way she did it made me NOt want to do anything about it. I would ask her for lunch money, she would say no, I could stand to skip a meal. Years of being denied food, made me a food hoarder. I would eat all the food I could when offered because until i could pay for my own food I had no control on if we would have groceries or not. Or I would have to dig in the couch for change to go buy acan of ravioli (all you can really buy for $1.25 at the corner store). It wasn’t until i got on a scale at a yearly physical and I was 301 that I was like $!!!!. Then i started trying to loose weight. I look back at pictures ( I’m only down 70 lbs) and I’m like WHY didn’t anyone tell me I looked like that? But you’re right the way someone tells you or brings it up is the only way you will ever accept it. It has to be the right time moment and person. Obviously my mom was not the right person.. but I often wish my sister, my brother, my close friends would have said something to me sooner.

Dreamer February 15, 2012 - 6:47 PM

I know I’m a late posting on this, but I just found your blog and cannot tear my eyes from it!!

Anyway, I’ve always been “chubby’. I was the tallest in class and developed really early in life. I always looked older, but once I hit my 20’s, my older look turned from curvy to fat. I lost a bunch of weight and kept it off and then I gained it right back. One of the times I lost a bunch of weight, I told my friends if they ever saw me head towards 200 lbs, to please check me. They assured me they would. They didn’t. I don’t like stepping on scales and when my clothes sizes got bigger and bigger I finally stepped on one and I was shocked!!! 225 at 5’3 (I’ve never admitted that to anyone before). Of course, by that time I was in my mid-30’s and when I asked my friends why they never said anything, they just said that they never noticed. Of course it is my responsibility and I do not hold them accountable for my weight gain, the “pact” I had with them went out the window.

Now, I am trying to lose 60 pounds at 36 (it is so much easier to do when you’re in your 20’s!) and gaining any and all inspiration and motivation I can in the process!

True May 21, 2012 - 4:03 PM

No one. My mother always made these snide/rude remarks about how it would be hard to date anyone if I were “fat”. She made it seem as if I was some deformed child that should have been grateful for her input. What it did was made me really self conscious of anything I ate, wore, and did. I felt bad about myself because i seemed to be gaining weight instead of losing it.
What saved my sanity was actually going to a doctor and seeing what was wrong with me. Hormone problems. I will never be the supposed ideal weight for my height. I will never be the weight my mother was at my age. And having talked to a therapist I am okay with that. If I am going to be “fat” then dangit I will be the only one saying it lol. I don’t need anyone’s condescending conversations to tell me something I already know. My doctor and I know where I am and where I need to be. That’s all that matters.

Denii July 31, 2012 - 6:22 PM

I would rather a friend let me know that I have been putting on a few pounds than wait to be on the doctors table and told I need to lose weight for my health. Being overweight is unhealthy so if my family and friends care about me then they would tell me.

Sheena August 1, 2012 - 10:18 AM

No one.I think no one should dictate your looks but we should all care about each others’ health and the best way is by creating an environment to show you care, not potentially leading one to feel attacked because you comment on their body.

I think there is a difference between being concerned about someone’s health versus being concerned about someone’s appearance. I have a mirror, I know what I look.

From experience, everyone who has asked about my weight cares more about how I look instead of how I feel. However, people who cared about how I feel have mentioned walking, yoga, water aerobics or eating something in particular for greater energy or something along those lines. My mother who never will call me fat, pushes eating veggies, fruit, and water for my skin because it tells on me when I’m not eating properly. My dad treads lightly because his mother was enemy number one about how I looked so he discusses his working out to address his health needs which creates a comfortable space for conversation. Based on how folks have shown they care about my health and not my looks, I love to talk about how working out and eating right makes me feel and I trust these same folks to not make me feel bad when I hit a rough patch.

Mikki August 4, 2012 - 3:29 PM

This is soo tough. I always tell people to let me know and no one EVER says anything. Then I hop on the scale and nearly have a heart attack. However I had a really hard time telling my bff about her weight gain. She’s always been very defensive about it so when I saw her in a dress I was really shocked by how much weight she picked up. I abstained from telling her and then she found out she was pregnant (although she clearly picked up more than baby weight) but I told her then and she was upset that I had not told her. It’s just such a difficult subject.

Natasha McL August 4, 2012 - 3:53 PM

Who is allowed to call me fat? Well, I wish someone would have said something when I moved from a 14 to 16 to an 18 pant. People had to notice butt no one said anything. Not my fiance’ … who had his own weight issues, not my friends. I notice the change but was in denial. But I think back to those days… no one I knew actively went to the gym or was very health conscious, so the one who were small were that way because of genetics and the others were over weight also. I think I was the first person who really told myself something… it was when I notice that I would need a size 20 in a pair of jeans I wanted to buy. That scared me a lot. Seeing that 2 in front of a size scared me out of denial and into reality. From my freshman year in high school @153 to high school graduation @ 165. To college graduation @198 to age 28 @225 … all I have did was pack on the lbs, especially since graduating high school. I had been lying to myself internally, using the fact I had slightly bigger bones than the average female as my excuse. Realistically, that only about 3 to 5 lbs of difference… I was fat… and needed to realize it. I was fat because I had never given a healthy lifestyle a real chance. Yeah, I remember getting a gym membership.. but eating the same way… so that effort faded quickly.
Finally at 28 I came to my senses and said enough is enough. My Best Friend a power lifter also told me it was time to loose the extra weight… but at the same time he supported my weight lost and became my motivator, trainer and dietician. That’s why I think I heard him when he told me it’s time to trim down. And when I decided to makes change for real.. that when I start to hear … yes… taking of the weight I see… from others.
So today, he is still the only person really who can say I am fat, because he is doing it to improve me. He looks at my progress pictures and says even to this day… your gluts are flabby… um a little loose in the mid region. But the difference is that he doesn’t just tell me that butt also says look at this.. add this to your work out to improve that area…

Nomfundo August 5, 2012 - 3:21 PM

I’ve always been overweight, and my parents were never shy about letting me know. Sometimes their comments hurt but I knew they came from love so I took their word for it but never did anything about it. Now at the age of 28, I’ve gone down from 96kg to 82kg at a height of 1.55m (5ft 2″) and dropped from dress size 18 to a size 12. My mother is no longer with us to celebrate this little achievement so i’m left with just my incredibly tactless yet well-meaning father for support.

Yesterday when he saw a little before and after collage I compiled, his reaction was laughter. You know the kind that leaves you standing there feeling stupid… yeah that kind. Like, was I a joke at my heaviest?

Who’s allowed to call me fat? Friends and family, as long as they mean well. Being South African though, I don’t feel much pressure to be a size 6, being plump is considered a positive thing, really (lol). Its really only about being healthy.

Olivia September 7, 2012 - 10:29 AM

Nobody is allowed to call me fat. Reason: I have been trying to eat healthier and workout for 2 years, lost 40 pounds then gained it back recently when I had my son. I am once again working on losing the weight and even though I may weigh more than certain family members I am STILL healthier than them. I don’t have high blood pressure, diabetes, etc. I can (if I had to) run a mile unlike them. So yes I am still fluffy but I am working on it. I know and accept that I have some ways to go unlike them who are fat and not doing anything about it. My husband better not call me fat because we would be rolling! I get on the scale every darned week and it tells me that I’m fat. I don’t need anybody else to tell me.

Cassandre September 7, 2012 - 10:21 PM

keeping it real, only my sister is aloud to tell me if i have put on weight. if my husband does it i get emotional and if my parents or other family members do it hurts my feelings. but my sister will talk to me and not make me feel bad about myself. the word “fat” is just so awful and negative..

Mia October 17, 2012 - 7:08 PM

I’ve actually had the opposite experience with the title fat. Most of my family is over weight and subscribes to the idea of heavy is pretty. It wasn’t until I was in high school that I heard the word fat being thrown at me. To be honest, I’d rather have people honest with me because for a VERY long time I was walking around with this inflated sense of health.

CurvyCurlyGirl October 20, 2012 - 3:41 AM

I will never be okay with anyone telling me that I have put on weight. I have a mirror, I can see what I look like, I wear clothes everyday, I know how they feel when I put them on. I know when/if I have gained or lost, and I don’t need anyone to “help” me see it. Voicing what I know already is not encouragement, it is not a “heads-up”, its not a “frientervention” (to me) it is just rude. I have been living in this same body for 29 years, I am quite capable of noticing its changes.

marie November 28, 2012 - 2:09 PM

Officially: no one
Unofficially : my mom. And she will not use the word “fat” she will say you gained weight, you should “decelerate this weight gain process a bit” lol.

Miss Pickafight February 18, 2013 - 9:37 AM

Some weeks ago there was a special statement by a colleague which I can’t forget and which really hurt me… I can’t change how I feel about it. He just said: “Keep it up!” And it soooo implied to me: “You are still fat!”

Actually any trace of calling me just kinda not in shape made me hate the person who did… because/even if I really was. Also now, when I am “only” 14 pounds away from normal weight it really hurts to hear how fat/big/out of shape/not fit I WAS. I don’t want to hear it. Something like “wow, you look really good” is totally enough. I don’t want to hear more or be compared to how I was.

Moroccan chick February 19, 2015 - 9:38 AM

I’ve always had body-image issues, and people have made me ashamed of my body. I am in no means bragging, because I actually don’t feel confident in my body- but I have a large chest, large hips and a smaller waist- but I’m by no means skinny. I’ve been sorrounded by very slim people in my entire life, and even now I find my skinny friends throwing out such comments on me: “you have a fat ass” or when I’m trying to eat healthier they will say stuff like: “remember that some people just can’t lose weight” – which is super demotivating. Even when they “compliment” me, just to maybe feel less guilty of themselves they’ll say something like: “I want your legs and your butt”- soo.. you don’t want the rest, because it’s too fat? It’s kind of like the whole “your face is sooo pretty! But if you just lost a couple of pounds…”
And the things that nag me the most is, that all of this comes from gorgeous skinny girls. I mean, I already feel like shit just by looking at them, do they reallyyyyy have to rub in my face that they look better than me? You don’t need to tell me my hips are too wide, or my arms are chunky or that I have a fat ass! I look in the mirror everyday- don’t you think I bloody know! Call me overly sensitive, but I don’t like the fact that they used the word “fat” when describing my butt. At least say something like “oh you have a nice butt” or don’t say anything.

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