An Open Letter To Men Who Comment On Women’s Weight

Dear Men Who Comment On Women’s Weight:

Every time you make a snotty, snide, deprecatory, or disparaging comment about a woman’s weight, you implicitly endorse an unreasonable and unattainable societal standard for beauty that women are subjected to from the cradle onward. You contribute in a direct chain of causality to a culture of death that values women for the size of their jeans rather than the content of their character. You indulge in exactly the kind of time-honored platinum dickishness that has f-cked with the heads and hearts of countless women irrevocably. Enough’s enough. It doesn’t matter if weight-related assessments of women are meant in jest; lest we forget, C.S. Lewis in the Screwtape Letters points out that the most pernicious and insidious sort of cruelty is cruelty that masquerades as humor. After all, a lie can be disseminated so much more easily when it has a punch line.

There is absolutely no excuse for ignorance, apathy, insensitivity, and callousness about women who struggle with body image; eating disorders are an issue that affects us all. Eating disorders are not some fringe sociocultural issue, and its victims are not some barely on-the-map eccentric subset of the general run of humanity. I’ve been battling one myself for over a decade now, and I am far, far from alone. I stand shoulder to shoulder with ten million other women in this country who are also struggling with anorexia, bulimia, and/or binge eating disorder. Ten million women — and more than one in four between the ages of 18 and 30 — are suffering from a debilitating mental illness that consumes their lives and causes them untold daily psychological and physical anguish which you will never understand. And for one in ten of these women, the disease will claim them at a prematurely young age. If that’s not sobering, think of it this way: statistically speaking, in your lifetime, at least one woman you know and love will die of eating-disorder related complications. So if you wouldn’t crack bald jokes around a chemo patient or cripple jokes around a paraplegic, then you damn well better think twice before cracking fat jokes around women who are literally dying precisely because they’ve been told their whole lives that their human worth is derived from their physical appearance.

You know, I didn’t spontaneously wake up sick one morning. A lifelong destructive complex was triggered by — what else? — a boy taunting me about my weight at age 16. I went home, sobbed my little half-grown-up post-adolescent heart out, and resolved that never again would I give any boy the opportunity to condemn or dismiss me in that way. I would be skinny — or die trying. I succeeded at the former; I very nearly succeeded at the latter. I embarked with Captain-Ahab monomaniacal fervor on a quest to conform to my culture’s standard of “beautiful” — a quest that has haunted me, destroyed me, nearly killed me, a quest that landed me in the hospital over and over again with life-threatening dehydration, hypokalemia, and multiple kidney and heart failure scares. I can recall a host of times when some off-hand, idiotic, cruel remark by a guy — even if not directed at me — triggered a major relapse, or a major depressive episode, or at the very least, major psychological pain. Because your comments like that merely reinforce our conception of ourselves as sex objects on display to be ogled — our definition of ourselves as aesthetically appealing pleasure-vehicles whose chief purpose is functional.

But guess who wrote that definition?

It wasn’t us.

I’m not abdicating personal responsibility. Certainly, we women must take it upon ourselves to turn a deaf ear to the siren song of a sterile and superficial culture. And if men will persist in objectifying and denigrating us, we are ultimately tasked to ignore you as best we can or, when possible, to re-educate you. But at the end of the day, you could make being a woman in a world where womanhood is scorned a hell of a lot easier on all of us by personally committing to a radical new methodology: refusing to make negative comments about a woman’s appearance. Ever. Under any circumstances whatsoever. Balls to the wall, boys. Alleviating human suffering and bringing hope to the lost is not merely at your option. Loving people — loving them with every ounce of strength you’ve got, alleviating their suffering rather than exacerbating it, treating them with empathy and dignity and sensitivity and charity — is your obligation as members of the human race, a vocation you have no right to reject. When you’re an asshole, the echoes of your assholishness — and the lives destroyed in its wake — may be farther-reaching than you could ever imagine.

If you take nothing else away from this letter, take away these precepts:

Real men don’t feel the need to put others down to advance their own self-interest.

Real men don’t hurt others, even in good fun.

Real men don’t mistake caddishness for humor.

Real men appreciate real beauty that proceeds from the heart, demanding nothing more and settling for nothing less.

Real men take seriously their call to protect, preserve, and defend women.

Real men think before they speak.

It’s a hard line, but somebody’s got to hold it. Why not you?

Women everywhere will thank you.

Donna Shute TC Mark

image – Girls


More From Thought Catalog

  • lolololol

    what if she’s PHAT? you know, pretty hot and tempting?

    • TheGreenDoor

      omg i haven’t heard that since the 90’s

  • Joyce

    fucking beautiful.

  • Meredith Hirt (@MerDiann)

    While I love and agree with this, I think there is one gaping hole: what about the way “us women” treat other women? Such disparaging comments about image and weight and beauty aren’t spit only from the mouths of men. The sparring is conducted by women towards other women, as well. I think we have to, as females, urge all females to lay down their swords.

    • Emil Caillaux

      Hear hear. For every man negatively making comments on women’s weight, there are a hundred thousand “women’s magazines” absolutely slaughtering women on this issue and effectively forcing them to ascribe to a concept of beauty that evil and cruel (and aesthetically displeasing). And before you say “it wasn’t us”, I’m sorry, but I know very few men who write for women’s magazines.

      • donnakshute

        We’re in total agreement. Actually, just in general people are kind of assholes and judge one other based on superficial qualities like personal appearance. I was addressing a particular phenomenon I’ve encountered too many times, but just because I think many men are cads who perpetuate the beauty myth doesn’t mean I think ONLY men ever perpetuate the beauty myth (or that ONLY women have eating disorders/body image issues, for that matter).

        Maybe a follow-up piece from women to women is called for. :) Duly noted!

      • Skip Mitchell

        This is something that needed to be said and heard! Too many (not all) men judge and talk about women in a most derogatory manner if she is even just a little overweight in their minds. Women are constantly bombarded through life with hearing all these remarks and too often it takes it toll in terribly drastic ways. Men’s magazines…and yes…men have embedded the concept so thoroughly that even women’s magazines also contribute to this shallow stereotype thinking. It’s time to change our narrow way of thinking and of making such rude comments that could only end up causing so much pain and even terrible results. For far too long now women have fallen victim while made to feel not physically good enough, unaccepted and ridiculed in society as long as one could remember. Have we forgotten poor Karen Carpenter and her sad ordeal throughout the 70s until her untimely death in 1983? How many have had their lives either cut short or endured health failures because of unthinkable remarks directed at their so-called weight problem. And still that ugly, devastating way of thinking has changed little. Come on guys…let’s make a conscious stand against this! There are all kinds of beautiful people in this world and the beauty starts from within. See a person for what they really are…truly a wonderful creation of God!

      • Excuses

        Actually, Skip, most men won’t give a second thought to an overweight women. Why bother, if there are so many more healthy and good looking women around?

        Calling fat people fat is as much a stereotype as calling black people black. I.e. not at all.

        People have not “endured health failures” because of “unthinkable remarks” but because they’re “idiots” (Dr House) who can’t control themselves in either direction and go from too fat to too skinny.

        Most men have made a conscious stand against unhealthy habits. I don’t think there are more men attracted to skeletons than to “oh hell no” (Gabriel Iglesias), and both of these groups are on both ends of the Gauss curve. Joe Average likes his women somewhere between 5 kg too little and 5 kg too many, and there can be quite a spread in between, in addition to these 10 kg. And that’s healthy. That’s what most men like and that’s EASILY achievable, even without extra exercise or special diets. Just not (over)eating garbage and going for a walk every other day should be enough for most women.

        There are all kinds of beautiful people. Different hair colors, different eye colors. Even different body types. But to most people, male and female, these beautiful body types do not include the “invisible-if-behind-broomstick” and “free-Willy” types.
        Also, we’re talking about PHYSICAL BEAUTY, which has nothing to do with within. You can be the nicest person ever, if on the outside you look like a blob of fat, you were either seriously screwed by genetics (5 % perhaps?) or you are not as nice on the inside either, because (and here’s some more new age bullshit right back at you) you can’t love (or be nice) to others, if you don’t love (aren’t nice) to yourself, which you’re obviously not, if you’re fat.

        And finally, your God argument works against you. We can assume that if God created us in his/her own image, it was likely a healthy image. Therefore he probably created us to have a HEALTHY weight and if you’re over/underweight, you’re basically disrespecting God’s work. And how dare you think you know better what you should look like than your Creator? You would have a much stronger argument with evolution. IJS :P

      • Tom

        How do you know what ‘most men’ like? Are you ‘most men’? No, you are ONE man. You can’t speak for anyone but yourself so please shut. up. you vile little troll.

      • Excuses

        Well I’m as qualified to talk for men as anyone else and more than the, author, because unlike her, I happen to be one :p

        Also, get your definition of trolling straight. Saying stuff people don’t like to hear isn’t it :p And I really do not think men would waste energy on making fun of fat people if there are good looking women around. At least not here. Then again, what we consider fat here, (nationally speaking) is likely underweight by us standards so perhaps if the average weigh increased by 50kg, we’d turn into assholes as well xD

    • NicoletteRenee

      Amen sister. My boyfriend always points out, “You turn mens heads, but women just really give you some nasty stares.” It’s really the sad truth. Men can certainly be rude and vain, but I really do believe that women are their own worst enemies.

      Most men won’t look at you and try to figure out if you’re wearing a smaller size than they are. Most men won’t scale your body up and down…okay, well, they will, but it won’t be because they’re trying to find all of your flaws.

  • Male with ED

    Yes, because men are the only ones who perpetuate unfair standards of beauty upon people, and when they do, it’s definitely only towards women.

    • mike

      exactly. its like, a small fraction of guys are *just the type of people* who tell fat jokes around fat people, or black jokes around blacks. an open letter from donna isn’t going to do anything except piss of the guys that actually can make a difference

      • donnakshute

        Mike, I think it’s worth noting that the letter is specifically addressed as an open letter TO the kind of men who make those sorts of comments. That’s the audience. So if you’re not one of those men, (a) good on you, more men should be like that! and (b) none of it should then be taken as directed at you. :)

      • mike

        oh thanks donna you’re right. i missed that part, just assuming those kind of people wouldn’t be reading anyway. lol

  • Shadow

    Dear Women who comment on Men’s weight:

    Please read the above (reversing genders, of course), and take it to heart.

    While overweight men don’t have to deal with nearly as large a helping of shit sandwich regarding their weight, we’re f*cking tired of dealing with it too.

    Body image issues aren’t limited to any one gender, race, creed, age, or social class.

    I’ll continue to do everything in my power to ensure that this shit stops. Please return the favor.

    • Dave Carmocan

      Amen to that. Eating disorders are not isolated to just one gender either.

  • Society & people need to change - not a certain gender.

    I’m a 19 year old male and up until the age of 17 I was clinically obese. The way people (very much so including girls) treated me in general was horrific, and as a result I starved myself until I was dangerously underweight. I have some grasp of the struggle these women face on a daily basis. This site often hosts pieces that portray certain societal issues as purely a woman’s burden and sometimes it’s simply not true – we need to move forward together as a whole, not pointing the finger at one gender or another. I applaud you for your strength and sympathise wholeheartedly – but please keep in mind many issues affect not only men OR women, but simply PEOPLE. It’s insulting to state otherwise.

    • danpot

      Hear, hear!

      And this article is disgusting. The evil menz again. Ugh. Pathetic.

      And this:

      “Real men take seriously their call to protect, preserve, and defend women.”

      Way to go in putting women down as the helpless beings they certainly are NOT. Men shouldn’t be “protecting, preserving and defending” women any more than every human should protect and defend any other human who needs protecting or defending. Gender has nothing to do with it.

      Grow up. Be a real woman. Take responsibility. Respect yourself and others. You’ll live a happier life for it.

      • a

        The author clearly stated that she was not abdicating personal responsibility;

        “I’m not abdicating personal responsibility. Certainly, we women must take it upon ourselves to turn a deaf ear to the siren song of a sterile and superficial culture.”

        But gender does have everything to do with eating disorders when the vast majority of its sufferers are women. I also think you missed the whole point in stating;

        “Men shouldn’t be “protecting, preserving and defending” women any more than every human should protect and defend any other human who needs protecting or defending.”

        She was saying men should be defending women rather than criticizing their appearances and bodies. She wasn’t talking in general terms, but writing about her specific experiences and the experiences of lots of women as being on the receiving end of criticism by men.

      • Susan

        Agreed, that one line seemed out of place to me. If you look at men as your protectors you’re living in a chivalrous fairy tale that doesn’t do either gender any good. Is being put on a pedestal any better than being cut down for our weight?

  • notafatty

    fatness equated to chemotherapy and paraplegia…got it.

    • H

      She explained that people are dying from eating disorders.

    • T

      yeah, I’d say there are certainly some degrees of difference between eating disorders and cancer or paralysis.

      • A L D

        Of course there are differences. Analogies aren’t identical truisms.

      • Excuses

        So you wouldn’t object the claim that getting shot in a concentration camp can be used as an analogy for being a rich-beyond-dreams celebrity and then overdosing on drugs?

      • A L D

        I said analogies don’t have to be identical. I didn’t say they don’t have to be comparable or at all similar. You do understand the concept of an analogy, right?

      • Excuses

        I do know the concept of an analogy. I also think that comparing being fat and being paralyzed is about as sensible as comparing overdosing on 1st world luxuries compared to being shot in a sh**hole.

      • A L D

        The comparison wasn’t to being fat. It was to dying of an eating disorder.

      • AARON

        rofl @ ALD trying to justify such shitty writing and wording

      • smg

        rofl at @ people not understanding basic language concepts…

  • really?

    “Real men take seriously their call to protect, preserve, and defend women.”
    Ugh. This is annoying. When can we move past this?

    On your suggestion for men- “…personally committing to a radical new methodology: refusing to make negative comments about a woman’s appearance. Ever.”
    Nothing radical or new about this. Just inflammatory, unfair, and biased.

    a woman.

    • Lo


    • PRZY

      wish I could like this

  • Simone

    I enjoyed reading this article, but you should lay off the thesaurus.

  • Reid

    This is a really good essay. However, it would be stronger without the ‘real men’ section at the end. ‘Real men’ sounds out-of-tone with the rest of the essay to me; more trivial.

    I think ending on “When you’re an asshole, the echoes of your assholishness — and the lives destroyed in its wake — may be farther-reaching than you could ever imagine” would be really strong.

    (This has been your ‘He thinks he’s in a creative writing group’ moment for the say)

  • Brigid, Goddess of Flame

    Reblogged this on Searching For Brigid and commented:
    Absolutely beautiful.

  • James N Cleveland
  • Donna Shute

    Male With ED — obviously there are an exorbitant number of men in the world also struggling with this painful, hurtful disease, and I in no way intended to minimize their suffering, yours, or anyone else’s. I DO think that the standard for beauty, the media pressure, et cetera, is exceptionally hard on women, and I can only write about with any certitude about what *I* personally have encountered, which is that particular kind of sociocultural pressure, as well as prejudice and cruelty from men. But please bear in mind I’m a heterosexual female — not something I chose :) — and so intrinsically that perspective is the framework from which I write, and the framework of my experience. That doesn’t mean mine is the only valid perspective, or that I’m trying to present it as such. We’re all fighting the same battle here, and I think we should all avoid coming to blows with our allies — those who are struggling with the same illness and raising awareness for the same cause that we are.

    Best of luck with everything… we are totally on the same page about how men with eating disorders are one of the most marginalized and misunderstood demographics out there. Remember you are unique and unrepeatable and absolutely exquisite just as you are.

    Thoughts and prayers.


    • AARON

      “exceptionally hard on women” — but… not exceptionally hard on men? Have you ever turned on a TV? Ever noticed how much pressure a man has to A) be ripped, B) have hair, C) be hairless, D) have money, E) have charm, tolerance, etc. blah blah? No? Never given it any thought? Hmm!

      Both sexes have it bad, and the fact that you’re trying to reduce this to “women have it worse!” is silly to me. Both have it bad, just in different ways. One way in which women have it better, though, is that there are countless support groups and “open” victims who are ready and willing to discuss this sort of thing. When was the last time you heard a man openly discuss how awful his balding head made him feel, or how unattractive he felt because of it? When was the last time you read an open discussion about how a man felt insecure because of the hair creeping up on his shoulders, or for not being able to take off his shirt at the beach in fear of not being tanned enough, thin enough, muscular enough? How many men are insecure because they feel their job makes them unattractive to females? Men aren’t even allowed to have this discussion, lest they seem weak in the eyes of many females and get ridiculed by other men. Do you even consider this sort of thing?

      I quit my job that I loved because of fat jokes that were made to me a few years ago. All the jokes were made by females. Instead of feeling sorry for myself and spiralling out of control, I quit my job, lost the weight, and now I look and feel great and work in a much better place with decent people. If I could do it, you could do it.

      It’s ironic that you seem to be encouraging men to be more sympathetic to the shitty situation women are in, when you seem totally unaware of the situation men are in.

      It’s also pathetic that you’d dare compare an eating disorder with cancer.

      • AARON

        Also, who in the fuck are you to tell me what a real man is, or how a real man should act? Your attempt to neuter people just because they hurt your feelings, or have the capacity to do it, seems like a reflection of your insecurity, not the strength of your argument, or something.

      • a

        The author doesn’t have to write about the pressures the main stream media put on men to look a certain way when she is writing an article about her own experiences of having an eating disorder, and how she and other women may be effected by the comments made by men.. Thats not to say none of the things that have effected your self esteem are irrelevant and not worth talking about (because they are), its just a bit of a pointless criticism when she is writing an article on a completely different subject. Also, women do suffer from eating disorders at much higher rates than men, so when it comes to the effects the media have on body image, women do have it worse.

  • G

    Adding a different perspective, I am a guy who is skinny. Women don’t have a problem with openly commenting about how thin I am. Often this makes me uncomfortable and it’s a bit emasculating. It is something I am very self conscious about when someone points this out even in private. I was raised knowing that it is impolite to make such remarks about women.

  • Solution?

    So the solution is everyone should just say nice things to everyone all the time? I could see that happening fairly easily.

    • H

      haha exactly

  • guest

    Men can be made fun of for their weight though. They can be expected to have hairless, tanned chests and six packs, without even a second thought. Any less is not worth the time.

    Women with curves are “beautiful”. Men with curves are lazy, unattractive and slobs.

  • ElectricBoogaloo

    Ohh Boo hoo. Men (and boys) face all sorts of criticisms about their body image as well, be it their penis size, receding hairline, beer belly, crows feet, etc. Have you ever watched a sitcom in your life? Wives and significant others making biting remarks about their beer guzzling men is the norm.

    Eating disorders continue to rise in men as well. Do they predominately affect women? Yes. But while eating disorder awareness for women has increased, eating disorder rates in males have been rising without receiving the same kind of attention.

    I know feminist indignation is in fashion these days, but please. The power in accepting oneself for who they are and moving past hurtful comments is inherent in all human beings. Pointing fingers and making generalizations of ‘men’ commenting on women’s weight doesn’t help reach any of that.

    • Tom

      Women have been putting up with this shit for years. A lot longer than women moaning about beer guts.

      • AARON

        TOM, you’re an idiot

      • Tom

        Why? Because I’m right? Dick.

    • CF

      The fact that this is a bigger issue for women doesn’t diminish the fact it’s a growing problem for men.

      Let’s try an exercise. Think of female characters on TV that are unattractive. How many of them are in major roles? How many of them are villains or one-off characters? How many of them even exist?

      It doesn’t matter how talented, intelligent, or interesting a woman is — if she isn’t attractive, she isn’t considered worth showcasing, and there’s something wrong with her. IT IS that pervasive; sociology backs this up with statistics on eating disorders, body dysmorphia, and related issues. What men are facing ON THIS FRONT is very significant, but in terms of scale and pressure, not comparable.

      By all means, though, talk about the problems dudes are facing with respect to attractiveness standards. More conversations need to be had on that front. I am only making this point because a lot of men just don’t seem to understand HOW INCREDIBLY DIRE this issue is, how much worse than so many of them even imagine. It’s akin to women trying to understand the pressure to “be a man”– most do not understand how deep it goes.

  • Rahul

    WTF.I just want to say one thing obesity is not only amongst females. Many men are also suffering and many times girls make their fun. So this is not a feminine issue. It is a an issue which guys and girls both face. We should not mock at any person whether he is a boy or girl.

  • jonathan

    an open letter to fat girls who write in thought catalog,

    less articles, more situps.

    <3 jonathan

    • JK

      Do you struggle with reading?

    • donnakshute

      Thank you for being such a stellar example of the demographic audience for which this letter was intended!

      • Roger

        So, your inability to follow a basic nutrition and exercise plan is our problem now?

        Reality check. If your belly protrudes more than your tits, you have a problem. You are not ‘curvy’. You are fat. Accept it, and work towards changing it. No, you don’t have to starve yourself to the point of emaciation, but not having any spillover on a train or bus seat is a good start.

        Muscle mass is not the enemy. Strength training is not the enemy. Cardio is not necessarily your best friend, but I suppose it beats the hell out of Shakeweights and Zumba.

        Eating healthy sounds horrible if you’ve never tried weaning yourself off high-calorie diets, but do try. Educate yourself on basic sport science and nutrition, and bloody well stick to a plan. You won’t see results overnight, but keep at it and give it a year or so. You’ll feel and look better, and start wondering why you ever felt comfortable being fat in the first place while developing an enormous contempt for entitled fat people who keep whining about how society should change to accept them. Fuck you and your shit, eat less twinkies and hit the gym more often.

        /former fat dude

      • Jack

        Oh God, give it a rest.

    • guest

      i think you mean fewer, jackass.

      • A L D

        Intolerance is always the problem of people who engage in it, yes.

  • Mark

    I was bullied throughout elementary and high school, and for a long time, I felt the same way as Donna: that understanding was absolutely critical, and that if my bullies would just take a moment to _feel_, they would never treat me this way. I hated their guts.

    Then I grew up, and I realized that bullies are tormented, too – by their horrible parents, usually. I am sorry for everything that you went through, but nothing is more shortsighted and selfish than expecting sympathy to be a one-way street. I know it seems absurd, but now that you’re older, did you never consider that maybe this wasn’t a personal attack? I see now that anyone who tormented me had a whole host of their own issues, and that they were significantly beyond my control. Bullying, buzzword that it is now, is not a social power play – it’s a reaction from emotionally damaged children.

    We all deal with pain, and we all react differently. We are all responsible (as members of the ‘human race’, as you call it) for creating and enforcing bad behaviour. Blaming men en masse is not the answer – it’s much bigger than that.

    • sullivas

      Truth if I ever heard it!

  • Zack

    This article is sexist.

    Implying that women are emotionally more vulnerable, stating that women should NOT be held to a “standard” and then listing ways that men SHOULD.

    Implying that men do not have similar physical standards that the media pushes onto them.

    Implying that MEN are the problem and not PEOPLE, removing the blame from other women or the woman herself.

    Also, equating eating disorders to physical conditions that are completely out of the victims control (cancer, kidney failures, paraplegia) is not fair to do.

  • Excuses

    You do realize that for the majority of people, for women, being hot (not just good looking; by normal men’s standards, not Cosmo et al.) only includes not eating more calories than you burn, while a man has to work his 4$$ off in the gym almost every day of the week and pay SERIOUS attention to his diet, if he wants to even come close to what is considered a hot man (hot, not just handsome; by normal women’s standards)?

    To put it simply (and generalizing a bit)

    Hot woman = not fat
    Hot man = at least a shade of a six pack and muscles all over his body, which means body fat probably under 10 %

    Finally, it’s not the idiots’ fault that you almost kill(ed) yourself for being called fat. It’s YOUR fault, because you let other people dictate your self-worth. And before you go on saying how I have no idea – try growing up as the only non-white person in a rural region of a country. I’ve had my share of ridicule. Except I couldn’t (and obviously wouldn’t) change my skin color, while you DID have the option of not eating 5000 calories, when you only burned 1500 per day.

    And don’t you dare compare fatness to cancer and similar diseases. If being fat were as genetic, as many people (mostly in the US) claim, then Europe would be just as fat, and so would Africa.

    • Excuses

      2 details
      1) Hot woman = not fat + good makeup
      2) Rural region of a country where you maybe see 2 non-white people per day even in the capitol

    • jklmnop

      You’re an idiot. Go and do some reading before you write the kind of bullshit that is contained in your last paragraph. Here’s a start: (Oh, oops, it’s from the US so I guess it CAN’T be true.) More has been established about the role of obesity and genetics than the role of certain cancers and genetics.

      Not ALL men have to struggle that much to look hott. Sorry to break it to you — you are just made different from other men.

      You entire post is riddled with You have no idea how many calories she burned a day. You have no idea what the fuck anyone else has going on in their life, so shut the fuck up.

      I feel sorry for you. I can only feel sorry for you and all the other people who responded so negatively to this woman’s posts. You people are all very narrow-thinking. It makes me glad I don’t know you.

      • jklmnop

        Ugh. Now I look like an idiot b/c of the typos. I was so disturbed by someone so ignorant that I wanted to post my reply so fast that I couldn’t go back and proofread. Guess that totally negates anything I had to say.

  • Golden Boy

    Donna, it’s obvious you don’t know anything about real men. You seem to know more about the assholes who belittle women and more about fantasy “real men” than you do about reality. If a woman is not going to respect her body yet wants a man to implicitly endorse her decision to be overweight or fat by keeping his mouth shut (be “real”), then that’s just fantasy. Not all people have super amazing personalities that blind you to their physical imperfections. And even so, being super cool does not give you a free pass to eat whatever junk you want. Look at Kevin Smith, he’s written and directed some really funny and smart things that a lot of people like and respect. Yet, he’s been hassled on airplanes for being fat. So much so has society’s scrutiny affected him that now he’s on his way to losing weight. In short, everyone not just women need to take charge of their health. If not, the resulting barbs are as much your fault as that of the unfeeling cretins (men who aren’t “real”) you seem to want to demonize. Get real.

    • donnakshute

      I’m 5’8″ and currently a size zero, about 105 lbs. — kind of amused by how many critical men in this comments thread are accusing me of being overweight. :) I take your point, but I’m certainly not endorsing obesity. Women should take care of their bodies, as should men. But we all have physical flaws, be it an extra 5 or 50 pounds, premature grey, or a scar from a bike accident in the fifth grade. My point was — physical appearance is really not what counts and not where it’s at, and to judge anyone based on that is superficial and trivial, and to comment on it to their face not only superficial and trivial but cruel.

      Also, I wanted to point out that I don’t feel it’s ever okay to be cruel, even to people who seemingly DOESN’T take care of their health. I have a close friend, as well a sister, both with thyroid problems — you never know what’s going on when someone is overweight. But in any event, this piece was mostly aimed at those who criticize women who are perfectly physically fit for an extra five pounds or for being slightly less than physically perfect — which sadly, I see happen all the time. I’m not demonizing anybody — I’m talking about a particular kind of man who makes particular kinds of snap judgments about women, and that genre of man is one with which I have very real personal experience.

      Thanks for reading,

      • donnakshute

        errr…people who seemingly *DON’T take care of their health. Changed from singular to plural there at the last minute. Sorry. :)

      • Excuses

        See, you’re doing it again. Extra weight is not and never will be comparable to grey hair , scars etc. Why? Because you CAN control weight, except in VERY rare cases.

        Also, judging someone based on looks is no more superficial than judging someone based on their race, religion, job, or any sort of personal opinions. So judging anyone based on anything is superficial, arrogant and retarded. Not liking someone because they’re too fat/skinny, Christian/Muslim/Atheist/Jewish, an attorney/gardener/cleaning lady, a fan of sports/shopping is, however, perfectly acceptable. Or would you call someone who doesn’t like tomatoes superficial because of that? They don’t like the taste, end of story. Nothing superficial about that. It’s fact. And it’s no different with people.

      • Pete

        >I’m 5’8″ and currently a size zero, about 105 lbs

        Uh-huh. I’m 6 foot 6 and a Mr Olympia competitor, and I have three PhDs, a MD and a JD. My powerlifting weight total is over 9000 lbs.

        >physical appearance is really not what counts and not where it’s at, and to judge anyone based on that is superficial and trivial, and to comment on it to their face not only superficial and trivial but cruel.

        It is, but think of it as tough love. It’s surprising how many people can think they’re ‘curvy’ when looking in the mirror. Sometimes, you need to be cruel to puncture someone’s bubble of self-delusion. What said person does after reality hits them in the gut is up to them. You can binge on cheesecake and B&J’s tubs, or you can pick up Starting Strength 2nd ed and start hitting the gym.

        >you never know what’s going on when someone is overweight

        Generally? Poor habits. Eating crap, not moving, and spending more time concocting excuses than exercising. The fraction of the populace that has legitimate disorders that prevent weight loss is frakkin’ minuscule compared to the fraction that’s simply fat, ignorant and lazy, so you can probably forgive us for assuming.

      • D

        You’re 5’8 and 105 pounds? Are you anorexic? That doesn’t seem remotely safe…

      • Jack

        Did you not get that she has an eating disorder?

      • D

        Yeah, but there’s having an eating disorder and there’s being thin to the point where you need to be hospitalized. If she’s got a BMI of 16, how is the author writing articles/comments and not institutionalized?

  • Shadow

    For everyone who has their knickers in a twist because the author equated or compared eating disorders to conditions or diseases that are out of the victims control, I ask you to consider the following:

    Eating disorders are, in many cases, not only out of the victims control, but caused *by the actions of other people*, whether from comments, jokes, advertising, etc. In certain respects, they are worse than the those conditions out of the victims control because of that.

    Regardless of the root causes of all of these conditions, Are you going to stand there and tell me that mocking them and/or contributing to any of them is better or worse than the others?

    • Excuses

      Really? If someone told your kid that they are fat and the kid developed an eating disorder, you would blame the person who told it to them? I would blame a) myself for not instilling the most basic sense of intrinsic self-worth in my kid and b) myself for letting my kid get fat in the first place, because if they’re getting called fat, they’re either fat or hang with the wrong crowd, in which case, again, I’m to blame for not bringing my kid up with the knowledge that they shouldn’t listen to idiots from wrong crowds.

      How about we take some responsibility for our actions?

      • Shadow

        It amuses me that you apparently do not see the irony in asking people to take responsibility for their own actions when you clearly seem to be advocating that the people making the comments are not to blame, and implying that they should not be held accountable for the damage they do.

      • Excuses

        They are to blame for behaving like a-holes, AND NOT for OTHER people not being able to control themselves.

        If the “insulter” actually caused anything, 90 % of Americans would’ve long since committed suicide, considering how unpopular they were during Bush’s reign. And so would black people. And immigrants. And women. And …

  • Next!

    Truly a terrible, whiny and offensively sexist article. I’m tired of pieces like this and even more tired of the people who create them.

    • Pete

      Amen to that!

      ‘boohoo fat people are pressured to lose weight’
      ‘they have shit self-esteem so people need to stop being mean’

      Seriously, if you cannot extract pertinent points from unflattering comments, you aren’t an adult.

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