Things You Should Never Say To a Fat Person

Things You Should Never Say To a Fat Person

Three years ago, I could fit into a medium-sized shirt. Now, I struggle to fit into a large.

I wasn’t always fat. I didn’t always look like a busted can of biscuits when trying on tight jeans. I didn’t always have to hold my breath when tying my shoelaces.  

I admit I miss my skinny days sometimes, especially when broken elevators force me into climbing up several flights of stairs. Those days remind me that I need to work on my bod — for strength to conquer unholy steps; for strength to bend down and tie my shoes; for strength to run more than three steps without coughing up a lung. However, when I reach that point, chocolate cake somehow always chops my resolve in half.

So, here I am… Fat. And, clearly, not ready to do anything about it. Instead, I have to come up with new ways to accept my body. And to do that, I have to acknowledge how people treat us fat people, and how I may have treated fat people at one point. I have to pick up on and correct those sneaky insults, fetishizing compliments, and the flat-out body-shaming. And should I ever lose weight, I will remember the important lesson my new body taught me: the cost of shutting the fuck up is free.

This is a list of some of the most ignorant comments someone has said about my weight. 

“Go to the gym and turn your fat into muscle.”

First of all, you can’t turn fat into muscle because they’re two different types of tissue. You can’t shit in a can and call it chili; it’d only be a can loaded with shit, much like your brain since its filled with pseudo-scientific bullshit that can harm desperate fat people.

When I first noticed my weight gain, I tried desperately to transform my extra body fat into muscle. I believed that working out will magically sprout muscle to replace my tiny bingo-wings. That said, I pulled muscles, dislocated my shoulder and ended up crying in the hospital.

If you’re not a scientist, professional bodybuilder or nutritionist, stop giving health advice that you don’t know shit about. You’re literally harming us.

“You would be so attractive if you lost some weight.”

“Attractiveness should come from within,” my mother always says. Therefore, I never understood why I needed to shed 20 pounds to become somebody’s definition of attractive.

All bullshit aside, if someone says this to you, run. But don’t run too fast — you’ll burn calories. And that’s what they want. That person is toxic, manipulative and they will never find you attractive. They simply want to see how desperate you are for their approval.

It’s not that serious.

“You should diet.”

My friend recommended dietting to me the other day. He told me that if I cut off sugary drinks and junk food, I’d lose weight quickly. I turned to him with a dramatic expression etched on my face and said, “REALLY?”

In retrospect, he did not detect any sarcasm. I know that cutting off junk food and sugary beverages will help me lose weight fast, which is why I do not eat junk food and drink sugary snacks. My body is not going to transform in one day. And while his intentions were probably pure, it was harmful. It reminded me that people will see my body and rewrite my story in their head, no matter how hard I work. It’s discouraging.


“You’re fat.”

I had no idea. I didn’t look down at my feet and notice that my belly sticks out. What other surprises do you want to tell me?

Personally, this doesn’t offend me. However, there are some fat people in the world who still view “fat” as an insult and less of a descriptor. That’s OK. It has always been used negatively. So, how about you just stop commenting on other people’s bodies?

“Your weight is unhealthy.”

I know that my weight puts me at risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. However, telling me that my weight is unhealthy will not help me lose weight. It will only increase my anxiety. It will make me feel like there is a giant clock looming over my head, counting down every second until my fat kills me.

Unless you’re a paid professional, please shut the fuck up about my weight being unhealthy.

“Fat guys are nicer to cuddle with in the winter.”

Honestly, this is like hearing nails scratching down on a chalkboard. It’s grotesque. You don’t see me as a human, you see me as a stuffed animal or a space heater. This is a great example of objectifying someone’s humanity. I’m not a fucking blanket. Pay your goddamn heat bill.

If I’m too fat and greasy to be cuddled with during the summertime, I sure as shit am still too fat and greasy to be cuddled up with in the winter.

Image via Getty


Arkee E.

Arkee E. is a writer based in the Bronx.

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