• Mon, Nov 22 2010

Do Parents Have a Right To Weigh In On Your Weight?

Recently while trolling the web, I uncovered what appears to be a subculture of blogs written by young marrieds and Southern sorority girls. Among them, I found a blog post about a young mother whose father called her fat after she didn’t lose her baby weight in a timely manner:

“My dad said that 1. I shouldn’t be wearing maternity jeans anymore and 2. I ‘need to do something to get rid of that baby weight’.”
Now, I’m not going to lie; this story makes me bristle. But in my infinite wisdom, I’ve learned that just because something strikes me as wrong doesn’t mean that it strikes everybody that way, and I was schooled on this fact yet again when I read the  blogger’s response to her dad’s reprimand:
And he’s right.  Don’t give me that “it took 9 months to put it on so it takes just as long {if not longer} to take it off” bullcrap.  I can name PLENTY of friends {both IRL and blogger} that dropped their baby weight in 3 months and some were even skinner {bitches}.

So I ask you, in all honesty: do you think that parents weighing in on their adult children’s weight is acceptable, or out of line?

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  • Trish

    As someone whose father constantly comments on my weight, in the positive or the negative, I think it’s entirely inappropriate. Especially for a father to comment on a daughter’s weight.

    Most men don’t understand what women do to themselves in their heads regarding body image, and little comments could cause lasting damage when they don’t mean them to.

    After I gained 15 lbs freshman year of college, and my dad told me I was getting fat, I told him he was lucky I wasn’t susceptible to eating disorders, because his comments certainly wouldn’t help if I was.

  • Hanna

    My mom, the petite woman that she is, often times talks of how I appear to be getting wider. I usually tell her she should have considered this when procreating with my larger father. That usually makes her laugh and she drops it.

    I just keep hoping that one day I finally turn into her…

  • Stephanie

    Definitely not! My mom constantly chides me about my weight (despite the fact that I weigh much less than she does). I don’t think it’s ever okay, for a mom or dad. I know I could stand to lose a couple pounds and I don’t need a family member to remind me of that fact.

  • Eileen

    It’s okay if you’ve gained or lost a severe amount of weight in not a lot of time, I think, and Mom or Dad is sincerely concerned about your health. If I put on 50 pounds over one semester, I think my mom should be worried about me, because something’s obviously wrong. Similarly, if I’ve spent the past seven years wearing a size six or eight and suddenly show up for Christmas as a double zero, I should probably see a doctor.

    My aunts, on the other hand, feel the need to tell me I’ve lost weight EVERY TIME they see me. I almost never have. It’s kind of obnoxious, especially since they launch into a long spiel about their own figures and ask what I do for mine. (The answer is always “I watch what I eat and I work out regularly.” They always comment that oh, they should try that. It’s been going on for years now, and I’m fucking sick of it)

  • M

    Like many girls I put on some puberty chub but it then spiraled into full-on fatness in junior high [ I got up to 185 pounds]. I then dealt with a severe eating disorder for about seven years [sometimes eating under 5000 calories a month, getting down to 104 pounds, passing out, missing periods, always cold, all that fun stuff] before beginning to learn to eat like a semi-normal person again and stabilizing around 125. Unfortunately, over the past couple years I have ballooned up again to about 150 [a combination of full-time school and virtually full-time employment at Starbucks leading to a shortage of time to work out and easy access to some very unhealthy products, plus a boyfriend who cooks delicious food and can eat forever without gaining weight], and though I carry it better than in junior high I’m definitely heavier than I should be.

    My dad does sometimes indirectly comment around the topic of my weight, mostly along the lines of ‘That new workout machine I got is awesome! You should try it!’ [My parents recently moved to a new house and turned a room a small gym.] I know he means well and is purposely trying to not say anything that would send me into another unhealthy downward spiral [he never specifically mentions my size/weight], but he worries about my health. Part of his concern stems from his own type-II diabetes: he was fairly overweight for about thirty years and though his doctors warned him, he only really got healthy after they upgraded his diagnosis from ‘pre-diabetic’ to ‘diabetic’. I know that as a parent it’s hard for him to stay silent and all things considered he’s being as politic about it as he can, so I do my best to keep these things in mind on the occasions he speaks up about it.

  • Grace

    Some years ago I suffered from an eating disorder and my mother was constantly complaining that I was too skinny ( i was about 43kg or 95 pounds, admittedly too skinny). Now after a lot of effort and work I have recovered and am a healthy weight (57kg or about 125 pounds) but she won’t stop making comments that I’m getting fat. Considering where I’ve come from I find it really, really inappropriate but she still doesn’t seem to understand…

  • Laura

    Only if there is a legitimate health concern. If someone gains or loses 40 pounds over a couple of months, then something should be said. But beyond that, no one other than a doctor has the right to comment on another person’s shape.

  • Emily

    My Dad is also my trainer, so, yeah. He’s a great motivator though, so it’s never negative or painful. He kicks my ass because he cares and he knows I want him to.

    http://www.thestuckduck.blogspot.com

  • nolalola27

    I believe that it’s none of their business unless there is a health risk.

  • Meg

    None of their business unless of course it’s a health risk or unless you’re from france & your fat, your going to stick out & embarass your family, for shame!

  • a

    Only if I’m allowed to tell my parents they’re getting fat too. And old.