Stop with the Body Comments, please!

Hi, hello! This may be a soapbox for me. 

A friendly reminder that body comments are cringe, even if you mean for them to be a compliment. 

We live in a world that validates weight loss and often compliments it without knowing the reason for the weight loss. As an eating disorder therapist, I have had countless clients share how the validation of their weight loss caused them to increase their behaviors or made them feel like they needed to continue losing weight.

You never know what someone is going through or what their relationship with their body is like, which can make giving a body based compliment uncomfy for everyone involved. Outside of eating disorders, lots of other medical concerns can cause unintentional weight loss and body changes.

Even comments like "you look so great now!" can cause insecurities surrounding how the person was perceived before and also validate that people noticed their appearance shift.

It can feel hard to come up with things that aren’t appearance based and I am often one to compliment someone’s style or outfit. While not the same as complimenting on their body, it is pretty adjacent. It is wild how challenging it can be to come up with with non-appearance based things to say to someone!

 Here are some non-appearance based greetings you can try out...

  • “I am so glad to see you and spend time with you!”
  • “I have been looking forward to being around you.”
  • “It is so good to be with you!”
  • “Your joy is radiating!”
  • “Your energy is contagious!”

Here are some non-appearance compliments you can try out...

  • "You are so creative...I love how you thought of that!"
  • "You are so_____(fill in the blank with something you notice!)"
  • “You make me feel safe and understood”
  • “I always feel like I can be myself around you.”
  • "Being your friend (substitute any other word) is so valuable to me!"

What would you add? How do you feel when someone comments on your appearance?

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