We all do it.
We all see someone we know, who has lost weight and think “wow they look incredible!”. We then say “Hey, you look incredible, you lost so much weight.”
Here lies the mistake.
We are making the facts that they have lost weight and that they look incredible dependant upon each other. As if they are linked. This is wrong. They look incredible, they are incredible no matter what.
People don’t always intend to lose weight. Weight loss can be a part of illness, physical and mental. Complimenting someone on losing weight, can often act as encouragement, incentive to lose more weight. If someone is suffering from depression, anxiety or an eating disorder that has led to weight loss, comments like “you look great, you lost so much weight” can be damaging to their ability to recover.
It’s a habit. A bad one, but one we can easily break. Simply say: “you look incredible today” or “I really love that outfit on you” or any other compliment on how wonderful they are inside and out that does not involve weight.
Even if someone chooses to lose the weight, complimenting them on it suggests that there was something wrong with how they were before. If they’re happy about it, tell them “you seem happy, that’s great”.
Complimenting someone on their weight, is not really a compliment.
Happy to see Buzzfeed doing a Body Positivity Week featuring many videos such as this one: