It’s not clever to comment about people’s appearance

  • Betty Doyling (Photograph by Nicola Muirhead)

    Betty Doyling (Photograph by Nicola Muirhead)


A client just back from vacation was at a grocery store where the cashier commented on her size. “Wow, what happened to you? You put on weight!”

This week, I had a comment directed at me: “You’ve been eating well! You sure look good in your dress!”

We really should not make any comments that are directly related to a person’s physical attributes. This way, our happiness or vision of success isn’t based on ever-changing factors.

It may sound extreme, but avoiding weight and appearance-based statements can pave the way for more genuine comments and promote a better understanding and image of health.

Studies have shown that kind and supportive words help our frame of mind and that our mental health definitely impacts our physical health. But to get everyone in a good place, the first thing we all need to do is stop making any comments, even about your friends or people you love.

Of course there is no harm in expressing how much you love your partner’s physical body, but do keep in mind that comments in public about their body could create an atmosphere of discomfort.

So what should we say?

This doesn’t mean you should stop complimenting your friends. It just means stopping to ask yourself: who is listening? Do they need to hear it? Will the compliment still stand if their body changes?

When complimenting a friend, even in a before-and-wafter photo, celebrate the effort and time they’ve put into taking care of themselves.

Try commenting like this:

• Keep up the hard work, your progress is amazing.

• Seriously, your motivation is amazing. Please share your tips.

• I need to start shopping where you shop.

• You’re inspiring me to take better care of myself too. Thank you!

• That colour looks great on you.

If you begin to notice drastic changes in your friend’s appearance it could be a sign of something more serious happening in their life.

So, instead of asking them about their weight, ask them how they are doing. And be prepared to really listen. Be careful with body-related comments and B-Active For Life!

Betty Doyling is a certified fitness trainer and figure competitor with more than a decade of experience. Look for B. ActiveForLife on Facebook

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Published Jan 29, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated Jan 29, 2020 at 7:27 am)

It’s not clever to comment about people’s appearance

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