Dubai, United Arab Emirates (CNN) – If you notice a friend losing weight recently, you may want to tell him how beautiful he is. Control or ask how he did it. You may have been on the verge of receiving such a “compliment” in the past.
Comments like this can make good sense but can have unintended negative consequences.
Alvin Tran, assistant professor of public health at the University of New Haven in Connecticut, says: “We have to be very careful when dealing with conversations about a person’s physical appearance, especially their weight.
This is especially important when talking to people with eating disorders or serious physical problems because observations like these can make their condition worse.
Tron explained that compliments about one’s weight loss or being lean maintain the community’s rooted food culture, and that being lean is an inherently good thing.
Tamara Pryor, director of research at ED Care’s Center for Eating Disorders in Denver, noted that there are large bodies of malnourished, very small numbers of malnourished people who are stable but still more vulnerable. To the eating disorder, he added, “People can’t look at them and know it.”
But if you are fascinated by someone’s appearance, shouldn’t you appreciate them? What are acceptable and unacceptable statements? CNN consulted with John Hendelman, medical director of the National Coalition on Fryer and Eating Disorders.
CNN: Why is losing weight or being skinny a problem?
Tamara Prior: It is penetrable. Who are we to deliver judgments especially orally? We can look at people and make judgments, but we have to keep them within ourselves. I came from the second wave of the feminist movement that dissolved the slogan “My body is my profession” and it still is.
CNN: How do you feel about the outcome?
Previous: When someone says to me, “God, you’re beautiful. You ‘lost a little weight”, “What do you already think of me? Am I not like that?” I think so. I can only imagine the pressure of losing weight to maintain a low weight or to gain more praise or acceptance. “What about me and the essence of being a human being?” As they may think, significant physical and psychological effects follow.
John Handelman: If you do not receive that compliment, it will be as if something is wrong with the recipient and they will think that it is not enough.
CNN: What should people think when they want to appreciate someone’s skinny appearance?
PreviousAny question about appearance can be provocative and they are very exciting for those with eating disorders because they are more sensitive to how they are determined based on body shape and size.
For example, my patient, who was very underweight, suffering from anorexia and had just started treatment, was in a clothing store with her mother, and while changing clothes in the dressing room, her mother could not believe it when she saw her. , And realized how dangerous his weight loss was. Then the shop clerk heard her mother say, “Dear, sorry. I do not think you’re so depressed. I’m so grateful you are getting treatment now,” to the clerk, “Are you kidding? To this extent. How did you do that? “
So the patient has this mixed and contradictory response: she can feel her mother’s real concern, but on the other hand, she is appreciated.
Handleman: I know people who have cancer or any other disease that makes their body smaller and I have worked with them. For them, compliments are very embarrassing because they know they have this terrible disease, but people praise them for their weight loss.
CNN: What phrases can people say instead?
Previous: They have to look for ways to communicate, it does not comment on people’s bodies.
If a person has to lose weight for health reasons, praising their perseverance in achieving that goal may not be the best choice. Because, after that, he will think about whether he has failed or is gaining a little weight again, which seems to be putting a lot of pressure on him.
Alternatively, if someone has recently talked about losing weight, rather than making a decision for yourself, ask them how they feel about the weight they have lost or what they did to do it.
HandlemanPraise them for what they wear or say something like “your eyes are shining today” or something like that.
If my boyfriend joins in for more slim compliments and I tell him how handsome he is, I will focus on his body size and make a slander of him.
CNN: How can people stop looking at losing weight or being skinny and looking good by nature?
PreviousThink about what it means to be healthy and what your body can do for you – such as eating the nutrients you need or gaining strength.
Handleman: It’s not about our physical appearance, if we can all accept what’s inside – we wonder how our bodies can give us back.
It is important to accept who we are and accept our uniqueness. The more our body accepts it, the more likely it is to be healthy.
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