So, I am somewhat totally obsessed with watching YouTube videos all the time. Typically, I watch at least 90 minutes every day. Note – at least… 😛 I watch all types of videos, such as comedy, beauty/fashion, blogs, informative, etc. One of my favorite channels is Buzzfeed’s videos. Today, they posted a video and I think it is such an important video for individuals to view. The video is different individuals talking about why complimenting someone for losing weight can be a negative thing. They discuss their views on the value of focusing and congratulating a person’s weight as such an important and valuable thing.
Here is the video. Note, the video mentions numbers such as weights and clothing sizes. Please, refrain from watching this video if it has the potential to trigger you.
If you watched the video, then the following two paragraphs are going to be pretty redundant…
In the video, several of the individuals mention that they were complimented for weight loss that came from an unhealthy place and it was triggered from mental illnesses. For example, one of the men says in the video, “You would think that, like, getting comments about your weight and how you look is always going to be a positive thing. In college, I went through a really rough time when I was starving myself essentially. People were reinforcing it by saying, ‘Oh you look, like, so great!'”
Another individual talked about having an eating disorder as well and that it was fueled even more by people commenting on her weight loss as a positive thing. Another person, talked about losing weight in an unhealthy way due to depression causing her to not have the motivation to eat enough. All of these reasons are serious and show that sometimes you need to be careful about what you say to someone else.
This is something that I can relate to. As a child, I was extremely short (I am only 5’0″ currently) and very petite. The fact that I was thinner than the other kids my same age was continually pointed out. Even adults would not just comment on my small size, but actually complimented me for being such a small weight. It is important for me to note that I likely had disordered eating at a very young age and that I was underweight to some degree. However, as I grew up I continued to get noticed and praised for my body. For me, this meant that I began to associate being thin with my worth. In my mind, it was the one thing I was naturally good at and I thought people liked me because of it.
No one had ever actually pointed out to me that your body can and probably will gain weight from puberty and growing up in general. I started to really freak out when I thought I was “becoming fat” when it was really the natural, healthy bit of weight gain I needed and my hips were meant to widen. I freaked out because it has become second nature in my mind to believe that I only mattered if I was skinny. My eating disorder started in between age 13-14 and that is typically a time where you are trying to adjust to your bodies continued changes. Of course, my eating disorder is much deeper than this and the comments about being small, etc. also did play some sort of factor into my eating disorder.
This video really struck a cord with me. At the end of the video, when the individuals mentioned that they thought other compliments were more important than weight comments, I felt that feeling so deeply. It is something that I desired for a long time. I desperately wanted to be told that I was appreciated for things that actually matter in the end. Eating disorder or not…I think that many many people have this same desire. We all want to be seen for our spirits and souls rather than the size of our bodies. Yes, bodies are gorgeous and should be honored and loved, and they are also not what truly defines us.
Tell others that they are beautiful, stunning, gorgeous, smart, that their eyes are mesmerizing, how handsome they are, wise, worthwhile, valuable, etc. Tell them all of these things because you love them for everything. Weight ≠ worth ❤