14 Incredibly Rude Backhanded Compliments All Curvy Girls Get

For some reason, if your body type is outside of what we’re all willing to consider “good curvy” (as in, you don’t look like a Kardashian/Jenner woman), people somehow don’t know how to handle it. A lot of well intentioned compliments aimed at curvy women everywhere are actually backhanded compliments, which are basically thinly veiled insults disguised as praise. They are compliments with conditions.

For example, instead of just telling someone that they’re really pretty, a backhanded compliment would be, “you’re really pretty for a bigger girl.” And people expect to get gold stars for being so *~progressive~* that they find non-thin women attractive. F-ck that. I love being curvy. I’ve had this body type since puberty and even at my skinniest, I’m still not what anyone would consider a skinny girl. Curvy girls come in all shapes and sizes, we all carry our weight differently, but we’ve all been blindsided by a backhanded compliment that we’re all frankly super sick of.

I polled some of my friends via Twitter about some of the backwards sh*t that’s been said to them, and the results were astounding. I can not believe how genuinely rude people are. There’s some weird belief that if you’re not what the majority are willing to call attractive, then you must be starved for praise and validation, so you should be grateful for whatever attention you get. Excuse me, but the thought that bodies exist in this world for open forum critique at random is backwards. If you don’t have something 100 percent nice and not shitty, keep your mouth shut.

Before you say something you think is nice but not be great, read on. These 14 awful backhanded compliments have been heard and internalized by every curvy girl and they all suck. Stop saying them.

1) OMG girl, you look so great. Have you lost any weight?

Want a recipe to make someone automatically self conscious? Imply that they seem like they lost 10 pounds and praise them for it without actually knowing that they lost weight, because when they didn’t actually lose the weight, it can make them insecure. Happens to me literally all the time. Wasn’t aware that I needed to lose weight, everybody, but cool. Thanks?


2) I love that you’re so confident about your body.

If you aren’t watching Inside Amy Schumer – uh, what are you doing with your life? – she has this bit in her new season about being called brave for posing nude for Vanity Fair. Implying that it takes courage to love your body is mildly insulting to otherwise confident women.


3) I could never wear what you’re wearing.

Then it’s a good thing you’re not the one wearing it, isn’t it?


4) Good for you for wearing a bikini!

Um, what? Have you ever tried to slick off a wet one-piece when you had to pee? Or invariably peed on your hand when you tried to scooch the crotch part over? Bikinis are made for the summer, all bellies deserve a little sunshine, and screw you for making me feel self conscious and awkward.


5) I love the way you fill out your outfit.

Dude, just say that someone’s boob is popping out of their dress. If you have Amber Rose level curves, wearing a turtleneck could even be a sexy outfit. If something looks nice, just say it, don’t make it weird.


6) Most of my exes don’t look like you.

Because they’re skinny. I got you. Thank you for complimenting my face and lowering your standards for me, you jerk.


7) Sex must be so much more comfortable.

Contrary to popular belief, we aren’t made of sponge cake. Skinny girls aren’t brittle and frail.


8) There’s just so much more to hold on to.

You aren’t holding anything, sir. Because you’re not allowed to. Because you’re being gross. Ew, no. Thank you.


9) You have such a pretty face!

Real talk, it’s not a backhanded compliment to say that someone has a pretty face. People can have pretty faces! However, when you’re trying to mask that this person has a body that doesn’t live up to societal beauty standards, the tone of this compliment takes a sour turn. What is heard instead is: you have such a pretty face, it’s a shame your body doesn’t match up to it.


10) You’re beautiful, even for a bigger girl.

Just say that someone is beautiful, you don’t have to qualify it. Smh.


11) You’re so thick.

Someone please tell me what thickness means in terms of a human body because I’m not a milkshake.


12) You’re just big boned.

Pretty sure this is a body type, not the fact that my actual skeleton is somehow thicker than everyone else’s? But, good story.


13) You could be a plus sized model.



14) You could legit be a model if you just lost twenty pounds.

Literally no one asked you. Last I checked, models also come in every shape and size. So, unless you’re Anna Wintour, you have no business talking about models like your taste level is industry standard.

Are you curvy? What’s the worst backhanded compliment you’ve gotten? What did we forget to include? Let us know in the comments!

You can follow the author, Aliee Chan, on Twitter.


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  • Jenn Lemon

    I was tortured (or what felt like it) by girls and even boys after I gained a massive amount of (puberty, normal) weight. I got chubby yes but I wasn’t obese. But I was never big, I was called skinny minny because I was near anorexic for years as a little girl. Just blossomed one summer before 5th grade. I went from 70-80 pound nothing (and fall for my age) to chubby. Ever since then, until about grade 8 or 9 I was made fun of heavily for being overweight (never obese, and I took care of myself, hair clothes makeup when I got old enough) but still I was the outsider and always talked badly about and I always had an attitude. I was kind still, nice to all and tried to get involved, but was eventually shunned or was made fun of in groups behind my back. I didn’t understand it.. I truly started to find myself, at the age of 10 that I was no good because I was 20-30 pounds overweight. I moved around a lot, and went to many different schools. I had many opportunities for new friends. But instead, I was seen as my weight. And because I tried to be confident, a young fat confident girl? Can’t have that now! How dare I. 😉 I eventually blossomed in myself when I hit high school, I started taking care of myself, experimenting with clothes, makeup and products. What fun, I was finally getting positive attention from people, after nearly my whole conscious childhood being told I was fat and made fun of for whatever kids made fun of me. Most of this attention from boys. Older boys. Boys who was much younger than I am now, but they seemed so much older. If older boys like me with makeup and slightly revealing clothes, I must be doing something right! I have been up and down in weight, ranging from average to severely overweight (after my pregnancy, mind you) but mostly, I’ve always been on the curvier side since around 15 or 16. I lost my virginity young, at the start of high school, and I regret it more than anything, because this is the moment I truly started to have self image issues so ingrained in my sexuality and eventually poured into my daily life. After a while, I felt like sex/intimacy was what made me whole, well, not the sexual stuff, but the attention, adoration and compliments that came with it. At this point, I had a few boyfriends, nothing that got “serious” until I found a girl I fell for. Yes, A girl. She was much older, late teens, I was 14. All was well, until I was mentally, physically abused many times, on and off for a year. To this day I am told I was not cheated on, but I know in my heart of hearts I was emotionally cheated on many times, and actually cheated on, though not defined as such in her eyes. Whatever. Over 6 years ago, moving on. After being abused by my first love and real relationship at 14-15, i was conditioned by that relationship to be insecure, to be envious and jealous of any other woman who comes around because they may be a “threat”. I was trained that physical abuse was okay because I deserve it for being so insecure, it is my fault. I was also controlled by my many exs, who used me being fat as either a personal attack to me, or a personal excuse to constantly keep their options open. Since I was young, I let it happen, because again, after 6 years of constantly being made fun of for your looks, being told you’re beautiful or wanted sexually was seen as a positive reinforcement for my own personal wounds. It killed my relationship ethic. It has brought me to my knees. Being bullied as a child, and being told backhanded compliments by well intentioned friends/family/strangers only solidified my low self-esteem, it caused a lifetime of depression, insecurities and failed relationships, as well as self doubt and second guessing almost everything I do. Just entering my early 20s and I feel like my soul is a used up old lady and working everyday to be happy and positive and kind!

    Tl;drPlease think before you speak. I would have done anything to feel beautiful, or even at least feel like being who I was was beautiful enough while growing up. Get hung up on someone’s weight, and you end up hurting the other person. If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say it at all.

    You either think I’m hot/beautiful/sexy/pretty or you don’t. There is no in between, surely not out loud. Appreciate, or move on. 🙂

    All I know is, being called not good enough feel bad at any age, weight, or even gender. Be kind.

  • creativecubez

    My mom is always telling me that I could be a model if I lost a bit of weight. Like please don’t, I love myself. I can be a model if I want to. *flips hair*

  • Oohhhh I love this