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.
@alieechan Someone told me thick thighs save lives. Whose lives are we talking here?Pretty sure when you’re in between ’em, we’re making one
— Suzanne Lassise (@suzlass) May 19, 2016
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.