Are you aware, that the woman who's weight you are about to comment on, is very possibly a woman who has been conditioned to feel nothing but ashamed of her body and worthy of acceptance, only when she rids herself of as much of it as she can?
What if I told you that your 'complimenting' her efforts to do so, would be to reenforce that conditioning?
I can tell you, as a woman who can't get through a week without somebody drawing attention to my body, even when it is 'meant as a compliment', [because praise is still judgement], such focus is not only unwelcome, it is incredibly intrusive and for me, a violation of a very personal boundary I simply am not afforded in this society.
I understand not every woman will have had her belly poked and prodded as a child and made very aware of how unacceptable that body is and for whom, it is perpetual open season for commentary on the topic of her physical appearance, weight and weight in general.
Not every woman will have grown up, burdened by the implied moral failure behind the 'compliment' of having 'such a pretty face' and who couldn't even express an issue with that, without being also labelled as 'sensitive'.
So for those of us who did, I would like to make a case for the more intentional compliment.
It will take practice and awareness to dig a little deeper than appearance, but it's worth it to shift the focus off body size and weight and stop perpetuating, the ornamental valuing of women.
Go the extra mile and include yourself in the statement. Nobody wants to be singled out. Tell her what's great about her and how that greatness has inspired you.
You look vibrant / strong / full of life, today! I feel uplifted by your energy.
I love how empowered / vibrant / confident you look today! You have energised me!
I love how you've assembled / styled / presented yourself today! you've inspired me to wear more [whatever].
Maybe you don't have a compliment and you feel you 'should' or maybe it is visible, a person is not doing so great and you don't know what to say.
If all you say is this, it will be enough:
"It's great to see you"
Always, Amanda xx
This is Ms Dyna Mighty, from my RAW journal collection. She reflects the frustration of being divorced from her body by shame. She is taking back her power and no longer conspiring with societal definitions of worthiness.
This is a high quality archival print, with certificate of authenticity, signed by Amanda.
The Original artwork is also available. Click image & choose either from drop down menu.