Stop policing people’s weight

To whom it may concern.

I don’t know who died and made you the size police. Someone adds the slightest weight and you feel the need to point it out. But you don’t just point it out, no. You describe the person’s body parts to them as if they don’t have a mirror.

You meet them after a long time and you greet them with “You grew so fat! What happened?” “Eh. Your cheeks are bulging. It’s as if you’re pumping them with balloons.”

You hold their arm and jiggle it. You analyze them from head to toe with shock and disbelief, make them so self-aware that they now can’t leave home without trying on a million outfits.

You are so self-absorbed that you are oblivious to their discomfort when you do these things. You expect them to laugh at your unoriginal jokes. You publicly exclaim “Your stomach is so big!” and draw everyone’s attention to that person, but expect them to be pleasant about it.

When they start taking measures to be in good shape, you still have something to say about the way they do it. They can’t diet in peace. You mock them for what they decide to eat/not eat.

If they eat a salad today and meat the next day, you are there to observed and laugh. “Hahaha. I thought you were dieting.”They can’t jog or swim or go to the gym in peace because you have something “funny” to say about that too.

Their shoes. The way they run. Their outfits. In the end, you are the very reason why theyquit.

If you’re one of those people who police other people’s weight, you need to stop that toxic behavior. It’s true that sometimes people need to be told if they are headed in the wrong direction with their weight.

But believe me when I say that they already know by the time you tell them. They are not blind.

And no, they are not going to take steps to change their weight because you pointed it out. They are going to do it because they want that change for themselves.

And before you make someone feel bad about their weight, consider the possibility that they have a medical or psychological problem contributing to that.

Consider the possibility that no one died and made you the yardstick for what constitutes a good size. After all, one man’s meat is another man’s poison.

Ask yourself if you’re offering a solution. Most importantly, ask yourself if someone’s weight is part of your business; if it directly affects you in any way.

If you do decide that someone’s weight is your business so you must say something, there is a manner, place and time for it. You can’t just go around exclaiming at people’s weight in public. It’s uncouth.

But if you keep going the way you’re going and one day you offend someone and they give you a thorough dress-down, sit there and take it. You’ll have had it coming.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com