That’s a phrase that’s pretty much guaranteed to result in me losing it. Not weight, you understand, just my temper. Especially if it’s something that’s said to me when I’m out with the girls after a few glasses of wine too many, or on a dating site (yep, hands up, I do go online dating sometimes, bad Eloise.)
Who in their right mind would even say that to a woman? What possible effect do they think it might have? Do they think I’ll fall prostrate at their feet in appreciation of their honesty, and beg them to love me when I’m skinny?
Or do they think it’s just the kick up the substantial arse I need to get me straight down to Slimming World with my £5 in my hand and a contrite look on my face?
Bollocks to that.
I’m only mentioning it because I got a comment like that relayed to me through another non-fat friend, Lisa, the other day. We were out having a catch up over a few drinks, and yes, it was in a Wetherspoons but I’m a bit skint and needs must. We weren’t on the pull; I was hardly even dressed up, just wearing jeans, a top and boots. Not remotely trying to attract male attention. I was way too busy trying to extract some very interesting gossip from Lisa about someone we both used to work with, but that’s for another time.
Anyway, I needed the loo and it was my round, so I hopped off my stool and disappeared for a few minutes, leaving Lisa at the mercy of a group of annoying men who were probably just out of their teens. When I came back from the bar, she was sitting with a really pissed off look on her face, and the boys had scarpered. I set the drinks down and she told me, “You’ll never guess what those morons just said?”
Probably not, I thought, but before I had a chance to say anything, she told me anyway.
“The one in the green top asked if you were single. He looked like a complete knob head, so I knew you wouldn’t fancy him, and I said you had a boyfriend. He said it was a shame, and that you would be really pretty if you weren’t fat.”
I rolled my eyes. Appealing to anyone wearing a top like that wasn’t on my list of desirable people anyway, and it wouldn’t be the first time I’d had the ‘I’d fancy you if you were thin’ speech.
It did make me angry though. Not because I gave a rat’s arse what the little geek thought of me, but because people (it’s not just men) actually think it’s OK to say things like that about you if you’re fat. If I’d been feeling delicate, or wasn’t confident about the way I am, a comment like that could have sent me off on an eating spree, or made me cry, or really, really hurt me. It’s like saying I’m not good enough the way I am, but dangling the carrot that I’m not completely beyond saving, I just need to go on a diet.
Not just that, it’s plain freaking RUDE.
Have you ever had the ‘pretty if you were thinner’ speech? What did you say?