“Does this [article of clothing] make me look fat?”
I’ve heard it from friends, relatives, girlfriends; on commercials, sitcoms, and movies.
I’m sure that there are some out there, but I’ve never met anyone who wanted to be on the receiving end of this inquiry.
Allow me to make a case for just striking this question from all of human speech based on my contention that it has never helped anyone ever:
First of all, unless you’re wearing the Harry Potter Invisibility Cloak or you’re a Predator, you can generally assume that you will look fat or not based upon whether or not you are fat. This is information to which you should have been privy prior to getting dressed.
Considering the above, how many times are you going to change your outfit if the answer is a consistent yes? Does it have any relation whatsoever to the time at which you are supposed to arrive at wherever you are dressed to go? Specifically, how “not fat” do you have to look before we can leave for the damn movie?
If getting where we are going on time is more important to me than whether or not that baby doll dress makes your tummy look poochy, (it probably does, that’s what they do) is it acceptable to lie?
If I think that you look both fat and attractive, will this create some sort of [false] paradox in your brain that will cause it to explode. If a bunch of people think that other people look fat and attractive would it create some sort of Vortex of [False] Paradoxical Doom?
What is the definition of fat? Absent some kind of clarification, the person to whom you have addressed this question is set up to fail from the start. Are you asking if that bubble skirt makes your hips look bigger than they are in real life? (Yes it does, by design.) or do you want to know if the clothes make you look like you have a specific body fat percentage or BMI (if that’s the case, then I highly recommend Kate Harding’s BMI Project over on Shapely Prose to show you the futility of that exercise.)
So, I rest my case.
I humbly suggest that your body is amazing. Just as it is. The way that I can tell that is that you are alive – breathing, heartbeat, eyes blinking, reading or listening to this etc. Even if you want to change the size and shape of it, it’s still the body that you are living in now, 100% of the time. I respectfully submit that spending time asking other people if it looks fat probably won’t help with anything.
I’m not made of stone – I understand that this will be a difficult transition for some. So I’m not asking people to go cold turkey – I’m just suggesting a substitution. Instead of asking if something makes you look fat, try this instead: “Does this outfit make me look like someone who asks dumb questions?”