My interest in this topic was sparked a while ago when a family member posted a weight loss progress photo on Facebook. The comments of this post were filled with words of encouragement and motivation but mostly: “Wow! You look great!” This actually happened again the other day with another one of my Facebook friends who posted about his weight loss accomplishments.
Immediately it got me thinking about the phrase, “You look great.” I personally can’t remember a time where I’ve ever used this compliment but I notice that it’s primarily used in regards to weight loss. Seriously, if you can think of an example where you’d say “You look great” to someone who hasn’t just lost a ton of weight or didn’t just have a baby, let me know. But why do we do this?
Someone who hasn’t just lost a ton of weight can still look great and someone who didn’t just have a baby can look great too. It’s almost like we’re saying you can’t look “great” if you’re still fat.
I don’t think people do this on purpose. It’s not like we sit behind our computers carefully thinking about the comments we post.
Hmmm, I’m gonna tell Debra that she looks great because she’s celebrating her 50 pound weight loss but I’m gonna tell Ashley that she looks SO cute because I love her outfit… but she’s still fat so I can’t say “great.”
I highly doubt that this is the case with most people. Certain words are just so ingrained in our society to mean something specific and be used only under certain circumstances. To get my point across, I found some comments from posts that were celebrating some sort of weight loss, as well as some comments from random profile pictures.
These were some of the random profile picture comments:
And these were some of the comments posted on the weight loss progress photo:
As you can see, there’s a pretty obvious difference in word choice depending on the situation.
Maybe I’m overthinking all of this. They say that 2016 is the year to be offended by everything, (actually I don’t know who ‘they’ is or if anyone really says that, but ya know) so maybe I’m just overreacting and blowing this out of proportion. I’m not “offended” by it but I have noticed it on more than one occasion and I’m just curious to see what everyone else thinks.
**Photo is not mine. Credit goes to www.locomoco.com.**