This week’s question comes in from Texas. A reader feels picked on because of her weight . . . what is proper cubicle etiquette for dispatching inquiring minds when they get too personal? Read on,
Any time we have conversations about the corporate health contests we have at work or any other fitness/weight related topics I am regarded as very skinny. People suggest that I need to eat more, put on more weight because I look anorexic, or like “a rail” and so on. I am definitely not anorexic and am actually pretty high up on the body fat percentage scale. How do I get them to stop commenting on how skinny I am? I am not that skinny in reality. I’m just European.
As you mention in the longer letter, most of the people you work with are 10 years older and lead sedentary lives. As a consequence of their choices they are now overweight. They realize (deep down) that they made choices that added those pounds over the years, but if everyone else looks like they do, what does it matter? In other words, in your work world, they’ve given up. No one is bringing sexy back. And, they want you to give up too.
I’ve seen this before. It is not pretty. Literally.
Since reason will NOT stop the questions and nagging, how about a little PLAY! Enjoy the attention and stir up some controversy. Do be careful of going overboard . . . you may excite the interest of undesirable loves. So the next time someone makes a comment about how skinny you are, try one of these:
Go for the absurd:
Mix 1 part current and reasonable statement, add BEING SKINNY and finish with something that will sound slightly crazy. For example,
I’m very concerned about the use of fossil fuels, BEING SKINNY makes me to be more fuel efficient.
The diner I enjoy for lunch only has small tables, BEING SKINNY allows me to sit at smaller tables.
Those public safety camera around town seem like an invasion of privacy, BEING SKINNY allows me to walk around undetected.
Jaw Dropping Excuse:
Say something totally out of left field that they wouldn’t expect to hear at work, but they can picture once you have said it. Careful, careful, there can be unintended consequences with these.
Oh, I’m just preparing to model in the Victoria’s Secret Lingerie Fashion Show.
It’s bikini season somewhere – I like to be ready when my boyfriend jets me off to a slinky beach.
What you are actually doing is providing them with an excuse, a justification if you will, of why you are skinny and need to remain skinny. Surprisingly, this works fairly well with time.
What to Avoid – the Plain Rude:
Well, Bob, I applied for the post of fat man, but you already had it . . .
As tempting as that may be on some days, just don’t do it. Keep your head held high and enjoy yourself in all your glory.