Words Can Hurt: What's the Worst Thing Anyone's Ever Said to You About Your Body?

Body comments can knock you down...but you'll get back up!

HealthyGirl.org reader Aria, 22 sent in a Real Story the other day in which she talks about making a list of all of the hurtful things people had said to her about her body over the years. She did it to help herself drill down to the point where her food and body issues began; turns out, her list went all the way back to age 12.

It made me think about how cathartic it can be to put out in the open painful things people have said. To get them out of our hearts and heads and put them in the open air where they can dissipate and lose their power. Going back to the memory hurts. But saying it out loud is freeing. I’ll start:

The most hurtful thing anyone ever said to me about my body happened during a family reunion pool party when I was 14. I and all my myriads of cousins and second cousins were running around in our itty bitty bikinis (we’re a total beach family, that’s how we do). It was time for the big group picture, so we all gathered up and I sort of crouched/bent over a bit in front of one of my great-uncles. He patted me roughly on the area right around the love handles and said…

Boy, kid, you’d better start layin’ off on the potatoes.

I spent the rest of the party absolutely depressed, and ended up wrapped in a beach towel on a chaise lounge isolating. I remember my cousins coming over and being like, “What’s wrong with you? Come hang out!” But I couldn’t.

The truth of the matter is, my uncle didn’t mean to hurt me. But as an adult I can also look back and know that it was completely inappropriate for him to comment on my weight. Our bodies are our business!

If anyone feels like getting a hurtful comment off your chest, no matter how old it is, please feel free.

xo…Sunny

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57 Responses to Words Can Hurt: What's the Worst Thing Anyone's Ever Said to You About Your Body?

  1. Jenelle says:

    I definitely feel like the things that were said by peers and adults in my life who didn’t know any better are a big part of the reason I struggle with my body image. Because I was told at a very young age that I was fat, I as an adult tell myself that despite what my weight is.

    Some things that stung and stuck:
    – At about 7 or 8, I remember overhearing my grandmother loudly exclaim to my father “She’s getting FAT”.
    – My father, when I was about 14, telling me my legs were starting to look like tree trunks. I tried hard not to wear shorts for about ten years after this and when I had to I felt like everyone was staring at my “trunks”.
    – A boy in high school calling me “sausage fingers” during study hall.
    – Overhearing what I considered a close friend in high school saying “GET IN MY BELLY” behind my back a flight of stairs down as we walked to our next class in high school.
    – At 21, a very close girl friend telling me that I was lucky that my boyfriend loved me at all given my weight.. telling me I should cut him a break for not being a great boyfriend.

    As an overweight child, I tried my hardest to be invisible. If no one talked to me or got upset with me, they wouldn’t have the chance to call me fat.

    • Sunny says:

      What do you know about these things today and how have you learned to deal with these memories? I hope you know that none of this was OK, that none of it was true–and that every single one of these people was most likely acting out of their own issues. xo…Sunny

  2. Trish says:

    Around 13 or 14, my mom told me if I kept eating the way I do: “You’ll be as big as a house!”

    Around 17, my mom told me that I’ll get diabetes and I’m too big “and you haven’t even had babies yet”.

    Around 19, my boyfriend (now ex) told me “I don’t love you anymore because you’re fat, and no one else will ever love you unless you lose weight. Your face is pretty, but when they see your body, they won’t want you”.

    It’s time to let go of all this I think.

  3. Olivia says:

    Well, all the hurtful things that have been said to me were during my childhood, which probably explains why, even though I am at a perfectly healthy weight now and have been for a couple of years, I still have major body and food issues.
    -When I was about 10, a guy in my class looked at my belly and said ‘I see you haven’t been doing many sit-ups lately’ (seriously, who does sit-ups at 10 years old?)
    -When I was around that same age, my mom urged me a few times to lose weight, and I remember trying on pants in Gap Kids, in the biggest kids size, and my mom saying ‘They look much too tight!’ (I love my mom to death and know she was just trying to look out for me, since I was overweight at that age, but I was super sensitive about my weight and her comments really did not help)
    -When I was about 11, I was at my cousin’s house, in a bathing suit, and my older cousin (she must have been around 15) lightly tapped my stomach and was like ‘BLUBBER!’
    -When I was about 9, I was standing on my front steps in a tankini top and a skirt, waiting for a friend, and my neighbour passed, snickered, and said ‘Nice belly!’

    Wow.. I realize most of these refer to my stomach. It’s amazing I don’t have a huge complex (I actually kindof like my stomach now :) )

  4. lailai says:

    I had change schools because my family moved to a different city (pre move I was skinny) and then three years later we moved back. My first day of school, in the midst of all the welcome backs and what not I got “Woww, what happened to you?” what happened was that I gained a lot of weight since we last saw.

    when I was 15 a guy told me that “Guys would like you more if you lost some weight”

    when I was 14 the class clown used me as her best material she once said “You are so fat that if someone suddenly pushed you down you would roll all the way home.”

    once before a school trip to the beach, we were all talking about who could swim and who couldnt, I proudly said “I can, really well actually” they all sneakered saying “of course you can you’re a human floater, if one of us we drowning we would use you as a floater”

    when I was 13 my cousin told me I was lucky, because if I ever got pregnant no one would know because my stomach was so huge. (that was the worst)

    A couple of years ago a cousin I had not seen in a while called my on the phone and said “are you still TRYING to lose weight” In reference to my many weight loss plans

    Also at 14 my classmates said I would be perfect for the role of the grandma in our play, because I already had the (bat wing) arms for the role.

    Once my father was describing myself and my sisters to a friend of his and I was referred to as the “Fat One”

  5. Astrid says:

    The most hurtful thing said about my body was when I was 19 years old. I had finished my first semester of college and had gained the freshman 20 already. I was nearly overweight, and it showed in my face and body. I told my dad that I was thinking about starting to exercise more regularly and eating more mindfully, and maybe lose about 5 pounds. He said, “I think she need to lose at least 10.” He explained to me that since I am tall, being chubby does not look “cute”, it makes me look like a wall.
    This comment spurred a huge desire to start taking care of myself, which escalated into an ed. I have processed this with a therapist and have learned so much from it. I am a huge daddy’s girl, so to have my dad think of me as less than attractive made me want to transform into something, anything, else!
    This was a great post, Sunny!

  6. I have a few things that really stick out in my mind. First and foremost, I have been told a million times “You have such a pretty face” while the person saying it thinks this is a compliment, it is really hurtful.

    I was once at a wedding and a little girl came up to me and said “You’re fat”. It hurt so much to hear that coming from a child.

    I also once dated a guy who used to tell me that I would be “hot” if I would just tone up a bit. Jerk.

    And, I have a co-worker that constantly asks me if I am going to exercise today, this weekend, whatever. And he always seems surprised when I tell him that I exercise most days of the week. Jerk. Again.

  7. Robin says:

    Hi – Very new to the site…I see myself in so many of the stories shared here.

    There have been so many mean things said to me throughout my life (I am 30 now), but the one that sticks out the most was something that my father said to me – I relive the moment every time I think about it – I was 16 years old and just starting to look at/understand boys. I may have been overweight (I think I was a 16 then), but I was pretty damn good looking, and I was so looking forward to having a boyfriend and experiencing all that first love stuff. However, my father told me that “You have to lose weight – men are only going to want you for sex. They will never respect you because you’re not thin. You’ll look horrible and unworthy” I had issues before, but that SO became a self-fulfilling prophecy for the next 12-13 years…..

    I know in my HEAD that it’s not true. But every time I think about my relationship experiences (or lack thereof) and the way I sometimes close myself off from people, I get really pissed off, because I let one 5 minute statement significantly alter my life….

    Thanks for the site – keep the wisdom coming!!

  8. Freja says:

    During an abusive period when I was around 10-13 I was told I was fat, ugly and stupid. I was actually thin. Once I was out of that situation I gained 20 lbs very quickly (from 90 lbs). I remember my doctor referred to me as a whale.

    There was a boy I like a lot when I was around 14/15. My friends told his little brother to tell his big brother that I liked him. The little boy shouted at me, “I’m not gonna tell my brother that that fat cow likes him!” I was chubby but not fat. I wanted the ground to swallow me up.

    Over 20 years ago, I had a boyfriend say my legs looked like tree trunks. I have never been able to get that out of my head. I envy slim legs. No matter how anal I was about what I ate, no matter how slim I got, no matter how many squats, lunges, deadlifts I did — I could never get the slim, lean legs I desired. They are gentically prone to carry fat.

    • Ida says:

      About 3 weeks ago, while in the shower with my boyfriend, he looked at me and said “Your boobs are starting to get saggy from all the weight you’re losing”, in a matter-of-fact way. Once he reaized I was hurt by this comment he insisted up until yesterday that it was just a joke. Not only does my self esteem have a big gash in it, but my trust for him feels like it will never come back. I haven’t taken my sports bra off since then, only to shower. I feel guilty when I work out, but I work out anyway. My self esteem was pretty good before that.

      Still debating if I want to break up with him. Any advice would be deeply appreciated!

  9. Tamara says:

    I don’t think I can make a list like that, because I don’t remember many isolated incidents. My “weight problem” was an ongoing topic of conversation around the house from age 8 to 14. I don’t care anymore because I realized during college that though body shape or weight insults sounded very personal, they actually had nothing to do with me. My mother put me on diets not because she didn’t approve of me, but because she wanted to show she could produce children other mothers would envy. My classmates didn’t make mean comments because they actually thought it was funny, but because they had something to prove or insecurities about themselves they were trying to mask.

  10. Sunny says:

    I think what Tamara has said is KEY and that it’s something that every single one of us who has ever been wounded by comments like these needs to learn and remind ourselves of:
    “…though body shape or weight insults sounded very personal, they actually had nothing to do with me. My mother put me on diets not because she didn’t approve of me, but because she wanted to show she could produce children other mothers would envy. My classmates didn’t make mean comments because they actually thought it was funny, but because they had something to prove or insecurities about themselves they were trying to mask.”

  11. During a heated argument with my father while I was a teenager, he quickly shut me up by calling me a “fat-ass.” Then last year, after losing 80 pounds from healthy diet and exercise, he said that I looked “unhealthy” and needed to “stop losing weight.” Even though I was a size 10 or 12 at the time, he made me feel like I looked severely underweight.

    Luckily though, losing all of that weight gave me a much needed confidence/self-esteem boost and I was finally able to tell my dad straight on how hurtful and unnecessary his comments were. I’m in a place now where I feel I know my body and health best (well, aside from my awesome, supportive doctor, heh), so backhanded comments like that don’t stand a chance. Wish I had that same confidence during my younger/heavier days, but I suppose late is better than never.

  12. Kiersten says:

    People said a lot of things to me when I was younger that really hurt and I will never forget. The earliest memory was when I was somewhere around 7-8 years old. I remember getting on my mom’s bathroom scale and my older siblings were laughing and making fun of my weight because I was chubby for a kid my age. I think that was the first time I started paying attention to the number on the scale. Then when I was around 11-12, a few month’s before my sister’s wedding my mom suggested that “we” go on a diet for the wedding. I was upset. And then there were all those years in middle school that other kids made fun of the awful haircut I had and told me I was fat and ugly all the time.

  13. Veronica says:

    I really can’t recall all the things that people have said about my body.

    *My mom would always tell me if only I were skinny and pretty then boys would be knocking on my door.

    *When I was 12 or 13, my grandma said I was ugly just like my dad. Thanks goodness one of aunts was there to defend but that hurt my feelings. I was eating breakfast when she said that and I started cry. Walking to school my cousin tried to comfort me.

    *A few years later that same cousin told me that they would not hire me at a certain fast food joint because they only hire pretty girls? WTF??!?!

    *Boys hardly gave me a second look, let alone a first one and I’m pretty sure it’s because of my weight.

    *My brother once said he was embarrassed by me. I’m not really sure why he said that but I think it was because of my weight.

    • Veronica says:

      *My mom would call me a fat b*tch at times when she was mad at me and in front of everyone.

      • How is it that some of the worst, most destructive comments come from our own family members? It definitely hurt me and hurts even more to know that it happened to others as well :(

        • Maya says:

          Yep heard it all. Family members, they can say anything because they love you right?
          I’ve been called lard, pregnant, fat cow, fat obese shit, disgusting, embarrassing, “should go kill myself” all from my adoring family. They say this because it helps me lose weight apparently.

  14. Angie says:

    Hi – I have been overweight and then veered into anorexia. As I sit and read these postings I can really relate back to when I started and was overweight. Then I think about the comments I remember when I was anorexic /working toward healthy. People can be cruel and it just goes to show that people make comments regardless of your weight. It is so hard. Even now that I appear to be a ‘normal’ weight (although I still carry the baggage of BED), people make comments that I find hurtful. I try to focus on how I feel and my health instead of whatever smack I hear. It is so hard to do sometimes, but I know (deep down) that what other people are saying has less to do with me and more about them and where they are. Thank you for all of the postings – it’s been helpful – A

  15. Sophie says:

    When I was 14, a boy in my history class said “no one cares about what she thinks, she’s fat” – and I was always (and still am) very vocal in classes, so this hurt me a lot. I actually think about this from time to time. But now I’m at a better university than that kid, and got better grades than him! But I admit, this sparked off my anorexia.

    My mother has never really said I’m fat, but started with comments such as “you’d look great if you lost ten pounds” in 5th/6th grade even though I was a perfectly normal weight and very athletic (competitive gymnast). She still makes comments like this, and I know she only wants the best for me, but it still hurts because I know she wants to see me as happy as possible.

    Someone flat-out called me “fat” about a month ago. I was talking to one of my (gay) friends in the lobby of my dorm around midnight on a Friday night and this drunk jock comes through with an inebriated girl on his arm – it was a pretty funny scene, and we chuckled a little bit. But I guess he heard us, so he yelled across the lobby, “you’re just a fag with a fat girl, so shut up!” After sending my friend off to bed, I had to have the last word, and I’m not sure if I was more offended at the fact that he called me fat or that he called my friend a fag (no one messes around with my nest!). Anyway, then he was like, “you’re just mad because I’m getting laid tonight and you’re not” – which is ironic, because a) that wasn’t it at all, I’m not having sex til marriage and b) one of the reasons I’m fat (and not having sex til marriage) is because I was raped in high school.

    • Heather says:

      Oh Sophie…I am so filled with rage on your behalf right now. On the upside, you’re not a drunk skinny chick sleeping with a jock…and that’s always a good thing.

      • Sophie says:

        Thanks Heather, that’s what I try to tell myself, haha.

        Thinking back, I can’t believe that I forgot to put the -worst- things that someone has ever said to me.

        Towards the end of my senior year of high school, I decided that I was never going to starve myself again, that I was fed up with the way my life was going, and I wasn’t doing that anymore. Well, because I took away my “coping mechanism” but still had the same stress, etc, as before, I just started bingeing…a lot…and gained about 30 pounds between March and June of my senior year. Things had been really rocky with my mom (who has always pressured me to be thin), and I remember having one really bad fight with her after graduation. She told me that my entire family was ashamed and embarrassed to be related to me at my graduation because I was so fat, and that she’d kick me out of the house if I didn’t start exercising 4 hours a day and losing weight. Queue an entire summer of me working as many hours at my part-time job as possible and socializing with friends the other times so I didn’t ever have to see her.

  16. Heather says:

    I wish I had documented them my whole life.

    My cousin is super skinny. Always has been, always will be. She was referred to as the “pretty one” and I was the “smart one”…although, to be fair, she’s spent her life assuming that her looks would make her money and I run a successful business and can support myself and my lifestyle very well…so, I often think that one day she will be on a blog one day talking to other pretty people commenting that she was knocked down her whole life because she was never encouraged to do well in school or had any pressure to achieve.

    When I was 9 (I got my boobs a little earlier than the other girls and subsequently the weight that goes with puberty!!) I was in Florida trying on a bathing suit and my mother told me to find one that would hide my belly and use vertical lines to hide my weight. (Something that to this day she adamantly denies doing)

    My dad used to make pig snorting noises when I would order dessert or take a second helping of anything. I am fairly confident that this is a key factor in what would become my need to hide food and binge alone.

    When I was at my heaviest, 200 lbs, my father bet me 2000$ that I couldn’t lose 60 lbs. I did. I got the money and then gained and lost and gained and (almost) lost it over and over again.

    I was in Florida about 2 years after my wedding and I had gained some weight. I was lying on the bed with a bathing suit on and my (now ex) husband actually said to me ‘wow, you really have gained weight, haven’t you?’ It baffled me to the day of our divorce why he couldn’t grasp why I was not comfortable or interested in being naked around him. Or his beer belly and hairy back that I never once commented on!!!!

    The worst one though was when I was at my thinnest, I was out for lunch with a bunch of family women and my crazy great aunt made a comment about the weight of our waitress and I got really angry with her. She said, ‘but you’re pretty now, you can just look at those people and remind yourself that you never want to be unattractive again’. That hurt because it meant that up until that point, she thought I was unattractive.

    It’s when people who claim to love you unconditionally start adding conditions that really bugs me.

  17. Veronica says:

    Re-reading these comments again, I had to leave another comment.

    I don’t plan on having any children but if I do, I will do my best to not be like any of our parents. It’s disgusting that the people that are supposed to love you the most, can be so cruel!!

  18. Kate says:

    I didn’t realize this until college, but my 3rd grade teacher (who I adored) told me dad if he didn’t put me on a diet I would be fat forever. My dad was incensed, shouted at her that it was unacceptable for his little girl to go on a diet, and stormed out. I think that was the last time he ever went to parent/teacher conferences. Despite that, I did get a sense from him and the rest of the family that “there was something wrong with me.” No one ever said anything, but there were looks or a few words whenever they deemed I was eating too much. Extended family would gush over my sister and cousin (both skinny) about how they looked like the family. Everyone would always say I looked like my mom (who is overweight too). I took it to mean I didn’t belong to the family because I wasn’t thin.

    I received lots of comments about my weight and eating habits. I overheard one kid in 8th grade say that I wasn’t fat just big boned.

    What killed me was in high school. My best friend was telling me about kissing a boy she liked and I said how I wished someone would kiss me. Her reply “well some people just aren’t pretty.” I took that as truth. I should have stood up, called her a few choice names, and then refused to speak to her again. I didn’t and it caused a lot of heartache years later.

    In fact I still don’t feel pretty. I feel like an outsider without a true place to be myself.

    • Lola says:

      You’re not alone, I think many feel that way

      Be good to yourself

    • Trish says:

      Kate, I totally know what you mean when you say that your family made you feel like something was wrong with you. My little sister and two cousins are all the same age, 3 years younger than me, and all stunning. My sister it tiny, with big boobs a big butt and a itty bitty waist, and same with my other two cousins. Growing up, all my aunts and uncles and my parents would say how “beautiful” they were, how “beautiful” they looked…but they never said that about me. Not only that, but I would be within earshot of these conversations, and sometimes my aunts and my mom would talk about how beautiful the girls were in hushed tones so as not to hurt my feelings I guess. Nowadays that I’ve grown into my body and my nose and lost the braces and glasses, my aunts and uncles and other family say, oh you’re so beautiful — but this is still not a compliment. THey say it like they’re so surprised that I actually ended up pretty – like they’re shocked and they never thought it would happen.

      And guess what? THIS IS THE TRUE PLACE TO BE YOURSELF. You should feel pretty because you are, and you should be proud that you are brave enough to share your feelings with the other girls here. Have you read all these comments?? You are not alone. Start by being yourself here, and being an “insider”, and I promise it will help. Good luck with everything!

  19. Aoife says:

    I have scoliosis. I spent the first three years of puberty in a body cast. As a kid, you’re enormously resilient. I quickly got used to the stares and the “teasing” comments from my classmates. I shrugged them off.
    But: I’m 44 now. Recently, I wore a snug jumper to work. One of my colleagues, who knows I suffer from back pain, caught a glimpse of my back and said, “do you have a heating pad stuffed under there?” Stupid unthinking comment. But it completely transported me back to being that 14-year old encased in plaster.

    • Sophie says:

      Aoflie,

      I am so sorry that your classmates teased you about your cast. I spent most of middle school in a hard plastic back brace (back injury) and I know how hard it can be, especially at that age. Kids are cruel. The important thing to remember is what Tamara said above – they only make fun of you/us because of their own insecurities.

  20. Sunny says:

    The support everyone here is showing each other brings tears to my eyes right now! I am so happy and proud to have the chance to talk to and get to know all of you. xo…Sunny

  21. sami says:

    people started making fun of me when I was 11, it started with whale, than fat cow, and in high school, I was afraid of walking through the school, because people were saying that it would make to much noise, when I would walk…
    But the worst thing was when my own cousin ( We were always like brother and sister) told me that I was fat, that was the day when I knew I had to lose weight

  22. Rose says:

    Words cannot express how thankful I am that I came across this website. I thought I was the only one who had been so extremely hurt by comments from family members. People don’t seem to realize that even the slightest “innocent” comment about someone’s body can sting for so long and cause so much pain. I have no doubt that my parents love and care about me, but I will never forget some of the comments they have made about my weight and my body, and I think about those words when I’m killing myself running on the treadmill or trying to convince myself to skip dinner again. I pray for all of us that we can learn to love ourselves and forget the things that people have said, because we never deserved any of that pain. Thank you, Sunny, for this post and for this site. It has comforted me more than you will ever know.

  23. Agnes says:

    I never really though that much about my weight until a guy in high school told me I had a “fat ass”. That comment really stuck and has affected my life ever since, which I guess is stupid, but… yeah, you know how it is. I learned to walk with my back against walls to avoid gaining any attention to my behind, which I still do to this day. Developed severe bulimia some years later and there’s kinda where I am today, although I’m trying better. You’ve really helped me, Sunny! <3

  24. Jessie says:

    I’ve noticed that this posting has some of the most comments! It’s amazing that we remember so many more of the bad things people have said than the good. (And I like to think that there have been more good things said!) About 5 years ago, after several months of seriously restricting my calories, I was approached by several people about having “eating issues.” As happy as I was with my weight loss, the “intervention” really triggered my bingeing for the first time. I started college two months later; and, although I had convinced myself that I would start college super skinny, I moved in to my dorm around 20 pounds heavier than I was when I graduated from high school three months earlier. After my first semester I saw my high school boyfriend at a basketball game, and he told one of my best friends that I had “blown up like a balloon.” Around the same time I was going in to an IHOP, and someone yelled out of a car at me, “You have a fat a**!” I dealt with all of my issues by either controling my food intake or binge eating. There was no middle ground. I gained about 30 pounds in one semester, but I was never able to lose any weight (in a healthy weigh!) until I was able to love myself and treat my body right. I struggle to do this every day, but your website helps me so much. Thank you!

  25. Nancy says:

    I’m late to the game but I just have to write this here because it will make me feel better.

    I’ve always been tall (I’m 6′) and I used to be skinny growing up, and lots of kid would make fun of me because of that. So I would just eat and eat, desperately trying to gain weight to be “average”.

    But then I quickly became ashamed of my weight at a very young age, because being much taller than other kids I was of course little heavier. At 13 during class we had to weight ourselves and I didn’t want to because I didn’t want the other kids to know my weight. They all said something like “come on, you’re so skinny it can’t be that bad!”. I remember I was 5’8″ at that point. I stepped on the scale and I weighted 136 lbs which is NOTHING but one guy said “oh wow yeah that’s quite a lot..”. I think that started it all. At 13 I was dieting.

    I gained a lot of weight in my teenage years. I was not so skinny anymore but just average. Looking back, I was HOT but back then all that mattered to me was the weight and I continued dieting on and off all through high school. At some point when I must have been around 16 or 17, I’m pretty sure I didn’t even categorize as “overweight”, but a kid I was babysitting told me I wasn’t really pretty because I was “a little bit fat”. That really hurt, coming from a kid…

    Same summer my (ex) boyfriend broke up with me… It was ok until a little bit later he explained that part of the reason he had broken up wasn’t really that I was fat, but since he was very skinny and I was bigger than him I was kind of “imposing”. At the time I had a crush on another guy who was just as skinny as him and I thought that he would never be interested in me if I didn’t lose weight so I starting having more serious ED…

    Fortunately, the guy I had a crush on is my boyfriend now and has been for 8 years! He’s awesome and loves me the way I am, even though I’ve gained more weight since, dieting on and off. I’m doing much better now and I love my body the way it is, even if my doctor says I’m verging on obesity. I try not to think about it, I take pride in the body I have, take care of my skin, wear things that are flattering, move, eat things I love, stop when I’m full (most of the time!). Oh and my awesome man is now a cook/aspiring chef, so I’ve become a real foodie!!

  26. jaime says:

    The worst happened today. My boyfriend called me a fat cow. He’s always been so supportive and says how much he loves me and how beautiful I am, but those two words said in anger make me doubt all of it. I’ve had strangers make mean comments. Family members have said things to be ‘helpful.’ They’ve hurt, but this is devastating.

  27. […] are so many other triggers for those of us who’ve fought eating issues: Teasing from kids in school, verbal or sexual abuse, possible addiction to certain foods. HealthyGirl.org […]

  28. Kasey says:

    When I was 15, my boyfriend started telling me how fat I was. I was maybe a size 2/4 at that time. He let me know that my legs were “covered with a coating of fat no matter what I tried to do.” Fast forward 10 years later, and I’m sitting there telling my friend how I couldn’t possibly be attractive due to the “coating of fat on my legs no matter what I try to do about them.” I don’t think he had any idea how much his words and actions were going to affect my life.

  29. Anonymous says:

    I am fourteen, in the eigth grade. Last year, in elementary school, my two best friends started dating: they were in love with the idea of love, and I was left behind. I still hung around with the boyfriends, their friends, and my best friends, but all these new ‘friends’ (all boys) were manipulative and emotionally abusive. The boys my best friends were dating were absolutely awful to them, but they were far worse to me. Far, far worse. I tried to leave the group on numerous occasions, but always got dragged back. A few life-altering things happened to me that year: first off, the boy that I was the most fond of started to follow me around, telling me that he wanted to date me. I refused, but since I had extremely deep-rooted misgivings about my appearance I was secretly flattered. He continued to do this for a day or two, and when I finally told him off and he stalked out of the room I felt a twinge in my heart- but then a friend of his came up and told me that it was all so that he could have a girlfriend, too. I felt betrayed by this. The thing that effected me most, though, was what my best friend’s boyfriend told me. I didn’t even hear it from him; the boy who had asked me out had to say it. He told me that I was ugly because I had acne, and he went on and on about it for what seemed like forever. I still feel the sting of tears when I remember it. Now they bully me and my friends. Just today the boy who had asked me out threw an empty bottle at me, his face red with anger and hate. It’ll never stop. I’m so self-conscious now; whenever I hear a group of people laugh I wonder if they’re laughing at me, and whenever I see kids whispering I check myself to make sure I look decent. Tears spring to my eyes when I look in a mirror. I won’t join facebook for fear of those boys commenting. I can’t even look at a picture of myself. My view of myself was bad all through elementary school, but because of all the events in the seventh grade now it’s horrifying. I’m wondering if I’ll ever get a boyfriend, or get married. I wonder if I’m actually pretty, or if my face is as hideous as I see it. I wonder if I’m as fat and ugly as all the boys say I am…all because of that one boy’s comment. T, if you are reading this now, this is because of you. I hope you’re proud of yourself.

  30. Amy says:

    The two most hurtful things ever said to me came from my dad.

    ~When I was ten, my family and I had a little argument about where to order pizza from on the day we got home from vacation. My dad said, “God knows she ate enough on vacation!” I cried on the couch and didn’t eat anything.

    ~My skinny cousin and I got home from a week at summer camp. We had a backyard barbeque with my extended family. My cousin and I demonstrated a cheer we learned at camp and, in front of everyone my dad said to me, “You look like a girl who needs a sports bra.” I was 11 and totally humiliated.

    Recently I was working with the children at a preschool and one of the little girls told my friend, “She needs to exercise more because she’s fat.”

  31. Becky says:

    Aged about 9 or 10 – “My sister thinks your fat but I don’t” – a well intentioned 4 year old.
    Aged about 13 – “You travelled by minibus – did it support you’re weight?” – my grandad
    Aged about 14 – “Her legs are like tree trunks” – Said by my dad
    Aged 15 – “So (girls name)’s heart rate would recover from the treadmill quickly, where as BECKY … well .. (snigger)”
    This was said by a teacher. I was known for being able to “laugh” at my lack of coordination in PE and i’m sure that she said it jokingly but that comment crushed me.

    During my early teens, a plus sized clothes shop which shared my surname was referred to as “Becky’s fat shop” by my athletic so called “friends”.

    Countless references to chubby cheeks which i’m sure were not meant as a bad thing.

    My BMI never actually reached the overweight section throughout all these taunts! I didn’t think i would remember specific comments, it just shows how they affect you and stay in your mind x

  32. Amelia says:

    One of my earliest memories of a body insult came from a female doctor, of all places. I was about 9, and I was sitting in her office with my Mom. She looked at my Mom, not me, and said, “Well, she can stand to skip a few meals at the dinner table.” I felt crushed. All these years later, I still remember how low that made me feel, and the fact that she said it about me – and not even to me – made me feel even less human.

    When I was 10, a cute, skinny girl, who had until that moment been my friend, shoved me out of the way at the water fountain. She said, “Move, fatso!” That night in my diary, I wrote, “Today Francine called me fatso.” And instead of writing my name, I signed it, “No one.”

    In middle school, I was taunted by a rotating cast of boys who said things like, “Did anyone ever tell you you’re ugly?” (To which I pathetically responded, “Yes, they have!”) Or “Ew you’re fat and ugly” (that one was on my birthday – the year I was 12. No one showed up at my party. Middle School was rough for me! Haha)

    The first and only boy I ever asked to dance with me at around 14 or so, said, “Hell no,” and laughed at me with his friends. I walked away in shame, knowing it was because of my weight.

    Once, at my heighest weight in college, which was about 240 pounds (I’m 5’4), I was going outside of my apartment at night to knock on a neighbor’s door. A group of drunk college guys were singing a song on the porch next door. The people weren’t answering, and I knocked a couple more times. In horror, I began to realize that they were singing about me. “She’s got big fat legs, a big fat stomach, big old arms..” and so on. Sadly, I didn’t confront them or do anything. I just went back into my apartment and cried.

    I had a boyfriend in my early 20s who told me that he wouldn’t find me sexually attractive unless I lost weight. He had started off interested, but he no longer even wanted to kiss me. Interestingly, I did lose weight, and he still wasn’t interested. It’s been almost 10 years since then, and he’s never been in another relationship. He told me recently that he has severe depression and can’t find any woman attractive for more than a few months.

  33. Temoohh says:

    My hole life I was called fat but I always ignored but what crushes me is when my mom said that I’m a dinasore and my dad said I would never clim a boat cuz I was fat( I lobe the sea and I always wanted to go deep in the ocen) PE teacher told me that I’ll die before I reach her age cuz I was fat ( my teacher was a old) but the worst thing that was said from my boyfriend was lose weight cuz I don’t want to people to talk about us. And when me and my Cuzn walked in a mall the call us pomba and temon ( lion king characters) and the call us 10 ( I’m the zero cuz it’s round like me and she’s thin) and friends from school keep saying ur cute stay chubby that crushese even more I always thought if I wasn’t born I would never have felt the pain and ppl watch u were ever u go and a guy that worked in lazertag use to call gozila and my cuzen use to laugh and she tells hermom and my mom what he called me and the start laughing together I cured the hole way bak and my mom saw me and she said don’t thing I’m going to star to confiret u because u cried and that when my heat ached alot and when I went straight to bed and found this website it helped me a bit I’m 14 btw

  34. Tina says:

    One of the many comments from my now ex-husband included, while we were in bed, “would you like some butter to go with those rolls?”

  35. Faye says:

    Hmm, well,

    my dad said i had no common sense and was immature and narcissistic.

    my close friend called me a retard as a joke but it became a habit

    some boys at my old school called me weird because of a medical problem i had

  36. Lila Webber says:

    For me the worst was actually some of the trying-to-be-nice comments. I lost 65 pounds (at only 13 it’s alot even though I was obese) When I came back to school, people didn’t even recognize me. A boy came up to me and said wow! Your so much prettier now that you’ve lost your fat body, keep going! I know he was saying this nicely, but that comment stuck in my mind every night after a day of barely eating of eating 10x as much as i should have and purging it. I kept repeating to myself they like you better this way! Keep going and they’ll like you even more! Little did I realize that I had to like myself before anyone else would like me no matter what and boy was it (and is it still) tough! But it has to be done :)

  37. hannah says:

    I’m 14, and I’ve always been fairly thin, but I’ve still gotten plenty of hurtful comments:

    This summer, the girls in my ballet class were telling each other how much they weighed. I was proud of having lost a little weight, so I told them I weighed 95 pounds. A skinnier girl raised her eyebrows and said “95 pounds???!!!?” like it was a lot.

    A guy friend, who in the past has said I’m ‘light’, jokingly called me a fat-ass after I scarfed down a bag of Halloween candy.

    A popular group of kids at school were laughing and staring at me. I asked what they were talking about, and one girl said, ‘Your butt is so BIG! It looks like you stuck balloons in there!’ It was really hurtful knowing they’d been talking about me like that.

    My ballet teacher was for some reason discussing leg shapes, and used me as an example of how ‘bigger girls have thighs that touch.’

    When I was in weight-loss mode, my dad told me I looked frighteningly thin. Then recently, he told me I should lay off dessert.

    Like many people here, I went from anorexia to bulimia to BED. I’ve been struggling with my weight recently, and bingeing a lot. It’s caused me to gain 15 pounds since I started high school in September. I just want to recover, but I don’t know how, and I’m so glad this site exists. Thanks so much for creating it.

  38. Maya says:

    Maybe comments about weight have just become the norm? I certainly thought so. I came to this site because I wanted to know. It looks like everyone was hurt here, but honestly, maybe this is just a part of our environment and we need to get used it.

    Most hurtful things said about me:
    I’ve gained too much weight over the past 6 years.

    My mum told me I looked pregnant after a family picnic with friends.

    My dad told me I looked like I had a tyre around my waist.

    My sister…wow..my sister: she said I looked like a large tub of lard, that I was an obese weirdo that should kill myself before I got any fatter, that I look so disgusting she doesn’t know why my parents let me out.

    I get this every day though guys. I used to feel sorry for myself, but I guess they care?
    No idea. I find it easier living in another city to them though.

  39. Meee says:

    Basicslly I have triplet cousins who r REALLLY skinny and they always call me far and say I have fat arms. I am 14 weigh 56kg and my height is 5 feet 2 inches! Am I fat?

  40. Emily says:

    Last year when I went to college for my first year, I was trying to get healthy. I took it too far and ended up battling anorexia for most of the year. Finally, last summer I talked to my mom and sought out some treatment. I did really well, in fact, I don’t have to go anymore. Throughout my outpatient care, I found myself binging every now and then, like maybe once every couple of weeks. They told me that this was normal. About this time is when a girl from high school was hanging out with one of my roommates, and asked me, “So how much weight have you gained this year Emily?” I was so extremely hurt, ever since then, I have not been happy with my body. After I was doing so well. Also, since then I have been binging and binging more and more. I wonder, why is this happening to me? I can’t seem to quit. This past week, it happened every day (M-F) and I don’t know how I can quit. I am terrified of gaining weight and I am so afraid that I am going to just gain and gain and become obese. I now weigh about 117 lbs and I am 5’2″. I know that I am a normal weight for my height, but if I keep on binging like I have been, I am not going to be normal for long. I think of what that girl said every single day, and it just puts me down. How can I get this out of my head?

  41. Clementine says:

    At 13, I had quite a big crush on this guy that went on my bus. My friend told me that he told her I looked like a ‘fat pixy’. That encouraged my Eating Disorder.

  42. Barb says:

    Geez, where do I start? I was a thin little girl when I started school, but years of being shamed and bullied caused me to find comfort at the bottom of a tub of ice cream. I look at pictures of myself through the years, and every year my pants got bigger and the sparkle in my eyes got dimmer. Growing up it was reinforced again and again that I was unacceptable because of my body. I can remember an aunt who was skinny as a rail telling me that every time she saw me I got a little wider. I can recall standing at the top of an escalator in a store, waiting for my mom, when two boys walked by and called me a dog. I wanted the floor to swallow me up. Later in life there were the boyfriends who told me they would love me if I’d just lose weight. Some stranger cussed me out today because I wasn’t driving the way he thought I should, and he called me a fat cow. The cursing didn’t matter to me, but when he mentioned my weight all the hurt came back. I went home and sobbed. I think the worst things though are the things I’ve said to myself – that I can cut it, I’m worthless, I’m ugly, I’m not capable, I’m a lazy slob who will never have a life. All because I’m not a size 4. Wow, what a rough way to live! I’m tired of basing my worth on the size of my ass! I’m more than my body, and if it takes me forever I’m going to learn to love the person I AM. I I can’t undo the past, but I’m responsible for my own future, my own health, and for treating myself with respect and love.

  43. Hannah says:

    I’ve been fat as long as I can remember.
    Third grade: boys said “hey, chubby” every morning when I walked in the room
    Sixth grade: my “friends” called me a fat cow
    Seventh grade: I had developed an eating disorder. I threw up my lunch every day and skipped meals. I was losing weight but didn’t see it. I wrote dark poems and wanted to kill myself.
    Eighth grade: a boy asked me if I had called Jenny Craig yet
    Ninth grade: girls wrote on Facebook calling me a fat cow, a tub of lard, etc

    I’m 20 now and at my highest weight of 245 at 5’7. I NEED to lose weight and I want to lose weight but I’m so addicted to comfort eating. I’m working to stop these behaviors but I have a long road ahead of me

  44. Sandi says:

    I’m currently 14, and have always struggled with my weight. The other day I was at a party where my crush was present. As I attempted to squish past my crush’s sisters chair, she turns around to me and says, in front of my friends and crush, “Its not my fault that you’re fat”. I immediately was shocked, and the guys were surprised. No one said anything in my defense; even my own sister laughed. I feel terrible.

  45. Michelle Pomarleau says:

    One boyfriend of mine told me “you have no butt”. Another man said “I wish your tits were bigger”. My fiance was addicted to porn and quit making love to me. The last man I loved watched porn as well….he preferred women with big tits and ass, and I have none. He never even touched my breasts or butt and rarely even looked me in the face while having sex. One boyfriend, after going swimming with me and seeing me in a swimsuit, immediately went home and messaged a girl on Eharmony. Being “skinny” won’t help body issues. My aunts would ask me “don’t you eat?” I have a body of a 12 year old boy and I don’t even feel like a real women.

  46. Sophia says:

    My grandmother tried to force me to drink Slim Fast whenever I came to her house. I was probably around 8 or 9 years old at the time. I poured it down the drain, but just the thought of her offering this to her grandchild breaks my heart to this day. This same grandmother asks me about my weight EVERY time I see her. Every time.

    My dad said, “You need to get your fat ass on a diet” in a drunken argument. He was drunk. I was around 12 or 13.

    I’ll never forget the time my mother took me to the pediatrician and he said I needed to lose weight. I still remember the number on the scale – 168 pounds. I was in elementary school. When we got home, I went to have a snack. All that was there was a bucket of fried chicken, so I reached for that. She admonished me by saying, “You’re hungry already?” Then she told me to eat something healthier. So I had a ton of crackers, which now I realize was the beginning of my belief that carbs are better/healthier than meat, which only contributed to my insulin resistance.

    My uncle used to tell me that I needed to run a few hundred laps around the house to lose weight. Honestly, the level at which he teased me was so extreme, you’d think he was my age at the time and not a fully grown adult. I now realize how much of a loser he was (and still is), but as a child, it was crushing.

    I distinctly remember telling my best friend in 3rd grade on the playground that I was going to come back to school the next year skinny because I was going on a diet. And I actually spent most of that summer doing the exercise shows that used to come on cable TV. I didn’t lose a pound and went to 4th grade fat as ever and so ashamed.

    The absolutely most devastating aspect of being overweight as a child (and probably also unknowingly insulin-resistant and diabetic) is that I always held out hope that I’d lose weight and begin THE LIFE I was always destined to live. Fat me was just existing; hypothetical thin me was LIVING – fun, outgoing, adventurous, sexy, athletic – all of these things I could’ve been, but I believed I was unworthy because of my size. I wish I could go back and hug little me, tell her she’s awesome, and help her understand how/what to eat to address the medical, metabolic syndrome that made her gain weight so easily.

    People put so much blame on me for being fat and I carried it all. As a child, I was led to believe that I and I alone controlled my size. I always found it ironic how the adults in my life told me to lose weight, as they fed me, A CHILD, shitty food at giant proportions.

    Just writing this has been so cathartic. People suck sometimes. And you have to forgive them. Now I am unapologetically off limits with comments about my weight. I don’t answer to anything I don’t feel comfortable with. My weight, my diet, my workout regimen, etc is not fodder for small talk. I say flat out – “My body is my business and mine alone. All you need to know is that I’m healthy and I feel great. Now what else is going on?”

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Sunny Sea Gold

About the Author

Sunny Sea Gold is a media-savvy advocate and commentator specializing in binge eating disorder, cultural obsessions around food and weight, and raising children who have a healthy body image.