You guys remember that line? In “How to Lose a Guy in 10 days”? Where Kate Hudson is pretending to be a vegetarian so she and Matthew McConaughey are at this horrible vegan restaurant and she basically shout-cries “My boyfriend thinks I’m fat!” and then Matthew McConaughey freaks out and the waitress gives him like THE dirtiest look? (Here is the link in case you haven’t seen this cinematic masterpiece of a scene)
Now, I’ll admit, I used this line as a little bit of clickbait because MY boyfriend does NOT think I am fat, nor has he ever insinuated it which is the point of this article.
When you’re in a relationship, you want the other person to love everything about you. And as much as some of us claim it doesn’t matter, we also want them to love everything about our appearance. Which is why comments from them about our appearance can affect us in mysterious ways…
For example, a guy I dated once said he liked long nails. So I got acrylics. He never said he didn’t like my nails, but I know I never had any interest in having longer nails until I knew how much he liked them. Ergo, I later realized how much of an impact his passive opinion had on my actions.
One of my guy friends starting wearing his hair a different way one day when his crush made a brief comment on a photo she saw. Another friend dyed her hair blonde because her boyfriend said he missed her blonde hair.
Sometimes, I can’t even tell if I’m wearing an outfit because I love it or because I know my boyfriend will love it. To be fair, there’s nothing wrong with doing little things to make your significant other happy, but it becomes scary when people realize they can prey on their partner’s insecurities.
You remember the fat comment? Well, I doubt such an obvious insult would be used, but instead, people could say “Do you really need that extra piece of bread?” or things like “Why did you do that to your hair?” or “I really miss when your arms were bigger”. These sorts of comments can come from anyone — candid family members, toxic friends– but somehow it stings more when it comes from someone who you hoped worshipped your every particle.
Plus, some people really know what they’re doing and can time these sorts of underhanded comments to tear their partner down, and make sure their self-worth only comes from the relationship. The issue with this kind of interaction is that it can be extremely complicated to spot. The difference between “I miss when you were blonde” and “Why did you do that to your hair?” is difficult to distinguish, and a lot of it comes down to circumstance and context. However, at a certain point, these subtle digs become emotional abuse.
I didn’t mean to get so dark in this article, but if you’re in a relationship or are into someone, just be aware of what you do for them, as opposed to what you do for you. You’re never REQUIRED to change your appearance for anyone, even a romantic partner. It’s cliche, but true. If you pay attention to how their comments affect your actions, it will be easier to pick out instances where they make you feel special, or when they make you feel awful. Then you can give out hugs, discussion, or CANS OF WHOOP-ASS accordingly.