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In need of sock puppet
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The following is copied from Oscar Madison's weblog and posted to help resolve this classic and oft mysterious interaction between men and their female partners:


Relationships 101: "Do I look fat?"
A lesson in how to answer "the question"

Here is a bit of human experience that seems to fall into the “things everyone has to learn for her- or him- self” category: how to handle the question from wife/girlfriend, etc., “Do I look fat?” And yet the pain of that relearning process seems so avoidable. We all know the question will be asked. Why wait around unprepared only to be caught like a deer in the headlights when it finally comes up:

♀: Do I look fat?
♂: No, not at all.
♀: I’ve gained weight though, haven’t I?
♂: Uh... since when?
♀: Oh, so I have gained weight since you first met me.
♂: Well, I don’t...
♀: What you’re saying is, I do look fat.
♂: No!
♀: Well, you just said I’ve gained weight.
♂: But you don’t look fat!
♀: I’ve gained weight, “but I don’t look fat.” Lovely.
♂: I didn’t say that.
♀: So I do look fat!
♂: ....?....!
♀: If you think I look fat, why don’t you just come out and say so?

Of course, no wife or girlfriend wants to be told she looks fat. Quite the contrary! Yet it seems as though she is programmed to conduct razorlike, determined cross examinations that will not end until she has broken the man's will and extracted a "confession."

Sometimes this examination may start in a more sly and subtle way:

♀: Do these clothes look tight on me?
♂: No they look great.
♀: You aren’t looking!
♂: (Looking up.) I am. Those clothes look great on you.
♀: I must have gained weight since I first bought them. They feel a lot tighter.
♂: Maybe they shrunk in the wash.
♀: So they do look tight.
♂: No...
♀: But you just said they look like they’ve shrunk in the wash –
♂: – yeah, but –
♀: – when I know for a fact they haven’t.
♂: ....?....!
♀: If you think I look fat in these clothes, why don’t you just come out and admit it!

The first mistake most guys make is to think they can correct their mistakes for next time by analyzing these conversations to figure out where they went off the rails. Clearly, in both versions of the conversation, ♂ gets himself into trouble by seeking a clarification (“since when?”) or offering helpful information (suggestion re clothes shrinkage), breaking the cardinal rule of responding to cross examination (never volunteer information!).

But on closer inspection, any attempt to respond to these questions straightforwardly is vulnerable to variants of the impossible, checkmate cross examination question: "was I fatter then or am I fatter now?"

♀: Do I look fat?
♂: No, not at all.
♀: I’ve gained weight though, haven’t I?
♂: Definitely not.
♀: You think I looked like this when we first met?
♂: Like what?
♀: Fat.
♂: I didn’t say you looked fat.
♀: Well, I’ve obviously put on weight since we first met.
♂: I haven’t noticed that.
♀: So basically, I’ve always looked fat enough that a few extra pounds doesn’t make any difference.

Nor is it possible to head things off by making assertions to the contrary:

♀: Do I look fat?
♂: No, no you look thin.
♀: Too thin?
♂: No, you look just right.
♀: But if I put on some weight, I wouldn’t look “just right.”
♂: Sure you would.
♀: So it doesn't matter to you whether I look fat or thin?
♂: No, not at all.
♀: If I looked totally fat right now, you would say I looked "just right."
♂: That's right.
♀: Well, you just did say I looked "just right."
♂: Um... yeah?
♀: So you think I look fat.

The mistake is not the fact that ♂ gives wrong answers to key questions in the “do I look fat?” cross examination. The mistake is trying to answer the questions at all.

Listen up, all you ♂s. You can avoid all these problems whenever you sense you have gotten within a mile of the "do I look fat?" line of questions, by following three simple rules:

1) Never, never, under any circumstances say the word “fat” – or for that matter, “heavy,” “gain” or even the seemingly neutral “weight.” Once you let yourself get drawn into a discussion concerning the weight of the human body, the battle is lost.

2) You should act as though you are a candidate running for the office of husband or boyfriend, and that “do I look fat?” is being asked by a reporter who is out to get you. Your one task is to stay on a single, simple campaign theme: “You are beautiful in both spirit and body, and every day I strive to remain worthy of your love.” Therefore, don’t answer any question directly at all. Do not say “yes” or “no.” No matter how much you are goaded, stay on message.

3) Be a walking thesaurus with at least a dozen words for “physically attractive” at your disposal.

♀: Do I look fat?
♂: You look beautiful.
♀: That’s not what I asked you. Don’t you think I’ve gained weight?
♂: Well, all I can say is you’re really hot.
♀: Stop avoiding the question. Do I look fat or not?
♂: You’re totally babe-o-licious.
♀: What you’re saying is, I do look fat.
♂: You were winsome when I first met you, and you’re even more so now.
♀: Winsome?
♂: Drop-dead gorgeous.
♀: Oh, so I wasn’t as good looking when you first met me, is that what you’re saying?
♂: That’s right. You’re even more lovely now.

With this strategy – which I call “the stonewall” – you can wear her down until the subject changes from weight to beauty, a more ethereal characteristic. Note how it’s harder to turn "then-versus-now" loveliness into an insult. Even the more persistent ♀ who is frustrated and annoyed that you never addressed the weight question has nothing on you but the fact that you said she’s beautiful. You hold onto the moral high ground.

The stonewall is the only safe approach I have seen in all my years of experience. If you have something better, I’m all ears.
 

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Where was that when I needed it?

Several years ago, my girlfriend (now wife), asked me if she looked fat in some cloths, and I made the mistake of saying"What is your definition of fat?"

Oh, boy, oh, boy, was that ever a mistake, she was pissed at me for the rest of the day. I have since learned that stonewalling is the best solution, just like this guy says.
 

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Resident Dutchbag
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Yeah well, what happens is:
♀: Do I look fat?
♂: You look beautiful.
♀: That’s not what I asked you. Don’t you think I’ve gained weight?
♂: Well, all I can say is you’re really hot.
♀: Stop avoiding the question. Do I look fat or not?
♂: You’re totally babe-o-licious.
F: Don't try to change the subject! Do I look fat or no?

Back to the drawing board. Them wimmens is wily, so what you do when a subject like that comes up is: head to the crapper/garage/bar/hardwarestore/nascar. There is NO escaping the Do-I-Look-Fat trap except for doing the dirty and legging it. IMHO HTH.
 

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Miss M goes on a perodic "I've lost too much weight" thing.

I say the only thing an honest man can, "No honey, you have always looked fat to me."
 

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Impulse Athletic Coaching
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From askmen.com http://www.askmen.com/dating/curtsmith_100/144b_dating_advice.html

1- "I don't like the way that outfit looks on you anymore."
Every woman has a go-to getup. If you don't know it, you don't know her well enough to discuss her flabby stomach. The only thing that could ever change the way an outfit looks is the way it fits. Tell her you aren't sure why it looks odd, suggest a looser knit, and watch her forever skip the nachos with cheese.

2- "I can't get over how fat I feel."
Women have been commiserating with each other for eons about the thickness of their thighs. If you launch a pity-party of your own about how heavy you feel, and let her know at every turn, she'll become fat-obsessed by osmosis. Women have been doing it to each other since the dawn of public washrooms.

3- "Your friend isn't nearly as attractive since she gained that weight."
Be careful. Delivery is everything. Pick her homeliest friend and let your most outrageous BS fly. Pick an attractive pal, and you'll be explaining your wandering eye till you give her a ring. Focus on the improbable target, and she'll be thinking that if you find her bookworm buddy hefty, perhaps a diet should be on her docket.

4- "I have a new female trainer at the gym."
She'll never suggest fewer trips to the gym, but it will drive her bonkers to think that another woman is spotting your squat thrusts. She'll sign up and show up within 24 hours just to keep an eye on you.

5- "The saleswoman said it was for smaller women."
If you want your baby to shed some baby fat, spend a couple of bucks on a nice little fashion piece a couple of sizes out of her reach. If she is thin in your eyes, and the only thing telling her otherwise is a piece of clothing, she'll work morning, noon and night to fit into that cursed thing.

6- "Let's help each other lose a couple of pounds?"
Let's face it. If you tell your girlfriend to lose some weight, she'll withdraw your all-access pass to her wonderful folds. But an honest commitment to work together to become fitter and shed some unwanted girth can only be met with the excitement that your investment in her is the same as what she is willing to invest in you. Losing weight is no small task. Make her sure you're worth it.

keep her thin

Remember men, to influence her decision to lose weight while avoiding any sore feelings is to make everything about you. How you feel, what you think, what your opinion is; these are the things that will separate you just enough from the battle that is ultimately hers. The minute you make it about what you think she's doing wrong, you're dead meat, and we're all coming after you.

Weight loss takes time, so be patient. Now, all you have to do is keep that weight off yourself so you've got a leg to stand on...


I'm fortunate - not only does my gf have a metabolism, but she is also a dietician, meaning I never have to answer the question. Even if for some reason I did have to answer, I'm always a huge joker, so a "as a hippo" wouldn't be too much out of my realm.

Just tell it to her like it is: Her: "Am I fat?" You: "So you've finally noticed..." ;)
 

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lousylegs said:
MB, the bullsh*t meter is ringing off the wall:D
Not at all, she stresses if she loses even a couple of pounds (we are in our mid 50's, she still fits clothes she wore in high school).

Look at some of the pix I post of her sometime when she isn't wearing tights. It takes a hard rainstorm to get her to even 100lbs. The woman ain't got no fat on her.....
 

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MB1 said:
Not at all, she stresses if she loses even a couple of pounds (we are in our mid 50's, she still fits clothes she wore in high school).

Look at some of the pix I post of her sometime when she isn't wearing tights. It takes a hard rainstorm to get her to even 100lbs. The woman ain't got no fat on her.....
I know, I know (well, at least from the few photos you have posted), it was just a joke
 

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Quiet, daddy's drinking
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There is no answer to that question.

My only answer has been "what do I look like, a moron?" There is no way I will ever offer more than that.
 

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Turtleherder said:
My only answer has been "what do I look like, a moron?" There is no way I will ever offer more than that.
well, my wife would just say "yes" that I do look like a moron and then want to know why I had not answered her question.
 

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chica cyclista
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ok as a woman, let me just interject

The whole "am I fat..." fishing-for-a-compliment-or-alternatively-an-excuse-to-argue cliche' is complete and utter patent abject bullsh*te. I was forced to endure my mother pulling this on my dad and it's A) one good reason I don't blame him for leaving the wench, and B) another (among many) good reason why I refuse to have anything further to do with her.

homey don't play dat. and I despise women that pull these games. and I'm sick of cleaning up the paranoid shattered remnants of their evil manipulative schemes, too.

Therefore: if you are female, and reading this, and you pull this crap, do not EVER do so in my presence because I'll gleefully and thoroughly kick your ass into next week. Most dudes I know are quality sorts who absolutely do not deserve this sort of nonsensical behaviour, and the ones that do, aren't worth wasting your time with in the first place.

of course I still have (and fit in) suits I bought when I was fourteen...
 

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scruffy nerf herder
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Oh man, tell you what... you want to throw this whole methodolgy right off the scale (so to speak), try and make a gal who is pretty fit, but 7 months pregnant not feel fat.... its ridiculous... a mobius strip, a veritable escalator of doom....

sheesh. You wimmens need instructions.
 

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Windrider (Stubborn)
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funknuggets said:
Oh man, tell you what... you want to throw this whole methodolgy right off the scale (so to speak), try and make a gal who is pretty fit, but 7 months pregnant not feel fat.... its ridiculous... a mobius strip, a veritable escalator of doom....

sheesh. You wimmens need instructions.
I hear Ya....not only do you have the fat card going....but it's been mixed with fluctuating homones.

Wait until she hits menopause........

My wife asks...Do I look fat?

I answer.......No

She says.....are you sure?

I answer.........Dear, what do I know.....I'm not objective, you always look great to me.

She says.....you're no help...but always has a smile on her face when she says it).

Len
 

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Rep *****.
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When my wife asks that question I just fake an aneurysm.
Then she forgets the question and starts calling me a wimp.
 

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Genitive Declensioner
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thinkcooper said:
The stonewall is the only safe approach I have seen in all my years of experience. If you have something better, I’m all ears.

My only f-up was when my wife commented on a particularly round and toned behind, I in a moment of insanity mentioned that her butt would look like that if she had the time to work out more....................................KABOOM! bad reply that took a few years to live down.......at least she never has asked if she looked fat, even when prego...........
 

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Bored beyond belief.
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Acutally I find the best option is to scream in panic and run from the room.
 

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In need of sock puppet
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
svend said:
My only f-up was when my wife commented on a particularly round and toned behind, I in a moment of insanity mentioned that her butt would look like that if she had the time to work out more....................................KABOOM! bad reply that took a few years to live down.......at least she never has asked if she looked fat, even when prego...........

now THAT was funny!
 

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svend said:
My only f-up was when my wife commented on a particularly round and toned behind, I in a moment of insanity mentioned that her butt would look like that if she had the time to work out more....................................KABOOM! bad reply that took a few years to live down.......at least she never has asked if she looked fat, even when prego...........
Good one.

If mine asks I tell her. I ain't perfect either and have learned to deal with it. Coop, your wife has no worries from the pics I've seen.
 

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Scary Teddy Bear
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Learned

svend said:
My only f-up was when my wife commented on a particularly round and toned behind, I in a moment of insanity mentioned that her butt would look like that if she had the time to work out more....................................KABOOM! bad reply that took a few years to live down.......at least she never has asked if she looked fat, even when prego...........

Haha, I did the same thing...several times....slept on the couch for like a week each time too.

Hell, just start a fire in the living room, it's easier to deal with....

Seriously, my wife is 8 months pregnant, and with the two previous miscarriages and several family losses and such, She has gained some weight, and not just pregnancy weight either. She asks me on occasion if I still love her, and of course I answer H*ll yeah....the problem comes when she asks how she looks in some of her clothes, or if I think she gained more weight, I want to be honest, but that just blows it all up, and if you try to give a BS answer they know you're lying and jump all over you for that. I just tell her that I love her and that she is beautiful and walk away.....slowly...hehe......
 

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Super Moderator
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With this strategy – which I call “the stonewall” – you can wear her down until the subject changes from weight to beauty, a more ethereal characteristic. Note how it’s harder to turn "then-versus-now" loveliness into an insult. Even the more persistent ♀ who is frustrated and annoyed that you never addressed the weight question has nothing on you but the fact that you said she’s beautiful. You hold onto the moral high ground.

The stonewall is the only safe approach I have seen in all my years of experience. If you have something better, I’m all ears.
Umm...so are you telling me I'm fat?

:mad: :D :eek: :p
 
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