I wanted to write you this letter to thank you. I am sure you get a lot of these letters since you deal with giving advice all of the time. I am also sure you get your share of letters disagreeing with you.
I will be honest; I do not read your advice column that often. A lot of times the topics do not interest me, so I skip them on my Facebook feed. You have said things in the past that I do not agree with. We do not share the same views on many topics.
I will say, I do agree with your advice on fat shaming.
About a month ago I saw a Dear Prudence called Butter Brawl.
A woman wrote to you about her Thanksgiving dinner. She said that her cousin, who recently lost a lot of weight, was giving her a hard time because of her size. The comments escalated. Finally, her cousin called her Shamu because of the black dress she was wearing.
So the woman threw mashed potatoes at her and kicked her out of her house.
I liked your reply. I agree that violence is never the answer, but I cannot lie when I admit that I have wanted to do that before. I have had those comments made to me in the past.
It was refreshing to see someone give rational advice and not the “maybe you should lose weight” response. It was nice to not see the “maybe you should get a personal trainer” retort.
Today I saw a new Dear Prudence called Goading Granny.
It was about a father’s son whose wife was “plus size”. The father’s mother made comments about her weight, so the son did not want to speak to her. In fact, the son had a destination wedding away from the family just because of the comments.
The father was trying to get his son and his mother to make amends.
In the middle of the letter, the father made this comment…
My mother will not promise to hold her tongue about my DIL’s “horrid fat.” In desperation, I at one point offered to pay for a personal trainer or even gastric bypass, but that only led to a huge argument with my son.
Once again, your reply was excellent. I thought that your advice made sense, and I liked the fact that you addressed the father’s comments as well.
I think for many it is easier to tell someone to lose weight rather than accept the person for who they are today. For people who have not dealt with actual weight issues, it seems so simple that everything works out if you just eat less and move more.
It is not like that all of the time.
To me, these letters were not about weight. They were about respect of people. You understood that. You addressed that.
So I wanted to thank you.