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Offended. There are no other words to describe it.

Now, there are few things that get me so raving mad that I can't see straight.

This is one of them.

I was perusing my sister's facebook notes (She frequently "tags" me in them, and I read them not only because she's a good writer, but also because most of the things she writes about are thought-provoking and need to be said... or written.), and I came upon her most recent post entitled "If you hear about a murdered Top 10 List writer, I know nothing." Apparently, posted an article called "Top 10: Subtle Ways to Tell Her She's Fat" (Feel free to visit for the article, for I will NOT post a link on my blog.).

I'm not kidding.

This article focuses on the masturbatory, self-involved pursuit of arm candy. Is your woman gaining weight? Easy answer: be an absolute jack-ass and subtly sabotage her chairs, buy her too-small clothes, etc... I have not been more offended by a single article in a very long time.

My sister's response is as follows:

If you hear about a murdered Top 10 List writer, I know nothing." - by Jenn Howerton

I am not an avid consumer of men's magazines, as I am sans penis and generally do not find ""How to Make a Woman Want You" that titillating. Perhaps it's the estrogen in me, but I don't particularly want to beef up for the bedroom, either, thank you very much.

But every now and then, my curiosity is piqued and I find myself leafing through male enhancement ads, triple-blade razor comparisons and various objectifications of scantily clad women, just to get a glimpse into the minds of the other slightly less than half of the population. After several years of disappointment, I should be prepared for my reaction, which always falls short of me declaring a feminist holy war on the writer of one particular article that receives the brunt of my ire.

This time, it's Top 10: Subtle Way to Tell Her She's Getting Fat. Yes, you read that correctly. My jaw nearly dropped and I thought, surely I'm making this up. Surely this is an April Fool's joke, or something. Alas, it was not to be so.

Is it just me, or is it only men over the age of 50, like my dad, who understand that such a topic should not be breached? Recently, actually, I asked my father how much he thought I weighed and he refused to answer, "I have learned that the best answer to that question is to change the subject. Did you watch Mythbusters last night?" Apparently, the creators of this top ten list didn't get that memo and instead list incredibly degrading ways to call a woman a fat ass.

Let's start with number ten.

"Buy her clothes that are too small - If you buy her clothes that are obviously too small for her, not only will she finally have to admit that she's putting on weight, but she can easily return them for her correct size. First, she'll have to reveal to you that the clothes are too small. 'Oh,' you might say, 'I thought you were a size 8. Isn't that what you were last summer?' The onus is now on her to do something about it."

Right. Because women don't have enough body issues as it is, staring at Photoshopped celebrities who are gorgeous to begin with. Now we have to worry about this bullshit. And anyway, this approach isn't subtle at all. Fail, AskMen. Fail.

9: "Sign her up for yoga under the pretence (and yes, they spelled this incorrectly) of 'stress relief' - This works particularly well if your girlfriend still hasn't worked out the link between an active lifestyle and emotional well-being. Tell her you have found exactly what she needs to help her relax, a regular spiritual cleanse in the form of a yoga class. Make sure you choose an intense, calorie-burning form (power yoga or ashtanga yoga), otherwise she may end up rolling around on the floor a couple of times a week with no real benefits. The beauty of yoga is that if you dress it up as a way to relieve stress, she may not realize that she's being tricked into shedding a few pounds, and even if she does, you'll end up with a happier, more self confident girlfriend rather than a grumpy lard-ass."

Okay, this started off alright, but I got angrier as I continued down the paragraph. Yes, because her being healthy should be about you and the fact that you are not comfortable that she is no longer a size two. While ashtanga yoga may burn more calories, any type of yoga has health benefits. And if this hypothetical girlfriend supposedly doesn't know that exercise is good for her, then she probably isn't very flexible, which means that she'll be rolling around on the floor, anyway. Ugh. This has a higher rating of subtlety, though.

8: "Set out on your own weight loss plan - Here's an interesting experiment for you using reverse psychology. A subtle way to tell her she's getting fat is to tell her you're not happy with your own level of fitness and she may begin to open her eyes to the wider picture. By referencing yourself in any plans to lose weight, you're also subtly telling her that you're not the only one who might benefit from a diet. And even if she does see through your ploy, she'll at least appreciate the tact you have shown and will hopefully take the message on board."

So, we're mind readers now? If my boyfriend (should I ever again find one) tells me that he wants to take scuba diving lessons, then is he telling me that he thinks I'm losing touch with my past as a mermaid? Plus, I have always hated exercising with my boyfriends. I get performance anxiety and feel much better hitting the treadmill all by my onesies.

7: "Serve her unsatisfactory portions - When dishing up meals for the two of you, try giving her smaller-than-usual amounts. By making her ask for more food, you might succeed in shaming her into an acknowledgment of her recent weight gain, and hopefully to instigate a conversation about what she's going to do about it. If you feel as though you're starving yourself in the process, remember you can always go back for more when she's not looking."

Oh, the hypocrisy in this just makes my blood boil. And it's always good to shame your girlfriend, unless you want to sleep alone. If that is the case, more power to you, you insensitive bastard.

6: "Improve your own diet - It's very easy for the two of you to fall into the downward spiral in which many couples begin to replace sexual intimacy with ice cream and cake. Don't let this happen by focusing on your own health requirements and staking your right to a junk-food-free home. It might even be the only way of separating her from the fatty foods which have led to the current problem."

Well, I can't have ice cream and it takes too much time to make a cake. But damn it, if I want a Swiss Cake Roll, I'm going to eat one. And most likely, she's going to be focused more on eating healthy than you are, especially if you are using these not-so-subtle hints of calling her a fat fat fatty fatterson.

5: "Playfully grab her love handles - Ask any man and he'll tell you that he instinctively flexes his biceps whenever a woman touches them. The same thing goes for a woman when you make contact with any unwanted flab: she recoils and feels embarrassment. Use this reaction to your advantage. Even if she thinks that you're too busy at work to have noticed a few extra pounds, if you continually rest your hand on her love handles (or even slightly pinch them), she'll soon realize that you're becoming increasingly aware of something that never used to be there before."

Exactly what I have always wanted: a guy to make me feel embarrassed just by touching me! Why didn't I realize this before? Oh, AskMen, you teach me. You teach me.

4: "Ask her to wear an old dress - Plan a romantic night out for the two of you and insist that she wears something from when you first got together; particularly something that you know doesn't fit her anymore. This way she'll have to admit to you that she's put on too much weight and can no longer get into many of her old clothes. Follow it up by telling her how good she looked in those days, and maybe she'll make it her mission to get back to that size."

And maybe I'm gonna make it my mission to pull out a cucumber and say, "Honey, remember when you were this big and you filled out the crotch pocket in your underwear? Sex was so much better back then. You should do something about that."

3: "Sabotage her chair - Sometimes as men we have to get downright nefarious to get what we want. You might not be proud of stooping to this level, but nothing says 'better lose some weight' like a broken chair. After you loosen a few screw or remove some important slats of a chair in which you know she'll sit and subsequently break, sit back and watch the guaranteed dietary transformation that ensues. It will profoundly amaze you."

At least you'll have a project to do while skimming the Yahoo! personals.

2: "Leave 'now' and 'then' photos lying around - This is a highly effective way to draw attention to the explicit changes to her body as you see them. By consistently reminding her of how she used to look, she'll inevitably be more inclined to do something about her excess flab. Appropriately chosen and strategically placed photos should accomplish this quite nicely. Keep in mind, if she confronts you about trying to shame her into losing weight, the key approach here is denial, as you reply: 'Do you actually think I would be that manipulative?' Of course you would, but she doesn't need to know that."

Ah, yet another passive-aggressive gem. At this point, I'm a little too angry to concoct any witty retorts here. But I swear, right here, right now, that if even one of these starts to happen to me, we will have barbecue of man-cock. Complete with donuts.

And thank GOD we're almost done.

1: "Take her to places where she has to wear a swimsuit - If she seems content staying at home eating donuts in her track pants, why not start taking her to places where she has no choice but to where (haha, where ... oh, proofreading apparently has no place on this website) a swimsuit? As she awkwardly looks around at all the slender bodies having a great time, she'll more than likely vow to do something about her recent weight gain, especially if she knows she'll be back there in the not-so-distant future."

Yet again, bringing the shame back? Why would you want to do this to someone you supposedly care about? Oh, that's right. Judging from the dating articles, you look at women as mere sex objects and are only worried about your image as a wooer of hot chicks. I can't wait until you start to bald and are afflicted by ED. Ugh, please tell me that men aren't actually like this.


Completely ridiculous, is it not? I just thank God every day that I have a boyfriend who doesn't view me as something to be improved upon. Of course, there are health issues that are included with being overweight; anyone will admit to that. If this article were altered slightly to focus on the health of a guy's girlfriend (i.e. Top 10: Ways to Help Your Girlfriend Commit to a Healthier Lifestyle), then I would have no problem with it.

I can't write anymore. Too angry.


P Shane McAfee said…
OK, first let me say that I really like this blog. Being a blog of note exposes you to other bloggers and writers. Congratulations!. Secondly, maybe I am an older married guy but why not make a list like "Top 10 ways to tell her she is beautiful"?

I am guessing the the people who compiled that list are at least 25-30 lbs. overweight. That list was beyond cruel. You had a right to be offended.

P Shane McAfee

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