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Why Comments Like "Hindi bagay suot mo. Magpapayat ka muna" Is BS

Fashion + fat shaming is not cool.
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A couple of days ago, news broke that the principal of a high school in South Carolina, USA, told female students during an assembly that if they're bigger than a size 2, they shouldn't wear leggings at all because it looks unflattering on many of them. A parent wrote about the incident on Facebook in a post that has since been taken down, and an audio recording of the incident captured what the teacher said to the students. According to her, "I'm going to tell you now, unless you are a size zero or two and you wear something like that, you look fat."

Naturally, people didn't take her comments sitting down and rained criticism on the principal. Students who said they were larger than a size 2 said that naturally, they felt targeted by her comments.

Anybody who has ever been told what they should or shouldn't wear because of their size or has been told that they can't wear certain things because they're "fat" can relate to how the students are feeling. They have to endure a lot of unpleasant comments about their bodies and their fashion choices, such as the following:

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  • "Nagmumukha kang suman sa suot mong yan," which is usually said to those who are wearing tight clothing.
  • "I wish I had your confidence" is another one. It certainly sounds positive and admiring, but what it actually is is a backhanded compliment that seems to suggest that the speaker can't believe that the person has the nerve to wear something that doesn't look "good" on them.
  • "Wag ka mag-shorts; parang palo-palo kasi ang binti mo." This would make anyone feel self-conscious about their legs.
  • "Hindi bagay sa ‘yo yan. Magpapayat ka muna/pang-payat lang yan," which suggests that you have to wait until you lose weight before wearing certain clothes.

These comments definitely do a lot to demolish one's self-esteem, make people afraid to buy certain clothing items for fear of what people will say, and ultimately scare them away from wearing the kind of clothes that they want to rock, limiting their fashion options and forcing them to go with outfits that they think would cause the least offense to other people.

But simply being unable to wear your dream outfits isn't the worst and only effect of being told you're too fat for certain clothes. It isn't always easy to shrug off such remarks and at some point, those words become the critical voices in your head, which might end up with you disliking your body, your looks, and yourself.

It isn't always easy to shrug off such remarks and at some point, those words become the critical voices in your head.

Some people would say that fat jokes and comments are just said out of fun, and that you shouldn't be too sensitive, never mind that their comments—whether they're from friends, family, relatives, or casual acquaintances—were hurtful. Others would say that they're simply pointing out your extra weight out of "concern" for your health, even though it's your body and people can't actually know if someone's healthy just based on their size.

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So what can you do if someone says something not very nice about the way you look in your clothes? It's very tempting to hit back with a cutting comment of your own in this situation—and maybe even get a little personal. But react angrily and people will just say you're being defensive or pikon. It's going to be hard, but being the bigger person (pun not intended) might be a good idea in this case; just keep living your life, wearing the clothes you want, and making yourself happy. That already puts you several steps ahead of people who think it's their business to judge others.

It's going to be hard, but being the bigger person (pun not intended) might be a good idea in this case; just keep living your life, wearing the clothes you want, and making yourself happy.

Have you experienced being body shamed? 

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Lynn Lopez
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