The F word
1/7/2013 9:02:00 AM
Q: My girlfriend won’t stop talking about food – what she should be eating and what she shouldn’t, and how fat she feels when she thinks she slips up. I tell her I think she looks great, but she doesn’t listen. How can I get her to stop?
A: Short answer: You can’t. I could spend all day pointing ad campaigns, clothing trends, magazine articles and actresses that contribute to our growing insecurity with our bodies. Every day we get a million messages telling us that we need to be perfect, and we forget that men don’t expect to bed a Gisele Bundchen any more than we expect to hook up with Ryan Gosling. We also forget that you started dating us/agreed to marry us because you found us beautiful already.
Luckily, most women make daily voyages back to reality and can learn to appreciate their own strong points long enough to give their significant others a sanity break. However, if your girlfriend has trouble talking about anything but food and can’t find anything pleasing about her body, her problem runs deeper. This is an issue she has with herself, and there isn’t much you can do about it.
I do have one tip: Try complimenting her on something specific, even if it seems like an unusual body part to praise. Find some special spot that you find beautiful, whether it’s her collarbones or her toes, and tell her why you think they’re cute and why. She can come up with a million reasons why her whole body isn’t up to par in her mind, but it’s hard to defend some hallucination that your hair is bloated. And if it’s a specific body part, she’ll remember it, even if it’s because the compliment seemed strange at the time. Later, if she’s feeling down, she might notice her cute little toes and remember what you said about them.