There are times when we try to sensitively express concern, and our message just does not get across.
In fact, we end up causing a lot more hurt than the good we were hoping for, admitted the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Noe_Establishment found herself in a tough situation when she tried to help her brother’s girlfriend but was accused of fat-shaming her.
When she received backlash, the Original Poster (OP) wasn’t sure how to come back from it.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for telling my brother’s girlfriend she’s too heavy for her bike?”
The OP was making casual conversation with her brother’s girlfriend.
“So the other day, my brother brought home his girlfriend.”
“He’s been telling me about her for a few months now but we’ve never met. And she is lovely.”
“We started chatting, you know life, complaining about my brother, etc., and then I brought up how I’ve been having issues with the gears on my bike.”
“This prompted her to reveal that she too had been having all sorts of issues with her bike.”
“She said how she’s so disappointed in it because it’s this expensive £1k [$1366] electric bike that she really invested in and she thought it was shocking that she was having to pay so much to get it repaired every other month.”
“I agreed. That was really shocking.”
The OP offered to look at the bike for her.
“So I offered to have a look at it for her. I did a basic repair course when I was in uni, but to be honest, I was just being nosey.”
“I mean, it’s a £1k [$1366] bike, of course, I wanted to see what made it so special.”
“She agreed, so I started having a look, and then I noticed a label: ‘Max weight [252 pounds] 120kg,’ aka 18 ish stone.”
“And it was immediately clear what the issue is.”
“See I (22 [female]) currently weigh 18 stone [252 pounds]. And compared to the girlfriend (29 [female]), I am tiny.”
The OP made a comment the girlfriend didn’t appreciate.
“I should probably add that we’re both 5’4 and that I’ve previously been heavier at around 22 stone [308 pounds], so I was eyeballing her weight compared to my previous self.”
“I know it’s still not a nice thing to do.”
“So I waited until it was just the two of us, and I said to her, ‘I don’t mean to be rude, but I think the issue behind all this is that you exceed the weight limit.'”
“And she absolutely lost it.”
“She started ranting about how she isn’t even classed as overweight, like sure she’s a heavier girl but ‘I’ll have you know, I am 2 pounds under 15 stone [210 pounds].'”
“She was yelling and screaming, and it was a whole production.”
The family didn’t appreciate the comment, either.
“I’d tried to keep it quiet so as to not embarrass her, but then here came my brother and the rest of her family, coming over to see what all the commotion was about.”
“She explained to them what I’ve said, and they started getting angry with me.”
“So I just turned around and snapped, ‘I am literally 18 stone [252 pounds], I am medically obese. You are twice my size and clearly too heavy for this bike.'”
“And yeah, I’m pretty convinced I’m the AH here, but I am just so p**sed off because I tried to keep it a private matter.”
“Part of the reason I decided to say something was because she’d mentioned how much it was costing them.”
“My brother had previously said they were struggling to pay bills, and that oftentimes they had to risk not having enough in order to pay for repairs, because it was a decision between her being able to get to work, and her not contributing any income for the month.”
“Apparently there ‘aren’t any buses,’ and the cost of a taxi is too much.”
“I had intended to suggest a different, more suitable bike that’d hopefully cost them less in the long term, but well… we’re not currently on speaking terms, and I am not mentioning bikes to her ever again.”
“AITA for telling my brother’s girlfriend that the reason her bike keeps breaking is because she is too heavy for it?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some said the girlfriend might have needed a reality check.
“Maybe the GF should try losing weight instead of screaming at you.”
“I used to love riding bikes when I was younger (Dutchie come at me with your generic trash) but as time passes and I gained weight I had to stop BECAUSE I ACCEPTED I AM TOO FAT TO RIDE THE D**N BIKE THAT ISN’T MADE FOR MY WEIGHT.”
“The girlfriend should accept that, accept that she is fat, and get the needed help to move forward. Instead of lashing out, she could go seek her GP (General Practitioner) and ask for options.”
“I got several options, I tried several options and I am starting a new one in early 2022 to see if that helps me lose weight (regular diet and exercise sadly wouldn’t help back in the day).”
“And if she is covered for it, go for surgery, my mom did it. She lost 60kg in less than a year and since then has been on a stable weight.”
“There are billions of options to lose weight, but the second a fat person is happy with their weight but lashes out at someone mentioning their weight they lose all of the possible respect they could have gotten.”
“Either be happy with big self, or work towards a better self.” – wearetheawesomes2
“Reality check though: In what world is a 5’4” 300lbs human being not overweight?”
“No judgment at all (I’m also overweight), it’s just a fact, and also a fact that things like bikes have weight limits. Again, reality check.”
“OP, NTA.” – rekette
“She claims she thinks she’s only 208lbs. Which is not classed as overweight. It’s classed as obese, specifically Class II obese.”
“If she has health problems related to obesity, such as high blood or diabetes, she’d be considered morbidly obese.”
“At the weight she claims to be.” – re_nonsequiturs
“5’2″ and 250. I’m short and round. And even 50 lighter, I would still be labeled as morbidly obese.”
“OP, your NTA. Brother’s girlfriend needs to face reality and either make peace with it, or do something about it.”
“Low impact ways to get exercise and/or flexibility… swimming, Tai Chi, yoga, or belly dancing.” – RMMacFru
Others said the OP was answering a question.
“NTA. It’s hard to hear but if you’re wondering why something is breaking and you exceed the weight limit, you shouldn’t be asking the question you don’t want answered.”
“I’m sure she knows but is embarrassed. I’m a big dude and hate having to check weight limits but know I have to.” – bryamvcxgdgfa
“NTA. She’s breaking her bike because she’s over its weight limit.”
“You tried telling her privately. Unfortunately, she didn’t want to hear it.”
“Maybe you should have shown the manual to your brother and told him instead.” – Individual_Ad_9213
“NTA for intent, but probably could have been phrased more gently, especially not knowing her well at all / this being the first time you’ve met.”
“‘Hey, I noticed this sticker on your bike… jeez that’s not very much, I weigh almost that much!’ and then let her process that and draw her own conclusions, later/alone if need be.”
“That being said, I have trouble eyeballing peoples’ weights – some do seem to have denser builds, muscle weighs more than fat, etc.”
“One of my best friends weighs about 30lbs more than I’d estimate her at and isn’t a body-builder or anything.”
“Then another friend (sedentary lifestyle) is well into the medically obese category, but the actual scale number isn’t nearly what I’d think.” – PangolinSignal3674
“Just say, ‘This must have been built for teenagers!'”
“You can even add in, ‘That’s the problem with being 5’2″ (since you’re this height you can say this), they act like we’re all just teenage string beans at this height, God forbid we have an a**’ or something similar.”
“Make it about the weight limit being low, not about her being heavier. You are on her team, Team ‘The Bike Is Too D**n Small.'” – recyclopath_
The OP might have been criticized for what she said to her brother’s girlfriend, but the subReddit believed she did the right thing. Not only did the girlfriend seem to need a bit of a reality check, but it would also help keep her safe.