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Woman Claps Back After New Coworker Refuses To Stop Commenting On How ‘Slim’ She Is

Two women arguing
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*This article contains discussions of body-shaming, skinny-shaming, and eating disorders.

Whenever we join a new workplace, the hope is to make a good first impression and maybe a few new friends, which would make us more inclined to stay there.

But sometimes people aren’t the most accepting, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor MizzSashaFierce was fed up with one of her new coworkers constantly commenting on her body type and name-calling her based on her thin frame.

When her coworkers called her out for finally speaking up about it, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she was making too much out of the issue.

She asked the sub:

“AITA for calling my co-worker ‘Chunky’ after she repeatedly called me ‘Slim’ and made references to my weight after I asked her multiple times to stop?”

The OP wasn’t comfortable with one of her new coworkers.

“I have a female coworker who repeatedly calls me out regarding my weight. I’m female 5’9″ 115lbs and very thin. She is very overweight.”

“All the time, she makes comments about my weight. She doesn’t call me by my name; she calls me ‘Slim.'”

“I even heard her say one time, ‘Go ask Toothpick,’ and she has said stuff like, ‘You need some meat on your bones’ and ‘You need to eat.'”

“I have only worked there eight days. I have asked her very nicely to stop.”

“Yesterday I asked her to stop calling me Slim again, and she basically said it’s her mouth and she can say what she wants.”

The OP eventually responded.

“Today when she said, ‘Morning, Slim,’ I replied with, ‘Morning, Chunky.'”

“She got upset and actually started crying.”

“Everybody here at work (only 6 of us total) is saying I’m wrong and I should apologize because being called fat is ‘different’ than being called skinny because being called skinny is a ‘compliment.'”

“I said as long as she calls me Slim, I will call her Chunky, but now I’m the bad person.”

The OP had no support in the matter.

“The owner/manager has completely ignored the situation saying it’s ‘a high school issue and we should figure it out.'”

“We don’t have Human Resources (HR). There are only 6 of us working here (cupcake shop). We are all regular employees.”

“I went to the owner BEFORE I called her Chunky and I asked him to talk to her because I felt she was harassing me. That’s when he said we can handle it ourselves.”

“That’s why I called her Chunky. I told her to stop calling me Slim, and that I didn’t like it, and she continued to do it.”

“She didn’t stop doing it after I asked multiple times and I didn’t know what to do besides what she was doing to me. She brought up my weight, so I brought up hers.”

“AITA if I don’t apologize?”

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 OP had offered the only reasonable response to her coworker’s repeated behavior.

“Being passively aggressively accepting of ‘the compliment’ will show the coworker’s true colors.”

“If she calls the OP skinny or a toothpick or something, say, ‘Thanks, it takes a lot of work. If you want to come to the gym with me, or I can help you diet if you want.’ If the fat coworker throws a fit over a sentence or phrase like that, then she is clearly attacking the OP.”

“Basically, she is attacking OP to validate herself. Her goal is to make OP feel bad about being skinny so she can feel good about being fat. OP doesn’t need to insult her to make her feel upset.”

“In fact, insulting her will make her feel angry and validate her aggression, like, ‘It’s okay to be mean. OP is a b***h anyway.'”

“OP not getting upset or angry will irritate her and make her try harder. OP insulting her will validate her, but OP passively shaming her will upset her, and also tip her hand… It’s reasonable to be upset about being insulted, it’s not reasonable to be upset because your veiled insult was accepted as a compliment.” – ridik_ulass

“She didn’t mean it as a compliment. Commenting on someone’s weight the way this woman was doing it is not giving a compliment. She’s threatened by OP’s weight versus her own and feels the constantly need to bring it up.” – Kghp11

“She 100% didn’t mean it as a compliment. She’s insecure and so is trying to shift the goalposts of what ‘normal’ is considered around her.”

“If she can get the people she interacts with to act and talk as though a healthy BMI (well, 10lbs underweight) is the outlier then she doesn’t have to examine her own health.”

“What she’s really upset about here is that bubble being popped by OP, and it seems like their coworkers have internalized it somewhat.” – Ishamoridin

“If it was just calling her ‘Slim,’ I could see it as her believing it was a compliment.”

“My mom lost a bunch of weight (super proud of her), and sometimes I say, ‘Hey Slim!’ and she smiles or laughs. She likes it. But if at any point she told me to stop, I would instantly. I say it because she likes it.”

“I also never ever say the other things like, ‘eat more food’ and or ‘toothpick.’ I also don’t call her ‘Slim’ to other people. I call her Mom or by her name to other people. For us, it’s just my way to say, ‘Proud of you, Mom.'”

“How all the rest of this situation is framed she is clearly trying to knock OP down a peg.” – Leh921

“NTA.”

“If she can dish it out, she can take it. I hate it when people do the ‘antagonize until they fight back and then claim to be a victim’ crap.”

“If the boss doesn’t care, then f**k her. You’re new at this workplace. Continue to stand up for yourself.”

“As for that ‘it’s a compliment’ stuff, you’ve made it clear you don’t view it as a compliment and asked her to stop, but she doesn’t care. It’s not a compliment.” – Thirty_Helens_Agree

Others suggested that they would have reacted far more critically. 

“OP exhausted the non-a**hole moves. She went to the boss and made a formal complaint, told the other woman SEVERAL times to stop, made it really clear it wasn’t funny, welcomed, or wanted…”

“OP gave all the warnings.” – Missie-my-dear

“I was going to suggest that OP ask if her coworker needed weight loss advice. That always stings coming from a skinnier person.”

“Or better yet, ask her if she’s gaining weight, but phrase it the same way you would if you were asking someone if they were losing weight. Like, ‘Oh wow, have you put on weight? It looks really good on you!’ but I’m petty sometimes, so maybe not.” – thatgirl829

“If the coworkers can’t put themselves in her shoes and see how intentionally alienating this is to a NEW EMPLOYEE, then they are all a**holes. They just want everyone to get along for their own convenience.”

“But when people want you to ‘get along’ by swallowing sh*t, then you need to ask yourself if you really want to be in that environment. OP’s boss sounds like an apathetic coward and a pi*s-poor manager, so the whole situation sounds god-awful to me. Hope the cupcakes are good!” – FuhlamingJune

“I am 5’8″ and my weight fluctuates between 100 and 112. I am very thin and very self-conscious about it. It is JUST AS DIFFICULT to put on weight as it is to lose it with our body types. Sorry skinny haters, but that is just a fact.”

“Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES is her behavior acceptable. Nor is the behavior of the peanut gallery.”

“When I have the courage to speak up about the difficulties of gaining weight, I am literally shamed out of the room. It is not my fault that the majority of the population deals with the other end of the spectrum and would like to be thin.”

“You politely asked repeatedly yet she ignored your feelings. But all of a sudden YOU are the bad guy?!? Forgive my passion, but my blood is boiling!!!”

“I had an employee once say, ‘You used to look like a supermodel, but now you look like you have cancer.’ What the actual f**k?!?”

“NTA NTA NTA!!!”

“I’m so sorry you are struggling in your new job, OP. HR or no HR, this is a problem.” – JsPrittyKitty

“I say this as a fat woman, who is very into the whole ‘respect fat peoples’ bodily autonomy’ thing: you are NTA here.”

“People who are recovering or currently suffering from Eating Disorders would find her harassment of you repulsive and possibly even triggering; which is a serious and insidious problem. (Adding the requisite ‘fat people can also have eating disorders etc., it’s not always visible’ disclaimer.)”

“You asked her to stop and clearly indicated that she was upsetting you, and she clearly had no intention of respecting the boundary you set. You gave her a dose of her own medicine, and she couldn’t take it.”

“I hope she learned an important lesson and your coworkers come around because you don’t deserve this.” – griftylifts

“The only non-a**hole options (talk to her, talk to the boss) have failed. If she allows herself to be abused or quits a job that she seems to want, then she is still being an a**hole to someone, meaning herself.”

“She is actively trying to be the smallest a**hole possible, and I’d say that’s not an a**hole at all.” – IFenceMyFjord

The subReddit could not believe that no one at the bakery was supporting OP’s decision to stand up for herself.

Hopefully, this would be a valuable lesson to the coworker, so they could all move beyond the comments and name-calling and go back to being a sweet addition to their community.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit www.mckenzielynntozan.com.