Tom and Jerry: Defenders of All Things Right and Good

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Does This Make Me Look Fat?

Isn't the answer always "no?" Peter at Catholic Dads challenges that answer. His full piece is crossposted on his blog and was in response to this post.

Is it right to tell a white lie to spare your sweetheart's feelings or is it better to be honest?

Peter says this:

...she needs my complete honesty, in the context of the whole truth about her. If she can't expect honesty, even when it is tough, then who can she expect it from? Would I rather she found out via an unfeeling stranger that I had allowed her to present herself in an unflattering way for some time because I was too afraid of hurting her feelings?

The moral question here is to determine what is most charitable. What would be best for your sweetheart? Certainly, she needs to know that you love her and that you think she is beautiful. But if something she is wearing is not particularly flattering, or worse, immodest. Is it your place to tell her (in the most loving way possible)?

Here is a question for the three women who read this. What would you want your boyfriend or husband to do?


  • I think that the smart play is to never ask such a question of your husband in the first place. ;)

    Especially if you're married to that guy.

    By Anonymous Christina, at Thursday, May 10, 2007 11:40:00 PM  

  • I think there's a very fine line here. If I put something on that is truly unflattering and is going to cause other people (women) at a gathering to point and stare, I would hope my significant other would tell me. Obviously, the right amount of tact and love has to be used.

    By Blogger Diane Haag, at Friday, May 11, 2007 10:15:00 AM  

  • I think the best answer is

    "Yes, as a matter of fact, you are getting fat. Why don't you limit yourself to a salad every now and then, you g**d***ed walrus."

    Of course, it would be wise to have already paid your yearly deductable on your health plan, as catastrophic reconstructive surgery of various male body parts can get quite expensive....

    By Blogger Jerry, at Friday, May 11, 2007 4:23:00 PM  

  • As with just about everything, it's in the delivery. Don't think you need to go to Jerry's extreme, but I think telling a girl another dress is more flattering will get the point across. Heck, I don't even tell girlfriends they look fat - just that they should wear something else.

    By Anonymous Nelanie, at Saturday, May 12, 2007 11:48:00 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger , at Saturday, May 12, 2007 12:25:00 PM  

  • It drives me up the wall when people do that! Granted, I'm not even close to being married so I'm going to have to parallel this to typical teenage life. (my apoogies, this will be long)

    On any given day one or more of my friends will complain loudly about how the look. Recently, it's gotten so bad that our hang out space is now decorated with neon pieces of paper that say cute little things like, "Love yourself, you're beautiful!" or "Love your reflection, we sure do!"

    Back to my usually what I hear at least once a day is something along the lines of, "oh-my-gosh-i'm-so-fat-no-one-likes-me-do-you-think-i'm-fat-i'm-so-fat-be-honest-i-know-what-you-think....." I realize that the older you get, the more subtle the statement becomes (becuase it IS a statement and not a question no matter how you ask it you're looking for the same thing) but good lord it's obnoxious to even ask the question! Therefor, if you're going to be offended by the answer DON'T ASK.

    But at the same time...don't take advice on this particular predicament from "jerry" that's probably not your best solution. If I were ever to ask my boyfriend that, (God help me!) something constructively helpful would work.

    I dropped this down to my level on my own blog...haha you inspired me

    By Blogger , at Saturday, May 12, 2007 1:25:00 PM  

  • "Immodest" and "flattering" are both in the eye of the beholder and not to be confused with objective terms. That said, a loving partner should try to tactfully convey concern if there is good reason for it. The key challenge would be crafting the comment so that it reflects maximally on the outfit chosen and minimally on whatever figure is underneath the outfit!

    By Blogger Kristen, at Saturday, May 12, 2007 1:40:00 PM  

  • For those whose batteries in their "Pulling My Leg" detector are low on power....

    I was kidding. Though not about the consequences if you should say what I said was the best answer....

    By Blogger Jerry, at Monday, May 14, 2007 6:29:00 PM  

  • Hey there Tom (this is Emmie)

    I asked my boyfriend "Am i fat?" once. He said no at first, but being the persistant person I am, kept bothering him until he told me the truth, which ended up being "NO, but maybe you could tone up your tummy."

    Long story short, I'm agreeing with Justine on this one-- Don't ask if you're going to be offened by the answer!

    By Blogger , at Thursday, May 17, 2007 8:47:00 AM  

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