Facebook is full of “let’s play” quizzes, which are actually just click bait or marketing miners. I decided to build one that requires no clicks. Just common sense.
You are at Target. The fat woman in front of you is buying cake, cookies, candy bars and a pound of broccoli. You:
A. Tell her she is making bad choices and offer to help her find healthy food choices.
B. Ask her if all that snack food is for her.
C. Wait till she is done checking out and then tell the checker, “OMG, does she not know how fat she is?” so she can hear you as she leaves.
D. Keep your mouth shut. This is none of your business. You have no idea why she is buying any of these items, and you do not need to know. Now is a good time to check your texts.
You are in line at the pharmacy. The woman in front of you is buying blood-glucose strips, so most likely diabetic. You say:
A. “Are you Type 1 or Type 2?”
B. “How long have you been diabetic?”
C. “Diabetes is caused by bad choices. It’s your fault, you know.”
D. Say nothing. This is none of your business. The person could be using the strips in an art project. Now is a good time to see if you have any new texts since the last time you checked.
You are at the gym for a jazzercise class. The woman in the row in front of you is very fat and sweating already, although class has not started. You:
A. Worry that the class might give her a heart attack, because she’s fat. You ask her if she thinks this class is a good idea for her, at her weight.
B. Tell her that it’s wonderful that someone of her size cares about losing weight and hope she has a good workout.
C. Tell her you have already lost 125 pounds on your diet and exercise program and offer to share it with her.
D. Keep your passive-aggressive ideas to yourself. Think about a text you will send after the class is over. Not now. Put your phone away.
You are shopping for clothing. An overweight woman is looking through a rack of size-4 shorts. You:
A. Watch her with your mouth open. They you laugh and walk away.
B. Ask her if she knows these are small sizes.
C. Point helpfully to the plus-size rack of clothing and say, “You may find that size more appropriate for you.”
D. Keep your opinions to yourself. You have no idea who she is shopping for. Probably not you, so this is not any of your business.
You are in the aisle seat of an airplane. A fat woman comes and squeezes herself into the middle seat. The seatbelt barely fits her. You:
A. Stare at her, whip out your phone and take a photo of her, which you post on Facebook with the hashtag #fatgaltakesuptoomuchspace.
B. Sigh loudly, look at her and say, “Do not put your arms on my armrest, please.”
C. Ask her if she is sure she is in the right seat, as fat people’s smell bothers you.
D. Airline seats are now 16.5 inches wide. She did not choose this seat, it was the only one left. And her weight is not your business. Now is a good time to pray the pilot is sober and to make sure your bag is completely under the seat in front of you and your seat is in the upright position. (That’s upright and not uptight.)
You are in a grocery store. The fat man in front of you has three bags of chips, two six-packs of premium beer, and two artichokes in his basket.
A. Why would you say anything to a fat man? He can figure things out for himself.
B. Oh, premium beer. He must have good taste. Strike up a conversation and see if he’s single.
C. A guy who knows how to buy artichokes must be smart. Ask him how to cook them.
D. Still none of your business. Just because it’s a man doesn’t mean you have to ingratiate yourself. And stop treating fat men differently from fat women. Say nothing. It’s not your business.
Scoring: If you chose all D answers you know what is your business and what is not. The rest of the world is grateful that you will let them live their own lives. Thank you.
Did you choose any A, B, or C answers? Ask yourself: “Did any of these people call me and specifically ask me what to do? No? Then no one is asking me for advice. I’ll mind my own business, as I am not perfect either.”
If this quiz sound outrageous, you should know that all the A,B,C answers are ones I have personally witnessed or experienced. None of them made me change my behavior. They all made me angry. After I lost 80 pounds I still get diabetic-shaming, often from people whose advice I did not request. Our culture is obsessed with food (in weird ways that include praising Mac ‘n’ Cheetos at a fast-food place and simultaneously thinking size-6 is “large.”) And someone who didn’t read this far will comment that they lost a lot more than 80 pounds on their diet.
—Quinn McDonald is a writer with low patience for “fixers.”