Shonda Rhimes was surprised how people treated her after she lost 150 lbs

Prolific television producer/writer Shonda Rhimes (Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder) lost 150 pounds over the past couple of years through portion control and exercise. She said back in late 2015, when she had lost around 120 pounds, that she had a wake up call when she was too large to use the seatbelt on an airplane. Now that Shonda has lost even more weight, she wrote an article for her Shondaland newsletter in which she described what it’s like to suddenly be treated differently by everyone. She said that women gush over her and that men who previously ignored her will now talk to her extensively.

In her new Shondaland newsletter, the uber-producer behind Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal reflects on how her recent weight loss of “closer to 150 lbs” brought unwanted attention from women and men alike.

“Women I barely knew gushed. And I mean GUSHED. Like I was holding-a-new-baby-gushed,” Rhimes wrote. “Only there was no new baby. It was just me. In a dress. With makeup on and my hair all did, yes. But…still the same me. In one of my same dresses (cause why am I gonna buy a NEW dress when I can take this to a seamstress and she can just make it smaller? Who am I, The Crown? No, I’m from the Midwest, baby, and I come with coupons). Women gushed anyway. And men? They spoke to me. THEY SPOKE TO ME. Like stood still and had long conversations with me about things. It was disconcerting. But even more disconcerting was that all these people suddenly felt completely comfortable talking to me about my body. Telling me I looked ‘pretty’ or that they were ‘proud of me’ or that ‘wow, you are so hot now’ or ‘you look amazing!’ ”

Rhimes expresses confusion over how “after I lost weight, I discovered that people found me valuable. Worthy of conversation. A person one could look at. A person one could compliment. A person one could admire.”

“You heard me. I discovered that NOW people saw me as a PERSON,” she wrote. “What the hell did they see me as before? How invisible was I to them then? How hard did they work to avoid me? What words did they use to describe me? What value did they put on my presence at a party, a lunch, a discussion? When I was fat, I wasn’t a PERSON to these people. Like I had been an Invisible Woman who suddenly materialized in front of them. Poof! There I am. Thin and ready for a chat.”

Rhimes goes on to say “being thinner doesn’t make you a different person. It just makes you thinner.”

[From People]

This reminds me of an episode of This American Life I heard recently called Tell Me I’m Fat. There was a segment in which a woman who lost 110 pounds was upset with her new husband because she didn’t think he would have dated her when she was heavy. She described how she previously dated another man whom she had known before, but who didn’t recognize her when she got thin and never realized he already knew her.

Shonda’s story is somewhat different and I could relate to what she was saying about being surprised that people treat you so differently. I lost almost 60 pounds a couple of years ago (it took me a year and a half) and have noticed this to a lesser degree. There are a lot of perks to being thin and I don’t want to complain about it, however I prefer the way I was treated by men especially when I was larger. (My transformation wasn’t as dramatic, and she’s a woman of color so I really can’t speak to her experience.) Before, men were courteous enough but I went unnoticed most of the time. Men can be creepy bastards now and it’s eye-opening. Also, it’s annoying whenever I see certain acquaintances and they say things which amount to “wow you’re still thin” after a couple of years. I didn’t mind it as much when they were super nice and surprised at first, that’s to be expected, but STFU about it at this point. It’s like they’re waiting for me to gain it back. I guess I get it after writing all this out. It can be grating hearing those things as someone who lost a significant amount of weight. Shonda lost almost three times what I did, I can only imagine what that’s like when people act so differently around you.




photos credit: WENN and Getty

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128 Responses to “Shonda Rhimes was surprised how people treated her after she lost 150 lbs”

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  1. Enough Already says:

    I remember being in the grocery store and running into a college classmate in the check-out line. he had been the hottie football star and I had been the brainy, chubby good girl over-achiever. Ten years and 70 lbs had vanished when I ran into him. He He seemed confused and thought I’d mistaken him for someone else so I called him by name and told him my name. He didn’t believe me! I had to mention mutual acquaintances and scenarios only an alum would have known about. He was so shocked he could barely pay for his groceries. He gave me his number and it felt beyond weird. I didn’t call. I would have spent too much time wondering about his character/motives.

    Years later I find that I still have a soft spot for people who liked or flirted or admired me when I was heavier. I tend to give them more of a pass over people who knew me before but magically seem to like me better now. And when I see that high school and college mean girls are fat now it makes me giggle because I’m a bitch?

    • Snowflake says:

      You’re not a bitch. I developed early and one of the cheerleaders used to be nasty to me because there guy she liked talked to me. I would lmao if I saw her and she was fat now.

    • fgh says:

      >. And when I see that high school and college mean girls are fat now it makes me giggle because I’m a bitch?

      So you’re aknowledging being fat is not attractive but are at the same time offended that someone only wants to go out with you now that you’re not fat?

      • LittlestRoman says:

        Willful ignorance in order to fat-shame is not cute. If you took the time to exercise your reading comprehension skills, I think you’d see that what she meant was this: there is smug satisfaction when you see someone who has mistreated you due to your physical state and they THEMSELVES are now being subjected to the mistreatment they meted out on you. It might not be flattering, but as you have so thoroughly proven, not all aspects of human behavior are wonderful.

      • Molly says:

        @Enough Already…but you should know and behave better, take the high road, don’t be the same like the cheerleader/meangirl baaaack then, you don’t know what was behind her then-behavior.

        Yes it’s bitchy and childish to giggle, sorry but that’s a little bit pathetic.

      • Enough Already says:

        Lol I’m acknowledging that you are willfully misreading what I said. People who judge others based on their appearance deserve to live in the nightmare they knowingly created for others. Not my doing, not my fault. Similar to a cheater being cheated on. I just don’t care to be mature about it.

      • Enough Already says:

        Thank youuu!

        If karma is a bitch I can be one too. At least I’m sitting on my couch privately laughing at facebook pictures and not, oh say, calling them whales in the middle of the cafeteria or…tell the guy taking a group picture that he’ll have to back up to get me all the way in the frame. But okay, I’m the pathetic one.

      • S says:

        Eh, it’s more like, while I don’t actively wish anyone ill, if I someday learned that the contractor who forged upwards of $20,000 in checks on our building loan and then vanished when we discovered it, was homeless, or bankrupt, or in prison, I mean, I wouldn’t be SAD about it. Wanting karma to be real and engaging in a little schadenfreude against those who have done you wrong is a pretty normal, understandable human emotion even if, yeah, it also a somewhat petty one.

    • JenB says:

      They had that karma coming. That said I know girls who are larger (no disrespect) who are judgmental negative biatches all the same. Mean girls come in all sizes.

      • Enough Already says:

        Very true.

      • Molly says:

        I’m tall, normal build, but as a Teen, i was tall and fairly slim and i got so much bodyshamed and bullied, from one Mother (unattractive) of a Classmate and from the Fat Girl and the cleptomanic mean-spirited girl from my Class.
        The pretty and popular Girls never harmed me, so this is that.
        But i don’t care what they are doing now, and i have better to do than looking at those Facebook sites, despite one of these 2 bullies tried to befriend me there, i have no space in my live for those humans, i also have no energy for tacky schadenfreude, schadenfreude is something really mean and shows a mean-spirited character.
        I’m sorry that some of you still suffer, otherwise you would not care if they are fat or whatever, but i do understand your feelings and you have every right to do so, i only want to say, let them not steal any attention (not even a second) from your life again, let them rot and don’t think about them, they don’t deserve any attention.

    • Miranda says:

      I read some of the replies back to the lighthearted question you posed at the end of your post. Good grief! People love to get on their high horses and tell people how wrong they are and analyze everything. I thought it was funny. It is COMPLETELY normal to see someone from high school (the most traumatic time of life in a lot of cases) that bullied you, or made you feel less than worthy and think, “Gotta love karma.” Anyone who doesn’t “get” that has either never been bullied, or was the one doing the bullying and is now the one who is overweight, so you just stepped on their toes..I get what you are saying. I wasn’t bullied for being fat in high school. But that doesn’t mean I wasn’t cheated on by guys, or made feel less than worthy by “cliques” of girls whose parents had more money than mine so they had nicer clothes and drove nicer cars. I still get satisfaction when I see a guy who broke my heart who is now bald and fat and looks completely miserable, or a mean girl who has been brought down a few notches because she has gained 100 pounds and figured out life treats you different when you aren’t skinny and your parents aren’t buying you brand new clothes and a brand new car. I am not saying looks are everything, but society does treat people differently based on looks. It’s a fact. I have held up very well. I take care of myself, and I was blessed with great genes. I can, however, tell a difference in how I’m treated if I go out with no makeup on versus with makeup on. I’m the same exact person, I’m what people consider skinny (some say too skinny), but I acknowledge that I do look better with makeup on…a lot better. It’s a huge difference in how I’m treated when I am “fixed up”, so I can only imagine what Shonda is saying in this article. High school was a very long time ago for me, but you always remember how someone made you feel. You don’t get an apology from them (in most cases), so it’s hard not to hold a little resentment. And no, you are not a bitch. The people attacking you for how you feel….well, maybe they are.

  2. Torontoe says:

    A propos of nothing but in the second last picture what is that on her dress??? Spaghetti tied with a bow?

    People can unknowingly be unkind (I’m sure I have been as well). I have lost weight (not nearly as much) and people were so complimentary. And the have gained it back and then felt like a failure in their eyes. That being said it does take a lot of discipline and hard work to change patterns and take steps to improve your health and I don’t think there is anything wrong with commending that in people. But treating people as though they are suddenly worthy, especially someone like Shonda who is so accomplished, shows how messed up our priorities are.

  3. Barrett says:

    I became very underweight due to a complex health issue that was a first difficult to treat. Doctors had to play w my regimen. People can be just as odd if she start to look sickly or like you have an eating disorder. Lots of whispers. I got invited to a department meeting w a luncheon and had a VP announce I don’t know why we are inviting you bc you don’t eat.

    Hugs to everyone on both sides of the fence who are not conventionally in the body types considered normal or attractive by the general population.

    • Pumpkin Pie says:

      What a bastard that VP.

    • third ginger says:

      What a nice last statement in your comment! I have been everywhere on the spectrum in my 64 years, from cute sorority girl to chubby 40 something Mom breathlessly running after a toddler. The fact that there is a body positivity movement these days is amazing and such a change from the attitudes during my young years.

      • Esmom says:

        Agreed. My sons are in high school and fat or thin shaming doesn’t seem to be much of a thing. I see the girls of all shapes and sizes, especially the athletes, looking happy and empowered and not hiding their bodies at all. It’s nice to see.

    • Beth says:

      When I was 25, I lost 30 pounds and ended up weighing 80 pounds caused by medicine I had to take. Not good, but not my fault. People pointed, whispered, and told me eat. It was medical, but everyone assumed that I had an eating disorder.

      Lots of hugs to everyone on both sides of the fence. Not everyone has the same body, and sometimes it can’t be controlled

      • jwoolman says:

        I’ve had times when I didn’t eat much due to illness or pain issues. I found that using a food tracker peddled for weight loss helped me a lot. At least I could tell if I was courting kwashiorkor or not… I remember looking at the daily calorie counts and saying to myself omigosh how am I still alive sometimes, which did inspire me to try to up the food intake to a more low-normal level. But it also reassured me if I was at least getting the minimum protein despite low calories.

        Medication is a bummer, though, it can mess with both your appetite and your metabolism in both directions (weight loss and weight gain).

      • Pamela says:

        “It was medical, but everyone assumed that I had an eating disorder.”

        I know what you meant, but EDs are medical too.

        How awful that you were sick and dealing with what I am sure was not easy as it was, only to have jackasses whispering and speculating.

        People really and truly do think it is ok to comment on particularly thin people–as if it is not just as dickish as commenting on someone heavier. We all need to just stop talking about other people’s bodies in general.

    • INeedANap says:

      I’ve recently lost 25 pounds (a lot on my short frame) due to medical issues and I feel like refried death. But man oh man, I get all kinds of compliments now. I just want to scream at them that I’d rather gain the weight back but be back in good health.

      • ElleC says:

        Tell me about it! I lost 45lbs rapidly following a personal crisis. Whenever people asked for my “secret” I chirped “Just overwhelming stress and heartbreak!” It’s always ticked me off that people compliment weight changes when it could easily be for unhappy reasons outside a person’s control – now I know how painful it is to discover that all your friends and family think you look best at your worst. There’s no winning. I hope things turn around for you soon and you get back to feeling your best!

      • Shasha says:

        I once had a bona fide nervous breakdown due to 6 months of really bad things happening in my life, which led to another 6 months of extreme panic disorder, where I was having panic attacks around the clock, even in my sleep. I lost about 15 lbs, to 115, which a weight that is too low on me to look healthy. I was suffering lot, and a friend came to visit me, and we went out for the day, but she said she didn’t want to take any pictures standing next to me because I was so thin it would make her feel fat and bad about herself.

        So unbelievably hurtful. I was like looking like that because I was dealing with awful things and suffering. And my really good friend won’t stand beside me for a picture because of negative feelings about how I look?

        Footnote: I ended up going on antidepressants and gaining 50 lbs, but recovered mentally.

  4. LooperFor says:

    As a larger lady myself, I am skeptical of anyone who says they lost 150 through portion control and exercise – that kind of loss only really comes with weight loss surgery – which, if I had Shonda’s money, I would definitely have. Not that I’m saying she has had it but I do give a little side-eye. I’m quite happy to hold up my hands and admit I’m wrong if she did lose it naturally – if so, good for her!

    • Triple Cardinal says:

      I dropped 150 due to portion control and exercise. I worked with a dietician. It can be done.

      But I’m have to mention that Shonda got lucky. Her body snapped back fairly well. There are those of us who, after massive weight loss, still look bloated and flabby. We look that way because the body needs A LOT of nip-tuck surgery just to look normal. If you’re not a candidate medically or cannot afford the surgery, you’re still going to look heavy for your frame.

      Shonda got lucky in that respect.

      • jwoolman says:

        That’s actually a great argument for not being in a big rush to lose weight. Slower weight loss gives the skin time to adjust to having less area to cover. Skin elasticity varies individually and tends to go down with age, but skin renews itself slowly as cells are lost by natural attrition regardless and does adjust as the area needed to be covered shrinks. It’s estimated that we have complete renewal of our skin within about a seven year cycle.

        Many people assume they have excess skin from weight loss when actually they just haven’t yet lost the final layer of extra fat under the skin. So not panicking prematurely can help also.

    • jwoolman says:

      No, I actually kind of accidentally lost probably at least 80 lbs of extra weight just by tracking my food and exercise with one of those free trackers (LoseIt for me). I hadn’t even realized how high the numbers had become because I gain weight quite evenly and don’t even own a mirror other than on the bathroom cabinet above the sink… Plus I hate tight clothing (I’m a t-shirt and short/long overalls type) so I didn’t have that kind of feedback to notice. Basically, I’m oblivious to such things.

      I started to track after an illness to more easily have small meals to deal with digestive problems while ensuring I got enough protein and fiber. I ate what I wanted, just tracked and adjusted my eating only to make sure I was hitting protein/fiber targets. I just made a wild guess (which proved to be wildly too low) about my weight so the tracker could set a calorie budget but didn’t worry about going over since both weight and activity level were such guesses.

      In a couple of months, I noticed my never-tight clothing was definitely becoming looser and checked on a scale. The only exercise I was getting was relatively gentle walk in place while reading on my phone and playing games and sometimes not even that. I kept tracking but never really planned meals, just recorded what I ate (which did help with junk food tendencies, having to record exactly how many Oreos you scarfed down has a bit of a slowing effect).

      I didn’t like having to drag out the scale to periodically adjust the calorie budget, so I eventually just set my weight at what I had always been in my twenties and early thirties when in reasonable health, figuring that would be my lower limit anyway and I would need to get into the habit of eating for that weight.

      I imagine that people who actually were more rigid about food calorie reduction and who seriously exercised could easily lose more in a reasonable time. At one point, even with such a leisurely approach, I was losing about two pounds a week. Do the math, and that would be 4.5×2 = 9 lbs per month or 90 pounds in ten months if you had enough weight to lose to sustain that weight loss rate. Two pounds per week is generally considered the upper limit for safe weight loss for many people. That limit goes down as the weight goes down. But since the extra often involves a lot of unrecognized water retention, it can go faster in the beginning.

      So never underestimate the ability to lose weight by just paying attention to food intake for a while. It’s easy for the extra weight to creep up on us as we age and get more sedentary, but it can creep back down with just a few changes if you can figure out what works for you.

      • Snowflake says:

        Yes! I love to eat, so I always exercised but was still overweight. That lose it app is awesome just by tracking my calories. I’ve lost 18 pounds so far. I didn’t realize how many calories I was eating. It really opened up my eyes to portion sizes and calorie intake.

        The downside to me is the attention I’m getting now because of my body. I still have big boobs and it’s really creepy the way some guys react to how I look. People really do treat you differently

    • Squirrel4Ever says:

      I think your comment doesn’t give enough credit to the will power of people wanting to change. I’ve lost 140lbs through diet and exercise and i have 40 to go. It is a daily battle but i didn’t want to have surgery. Shonda is exactly right. People treat me completely different than they did before. I do side eye that a little. Luckily, i have a spouse who loved me at almost 400 lbs, and wanted me regardless of a size 28. At a size 16 we’re still delighted with each other. That support matters.

    • lucy2 says:

      She’s been doing it over a couple of years. If she had lost that much in 6 months or so, I’d agree with you it was surgical, but she’s done it gradually, and it’s completely possible.

    • BJ says:

      My aunt lost 200 lbs with no surgery and no diet drugs.It took her 2 years.

    • PoliteTeaSipper says:

      My husband dropped that much after portion control and healthy eating after he stopped eating enough food for a family of six at every sitting. It does happen.

    • hannah89 says:

      sorry looper but you are very wrong.

      lifestyle changes can make you drop over 100 lbs. its possible.

      the people who dont think its possible stay unhealthy :-/

    • nicole says:

      I have lost over 80 pounds since October by watching my calorie intake, no snacking between meals, drink diet coke and lots of water, and also by doing alot of exercise including walking and a exercise bike, I am finishing on October 1st which will be exactly a year in which I gave myself to loose the weight, and I have to say it is hard work but it is worth it, as I have more confidence in myself and feel much healthier and fitter, you just have to put your mind to it and keep at it.

      • Giddy says:

        I have done the same, and have lost 60 pounds. I completely believe what Shonda said about a seatbelt on a plane. I was horrified a year ago to find that seatbelt tight and uncomfortable. Ten months later I flew recently and the belt had about six inches extra length. It was lovely. It’s also lovely to feel good, to have more energy, and to buy new clothes. If I can do it, anyone can!

    • Kimble says:

      I agree. I think she had surgery and doesn’t want to say. Like Star Jones, that is your prerogative, but you should expect people to wonder.

      Kudos to those who lose it without surgery, but the statistics are not good for not regaining every pound.

      There should be no shame with having WLS, it’s in no way “the easy way out”

    • Veronica says:

      It can be done, but I highly suspect she had cosmetic surgery to remove extra skin and likely a breast reduction/lift. Even spreading serious weight loss out, you can still wind up with overstretched skin and sagging.

  5. jwoolman says:

    I can see people not recognizing us when we gain or lose a lot of weight – for many people, there are big changes in the face. Heck, all somebody has to do is change their hairstyle to throw me! When men shave or grow a beard, they have to reintroduce themselves. I tend to remember voices much better than faces, though, so once they start talking it’s easier. In Rhimes’ case, that splendid smile is the constant.

    But the big change in how people are treated after a large weight loss is disturbing but not unexpected in our culture. One theory for why some people gain a lot of weight is actually to reduce undue attention from men, especially after trauma.

    • slowsnow says:

      Are you sure you don’t have prosopagnosia like the great Oliver Sacks? I am the opposite, I can recognize people on screen with different hair colours, different weights and in different time periods whereas in my family they don’t and it drives me nuts. But in real life I struggle. My attention is probably focused elsewhere.

      • jwoolman says:

        My new word for the day! I’ve always been this way, voices and how people walk/stand have always been better for recognition. I’ve gotten better at remembering actual faces as I get older, although big changes (including hairstyles) are still a problem. Not surprised that certain areas of the brain are involved in this and so many things about ourselves.

        I remember in my late teens somebody asked me what color my mom’s eyes were. I had to look. Really hadn’t penetrated my consciousness….

        It might be basically lack of interest in humans, though, since I’ve always paid more attention to cats! Mrow.

      • slowsnow says:

        Lol at the eye colour story! I love that you are not focused on that side of things. The world is a banquet. There are so many other things…

      • detritus says:

        we are not alone!
        My partner calls it faceblindness, since I’m easily distracted by hair colour/style make up choice etc. I literally would be fooled by a wig and glasses.

        Agree with you on the smile though. Shonda’s smile is gorgeous and such a trademark.

    • lucy2 says:

      I’m not good at recognizing faces either, but any celebrity does a voice over ad and I can usually tell who it is instantly. And I have a little bit of a photographic memory, but not when it comes to faces. It’s weird!

    • Sophia's Side eye says:

      I wish I knew what caused the inability to recognize faces because that’s always been a problem for me. People can be very offended if you don’t remember them, oops! I’d have had to look to see my moms eye color as well, jwoolman. I just never really noticed things about people’s faces. My best friend is a gorgeous woman and it took me about four years knowing her to notice it. She got a haircut that really framed her face and I said, gosh you’re so pretty. She kind of gave me a like like, mmmmkay because she knows I never say things like that lol

      And, lucy2, I’m the same with voices! If I’ve heard it once, I remember it forever. The brain is so interesting.

    • Sassafras says:

      The painter Chuck Close has face blindness–and I do too. It’s embarrassing! I’ve always found it extremely difficult to remember faces, such as at school or work; and I’ve walked past my sisters on the street. I would mistake people who are superficially similar (say, they both have long red hair) for other people all the time. To compensate, I always have to force myself to remember something very specific about a person in order to recognize them and not embarrass myself at work meetings and the like.
      Strangely enough, I can recognize people from afar, as when I see someone walking way down the block or across the street. I seem to be good at recognizng posture, the way someone walks, etc. and associating it with a person. But up close? Nope. Can’t do it, a least not easily or without effort.

  6. Gippy says:

    I lost 100 lbs 6 years ago, unfortunately I gained 25lbs back but holding steady now. People do treat you differently after weight loss, but I also act differently. I realized I could do freaking anything, now I don’t apologize for my presence ever. It’s less awkward to move and I’ve grown older and value my own opinions. Noticing how people treat me differently made me lose a little bit of respect for humanity, we are so shallow. The comments about people’s bodies need to stop, regardless if they are positive or not. We are more than our weight.

    • slowsnow says:

      I always tell my kids that if they don’t have something nice and non-passive agressiveto say about someone’s style or physical appearance then don’t say it. I think we spend way too much time talking about people’s bodies in life and ahem, sometimes on this website.

    • Lexilla says:

      Right on. I grew up with a body-conscious mom who after 40 years still comments on my body (once last year she measured my waist and compared it to hers). That background and lots of education about body image issues have led to my personal rule: Never comment on anyone’s change in weight, ever. For any reason.

      • Belle Epoch says:

        My mother had the doctor put me on speed (some kind of weight loss drug), and neither one told me what it was. Eventually I showed the bottle to a different doctor who said “You don’t need this!” and threw it straight in the garbage. She told me what it was. The psychological effect of having your own mother secretly plot to make you thinner with drugs is not insignificant.

    • Giddy says:

      When I was overweight I was astounded by the things people said. A real ” favorite” was when someone would say I would be so pretty if I would just lose weight. Why did they think that’s okay to say? I would never reply that a guy would be better looking if he’d just grow a beard to hide that weak chin. Or tell another woman that she would look better without all that makeup she cakes on. But people think it’s okay to comment on weight. It’s not.

  7. Dids says:

    My experience was almost the opposite. I lost 90 lbs, and I’m still invisible. I so relate to Shonda saying “being thinner doesn’t make you a different person. It just makes you thinner.” I think it’s all about charisma and what vibe you send. I feel great, but i’m still the same shy girl. I could’nt attract male attention before, and still cant. And if i’m being honest, I’m a bit dissapointed… Even if I sometime like to be invisible, because I’m also invisible to the creep! I can walk at night anywhere, go through a pack of bros in a bar, take the subway everyday : No one ever sees me.

    I’m happy. I’ve been in a relationship for 13 years. I have a ton of friends. But still… I wish i knew how it feels 🙂

    • Birdix says:

      So interesting. This invisibility comes with age too, and I’ve been struggling with the same idea you mention at work. The show boaters get to pick their projects, even if those who are quieter have more experience. It’s all about selling it in this culture, isn’t it?

    • Pumpkin Pie says:

      Kudos to you for your relationship and friendships, after all, THIS is what TRULY MATTERS !

      If you want to feel how is it not to be “invisible”, try an experiment. Remember men are visual, so put on bright colored clothes that work with your skin undertones and have the right fit, make-up but not OTT, walk with your back really straight, wear hills if it’s comfortable, some perfume – but not too much, and smile and feel like you’re the happiest person in the world.

    • jwoolman says:

      My office mate in grad school, who seemed like such an extrovert, said once in high school he ran a little experiment for a while and stopped pushing himself out there socially. He became invisible very easily. He hadn’t realized before how much of his social activity was due to him initiating things. When he went quieter, his friends kind of forgot about him.

      I don’t think there is anything wrong with being more in the quiet/invisible category, it’s a natural variation and all types are really needed in society. But then I’m a hermit by nature and can only tolerate so much of my own species in realspace.

    • INeedANap says:

      Girl I am like you, invisible. I have to travel a lot for work and I do it solo, so I have grown to appreciate how easily I can visit other countries (that are not necessarily known for being respectful of women). If you want to embrace your invisibility, go abroad. 🙂

    • Dids says:

      Thank you for all your comments. Ultimately, I just wanted to say that Shonda’s experience is not the same for everyone. Losing weight wont change who you are at the core, and i hate people who assume that it automatically does.

      I’m happy with who I am, but yeah, i wish i knew what flirting was! Although, i’m not ready to try or change anything about that. Losing the weight was hard enough!

  8. Hoopjumper says:

    Shonda is a very powerful showrunner, and yet I can only think of two heavier regular characters on Gray’s (maaaaybe three) and none on the Catch or How to Get Away…I have not seen Scandal. She might be in a glass house on this one.

    • HadToChangeMyName says:

      She has all types of characters and people on her show, not just overweight ones. I think that’s a good thing. Her writing of Viola Davis’s character as a sexual being, for instance, is inspired, being that dark-skinned black women are rarely given those roles. I don’t think she has to have a heavy person on every show to be inclusive.

  9. Pumpkin Pie says:

    I don’t have weight issues but there are people who treat me differently depending on whether I put on full make-up vs minimum/no make-up, what I wear – pants vs dresses, high-hills vs flats. It’s so stupid. When I look my best men usually treat me better, some women don’t.
    Personally, I take pride in focusing on a person’s character and behavior and not on how they look. I am VERY proud of myself.

    • detritus says:

      I find this too. Almost more than the weight.
      Conforming i nthe sense of presenting like ‘a woman’ is rewarded like crazy.

      • Pumpkin Pie says:

        Yes indeed !

      • Shiba says:

        Reactions to physical transformation from other women often depends on their own ‘issues.’
        It was very confusing to me, after losing 20 – 40 lbs I gained in/after college, when a whole new group of women treated me with coldness.
        It has been 20 yrs and I work daily to not be defined (or define others) by perceived appearance. It is a bear-trap.

  10. Meccii says:

    I know this is beside the point of the post, but this line from her letter crackled me up: “…No, I’m from the Midwest, baby, and I come with coupons…” LOVE IT! I want that on a shirt! Makes me love Shonda even more.

  11. Anon says:

    Hmm I don’t know if I accidentally deleted my comment or if someone deleted it? Losing weight is hard and it’s admirable. Most people who try to lose weight fail at it. So when someone succeeds, people are surprised and impressed. That is why she is treated differently. Not because people didn’t see her as a person before. Everyone saw her as a person. Now people are impressed that she was able to achieve something most people struggle with.

    • Ghost says:

      Yeah no.
      People don’t care about effort. Just as much people don’t care about someones health when they’re heavy. It’s all fake concern. It’s all about appearance. When you’re fat ( especially i you’re a woman) people act as if you’re personally offending them.

      • BJ says:

        “Yeah no”
        Nobody cares HOW she lost the weight, most people probably thought she had surgery.

      • Molly says:

        you’re right, that’s fake concern, fat woman get treated fifferent than thin woman, especially when it comes to health problems.
        When a thin woman falls over, there are instantly people to help, if it’s a fat woman…..not so much, that’s a fact.

        The lack of empathy for fat woman (sometimes men too) is painful.

      • Molly says:

        typing error, sorry “different”

      • Aila says:


        Yeah, no.

        Losing weight requires organization and a lot of willpower all day, every day. It is impressive. It’s an achievement. People DO care about effort. I look at people who do things like losing weight and think, “If they can do this, maybe I can too.” It is inspiring.

        But whatever, you can be as negative as you like.

      • Molly says:

        “it’s inspiring” big eyeroll……

      • Pumpkin Pie says:

        I can only speak for myself, I cannot help but feel genuine concern for persons who are morbidly obese. Not that it matters, at least in my experience. I know people who are morbidly obese and people who suffer from orthorexia. I have a long-standing interest in wellbeing and health and developed quite a bit of knowledge. I am very supportive towards the people around me, never condescending, so one of them ask me for support and when I told her about a diet that works – it’s a diet used by colleague, she lost 60lbs in about 8 months, she looked it up and told me point blank that she was not going to do it. I also told her to talk to her doctor about it, btw. But she didn’t care even though her doctor already told her she HAD to lose weight, because her weight had already caused a significant health problem. It was not a starvation diet, it had healthy meals, no gimmicks, the number of calories advised for women her height and age, more or less current weight aiming at weight loss, but much much less than the number of calories of the junk food she was eating on a daily basis. She was not cash-strapped and she had a support network.

  12. SoulSPA says:

    Shonda looks great and I liked her before. Never thinking of her weight but her achievements. I am a big fan!!!

  13. Insomniac says:

    Exact same thing happened to me when I lost a lot of weight. People in my office who had never said a word to me, even though we’d worked together for years in some cases, were suddenly super nice. (And I don’t just mean men. Some women were just as bad.) I appreciated supportive comments, but I never really trusted people who only acknowledged my existence when I was thinner.

    • CL says:

      Yes, this. That happened to me @ 20 years ago when I lost a good bit of weight, and I remember that I was SO ANGRY that it was a thinner me that made me worth talking to. As Shonda said, it was as if I became a real live person! I never trusted those people.

      • Insomniac says:

        Exactly. If I wasn’t worth your attention when I was fat, you aren’t worth my attention period.

  14. Angel says:

    When you lose weight, you carry yourself differently and have more confidence — which can attribute to people treating you differently

    • Enough Already says:

      This explains part but not all of the reactions and trying to tell the difference is exhausting.

      • Molly says:

        Yeah Angel, not entirely true, people do treat you complete different (because of your weight loss), and that’s only superficial, like most of the society, sadly.

    • tracking says:

      I agree it’s a mix of the two things–look at the difference in body language in Shonda’s “before” and “after” pics. But superficial as well? Of course, absolutely.

    • Artemis says:


      I lost a lot of weight due to being poor which resulted in a depression as everything was on the line: my home, my degree and my general life in a country I moved to all on my own at age 21. I did not want to go back to my country without a degree but I couldn’t get a decent job for over 6 months so I struggled for my basic survival. I also started exercising 90 minutes a day to gain control over the situation all the while consuming no more than 900 calories on a good day (I often felt dizzy during exercising).

      That said, the more weight I lost, the more obvious attention I got. I got abused at home and bullied at school and then ignored at age 16 until I graduated. After moving to a different country I definitely felt out of place as I knew nobody. I never felt good about myself and never carried myself different as I knew how cruel the world was/could be…until people started noticing me and clearly trying to get my attention at random on the street. I still didn’t look at people or behaved in a way that was flirty or even upbeat. Yet I would be stopped on the street or shouted at by guys, smiled at, stared at. Heck, sometimes even girls were staring at me!

      I knew I was thin as the world opened in front of me and all I did was not eat. After a while it actually helped me get out of my head and become a sociable and extrovert. I started bothering about my appearance and even behaved differently because I could feel I had this newfound power I never knew existed. Me acting different came AFTER being treated different by society not the other way around as people often try to claim. Nah it’s the being thin that makes people prop you up so naturally getting so much shallow positivity can encourage people to lose more or maintain weight. But the smart ones know full well that all this admiration comes from one thing: being thin. Past chubby or overweight people know the difference as they’ve seen both sides. I know what I know, we were fat not stupid love 🙂 I have one person who I talk to whose seen both sides too and she even divorced her husband as she never felt she had many opportunities as a chubby woman, those feelings don’t naturally, they are taught to us! My naturally thin blonde friend feels very entitled and it’s because everybody kisses her ass even though she does or says nothing special. She’s just gorgeous that’s all. I used to not realise but then when I was treated so well, I finally realised. My friend always had the power, it’s a natural way of life for her to be wanted and respected and she gets real pissy if she hears ‘no’. So used to it I tell you.

      It was a damn mindfuck and I made mistakes as I lost perspective of what was really important. Then I got a good job again and gained all the weight back haha. Now I’m losing weight the healthy way and I always makes I wear clothes I love and that make me look and feel good so I’ve learned from mistakes and when I get thin again, I will not be fooled or get high off it. I like to be healthy now and to hell with people who treat being thin as the most important achievement on this planet.

      • Molly says:

        100% right, first they treat you completely different and after that you maybe came out of your shell, but what you discribed is perfectly right. Naturally Beautiful/thin woman have no idea how it is to live in a world, where woman are treated based on there looks when the woman is not gorgeous. And the ass kissing, hell yeah that’s so weird when a not so bright beauty gets it all and talented people, who are not hot get overlooked…

  15. TeamAwesome says:

    Over a decade ago I lost over 90 lbs thru two years of super strict South Beach diet and exercise. People treated me differently, but I think some of it was because I treated myself differently. I discovered some self esteem for the first time and actually went out and did things instead of changing clothes 10 times, deciding everything looked horrible, and staying home. I asked my now husband out for our first date. And then discovered that pizza and cookies go really well with happiness…womp, waaah.

  16. Aang says:

    I’ve inadvertently lost some weight recently due to a reduction in stress eating. Daily Tai Chi and long walks have reduced my stress and my need to eat sugar. The comments I’ve gotten are strange to me. People telling me how great I look makes me automatically think, “I must have looked like crap before”. I don’t own a full length mirror so I can’t see it. I think it’s so rude to comment on an aquatintence’s looks beyond a simple “I like your outfit” or “your haircut looks great”. I tend to be cautious and not comment on looks at all. A very close friend is different, as long as it is genuine. I spent my teens and early twenties being sexually harassed and in one case assaulted by men so being invisible in my late 20’s and 30’s was a relief. Now in my 40’s I figure age will keep me invisible as I loose weight.

  17. Tan says:

    Ditto my experience.

    I look the same, speak the same , make money the same

    But the difference that 15 kg weight loss made

    Suddenly I am worth treasuring as a friend

    My guy friends, scratch that male acquaintances suddenly find me interesting awesome person and not the cute girl at the back who is sweet friend type but not worth much.

    Needless to say those who stuck my me all those years, stuck by me during my illness and terrible breakup that gave way to the weight loss, they are the only treasured friends

  18. JA says:

    Chubby, braces during college and still fuller 20 something before I got into running. Dropped about 15 to 25 lbs which is a lot considering I’m only About 5 2. Anyway as soon as people who knew me from back when would say, wow look at you! Ugly duckling into a beautiful swan! I HATED IT and still do… just because the packaging changes doesn’t mean the product is any different. I’m still the same girl who was told, well maybe someday you’ll find someone who likes bigger girls! You have such a great personality but I just don’t see you that way. Still hurts today to think of what people said and how it felt because I’m still the same person. And i may sound petty as F but I smile a little when i see the cheerleaders and popular chicks who never would even say hello to me, getting old and heavier on Facebook.

  19. detritus says:

    I was very slender for many years, and gained weight when i got sick.
    I also stopped doing my makeup and dressing up because around the same time I moved to work in a lab and the guys didn’t, so why should I.

    Would have been nice but men AND women treat you differently. One woman, whose favorite person was the guy who wore the same stained pants every day (because we worked in a lab with bleach), would tell me how much more she respected people who took care of themselves, how much more professional and responsible they were, while looking pointedly at my hair and face (in a pony or bun and face sans fards). She meant this only for the women, or more for women, even though she pretended otherwise.

    Now on the other side, and in a job that expects makeup and presentation, and having gotten over some of my illness, I’ve lost weight. The comments are supposed to be complimentary just feel hollow and gross somehow.

    Because of that, I will not comment on other peoples weight. Its such a personal thing, and i don’t know if you’ve lost the weight because you are ill, because you are dieting unhealthily, because you’ve overcome an illness, because you are now eating healthy, or any variation in between. Just don’t comment on a persons weight, not unless you know them very, very well.

    • tigerlily says:

      I had a similar experience. I was ill and had RA but it took years to diagnose. I took prednisone for a while and gained weight plus the typical “moonface”. Plus i felt like sh*t and stopped exercising and started sleeping more. Chronic pain is extraordinarily tiring. Between the weight gain and aging I truly felt invisible. Like people looked through me. Men & women.

      A learning experience. And makes me have so little respect for people in general about weight. I especially side eye those who say they are “concerned” about fat peeps health. Seriously? Just be honest.

  20. Prim says:

    I get that being called inspiring can get a bit old. I have a severely disabled child and I hear that word a lot. There are much worse things though. It is actually a compliment – you’ve done something incredibly well, that that particular person might like to be able to do too.

    • lucy2 says:

      Have you ever listened to the Guilty Feminist podcast? It’s really good, and they had an episode about “being an inspiration”.

  21. S says:

    Getting out of an abuse home life situation, I lost a bit more than 50 pounds in my first two years of college. The difference in how people treat you is stunning. Everyone always says you’re the same person thin or fat and that’s true, to a point, but the leeway you get, the benefit of the doubt, the favors, the unasked-for help, the generally positive attention and kindness. And it’s not just from men. I discovered that being thin generally, and noticeably, made life easier overall. Suddenly, my trends-towards-cyncial, snarky side was seen as “refreshing” and “adorable” … rather than “bitter and b!tchy”. There was a million other things like that. Getting jobs, dealing with service people or authority figures … Most everyone seemed to be willing to do just a little more, be a little extra patient, extra eager to excuse/forgive any mistake I made.

    I’ve often thought it’s a teeny, tiny (like 1/1,000,000th) bit how the difference between being a person of color, vs white in America, might be. Not as in a conflation of discriminations — because, yeah, I am very well aware it’s not even close — but a tip-of-the-iceberg-that-sunk-the-Titanic kind of realization that, ‘Yeah, the world truly and absolutely reacts to you differently based on how you look, and it effects every single thing you do, every opportunity you do, or do not, receive and basically a whole load of stuff totally out of your control. Like, if you’re thin and pretty, you don’t even KNOW the advantages you’re getting, because you think everyone is treated that way. You think it’s normal. (And, rest assured, even thin I was just averagely cute, hardly stunning, so can’t imagine the level of favor the truly beautiful enjoy.) It was very eye-opening to get a view from “both sides” of the looks divide and I’ve never, ever forgotten it, even now that I’m a mom of 3 and sporting about 25 (OK, 35) more pounds than in my early 20s.

    • Artemis says:

      THIS x10000

      For me, it made me realise how much our brain adapts to life situations. When you’ve been abused and ignored, empty platitudes like ‘you just have to love yourself’ don’t help because you’re brain developed in a totally different way than people who were loved and respected when growing up and could just exist without making a million excuses as to why you’re alive or dare to breathe etc. That’s the message so how is the brain suppose to think you’re worthy and awesome? It won’t. And then you eat, drink, sleep etc… to cope and you let yourself go. When you then lose a lot of weight or other superficial changes that change NOTHING about how crap you feel on the inside and people are not only responding to you but admiring you your brain is learning ‘hey maybe I am worthy and I don’t have to change how I feel inside’. So then you’re miserable but at least people like/love you now because you look ‘beautiful’. Lawd…

      True change comes from within, to change your brain wiring which is best achieved by therapy or self-help, medication, healthy eating and exercise and then when you do look thinner as a result, you will already be in a better place to cope with this ridiculously superficial empty world. That’s my experience at least. Some people cope by just going with it and conforming as much as possible to fit in.

  22. Livealot says:

    If only we can change our skin color so people will FINALLY believe that racism exists and you can be treated differently because of it. Kudos to her for the weight loss.

    • S says:

      I definitely always believed racism exists and that it’s pervasive, destructive and built into the very structure of America. On other hand, having spent my high school days heavy, I did sort of the believe the “you’re the same person thin or fat,” and the, “the only problem weight loss solves is a weight problem,” mantras. I learned that, that wasn’t necessarily accurate only by losing weight myself. I found myself constantly wondering if that lucky break, or this unexpected benefit, would have been given to me when I was larger. You can never really be 100% sure, but it was pervasive enough to make me confident that at least some of what I was receiving, so contrary to my previous life experience, was because I was thin. Knowing something intellectually vs experiencing a bit of it firsthand are very different life lessons.

      As I tried to make clear, I in no way, shape or form think weight basis has anywhere even vaguely close to the impact of racism in America (and elsewhere, but I speak as an American), but experiencing the effects of one, substantially more mild form of bias made me better able to personally relate to — though I could and would never claim to actually know or understand what it’s like — another far more sinister and entrenched societal ill.

    • JenB says:

      What a profound point.

  23. minx says:

    She looks wonderful. Good for her.

  24. CDawg says:

    It is so true. Joined the military reserves in University and I lost 25lbs that summer on basic training. It was insane how many former high school guys were hitting on me at the club and that was only 25lbs. I can’t imagine what more would be like.

    •  SG says:

      That’s what I was going to say, too. I go between 135-125 and when I’m in my lower weight range people, men especially, really do treat me differently. It’s a strange thing because I don’t necessarily hate it — people are trying to be nice, positive attention is not completely unwanted — but I do recognize it as being problematic.

    • DangerMaus says:

      I’m confused by a lot of these posts. Aren’t people allowed to be attracted to what they are attracted to?

      • Artemis says:

        If that your take of people’s post than you’re not reading them on a deeper level. It’s not (just) romantic attraction, it’s a significant lack or less of respect towards bigger people in comparison to thinner people. It’s being made to feel like you don’t matter until you conform. It’s being ridiculed and trotted out as a health problem when really too often it’s just about being considered ‘hot’. It’s being made to feel like you should expect less and deserve less. We’re all human beings in the end and if being fat is doing something wrong and therefore get treated bad then that’s a huge issue that people can address if they feel like it. A lot of times in real life, people act like you don’t know what you’re on about when you address these inequalities. It’s so deeply ingrained people aren’t even consciously doing it anymore so forums like these expose the sad truth that bigger people being treated like 2nd class citizens (or worse, not being seen at all) is an all too common experience.

      •  SG says:

        Of course! No problem with liking what you like.

        It’s more about the fact that much of the attention received post-weight loss isn’t sexual. I notice that people (again, mostly men) are nicer to me when I’m thinner, I’m listened to more, my opinion holds more sway, etc etc, I could go on and on. And keep in mind that, for me, this is a difference of 10-15 lbs. For people who have lost more the change must be so much more drastic. To me, treating people with the most basic respect is essentially a human right, so basing that respect off of weight and desirability says something about who is considered a person and who isn’t.

        My point about feeling conflicted stems from knowing that my newfound status which feels good and powerful is hollow because it’s solely looks based and will disappear if and when I gain the weight back.

      • DangerMaus says:

        Artemis – Of course everyone should be treated with respect. However, people are visual creatures so we judge situations in fractions of a second. I don’t know how successful we can be going against natural reactions. Would you be able to make people stop sharing puppy/kitten pictures and start sharing termite larvae pictures instead? (Not drawing a direct comparison but just talking about people’s physical reaction to cute vs less). In any way, we should be treating everyone with respect… the young, thin and beautiful will just always get more of that respect. Don’t see a way around it.
        Thanks for the insight.

        SG – you’ve worked hard. Don’t feel guilty about enjoying yourself. This is as real as anything 🙂

  25. JenB says:

    All of us have our own demons in this life but I am always amazed by how many people think it’s A-OK to comment and judge the weight issues of others. The struggle that is difficult to mask. And particularly as women how much of our energy is spent worrying about our weight from very young ages. The way your weight at any given time colors your whole experience and memories.

  26. Wonderbunny says:

    When I was younger, I went from around 150lbs to 130lbs. On my 5’8 frame that meant that I went from normal weight to thinner side. It felt like the attention from all kinds of men doubled. I got plenty of attention before, but after I was thinner, I was all of a sudden approached more. It was really bizarre. I wouldn’t necessarily desire that sort of attention though. I much rather have some extra weight as a repellant and focus on more meaningful connections. Besides I only need one man, and I wouldn’t be compatible with someone who would’ve only been interested in me at that weight. Still, a very bizarre experience…

  27. KiddVicious says:

    As someone who had gained a lot of weight quickly it was amazing how differently I was treated by people around me; co-workers, neighbors, checkout people at the grocery store. I did become invisible. I was overweight for a few years but once I figured out what *my* body needed to lose weight I lost it rather quickly. Suddenly I became visible again and people were back to being nice and paying attention to me. Pissed me off. I’m the same person no matter what my weight is, the only difference is my clothing size.

    But the one thing I wasn’t expecting was the women who were overweight and friendly to me became mean and catty once I lost the weight.

    • Kathie says:

      I didn’t see your comment until after I posted mine right after yours. Your last sentence has been so true for me as well. I am not really complaining but it’s amazing how judgmental those who claimed to be judged can be!!! They feel fine treating me differently/poorly if I am normal weight but how dare anyone treat them different for being overweight! (Which btw I never have done and never do.)

  28. Kathie says:

    It’s a shame that people are judged for their weight no matter if it’s too high or too little…as if those doing the judging are perfect anyway.
    I have always been fortunate to be at a normal weight but a few years ago due to to medical issue, in a few months I gained 70lbs. Sure, men didn’t look at me, many wouldn’t even open a door for me. What I found to be most troubling however was suddenly women were nice to me! The checkers at the stores, especially those who could probably lose a few pounds themselves, smiled, engaged and treated me as human! As soon as I got back to my normal weight, it went back to the way it was. The overweight women wouldn’t even LOOK me in the face much less chat with me. Looking back I found it odd and very surprising that those who complain about being judged the most, were the ones judging me for being normal weight. I was and have always been friendly no matter what I weigh. They on the other hand were only friendly to those who were overweight like them.

  29. Melodie says:

    I worked with a woman who was extremely sensitive about others making fun of her weight. She constantly put herself down and ranted about fat shaming any chance she got. I’ll call her Lucy.

    One day a different coworker asked me about a belly dance move and I said “you mean this?” And did a little move. Lucy was sitting nearby and loudly exclaims, “girl, if you can move like that you should be much thinner!”

  30. Plibersek says:

    I relate, CB. A couple of months ago I had a complete overhaul of my wardrobe and instead of wearing casual clothes to work I started wearing suits and blazers. Intially the comments ranged from compliments to amusement, which I thought was understandable for the first couple of weeks. But now some two months later people are still commenting and it’s really getting on my nerves. Now when people say stuff I feel like snapping back ‘Why is it so surprising that I’m well dressed? Get over it’ I’ve also noticed that when I wear a suit in public people are more respectful towards me than they are when I’m wearing jeans and a jacket. It’s stupid.

    • Squirrel4Ever says:

      I work in administration in a hospital and dress for it. Suits, dresses, heels, hose blah blah blah. You’re right, I’m treated considerably different when I’m out in work clothes than the weekend leggings and flip flops. I also like bright colors, and after years of being overweight and trying to blend in with the woodwork, the attention can be a little overwhelming, and the difference is jarring.

    • KiddVicious says:

      Any time I dressed up for work people would ask me if I had an interview at another job. LOL

      • Plibersek says:

        Yes. I’ve had that. I’ve also been asked if I was going to court or a funeral or if I had a new girlfriend.

  31. Isa says:

    Not trying to discount anyone’s experience, but I lost 32 lbs last year and no one even noticed until I posted a before and after photo.
    My husband didn’t notice until one day I held up some old pants and showed him. Previously, the only thing he said about it was that he could tell I was faster during my workouts.

  32. MsNotHere4That says:

    What’s sexy or attractive is subjective and no amount of arguing changes people’s preference. TBH, that whole “what is sexy/this is sexy/no it’s not/yes it is” tennis match seems pointless. The PROBLEM here is that ANYONE besides Shonda’s best, closest, most ride-or-die, sister-from-another-mister BFF felt entitled to comment on her weight/body… even in a “complimentary” way.

    If the following is surprising or confusing to you at all, please write it down in magic marker, tape it to your bathroom mirror, and study it every day until you get it:

    1) With FEW exceptions – and the exceptions will announce themselves and ASK you to notice! – NOBODY WANTS TO HEAR YOUR THOUGHTS ON THEIR BODY, APPEARANCE, OR APPARENT HEALTH/FITNESS LEVEL.

    2) Are you a personal trainer? If so, am I paying you to be MY personal trainer? No? Then you do NOT need to praise, encourage, support, or “atta girl” me. You don’t need to supply rewards or “positive reinforcement” for what you assume are my fragile new good habits.

    3) It’s offensive in the grocery store from strangers. It’s INEXCUSABLE in the workplace, because now you’ve NOT ONLY reduced a professional to their looks, you’ve put them in a LOSE-LOSE position: if they smile graciously, it invites more of the same. If they don’t, they risk being labeled difficult, snotty, rude, etc. If you can’t notice something positive about a person besides their appearance, you don’t know them well enough to open your mouth in the first place.

    4) Finally, if you are an employer/manager/someone in charge of “employee programs”….LEARN THIS WORD: BOUNDARIES. Unless they’re professional athletes or models, being fit or looking a certain way (beyond basic “take a shower, brush, obey the dress code”) is NOT their job. Back the ^=#@ off.

    We don’t have to agree on how people should look. We have to STFU, show people respect, and mind our manners and our own damn business.

  33. Veronica says:

    Biggest turn off I ever encountered was a guy I went on a date with who more or less admitted that he’d known me in high school and really only approached me after I lost a ton of weight. I mean…I don’t expect people to have to be attracted to me when I was heavy, but I was legitimately shocked that he felt it acceptable to say that to me.

  34. Angel says:

    I truly identify with what Ms. Rhimes is saying. I use to be vey heavy and I went unnoticed in the work place as well as in everyday life. I just thought that was the way it was and that it had nothing to do with my weight. As soon as the weight came off I was amazed at how differently I was treated, People who use to pass me in the hallway without speaking suddenly began talking to me and inviting me out with them. It was shocking to realize that the weight on your body had such an effect on how others treated you. All of a sudden they knew my name, I got promotions (despite doing the same great work I always had) Its truly something I will never forget.

  35. Jag says:

    I had it happen the opposite way, and at a funeral no less. I had gained over 100 pounds due to medical issues and my mother’s side of the family hadn’t seen me in years due to my always having to work when they would have reunions. Well, my uncle died and I went to the funeral. One of my aunts, her daughter, and my uncle all criticized me for having gained weight. The women made comments about how sorry they were that I took from their side of the family, rather than my father’s “attractive” side – because I’m short and round, like my grandmother was. Yes, they literally said that they were sorry that I didn’t look like my sister and brother, e.g. tall and thin! And then my uncle made a comment that I should be making better food choices when I had chocolate pie, which happened to be the first dessert I had eaten in months.

    I wanted so much to stand up for myself, but I didn’t because their brother had died and I didn’t want to make a scene. But it was so bad that I told my father that I want to put a sign up at my wake that anyone who wishes to criticize my appearance needs to leave instead of pretending that they care about me. Ugh!

  36. spunk says:

    I lost ± 50kg in 2011 in a horrible way(I starved myself,worked out maniacly and lost a lot of muscle mass in the process…passed out once. I didn’t feel well most of the time and I knew why but I had to be thin…in my mind)…What Shonda is saying, I completely relate. What upset me the most was the constant conveyor belt compliments. They felt fake and stung in a weird way.

    I just wish people treated everyone equally.
    “You’re prerry,you’re worth my time. You’re not,Hi and bye” <—That's sad and that's how many are and they are not aware

  37. Ozogirl says:

    She looks fantastic!

    I hated the sudden attention I’d get from guys who didn’t pay attention to me before weight loss. If you didn’t like when when I was bigger, then I’m not going to like YOU now that I’m smaller.