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The Broadview: ” Its the Fat that Makes You Look Fat”–Al Bundy



Dear ladies,

What do you do when a person asks you if they look bad in something, when they do but you know if you tell them it looks good than they will wear it and be embarrassed when a bunch of other people make fun of them for wearing it? Then they say its all your fault for not telling them the truth, but if you did tell them the truth they would be angry you said so. Just the other day I came across this situation, and it happens a lot!! My friend asked me if she looked fat in this really tight shirt, I suggested a different shirt but she kept saying ” well I think this shirts awesome it’s a way better color on me”. Of course I didn’t tell her it made her look incredibly fat and like she didn’t have a better shirt to wear. So I decided to tell her it looked great. It was the wrong thing to do.  When we were out we saw a couple of kids from our school including the boy she liked. He came up to my friend and he was like ” shirt a little to tight??” I said, ” What’s your problem? Shut up, her shirts way cooler than yours”. The whole time she was staring at him and she was really angry, I could tell she was about to cry so I rushed to the bathrooms with her. Then she got really mad at me and asked why I told her to wear the shirt, and that she thought I would tell her the truth. I just told her, ” who cares what he thinks.” For the rest of the afternoon she was really angry and would barely talk. These situations happen a lot. So how do you handle them??? I need to know.


Troubles with the truth

Dear Truth Troubles,

Well, first, I think that you, for the most part, did a fabulous job in a situation that would make most of us squirm!  You recognized a lose/lose dilemma for what it was:  do A and you lose, do B and you still lose.  Nevertheless, you found an admirable alternative.  You suggested a different shirt and then you stuck by your friend when the boy she likes decided to make fun of her (horror of horrors; how awful she must have felt).

One thing that you might try in future situations that would not be a betrayal of your true opinion would be to tell your friend that, indeed, she often looks great but that, in your view, this shirt calls attention to itself rather than to her and, therefore, is not one of the things that helps her look as great as she is capable of looking.  Some girls, early on, show a creative flair with their hair and clothing that brings out there one of a kind beauty.  For other girls its art that they need good friends help them develop.


Hi Troubles,

If this happens to you a lot then your friends either value your opinion or feel you won’t hurt their feelings. I applaud you for having these qualities. However it doesn’t seem fair when your friends verbally attack you for trying to be tactful.

Try turning the question back to the person by saying “what do you think? -Do you feel comfortable wearing it? -Sometimes if I don’t feel good about what I’m wearing I’ll keep thinking about it and won’t have a good time. If it matters so much to you, you probably should ask someone who is more objective and not as close a friend as I am. You always look good to me because of who you are, not what you’re wearing.” If this doesn’t solve the problem, you’ll have to go with a watered down version of the truth such as another size might work better.

Just stay away from the superlatives such as “you look great”.


Maryanne is a 45-year Huntington resident with lots of grown children and more grandchildren than she can count on her fingers and toes (no, she isn’t missing any digits). She’s third generation Irish, raised in Brooklyn and a big fan of chocolate, Halloween and Subarus.

Vera has been a psychotherapist for over 30 years and drives a Subaru. She’s an out-of-towner with Huntington relatives. She lives in the mountains is a mother and grandmother, . Vera asked us to remind our readers that every situation is unique and complicated; explore your situation in detail with your psychotherapist and/or your physician.

If you have a question you’d like us to pose to Maryanne & Vera please send us a note with “Broad View Question” in the subject line to

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