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What's with all the backhanded compliments?

It’s 2022 and we’re still giving our two cents on women’s bodies why?

CREDIT: Jude Liana


Over the years, blatant fatphobia transformed into snide remarks guised as empowerment. Women are expected to be open to criticism from just about anyone.

Barbie Ferreira is no exception. Despite her wild success, the “Euphoria” star can’t seem to escape unwanted critiques. In a Who What Wear exclusive, Barbie addresses the backhanded compliments given to her, saying that “it’s not radical for [her] to be wearing a crop top.”

Echoing Barbie’s statement, “Bridgerton” star Nicola Couglan shared her own experience with body shaming. In a heartbreaking Instagram post, Nicola pleaded with fans to not send her private messages concerning her weight as it began to take a toll on her mental health. I mean, can we blame her?

More or less, we all have the same body parts. Stomachs and thighs, although varying in size for each person, are part of the package deal. Yet, in the same breath that smaller women are applauded for their fashion choices, those who don’t fit the bill for the “ideal body” are ridiculed. The reality is that women who don’t align with the beauty standard have to deal with unsolicited health tips, opinions and hollow praise.

Why can’t bigger women exist without being applauded for their “confidence”? Even with the best intentions, the act comes off as insincere — especially since these comments are seemingly exclusive to bigger women. What it truly communicates is that insecurity should be present and that daring to be comfortable in your skin is “brave.”

I’m just gonna say it: Bigger women are also human. Shocking, I know, but try to remember that next time you get the urge to comment something that would suggest otherwise. Uttering phrases along the lines of “I love your confidence” or “that is so brave” are not flattering. Either give a regular compliment (you know, one that doesn’t spark an insecurity in someone) or don’t say anything at all. Silence is golden, my friends. As always, spread kindness — you never know who needs it.


Kaicha Noel is an Online Writer at Rowdy Magazine. When she’s not daydreaming about her future, you can bet she’s somewhere spending way too much money on mediocre coffee, adding to her already lengthy list of Spotify playlists and writing poetry about every experience she’s ever had. You can find her on Instagram @kaichanoel or reach her via email at


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