Q: Do I look fat in this dress?
A: No sweetie, not any more than normal.
You’re sitting on the couch, watching football, waiting on her to finally get ready to go out to dinner. You’re about to give up on steak and just microwave the leftover pizza in the fridge when she walks into the room in her brand new slinky black dress and asks “do I look fat in this?” Gentlemen, THIS is obviously a trap. You have two ways to handle this situation. Option 1: Walk into the other room mumbling and hope she trips on her heels when she tries to follow you or, Option 2: Lie.
No, seriously just lie. Tell her she looks enormous. Ask her if she’s taken a pregnancy test. Say her butt looks like she’s trying to smuggle two Christmas hams to dinner in case she gets hungry. Ask if the dress was too expensive in the extra large. Whatever, you come up with make sure that it’s absurd, and it makes her laugh.
Throughout our relationship my wife, like most women, I believe, has struggled at times with her self-image. She will worry that she’s fat, that her hair doesn’t look good, that her makeup isn’t applied right, that her clothes aren’t flattering. I think we all have issues with self-image in this age of photoshop, instagram filters, airbrushing, and plastic surgery. I’ve looked at her pictures on her phone and seen 15 identical selfies in her attempt to find a picture that she thinks makes her look pretty. Obviously, our culture has a problem with validation. We judge our value on how many likes or shares we get. We don’t value our own opinion of self enough. My beautiful wife should not have to feel like she needs to take 15 pictures and apply 6 filters before she finds one she looks good in. And thankfully, most of the time she doesn’t. Most of the time she feels sexy, and strong, and radiant. At least, I hope she does. So when she asks me if this dress looks good on her, or her hair looks pretty, or if she looks cute tonight, sometimes I make fun of her.
I want her to remember to laugh about how silly this cultural obsession with looks is and to remember that I always think she’s beautiful no matter what.
Guys, there really is no right answer to that question. If she’s asking it she probably does want your reassurance, and yes, sometimes it is just a legitimate question about the dress.
But for those times when she’s insecure, remind her that the notion that she would even question her beauty is silly, that she’s strong enough to laugh at herself, and that she’s smart enough not to care what other people think as long as it makes her feel beautiful wearing it.
So the next time she asks you if she looks fat in this dress, take her by the hand, look deep in her eyes, and say, “Darling, it’s not the dress.”