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Posted by Robin Abrahams  May 26, 2013 11:30 AM

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… is one I’m particularly passionate about. The LW is losing weight due to a medical condition—and getting unwanted compliments due to a culture that thinks weight loss is ALWAYS to be celebrated. A sample:

You dropped a significant amount of weight in a culture that equates thinness with healthiness and valorizes rapid weight loss, so everyone assumes you meant to and begs for your secret. (For an unpacking of those cultural assumptions, Google the Health at Every Size movement.) Paradoxically, we’re also a culture alert to eating disorders, so some folks may be complimenting you as a roundabout way of seeing if you’re developing a problem. Whatever their motives, yours are to set your boundaries and reassure others.
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About Miss Conduct
Welcome to Miss Conduct’s blog, a place where the popular Boston Globe Magazine columnist Robin Abrahams and her readers share etiquette tips, unravel social conundrums, and gossip about social behavior in pop culture and the news. Have a question of your own? Ask Robin using this form or by emailing her at missconduct@globe.com.
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Who is Miss Conduct?

Robin Abrahamswrites the weekly "Miss Conduct" column for The Boston Globe Magazine and is the author of Miss Conduct's Mind over Manners. Robin has a PhD in psychology from Boston University and also works as a research associate at Harvard Business School. Her column is informed by her experience as a theater publicist, organizational-change communications manager, editor, stand-up comedian, and professor of psychology and English. She lives in Cambridge with her husband Marc Abrahams, the founder of the Ig Nobel Prizes, and their socially challenged but charismatic dog, Milo.

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