‘Amaccana, Tita!’ A Love Letter to Body Shamers in a Family

Ah, family reunions— it’s either something people look forward to or dread. But in most cases, it’s the latter, especially when there are relatives who judge more than our creator does. 

While most people love the idea of family and relatives getting together, others would rather lock themselves in their bedrooms. Why? Well, relatives might serve them a plate of piping-hot insults, especially body shaming. 

Although the world is now even more open-minded, other people still do not get the message— body shaming destroys self-esteem. So, Dear Tita, shall we begin?

Dear Tita, here’s a hard pill to swallow.

Are you an aunt, uncle, parent, or relative? This might be a wake-up call for you. 

Here’s is your “hard pill to swallow” for today— our body is none of your business. Do not share your opinions when it was never asked in the first place. Oftentimes, the words you utter cause severe emotional distress.  Even just one insult can stick to a person for years. 

“Uy parang tumaba ka! Napabayaan sa kusina (It looks like you put on some weight! Must have no supervision in the kitchen),”


Now, the most satisfying response would be a spicy come-back, but let’s be honest, not everyone has the courage to stand up for themselves. You might see your subject of ridicule smile and laugh, but once they are alone, their mind will replay what you said like a broken record player. 

Dear Tita, observe the 5-second rule.

Here’s a little tip for you. Always remember the 5-second rule. What is it, you may ask? It’s never to point out a person’s flaw, which they can’t fix in under 5 seconds.

Let’s say you see food stuck between someone’s teeth and point it out; that’s fine. However, if you point out that they have acne or gained some weight, that’s already below the belt. You just pointed out something that takes a long time to deal with.

Dear Tita, We don’t need your unsolicited ‘advice.’

Relatives might think they are doing us a favor by giving us ‘advice.’

“You should try this new diet method.”

“Have you heard of this facial product?”

“You are so thin! You should eat more! Try this…”

But really, unless we ask for it, we don’t need it. Maybe we are okay with how we look or have underlying issues that even your magical diet or facial product can’t fix. 

Dear Tita, we are not ‘too Sensitive.’

When we defend ourselves by pointing out that commenting on other people’s bodies is rude, we are suddenly ‘too sensitive.’

No, YOU are actually being insensitive. Your words can have dangerous impacts on individuals. Body shaming can lead to the following: 

  • Eating Disorders
  • Body Dysmorphic Disorder
  • Anxiety and Depression

All these can have long-lasting adverse effects, leading to physical and mental health issues. 

Dear Tita, just because you are family, it does not mean you have the right to comment on our bodies. You can ask us how we are just like normal people. Sometimes, a simple “how are you” would suffice. 

Body shaming is an issue we all need to leave behind. It doesn’t hurt to be nice, and it won’t kill us to keep our opinions to ourselves unless asked. 


The opinions expressed in this article are solely of the author and do not necessarily pertain to an organization or individual. This article is for informational purposes only.

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