Body Image Blunders: Women Dish About Their Worst Holiday Presents

Gifts that hit below the body image belt

Look, the holidays are hard enough, with family dramas and buffets of tempting food, without the appearance of obnoxious gifts. Case in point: In case you’re wondering what Brooke Burke hid under her family’s Christmas tree this year, here’s your answer:

“This year for the holiday, I'm giving my mom better legs.
My brother, a tighter core,
My sister, a cuter butt
And my man, a sexier me.
I'm giving everyone Sketchers Shape Ups.
Why? Because they work.”

Celebs: They give awful gifts, Just Like Us! Honestly, what possesses a person to give passive-aggressive gifts like toning sneakers? Why not just wrap up a bottle of Alli and one of those pigs that oinks every time you open the fridge door?

Christina, 30, told me that last year, her sister gave her a long-waisted shirt for the holidays. As she unwrapped her gift, her sister exclaimed with glee, “When you wear these, they'll cover your butt crack/thong when you sit down, so people don't have to see it!" 

On, commenter "kivrin" revealed that when she was 16, her parents wrapped up a copy of Dr. Laura Schlessinger's book, Ten Stupid Things Women Do to Mess Up Their Lives. Commenter "Caenct" recalled a friend whose mother got her Weight Watchers membership for Christmas, while giving her sister a Diva Cup, size extra-large. And poor commenter "DJzaz" recalls her (now ex-) husband presenting her with "The Abdominizer," a giant late-night infomercials contraption, on Christmas morning, the day after she delivered their child.

Here’s the deal: A self improvement-style gift is perfectly acceptable if, and only if, the gift receiver has specifically asked for it, or in some way indicated that she would like to improve herself. If you know your daughter is giving weight loss her all, and just started working out three days a week, then by all means, buy her a gift certificate for a personal trainer. If your friend has told you she wants to get back into yoga, then stick a cute sportsbra under her tree. But to buy someone a Weight Watchers membership, wrap it in a bow and hand it over with a smile is akin to, as Sue Sylvester on Glee would put it, kicking that person in the taco.

Buying your overweight friend a Thighmaster and a weighted set of utensils is just plain mean, no matter how much you cloak it in “I thought you’d love this!” Any gift that can be construed as, “You’re not good enough as you are,” is not a gift. And if you bought your plus-sized aunt a pair of toning sneakers this year, I hope you get a bottle of Prozac in your Christmas 2011 stocking. 

What's the worst holiday gift you've ever received?
Chime in below!


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