I have a small article in today's edition of Small Town Newspaper about a local non-profit that meets with kids in fourth grade and talks to them about self-esteem and how drugs and alcohol will never be the answer to what troubles them. The women who run the program told me that the kids who meet with them in a kind of school club are hungry for adult affirmation, the kind of affirmation people used to find at home (at some homes, anyway) but don't so much any more, especially in homes hit hard by the recession.
One of the women said that parents used to spend quite a bit of time talking to their children one on one, but now, in the average American household, parents spend 16 minutes a day talking to their child, and 14 of those minutes are spent criticizing them. So, these smart, funny, warm-hearted women fill the void.
The online version of the story has a photo of the women, and some asshat commented that, because the women aren't as slender as he/she thinks they ought to be, maybe they had abused food instead of drugs or alcohol. Really? Is that all you can say after learning about a program in the public schools that has become essential because parents aren't doing their jobs?
When Husband was in high school, his youth group leader taught him a guideline for judging your speech—is it true, is it kind, is it necessary. Think about what you're about to say, and run it through this sieve first. Then decide if you should still say it.
In the case of what the person said online to the news story, the comment didn't pass any of the guideline questions. It wasn't true OR kind OR necessary. You can apply this guideline to almost any statement, and maybe all you'll need to do is adjust or even remove an adjective here or there. Mainly, you just need to think with sensitivity before you speak.
When we describe someone by mentioning their weight when that aspect about them is subjective or completely unrelated to the actual topic, we might be pointing out something that appears true, but it is neither kind nor necessary.
So, to this online commenter at Small Town Newspaper, you would have been served well to have spent your formative years with the likes of the women in Small Town's school program, regardless of their dress size. It's evident no one ever taught you the principle behind "is it true, is it kind, is it necessary."
You are an asshat—and after evaluating that term, I believe it is appropriate on all counts to use here.