Ten Bad Answers for “Do These Pants Make Me Look Fat?


“Honey, do these pants make me look fat?” I asked my poor, minding-his-own business, unsuspecting husband.

“Say . . . gulp . . . what?”

“Well, do they or don’t they? Just answer the question.  Do these pants make me look fat?”

“Just answer yes or no . . . and nevermind about the beard.”

Now if there is one thing my husband has learned after 37 years of marriage, it’s that a question such as this can zap the bliss right out of the martial in nothing flat.  This is because when a wife asks her husband, “Do these pants make me look fat?” what she is really saying is “I feel fat! Convince me I’m wrong, dead wrong.”

Frankly, I think the divorce rate would decrease dramatically if husbands would take a few minutes to figure out a proper answer to this simple question.  The following are the lousy answers my husband has managed to come up with over the years, coupled with what I think he was REALLY thinking when he gave them:

Answer # 1:

“What? Do you look fat?  Are you asking me?”  (I’ve got to stall for time so I can think, think!)

 Answer #2:

“Fat? Honey! You don’t look fat in those pants. (You don’t look as fat in those pants as you do in all your other pants.)

Answer #3:

“I don’t want to answer that because no matter what I say, it will be the wrong thing.  (I don’t want you to know I think you’re fat.)

Answer #4:

“What?  Honey! There’s no way you look fat!” (I wonder if that Seahawks game will be televised.)

Answer #5:

“Honey, of course you don’t look fat in those pants; you look good in those pants.”(Considering . . .)

Answer #6:

“You’re perfect, I love you just the way you are.” (It doesn’t matter to me that you’re fat, really!)

Answer #7:

“If you’re worried about looking fat, why don’t you go on a diet – although I don’t think you need to.” (You’re fat, but so what?)

Answer #8:

“You’ve never been fat in your life!” (I wonder what I did with that red pen.)

Answer #9:

“You sure look a lot better than you did last year.” (You’re not as fat as you were last year, whoa!)

Answer #10:

“No Comment.” (Don’t make me hurt your feelings.)

Of course, come to think of it, I don’t think there is any way a husband can answer this question and still come out okay.  Maybe his best course of action upon hearing his wife utter any sentence containing the word “fat” would be to freeze, then slowly, very slowly back out of the room and just keep running.

Until next time. . . I love you

16 thoughts on “Ten Bad Answers for “Do These Pants Make Me Look Fat?

  1. At least he didn’t say, “You’re pants don’t make you look fat, your fat makes you look fat”

    I love the pictures you included in this particular topic. I think the first one really captures the panic in a husbands eyes when asked a question pertaining to his wife looking or feeling fat.

  2. Marko, thank you for sifting through billions of words on the internet and finding the flaw in this comment. All I can say is you are the man, in fact I would even go so far as to say “You’re pants!” and always will be in my book! 😀

  3. So that’s it! Clothes. Clothes makes us fat. And all this time dietitians have been trying to convince us it’s food. What a bunch of liars. Here I am, skinny as a bean pole, then WHAM, I put on a pair of trousers and balloon up to the size of the Son of Flubber.

    • Haha! I know! We have to start some sort of weight loss via clothing program, Russell. Maybe we could even get Richard Simmons out of retirement to help us. He was always a snappy dresser.

  4. I know, I know, it’s been years since this was written. But I just stumbled on this funny zone of the web tonight, and while the article IS truly funny, this still needs to be said:

    If any person asks “Do these pants make me look fat?”, it MUST mean that all three of the following are true: (a) the questioner is hoping for a Yes or a No, and isn’t interested in other answers; AND (b) the questioner is only asking about the pants – *not* about what’s currently inside the pants 🙂; AND therefore (c) the questioner has no emotional attachment to what the answer might turn out to be. (Unless perhaps they’ve just spent a lot of time and effort sewing said pants – but in that case they probably already know the answer anyway.)

    If (a), (b) and (c) are not ALL true, then a person has no business asking the question in the first place. It gets asked innocently I’m sure, but unfortunately it’s a truly painful trap that hurts both people, unless it’s a straightforward, emotionally-neutral request for information. As soon as there’s a hint of non-straightforwardness or a hint of emotion, it’s the wrong question to be asking. When asked in the wrong way, it’s a question that puts your body on trial – and the person being forced to answer is put on trial too, because for them the question has become a Catch-22.

    A handy guide: If you’re pretty sure your pants fit, they probably do. If you think they don’t, they probably don’t. And most importantly, if your pants don’t fit, it’s the pants that need fixing, not you. (Sure I may need to lose weight, but my pants have to fit today, not in three months.)

    If you actually do habitually keep on buying pants that don’t fit you, you need either a better source for pants, or a therapist. Most spouses are no help with either of those.

    Be kind to each other – “Do these pants make me look fat” should really be a don’t-ask-don’t-tell topic, unless you’re that rare couple who both prefer to stay unemotional about who looks fat and who doesn’t.

    Probably the best method is to just choose your own damn pants. 😁 But if you feel you have to ask a question, here’s a better one: “(putting on first pair of pants) Which ones do you think I should wear – these? (shows the effect, then changes pants) Or these?” This way, it’s clear that it’s the *pants* that are on trial, not your body – or your spouse.

    • Your comment makes waaay too much sense. I love skinny jeans because you have to face the facts! You look fat because you are fat. You never have to ask anyone. It’s just the facts Ma’am.

  5. P.S.: Answer #3 is NOT a bad answer, it’s one of the four (yes, exactly 4, I don’t know why) possible perfect answers.

    Answer #11 (run away and don’t come back) is another perfect one.

    The other two perfect answers are #12 (No) and #13 (Yes) (one or the other is always perfect, but not both together obviously).

    Anyone giving Answer 3, 12, or 13 may find they require prompt assistance from Answer 11.

    Almost all of the perfect answers become worthless if any explanation is given for them. The exception is when a Yes is followed by correctly explaining how the pants could be fixed and offering to fix them immediately.

    (Men are often very justly criticized for wanting to fix things instead of listening; sadly, in this particular question there is no legitimate request for listening being made, so that once the question has been raised, the fix-it response is the only available option – other than refusing to take the bait.)

    • You are a smart man. I have a feeling you’ve been married a long time. I think “yes and no” might be the perfect answer. It gives you time to run away while your wife is interpreting the answer.

  6. I’ve never understood why women were so obsessed with their fat. I’m perfectly happy with mine. Perhaps it could be distributed a little more evenly, but there’s a reason they make plus-size clothing.

    I especially love the clothing tags in Spanish where they use the word Grande instead of Large. Mucho Grande means “more to love.”

      • Slowly. The characters keep hijacking the story and taking it for joy rides. I’m at the climax of the story where they catch the mime and recover the invisible box. The real dilemma is what to do with the mime now that they’ve caught her.

        • Oh boy! I feel for you. I’m writing a book too and I’m 3/4 of the way through. The boring part. It’s funny I think most books get boring 3/4 of the way through–but when you’re reading one you can always skip the boring parts. You’ve got a great concept with your book. And yes, the real rub is making everything come together in at least a semi-reasonable way.

          • Criminal Mimes started out as a ridiculous humor story and has morphed into an even more ridiculous romantic comedy (that’s right ROMANCE). Who would’ve thunk I’d ever stagger into that arena?

            It doesn’t have any sweaty love scenes, so some readers may be disappionted, but it’ll make for good PG-13 if Netflix wants to buy the movie rights. 🙂

            Tell me a little about your book.

            • A romantic comedy, that’s what mine is too. Mine also started out as a 333 word story I wrote years ago.

              “Sarah Bubbles Saves the Universe (and learns to type)”

              Sarah Bubbles gets a magic computer where everything she types into it comes true. Too bad she’s the world’s worst typist.

              I like having my plot in the title. That way I can at least remember how it ends! I would call mine a chic lit young adult. I’ve got a pretty good idea of how the story needs to go structure-wise but my characters could care less about story structure. (It’s not me, it’s them!)

              I can’t wait to read your book and then watch it on Netflix!

              • Sarah sounds exciting. I’m learning to type too, but it’s taken 50 years and I’m still no Liberace on the keyboard. Nothing I type ever comes true. I guess what I write must be fantasy. 🙂

                I’m with you on having the plot in the title. It worked especially well for me in One Idiot Short of a Village. If not for the title, this story might have ended up in the parking lot of a bowling alley in a showdown between two old ladies packing knitting needles (say that 5 times real fast).

                The plot can be pretty thin in a comedy. It’s the characters that make it funny.

                Looking forward to reading Sarah Bubbles Saves the Universe and watching it on Nickelodeon

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