When the Married At First Sight Grand Reunion finally aired last night, all eyes were set on the dramatic reuniting of the social experiment’s most colourful and controversial characters of seasons past. But while the Channel Nine alum filled the room, the chirpy greetings (and scathing eye daggers) meant one simple, seemingly innocent comment, got swept to the side.
You’d be unsurprised to know that when it comes to MAFS, the comments that often makes us so angry we’re throwing our popcorn at the screen usually involve the manipulative tactics its characters use on one another—Sam Ball and gaslighting ring a bell? But this one proves we still have some learning to do when it comes to how we handle womens’ bodies.
Jo McPharlin, often remembered as ‘Foxy JoJo’, returned for the dramatic occasion, and those who remember her from season five may have noticed that she looks a little different from her time on the experiment—namely, she’s lost weight.
It’s nothing new for those who follow the bubbly character on Instagram, though. In the years following her time on the experiment, Jo has been sharing her weight loss journey openly with fans, revealing that after her mother got sick she became motivated to get healthy, both mentally and physically.
But it’s not that she’s lost weight that’s the issue, but how one character reacted when first seeing the transformation.
Upon Jo’s entry into the room, Troy Delmege asked the 43-year-old mum point-blank: “What size are you?”
While the comment may have seemed innocent enough—after all, a lot of the things that come out of Troy’s mouth are pretty questionable at the best of times—this is your friendly reminder that it’s never, ever okay to ask a woman what size she is.
Luckily for Jo, she’s been fairly vocal about her weight loss both in interviews and on her social media, so expertly dodged the question and moved onto more pressing topics, including “do you think we’re going to see another wine throw tonight?”
If you’re not sure how to greet someone who’s lost a bit of weight since the last time you saw them, one simple suggestion includes: “Hi, how are you? Great to see you!”
Troy’s throwaway comment is by no means the worst we’ve seen on the experiment, in fact, it’s fairly tame by comparison, but it does beg the question: why does it matter what size someone is?
And on top of just being plain rude, what sort of information is Troy sourcing with this type of question—is he planning on buying her a dress? Some jeans? Or was it to provide some sort of validation that she now fits into society’s “standard” size?
Even if that were the case, everybody knows you’re never the same size in clothing anyway, so it’s really just a question that has no possible correct answer.
Right now I’m wearing a pair of suit pants that are a size 12, but one of my favourite pairs of jeans are a size six. And I can guarantee I’m not the only one who has a wardrobe filled with an assortment of varying sizes.
But despite the fact the two pairs of pants are near identical in size when placed side-by-side, when I put on the pair that happens to have a larger size embossed on a teeny-tiny label I can’t even see when wearing, I somehow feel bad about myself—and just how messed up is that, that we’ve been condition the believe that the smaller the size imprinted on our clothing, the healthier/sexier/more acceptable our body is deemed.
As one viral TikTok points out, clothes sizes don’t exist and companies, quite literally, just make them up, so we should stop finding validation in the label.
By Troy’s congratulatory reaction to Jo’s new look it’s clear he meant no harm or offense, but for women, the question of what size we are has long been a loaded one. The more time we spend putting emphasis on the value of sizes, the longer they’ll continue to hold power over us when we close the curtain on that lonesome changing room.
It does just goes to show that we’ve still got some learning to do when it comes to how we speak, and react, to women’s bodies, and it’s worth discussing when such topics are thrown around so flippantly on national television.
So this is just your gentle reminder, size does not matter, and we should stop asking those around us what theirs is.