There aren't any qualms here when it comes to critiquing your appearance. Just last week, a housekeeper pointed to a picture of me (and my husband) on our refrigerator. She asked if it was me in the picture. I confirmed that it was me. She then proceeded to puff up her cheeks like a chipmunk holding a mouthful of acorns and pointed at me in the picture. I'm not sure if I was supposed to take this as a complement, but she then pointed back at me signaling that I looked thin now. Phew, right?!
I've had one of my husband's coworkers tell me that I either looked more fat now or fat in my wedding photos. I didn't bother to ask her to clarify which ones I looked "fat" in. One of my friends said she's been greeted by a Chinese friend with a "you're looking fat today."
I'm not sure what accounts for the directness with issues of weight. I was listening to Chinese Pod (a daily Mandarin lesson podcast) about this issue. The Chinese host said they're more direct about these issues, while the American host said we probably treated it more delicately because obesity is a widespread problem for us.
Whatever the reason, it's unexpected to get these types of comments. I'm not sure what my take is on this frankness. I can say that it wouldn't be well received in the U.S...