Big Girls Need Love, Too: Dating While Fat (And Feminist)

16 Apr

I have recently come to the conclusion that I’m going to have to lose a significant amount of weight in order to have a viable chance at a love life.

Let me be clear: this is not a fat-hating post. When I look in the mirror, for the most part, I like what I see. I like my curves, I like ass, I like my legs, I like my boobs (which I only have in abundance, when I’m tipping the scales), and I like my face.

Photo courtesy of Laya Roullins, Bella Chadette Photography, Laya@BellaChadette.com

But the fact remains that I’m a short, dark-skinned, fat Black girl, with a natural. I’m all those things in a culture that not only hates fat, and finds it repulsive, but also in a culture where fat dark-skinned women can only find roles in movies as maids. 

Even so, one could argue that these mainstream films reflect the desires of white America, or more to the point, white men, and not Black men, which up to this point is the only group of men I’ve dated.

But with brothers I find, that they, too, have internalized a particular relationship to the body-type most associated with the mammy figure. They see girls like me as sisters, as homegirls, but not as love options, because they don’t find big girls sexy. They usually find us comforting. Strong. Stable. Huge difference.

I know there is this myth in Black America that brothers like their sisters thick, thick like a luscious milkshake, that “brings all the boys to the yard,” as it were.  But what I call thick and what the average brother calls thick is not the same thing. I’m (pre-weight-loss) Mo’Nique thick. (Sister looks fabulous, by the way.) Not quite Gabourey Sidibe thick. But thick nontheless. And when I was doing the online dating thing (I’ve tried it twice, and I’m taking a break) I saw one brother that specifically said, “I’m not into the Mo’Nique thing, ladies.” Translation: No fat girls need apply.

Even Demetria Lucas’ whose fabulous and feminist book on modern Black dating you should check out, has (reluctantly) said as much, in her dating advice column.

It’s not popular to say (and I’m sure I’ll be e-stoned for saying it anyway), but if you’re overweight and serious about expanding your dating options, it may be worthwhile to shrink your waistline. I’ve interviewed thousands of men in my career as a dating expert and journalist, and I’ve noticed that on every rundown of what it is that men are looking for in a woman, weight inevitably sneaks high on the list, usually in the form of “She works out” or “She stays fit” or “She is concerned about her weight and personal appearance” – i.e., she’s not fat.

No stones to throw over here. The girl speaks the truth. So does Britni Danielle over at Clutch.

Acknowledging these larger structural issues around the commodification of male desire and the way it affects our dating options and choices as women is difficult, because it can make us feel powerless and/or less-than-feminist.  So posts like this make folks uncomfortable, often leading to three kinds of reactionary (and unhelpful) comments. The first will be from those folks who insist that I must really have low self-esteem about my weight and that it must be coming through to the dudes I’m meeting. Um, that would be a Negative. That ain’t it. Even though we all have insecurities, self-confidence is not my major struggle.  The only way to live in my body, doing the work I do, is to be confident.

Others will come over and lecture about weight loss and health.

Before you do it, don’t. 

I know that we have huge problems with obesity in Black communities. I have thought long and hard about my relationship to food (and exercise), and I have started to make some changes in order to remain healthy. I also have both short and long term goals for doing so. I made those choices for myself, not for a man. So please save the condescending lectures (and arm-chair therapy) for someone else. This big girl (and I suspect every other big girl with access to a TV) doesn’t need it.

And a third, fundamentally more well-meaning group, will come over an give anecdotes about all the thick chicks they know who have male partners.  The number will usually total up to no more than 2 or 3 mind you. Those stories ring hollow, because they ultimately amount to a futile attempt  to amass enough  exceptions to disprove the rule. Moreover, perhaps folks aren’t considering that the partner-less fat girls simply remain invisible to you, and the thick girls with guys are visible, precisely because they are an anomaly.

What I’m getting at is something much more fundamental.  Because desire is socially constructed (no matter how much folks justify their limited dating choices based on ‘natural preference’),  the fact that we live in a fat-hating culture greatly affects who we’re attracted to, and what we find attractive.  The idea that we’re only attractive within a range of sizes is absurd. And narrow. And it is absolutely a function of patriarchy. And yet, I live daily with those realities.

Some (admittedly anecdotal) examples:

Several months ago I was in a bar/lounge type spot, with a group of 7 or 8 homegirls. We ranged in size and skin tone, from short and petite, to tall and lanky, from light-skinned to dark-skinned, from skinny to fat (me being the fat one), and everything in between. The homeboy of one of my homegirls happened to be in the club. Now in many ways, he was my type. Mid-height, stocky, dark-skinned, bald-headed. My girl gave us his vital statistics and it turns out the brother is highly intelligent and very accomplished. He was also a natural flirt. This I discovered, as I watched him at different points during the evening, strike up a conversation and flirt with every single girl in the crew—except me. My homegirl indicated to me at some point that I should make sure to meet him, because she thought we’d have similar interests.  Not one to be shy, I did at some point attempt to strike up a conversation.  He barely acknowledged me! I mean he literally didn’t look me in the eye, made no real attempt at conversation, and pretty much gave me the brush off. And starting talking to another one of my homegirls!

It was clear to me that he wasn’t really that interested in a serious thing with any of the girls at the bar that night. He was just doing the bar/lounge thing, as was I. But why the cold shoulder, from a brother I’d never met? Why the unique snub reserved for the one fat girl in the crew? I wish I could say that this experience was isolated, but it’s been more the rule rather than the exception for me. 

(Two)

I think of all that CRUNK club-hopping I did in ATL back in the early days of the CFC. Nothing can make me dance with abandon like a smoke-filled club strung out on CRUNK. And when me and my girls would go and shut the club down, routinely, I’d be the only chick that hadn’t been approached, danced with, hit on. Now I never thought I’d find my prince charming in a club. But everyone likes to be desired. So no matter how much Big Boi proclaimed back in 2003 that “Big Girls need love, too,” I don’t think the other ATLiens got the message.

(Three)

And of course there is that story of the time that Crunkadelic and I went to one of those Big Beautiful Women parties. But um, I’m not trying to date a dude with a fat fetish. No hate on fetishes, but being the object of that particular one feels…objectifying. I want to date a man that has a range of desires wide enough to see a big girl as attractive. Just like I find a range of men attractive.

Getting back to Big Boi, the reality is that Big Girls do need love. This big girl anyway.  So as much as I resent the limited range of desire that it seems (Black) men have and the ever-present male privilege that allows them to never have to interrogate their sexual and romantic investments, I hate my limited partnering prospects much more.  As un-feminist as I’m sure it is, and as much my Sagittarian self wants to say f**k the world and embrace my life of singleness in a blaze of principled feminist big girl glory, the #truestory is that I’m seriously trying to figure out how I can get my J.Hud on.  (Well, maybe not to that extreme!) In my thirties, I’m prioritizing self-care and that includes being loved on and getting my groove on. Regularly. And  I know for sure that those things are feminist. I also know being thinner won’t guarantee me a date, but I’m willing to bet it’ll improve my chances. 

Feel free to weigh in in the comments on your experiences dating as a big girl, your thoughts on the sometimes un-feminist things we do for love, or anything else you wanna say. But be nice, please. I mean it.

204 Responses to “Big Girls Need Love, Too: Dating While Fat (And Feminist)”

  1. baltimoreartplusjustice April 16, 2012 at 8:49 AM #

    This one if really timely in my live right now. Thanks for the post Sista.

  2. ajwiddershins April 16, 2012 at 8:55 AM #

    “What I’m getting at is something much more fundamental. Because desire is socially constructed (no matter how much folks justify their limited dating choices based on ‘natural preference’), the fact that we live in a fat-hating culture greatly affects who we’re attracted to, and what we find attractive. The idea that we’re only attractive within a range of sizes is absurd. And narrow. And it is absolutely a function of patriarchy.” This whole thing is great! I can tell you put a lot of care into writing this and sharing it. Thanks!

  3. -dp- April 16, 2012 at 8:56 AM #

    This was a really honest, vulnerable post. And sometimes that’s the most crunk thing you can do. Props to you. And best wishes as you pursue your self-care goals and love desires.

  4. Simone Lovelace April 16, 2012 at 8:59 AM #

    You are insanely beautiful just the way you are, and it sucks that so many men are socialized not to recognize your style of beauty.

    For what it’s worth, I don’t think dieting to lose weight is un-feminist. I think it’s picking your battles, which is something every woman does to some extent. What’s un-feminist, to my mind, is judging women for the choices they make about their bodies.

  5. konstruksjon April 16, 2012 at 9:02 AM #

    “She is concerned about her weight and personal appearance” is a MASSIVELY DIFFERENT thing than “ie she’s not fat. ” One realizes their partner actually loves them when you do and when you dont look like the chick on a magazine cover. When don’t like it when their woman has let herself go if she’s put on weight and is therefore feeling sh*tty about it, and rocks sweats and no makeup all the time. If she’s only confident, herself, active and “beautiful” for herself when she’s skinny then he’s only gonna like her when she’s skinny. If she dresses according to her new size and keeps up her style, her energy and self confidence he’ll like her when she’s heavy too.

    If you’re gonna draw dudes only when you’re skinny that’s pressure you’re putting on yourself to make someone love you and, reaffirming the fatness = lovelessness equation. I think it comes down to the woman’s personality/self-confidence, and what kind of man she’s trying to get. I absolutely agree with the “stable, safe, comforting” big woman symbol, it’s almost motherly. The slim and the active woman I guess represents action, excitement, change, mobility, daringness. Guys love that kind of thing. The conventional guy, anyway.

    I say, if you wanna drop some weight it’s always good for your health overall anyway. But I think it always comes down to your own self-esteem and self-image.

    • analogmojo April 19, 2012 at 3:49 PM #

      wow, i am honestly shocked and saddened by your response. i see none of the respect and consideration of her needs the author asked for in sharing her experience. she specifically pointed out the sorts of responses that she feels to be unhelpful, distracting and hurtful to the point she´s making and you included 2 out of 3 in 1 comment, meatloaf is very proud of you…

      quote- ¨So posts like this make folks uncomfortable, often leading to three kinds of reactionary (and unhelpful) comments. The first will be from those folks who insist that I must really have low self-esteem about my weight…Others will come over and lecture about weight loss and health. Before you do it, don’t.¨

      what she is pointing out with the observation you chose to respond to is the sort of double-speak that is so often uncritically accepted, its the way republicans say poor and you know they mean brown. or they say black and you know they mean uneducated, its not the TRUTH but its their understanding of what those words mean. i myself am a skinny woman, my metabolism is simply high, if i get sick and can´t eat for a day my pants will not fit the next, true story. they will slide off my narrow behind and damn near laugh. because of this, in order to be considered attractive by the conventional male, I DON´T HAVE TO DO ANYTHING. i don´t have to care about what i look like, and especially about my weight. the things i do nothing about already have an external stamp of approval i didn´t ask for. more often than not, its a negative to me. i hate being told i´m only cute cuz of my weight, that my clothes are only look nice on me cuz i´m skinny, it takes just as much away from my individual beauty as it does for the beauty of a larger woman to go unnoticed for the same reasons.

      my intention in pointing this out is not to attack you but to educate. your response displays very little evidence that you you actually connected to what the author was saying, so i saw an opportunity to try and add some understanding. she very clearly stated what she needed from this community, and you very clearly ignored her, intentionally or unintentionally, which is pretty much why she wrote this in the first place… as a writer, a human, a survivor and a black person i value open spaces for conversation more than any posession i have and consider it part of my responsibility to protect them. i hope you join the fight.

    • easy e April 22, 2012 at 10:12 AM #

      “But I think it always comes down to your own self-esteem and self-image.”

      You have no idea how wrong you are!

      • Jondrea Smith April 22, 2012 at 12:24 PM #

        How wrong are they and why?

  6. Hana Riaz April 16, 2012 at 9:04 AM #

    i amen’d to this one for a number of reasons 1) i think it is fundamental as feminists we remain open and honest – sometimes because of that label we feel ashamed or fearful to talk about things that can appear to others as counteracting feminist work. the reality is we are human and our experiences that are deeply personal shape who we are, what we do and in this case feminism. i want to say i’m grateful for you sharing your thoughts/feelings/experiences so honestly with us. 2) it highlights the continued policing of women’s bodies that are affective realities – that make it difficult for us to do the work we want to do or live in a world we’d like to. i’ve been moaning about the ‘curves’ discourse all weekend and the framework in which it operates – women are described as curvy if they look like beyonce or jlo – yeah sure they have thighs, hips, ass but they have toned arms, flat stomachs and frankly not an inch of fat anywhere (which ‘real’ ‘curvy’ girls rarely ordinarly are unable to achieve without working out or conscious eating). i get angry with the policing of women’s bodies all day everyday what women are bombarded with and really without choice are unable to avoid all whilst battling my own self-hatred of my own body, a body i embody, i cannot escape and is received, looked upon, and detrmined by others – not just my self. that gap between the internal desire to just be content is difficult to consistently attain in a broader culture of shaming women for everything that are by forcing them to having to conform to what they should be. your piece i pray is part of a continuous dialogue to not sit on a pedastool, but to talk about these questions from a position of lived experience in the hopes of finding transformation and love – within ourselves and ultimately to battle the patriarchal external. thank you :)

  7. sistaoutsider April 16, 2012 at 9:04 AM #

    Please note that this doesn’t apply only to men. I’ve noticed the same thing in Black lesbian communities. I will never forget when a woman told me that she’d never been with a “big girl” before and she really didn’t know what to do with me. Really? Fat-shaming and limited standards of beauty need to be addressed across all genders and sexualities.

    • baltimoreartplusjustice April 16, 2012 at 9:58 AM #

      I totally agree. Its completely unbelievable when it happens in the queer community. My solution was to find the most lovely fellow big girl ever and appreciate every curve of her. Its been working out quite nicely.

      • S. Mandisa Moore April 16, 2012 at 12:28 PM #

        @sistaoutsider and @baltimoreartplusjustice

        I totally agree that this is not just heterosexual or non-queer black women experience this. Im not sure why it is a surprise, tho-all people have internalized the racist, sexist myth that fat black women aint shit, so why wouldnt this include black queer, esp black lesbian, communities? That’s like when people think a lesbian relationship will be more healthier than a hetero-one-namely, that a woman will treat you better than a dude, which makes no sense since everyone gets the memo on how misogyny, especially misogynoir, works.

        I hope my sarcasm isnt throwing you off.

    • Al May 12, 2012 at 3:49 AM #

      So true. I’m guilty of that myself and it’s really terrible. Weight, attraction and the way society perceives me has honestly been a struggle all/most of my life, as a queer woman who has always been fat until recently. I consider myself a feminist yet I recognize past mysgonist behavior and I’m sure I still unknowingly display some to this day. How could I complain people weren’t attracted to me when I was fat when I wasn’t attracted to fat people? Wtf? People are damn weird. I want to be a “real” woman-loving woman and be an ally to myself and other women, but I feel like I have to undo a lot of brain washing. But I’m a woman. Whassup with that?

      Anyway, weird, confusing stuff and I fully agree with you.

  8. Jamila April 16, 2012 at 9:09 AM #

    While I do agree that the narrow range of physical looks which is elevated to the level of “objectively attractive” is a reflection of both patriarchy and our consumerist culture, most cultures don’t find obesity to be a mark of attractiveness. Furthermore, the level of obesity that is evident among black American (and all women in America and women in many other countries) is of a recent nature. Black women were not this big 50 years ago.

    I also think that is is unrealistic and presumptive to believe that other people should find us attractive just because we find ourselves attractive. There is no obligation to give love to big girls, anymore than a person should be obligated to find blondes attractive or to find short men attractive

    • Dia April 16, 2012 at 10:46 AM #

      I don’t think she was trying to say that it is an obligation…but going back to her first example of the guy in the club hitting on all her friends…He made a point to pre-judge her and not even treat her like she was worth the price of admission SOLELY based on the fact the she was a big girl….its not obligation, or unrealistic, or presumptive…its common respect for another human being…

      • Jeremiah April 17, 2012 at 12:51 AM #

        Lol. Women do this to short men ALL OF THE TIME (even short girls…..even to short men are facially very attractive….. women even say they dont want short kids without blinking an eye!)

      • Jamila April 18, 2012 at 3:48 PM #

        The guy in the club had no obligation to talk to her or even acknowledge her existence. I think he SHOULD have been just as friendly to her as he was to the other women because that would have been the gentlemanly thing to do, and because he would not have burned a bridge with the writer of this piece–but do I think he was wrong for not talking to her? No.

    • Kesha Warren April 16, 2012 at 9:01 PM #

      I don’t think this is a matter of “obligation”. Most cultures don’t find a lot of things attractive. That doesn’t make it *natural* or an indicator of some sort of norm that is not worthy of criticism. And frankly, this article wasn’t demanding acceptance at all. Some of those things (such as finding lighter skin more attractive than darker skin) are found in MOST societies, but I’m sure it’s easy for you to understand the foolery behind that. Perhaps you think one is self imposed and the other isn’t, that’s why one deserves more disapproval than the other.

      • Jamila April 18, 2012 at 3:51 PM #

        “Some of those things (such as finding lighter skin more attractive than darker skin) are found in MOST societies, but I’m sure it’s easy for you to understand the foolery behind that. Perhaps you think one is self imposed and the other isn’t, that’s why one deserves more disapproval than the other.”

        I can see a clear line between the colonialism that has created a preference for lighter skin in the minds of many non-white people around the world; I can’t see such a clear line connecting lack of attraction to overweight people to colonialism or patriarchy.

        One preference has been imposed from outsiders.

        The other preference seems to have almost always existed in societies that have never even been colonized. Or, the preference existed even before being colonized.

    • Dimmer01 April 16, 2012 at 9:50 PM #

      You say “…most cultures don’t find obesity a mark of attractiveness.” Isn’t “obesity” a cultural construct, though? What obese means today in America, as you admit, is different from the obese of 50 years ago. Similarly, what defines obese in Malawi is different from obese in Fiji and in California and in Mumbai.

    • Mel April 17, 2012 at 12:57 AM #

      I doubt the author is saying their is an obligation to love big girls. I think she is saying that the assimilation of culturally taught ideals prevents many from loving different kinds of people. To begin with,weight is a status symbol for women. Those who can afford to not be fat, regardless of their up bringing, relationship to food, are not.
      You made another point that obesity has not been attractive to the opposite sex. It depends on the culture. There is evidence that since neolothic periods that heavy women were highly regarded and the art lives on to tell the tales. Subsaharan african cultures still find bigger women more attractive.
      I think there is a level of shame that men experience being openly attached to a bigger girl. They can love any woman privately. In the public eye, it’s a different matter.

      • On1Click™.net (@KikiOn1Click) April 17, 2012 at 10:57 AM #

        ^^^^^ exactly^^^

      • imperviousheart April 17, 2012 at 5:50 PM #

        I agree. My boyfriends have differed in color, height, weight, hair types, personality types, sex drives, etc. I believe when you limit yourself you miss out on some of the greatest people.

      • imperviousheart April 17, 2012 at 6:01 PM #

        I wholeheartedly agree. My boyfriend have differed in age, height, weight, color, hair styles, personalities, sex drives, etc. First you have to love and accept yourself before you can accept and love someone else ass they are. Secondly, when you limit yourself, you limit your possibilities. I wonder is that why the divorce rate is so high?

      • Jamila April 18, 2012 at 3:59 PM #

        “You made another point that obesity has not been attractive to the opposite sex. It depends on the culture. There is evidence that since neolothic periods that heavy women were highly regarded and the art lives on to tell the tales.”

        From what I know of the historical record, very few women were depicted as being overweight or obese, unless those women were actually fertility goddesses or the art was otherwise designed to suggest fertility or womanliness (and thus female body parts were intentionally exaggerated or enlarged for emphasis).

        “Subsaharan african cultures still find bigger women more attractive.”

        While there are undoubtedly some cultures in African nations that prefer larger women, most Africans are not and have never been overweight by American standards. If you look at pictures of Africans that were brought as slaves to the new world and at pictures of Africans during the colonial period, there is no indication that Africans have traditionally been overweight. In fact, it is more likely to see long, lean, athletic figures among African people than to see anyone who is overweight.

  9. Angel April 16, 2012 at 9:12 AM #

    It’s sad but true. If you want more prospects in the dating game, you have to make yourself a viable player. And to be that viable player, you have to make yourself appealing so that you have options. Not really sad when you think about it. You can’t discount that men are out there doing what they can for their appearance to make them more appealing to us as well. They want options and we should have options too. If you want more option in the working world, you get an education that opens those doors to you. If you want more options in the dating world, you improve your appearance. Easy enough.

  10. solalola April 16, 2012 at 9:26 AM #

    I just want to acknowledge, from one big beautiful woman to another, how brave you are for making yourself vulnerable and putting yourself out there like that. Thank you. All of your stories sounded like you were talking about me. Being big and dating is hard and seems especially harder for me (can’t speak for everyone) because I’m an extremely confident, independent, charismatic woman who knows exactly what I want. I have short term and long term goals where not just any man will do. I’m not some insecure woman that will take what nobody wants. Im lookin for a partner and every man I meet seems to think I’m going to be their unopinionated servant or a sexual version of their mama. This ain’t that! Why is my body size the determing factor in finding a suitable mate when i have everything else on point? I’m also working on my health, but losing weight to be thin feels like I’m giving into the oppressive forces that dictate how my body should look like. Ugh! Thanks for this, you made me feel less alone on the struggle.

  11. Bella April 16, 2012 at 9:27 AM #

    Oh, boy. What you’ve written feels eerily familiar…specifically the anecdote section. There’s nothing left to add. I’ve found myself thinking “If I lose weight, then ___________” but the truth of the matter is that feels really F’d up. The only answer I’ve come up with is taking good care of myself, eating healthy, exercising and reading material (FA, haes, feminist blogs) that constantly battle the system of patriarchy that tells me and everyone else that a woman is less desirable if she’s “over”weight, natural, and dark-skinned. I probably could lose weight but like most people, I’d just gain it all back. But I can’t be lighter. I’m not getting a perm. I want to get to the point where I really am like, “F you” when someone fails to give me a chance because I’m not what they want me to be.

  12. josmosser April 16, 2012 at 9:29 AM #

    It can be a brutal threshold:
    on one side, the self that identifies as feminist; on the other, the self that examines what we “have to do ” to be loved—not just by our sisters, family, and friends, but loved by hands caressing and eyes adoring and bodies steaming, etc.

    When I get to this threshold in my life, first I get really pissed off. Then, I try to talk it out a bit – much like you did in this blog post, to see if there’s some action I can do to help heal the shame that I tend to find at threshold.

    Sounds like you are ready for a new level of embodiment—and it seems to me you won’t let this process interfere with your core ideals, either. I can hear that you’re not trying to “change for a man,” so whatever you choose to do to “slim your waistline,” just be mindful that you act from your heart, for your heart, and with the intention of filling more parts of your life with love.

    Do you have a plan for what you want to do?
    Thanks, so much, for sharing, of course.
    Josie

  13. Illmatic (@ndadavaz) April 16, 2012 at 9:34 AM #

    great post. Ive often fought with myself trying to decide if I should even care what men think of my size (ive been a 14/16 -and honestly 100% comfy in my larger levis – since junior high) or if my motives for wanting to look healthier are purely my own . you’ve added a certain clarity to the discussion in my head. thanks.

  14. Isis Tiberius Cat April 16, 2012 at 9:35 AM #

    first, yes. can i tell you how many times i’ve had the “only girl in the group who doesn’t get hit on” night at the club? (or, alternatively, all my friends have men approach them and speak to them and flirt with them while i get some shady and creepy mf’er just feel me up because my particular brand of fat means i also have the biggest boobs in the club…)

    but second, i worry about this from a health standpoint. we know, scientifically, that only about 5% of .intentional weight-loss efforts will result in lasting weight change, and so the other 95% will yo-yo back and forth, which is awful for one’s long-term health, and can also potentially screw up your metabolism (my nutritionist told me that such a condition is called “obesity by diet,” which is an awesome side-effect of abusing one’s body with dieting for years).

    clearly, you are more than entitled to do anything you want with your body because it’s yours, and it’s frankly no one’s business what you do, healthy or not. but while this might be a short-term solution to a dating options problem, i think it’s important to consider whether it’s worth potentially compromising your health down the road, which is the problem with “dieting” versus adopting balanced healthy approaches for life. what’s even more fucked up, though, is that so many of us have to consider potentially putting our health at risk in order to be “worthy” of a relationship. really? we’re still having to fight this battle?

    finally, just a word on the men who love BBW: they’re not all fetishists. some of them, it is true, fixate so much on your body that they exclude the fact that you’re a human being, and that makes them, IMHO, no better than men who “fetishize’ a flat stomach. but a lot of men in that community are simply men who like big women and find it easier to meet them this way (likely because so many big women have been chased out of more “traditional” venues by the fat-hatred you cite in your post). maybe don’t just write off that option.

    great piece, and very thought-provoking.

  15. me April 16, 2012 at 9:37 AM #

    I love it. Unfortunately its the truth. Thanks for the honesty. Been there done that and the truth is..the weight does subconsciously dim your light…not because you arent outgoing and social..but because that fear of rejection due to weight occupies that tiny little space in your mind on a fulltime basis….and even though that type of rejection doesmt force you into retreat…it never feels good and you never forget that…

  16. E. April 16, 2012 at 9:42 AM #

    I’m a married big girl, and it doesn’t end there. I was fooled to think my BIG husband saw past my weight and loved me for me regardless what the scale says. But I was wrong. While he loves me, our sex life is mostly non-existent. When I pressed (incessantly), he finally admitted he was avoiding sex because of my weight. I was devastated. And it could have ended my marriage, but we got through that. But the struggle continues…

    • LisaBee April 16, 2012 at 11:32 AM #

      I ended my marriage for just that reason. I couldn’t live with a sexless marriage myself (no disrespect to anyone who makes a different decision!) My husband, btw, was very tall, but weighed 280 lbs. It was weird to me that he couldn’t find me attractive at a size 16-18.

  17. solalola April 16, 2012 at 9:46 AM #

    First I’d like to acknowledge, from one big girl to another, how brave you are in making yourself vulnerable to write this. Thank you! Your stories truly felt like you were talking about me. Being big and dating is hard especially for me! I can’t speak for all big girls but I’m an extremely confident, independent, and incredibly charasmatic woman who knows exactly what I want. Im looking for a partner, not just some guy a skinny girl doesnt want. I dont have time to waste on men who think I’ll be their unopinionated baby maker or a sexual version of their mama. This ain’t that! I’m also working on my health, but losing weight to be thin feels like I’m giving into the oppressive forces that dictate what my body should look like. Ugh! Thanks for this, I feel less alone in the struggle :)

    • solalola April 16, 2012 at 10:09 AM #

      Ugh accidentally double posted. Please delete this one. Thanks.

  18. April April 16, 2012 at 9:47 AM #

    Thank you for this. It’s very true. Nothing to add..but thank you.

  19. Cherie MacDonald April 16, 2012 at 9:49 AM #

    I gave up on the world of sexual relationships about thirty years ago. It was just too difficult and complicated when one is fat. I do feel it as a loss, but maybe a necessary one as I was able to get through life without driving myself crazy trying to make those relationships work, and I could focus on achieving other goals. I just tell myself,
    “You can’t always get what you want.” We all make the best of what we have.

  20. Feminist Living April 16, 2012 at 10:03 AM #

    I lost 75lbs 3 years ago and it felt GREAT to accomplish something for me. But part of my motivation was making sure that the next time me ex saw me, I would look fabalous. Two years later, I’ve relocated, started and finished my Masters and began a new career. Needless to say, the transition wasn’t easy. The weight creeped back up.

    Although now, I love my body and don’t really wish to loose weight. I just want to tone because the truth is, tight stomachs do get your more attention from both males and females. This means that yes, I am extending motivated to loose weight, and while I love the reward I feel when I look in the mirror and see transformation, I also love the reward of fitting into those jeans I’ve always wanted. More over, I love the look on a guys face when I show off my awesome body because I work hard for it.

    As soon as graduation is over, I’m hitting the gym every other day like I used to. I’m grateful my weight hasn’t come back fully and I don’t intend on ever being as big as I once was, man or not. I love being in control, not skinny.

    My new ex is my new motivation and I’m fine with that, shoot me. We’d be lying to ourselves if we didn’t say that we do things sometimes for the sheer shallow reaction of others.

    I’m still feminist and I still can do all these things for me. But there’s nothing wrong with a little external motivation and a reality check. Even me, as a bisexual woman, prefer to see wastelines on a partner.

  21. Dia April 16, 2012 at 10:14 AM #

    This is so far beyond true that its scary. As a big girl myself, I thought it was just me! I’ve always known that small minded ignorance played a large part on the mens behalf but I was seriously starting to think it was me (I know, crazy right…as fine as I am!)…I wish we didn’t have to alter ourself for men to see what perfect creations we are, inside and out, but that is the way it goes. I 100% agree with everything you said. Great post. Thanks!

  22. Feminist Living April 16, 2012 at 10:20 AM #

    Reblogged this on Encounters of The Sexes.

  23. mossyaspen April 16, 2012 at 10:25 AM #

    Reblogged this on tiny revelries and commented:
    Love this post at “The Crunk Feminist Collective”

  24. natasiarose April 16, 2012 at 10:37 AM #

    I married a larger woman and I’m pretty happy with my choice. :) I def understand wanting to lose weight to be hit on more. But I have to say, when you go to a bar/club, the guys are going to flock to the most conventionally hot girls because the club scene is based on looks. Meeting other bloggers or guys that are more into what you are into in an area that isn’t looks based, like at a blogging event or in a volunteering setting might be a better approach.

    Either way, the decision to lose weight is a personal choice and will probably expand your dating pool, no matter how you look at it. Good luck girl! It’s not easy, but nothing worthwhile ever is.

  25. Fa April 16, 2012 at 10:40 AM #

    So honest, loved this article.

  26. counterftnoire April 16, 2012 at 10:58 AM #

    Reblogged this on Nerd Noire Undercover and commented:
    Excellent post from The Crunk Feminist Collective-honest and open.

  27. Osami April 16, 2012 at 11:16 AM #

    This is such an honest post! Thank you so much for sharing. It is so true that men like thick, aka Beyonce, not thick aka Monique or pre Weight Watchers J. Hud. I have a couple friends and acquaintances that really have to work on their weight, not just to get a date, but to feel better about themselves. I really believe that if you feel good about how you look, you will put positive energy into the world, and that’s attractive. All the best!

  28. Rosalba April 16, 2012 at 11:22 AM #

    As a “Big Latina”, your stories struck at the heart of my issues with dating…EACH one of your stories. Thank you for putting yourself out there, its not easy, it shouldn’t be necessary. And it isn’t un-feminist to speak about it or make changes, single-dom isn’t for everyone. I wish you nothing but the best in your journey…

  29. zazas11 April 16, 2012 at 11:30 AM #

    Bless you for telling the truth in this post!

    So basically you are ACCEPTING the current state of the context that you are living in, accepting current reality…in order to be able to accomplish your desires. Because you’d be changing yourself, the world around you, by accomplishing those desires. THAT would be radical.

    And it’s good to accept reality, no matter what it is at the moment. :) It’s a good habit to get into. I wonder if many crunk feminists drain their own physical or emotional health and get ‘activist burnout’ by REFUSING to take this first step of acceptance. (The second step being: deciding an action to take) Having reality be unacceptable is no excuse to not accept it, na’mean?!

    I admit that I just started a diet myself, and am trying to ignore the ‘die’ implication in diet…trying to do this both for myself and acknowledge that social context of desire you speak of. I think I can (hopefully) do self -care in a way that is fun and self-supporting without making me fantasize that I’m ‘better’ than anyone, or ‘better’ than my old self.

    • zazas11 April 16, 2012 at 11:35 AM #

      (it also brings up a remarkable cutting, competitive streak in my mother… see and notice how changing your bodyshape or bodymass affects others close to you and around you… and stay away from them if you need to for a while!)

  30. Brandi April 16, 2012 at 11:31 AM #

    I like this article. It reminded me of something I did when I was on dating websites and out in the clubs…I didn’t pay attention to anyone who didn’t give me the attention first. When I was doing the online dating thing I would check a profile and the first thing I looked for was their physical type and if I wasn’t included I moved on. I don’t have time to school others on what they were missing out on and it is their preference to be as narrow as they want to be so who am I to talk. In the end, the only thing that matters is my self worth and I have enough patience for someone else to notice it and me and want to see if we can be something.

  31. Erica April 16, 2012 at 11:39 AM #

    I talk about dating as a big girl in my 1 woman show “Fat Bitch!” and for some reason…maybe PMS, this blog post just made me cry. Like seriously, it’s a sad world we live in with a woman’s worth is based on the size of her body. Thank you for sharing your honestly….this was very well written……but i’m also heart broken.

  32. soulfulcomings April 16, 2012 at 12:54 PM #

    Though I am queer, i really relate to this article. I feel like i have to remind people that i am not a mother and i am not interested in being anyone grown or that i am sexing’s mother. I have come to realize a very similar feeling, and it broke my heart a little too. But that’s ok, sometimes being real aint pretty, perfect, or painless. Thanks so much sis for sharing this. I got some stuff to do!

  33. Erica Woods Tucker April 16, 2012 at 12:56 PM #

    The fact that so many people have responded to this honest love letter just shows how weight (for lack of a better term) is always the elephant in the room. I think losing weight is great. I’ve been plus sized for most of my adult life and I hate it. I can’t run around with my children, I have a hard time sleeping, and I don’t even go the stairs in my house. So every year I attempt WW and the gym. I’ve started again last week. Just make sure that you lose the weight for you. Otherwise you’ll be on the yo-yo like I am.

  34. onionmann April 16, 2012 at 1:06 PM #

    I would date you and you wouldnt have to change a thing

  35. Gabrielle Rivera April 16, 2012 at 1:12 PM #

    Reblogged this on the quirky rican and commented:
    gay/straight/polyunicorn word to all of this:
    “desire is socially constructed (no matter how much folks justify their limited dating choices based on ‘natural preference’), the fact that we live in a fat-hating culture greatly affects who we’re attracted to, and what we find attractive. The idea that we’re only attractive within a range of sizes is absurd. And narrow. And it is absolutely a function of patriarchy…”

    • sustainablesummer April 18, 2012 at 1:57 PM #

      I think this is an overstatement and rings slightly of wishful thinking. That desire is largely a social construct is undeniable, however to say that it is ONLY a social construct is ridiculous. This would assume that that all people raised in heteronormative environments who are taught to be attracted to the opposite sex will be heterosexual (which obviously isn’t true).

      Another example: Some studies have been conducted that show that humans might be more attracted to physical symmetry in others (an instinct that derives from an inherent desire to produce the most healthy and fit offspring possible). This is an example of a way that attraction is subtly dictated by nature. It may not be completely relevant or useful as it is in the rest of the animal kingdom because of the hegemonic devices being thrown at humans via the media/society about what they “should” be attracted to…but I don’t think it should be ignored.

  36. Tobey White Heart Crockett April 16, 2012 at 1:17 PM #

    Thought provoking, seering and honest – and all the replies as well.

    I can share something I learned over the years in many ways, but notably in one particular performance art type class – that people fundamentally, viscerally respond to the energy we put out there. I am in a position where I advise people (women mostly) quite a bit on various aspects of their lives and what I remind them is to *be* the change they want to see in the world. So if you want a lover, you have to be a Lover. (Rumi and Hafiz provide great reminders of this btw). If you want Justice, be just.. and so on. Whether you use Critical Theory, Jungian analysis or just plain old horse sense, you will find that life is characterized by the reflections we experience of our own projections.

    So when it comes to this issue of physicality, passion and yes, lust – one might ask, “How much appreciation, gratitude, love of life, drenched in Beauty vibe am I truly offering?” Because when we have it going on, generally speaking more than just a few people notice. A genuinely unguarded, authentic, confident and blazingly connected smile from the heart will truly stop just about *anyone* (make or female) in their tracks. They key here is genuine Presence.

    It is a spiritual pathway, being in the here and now and offering our best. I suggest time meditating, self expressing, truly offering *ourselves* compassion and unconditional love. In my experience, the world will open to you like a flower. When we are whole and complete within, then people are drawn to us, regardless of our size, hair, whatever. I have had great sex with lovely people whether I weighed 110 or 260. (Yes – that big a range) so know I am telling you a true thing, and take heart.
    <3

  37. Haki April 16, 2012 at 1:29 PM #

    Good post. Can you speak more on “the ever-present male privilege that allows them to never have to interrogate their sexual and romantic investments”?

  38. Kari April 16, 2012 at 2:11 PM #

    Saw this posted on FB and it is an incredibly moving account that mimics many of the struggles I had when I was dating. I did just want to take exception to one thing: men who appreciate fat women don’t have a fetish. By labeling it a fetish, you are saying that women who are fat really aren’t all that. There are men who like skinny women, but they are never labeled as having a fetish.

    As for dating stories, maybe this is because I’m really involved with the fat acceptance movement, but most of the women that I know have partners. Partners that love us and support us and in many cases have been with us for a long time. True there are women who don’t, but I don’t ever think of those who do as the exception to the rule.

    I wish you luck in your dating life and hope you find a partner who will love you at any size.

  39. Iva Ghauri April 16, 2012 at 2:17 PM #

    Thank you for your honest, self-searching post.
    I have a suggestion. Take a look at the HAES site. Find out which exercises make you feel the best about yourself. Think about including more fruits and veggies in your daily eating regime. Start changing how you feel about your *health*, as opposed to your weight. You may indeed lose a bit of weight, but this way it won’t come back. In other words, you’ll go to your natural setpoint, and you won’t end up regaining, and will keep maintaining your healthy habits, which in turn will make you feel better about yourself, which in turn will turn men on who appreciate your verve and confidence, not the number you produce in pounds when you get on a scale. These are the men who will really like you, whatever you weigh or don’t weigh. Good luck and bless you.

  40. tactlessgracewriting April 16, 2012 at 2:41 PM #

    I really dig your writing and points about fat girl acceptance. I am not a fat girl- except maybe in my head sometimes- but I am a feminist and want to know how to fight for the acceptance of all women. I am also glad you pointed out the being healthy argument, because, if I’m honest, that comes up in my mind a lot as well and I like understanding/being reminded that we don’t have a society that teaches about health at a healthy level.

  41. Avante-Gardeian April 16, 2012 at 2:53 PM #

    After 2 decades of conditioning, I’m constantly at war with myself when I read these kinds of posts, trying to convince myself that I ‘wouldn’t be like those other guys’, but my dating record speaks for itself. One of my ex-girlfriends was thick(ish) (5’2″, ~160 lbs), but that’s still not a good comparison to this subject. She was also white, and not a feminist. It’s a constant struggle for me, personally, to rethink everything I’ve been subliminally (and blatantly) taught as a male about beauty, as I’m sure it’s just as difficult for women. This post really helped me examine another layer of myself, and hopefully does the same for many others. Thank you.

    • analogmojo April 20, 2012 at 1:23 PM #

      thank you so much for sharing!! its very courageous of you to enter a female dominated space and be vulnerable in it. we need more like you!

  42. Brandon April 16, 2012 at 2:57 PM #

    is the model in the picture available for booking? accessgrantedent@yahoo.com.

  43. njohns20 April 16, 2012 at 3:34 PM #

    Reblogged this on norenejohnson and commented:
    I enjoyed every moment of reading this because I saw myself all up and through this. Ive been in these situations time and time again. I have too decided to lose weight to have more or a social life but of course more so be more healthy. Best of luck on this trip(weight loss) you’re about to take.

  44. Ms World April 16, 2012 at 3:36 PM #

    Thank you for sharing your truth! As a big girl, I totally hear you. I’ve realized I need to lose some weight for health reasons and to be a thick sister who can get dates with men I desire– when I’m ready. Right now, I’m not ready but I’m working through my issues with a therapist and Weight Watchers. Honestly, for me the therapist has really helped me more than Weight Watchers (I do like there structure thought) since so much of my overeating involves dealing with emotional pain or self-imposed censorship. I wish you the best with improving your health!

  45. Douglas Baxter April 16, 2012 at 4:01 PM #

    I see & know a lot of Phat Girl’s(pretty hot & tasty) all or “BEAUTIFUL”

  46. Anna April 16, 2012 at 4:01 PM #

    I’m you and some of the comments that say you don’t like the attention you do receive, that you don’t like fetishists. And I really wonder if you are uncomfortable (not you so much as some of the commenters) with any attention at all, because you feel you don’t deserve it. That’s my only bone to pick with this article, the rest is kind of spot on.

  47. KayBee April 16, 2012 at 5:09 PM #

    Great points!!! …but when I finally finish getting some of this weight off,… Im going to feel some kind of way about those that werent interested when I was larger.

  48. Girl Replanted April 16, 2012 at 5:20 PM #

    While I always love CFC- this one is particularly fantastic, honest and timely. The first time I ever went to weight watchers was during my MA in feminist studies…and every day I had these philosophical discussions with myself. While I wasn’t trying to get a date, I was trying to sort out what it meant to be feminist and concerned about weight (not only the health stuff, but the how-hot-these-jeans-look too) I’d lose a little, and then get pissed off about the disgusting male attention I would get. I’d put the Fat Suit back on, quick. This has gone on for years- and your writing is real enough to make me re-visit my own demons.

  49. Forever a Fat Chicana Femenista April 16, 2012 at 5:39 PM #

    As a Fat Chicana Feminist whose life work is on Fat Chicanas and Women of Color, I too have fallen in to these modes of internalized notions of body and desire. I feel that even us fat girls perpetuate those dominant views of body; such as in my experience– I was a Fat Studies Conference and my positionality as a Fat Chicana at a size 18/20 240lbs was questioned and other Fat Women of Color said they wished they had my body type. This internalized notion of size and body plagues us all, but having the strength to continue working on ourselves and our community as Fat Women of Color is necessary. I also attribute the dominant male desire to our over exposure to advertisements targeting women and weight loss. How is it that down the I-405 in Los Angeles California that 95% of the build boards are advertising extreme modes of weight loss—Lap band. This exposure not only affects us, but it is damaging. Thank you for your reflection and analysis.

  50. Aisha April 16, 2012 at 6:04 PM #

    Good for you! Sometimes we nee dto put the idealogy aside and do what will get us the results we want. Best of luck to you on your healthy journey.

  51. Yeashan April 16, 2012 at 6:20 PM #

    “The first will be from those folks who insist that I must really have low self-esteem about my weight and that it must be coming through to the dudes I’m meeting. Um, that would be a Negative. That ain’t it.”

    my favorite part of the article. But anywho, I think it’s really crazy how we define thick. That term is so relative. I dated someone who would tell me I wasn’t ‘power thick’ which I think it closer to your size and that made me feel insecure. So it’s all kinds of foolishness! Woman love your bodies and be happy!

  52. Maggie April 16, 2012 at 7:17 PM #

    This is all kinds of honesty and I can only imagine how difficult it was to write and post this. Thank you for being brave enough to acknowledge that sometimes we perceive our feminist ideals as counter to our real life desires. It is such a relief to hear that someone else struggles with that, because sometimes I feel like I’m the worst feminist in the world. You are vulnerable and strong at the same time, here, and I admire you for sharing this with us.

    Also, is that you in that photo? I mean, I know a stranger on the Internet doesn’t mean anything to you, but still: damn girl. You look hella fine to me.

    • crunktastic April 16, 2012 at 7:56 PM #

      That chick is fly, but it’s not me. Lol. Thanks for reading. :)

  53. Neenz April 16, 2012 at 7:59 PM #

    I can’t thank you enough for this post. Everything you said is EXACTLY what i have been feeling about myself as well. You said it so perfectly. I don’t want to sound gushy but I’ve been trying to process my feelings about this, and you read my mind.

    First–online dating–YES, I was thinking the exact same thing! My friend recently joined eHarmony and I was helping her look through matches, and I noticed the same exact thing. Guys saying, albeit in nicer words, “no fat chicks.” Although online dating offers the opportunity to avoid guys that don’t share your fundamental values, while seeing my friend’s matches, I couldn’t help but feel reaffirmed in my thoughts that men honestly don’t want to date fat women.

    That leads to my next thing I loved about your post–the willingness to differentiate between liking “thick” women, and just plain fat. One of my friends said, hey, come on, some guys like women a little heavier. Yeah right. That’s true when the woman is like, a size 10. Or 14. Not a 20/22 (which I am).

    Then… your experience in the club. I FEEL THE SAME WAY when I go out with friends. Whenever I act friendly towards a guy in a bar–even if it is just politeness!–they will deliberately talk to someone else or not even give you the time of day. I could totally visualize myself when you told the story of the guy that was your type when you were out with your group. It’s almost as if they have to overtly ignore you to avoid the horror of having the fat chick be into them. As if we automatically are, right?!

    I also had this experience lately where I was talking about an athlete, and joking around that I liked him (silly I know, but don’t we all?!). A guy who I was with, who I had just met, was very quick to point out that this athlete was married and that his wife is really hot. As if to tell me, how dare you be interested in him. You’re fat. Know your place.

    Finally, I’d be interested to know what your thoughts are on this–the imbalance between men and women when it comes to weight. A fat guy can get an everyday, average, even beautiful woman who is thin, and society accepts this. But a fat woman? Take a look at the men interested in fat women (and i think this goes to your point about these relationships being an anomaly). Of course I’m speaking from my personal POV and observations here–but they’re not of the caliber that that woman deserves. They have some kind of esteem problem, they’re way too old, they’re [what this culture has come to prescribe as] unattractive.

    But one of the biggest reasons why I wanted to write back to you here is because I don’t think I’m being irrational about this. I’m not suffering from low self esteem. I’m looking at this from a macro, structural level, as I always do as a sociologist. Also, I’m a Sagittarius myself, and I AGREE on the urge to just say, fuck them! I’m great! But being great doesn’t matter. I’m on the brink of becoming a lawyer, I’m a smart person, and I don’t think I’m too bad looking either. But none of that matters when you’re fat, because of the extreme internalization of fat hatred in this society and culture.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you again. I can’t reiterate enough how grateful I am to have someone who has articulated how I feel, even though we don’t know each other! I’m bookmarking this forever. Although I’ve thought about this a lot, I am now at the point where I have to decide how to find a solution.

    • Rosa April 18, 2012 at 10:34 PM #

      Sometimes I think online dating is worse than real-world dating for ignoring people who don’t fit the template. I’ve watched more friends go on a ton of dates with people who just didn’t click, while not dating guys they really really liked because of some checkmark (“professional” job, certain height, no kids, whatever.)

      • Jondrea Smith April 19, 2012 at 9:14 AM #

        I think the ‘checklists’ are a large part of the problem. I’m not saying that one should not have certain things that they look for in a potential mate, but instead that we have to start seeing others as people, and not as objects with lists of attributes. However, even this I think is merely a symptom of he obsession with labels and packages over content that plagues this society. Labeling, compartmentalizing, and sticking with the ‘in’ thing is easier than seeing everyone as a person unto themselves and making decisions based on actual experience rather than observation. This true, in my opinion, whether we’re debating fat/skinny, hip-hop/rock, jock/geek, or any of the other false dichotomies that litter the sociological landscape.

        That being said, we can complain all day, but eventually we have to seek solutions. I think what is necessary is a re-education towards empathy–not in the sentimental sense, but in that endeavor to see people as people first, and not what society tells us we should think of them. Also can we please abandon the notion that we need to find somebody to punish for what society tell us is wrong with us. One of the biggest problems I’ve had being a big dude is the penchant it seemed people had for reducing me to a requisite amount of misery based solely on my size. It was like I was committing a crime just having the audacity to be fat and happy with myself. I think resolution may be an arduous task. We’re gonna have to deal with some deep-rooted issues in the process, but I think it’s a task worth undertaking.

  54. Kiki Monet Sprucer April 16, 2012 at 9:55 PM #

    I haven’t personally had any issues in the dating department as a plus sized woman. I have heard friends of mine complain about similar problems with relationships and their lack of having them, but I never really understood. This gives me a little insight though into how they may be struggling. I have always wondered what was different about me, it seems that the guys I date (which are all black men) either only date big girls or I’ve been the first big girl they’ve ever dated. Some of them were initially strangers, but a lot of them were guys I knew for a while and actually got to know me. One of my male friends suggested that I needed to stop wondering why I was the first big girl the guys have dated and start asking what personality trait I have in common with the smaller girls they’ve dated before. I have also heard guys say they want someone who takes care of themselves, and some people associate that with slenderness, but I have been big all my life and I am a very active person. I think when someone exudes confidence and good hygiene people can tell that person cares about themselves. But too I’m not sure it’s necessarily a size issue as it is a mindset of needing or wanting to find love. I know my clock is ticking, but I find when I’m seeking a relationship nothing comes my way… at least nothing that’s worth keeping. When I’m not looking is when multiple people come and I have more to choose from than I can handle. I’m currently single (technically, I am dating someone but I don’t know if I like him yet) by choice. I’ve been proposed to more times than I have fingers, but I can’t seem to find it in myself to actually commit myself to being with one person for the rest of my life. All I can say though is maybe ATL is just not where it’s at for big girls, try the Midwest… they love girls with meat on their bones out here. Oh and about the homeboy at the bar, be glad he wasn’t trying to get at you girl. He sounds like he was seriously only about the draws… and honestly too many people are about that these days. Seems like nobody knows what dating actually is anymore. But I loved your blog, and I wish you the best of luck in your goals.

  55. Dimmer01 April 16, 2012 at 10:09 PM #

    About 12 years ago during my junior year of college, a bunch of girls and guys were talking about “types.” Now that I think about it, only the ladies were being typed and not the men. Dude calls girl one the cute and sassy type. She is 4’11 and 98 lbs. The next woman, 5’9″ and a brickhouse, was labeled the sexpot, vixen type. I, 5’7″ and more Mo’Nique than Amber Rose, was labeled the earth mother. The strong, stable, mammy figure that the author so brilliantly describes.

    I will never forget how unattractive and undesired dude’s description made me feel. Hell, how it still makes me feel. I’m more confident than I was, but, overwhelmingly, my experiences since the fateful labeling have confirmed his interpretation. It’s great being the respected, trusted confidante, but, oh, to feel like a vixen just once…

    Thank you for your candor and for having the ginormous ovaries to speak this truth.

  56. Anne April 17, 2012 at 12:31 AM #

    “…spread a little love today/spread a little love your way (my) way…”

    saravibes.wordpress.com
    indigostheory.wordpress.com
    talesfromawestindiandiamond.tumblr.com
    sexandthefatgirl.com

    Best of luck in whatever you do…

    -Faith.

  57. ButterNut April 17, 2012 at 12:56 AM #

    You are beautiful as you are!!

    The right guy will love you for who you are and not what you look like.

    Loosing weight should be a good thing for health reasons.

  58. Anita April 17, 2012 at 1:14 AM #

    This is one thing I struggle with, wanting to be an independent, self-loving feminist while having my own insecurities. And they run deep. I don’t think there’s been one day in my life I’ve looked in the mirror and liked what I saw. I want to be flawless. I want to have thick hair (my hair is my biggest insecurity) and a flat stomach with the right curves. I want to be desired the way my beautiful, blonde room mate is desired (by every single guy I have ever brought home, including my now boyfriend). After a lot of soul searching, I realize that the way I feel about myself has a lot to do with the abuse I faced as a child. I really don’t know how to overcome it. How am I a feminist, if I wear make-up, do my hair and dress well when it’s only for male attention and what does it say about me that my boyfriend’s love and desire is not enough? How am I a feminist, if I would ditch my morals for the cash money for designer goods and plastic surgery? How can I tell other people to love themselves when I don’t love myself? This is different from what you wrote about, I love that you love yourself and the way you view self-care as feminist. But where do we draw the line?

  59. Kerry Dwyer April 17, 2012 at 1:46 AM #

    What a courageous article to write. A friend of mine had the same problems as you when she tried dating men who wanted big women – they saw her as just a big woman and nothing else – not her personality or intelligence. When I was at college people said to me – why don’t you lose weight – you have such a pretty face it’s a shame. Well heck-what a thing to say.
    I hope you get to where you want to be and are happy there, where ever that may be.
    Bon courage

  60. timberbookshelves April 17, 2012 at 5:26 AM #

    Thank you for this blog. It was a delight to read in its structure, thoughtfulness and honesty. I hope you get to your desired place in life and wish it for you. Good luck.

  61. Kena April 17, 2012 at 9:06 AM #

    I am here by way of Think Pretty Smart. What you propose to do is no different that women getting implants, wearing revealing clothing, high heels, covering their grey hair, etc to attract men. I know personally that I do things to attract men like flatiorning my hair. Black men love it. Wite men, not so much, they can appreciate the curls. Since I want to attract black men, I straighten my hair once a month.
    Good luck to you.

  62. vernon April 17, 2012 at 10:00 AM #

    There is nothing wrong with u ur sexy i like big girls

  63. filmfemme April 17, 2012 at 10:13 AM #

    Thank you for your honesty. It’s gonna take a while for me to process what you wrote. On one hand, you’re right. It is easier for (straight) skinny girls to date and find partners (although from some of the comments it seems like fat phobia exists among lesbians as well). But I think if you’re going to lose weight, it has to be for YOU. Not a career, a man, your friends/family, society, etc. If you’re comfortable with you, quality men will respond to that.

    I think the bigger problem frankly is that “quality” men who can appreciate women beyond their looks, especially Black men, are in short supply. At least they are in NYC where I live. I have numerous female friends who are smaller than me and THEY’RE having a hard time dating too.

    I’m a 14/16 and I’m trying to lose weight myself. I don’t want to be skinny (my ideal weight is a size 12), but I’m not happy with the size I’m at now. But I don’t think weight has been an issue with my dating; I think it’s because I’m a nontraditional, forward-thinking woman who’s assertive in my career and personal goals and not trying to conform to society’s expectations. That both attracts and scares the SHIT out of most men, and I think that would be the case even if I had Serena Williams’ body.

    I DO agree that when it comes to interracial dating, white guys prefer smaller women. Period. I’ve seen white guys in NYC walk hand-in-hand with medium to dark-skinned Black women with natural hair who I can honestly say are not-so-attractive in the face, at least not as attractive as me (and I know that’s subjective, but hey…we’re being honest here, right? And I mentioned hair/skin color NOT to suggest that that’s UNATTRACTIVE, but to point out that white guys don’t exclusively go for Halle Berry types). In every case, the woman was probably a size 8 or smaller.

    I honestly wonder if the issue is that American men just suck overall? I’d be curious to hear from women who have dated men outside the U.S. I’m going to Rome next week so I may have my own answer (but alas, I know that Italian men have their own issues with women–and fetishizing Black women in particular).

    Loneliness is a bitch. I feel you on that, Crunktastic. But be careful falling into the “if I lose weight, they will come” meme. You want to be someone who loves you COMPLETELY. That goes beyond what the scales say. Good luck and take care of yourself!

  64. Susan L Daniels April 17, 2012 at 10:21 AM #

    Losing weight is not an unfemnist thing to do–it is a journey I am joining you on–not because it is what society expects of me, but because I’d like to see someone familiar when I look in the mirror, lol. Here’s a poem for big, powerful women for ya…..http://susandanielseden.wordpress.com/2012/04/12/goddess/

  65. KittyWrangler April 17, 2012 at 10:25 AM #

    Sorry for the strangeness of this reply, but your post reminded me of one of Aesop’s Fables I hadn’t heard in forever. My mom read it to me in, maybe, kindergarten. An ostrich yearns to become a prima ballerina, so she practices all day every day and finally puts on a concert for her friends. But they all laugh at her. “Ostriches can’t be ballerinas!!” So Ostrich cries a bit but ultimately decides that she will just have to dance for herself. And that’s what she does, for the rest of her days, moral of the story being you’ll be happy when you do what makes you happy for yourself. I sat there for a minute after my mom finished it and finally said, “that’s not true. Ostrich is going to get really lonely. And why are her friends so mean?” My mom challenged me, “well what should she have done? She can’t control her how her friends act. She can’t force other people to like her dancing.” But something about the fable still felt wrong. And your post goes a long way toward clarifying why. (Of course if Ostrich had had access to the Internet things may have turned out differently for her.) Believing that people are or can be completely unaffected by what others think of them seems pretty naive to me, even when they’re pursuing what makes them happy for themselves. Anyhow, I really enjoyed your post and your honesty.

  66. Victor April 17, 2012 at 11:37 AM #

    I think you just haven’t found the right one yet. I see plenty of big girls dating small fit dudes. Pretty is pretty sexy is sexy it don’t matter what size you are.

    • Shon April 17, 2012 at 2:41 PM #

      That’s what I’m thinking Victor. I’m a big girl and for anyone that doesn’t like it, well all I can say is YOUR LOSS!!!!!!!

  67. blackcalculatorwatch April 17, 2012 at 3:05 PM #

    That purple looks good on you. Some women are fat. Some are thin. Some are in the middle. But the sexy ones are the sexy ones.

  68. Lili April 17, 2012 at 3:10 PM #

    Congratulations for your post! I’m brazilian, so sorry if my English is not so good. Here the things with women bodies are the same. You have to be thin and YOUNG. Im thin, maybe too much. I used to be successful with men, but now Im 29 years old and my face isnt so freshed anymore. Boys dont look at me as before and it ruins me. But why I need so much their gaze? A danish girl told me in Denmark women dont care if man are looking or not, they just feel they are beautiful looking to the mirror. How to be free of these opressions that are internalized in man and women, in them and us?

  69. sexNspirit April 17, 2012 at 3:17 PM #

    thank u 4 sharing ur story! i agree that there r other factors 2 consider like the simple ratio of women 2 men these days. i also agree that it’s not un-feminist 2 consider the characteristics that generally r appealing 2 the kind(s) of men we find attractive. That’s what we do. it’s only un-feminist &/or unhealthy when our sole (& obsessive) reasons 4 making adjustments/changes do not include our own needs/desires.

    i hope we can find a balance re the reality of physical attraction & appreciation. i do know that we r conditioned. i don’t know how much that conditioning impacts our choices & all the various factors. the men i’ve dated span a range re physical & other characteristics. whenever a brother initially fell “outside the norm,” honestly, he only became a viable option if i had some opportunity 2 get 2 know the whole of him better (i.e., as colleagues, classmates, volunteers, etc.). then, he “made room” 4 others like him.

    we see what we see when we see people – that’s physical 1st, most of the time. (if we’re incredibly discerning, we may see more.) initially, we can also see attitude/demeanor, which may or may not affect how we perceive the physical.

  70. kimberly5linxwaters April 17, 2012 at 3:23 PM #

    OMG!!!!! I have felt this way my entire life!!!!!! Everything you said is totally how I feel!!!!!! THANK YOU for writing this!!!!!! I love it!!!!!!

  71. cathy April 17, 2012 at 3:38 PM #

    Date women?

  72. LC (@tidalwave29) April 17, 2012 at 3:39 PM #

    Ok here goes….
    Why spend time writing about the brothers that aren’t here for you instead of preparing yourself for the ones that are? That seems so self-defeating and honestly a waste of time.

    And while I do agree with the social construct of beauty being created in a way that will forever disadvantage black women–big or small, there is also no recognition that maybe some men prefer healthy women and obesity is unhealthy. Being obese is not healthy in any culture. If we could see our lungs and livers the way we can see the results of food abuse, I think there would be even more of stigmatization over those who smoke or drink. Sure some of us have genetic conditions that predispose us to weight gain but the other 99% continually made poor choices.

    In an east-African country I spend some time in, food is scarce and bigger women (and we’re talking 20-40lbs overweight, not 100-150lbs) are thought to be more successful, have more access to food, hence their weight. Obviously that is not the conclusion we draw here. I do NOT see the level of obesity in other countries that I see in the US and all statistics prove this.

    If we practice so much self love, why not slef love to lose weight? Why blame men who don’t want to endulge with you in an unhealthy lifestyle? Your article neglects to offer the health concerns as a legitimate reason for your limited dating options. The same way someone won’t date a smoker or a drinker, someone may opt out of a heavy eater.
    Certainly, “hi I’m a chain smoker” or “hi, I have a huge drinking problem” isn’t acceptable to most, but “hi I maintained a lifestyle that caused me to be obese” should be? Isn’t it possible to think negatively of obesity and not because you view it through a patriarchal paradigm.

    Also, how do you know there are more single fat women, than not? Like does the Census pick up this info? How do you control for those who no one wants to date because of their personality or their looks in general? I think some may not be interested in you because of your size. Others may not be interested in you because of you.

    I feel a lot of your concerns as a dark-skinned sister also natural. I know the situation of watching your girls get hit on while the darkies make conversation. But because I knew my hair and my skin WERE me, I never concluded I’d have to slap a perm in or wear makeup 3 shades lighter to get a man.

  73. Dr. John E Ellis MD April 17, 2012 at 3:41 PM #

    I’m a man. Losing 125 lbs (and keeping it off for 2 yrs) has changed a lot of things for the better.

  74. Stuff Queer People Need To Know April 17, 2012 at 4:08 PM #

    While I’m a fat queer woman, the same tenets still apply. I know this pain all too well. People fall in admiration of me and then adoration. It’s not really ever love at first sight, because they don’t or they’re not supposed to like what they see.

    • danucal April 20, 2012 at 8:26 PM #

      Thank you for writing this. I seem to attract men “intellectually”, not physically, so I feel what you are expressing here.

  75. Yahoo April 17, 2012 at 4:16 PM #

    You are brave and honest to write this. It took me a long time to accept and understand it, but whether we like it or not, men are first attracted to a woman by her appearance, and weight is a big component of that. I’ve been everywhere from the perfect weight to borderline obese, and it is amazing how much difference it makes to men. When I’m fat, I am invisible to men. When I diet, I get more male attention in direct proportion to how close I’m getting to my ideal weight. Women like slim women too. Clothing ads with slim women sell far better than ads with fat women. So women who say they don’t care about being fat are either lying, or are in a very small minority.

    Yeah it is unfair, so is life! Pity the poor man who is 5’3″. Nothing will ever make him attractive to most women. At least we have it within our means to eat right, exercise, and hopefully get in better shape.

    So many women let themselves go, and I understand why. As you get older, it is wicked hard to keep weight off. I struggle with it always. I’m 25 pounds over the highest weight that I feel fit at right now, and it has taken a toll on my dating life. I hate it when men ignore me, and I don’t have as much energy as when I’m slimmer. I think it is healthier to recognize the problem and try to improve, than to make excuses. Admit it naysayers. You don’t need some kind of cultural brainwashing to know that Halle Berry is OBJECTIVELY more attractive than that Precious chick.

  76. adm679 April 17, 2012 at 4:49 PM #

    I lost about 65 pounds and now I am a hour glass shaped, size 10, 5’2, 155 pounds….Its been two years and I still haven’t gained the weight back..but guess what?
    I still feel ‘too big’ like im part of a niche group that only guys like my boyfriend who like ‘thick’ girls are into (luckily I met him before I even tried online dating, I admit, I would be too cowardly to do online dating ever again)….
    Online dating isn’t really the best way to meet people when you don’t fit that sterotypical ideal of American beauty…it’s too easy to arbitrarily dismiss someone based on physical characteristics alone.
    You should really do it for yourself..because otherwise it isn’t worth it. I am constantly, vigilantly, monitoring my food intake etc to keep the weight off. I literally weigh myself everyday to make sure I’m not gaining, and if I am, I get back on track immediately. So to put yourself under this constant scrutiny, probably for the rest of your life, is a lot to sacrifice for a romantic partner, and honestly..I love my boyfriend..but I don’t think I would do this for any man..

    If I didn’t lose it for my own reasons, im sure I wouldve gained it all back by now. I still worry that his friends/family will see me as the ‘fat girl’, since he is tall and slim with virtually no body fat. He has never, not once, made me feel self concious about my weight, but I still wonder what other people think and if they are judging me, and him along with me. You were right when you said this has nothing to do with self-esteem because I know I am beautiful and I have plenty of confidence. Its more about how other people judge you and how society perceives you. I think the war on fat is only getting worse..

  77. nicoletrane April 17, 2012 at 5:14 PM #

    “So as much as I resent the limited range of desire that it seems (Black) men have and the ever-present male privilege that allows them to never have to interrogate their sexual and romantic investments, I hate my limited partnering prospects much more.”

    Thank you for this honest, thought-provoking post, and thank you to all of the folk who’ve replied positively. I am a fat girl. Not slightly chubby. Not pleasantly plump. My medical chart reads “morbidly obese.” I’ve struggled with weight and dating for all of my adult life (and all of my teen life, and all of my pre-teen life). I had such negative views about my body for the staggering majority of this time, negativity fueled by relatives and even close friends who’ve either refused to accept my weight or thought that ridicule would be motivation. My own anti-fat self-hatred was almost crippling. I didn’t date, I didn’t think I could. I cried. A lot. But, something that really helped me was learning about the fat acceptance community, the health at any size movement, and a lot of honesty with mice elf. Like you, I came to the realization that I wasn’t happy with my weight. I considered bariatric surgery for a time, but didn’t pursue it. Ultimately, I’ve had to accept that weight loss is something that my feminist self wants to accomplish. I started to eat better. I’m more physically active. Although I hate the gym, I’ve joined a line dance group to get moving. When I get busy moping or hating myself, I walk.

    But what helped me the absolute most was re-centering my focus. The question of “why don’t I have a man” always led me to “why am I overweight.” These things are related, yes, but they are also separate issues. Feeling everything you write about, I made a decision to accept that I want to lose weight AND that Black men often seem (to me) to have been educated to desire a feminine ideal that is quintessentially not-me. The latter is their preference, but only the former is my problem. I am still working to de-link the two in terms of my own self-concept, but I’m way more successful than I’ve ever been. I realized that I hated the pressure of this education of desire even as I was unhappy with my own physical state. As a feminist, I learned that I could be critical of the narrowness of the “sexual and romantic investments” that Black men around me were making while also addressing my weight and my relationship to it. I lost 32 lbs. I’m still fat. Very fat lol. But, I’m active. I care for myself, and I know that such caring requires me to attend to my obesity.

    And, in a way that is as feminist as Audre Lorde telling us to use the erotic as a source of power, I stopped privileging the dictates of male desire. Sure, I still feel the pull of the glossy video vixen look when I’m inundated by popular culture, but here lately I just turn off the tv. I’m on a weight loss journey that attempts to de-link Black male scrutiny from how I feel about myself, and to honestly confront when those two forces become indistinguishable for me. A took a page from Martin Lawrence and said, “f*ck em, girl. F*ck em.” I learned to enjoy self-care and took more than a little pride in the righteous indignation of railing against the “Education of [Black Male] Desire” (word to Ann Stoler). I picked up a grip of hobbies. I went on irreverent dates with myself and happily swooned at Erykah and Bilal and Alica Smith. And then, after a sequence of uncanny events that still boggle the mind, I went on a date. And now, I’m booed up and nasty. Still fat, but still working to lose weight. Still critical of Black male desire conventions and now able to talk with my partner about that critique in ways that engage him in a cost-accounting. I didn’t compromise my politics. I confronted my fear of attempting weight loss and (re)valued myself. Blessings on your your journey.

  78. fabulouscricket April 17, 2012 at 5:15 PM #

    Being a Sag and a BBW I totally relate. It’s as though you crept into my mind and stole my thoughts lol!! Thanks for sharing, right on time.

  79. Ed Daniels April 17, 2012 at 5:16 PM #

    Get you a secretive boyfriend who cares about you!!

  80. withoutscene April 17, 2012 at 5:24 PM #

    Just want to offer big fat hugs and love to you. It was brave to write about an issue where you get so much backlash and condescension from all sides, but it makes a difference when you speak your truth. Keep on keepin on, however you need to. Thanks for writing this.

  81. Annette April 17, 2012 at 5:31 PM #

    I recently read that most overweight people think they are smaller than they really are. If the flirt at the club flirted with everyone except for me, even if I wasn’t attracted to him I think I would take a good look at myself too. There is nothing wrong with losing weight to begin living the life you want to live. I put on weight a few years ago and was surprised to find that it only took a twenty pound weight loss for men to start looking and flirting with me again and I am also a dark skinned, natural hair wearing woman. On the other hand, I lost the weight because I had become much more physically active after meeting a man that asked me out at the weight I was.

  82. Allie April 17, 2012 at 5:40 PM #

    This article speaks to me in so many ways, as I sit in the gym and wait on my gorgeous yet extremely expensive trainer. I am 5’10 and 230lbs, dark skinned, and short hair. Weight sits on me differently but I am evidently heavy. I feel like in today’s world I am on the highly undesirable list. It should be noted that I have always loved myself, would never refer to myself as fat, and thought I was amazing until I realized not many men think so.
    I do get put in the friend zone constantly, or asked to be hooked up with my 5’6 light skinned, fat ass w/ flat stomach, and longer haired best friend and much like the author I’m the friend who usually doesn’t get approached to dance or spark up conversation at bar/lounges.

    I’ve been telling myself there is a guy out there who would love me regardless for years even before I gained the weight lol.

    My attempt to lose weight is definitely for myself I liked myself a lot more when I was eating healthy and exercising regularly but I’d br lying if I told you if didn’t cross my mind about how much weight I’d have to lose before I’m considered attractive.

    I mentioned my trainer because I think he is gorgeous and he flirts and laughs and texts me outside of the gym which I’m sure is just apart of his job but if he did like me back I’ll never know because now even I don’t think its possible he could find me attractive.
    I share all this because I’m now so disappointed in myself for allowing those who didn’t get me define me!!

  83. HoniBee April 17, 2012 at 6:15 PM #

    I appreciate your honesty. It’s a harsh reality that I’m facing, but making the decision to live healthier is for me. Although I’m sure the expansion of my dating pool will be a welcome change. Love it!!!!

    • Jondrea Smith April 17, 2012 at 10:12 PM #

      I completely understand your sentiments, and I empathize as much as I can from a male vantage. I think a large part of the problem is the fallacious correlation created in this society between self-worth and adherent to so-called ‘universal standards’ of desirability. You’re a woman who happens to be big, but that’s not how society sees you. Images overrule reality, and they see you as ‘a big black girl,’ and you’re supposed to behave according to whatever preconceptions they hold so as not to force them to step out of their comfort zones and get to know you as an actual person. You’re supposed to be the mammy; the caricature. Either inordinately shy or overcompensatingly loud and boisterous; comic relief, or the charity case; ‘strong and stable,’ or the enforcer. No time seems to be taken considering the fact that you’re a fully-functioning woman. It is true that at any given time you can be any or all of the characterizations, but it is equally true that you, like every other human being, are so much more than a cast of characters. Excuse the rambling, but I said all that to say that that we’re at a point where we very often see images rather than people. This is especially true when it comes to intimacy. Some people’s brains tend to short-circuit even considering being attracted to that which society tells them to find repulsive.

      As it pertains to your weight, I like the fact that you’re making lifestyle changes because they’re value added to your life, and not to ‘hook a man.’ I believe that we are most attractive when we feel like we’re at our best, regardless of what that looks like. I’m a pretty big dude, and I’m still working with my weight, but I have found that the self-motivation is far more important than any extraneous compulsion. I’m glad you found it sooner rather than later. I wish you all the best in that effort.

  84. dominiqueatchison April 17, 2012 at 8:50 PM #

    I don’t want to get lost in an e-battle but just want to say that I am sad to see the article coming from you guys…

  85. lasondramarie April 17, 2012 at 8:54 PM #

    This was such a great article and it definitely resounds with me. I have similar feelings. And usually when a man says he is interested in me, it comes with the extra comment of “liking girls like me”. I am at the point now where I am confident in who I am, and maybe have realized that it has taken this time to build this confidence so that I can be confident at any size I choose. I wish you the best of luck in your endeavor!

  86. Trenia Parham April 17, 2012 at 8:58 PM #

    First of all, I applaud your honesty, and I don’t have much to add to what’s already been said but I would encourage you to find your passion and connect to what you love, outside of work and social movements. What makes you feel sexy and desirable as a woman? I’m a dating coach and author of The Curvy Girls Guide to Dating, and the biggest challenge many big women have is finding the passion in their own lives. Because that passion is the the spark that will connect you to someone, that will cause a man to find you attractive.

    Dating as a big girl is harder and there are less options, but it only takes one. So if you date 5 men or 50 to find the one for you, does it make a difference? The way to find love is to first show yourself love, as cliche as that may sound. What if you never lost a single pound, what would you do differently in your life to express and find love? The reality is there is nothing magical about thinness, it’s a tool, a point of entry, but it does not sustain love. Thin people get dumped, overlooked, people break their hearts, they get cheated on, etc…But in the end you will have to connect with the love for yourself that will sustain you. If you are looking to lose weight, you will have to dig deep to maintain it, but start with loving yourself and expressing your passion and sex appeal now. That is how love starts.

    • Jill Jackson April 21, 2012 at 7:28 PM #

      Case in point, Halle Berry? Thin, and look at her love life.

  87. Muzi April 18, 2012 at 1:42 AM #

    The thing is, men and women look for completely different things when it comes to dating. Things like physical appearance and morals are not high on a woman’s list of wants. They are for men though. A man will very rarely date a woman who has a reputation for sleeping around or is overweight. He might sleep with her but thats about as far as it goes. But have a woman hear that her suitor once beat up his ex girlfirend (aka Chris Brown), and her response is likely to be something to the effect of, “Well, he didn’t do it to me, so…”. And this is why for the most part, men will never be made morally accountable for how they treat others because nobody is holding them to be so. My soloution? Big girls EVERYWHERE, work out, lose the weight, and once you’re completely happy with yourself and feel confident adn attractive, start raising your standards. On your dating profiles start posting “No fatties allowed!” Start looking for things like morals and stuff. I believe that this can be one stratergy in feminist activism. Because they’ll never lower their standards until we raise ours…

    • Jill Jackson April 21, 2012 at 7:26 PM #

      Um… why wait until you lose weight (which might never happen despite your best efforts) to feel happy, confident and attractive, and raise one’s standards? Every woman deserves that at ANY size.

  88. Icequeen1013 April 18, 2012 at 7:52 AM #

    I appreciate this honest and vulnerable post… I never thought of my weight as a problem, until we were at a club (college days, so smaller than I am now), and a guy and I exchanged numbers. Then he leaned over and said, “I hope you’re not self-concious about your weight.” I wasn’t, until then. I have had all those experiences, and it’s not nice or pretty to be ignored because you’re the “fat one” – and sometimes this simply means “bigger than your homegirls.” I wish that the scenario of people being attracted to each other and loved for their personality first was the rule, and not the exception, but it isn’t. Which is why I’ve recently decided to pay more attention to my health and diet to increse my confidence, which is completely shot. Heres to hoping those changes make positive changes in my love life as well.

  89. Nikki April 18, 2012 at 11:15 AM #

    Author: “Because desire is socially constructed (no matter how much folks justify their limited dating choices based on ‘natural preference’), the fact that we live in a fat-hating culture greatly affects who we’re attracted to, and what we find attractive. The idea that we’re only attractive within a range of sizes is absurd. And narrow. And it is absolutely a function of patriarchy.”

    I agree with this. Call it what it is: another way to control women’s bodies. Men are conditioned to believe they can only love certain women in certain ways. Women are conditioned to believe they have to do any and everything possible to be one of those types of women. All it really does is limit the potential for unity and change. (By the way, I have a whole dissertation started on how black women’s bodies are classified, used and abused that considers issues of weight, attraction, health and violence…among other things….but another time.) So, yeah! Buy into that bullshit!

    Author: “I have started to make some changes in order to REMAIN healthy.” (Caps are mine.)

    People are so absolutely certain that fatness = disease. If you’re fat and not sick, it is assumed that someday you will be sick and that sickness will be caused by your fatness. If you’re fat and you have so much as an earache, it is assumed that it’s related to your weight. (Seriously, I had a doctor try to tie an earache to my fat. He assumed that I must eat lots of horrible food that had weakened my immune system and caused me to get…swimmer’s ear. Yeah. At the time I was swimming a lot but I don’t think he believed me. Whatevs.)

    My point is: when thin people get sick, they’re unfortunate victims of tragic circumstance. When fat people get sick, we asked for it and, because of our slothful ways, and we deserve it. More bullshit.

    The author of this blog post changed her eating habits to REMAIN healthy. EVERY SINGLE SOLITARY THIN PERSON WITH WHOM I AM IN RELATIONSHIP COULD/SHOULD ALSO DO THE SAME. Thin people can eat shit and it’s not a crime. It’s not a hazard. It’s not taboo. Bullshit, again.

    I am absolutely certain that the woman who wrote this article will not find love and happiness forever if she loses 100 lbs. The Fantasy of Being Thin tells us that if we lose weight we’ll be happier, wealthier, prettier, kinder, more adventurous, more exciting. The reality is that if you’re unhappy, broke, mean, and boring as a fat woman, you’ll probably be that as a thin woman as well. And if you think you’re ugly BECAUSE you are fat, check yourself. I KNOW that beauty and fat are not mutually exclusive. I’m beautiful. And fat. And that’s just true.

    Look, most black women aren’t married. Every news agency in the country has done a story about how unmarriageable they think we are…even the thin sistas. But, if by some twist of fate, this black woman does get hitched when she’s thin, since 95% of all diets fail to maintain a permanent weight loss, chances are she’ll gain the weight back. And wouldn’t it suck to find out your boo can’t love you in a bigger body? Unacceptable bullshit.

    Be who you are. When it comes down to it, the one person you are guaranteed to spend the rest of your life with is you. So, make peace with it. And, if you’re not getting love in the way you expected or wanted to, explore other possibilities. Love is so much bigger than the narrow definitions of relationship that we’ve all adopted. No bullshit.

    • imperviousheart April 19, 2012 at 12:29 PM #

      You need a standing ovation for this. You hit the nail on the head. If you don’t love yourself now, there is no way you’ll love yourself when you loose weight. Self-esteem, self-love and self-respect do not magically appear because you drop a few pounds.

    • Jill Jackson April 21, 2012 at 7:23 PM #

      Ayyyyy MEN!

  90. Faith April 18, 2012 at 11:20 AM #

    Start with yourself now. What makes you excited now. What makes you happy now. Have more confidence now.

  91. Faith April 18, 2012 at 11:26 AM #

    I see some people mentioning entertainer Halle Berry – let’s remember that she has diabetes, and she doesn’t always have the healthiest of relationships….be healthy – in mind, body & spirit – regardless of size!

  92. Faith April 18, 2012 at 11:31 AM #

    Start looking online for big black chicks who feel/felt the same way you do & how they are getting past the B.S.!

  93. Faith April 18, 2012 at 11:33 AM #

    While there is a lot of B.S. online, there’s also good stuff too – more than what I see on T.V. and (most) magazines!

  94. Faith April 18, 2012 at 1:34 PM #

    also – kimcoles.com

  95. Faith April 18, 2012 at 1:37 PM #

    Sorry – therealkimcoles.com!

  96. K April 18, 2012 at 2:25 PM #

    This is so true uugghhh society. Do your thing girl

  97. Avery Ray Colter April 18, 2012 at 6:44 PM #

    I am not ashamed to say that it took no more than an eyeblink’s glance at the photo heading this article for me to have a “gosh she’s pretty” reaction. Does that mean I have a fetish? How about if I can honestly say I’ve had this reaction to women in a whole range from plump to supersize – and, for that matter, the occasional non-fat woman with a “soft look”? A nod to Kari for her post on this. When I see the writing about men never having to “interrogate their sexual and romantic investments”, frankly I don’t know whether to laugh or to weep. Every man who found himself feeling the way I did when sexuality awoke has been doing exactly this, ofttimes frankly to a pathologically intense (and admittedly sometimes off-putting) degree, since becoming aware that they have a radically different story to bring in the face of those billboards “all down the I-405″ I know all too well, having grown up in Whitter (a nod to Fat Chicana Femenista).
    We’ve had to contend with some pretty toxic memes ourselves. What feels worse, being adjudged not to really exist in anything other than a pretentious or defective way (i.e., “mother complex”, “loser who can’t do any better”, “ulterior motive”, “on a bet”, “participant in an ugly date contest”, “hogger”, ad fucking nauseum), or being smacked upside the head by fat women themselves the moment it’s even acknowledged that our sentiments are authentic?

    Yes, I know, BBW clubs, with loud music and commotion, are not always the best forum for deep conversations about anything. Can you understand though that it feels like someone like me is being foisted a false dichotomy, that somehow it’s supposed to be impossible for me to have a fat-positive limbic system and socio-politically or intellectually chew gum at the same time? I am a political animal, and I have some pretty hot rage at the way fat people have been treated to this multidimensional and in some senses outright genocidal fusilade of ill will. And part of that is exactly some of the stuff I’ve seen on talk shows (Dr. Oz being a recent example), where he uses the fetish terminology to insinuate that his male guests “don’t really care what happens to her”. To be fair, whether these particular comrades got intentionally edited or whether they were just unprepared to have their skulls cracked by a 4×4, they just sat there and nodded. But that certainly is not me. I care a whole lot what happens. Figuring out ways I can be part of the solution is something with which I wrack my brain. And I’m certainly nowhere near perfect.
    Sometimes the urge to just give someone a hug short circuits my “ask first” circuit. But what makes me really scratch my head is that the author appears to propose a solution to “a dude with a fat fetish” composed of transforming one’s body to be appealing to men who, by this very logic, by the way they are described as acting, have a “non-fat fetish”. They just don’t get called that because their own bias is normative. You’re contemplating a long hike just to get to their own imperfect territory? They are not better than us. And frankly, the “anything that moves” men are not automatically better either just because their range of somatic desires is, actually, only a few clicks wider than my own.

  98. onceafatgirl April 19, 2012 at 7:33 AM #

    I’ve been on the fence about commenting to this post because it’s very personal to me. You and I are very different in terms of how we view being a big girl. (Also, I’m white, if that matters to you in reading this.) I was a size 28 at 19. But I didn’t like myself. Or find myself attractive. I’ve lost 165 lbs. I’ve been thin for years now. And the truth is that I love my body now, and I did not as a big girl. I have food issues and a literal addiction to sugar grains and starches. My food regimine is now “extreme”, but truly gives me peace. I have zero regret about giving up those foods for a body i love and sanity in my daily life. But there is still a pain in my heart when I read that a beautiful, intelligent, funny woman with the integrity to speak the truth has a hard time dating because of her size. I remember the rejection well. It was as if I were my size, and only that. I remember being the friend, sister, confidante, wing-woman. Always a bridesmaid…I will say that I now get a lot of unwanted attention. That it can be scary. I got used to being left alone. But being attractive to men I am attracted to has its perks. Wishing you love and hot action! You’re a powerful woman and I honor that!

  99. kitadiva April 19, 2012 at 9:22 AM #

    When I read this, frankly I smiled and empathized. I am a big girl and frankly by what the BMI and the doctor’s say, I have always been a big girl. I have never seen a size under 12 since I was 16 years old. I have no idea what it means to be a thin girl and I never will probably. I am now a size 24. This is the largest I have ever been and I now have diabetes and high blood pressure. For me, losing some weight is an act of care, it is an act of love for ME. Getting overly involved with school and taking on entirely to much stress in other areas, I honestly ceased taking care of myself for a period of 3 years. Re-learning how to eat, moving again (courtesy of Curves 3 x a wk for 30-45 min.), taking a walk 2 x a wk for 20 minutes – this is my new life. I love and enjoy my new life and frankly I feel better. I watch what I eat (My Fitness Pal) – but I eat what I want making sure that I add veggies and fruit and try to eat grilled and baked foods more than I do fried. It is an adjustment, it is also an action of love that I am expressing for myself. To ME this is a very feminist move – I chose me – not a man’s gaze for whatever reason he is gazing – not anyone’s attention – I. Choose. ME. & My. Health.

    Will this make me more attractive to some men as I get in shape and firm back up? YES. The thing is – I really do not want all of the attention men give for being someone basically they look at and want to have sex with – not necessarily want to get to know, not to get to love me, not to partner with me – not to create a life with – but want to f#*k . At this point in my life I want a relationship. Good scex is important – but there is so much more to the relationship I want than that. Hell, I want marriage – I want a partnership with someone who loves and is willing to grow old with ME. Dating guys who love me where I am is great – when they show up. Often it feels like these guys are afraid to show. UP. I agree with you – guys who do want us at our sizes can sometimes be a bit off putting and make you feel icky when they insist that you changing your body in any way would go against them. No. Thank. YOU. That is no better than a guy telling you to lose weight – to me. This is my body and my soul inhabits it – I will do the choosing sir like I chose my hair style, my outfit and these shoes that I have on – hmmph. Are big girl lovers all this way – NO – but, there are many who are. I will be in the big girl arena when my body adjust to my new regimen – so… we’ll see if that situation improves. LOL.

    Am I suggesting you don’t lose weight – NO. Am I telling you the desire to lose weight is bad – NO. Am I telling you that this is anti-feminist – NO. What I am saying is understand that things are not perfect on either side of this equation – big girl or smaller ummm big girl (LOL) – so, though it is cliché’ – be happy with yourself. Move your body 30 minutes a day 5 times a week and enjoy good food – and that is not necessarily fried and sometimes, truth is, it will be. I personally still enjoy fries and a basket of onion rings occasionally – YUM! Radiant confidence matched with care for self mentally, physically, emotionally, intellectually etc. – that is attractive. Try that and good luck with meeting a great guy for you! I hope we hear good news with your efforts soon.

  100. tiny April 19, 2012 at 11:17 AM #

    Dear author,

    If you decided to date women, you don’t have to change a thing about yourself for me. I hope you don’t take offense to this but, “YOU CAN GET IT!”

    tiny

  101. honey April 19, 2012 at 11:35 AM #

    Soooo. I have something to add/expound upon. In Crunktastic’s blog, she mentions that she is DARK-SKINNED and big. She definitely mentions color in her article. As a medium-big light-skinned woman, my experience has been somewhat different. Men – and women – I am bisexual, and can I just say that, surprisingly to most women, WOMEN are far more BODY-CRITICAL than men are – respond not just to the roundness of my body, but to my light skin, “pretty face”, and “good hair.” I think colorism is relevant to this discussion on what is considered to be attractive in Black America. As disgusted as I am by the fact that potential mates are attracted to the fact that I’m the closest thing to white that they can get without going Caucasian, it’s a fact of my life that I get positive attention for these attributes. My curves are not met with the same disgust because I have other things that supposedly make up for them. And I get GOOD LOOKING, IN SHAPE MATES AND SEXUAL PARTNERS. I know, I know, it’s really disgusting. But like Crunktastic, my taste does not tend toward out of shape people. My dating history is full of military, firefighters, personal trainers, sports enthusiasts, etc. Very attractive, fit BLACK people. I am interested in continuing this conversation with the inclusion of the light-skinned “advantage” with regard to dating while Big, Black and Feminist. Crunktastic?

    • Kandi April 19, 2012 at 12:12 PM #

      When Im feeling down I listen to “Thick Girl”. The lyrics goes “I’ll rather be thick in the waste than have an ugly face”. ;)

  102. maxi April 19, 2012 at 4:07 PM #

    I love your article and the many truths you are telling about socially constructed desire, I would only say don’t close yourself to the possibility of someone you might meet at a “fat fetish” party because just like you said, loving big girls is outside of what’s considered the norm. BTW have you seen old photos of Marylin Monroe, she would be considered a big girl today!

  103. maxi April 19, 2012 at 4:08 PM #

    oops I left out for that reason some men might find it hard to meet a big girl at a club or some other mainstream setting

  104. Flashynista April 20, 2012 at 7:05 AM #

    Living my life.

  105. Hello April 21, 2012 at 2:57 PM #

    Back in the day, it seemed like I would see a lot of big girls with boyfriends. My sister was large, never obese but large and men threw themselves at her. Her dates were very nice, cute men too. My mother’s friend was very large and she had a man. …………..I could go on and on. Although I will not lie. I have never seen a so called “sloppy fat girl” with a man. It seems like the times have changed. Back in the 80 and early 90s you could be a big girl and have a man. It is sad too. I have been reading blogs and comments on the internet as of late. It seems like America hates fat people. I even read things like fat people have terrible personalities and bad body odor.
    When I was younger it was hard for me to date because I was overweight. However, I did have admirers. Some that wanted to date me. Some who would say stuff like, if you just lost 30 pounds you would be perfect. Some I just did not want to date because I was not attracted to them. I wanted the basketball player next door. I think there are nice, educated, employed men out there that appreciate a wide range of women. But women are not willing to date them because these guys are not physically desirable. Sometimes it is not the fact that we can’t find anyone that is attracted to us. Sometimes we just don’t want to settle. We want what we cannot have. We want the tall athletic brother. But the truth is, the tall athlete or the cute chunky guy. He wants someone who is in shape like he is.
    I had an admirer, who was college educated, had a masters and just so happened to be fat an shy. I blew his ass off, because I was not attracted to him. I wanted the slim handsome guy. ……but I was not slim. Crunk, I think you are right to lose the weight. As tough as it is. Globally men judge women by weight and age. I wish the lord would just come down with a magic wand and make people marry and date each other based off of what is on the inside, but it just don’t work that way. Even the Bible says some people are not meant to marry. So if you think losing weight will heighten your chances of finding a
    man………go for it. For those of you who don’t want to lose the weight, then you may to settle for the guy that has a fetish. ………with in the realm of reason though. Nothing is worth dating a fool.

  106. Jill Jackson April 21, 2012 at 7:18 PM #

    You forgot the fourth group. The ones who will tell you that there’s a difference between weight and health and that there are plenty of fat women with healthy habits, who ARE healthy, but are not thin.

    which leads to the next thing: 95 percent of ALL people who actually manage to lose weight, gain it all back within with five years. So, IF (and that’s a big if) you actually do manage to lose, you’ll have five years, at the most, to find a man, before you gain it all back… and then some.

    Actually, if you are like the majority of people, you’ll have about a year.

    That is, of course, IF you lose the weight at all. Because healthy habits like eating whole foods and lots of fresh fruits and veggies, cutting out processed foods and sodas, and exercising, don’t guarantee weight loss.

    Which is why there are plenty of fat women who do all those things and are still fat.

    And if you resort to unhealthy measures, such as diet pills, diet fads, or starvation, that won’t make you healthier. And it also won’t make you thin.

    It might find you a man, tho… at least until you gain it all back and he dumps you for someone thinner.

    Which is also likely to happen, if he’s only with you because you’re thin.

    Ultimately, it’s your choice, I’m just making you aware of option number 4.

    • danucal April 21, 2012 at 7:49 PM #

      YES. My reality has been checked.

  107. jason April 22, 2012 at 12:27 AM #

    Don’t lose weight – u look Great / Beautiful!!!!!

  108. flyblkgirl April 22, 2012 at 6:12 AM #

    thank you for sharing. my girl and i were recently discussing dating, men and feelings of being feminist “imposters” because of our preferences and choices when it comes to our partners. although we are aware of the inequalities and systems that structure desire, as you pointed out, we also have to live in the world (that we have become some well at deconstructing) and find happiness, as one defines it. as a black female doctoral student, and oneday professor, i understand this struggle that you speak of in the post although my particular struggle with dating has been different from the one you have shared. i support you in your decision and i wholly agree that Demetria Lucas is fab!

    all the best!

  109. Hellifiknow April 22, 2012 at 8:53 AM #

    Very interesting piece and comments. But let me flip this – I’m 5’10. Big titties. I’m now a sz. 18 but have not always been. I felt like you did as the “tall girl.” Never picked to dance, dudes asking me could I dunk, teased throughout my adolescence, etc. Yes things got better as I got older – more taller men! But I never lost that feeling of being ostracized for something I couldn’t do anything about. I WISH there had been a club for men who like tall women the way the BBW clubs are now. So what if some dudes fetishize fat women? You think men don’t fetishize big breasts? I don’t care because that means to me is that I don’t have to be ashamed of them and that someone will appreciate them.
    Sorry to get anecdotal on you but both of my grown niece’s are thick and having no problems. My one niece’s ex was far bigger than she is, so he’s probably a “chubby chaser” and so? I think most preferences are fetishes. I like slim men over 6’2. Preference or fetish?
    I do think that you’ve internalized your weight and decided that is all that is standing in your way. Why wouldn’t you want evidence that yes, fat girls can get a man? Why would you appreciate men who clearly like big girls instead of focusing on those who don’t? That tells me on some level that YOU don’t like being fat.
    For the record, I don’t like fat men. I don’t like thick men. I don’t even like men with stomachs and mine ain’t flat. I could tell you it’s about health including sexual health and that’s true, especially since I’m in my 40′s. But I NEVER liked them. There are I’m sure plenty of lovely fat men out here but I’ll never know. They do not fire my libido like the tall, slim athletic man. Online I can choose my preferences and men can choose theirs. Plenty cute dudes have shot me down (chocolate brothers what is the issue lol) but I keep it movin’ with the ones who do.
    Not sure patriarchy is the reason that fat is unacceptable to some. There are a host of reasons. Losing weight to find the love you want has nothing to do with feminism. If you feel and look good with a baldie and sneakers on you might find a dude that likes that. But let’s face it, lip gloss and high heels don’t hurt if that’s your twist. But yes, you will likely find a larger dating pool thinner. And that will include more white men. Don’t know if it’s race, age or weight for them but I get WAY less response from any decent caliber white men. But at the end of the day, you will still have to be comfortable with you, regardless of size. A cliche perhaps but true nonetheless.

  110. Nina April 22, 2012 at 9:09 AM #

    I think that there are a number of factor that plays into this which then comes across as a collective consciousness of thinner being “better”.

    1. There are health issues that tend to accompany a heavier weights.
    - Statistically, women live longer than men.
    - Regardless of how a relationship “looks” from the outside there is nuturing taking place from our feminine nature. It makes no difference of the sexes in the relationship. No one wants to lose their “nuturer/partner/spouse” especially to something that could be prevented by diet/ exercise and weight control.

    2. I have spoken with male friends (No many) that have specifically stated to me that they prefer smaller/thinner woman because it makes there private parts appear larger when side by side. *I am not making this up*. This is an example of their own self-reflection that is projected onto heavier woman and why they are not “turned on” by them.

    3. Peer Pressure. Nobody likes to be ragged on for their choices. It takes courage to admit that you like what you like regardless of what the majority says.

    4. Lastly, everyone has their “baggage” and if a negative experience happened to them that involved a larger woman unless they have worked through it they may associate larger women to their experience.

    In my opinion, health is the most important factor because of the additional stress on your body systems.

    These examples show that it has little to do with a larger woman’s weight but more of what is happening inside the other person’s head.

  111. Ronnie April 22, 2012 at 9:46 AM #

    70% of BW or either obese or over weight. I’m over 40 and at the 55 lb weight loss mark with about 20 lbs more to go. BM have choices and the more money they make the better choices they have. What American society thinks is so called thick is size 6-12. Even though the average size for American women 14, 5’4, 160lbs. Star Jones saw it a a health issue.Jill Scott, Raven Symone, and Monique lost weight.In Atlanta, BM have choices and the more educated they are the more choices they have.I’m in the gym 5 days a week.For every 10 BM in LA Fitness there’s 2 BW.Why do we still hear sistas scream about their hair and nails getting messed up! Why would a BM with so many options,Hispanics, Asians and white women, end up with a over weight BW.Yes, it’s hard to stay in shape but it’s a health issue. Educated BM want a health woman to marry. Not, someone who just doesn’t care about their health.

    • Sarah Bellum April 22, 2012 at 11:09 AM #

      I love when people make up statistics like right on the spot…

  112. AJ April 22, 2012 at 10:50 AM #

    I love this post. Growing up as a Big Girl in NYC I didn’t have experiences like you had. I was fortunate enough to have dated men with ranges of taste in women. My college experience was a different story, it was quite similar to what you stated. All the way down to the chubby chasers.

  113. Grownandcurvywoman April 22, 2012 at 11:13 AM #

    It’s like you’ve been reading my mind with this article! You are telling the truth gurl! People want to act like this doesn’t happen in the black community but it does! When I try to explain this my BFF shes like “no, black love thick women!” which is the perceived stereotype.

    Thank you for having the guts to tell it like it (sadly) is.

  114. Ms.Behaves April 22, 2012 at 11:28 AM #

    Thank you for your honesty and vulnerability. As a woman who has been “thick” most of her life and not so thick on occasion, I’d like to remind you and all the women here that losing weight only widens your options — it doesn’t guarantee great relationships, everlasting love or quality men.
    I’m on a similar journey myself this year and blogging about it, but I’m considerably older than you and focusing more on sexual experiences.

  115. All Jazz April 23, 2012 at 10:34 AM #

    When I’m out at a club or at a store, I talk with anyone, even some people that others seem to avoid.
    I’m just naturally friendly and flirty.
    I’m fortunate to have the sort of totally irreverent sense of humor which also allows me to laugh at myself, first, most and last.
    So~~since I’m open like this, I talk with big, medium and small girls, young and/or old.
    I’ve spent a lot of moments out there just laughing together with whoever.
    Since I just like to make convo, I’m not always hitting on every girl I see~~I’m tellin the damn truth now.lol

    Being a guy, I’ve had things said to me by other guys about who I talk with and, I’ve heard them say the most outlandish things~~.
    “I wouldn’t want to be seen with her”, “I wouldn’t talk to her”, “My buds would never let me live it down”, and, to me, “Is that the only one you can get?”
    These are things that are usually said by the types of males who are NOT OK with their own selves.
    What’s up with that?
    I’ve called some of these guys out of their insecure shells to talk about this and, most of them are living in denial.
    While it is true that who we are “with” can reflect upon us, for me, it sure as hell doesn’t define me other than it saying that I’m OK with me.
    There are a lot of rude people running around on this planet and, I think most of the rudies are that way because they aren’t OK with themselves which typically leads to all sorts of other ish with them.

    He babbles on, doesn’t he?lol

    I guess my point is that, if you’re OK with yourself, you won’t be running your life fueled by what others think of you.

    I’d better keep it to myself that I love the skin tone of dark girls which makes their skin look so alive and that it feels, smells and tastes~~~~well, you know;~)

    Peace everybody

  116. Easy E April 23, 2012 at 12:33 PM #

    This is such a great post and I amen everything you wrote and thanks for being so open about the big girl struggle and your personal struggle. I can’t stop thinking about this post and I keep asking myself, why am I fat in the first place? I just keep asking myself that over and over again.

  117. cocoexpress April 25, 2012 at 10:57 AM #

    This is an amazing post. I understand the need to “pick your battles.” Avery Ray Colter may have a point though, I have read articles where men admitted to hiding away their desires for bigger women in the BBW community because it is unacceptable for these preferences to exist in their ordinary lives. I don’t want to be the one to say “I know a big girl that…” but I do, and she has had many boyfriends (all white). She is light-skinned (mixed race), so I wonder if that makes a difference. I also had a dark-skinned big girl friend in high school who had to keep going back to her ex because she couldn’t get other men. She was much less feminine…I imagine that might have been it? Also environment plays a factor, I think. Now that the second friend is in college, she has had much more romantic success. But who knows. Do what you have to do. Even if you have to view yourself as a commodity to men, you have critically examined the situation and view it as a means to an end rather than as a measure of self-worth. I’ll say this though, as an average size caucasian-hispanic I haven’t found options after weight loss any more appealing. Sure I have more, but knowing that men have an interest in me without knowing me bothers me. I guess be aware that dating successfully can often mean turning off your brain…

  118. Dave April 25, 2012 at 11:16 AM #

    Let me start by saying that what men consider “thick” and what women call “thick” are often two different things. “Thick” for a lot of men I know is always in style. The woman above is a big beautiful woman. She is not thick. Big and beautiful, no doubt, but not thick.

    ” So as much as I resent the limited range of desire that it seems (Black) men have and the ever-present male privilege that allows them to never have to interrogate their sexual and romantic investments, I hate my limited partnering prospects much more. ”

    You know what? Something about this seems very unfair to me.

    So lets say a 5-foot tall woman is at the club, see’s a group of men – all 6ft except one – and engages in a general conversation with the group. In engaging them she pays little attention to the one that is not over 6ft because he is not her type. Is that not the same thing? If her preference is towards men over 6ft and she chooses not to consider men under that height, should we question the “limited range of her desires?” Is she nurtured to think men over 6ft are more desirable? Is reprograming needed?

    I like darker-skined women. If there is a group of women friends – six the color of midnight and one much lighter – I am going to pay more attention the the six than I do the one. Is that wrong? If so why? Who I choose to give my time to is my choice and if I choose to not engage any woman at anytime I choose, for whatever reason, it is my personal right, no?

    “But why the cold shoulder, from a brother I’d never met? Why the unique snub reserved for the one fat girl in the crew?”

    Dont you hate that? As a man who has had some success dating let me say welcome to the world most men date in. Even the most desirable of us deal with this. The things we can sometimes call women who do this is against the mission of this blog, Im sure, but trust that many of us feel you here.

    Do fat girls check for fat men?I ask because all of the fat black guys I know are married or in relationships with fat women. Are self-assured, non-compromising, unapologetic, in-shape women checking for fat guys in abundance? And if a fat girl decides that she only likes men over 6ft with athletic builds do fat men have a legit beef with her?Do they have a reason to be frustrated or should they just “man up” and charge it to the dating game?

    I am in good shape because I work out and take care of myself. I do so for myself. I tend to be attracted to women who seem to workout and when I go out I spark up conversations with women who fit what my desires (nurtured or natural I dont know. But I like my choices) are. I however, am not tall, so I am not on the radar of most women over 6ft. For whatever reason, for the most part they choose not to notice me. Considering I FEEL I am bright, charming, confident, and bring things to the table that many men a foot taller do not, should I be on these ladies radars? And if I am not what does it say about them? If I am pissed about them not noticing me are they the problem or should I so a self-reevaluation?

    I read this site and try to understand things that are not in my vision, and I agree with a lot of what is said, but this seems more than a bit unfair.

    • cocoexpress April 25, 2012 at 2:15 PM #

      You’re clearly missing the point–first of all, not questioning your attractions and where they come from is willful ignorance. I’m not saying you should change them, but you shouldn’t accept your attractions (or any of your qualities for that matter) as immutable, inherent pillars of your being. Second of all (and more importantly) you’ve missed her point entirely. Did she once express a preference for athletic men? No. She’s arguing for something very important here. Like thin women, society values tall, muscular men. As a critical human being I have examined my desires and where they come from–I don’t think I can radically change my attractions, but I can and have altered them over time. It’s like claiming you can’t eat vegetables even if they are good for you because you don’t like how they taste. Are people doomed to be unhealthy and diseased because they don’t want to change? Is society doomed to be shallow just because we don’t want the alternative? Like creating a physically healthy lifestyle for yourself, creating a healthy emotional lifestyle is incredibly important. Feed your mind and soul the good stuff. It is not easy, but it is essential to live a life worth living.

      Also, there is no reason not to speak to someone just because you are not attracted to them (unless you’re soliciting sex). You know what I do in a social situation where I see a group of six men, six women, six transgendered individuals…six people? I talk to any of them (or all of them if time permits) because I am a person, not a body of hormones.

      • Dave April 25, 2012 at 4:31 PM #

        Attraction is not an option. I can tell you do not agree. I’m fine with that and We can call it tabled.

        Hmmmm. I dont know. Like I said I like my attractions because I dont think there is any thing wrong with them. Perhaps I would question my attractions if I thought they were harmful. And I think I caught that the author said nothing about being attracted to men over 6ft tall. I was trying to make a point that missed its mark with you. And that’s fine too.

        “Also, there is no reason not to speak to someone just because you are not attracted to them (unless you’re soliciting sex).”

        Like I said in my comment women do this, and that is their right to do so for whatever reason they choose.

        And like you I treat everyone in a room like they matter. I do not think that I owe it to everyone in the room to flirt with them if I do not find them attractive. The author said she felt slighted because the man flirted with everyone but her. Oh well, he didnt want to put on the charm with her. Call him what you want but he didn’t owe her nthat. He acknowledged her, which is all anyone owes anyone else when spoken to.

        Perhaps I am missing the point, miss, but that is why I asked several questions….and I think I asked some rather fair ones. I am not sure even if you attempted to answer my questions – I am sure though that you feel I missed the point. Fine. That is cool too. I will pose them elsewhere to women in my life who have the time to consider what I am asking knowing that is comes from a good place. Thanks for taking the time to respond and for the lessons on my soul. Good luck out here.

    • miql April 27, 2012 at 8:24 AM #

      I think you ask good questions that, unfortunately, will go unnoticed/unacknowledged.

      What kind of men do these large/obese women want equal attention from? Are they also desiring thin/fit men?

      Large women, of course, can have preferences, too, but more often than not I see fat women lusting over tall, muscular men and fall into the same trappings of physical desire that limit how others attract them.

      Are fat womens’ needs, wants and preferences acceptable, but (fat) mens’ are not?

      Is everyone in a group entitled to flirtation even if you don’t find someone desirable within that group?

      Though I *somewhat* can understand the frustration of dating while fat and feminist, I think it’s problematic to thrust the patriarchy as oppressive without discussing ones’ physical desires and attractions.

      • Jondrea Smith April 27, 2012 at 9:57 AM #

        I don’t think everybody’s ‘worthy of flirtation,’ necessarily. I have a problem with society’s perceived need to knock you down a peg or two when they feel like you aren’t showing the requisite pitifulness for your ‘condition,’ whatever it is. I know personally, I’ve never fit the norm, but I’ve found that it wasn’t when I was hanging back that I had issues. But when I’m working the room, that’s when it gets testy.

    • kitadiva April 27, 2012 at 2:00 PM #

      With all due respect it is a bit different for men in other ways isn’t it? I mean, the meme to women is always no one will want you if you are unacceptable in some major way, isn’t it – are you fat, do you need curves – to be loved, woman, fix yourself – isn’t it? On TV I see this meme pushed at all times. From cartoons to daily shows, some fat guy on TV has a thin woman on his arm and it is seen as the norm because being fat is not all HE is. He is allowed to still be desirable handsome, funny, kind – HUSBAND MATERIAL etc. When women say that there is something more that needs to be examined here about attraction because there is a privilege going on … I am beginning to believe that this IS the issue that you are having with her statement. But. It. IS. A. Privilege. Look, on no equal level are men asked to conform to certain definitions of beauty that women everywhere are. Because of these definitions some women bleach their skin to appear, umm lighter for instance and the list goes on. What is not said is that this also seemingly determines the male gaze – what he is TOLD is beautiful. If a man should find that he is not attracted to the “norm”– but he looks as though he is a part of the “norm” well that is not as readily and widely seen is it? many women believe when this occurs that a fetish is being satisfied and they want no part in it. They want to be truly loved for being themselves. That is why that show Mike and Molly (look it up!) was such a big deal, cause love like that is not normally examined and embraced and it is seen as odd and honestly, a lot of folks see it as wrong. The re-examination she is asking men to do about attraction is to determine what and why they see something as attractive – and if it is not a gut reaction to the ladies beauty then ask yourself what is the issue could it be you are attracted to what you have been TOLD is beautiful and thereby worthy? Is that not the same thing men do with the make sure you are not taken in by money thing, accept a blue collar guy thing, stop being so bougie thing that men talk to women about – in other words give the guy a shot and step out of your comfort zone, he may be the one for you – he may be worthy? Then why is it that when guys are told the same things about big girls there is so much defensiveness and a willingness to dismiss that idea that examining their attractions may be a smart idea for them? Why such a quick dismissal when the truth is there is a kind of privilege going on here?

      I personally do not want anyone who does not genuinely want to get to know me and to love me as I stated earlier in the comments. I don’t think the author of this post wants that either. I think she is simply frustrated and is considering what she is willing to do for love. As I stated earlier, I think she should get healthier for herself.

      • Dave May 18, 2012 at 2:08 PM #

        I just read a article that made made me think back to this post and my thoughts on it. The article claims that black men promote unhealthy body images for black women because we like fat women. And then I come here and it says the opposite….that we are in fact like other men in the world and lean towards the “ideal.”

        I’m sure I will get an answer because folks are past this (perhaps someone will do a post here or somewhere else) but my question is, which is it? Are we using our privilege to encourage women to be big and unhealthy, or are we using privilege to promote body images on the other end of the scale? Are we guilty of both at the same time?

        “Is that not the same thing men do with the make sure you are not taken in by money thing, accept a blue collar guy thing, stop being so bougie thing that men talk to women about – in other words give the guy a shot and step out of your comfort zone, he may be the one for you – he may be worthy?”

        I had to answer you on this. I can only speak for myself: I tell the women in my life to go for whatever they decide is on their checklist. Most men I know do the same as well. The only Caveat I add is don’t blame mankind for a choice you made with your full 2012 womanhood….own your choices. And regardless of this being the message women are given, I hear more women on blogs and in real-life not making excuses for what they are attracted to because they believe IT.IS.THERE.CHOICE….whether that choice is self-destructive, socially constructed, nurtured, not affirming, or whatever, is not my or anyone else’s call to make, and it never enters the discussion.

    • Kiki Monet Sprucer April 27, 2012 at 11:54 PM #

      I know you say you don’t feel like you need to evaluate why you are attracted to what you are attracted to, and I can understand that because you don’t really need to explain yourself to anyone for having your preferences- we all do, it’s our prerogative… but putting the explanatory piece aside, I think it is still a good idea to evaluate it just to learn more about yourself. Just because you contemplate it doesn’t mean you have to explain it. I have personally been ridiculed by many people throughout my life time for dating black men as a latina/white mixed chick and there came a point when I was just tired of the comments and not being able to even support or defend my decisions. But then I started thinking about it, I have always been attracted to darker skin, I wanted to be darker, I hated my own pale skin. My white side of the family was all jacked up and so I didn’t identify with a lot of white people growing up… but I absolutely adored my Latino side. I thought that side of the family was beautiful and they were so loving, it really made me upset that I didn’t look like them. But I was also related to every Mexican/Puerto Rican guy in town so I couldn’t date the Latinos in town. That left me to black men. And I still to this very day love black men to death, I could easily find a Latin brother I’m not related to in my new surroundings but I just don’t find myself as attracted to latinos. And with the tall thing(I’m not sure this is true across the board but this is what my aunt had to say about it), it has a lot to do with sex. Apparently the longer legs of a tall man helps them to better thrust during the act than a shorter legged man. I personally like that taller men usually have longer arms so they can actually fit their arms around me… it’s not as much of an issue for me now as it was 50lbs ago, but it’s nice not to feel like a whale when someone hugs you.
      I also feel like women are more open to giving a vast variety of people a chance. Yes, many of us have checklists, I’ll be the first to admit that, but we also know how to be flexible. I was talking with one of my friends earlier today about this very topic actually. If I personally do not want someone to judge me solely on my appearance and just write me off, then who am I to do that to someone else? I know that I am an amazing person and that I have a lot to offer… and the men I’ve dated know this and can vouch for that, but there are so many people that get caught up on the extra pounds that they don’t think oh she could be an amazing person. The person stuck on my size is not going to know that I’m obese because I have a medical condition, but I still care about myself enough to be in the gym 3+ times a week and to eat healthy. They aren’t going to know that I’m actually a fitness instructor. They aren’t going to know what kind of music I like, what movies I watch, what I like to do for fun, or anything outside of the fact that I’m a big woman.
      But another thing I wanted to touch on was that men do have social pressures too. I feel like some people responding don’t really feel like there are, but men do have pressure to be fit, to be able to fix things, to be strong and protective. Men have been labeled with just as many gender roles and stereotypes as us ladies have been. These roles and types are what women base their checklists off of and being tall is one of those things. But nobody can change their height. Some things that society tells various groups they should be are unfathomable because they are incapable of being changed.
      I think you have a valid point about preference, even if that’s not necessarily what this article was focused on. But I also agree with some of the other ladies that it is important for everyone to just know where those preferences come from. A lot of it is nurture or conditioning from friends, family, colleagues, and media, but some of it is nature too. Also realize that preferences can be limiting and physical appearance/first impressions can be deceiving. (I’m not saying date a fat chick if you like skinny chicks but you say you prefer women who look like they work out… skinny and fat appearances can be deceiving in that department).

    • sexNspirit April 30, 2012 at 8:54 AM #

      if i may, i’m not sharing direct answers to your questions, but your post and others prompt me to think more about attraction. in the course of my reading, with these thoughts in the background, i’m sharing the following as we continue to wrestle with attraction … & the (in)justice of it, however it is formed and played out:

      “. . . This is how attraction
      happens: people with nothing

      they value delight in worthlessness. Someone who thinks
      there’s no meaning or purpose

      feels drawn to images of futility. Each moves to be with
      its own. . . .” ~”How Attraction Happens,” Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks

      “There is in every person something that waits and listens for the sound of the genuine in herself. . . . And if you miss the sound of the genuine in you, you will be a cripple all the rest of your life. Because you will never be able to get a scent on who you are. . . .

      Now if I hear the sound of the genuine in me and if you hear the sound of the genuine in you it is possible for me to go down in [my spirit] and come up in [your spirit]. So that when I look at myself through your eyes having made that pilgrimage, I see in me what you see in me. [Then] the wall that separates and divides will disappear, and we will become one because of the sound of the genuine makes the same music.” ~”The Sound of the Genuine,” Howard Thurman

      we often talk about opposites attracting each other, but rumi’s poem causes me to reconsider. i think about the sister who wrote that because of her desire to be darker, she is attracted to darker skinned men. “Each moves to be with its own.”

      human behavior is quite intricate at times. it’s way too easy to claim differences than similarities. and there’s much history behind even the simplest of actions.

      whether we are aware of all this history or not when we are attracted to someone, the history is there and working. it’s the genuine in us recognizing the genuine in another person. genuine need not be all pleasant. sometimes it’s not; nevertheless, it is real. the benefit of being aware of the genuine in ourselves and others is experiencing life at its fullest, “getting a scent” of who we are and those in our space.

  119. will dea April 25, 2012 at 12:00 PM #

    You are beautiful to me!!!

  120. michelle rodriguez April 26, 2012 at 5:07 AM #

    I hate being fat

  121. Admin April 28, 2012 at 1:42 PM #

    Sooooo….I’m neither a woman nor fat, but I did find the commentary interesting. One of the points I kept hearing was about the societal vs. natural concept of attractiveness, and my question is how much can one override that programming, even with a thorough examination of why it exists? I have a type or range, and frankly when I’m with someone in that range, it brings me a certain amount of joy. I’d just be interested to know what’s in it for me to modify that?

    • Jondrea Smith April 29, 2012 at 11:08 AM #

      I don’t think it’s so much about ‘changing’ what makes you happy as much as getting past society’s need to shun, shame, ostracize, and generally be an asshole to people who don’t fit these arbitrary standards.

  122. Evelina Bien-Aime April 29, 2012 at 8:54 PM #

    I am in college and I honestly feel this way! I COMPLETELY AGREE!! I’ve gone to parties, and I’ve been the one who has stood in the corner, with a drink in my hand while my friends turn down the countless number of men trying to dance with them. It’s sad to me that this happens, but I honestly feel that culture says big girls arent desirable. I’ve seen men check me out, but not likely to approach me. Thank you for saying this, is all true!!

  123. Ms. Dinjii May 4, 2012 at 3:55 PM #

    You hit the nail on the head. Thank you for saying what most people don’t want to hear. It is mere fact. Society is visual and being the big girl in the club definitely stands out. Men are physical no matter what. Now Im happily engaged to a wonderful man but I know deep down, it wouldn’t hurt to lose a few pounds and he would love for me to do that. Now he doesn’t tell me but I know men. Truth is, women can say ‘I love my curves but the truth of the matter is, if you shrink a lil bit, dating choices will surely expand!

  124. Rae May 4, 2012 at 4:20 PM #

    Thank you for this article, for being so open and candid. I have been on various ends of the spectrum from skinny to fat to thick to fat and back to somewhere in between again. Although I have thought about it many times, I’ve realized there are different men attracted to me at various weights. There are the brothers who have commented – even AFTER they began to date me that my weight was an issue – nothing had changed, no extra pounds gained. I think they just got comfortable and kicked to the curb ultimately. I have just reached a point in my life where a person needs to take me where I am. Not that I won’t improve, or slim down, or be curvier or whatever, but I am a work in progress as we all are.

    I also have to admit, the men who wouldn’t have noticed me thick to fat and then they noticed me after a few pounds were lost – I couldn’t go out with them because inevitably, in my mind most of the success of the relationship would hang on whether or not I remained that size or smaller. With all of the social pressures and agents of change out here, I need not worry about whether my man will leave me if I gain five pounds. I mean, he could leave anyway for any given reason, but damn if I plan to worry about this of all of the other things.

  125. reader xyz May 5, 2012 at 8:04 PM #

    The truth is not always meant to make one happy, but it will set one free. Crunktastic is seeing the truth for what it is, not what she would wish it to be. She can choose to remain as she is or she can choose to change; she is free because she understands that her choices have consequences as have been pointed out on both sides of the debate. I wish her well.

    Side comment: Before the 20th century, the vast majority of the population always had to expend much more physical energy just to feed themselves, consequently we’re not going to see much fat among them. Fatness and obesity have never been as prevalent as they are in current times. I saw a photo some time ago of a guy who was the circus fat man in 1886 or so. He was said to be 6-2 and 308#, doesn’t seem like a big deal now, but it was then. Such a big deal then he could make a living just on his size. Today he’d have to earn a living doing something else as men over 300# are a dime a dozen now and we can say something similar about women over some big girl threshold.

  126. vlmiller May 5, 2012 at 10:11 PM #

    This was an awesome article….I can totally relate. I have been every size between 8 and 20……there is no doubt that the amount of attention I attract from men is directly proportionate to my weight at any given time. I already know I am going to have to drop some serious weight to get my love life resurrected. Yes, I will be healthier, and that’s good. But I’ve made up my mind to lose 90 pounds and it’s not all about health….quite frankly, it is about bringing sexy back. LOL! And I have no qualms about dating anyone who shows an interest in the new me when I reach my goal…..the way I see it, I’ll like the new me better, why wouldn’t someone else? I wish the author of this article all the best:)

  127. peace4diane May 7, 2012 at 9:50 AM #

    This is so timely I cannot believe it! It reminds me of a comment that was made yesterday about how women who say they don’t need a man are defensive because they “can’t get a man.” I’m a big girl too, and I was offended by the remark but I let it fall to the floor because I considered the source. But sometimes, I think blog entries like yours here are very very necessary to put things in perspective. Thank you –and happy hunting. =0)

  128. Mahalia M. May 8, 2012 at 10:59 AM #

    Good luck with that…I am a plus size woman and have always have been. I do not have a problem with dating. It’s confindence. If that man says he doesnt do plus size women ole well for him there are men that will date and love you. I will NEVER chance who I am for someone else.

  129. pounce May 9, 2012 at 8:10 PM #

    Oh girl if you were into women you would have them ALL OVER YOU. As you are. Because you are beautiful, intelligent, funny, and sexy.

    Are you sure you aren’t into women? Let me know if you ever are…

  130. Julianne Munich May 10, 2012 at 6:32 AM #

    This whole discussion is kind of depressing and it makes me feel lucky that I am happily married and haven’t been in the dating world since 1995, actually. My husband is thin, fit and attractive and always has been. I am 5’3, a size 14 so I am probably considered fat/thick/plus size whatever. It bugs me that now, that I have put some weight back on lately, if people see us walking hand in hand they think all of these things about him- probably 1. I “used to be hot” and he’s a pussywhipped schmuck who won’t leave me. Or 2. He’s a chubby chaser with a fetish that is odd, or 3. There is something wrong with him, he’s an unemployed loser or a druggie even though he is nice looking on the outside, he must just can’t do better. So it makes me feel that I better do something about my weight because of the things people might be thinking about him. Actually, #1 is probably accurate because I was a size 10 when he FIRST LAID EYES on me, I had lost a lot of weight but when we started dating I put some back on pretty fast, and by the time we were married I was already up a size or two, and was happy that he didn’t care and still doesn’t. I still think he looks at me through rose colored glasses. He’s a good guy and I hope the poster can find someone like him too. Good luck. (my husband and I are both white if that really matters)

  131. Vikky May 10, 2012 at 12:12 PM #

    (I know I’m late to this party, but I just had to say:)

    You ARE a FEMINIST!
    Dating, losing weight are hard enough–but trust me, being a feminist is not something you need to worry about, because:
    Being STRONG & SEXY & proud of it is part of being a feminist!
    If you feel you need to lose weight to be stronger & sexier, then lose weight.*

    *And I know it will not be that easy, because I did it.
    Remember to celebrate your effort as well as your results. It took me three years, and it was worth it!

  132. BillN May 10, 2012 at 7:56 PM #

    I don’t think it’s just a fat hating world. I think men naturally like seeing certain ratios and if they’re obscured by fat, it’s like a guy not telling you what he does for a living. But what I liked about this is that it shows a person dealing with her own reality. She’s not blaming; she’s just observing life and making a choice as to how she wants to live hers. I think that’s maybe the most attractive thing about her. She don’t have to be skinny to be hot…just not fat. She’s also a fantastic writer…which is hot.

  133. Empresive May 16, 2012 at 8:54 PM #

    Brilliant post! I definitely agree with many of the points, particularly those that speak to the structural nature of some of these issues, as far as how much what is attractive is socially constructed and patriarchal. Black women in general are already low on the totem pole in an American society that values Caucasian beauty and if one is not Caucasian, “ethnic beauties” that have Caucasian features…add fat to the mix and it does seem dimmer, and yes many Black men are caught up in this too quite unwittingly.

    I do think it is indeed harder in the dating world for bigger, dark-skinned, Black women as a rule, as culturally, we are simply not the poster and message of what is beautiful and desirable. Yet, I have to say that while I am a dark skinned, thick, Black women and can relate to not being talked to and overlooked because of weight… and can point out those times, these experiences for me have been in the minority. I know I am not everyone’s cup of tea, yet I can say honestly that while I may not be everyone’s cup of tea, I am enough people’s cup of tea. I am approached almost always when I go out, I hardly ever go out with my skinny friends and not get approached too, sometimes I go out with them and I’m the only one who is approached. I get asked on dates and I can honestly say that while sometimes I do feel the weight (no pun intended) of society’s bias….there have been many more times when I did not.

    What produces this? How is it possible that in a culture where you do not fit the poster for what is pretty and desirable, you still get hit on and asked out a lot? I think lots of things play into this. Perhaps it is the part of the country you live in, the kinds of men you happen to meet. One person discussed an interesting idea of “acceptable fat”, where even while fat some fat women were considered more acceptable than others i.e. they had a pretty face, big butt, large breasts, long hair or some other quality. This still plays back into having to still meet certain cultural norms and standards of beauty, even if you transgressed a big one- “fatness”. I have gotten the “You have such a pretty face” millions of times, with the “But you should lose weight” is the silent unsaid aspect. So perhaps that is what helps me along, maybe I am in the “acceptable fat” range because I have large breasts, long hair or some other qualities deemed desirable on women so my fat is overlooked a bit. Maybe my personality is so dazzling lol…I don’t know. But I do know that a hosts of things play into the phenomena of the fat, dark skinned girl who still pulls men. Maybe that is a whole other sociological, psychological and anthropological adventure to pursue.

    But what I will say is that women from all sizes and shapes and races complain about not being able to find men. Perhaps for the dark, fat black women it is more of a problem? Yet for me, I can’t find a good man to date, and it is not because no one asks me, it’s that even when asked, the pool of eligible men I’d like is still small. So I am single not because of fatness, but because no one who I’ve gone on a date with was a good match for me to be serious about. I think that is a factor as well. Having a man for having a man’s sake seems to be a badge of honor for many women.Choosing to be single or not settling with the first man who takes you to a movie, is seen as an aberration. On an average week, if I go out of my house everyday, maybe 4 men would have approached me during the course of that week to chit chat and ask for my number…if I go out on the weekend, add 4 more at least. Yet if I meet 8 men in a week….most of them are not men I have an interest in dating, or if I do go out with any of them….usually it doesn’t amount to anything. Maybe the assumption shouldn’t be that a fat woman without a man, or any woman without a man is without one because she has no options…maybe she hasn’t found what she’s looking for. My skinny friends with standards have the same problem too…even if a lot of men ask them out, they may not gel with them. And for me, I have not found it among my circle that only the skinny people have relationships or the fat ones who do are an anomaly. A lot of my friends, skinny and fat, are single.

    This is a great topic though and I think there are many factors to consider, but you hit the nail on the head in terms of illuminating how society has shaped people’s desires and understanding of beauty and how this affects us all, whether we are conscious or not. Yet for me, since I could relate but also found many things to be opposite, I wondered if I were indeed an anomaly, why is that so? You’ve inspired me to perhaps do my own blog post on this phenomenon (of being the opposite of the supposed standard, yet still being desirable) and what factors play into it. Perhaps it is, as I said, the multiple intersections of beauty as defined by society, and that perhaps fat doesn’t always outweigh (pun not intended lol) all others or if you have others people deem desirable they cancel out some of the fat too? I don’t know but it’s something I will be thinking about.

  134. asinusspinasmasticans May 18, 2012 at 6:51 AM #

    Nerdy guys need love. Insecure guys who always say the wrong thing need love. Pudgy guys need love. Mamma’s boys need love. Creepy guys need love. That guy you met last week in the coffee shop that you talked with about your brother’s Dungeons and Dragons figurines for five minutes and now he’s texting you six times a day needs love. Guys who can’t fight need love. Guys who don’t clean up so well need love. Socially awkward guys need love.

    What we don’t have is a government subsidized ideology that allows us to unilaterally declare ourselves as attractive as all the other men, then to turn around and claim that women’s desires are “socially constructed”. And, yeah, it makes us feel powerless and less masculine.

    • blackademic May 26, 2012 at 12:35 AM #

      I don’t really understand the general complaint, either.

      Maybe the idea is that men aren’t supposed to be more attracted to the types of bodies that, because of “socially constructed” desire, they tend to be attracted to. Or that men ideally are not supposed to be attracted to bodies in the first place but, rather, to personalities or some non-physical essence. Or that various men are supposed to be attracted to various body types, with no dominant patterns of attraction, such that whatever body types are out there, a proportionate number of men will happen to find those female bodies attractive. All women could then have the love they need–and they wouldn’t have to “settle” in order to get it.

      That said, a decent guy who has options isn’t especially concerned to impose his “standards” on women he has no particular sexual interest in. When such guys pay little or no romantic attention to women they don’t find physically attractive, this is not inherently unfair or disrespectful. Guys with options–like women with options–prefer to explore options that they believe are likely to suit them better.

      Obviously, no one should say mean or injurious things. But reality is that many guys with options don’t want or need to deal with “the weight”–nor with the defensiveness and rationalization that often accompany it.

      • Julie May 26, 2012 at 7:13 AM #

        I don’t think that was what he meant. It was nothing complicated, it sounded like he was a man who felt bad because he thinks women can be shallow, too. I can’t speak for all women, but I personally have a wide range in what I’d find attractive in men. I happen to be married to a man who physically is tall and lean, but I find, for example, short and pudgy men just as attractive as well, especially if they are funny, have nice eyes, smile, and a general good personality. Women, though, can be more likely to have the ideal man as being tall, broad shouldered, kind of a V-shaped torso, long legs, sculpted abs, etc. Personally I never cared about that, but it seems this poster feels rejected because he thinks the girls he knows only go for that. But it isn’t really true, just like the fact that women who have a few extra pounds (without being to the point of obese) have a decent pool of men who find them attractive.

  135. Elle of Chellbellz May 23, 2012 at 8:27 AM #

    Wow…I’ll admit this is about to get long, and i hope i stay on point, but this is totally my life. I’m 5’8 and 225 and I’ve always been the “sisterly” chick out of the group. Never sexy, cute, nothing, just sisterly. I’ve always deep down inside thought my weight was an issue and my friends assured me that I was a good catch and that could never be the issue. Great friends right?!

    I have three stories. First I’ll make this known. We are on the exact same page here with this comment.

    “But with brothers I find, that they, too, have internalized a particular relationship to the body-type most associated with the mammy figure. They see girls like me as sisters, as homegirls, but not as love options, because they don’t find big girls sexy. They usually find us comforting. Strong. Stable. Huge difference.”

    At 26 I’ve resorted to online dating as a source to find someone. I think it’s my last resort, because i’ve literally found myself being tactical and sometimes just being myself to show that i’m interested with no avail, and it wasn’t until about 2 years ago where i said, stop trying because if a man likes you, he will do what he has to do to make a connection happen. Like you I’m plus/natural. I’m not dark, i’m caramel, i have all these curves that I actually love, except my stomach. Like you i’ve been making changes and it’s benefitting me in the end to work out a little more, to eat differently, to do all of these things.

    So my point is this, I don’t think i’ll truely have any luck until I loose a good 50lbs, and my friends hate to hear me say this, but honestly it would do my health well, and probably my dating like well. I just find that people don’t like to agree to this because they are afraid of hurting your feelings, or maybe they have so much love you that of course weight isn’t a requirment for friendship.

    I was dating a guy once who was maybe about 5’6, he had a job, but I made more, He was into Anime, basically a guy that I liked, but not sure if it would go any further that meeting up for dinner (ordering in) watching nerdy movies that I was into at the time, maybe getting to 1st base with. Well one day he tells me that I should lose 100 lbs. I looked over at him curious to see what would come out next…”because you should care more about yourself than this” and he points and grabs my stomach. ” I’d consider dating you seriously if you did it” “i’m in shape and walking around with you would get stares” I’m sitting there blinking at him, trying hard not to show any sign of weakness. I ended up asking him “well if I loose the weight, will you find a way to grow a couple inches taller. It wasn’t much, but at the time i was so shocked because for one, we were just hanging we liked each other but all the extra comments about being seen with me in public hurt and i started putting two and two together on why we never went to do anything outside of his house.

    My second example would be me on an online dating site. I see a guy or two that i like, and realize that people are viewing my profile but none of them that i’m interested in are biting back. This site had a chat, i go in there out of boredom and ask others are they having luck. This one guy tells me that I need to go maybe look for a guy in the “GYM”. Now me being me, and getting the stuff that i’ve gotten about my weight I knew where he was going with this. He begins to go into a whole story about how my weight is killing my chances, and he wasn’t nice about it. He proceeded to tell me that i looked sloppy, that I looked like a cow, and thats why he’d personally never date me. So of course I wasn’t even hurt because at 26 I’ve heard it all not to mention this man has pictures of his skirtless, pasty, holding a guitar with his dog in the background of a dark empty apartment. In my mind he has no reason to talk about me. Especially when i look at my pictures and i’m out with friends, i’m smiling, i’m out in international spots, and I looked happy.

    This leads me to another thing I’ve always noticed. Whenever this comes up in coversation I think people have this notion that big girls are these people who are miserable, and I think some people are taken back when they see that we are enjoying life, that are out and about, stylist, fun to be around. The first thing I hear is ” well you have to love yourself first” Now I’m actually started cussing people out over this, because i can’t understand why they think I don’t love myself. I finally got to the bottom of it and one guy thought that because I was bigger that i was emotionally eating and depressed, and desperate for a man. Not the case.

    My last story is this, I can relate all to well with the club situations. I mean I’ve literally been close to blows with men because i have the most bionic ear, and can read lips. I NEVER i repeat NEVER get to dance with anybody at the club. They go through all of my friends first, and ignore me as if i’m a purple alien. I even said at a house party, dang i came to dance on something, and a guy made a face like…well keep on dreaming. He then walked away thinking I would probably ask him for a dance which I’d never do.

    I’m not a feminist, but I can relate to all of this whole heartedly, and for reasons I can understand people don’t want to talk about it. I’m 26 and have yet to have a serious long term relationship. I have things going on for myself, and I’m enjoying life but I just can’t get this thing figured out.

    • crunktastic May 23, 2012 at 8:46 AM #

      I felt compelled to reply to you. It makes me really, really angry that you have had these assholes say such egregious, injurious, and downright mean things to you. Seriously, I want to fight. But I can totally relate, and it all makes me very sad. I wish I had any answers other than the conclusions I came to in the piece, but I don’t. So I say, keep on keeping on, Sis. And get all-the-way-CRUNK when you have to.

      Much love, Crunktastic

  136. filmfemme May 24, 2012 at 11:55 AM #

    So is the moral of this story (and even moreso the comments), is that men basically SUCK?! However, to the folks who suggest that the author should date geeks/antisocial men/women, etc, she should be with who makes her happy and who speaks to her heart. Not that that person has to be an Idris Elba clone, but she shouldn’t settle for whomever is giving her attention either, if she’s not feeling him.

    • Jondrea Smith May 24, 2012 at 12:29 PM #

      I don’t think a person, in seeking happiness, should have to choose between scraping the bottom of the proverbial barrel on one hand, and rewarding bad behavior on the other. A big person shouldn’t be forced to be satisfied with ‘taking what comes,’ with no consideration for what they really want, but at the same time, we shouldn’t be acquiescing to shallow and superficial people because beauty ‘standards’ tell us to do so. Whether it’s weight loss, hairstyle, or wardrobe, changes should be self-motivated instead of being driven by outside compulsion. I say this for the following reason: Say you lose weight to attract that ‘ideal mate,’ and it isn’t enough. How much else about yourself are you willing to modify in order to catch/keep this person?

  137. melanie June 11, 2012 at 3:02 AM #

    Considering that we now live in a nation of which at least 50 percent of is now overweight or obese, it seems to me societal attitudes MUST change- otherwise no one will procreate again! :)
    Signed
    5’10, 249 pounds and still single..

  138. Oluwaseyi June 12, 2012 at 8:23 PM #

    I personally like BIG GIRLS & am looking out for one to be my soulmate.

  139. rubylox June 13, 2012 at 3:18 PM #

    I agree with everything you wrote but the quest to lose weight is fraught with many many pitfalls. For instance, let’s say you lose the weight meet someone, fall in love, then get married and have children? That’s when you’ll find out what\’s real because most people gain baby weight. What makes this difficult is that you may also be expected to lose the lbs just as quickly as many of the celebrities we see who have children and then are “magically” thin again. I won’t even mention getting older when your metabolism slows down and you have to eat even less to maintain your weight loss goals. Losing weight is not just for the moment… It’s forever.

  140. Lena June 14, 2012 at 8:05 AM #

    Unfortunately, this is my situation right now. I want to love myself the way I am, and I do to a point, but rejection from men is causing me to love myself a bit less, and yeah, it’s not fair, but like you said, society is fat hating, and not only in the U.S. but more so around the world. U.S. men at least acknowledge me when I’m around, I don’t know if they’d actually date me, but they’re at least attracted to me. In my country though, hate for fat people is loud and proud, so I’ve been forced to online dating, but it has been awful and disappointing, the only type of men I find (or rather find me) are total freaks, fetishists with mental problems. It’s sad, but, like you, I will have to lose weight, I’m in my late 20′s and I’m terrified that I’m expected to live a loveless life for being fat. I hate this because I really thought I could be happy just being myself, now I will have to morph somehow into someone slimmer if I want some love. Nice article, very honest.

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