You know, I’ve come to the point in my life where I realize that I’m not going to wake up one day and be, miraculously, thin. I’ve come to the conclusion that despite the exercise and watching what I eat, I’m fat and likely to stay that way unless someone comes along and offers me free liposuction.
I do what I can do be healthy. I try to be more fit and firm, but I am what I am and I accept that my attempts at improving my health are not going to result in me necessarily becoming a smaller size.
Still, being a fat chick, a larger woman, big girl, chunky, chubby (I haven’t been “chubby” in ages), plus size…whatever you want to call it…being big is just part of who I am. It shouldn’t define the whole of me, but to many, it does. That messes with your brain. No matter how hard you try to be just another woman, you still feel somewhat the odd woman out. Let’s face it, the standard of beauty in this world does not embrace us ladies of largeness.
Dating is fraught with all sorts of insecurities no matter who you are, but when you’re bigger? That’s not what you need when you’re out there trying to meet someone special. Thankfully, there are men who aren’t afraid of being seen with bigger women, who actually like the curves and the softness that we ladies possess. They think we’re sexy and appealing and want to spend time with us. Not because it’s kinky or a fetish or just to try us out, but because they truly find us attractive.
I’ve dated all sorts of men: younger men, older men, average looking men, very handsome men, men who might not seem all that attractive but who have a certain lovely spirit that I find rather appealing, unknown, and a couple who have actually bordered on “wow! THAT guy? He isn’t he kind of famous?”, to those who are just nice men who defy a category (which is pretty much where we all should dwell). Some were attracted to me because I was fat, some because I was simply — to them — an attractive woman. As much as these men have buoyed my spirits, there lingers this sense of distrust or at least some questioning when a man is flirting or asking me out. “What can he possibly see in me? He’s so cute, why is he bothering with a fat chick when he can be with a skinny girl?” Yes, these things cross my mind, just as they did when I was younger and thinner. It’s these stupid questions that undermine us, no matter what we look like or how old we are. Men, and women, are attracted to all types of people. We just have to accept that. And in the end it all comes down to confidence.
Confidence is 99-100% of the “game” you gotta bring when you’re out there dating. If you don’t believe in yourself — at any size, shape, age, etc — you’re not going to exude the sort of vibe that others find attractive. It’s that simple. For us big girls, it’s a double whammy. We’re out there in the world with the rest of you, competing for attention and affection. (Yes, it’s a competition, whether we like to admit it or not, that’s what it is.) Society dictates that the majority of men are looking for young, pretty, thin women. So those of us who aren’t so young, aren’t thin, etc., we have to be extra confident and that’s not an easy thing for anyone.
I’ve found, over the years, that my attitude of “here I am, like it or don’t” has served me well. Deep down, I’m fidgeting and questioning everything, but outwardly I portray myself as calm, confident, and I try to just be myself. I don’t overdress or go for major bling. I try to limit my sloppy clothes for home wear. I clean up nicely but don’t overdo it because that’s not me. I try very hard to stick to my most authentic self as I head out into the public eye and I also try very hard to not worry about meeting someone. More often than not, I meet a lot of people and I don’t look to them for romance. Instead, I try to nurture friendships or at least acquaintance-ships (as if that’s a word). If romance blooms, great.
I say all this and, yet, I’m just like anyone else: I question interest expressed in me. Silly, isn’t it? The thing is, again, with heavier women, there are people who target us as “hey, I bet I can get that fatty to sleep with me. She’s probably desperate for attention.” You know what? There are always men like that. They don’t just target fat girls. They go after anyone…it’s a numbers game to them. They seek all sorts of vulnerabilities in women. Newly divorced, single moms, older women, fat women, super skinny women, etc. For those men, all you need is a bullshit detector. And then you bat your eyes at them, smile a pretty smile, and politely turn them down. Thank them for their “kind” attention and let them know you’re not interested. Chances are, they’ll go back to their friends and tell them you’re a lesbian or married or maybe even call you a bitch. The fact is, you’ve just proven that you’re not a bitch and those good manners are really the best accessory anyone can wear, next to confidence.
Confidence is difficult for most of us. We all have our doubts and insecurities. When you’re bigger, it just seems like there are so many more reasons to doubt. I mean, I remember my ex-husband’s comments while I was pregnant, or those after I’d had our son. There were hurtful words flung about, not just regarding my weight, but I did glom onto those as they seemed to cut deepest. Heaven forbid anyone should call me fat! I’d just had a baby! And, honestly, I’ve always been sensitive about my weight. It goes back to when I was younger and always bigger than everyone else. Then I lost weight and still felt out of place. It had to do with ME and my lack of confidence in myself, in my attractiveness, in my appeal. You get so used to feeling second best or less than that even and you develop all sorts of crazy insecurities that either never go away or that take years to erase from your psyche. Despite my years of thinness, my years as a fat woman are those when I’ve actually felt more confident and sexy and at peace. Most of the time. I have my moments. We all do.
So where am I going with this? Well, mostly, I’m just rambling on. I was inspired by an article in the Village Voice that came out a couple months ago, but just ran across in the last 24 hours. As well, I’ve recently questioned the attention I’ve received from a couple of men who wandered into my life. Actually, scratch that. I’ve questioned MY sense of self when it comes to the attention that’s come my way. I feel silly when I do this. I should know better. It matters not whether I’m attracted to them. It’s my reaction to their interest in me that I need to accept. It doesn’t matter if I wake up feeling too fat or too short or even if I wake up feeling pretty. The simple fact that anyone has expressed an interest in me shouldn’t cause me to question my appeal, their intent, their taste level, or anything else. I should just feel good that someone has flirted, asked to kiss me, asked me out, winked at me, reached out and touched my arm or my back in conversation. They obviously saw something in me and I should give myself a little, internal pat on the back and be happy — whether or not they interest me. We should all do this! It doesn’t have to go anywhere. Most of the time it doesn’t. And that’s cool. But again, my confidence wavers every now and then…but stumbling upon an article about guys who like fat chicks? Getting answers as to why some men like bigger women? It’s almost as if someone has given me the key to my confidence, which I know I shouldn’t need.
And there you have it. An article that sparked some sort of catharsis for me. I hope everyone who ever feels they’re not attractive or appealing just as they are reads it and understands that we, as humans, all have a beauty of our own, that we are more than a size, shape, color, age, gender, or whatever. For each of us, there is someone, maybe lots of someones, who want to get to know us, be with us, and possibly love us.