Friday, July 8, 2011

Looking for Love (In All the Wrong Places)

Dating is hard.  It's hard for everyone, I imagine, but I can only speak for my personal experience as a fat bachelorette up against long-legged, small-waisted, generally thin women.  Part of the difficulty is in the label of compliments.  For instance, when I go out with a very good friend of mine (who, by the way, is 5’9” and about a 30 inch waist) she could be dressed in sweatpants and would still be “hot.”  I, on the other hand, rarely get anything beyond “cute.”  As if fat and hot cannot be synonymous.  
Another difficulty is actually finding someone who truly enjoys me and my body for exactly what it is.  It’s generally a crapshoot and/or a waiting game.  Fear of rejection causes me to sit on the sidelines, hoping someone will approach me.  I justify it by saying that I’m not everybody’s type.  But let’s face it:  that’s bullshit.  Everyone is not somebody’s type, but the hyper-stigmatization of fat makes it that much more difficult to gain the confidence needed to approach someone, to believe that you could be desirable, and not simply to settle for someone less than you deserve/to whom you are not attracted because they like your body. Fat Admirers, or FA’s, are exactly as they sound:  suitors (normally male-associated) who desire larger partners (normally women). Dimensions magazine prints articles by fat women about their experience with FA’s and, it turns out, these Don Juan-types who jump from woman to woman, don’t ever call after promising they would, and are always thinking about their next prospect, aren’t the heroic lovers many want them to be.
Maybe FA's "aren’t so very different from thin admirers, except for the small issue of the culture’s scorn at their willful defiance of ‘normal’ fetishes and sexual preferences”[i].  That willful defiance can make them very attractive to fat women, who, at least from my perspective, aren’t accustomed to that kind of attention.  After the FA’s it often feels like the only option is dating someone who looks like you.  But that may not be what you want, so what do you do? 

Just as you can’t change the fact you may not be everybody’s first choice, whom you find attractive is somewhat out of your hands.  Dating experts agree, however, that someone who is not your usual type may be worth getting to know.  Initially physical attraction is what entices us to flirt with or get to know someone, but considerably more important factors play into creating lasting relationships.  Compatibility, trust, communication, and common interests, just to name a few. 

My point is simple.  Larger ladies of the world, unless it’s what you’re looking for, you are doing yourself a disservice to mess around with an FA if, in fact, all he is after is a wham! bam! thank you, ma’am! one night stand.  You also do yourself disservice to believe that the only men who will find you attractive are also fat.  Feel free to enjoy whomever you want, regardless of your body type or theirs.  Admittedly, this is not an overnight fix, but as the old adage says:  there’s no accounting for taste (at least for the purposes of this zine). 

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