Confidence is sexy. I know this.
Yet, the thing about being fat for so long and dating is that I doubt the intentions of men. Oh, I know that some guys would fuck a hole in the wall. Some do!
But there is an added layer of skepticism laid on when dating while fat. It’s not that I am afraid that, should I turn down a guy’s advances, he will tell me I’m fat. In that case, it’s like, “No shit, Sherlock, and you wanted me two seconds ago when I was still fat.” This is something different.
First, there is the assumption that I am easy and desperate. I must be incredibly lonely as I sit in the dark eating ding dongs and making myself fatter.
Next, there is the assumption that I will be fantastic at giving head because fat women love eating. Oh yeah, because eating is totally the same function – involves a full mouth and teeth (and any males reading this have just crossed their legs – haha).
Then, there is the assumption that I should be grateful that someone is even showing me attention, let alone wanting to be seen in public with me and/or fuck me. How dare I feel entitled to have any sort of standards?
Last, there is the assumption that, if anything, he has lowered his standards so that he can potentially get some. With this, I am basically an orifice with boobs.
Having never been thin, I don’t know if thin women have these same sort of thoughts about their bodies. For example, do women without large breasts get these sorts of messages from society? In other words, would she question a man’s reasons for wanting to get to know her? I’m guessing most small-breasted women would not because breasts aren’t really a type of master status. Fatness is.
I realize what I just wrote may be a bit disjointed. I’m sure other women have written similar think pieces. In fact, I think I recently read one, but I honestly cannot remember where or when. Here’s one now!
What I ultimately mean is that I want to be considered more than just an orifice with boobs. I would like to think the men I have gone on dates with recently appreciate, you know, my personality, brilliance, and my sense of humor. I’m pretty sure conventionally attractive, thin women say the same thing. They deal with even more objectification.
And I know that it is a fairly shallow view of men that I would think they prioritize my body (or parts of my body) over my humanity. It is shallow and, of course, generalizing to say men aren’t that picky if they are horny enough. #notallmen… though there are some… and there is the concept of “hogging,” too. Oh, and this guy.
On an app like Tinder, I can’t help but wonder how many times men swipe me because they buy into the assumptions I listed above and believe I am likely to be a “sure thing” who they don’t have to put a lot of work into. I’m not talking about the men whose first message is something vile and thirsty.
And I know. I get it. This navel-gazing, self-conscious, self-doubt is bullshit. Have a good time! Who cares? Why question the motives? Stop overthinking! You’re a catch! Don’t you just want some too? Take it as a compliment! Believe them when they say you are sexy! They want you in that moment — isn’t that what matters?
You might be thinking a few things now, chief among them: Jesus Christ, what the hell do you want?! What could the men possibly do to pass your test regarding authenticity of their attraction to you and their feelings?
Good questions, aggressive person who is frustrated with me harping on these subjects. My lack of confidence in myself and others is indeed tiresome. I know. I KNOW. Plus it is just feeding into the assumptions because low self-esteem is meant to be the raison d’être for fat women’s sexual behavior.
If I want something better, I need to demand better (or some shit like that). In the meantime, let things marinate and don’t question whether or not they are authentic in what they say or do. After all, you don’t really question whether your sheets are a certain thread count or if the beef you eat was really grass fed. Just have fun and stop analyzing everything, for fuck’s sake!
I acknowledge that I am culpable in these situations. I need to think more highly of myself, what I bring to the table, and most of all, of the men who I go out with. They are human, too. While they might be a tad bit horny, that doesn’t mean that they see me as just an orifice, or that they would have gone out with me had I not shown promise in other ways – that whole personality, brilliance, humor bit.
I’m hoping that the guys I am concerned about – those linked above and who make those assumptions – would ultimately show their true colors before I agreed to go out with them.
I know there will be douchebags in the world and that they are douches with women of all shapes and sizes. I’m not under an illusion that douchebags will go away as I continue to lose weight or that dating will be any easier.
I keep flashing back to a memory of high school. I hung out with a group of guys that I considered to be my friends. The friendship, as it was, was very unequal and one-sided. I would give, they would take, and in exchange I got to pretend that I was part of their circle.
The girlfriend of one of these guys was moving away and they made her a video. We watched the video as a group. At one part, one of the guys asks the other, “Did you do the Pre-Cal homework?” and that guy replies, “No, I’ll just get the answers from Mandy.”
My heart sank to my stomach. So that’s how it was.
Another time we were out to eat. One of them pulled me aside to whisper in my ear. The entire time, he had been shaking a salt shaker above my head (my hair was and is thick – I didn’t feel it). I sat back down and the entire table was laughing at me. One person told me to shake my head and salt went flying everywhere. More laughter. I was incredibly embarrassed and angry. Adolescent pranks, you might say. Chalk it up to teens being shitheads. These same guys are the ones who likely destroyed my family’s mailbox on Halloween with a pumpkin. My “friends.”
I suppose this was my Lindsay Weir phase, but I never garnered any respect from those Freak guys. In moving my senior year of high school, I resumed my Geek ways and probably saved my life in the process.
I want to say that I didn’t think or analyze the situation with these guys back then. To a certain extent, that’s true. I did not want to see the inequality. I wanted acceptance.
You might say I have some trust issues. I’ve been burned before, often times when my craving for acceptance outweighed my tendency to overanalyze and rationalize. Overthinking, I guess, is a protective mechanism, though it lends itself to shittiness rather than happiness most of the time.
It makes me think “Why me?” and I don’t always like the answers it comes up with because they can be brutal instead of self-affirming.
I think Stripper Guy got into my head, too, with the whole being chosen for certain reasons, lack of attraction to me being one of them.
My experience in Seattle was an incredible confidence booster for me. I had a great time and a lot of fun. It was like, “Hey! You are not reprehensible to men!” I didn’t feel targeted. I felt good and desired… and now my head is starting to fuck with that.
I told my gut to fuck off. Now is the time to tell my brain – or at least its habit of shitting on everything good – to fuck off as well.
The featured image is Jes Baker.