We all know love is a long haul for women who do not meet the unreasonable and impossible standard of beauty — to be desired, you must be white, thin, young, able-bodied… the list goes on. I just want to give some advice to the women out there, not meeting the ridiculous standard, who are lonely and unhappy about it.
For starters, I’d like to make it clear that I think being happily, willfully single is no tragedy. But as a fat woman who was single (at times happily and other times… not), I want to pass a few gentle reminders to all the beauties hanging out in No Dateland:
Being alone is good for you. Not good for you in the “dietary fiber” sense, but in the “soul searching” one. I’ve known girls who were serial monogamists since pre-Kindergarten, and though they never lacked valentines in their box (not a euphemism), they spent their teen years more focused on being someone’s girlfriend than plain-old being. Meanwhile, I was free to develop my own interests (namely, wizard books and masturbating, I am now proficient in both). I like to call these formative years PDT — ”personality development time.”
You’re allowed to have standards. A lot of the time, us fat women are told to jump on the first human that doesn’t puke while fucking us. That’s completely garbage advice — feel free to flip off the next person who says that (moms included!). Listen closely: you fully deserve attention, love and support from your partner. Do not settle, do not compromise. Abusive or disrespectful behaviour is NEVER on the table. Repeat after me: No-Manz is better than Bad Romance. (No-Womanz, where appropriate).
“But Guys/Girls Don’t Like Me!” Going to Dank ‘N’ Sweaty Dance Club always made me feel like a sick sow at a livestock auction. Any fat girl can tell you how online dating while fat equals messages from fat fetishists with unfortunate spelling mistakes (“He meant facesitting, right?”). Just remember — you’re a person, not a sex toy or something won by the highest bidder. Keep your precious love for a guy or gal who can respect your fat ass for the thing of beauty it truly is.
Livin’ Single. Let’s roll back to our first moment — remember PDT? You’ve got it as a single lady. Use it. Develop interests, hobbies and non-romantic relationships. Read fat-positive blogs and books. The purpose of your life is not to sit around and wait for romance to turn you into a real person. My advice is to enjoy the freedom while it lasts. Be a weirdo slob who picks her outfits straight out of her “floordrobe,” eats fried eggs for every meal, and sobs on the floor watching Oprah’s Life Class. Believe it or not, you will miss these days when they are gone.
Drop the diet, not the pounds. Diets often console us with the lie that “if I only lose __ pounds, I will be desired.” If anything, there is something unnerving about people who live and breathe self-improvement, because they can never settle in and be happy the way they are. It’s a dangerous game, because when you gain the weight back, where does that leave your shaky, weight-based self-worth? If you are so focused on losing weight that you neglect all other parts of your life, you’re missing out on your own life. Lastly, to paraphrase the immortal words of The Simpsons: “You don’t make [boy/girl] friends with salad.”
Get in touch with your bod. Fat girls are taught from infancy to loathe our own forms, cover up and be invisible. Turn that script around. Try out physical activities that make your body feel good — swimming, stretching or embarrassing learn-to-dance DVDs from the library. If you have limited mobility, you can still check in with your body via a massage, facial, or even just using a nice body wash or lotion at home. Remember — body shame is real and effects everything from your mood to your confidence, even your posture. You might hope that someone loving your body will help you do the same (and it could), but you gotta get the body-loving wheels turning now.
Sex it up. Big girls can struggle accessing our own sexual power, especially after being overexposed to the harmful trope that fat women possess voracious, man-devouring sexual appetites. Shed that notion and find your sexual center. Tapping into this sexy reservoir will give you the confidence you need when your dream lover does come along. Buy some fun sex toys and watch porn featuring hot, big women (I can not reccomend April Flores’ work enough). Buy clothes you would be too scared to wear out ( I’m talking tight, short, full cleave, hell — full butt cleave, even!). Take lots of sexy full-body selfies in your new clothes. Have a random Tinder hookup or five. Awaken the sexual goddess within you.
Big, big love. Sometimes the lesson we learn from our fat-hating culture is that we should go after thin or muscular men, as their love is the most desirable. Remember, much like the guys and gals who won’t give you the time of day, you too have been conditioned away from loving fat bodies. Some of the smartest, kindest, and goddanged sexiest folks I have ever had the pleasure of hooking up with have been chubby, fat, round, big, curvy and flabby. This is not about “settling,” either. This is conditioning yourself to respect that fat shame works against people across the gender spectrum, and that you might be overlooking a wonderful, sexy partner who could cuddle you just right for the same reasons that you feel overlooked.
Don’t chicken out. The perfect person comes along. You go on a few lovely dates but it’s hard to feel settled. You’re nervous and flighty and act weird around them. Silences feel eternal and you overanalyze everything. Just remember, darlings — you will have to get comfortable with each other. Sometimes after all the negative messages we hear about our bodies, we find it hard to hear that someone thinks we’re perfect. Get used to being side-by-side with someone who thinks you’re as hot and awesome and magic as you are. Stick with it. It gets easier.
I won’t say “hold out hope” or whatever other nonsense because, dammit, you’re a whole person with a full and worthwhile life, even sans (wo)mans. Get out there and zest it up, you gorgeous fat thing. It’s worth it. As are you.