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My Fat Man Anger

January 16, 2010

So last night I had dinner with a couple of friends- MP (a guy) and EC (a girl).  I had this “feeling of eh” all day about meeting up for dinner with them because every time I thought about MP being there- I got angry and all out of sorts.

At first I couldn’t pinpoint what made me feel this way.   But lately, every time I hear MP’s name or I see him… well, I get pissy.  To explain my problem with MP, we have to go back a few years.  Ever since my mid-20s, I go through bouts of serious anxiety and fear that I’m never going to get married and have a family.  These bouts would overtake my world because to me, if I didn’t get married and have children, life would have been an utter failure. (I no longer believe this as strongly, but remnants are still lurking around in my head but I’m working on eradicating them).

But finding a husband would prove to be quite difficult if I couldn’t even find a boyfriend!  And I was having no luck on that front.  On the surface, MP seemed like a perfect fit for me… we had the same religious background, we had a built in circle of friends, and he was bigger than me (aka, he was fat).   I had serious body issues and serious man issues and continue to have them to a lesser extent (I’m a continuing work in progress).  But a few years back, the idea of dating someone smaller/thinner than me was horrifying and unimaginable.  So the fact that MP was fat made him a winner!  Mind you, I was never attracted to MP even though I tried hard to change that because he seemed so perfect.

A couple years ago, a group of us were chatting and I was once again trying to convince myself that MP made complete sense for me even if it was only as “boyfriend practice” (I know, horrible).   And in this conversation, he told us about his type.  He said that he doesn’t like big girls, he only liked petite girls… although he couldn’t articulate why. I don’t remember my reaction at the time. It wasn’t like I actually liked this guy…

But this seems to be some kind of trend: fat guys who prefer to date skinny girls. I saw it all the time through on-line dating sites and I know other fat guys who feel the same.  I think what bothers me the most is not that these fat guys would prefer to date a woman who is thin, but that they can.  I wouldn’t mind dating a man who was athletic and toned, but those men aren’t typically interested in me.  When I see a fat and skinny couple (pre-marriage and kids), almost always the guy is fat and the female is skinny.  And why?  Men are so driven by the physical attraction while women are more driven by a myriad of attraction (part physical, part intellectual, part emotional, etc).

So if a fat guy wants to date skinny girls… he’s actually got a shot if he can charm her with his personality and such.  But if a fat girl wants to date a muscular guy… well, she’s going to need to find that needle in the haystack who’s interested.

And it makes me angry.  Not at the women who date these fat guys.  But I’m angry at these fat men who have the nerve to say that they would never date a fat girl.  The double standard is obnoxious.

But what sends me into the rage?  That these fat f*cks can actually get away with it.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. Miriam Heddy permalink
    January 16, 2010 1:52 pm

    I’m all for raging against the patriarchy/kyriarchy. But I think this, “Men are so driven by the physical attraction while women are more driven by a myriad of attraction (part physical, part intellectual, part emotional, etc),” isn’t at all true, or at least not nearly as true as the women’s mags (and even men themselves) would have us believe.

    I think what’s at issue is that, in the hierarchy of things which define men’s value to women (and to other men), thinness ranks relatively low, as does generally meeting the standards of conventional (Hollywood-defined) beauty. While for women, beauty (as thinness + other things like large breasts) is ranked quite high, and women are both socially and economically penalized for failing to conform to beauty standards of the day.

    This doesn’t mean that all men only value thinness, but it does mean that, in the social economy of heterosexual dating, fat men can trade on their income and intelligence moreso than can women (especially when men are taught to see intelligence and a higher income as belonging to men and thus as potentially threatening when a woman has them).

    And wow–that’s sort of depressing. OTOH, there really *are* men out there who really want to have sex with and marry and have kids with someone who makes them laugh, makes them think, and turns them on.

    Sadly, fat guys like that MP have internalized the same fatphobia we all live with, and it may be difficult for him to imagine loving someone who has the same qualities he may hate about himself.

  2. January 16, 2010 3:01 pm

    I hear you, but I haven’t been in that situation since high school. Men are attracted to the whole package, just like women are. Sometimes it just takes them a while to figure it out.

    Like you, I was sensitive about my size when I was younger (I am/was 5′-5″ and around 200lbs). My first long-term relationship was with a guy who was bigger than me, but he wasn’t fat. He was 6′ tall, weighed 240 pounds, and had a 36″ waist. He looked like a lumberjack; quite muscular. My current husband isn’t as physically fit, but he’s around 5′-7″ and 160 pounds – a good 50 pounds lighter than I am right now. He’s also very handsome.

    I had what I’d describe as “passionate friendships” with both of them before we became very attracted to each other and ended up sleeping together.

    It makes a difference to me whether or not I find a man good looking, but intelligence, shared interests and chemistry are prerequisites. And, it’s hard for me to describe what “good looking” means to me. I don’t have any absolute rules about appearance. I’ve never dated a fat guy, but I’ve had a couple of fat male friends who I would have been interested in, had we been single.

    Now, I’m good looking myself, I’m a professional, and I’m told that I’m good company – but I’m not thin my any stretch of the imagination. I just asked my husband what he found attractive about me and he said “you’re strong, independent, intelligent, interesting, fun to hang out with, shapely, cuddly, a loving person, and you make me feel good about myself.” So, now I have a fat head too.

    When I was at university, I felt that the vast majority of men wouldn’t have considered dating me because of my size. As I’ve gotten older (I’m 40 now), that’s been less and less the case. When I was in between relationships at 34, I only managed to stay single for three months. I wasn’t even looking for a relationship, just some nice sex with a guy I could trust. I had a friend who was younger than me and I didn’t think I was his type, but I jumped in anyway. Now we’re married. God. I can never seem to have a superficial physical relationship. Every time I try, it turns into 10+ years. ;-D

    So, if you’re still fairly young please know that things get better as men get older and more experienced – and as you become more experienced, it gets much easier to handle rejection and lack of mutual interest. If a fat guy tells you he isn’t attracted to fat women as an obvious way to discourage your interest, just laugh in his face and start flirting with his hottest buddy.

  3. Laurie permalink
    January 16, 2010 4:14 pm

    Hi. First time poster here. I saw your last couple of posts on the Fatosphere feed, and I had to comment on this because you sound so much like me 6 years ago. I decided to try something different one day, on a whim, and it helped me, so I’m going to tell you about it, and you can do whatever you want with it. You know how women always tell you to make a list of all the things you want in a guy and say that then he’ll come out of the woodwork for you like magic? People always told me that, at least. Well, that never worked for me, so one day I made a list of all of the things I had to bring to a relationship. Like, if someone was lucky enough to have me, what would he be in for? They were things like honesty, loyalty, a good friend, someone who can listen, a good cook, someone who hates to clean or do the dishes, someone who says what she thinks (and sometimes that’s hard to deal with)… all the things I thought of as being my virtues and my vices that would affect a person in a relationship with me. I wrote them all out in one column. Then in the other column, I wrote the thing that the other person should be to either deserve me, or to deal with me. Like, if I’m an honest person, I deserve someone who is also honest, and if I’m a good cook, I deserve someone who’s willing to do the dishes. That kind of stuff. What I found was the list that described this partner who would ideally suit me was nothing like the list of “what I wanted in a guy”. This led me to the question, “Why is that?” Why had I been looking for someone who didn’t suit me perfectly? Why was I being too picky in some areas and not picky enough in the areas that really matter to me? One thing that really stood out to me was that I had always steered clear of shy guys because I wanted someone who was going to ask ME out, not the other way around. But that wasn’t really important according to my new list/set of ideals. So, I decided that the next time I met a guy who seemed like he could be what I deserved (and who I found attractive, obviously), I would ask him out. I met someone who fit that description after about 5 or 6 months, I asked him out, and we’ve been together for 6 1/2 years now, and married for 2 1/2 of those years. So, my advice is, don’t just look for what you think you want. Look for someone who deserves you. It might be harder to find, but you’ll be happier if you don’t settle for less than you deserve. And if you are going out into the world with a vibe of, “Y’all are gonna have to be pretty amazing to have a chance at me,” that’s a really attractive vibe to give off!

  4. January 16, 2010 8:13 pm

    Wow ladies. Thank you! Thank you! For all the amazing advice. I’m going to take all of it to heart. 🙂

  5. January 18, 2010 9:26 am

    I really like Laurie’s advice, going to try to make a list in the next few days. Dating sucks, and honestly, it’s no easier for me now (BMI = 25) then it was 60 pounds ago, so I’m thinking that for me, it’s not too much related to weight. In other words, no advice at all. I’m thinking of internet dating, just because I’m hermity by nature and don’t meet single guys, don’t talk to them anyway. I’d let them find my ad, I’ve seen too many ads from guys who are not hotties, looking for women 10+ years younger, 50+ pounds lighter. Good luck, guys, hope you got money!

  6. January 19, 2010 1:53 am

    Wow. This post made me think a lot about my own thoughts of worthiness (or unworthiness) as a mate. When I go out to meet friends in a social situation, I used to walk in thinking that no woman would consider me as a dating prospect. My Fat trumped all my other amazing qualities. So I never try. Having been part of the FA community, I am seeing that this self concept is a casualty of a fat hating culture. I also see that my choice of self concept has more to do with my candidacy for boyfriend that all the chips stacked up against me in our fat hating culture.

    While I have not transcended the limitations of this self concept, finding the FA space where I can accept myself has opened me up to the possibility that I could be a candidate for boyfriend-hood.

    My initial physical attraction is towards thin girls. So, yes, when I first scan a room I notice the girls that fit the culture’s conception of hotness. I am also attracted to fat women, however, I have to honestly say that I notice thin girls first. That being said, I can (and have) become physically attracted to fat women who at first did not catchmy eye after 10 minutes of conversation with them. What trumps my “programing” about physical attraction” is confidence. When I meet a woman who is confident and at peace with herself, I become attracted to her. I can see past the surface. When I am not attracted to a fat woman, it is not because they are fat, it is because of the character of the woman, not the flesh and bones that house the character.

    Look, I don’t have a lot of experience with this. However, I too get frustrated about all the women who disqualify me as a prospect before speaking to me, based solely on my appearance. That is just a reality of the world I live in.

    The FA movement has helped me to see that I could be a catch and that no matter what the status quo is about male physical attractiveness, I can and most importantly I have the right to walk into any bar/social situation and focus on the catch that I am instead of the ways in which I do not conform to the male archetype of male virility.

    The last thing I want to add here is that I do not think that there is anything wrong with being attracted solely to a specific physical type. I think everyone has the freedom and the right to decide this for themselves. I no longer lament the fact that most girls don’t give me a second look because of my weight. They also have the right to their preferences. Focusing on that aspect only hinders my healing in this area.

    Just because the odds are against me, doesn’t mean I give up. For instance, no one sets me up on a blind date. That being said, when I think about it, I have never asked my friends to do that either. While it is probably true that matches of Fat man/skinny woman happens more often that skinny man/fat woman, it is still up to me to choose the headspace that I step into the dating world with. A process I am still working on.

  7. hsofia permalink
    January 19, 2010 8:28 pm

    I hope you won’t let MP’s dating preferences get you down. I know it can be discouraging. When I tried online dating, I would get pretty bummed about the number of guys who would list every ethnic group as okay EXCEPT African American. And I was never very thin. But as someone mentioned, men with some marbles in their head are usually looking for a total package. I try to remember that a lot of what we “learn” about male/female relationships is from the media (and people who are repeating the media lessons) – and media is usually in the business of selling deficiencies and drama.

    In reality, most of us just want someone who makes us feel good about ourselves. We want someone who is interesting to us, makes us feel attractive and loved and cared for, listened to, etc. Yeah, we want to find that person attractive, too, but most people have a pretty big range of what they find attractive. Some people will see a fat woman and think, “oh she’s a negative reflection upon me,” or “I could get someone ‘hotter’ than her,” and it’s best to avoid getting in relationships with people with that attitude. I really don’t think they are the majority.

    I’m happily married now and I’m sure my husband didn’t have my appearance in mind when he envisioned his future partner, but he did have my personality and character in mind. That really is what matters to people who are not out to “prove anything” with their relationships.

    • January 21, 2010 10:27 am

      @hsofia, I couldn’t agree more. I had the same feelings about the amount of guys who weren’t interested in black girls. It seemed so weird to me in the beginning. And I know you’re right and so is @nycivan… we all send out a vibe and I’m not sure the vibe I’m sending out is attractive right now because I’m not happy with the way I look. So that’s what I’m going to work on.

      There’s a quote that I love: “Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it, the more it will elude you. But if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder… ” I’m gonna try and live this and see what happens! 🙂

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