I’m going to tell you something I never would have been able to say to myself when I was younger: I’m a thick, curvy, slightly chubby girl, whatever you wish to call it. I have wide hips, bigger thighs, and a slim waist. And to top it off, I’m 5’9.
I like the way I look today, as a matter of fact, I’m pretty confident about it. But 10 years ago, that was called fat. And when someone calls you fat, especially when you’re a young girl, you die a bit on the inside. You compare yourself to slimmer, shorter girls because you’ve been taught that is the beauty standard for women. And if you don’t fit that standard, nor those pairs of jeans, you are worthless, unlovable, and ugly.
So you grow up insecure, and sad. You hide, you cry, very silently. You are 15, and under the impression that no one wants you, and that nobody could ever love you. Do men prefer skinny women? Is that why I’m afraid to date, because of weight?
Fast forward to 2022, nearly a decade later, that same body type is praised and desired. It’s all of a sudden popular to be curvy. Sadly, your trend won’t ever reverse years of trauma dumped on some girls who were naturally curvy “at the wrong time“. But before we dive deep into this purely societal issue, let me tell you a little story first. I was out with some of my girlfriends, and we were sitting in a martini bar, really close to the entrance door. We were just talking about work, our nagging mothers, and the occasional average man who would cause us a sleepless night or two.
Through the door, enters a man, who I would, very humbly, say is universally attractive. He was pretty tall, with black slicked-back hair and a jaw that could cut a watermelon in half. Following him is what seemed to be his girlfriend. They seemed really cozy, and lovey.
You see, a normal person would stop there. A couple just entered a bar, big deal. But I wouldn’t be telling you this story if it wasn’t relevant here. I should also probably tell you that this girl was a bit larger than her boyfriend, physically. I personally do not care, but my friend seemed to think that was hilarious. She laughed and said, “I mean, he could find something better, right? She’s literally bigger than him, lol. Why do guys like chubby girls.”
I didn’t find that funny, I just felt bad for the girl, who just wanted to have some fun with her man. But this begs the question, who told my friend the girl HAS to be smaller or slimmer than the guy? Come to think of it, who told that to any of us, as we all seem to have been taught the same, hurtful thing?
This is why we want to get to the bottom of why society ridicules some girls just for existing.
When “Fat” was in fashion
Ages ago, in the middle and towards the end of the 16th century, natural curves on both men and women were considered beautiful, and extremely attractive. They alluded to health, fertility, and money – meaning you had enough money to keep up with your diverse and rather filling diet.
The very bold and revolutionary strokes of artistry from the Renaissance period, and all the way to Baroque, sure have helped promote this idea of beauty through many different channels of art. To be thin was to be ill, in poverty, or on the edge of death itself.
And although the more hollow artistical bunch left a lot of dark pieces before they passed, it was never heavily an influence, as it was a mere think piece during your regular literature class.
However, our modern lifestyles and the way society has been shaped don’t allow us to automatically think of beauty and health when we see a “fat” person. We relate fatness to laziness, fast food, and ugliness. Back then, we didn’t have McDonald’s or something similar to compare curves with. But if I’ve noticed anything it is that beauty standards change like the seasons.
Remember the Kate Moss craze? It was only two decades ago, and every girl wanted to be a size zero because any more meant every less chance at being beautiful. Today, especially in the West, curves are praised the most, and from the looks of it, every other girl is trying her best to fit the narrative one way or another.
In a time when everything should be in fashion, and when we should celebrate our differences rather than force everyone to look the same, we still sure do know how to make girls cry and starve themselves in the name of beauty.
So this begs the question…
Why do women have to be slimmer to get a man?
Where does this come from? Really.
Who told us, and I mean most of us that this is the standard we should all follow? Well, let’s look at this historically a bit.
Do you know the man is the protector, and the woman is the carer trope? The man goes out to hunt and the woman waits for his return while caring for the children and house?
That exact “biological” role casting has been carried out for centuries all throughout our society. Even just a couple of decades ago, we had the more commercialized version of exactly that.
But what does that have to do with being slim or fat? Well, that’s easy, it has everything to do with that.
You see, back then, it was expected for the woman to be the one who is protected, meaning she is incapable to do so herself, so she needs a man. A strong and dominant man at that. In this scenario, other than the expectation for her to be this fragile, feminine and caring creature, she is also expected to look the part, not just play it.
And what do we associate femininity, pureness, and innocence with when it comes to women? Outer appearances, of course. The woman doesn’t only have to be smaller than a man internally, but externally as well. When have you seen a movie trope where a handsome and strong prince saves a fat or strong woman from the dragon? As a matter of fact, when have you seen a strong woman save a scared man from anything, really?
The film industry sure is trying to mask that traditional trope today, by including a lot of diversity in its casting, despite still having a lot of history to erase. Pop culture influences are much stronger than many of us are aware enough to accept.
So, of course, when the heavyweight of traditional and media beliefs fall onto our backs, we will all try to fit into a narrative that is just fed to us. Meaning these expectations do originate from someone. Us, just from a long time ago.
Dating while “Fat”
Recently, I stumbled across an amazing writer by the name of Virgie Tovar, or more accurately, I read one of her amazing articles that tackle the dating world for fat girls. And I highly advise giving it a read.
She went on, in great detail, how she met this handsome guy who was really into bigger girls. Their sexual energy was amazing, and she truly felt wanted and craved.
But when she asked for more, a coffee date more and hidden sex fantasies less, he backed out. “If I dated you then my friends would never let me hear the end of it.” And so it goes.
Even when your weight isn’t seen as an issue, it still is? Apparently, men need a traditionally (and we’ve talked about tradition and what I mean by that), attractive woman, not just for themselves but for their friends and surroundings to see? So…like a trophy?
So, why do skinny guys like big girls if they don’t want to date them publicly? It makes zero sense to me.
It seems like all of our desires are heavily controlled and influenced by our surroundings, which is one of the fundamental issues of how we look at weight, and the people carrying it.
Changing the face of beauty
In the last couple of years, we’ve seen a rise in unapologetic celebs, who love to flaunt their curves and features seen as “unattractive”. From Lizzo, Demi Lovato, and Barbie Ferreira, all the way to Ashley Graham, Adele, and many many more.
We are happy to see more plus-size models, starring actors, and musicians on all of our screens and media outlets. We are slowly, but steadily showcasing them as beautiful and normal, instead of some laughable fat characters in films, cast only for comedic purposes.
We are doing the same for men, who aren’t “traditionally” masculine, fit, or even tall. We are collectively trying to break standards and set both natural beauty, and any kind of beauty in the center.
The premise is this: you are not meant to cover up or alter yourself in any way. You are meant to take what you have and allow it to shine through so that the people around you could see and get inspired feature by feature, and beauty by all.