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Author Topic: Can I Stop Being Attracted to Fat Chicks?
vash
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First I want to say I may have submitted this question on the home page but I'm not sure if it went through or not. If it did I want to apologize for the redundancy. I'd just rather have it answered here on the message boards.

I'm 22 and still a virgin in every sense of the word(saving everything for marriage). Don't know if that'll help but I thought I'd throw that out there. Anyways, ever since I was a little kid, I've been fascinated with larger women or "big beautiful women". As I grew older this disappeared and I adopted most of the "normal" views society has concerning fat girls. And by that I mean I saw them as undesirable and not physically appealing. As I was entering puberty and raging with hormones this started to change. My taste in women started to revert back to the fascinations I had as a child. I specifically remember what I deem to be the official turning point; I was fantasizing about making love to a BBW one night and I became incredibly aroused. Afterwards I felt extremely ashamed and degraded. In the following months I began experimenting with masturbation for the first time and later visual stimulation. Initially I just looked at pictures of normal sized models but I soon started browsing for BBW models and that became the only type of porn I would look at. This went on for a bit but eventually I came to terms with my preference. But I kept it to myself for fear of being humiliated. As I matured I quit masturbating and looking at porn. And now 5 years later of complete sexual abstinence I still find that I'm very much attracted to bigger women.

Is there is anything I can do to alter my preference? I'm slightly attracted to "average" women as long as there shapely, but it's no where near to my attraction for BBWS. I'd like for that to be switched around. I could definitely have a fat chick as my significant other but I'd prefer not to for two reasons: 1 I'd like for my partner to be in good health. 2 I honestly could do without the stares and questions from my family, friends, coworkers etc if I were to get with a big girl. Sure true love is more important than what society thinks, but I'd just rather a love that isn't looked down on in anyway. Is there any hope for me? Can a person's tastes be changed and morphed? Or is it set in stone?

Below are links to give you an idea of what I currently find to be the most attractive [Frown]

1

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CSandSourpatch
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Tastes are not set in stone--I can tell you that much. I used to be very attracted to blond/blue-eyed guys, but now, they don't do much for me, and I much prefer darker haired and darker eyed men. However, this was not something I forced upon myself--it just sort of happened.

Hate to break it to you, but I'm sure everyone involved with a significant other can always find someone who looks down on their relationship for some reason. I've had a few people express their derision at my being the one who supposedly "wears the pants" in my current relationship. (We share in decisions equally, though--I'm just loud. [Razz] )

And wow... First, as someone who is currently slightly overweight and has been pretty close to obese (in terms of BMI, at least), I was always fairly healthy no matter what I weighed. The only thing my doctor could say is that I was at a higher risk for developing weight-related illnesses, and I did want to lose weight, anyway, but my point here is that being overweight at all does not automatically mean being unhealthy, nor does being of an average weight guarantee that a person is healthy. Yes, being overweight does predispose people towards certain conditions, but so do a variety of genes that can exist in people of any size.

Society is very good at making those who aren't "normal" feel ostracized, but really, what's the big deal? So I'm a bit between hourglass and pear-shaped (and on the heavier side of both) and my boyfriend is really skinny--so what? Does that mean my boyfriend is worth any less because he's attracted to someone more heavyset than he'll probably ever be? (I should also add that, with a different boyfriend in high school, when I was much heavier, that relationship was never looked down upon because of my weight. You'd be surprised what people will accept if they see you're truly, genuinely happy.)

Another bit of food for thought: Would you choose to date an average-sized woman you weren't particularly attracted in any way to over a larger woman you were very attracted to in all ways if you KNEW that that would be a life-long commitment, and you weren't sure you'd ever find the average-sized woman attractive? Is that really worth it?

Finally, this sort of material exists for a reason: people like it. Not just you, but multiple people. I can't say for sure, but if you can find an abundance of it, I'd imagine there's quite a market for it. You are not the only one with these preferences, and I'd wager there are those out there who are quite vocal about it, no matter what anyone else around them thinks.

So, bottom line: yes, preferences can change, but I've never heard of a person being able to force that change, and really, when it comes down to it, you ought to think long and hard about whether that's something that absolutely must change.

(For the record, I'm not saying that wanting to change your preferences is objectively wrong--it can't be because these are your feelings. I'm just wondering if it really is such a horrible thing for you to have such preferences.)

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Claire P.
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Hi vash and welcome to Scarleteen!

Some initial thoughts:

Okay, so I’m not sure how you are defining “true love,” but doesn’t it seem like that isn’t the kind of thing that’s going to blossom between two people when one is ashamed of the other one in certain respects?

I think it is important to remember that while it is fine, and pretty common, for a person to feel there may be certain specific characteristics that have repeatedly attract them to certain other individuals- it’s also just as important, if not more so, to not confuse a characteristic you find attractive with the individual for whom that is just one relatively small element in the mosaic their whole being is. Do you see what I mean?

Referring to fuller-bodied women as “fat chicks,” for example, could not only be reflective (just a possibility, of course) of certain overriding opinion/values in this situation, but could be seen as a dismissive way of referring to people by, again, just one part of their greater whole- especially a part that doesn’t indicate anything about who they are on the inside. And that could potentially hurt feelings. Do you see what I men?

You note the two reasons you would be worried about dating a fuller-bodied woman is (1) health and (2) family/friends’ opinion/reaction. First of all, as CSandSourpatch notes from real-life experience, the real facts with the obesity= unhealthy stuff is that it CAN equal unhealthy, but actually, the diseases society has been associating with being overweight and/or obesity?

Here’s a quick bit from a review of a study that was just published in September by the European Heart Journal (although there are similar scientific studies dating back as far as a decade at least):

“People can be obese but metabolically healthy and fit, with no greater risk of developing or dying from cardiovascular disease or cancer than normal weight people, according to the largest study ever to have investigated this seeming paradox.”

ALSO, if this reason is really a big deal for you? You shouldn’t assume skinny/average women are more likely to be healthy- that can totally depend on their level of fitness (exercise) as well. 1 in 4 skinny to average people are what is referred to (somewhat misleadingly, so hopefully the terminology will change soon) “metabolically obese.” That means THAT many people of “normal” weight are at similar levels of risk for the bunch of diseases traditionally referred to (at least in the last few decades) as “fat”-caused.

As for reason 2, “I’d rather not have a love looked down on in any way.” This has been covered pretty exactly but CS&S (great feedback, btw, CSandSourpatch!) but just to talk a little more and maybe attempt to clarify some things:

I'm not sure that this "not have love looked down on" is a thing that happen in the real world, honestly. Every love can probably be looked down on by someone out there! But whether or not you know the someone(s) who for whatever reason you feel are looking down on your relationship I'm not sure should matter as much as it's easy to initially think it *must.*

I mean, some parents can be critical of someone even if they appear to fit perfectly in every ideal, mainstream box (if that’s what they want for some reason), but you know, if your friends are really friends? If you are obviously committed to a partner whom you clearly/audibly have a lot of respect for, I’d be surprised if friends would not also respect that, you, and your relationship for it. And if you have and/or work to have a good relationship with your family, it seems like they should come around similarly, if they understand what’s going on?

This is in response to the scenario where you and your partner mutually respect each other and do not feel ashamed about what you or she feels (regardless of the reality) is a pretty large piece of who the other person is... I think good friends and close family can sometimes totally be able to suss out when we’re feeling a little uneasy about something, you know? And then it’s easier to feel okay making inappropriate and/or insulting judgements. But I mean, it sounds like you know that isn’t the kind of relationship you’d want anyhow. [Smile]

What do you think?

[ 11-22-2012, 02:08 AM: Message edited by: Claire P. ]

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vash
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Thanks for the responses and the welcome [Smile]

I think my biggest problem is that there's still an underlying sense of shame in my preference. Please understand, this has nothing to do with how I view larger women. I would never ever feel like they were less or inadequate. This sense of shame applies only to my preference, like there's something wrong with me for liking what I like. That's of course due to environmental influence. And it doesn't help when people that do know about my preference make fun of me. I'm tall, very muscular, and have been told that I'm handsome as well. So I feel this expectation from people to strive for what THEY see as the best for a guy who could have anyone he wanted. And I know that's silly, because it's MY life. It also angers me, when people say I deserve better because of my attributes. As if big girls deserve less because they're....big??

And Claire, to address your comments about the level to which a specific characteristic influences attraction, I can definitely say that this characteristic of size is very large (no pun intended [Razz] ) on my agenda. To me, BBWs are the most beautiful women on the planet. And I don't mean that there's some esoteric quality in them that I like and I can look past their weight (there is actually a metaphysical attraction as well, it just isn't exclusive). I mean I am physically attracted to their features. The thick thighs, big butt, wide hips, big breasts, soft belly, etc. Of course, there's got to be proportion but I digress. When I said in my first post that I was slightly attracted to average sized women, I really mean SLIGHTLY. I can see their beauty, it just doesn't really do it for me personally. Also as far as my "fat chicks" comment, I'm the least politically correct person in the world haha.

CS&S said "Would you choose to date an average-sized woman you weren't particularly attracted in any way to over a larger woman you were very attracted to in all ways if you KNEW that that would be a life-long commitment, and you weren't sure you'd ever find the average-sized woman attractive? Is that really worth it?" And this is something that I've thought about quite a bit and I don't know the answer. Sometimes I think of the island scenario whenever I'm contemplating how my views or ideals are being influenced by social pressures. If I were on and Island with no one except for one woman, would she be average sized or plump? I would choose to have a BBW hands down. I guess that shows where my heart is. I know a person's character is one of the more important traits in a relationship. But physical attraction is definitely something that matters.

As far as the health aspect goes, I have read those studies before and I think there can be a lot of validity behind the findings. But some of the women I like are really really big. I feel like there's got to be some issues there. Maybe not life threatening in the least bit, but still.

Luckily though, I've got a wide range when it comes to a woman's size. And if I were in a relationship, I'd never force my gf or wife to gain weight and I wouldn't be dissatisfied if she lost weight either. Here are some more links of 3 models that more or less make up my "range of attraction" going from smaller to larger. I'll be honest, the health thing isn't really that much of an issue, more an excuse.


White Dress
Red
Park Bench
Bikini
Figure profile
Beachfront


Lastly I want to address CS&S once again. You said "For the record, I'm not saying that wanting to change your preferences is objectively wrong--it can't be because these are your feelings. I'm just wondering if it really is such a horrible thing for you to have such preferences."

I actually do feel that it is slightly wrong to want to change my preferences based on my reasoning behind it. It's really more of me just worrying about what others will think of me. And that's kind of lame right? And I don't think it's a horrible thing to have these preferences, others will just think I'm gross and weird so it's horrible to them more than anything.I guess I just need to work on self acceptance and not caring what other people think?

[ 11-22-2012, 09:51 AM: Message edited by: vash ]

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Robin Lee
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HI vash,

You know, there might be health problems with being very big, and there might not. And, the health problems there might be aren't likely to be specific to weight, although bias (including in the medical community) might have us believe.

Just so I understand, you have never been in a romantic relationship of any kind, correct?

How about you fill us in then on where you think these fears of the expectations you have from others are coming from. For example, if people have told you that you "deserve better", what are they basing their comments on?

Where do you think that sense of shame in your preferences is coming from? For example, we've been talking a lot here about the messages in society, societal expectations and biases, but I'm wondering if there's something more specific at the root of the shame you feel?

--------------------
Robin

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CSandSourpatch
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Hey again,

I was trying not to phrase things (too) harshly, and I think I may have failed in some respects. That's not on you, however--this is sort of a triggering topic for me because of my own struggles in the past, but actually, engaging in these discussions is helping me move past that, so... yeah. Thank you for... not being offended, I guess. [Razz]

In regards to this: "I know a person's character is one of the more important traits in a relationship. But physical attraction is definitely something that matters." Oh yes, physical attraction definitely matters! And it seemed to me from the start that you know that both the physical and non-physical aspects of a relationship are important, so I wasn't really concerned about that.

And it's definitely okay to be worried about what others think of any potential relationship. Believe me, you are not alone in that, and it's really hard to move past what others think, especially when it's about someone you care about. And because this would be someone you would care deeply about, it definitely hurts to have that reflect back on you, such as it were.

I'll be honest: I haven't been looking at the pictures you've been posting, because that doesn't really matter to me. Your preferences are your own business, and you need not justify them to anyone else. Their inability to see what you see in a romantic partner is a reflection on them, not on you. But, like I said, it can be hard to accept that the onus for this is not on you--you do not dictate what is "normal" or "abnormal" society; you like what/who you like and, as far as I'm concerned, as long as it's not actually hurting anyone, then more power to you!

Again, it's not wrong to wish you had a different preference. Your reasons may make some people uncomfortable, but again, those are your thoughts, and thoughts are not objectively bad things. The perception of what is(n't) "normal", too, is subjective, as is judgement/the idea that you may be judged for your preferences. (Disclaimer: I'm not a professional, so the following is rooted only in my own experience, which just happened to work out fairly well.) I think working on self-acceptance is about the only thing you can do, in fact, because it seems like that's where the root of all this lies. It seems like you've got a pretty healthy idea of what a good, stable relationship is and how it works, but, again, speaking from experience, it is hard to really be able to connect with a partner when you're still struggling to accept yourself.

[ 11-22-2012, 10:48 AM: Message edited by: CSandSourpatch ]

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Heather
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Hey, vash.

Just a reminder that we aim for Scarleteen to be safe space for everyone. So, when we're talking about others, be that an individual or a group of people, we ask that folks aim to do their best to think about that other person or member of that group reading what is written about them here. I think some of the ways you've talked about women of size are ways some of them would find hurtful or offensive -- even the phrase "fat chicks," which basically reduces that woman to being nothing but the size she is -- so I ask that in this discussion, you put some extra effort into talking about this group of people with more sensitivity, okay? Thanks. We'd really like, for example, the women who resemble some of your remarks here to feel comfortable being here, too.

I think the nuts and bolts have already been covered here, but it might be helpful for a quick-and-dirty review:

1) We can't change to whom or what we are attracted. We always get to choose what actions we take around our attractions, but our feelings like this are just that, our feelings, and like most feelings, they might shift or change over time outside our control, but trying to forcibly change them often isn't something that works, whether we're talking about something like the gender or genders of people we're attracted to, or something like the size or shape of people we tend to find attractive.

2) Healthy people can come in nearly all sizes, and so can unhealthy people. In other words, if you want to only get involved with someone in good health, that's really a different criteria than what size someone is. If you want to do some reading to help with what sounds like some learned bias around health and fat, I'd strongly suggest reading "Health at Every Size."

3) As folks have already mentioned here, trying to only have relationships where we'll face no disapproval or judgment from anyone is often a losing proposition. And you know, trying to kind of correct other people's bigotry or bias, effectively, by not having to deal with it like this is also full of fail. One, because, of course, the group of people it seems you care about aren't helped by that in the least, but two, people those people's bias and bigotry are THEIR problem, one that exists no matter who you're dating.

The only other thing I'd add around that is that if your friends and family have very strong bias about people of size and don't treat them well, I think that's something to take into account in your dating choices. Obviously, that won't be a very good environment for anyone who will have to be at the receiving end of that bias -- and it'd be way more the women you'd date than on you -- so if it's very prevalent, perhaps before you start dating anyone of size, you can have some talks with the people around you, take the temperature, as it were, and see what you can do for all of you to unpack it some. Know what I mean?

That all said, though, I also would say that if you don't feel able to handle that bias, and feel ashamed of your attraction to someone, anyone, my personal advice would be not to move forward and date that person. I think we can all agree that no one is going to benefit from dating anyone who feels ashamed to be with them.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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vash
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Hey Robin, that is correct. No relationship, fling, or liaison whatsoever. And these fears just come from growing up here in the States. Image is everything. And where I've lived, bigger girls were always made fun of and seen as undesirable. So that really made an impression one me at a young age. For example, a few girls that were interested in me were "thick" (200-240lbs). And people would tell me "oh yeah so and so is a great girl, but she's got a bit of a weight problem." Ultimately, I never went out with any of them not because of their weight, but because I didn't have the same mutual feelings about them.

When people tell me I deserve better, they base it on me. I can't really phrase this without coming off as arrogant, but I've never had trouble attracting the ladies, all of whom I had to reject [Frown] . A lot of my peers look up to me because of my way with women and they see me as a real man's man. And as terrible as it sounds, many people feel like a girl they deem to be unattractive doesn't deserve to be with a guy who's "out of her league." That's nothing new of course and it's the norm really, or so I've found. The other day I was talking to a good friend of mine and I told him I liked bigger women. And he was quite surprised. "Big girls??" he says. I told him hey big girls need love too. His reply was "well yeah, but not from studs like us." So unfortunately, there's this idea ingrained in many people that men who go for the heavier girls do so because they're losers who can't get the hot chicks.

As far a deeper root of my shame. Well two things. At one point in my life I saw bigger women as unattractive and when I started becoming attracted to them I got very confused. And also I think it has to do with the fact that as I was growing up I didn't know anyone else who had my tastes and as a result I felt like I was sick and perverted.

CSandSourpatch, I wasn't in anyway offended and I don't think you were too harsh. I prefer blunt honesty to sugar coating any day. I posted the pictures because I just wanted people to have an exact idea of what I like. I think this helps in understanding how others may view me based on my preference and also I was curious as to whether or not my tastes would be considered extreme. I've shown some of my guy friends these photos and they laughed their tails off of course (At the time,I showed them in a way that wouldn't reveal that that's what I liked). I also showed a girl once, and she thought they were sexy, but she was 225 lbs herself so I think there was a wee bit of bias there. She did help me feel a lot better about myself though. I can't remember what it's like to find plus size women (shapely of course, that's a must for me) unattractive. So when I see those photos I see beauty and I forget sometimes that many people don't see what I see. So I sometimes wonder if I need a reality check and if the women I like are really as repulsive as everyone keeps telling me.

I agree with you that self-acceptance may be my only true option. Honestly I feel like I'm already there for the most part. But I was just wondering IF I had a choice, but I didn't want to talk to anyone about it. That's when I found this wonderful site. Again, I don't really believe that I can change my tastes. I was just curious (I think I came off as desperate haha)if there was anything that could be done because sometimes I feel like I need to please everyone else. I really believe it's just too much a part of who I am for it to be changed. And this might sound a little odd, but I've started liking the fact that I'm attracted to a body type that most people (seemingly) aren't. I feel unique and privileged to have the opportunity (or capability)to respect and adore a bigger woman.

Heather I'm terribly sorry for the slur. I forget that most people prefer the euphemisms no matter how cliché. And thanks for the advice, very blunt...I like it! And I do want to clarify that although my family doesn't know about my preference, I know that they would be fully accepting.

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Heather
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You know, cultural beauty standards are a bitch.

I mean, really, I don't know any other way to put it succinctly.

(Same goes for masculinity standards, for that matter, like the notion that how many women or what "kind" of women are attracted to says anything at all about that man's masculinity. Same goes for sexism, and the part of it that results in anyone treating or talking about people like they are objects to acquire, or things, not whole human beings, that raise or lower the status of men who date or sleep with them.)

And certainly, they're more of one for people who are more directly impacted by them than you are, like the women you tend to find most attractive. But really, they do everyone a disservice.

That said, they also aren't eternal -- they change all the time, even in my lifetime of around four decades, I've seen them change several times over time, and if we look just at the last 100 years, they have changed way more times than that. They also aren't universal. And, on the whole, people also tend to put less stock in them and be less stupid about them as they (and if they, obviously) gain maturity.

Cultural beauty standards also often have no bearing on who or what people find attractive. Sure, for some people, they do, and for some people, they learn to find that attractive, whatever the given beauty ideal of the hour is, because they think they have to. But for the most part? People's aesthetics are diverse, as are people's range of who and what they find sexually or otherwise attractive.

So, the way your friends are talking? Not all people think that way (and hell, $20 says some of them probably don't themselves, and might have people they find attractive who don't meet the standards they're holding up), so maybe it's time to think about expanding your social circle to include some folks who think bigger. And by that, I'm not talking about butts, I'm talking about bigger in terms of with more depth. Not everyone thinks like the friends do who you're talking about here.

It sounds like, in some respect, you're figuring that out for yourself about yourself. In other words, the same changes you're starting to make in terms of how you think about this, and how it sounds like you might be slowly tossing off some of the B.S. about cultural beauty standards and the very tiny % of people they actually include? other folks can do that, too.

And if they don't? Or they choose not to recognize that simply out of basic kindness to people they need to try? My best advice is that those aren't the kind of people to put a bunch of stock in the opinions of. I mean, why care about what someone thinks who clearly ...well, isn't thinking very much?

[ 11-22-2012, 01:22 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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vash
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Ahh Heather you've a good sense of humor too!Thanks so much for this site and for your responses. I just have a few more concerns. And anyone can feel free to answer this, the more input the better.

How should I go about being more open concerning my preference? Or what would you do if it were you?

As I live in a very culturally backwards city, I can't garner a variety of opinions on just about anything really. So I must know. You've seen the images I've posted. Is it really that weird to have a thing for girls like that? Of course I'm not expecting people to feel the way I do about the women I like, I just hope they understand and accept. But most sensible people aren't going to be absolutely disgusted and think that I've got a psychological condition right??

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Heather
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You're quite welcome.

I'll be honest, I've not even looked at the links. But I don't need to, because again, what I know, both as a person who has been around a long time, but even more as a person who has worked in the field of sexuality for a long time, is that human sexual and romantic attraction is DIVERSE. I'm also someone who, personally, strongly feels and has experienced that there's really no one who doesn't have the capacity to be beautiful in their own eyes or those of someone else.

While I, personally, have no aversion to the idea of being weird, there can only be a "weird" in this respect if there is a norm. And there really isn't a norm here. The norm, if there is one, is diversity. Which ultimately means no attraction to any size or shape of person is either weird OR not-weird.

But you know, I think more importantly than being open with others about who you find attractive, it might be a sounder avenue to work a little bit more on ideas like "girls like that," which sounds an awful lot, to me, like you're reducing large women to being mostly or only about their size and what they look like. Do you know what I mean?

In other words, I don't know what "like that" means in this respect, because having a certain body size or shape in common isn't having much in common at all, given all the things that make all of us who we are. Do you get where I'm going with this?

In other words, I think instead of talking more about people to other people in this kind of detached way, it'd be better to maybe start getting to KNOW more of the people you'd be talking ABOUT, as whole people, not just as bodies you're attracted to. I think that talking to others about this right now is probably not likely to help anyone's cause here, because when people have lookism going on -- when all they're seeing is how someone looks -- talking about how you feel about how someone looks doesn't undo that, it tends to merely enable it.

So, I guess the long and the short of what I'm saying is that it sounds like what would make the most sense to me is talking about "the women you like" to people when they are, in fact, the women you like, as whole people, and actually know, and not just as bodies to look at.

I'd also maybe work some more on unpacking this thing you've got going on here about how much stock you put in people thinking whatever they do about you. To me, so much more of what you have said here is really about YOU than it is about any woman or group of women.

And my sense is that once you can put more stock in what YOU think about you and less in what someone else does -- especially with something as trite and empty as someone approving or disapproving how someone you might be dating looks -- a lot of this is going to just fall away, and you're going to be a lot more interested in whoever it is you start dating -- whatever they look like -- than about what anyone thinks of you because of who you're dating. I think right now, though, there doesn't sound like there's a lot of room for someone you'd be dating in all of this because so much of it clearly, for now, anyway, is about you and everyone else.

Does that make sense to you?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Heather
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(P.S. Per the links: are these photos of women you have the rights to repost in the first place? If they are not stock photos or photos you have taken with releases, do you have their permission? If not, we need to remove those links, out of respect for people's basic rights.)

[ 11-22-2012, 02:01 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Redskies
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Vash, just to give you a bit of perspective here, I did see the first and last links you posted. Women who are a similar size to the woman in the first picture (I'm uncomfortable about talking about one specific woman) are really a very average size. Women who are a similar size to the woman in the last picture, while certainly being bigger women, are still fairly common. There's absolutely nothing wrong at all with having a body similar to either of those pictures, so there's certainly nothing wrong or peculiar with either being attracted to one particular woman whose body is similar to those, or to being more attracted to people generally whose bodies look more like that. People who would find women similar to the first picture "too big" to be attractive would have a much narrower range of people who they can find attractive than the majority of people do.

You're absolutely right that most people wouldn't be disgusted at the idea of being attracted to people with that sort of body, because there's nothing disgusting About that kind of body. It's incredibly sad that there are any people at all who feel that way. Anyone who felt disgust is very likely to have been affected by those cultural beauty standards that you and Heather were talking about, because there's nothing innately disgusting about anyone's body. That kind of attitude is also very hurtful to the many people who have bodies like that, quite apart from concerning or hurtful to you.

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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vash
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Heather, yes that does make sense. And I know it's a harsh detached way to describe it, but the thing is it a woman's size inevitably becomes the issue when telling others about it.

Many people don't understand that people are in fact sexually attracted to women of size. Personally when I once considered dating this plus sized girl, people confronted me and asked me what the deal was. "She's funny, we have a lot in common, shes got a great spirit, and that's why I like her" I would tell them. They felt like I was a "good guy" for they thought I was looking past her body (which of course, they assumed I wasn't attracted to) or that I obviously felt sorry for her to even be considering entering into a relationship. They couldn't fathom that I actually liked her body as well.

So I know it sounds like I'm reducing bigger women to their physical characteristics, but honestly I find myself having to educate people that for me size is part of what makes a woman attractive. And for many other people as well. Like how height or skin tone is part of what some people think makes a person attractive, those are things that don't need explaining for the most part. A beautiful woman to me has much more than just the physical attributes I happen to like, but it's the physical side that many misconstrue when looking at a person as a whole. So when I'm explaining myself to others that's the facet of a person that comes up and subsequently gets isolated. I hope that makes sense.

I also do want to say that the views my peers have on me "deserving" a trophy size 6 model aren't those I share. My reluctance to accepting my preference really just boils down to me being a coward and pandering to society. In my defense though! I will say that I used to have very low self esteem and I suffered from depression.

I gotta say though I do feel more encouraged and I'm embracing my tastes more. I'm not planning on proclaiming to everyone what I think is aesthetically pleasing, like you said that really won't do a whole lot. But if a woman (who will most likely be big) comes a long with a good heart and character. I truly believe that I won't let societies bias affect my decisions regarding her. In other words, I'm going to man up and worry only about what WE think of each other. So there's hope for me yet.

And about the pictures. I looked into it beforehand to make sure I wouldn't be infringing anyone's rights by getting royalty free public domain content.

Thanks again [Big Grin]

And thanks Red. I know deep down that I'm not sick or messed up, but it's always good to hear it coming from someone else.

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Heather
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Well, I'd say that a woman's size would become the issue with some people. But it sure wouldn't with everyone. Not everyone is going to think that someone's size, or how they look, period, is something major to ask about, or even to ask about at all, with someone a friend or family member is dating. Not everyone won't get that people can find people of any size, every size, attractive. So much of this really tends to depend on who we surround ourselves with.

For instance, if I decided to spend all week with my friends who are of size and also fat activists, I'd walk out of that environment thinking that no one did NOT get that fat people are people just like everyone else, are often as healthy as anyone else, and of course have people around them who find them attractive, either despite their size or because of it.

Again, I think we have to bear in mind that how our given peer group or community might act or feel or say isn't universal. But again, if you find this is something that in YOUR peer group isn't a dynamic or treatment that works for you? That tells me you could stand to expand your peer group so that everyone around you isn't that way.

For sure, you won't hear me saying there's anything wrong with liking or appreciating how someone looks, or that how they look isn't part of who they are as a person. It's not like eyes = bad or bodies = bad. But I do think we always want to kind of do check-ins with ourselves when we find that we have very specific attractions and preferences that are solely physical that there's a balance there, and we're not dehumanizing or objectifying anyone, for their sake as well as ours. It sounds like you get that, though.

I don't think any of this sounds, to me, like there's anything "hopeless" about you. I suspect that a couple posts back, when you talked about a need for people's approval and the please everyone that that might actually be the core issue here, and that having issues that stem from that -- and again, from the sounds of it, a bunch of people around you who swim in the shallow end of the pool, if you catch my drift -- are symptoms, more than the real problem. If you've had self-esteem issues, it's understandable that other people's approval has had a lot of weight for you.

Thanks for checking in advance about the pictures, by the way: a lot of people don't think to do that.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Claire P.
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Okay, so this clearly could be a whole different perspective on how you're seeing the experience of having to educate people past their socialized fat phobia (as in, fat phobia is not a *natural* thing) BUT while I understand how these interactions could be frustrating for you, I actually think it's really great that you are having them.

For me at least, this kind of situation seems similar to one in which a person may be struggling with having a non-heterosexual sexual orientation- and having to deal with less-and/or-non-accepting friends and family who feel it is within their right/socially appropriate to question what the person feels is a totally natural attraction. So you know? Even if it is hard sometimes to convince yourself that you AREN'T the odd one out, maybe it can help to remember all those other people (and there are many) who are trying to pursue attractions that their family/friends/society may find perverse and possibly gross. (Even if it's not for the same thing as your case, it's a pretty good parallel situation.)Because there ARE a whole bunch of those people-- and sure, that is definitely also very tough to deal with, and both situations could easily wear down self-esteem sometimes.

But the good thing here, the thing I find pretty inspiring, anyway, is that - even if it's hard to see it through the daily frustrations- you are actually responding to people who question you and your interests/preferences with real information-- and it sounds like you're saying it in a straight-forward, unashamed way. Introducing foreign concepts to people is often totally difficult (obviously you've experienced this first hand), but, well, isn't that the way all social movements (towards some kind of justice) have begun and what they were supported by? Example: there was a time when most people expressed disgust at the idea of a woman not being considered property and being able to do real person things like vote. More recently, segregation was a socially-supported cultural norm. I'm sure anyone reading this could think of several more current and historical examples.

So, if *us at ST* just saying here that fat phobia isn't a good thing isn't enough to persuade you to think a little less of what random others in the world may think of you and your relationship? (I know you've said you feel more encouraged- woohoo!- but just want to clarify a bit.) Maybe it could help to think of yourself as someone standing up to a social and cultural injustice- these kinds of day-to-day interactions are critical in slowly but steadily changing the social tide for the better, person by person. I think that could potentially be a more accurate portrait of you and your role in these conversations- does that seem legit, helpful and/or relevant to you at all?

Sometimes it can get weird and uncomfortable when people are presented with a combination of two things that "don't belong together" as they have been taught (whether consciously by parents/teachers during their upbringing, or more subconsciously as often happens in this world where we're so saturated with forms of media and very particular cultural/traditional messages).

But you know, sometimes (actually often, in my own experience) it seems that once people are introduced to something they previously had a built-in negative response to (race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, sex, etc.) based on no personal interaction with that thing, they can learn to put a human face on the issue. Example? Think of people (like certain socially-conservative politicians in recent news stories) who change their views on gay marriage when they have become adjusted to the discovery that someone they are close to is queer.

Disgust is a pretty hard feeling to fight, but it's worth fighting for, and I admire you for responding to people by describing a crush for what you indeed like her for, instead of providing a string of apologies or opt-outs when you sense your audience is uncomfortable with how you really feel.

Only thing, though- I don't think it's necessary to go into great detail or especially stress the appearance of the girl in question, honestly- if the idea that you're a "good guy" who is somehow just "putting up" with a body type comes up (or if you feel comfortable bringing it up when you feel it's relevant), I think it's enough to just say that you find the specific woman you are talking about (rather than just speaking about bigger women generally) to be physically attractive. Because then you're just acting like the whole thing is a natural relationship for you, which it is. I feel like there could be a danger in trying to convince people who do not- at the time of the conversation- agree with you that fuller-figured women are especially attractive.
I say this now because I'm not sure if you still feel as strongly about the issue of the women's weight being the primary factor in your worry... so just in case, I want to clarify that I think making a deal out of your attraction to bigger women could become an emphasis that distracts your audience from what is actually going on- which is you being in a loving relationship that seemingly doesn't fit societal expectations but it still totally legit and something people should learn to become familiar with and accepting of. That is, if you stress the size/weight as defining your level of interest, that may NOT convince people listening that being attracted to a fuller-figured woman is/can be okay in general, because then it becomes very much about you personally rather than indicating a larger truth. This could make the legitimacy of the situation easier to ignore, as it could be easier for your audience to write something off as "your thing" instead of something potentially good and relevant to everyone, so therefore also something they should all try to be more open to/about. I know that was a whole jumble of words- but do you get the jist? Does this idea of being careful re the content of your educating conversations with family/friends make sense?

If you responded firmly and honestly to your friends/family's probing, like your crush and/or relationship is normal (which it IS- it IS normal to have your own preferences which could easily differ from other people's)and stood firm on not feeling the need to stress the size/weight of the woman herself- how do you think your friends/family would react? Do you think repetition of this kind of conversation emphasis would help introduce and get them familiar to the idea, so they could become more accepting? Or do you feel that wouldn't work- and if so, why is that? Can you think of any approaches your friends in particular might be more receptive to?

[ 11-22-2012, 05:16 PM: Message edited by: Claire P. ]

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vash
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Claire you bring up a lot of good points. I have likened my situation to that of those with a homosexual orientation before. Of course the prejudice and hatred they face is of a far greater magnitude.

You find my actions inspiring? I'm flattered. You know who really inspires me? Pierce Brosnan. He gets way more exposure than most people and Hollywood would certainly expect him to have only the hottest woman by his side. He was James Bond after all! And yet his wife does not fit Hollywood's norm and he's very satisfied with his wife and is open about his attraction to her.

I definitely agree with that type of role I can play. I think also that the biggest thing I can do, and those goes along with your approach on not stressing a woman's appearance, is just using my future relationship as a testament to the validity of this particular type of attraction in a positive way. If people see me in a happy, loving relationship I think they'll be a lot more open. If I responded to my friends and family in a straightforward way. I'm sure they'd understand. My family wouldn't mind in the least bit. My friends might think I'm a little strange, but I'm sure they wouldn't think any less of me. I don't see any potential relationships in the near future, but I don't feel the need to go ahead and warm everybody up to the idea in the meantime. I'll simply get in a relationship when the time is right, and if anyone has any questions, then I'll be happy to address them (and possibly use this forum to back me up [Razz] )

[ 11-22-2012, 05:47 PM: Message edited by: vash ]

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Claire P.
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Good to hear you've come to all these pretty great conclusions! And awesome that you appear to be feeling a lot better about this overall.

Remember you can always come back to the boards anytime you feel like you could do with a re-boost or just more convo around these kinds of issues! Not just when you need to use ST as reference. Anyway, glad to have helped out a bit. [Smile]

[ 11-23-2012, 02:34 AM: Message edited by: Claire P. ]

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