Here's to all the fat girls: Part I
Let’s look at some facts. OK, not all facts. Mostly my experiences as a fat girl.
Women don’t get fat because they eat too much
Women get fat because they’re traumatized, they feel empty, unheard, unseen, and in incredible pain. They turn to a socially acceptable substance to ease their suffering: food. It should be noted that eating is socially acceptable. Being overweight is largely not.
Food is like any other addiction. Eating disorders, including compulsive overeating and binge eating, are addictions. They are psychological at their core. That is why so many people who receive weight loss surgery gain back the weight. If you don’t get at the root of the issue, you will not be successful keeping the weight off. Guaranteed. I’m a prime example.
How do you get fat?
I did a bit of Googling. In this article: Ten or Twelve Reasons Why People Get Fat, all of the usual bullshit is listed out. Calories in calories out, exercise, diet composition, blah blah blah.
At the very end of the article, the author acknowledges one contributing factor is stress. Only one time does the author mention a psychologically rooted contributing factor. One time. All the rest of it is focused on lifestyle and genetics. This is Psychology Today! I mean come on. This shit just makes me tired.
Obesity doesn’t protect you from sexual attention
I went a bit further and found an excellent article: Wearing Your Weight As Armor. This article closely describes my lifetime relationship with my weight.
It is estimated up to 40% of people seeking bariatric surgery have a history of childhood sexual abuse. BOOM. There it is, right there. That’s ME.
There’s a big long ugly story behind my childhood sexual abuse but I’ll summarize. My mother had a weight problem, my father was impotent and blamed his inability to achieve an erection on her. My father made me his surrogate wife.
Everyone in the family knew about the abuse. I mean everyone in the family knew about the abuse. Regardless, I was expected to meet his emotional needs. I was his confidante and counselor. Mostly, when he forced me into that role, I checked out. I experienced severe disassociation, which I still slip into in stressful situations even as an adult. I flat out hated him until he died when I was 20. I was incredibly rebellious, sarcastic, mean and nasty, was repeatedly back handed for it, and I just didn’t fucking care.
I wanted to kill him, experienced recurring nightmares where I reached into his chest and pulled out his beating heart. OK. Getting carried away there.
As you can see, his abuse left an indelible impression and has impacted every decision I’ve made my entire life. And I’m 59 yeas old. He’s been dead 39 years. Still working through all that childhood trauma shit. It takes a lifetime to undo the damage done to us as children. And even a lifetime isn't always enough.
Parental abuse is some serious bad ass shit. There’s some context to consider next time you catch your kid with his hand in the cookie jar. Go easy on the kid. How you treat them, what you tell them about who they are, all that gets written on their souls.
Back to the point at hand.
Quote from the article:
"For some, weight serves to minimize their looks and sexuality. In today’s society, thin is in, and if you don’t fit the mold, in theory, people will pay less attention to you and your body. Some women use their weight as protection against future abuse."
Here’s the rub. It’s true we live in a time and place that prefers women to fall under the bell curve in terms of what is considered “attractive”. It’s very important to note what society deems “attractive” is constantly changing. The Body Positivity Movement is clear evidence of that.
Still, woman hovering around the 200-pound mark falls outside the current acceptable range of normalcy and acceptability. Some might put that number much lower. Since 200 pounds is a weight at which I’d be doing cartwheels, and perhaps I'd literally be able to do cartwheels, that’s my number.
Women who carry extra weight, who are living outside the bell curve, will experience prejudice. There’s no getting around that. However, I have never ever in my entire life been disrespected in my career or avoided or disdained in any of my relationships for being a woman of size. And I have been overweight since puberty. I’ll cover why I believe that is true for me my a bit later.
A very critical learning is obesity doesn’t protect you from sexual attention. No matter what my weight, there have always been men. Not men with whom I entered into significant relationships, although there were some. But there have always been men attracted to me and who wanted to have sex with me. And many of those men were specifically attracted to me because of my body type.
I’ve learned every man has preferences, and many have a specific preference for large women. And now that I’m in my 50s, many men prefer older larger women. I’m kind of a hot commodity, actually. Or at least I was. The herpes diagnosis had thrown a bit of a wrench in things, but you know what? There are still men. I know beyond a doubt there will always be men. God bless ‘em!
Are fat girls a fetish or a preference?
I looked up some definitions of “fetish”. Some mention an unusual or abnormal attraction to a body part, so I suppose from that point of view, preferring BBWs might be considered a fetish. But is that any different from men who are enamored with large breasts or big butts? If we lump all that together, everyone has a fetish, because most of us have a preference for a particular body style or body part.
Another definition I found is more in line with my opinion that a man’s attraction to a particular body type is a preference, not a fetish. As you can see from this definition, a big tummy simply doesn’t fit the fetish criteria.
“If someone has a fetish, they have an unusually strong liking or need for a particular object or activity, as a way of getting sexual pleasure. ...rubber and leather fetishes. ...fetish wear for sexual arousal.”
Now, does it really matter whether attraction to BBWs is a preference or a fetish? No. I suppose I only abhor thinking of men wanting to be with me because they have a fetish. And that is due to the negative connotation of the term. So, Coco, Sex Positive Coco, has some judgments around fetishes. Namely, I don’t want to be one. Hard to admit, because my opinion means I have some judgement around fetishes I find particularly troubling, and, therefore, the people that practice them. I’m admitting it anyway. You get the truth with me, even the ugly hypocritical stuff.
Why do men like fat girls?
There are a lot of reasons why men prefer a larger body type. I like to ask. The reason I hear most often is a wide grinned recount of their mom’s best friend, or the nice lady down the street, older larger women, seducing them in their teens.
Losing your virginity to a particular type of woman, an older larger woman, can easily create a preference for women of a certain age of substantial size. And the sex was great, these men report. It naturally follows, since these women were usually much older, more experienced, and likely far more open with their bodies and freedom of sexual expression, men develop a compelling attraction to “mature BBWs.” Who among us would miss the chance to re-experience the joy sex with a mature BBW when the experience was fantastic?
Taking all this into consideration, a man’s preference for older larger women may be a result of childhood sexual abuse. It’s way way more complicated, but there’s a bit of context for you to ponder.
Some men assume women with weight issues have lower self-esteem. And, like any stereotype, there’s a significant amount of truth in that.
Women with lower self-esteem tend to work harder to please their partners and are more easily manipulated. That’s appealing to some men.
I’ve fallen into this pattern over and over, but I’d like to think I’ve done a great deal of work to break that learned behavior. However, I am susceptible to participating in that type of abusive relationship without even realizing it.
I watched my grandma and my mother model that behavior my entire life. Men were superior to women in every way, and were to be respected and honored at all costs, even if it was common knowledge my father was abusing his female child.
"So instead of beating myself up for being fat, I think it's a miracle that I laugh every day and walk through my life with pride, because our culture is unrelenting when it comes to large people."