See this cellulite-y fat ass? You can kiss it.
Dear Guy Who Made a Fat Joke About Me to My Boyfriend,
The Hot Fat Chick With the Babely Guy.
This isn't necessarily a discussion about street harassment, though it could be. This isn't a discussion about people who have nothing better to do than antagonize strangers. This isn't even really a discussion on my obviously cellulite-y legs, but rather this is a discussion about something that needs to be brought out into the open: the shaming of men who find themselves attracted to atypical women while dating in our fat-phobic society. This is a discussion about why this situation is SO fucked up and needs to change NOW.
Let me explain: I was out with my new boy the other night and as we headed back to our bikes, Stupidly Drunk Dude accosted My Him with the jeering question "So, you're out hunting for cellulite tonight?"
Guys, I rarely get angry about this sort of criticism; I'm the proud recipient of copious amounts of hate mail, often with the subject line: "You're fat and ugly and an embarrassment to society." This ignorant opinion rolls off my back easily nowadays, but for some reason... this recent experience has me fucking pissed.
It could be because I was already in the midst of a bad body day when it happened. Or maybe it's because after my boyfriend retorted back, Stupidly Drunk Dude followed us down the avenue shouting a slew of horrid homophobic remarks at him. It could be the fact that my boyfriend was rudely pulled into the ugly world of fat discrimination in which I feel he doesn't belong. It could be the fact that the comment came from a man/was said to a man and this somehow made it hurt more. Or maybe it's just because it surfaced a large amount of shame in regards to a subject I feel passionately about: how unaccepting our world is of the pairing of traditionally attractive bodies with nontraditional ones.
Either way, this is an opportunity to talk about a hard subject. So lets pull this shit out onto the carpet and address it head on, shall we?
We were unapologetically hot as shit that night.
When the world looks at a "sexy" man with a fat woman there are many assumptions: that he is settling. That he would prefer something else, but is forced to date a lesser lady. That he has a questionable fetish. That he is a perverse abomination. That there is something inherently wrong with his sexual preference.
But just as I state in the original Lustworthy article: all bodies can be paired with all bodies; not an opinion but rather a fact. Fat with fat. Thin with thin. Fat with thin. Thin with fat. And everything in between.
This may seem obvious, but it's something that our culture struggles with on a fundamental level.
I remember so vividly scrolling through body positive Tumblr sites in the beginning of my self-love journey and being shocked, stunned, and yet enthralled when I came across images of fat women and their thin boyfriends. Most of these images were intimate with obvious attraction coming from the men. My brain broke just a little bit as I tried to wrap my mind around the fact that this existed in the world. I didn't know this was an option.
Once I saw these, I started to see this pairing everywhere. From the epic xoJane erotic love letter from the size-friendly boyfriend to the heart wrenching poem "10 Honest Thoughts on Being Loved by a Skinny Boy", I became more and more aware that it's not an uncommon pairing because, and I'll repeat myself: all bodies can be paired with all bodies.
Though that night was tainted by hate, it's important to note that in general we get an overwhelming amount of positive feedback as a couple. Friends and strangers alike are drawn to us in a way I can't explain. There is something magnetic about our pairing, so much so that unfamiliar women in Greek restaurants sing our praises and give us flowers because we are such a beautiful sight.
So while we normally receive the opposite reaction, I really had a difficult time with this street harassment experience; my gut reaction was insta-shame. I found myself so self-concious and irrationally afraid that... my boy would all of a sudden realize that I was FAT now that it was pointed out and become ashamed of his choices. But real talk: he's already aware of this fact. Duh, right? And he loves it. Not because I'm a novelty. Not because I'm a fetish. But because he simply finds me attractive as I am; it's that simple.
So make no mistake: I have a fat body that is often worshiped, but I am not necessarily worshiped for my body fat. To find my body attractive is not unusual, strange, bothersome. And it is most certainly not a sign of mental instability. I am so much more than an object for specific obsession. I more than a category for things that some may find uncomfortable.
Finding me gorgeous doesn't automatically mean you have a fat fetish or issue with your sexuality. It can mean that I'm simply sexy and you recognize that.
I know I'm going to blow your mind with this truth but... this isn't weird at all. In fact it happens all the time. So me being shocked by those Tumblr images? Well, that was a cryin' shame.
World, let the "odd" pairings be. Just because you may not prefer larger women doesn't mean there is something wrong with those who do, and these men deserve the opportunity to express this and act on it with out the public shame they often recieve. The reality is- a man's opinion and worth is not to be questioned or determined by the size of his partners waist. So get the fuck over it.
Now if you'll excuse me, my cellulite and I have shit to do.