Thursday, October 30, 2008


I, like the vast majority of my culture, have fallen for the rule that Fat Women Are Gross. And I, as part of a tiny minority of my culture, am learning that that just isn't true. I'm not sure what I weigh now. I know I'm over 200 pounds, but I'm not sure how much over. I'm 5'5". I describe myself as "chubby" when I'm feeling optimistic, and "fat" when I'm not. Before I move on, I'm willing to bet that you've already made the assumption that I eat a lot more than I should and that I'm sexually starved.

Headline: Woman Eats Brownies, Gets Laid.

Well, here's the thing. To be honest, I don't know if I eat more than I should. Not anymore. I used to think so. But now I'm not so sure how much of that is our society dictating belief without evidence. (However, I do know that I do not eat healthily, and that likely has a lot to do with my weight.)

If I do eat more than I should, it's not because I'm sexually starved; it's not a substitute. Nor does being fat make me grossly unattractive. I get laid a lot. Couple times a week. I love every minute of it, and I have a strong suspicion that my partner does too. (If you just grossed out, then stop and think about what you just did, what prejudices you are host to, and why you think that way.) I don't eat food because food is a substitute for something that's missing in my life - I just like food. I like food like I enjoy listening to music, or coding, or writing, or reading. I just like it.

The other thing that deserves mentioning is the fact that I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). One of the major symptoms of PCOS is weight gain. So it's not just me and my love for food, healthy or unhealthy (and I can tell you that it's never safe to assume that it's that simple with other overweight women too).

The truth is - there are some men and women who are genuinely sexually attracted to the kind of woman that you would not find in a Playboy magazine. Big women. Non-thin, non-slender, non-skinny, non-lithe women. I'm willing to bet that there are a lot more people that find large women attractive than society thinks. When I got to college and stopped wearing clothing that hid my body, I began to see a lot more interest from my fellow students than I'd ever dreamed of in high school. I need two hands to count the number of individuals that showed more-than-just-friends interest in me. I never thought I'd need more than a finger or two for that. In fact, before reaching college, I had become very comfortable with the idea of being single (with lots of cats) for the rest of my life. And all my boyfriend says is, "You're gorgeous. I'm obviously not the only one that thinks so." I still have a hard time with this concept; I'm still learning a lot about how my body isn't ugly like society seems to think it is.

But the amount of people out there that still think fat people are bad far outnumber the people that don't. And that's a huge problem, pun unintended. The truth is that fat isn't always bad. There is no "epidemic." Some people happen to be fat, just as some people happen to be thin, and while environment and the food you eat has a lot to do with it, genetics has about 77% to do with it. That's right: 77%. Not to mention that diets not only don't work, but could do more harm than good.

No comments: