Happy Monday blogger fam, how was your weekend? Did you survive your Monday? I am feeling pretty excited for the week ahead as I am hoping to accomplish a lot before us Canadians get to enjoy a long weekend. One of the things on my to do list is wrapping up by 3 year blogiversary celebration (can you believe it’s almost August already?) with the final two instalments of my series, “Soul to Skin – An Exposé on Fat Love”. This one is a late night edition as the topic may be controversial for some but it was something that I thought was important to talk about. I also have some very strong opinions on the subject matter so be prepared because I am not holding back. And you may disagree with me and that’s totally okay, we are all entitled to our opinions. I just ask that any debate on the topic is carried out with respect and an attempt to understand one another.
When I finally started to actually date in my late twenties I will be honest I was completely shocked by all the lingo and stereotypes that exist about dating a person of size. I had no idea what BBW, BHM, SSBBW among other terms meant and I was so surprised at the labels that were automatically attached to me. And I certainly didn’t know that there were dating sites for guys who specifically wanted to date a bigger girl like myself. Yeah I grew up pretty naive and in my twenties I kind of hid in a box so once I began unraveling everything and going on dates I learned a lot and at the same time I definitely learned a few things I wish I hadn’t. Then once I decided to start my blog and knew the potential of what could come from having an online public profile I started to have some interesting conversations with friends and fellow women in the plus size community. At this point, my blog and Instagram following had started to take off and the topic of male followers was a hot one. So first off let me be clear, yes I do have a significant group of male followers and no I do not believe in blocking ALL men from my social media accounts.
There is this idea held by some that all men should be blocked if you are trying to create a body positive space. And unfortunately in my personal opinion it comes from a belief that makes me very sad – that the men who follow us only have a fetish for bigger woman. Now absolutely yes there are some creepy guys in the world of Instagram and Facebook that I block on the regular but I think all woman from size 0 to 50 are exposed to unwanted attention from these types of men. Let’s face it, a creep is a creep. It doesn’t matter if you are a Kim Kardashian look alike or Ashley Graham, certain men are going to be attracted to you and some will be disgusting and creepy. What bother’s me is the notion that a man can’t be attracted to me for me, that because I am fat, I am automatically a fetish. And can we talk about how much I hate that word? The definition of fetish is “a form of sexual desire in which gratification is linked to an abnormal degree to a particular object, item of clothing, part of the body, etc.” So I don’t see how liking a woman of size automatically translates to this. Asking me if you can see my toes up close?, well that’s another story! And what bothers me more is that it is women, in particular fellow plus size women who place this stereotype on myself and others. We are devalued by the very people who should be lifting us up. It’s 2018 and I think its time to realize that who we are attracted to varies from one person to the next and there are everyday normal people who are attracted to a person of size because that is their preference and nothing more. Its just like having a thing for blondes, for men who are taller, for six pack abs or smaller breasts. And if we were more open to allowing it to be seen as an everyday preference and normal then I think you would find less men would hide it. I have dated several men long term who were thin that have been chastised by their family and friends for liking someone like me. They constantly had to defend their choices in the women they dated and it took its toll on them. Relationships and dating are supposed to be fun and exciting, something you want to share with family and friends. Can you imagine what it is like to be judged instead of encouraged and supported? If you have ever been fat then I think you most certainly can.
And men who like a woman of size inevitably look for images of women that they find attractive. Its no different than guys who like your traditional size 2 supermodel. So yes I do have a select group of male followers that I allow in my community because they are nice, pleasant and respectful. Many of them are married or have a significant other and they follow along together because they want to encourage them to build up their confidence or to find outfits to buy for them to make them feel special. I am happy to help them find something for their someone special. And when I hear from that special someone how much it meant to them and they give me a big thank you I know my work is done. And some are men of size and they are just looking for some encouragement as well. So while my community may be unconventional to some it is my community and I am very clear that those who do not abide by my community guidelines get the boot. Women that are fat often have a hard time accepting compliments because they doubt the sincerity of it and their own negative self worth and hate cloud their judgment. But I encourage you to be open to the possibility that a compliment is just a compliment and nothing more. And if you can learn to accept them as that you may even find that they can brighten your day.
The bottom line is I strongly dislike words or phrases like BBW, BHM, SSBBW and fetish because I feel like they are stereotypes that paint a very narrow picture of me. I am so much more than that, I am a human being with a complex set of feelings, emotions, talents, skills, challenges and life experiences. All of these things make me who I am, and they define what I hope someone will ultimately love about me. To all my followers male and female, I thank you for sharing in my journey and for choosing to see ALL of me, you recognize that I am not just a pretty face, you laugh and you cry with me and you inspire me daily, xoxo.
Thank you to Katie of Katiuska Idrovo Photography for the experience of a lifetime. I love that you see the beauty in women of all shapes and sizes.