something I have been avoiding

Fat acceptance is new to me. The first time I heard the term was just a few months ago, when I followed a link to Kate Harding’s Shapely Prose. Since then, I have come a long way in accepting and appreciating my size and my body… but I don’t love it. I don’t think it is, or I am, beautiful. I still wish I looked more like my sister – she’s not tiny, but her tummy slopes into her hips, whereas mine hangs over them. I can look at myself in the mirror and smile at my appearance, but then I turn the wrong way and the light catches a fold of fat on my back and it all crumbles.

So it is hard for me to imagine this turning out well. The men I like, the men I respect, the men I want to get to know better don’t find me attractive. The men who find me attractive? I don’t trust them. I suspect them of fetishizing fat, and I won’t be objectified in that way.

That leaves me in a difficult position. I am going out with Writer Guy (he of the date last week; in a fit of optimism I decided to give him the nickname, so that you won’t confuse him with the multitude of other men whose stories will fill these pages) again next week, and I’m nervous. I’m nervous because I feel as if I got away with something on our last date. Somehow, I managed to get through the evening without his noticing that I’m fat. And now I have to do it again, and I’m not sure I can. I’m going to be found out, and then I will have to find out what kind of man he is.

It’s stupid, right? I mean, sure, our first date as at a movie, so it was dark. And it was cold out, so I was wearing a coat (an incredibly beautiful wool cashmere coat that I simply Could Not Resist last year; I mourn the coming of spring because I will have to put it away for the next several months). But, um, I’m guessing he is aware of what I look like.

And it’s stupid for another reason. It is stupid because I know that being fat is nothing to be ashamed of. I know that there are beautiful fat women out there, and that it is possible that I am one of them. I know that chemistry works in ways that remain a mystery to me. And I know that I’m living out the cliche that “you can’t find someone to love you until you love yourself.” But all that knowledge doesn’t make it any less scary.

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9 responses to “something I have been avoiding

  1. Pingback: Pages tagged "acceptance"

  2. Hello! *waves*

    Frankly, I don’t think it’s possible not to notice someone’s body shape just because they’ve got clothes on. It may be nothing but a hunch, but Writer Guy seems to like you exactly as you are! :o)

    And, on a personal note, when I met my boyfriend, I thought he was way out of my league – smart, funny, sexy, every girl I knew wanted a piece of him. But he fell in love with me and it took him weeks to make a move because he thought that I was way out of his league and he didn’t stand a chance… and I was (and still am) chubby, shy, quirky and most emphatically not very fond of myself…

    Love,

    B.

  3. Hey–it’s great to find another dating blogger who is actually going on dates.

    When I saw your pictures, I didn’t think you looked “obese.” I thought you looked big, tall and healthy–and yes, on the heavy/fat side. BUT I also thought that you could look even better if you wore properly fitting, flattering clothing. (The jacket in your work outfit didn’t look like it fit well.)

    Also, I’m new the fat acceptance world too–but I think you’re being too hard on yourself when it comes to your habits. I think the most important message is to live NOW and not wait to do things until you are some ideal, impossible size and living some ideal, perfect life. And that’s exactly what you’re doing! Congratulations!

  4. I adore this entry. Simply because I have the same problem. How do you let someone like and accept the thing about you that you don’t like? It’s just too much for my tiny brain to handle.

  5. I think most men are only as uncomfortable with our bodies as we are ourselves. If someone compliments you, they mean it and it’s okay to take on that as reality as a result.

  6. Oh, I am definitely obese. Morbidly obese, if you believe the BMI scale. I’m just tall, so I can “get away” with it more easily than a lot of other women.

    But the specifics of my size don’t really matter… if I were bigger, or looked bigger, I could still be beautiful, and men could still find me attractive, and it would blow my mind just as it does now.

  7. Okay, make this my second delurking comment of the day, but I wanted to second Bee. There are probably SO MANY more men than you realize that think you’re beautiful to a degree that’s intimidating. And that beauty is infinitely greater than the static picture you have in your head of what you think you look like to any given man. There are thousands of tiny things about you that make you attractive, and whether Writer Guy is or isn’t reacting to those things (though it sounds like he is), there are lots of other people who are.

    I also wanted to thank you again for so honestly writing about these ideas . I could have written the same exact post myself (though in a far less articulate manner). And, honestly, I think part of what makes you beautiful, beyond what I can see from your tiny little picture, is your sincerity and your willingness to share this part of your life with other women going through the same thing. To me, that makes you drop-dead gorgeous.

  8. Man, riddlebiddle. You know how to give a girl a compliment. Thank you for reading and I hope you’ll keep chiming in!

  9. riddlebiddle

    It’s all true, lady. I just wish women felt more comfortable complimenting each others’ talents (instead of just our shoes) more often. You really inspire me with this blog. I’ll be following along for sure.

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