She showers and uses the latest exfoliating face cream to make her skin glow. Afterwards, she applies face creams and eye creams that will help preserve her youth. She spends money on these products; more than most women. She makes a point of drinking plenty of water daily because it is good for her skin.
She blow-dries her just washed hair until it is neat looking, clean and shiny. She applies her makeup and it is flawless. She then puts on a nice outfit, some jewelry and some perfume. She checks herself in the mirror and is generally pleased with the reflection. She has a pretty face, and she is put together nicely. She looks at least 10 years younger than her age.
She walks outside to her car and it happens once again. A few men drive by, but they pay no attention to her. She is invisible, despite having spent significant time to get ready and look presentable.
Why? She is fat. Not 400 pounds, but overweight. It may be by 40 pounds, it may be 100.
As she arrives at the bus station, she gets what seem to be admiring glances from other women. These women have no makeup on, and their hair doesn’t appear to have been especially well taken care of. Overall, they look very average.
Here the men that pass by seem to notice her… but no, a closer look reveals they are noticing one of the other women. The man/men are ogling the not so pretty – but thin – woman seated not far from her.
This is my story, and it is the story of millions of women across the USA who deal with fat discrimination by males every day. Fat women are invisible by 90% or more of the male population.
Regardless of the fact that a woman may have a pretty face and is by any standard, very well put together and would probably be considered “very hot” if she were thin, to men it matters not. If a woman is heavy, fat, overweight, big, whatever you want to call it, when it comes to attraction, men simply aren’t interested.
I have experienced this discrimination countless times. At various times in my life I have been thin, or at least of average weight and I know firsthand the difference of how men treat you when you are fat vs. thin.
About a year ago I worked in a warehouse club. I stood behind a cart and hawked my beverages or food to customers who walked by. I had a lot of free time, and I saw hundreds of men on a daily basis. It provided a very good gauge of men and how they reacted to me, an overweight woman.
Sometimes men would glance at my face, smile, then glance downward to see the large body and immediately stop looking my way; or they would see the body first and not bother to look at my face. In a year of working there – despite talking to and seeing thousands of men, I was never once asked out on a date.
I noticed large men, or black men (more on that later) would generally be more kind to me. They would strike up a conversation. However, this was not the case with all overweight men.
Many men who were at least as overweight as I was would ignore me. Then the revelation came: the wife or girlfriend walked by and she was 120 pounds. So a fat guy lands a thin woman and now deems large women unworthy of eye contact, despite the fact that he himself has a huge belly and is at least 100 lbs. overweight.
He’s married, you say. No, married men look at other women all the time. The big guy landed a small woman and is now confident he can catch a thin woman, anytime, anywhere. He is no longer “reduced” to only being desirable by fellow fatties.
I have also been treated unkindly by men on online dating sites. One time, I posted a profile with a picture, which was just a face shot. I got several responses to my ad. I wrote to one guy who “winked” at me, indicating he was interested in me. I sent him an email on the site telling him a little about myself, and I then posted some full body shot pictures.
He did not answer the email I sent him. Apparently, after seeing the body shot photo, he was no longer interested. I was no longer acceptable.
I have to say, I was angry and hurt. I wrote to him saying, “What’s wrong, you like skinny women?” “Skinny,” he wrote back, “Who says I want skinny?” And he also wrote “You are obviously overweight.”
At the time I was probably about 60 pounds overweight, but I am tall and carry it well. Most people thought I only needed to lose 20 or 30 pounds. Anyway, he then changed his profile to include, “Must like to do exercise of some kind.”
While I have found men that were attracted to me, and I have dated, the number of men willing to date a large woman is few and far between.
On the other side of it, my daughter, age 25, who is half my size and very pretty, has experienced the opposite. The attention she gets from men because she is thin and pretty is overwhelming. Granted she is young and men no matter what age will always pay attention to a young, pretty girl. But my daughter actually finds it very annoying that men constantly hit on her.
After hearing me complain about the nature of men regarding a woman’s weight, my daughter asked a male friend who was in his 50s: What would a man rather have? A pretty woman who was overweight, or a not-so-good-looking woman who was thin?
His answer, which came as no surprise to me: a man would rather have a woman with a slim body who was not pretty, or good looking, then have a woman who had a pretty face but was overweight.
But what about how I take care of myself? The hair, the skin, the makeup? Doesn’t matter: I’m fat, and therefore not worthy of male attention.
When I was about 20, and not overweight, a friend and I, who was overweight but had a pretty face, used to frequent a bar owned by a male friend of mine in his 40s. He once commented he didn’t know what my friend looked like until she lost weight and got thinner, and when that happened he began dating her.
“I never noticed her face,” he said. “I just thought of her as your fat friend.” I never forgot that statement.
In a fraction of a second, male hormones seem to dictate that they are seeing an overweight female body, and therefore this particular woman is not deemed respectable enough to make eye contact with. This fat woman is certainly not worth getting to know. Only a woman with a slim to average frame is worthy of that honor.
Is it our culture, or is it that men are simply born this way? Movies, television and magazines are filled with images of very thin woman. You can rarely find an overweight woman on TV and if there is, and with a few exceptions, she’s certainly not allowed to be in a role of the male interest.
I am a Caucasian woman, and when I speak of the males doing the discriminating, it is important to note: it is not the case with the overwhelming majority of African-American males. Most of them like large women.
Every day, wherever I go, I get admiring glances from black men; flirting, chatting me up, asking for dates. It is amazing how differently black males treat large women with kindness and respect, because they find us attractive.
Why is this? I asked a black male coworker/friend about it. He had a white girlfriend who was big like me. He explained to me that many black men have large “Mama’s.” They associate big women with their Mama, and, not hard to make the connection, this is a very positive association. Big women = kind, caretaker, loving, mate, etc. etc.
I am not extremely obese, as in 400-500 pounds, but I am 100 pounds overweight. Most people are surprised when I tell them that. I look about 50 pounds overweight. It should be noted, despite my weight, I am in very good health. I do not have diabetes, and I have no health conditions related to being overweight. My latest blood work tests were excellent, according to the doctor.
Throughout my life I have lost and gained hundreds of pounds. I take it off and it comes back. I get to a certain weight, and I don’t go above that. It’s as if my body is saying that is the weight it wants to be.
Do I want to lose weight? Sure. I’d like to look better and feel better. But certainly not for any man. I absolutely refuse to lose weight to find a man. If I’m going to do it, it will be for myself. If a man can’t accept me the way I am now, he has no business dating me if and when I lose weight.
I have accepted the fact that to men, I’m no match for a Plain Jane with a slim figure. She could have warts on her eyeballs and a Mohawk, but as far as men are concerned -if she is thin – she is acceptable, and I am not.
To the very small percentage of men who are attracted to me and accept me the way I am, and think I’m beautiful as is, I say Thank You. On behalf of all the large women out there: Thank you for looking past our bodies and for giving us a chance to get to know our minds. Thank you for not being like the 90% to whom we are invisible.