Every once in a while, I like to poll my readers on the Nerd Love Facebook Page and on Twitter to find out what issues they feel are holding them back when it comes to dating.
And the most common answer is: “I worry that I’m too fat to date.” I’ll be honest: I’m not surprised. According to the Center for Disease Control, 69% of adults 20 years old and over are overweight and 35% are considered obese.
Being fat is treated as a referendum on your worth as a person – people see it as an implication that you’re only fat because you simply don’t want to change badly enough. The societal disdain for heavyset people is so ingrained that even people who are fat feel ashamed about who they are and that they have to apologize for some personal flaw that leaves them with the mark of Canes when the truth about obesity is as much about external factors as it is about food consumption.
After all, if they’d just apply themselves, fat people could lose weight easily! Over the years, we have been discovering that there are innumerable other factors that affect body fat accumulation and weight gain.
Take, for example, this image from a feature in the UK periodical The Sun; they flipped the script by posing ordinary men in underwear ads a la David Beckham or Christiano Ronaldo: women prefer large and burly even when society insists that they only like guys who look like they’re 3% body fat.
More importantly though, it’s important to remember that attraction is about more than just looks – it’s about personality, presence and what you bring to the table.
Societal standards of beauty are not only arbitrary but often literally impossible to achieve without Photoshop and make-up and there are assholes out there who feel empowered to mock fat people with impunity.
But being large and in charge doesn’t mean that you’re doomed to a life of being forever alone; in fact, you may find that you have far more options for finding love, sex and happiness than you’d ever believe possible. There are plenty of notable examples out there if you look around. Seth Rogan is no Abercrombie and Fitch model but he’s also happily married.
Too many people who are concerned about their weight try to dress to conceal it, usually wearing clothes that are too big and loose.
Now we could dwell on the fact that these various winners are not gym-sculpted Adonnises themselves, but instead I want to focus on the positive and work on people’s lives instead of trying to stroke the hate-boner.
Besides, the best revenge is living well and there’s nothing quite like seeing the underdog succeed despite all of his or her disadvantages. The cognitive dissonance Now, I’m going to be blunt: dating can suck when you’re fat.
Some people simply have long, skinny frames and will be lean and lanky no matter how much they try to bulk up.
Others are shorter and squatter and will always appear heavier.
Large dudes will frequently lament that their size automatically disqualifies them from dating – they believe that there is simply no way a woman could possibly like somebody who’s body isn’t rippled and shiny like a buttered ear of corn. Kevin Smith, for all of his fashion sins that I will get into in a second, is happily married with a lovely wife and daughter. It’s easy to forget this when the TV and magazines are showing you nothing but image after image of cut, veiny men with swimmers builds with women draped all over them like fur stoles, but women actually like a far wider range of body types than we’d think.