“Honestly,” she says, “dating got pretty easy once my body image improved.” Looking back, she adds, “I think I was always my biggest barrier with dating. A lot of plus-size women fear becoming a fetish object rather than a romantic partner — at least I did while dating.I wonder if there would have been a lot more chances to date had I felt better about myself [earlier on].”I know, I know, if we could all just snap our fingers and be confident, everything would be solved and this story would be over by the end of this sentence. While many women might really enjoy being someone’s fetish, I assumed most would not.Confidence changes the way people see you — and the way you see them.
But it’s their loss, because: “I hope that there are also an equal number of people who don’t.
“I had an instant knowledge that they wouldn’t just be okay with my body. They loved everything that we’re told are flaws about my body, be it the stretch marks or the rolls or the cellulite.” “I’ve had really lovely experiences dating on fat-specific websites,” Ospina adds.
“For me, it felt very safe.” But she understands that others just aren’t comfortable, and stresses that it’s just as doable to find good matches on mainstream sites (and, you know, IRL — as she met her current partner). There’s an assumption in dating, particularly online, that first impressions are mostly fake.
“If fetishization of any kind is not your jam, cool. We post only our favorite pictures, we craft a spectacular profile, and we sweat over every message before sending.
And sure, it never hurts to put your best foot forward. “I completely understand the reluctance to be honest when there’s so much that you could potentially be picked apart for,” says Ospina — especially when it comes to photos.