No Fat…Dudes?

As a Professional Fat Person I get a lot of flak tossed my way about not dating big guys, the accusation being I am a hypocrite for wanting to be accepted as a big girl, but not walking the walk when it comes to my own romantic life.

Of course my immediate and correct response is to tell them precisely where they can put their accusation and how many times to rotate it once it’s in place because my romantic life is between me and my overeager Dominican houseboys. BUT never let it be said I am not open to constructive criticism. Is it possible they have something there? Am I a big fat hypocrite?

It’s curious trying to psychologically unpack the reasons why despite having an extremely active dating life –at least until the fifth date when they’re all Where Is This Relationship Going and I’m all STOP BREATHING MY AIR– I have not historically dated big men.

I tell myself It’s not that I wouldn’t, it’s that I haven’t. I don’t avoid them at all, but I don’t really seek them out either. And that’s true, but it seems unusual that since I’m the United Nations of failed relationships that in my entire romantic back catalog, I’ve only dated one guy who was more than just a little chubby.

I don’t object to the chub at all(TWSS). I don’t say I particularly yearn for a big guy the way girls who like their men “cuddly” do, but I think that’s more to do with the fact that my response to someone wanting to cuddle is generally along the lines of ritual suicide more than being turned off by a particular body shape.

A little bit of navel-gazing (which isn’t as fun as Naval gazing, but I haven’t been back to Annapolis in years so it’ll have to do) tells me I tend to date fit guys who are fit as a secondary characteristic to something I actively seek. For example: I’m a little, uh, intense, and so I look for that in a partner. Strong sense of self, enormous drive, a serious love of competition and discipline, all of those things ring my bell in a big way and traditionally men who have those traits tend to find themselves extremely involved in athletics at some point in their life and that keeps them trim. That being said, I’ve got all those things and I’m still closer to the Taft side of the Presidential Fatty Spectrum than the Lincoln, so do with that what you will. I’m just spitballin’ here.

Are all big guys cuddly? Of course not, it’s a stereotype, but it’s a stereotype that often holds true. Gentle giant, all that sort of thing.

Sometimes I wonder –pointlessly I suspect– whether it’s more difficult to be a fat guy than a fat girl. On one hand women are theoretically less physically shallow than men, and popular wisdom (if that’s not a contradiction in terms) tells us women are attracted to the men they fall in love with, while men fall in love with the women they are attracted to. On the other, fat is deeply ingrained as a feminine characteristic, and straight men who display feminine traits –especially traditionally negative feminine traits– often suffer for it.

I’m interested in what other big girls have to say, and if there are big fellas here, I want to hear from you especially! Am I keeping with a habit of a lifetime and overthinking things? Is “you like what you like” fair, and is it a hard pill to swallow when so many men seemingly have a No Fat Chicks rule?

46 Responses to “No Fat…Dudes?”

  1. Abbenormal July 15, 2010 at 3:52 pm #

    Now I like a tall guy with broad shoulders and I don’t much mind what’s going on below that. I do tend to like big guys, or at least guys big enough that I know (even in that completely non-rational part of my brain) that I am not gonna break, that I’m not going to be self-conscious around. Physical comparability for me means someone of roughly comparable heft. But hey, there are plenty of exceptions out there.

    But hon, if you find any grown men with their shit together in the Austin area who are a little too chunky for your style, feel free to send them my way.

  2. Eilish July 15, 2010 at 3:52 pm #

    I actually feel like I can comment on this with some intelligence. I am married to a Very. Big. Dude. Like seriously tall (6’4), big shoulders, belly, the whole nine yards. (If he wears black he is often mistaken for security. I’m serious.) I’m also the daughter of a short (5’6), round man who gets along famously with my husband. They’re quite a pair, but very different and both very confident guys.

    Like anyone, male or female, who is a happy, well-adjusted person, they don’t recieve their confidence solely from their appearance. It is part of who they are but not the whole. My dad appears more “cuddly” than my husband probably because of the height thing, but both are taken seriously professionally and personally. I don’t associate fat with feminine. I think I know what you are getting at, but it has so much more to do with how a man carries himself in my opinion.

    One note, though. Both my dad and my husband are very active guys and fall into the “fit at any size” category. They both have physical jobs but come from big people who enjoy eating and drinking and enjoying life, so they will probably always be big guys.

    As for your navel-gazing, I think you just have to be fair and allow that people are simply attracted to different things. I’m not going to condemn a guy cause he’s not into big girls. It’s not his thing, and there’s plenty of guys that do find that attractive.

  3. SusanC July 15, 2010 at 4:25 pm #

    Interesting question, Plumcake.

    Many women I know gravitate towards an emotional/behavioral archtype. For example, there’s the girl who is continually heartbroken by a string of “fiscally generous / emotionally stingy” boyfriends. But my male pals who aren’t either specifically seeking out women just like/completely the opposite of mom …. they seem to date ladies who start to all look the same to me (or at least share certain attributes). On the plus side, when their relationships end, it’s not I have to listen to the why-was-he-so-distant rant for the Nth time. And it’s easy to fix them up: “Meet Barbara. And her boobs.” Well, maybe I exaggerate slightly. But I think people often fall into a rut and date the same type (physical or otherwise) when they might be better served elsewhere.

    Myself, I dated lots of guys, and only one could be deemed overweight. But that’s the one I married.

  4. Plumcake July 15, 2010 at 4:26 pm #

    @Abbe, if I find any grown men with their stuff together in Austin I’ll send them to the Bob Bullock, because they’ll need to be in a museum. That being said, it’s not that I’ve ever not dated someone because of their size. I have absolutely no problems dating a fat man. It’s not that I wouldn’t, it’s just that I haven’t. But I totally get the not wanting to break someone idea. Not so much about feeling self conscious though. Could you expand on that?

    @Eilish. Thanks for your insight. Once Upon a Time when I was juuust starting to find my way in the dating world I got really bitter that so many guys had a No Fat Chicks rule. But then I thought, well, I’ve got a no bad spellers rule, a high level of personal grooming rule, an intellect rule, a family background rule, a table manners rule and those are all dealbreakers for me. I got over myself and have been happy ever since.

  5. Meggie July 15, 2010 at 4:41 pm #

    I’ve been attracted to guys of several different body types. The physical isn’t high on my list of things that I like in a partner and 75% of the time isn’t what catches my eye when I’m people watching or finding a new crush on a random actor/actress/celebrity. A warm smile gives me more of a charge than 6-pack abs, as well as the ability to sing, not take oneself too seriously, and lack of shame about nerdiness. :)

  6. Ali July 15, 2010 at 5:30 pm #

    When I read the headline I thought you are going to say that you find fat guys repulsive and thus un-dateable which would have not been cool.

    But you basically just say that the guys you dated happened to not be big and I see nothing wrong with that.

    You really can’t decide who you fall for.

    I myself am married to a chubby guy. He is not huge (though he has gotten bigger since we first started going out). Before that I only dated skinny guys (on the athletic side) – not because I actively was looking to avoid the chubby guys but because I happened to have a crush on a guy and he happened to like me back. And I found this difficult enough – to find a guy who I actually liked who was interested in me as well.

    So my answer to the second question – is it harder for fat guys than for fat girls? NO effing WAY. Seriously not. When was the last time a fat girl was celebrated as a supercutie in a way that Seth Rogen was, when he was still bigger? When I was single I often felt like that I didn’t stand a chance with anybody, though I was otherwise conventionally pretty apart from being fat. Not to mention I was also fashionable, funny, smart and all around fabulous. We, as women, are constantly told from childhood on, that we are undesirable if we are fat. I don’t think men get the same thing. Is it harder for a big dude to get a girl than a fit dude? Probably – but it is not impossible (which it often felt for me when I was single).

    But at least I never had to worry that my penis is too small or that I won’t be able to get it up. That must be a lot of pressure.

  7. Mrs. Hendricks July 15, 2010 at 5:36 pm #

    I never understood when I’d hear women talk about liking tall and/or big men, because then they felt “smaller” or “protected” next to them. I’m a very big girl and almost always dated average or smaller men. Then I dated a big ole dude and it was kind of luscious having someone tower over me.

    That being said, Mr. Hendricks is roughly half my size, and I still think he’s the cat’s meow. And while I think the “No fat chicks” line is offensive, I do think that we’re attracted to who we’re attracted to. On the third hand, I’ve known men who had a “rule” about big girls have a mighty hard time admitting their attraction to me. C’est la vie.

  8. Thea July 15, 2010 at 5:41 pm #

    In my younger days I had a ‘physical ideal type’ but after too many dark and brooding Rochester types who weren’t actually fun to be around, or even particularly nice people, I fell in love with a smart ass Brit who is the roundness equivalent of myself and was warm and loving and had a sense of humor and wit to match my own – and then I dragged his butt to Austin (which didn’t take much work once I introduced him to margaritas and Tex-Mex).

    Now I find men attractive who remind me of him – tho I’m still carrying a torch for William Powell and Alan Rickman

    As far as men and their preferences. Everybody is entitled to their preferences, but people who are cruel and dismissive of people who don’t meet a criteria aren’t worth the time.

  9. The gold digger July 15, 2010 at 5:43 pm #

    When was the last time a fat girl was celebrated as a supercutie in a way that Seth Rogen was

    Was he being celebrated as himself or as his characters? Because the reason I find his characters unappealing is not because of his weight but because they are pot-smoking, irresponsible, slacker losers, i.e., “Knocked Up.”

  10. Mifty July 15, 2010 at 5:47 pm #

    I do like fat guys, and if I met a man who looked like, say, John Goodman in the first few years of Roseanne, I’m afraid I’d have to follow him home. But in real life terms, I’m just not very visually oriented by nature, and most physical things don’t weigh much, so to speak, against education and civility.

    But I don’t date at all anymore, since I live in the Shallowest City in the World (well, maybe second-shallowest; Miami may have us beat), and it’s too difficult at my age to find a guy whose ego is not to at least some degree wrapped up in the appearance of the woman on his arm. And I don’t meet the Silicone Bunny standard. Not saying fat women don’t date here — of course they do. But at my size and relatively advanced age, it’s just too much work, and I am retired.

    As far as more difficult for fat men or fat women, there are too many variables, probably, to say. But generally, in terms of putting up with crap, height seems to be a bigger factor for men than weight. Lots of women have a “No Short Dudes” rule, and are not at all nice about it. I have had many an acquaintance tell me how absolutely outraged and indignant they were that a short man dared — dared! — to express an interest in them.

  11. Ali July 15, 2010 at 5:48 pm #

    Maybe you didn’t find him attractive but I know a lot of people who found him (the actor) cute.

  12. Ali July 15, 2010 at 5:53 pm #

    My last comment was for “The gold digger”

  13. Mary July 15, 2010 at 6:05 pm #

    Three semi-coherent responses:

    1. Women often date men who aren’t their type and whom they weren’t initially attracted to. Men tend to only date women they find attractive. So mooning over hot soccer player types doesn’t mean you’d never date a fat guy.

    2. There’s a difference between having a type and being all, OMG FAT CHIX ARE NASTY, NO FATTIES. So long as you moon over hot soccer player types without saying anything mean about less statueseque dudes, you’re fine.

    3. More pix of Landon Donovan, please!

  14. Plumcake July 15, 2010 at 6:07 pm #

    @Mifty: ah yes, the No Short Dudes trope. I’ve always been taller than the average man and while if I had my druthers I’d probably prefer someone my height or taller, I have and happily would date shorter guys. That being said, all of the real nasties I’ve dated have been short, and I suspect it has something to do with the little Napoleons.

    @Thea, “Everybody is entitled to their preferences, but people who are cruel and dismissive of people who don’t meet a criteria aren’t worth the time.” beautifully said!

  15. Wendy July 15, 2010 at 6:45 pm #

    Is “you like what you like” fair, and is it a hard pill to swallow when so many men seemingly have a No Fat Chicks rule?

    Hell yes, it’s fair, and why should the fact that a woman is fat mean that she should be attracted to fat men or be considered hypocritical? Is it hypocritical of me to prefer men who are taller than me? Dark where I am blonde? Black, Asian, or purple polka-dotted where I am white?

    You can’t help who you’re attracted to, and I was never attracted to any fat man until I met the one I soon married. Speaking purely physically, what attracts me is (in general) over six foot, lean, strong and athletic. But that’s just initial attraction. Turns out, the man who spoke to my soul came in a different style of packaging.

  16. teteatete July 15, 2010 at 7:50 pm #

    Plumcake–You and I are about the same height, I believe, and I am currently dating a fantastic shorter man. I have a pretty good foothold in the self-confidence department in all ways except one–wearing really high heels around my beau. He absolutely LOVES it when I do, but I always feel self-conscious about it. And it sucks. Because I actually ENJOY wearing heels. Last year we went to a wedding and I had a gorgeous pair of 4 inch white, geometrically strappy sandals and I felt FIERCE. But when the pictures started being taken and I looked, I felt like I wanted to shrink and curl up when I saw how I absolutely towered over him (he’s just shy of 5’8″). Do you have any tips for how to Just. Not. Care? I’ve figured out how to not care in just about every other circumstance, but the heels thing kills me.

    Sorry for hi-jacking this thread with a question, but he asks me all the time to wear heels and I always make some, “Oh, I can’t walk in them long enough to wear them today…” excuse, which is just dumb dumbity dumb.

    To make this more relevant to the post at hand though, not only am I taller, I am also significantly larger than my beau, and I have tended to date guys smaller than me before. I, too, never really thought of it as a “no fat guys” thing, it just happened. I do sometimes wonder what it would be like to feel “protected” by the large male archetype, but then I think about how wonderful my man is and it ceases to be important. :)

  17. Jess July 15, 2010 at 8:45 pm #

    I don’t think it’s a big deal that you haven’t dated a big guy. If you haven’t found one that interests you then that makes a lot of sense. There are certain things that each person finds initially attractive, whether it is a sense of personality or looks. I have a type of guy that I am physically attracted to (taller than me with dark hair, broad shoulders and facial hair) the last six guys I dated before meeting my husband (yep he fits my type) all looked like that. They also all had really great senses of humor, got along well with their families, liked cats, were musically inclined and smart. The second set of characteristics was much more important to me than how they looked but, they all did roughly look a like. It doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t have dated someone who didn’t fit it (I did a few times) but they would have had to grab my attention some other way.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is, why does anyone care what the guys you date look like and/or have a right to say anything about it? Isn’t it more important that you get along with them and that you enjoy each others company? I don’t think that it’s really anyone’s business but your own.

    Good luck with whom ever you decide to date! They should count themselves lucky :)

  18. Debs July 15, 2010 at 8:49 pm #

    I think it’s fair to be attracted to who you’re attracted to. Why can’t you be fat and like the look of, and want to (er) date, athletic, trim guys? (Reverse the genders on that. Many men like girls who look way different then they do!)

    But, I think you fall in love with, and have a sustained relaitionship with, who that person is. I’m 5’9′” and was attracted to tall, dark guys who looked like President of their frats. I married some one 5’7 and 1/2,” half Spanish. With big brown eyes, a great sense of humor, smart, a fabulous chef, geeky and rather chunky these days. That’s the other thing, a trim thirty year old athlete may still morph into a fat, adorable fifty year old!

  19. Bree July 15, 2010 at 8:58 pm #

    I’m very visibly fat, yet when a man actually has approached me, they all have been skinny and older than me. I would always liken it to perhaps my fat is like a security blanket for them.

    I have been attracted to very thin men and big men. The overall package is what strikes me. Eyes, smile, voice, hair, and most important, they have to have a sense of humor.

    Fat women should not automatically be made to think that they should only date men the same size as them or bigger. If we really want to encourage true size acceptance, we shouldn’t get pissed because we don’t prefer partners our size. The same goes for people who date outside their race. You can’t control attraction.

  20. TropicalChrome July 15, 2010 at 9:16 pm #

    “You like what you like” is not only fair, it’s about the only way I know of to have a chance of being happy. Yes, what you like does bear some critical thinking – like is it really what you like or is it what you’ve been told you should like – but bottom line is we all like different things.

    The “no fat chicks” thing never did more than irk me a little. What really gets up my nose is that many men (people?) who have that personal rule generalize it to the general population as “no one should date fat chicks”. I hate it when people assume their own esthetics are the be all and end all of such things.

    I caught some flack once upon a time over the short guy thing because I was, at the time, dating a tall man. What the person didn’t realize is that previously I’d dated quite a number of shorter men, all of whom turned out to be jerks. This isn’t to say all short men are jerks – I knew a lot of short men who weren’t who I would have loved to have gone out with, but unfortunately they weren’t interested in dating me. It’s a lot more complex than one physical characteristic.

  21. zuzu July 16, 2010 at 12:14 am #

    No, you don’t have to be attracted to fat men just because you yourself are fat. So long as you don’t deride or dismiss them, you’re good. I’m about your size, and I’ve dated all kinds of men, many of whom were thin or athletically built. Some were fat. Some were short.

    None have worked out in the end, but what they all had in common was that they found *me* attractive.

    The “no fat chicks” rule is offensive because it’s limiting, in more than one way: it not only diminishes fat women, it limits the range of desires. A man who really does like fat chicks may feel pressured into declaring a “no fat chicks” rule and be as hateful as Roy Cohn or those closet cases who spend their days introducing bills to take away civil rights of gays and their nights having rentboys “lift their luggage.”

    Do I sound bitter? Why yes, it’s probably because I’ve had that moment where I’ve realized that this guy who’s apparently really into me doesn’t actually want to be seen in public with me.

    Mind, you don’t want to be on the flipside of that equation, either, with the self-congratulatory fetishist patting himself on the back about being so open-minded. Nobody wants to be reduced to a physical characteristic.

  22. BrooklynShoeBabe July 16, 2010 at 1:07 am #

    Even before I was a fat chick, I liked big guys. I like bears. Sure, I love the fellas with the sweaty six packs but I’ve always ended up with the bears. It just worked out that way.

  23. Lisa July 16, 2010 at 2:40 am #

    I had one rule for people I dated. They must be kind. I have dated fat men, skinny men, fat women, thin women, Mexican, South African, Italian, short, tall. You come together for whatever reasons, and it’s good for a while for whatever reasons–a dimple on the chin, thick hair, the way somebody laughs, the way he drives, the books she reads, the curve of a shoulder.

    But you stay together for very specific reasons, which in my experience have very little to do with the exterior paint, however good, and everything to do with the interiors.

    The “no fat chicks” thing is just fine as far as I am concerned. Anybody who governs their choices according to such a silly rubric strikes me as a bore. I’ve got interesting people to be with.

  24. Figure8onaDate July 16, 2010 at 3:32 am #

    I think we’re selling ourselves short if we don’t critically examine the “You’re attracted to who you’re attracted to” line. I was like you Plumcake, I had an active dating life and just had never seemed to date a fat guy. I would have said exactly the same thing about not having a “No fat dudes” rule but it just didn’t seem to happen. I realized that this might be a problem and I spent a little time re-training my eye to appreciate and notice fat men’s sex appeal. It actually changed the way they related to me and opened up some interesting new possibilities.

    OK, this comment got way too long so I took the rest to my blog:
    Dating Fat Men

    Thanks for the thought provoking post!

  25. The gold digger July 16, 2010 at 9:46 am #

    Ali, that’s what I was asking: Are people attracted to the real person or the characters? It is the characters I found so unappealing, not because of Seth’s weight but because of the factors I mentioned – that he played losers.

    As far as being attracted to the person Seth Rogen, he’s not my type. I, too, find Alan Rickman and his broody edginess attractive. My husband, however, is not my type. I never thought I would have married someone whose political and religious views and habits (night owl, procrastinator vs early morning get it done) were so opposite my own.

    But we both like bacon and pretty much all other food plus he is sexy as heck so there you have it.

  26. ToastBat July 16, 2010 at 12:01 pm #

    I’m tall and fat and bisexual, and I’m not particularly attracted to fat men or women. I’m sure if I met the right person, it would all work together, but I haven’t (and I’m married, so I probably won’t). Generally I have a couple of “types” that I see myself gravitating towards, for both sexes. For guys, either very tall and lean, or short and stocky (hellooo Jack Black–and in fact, the man I married fits this description). For women, it tends to be either very thin, androgynous women, or traditionally curvy.

    I have no “rules,” but that just who I tend to be attracted to physically. I don’t think that anyone has to be attracted to anyone, but that often (and especially for women), if you’re not traditionally attractive to most peolpe, then you get treated as a non-person. Which is ridiculous.

  27. ToastBat July 16, 2010 at 12:02 pm #

    GAH typos. Sorry; I have a sick toddler crawling all over me.

  28. cedar July 16, 2010 at 12:43 pm #

    Mifty, I’m with you here. I would put money on fat women getting more crap than fat men, but short men get a heck of a lot more grief than short women. Height has never been a hotness factor for me (I love me some pro cyclists and distance runners and lots of them are little bits of things) but lots of women seem to demand tall.

    My guy is short (he says he’s 5’6″ and I let him dream, but really, 5’4″ is closer) and he has to work to get taken seriously, both career-wise and dating-wise. He’s taken crap about it his whole life and handles it pretty well, but he does NOT love it when I wear high heels. He’s lucky my shoe love coincides with a love for walking miles without falling into sewer grates, so I have a lot of low shoes and don’t make him suck it up and gaze up at me very often.

  29. Jezebella July 16, 2010 at 2:19 pm #

    The difference between “liking what you like” and the “OMG no fat chicks” thing is that a lot of guys – especially younger ones – are really, really concerned with what their friends think. And if their friends are always hollering “no fat chicks”, then they’re not even going to CONSIDER dating one, even if that’s what they find attractive.

    Here’s a little anecdote: an ex of mine told me that, in high school, all of his buddies were all about Cindy Crawford, she was the hottest thing on wheels, and he wasn’t into her. He figured, at age 14, maybe he was gay? Because he didn’t like what all the other boys liked. Turns out he likes short curvy girls, but that wasn’t even an option in his circle. Either you were hot for honky supermodels, or you were a homo. Fat girls, dark girls, short girls: not an option.

    Young men, at least in the US, are for the most part extremely conformist and extremely uptight about performing masculinity in the exact right way. And dating a fat girl? Not cool, dude. Not cool. Better to sit at home with your pr0n stash and play videogames than be seen in public with a fat girl and endure the endless ridicule of your homies.

    Most men seem to grow out of this eventually, though unfortunately not all.

  30. Eilish July 16, 2010 at 2:53 pm #

    @abbenormal Your comment made me laugh because my husband often jokes that he’s very relieved I’m a big girl (well, I’m sturdy anyway, he’s a lot taller than me) cause he’s afraid he’d break me otherwise!

    All joking aside, though, this is something I’ve noticed he can be self-conscious about. Because of his size, I think he often feels a bit like a “bull in the china shop.” Particularly when our son was small, he was uncomfortable holding him because he thought he might damage him. He got over it, but it goes to show that every body type has their own challenges and insecurities and it’s good to remember that while we might envy the positive aspects to a particular look, there are inevitably some negatives as well!

  31. Ali July 16, 2010 at 6:46 pm #

    Jezebella – that is so correct! I have lived in different countries before I moved to the US and I found that the most non-conformist men are in the Netherlands. Dutch men really seem to date whoever they want to date. I know Plumcake doesn’t like the Dutchies and there were things I didn’t like about Dutch guys as well but I never ever felt like Dutch men were embarrassed by me or didn’t ask me out because they were ashamed if they liked me.

  32. txbunny July 16, 2010 at 7:47 pm #

    I can honestly say for me it is all about personality in terms of attraction. I am 5′ 11″ and very hourglass. I have dated guys 5′ 6″ to 6′ 6″ – it does not matter to me. What does matter is how well the guy handles my height. That said, it is nice when the guy is over 6′ 2″.

  33. La Petite Acadienne July 16, 2010 at 7:51 pm #

    There’s definitely a good point being made about societal pressure. If you prefer non-fat guys, that’s one thing. But if you met a guy who was fat and he rang your chimes, would you want to be seen in public with him? If so, that’s great. If not, that would make you an asshole. And I think that’s why the “no fat chicks” line is different — there’s absolutely NO room to make an exception. Whereas “I tend to prefer slender dates” is simply a statement of preference, and isn’t so bloody closed-minded.

  34. Lisa July 16, 2010 at 10:21 pm #

    I’m a larger woman but, as many of you have said, tended towards the more muscular types. Until the day I met the love of my life. He’s tall and big and at first, I wasn’t physically attracted to him. But I LOVED his personality and decided I wanted to hang out with him regardless. That was the best decision I ever made. Now I find that if I find a guy attractive, he looks a lot like my wonderful man. I guess tastes and preferences can change and I’m so glad I started thinking outside the box! That is now the top advice I give my female friends who are looking for a “good man.”

  35. Ravna July 17, 2010 at 9:47 am #

    I can relate. Although I’ve practically dated every type under the sun I was seriously streamlined in my attraction as a teen/early twenties. They were mostly always redheads with academic backgrounds and closing in between 180 and 200 cm.
    If someone had asked my mother what was the most likely candidate for a son-in-law she would have answered “A 10 year older redhead, of Great(beefy, big and big) build with a great love for the culinary arts and at least one or two degrees from University with a spectacular career” What she got was a blackhaired oliveskinned 170cm illegal immigrant who’s love for the culinary arts are eating. As most immigrants (now legally in the country btw) he has started off his new career in the food industry. We own the local diner in our neck of the woods. With time and ambition he’ll head on to greater and grander things I’m sure. Ambition he has in spades, he’s easilly the most ambitous man I’ve ever met. I can honestly say that he’s not what I had in mind for a spouse when I was younger, but then again how often do we really know what we need at that age instead of what we want?
    He’s short and skinny with very broad shoulders and I could’ve sworn I’d never go for the short skinny guys until I met him. It was madness, It was love at first sight. It was (according to his brother and all of our friends) sizzling attraction that could be eaten with a spoon every time we were in the same room. Within two weeks we knew that it would be us forever and ever. A week after that I had to tell him it better be us forever and ever since I was pregnant. That despite using two kinds of protection.
    Ironically enough he comes from a country where curvaceous women of size 10-14 are considered the norm and the ideal standard of feminine beauty. I’m a size 18-20 so I overshoot the mark somewhat not that I care and apparently neither does he or his family. I remember the first time I met his parents. They were ecstatic and couldn’t stop talking about how pretty our children would be and how they wished that our child would look just like me if it was a girl (we have a boy, and he’s a miniclone of his father).

  36. Jane H. July 17, 2010 at 11:31 am #

    I’m still not over my ex-husband telling me I was so fat and repulsive that no one would ever want to touch me again. That was 6 years ago. I am a size 18. I expect I will never be in another relationship because I have that drilled into my head. Isn’t that sad? For the past three years I have been dating a nice (heavy) man who made it clear when we started dating that he was only looking for a friend. I much enjoy his company but feel I am missing out- it’s just an affirmation of my ex-husband’s comments.

  37. The Accidental Tangoiste July 17, 2010 at 10:32 pm #

    It has been observed, between my dad’s youngest sister and myself, that it’s awfully funny how my dad (divorced; a big, tall, broad-shouldered guy getting quite heavy over the years) never seems to lack for female company of his own age, while my aunt (an intelligent, confident, screamingly funny woman who is also quite tall and heavy) is finding the dating pool quite dry. (My dad is also intelligent, confident, etc., just so it doesn’t sound as though I’m slighting his virtues.)

    It’s awfully hard to look at the two of them and not think that women are indeed held to different standards of what is acceptable, physically, than men. (But what else is new?)

    I agree with the people who’ve said that just not being attracted to someone is different than automatically dismissing them as repulsive and worthy of belittlement.

    Myself, I tend to like tall, broad-shouldered guys who make me feel a little dainty and feminine–rather than skinny guys that I feel mismatched with and, as Abbenormal has noted, that I’m not secretly afraid I’m going to break. This is as true in my dancing as in my dating. If that comes with a little chub, I find I’m not opposed. ;)

    “Of course my immediate and correct response is to tell them precisely where they can put their accusation and how many times to rotate it once it’s in place because my romantic life is between me and my overeager Dominican houseboys.”

    Ms. Plumcake, I adore your turn of phrase!

  38. skye July 18, 2010 at 1:43 am #

    Jane H:

    I know we all want to think that we are so fetching that we can change the minds and boundaries of those we date, but that’s rarely true. The nice guy you are dating was up front about his limits. In this case, it’s *really* not you…it’s him. His boundaries are not a reflection on you, Jane. They are in place because if his own baggage.

    Your ex is an a**hat. I’m really sorry he was and is able to hurt you so deeply. It sounds like you need to feel desired by someone you are romantically interested in and that probably means the healthiest thing would be to either start dating someone in addition to your current friend, or reduce the label of your relationship to “friend” and move on completely.

    Your comment really touched me. I’m hoping you are able to move on and heal.

    skye

  39. boo July 18, 2010 at 10:59 am #

    “an ex of mine told me that, in high school, all of his buddies were all about Cindy Crawford, she was the hottest thing on wheels, and he wasn’t into her. He figured, at age 14, maybe he was gay? Because he didn’t like what all the other boys liked.”

    This totally happened to me too! I thought because the kind of guys other women found sexy did absolutely nothing for me, maybe I was a lesbian, or maybe asexual altogether. Turns out I just had a very strong preference for fat guys and it took me a while to put the pieces together.

  40. Lisa July 18, 2010 at 5:29 pm #

    @Jane H What a horrible thing to say. Things that hurt like that, particularly when they are reinforced by social messages, stick with you. But nobody is entitled to free rent in your head, particularly somebody who treated you that way, and skye is right. Just because somebody limits his/her relationship with you doesn’t mean it’s about you. It can be about their limits right now. Don’t use it as evidence of anything.

    I’m a size 30. My husband’s been with me since size 20. I know people have said “he deserves better” and I’m pretty sure he’s said “There isn’t anything better.”

  41. Lisa July 18, 2010 at 5:31 pm #

    Oh, and @everybody–I’m living proof those skinny boys can’t be broken easily ;-). Insert dirty old broad laughter here.

  42. Jezebella July 19, 2010 at 12:23 pm #

    Oooh, Jane H., hon, please dump that “nice” guy already! If you want a physical relationship, you DESERVE one.

    This very thread is evidence that you don’t have to be a stick insect to be desirable, f*ckable even. I’m sorry your ex said those things. I recommend to all women with abusive men in their lives (or former lives) the book “Why Does He Do That?” by Lundy Bancroft. It lays out the strategy of the emotionally abusive male, and the reasons he says such devastating things to his partner – he told you no one would want you so that you wouldn’t have the self-confidence to leave him, basically. Men like that aim the lowest possible blow and I know it’s hard, but I can tell you that other women (including myself) have gotten past that kind of verbal abuse and kicked those a**holes out of our headspace.

  43. The Accidental Tangoiste July 20, 2010 at 12:15 am #

    I think I’ve found a better way to put some of what I was thinking earlier: That it’s different to see someone as a whole person and realize “That person is not for me”–that is only honest and fair to both of you–than to see only a part of a person (their weight) and dismiss them out of hand because of it. The latter does not see the other as a person at all.

    I suppose that doesn’t really address whether one is not doing the same thing oneself, for one reason or another, but it helps me get at what seems wrong with saying automatically “No fatties.”

    Jane H, I can only echo what others have already said so well: Your ex was a despicable ass, but now it’s time to stop giving him power over you. And that may not be easy, but it is worth working at. You are worthy of love, no matter what size dress you wear–but you are the one who needs to believe that. And if this friend of yours is not meeting your romantic needs, it is time to seek other people who might be able to fulfill you in the way that you desire. I kind of think he deserves kudos, at least in so far as he was honest with you about what he wanted from the start. Now it’s up to you what you want to do about it.

    Thank you to Plumcake and the fabulous readers who have been brave and compassionate to speak up about this sooner.

    Go forth, Jane H, and be your most superfantastic self!

  44. AnthroK8 July 20, 2010 at 1:27 pm #

    Well, historically I have not dated big men or chubby men. But if Wendell Pierce or John Goodman ever come around looking for a plus-sized-plus-one for the Oscars (or a trip to the grocery store), I’ll be the first in line.

    So my two big celebrity crushes are Men of No Mean Size.

    Not sure what that says, but it’s interesting.

  45. Margie July 20, 2010 at 2:44 pm #

    I have been attracted to all sorts of guys. My husband currently has a beer belly which makes him look 6 months preggers! But he wasn’t that way when we met. When we met he was 6 foot and maybe 130 lbs. Now he is 6 foot and just over 200 lbs. I do have to say though that when we first met I was not attracted to him at all. We met at church and were good friends. It wasn’t until several months of hanging out and sharing with each other our dreams for the future (marriage, family etc.) that we fell in love. We knew that God guided our paths to cross. And what has kept us strong is our friendship. If we had not been friends first, we would not have ever been married. He wasn’t attracted to me physically nor was I to him. But after time of being friends and really getting to know each other, we fell in love with the person, not the body. I have to admit that I am more attracted to him physically now that he looks “healthy”! (But I think it’s more of the little things though that attract me to him like his voice or mannerisms or smile or humor!) He tells me all the time that he loves my body (I am 5’1″, 230 lbs.) but loves me more. And you know, the reason he gained all his weight was because I was feeding him some good ol’ Mexican cuisine and he was not used to it! Now we are both on a diet trying to eat healthier and be better to our bodies. If we never loose weight we would be fine. We are just tired of being unhealthy. I love my Raymond! But I would not want him skinny again. I like that I can hold on to him and feel his arms around me. I like that he looks healthy and like his wife feeds him good! But then again, in our Hispanic culture, gaining weight after marriage is a good sign of happiness! It means that the husband is home eating dinner that his wife lovingly prepared for him! Well, perhaps this is mostly my own personal take on it! But nonetheless, culture has a lot to do with physical attraction. I am just glad mine is forgiving and understanding and supportive!!!

  46. Barreleh July 20, 2010 at 7:45 pm #

    I’m not attracted to heavy guys generally, but there was one guy at a place I worked about 20 years ago…

    Overweight AND bald AND short, but at the same time, one of the hottest hotties I’d ever seen. You could almost see the confidence oozing from his pores.