The Cosmopolitan website featured an interview with two fat women that caught my eye. Cosmo is not usually a publication I favour, but this interview was a rare beauty. An honest & mostly positive account of life as a plus sized woman. The article was a big hit with the plus size blogging community & a number of bloggers have answered the questions in their own words. I have decided to join the pack because the world needs more body positive voices.
How do you feel when other women around you complain about feeling/being fat?
This is a hard question for me because I have such mixed feelings. Of course it can make me feel bad when women who are much smaller than me complain about being fat, but I don’t think I have the right to police their thoughts & feelings. I am learning to love my body and I would like others to feel the same. However it’s not my place to tell others how they should feel about their bodies. I will always be supportive & body positive, but I’m not going to censure people for having insecurities.
How has your body image changed since high school/college?
I was slim when I was younger. I started to gain some weight at university, but I was far from plus sized. Despite that I always felt fat. I believed I was the biggest in my group of friends, wouldn’t wear certain types of clothes and generally didn’t feel very attractive. When I look back at pictures I realise this was nonsense. When I did actually become fat there wasn’t a huge shift in how I felt about myself as I already thought very negatively about my body.
Have you ever tried dieting? What happened?
Yush! I have dieted on & off for years. I am very successful at losing weight, but have never been able to maintain the loss. This is mostly because dieting always becomes very extreme for me. I start off trying to stick to a healthy eating plan, but it descends into a crazy regime. I usually end up restricting myself to about 500 cals a day, which anyone will tell you is not sustainable. I have also occasionally resorted to making myself sick. I’ll be honest, I feel fantastic when I lose huge amounts of weight. It just isn’t worth what I do to myself to achieve it.
Do you think in your case your weight is partly or entirely genetic?
I don’t think I have the kind of body that is ever going to be skinny, but no, my weight is not genetic.
Do you consider yourself healthy? Have there been instances where people assumed you were unhealthy?
I’m not healthy, but that has nothing to do with my weight. I am plagued by a number of chronic conditions, which greatly impact my life. On the other hand my cholesterol level is very good; my blood pressure is low and so on. Losing weight would not improve any of illnesses I suffer from.
Are your parents both supportive of the weight you are at? Have they always been?
Neither of my parents is ever cruel or forceful about their desire for me to lose weight, but I am aware that they would prefer me to be smaller. They have both been very happy when I have lost weight in the past.
How do you think retailers can improve clothes for plus-sized people?
Basically, I want the same clothes as smaller women. Just make all your clothes in bigger sizes & let me decide how I want to dress instead of making assumptions about what fat women want to wear. The only retailer I am aware of who do this are ASOS. I highly recommend their curve range. Oh & stop charging me so much.
Do you think plus-size women are judged differently than plus-sized men?
Yes. There are so many visible fat man on tv, films etc. Large men are portrayed as successful and attractive. You often see very fat men with gorgeous partners and fulfilling lives. On the other hand fat women in the media are usually the joke. They’re the stupid big women who thinks someone might be attracted to her (haha, gross) or the miserable failure. Male actors are allowed to be fat in a way that women are not. There is one version of female beauty in mainstream media and it is not fat.
Do you think there is an assumption made/stereotype that exists about plus-size people? How would you respond to it?
Lazy, unattractive, unsuccessful & unpopular. I respond to that by living my life complete with friends, accomplishments & hot men.
Do you think there is ever a right way or time to express concern about someone’s weight?
Do you suspect that someone has an eating disorder? If not, no.
What are the worst things people have said to you about your body?
I think I have been lucky in that I don’t often get negative comments about my weight. I’ve had men I’ve turned down resort to fat slurs. Similarly I have had a few people throw some names at me during arguments/disagreements. That doesn’t happen often & I tend not to keep folks like that in my life.
What have people said (or do you wish they’d say) that would complement your body or appearance?
I want to hear the same things as anyone else. I don’t need specific compliments because I’m fat.
Do you find yourself hanging out with women who are closer to your size?
Nope. I have friends of all shapes and sizes. Physical attributes have no impact on whom I form friendships with.
How has weight affected your sex life, if at all?
It hasn’t. To be honest I think I have a more active & exciting sex life than most of social circle.
When you’ve been single, has your weight affected your dating life?
Only in that I haven’t always felt attractive. I get the same amount of romantic attention fat as I did thin. It hasn’t stopped me dating anyone I wanted to date. Nor has anyone I’ve been in a relationship with ever had a problem with my size. I am sure there are people who look at me & think yuck, fat. Since I have no desire to date anyone harbouring those feelings it has no impact on my life.
Do you feel weird if the guy you’re with only dates larger women?
I would if he was only with me because I was fat, but that goes for any other single attribute. I want a person to want all of me. Having said that I have no problem with someone being attracted to larger women. If I did I would be saying there is something wrong with being fat. Why shouldn’t folk prefer fat women? As long as that’s not the only attraction, it’s fine with me.
Do you feel weird if he’s only dated slimmer women before?
No. I’m not really interested in who he’s dated before. He’s with me now; he clearly likes & fancies me. Who cares about the past?
You can find the original interview here