Fat Girls Deserve Love Too
“and I said to my body. softly. ‘i want to be your friend.’ it took a long breath. and replied ‘i have been waiting my whole life for this.” ― Nayyirah Waheed
Recently, I was a guest on @lifewithjrdn’s podcast, #DatingInNYC. Jourdan asked me to come and speak on body image/insecurities while dating. Speaking about my body insecurities is something I do often, but to speak on how my insecurities have shaped my dating experiences was unexpected. I did not start dating until I was 24 years old because I had a hard time believing anyone found me attractive enough to talk to. What helped me get through these barriers of insecurities was my journey of self-love and self-pleasure. Being afforded the opportunity to speak on what my experience has been like with being uncomfortable in my skin while simultaneously trying to find someone to comfort me was enticing. I have made tremendous strides in my self-love journey, which has helped me shoot my shot and be recognized as a dating prospect. I am confident now, which was the major key that everyone around me told me that I needed to successfully attract a romantic partner. I am a fat girl who knows she’s a catch and that anyone would be lucky to have me. So why is dating still difficult if I’m so confident in who I am and what I bring to the table?
My self-love journey has been such a powerful pivot point in my life and my dating experience. Because I now recognize my worth, I treat my mind, my body, and my space with much more kindness and love. When I reflect on how low my self-esteem was and how little I liked myself, I cannot help but be so thankful that I am not there anymore. An integral part of the conversation on #DatingInNYC was physical body type. Most of my insecurities stem from the shape of my body and how much physical space I take up. I am not the “good" type of fat. I do not have an hourglass figure with big boobs, a small waist, and a big butt. I do not have wide hips. I am not the mainstream plus size girl that is seen on Forever21Plus or Rue107 Instagram pages. I am a tall fat girl with a double chin, a wide back, and small boobs. A waist that is bigger than my hips and a non-flattering butt. Let's be clear: none of this takes away from the fact that I now know that I am actually a bad b***h. Growing up and not seeing anyone that looked like me in the “desirable” category hindered my idea that I was attractive enough to be approached—especially by cishet boys/men. Fast-forward through all the learning and unlearning of self-love and self-hate, and now I wonder, was confidence ever the key for a self-conscious woman like myself to attract a potential date in the first place?
Dating is weird—I still cannot seem to grasp it. I succeed in so many areas of my life yet dating and sex are the two areas that just throw me off. I was self-conscious and had low self-esteem before and nobody paid attention to me. This is usually the narrative that we see and hear about most often. Now that I want all eyes on me and feel worthy of being dated, there is no line of suitors waiting outside my door and I am confused and frustrated. As I explained in the podcast episode, I physically stand out the most from my friends since I am tall and big. Yet, when we go out, I am never the one who gets approached and asked if I would like a drink. I am rarely pursued. Any bit of attention that I garner from a man is because I make the first move. Yes, making the first move is bold and empowering but as someone who can admit that I am still working on validation and affirmation, I would like to know that I am wanted and desired. Confidence was supposed to be my missing link since I was told more than once that I was already pretty, outgoing, and ambitious. Believing in myself was going to open up the dating world for me. Well— guess what world? I am now confident as ever with so much to offer.
Maybe I am being dramatic, but I feel like I went from not being noticed because I did not want to be to making it known that I am bold and present and scaring people away. How dare an unconventionally attractive woman be confident in who they are and demand recognition. I am not giving up on dating though. I truly believe that I am desirable—the whole package if you will. Finding this balance between not taking it personally and trying to approach this dating game with strategy has been a rollercoaster of emotions. Regardless of how hard dating is, I much rather be here than where I was: a girl who had no clue how beautiful she is. I am sure someone will see soon enough. I am beautiful on the inside, but on the outside too.