I’ve been meaning to pose this question ever since I read CeCe Olisa’s honest article, “No, My Boyfriend Isn’t “Settling” For A Plus-Size Girl.” In it, Olisa, who has chronicled the ups and downs of dating as a plus-size girl on her blog, had a few words for those who think her boyfriend is only with her because a prettier, better, ehem, thinner, woman has yet to come along.
So, my boyfriend is skinny and I’m definitely not. But, one of the hardest things about being in a “mixed weight” relationship is other people and their opinions (and projections). While I don’t often hear comments about my weight when I’m alone, I do get a very strong message about my weight in the context of my dating life. The message comes in many forms, but it’s always the same: “You do not deserve to be with him.”
Sometimes, the message is delivered via a flirty waitress at a restaurant who smiles at him while scribbling my order — it’s straight out of a movie. Other times, the message comes from a smiling face that says, “You’re a VERY lucky girl…” Is that a backhanded compliment?
Before I met him, people warned me — both implicitly and outright — that because I opted to only date the men I found attractive (novel idea, right?), that I was a “superficial fat chick.” They said if a guy was attracted to me, I should be grateful! But, I didn’t listen. I kept my standards high started dating a Dwyane Wade look-a-like.
Olisa is not the downtrodden, forlorn “fat girl” we usually see depicted in the media. Like so many other women, she’s living her life the way she sees fit, critics be dammed.
It seems that Olisa’s article was a bit ahead of the curve. The “dating while fat” debate kicked into overdrive this week after comedian Louis C.K. took on the issue during his popular FX show, Louie.
During the show, Vanessa—Louie’s chubby, cute date—delivered a “fat girl” soliloquy about how difficult it is to date as a plus-size woman.
Vanessa laments (via SBM):
Louie, you know what the meanest thing is you can say to a fat girl? “You’re not fat.” I mean, come on, buddy. It just sucks. It really really sucks. You have no idea. And the worst part is, I’m not even supposed to do this. Tell anyone how bad it sucks, because it’s too much for people. I mean, you, you can talk into the microphone and say you can’t get a date, you’re overweight. It’s adorable. But if I say it, they call the suicide hotline on me.
I mean, can I just say it? I’m fat. It sucks to be a fat girl. Can people just let me say it? It sucks. It really sucks. And I’m going to go ahead and say it. It’s your fault.
Look, I really like you, you’re truly a good guy, I think. I’m so sorry. I’m picking you. On behalf of all the fat girls, I’m making you represent all the guys. Why do you hate us so much? What is is about the basics of human happiness, feeling attractive, feeling loved, having guys chase after us, that’s just not in the cards for us? Nope. Not for us.
How is that fair? And why am I supposed to just accept it?”
Many took offense at Vanessa’s self-deprecating monologue. Slate writer Willa Paskin argued, “Louie has no idea what it’s like to be a ‘fat girl,’” and Olisa had a slightly different take, recounting a time an insecure guy broke up with her in high school because she was overweight. The self-described Plus-Size Princess concluded, “I can play the insecurity blame game, or I can keep it simple and know that when I’m confident in who I am I attract men who are confident in who they are… and that’s hot.”
While I love, love, love Olisa’s attitude and confidence, we rarely see women like her on TV.