I noticed that a few lovely ladies that I follow were answering questions from a recent Cosmo article on their blogs and I decided it might be nice if I posted mine as well. It seems that Claire from A Monkey Fatshionista came up with the idea! Here is Elena from Frivolous Mrs. D‘s post and here is the post from Becky of Does My Blog Make Me Look Fat? and below are my answers!
How do you feel when other women around you complain about feeling/being fat?
Awful. Most of the women I hear complaining are nowhere near being fat, and the complaining just reinforces that fat is bad/ugly/gross.
How has your body image changed since high school? College?
My body image varies, honestly. As a child, I never really liked my body (being one of the first girls with boobs didn’t help) and I had severe body issues throughout high school. As a freshman, I started out around 140lbs, but because of a certain medication I was put on, I ended that year at 210 and that was a problem to me. After high school, I was finally back to 170 or so (which was still medically considered overweight for my height of 5’5″) and I was okay with that. Just okay though. It wasn’t until 2012 that I really, truly loved myself. I fluctuated anywhere from 170lbs-190lbs, but I was confident and loved my body. It lasted a good, solid year… then just like before, a medication changed my weight to 260lbs. That’s where I am now and I can’t honestly say that my body image is positive. Not being in control of my own body brought me way down. I’m currently focusing on finding that love again. A lot of it has to do with owning clothes that fit my body. I only really have several things I can wear that fit. And it sucks.
Have you tried dieting? What happened?
I’ve been on Weight Watchers a few times and each time I lost some weight. I think it’s the one mainstream “diet” that I’m okay with (at least for me) because I can still choose what I want to eat. I don’t like restricting myself to two food groups or only being able to eat one actual meal. I don’t like diets really. For me, Weight Watchers rides the line on “diet” and “lifestyle.” Even if I’m not doing the program, I’m still mindful of what I eat vs how much exercise.
Do you think in your case your weight is partly or entirely genetic?
Not really. My body shape probably is, though. Even when I was at 140lbs, I was still a size 8/10 because of my large bust and hips. I’ll never be small no matter what my weight is and I’m 100% alright with that.
Do you consider yourself healthy? Have there been instances where people have assumed you are unhealthy?
I’m not super healthy. I eat fast food more than I’d like, but it’s almost been a whole year since I quit smoking and I exercise. I’m sure that people assume I’m unhealthy, especially when I’m getting my vitals done by the corpsmen at medical. My heart rate is always around 100 bpm and though my blood pressure is normal, I’m sure it’s on the higher side of normal. Those things have everything to do with my severe anxiety and not much to do with my body.
Are your parents both supportive of the weight you’re at? Have they always been?
Always supportive. I don’t think there was ever a time that either of my parents made me feel bad about myself.
How do you think retailers can improve clothes for plus-size people?
Cutting costs would be awesome. There’s no reason that a dress for “straight sizes” is $10, and the same one in the plus section is $50. I can kind of understand our bras being more expensive because of support, but I still think that I should be able to find a cute bra, my size, that holds up for more than one wear for $30 or less. More options when it comes to styles, actually stocking plus sizes in brick and mortar stores, on-trend clothing, less tigers (come on, really?)… I could go on all day. Oh! And using actual fat people as models.
Do you think plus-sized women are judged differently to plus-sized men? How?
To a point, yes. Most diets and the pressure from society is aimed at women. It seems that fat men also have less issues when it comes to sex and dating. Fat men still have to face some of the same stereotyping and fat-shame that women face, but I can’t really speak much on this issue because I’m not a plus-sized man.
Do you think there is an assumption made/stereotypes that exist about plus-size people? How would you respond to it?
Ugh, yes. Lazy, gross, unprofessional, unhealthy, eating (usually something super awful for human consumption) machines. It’s just not the case though. Every person is different.
Do you think there’s ever a right way/time to express concern about someone’s weight?
Yes. One: If you are 99% positive that someone has an eating disorder, you should talk to them about it. Two: If you are a medical professional and someone has a disease or high risk of developing one and the claim is legitimate, then it should be talked about. Those are the only two times I can think of that expressing concern is okay. Do not push though, that person is the owner of their body. Be respectful.
What are the worst things people have said to you about your weight?
I don’t remember. I was teased as a kid and there have been times over the internet that people have taken stabs at me, but I don’t recall any specific remarks. Nothing in public as an adult, luckily, it’s mostly just staring.
How did you respond?
I probably didn’t respond.
What have people said (or do you wish they’d say) that would compliment your body or appearance?
I used to be complimented all of the time on my appearance while living in Vermont (2010-2012). It was all mostly on my style/aesthetics, but it’s been a long time since I’ve gotten a compliment that I can remember.
Do you find yourself hanging out with women who are closer to your size?
Not really. Out here, there aren’t that many women who are my size and I don’t really care what someone looks like either way. Though I can say on the internet, I find myself making friends with other fat babes (because of the plus size community and fatshion blogs and body positivity) more than people who aren’t my size.
How has your weight affected your sex life, if at all?
It has. But it’s me more than anything else. Now that I have almost zero confidence in myself, my sex life has suffered a bit.
When you’ve been single, has your weight affected your dating life?
When I was single, it didn’t really.
Do you feel weird if the guy you’re with only dates larger women?
I never felt weird about it.
Do you feel weird if he’s only dated slimmer women before you?
I never did, except once. That was because it was brought up, by him, in a negative way.
Have you had any similar experiences? What do you think of the article?
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