The Sorrows of Young Werewolf (eyeteeth) wrote,
The Sorrows of Young Werewolf

Manos: The Hands of Fat

Before today's mandatory man, let's talk about fatness, and how responses to the OkCupid questions about size confound my efforts. One of today's rejects was kind enough to explain why his answer to "Can overweight people still be sexy?" is "No":

"I suppose it's theoretically possible, and of course it's in the eye of the beholder, but I don't know that I've ever seen an overweight woman that I considered to be 'sexy.' And I guess I should clarify that I'm considering 'overweight' as it's used to describe someone who has difficulty wedging herself into an airplane seat rather than someone who would like to lose 10 or 12 pounds."

First, let's note how the wording of the first sentence seems to indicate that he isn't speaking only for himself, but for everyone attracted to women. Ironically, the phrase "it's in the eye of the beholder," which is supposed to make him sound less shitty, reveals that he does not consider this a private opinion but rather a general truth. But the thing that gets me about this explanation is the second part. Those are the two kinds of fat to this guy: Not Even Fat Really (she'd "like to lose" ten or twelve pounds, but her fatness isn't presented as a fact), and Colossally Fat. And I've encountered this before, the bizarre erasure of those of us who are in-between fat, which in my experience is most of us. It's why I said in an earlier entry that obese is a meaningless word. Let me expand on that: the word obese is meaningless except as a marker of valuelessness, in this case unfuckability, because while no one can agree on what it means to be obese, most everyone can agree that it's disgusting and shameful. Therefore, when OkCupid dudes say overweight is a dealbreaker "only if [a potential match] were obese," what they're saying is "Fat is a dealbreaker if you're so fat that it's a dealbreaker." And that's different for everyone. And I don't want to play fatphobia roulette, dressing up nice and showing up to the café hoping I won't see his face fall when he gets an eyeful of my ass.

(Could this be part of the reason men get so much joke mileage out of women's fear of gaining weight, out of women asking their boyfriends, "Does this make me look fat?" -- because the fear is of going from skinny or "normal" to in-between fat, and that's a category that doesn't exist in the minds of the men who make such jokes? So it literally makes no sense to them that anyone would have that fear?)

Today's mandatory man doesn't say anything about weight in his profile. He does say he has "feminist values," and I always love when guys say stuff like that. Shout it loud! He is a beardy academic who writes books in a café in the East Village. I wrote him all OMG, I write in cafés too!!! I didn't tell him what I write about in the cafés. That can wait.
Tags: fat, mandatory man, tinyfists
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