What Being A Fat Woman Is Really Like: The Naomi Edit


Cosmo recently put up this article about being a fat woman. The questions were answered by two anonymous fat women and they're answers were interesting. However how would their answers match up with a whole load of other fat babe answers? Claire of A Monkey Fatshionista challenged us to find out. 

Myself and a whole host of other lovelies were invited by Claire to respond to the same questions from the Cosmo article and post the responses on each of our blogs. Being a 29 year old, single, size 30 fat girl I wanted to put in my 2 cents about my experiences so of course I obliged and here my loves, are my answers (it's a long read so get yourself a cuppa!)...

How do you feel when other women around you complain about feeling/being fat?

It used to really bother me and in the back of my head I’d always be thinking ‘Oh my god, what do they think of me then?’. However as the years have gone on and I’ve become more secure in myself I realise a lot of women do it for reassurance, for someone to go ‘don’t be silly.’ I refuse to play up to that and quite regularly I will respond with ‘well if you aren’t feeling great about it then why not do something about it.’ My absolute pet peeve is people who complain about being fat but do nothing about it, if you don’t like something change it, I’m a tough love kinda girl. I’d also expect the same in return, if I began complaining about my weight or feeling fat then I’d expect my friends or whoever to turn around and say the same.
How has your body image changed since high school? College? 

I’ve always been made aware of being bigger than others around me, looking back on pictures of myself  though I don’t feel I was anywhere near as large as I was made to feel. As a child I had puppy fat and then as a young teen that disappeared but quite soon after I began getting boobs, hips and a bum and filling out.
By the time I was 16 I was a very womanly shape whilst a lot of my peers were still very slim, small, petite. My size was always banged on about by my mom, family members and other people my age, but I was very sporty whilst growing up, an avid netball player, swimmer, thai boxer, rounders player, I danced every weekend and I walked a 40 minute walk to and from school every day, physically I was very fit! Funnily enough though none of this was ever taken into consideration by people,  all they could see was my size, not the healthy, happy, teenager whom enjoyed sport, walking and just getting on with life. I look back now and can see that all of the issues I had with my body were because of everyone else’s views on it, I remember how miserable I was made to feel on a daily basis, I hated my body. 

My mom would regularly allow others in my house to have snacks and treats but I was constantly scorned at or frowned upon if I’d so much as dared to eat a chocolate bar, this bred a ridiculously unhealthy relationship with food in me. Now? I’m larger than I’ve ever been but with regard to my body, the happiest I have ever been. I’m in good head space with the way I look and that is the healthiest thing in the world as far as I’m concerned. I don’t want to live a life of constant battles about my body because it doesn’t look how everyone else would like it to, that’s everyone else’s issue, not mine.

Have you tried dieting? What happened?

I tried diets every other month, I worked out in my early to mid-teens that attempting a diet was the way to get my mom to be happy with me. Nothing made her happier than hearing that I wanted to try a new diet. I was constantly on some kind of kick! My most memorable experience was attempting the Atkins diet when that became popular. I began it whilst at an ex-boyfriends house one day. The first day carb free was Ok, however that changed very quickly. Before I knew it five days had passed where I was so ill from my body’s reaction to being starved of carbs I couldn’t get out of his bed, my skin had turned grey, I was moody, had absolutely no energy, had the shakes, it was horrendous! He couldn’t understand why I was doing that to myself.

After that first week I finally started to pick up a bit and by the end of the month I’d lost about 21lb’s. Everyone was so pleased with me because I’d lost that weight so quickly, I remember my mom being happier than ever. No one cared about how awful I felt and looked, my skin had completely dried out, my eyes were gaunt, I was a mess, but none of that matter because I was lighter! Wahooooo!

Needless to say it lasted around another 2 weeks before I stopped it.  What happened after that? I put all the weight back on and then some very quickly. I was bad fatty again.  

Do you think in your case your weight is partly or entirely genetic?

My mom’s side of the family do seem to carry weight, my dad’s side of the family are relatively slim. I do feel I have a predisposition to be larger which could be down to genetics. I don’t think I’d ever be very slim, slender or athletically built.

Do you consider yourself healthy? Have there been instances where people assumed you were unhealthy?

I consider myself healthy with a couple of minor health issues which aren’t related to my weight at all which are currently in hand with a specialist, what I feel I could be is fitter. 

After 7 years of being a nursery nurse, on my feet all day running around after children and working an evening and weekend job at the same time (all whilst being fat) I was a very fit fat person. I could zoom stairs quicker than most of my smaller peers. However after taking on an office job around 3 years ago, going from being on my feet and active all day to sitting down for 7 hours a day my fitness has definitely suffered. I don’t think that’s so dis-similar to so much of the population, regardless of size. It’s too easy to assume that someone is fitter and healthier because they are smaller, but I feel that’s a very dangerous road to go down as I believe we lead smaller people into a false sense of security. Everybody should be encouraged to look after their body no matter what their size, it shouldn’t just be directly stigmatized to fat people.

Are your parents both supportive of you at the weight you're at? Have they always been?

My parents have learnt to shut up. My dad has never really mentioned it, he doesn’t care as long as I’m happy, my mom however is a different story. I’ve had years of arguments about my body, years of being called names and years of being made to feel like shit because of my size. I put my foot down a few years ago and made it known that what I do with my body was no longer her business. It’s not up for discussion. I know she’d be over the moon if I all of a sudden dropped  some weight, I know she’d be happier if I were thin/thinner.

How do you think retailers can improve clothes for plus-size people?

STOP MAKING US DIFFERENT! All I want is the same offerings my smaller counterparts get, that’s it, it’s that fucking simple! I don’t want the blingy jeans, or the t-shirt covered in a million butterflies, or the god awful cropped combat utility trousers. I WANT THE SAME AS EVERYONE ELSE! I also want to be able to walk into a store to buy it. In my home town, if I want clothes, I have one store that I can go to, one fucking measly store, which has one corner dedicated to plus size. Stop making us this separate entity! I honestly feel that if more retailers/designers encouraged an input from fat people they would see this, however (and this is not skinny bashing) I feel there are too many slim people designing for the fat whom quite frankly just don’t understand our bodies. Please engage with us more often, especially before you decide to let your team of what seems like 5 year olds let loose with a glitter gun, ruin what could be an awesome pair of jeans with some weird sparkly montage, we can help! 

Do you think plus-size women are judged differently than plus-sized men are? How?

I don’t want to play down the difficulties plus size men have, however I do feel there is a much bigger pressure on women to ‘fit in’. But then, I’m not a plus size man so who am I to comment, we’ve all got our own personal struggles.

Do you think there’s an assumption made/stereotype that exists about plus-size people? How would you respond to it?

Of course, everyone thinks we’re lazy, on the dole, smelly, sitting at home claiming benefits to go and fill our freezers with more Iceland crap to stick in our deep fat fryers. We’re assumed to be stupid, unloveable creatures who don’t deserve respect. Quite frankly it’s disgusting. I’m a hardworking, 20 something woman with a fair amount if disposable income whom has never not had a job since I was 15. I’ve always worked hard, studied hard and I damn well deserve the same respect and consideration anybody else does, irrelevant, people are fucking people, with real human feelings and emotions and we should treat each other as we all expect and deserve to be treated!

Do you think there’s ever a right way or time to express concern about someone’s weight?

Unless you are their doctor then no. My body is my business and nobody elses, as is anyone else's. 

What are the worst things people have said to you about your body?

I am regularly picked on and given abuse in my day to day life. People feel it necessary to shout nasty things in the street, in clubs and pubs when I’m out having a nice time, everywhere, people think they have the right to police my body and shame me on a regular basis. Fatty, fat bitch, ugly fat cow, whale, fat pig, you name it, I’ve heard it!
How did you respond?

Years ago I’d try my best to disappear as quickly as possible so I could get somewhere to sob my heart out over it, now, I will usually challenge it or laugh or come up with some witty retort to counter it, I like challenging ignorance and rudeness it catches them right off guard. The people that usually do it are probably regular offenders of being bullies so aren’t used to someone giving them their grief back, so I think I enjoy their reaction and hope that it scares them enough not to do it to anybody else.

What have people said (or do you wish they’d say) that would compliment your body or appearance?

People regularly compliment me which I love. I get lots of nice comments about my eyes and my smile and the way I dress. I ALWAYS get comments and compliments about my boobs, which I’m not gonna lie they’re pretty huge and I love em! I’m allowed to like myself. 

Guys who I have dated or been with have complimented my bum and my legs and all sorts. I used to find it so difficult to take a compliment and would always throw it back in someone’s face, now I take it on board, thank them and treasure it. Fat and beautiful are not oxymoron’s, they are allowed to be in the same sentence!  

Do you find yourself hanging out with women who are closer to your size?

I have friends of all different shapes and sizes and they are beautiful. I don’t purposely seek out friends on the basis that they are fat too. However, especially since becoming involved within the fat community and the blogging community I wholeheartedly treasure the fellow fat girlfriends I have made, it is comforting at times to be able to talk to people who understand some of the things I go through who won’t patronise me, who genuinely understand and can offer sound advice or opinions. And we can shop together and share clothes!!!

How has your weight affected your sex life, if at all?

Wow, the personal bit (mom, don’t read this!). I’ve had a very colourful sex life, one that when I was younger I will admit, to having doing that ‘sleeping with guys to make them like you’ thing that now is ‘I fucking love sex’ thing. I don’t think my weight has affected my sex life at all, I’m probably the most sexually out there out of all of my friends, some of my tales turn their faces bright red. However as I have got larger I have met different types of partners, those who are attracted to the fat body and have bought me a new set of experiences in sex that I wouldn’t have encountered at a smaller size.

When you've been single, has your weight affected your dating life?

I’ve always had boyfriends and men interested in me over the years. I am currently single and have been for nearly 2 years. I’m not going to lie, attraction is important to us all, I hate when people play down the importance of physical attraction, so I appreciate that the way I look may not be everyone’s cup of tea, however in the same breath the way some men look aren’t my cup of tea. It’s all relative. I think my weight has actually made me more choosey about who I date. I want someone who loves my chunky thighs and wants to sink their hands into them. HOT! 

Do you feel weird if the guy you’re with only dates larger women?
Nope, why should I? It’s only stigmatised because being fat is made out to be bad and taboo and being into fat is made out to be like some weird fetish. Being into blondes isn’t a fetish? A blonde would’t feel weird if she was with a guy who only dated blondes would she? That’s all just down to personal preference. If you like slim girls, date slim girls, if you like fat ones, date fat ones, if you like both, date both! Just date who you fucking like! 

Do you feel weird if he's only dated slimmer women before you?
No, not really, however if he’s into me but likes me in spite of my size I’d have an issue. He’s gotta find all of me hot, mind, body, soul. I want him to want to touch me and put his hands on me and not be scared of it. I don’t want it to be skimmed over and not acknowledged, if that makes sense. If he’s new to a bit of fat girl loving, that’s fine, I can be a guide, however no ‘in spite ofs’ are allowed! If I ever hear ‘but you’ve just got such a pretty face, the rest doesn’t matter’ I’m outta there! Love me? Love my fat ass too! <3

Well, that was my little rambling on the matter, what do you think (if you made it to the end?). Can you relate to any of it? I'd love to hear your thoughts, but whilst you're at it, don't forget to check out the answers from the other girlies involved, they are...

 Claire, Sian, Lucia, Rebecca,
Michaela, Lolly, Betty, Gina, Debz
Becky, Nat, Emma, Vicky, Michelle, Becky Brown
Amanda, Elena, Anne-Lise, Steph, Cass

Go check them out!


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