As a fat girl living in Egypt, I use the term fat with love as it is an affirming and neutral signifier of my body. The way people see me has been triggering to me throughout my life. Unfortunately, I spent years and years thinking about people’s perceptions – especially men – about my body more than anything else.
After finishing high school, I was so excited to enter the dating scene as a grown woman. In fact, the reason behind entering the dating scene in the first place was to make sure that being a fat girl was not impacting how men see me.
So, obviously, when I made this decision, I was a little bit scared. Nevertheless, I decided to download a dating app at the request of one of my friends.
Before we get any further, I am now a proud fat woman who loves herself. I have an Instagram blog where I share with women like me my journey with self-acceptance. My past traumas have helped me be a better person. So, do not worry about the future of the person I am talking about in this article. She is living a happy life now.
Online Dating is Tough When you Are Plus-Size Woman
Someone’s location, education, personality, or social background are elements that matter in any experience. For me, being FAT is the only factor that impacted my experience.
Although I got a hundred matches and hundred compliment messages, my adventure as a fat girl on dating apps was directly tied to my worth as a woman in one way or another. The social stigma of fatness is still prevalent. While at some point in my experience on dating apps, I have accepted my body, the fatphobic society made me feel that I am still worthless.
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Types of Men I Always Meet on Dating Apps
Regardless of the dating application used, my experience was always the same. I always meet four kinds of men.
The Fragile: Men who are embarrassed to admit that they are interested in plus-size women.
For an unknown reason, there is a common stigma around finding plus-size women beautiful due to the media’s portrayal of thinness as the standard of female beauty. Consequently, those men find it awkward to admit that their preferences vary from the norm. So, ironically, even men who found me attractive and beautiful would not date me out of the fear of this social stigma.
The Sex Addict: Men who Fetishize my Body
When I was younger, I thought that being a fat woman was the main factor behind staying in the friend zone area forever. Surprisingly, I found the opposite after using dating apps. In reality, I discovered that being fat was the main reason why men over-sexualize me.
The Creepy: Men who wanted to be my trainer.
This type always asks me the same question: “Have you ever tried to go on a diet?”.
Man, I am almost 24 years old. So, of course, I tried all these magical ideas. COME ON, please.
Supportive men tend to unapologetically deal with me as a NORMAL person with all the respect. They truly treat me like every other woman out there. They see me as I am. And to be honest, I always wanted to be seen.
The best thing about this type is that they don’t over-support me in a way that makes me uncomfortable. On the contrary, they offer me honest compliments that make me feel good as they are not always about my look.
What Men Should Know about Plus Size Women
Plus size women are just women.
We deserve love, security, and empathy.
Online Dating Was Never a Safe Space for Me
After some time, I discovered that dating apps were not helping by any means. While everyone chooses their best photos, I always had this feeling that I have to use my worst photos to show how fat I am. Maybe I wanted to be clear about my identity, so that no one feels that I am deceiving them. Maybe I wanted to make it evident that I am overweight- not chubby or curvy. Yes, I am a fat woman, I am comfortable in my own skin and I don’t have anything to prove.
I know that navigating the dating pool as a fat woman is hard, especially in Egypt. However, I am here to tell you that you deserve love and interest. Always remember that having a plus-size body has never meant that you should get less respect, less love, less affection, or less chances. Whoever you end up with, they should and will love you as you are. But I am not sure that you will find them on dating apps.