I’m fat. I’m not always this fat, but I’m always some degree of fat. I lose weight. I gain it back. It’s a whole thing.
But a long time ago, I decided that even while I’m fat, I’m going to be beautiful, and I’m going to be happy. So I spend a lot of time scrolling through body positive Instagram accounts. I follow plus-size fashion vloggers. I read about the real-life experiences of fat women.
There are endless opinions to be found about fat bodies, and the women who live in them. There is plenty of faux concern about our health and a lot of name-calling. But there is also a huge amount of love and magic to be found. When people share their stories, it adds beauty to the planet. Everyone loves a “me too!” moment. Social media has provided an outlet for that kind of connection, and I love observing it in action.
But then, it happens.
A man posts something body positive about a woman who is thick, or curvy, or ya know, fat. Instead of just appreciating a lovely expression of love, there will be people who inevitably treat the man like he’s the pinnacle of good-guy manhood for daring to love a woman who is anything but thin. He is treated like he just made a significant charitable donation, or rescued a puppy from a burning building. He’s given a kind of weird, unearned “adorable hero” status. He loves a fat girl? He must be such a great guy! Without knowing anything about either of them, the assumption is that she isn’t his ideal, but loving her is a sacrifice the selfless man is willing to make.
Many women have even accepted this idea that to be anything but thin is an automatic strike against us. And I mean, I get it. It’s tough to be a fat girl sometimes. There are a lot of messages telling us we are unacceptable every single day. It’s exhausting.
But this whole notion that men are doing us a favor by loving us and our bodies?
The idea that my husband deserves some kind of accolades for loving me sucks.
I am good to him — really good. I’m smart. I’m beautiful. I make him laugh. I challenge him. I am doing a hell of a job raising his children with him. I support his dreams. I manage our home while he works, and we manage it together when he is home. I am his best friend.
He is not doing me a favor by loving me. He found a dedicated partner, lover, and friend in me. He is as lucky to have me as I am to have him. If he had passed me over because I was fat, he would have missed the last 14 years of being deeply loved by an incredible person.
My size does not make me a consolation prize. I’m not a silver medal. I am a big, glistening gold trophy.
My husband doesn’t deserve extra credit for spending his life with me. His prize for loving me so well is being desperately loved in return.
Don’t give him an award. He’s already won.