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Pretty For a Fat Chick


Since I’ve re-entered the dating world I’ve heard things like “you’re beautiful despite your size,” and “you’re beautiful because of your size.” Neither of these is what I want to hear. Am I being too picky? I don’t think I am.

They say, “You’re beautiful despite your size.” As if no one could be beautiful at my size, and as if my size cannot be a part of what makes me beautiful. “Your fat is an obstacle that you have overcome by virtue of having a cute face! Good for you! Part of you is pretty enough to make up for the fact that I consider you deathfat!”

The other ones, the fat fetishists, say, “You’re beautiful because of your size.” That’s a little closer to what I would like to hear because it’s always nice to know that there are people out there who do not consider obesity to be the most disgusting thing in the world, but it’s still not perfect. I don’t want to be admired solely because I am a person of size. I am sexy, but I am not a sex object and my body is not something to be fetishized. I don’t want to be distilled down to a body that I’ve spent years wrestling with and that I fight every day to accept. I’m not a walking, talking Rubens painting that fucks for your enjoyment.

A thighs-up photo of Sugar, wearing a white corset with black trim and polka-dots, and taking the photo with their phone, which hides their face.

Me circa 2012, repping the Obesity Cabal.

Don’t make this mistake with other fat people, admirers. I know I can’t speak for all of us (you know, the OBESITY CABAL), but I have heard this sentiment voiced by a few people of a similar size. I’m sure your intentions are good. You want to say, “Your size doesn’t make you less desirable to me.” That’s not a bad thing! But unless I’m in some kind of self-hate spiral about being fat I don’t need you to say something to assure me that my fat is not a dealbreaker.

I know some people are like, “Well what does they want? We can’t like their fat, we can’t hate their fat, and now we can’t mention it in passing either?” Honestly… yes. Pretty much that. Another person’s body is not yours to comment on, no matter what the size. If you want to have a conversation about my fat and our relationship supports that sort of topic, let’s talk about it plainly, but with tact. Trying to slip it into a compliment is not tactful. I don’t need you to compliment me in some kind of code that tries to discreetly address my fat. You don’t have to acknowledge my fat like it’s another person in the room that you don’t want to ignore for fear of seeming rude, so you don’t have to add further qualifiers onto “you’re pretty.” Just say I’m pretty. Don’t tell me I’m pretty… for a fatty.  I don’t need you to other me by using my body to set me apart from the “normies.”

All I ask for is someone who appreciates me as a whole package. I don’t want a partner that tolerates or ignores my fat because they like everything else, and I don’t want a partner that focuses on my fat before everything else.  My husband is one person who handles this with grace. He isn’t a “chubby chaser,” and he doesn’t cringe every time he sees me naked. He likes to see me naked, in fact! He would never make the stupid mistake of tacking something about my body onto the end of, “You’re beautiful.” Why is just plain, “You’re beautiful,” so hard for some people to say? Just stop talking after the second word. Why does my size have to come into it at all? Why can’t I be beautiful AND fat? Why is there automatically an assumption that my fat must impact my view of my beauty and self-worth? How about you just worry about loving me, and let me worry about being fat.

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