I blame the movie-related hype.
I really like the show Louie, but it’s not like Game of thrones for me. By that, it means that I won’t take a nap during the day to make sure I can watch the new episode on the night it airs; I’m fine catching it when it comes onto Netflix.
When episode three of season four, “So Did the Fat Lady” first aired, I read a couple of reviews and made a mental note to catch it. I finally did today, and I thought it was very good and very necessary.
Sarah Baker was absolutely fantastic as Vanessa, the heavy waitress interested in the fictional Louis (she was also the actor who made The Campaign watchable – sorry Will and Zach). She’s adorable, sharp, funny, and fat. The character and episode accurately reflected some of the issues that come up when you’re not the standard ideal.
- Some – not all – men think that if you speak to them, you’re hitting on them, and they’re horrified. Relax, gents, we’re not all looking to lock it down with you. Some of us are just friendly and like to chat after a couple of drinks.
- Some – not all – men have no business whatsoever judging and/or dismissing you, because you wouldn’t let them touch you with someone else’s dick. Across the board, they are unaware of this reality. See Jim Norton‘s character on Louie. This has more to do with boorish behavior and a lack of respect than it does height, weight, or facial features.
- Lots of men think that because you’re not within the ideal-range construct, you must be desperate, so they’ll take a chance. And these men…they aren’t partner material. Some real examples from my own experience include: the pushing-40 guy with two ex-wives who paid so much in child support that he literally brought home $15 per paycheck and had to move back in with his parents, they guy who doesn’t put a photo or personal information in his dating profile other than “lieks 2 cudle,” and they guy on disability (who includes a little “wink, wink” that indicates he’s manipulating the system).
I’m not trying to say that people don’t have physical preferences for what we find attractive – I know that I have them. However, I have gone on dates with men who I’m not physically attracted to right off the bat because they had other good qualities. I won’t lie, I had to think for a minute about accepting the date each time – rather than immediately accepting – because of the physical attraction issue, but ultimately I decided that I would be a fool not to go. In most cases, there’s so little to lose by taking a couple of hours to get to know someone a bit (just make sure that you’re in public and that someone you trust knows where you are and the details about who you’re with – safety is still paramount). We all know that the more we like a person (as a friend or as a partner), the more attractive he or she becomes, so I knew that there was an opportunity for that piece to develop. None of these worked out, but not because they didn’t meet my physical standards; one enjoyed trophy hunting, another expected me to go home with him after the first date, and another couldn’t talk about anything but his ex-wife.
So, as you may imagine, there was no passing Go with them. And that’s okay, because at least I know that I’m mature enough and confident enough to put aside my expectations of how a man “should” look. And please don’t get me wrong, I am sure that there are many, many single men who do the same…it’s what grownups do, and there are a lot of grown men going outside of their comfort zone.
It does my cold little heart good to see so many men and women fighting across-the-board standards of attractiveness. There are so many people out there celebrating and representing different body types (there are loads of body-positive bloggers on Tumblr who I could have used as an adolescent, like Katana Fatale and Pretty Girl Glam).
I hope that more people will step out of their comfort zones, or have those comfort zones grow. If they don’t, we’ll all be missing out.
It’s like she’s in my head…
Sabine Heinlein | Longreads | April 2015 | 16 minutes (3,886 words)
One time, when I was in my early twenties, I shared a hospital room with a mother of many. I had a skin infection that wouldn’t respond to oral medication, and the 50-something-year-old woman had severe, inexplicable hives. Our main topic of conversation revolved around neither of our ailments. It was about my not wanting to have children. She was insistent, which seemed ironic considering her hives flared up whenever her family visited her on Sundays. I eventually compromised with the woman. Okay, I said, I will put off my decision until I reach my thirties. “You are starry-eyed,” she huffed. “You young women want it all. But you can’t have it all!” Maybe, I thought, some of us don’t want it all.
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