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Cosmo questions: What is it like being a fat girl

Inspired by the recent Cosmopolitan article of the same title, Claire  asked on Twitter if anyone would be interested in doing a blog post with their take on the questions posed.

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

I think a lot of slimmer woman say things like this for reassurance that it isn’t true. They want people to jump in and protest. Even when I use the word fat to describe myself people jump in and tell me I’m not, which is clearly bullshit as I am. I remember being 14 and a size 12 and pinching the little bit of fat on my thighs and being horrified by it, because to me at that time it was fat. I guess they don’t have any perspective on what it is like to actually be fat and we are told it is something to fear. I kinda want to bitch slap them and be like so what if you are getting fat, there is worse things you could be.

How has your body image changed since high school? College?

This is something I have spoken about before. I haven’t always been fat. I used to be an average weight averaging a size 12 with a big bust, I have always had hips, which I hated as i grew up in the time of stick thin woman, and curves hadn’t become a thing until my late teens. I started gaining weight after having the pill injection. In 6 months I had gained close to 3 stone, I was devastated and felt disgusting, I was covered in stretch marks. I hide in baggy clothes, wearing men’s oversized jumpers and baggy jeans. I started University and lived with a glamour model, it started some really destructive behaviour, I was full of hatred and self-loathing for my body and I was a size 18 at this time, I was always comparing myself to others.. In my later years at uni I had started to feel conflict about my body, I liked it, although it was fat, but I also hated it because I didn’t look like others.  To cut a long story short, I discovered body positivity and my world changed and now here I am.

Have you tried dieting? What happened?

When I was 16 I went on a diet, I counted calories and became a bit like rain man and I would exercise non-stop. I lost over a stone in a few weeks but it just made my waist smaller and my hips seem bigger, I was still wearing a size 16 even though I only weighted 10.5 stone. I think it was then I realised my body would never be slim no matter what I did and I haven’t really dieted since.
Do you think in your case your weight is partly or entirely genetic?
I don’t think you can say it is entirely genetic, we have choices, but maybe we have body shapes that just carry more weight. On my dad’s side of the family all the women are quite big so I call it the Brown gene, but I’m fat because I love food. My dad and brother are really slim, they are grazers, whereas if I don’t eat I get headaches and feel sick but I have probably trained my body to be that way.

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

I wouldn’t say I was the picture of health, if you asked me to go for a run I might keel over after a few minutes but that it more to do with my fitness levels. As far as my body goes, apart from my back problems (which they say is made worse by my weight, but slim people get back problems so I am sceptical) I am in great health. My blood pressure is always perfect. I could just be more active. My doctors have started to assume I am unhealthy because they have the idea that fat = unhealthy but I like to think I am proof that that isn’t entirely true.

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

My mother is always expressing concern over my weight, she plays the concern and health card. She is a bigger lady herself (she wasn’t always) and through dieting in the last 2 years she has managed to drop several dress sizes (people thought she was ill the first time, the second time has been through illness). She encourages me to lose weight and has on many occasions offered me money. My dad has never really said anything. I think they are more accepting now. They see that I am happy.

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

Stop trying to ‘flatter’ fat. You can’t hide it, so stop it. I know not every woman is confident enough to rock some body con and instead will want to hide in there shapeless tent, and that is fine, but give them the choice to rock the body con. I think this is a problem that isn’t confined to the retailers, it is the whole industry that needs to change and the media will play a huge part in that. That is why I think the plus size blogging community is so important, we create our own images and our own media, that shows what bodies can actually look like, in some amazing fashion and hopefully inspire woman to ditch the shapeless tent.

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

This question had me stumped for a while, I am not a plus sized man, so I don’t know how they feel and there is a lack of plus size men in the blogging community telling their side of the story, it would be wrong of me to assume how they feel. I think the answer to this question is that women’s bodies are more sexualised than men’s, but to say men don’t feel the pressure would be silly. In the last few years the increase of men with eat disorders has increased, they now see these perfect men and feel like that can’t match up to that standard. I just think the plus size men that are in the media, there size isn’t the issue when they are talked about, whereas for women, size is the first thing the talk about.

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

I think most of you reading this will have an idea in your head about fat people. Lazy, smelly, a drain on society, a lack of self-control to name just a few. Again I call bullshit, yes there will be some fat people who will fall into the stereotype, but it is a small percentage. I think people think I sit at home, surrounded by buckets of KFC, like fat bastard in the Austin Powers films. Fat people aren’t portrayed in a positive way (while I love Melissa McCarthy, I think she often falls into this trap). You don’t get to see fatties in a positive light to change your mind so you believe the headless pictures you see.

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

I think the way to look at this question is, would you bring it up with someone who was very slim? If not, then don’t bring it up with a fat person. I get it could come from a place of concern, but think about how you would feel if someone said it to you, put yourself in their shoes.

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

I don’t actually get that many negative comments. If I do it is just that I am fat. I shouldn’t be wearing something, It does nothing for my figure. Or I can’t actually be happy.

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

Without sounding like a big head I get compliments on my body and appearance regularly, the blogging babes are always telling you how good you look (thanks). Other people tell me they love my curves etc and that I am pretty and beautiful. And I believe it, because I feel that way about myself, not 100% of the time, but the majority of the time. I don’t need others to validate my body.

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

Before I started blogging I was the only fat girl I really knew, now I surround myself with fat babes and I love it. It has done wonders for my confidence and it is empowering. I went on my first fat rad shopping trip last year, and it was so amazing to shop with people my size, and them to understand. I recommend everyone go shopping and hang out with fat people.

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

I wrote a whole post about this, which you can find here. This covers a lot of stuff for the following questions and i think it is one of my favourite things i have written for this blog. 

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

This is covered slightly in the previous answer but these days no, I make it clear I am big, so there is no disappointment. If a guy likes me, it is for me, not how I look.

(I find the next two questions a bit pointless, it is like saying would you weird if the guy you were dating was a vegetation. I think these questions are reducing me to just my looks, and i am so much more than that)

Do you feel weird if the guy you’re with only dates larger women?

As long as I am not a fetish then I don’t really care. Everyone has a preference, I prefer slim guys, and should a guy be put off by that fact? Of course not. I think it would be silly to assume someone is only dating you because you are big, and if they were, it would be very obvious.

Do you feel weird if he's only dated slimmer women before you?

This is similar to the pervious answer, no, the past is the past, I am now his future. Don’t look back and compare yourself, too much focus is put on the way people look. Beauty fades, it isn’t the basis for a lasting relationship. 

If you made it this far, well done, gold star for you, i hoped you enjoyed reading this and found it interesting, i would love to know your opinions so please feel free to comment or email me. 
Lots of other fabulous ladies have taken part in this, so please go give them a read, i think it will be really enriching and you will learn lots. 


Becky Barneshttp://www.mrsbebeblog.co.uk/

Becky Brownwww.doesmyblogmakemelookfat.com
Amanda http://cruellamcg.wordpress.com/

Becky x 
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