Early last year I interviewed a group of men on the opinion about women, weight and their self-esteem. The mixture of responses generated quite the discussion within my inbox with a few requests of the female response. It’s taken some time but I figured it was time to honor the request.
Meet The Women of this ASMT Response:
- Yani, the part-time fashionista / and also part-time twitter news source with a passion for life, (also going through a weight loss journey, 50lbs lost so far!)
- Vanessa, the ever-comical, “Should I take that tweet seriously?”, criminal justice student
- Fidelis, the shoe and food enthusiast that doesn’t know what stress feels like… even though she’s an engineer. She also happens to my sister from another mister.
First off, being that you’re all of different shapes, sizes, heights, and so forth, how do you feel about the responses Gregory and Kachi (Felix) have provided in reference to their significant others build? Would you yourself prefer if your significant other was a little bit on the chubby side or had a slim build?
Yani: I was actually quite shocked at Kachi’s response. One body type is perfect for sexual activity but not to be seen with in public. It made me feel… sad. I used to be chubby/fat/overweight and have slimmed down tremendously. His response made me think of the people who were more interested in me before I lost the weight. Was this interest ONLY because of sexual pleasure? Did they even really care… was I being ‘fetishized’? Does Kachi’s response explain why I am more single than ever now that I am slimmer? His response left me with many questions about my personal life. When it comes to my significant other, I would prefer a bigger build. There is something arousing about “being enveloped.” Would I have a problem dating someone with a slim build? Not at all. I know this sounds cliché but I care more about intellect, I swear!
Vanessa:I think Kachi’s (Felix) answer is the EXACT reason why women feel the way they do about their weight. Although I can fully appreciate his honesty, that right there is the reason for it all. Who would want their man to be embarrassed of them in public?
I don’t see myself dating a chubby man anymore. I did it once because I was genuinely attracted to his personality and he was very cute in the face but he lost the weight and is tall and sexy now! I Wish we never broke up (deep sigh). I don’t know if I’ve just been watching too much tv but it seems like chubby people have some type of emotional or psychological issue attached to it therefore, I’m all set.
Fidelis: I do prefer slim-built men. Not anorexic, my size 2 is bigger than you, everyone thinks you’re diseased or I can’t cook- skinny. But a man who’s naturally slim with some cut to him is always sexier to me. I also don’t like overly muscular men either. However, this just seems to be the type I gravitate towards and does not mean I’d forgo an amazing man just because he doesn’t fit this exact definition. His whole being is more important than those sexy usher lines. Maybe.
Do you feel forced to meet the standards put forth by these men, do you hold men to the same insane standards? Lastly, would you say you have a type? If so, do share!
Yani: I do not meet most of the standards I see some men putting forth but I also hardly ever see them dating women with the qualifications they demand. So do I feel forced to meet standards? Not at all. My main concern is being happy with myself physically and mentally. I believe that a certain level of confidence attracts good people. Do I have a type? I do. I am attracted to older men. (This could be a reaction to my previous horrible experiences with younger men and also men that are my age.) When it comes to race, I do not have a preference but what I do love is someone who looks “mature” or “aged” like a fine wine. Also, I like men that are taller than me with beautiful teeth and are well-groomed. You can even have a grey hair in your beard. Some examples would be Idris Elba, Christian Bale or TJ Holmes.
Vanessa: To say I feel forced would be an exaggeration. I feel at times men change their mind so much we don’t know what they want. First the skinny model type was everything to them now the big booty curvy girl is. I feel like I do in a way hold men to a certain standard but not as crazy as men do for women. I like someone who looks healthy. I love love love tall men that are charming with the right amount of confidence, a promising future and an education ;-). If this is you and you’re single feel free to contact me. I like long walks on the beach, reading, and giving back to the community.
Fidelis: No. But I’m very good at ignoring people and whatever opinions they hold if I don’t like them. “An excessive regard for public opinion is not congenial to my sense of self” (quote from a romance novel I read a few years back). I like who I am, and honestly, whenever any thought of disliking any part of me enters my mind, I figure out if I actually feel the need to put the work behind fixing it or if I’d rather just live with it. Then I go on with my life. And for all its worth, if I don’t expect my opinions to affect a man’s self-esteem, then I can’t have his affect my image of who I am. Just wouldn’t make sense.
I don’t hold men to nonsensical standards. People come in all shapes and sizes and as long as you’re healthy, aren’t huffing and puffing every time you move due to being out of shape, then big or small, you are fine. If the man is happy as he is then great for him. And yup, I definitely have a type. I like men over 5’10, slim, well-built, intelligent, ambitious, articulate and most importantly, sweet. I also seem to gravitate towards dark-skinned men but I’m trying to expand my tastes. For all its worth though, a man’s personality and attitude will attract me SO much more than anything artificial he can bring to the table (no matter how dashing he looks in a suit and tie).
Do you agree or disagree with the responses provided for the question “Have men contributed to society’s growing number of women that hate their bodies because they “do not live up to the typical man’s standards?”
Yani: I believe that the media is the main reason why some women hate their bodies. Another reason is the environment. With that being said, I agree with Greg’s answer. Every single example he gave was on point, especially: skinny friends, skinny enemies, models that are lusted after and skinny actresses that “win” in every situation. I believe that men actually play a small role in how a woman feels about her body. Some of us will look at the physique of other women with envy even when we may have a man telling us that we look perfectly fine.
Vanessa: I would have to say that I agree and disagree with the men. How many times have we seen on Instagram a big booty girl receive 365753 likes and smaller women struggle to get 10? How many tweets and retweets have you seen on your twitter timeline from @postbadbitches or @skinnythick with responses like “Wow”, “Sheesh” and “Yes”! I believe that plays a major part in women feeling some type of way about their body. In all fairness, I don’t think it’s right to solely blame the men for this issue either. I also blame women. Women are the most judgmental creatures on this earth. It’s very rare that you find a woman genuinely complimenting another woman. We are constantly bringing each other down to feel better about ourselves and ladies, we’ve ALL done this. I guess what I’m saying is a lot of factors come into play when it comes to women hating their body. It’s up to her to get to a point where she loves who she is inside and out.
Fidelis: Part of me agrees… Greg pointed out that men contribute some but there are a lot more things at play. However, Kachi’s point that men’s preferences shouldn’t negatively affect a woman’s view of herself is a good point. No woman is attracted to every man she sees or every man who likes her so for her to expect that whatever man she finds attractive will find her equally attractive is unrealistic. I think women need to take out the noise from society, from anyone who’s ever said anything negative, and start to focus on their positive points. Each man is different. Sure you’ll have some like Kachi who are ashamed of their tastes and hide behind skinny women they think will look good on their arms. But then you’ll have others like Eric who care only that a woman is herself and knows herself. Women should not base their vision of themselves on how any other person views them. They should figure out who they want to be and project that, and live it to the fullest.
And there you have it! The women have responded… and now it’s your turn! What do you think about the ladies responses?
Where can you find these ladies?
– Yani: @MsAliceBateman
– Vanessa: @Amazing_V
– Fidelis: Delis_Words