One summer break, my best friend from College came to visit me in Trinidad. I proudly drove her around and showed her my island and we were having a great time. One day, we stopped at the ATM to take out some cash and I saw an old family friend who I had not seen in some years sitting in a car outside. I went up to the window and said “Hi Aunty! So nice to see you!” and before I could get the words out of my mouth, she said “Jesus Christ, Sarah you are massive. No man will ever want to marry you, you will never get a boyfriend. You need to get rid of that weight.”
I spun around, ran back to the car where my friend was waiting and started sobbing. When I explained what happened, my friend was horrified. She said, “Sarah, in America we do not speak to others this way. That is absolutely terrible. What an awful person she is.”
It seems the most important thing in that woman’s mind was that my body was appealing to a man, and if I could not get one, this meant that I was a failure as a woman. This is a very common attitude, especially among the older generation that exists within the society I grew up in.
This is just one of the incidents I have experienced in my life where I was chastised and shamed for simply living and existing in my body. After experiencing many male-female interactions personally and through discussions with friends I can safely say that men do not only select partners based on the way their bodies are shaped. Men are attracted to women who:
- Dress nicely and take good care of themselves.
- Lead fun and happy lives.
- Have a great sense of humour and personality.
- Laugh at their jokes and appreciate them.
- Are kind.
- Are confident in themselves, their desires and sexuality.
None of the above mentioned have anything to do with weight. I know many women with “perfect bodies” who are very ashamed of themselves and this creates a lot of difficulty in their intimate relationships. I also know many plus-sized women who are very comfortable in their skin and with their sexuality. They exude an overwhelmingly magnetic sex-appeal and have to beat men off on a regular basis. It is very hard to have a relationship with someone who only wants to have sex with the lights off and hides themselves away. It is very difficult to truly connect with another person when we are so ashamed of our body.
When you encounter people like this, please do not let them get inside your head and break you down. They are often very mean, unhappy and bitter people who enjoy spreading their unhappiness and causing others pain. If you are kind and confident, take good care of yourself, no matter what size you are, you will hardly be alone! And even if you are single that is also OK. Your value is not dependent on whether someone wants you or not. You are beautiful and worthy just the way you are. Keep shining and know your worth, beautiful soul.