Wednesday, 26 February 2014

What Is It Really Like To Be A Fat Girl?! Cosmopolitan Magazine Asked, I Answered...

Recently there has been a lot of talk about what fat people go through, what we look like and how life might be like as a fat person. Cosmopolitan magazine decided to go and find out for themselves and spoke to 2 plus size women. They had a frank and honest discussion about what fat people go through and asked a series of questions to get the bottom of all the myths and mysteries surrounding us.

Claire (Chattermonkey) thought it would be interesting if the plus size bloggers out there answered them too.

So here goes.......

How do you feel when other women around you complain about feeling/being fat? 
I have mixed feelings about this to be honest. I understand how it can feel to not like the way you look and when people constantly put comments your way, it can make you feel pretty bad about yourself. The thing is I am of the mindset that if it really is that much of an issue then you should try your best to change it if it would make you feel better about yourself. It's a double edged sword as losing weight isn't easy. 

How has your body image changed since high school? College? 
For me quite a lot. I was the only fat one in my class, and one of the only fat people in my everyday life. When you're the different one in the group sometimes things are amplified. As I have gotten older and my priorities have changed so has my outlook on things. 

Have you tried dieting? What happened? 
Who hasn't? In all seriousness yes I have. I have tried soup diets, weight watchers, cutting out everything I enjoy, keeping food diaries you name it I've pretty much tried it. I hated dieting, for me I found it so difficult to stay motivated and to keep on track as usually everyone else around me was eating normally and I was the one having to write down everything that went into my mouth in a journal. I did lose weight but I always hit a point where I would fluctuate between a pound or 2 despite having a large amount of weight still to lose. In all honesty the experience left me with the understanding that a total change of the mindset is required in order to make such a change to my appearance and lifestyle. 

Do you think in your case your weight is partly or entirely genetic? 
I couldn't accurately answer that question. I only grew up having known one side of my family and this side is full of slim and trim people, but I am of the understanding that some of the women on the other side of my family are larger in size. My mother did tell me when I was old enough to grasp the concept of things that I had had a difficult birth as my umbilical chord had been broken for a length of time before I got here. She said that the doctors had told her I may or may not have a weight issue, apparently I could have gone the other way and been under weight. I don't think this is the reason in all honesty as I have had issues with food over the years but I found the theory an interesting one. 

Do you consider yourself healthy? Have there been instances where people assumed you were unhealthy? 
To a degree but my health could be better! I won't lie if I have to run for a decent amount of time I do get short of breath but having said that my weight has never slowed me down I can and do walk for hours and not get tired. I have always been pretty active but I do think I could take some steps to improve my fitness. 

People often assume that you are extremely unhealthy and often get shocked when they see you stretch or do something flexible lol 

Are your parents both supportive of you at the weight you're at? Have they always been? 
I think it can be hard for a parent if they see their child being bullied or ridiculed because of their size. In my case I am the only large person in my family so no one could relate and provide the support that maybe someone like myself could provide. If you have been through it, been called the names, had the sterotypes pushed at you etc. then you are able to really guide someone who's been through the downside to being fat. 
My family always tried to be there for me when I needed them to be and always tried to encourage me to do what makes me happy which for many years was trying to lose weight. 

Now that I am at the point where I know one day I will go down a size or 2 but I am happy and confident, they are pleased to see me really making the most of how I look now. I will have to lose some weight for health reasons one day but at the moment all is well from my family.

How do you think retailers can improve clothes for plus-size people? 
Plus size brands really have come on in leaps and bounds! I remember having to wear clothes that people 20+ years older than me would wear when I was a teenager. All my friends could look trendy and sexy and wear what the in styles were and I had to pick up whatever I could squeeze myself into and try and make it work for me! 
There are so many companies now that cater to us bigger women and they are taking the risks that society would tell them not to take. If you were to leaf through my wardrobe you would find bold and brashy prints, stripes in all directions, a collection of colours, figure hugging dresses, 50s vintage styles and everything else in between. I used to HATE buying clothes and shopping, the experience was always a miserable and traumatic one that had me searching for things in a catalogue rather than hit the high street just so I could avoid the discomfort of being in those awful changing rooms with the lights that make you look like a bumpy cauliflower lol. OK I'm being dramatic there but seriously those lights flatter no one! 

Do you think plus-size women are judged differently than plus-sized men are? How? 
I hate to say it but yes I do sometimes. I think that plus size men have an awful time of it to be honest, I mean they have a much smaller selection of clothes stores to cater to them for one thing which I assume can't be much fun. 

I think they assume that plus size men are all couch potatoes who don't do much else but eat! People really need to get a clue and look beyond the stereotypes sometimes. I would like to hear a larger man answer this question actually, it's got me curious to hear what he might say...

Do you think there’s an assumption made/stereotype that exists about plus-size people? How would you respond to it? 
One thing that I think comes across a lot is that people think that we bigger people are all dateless, sex starved individuals who are so desperate that we'll take the first thing to come along lol. This is so not the case! I can only speak as a plus size woman and I find that people think that we all read those god awful tabloid magazines and follow every fad diet out there to try and look like our smaller counterparts and what ever celebrity is flavour of the month.

I would welcome someone of that mind set to spend one afternoon with myself and some of my friends and get a serious education on what "really" is the case there.

Do you think there’s ever a right way or time to express concern about someone’s weight? 
That is the million dollar question. It's a tough one because how can you say it without either offending someone or pissing them off? Being fat for very few people is a choice and many have struggled for a very long time to lose the weight. I believe that no matter what you tell someone until they decide "enough is enough I want to lose the weight" you just need to support them in whatever their situation may be. I think if they are seriously ill and it is causing an immense problem then of course you may be tempted to say something. The thing is when I was a smoker that was seriously bad for my health, I developed a smokers cough, was spending too much money etc etc. the only thing is it wasn't until I had decided that I wanted to quit that I was able to kick the habit for good! I believe the same can be said for weight loss, leave it up to the individual and be there to support them either way. 

What are the worst things people have said to you about your body? 
In all honesty nothing that I wasn't able to brush off. Usually I would get a you're so fat joke of some kind or be compared to something spherical. The funny thing is people think they're being original and you've always heard the comment from someone else before hand.

How did you respond? 
I often laugh along with the joke which usually throws people off as they expect you to cower off in the corner and cry or something lol.
At the end of the day I am fat, I know what shape I am and what dress size I wear. Do people really think they're telling me something I don't know?

What have people said (or do you wish they’d say) that would compliment your body or appearance?
A lot of people have said to me that even though I'm fat I have shape, which I kind of take as a back handed compliment, of course I have a shape no one is shapeless.... 
I often get told I dress well and know what suits my frame. 
The worse thing is when people say something like you look good for a fat girl or you'd be so much prettier if you lost weight lol. 

Are they trying to say that fat people don't and can't look good? Perhaps I should introduce them to some of the ladies I know if that is the case! 

Do you find yourself hanging out with women who are closer to your size?
Only recently. I am used to being the only fat women in the group. It's only since I became a blogger and entered the plus size community that I have made friends with women who look like me. I had 2 fat friends when I was growing up but they both lost weight in their teens. 

How has your weight affected your sex life, if at all? 
I have never had a problem getting a boyfriend. In fact I was the first out of the girls in my group to start dating lol. Every guy I have ever dated has been different to the last one. 

When you've been single, has your weight affected your dating life?
Not at all. I have always had offers and have always been picky when it comes to men. I'm lucky enough to be in a fantastic relationship with an amazing man and my weight has never been an issue at any point or a topic of discussion for that matter. 

Do you feel weird if the guy you’re with only dates larger women? 
Not at all. I know some men that like bigger women just because it's their preference. I have stumbled across a few men (on social media) who have this weird fetish about big women and have some strange preconceived ideas about how it might be to either date or sleep with a big women but I have never met one. 

Do you feel weird if he's only dated slimmer women before you?
No not really. Any confidence issues that may have come up in the past have been because of things in my head and previous experiences resurfacing. Never has it been an issue. 

Check out what claire had to say and some of the other bloggers out there!


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