Last summer I read Demetria Lucas’ book A Belle In Brooklyn: The Go-to-Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life. While I thoroughly enjoyed her hilarious take on her dating life throughout the years (and filed away some of her advice for later use), one chapter gave me pause: Weighty Matters.
In ‘Weighty Matters?’ Lucas deals with a very big problem (no pun intended) plaguing women—especially Black women—our weight.
She writes: “I’ve been wondering for a while if the collective weight of Black women is affecting our ability to pair off. And by weight, I mean the numbers on the scale, not our emotional baggage, although for some of us, that is heavy, too.
I can’t help but notice that in nearly every run-down of what it is that Black men are looking for in a Black woman, weight inevitably sneaks into onto the list, usually in the form of “she works out” or “she stays fit” or “she is concerned about her health or personal appearance”—i.e., she’s not fat.
As someone who’s always had a “plus” in front of my size, reading that kind of stung.
Growing up, I was always the chubby, shy girl. Throughout the years, I’ve (mostly) shed my shyness and my weight has redistributed itself to be on par with my height, but I still live very much on the “voluptuous” side of town (that picture is close to what I look like naked). In the past—college—I didn’t really care. I was confortable with myself and I was still attractive to others, so being “thick” didn’t bother me, and as a matter of fact, I wore it with pride.
These days, however, as I’m firmly grown and not as active as I used to be, I can’t help but think that perhaps my weight is holding me back from meeting “the one.” Sure, I meet men all of the time, several of whom tell me I’m beautiful and sexy. But for one reason or another, some of these men just don’t do it for me. They’re nice enough, not assholes, employed, but I’m not physically attracted to them. But, chile…the ones that do cause my pressure to rise? At times I wonder if they’re not giving me a second look because my stomach isn’t flat and I have a little extra roundness to my thighs.
Admittedly, I partake in double standards.
While some might consider me “a big girl,” I’m not really attracted to “big” guys. I like men with athletic, strong bodies. Not by any means “perfect” or extra-cut, but not Rick Ross style either (your tits can’t be bigger than mine, sorry).
But how can I be so picky about a man’s body while expecting him to overlook mine?
While I’m all for women embracing their bodies—which I do—I’m also not about promoting unhealthiness. While big is indeed beautiful, it can also kill you (just like being too thin is unhealthy as well). If you can’t walk up a few flights of stairs without nearly having an asthma attack, something has got to change (and that goes for everyone–“big” or “small”).
But should you make those changes solely to find love?
I struggle with this all the time. While I’m currently reforming my health to be the best Britni I can be, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I’m also trying to drop a few pounds in the hopes that it will not only improve my health, but also increase my access to a wider selection of men.
But am I being superficial or smart? And should weight even matter?
What do you think…has your weight and/or body helped or hurt your chances to get boo’d up?