While I’m definitely privileged with having a socially acceptable plus-size body that typically fits into a US 12-14, dealing with being a more curvaceous woman in this world comes with its own unique set of challenges. Fun bruises from benches and chairs, lack of affordable and flattering clothing options, and shirts that always seem to gap in the bust are pretty much par for the course. Plus, with the curse of curves also come many, many comments from men that range from creepy to full-on harassment. Here are some of the things guys have said to fetishize me and some of my plus-size friends.
“What’s your bra size?”
Are you going to buy me a bra? If so, please and thank you because those things are running at about $60 a pop these days! If not, this is not something you should just casually ask a woman EVER. Thinner friends have reported that they have never/rarely been asked this question, whereas my busty friends seem to see it as almost a mark of pride. Sorry, but you don’t get to know my bra size just because I have larger breasts.
“Your X is massive!”
No one really wants to hear this even if it’s a compliment and not even in the bedroom. It’s not that I haven’t come to terms with my curves, it’s just that I don’t want to be described as “massive” with few exceptions. Unless you’re telling me I have a massive brain or heart, this is off the table.
“You should really put those away…”
Thank you, sir, I really needed your input. It is 100 degrees in this room because the AC is broken, but sure, let me cover up the inch of skin you can see to make you more comfortable. Women with bigger curves do look different in clothes than their thinner counterparts, so basically unless I wear a turtleneck, you’re bound to see a bit of cleavage. Just carry on with your day, gents. It isn’t about you.
“How do you fit all that X inside those pants/shirt?”
Probably people think this is a compliment but in reality, it comes across as completely creepy. To be honest, it’s only going to make me think of the harrowing experience I’m having with this button-down right now when I so much as lift my arms. Also, you don’t need to know! Appreciate the aesthetics, that’s fine. Comment on how I fit my flesh into clothing? Fetishizing!
“I don’t think X is really a good look for you…”
If I had a dollar for all the times men had an opinion about my outfit, I’d have enough money to buy 10,000 pairs of mustard yellow high-waisted paperbag pants. Sorry, but I don’t really care if you hate these pants or this shirt is too “weird” for your taste. I’m wearing it anyway.
“I just love curves.”
Great! But have you seen my writing or my artwork? Do you understand what makes me unique or special? You won’t find it in my pants and you won’t find it in my bra. Please don’t boil my essence down to my body parts.
“I don’t think you’re fat, you’re beautiful!”
A guy that says this probably isn’t trying to be rude, but this statement has always irked me. I don’t describe myself as “fat” but I know many women who do, and that certainly doesn’t mean they’re not beautiful. Fat and beautiful are not opposites. They can and should co-exist in our vocabularies. Just like improv class, these are “yes, and” adjectives.
“I’m not like other guys. I like a little more meat on my women.”
WOW! This one has an absolute TON of red flags. When a man tells me that he’s “not like other guys,” I can be almost positive that he is exactly the worst of all other guys. Also, no one cares what you do or don’t like in women’s bodies. Secondly, why is he assuming that other guys don’t like bigger women? In the great paraphrased words of Amy Schumer, “I’m X pounds right now, and I can catch a [man] whenever I want to!”
“So… do you work out?”
Of course I work out! Working out is more than just how your body looks and bigger women often workout regularly. Ashley Graham even has workout videos! Just because we aren’t thin doesn’t mean we don’t exercise. On the opposite end of the spectrum, just because a woman is thin doesn’t mean she definitely exercises.
“I’ve never been with a ‘plus-size/bigger/curvy’ woman before.”
Well, I’ve never been with such a stupid person and I’m not looking to start, sir. This is not some sort of cute compliment, it just makes it seem like you’re dating me purely because you want to dabble in something “weird” or “abnormal” which is telling me that my body is weird or abnormal and I’ve never heard a less sexy thing to tell someone.
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