About a week ago I was on the phone with Sugar Muffin and she was kind enough to conduct a Google experiment for me so that I didn’t alert the filters at work and get fired. I wanted to know what would come up if you Googled sexy as apposed to fat and sexy. I was pretty sure that I knew the answer but Sugar Muffin was kind enough to indulge me (incidentally, I wonder what you get if you Google Sugar Muffin). There was really nothing noteworthy in the results for sexy, but the results for fat and sexy retrieved a whole host of fetish sites.
I’ve been wondering for quite a while, can fat girls be sexy?
Let’s take a moment to define fat; it’s such a subjective term. I’m not talking about someone who is just a little larger, I mean someone with an unhealthy body fat percentage. Someone my size.
Sexy is also such a subjective term that it’s hard to pin down what does and doesn’t qualify. It’s not only a personal measurement but a cultural one. In days of yore, the fatter a woman the more attractive she was. In parts of the world today fat is venerated. The question, though, that I am posing is: in our culture and our time can fat also be sexy?
This is a question I’ve wondered about both on a personal level and on a societal level. When I’m out with people or dancing at a club does anyone think that I am sexy? What about beautiful, pretty, or desirable? It isn’t just about me, though. Individual opinions always have a larger societal effect and vice versa.
If society says that fat girls are sexy than individuals will think that I am too. But does our society say that? The size acceptance movement does. Do I believe it? No. I realize that in the weight loss blog community this is not a popular opinion and that many of you will disagree with me. Good, that creates a healthy conversation.
I am most definitely in favor of loving your body, embracing your flaws, and not being ashamed of yourself but I don’t think that it’s healthy to pretend that unhealthy is sexy. In fact, it seems just as bad as some of the historic ideals of beauty.
Think of the iconic corset clad Victorian woman, or the pale, consumptive, woman of the romance period, or of the tan anorexic of our current time. These are just as poor as a model for sexy as obese is.
I worry that such a movement, rather than lending support for a healthy body image, will lend itself to an acceptance of an unhealthy lifestyle instead. Then again, maybe it’s just another step in moving toward a healthy view of sexy.
What do you think?
Just after posing the question on Twitter (you can follow me @KendraForrest) I received a few responses that I think are noteworthy. @ZenLizzie said, “I don’t think fat or lack of fat is what makes people sexy. So it CAN be, but fat as an element doesn’t make people sexy.” Good point. There is certainly an internal something that makes people sexy. Confidence, vivaciousness, quirkiness, zest, inner strength, and so many more traits also contribute to how sexy a person is.
After a few weeks of thinking through what I wanted to say in this post it’s still come out is jumbled as my thoughts on the subject. Organized or not, I’d be quite interested to hear what others are thinking.