[TW: Fat shaming, fat objectification, description of rape culture]
Look, I think it sucks that we live in a society that thinks fat is unattractive and unacceptable, that automatically equates fat with unhealthy, and that puts fat people down for their size, not only because I hate to see you not liking your bodies (that’s only directed at fat people who actually dislike their bodies), but because it made me feel weird for being attracted to bigger guys. It took me a long time to realize that it was okay that bellies, not abs or flat stomachs, were what got me going. Once I did, though, I thought things would be smooth sailing from there. I thought the big guys that I took a liking to would be okay with me liking them physically as much as I like them mentally and emotionally, or even find it to be a nice change of pace.
This image of the world started to take a beating when I saw this post:
Anonymous asked: Not really a submission, but the worst feeling in the world is when you start to get comfortable with someone romantically only to find out that they’re a “chubby chaser”…
To the credit of the admin of that blog, she did an absolutely marvelous job responding to this question. But things didn’t improve when I saw a post recently (that I haven’t been able to find while writing this post) that was meant to give some hope to fat people, saying, one day you won’t have people pretending to be concerned about your health when they only care about your size, that one day your size won’t determine your worth as a person in this society, that one day you’ll be found attractive by more people than just chasers who fetishize your flab…
We need to talk, fat community.
Now, I’m not going to deny the existence of the bad apples that have spoiled the bunch. Just as there are people who objectify the bodies of skinny and muscular people and ignore the person who occupies that body, there are people who objectify fat people, a problem probably made worse by society’s idea that fat people should be grateful if someone would like to have sex with them, and that they should accept that sex with no regard for personal compatibility or even consent, because when are they going to have this opportunity again? I imagine it’s kind of like how rape culture creates the mentality in men that if they want sex, they should be able to have sex, with no regard for the other person’s thoughts on the matter. I’d imagine that the mentality of “be grateful when someone wants to have sex with you” creates a mentality in chasers that if they want to have sex with a fat person, they should be able to.
I don’t have to imagine the effect that feederism adds to the equation, because (this is something I never thought I’d admit in a public venue, but fuck it) I’m into feederism myself. Feederism, for the uninitiated, is being aroused by weight gain. For someone with a fetish like that, it’s easy to get caught up in their one’s desires to see someone grow and forget that there’s a person wearing that flab, and that that person’s feelings on the matter need to be taken into account. I’ve seen some downright appalling comments on feederism videos, comments that clearly show the person making them has forgotten there’s a person there being filmed. I always try to be more humanizing in my comments, and I think I do a good job; it’s the least I can do.
So yes, these bad apples exist. But (and I’m only talking to the people who actually do this), why do you have to lump all of us who think you are attractive in with these bad apples?
Is it because you subconsciously don’t want to accept that someone thinks you are attractive the way you are? I know internalized size-hatred is a big problem in the fat community (I suffer from it myself, and I’m decidedly average sized). I know everyone’s journey is individual, so I can’t tell you to just “get over it”, but please, don’t invalidate our feelings just because they don’t make sense to you. We think you’re banging, appealing, beautiful, handsome, and downright hot; please don’t deny that we have these thoughts, even if you disagree with them.
Of course, I suspect the main reason this chaser-phobia exists in the fat community is because of the aforementioned bad apples. Let’s tackle this subject.
It seems there are fat people who think that if someone finds them attractive, they must be some kind of fetishist who only wants to get with them because they are big, and that this supposed fetishist couldn’t possibly like the fat person as a person as well, just as a body. Thanks, fat community; thank for completely invalidating my desire for a loving relationship with a man of bigger size.
Let me tell you a story. I lost my virginity to an amazing man this weekend (don’t worry, this won’t go into TMI territory). He’s one of the most perseverant human beings I know, and I have so much respect for him for that reason. He’s done more to bring me out of my shell than anyone else I know, and that’s something I’m extremely grateful for. He has expanded my musical tastes immensely both by showing me new songs and teaching me how to find new songs on my own. He’s funny, considerate, and on-the-whole, amazing. He shares similar feelings about me, for different reasons, but the important thing is that level of respect is mutual.
We got really close in the months after we met, sharing some of our darkest secrets, and we eventually decided mutually to bring our friendship to that next level. As a lover, he was the best I could ask for. He was considerate, always asking me if I’m okay with something before he did it, suggesting things but never pressuring, caring about my pleasure just as much as his own. When I was with him, I felt completely fine about speaking up about what felt good and what I wasn’t comfortable with, and I think that level of comfort is very important in a sexual partner, especially your first one (hell, I’d say it’s vital). I’m really grateful that I was able to lose my virginity to someone like him.
He also happens to be significantly heavier than me. My guess (he’s never told me the exact number) would be that he’s around 300 pounds. This whole thing started when we admitted to each other on Facebook that we found each other attractive, then a year and a half later, this happened.
How can you call me a fetishist? How can you say that my admiration for this man, that my reason for having sex with him, was purely physical? You might be rushing to say you weren’t talking about me when you called all chasers fetishists, but save your keystrokes. When you make blanket statements about a community, you include everyone in that community in your description. You can’t rush to say, “But I wasn’t talking about you!” and expect everything to be hunky dory, because unless you qualify your original statement to not include me and those like me, your intentions have already been made clear. (And if you’re going to flat-out deny what I’ve written and call me a fetishist in hiding or in denial, you can kindly go swallow on a brick. Whole.) We share an extremely special friendship, one of mutual-respect and closeness, and that’s why I trusted him enough to sleep with him. Thanks for completely invalidating that.
So now that I’ve made this personal, let me reel it in a bit and say something more general to the chaser-phobes who think we’re all fetishists: most of us aren’t. We’re just people with preferences, people who are attracted to certain bodies more than others, and that describes most of the population on this planet. What makes our preference so much more objectionable?
Look, there are people out there who objectify (a more encompassing word than fetishize) all kinds of bodies, and there are also people out there who fall in love with people who have those same bodies. You’re no exception. Not everyone who likes bigger people just wants their flab; some of us (me included) want to love you just as much as we love your body (or more!). Please give us that chance.
Let me leave you with this quote from Fat Acceptance Frenchie, in case you didn’t read the post I linked to above: “Nobody deserves to be sexualized if they don’t want to be but chubby chasers aren’t a bad thing. I used to think just like that, I used to want someone who didn’t necessarily like fat girls because it meant that I was appealing beyond being a fat girl even though there is nothing wrong with being a fat girl. It’s just another measure of self hate. Chubby chasers can be problematic when they are still “in the closet.” They hide their lovers for fear of being discovered and that’s painful especially for the person they are involved with who is being hidden because of their size. Open and out chubby chasers are awesome though! I wish there were more of them out in the open!” (final emphasis is my own)