It's time to talk about fat people in the dating world.
At the beginning of my career as a matchmaker, I was naive to the judgement society has for fatness in the dating world. If you're like me, hearing that word 'fat' uttered so plainly may make you cringe. Fortunately, my amazing, queer event consultant, Harley Pye, explains the power of taking back the word fat.
Harley explains, "It makes a lot of people uncomfortable but in my experience, taking back the word queer for myself and taking back the word fat for myself has had the same impact on my life of empowerment. The gamification of dating has been a whirlwind, in terms of trying to figure out how to build meaningful connections with someone on the other end of your phone. Who wants to make sure it is worth it to meet you in person before emotionally investing in you. Me being a queer lady, and then on top of that being a fat lady and what that means and how I move about space within dating in Halifax."
During this conversation, Harley and I went into depth on this topic. There are some amazing men and women out there that have felt less because of their weight in the dating world. I want to convey the most important thing we can do is talk about it so we can work through it. I myself am a curvy woman. I have never been thin, and several times in my life I have been fat. I’ve been fortunate enough to experience most of my dating before dating apps. I had the opportunity to walk right up to someone I was attracted to, confidently hold eye contact, and spin my web of attraction. This worked almost every time (book in a dating coaching session, if you want to learn how to spin your own web). www.jematchmaking.com/services
Five years ago came the dating app craze, now almost everyone is on an app, and few are interacting in person. I have had men and women come into my office, having what I call "Pretty Face Syndrome." They have sifted through all of the pretty faces and pretty bodies on their phone, and they are coming to me in hopes of having a new pool of people for them to look through. Now you can swipe and swipe and swipe, without ever putting a personality or creating human connection to the person they see on their phone. The first thing I do with these people is to put them on a dating app diet, but that is a topic for another blog.
At SMU, Harley wrote an essay called “Queerness at Large, How Fatness Queers the Feminine Body,” and it has affected her life forever.
Harley states, “There's one quote from it that I think will resonate with me for a very long time. There are fat admirers, or people who have fat preferences, which is completely and totally fine. This particular individual told their brother that he had a fat preference, and the brother said "Well I'd rather you just date men!" So the intertwined homophobia and fatphobia that comes along with that is inseparable. I think that changed my view on dating, because it was like, Holy guacamole! The amount people hate others for their physical appearance is so crazy. And it's not right, period. It's not right. That has very much impacted my view on dating culture.”
To add, I think we can not use dating apps as our only tool for dating. It is paramount to compliment dating apps with other forms of dating, with the goal to rise above the masses in the gamification of dating. We need more in-person, dating events, saying yes to outings with friends, and developing the skills to strike up conversations while living our lives. Regardless of if you are the person being judged, in which dating apps can only throw you into more social solitude with less confidence, or the person judging, where you have lost the ability to empathize with other humans who like you are just looking for love. The remedy for keeping our humanity and practicing empathy is to push ourselves out of our comfort zones and continue to interact in person. Not only is it a great way to meet new people, it is also a great way to develop interpersonal skills. You can absolutely meet people online, but we still need to do well on a date, be personable, funny, interesting and attractive. Who knows, you may see beauty in someone you never expected.