Discrimination of fat admiration
When people in the plus-size community mention discrimination one of the images that comes to mind is a woman's curves being made fun of, or it being the reason why she isn't treated in society in the same manner as thinner women. But one underacknowledged yet extremely important reason why womanly curves are frowned upon as well is because the men who admire those women don't do so openly; this is called ‘being in the (fat) closet’, and a person who is in the closet is generally called a ‘closet fat admirer’. Now this article is not as much about closet fat admirers as it is about one of the reasons why some men decide to stay in the closet.
For a long time I blamed the media and society for the discrimination of fat women, and to a large degree womanly curves in general. But after I began posting videos on YouTube I quickly found out that even if you are open about your admiration for the very women you speak favorably of - and whom you'd think they'd at least appreciate that openness - some of those women can turn against you just like the media and society do. I am talking about a group of women who seem to think that when men are open about their admiration that they expect some kind of praise from those women for it, and that the women they openly admire should be thankful to them for doing so. While it may be true for some men, it doesn't mean that each and every man who openly admires women of size expects to receive praise and thankfulness. -- Generally speaking men who expect praise and thankfulness are low self-esteemed individuals who instead of romancing a woman with charm use manipulation to attempt to attract women, as in “You should feel lucky to even get a man like me.”. -- When I first was accused of being such a man who has some kind of expectancy of gratitude I was completely taken by surprise. I never wanted praise, I never wanted women to thank me. For me this has always been a natural progression, to be and stay open about what type of women I found and find attractive (which often lean towards the more curvacious kind). However, for this group of women it doesn't end with simply reprimanding men on their openness.
In February of 2017 I was pointed by a friend to an upcoming BBW party here in the Netherlands. I was unfamiliar with the organizer of the event, so I took it upon myself to contact her and subsequently exchanged a few messages. At one point in the conversation I made some remarks about my dismay with many of the men at past Dutch BBW parties being reserved, that they never seem to be open about their admiration of larger women. I was then told that at this party the men surely wouldn't be interested in talking about their admiration either, because supposedly the focus of the party wasn't admiration of larger women. I was surprised to read this, because the party was advertised as a venue where you can be “large and beautiful”, so I figured that expressing admiration and talking about it with other men wouldn't be shunned either. So I asked why those men supposedly wouldn't be interested in having such conversations, and the response I got was one that is very typical in this community. I was told that this wasn't a “fetish party”, and that it was a party “for and by people who do not have to be admired, but just want to and can be themselves, with and without extra curves.”, and “With the explicit intention to be able to enjoy the evening without judgment.”, and that there are “plenty of men who don't ‘admire’ other women but just their own spouse.”, and “...men who are just there to enjoy a nice evening.”. To be honest, I wasn't surprised by this response. You see, this group of women translate ‘admiration’ into ‘fetish’. Now mind you, I didn't say anything about them having to be admired. Fair enough, it may have been a party where the intent was to avoid the whole admiration thing, and just for big people and their loved ones and friends to feel safe, away from the usual scrutiny of big people by onlookers, but then why advertise it as an event wherein being beautiful at your size is great? I replied that I was disappointed in her response, particularly with regards to her “fetish party” remark, and that at this point I was ready to leave the conversation. However after I voiced my dismay and basically left the conversation a co-organizer took it over and after more unsettling exchanges it ended in a flame war.
Fortunately this sort of thinking is sporadic in the plus-size community, but as infrequent as it rears its ugly head, those men who want to be open about their preference for plus-size women and by sheer bad luck run into women like this, will not be welcomed but rather given a cold shower instead. In the bigger picture of things, when women exhibit this kind of behavior to other men I can fully understand why the next time they think about complimenting a woman they admire they will think twice about doing so. This is what I call ‘discrimination of fat admiration’, and it is done not just by those whom we expect it from (the media and society), but by the very women we admire! And this is a BIG problem, because if it's one thing that women of size in general do not need, is more men who are not openly admiring them, or, in other words, subtract from the pool of men who are openly admiring them. You see, the thing that happens is that when men stop being open that acts as a catalyst which facilitates more discrimination.
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. ~ Edmund Burke
Do you think that if enough of the male population would be open about their preference for larger women there would be such a vast stigma on them as there is today? I can guarantee you there wouldn't.
In a later message the co-organizer let me know that there shouldn't have to be the kind of attention that I facilitate with my work on YouTube and on this website. I argued with her that yes, in a perfect world where everyone would accept one another that wouldn't have to be the case. -- But this world isn't perfect, and many women and men have praised and thanked me, even though I have never wanted praise or thankfullness. Their letters showed me that there is a need for this kind of vindication. -- In elaborating my response to her I drew a parallel with ‘Doctors without borders’, and said that in a perfect world there wouldn't be any wars, but that there are. I then asked her if she likewise would expect the people working for said organization to cease their work as well, because there shouldn't be war in the first place. The point I was trying to get across to her is that the world is the way it is; there is discrimination, and there is war, and there are people who try to do good in this world and (attempt to) fix at least some of the mess in it. I argued that it's not helpful to tell those individuals that they shouldn't expect praise and thankfulness (because most of us don't anyway), and that what they preach is a fetish, and that when you are the one they admire and say those things, you are hurting them as well as their cause, the plus-size community and the world as a whole.
Perhaps you may find that the concerns raised in this article are a bit far-fetched, or exaggerated, but for someone who has been part of this community and researched the mechanics of discrimination, this is a very real issue, and a concern. For those of you women who read this and have - or in the future may - express your displeasure for men who are openly admiring you, please think twice about it because you're directly responsible (not indirectly) for your own acceptance in society, and of other women like you.
Last updated: February 10, 2017