Flirty, Curvy and Thriving?
By Alexa Moreno
Let’s all be honest: Dating is hard. Gaining the courage to pursue someone you’re interested in is nerve-racking. If you think dating is easy, then either you’re lying or you have now gained a new enemy: me. Dating is hard for everyone, but trying to find someone to connect with when you are plus-sized can be even harder. The invention of apps like Tinder and Hinge was supposed to make it easier, but all they’ve done is add another layer of stress, especially for those who are plus-size.
On top of trying to decide the regular things (i.e. where are we going, when are we meeting up, will we have sex, what should I wear), there are a bunch of extra questions that come to mind when you are plus-sized. Will he find me attractive? Is this just a fetish thing or is it real interest? Does he think I’ll put out just because I’m bigger? Should I try and hide my curves? Since matches are based primarily on photos, how one looks plays a huge factor when using dating apps. When society constantly says that thin is in, being plus-sized starts to feel like a curse. As someone who is plus-sized and dating, I am constantly battling these feelings of insecurity, but it has always made me wonder how other plus-sized women feel. So, I caught up with a few of the gorgeous plus-sized women I know to get their perspective on dating while plus-sized.
For Blondie Balderas, being plus-sized made her feel insecure while she was using dating apps. “I feel like being plus-sized did [affect me] because most guys on there wanted to just hook up with hot girls so it would be weird to find a guy who really wants to get to know you,” said Balderas. “Guys want us to look a certain way and if you don’t look like that you get ignored.”
Briella D. also experienced similar feelings when it came to being on apps, especially when it came to the photos. “I would debate with myself about what kinds of photos to post. I didn’t want to look smaller and have to disclaim, “Hey, I’m actually huge,” but I also wasn’t comfortable posting full body photos on those apps,” said Briella.
When you are plus-sized and on dating apps, there is this recurring thought that somehow being plus-sized means that you need to be more; you need to be more girly, more attractive, more intelligent, more sexual. If you are not “better” than the skinnier girls on the app, then you’ll be ignored.
Although she is confident in her body, Kelly Figueroa completely understands this sentiment. “I feel like being plus-sized [means] you have to be 100 times more stylish, more funny, more cool, more pretty, just more everything than our skinny counterparts to even get an ounce of the same type of attention,” said Figueroa.
While some may argue that these feelings are derived from the person’s insecurities, men on dating apps constantly support this narrative. Figueroa, as well as many other plus-sized women, have experienced the hurtful comments men send on these apps.
“As a plus-sized woman, it’s hard. Most guys hit you up because they label you as thick or say something along those lines,” said Figueroa. “When I reject their advances, they always resort to insults about my weight.”
In order to protect their ego, these types of men feel the need to “regain” their power by making plus-sized women feel lower. The foundation for these types of comments is the harmful belief that plus-sized women shouldn’t have standards because being fat means you should just lap up any attention that comes your way.
All these things make it difficult for those who are bigger and dating. However, according to Figueroa, that shouldn’t stop people from trying and being confident in themselves. “We deal with a lot of shit regarding how we look, but I feel like we have to be able to let shit go and realize that it is other people’s problem if they have an issue with your weight,” said Figueroa.
At the end of the day, dating is hard, and being plus-sized only makes it harder. But, the truth is, there will always be people who are going to think that one’s size defines their worth. There will always be those horrible people who are going to think plus-sized women are easy or ugly or unattractive. The biggest thing that plus-sized women need to remember is that the only person’s opinion who matters is their own. Be confident in your body and don’t worry what others will day. The constant stigmatization and judgment by society make it hard, but it's essential not just for dating, but for life. Whether on dating apps or not, remember that the greatest love of all is the love you have for yourself.