One of striking contradictions of contemporary culture is the representation of the reed-thin, almost anorexic female body as the most desirable female figure whereas in real life, overweight women are all too common. If you are caught bang at the center of this perplexing situation – being overweight and looking for love – here are a few things to keep in mind.
Get the facts
So pervasive is the popular representation of skinny woman as being the most coveted female form, that even women who have fuller figures but are essentially healthy end up thinking of themselves as overweight. So the first thing to do is to find out whether you actually fall into this category. Being overweight is defined as having a body mass index between 25 and 29.9 while obesity involves a BMI of more than 30. Find out your own BMI and then see where you stand; if you cannot bring yourself to do it, enlist the help of a trusted friend or family member. Once you know for sure the reality of your own body type, you can adjust your dating strategies accordingly.
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Build a positive body image
One of the first thing you need to do is to build a positive body image. Understand that unless you love yourself first, no one else is going to do it. In order to remove the obsessive focus on your body and appearance, look for talents and qualities that you are enriched with. This could be an expertise in cooking and baking, a powerful musical voice, a green thumb, a knack for fixing things or a fantastic way with kids. Highlight such positive traits and achievements in your life and tell yourself that you are blessed to be born with such gifts. At the same time, keep in mind that popular images of anorexic models and actresses hold up artificial standards of perfectionism with the main intention of driving commerce in the fashion, cosmetics and lifestyle sectors. In fact the emergence of the reed-thin figure as the ideal woman’s body is a relatively recent phenomenon and emerged in the 1990s when the thin emaciated body made its first appearance on the ramps of the western fashion world and quickly spread to Hollywood and other forms of popular media. If you are still having doubts about your body image consider the fact even Marilyn Monroe - who is still voted as among the sexiest women the world has seen - would have found it difficult to please today’s trend setters since she was a voluptuous size fourteen.
Lots of men around
Even if you are factually overweight, there is no reason to feel that you are never going to get a date. In fact if numbers are anything to go by, you have more than enough company. According to statistics provided by the weight-control information network1 in association with the US Department of Health and Human Services as well as the National Institutes of Health, over two thirds of adults in United States are overweight and as many as one-third of them are clinically obese. Even though women make up the majority of the numbers suffering from obesity at 35.5% with men at a slightly lower percentage of 32.2%, the number of guys who are overweight is far higher than overweight women. According to the same resource 64.1 percent of adult women are overweight or obese in the US whereas the corresponding percentage for men is far higher at 72.3%. This fact demolishes any justification for singling out the female body as the site for unrealistic expectations when in reality it is men who have higher numbers of overweight bodies. Perhaps because of this too, your average date may not too particular about his partner’s figure when he may be far from having washboard abs himself.
Know where to look
Despite the reality of increasing number of overweight people in society and the artificiality of ideal body images, it is true that cultural norms are emphatically skewed against overweight singles. Female singles armed with more than a few extra pounds not only find it difficult to meet potential dates, they are often made the butt of jokes and ridicule in popular culture like commercials and sitcoms. Thus is you are overweight and looking for love, it makes far more sense to be amidst people who are ready to look beyond appearances. And one of the best ways of doing this is to go online. Today there are a large number of ‘large-size’ dating sites which cater to the relationship needs of BBW or big beautiful women as well as BHM or big handsome men. In fact as you reach out more to singles out there, you will realize that there are many guys willing to go out with you who are not necessarily plus-sized themselves. Apart from this, look out of speed dating events or special nights at bars and pubs which specifically host plus-sized singles since at such events you have higher chances of meeting someone who likes the way you are.
Take care of your health
While there is no need to try and conform to the artificial ideal of thin, desirable woman, consider the fact that being overweight could make you vulnerable to health problems. It would be in your interest to join a fitness program and eat a nutritious diet, not only to boost your self-esteem and feel good about your body but also to lower your body fat content and improve your health. You don't have to start running marathons, but working out with a group of women on a regular basis can be a great way to drop a few pounds, to tone your muscles and to build up your confidence on the dating scene. For the same reason, it would make sense to plan dates carefully and not organize it around food or culinary experiences. All-you-can- eat buffets and chocolate-tasting classes may make satisfying date ideas for foodies, but if you are struggling to follow a diet plan, it may be better to keep off these.
Finally avoid obsessing about your weight in your personal life. If a guy is taking you out, it is because he likes what he sees and wishes to know the person you are and not listen to a litany of your diet battles. Instead when going out on a date, keep the focus on enjoying the evening, engaging in common interests and in general having fun.