Why Losing Weight to Find Love Is Feminist
A recent Washington Post and Kaiser Family Foundation study showed that black women are happy despite being statistically heavier than other women, but Crunk Feminist Collective writer Brittney Cooper declares that if she wants to date, maybe it's time for a change in her waistline.
I know there is this myth in Black America that brothers like their sisters thick, thick like a luscious milkshake, that "brings all the boys to the yard," as it were. But what I call thick and what the average brother calls thick is not the same thing. I'm (pre-weight-loss) Mo'Nique thick. (Sister looks fabulous, by the way.) Not quite Gabourey Sidibe thick. But thick nonetheless. And when I was doing the online dating thing (I've tried it twice, and I'm taking a break) I saw one brother that specifically said, "I'm not into the Mo'Nique thing, ladies." Translation: No fat girls need apply.
What I'm getting at is something much more fundamental. Because desire is socially constructed (no matter how much folks justify their limited dating choices based on 'natural preference'), the fact that we live in a fat-hating culture greatly affects who we're attracted to, and what we find attractive. The idea that we're only attractive within a range of sizes is absurd. And narrow. And it is absolutely a function of patriarchy. And yet, I live daily with those realities.
Read Brittney Cooper's entire op-ed at Crunk Feminist Collective.