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Two Sure-Fire Invisibility Shields - Weight and Age

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Old 04-16-2012, 09:02 PM   #1
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Default Two Sure-Fire Invisibility Shields - Weight and Age

I became overweight in my mid 30s. Before I became overweight I received attention from men all the time. I was married, always wore my wedding band, and not looking for attention, but still I received my fair share of flirting, compliments, men waiting to hold the door for me, making lingering eye contact (or his eyes lingering lower!). Nothing over the top, because I didn't engage in banter or invite flirting, but just the little every day interactions that I took for granted.

How do I know those interactions weren't all in my head? Because when I became obese, no man ever looked my way. I could be walking right behind a man as he went through a door to a shop and he would let it slam in my face before he would stop his forward progress and hold the door open for me. If a man was walking behind me as I approached a door, instead of him rushing forward a bit so that he could take the door from me and hold it open even if I was already partially through, he would make no effort and I might even end up holding the door for him! Men no longer met my eyes or anything else - mainly looked at a spot beyond me or at the ground when speaking. Compliments were a thing of the past, of course. In short, I became invisible. I became invisible to women too (in terms of approaching me to be friends) but that's a whole different subject.

Anyway, I am not at my goal weight, but I have lost enough weight to alter my appearance and no longer look obese. While I have received many compliments from family and friends, I still remain invisible to men. I have read many posts on here where women discuss keeping on weight as a protection from attention from men. Some women say that any time they get to a normal weight, all the attention they receive makes them want to put the weight back on again as a security blanket. I have noticed that I am still invisible to men.

I am writing this as an observation, not because I am seeking out men - I am married and my husband gives me plenty of attention . It's just that the last time I was at this weight (around age 34), I was flirted with (what I now recognize as flirting or extra consideration), and now at 42 at the same weight I am still as invisible to men as when I was obese. I think the answer is that I am older. So, even if I get to the same weights as I was in my teens or 20s or early 30s, I look like an older woman and will never receive the same kind of attention from men again.

Weight and Age - the ultimate invisibility shields!
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Old 04-16-2012, 09:05 PM   #2
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are you sure it's not your self-image that has thrown up the shield of invisibility?

i'm 45yrs old and 100lbs overweight - i was thin when i got pregnant with my first daughter, not all that thin when i got pregnant with my second, and REALLY not thin with my third.

i was due for my regular nose job and lip alignment nearly ten years ago and totally chickened out - hurts WAY too damn much. so now my nose is bulbous and sliding off to one side and the scarred side of my upper lip is visibly collapsed.

and yet, i still get flirted at quite a lot.


i will point out one thing: the social cues for big people are not the same as the social cues for thin. if you were thin and then got big but were still using the social cues of a thin person, that's going to cause a problem and vice versa.

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Old 04-16-2012, 09:10 PM   #3
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i will point out one thing: the social cues for big people are not the same as the social cues for thin. if you were thin and then got big but were still using the social cues of a thin person, that's going to cause a problem and vice versa.
I am intrigued! Can you tell me more about the differences in social cues between big and small people?
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Old 04-16-2012, 09:13 PM   #4
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if i, when i'm big, hold a guy's gaze, smile, and start chit-chatting, we'll have a lovely conversation. his girlfriend more than likely will join in and we'll all laugh a lot. if he's single, he'll offer his hand and say "by the way, i'm james - it's been really nice to meet you".

if i, when i'm thin, hold a guy's gaze, smile, and start chit-chatting, within about 10min of glaring daggers at me, his gf will remind him of that THING they have to go to.

right now.

move it.

if he's single, he'll ask for my phone number and get quite pushy with the drinks invitation, often to the point of obnoxious.


that's bec "everybody knows" fat girls are jolly, pleasant, and nice ppl to talk to while skinny girls are *****es who are always "looking for it".



if i, as a big person, go for a job interview involving frontline work such as hostess, cashier, etc, i won't get the job - "everybody knows" fat ppl are unhealthy, unfit, and a poor company image.

if i, as a thin person, go for a job interview involving tech support or customer service, i won't get the job - "Everybody knows" that skinny girls are dumb and just want to talk about fashion and makeup.



ppl who were mostly skinny all their life grew up knowing how to counter and deflect and carry a situation - flirt, winsome smile, overt use of body language. ppl who were mostly big all their life grew up knowing different skills to do the same - sense of humour, charm, force of personality (bec everybody carefully does not look at the body so your body language goes unheard).


granted, those are sweeping generalizations but there is one thing true for all ppl: if you don't like yourself, you're totally sunk.

Last edited by threenorns : 04-16-2012 at 09:20 PM.
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Old 04-16-2012, 09:17 PM   #5
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if i, when i'm big, hold a guy's gaze, smile, and start chit-chatting, we'll have a lovely conversation. his girlfriend more than likely will join in and we'll all laugh a lot. if he's single, he'll offer his hand and say "by the way, i'm james - it's been really nice to meet you".

if i, when i'm thin, hold a guy's gaze, smile, and start chit-chatting, within about 10min of glaring daggers at me, his gf will remind him of that THING they have to go to.

right now.

move it.

if he's single, he'll ask for my phone number and get quite pushy with the drinks invitation, often to the point of obnoxious.
LOL! Nice descriptions! However, my point is, that regardless of being thin or thinish, at my age, the guy's girlfriend is always going to join in the conversation and not feel threatened. At least, that's what I am finding so far. It just makes me feel old. Of course, your point about my self confidence is also spot-on too.
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:02 PM   #6
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Default re:

YES! I thought I was losing my mind or imagining this.

People would run into me if I didn't move for them. DO THEY NOT SEE ME?! I'M HUGE HOW COULD YOU MISS ME? In the grocery store as I push my cart, I practically have to yell, "EXCUSE ME" to get through. I remember checking out one day and helping pack the groceries. I tried to go back to the credit card thing to pay and the next guy in line was already there and WOULD NOT MOVE. It was unreal.

Maybe it's society becoming more rude, maybe it's weight, age (also 42) - I don't know - but it's really freaking annoying.

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Old 04-16-2012, 10:08 PM   #7
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actually, no - it's society not knowing how to handle someone who is overweight so they look past them rather than risk offending.

same treatment is given to extremely young-looking pregnant women or girls; amputees; ppl with things like MS; and facial deformities.

i'm usually good (considering), but the guy in Home Hardware who'd had his face burned off in Afghanistan was beyond my ability to dissemble so i did the same thing - carefully didn't look at him rather than risk him thinking i was rubbernecking. thank gods for 5yr olds: saari popped right out with "what happened to your face?" - not rudely, just asking - and he just answered her, very kindly and grandfatherly - you could see the relief all up and down the check-out line bec we ALL wanted to know but didn't know how to ask.




i grew up with extreme social anxiety and paranoia - i was bullied badly at school so i would skuttle through the streets trying to avoid notice from anybody. time came when i moved out on my own to a whole new city where nobody knew me and my therapist gave me an exercise: every day, i was to smile at 10 strangers. that's it.

try it.

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Old 04-16-2012, 10:42 PM   #8
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I don't think age is a for sure shield. Weight usually is, but not always. I think it has the most to do with how people project themselves. A thinner woman is more likely to feel good in here skin than a very overweight woman.

But, at 42 I get a lot of second takes from men. More eye contact. More smiles.

My mother in law who is 76 years old STILL gets preferential treatment at the auto mechanics, the jewelers - anywhere men work - young or old. Yes, even at her age she knows how to flatter men and how to make them swoon or something.... And it's funny because otherwise she's very socially awkward, but man is she a flirt.
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Old 04-17-2012, 12:54 AM   #9
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Interesting discussion. I think the MOST important factor is confidence and personability. If I'm friendly with strangers (grocery checker or guy in a bar) I will get more attention. It's been that way since I was a kid, as I've moved between 140 and 180 pounds. I'm a happy, confident, awesome person. I sing and dance in public. I flirt with everyone. I am rocking out in my own world and am often kind enough to let you in for a few minutes. I will be curious to see if I get less attention in another 20 or 40 years. I doubt it.
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Old 04-17-2012, 01:16 AM   #10
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let's see, now - while i was zumba-ing down the highway (seriously - i'll post about that), i had a thought:

there is nothing "thin" "skinny" or "invisible" about any of these women:


(notice her extreme flexion yet still you can barely just see ribs and she's got a belly pooch - she's not thin but man, is she fit!)


(that's a corset giving her that unreal hourglass)


(jennifer lopez)


(beyoncé)

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Old 04-17-2012, 01:19 AM   #11
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and then we have the flip side:



(i *love* angelina jolie!)

but can you imagine what she'd look like if she ended up overweight?



(the horror! THE HORROR!)

(please be assured that it's not the overweight that would be the root of the problem - the root of the problem is that she looks way too much like daddy and dayum, he one ugly fella!)

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Old 04-17-2012, 07:12 AM   #12
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I find that I'm generally invisible, but I think a lot of that has to do with extreme social awkwardness. I'm fine with other women, but the minute I feel a guy is trying to chat me up (even if he's just being nice), I literally do not know how to handle the situation. I will do anything to get away as fast as I can to avoid the interaction. Terrible, I know.
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