Body Image and Issues after Weight Loss Including discussions about excess skin and reconstructive surgery

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Old 04-23-2011, 04:42 AM   #1  
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Default losing weight and resenting the men who find you attractive


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Old 04-23-2011, 08:03 AM   #2  
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Imagine if he gave that advice to a man. I don't think he would. Unfortunately women are judged more by their looks and men more by their accomplishments in my experience and opinion. It's a generalization, but I do believe it holds up. They key is to develop ways to deal with unwanted male attention like street harassment before it really gets you down. If you are prepared for someone's behavior and have worked out a plan to deal with it, it's much easier in my opinion.
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Old 04-23-2011, 08:24 AM   #3  
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Actually, I see his point pretty well, though I also see hers. The graffiti/misspelled sign thing is a little rude, yeah, but he's not wrong that there's a bit of a double standard implicit in Sandra's question.

It IS easy to think, "Hmph, he wouldn't have looked twice at me X pounds ago!" But is he wrong when he points out that women judge as well? I admit it--I found that looks attracted me to some guys and not to others, and that those whom I found attractive, I was more willing to date.

Can any of us truly say otherwise? Sure, I have always had a broad idea of what I call attractive (I've dated guys who varied in weight from 125 pounds to 350 pounds and found both good-looking), but I did still have to find them attractive in the first place. I didn't find some guy who did nothing for me and say to myself, "I'll bet he lives a rich inner life--I'll chat him up!" Nope. Never happened. And I'd bet it's never happened to most of us that way, either.

We're all a little shallow when it comes to appearances, even if our tastes are broader than or different from others.

If I were to answer Sandra, I'd give a similar answer, although I wouldn't put her previous appearance on par with a broken-down storefront. "Fat" and "attractive" aren't opposites, and for many people they're downright synonymous. But I would point out that she can't spend her life resenting others' narrower (in both senses of the word) idea of beauty.

Isn't she being a bit judgmental in deciding that every guy who checks her out wouldn't have given her the time of day when she was sixty pounds heavier? She's already decided to resent them for something they never even did to her! I'm a little surprised that Evan didn't bring her up short on that.

If she's 23 and has never even talked to a guy, she's got a LOT more socializing and dating to do before she even thinks about anything like a serious relationship, though. It makes me wonder if her weight wasn't the only thing going on there, because I was chunky in high school and got fat in college, yet had plenty of guys around to befriend and date.
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Old 04-23-2011, 01:34 PM   #4  
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Originally Posted by JessLess View Post
Imagine if he gave that advice to a man. I don't think he would. Unfortunately women are judged more by their looks and men more by their accomplishments in my experience and opinion. It's a generalization, but I do believe it holds up.
Disagree. He would give the exact same advice to a man. Like it or not most women make immediate judgements about men based on how they carry themselves and look.

Yes - generally speaking men are judged by a different standard but when it comes to initial attraction confidence and looks matter for men just as much as a woman. As a dating coach and specific to the context of this question I'd think he would give the exact same answer.
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Old 04-23-2011, 08:49 PM   #5  
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I asked my husband about this, seeing as he has XY chromosomes and can offer a different viewpoint, and he mentioned something I hadn't even thought of: how did the woman who'd lost 60 pounds carry herself 60 pounds ago? How did she dress? How was her body language? Did she seem approachable or standoffish?

I read down in the comments section a ways and the letter-writer wrote a brief message there. She described asking guys out a couple of times and getting turned down before deciding that she'd just focus on other stuff. I can understand her making that decision, but...well, once you've decided you're off the market, don't you tend to behave as though you're off the market? You don't flirt, you don't send out come-hither looks, you might dress more for comfort than for looks.

I think it has to do with her self-perception as with her inexperience. She might still have some resentment stored up toward the guys she asked out who turned her down. I can understand that; I got turned down once in my freshman year of high school, and although the guy was kind about it, it wrecked me for a little while. (In fact, I'm still a little embarrassed if I sit and think about it. )

As much as a part of me feels indignant--"How dare men judge us by our looks?"--another part of me thinks, "Yeah, and why were you so crazy about Mister Turnedmedown in 1983 if it wasn't for his devastatingly handsome face and faint English accent?" Why did I feel a jolt of delicious electricity when I first met my husband? It wasn't because of his deep inner beauty, I can guarantee that. Dude is HOT.

I do agree with you about the comparisons to a run-down storefront. My own storefront may be getting a new coat of paint and a few necessary repairs, but I never thought it looked wretched. I really do dislike the equation of "fat = ugly" that seems so prevalent sometimes, and I think that's what the author did.
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Old 04-24-2011, 09:48 AM   #6  
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Here's the thing. There are definitely more guys who find overweight women unattractive than guys who find them attractive. It sucks. But if we lose weight, we have two options. We can either choose to be resentful and assume that every.single.guy who hits on us is one of the guys who would not have found us before and continue to be unhappy, or we can see if the guy who is paying attention to us is worth our time, like we would have prior to weight loss. If he is a huge jerk who hates fat people and only is attracted to you because you are thin, you'll find out quickly enough anyway.

I think it's one thing if a guy you've known for years suddenly treats you differently or like you are worthwhile. But a guy you meet while out who approaches you? It's not fair to make him guilty for not having spoken to you when you were overweight when he wasn't even given that opportunity in all likelihood. Or maybe he was and the fat was a barrier to him seeing you. Who knows? Who cares? Again, if he's a jerk, you'll find out.

We never think about that there are plenty of WOMEN who don't want to be friends with a fat chick, either. When you meet a new female friend somewhere at a party, do you think about that? Probably not.

So I guess it comes down to that I agree with the sentiment behind what he said, but not the presentation. Likening a fat person to a broken down storefront is jerky.
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Old 04-24-2011, 08:21 PM   #7  
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I am new here. I didn't have a weight problem in high school but for those who did and feel rejected, let me add something. I found out that the girls would call the boys for each other and coax the boys into asking the girls out or to a dance. I used to read those teen romance novels and wonder why guys didn't come up to my locker and ask me out on dates. Never happened without help from a group of friends. I thought it was my braces and understand the resentment you might feel when you suddenly get male attention.

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Old 04-25-2011, 01:39 PM   #8  
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I never had a problem getting a date, no matter what I weighed. It's all about how you carry yourself, your personality, and being open to possibilities. I did have issues in high school, but I was in a very small town with very small minds. Once I moved away and displayed some self confidence, everything turned around. I think that if anyone thinks they can't get a date because of their weight, they are either just insecure or they are too focused on the wrong kind of guy. I wouldn't want to date someone who only liked me for my looks anyway.

I am a bit resentful of the unwanted stares and cat-calls I get now. But as far as relationships go, I've never found weight to matter.
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Old 04-25-2011, 02:06 PM   #9  
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I completely agree with k8yk, I've never had a problem dating at any size and there really are men out there who find women of varying shapes and sizes attractive. I think part of the problem here is conflating what people find attractive with weight loss. The assumption women often have in these conversations is that all men want a woman who looks like Beyonce, and not the average woman. Many men might be attracted to certain kinds of women, but that doesn't mean that's who you have to be to meet someone.

I would also talk to a lot of the women here who found love and got married before they lost weight, just to get that perspective.
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Old 04-27-2011, 02:53 PM   #10  
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A while ago I posted about how I was bitter over the fact that one guy who wouldn’t even talk to me when I was 180+ pounds was now going out of his way to say hello and striking up a conversation. I was all like, “Oh, so NOW it’s ok to talk to me? You are not embarrassed to be seen with me now? I see how it is!”. But it took one response from one awesome member of this board to say, “Hey….did you think that you are exuding more self confidence and you are more approachable now?”. And you know what? She was absolutely right. I was an angry individual who felt bad about herself 24/7. But the more weight I lost, the bigger my smile became. I started to make eye contact with people and randomly say “Hi” to those that walked by.

Recently a guy at my gym came up to me and said, “You look so familiar, where do I know you from?”. (He’s married – it wasn’t a line! LOL) We tried to figure it out but didn’t come up with anything. But as I was leaving he grabbed me and said, “You know what? I recognize you from here. You have lost weight and, if you don’t mind me saying so, you don’t blend into the background anymore”. I took it as a compliment. I am more self confident and more approachable!

Now, as far as guys being attracted to fit vs. fat? Well, I guess I’m a bad person too because I am more attracted to tall vs. short. Why? Because taller men seem to have more self confidence than shorter guys. For right or for wrong, that is my perception. And perhaps there are some men out there that believe heavier women are not confident; at least until we show them otherwise. And yes, there are some guys out there too that are just plain shallow. Just like there are some women who are. In my case, if I met a shorter guy and he had that desired self confidence, I’d absolutely – without a doubt – go head over heels for him!
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Old 04-28-2011, 08:23 PM   #11  
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Originally Posted by Hamoco350 View Post
I would have to disagree with those who say weight doesn't factor into the dating scene. It absolutely has for me. I have zero relationship experience, and I consider myself a pretty open and laid-back person. I don't think my weight has hindered my personality from shining through. It's just been a barrier because most guys my age don't go for fat chicks. Even the heavier guys don't.

Granted, I live in a small town, so that may have something to do with it as well.
I really believed this "guys don't like fat chicks" thing until I moved away from my home town. Now I'm sure it isn't true. I know plenty of guys who will even openly state that they prefer heavier gals. But I know lots of people believe this myth, and sometimes believing makes it true.

I didn't date until I was 17 and out of high school. But I have dated steadily ever since. I had my first long term boyfriend from 19 to 24 years old. I weighed about 275 pounds.

When we broke up was the first time I lost weight. I decided to "get skinny and get revenge" (what a stupid plot that turned out to be, lol!) and I did get skinny. And I dated quite a few different guys, most of whom were *******s in some way or another. I also gained a lot of weight back. By the time I met my current boyfriend, I was 27 and about 250 pounds. My current BF has always told me he didn't care about my weight. He likes all women. He says it's what's inside that counts. His support was what made me able to lose the weight slowly and healthfully this time and he helped me see that my value was not tied to what I weighed. I did gain even more weight the first few years we were together and I got up to 287 pounds.

Now I'm still with him, and I weigh the least I've ever weighed in my life, and he loves me still. Guys aren't all bad. There are plenty of guys out there who see past looks and really do want someone to be their friend, lover, companion, and many things other than a hot body.

I think we actually do men a great disservice when we believe that all they care about is how thin we are. It just isn't true, any more than the idea that women only care about money. Sure, some do, but who wants to have anything to do with those jerks anyway?

Have hope! There are still some good apples out there. You'll find the right person eventually, and it won't be because you're thin enough. It will just happen when the time is right
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Old 04-29-2011, 07:30 AM   #12  
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I think there are a lot of guys out there who would love to find a quality person to date and I don't think most would turn down a quality girl over a few pounds.

A person's weight isn't a gauge of their attractiveness. If a person is well put together, confident, comfortable with themselves, and fun to be around, that is what makes them attractive. A person could be an average weight but be a total drag to be around, not dating material.

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Old 04-29-2011, 02:32 PM   #13  
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4star...I totally agree with you that a person's weight is not a gauge of their attractiveness. I know heavy people that are amazing, sexy and attractive to me, and I know skinny (men and women) that are nasty people. It's attitude and personality that attracts me to men and women, not their weight.

I had an interesting thought yesterday though. As we as women lose weight, we become more attractive physically to men, which brings up the problem of unwanted attention. I wonder if the snottyness of beautiful slim women is a defense mechanism against this attention. What do you think?
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Old 04-29-2011, 03:12 PM   #14  
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I think it has more to do with perception vs reality and people being tired of others liking them (or not) just because of how they look, as if nothing else about them matters.

People tend to assume things about your character just from looking at you because of their own biases. And sometimes those things aren't very nice. So if you're attractive but have a more guarded personality by nature people will assume that you're stuck up, and if you're genuinely nice people will see it as being "fake." It's a no-win situation.
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Old 05-22-2011, 09:06 PM   #15  
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I agree and I don't agree. Do I agree that it's perfectly fine to not go in that store because it's unattractive... yes, it is. But do I feel that the store owner is at fault because I don't like they way their store looks? No, their store should look the way they want it to look, it's their store... they just can't get mad when I won't go in.

It's perfectly fine for a man to not want to be with a heavy set woman and it's self-centered to feel like "Well, I'm fat so he should get over it and accept me for me." No he shouldn't, he has every right to pursue the type of woman he desires, just like we have that same right.

I know that my general type, usually prefers thinner women, instead of being angry at them for their preference, I've decided to change myself to start attracting the type of man I like.

The only men I might show resentment to, is the ones who know me at my current weight and treat me like "whatever" I must admit, I have two guys in mind that I want to call and meet up with when I reach my goal, just to deny them... lol, I'm awful. Perhaps I'll grow out of that though. I know when I was 248 I used to think of how I would turn down all of the men who would want my attention when I got smaller... when I did lose weight... that was the furthest thing from my mind! lol.

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