The Right Guy Doesn't Care If You're Skinny

The Right Guy Doesn't Care If You're Skinny

Other things matter more in the right relationship, and the idea that weight and body shape equals love is misguided.

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I keep waiting for the day when "skinny" will lose its social equation to "beautiful." I keep waiting for magazine covers to show something besides a model with sultry lips, tight stomach, and calves the size of beanstalks.

I wished this even when I was thirteen and new to the world of social beauty. My wish didn't keep me--and 0.9% of American women--from developing anorexia at sixteen. Nor did it keep me from that longing many of us know well: to be thin.

I'm not saying that the entire beauty industry has eyes for skinny girls. Check out #aerieREAL, for example.

But I am saying most of the beauty industry is suggesting some dangerous stuff, such as the notion that you have to be skinny to be sexy, and that you have to be thin to be worthy of a partner.

You won't have to be skinny for the right guy, ladies. I promise.

Many partners prefer confidence to digits on a scale.

When I was fifteen, I asked a close guy friend what he found most attractive in women. (Naturally. I was hungry for this kind of knowledge).

His answer was immediate. "Confidence," he said. "Hands down."

I actually posed this question to multiple men and women in the subsequent decade and received the same answer, unanimously. I'm past the point where this stuns me. It makes sense.

Think about who is most likely to captivate you, romantically, sexually, or otherwise: someone striding into a room in a power pose, or someone who slinks in shyly, hunched over her own form?

We notice people who believe in themselves, and not just in a superficial, physical, or sexual way. I am most compelled to romantic partners who know themselves and own what they have. I only notice their body shape, in these cases, way after the fact, if at all.

The right guy will feel the same way. He won't be there peering over your shoulder as you weigh yourself. Nor will he urge you to squeeze into a size zero or eat less to preserve your figure. (Ew.)

The notion that body shape determines love (or sexual attention) is misguided--even dangerous.

This is a principle perpetuated by media and even by dating apps--endlessly. And it is utterly false.

Your body shape does not preclude a romantic relationship. Nor does it preclude respect, love, and even a healthy sex life.

Yet it is so easy to buy into this notion, even after a quick scroll through social media, a brief glance at the news. It is so easy to believe that our future "person" will only crave a woman with flawless skin and an A-cup.

Such thinking can compel dangerous behavior, including eating disorders, unhealthy dieting, self-mutilation, and even suicide.

And if you do meet a guy who prioritizes body shape over most anything else, run. He's not for you. Enough said.

How do we crawl out from under such messages that media sends our way? I admit this can be challenging. Experience, however, is the only answer. And I don't just mean finding someone to sleep with you. Venturing into the dating world and encountering other lovers, while intimidating, can offer abundant perspectives.

I, for one, have learned that--nearly ubiquitously--many men prefer a woman who doesn't fit the standard skinny mold. My current partner, for example, doesn't question my tummy flab, the jiggle in my thighs. He thinks--bless him--these are feminine staples. He doesn't want my hip bones to protrude any more than they do.

Who knew?

Besides, "Skinny," "Normal," and Even "Dieting" Isn't Hip Anymore

You may have noticed that there is a huge self-acceptance movement building. A few clues I've noticed lately are the incredible success of movies with an "acceptance" theme, like The Greatest Showman. In fact, the soundtrack, with (with a theme song, "This Is Me") is experiencing a historic run on the top of the Billboard charts accomplished only a few times in music history by names like the Beatles and Adele.

Did you notice that even Weight Watchers has changed their name and branding? Yes, they now cringe at being labeled as a "weight loss diet," (diets usually fail) and have evolved into, "WW Wellness" -- focusing more on health than weight. That's a pretty significant sign of the times, don't you think?

He may have insecurities too.

Body image is not exclusive to women. Gendered and non-gendered individuals also have, at bare minimum, some concept of how they look. It's only natural that some of us may nurse some healthy anxieties. You may not be the only one in a relationship fighting with a mirror. It's a human thing, not a female thing.

Recognizing that no one is exempt may help ease the pressure, just like an ice-breaker. Better yet, have a conversation with your partner about body image, positivity, and confidence.

Other things will matter more.

In the right relationship, you may find yourself stepping further and further away from that scale.

Sure, I still have those ugly stares with myself in the mirror, the ones where I feel frustrated with how I look. (Who doesn't?)

But these grow more infrequent the more I commit to a relationship, the more I immerse myself in it and honor it. This is because true commitment, in my eyes, merits self-love. And when I'm flying high in the self-love department, I could give a damn about my jean size.

Focusing on your partner, the health of your relationship, how to get to know your lover's language more -- these things will, you may find, matter more than anything else.

And that's when you may know it's right.

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An Open Letter To My College Freshman Roommate

Be sure to send this to your college freshmen roommate if you love them as much as I love mine!

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Dear College Freshmen Roommate,

To be honest, my first impression of you was a quiet, shy private catholic school girl. (Wow, this couldn't have been the farthest thing from the truth)! I remember walking behind you and your boyfriend on the way to the bars on our very first night of Summer B. I kept thinking how much you didn't like me because you didn't say hi to me. Little did I know, after admitting to each other our unfortunate first impressions of each other years later, you were just being cognizant of me because you thought I was a real-life version of Regina George from Mean Girls. It turns out you weren't the shy, private school girl I thought you were and I definitely wasn't as cool as Regina George after all.

Lexi Garber

It didn't take much time for us to become best friends. You had me at "So, do you know what a mountain melt is from Ale House?" After this day, I knew we were going to be lifelong friends and celebrate our passion for carbs, fast food, and sugar together. You make friendship seem so easy. You're always down to study whenever, leave the library whenever, and most importantly, get Chick-Fil-A no matter what our budget is or how broke we are. You always pick up the phone and support all the bad decisions I make. You ALWAYS figure out all my Wordscape puzzles for me and support my real life Candy Crush addiction.

Lexi Garber

I realize that you give me a slice of home when my mom doesn't answer the phone. I love that we always get to talk about our high school memories together because every story is a new and exciting one for both of us. Sometimes I'm happy we met in college because we would have caused way too much trouble in high school together. Besides, I get to hear about how much of an awesome volleyball player you were and I tell you about crazy my lacrosse years. Although, I will say how much it sucks when we go home for summer and winter break because I do get major separation anxiety!

Lexi Garber

When we go out, you know we're requesting ALL Luke Combs songs and sing until our voices are gone. Whether it be going out to the club, binge-eating, studying at the library, watching the Bachelor in your apartment, going to football tailgates or watching baseball games together, we are ALWAYS laughing. You have this amazing brightness and you only radiate positivity and happiness. I can't wait to see what the rest of college has in store for us. I feel so grateful that I got the chance to meet you and call you one of my true, lifelong best friends. I love you to Infinity (the place where it all began) and Back!

ROOM 416 INFINITY HALL ALWAYS!

Lexi Garber

Forever and Always,

your college freshmen roommate



Lexi Garber



Lexi Garber

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Women: 5 Tips for Starting a Successful Retail Business

Even though a lot of business has shifted to online stores, you can still succeed in retail with an actual store.

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Tips for Starting a Successful Retail Business: A retail business can be any size and can sell just about anything; from cupcakes to prom gowns. If retailers and wholesalers expect to succeed, however, they need products that consumers want, as well as a great location, a strategy for success, loyal customers, and well-trained employees. No matter what type or size of retail business you are running, you need a good plan in place. Below are five tips to help you start your business off on the right foot.

1. Do Your Research (Then, Research Some More!)

I think it was Ben Franklin who said, "failing to plan is planning to fail."

Even if you think your product idea is the best, do your research. Before you launch your retail business, be sure that there is a need or want for your product in the market. See how the local competition is doing. Think of something that will make your shop unique from theirs, and expand on the market instead of just copying what others already have done. Target the right audience by understanding who is interested in your products, and gear your advertisements toward that group.

2. Create a Solid Business Plan

So, you thought of a million dollar idea while you were waiting in line at Starbucks? Now you need to take a deep breath and create a good business plan (how?) before you start. You need to declare goals and describe how you plan to achieve those goals. Your program should be detailed, covering all areas of the business, including employee training techniques, advertising strategies, funding options, and product lines. Knowing what you are going to do and how you are going to do it will put you on the right track and keep you there.

3. Have a Great Advertising Campaign

You may have the best product in town, but if people do not know you exist, your business will fail. You have to create a strong advertising campaign that will build your brand. Use online methods as well as offline techniques to get your brand recognized. Social media networks, websites, and search engine optimization are useful and affordable online techniques. Offline methods should include a good location, a clear and visible sign, and local advertising methods.

Also, don't forget low-tech and free methods of marketing. Even though you might be focusing a lot of your budget on online and print ads, don't forget old standbys like business cards which have survived the test of time! (You can find high-quality inexpensive ones online from companies like Moo.com and Vistaprint. Oh, and don't forget to always use a coupon!)

4. Understand the Importance of Repeat Customers

Getting new customers can be expensive, so don't lose them! Keeping a customer is much more affordable than trying to obtain a new one, and repeat customers also tend to spend more money. Make sure you have high standards for customer service standards so that you can retain your current clients. Create incentive programs to keep them coming back to your shop; start a newsletter to stay in touch with them and inform them about new products or specials.

5. Train Your Employees Well

Don't you hate it when you walk into a store and some uninspired college kid is behind the counter texting?

Behind every great business are great employees. Take the time to hire only the most capable individuals, and then take the time to train them to your standards. Employee training is a huge part of your business's success. If you want to stay on track with your business plan, make sure you train your employees properly. Conduct monthly performance reviews and reward those who deserve it. Incentive programs for your employees can not only make them work harder, but also make your business more successful.

6. Retail Business = Potential Tax Deductions!

So, if you have a retail business or are in the process of opening one, you know that there are tons of unexpected expenses. Well, the silver lining is that every one of those expenses could be a deduction come tax season! If you have a retail business, make sure you use a good CPA or software specifically for the self-employed from one of the top two brands of tax software. (You can find discounts for both hr block & turbotax self-employed online) Remember, trying to save $50 doing your taxes the cheapest way might cost you hundreds or even thousands on your tax refund, so use the appropriate version with all of the features you need.

Every business needs a plan to succeed, including having the right steps in place and using the correct methods to reach your goals. Do not assume that having a good product will bring in the profits you need; there is much more to running a profitable business. Plan out your business's every move, and carefully carry out the steps you have created for a successful and profitable business.

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