Dear Hot Men Who Love My Body As It Is: IDGAF

by Amanda Richards

Hello, men.

More specifically, hello hot, fit men who also happen love plus size women. I'm a plus size woman, and apparently, some of you love me. How are your abs? My rolls are doing well. Are your glutes in good spirits? My cellulite is chill.

You see, fit men, despite the fact that we have entirely different body types, I respect you, and I think it's wonderful that sometimes, our two opposing body types can somehow, some way, be attracted to one another. In fact, I was actually reminded of that recently, when Revelist reported on one such fit man named Johnathan Kennedy (he goes by Jay). According to the story, Jay started a YouTube channel called Every Wednesday to share his thoughts on why he finds plus size women attractive. He has videos called "Do buff guys like plus size women?" and "Do guys like Plus Size girls? Yes!"

"I'd like to start by saying that I do really appreciate a plus size figure," he says in a video entitled "Plus Size dating (Body Appreciation). "It's one of the most beautiful things on the planet. I also think it's a great thing when women are very confident and own their shape and size. That's not to say that I feel every woman should walk around half naked or wear virtually nothing. But when women wear clothes that hug the right places and show off what needs to be shown off, I do find it attractive — along with a lot of other people."

Jay goes on to talk about how difficult it is for plus size women to find clothing (true) and how what is available to us isn't always trendy or cute (also true). He also implores plus size women not to cover up, and instead own the way they look (I feel you, Jay).

It's not every day that we're treated to the narrative of someone like Jay, a conventionally attractive man, daring to express his enjoyment of a plus size woman's body. Perhaps that's why the author of the Revelist piece wrote this in response to Jay's video:

"Men like Jay are so necessary in body positivity. Bloggers and brands build us up to feel sexy at any size, but hearing it from a cute boy is nice, too."

And yet, there's something that me, you, Jay, and Revelist need to discuss before we start dishing out approval willy-nilly.

I don't care.

I don't care that you appreciate a plus size figure, because whether you do or don't is irrelevant in my assessment of my own self-worth. I don't care that you think it's great when women are confident about their size, because even if you thought it was utterly terrible, I'd still be confident anyways. I don't care what you think plus size women should wear, because, well, you don't buy my clothing — holler at me if you want to, though, and I'll let you choose the color. Maybe.

Before you all start flexing your biceps at me at once, allow me to explain something clearly: I'm not ridiculing Jay or any other fit man for expressing preferences for plus size women. I understand that the intention here, at least in Jay's case, is pure. Many aspects of beauty are tangled in a complicated nest of societal standards, including men's approval, so it's understandable that you might think your input is necessary — after all, as a hot, fit man, you've been groomed to believe that your opinion matters the most. We've all heard the saying "If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" Well, when it comes to beauty, sometimes it feels like, "If a woman thinks she's beautiful and a man doesn't affirm it, could it really be true?"

Amanda Richards/Olivia Muenter

Well, fit men, it is true. No matter how earnestly Jay or any other dude expresses his/your appreciation for my plus size body, it doesn't matter. You simply don't play a necessary role in any woman's journey to self-love and the fact that you're cute/fit/hot AF has absolutely no bearing on my decision in that matter. Women's bodies are not defined, not even in the smallest, well-intentioned way, by their approval rating — from fit men, fat men, or anyone in between.

And so, fit men, it's wonderful that some of you enjoy low-key peeping my curves as much as I enjoy covertly lurking near and around your buns. It's great that in this world, bodies of all shapes and sizes can transcend societal expectations and be attracted to one another, because hey, it's five o'clock somewhere and you never know who might be coming your way.

But despite all of that, I reject your approval, no matter how glowing it might be, in favor of my own self-assessment. I officially take the onus off of you to confirm or deny whether or not I'm beautiful — and you're welcome, because in this world, claiming that your fat body is beautiful is hard effing work. Save your energy for the gym, because that responsibility is mine and mine alone, and there's no way in hell I'm going to let you or your very neat stack of rock hard abs take the credit for it.