I’m Your Future Curvy Wife. Can You Please STFU?

by Amanda Richards
Amanda Richards

First off, now that we’re to be married, I think you should know that I don’t really use the word “curvy” to describe myself. Men before you have used it — without asking, of course. Other men have used other words, in both positive and negative contexts. Fat, thick, big-boned, sturdy, solid, juicy, soft, cuddly — one even went so far as to call me a “huge bitch.” Sadly, that relationship never really got off the ground.

No, I don’t use curvy to identify myself, mainly because I prefer to self-describe outside of the parameters of what my body looks like. You, on the other hand, might feel you need to use words to define, exactly, what it is you're doing. After all, crushing on, fucking, and eventually falling in love with a non-thin woman hasn’t been the easiest journey for you — but don't fret, you’re not alone. I’ve enjoyed relationships both serious and trivial with dozens of men in my 32 years on this planet, and most of them felt the need to label me — or label our interactions — in similar ways. For many men like yourself, getting caught off-guard by a love spell cast by big girl is either off the table completely or a complex mathematical theorem that requires toiling away at an emotional chalkboard.

There was the guy who insisted on letting me know he’d transcended his friends’ judgment about dating "fat chicks" in order to be with me, earnestly declaring that he figured out a way to navigate what could have been a Very Uncomfortable Situation. Because of his hard work, I got to bask in the spoils of his love, knowing he’d been brave enough to Risk It All. My ultimate reward? The pleasure of feeling comfortable around him and his friends while they played beer pong.

Then there was the guy who went out of his way to let me know that even though “most” men wouldn’t find me attractive, I “shouldn’t worry” — he did. The disappointment in his eyes when I didn’t react as if I’d received the most precious gift imaginable was almost too much to bear.

Of course, I’ll always have a place in my heart (or festering ulcer on my soul) for the guy who insisted on letting me know that he found my body to be of the highest sexual value, that he would “worship” it until the end of my days. It sounded fine at first, until I realized that though my body wasn’t enough for some, it’s literally all I was to him.

I haven't just heard from men who wanted to be with me, either. There was the guy who kept my existence a secret, loving on me in private but acting like I was his buddy in front of his friends and family. There was the guy who “really enjoyed spending time with me,” but “just couldn’t get past” the way that I looked. And of course, there were at least a handful of men who couldn’t stand living in a world where I might imagine myself a worthy fuck, not even for five minutes, and led their casual bar conversations with declarations that they “aren’t really into bigger girls.” For the record, I never asked what they were into, because (gasp) I wasn't into them.

So please, with all of this in mind, allow your future curvy wife to drop some truth: Whatever statement you might want to make to define me or context you’d like to give for loving me — please don’t. I’ve heard it all before, and so has every single non-thin woman I know.

When you look like me, there’s a certain barrier that exists between the person you are and the body you live in. In my experience, prospective partners confront my body as something that needs a label. It’s a sexy fetish, it’s a disgusting horror, it’s an obstacle that only they are brave enough to overcome.

As you might imagine, after years dealing with this F-scale tornado of bullshit, I’ve grown tired of hearing it. I get that your intentions are pure, that you’re a good person who just wants to champion the love you feel for me in a way that makes it easier for others to understand it. Maybe you want to make it easier for yourself.

The truth is, though, that your insistence on defining me as curvy (or fat, or sexy, or beautiful in spite of it all) reveals more about you than it does about me: Mainly, that you’re not comfortable engaging with women unless you can also define how, when, and why you find them attractive. You and others I’ve known before you are also revealing something about attitudes toward bodies like mine in general: If a non-thin woman is rejected, she should hang her head and accept the fact that it was an inevitability. If a non-thin woman is loved, she should treat it like a major award, a gift bestowed upon her by a Brave, Generous Man. None of this is new, none of it is surprising, and all of it is deeply fucked up.

Before we walk down the aisle, I need you to consider this, to roll this idea around on your tongue like a piece of ice from the bottom of that glass of whiskey we both love: Resist the urge to define what it is that makes it okay for you to love me, and when you're ready to STFU and do that, I’ll be ready to listen.