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Weight Loss Blues

Some years ago there was an interesting website run by an interesting and charming young lady, where among other things went on an interesting discussion, called “BBW Weightloss Blues”, on the reactions of FAs when their women lose weight.

Unfortunately the site disappeared, but luckily I saved the text both of my intervention in the discussion and of the other ones. I think that re-proposing and adapting them would be interesting for those of us who do not know the discussion.

A preliminary statement: basically to me being an FA does not mean much more than being attracted to, say, dark-haired women with a strong nose or being a sailing enthusiast, I do not perceive it as a very significant part of my personality and even less as a powerful element totally conditioning my interactions with other people. Besides, I am not a pure FA. My preference always went to large-size women, but through the years I dated (and fell in love with) both SSBBWs, BBWs and ‘normal size’ ones, SSBBWs/BBWs being the larger majority. I feel I belong to the FA subculture, but it is just one of the subcultures I am connected to and I do not agree with the radical positions of some FAs.

The extremist FAs introduced in the discussion the following points:

  1. Being a hardcore FA means absolutely no dating thin women, so it is a non-return situation.
  2. Losing weight is a controlled issue, a conscious choice.
  3. An FA perceives that his BBW has become a different person.
  4. A BBW does actually become a different person when thinner.
  5. Body type effects actions, feelings and personality.
  6. Betrayal is a feeling experienced during a BBWs losing weight.
  7. A BBWs weight loss is also a betrayal to the BBW/FA community.
  8. Decreased attractiveness = less sex = relationship strain.
  9. Finally, if a BBW did in fact become a different person, she would not be able to correctly identify that she had changed because she is looking at the situation from the inside, i.e., the self that is observing and making the judgment “I am still the same person” is the same self which has changed.

The less extremist participants did not agree on points 4, 7, 9; point 8 was generally accepted but sometimes a dividing line was drawn between sexual attraction, that diminishes when the weight goes down, and love, that if it is truly love stays and survives. Point 4, in the view of many participants, was further complicated by the fact that many BBWs positively dislike their body and do not believe that FAs are really turned on by them, they rather feel that their FA friends are just trying to be nice. Ironically these BBWs lose weight also to be more attractive to their men.

My preliminary observation on the ‘BBW weight loss blues’ was that there are two different kinds of weight loss and we should distinguish between them. A relatively small decrease does not make much difference and even a considerable loss could be not much relevant. For instance if our 350 lb. woman loses 100-150 of her wonderful pounds, she still remains a BBW. Maybe she is not as big as we would like, but by any objective standard she still is a BBW. We might legitimately feel that 200-250 pounds are not enough, but this is our subjective perception and preference. A large weight loss, making a ‘normal’ woman of our beloved BBW, is something different. Such a significant – and permanent – loss is generally obtained through a process so long, difficult, frustrating and painful that it proclaims loud that our BBW is a suffering woman. The sheer willpower and determination necessary for the loss signify that our BBW feels very uncomfortable with herself, her body, her appearance and her life, sometimes to the point of hating everything she is. We should never forget it.

I agree that if a BBW loses so much weight that she becomes a ‘normal’ woman she changes into a different person (points 3-4). I think, anyhow, that the change is not induced by weight loss, but rather the contrary happens: the BBW loses weight because she already is another person. We all know that often women change in the outside because they change inside, like a girl changing her hairdo in connection with the end of a relationship. The drastic and dramatic change of a significant weight loss means clearly that at the moment of the decision our BBW is already somebody else, that her priorities, aims, values and schedules are already different from the previous ones, otherwise she would not throw herself into the desperate fight with her weight.

One of the participants introduced the comparison of a successful businessman who gives up his job, moves somewhere else to find peace and happiness and changes totally personality. I think the succession of facts in the example was wrong. The businessman of the comparison does not change because he left his environment, on the contrary he leaves because he is already a different person.

Similarly a BBW undergoing a significant weight loss changed into a different person before losing weight, we have to face it. The new woman and her new body hit us with a violent impact just because of our deep-rooted preferences, our reaction is dictated by the kind of relationship we have with that specific BBW, but we would have to cope with the change even if our woman shows it not by losing weight but by other means. I agree with the extremists when they say that our perception of a BBW changes very much when she slims down, but also weight gain transforms a person. In this case the difference becomes a positive asset for us and we feel that the change is not as important just because we like it, but I do not feel comfortable at all with this way of reasoning.

I find the concept of points 6-7, the betrayal to the BBWs/FAs community in general and to ourselves in particular totally out of place. Let us face it, many BBWs are unwilling members of the community, they would rather fit into the mainstream view of beauty. How can we speak of betrayal? Furthermore, when a woman became another person she does not feel tied to her previous group. We could apply the idea of ‘betrayal to the BBW/FA community’ to a minority of activists and women who are sincerely happy with their fat body and their fat persona, but all of us know how rare are those cases. In the case of betrayal to us as individual, we have to remember the deep unease and the sufferings many BBWs go through. We should also consider that the reverse too is true, that often a woman losing weight feels betrayed if we do not give our support. In the end betrayal is connected with the change in person and attitude. It is well known that only mules and milestones never change their mind, humans do.

The relationship strain caused by the decreased sexual attraction connected with a severe weight loss (point 8) is a painfully true fact. On the other hand can be destructive also the strain induced by a BBW who feels ugly and inadequate, who thinks that her partner’s attraction is faked and that lovemaking is an act of pity, or who in extreme cases feel that the partner is a pervert. A good story by Mindy Sommers, exemplifies very well how the strain and the self-loathing induced by fatness, dieting, sexual preferences and misunderstandings destroy the marriage of a BBW-and-FA couple going through the ordeal .

Facing sexual difficulties and the induced strain is the crucial point of a relationship and of our ability to accept changes. Saving the relationship is a hard and difficult job, but if we think it is worth the effort it can be done. Here we see if we are interested in the fat surrounding the woman, or in the woman with her fat. A purely sexual relationship is not a lowly thing, it is totally acceptable, but if so the affair is over with the beginning of weight loss and the best thing is to end it formally as soon as possible, for the good of both partners.

I think however that the discussion about weight loss I tried to report has not tackled the basic issue. In my opinion the connection of a woman with her body is the holiest of the relationships and nobody, neither pope nor emperor, neither fashion guru nor doctor, neither friend nor husband has the right to intrude. We can suggest and give advice but we cannot force, cajole, brainwash or coax, especially when something as significant as a change of weight (and therefore of body and self-perception) is involved. This change must be totally the woman’s spontaneous decision and if anyone feels betrayed, deceived, unhappy or anything like this, his loss. A woman’s temple is her body and we must respect it. If we love that woman we should give her our support and help, if we do not we better walk away. But in any case we have no right to intrude.

Written and submitted by : Orso di Monte Ribelli

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