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LITERATURE

Reviews of books, articles, and poetry written by or about ssbbw/bbw


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A Word for Skinny Girls, BBW and the Men

In a “thin-is-in” world, it’s remarkably easy for anyone over size 2 to get discouraged. That’s why SSBBW Magazine and other plus-sized publications exist, after all; to fight the good fight for justice, equality and societal acceptance. Much like the flagrant sexism and racism of bygone generations, I believe this, too, to be an issue that just requires time and dedication and those involved will see small victories amount to a resounding success in the long run. Of course there will be the detractors, the nay-sayers, the haters and the nuisances, but that’s a part of how the world works. Our bottom line is that all people are beautiful and that neither height nor weight should become objects of ire and discrimination. If that were the end of the argument, however, this would prove to be a very short article indeed.

While our goal is simple enough and our means of getting there are numerous indeed, I seem to notice that some new problems are forming along the way and not many people are calling attention to them. Recently brought to my attention by alert forum member tallgal35, is the issue of reverse discrimination. What do I mean by that? Basically that in trying to find solidarity and being a small part of a much larger picture, people can section themselves off into cliques of sort – and it’s quite easy (and distressingly common) for plus-sized communities to alienate thinner members of the community. The initial problem stems from the fact that SSBBW and BBW are not only euphemistic terms (not to mention highly sexualized, but that’s an article for another time) they’re also highly, highly subjective. What is a BBW? What’s an SSBBW? What’s the definition of either? Allow me to confuse you further:

“"Big Beautiful Woman" (commonly abbreviated as BBW) is a neologism most frequently used in the context of affirmation of or sexual attraction to women who are overweight or obese.” –Wikipedia

“A BBW is a charming, attractive, HUMAN woman with needs and desires not unique in any way from any other woman.” - http://www.kelmerklowns.com/susabelle/BBW/whatsbbw.html

“… She exudes confidence. She is healthy, but not obsessive. She is a Plus Size woman who is comfortable with herself and proud of it.” - http://www.alternative-dating-sites.com/bbw.html

Starting to see the problem yet? These are all well and good, but not a single one is empirical; it’s all subjective. Any given source will give you a different response. For example, one on-line discussion I noticed had one gentleman say that BBW started at 160 lbs whereas, elsewhere, the numbers ranged anywhere from 200 to 400 lbs. The line between BBW and SSBBW is foggier still. My point here is that since the terms we dabble in are subjective, we – much like the terms themselves – should also have a much wider range of acceptance. We want to fight the discrimination not cause it by pushing away our skinnier sisters. Just because someone is of a smaller persuasion does not mean that they are universally considered “small” and it would be wrong to push anyone away should they have suffered the same as any of us here at SSBBW Magazine. I suppose the key reason why we didn’t call it “We’re of all different sizes, but that’s okay because we should all love each other in the first place Magazine” didn’t stick was because it was hard to remember and even harder to fit on a 2x1 business card. We all endure hardship and discrimination based on our sizes – that’s why we’re here, right? – so we should work hard to not spew venom at the smaller BBWs or even at skinny women either. We’re part of the solution, not the problem, so even when it’s tempting to want to call someone a “skinny b-“ for their harassing you, it’s better to take the high road and avoid the conflict altogether.

Perhaps you might perceive this as a non-issue so before I finish whacking the horse I summarily killed, I want to cite the experience of a friend of mine. She was chubby, plump, full-figured, whatever you want to call it, but she was a bigger girl. She went to a BBW Bash in Las Vegas and was met with a great deal of ire from women considerably larger than her – putting her in the awkward situation of being too big for society’s standards and too small for other BBW’s standards and that’s just, quite frankly, cruel. This, however, does not let the guys in the audience off the hook. Another alert forum-user here at the magazine recounted her experiences to me as well. She contacted a guy here on the magazine’s forum, was asked what she weighed, and then was told she didn’t weigh enough. To the fellow men here: doing to skinny women what a lot of guys do to big women is not excusable. They’re neither objects nor a hunk of meat – they’re human and allowing your preferences to go full-tilt fetish only serves to hurt those among us who truly believe in the “All sizes are beautiful” mantra.

Now that I’ve thoroughly taken a club to the collective skulls of those who think revenge and petty anger will get more accomplished than acceptance and dialogue, I can say something meaningful in defense of the male population. Ladies – you outnumber us on a basis ranging somewhere between 3-1 to 4-1 advantage. Yes, there are going to be the general jerks, the size-bigots, the unlikable-insert-your-favorite-expletive-here’s, but what I ask of you is to remember that there are good guys out there and a lot more are willing to be with, date, marry and commit to a woman of a larger size than you might well think and not all of them are the types seeking just sex. There really are good guys out there that want to get to know you better and though I, of course, urge you to pursue romantic relationships carefully and with great selectivity, I want to spell it out that there are good men seeking your companionships in a sincere and dedicated manner – you’re not alone and there are plenty of fish in the sea.

Guys are under societal pressure too – after all, you certainly don’t see a plus-sized fellow on the cover of a lady’s magazine, that’s for sure. We are held up under our own brand of expectations: being strong, never displaying our feelings, and, yes, we are held up to a particular caliber of physical ‘perfection’ and when a guy like me who is scarcely the prime of mammalian perfection gets to be compared to Brad Pitt and Johnny Depp, the disparity is less than reassuring. Another point to consider: during a search on Yahoo’s engine, the term “BBW” merited 53,200,000 hits, the vast majority relating to “Big Beautiful Women” whereas the term “BHM” grossed 5,050,000 hits (that’s less than 1/10 of the former) and very, very few had to deal with “Big Handsome Men”. A plus-sized guy may get less grief, but we also get a lot less love. Also, speaking on pure biology, guys are the losers again. Consider this example:

All the women on Earth die except for one fertile woman. What’s mankind’s fate? There isn’t one. They’ll all die. Even with one fertile woman, the genetic diversity will give out within the decade and that’s that.

Alternatively: all the men on Earth die except for one fertile man. What’s mankind’s fate this time? Assuming procreation of the species is the key element here (remember: purely biological. Disregard all other factors right now.) then it’s possible the genetic diversity could rebound and prevent annihilation.

No matter how you cut it – men are disposable. Women are not. This is only one of many factors contributing to male competition – the nice guys give up the fastest. It’s what I call “Nice Guy Psych-Out Syndrome”. The process goes as such:

  1. Guy sees attractive girl.
  2. Guy considers approaching.
  3. Guy remembers he is, in fact, a nice guy. He considers she’s beautiful. Maybe even intelligent and kind.
  4. Guy realizes she’s WAY out of his league.
  5. Guy submits without ever trying and leaves, absolutely certain she’d never like him.
  6. Girl remains oblivious.
  7. Guy’s confidence dies a little more. Resume from step 1.

What’s to be learned from this vicious cycle? Ladies – please don’t be afraid to make the first move. Nice guys – if you’re not willing to fail at asking a girl to so much as coffee, find something you’re willing to fail at. It’s called “persistence” and if you never so much as speak to her, how will she know you’re interested? It’s a hard-to-break cycle, but with a little open communication, things will improve. And if it does, I expect a big old check in the mail. Ha-ha! That’s a joke. Kind of.

So, what’s the absolute bottom line here? Simply put: -All people are beautiful regardless of height or weight and we shouldn’t be picking at anyone else if we don’t want them to pick at us. -Open communication and straight-forward honesty will get you way farther with other people than putting on a mask or hiding away from other people. -Guys and smaller gals have problems to – so don’t write them off either. -We’re all in this together, so let’s do the best each of us can.

Good?

Good.

Have a happy Independence Day and Canada Day, everybody!

Written by: Jeff M.


"You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism."
~Erma Bombeck
"Canada is one of the planet's most comfortable, and caring, societies. The United Nations Human Development Index cited the country as the most desirable place in the world to live. This year a World Bank study named Canada the globe's second wealthiest society after Australia."
~Time magazine

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