What’s Happening- May and June 2012

It’s been a while since I’ve updated the “What’s Happening” page.  Forgive me.  But, I just updated it with some fun events that are happening the rest of the month into June!!! 

If you need some ideas of fun stuff to do in the DMV, you should definitely check it out!  And Benevole will be in Atlanta on June 16 for a fundraiser, so I would love to see my ATL family in attendance!

Take care, and hopefully we’ll bump into each other at one of these fun events!

Weight and Dating- Part 1

As promised, I reached out to my inner circle for some commentary on weight and dating.  Over the next few days, I’ll share their responses, one male and one female per post.  I asked everyone the same 3 questions- 1. Do you think men/women who are overweight are attractive? 2. Would you (or have you) date a plus-sized man/woman? and 3. If so, would you encourage him/her to lose weight?  It was interesting to read people’s responses.  Today, we have Mitch Rapp and Southern Cousin. (Names have been changed to protect identity….DUH!)

Mitch Rapp is a single 28 year old man from Milwaukee, WI currently living in Atlanta.

The answer is no…and yes.

No because I know myself, and as I have grown and matured I am attracted to a certain “type”.   When I look back over exes and those I’ve dealt with, they all, for the most part fit in a certain “range” from looks to size.  Now they are indeed diverse, but nowhere in there have I dated or dealt with a plus sized (Monique) woman.   The reason behind it is both superficial and fundamental… superficial in the way that I’m not INITIALLY attracted to plus sized women.  I never have been, it could be some deep seated mainstream brainwashing etc, but I don’t think that’s it…cause I LOVE natural hair women, all skin tones, etc etc.  I think it has to do with my own interests… I’m not a fitness NUT but I enjoy working out and doing things outdoors that require a decent level of fitness.  I’ve never dated a workout queen, and don’t need to, but I couldn’t see myself with someone who didn’t enjoy those things sometimes.
Now, I am 28 years old… and to ME the sexiest thing a woman can be, is confident, intelligent, and a pleasure to be around.  All things obviously a plus sized woman can be.
Now, I am not a jerk like the guy in her article who brushed her off and didn’t even wanna speak, but in that environment I most likely will target my “range” of women.  If I dated a plus sized woman it would probably be more of a situation where we were friends and became more, because regardless of what anyone says to the contrary, initial “attraction” for men is 99% physical (absolutely carnal), not contingent on what you do, where you work, your education level… carnal.  From there we sift through the BS… but an initial attraction (like in that lounge setting) is carnal, don’t let any man tell you different.

Do I find plus sized women attractive?  Absolutely.  But (admittedly) it’s different and usually slower… I cannot say with a straight face I have ever looked at a woman Monique’s size and been physically attracted to her.   I may have thought she had a beautiful face/smile carries her weight well, etc, but never have I been ,“Ooooh… she’s sexy.”  So again, the attraction would be on things that happened more over time vs. that initial attraction.  (Truth is, it’s the same thing with any woman I date now, cause I am no longer dating strictly for “fun”.)
Would I encourage a plus sized woman I date to lose weight… that’s kind of where I have an issue with SOME plus sized women… I’d want a woman who WANTS to lose weight on her own and asks me for help.  If I have to say, “Come on you need to hit the gym” and she doesn’t want to… it would never work.  Which is more a reflection on the personality traits vs her size.
I definitely think I can and possibly will end up with a thick woman (not fit, but not obese) cause in the end, I’m more concerned with can you be a good mom, do we get along, can I marry you, than I am how fit they are now… cause truth is, I think after 90% of women have babies it’s a wrap anyways.  So I’d rather be with someone I enjoy being around/mesh with than someone who’s “in shape”.

Southern Cousin is a 34 year old married woman from Hilton Head, SC currently living in Pompano Beach, FL.

Some. Some men and/or women can be plus-size and really take care of themselves – e.g. bathe, dress well, coordinate, carry themselves well. They’re confident in who they are and it shows in the way they carry themselves. There are others who are overweight and are embarrassed, which translates into their either wearing very frumpy clothes, recoiling in the corner, or smelling sour in the rolls of their fat. There are yet OTHER overweight people (that I see daily) who are embarrassed that they are unable to get the weight off, so they mask how they feel about themselves in tattoos, slutty clothes, thus subjecting other people to have to blatantly look at their insecurity issues. Therefore, the former of the three are the only overweight people who I would find attractive.

I have dated a plus-sized man. I had already fallen for him prior to meeting him, but honestly, if I had seen him in public, I never would have talked to him. He was sweet and smart, but he was overweight and angry that he was unable to be as thin as he was before. The weight had snuck up on him and he didn’t really know what to do about it, so he didn’t carry himself well (falling into the last two aforementioned descriptors). He was even more annoyed because here was his girlfriend, thin and active, but here was he, overweight and ordering another pizza. Lots of times in public, many people looked at us like, how did he get her?! And he was visibly annoyed by that. Even my friends made fun of him (not to his face) because they told me that I could do so much better. I don’t know if it was the social pressures or what – but the more we went out and the more intimate we got, the more unattractive he became to me.

I didn’t encourage him outright to lose weight or exercise, but I would invite him to do so. When we went out to eat, I would watch how much of what I ate and hoped he would follow suit. Sometimes he would, sometimes he wouldn’t, but I didn’t make a big deal out of it. I would invite him to exercise with me – again, sometimes he would and sometimes he wouldn’t. But I didn’t make it a big deal. Yes, we eventually broke up, but not ONLY because of his weight, but I do think that it did play a bit of a factor in our relationship. He felt ridiculed a lot and it was hard for him to be intimate a great deal because of his weight. He didn’t want to go to a lot of places in public because of what people said about our being a couple and that started to eat at the relationship.

As an aside: Not eating right and not exercising is not healthy, period. You could be Angelina Jolie thin or Gabouray Sidebe heavy and still be “fat” in both instances. Healthy is more attractive than anything else and that is the bottom line.

Thanks to Mitch and Southern Cousin for their responses.  Feel to share your thoughts, whether you agree or don’t agree.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

* The article Mitch is referring to is a blog piece written by Brittney Cooper.  Click “article” to read her commentary.

The Whole Weight Thing

This past Friday, I was a guest commentator on “The Daily Drum”, which airs Monday through Friday on WHUR 96.3 in DC.  The topic was plus-size women and dating and whether a woman’s waistline was directly related to her dating life.  This show was directly related to a post written by “Crunk Feminist Collective” blogger Brittney Cooper.  I may share the link of the show with you all in the near future, but for now, I want to take this post in a different direction.

While the host, Harold Fisher, was pretty adamant about where he wanted his show to go (and kept his questions in alignment with that), there were a number of places this conversation could have gone.  For example, rather than JUST talking about plus-size women, we could have (and should have) discussed plus-size men.  Just as there are men that will not date overweight women, there are just as many women that will not date overweight men. 

It seems recently with posts from Jozen Cummings at “Until I Get Married“, Brittney Cooper at the “Crunk Feminist Collective“, and Alice Randall at the “New York Times“, there seems to be this influx of Black women and weight issues.  I feel like I’m in the Twilight Zone of when before it was Black women being single. 

So, as I’m known to do sometimes, I’m going to take this a step further.  I’ve decided to interview 10 people, 5 men and 5 women, married, single, childless, parents, to find out their ideal body type in the opposite sex.  Since it’s going to take me a while to reach out to the people I want to interview, it may be a few weeks before I can post all of their thoughts.  I don’t know if it’s because it’s summertime or maybe the world needs another way to pick on Black women (oops, did I say that???), but maybe’s it’s something that needs to be discussed. 

If you’re interested in being interviewed, feel free to e-mail me at evolvingelle@gmail.com.  I can tell you I already have 2 men and 3 women, so slots are filling up quickly. 🙂  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

P.S. I realized I didn’t give that much commentary.  In case you missed me on the show, no, I don’t think a woman’s (or man’s) waistline is directly correlated with her dating life.  First, as my auntie Casey used to say, “There’s a taste for every shape.”  Sure, we have “types” that are aesthically pleasing to us and that are going to grab our attention.  A man wants a woman who’s confident, sure of herself, and enjoys life.  But if a woman is unhappy at 250 pounds, unless she makes changes on the inside, too, she’s going to be unhappy at 150 pounds.  Same for a man.  Oh, and my type?  I need a man with some meat on his bones-but not so much meat that he has issues breathing or walking or doing simple day-to-day things without taking a break every 5 minutes.