It’s Okay to Love a Big Girl

I love pop culture so much. I’m somewhat of a pop culture junkie. I love the Real Housewives of everywhere. All of them. I watch all of them. I don’t know any shows featuring a Kardashian/Jenner, yet somehow, I know all the names of their children. I’ve also decided that, of the adults in that family, Khloe is the best one. Don’t argue with me.

I keep up with slang. I have a soft spot for British slang, but I keep up with American slang like it’s my job. I hate to not get someone’s references when I am talking to them and I swear someday I am going to be on Jeopardy! and then all my hoarding of useless information will pay off. Just wait until Alex Trebek is declaring me the Jeopardy! champion, and then you’ll know that my endless fascination with re-runs of The Golden Girls was worth it (The Golden Girls are fabulous on another level. If you don’t know this, we can’t be friends).

As a kid, pop culture helped me identify what I wanted my adult life to look like. I didn’t grow up with a lot of “normal” in my life. So, movies, music, and television, were a huge influence for me. Some of my most fond memories of childhood and adolescence involved music and movies. Frequently, I would identify with characters in movies and think “I want to be her when I grow up.” Pop culture serves a very important purpose beyond fueling my need for trivia. Pop culture communicates ideas and values to us. It presents us with ideas of what we should emulate (Bea Arthur, obvio) and what we shouldn’t.

Part of the very effective way movies and TV signal these ideas to us is through repetition. How many movies have you seen wherein a rag-tag group of misfits win the day? Maybe they form the Rebel Alliance or they find One Eyed Willie’s treasure? You’ve seen that story a thousand times, so much so that we are inclined to root for the under dog in life because we root for the under dog in our fictional characters (was anyone rooting for Darth Vader? I think not.). Much like the rooting, we disavow the negative stuff. Eating people’s livers with some fava beans and a nice Chianti isn’t how you presently do life, right (please say no)? Because, brilliant as he may have been, Hannibal Lecter was a bad guy and we’re not supposed to want to be the bad guy. It’s a magical kind of cinematic transference.

With that in mind, let me ask you this: when was the last time you saw the love interest in a movie be played by a plus size girl/woman?

I can answer for you. It was exactly never. Sure, we big girls get the occasional role of the wacky best friend, or maybe Melissa McCarthy (I adore her, just in case she’s reading) has a new movie involving a lot of comedy and self-deprecation. But have you ever watched a movie where the big girl was the girl that the lead male wanted and couldn’t get? The plus size cutie was his truest heart’s desire?

You haven’t seen that movie because it doesn’t exist.

I went to the movies this passed weekend and that experience is what triggered this post. I watched a movie based on a book I loved, which is always makes my eye twitch a little because I’m afraid they’re going to ruin it. This book, in particular, contained a plus size character. She was kick ass, too. She got to help save the day and she got the boy. You might be able to imagine my dismay when Hollywood whittled her down to a very attractive and very thin, red head.

One of the things that really got me thinking, though, was that in the book, the male character wanted this kick ass female character. He didn’t want her in spite of her size. He enjoyed her body and found her attractive. He referred to her as “Rubensque” and said she was “all curves.”

But when do heterosexual men get told that it’s okay to have a plus size cutie that’s “all curves” as his truest heart’s desire? You can’t choose something that’s never presented as an option. And sure, everyone knows a man who is dating or married to a plus size woman. But it’s not the same, right? We aspire to the things we see on television, in magazines, we hear about in songs. Those things fuel us in a way that Bob and Karen down the street simply don’t.

I wracked my brain for the remainder of the afternoon, trying to come up with a single example of movies or TV presenting a plus size woman as the first choice as a romantic partner. Not a consolation prize, or who you wind up with in a bar at the end of the night, but at the first choice. I couldn’t think of a single example.

This made me really sad. I am sad for plus size women like myself, but I am also sad for men. We need these kinds of reinforcing images in our lives. It affirms that our desires are “normal” and that it’s okay to pursue them. People of color and the LGBTQ community have been waging this fight for years. Those communities have long voiced the need more representation in movies and TV shows so that the people watching can see themselves reflected in a broader way.

Plus size women have a similar struggle. I’m not saying it’s the same as racism and bias based on sexual orientation. But its a void that never gets filled. If it’s a void for plus size women then it’s a void for the men who might be sexually attracted to them or want to choose a plus size woman as a life partner. It creates a lonely place for both parts of the equation.

So, while I love pop culture, I think it’s done some people quite a disservice. It’s sent a lot of the same messages and ideas over and over again without allowing room for all the options. Since pop culture isn’t sending this message, I’m going to send it on pop culture’s behalf. Hopefully, we’ll get to see a Hollywood representation sometime soon.

Dear World,

It’s absolutely acceptable to find plus size women attractive.

It’s completely normal to be sexually attracted to plus size women; to enjoy the way our bodies look. Our bodies are different, but different doesn’t mean bad. It just means different.

It’s a-okay to fall madly in love with a big girl.

Whether you see it reflected on the silver screen or around you every day, those are all things you can do.


A Big Girl

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Mental Illness is a Thief and a Liar

“I haven’t been seeing you at church lately. Is everything okay?”

“I’ve been depressed, so I was avoiding people. I didn’t want to answer any questions.”

I could say that to my friend because she’s familiar with this struggle. I knew there would only be empathy in her, so I could tell the truth instead of living the “everything is fine” lie for a few minutes. I mean, most of the time I am fine. I feel good. I’m generally happy. I have a good life. But there are times when my body and my brain betray me and I sink into The Bad Place, from which I have to claw my way back out.

This time wasn’t a full visit to The Bad Place. It was standing on the edge of it and looking in while firmly grasping the guard rail. Nevertheless, whether I’m fully immersed or teetering on the precipice, it sucks. Mental illness is a thief. It steals from me on a regular basis. It steals my joy and my happiness. It steals my desire to do pretty much anything. It replaces those precious feelings with emptiness, isolation, and misery. Mental illness is also a liar. It tells me I have no value; that I’ll always be alone; that I am unloveable; that I am not enough.

There’s a good chance that if you know me in real life and you’re reading this, you didn’t know that I am one of the 20% of Americans with mental health issues. I’m really good at hiding it. I can give an Oscar caliber performance in the Everything Is Fine role. There are people in my life that know about my struggle, but I generally don’t broadcast it for public consumption. People can be cruel, either on purpose or out of ignorance, so I am selective in whom I tell.

I’ve been diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder (or clinical depression),  Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and Panic Disorder (I was also diagnosed with an eating disorder, but that is also a story for another day). My brain is sometimes a twisted landscape of wonky chemistry, poor genes, and the leftover effects of a really effed up childhood. There has been some talk about me possibly having PTSD from said effed up childhood. The jury is still out on that diagnosis. It’s been widely discussed, though, that I am remarkable sane and well-adjusted considering the extent of the effed up childhood. I’ve been called “resilient” more than once.

Aside from the actual physical and mental affects of depression and anxiety, the hardest part for me is other people. Not everyone wants to deal with another person’s baggage, so they’re dismissive. Other people genuinely mean well and want to help after I’ve told them about my mental health issues. The thing that is the most difficult for me and the other person is that there is really nothing anyone can do to help. I totally appreciate the desire to help me, especially when I am in The Bad Place. But asking me “what’s wrong?” over and over again isn’t helpful.

The terrible, cruel, answer is that nothing is wrong. This is just how my brain and body function (or malfunctions). There are no immediate circumstances that need fixing. That doesn’t mean, however, that I don’t still feel like an elephant is sitting on my chest, suffocating me. Just because nothing is wrong doesn’t mean that I don’t, sometimes, feel numb and empty inside.

When someone asks me “what’s wrong?” over and over again, I have no good answers. It also puts me in the position of feeling like I need to pretend I’m okay. I am in charge of managing the other person’s feelings about my mental state, and that can be very overwhelming. It would better for me if people said, “how’re you feeling?” verses “what’s wrong?” When I say “I am depressed,” a good response would be “is there anything I can do for you?” I will probably say “no.”

Be okay with that answer. Because you can’t fix me. You can also keep talking to me about normal stuff. Just because I’ve acknowledged my depression doesn’t mean I don’t want you to tell me good things that are happening to you or that I don’t want to hear about how you’re struggling. In fact, it helps me to focus on something else. So tell me about the baby shower/wedding/crappy boss/new hobby/great movie/the book you just read…tell me whatever you were going to say before I said that I was depressed. There’s no rule book for how to speak to someone with mental illness, and I certainly can’t speak for all of us. But this is how I would like to be spoken to. It’s what would help me.

I’m feeling a bit better now. I’m not quite at 100% but I feel better. This post isn’t a cry for help. I’m no longer gripping the guard rail, looking into The Bad Place. I’ve returned to higher ground and will stay there for awhile. But everyone who struggles with mental illness knows that eventually they will return to The Bad Place. It could be better or worse than the last visit, and we really have no control over any of it. But for today, I am victorious and that is enough.


If you suffer from depression and anxiety, you are not alone. I’ve dropped some links below. You are loved. You have value. You are enough.

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Online Dating is the Worst

I don’t know. You’re probably going to ask why I am single and the honest answer is that I don’t know. I like me. It took me a long time to actually like myself, but I do. I’m smart and kind and I’m cute. I mean, have you seen me??? I am fricken adorable! I’d totally date me. But here I am: 41 and single. And I don’t really have a great answer for the eternal question of “why?”

I am primarily at work or church. Work dating is a big fat no, and church dating hasn’t really happened. So, I turned to the world of online dating. When people ask me about my experiences with online dating, I really only have one response: “Jesus,  take the wheel.”



Online dating is not for the faint of heart. No matter which app you’re on, it’s an ordeal. Let me give you some examples. First of all, what people are looking for what seems to be one extreme or the other. Either they have zero interest in “catching feelings” or they propose to you within three messages. Also, ladies, be prepared to see more unsolicited dick pics than you can imagine. I got two this morning before I had my coffee. You can’t expect me to have the patience for penis pictures when I am uncaffeinated. Plus, I didn’t ask. I opened a message and BAM! Eye assault with stranger wiener. Gross.

Then, there’s the never ending requests for “nudes.” “Send nudes!” “Do you have any sexy pics?” “Take a picture for me in nothing but your bra!” Yeah, no. It’s not going to happen. Sorry, fellas.

So much inappropriate and downright weird stuff gets said to me on dating apps that I started an Instagram account to document it all.

On the rare occasion when I meet a normie, they don’t actually want to meet in person. It’s so bizarre. The app is about DATING not being digital pen pals. I get that it’s nerve wracking to meet someone you’ve spent time texting with. Anxiety builds and you’re afraid they won’t like you in person. But what’s the actual point if you never intend to meet? I don’t want to be the girlfriend that lives in your phone!

Also, I’d like to address all the people in relationships who are on these apps. Multiple times a week, I see a profile wherein the guy admits he’s “married and bored” and “looking for a little fun.” I also see many a-profile that states the guy is in a “poly” relationship or that he and his girlfriend/wife are “ethically non-monogamous.” I’ve been propositioned to be a participant in a “throuple” so many times that I have lost count. I’m not judging anyone, but maybe all the people currently in relationships could exit the pool? I’ve got no one and they’re seeking 2nds. Maybe make an app for that and stop littering the field for those of us who just want a single person?

Sometimes, when I am swiping and swiping, I feel like I’m on the quest for the relationship Holy Grail. Did you see Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade? You know the part where the Nazi chooses the wrong cup and he shrivels up into a skeleton and dies? The ancient Templar knight says “he chose poorly.” That’s what I hear in my head every single time I meet someone that I think is going to work out, and then, you know, it blows up in my face.

I’m not giving up, though. I’m sure he’s out there. So, I’ll keep looking.

But if you happen to know any single men who aren’t skeevy…you know, send them my way. It’s like trying to wrangle a unicorn. I can use all the help I can get.

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