Tuesday, March 02, 2010

The sum of the whole equals?

I've been thinking about doing this post for a week or two now but kept putting it off due to the fact that it may come across as me fishing for compliments. I would just like to assure you that I am indeed not doing anything of the sort, this is an honest conclusion that I have come to and it would be interesting to see if any of you have found it to be the same.

A couple of weeks ago I was suffering from a bout of low self esteem (as per usual) and started pondering the whole self image idea and how I am perceived by others and how I would like to be perceived and then it just moved generally onto the concept of what is attractive and how people view attractive people.

That got a bit rambly, sorry.

Anyway, I thought about this for a while and for once tried to be quite objective about it. I get very depressed and it generally revolves around my body image and so for once I tried to identify why this means so much to me. I didn't actually come to any forgone conclusions regarding that but I did come to this conclusion - bigger women are never described as beautiful
(and I say women because I am one and I am not going to attempt to dissect the problems men have with their body image here today). And I know they say 'Big is beautiful' but we all know that fat women came up with that logo to make ourselves feel better about ourselves...

I'm not saying that there aren't attractive larger people out there, but when people describe those of us who are fatter than the norm, beautiful isn't a word that crops up generally (and I'm putting myself in this category based on my BMI, clothing size and those things in your head called eyes).

Following is a list of words that, in my experience, tend to be used when describing a bigger person of above average looks...

It seems that when people use the word 'beautiful' to describe someone, they are taking into account the whole package. It's someone who has a great figure, great hair, gorgeous eyes, nice skin, a sense of style, perfect posture and poise, are graceful, you know, the whole kit and kaboodle.

Bigger people don't seem to ever have the 'whole package' (except to those few people who defy the norm and fall head over heels in love with us and therefore they are biased)

Instead, if given a compliment it generally refers to a specific feature.
For example I have been complimented on -
*My boobs (on the sheer basis that they are large enough to exert their own gravitational pull)
*My eyes (apparently some people find beady little black eyes nice. I on the other hand wish I had that gorgeous green that both my sisters were blessed with)
*My teeth (The orthodontist promised me that two years of braces would pay off one day)
*My hair (when I actually try it can be quite soft and in winter when it gets damp from the drizzle little ringlets form and frame my face)
*My calves (especially when I've been gyming but even when not I seem to have well defined calf muscles. Above the knee it's cellulite hell)

Now I'm not saying that being called pretty or attractive isn't nice - it is! But at heart every woman wants to be told she's beautiful, and not just during sex because we all know those times don't count! Little girls long to grow up from the ugly duckling into the beautiful swan, teenage girls wish they would be plucked from obscurity by an undercover modelling agent who can see dormant beauty waiting to be discovered, older women want to be those perfect women we see on the cover of magazines and in movies. It's just a fact that every woman want to feel special and beautiful.

What is your experience with this? Are you bigger than normal but get told you're beautiful every day? Or have you come to the same conclusion? Or are you a normal sized person who thinks that bigger women can be beautiful. Or are you just one of those nice people that think beauty is within and no matter what you look like, if you have a beautiful personality that will shine through? Let me know, I'm interested to hear what you have to say.


DavePrime said...


Smerk said...

I honestly wonder what (the very, very few - in fact, only one guy has called me beautiful in the past month, and it wasn't Acci (nor was it the guy with the 21-year-old daughter)) guys are looking at when they tell me I'm beautiful...

Helen said...

I think you the word "beautiful" can mean different things to different people, but personally I agree that being beautiful is about the whole package. However, I disagree that smaller women are more beautiful.

When I tell say that a girl is beautiful, it's about their kindness, strength, love, friendship, and the beauty that I physically see because of who they are. A smile, a look, a stance. When the physical, mental & emotional combine... only then can beauty exist in my eyes. :-)

Hieronymous Anonymous said...

I don't think beauty is linked to size at all. I think that Helen put it better than I can.
I would say, however, that if someone is not being called beautiful is not a reflection on them, necessarily. It may just be a reflection on the people around them who just don't use that word.
But, Nettie, I think you're beautiful.

Maegan said...

You're beautiful, Nettie. :)

Shawna said...

Except for Dave, I don't get called beautiful much, and it surprises me when I do, because I don't fit my idea of beauty at all. Which is weird, because I've noticed that you guys all share similar physical characteristics with me, and I think all of y'all are beautiful.

Anyhow, yes, Helen put it quite well, and I will just say again (in case it wasn't clear already) that I think you're beautiful, Nettie! *hugs*

Also, my verification word is "joyalien." Hmm...

Oppiejoe said...

Nettie... you know I have always found you to be a "beautiful" person and body size never came into the equation. I base it partially on the photos you have posted, but another very important part of it is the way you interact with me (and others - at least publicly via the internet since we are so very far apart physically).

I have gone from a "large but fit" person to just plain overweight in the last couple of years. There are a LOT of self image issues creating that vicious little voice in my head telling me how "ugly" I am... and that self talk is projected to the public in such a way that I generally repel anyone who might think about having any kind of interaction with me (positive or negative) before anything spoken ever happens. There are still a few people who say I am a a handsome guy, but they have known me for a long time and have a vested interest in that sentiment.

Because of my history I am very careful about using the word "beautiful" about anyone or anything, but I can say without reservation that you are beautiful to me...

My word verification was ormine