Emily Timbol

Fiction Author. Good at making stuff up.

Fat and Happy and Loved


Last week I came across an essay that was so well-written and powerful, I was thinking about it for days after. The writer, Alana Massey, spoke frankly about the lengths she went to to stay thin, and how this affected her relationships with the men who sought her out specifically for this feature. Here’s an excerpt:

And though I never had trouble getting a respectable amount of romantic attention, at a size 0 it rushed in at such a volume and with such enthusiasm that it was difficult not to be taken aback. I always thought it was a melodramatic cliché when thin women said that the more they disappeared, the more visible they became, but it was now undeniable. Male acquaintances suddenly wanted to spend more alone time together. Compliments during sexual encounters that were once full of the word “beautiful” became dominated by mesmerized declarations about me being so “little” and “tiny.” Men suddenly felt comfortable telling mean-spirited jokes about overweight women and lamenting how poorly other women took care of themselves. I’d only dropped a couple of sizes but I was in an entirely new country.

After reading the piece I tweeted the author and the site, The New Inquiry, to tell them how much I enjoyed the essay. Autumn, who runs the section the essay was published on, The Beheld, asked me if I’d be interested in writing a piece from the perspective of someone who is (in my words) “real fat.” As you can imagine, I was very interested, and my thoughts on how being fat have affected both my image and relationships with men were published today.

You can find my essay, “Fat and Happy and Loved” here, on The New Inquiry’s section, The Beheld.

Hope you enjoy.

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