I’m taking online dating for a spin. We already know this is a catalyst for a horde of neurosis to come erupting forth from the bowels of your adolescent collaged journal. A thing you had hoped to have buried by now. Yet, you’re back to feeling like a lonely horny 14-year-old again.
Of course, this means some interesting mental gymnastics for a girl who is ‘not skinny.’ I’m in a weird space, you see. According to my BMI, I am around 15lbs overweight depending on the day. I don’t think most people are comfortable calling me fat. Pleasantly plump? Rubenesque? Chubby? I really don’t know. Depending on the store I could fit into anything between a size 10 and 14. My boobs are definitely the cause for me buying anything 14 though. So what then? Am I curvy? Am I plus-size? Am I average? What do I call myself without being misleading, or self-depreciating, or…whatever?
When most men think curvy they think Salma Hayek or Sofia Vergara…or someone else who’s Latin, maybe. Some people say Nigella Lawson or Christina Hendriks—but then others would call these sumptuous voluptuous Venuses fat. If they’re fat then I’m fat. They fluctuate in size and roundness about as much as I do. However, even comparing myself to them might be a bit misleading.
I’m busty. Check. Small in the waist. Check. Round hips. Check CHECK. BUT. I have broad shoulders, and muscular arms and legs.
This is a relatively less feminine physique. This is not the archetype of the sultry Monroe physique.
Funneled through this is paranoia. I’ve already heard all of the stories about how men are most afraid of getting catfished by a “fat chick” online. When I look at the prescribed internet rulings of what each size option on a profile means, anything that’s not skinny or athletic decidedly means fat. But…I don’t want to call myself fat…I’m barely even plus-sized.
Is this misguided vanity? Am I enabling some sort of delusional self-love or wallowing in denial? Fuck if I know. I honestly feel like, no matter the size, you shouldn’t have to call yourself fat if it has a bunch of negative connotations. Is it wrong to want a nicer name for what you are? One that isn’t loaded with negativity? I just put full-figured and made sure there was a picture where I definitely did not look skinnier than I am. Still, every time someone messages me I have this needling fear that I lied by not clearly stating my dress size.
It occurred to me though, isn’t this everyone’s problem? Who really ticks off the boxes for everything? Who fits tidily into a description?
I think everyone honestly grapples with this in the real world, but it’s way more intense in a game of harem line up on a stranger’s computer; advertising oneself to the cusp of untruths. Does anyone ever feel confident when they show up on that date off of Tinder, they haven’t somehow bamboozled the other person? Before even giving them a good look, don’t we all search their eyes for sign of disappointment or disgust? It could just be me.
Maybe, I’m projecting my own lack of social grace and comfort on the world-at-large.