She Takes a Peep: Dating and Managing Prospects as a Non-Conventionally Attractive Woman
Chiamaka opens up about some of the difficulties growing up as a fat, dark-skin young girl. She also highlights some ways in which the women who look like her can…
●23rd February 2023
There was a direct shift in the way that I was treated when my body shifted from being one of a thin child with cute cheeks to a young girl that was bigger than most (if not all) of her peers. The change did not only come from outside in society but also in my home, where people expect would be a safe space. Even as a young child, I could feel the difference in the ways that people looked at me and in the feedback that my body began to gain. I knew how people often responded to my much smaller sister with kindness, and me with vitriol. This pretty much affirmed how romantic life would look in my future, since I had been pretty much assured by older women that no man would ever genuinely love my fat body. The men who did catcall or ‘hit on’ me where often much older and would insist that by virtue of my big body, I was ready for reproduction and to be used as their downtrodden homemaker.
There are countries where I absolutely have no romantic prospects. Some people would say this is an exaggeration, some would insist that I self-love my way to victory and some would flat out advise me to lose weight if I wanted this to change. Some would insist that I am just too picky, as if fat people should be grateful for any interest since our bodies are already so much of a turn off. I know that in while schooling in Boston, I was romantically and sexually bereft. Of course, there were people who would stick their penises inside me, quite happily, but those people did not even see me as human. To them, I was just a means to an end. I might as well have been a wet sock, for all they cared. They would have used and discarded me just as easily.
Whenever I arrived to Nigeria for holiday and after graduating, I became almost insulated with the idea that people here were actually attracted to me. I saw the lascivious looks men gave me, the way they often made passes and how consistently sexual those passes were. At first, I took this to mean that this interest would actually go beyond the bedroom, if they just got to know how great I was. I allowed men to significantly control our interactions, which could possibly be the biggest mistake a woman in her prime could ever make. Through conditioning, the idea that a man would reward me with romantic interest as soon as I proved myself to be deserving of it settled in. Although it took some time to sink in, the message soon made itself clear enough. Men were flaunting the women they believed were worthy of their interest, their compassion and their monies while I was languishing in the background, being a side character to all these relevant stories.
Soon enough, I began to abhor the treatment I was receiving and decided that I would educate other non-conventionally attractive women so they did not make the same mistakes that I so often made. In order to manage prospects as a non-conventionally attractive woman, one must first have a standard. I encourage us all to ask for what we want and feel comfortable doing it, because people will not hesitate to ask the world of us. So many men demanded my time, my devotion and my body, without intending to reciprocate even the least bit. They felt I should be grateful for their attentions, while being the ones to chase me the most. Ensure that you practice self-preservation. Think less about a potential partner’s feelings towards you, and more about your own. Size them up and leave them where they are lacking. Never ever beg them to show you affection, as they are not the star of your show.
Next, watch the ways they treat the conventionally attractive women in their lives versus you and act accordingly. One thing that really opened my eyes in Lagos was watching the social media pages of men who languished in my direct messages day and night. I would see these men ask me consistently to visit their houses, as if that was the only place fitting for me. Then at night, I would watch them go to clubs and dinner dates with women who they felt were fitting to their standards in society’s eyes. Treat these kinds of suitors accordingly. They seek to use you, so feel free to use them right back. Whenever they message you with stupid requests, remind them that you have a couple of bills due. Do not ask them to take you on dates nor to shower you with enjoyment, as people will freely do these things for whomever they really wish to.
Some would try to convince you that you should be more of an indoor person or denigrate your looks. Be sure to rub your sexiness in their faces when you get glammed up for girls’ night or any other personal event. A person who truly wants you should be willing to show you the same energy as they would those who stroke their dirty egos. Lastly, do not be scared to lose suitors. I remember always being afraid to ask for what I needed or holding back my desires, because I felt that doing so would chase them away. Remind yourself of who you are and make sure that those who see fit to treat you less have no comfort playing in your face. Now, go out there and be great.