Don’t Assume Girls Care About Your Opinion

The following email exchange happened a while back.  I realise that I probably overreacted, but what he said still does bother me because a lot of guys do somehow think that an appropriate or relevant response to a girl expressing her low-self esteem is to assure her that they still find her attractive…  I’m just going to leave this here without expressing any further opinion on it.  You are free to come up with your own conclusions on this.

Me: “My initial response to “I can be beautiful at my healthy weight” was “wtf, no, you need to have a BMI of less than 17 and have visible hip-bones and a thigh gap to be beautiful”.”

Him: You are beautiful now and I absolutely believe you can be beautiful at your healthy weight.  And maybe I would fall in love with you then… You know my enthusiasm for girls at/a little heavier than their healthy weight.

Me: I don’t even really care whether [my love interest] finds me beautiful at my healthy weight, and if his opinion on this doesn’t matter…I’m sorry, but yours doesn’t really either.  The thing about my issues with weight is that it’s not even about weight.  To me, skinny=self-control=beautiful.  That’s why I do it.  It’s not even about society or media or anything else saying skinny=beautiful, and it’s certainly not the opinions of men!  And if you fall in love with me for my body, you need to stop. Love is not lust, and if you think they’re equivalent, you need to seriously re-evaluate how you see women.  Also, the world does not revolve around men.  Women’s self-esteem does not revolve around men.  Women’s desire to be thin is largely based on the fact that this is what other women judge them on, not based around what men judge them for.  If men’s opinions were at all important in this discussion, the standards for beauty wouldn’t be as thin as they are.  A very large number of men prefer curvy women because they’re biologically programmed to do so, curvy women are more fertile, favouring them favours the passing on of any particular man’s genetic material.

Him: Why is it that you this sensitive over topics that have to do with how men and women interact with each other (I’m not sure that one was brought up here)? I do notice that whenever I say something that has to do with women (I don’t know what exactly about women is it anymore) you do start telling me about how evil and unworthy men are. Do you hate men? And do you believe women are superior to men or something like that?

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3 thoughts on “Don’t Assume Girls Care About Your Opinion

  1. It’s pretty gutsy for men to assume that we women do everything we do in order to gain a favorable opinion from them. Did they ever stop for a minute to think that maybe we watch our weight because being skinny makes US happy? Did they ever think that we wear makeup because we damn want to? Nothing I do to improve my appearance is so that men will find me more attractive. I do it so that I will find myself more attractive, and that’s all that matters. Great post, and fantastic blog! Care to check out mine? downwiththenorm.wordpress.com

  2. “To me, skinny=self-control=beautiful. That’s why I do it. It’s not even about society or media or anything else saying skinny=beautiful, and it’s certainly not the opinions of men!”

    I think after my eating disorder got seriously life-threatening I started thinking men wouldn’t find me attractive and I’d never get laid/fall in love/have a family if I got back to a healthy weight like people wanted to. But really, I think the only reason I had those thoughts at all – considering how long I went very very sick without that kind of thinking – is because I was looking for any possible excuse to be able to keep control of my food and weight. I think it’s easier for a lot of people to understand “I want to be thin so I can be beautiful and other people will like me!” than “I want to be skinny so that I can prove to myself that I am strong, worthy, and in control.” Also, claiming the first puts the problem on other people, while admitting the second is very similar to admitting that maybe you have a problem and need to get help.

    Anyway…this is very well put, and I really admire the courage it takes to say that so bluntly and articulately. It feels like someone who can say everything you said above is someone who isn’t afraid of who she is.

    I don’t know if you’re still struggling with food/weight/ED stuff or whatever (and to be clear, I’m not assuming you had or have an eating disorder, I’m just reflecting on my own experiences), but if you are, I hope it’s easing. If you are in recovery (again, not making assumptions, just a big old “if”), I hope you’re finding the strength you need.

    • Sorry for the extremely late reply. I’ve been really busy with exams.

      Your thought processes sound really similar to mine. Although my struggles with food never became seriously life-threatening and I never did have an actual eating disorder, I did find that I didn’t want to have a healthy relationship with food either, and I justified that by using a desire to fall in love, have a family etc. as an excuse to keep on holding on to the illusion of control that skipping meals gave me.

      Thank you so much for your kind words. It really does mean a lot. I’m still struggling with food, but it’s easing. I’m slowly learning to challenge those thoughts and to see that I can take control of my life while taking care of my body.

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