I had more dates in a month in the US than I would in a decade in Australia.
Seriously. As a fat girl I never had dates while living in Australia – but as soon as I moved to Los Angeles everything changed. Men asked me out left, right and centre.
Guys literally chased me out of bars just to speak to me (one of those encounters even turned into a three year relationship.)
I was single, ready to flamingle and life in Hollywood was amazing and everything you’d imagine.
My plus size blog Big Curvy Love was kicking along, I was working in podcasting, rocking fabulous fashion and for once in my life finally felt like a legit part of the deep end of the dating pool.
I even launched my own 50 Fat Dates project as a way of documenting my experience in the plus size dating world.
I’d grown up in Australia thinking I was the problem (not slim enough, pretty enough, smart enough, or cool enough) – then one day I had an epiphany.
‘It’s not me. It’s you!’
And by ‘you’ I mean Aussie guys. Which is why I packed up, sold everything, gave up my radio hosting job and moved to Los Angeles with nothing but a suitcase.
I was exactly the same person; same personality, same looks, and same weight. The only thing that was different was the location. It changed everything.
My apartment was two blocks from the Hollywood Walk of Fame and was like living in a real-life Melrose Place situation.
The guy next door was a drag queen, another neighbour was a romance novelist/ science professor/female bodybuilder, the guy above me worked for movie studio, there was a photographer, bass guitarist, actor, luxury car salesperson and me. It was heaven.
I was in the centre of the world’s biggest dream factory, but the reality was I was crafting my own dream through 50 Fat Dates. The purpose was to offer myself up as the guinea pig for plus size daters and report back on my experiences worts and all. I went through all the options dating had to offer including Tinder, speed dating, mixers, activity-based dating, and introductions from friends.
Online dating was a huge part too. I created profiles on a lot of online dating sites.
I’m not just talking about the big time global dating sites either. I also tried niche plus size sites, sugar daddy sites, interracial sites, and even a random one where the guy pays you to date them! It was a personal priority to make sure I included up-to-date full length photos so when I showed up in person my date actually got what they’d seen online.
No catfishing from this gal. My authenticity wasn’t always reciprocated but I could sleep well at night back at Melrose Place.
I also did things to bust this big booty out of my comfort zone. For me this was going to a big girl nightclub (yes they exist) but by far the most interesting and effective way to meet single and eligible men was randomly ‘in the wild’.
This is what never happens in Australia. There’s zero chance of a random bloke on the street walking over, striking up a conversation and asking me on a date. In fairness, I don’t think this happens to ‘regular’ size people either but the point is still valid.
In LA there were so many impromptu meetings that led to dates.
Everyone warned me that LA is the worst for dating but it’s so much easier than Sydney.
I met ‘The Lumbersexual’ at my local coffee shop while he was shooting a movie, ‘Mr. Beverly Hills’ rolled up next to me in the The Beverly Centre parking lot, ‘The Mamas Boy’ flashed me his gold grill at a fashion show, and ‘The Plumber’ literally knocked on my door to fix the toilet. That’s just a few.
“Surely these guys only date you because they think you’re desperate and will sleep with anyone.” I hear some of you say.
In Australia I’m always the butt of the joke – but in LA I was just a chick with a fabulous big butt (it took me decades to be able to acknowledge that).
Being a ‘big girl’ in the USA isn’t a deal breaker by any means – it’s a descriptor, not an insult. Some men like blondes, some like tall women, some are attracted to boobs, butts, brains, athletic types, and some like big girls, fat chicks, or plus size women. Whatever you want to call it.
I kept wondering why American guys are so different to Aussie blokes when it comes to dating fat chicks and why in one country I’m kryptonite and the other I’m candy. I thought maybe attraction to plus size women was related to ethnicity and the idea that in the USA it’s common to see plus size women held up in the media as beautiful especially in the African American and Latin communities.
Now, I believe it’s cultural. The idea of a plus size woman being considered sexy in Australia doesn’t happen. We’re the ‘before’ on the Biggest Loser, the mum, the funny fat friend, the relatable mate but never the desired.
The fact that Australia doesn’t have a dating culture doesn’t help either. Things are changing with loads of online dating sites and apps like Tinder but we still aren’t quite there yet.
When everyone says, “I can’t believe you’re not taken.” Post continues after audio.
As much as I loved living large in LA it finally came to and end and I’m now back in Oz and single as hell.
As soon as the wheels hit the tarmac an invisibility cloak descended over me and I was once again back to being undateable. I knew this would happen before I booked my ticket but it’s just something I accepted as part of coming home.
For decades I tried to prove my worth is more than my weight to no avail – so I literally had to move overseas to be seen.
So, do you know any single American guys who want to date me? Send them my way!