Real women have back fat. Real women also don’t have an ounce of back fat.
Real women, in fact, have all kinds of curves and wrinkles and pockets and lines. Every single body is different and has its own flaws and perfections, the result of a complex play of socioeconomic factors, heredity, health issues, lifestyle choices and a myriad of combinations of those factors. Women, just like men, come in every imaginable shape and size.
While none of this is big news, the thing that has me worked up at the moment is the double standard when it comes to weight and gender.
Women get fat-shamed for the slightest bulge, pudge or cosmetic imperfection, while men get beer commercials and sitcoms. It’s not only accepted, but expected that men get beer bellies or man boobs. Go on, big fella, get you one of those big, fat juicy burgers and down that with a few pints of ale. Ladies, here is your lettuce and Smart Water. And you need to get on a juice cleanse next week, because that extra three pounds you put on over the holidays is beginning to show.
After losing half my body weight, I somehow thought that life would get easier. Somehow, I thought that all of this would be easier. But as it turns out, it's harder. It's more frustrating and far more painful living in this body than it ever was living in my 300-pound one.
When I weighed 300 pounds, it was easy to look in the mirror and say, "Okay, this is not going to be everyone's cup of tea." It was easy to slide into a size 30 set of knit separates and understand why I wasn't getting asked out or getting my drinks bought for me or having to field advances. That was easy. It sucked, but it was easy.
Losing the weight doesn't necessarily fix anything. And losing that much weight doesn't necessarily land you in a bikini body, either. I have back fat. I will probably always have back fat. I don't have the money to undergo a full plastic surgery reconstruction and I'm not sure I'm vain enough to undergo such a procedure if I did. So at the moment, this is me. This is my body. This is my back fat. And this is my arm fat, and waist fat and butt fat.
I had a friend recently tell me, when I was going through a particularly tough time, that I needed to stop going out with attractive men, because guys like that won't ever love a girl with back fat. They might in private and behind closed doors, but not publicly.
I have not been able to shake those words. I can't shake them because they are true. She's right. Now, don't go getting all, "I know lots of men who like back fat," "Guys don't really care," "If you are beautiful on the inside, it doesn't matter,", etc. Those statements are true as well, to an extent. But in most cases, those are the exception to the rule, or are comments coming from partners who connected before the baby weight or slowed metabolism set in. So, let's just quit the bullshit and talk honestly and frankly for a second.