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Dating Tips For Fat Guys

Every once in a while, I like to poll my readers on the NerdLove Facebook Page and on Twitter to find out what issues they feel are holding them back when it comes to dating. And the most common answer is: “I worry that I’m too fat to date.”

I’ll be honest: I’m not surprised. America’s a big country and we’re getting bigger. According to the Center for Disease Control, 69% of adults 20 years old and over are overweight and 35% are considered obese. And yet even when the number of people who are considered overweight form the majority of the population, obesity is in many ways one of the remaining acceptable prejudices. Last week, the #fatshamingweek hastag was trending on Twitter as numerous assholes and shitbags 1 took to the network and decided to mock fat people – mostly women, but men too – from behind the dubious anonymity of their Twitter accounts.

Now we could dwell on the fact that these various winners are not gym-sculpted Adonnises themselves, but instead I want to focus on the positive and work on improving people’s lives instead of trying to stroke the hate-boner. Besides, the best revenge is living well and there’s nothing quite like seeing the underdog succeed despite all of his or her disadvantages.

I mean, c’mon. The cognitive dissonance alone can make people’s heads explode.

“Whoop, there went another Red-Piller. We loose so many of them this way.”

Now, I’m going to be blunt: dating can suck when you’re fat. Societal standards of beauty are not only arbitrary but often literally impossible to achieve without Photoshop and make-up and there are assholes out there who feel empowered to mock fat people with impunity. But being large and in charge doesn’t mean that you’re doomed to a life of being forever alone; in fact, you may find that you have far more options for finding love, sex and happiness than you’d ever believe possible.

Large dudes will frequently lament that their size automatically disqualifies them from dating – they believe that there is simply no way a woman could possibly like somebody who’s body isn’t rippled and shiny like a buttered ear of corn. Except… they totally do.

There are plenty of notable examples out there if you look around. Kevin Smith, for all of his fashion sins that I will get into in a second, is happily married with a lovely wife and daughter. Patton Oswalt, same story. Josh Gad, ditto. Seth Rogan is no Abercrombie and Fitch model but he’s also happily married.

It’s easy to forget this when the TV and magazines are showing you nothing but image after image of cut, veiny men with swimmers builds with women draped all over them like fur stoles, but women actually like a far wider range of body types than we’d think. Ask five women what their ideal male build is and you’ll get six different answers.

Take, for example, this image from a feature in the UK periodical The Sun; they flipped the script by posing ordinary men in underwear ads a la David Beckham or Christiano Ronaldo:


The gentleman on the left has ended up with quite the devoted female fanbase; many many women prefer large and burly even when society insists that they only like guys who look like they’re 3% body fat.

More importantly though, it’s important to remember that attraction is about more than just looks – it’s about personality, presence and what you bring to the table. There’s no denying that looks help. But not only are they not the only factor, they’re the one that’s the most mutable.

Part of being able to accept that women will find you attractive is to understand that being fat isn’t a cut and dry issue.

Weight in the US is a loaded subject; society often equates being heavy with being lazy and/or weak-willed. Being fat is treated as a referendum on your worth as a person – people see it as an implication that you’re only fat because you simply don’t want to change badly enough. After all, if they’d just apply themselves, fat people could lose weight easily! Right? Right?

Well… not so much. Some people can lose weight without barely trying while others can exercise and diet until their eyes bleed and barely see the scale shift.

As we’ve been learning over the years, weight gain and loss is more complicated than a simple issue of “calories ingested <= calories burned”. The most obvious issue is the simple fact that not all calories are the same; otherwise people could lose weight while eating a restricted calorie diet that consisted primarily of sugar and Doritos.

Trust me, I’m a doctor. NOW GIVE ME ALL YOUR MONEY.

They’d be suffering from scurvy in short order, but hey, at least they’d be fitting into 32 jeans, right? Do teeth really look as good as skinny feels?

The societal disdain for heavyset people is so ingrained that even people who are fat feel ashamed about who they are and that they have to apologize for some personal flaw that leaves them with the mark of Canes 2 when the truth about obesity is as much about external factors as it is about food consumption.

Over the years, we have been discovering that there are innumerable other factors that affect body fat accumulation and weight gain. Many people who’ve struggled with weight-loss have been found to have Celiac disease or other gluten allergies that prevent the body from absorbing vitamins and minerals properly, sending the body into “survival mode”.

Other scientists have discovered a strong link between the chemical Bisphenol A and weight gain; BPA is found in many consumer products, including bottled water and food packaging, making it an invisible but nearly unavoidable part of our lives.

Still more factors include the ubiquity of high-fructose corn syrup in our food, the negative side-effects from processed soy products and even just plain old genetics and evolution. Moreover, all fat people aren’t created equal; scientists have found that many people – as many as 1 in 4 – can be overweight without suffering from the health issues such as higher incidents of heart disease, high blood-pressure and type-2 diabetes. BMI is a profoundly inaccurate measure of just about everything and being skinny doesn’t guarantee good health.

The next key is simply to accept that your body is your body and your shape is your shape and there is only so much that you can do to change that.

Your overall shape is going to be controlled by your bone structure and genetics as much as is by your diet and exercise. Some people simply have long, skinny frames and will always be lean and lanky no matter how much they try to bulk up. Others are shorter and squatter and will always appear heavier.

Some people have shorter torsos and trunks, which will affect their visual proportions; a longer torso makes you look skinnier even if you’re overweight while a shorter one makes you appear wider.

Even if you do lose weight, it’s no guarantee that you’re going to look like the cover of Men’s Health; a visible six-pack is as much the result of genetics, dehydration and favorable lighting as it is eating nothing but broiled chicken breasts and steamed broccoli and five hundred crunches a day. A low-carb diet might help you lose weight, but it’s not going to change your underlying frame; if you’re naturally compact and dense, then you’re not going to jog that away.

Speaking for myself: I’m short and broad. I inherited the O’Malley shoulders and I’m naturally barrel-chested; no amount of dieting or jogging is going to make that smaller. I’m always going to look more like a beer keg than Henry Cavill no matter what I do or don’t eat.

… but there’s always going to be a line of ladies ready to tap that!

Once you accept your shape, then you can work within it.

Too many people who are concerned about their weight try to dress to conceal it, usually wearing clothes that are too big and loose. The problem is that all this does is draw attention to the fact that you’re trying to hide things – and making you look worse in the process. When you’re overweight, you’re already dealing with the stereotype of being sloppy and lazy; trying to get by in nothing but sports jerseys and relaxed-fit jeans just confirms it in the eyes of others.


You want to wear clothes that actually fit you. Even if you’re big, wearing clothes that fit properly will flatter your profile and make you look more attractive. Yes, I realize that you’re sensitive to people noticing your stomach or your nech. I realize that baggy clothes seem more comfortable. Trust me: clothes that fit right may feel odd at first but you’ll quickly start to realize how much better it feels when your clothes support you instead of trying to conceal you.

You want simple clothes that define your shape rather than just hang. Bold prints are a bad idea as they tend to draw attention to your size. You’ll do better to dress in solid, uniform colors that will unify your silhouette. Contrasting colors – a dark shirt over light pants, for example – provide a visual break and draw attention to the lines of your body, making you look even larger.

You want fitted shirts rather than simple box-cuts; these will fit your build better instead of looking baggy and shapeless. Whenever possible, you also want a spread collar; a narrow collar will just emphasize the width of your face. Similarly, you want straight-leg jeans instead of relaxed fit and everybody wants flat-front slacks. Whenever possible, you want thinner materials; cashmere sweaters in the cold are much better suited for the larger gent rather than a chunky cardigan. Jackets – especially dark wash denim or sport coats can help provide shape and definition. Opt for three-button blazers; they lengthen your silhouette nicely and avoid pulling at your clothes. Vests are also a good idea; the V shape flatters your torso and draws attention to your chest instead of your neck or midsection, plus add a bit of natty stylishness; it’s hard to call someone sloppy when they’re wearing a sharp vest.

Larger accessories also help by keeping everything in proportion; the trend to oversized watches works in your favor here.

Eat Better and Exercise

Yes, I realize that I said earlier that diet and exercise isn’t the ticket to being skinny. This isn’t about losing weight, this is about being healthy. The average American diet is fucking horrible. We eat far too much processed food, drink far too little water and on the whole don’t get nearly enough exercise. This doesn’t just contribute to weight issues but to depression, mood-swings, digestive issues, poor sleeping habits and a weakened immune system.

Plus: eating like shit? Makes you ugly. Beyond the common junk-food boogieman of acne, a shitty diet makes your skin look sallow while your hair gets lank and brittle.

Changing up your diet is one of the easiest and best ways to improve not just your health but your skin-tone, hair, energy level and mental outlook. Whether or not you lose weight is secondary compared to the other benefits.

Ideally, you want to eat as clean as possible; that is, you want to avoid high-fructose corn syrup (which is, admittedly, difficult as hell) and all processed food and beverages, including diet sodas – my own personal vice. You also want to avoid simple and refined carbohydrates as much as possible – this includes white flour and sugar while ensuring that your diet is heavy on green leafy vegetables, lean proteins and complex carbohydrates.

It can be difficult – most processed foods are specifically designed to be addictive and salt, fat and sugar have similar effects on the brain to cocaine and heroin – but the overall results are worth it. A cheat day per week, where you allow yourself to eat what you’d like makes it easier to eat healthily 90% of the time without losing your goddamn monkey mind.

You also want to exercise more. The average American lifestyle is profoundly sedentary; we spend the better part of our lives just sitting in place when we’re designed for movement. Just as with a healthier diet, increased exercise has benefits above and beyond simple weight-loss; exercise helps release endorphins into your blood, improving your mood as well as your creative output.

Also, I’m going to be honest here: the stereotype of a fat man is someone who gets sweaty just looking at stairs and can barely walk five feet without gasping for breath and needing a break. This is unattractive under the best of circumstances, but doubly so if you’re already large. If this is you, then you definitely need to hit the gym. Being active and exercising will build up your endurance and cut down on jokes about having a heart attack from the strain of picking up your mail. Making the transition between “fat” and “Large and strong” can make all the difference in the way you see yourself.

You don’t necessarily need to hit the gym three or four times a week – forcing yourself to do exercises you hate is only going to make you quit. You just need to find activities that you enjoy that provide a cardiovascular benefit whether it’s jogging, playing sports, kayaking, bicycling, walking or studying martial arts.

There’s nothing quite as satisfying as pounding on the heavy bag like you’re beating on some motherfucker who REALLY needs his face pushed in.

You also want to be doing more weight lifting. Most people who start an exercise program tend to focus on cardiovascular exercise without including a weight training regimen, which is a mistake. Weight training acts as a booster to the benefits you gain from cardio, adding intensity to your workouts and improving the overall results. Weight-training exercises do wonders for your physical health, improving joint function, circulation and muscle tone. If you’re heavier than you’d like to be, developing more muscle helps increase your basal metabolic rate, increasing the amount of calories you burn just by being awake and semi-active.

If you lose weight, then great. But whether you do or you don’t, a proper diet and exercise will help improve your life overall, making you feel better and giving you increased confidence.

Don’t Hide Yourself

One of the common mistakes I’ve seen fat guys make is to either make excuses for their size or attempt to laugh it off by making jokes about cushioning or how much more there is for people to love. Both of these approaches are mistakes; they betray a sense of insecurity. Making jokes about your size is almost always a defense mechanism, trying to get the insult in before anybody else does to take the sting out of it… and it just calls attention to the fact that you’re big and you feel awkward about it.

The key is simply to not bring it up at all. You’re big, you know it, she knows it. Presenting yourself as though you’re simply not ashamed of yourself is far more attractive than trying to armor yourself up with jokes.

Don’t get me wrong: humor is attractive… but defensive or self-deprecating humor goes from “funny” to “really kind of pitiful” very quickly. The last thing you want to do is send off signals about how you hate yourself.

To that end: it’s important that you maintain proper body language. Big guys will tend to try to minimize themselves and hide their stomachs by slouching or curling in to not take up as much space. Standing up straight with your shoulders back will speak more to your confidence – a far more attractive trait – than constantly seeming as though you’re apologizing for existing.

Similarly: don’t hold back and try to fade into the background until someone approaches you. A wide, genuine smile and a hearty laugh and a willingness to make conversation makes you a more appealing figure; it turns you from “who’s that fat guy” to “who’s that fun guy everyone wants to talk to?”

Cold hard truth time: there are going to be people who are going to dislike you off the bat for being large. There will be women who roll their eyes at you for “daring” to come up to talk to them. There will be guys who try to squeeze you out by making jokes about you being huge. There will be people who are going to mock you for the temerity for thinking that you can be attractive.

That’s actually a benefit in disguise. It’s always handy when the assholes self-identify so that you know that you can safely disregard their opinions as bullshit.

Yes, it’s easy to say “grow a thicker skin” in response to the abuse that gets heaped upon you… but that doesn’t mean that it’s not necessary. There are assholes out there who live for causing other people misery. There will be days when it seems like everyone is determined to shit all over you, personally. But in the end, their opinions don’t fucking matter. They’re showing themselves to be fuckheads, so why should you gift them with the power to hurt you? Why should you care about what some fuckhead thinks?

“Hold on. I’m getting ready to try to find some fucks to give.”

The women who reject you are especially giving you a gift – they’re letting you know right off the bat that you don’t need to waste your time on them. Each woman who reacts badly to you is one more person you never have to think about again, giving you more time to find someone who gets you and wants what you have to offer.

Look: you’re going to get rejected. That’s part of dating. You’re going to get rejected by women you approach, even women who may like you platonically. The thing is: this happens to everyone, fat or skinny, tall or short. Even the hottest men out there get shot down – I’ve watched legendary lady killers put their best moves on women only to see them go home alone.

The answer to haters is perseverance. The answer to rejection is to try more, to date more.

There are people out there who are looking for a guy like you. Don’t make it harder for them to find you.

  1. Not surprisingly, started by known asshat and PUA RooshV, he of the “I can’t get laid in Denmark because SOCIALISM” fame. [↩]

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The 'eating better' part reminded me of a dude I know who nicks the stereotype that fat people love food by becoming a connoisseur of it(prominent in the equivalent of Baking and Cooking socs, regularly has dudettes over for dinner, recently branched out into beer tasting). Perhaps peeps could do an equivalent of that self-branding article from a few weeks ago and look for larger celebs to steal the aesthetic from?

Good point. I'd rather date a fat guy who really knows his food, than a skinny guy who eats like an idiot. The foodie's more fun.

Some good advice there for us full-figured ladies as well!

6 months ago, if you had asked me, I would have said I preferred skinny, wiry, shorter men. Both my prior boyfriends fit that description and when I notice men, I tend to notice guys built like that. It isn't that I thought bigger men were unattractive. I just never gave them much thought one way or another. For that reason, when I tried online dating I picked that body type and "athletic/fit" because I am a long distance runner.

Then I met my current BF who kind of looks like this: (sorry for long link)

Bigger than I thought was my type, taller than I thought was my type, but 100% attractive to me.

For looks/attraction sometimes even stated preferences are not reliable. A few extra pounds or someone bigger may not be a quality someone rules in until they see/meet someone with that quality and think, "Oh my, YES!"

You're dating Alex Tuilagi? I think I'm … a little jealous.

(I mean, my first bf and I both did track & field, and they called him the Throwin' Samoan. I'm just saying.)

Someone built like Alex Tuilagi, but cuter (to me at least). I had actually never heard of rugby before I met him, but he plays in a local Islander club team. One hell of a game!

This was awesome. I will take a confident well-dressed portly gent over a jacked schlubby wallflower any day.

Now put your bang down flip it and reverse it… and do a Dating Tips for Thick Chicks post? Sure, there will be some redundancies with this post but thick chicks need to understand their own unique dating pitfalls, too.

I agree. I'd like to see a Dr. Nerdlove take on dating tips for thick chicks.

Also speaking as a thick chick, I've started to find that my eye is becoming more drawn towards the Viking build gents. I also never used to like beards or any facial hair and now I'm starting to give the bigger dudes with a well kept beard the glad eye.

I don’t know how well advice for women would really work out. There’d be generic advice that anyone could work out from this article and a little thought. Then there’d be specific stuff for women that hasn’t been field tested, DNL not having experience being a woman.

Are there any women out there who have tried poring over PUA material and seeing how it worked for them? Someone like that would probably be a better source for female-specific advice. (And if it hasn’t happened yet, I’d totally read that blog if someone started it.)

"… DNL not having experience being a woman."

Yeah, that's why I'm cool with the Doc targeting his articles at guys. That women can mine them for useful advice speaks to how well he's writing, but I feel like targeting women intentionally could veer into "mansplaining" territory in a hurry.

Maybe the Doc could get a female guest writer to write such an article?

Well it might perhaps be helpful more from a "See, bigger ladies, men do find you attractive!" I know such a topic seems silly, but when you're fed a constant diet of media images about how only X and Y are attractive in women, it can be really refreshing to see something that confirms the opposites of X and Y can be attractive too, from a male perspective.

Marty, no offense intended, but historically when somebody tells you "See, Marty, men/I do find you attractive!" … I'll choose not to snark and simply observe that it's not a message to which you seem particularly receptive.

Well I wasn't speaking entirely for myself. Second, on a personal level, perhaps I'm not receptive to it because we get almost NO mass media images giving collaborative evidence to such claims. If there were a few more articles out there claiming, like this one does for men, that "men DO find your body shape attractive," it'd be a lot easier to accept that such claims aren't just one in a million.

Melissa McCarthy (married); Dawn French (married twice) + many other nonfamous people

Oh gee, two celebrity examples *totally* overrides years and years of constant reinforcement that heavier is unattractive in women, and that any guy who dates a heavier woman is a "chubby chaser" (guys into women like me are so specific they need a label!), desperate or deluded. Thanks Guest!

I am not sure that here is the right place for a "Men Like Bigger Women" post because this site is about "Helping the Nerd Get the Girl"

A post that addresses having the confidence to date who you want and not use your partner as a way to gain social status/approval would be spot on. All that toxic "Oh she's just a 6/a fattie/not a prize because [insert ethnicity or race] will take anyone" which leads to the chubbie chaser nonsense

A+ idea. Please write this post – it's much needed.

*Sigh* Yeah, maybe I just want a girl-version of this site cause girls are nerds too, and also struggle with dating. Then again, given a lot of the pieces I DO see around by fellow lady nerds, most of the articles would probably be how to get nerd boys to leave you *alone.* Which, ahem, isn't the problem I'd be looking to have addressed….

You brought up a great point, though. It seems less "safe" for men to admit a preference for unconventionally attractive women, especially when it comes to relationships than it is for women. This ends up limiting the options for everyone

As a relatively skinny girl, I have received my share of nasty comments, from being anorexic, bitchy, anal, stupid, a prude or a slut. I know this is not on par with the abuse overweight people get, but it shows that no matter how you look YOU WILL NEVER BE GOOD ENOUGH. N-E-V-E-R. Even if you looked like Gisele there would always be some asshole implying how you're stupid or got everything you have because of your looks.

But, I only have one life. And I know from other people's examples that, despite all the prejudice/misogyny/racism/whatever, I still have a chance at a good, happy life. If I wait for society to fix all of its issues before I accept that I have a shot at happiness, I will die an lonely old bitter woman.

Also, the conversation I've had too many times for comfort:

"Eating cheese and bacon to gain weight. I've lost two kilos due to stress and feel really crap."

"But I feel so weak and horrible! Also, how the f*ck can you see a two-kilo difference?"


… can we just agree most people are too stupid for their own good and therefore we shouldn't care what they think?

Probably. I'm just writing "eat more cheese and bacon" in my notes.

When cheese and bacon are the answer, I'm confident you've asked an excellent question.

Oh gods this + 1 million! I need to keep my weight up so I don't look like a 10 year old boy, my cycle stays regular, and I can keep muscle mass.

And I can't even eat cheese and bacon because of HBP and minimal desserts/booze because of prediabetes ??

In general, it's frustrating/disheartening when people assume any change you make to your body has to be thought of in relation to how it looks. Whether it's gaining weight, going to the gym, not going to the gym, esp. lifting weights (my current pet peeve), someone always has to say either "you look fine the way you are" or "you'll look great" and I can't always tell them "I don't care how I look, I want to pick up heavy things and feel good, you ass."

Hey now. I know it's the internet and we don't have tone but bringing up a couple of counterexamples doesn't necessarily mean Guest was trying to say "…so obviously there's no problem whatsoever."

Beth Ditto (married), Mary Lambert (the female vocalist on the Macklamore song "Same Love") has a longtime girlfriend. I think Rebel Wilson, although I have no idea what her relationship status is, is a great example of a really beautiful bigger woman. I think she has really awesome style, but she's also hilarious and has a wonderful smile and just a ton of personality. I think a lot of guys would be totally into her.…

I definitely have a type, but I have found myself attracted to people way outside it. I will forever remember one party I went to where I met a larger gentleman who, although I usually go for skinny guys, I found myself incredibly attracted to because he was so smart and witty. I left the party feeling sad that he didn't ask for my number. That was years ago and I never saw him again. Perhaps he wasn't into me (most likely), perhaps he just didn't have the confidence to hit on a cute girl due or not due to his weight. Either way, I hope some of you who may think "no one would want to date me because I am not conventionally attractive" read this and realize that you could be that guy/girl for someone else!

Congratulations. You just rejected the article you requested before the Doc could actually write it.

"[P]erhaps I'm not receptive to it because we get almost NO mass media images giving collaborative evidence to such claims."

"Oh gee, two celebrity examples *totally* overrides years and years of constant reinforcement that heavier is unattractive in women…"

The Doc isn't some kind of mass-media powerhouse, and this blog isn't a peer-reviewed scientific journal. Any article the Doc writes on the topic would be heavy on personal observations, examples, and anecdotes.

Which doesn't mean the article shouldn't be written. I just find it highly improbable that you would accept the argument that more guys than you think are fine with heavier women, and vastly more likely that you would rail against whatever evidence is brought to bear as inadequate, anecdotal, and irrelevant.

It was less the personal anecdotal evidence and more then flippant tone of Guest's comments that sparked the sarcasm. It was not a comment that came across as having been written with a "Oh yeah it's tough out there, but hey, there are some celebrities who seem to find partners," but instead a flippant "Here are two examples so shut up."

Surely you can see the distinction between an article written by a reputable dating blogger who puts thought and effort into his material and a flippant one sentence comment?

Your response to my suggestion that I don't think you'll be receptive to the (still hypothetical) article's central thesis was to explain why you're totally justified and correct to not be receptive. You then immediately smacked down evidence in support of that thesis as inadequate, anecdotal, and irrelevant.

So, which position is your real one? Are you claiming you'd be receptive to an article arguing that more guys than you think are attracted to heavier women? Or are you claiming the the argument is self-evidently bunk? You've taken both positions in this thread.

If you'd like to reconcile them by claiming you'd be receptive to that argument if it contained strong enough supporting evidence, please indicate what evidence you'd consider strong enough to make the argument worth contemplating. Bonus points if that evidence is something the Doc would be likely to have access to and include in one of his articles.

No, I haven't taken both positions. The positions I've taken are "I'd like to see an article that gives the same confidence to women with traditionally-marginalized looks' and 'I don't appreciate someone trying to claim that's an unneeded idea with a flippant one sentence rebuttal.'

And I'd like to point out again that I'm not speaking my own *personal* opinion on *myself.* "Convincing" me would not be the point, since I highly doubt the Doc would write an entire article JUST to satisfy me. I would want to see this article written as a confidence and moral booster for OTHER women because having a positive article centered around larger ladies' bodies is such a rarity in media. My view of myself is completely beside the point.

The real truth is he'd never convince me that *I, personally* am attractive to guys because I think I have a bizarre body. I've spent hours rummaging around Reddit trying to get a sense of what men are attracted to; I see plenty of positive comments in posts on both r/curvy and r/BBW. I'd like to see an article by Dr. NerdLove as a written representation of that, since I highly doubt other women wander into those threads like I do. But for me, personally, I am neither slim, curvy, nor BBW, so trying to convince *me* would be a moot point.

GH, I think Marty's point about "these articles need to exist to change the media landscape" is critical. Maybe it wouldn't convince her, personally, but that's not really relevant. What we need to do is shift our cultural norms. No single article is going to do that, and it won't necessarily have a specific influence on a specific individual, but it will change what's seen as normal and appropriate in the larger geek discourse. I think she's really onto something important here.

(Also, that guy was being a dismissive dick.)

I may do a secondary post for dating tips for fat women, but it's going to be shorter by necessity. 70% of it would be the same information I'd already posted, with some pronouns changed and gender flipped celebrities, since it's essentially the same for men as it is for women.10% would be fashion tips for women, which I am not really qualified to comment on, seeing as I know SFA about women's fashion other than to say “Hey, Torrid has stylish stuff if you're a teenager and Layne Bryant has more professional outfits”, which I'm presuming most larger women know.The original content would mostly be about dealing with men. There are far more men out there who would sleep with a bigger woman than the media would have you believe. There are, however, fewer men who woulddate a large woman because those guys who would sleep with them often aren't mature enough to own their attraction and are overly concerned with what society/their friends would think and/or say. So there would be a lot on “Look, sometimes it sucks and you have to wait for dudes to mature enough to grow a pair and be willing to admit that they love who and what they love and aren't ashamed of it”.But if ya'll would dig something like that, I can put it into the schedule.

An article about how to own your attraction and not be shamed for who you are attracted to might be good.

I have some male relatives that are kind of assholes this way and mock others for dating not conventionally attractive women, skinny women, fat women, white/black/Asian/Every tribe that isn't Apache (and even some Apache) etc. Most of the time the people being busted on can handle it, but lots of times they can't. Now my family might be the outlier, but I sort of doubt it. I think it is hard for men to "step out proud" with a woman who is of a type he thinks people will judge him for due to age, education, ethnicity, class, etc., which has to be a self-limiting belief. It might even lead to guys dating women they see not attracted to, but meet social expectations, which can't be good in the long run.

I'd dig it, and I also really like Isdzan's idea.

Maybe you can interview or ask for a guest post from some plus size fashion bloggers? I'm not curvy but I love this site

You should ask Leslie Medlik to chime in for a fashion piece – she's an amazing stylist who works with women of all sizes, is involved with the first plus-size fashion line to show at Fashion Week, etc.

I would appreciate it. And I would be happy to provide input.

Ah. So you'd accept the article's thesis because it doesn't apply to you. Fair enough.

Um…. no, I'd accept the article's thesis because whether it applies to me or not is rather moot. The point of the article is not me. I'm really not sure what is difficult about this concept; do you have to accept every article as a personal truth for you to recognize its argument is or could be valid?…

That is really difficult (I imagine) for a man to write a body positive article specifically for women, because a man really has not been conditioned to think of his body in the same way that a woman has been conditioned to think about hers (and also to accept it). There are probably other sites and forums where that is discussed in a way that is more productive for a female audience, although honestly, most people aren't going to give a shit that your body isn't perfect or even that it doesn't fit into their perfect ideals.

The main issues I have with those sorts of sites is that it's a female echo chamber; it's like getting drinks with your girlfriends where they all assure you "You're beautiful, exactly as you are!" They can be helpful in a heal-the-emotional-wound kind of way, but they aren't helpful if you're actually looking for constructive dating advice about your body, or (especially) men's opinions.

I wasn't thinking of a body positive article specifically for women, I was thinking more of a parallel to this article which tells bigger men that "yes, women ARE attracted to your body." It sounds sad, but an article from a man telling bigger women "yes, plenty of men DO find you attractive" would be revolutionary if only because it's a message bigger women so very rarely get *from men themselves.*

And bullshit people don't "give a shit" if your body isn't perfect. Maybe my experience isn't the norm, but I seem to hear plenty of stories from other women about guys giving LOTS of a damn about how their body isn't perfect or the ideal shape. Sure, it's nice to hear your girlfriends saying he's full of it, but it'd be equally powerful (and rare) to hear a prominent male figure saying the same thing.

I don't know, I feel like I see articles like that all the time. Attraction is widely variable. Do we even need to say it? I suppose it would be useful for the Doc to take a survey and maybe get some quotes from other dudes about the different kinds of bodies they're attracted to, but seriously, if the only reason someone is rejecting you is because your body isn't perfect, they shouldn't be in the equation. For most people, there are bodies they just can't be attracted to, and those are rare. Like I couldn't work myself up to be attracted to that really gigantic scottish guy from that Austin Powers movie. Other than that though, there are physical bodies I am more or less attracted to, but for the most part it's someone's personality and our chemistry that will pull me in more than their body. I've also met guys with great bodies who dressed poorly and didn't take care of themselves and it was kind of disgusting.

First of all, if you read or listen to Dan Savage, plenty of men call and write in about how they're attracted to bigger women. Frankly, I just look around and see with my own two eyes couples where the woman is bigger than the man or vice versa. One of my good friends is a short "curvy" woman and she's out almost every other night on dates with really good looking guys. She's just a ton of fun to be around. You know, when I read this article, I just assumed it went both ways. It doesn't make sense that women find bigger men attractive and the opposite not being true.

" seem to hear plenty of stories from other women about guys giving LOTS of a damn about how their body isn't perfect or the ideal shape."

Look, there's more than one woman telling you this. Perhaps to direct more of your comments to the men who are judging the women, and less of them to the women who keep getting judged.

it does make sense if you hang out in specific sub-cultures like nerdom. I do see bigger women getting dates, but very rarely do I see it among geeky friends. I think this probably goes back to geek guys connecting their partner with their social value. Hang out in any nerdy corner of the Internet for an hour or two and you'll come across *at least* a few comments shaming women's bodies for not being ideal or perfect. And sure, guys write into Dan Savage…. to talk about their shame and embarrassment over what they're attracted to.

That's an issue that you really don't see in a gender swap. Sure, some very few women might be a bit embarrassed about their mate's body shape, but it's far from a common problem…. usually because women couch it in "Well he's got a great personality/is great in bed/treats me well, etc."

And yes, I see those articles too, but they are *from women.* There is almost no reinforcement in media that guys like bigger women, too. Try this as an experiment; go onto any male-centric dating advice site, and ask, as a woman, how you can become more attractive to guys. The overwhelming answer will be "Lose weight." Without fail. That constant message of "Get a better body" really wears at a person after a while.

What I'd like to see a male-centric dating advice blog combat that answer, even occasionally.

I agree fully with you on the specific point you make, but Marty does have a wider general point.

I was told by an elder family friend, an Ivy League professor emeritus whose opinion I deeply respect, that I needed to find a nerd for a life partner. I agreed heartily that was all well and good.

The catch, however, as I communicated to him, was and continues to be that my fellow Media Lab-esque colleagues and fellow MENSA members, unfortunately, preferred (and apparently prefer) the same Heidi Klum/Halle Berry/Angelina Jolie-esque size zero model that the Wall Streeters and football players do. And they will choose nothing else. As I've mentioned elsewhere in the thread, I have a six-pack, and I'm at the gym 4x a week, and don't mind going dutch on a date … but I'll never be a size zero, even if I tried to starve myself (and that's not a non-empirical conclusion).

First time I've ever stumped a professor with that pedigree.

I'd still have preferred it muchly more if he'd had an actual atlernative for me, though. Even at the expense of him having the trumping comeback.

If you look in the thread, you'll find an interesting analogue in this comment here — where one of the lady commenters, before she coaches the guys on being "big and fit", always qualifies her own remarks with how she is "fit and petite", and how ALL her other friends — ALL of them — who like big guys are "thin! fit! petite!".

Now there's nothing wrong with that, certainly, but if men are allowed to be all shapes and sizes — bigger, shorter — as long as they're fit, I'm sure you'll see the asymmetry where that's all fine but the ONLY thing the women are allowed to be is thin! and petite! "in addition to fit" (and usually blonde, to twist the knife further for us brunettes).

I have a pretty standard female body (not petite. I am "fit," I suppose, a size 6…), but I have female friends with all kinds of bodies and male friends with all kinds of preferences. Here's the deal, and I wholeheartedly believe it:

People who are willing to reject you based on nothing but your looks are just plain immature. The sad truth is that a lot of guy who are nerdy/geek just don't have a lot of dating experience and therefore just haven't socially matured very much beyond that teenage fantasy of getting a Heidi Klum on their arm. The mature guys that I know can easily say "yeah that Heidi Klum is hot" but if Heidi Klum is dumb as a brick and has nothing in common with them, they know she's not worth dating. How do I know this? Because even my most physically picky male friends have dumped girls they admitted are super hot because they were too dumb/disconnected/mean.

I think Joseph Gordon-Levitt is super hot, like probably the hottest guy out there, but does that mean I would never date anyone who looks like Seth Rogen? Of course not. And, I would also dump JGL in a heartbeat if he was clearly stupid or an immature frat bro or whatever. Mature people who understand themselves and their relationship will want to date you because of who you are as an entire person.

"Mature people who understand themselves and their relationship will want to date you because of who you are as an entire person. "

And once again, I'm a woman who already knows this.

It's the men who can't be bothered to know me as an "entire person" because they can't get past a woman not being a size zero who need to hear it. Maybe you need to be directing your comments less to me — and women like me — and more to them.

How am I supposed to direct my comments at them? Yeah, when I hear some group of asshat dudes talk about how women should lose weight, I tell them to shove it. When they complain about women judging them for their paycheck, I tell them to not judge women for their weight, but perhaps I hang out with exceptionally mature men because I just don't see this attitude very much in people whose opinion I value at all. Frankly, the dude who complains about his girlfriend's weight deserves the shallow size 2 who is judging him by his credit card limit. I don't want to have their relationship and I don't see why anyone else does. Where do you expect my lecture at geek/nerds/frat boys to go? This is not a concept any amount of taking at is going to magically fix. People mature and they stop being dumb assholes, or they don't. Women need to stop giving a damn about those jerks. Let them have their stupid unsatisfying relationships and spend years wondering why every girlfriend he has wants him to drive a mercedes and buy her dinner. What can I do? I try to call out the men I know when they're being shallow assholes, and I try to support the women I know to appreciate and value their own comfort and identity over what they think some dude wants.

Yes, there is a lot more pressure on women to fit a physical ideal, but there is still a near equal pressure on men to be financially successful and stable, to the point where many guys I know just do not date or seek relationships because they don't feel like they have a good enough job or career. Women can get away with not having it together, financially, emotionally, and socially, much more than a man. It's not fair, but it's still the way a lot of people think.

When someone posts here about how he wants to attract more hot skinny women, I call him out. My entire life, I wish I had seen more images of women who looked like me, women with big noses and frizzy hair, who spoke weird, and acted kind of weird too. No amount of letter writing campaigns has changed the popular images (although, there are a lot more plus-size, non-traditional looking women in public media). The only thing that made me feel better is giving up on the idea that I was going to look like everyone else and that whoever needed me to look like that wasn't someone positive to have in my life. Yeah, it sucked sometimes, when I really liked that person. And yes, it happened a lot, probably even more than I realize. But trying to convince those guys they were wrong and shallow didn't help me.

Yes, but "an entire person" *includes* your looks. Sure, physical attractiveness isn't the only thing that matters…. but it does still *matter.* If a guy has the choice between two girls who are equal in compatibility but A is closer to his body-physical ideal than B, which is he gonna choose? No brainer.

Also, I actually find the whole "well he'd be with you because he likes your *personality* over some dumb hot girl" kind of insulting. Believe it or not, unattractive/ugly girls still want to be loved for their looks as well. They still want a guy who finds them hot. I have dated that "mature" guy…. that guy who told himself it was wrong to be shallow and choose the girl he was physically attracted to over the girl whose personality he liked. After all, only shallow, immature people choose looks! And it ended miserably every time. If a guy tells me he's dating me because the hot women are all dumb as rocks, ya know what, that still isn't very flattering!

Something that was helpful for me was to be clear about the differences between HOT(tm) and hot. I'm short and dark and plump in a culture that values tall and blonde and thin. There are days when it's really hard. I'm not stupid; I know exactly where I fail at looking the way our society things I should look, and I know how much value society places on that (a lot). When it's hard, I say to myself, "I don't want someone stupid enough to mistake a well-advertised standard of beauty for what they personally prefer. It's okay if they include HOT(tm) in their idea of hot, but they don't have to be the same."

I have literally never been in a situation where I liked two people equally and it came down to something like "well, who has better abs?" or "who has more money?" or "which apartment do I like more?" Nor do I know anyone who has, male or female. Rarely does dating work like that. I distinctly remember several occasions where I choose someone who was less close to my physical ideal because I was more attracted to him, and it wasn't like "gee whiz, his personality is just so great." It was like "I am just plain and simple incredibly attracted to this person and what might have been less attractive on another person is just fucking hot on him." Perhaps I am naive to think that the reverse must be true, that men also have those feelings about women, that someone probably had that situation with me.

Telling you "I'm dating you because all the hot girls are stupid" is a pretty dumb thing to say to someone. I think it's a fallacy to think that just because your looks aren't the primary attraction point for someone, that they don't find you physically attractive. The idea that perhaps you might find someone who looks completely differently from you attractive in no way means they don't find you attractive. I would love to see a post where a bunch of dudes comment about the different kinds of women they find attractive and what kinds of qualities they are attracted to. My guess is that they would be pretty similar to what the women commenting on this blog say, but perhaps a more women-aimed post would bring out that sort of discussion.

Women get told, in all kinds of ways, to be broad about men's looks.

Men get told, in all kinds of ways, to be narrow about women's looks.

That's why this stuff needs saying. It's not about whether the people who reject you based on your looks are immature. It's about how people learn what it's okay to like, what it's okay to admit liking (very different!), and the toxic differences between what men and women are taught.

As a man, I think the best advice for Thick Chicks is the Don't Hide Yourself comment. Boys really like shiny things, just because you are a little larger doesn't mean you can't dress well, wear a little makeup, flaunt what you've got, etc… I know large women that are very beautiful, and I know large women that are self deprecating and dress like Kevin Smith. No guy wants to date a woman that can't at least dress as well as he does.

Oh God, Kevin Smith and those freaking jorts. No, Kevin. Stop. STAHHHP.

I love me my shortish, barrel-chested boyfriend. His two brothers are tall string beans. Sometimes I joke that he was built just for me ??

I sometimes think Kevin Smith intentionally parodies all the fat-hiding stereotypes from stuff he says.

Speaking as one of the females who finds larger bodies just as attractive as the skinny ones (if not more): there are some positive mental images and stereotypes in women’s minds that you probably don’t think about. You can fulfill those instead of the negative images.

Do be: the big cuddly guy who’s a mountain of strength and security. Be Hagrid, or Beorn, or a medieval king, or the Ghost of Christmas Present (check out Dicken’s description of this character). Be caring and generous. Be less obsessed with women as trophies and more interested in women as people. We’re already likely to assume that you’re less judgemental and less self-satisfied, arrogant, and egocentric, as compared with the gym rat with the abs; make it easy for us to believe it.

Don’t be: the big sweaty guy; the fat dude with the crude sense of humour; the guy who doesn’t bother to look good but won’t talk to any woman over size 3. Make an effort, and you won’t be seen as ‘lazy’. These are easy stereotypes to avoid — they’re about how you behave, and you have much more control over that than anyone does over their metabolism.

Grow a beard and keep it neatly trimmed. Groom yourself well. Spend some time looking at the history of men’s clothing: most past cultures regarded larger men as sexier and more attractive, and the clothing of those times was intended to look good on large frames. (Ignore the last two centuries entirely, except for Scotland.)

Every woman alive has struggled with her weight, her body image, and her sense of self-worth. Your own experiences can be a basis for compassion and understanding. (And man, is THAT sexy! Trust me!)

One of the best pieces of advice and better then I could have said it myself! As a bigger girl that tends to date guys of all body types I am consistently dumbfounded by the population of larger guys that insist they can't date, but won't look at anyone whose pants size might be in the double digits.

I am also a woman who likes larger guys. This is all really good advice.

One more tip: smell great. The easiest way to do this is to get a body wash, a deodorant, and maybe a light cologne in the same scent family. Don't go for anything complicated – I've yet to find a guy who could not rock one of the three big scents (citrus, ocean, musk), and many can rock all three. You want to figure out which one(s) complements your natural odor instead of trying to totally overwrite it.

So much this, except the bit on the beards (for me). Don't be the obnoxious, crass bigger guy a la the Hangover and a million other movies.

Small point: if you have a crass/crude sense of humour, either ease people into it or seek out someone who actually shares it.

Oh dear God yes, give me a big man in a kilt.

I agree with everything except the beard part. Beards are a 50/50 thing — some women love 'em, some women don't. Choose what makes you most comfortable & confident when it comes to facial hair, but either way, do keep it neat. In the end, facial hair or lack thereof won't make a difference if it comes with a lousy attitude and bad behavior.

"The most obvious issue is the simple fact that not all calories are the same; otherwise people could lose weight while eating a restricted calorie diet that consisted primarily of sugar and Doritos."

Actually, there's a university professor who proved that yes, calories ARE pretty much the same, by losing weight on a diet of Twinkies:

He also took a daily multivitamin and protein shake, and ate vegetables, to prevent health problems due to lack of nutrition. But he did subsist mainly on Twinkies, and lost 27 pounds while doing it because he was careful to keep track of the calories.

I don't think the word "proved" means what you think it means.

Well, drastic lack of calories will always lead to weight loss (before anybody objects to this – people, seriously -_-)

a) living on an amount of calories that keep you physically slim could be too little to support other metabolic processes

b) food that is high in fattening calories (sugar) but doesn't leave you filling full due to effects on blood sugar levels, wrecking your natural mechanism for deciding how much food is enough (and not everybody can afford to eat organic free-range hippy superfood)

So yeah, technically speaking everybody can loose weight with a low enough calorie intake, the question is how healthy it is or what their quality of life would be.

That's the point, quality of life. In the end you aren't really concerned about losing weight, you are concerned about how healthy you are. It is much more important to perform well in life by being healthy than to lose weight. Plus, if you are building muscle (which you can't do by cutting calories) then you will lose fat naturally. Follow health advice, not weight loss tips. Sure you may lose weight by doing some shitty diet, but how will you keep it off?

But not everyone can lose weight by controlling caloric intake. My hypothyroidism took a long time in being diagnosed. While clinically anorexic (eating under 700 calories a day and exercising an hour a day 5 days a week), I put on 70 pounds in 6 months. My doctors kept telling me it was impossible – one even said I was sleep-eating!

There are a ton of issues related to weight management, which is why easy fixes don't work for everyone.

"Actually, there's a university professor who proved that yes, calories ARE pretty much the same, by losing weight on a diet of Twinkies: "

Yeah, I was going to post something similar. Everything I've read from people trying it is that losing weight IS effectively “calories ingested <= calories burned”.

Or to put it another way, Calories In vs Calories Out.

I couldn't find it in a quick search, but there was another guy doing bodybuilding who tried it as well. He'd bulk up (to gain muscle), then cut (cut down on calories) while still lifting to lose the fat on top of the muscle.

He wrote a log – the first time he was carefully counted macros, "good" food, etc etc. Recorded his results. Second time, he only counted calories. At whatever – pizza, snacks, etc. (Though he also took a multivitmain). He lost exactly the same amount of weight in the same amount of time.

Again I think it is more complex then you let on, and one persons experience doesn't really work. While yes, ultimately Calories in V Calories Out will lead to weight loss. Calories In is not easily calculated, since your body only metabolizes a fraction of what you eat, and that fractions different for everyone.

On top of that how those calories and other nutrients effect the resting metabolism of each individual can change, and that resting burn rate is affected by sleep, wellness and activity. There is also some research pointing to the effect of gut bacteria on all these factors. So In and Out may be a solid rule but an individuals control over their in and out isn't as strong as these examples indicate.

This isn't even getting into the effects of food deserts, and poverty. Or stress! We are complex systems living in a complex world.

The most either of these examples demonstrate is that strict calorie counting can be an effective way to loose weight for some (specifically two) people. I would argue that calorie counting works well for a large percentage of people, but to say it is as simple as that is disingenuous at best.

You've described a lot of why it doesn't really matter – there's so many factors, that trying to track all of that stuff is impossible.

Tiny differences in calories also don't effectively make a difference, because we cannot track them at a fine enough level anyways.

I'm not talking about creating an exacting scientific model – I'm talking about discounting factors that are to small to actually track or matter for a real person. I don't think any of them actually matter enough to bother tracking them, and several people have shown that it didn't matter at all for them either.

I think most of these things are fads, and propagate because they sound interesting, not because they have any real-world merit to people trying to lose weight. 6 meals a day? Whether you eat in the morning or in the evening? Etc, etc – these things don't seem to genuinely matter, not matter how hard the diet industry tries to convince you that they do.

I have a friend who would argue that there are studies that show different rates of conversion, gut bacteria, etc…but when I ask him exactly what difference it makes we can't seem to move beyond adjectives. What I would need to convince me would be an experiment that took real people, and changed their eating habits (but kept the calories the same) and showed that they actually lost more weight doing things one way or the other. Exact same foods and calories, but going from 6 meals a day to 3 meals a day. Etc.

"several people have shown that it didn't matter at all for them either."

"What I would need to convince me would be an experiment that took real people…"

These two statements don't line up, "several people" is not an experiment, at best it is a few case studies, but really it is just anecdotal evidence that CNN likes to report on as "science" because it gets clicks. I agree there is more research to be done, and most diet industry jargon is garbage. Don't even get me started on the stupid No Carb diet crap. But my point is that people need to find what works for their own body and one or two individuals demonstrating that something works for them doesn't make it a hard fast rule.

For now I would argue that calories in calories out is probably the best way for a large percentage, I would even wager a majority of people to loose weight. For "everyone" though?? I don't buy it.

A concrete example of where looking more closely is providing real benefit to peoples lives would be people with Celiac Disease or Generic Gluten intolerance. There are people who struggle with weight and general well being all their lives who probably did strict calorie counting before to no avail, remove glutin from their diet BAM healthier and they start loosing weight. (HUGE CAVEAT: Removing Gluten on it's own if you don't suffer from an intolerance or Celiac Disease shows almost no benefit and "Gluten Free" food often has more refined sugars in it to make up the flavor lost from the absence of delicious, delicious gluten)

So gut bacteria thing? may or may not pan out, but honestly it sounds like it has some weight to it. I wouldn't go get a poop transplant or anything crazy like that, but it might be a way of narrowing down what strategies work for you individually, again eventually

Agreed. The problem is that the amount of Doritos you would get to eat would be so small that you would be hungry, have no energy, and eat more.

That doesn't follow, because if it is just Calories IN vs Calories OUT, you should get the same amount of energy (Read: Calories) regardless of other content. This is a good example of how it is more complex than In V Out.

69% holy shit. No wonder nobody can get a fucking date. 45% of the population is fighting to get with 15% of the population.

I'm not really that sure about this. Most people date realistically in terms of physical appearance at least.

okay let me say it a different way.. peoples Ideal is only contained within about 30% of the population. I've known many many heavy people of both genders who idealized "ideal" weight people.. and ignored people they could actually probably "get"..

Uh, you realize that there are people who care about things other than weight in a partner, right?

I think this is just a consequence of the fact that we're told not to look at partners as "people" but "status symbols" to gain admiration and approval. So people will go against what they're attracted to in order to impress others with a more "widely praised" choice.

Actually have forwarded this article to a few people I know who could really benefit from it.. I hope they don't get offended.. but if they would pay attention to DNL on this one I think they would improve their lives dramatically.

Partly too I'm just shocked because I had no idea how bad the weight problem is in the country as a whole.. I thought it was more or less localized to the SEUS where something like 78% of PEOPLE not just people over 20 but little kids too are overweight.. and a huge percentage are morbidly obese..

Yes there are a variety of reasons for it.. and I'll be the last to shame someone for it.. but damn..

We have no evidence that there weren't other factors in the people that they could "get" that turned heavy people of both genders off though. It might not have been weight but some other negative factor that acted as a deal-breaker or it could have been weight or a combination of factors.

I just know it's a bit odd for a 350lb guy to exclusively go after 100lb waifs and then get seriously angry when they won't go for him.

Yeah. There will always be exceptions because people are numerous and unpredictable, but as a general rule, if you're looking for something that you're not actually bringing to the table yourself, you're skating uphill.

Looking for a specific body type? It helps if your own body type is within shouting distance of it. Looking for somebody cool with you sleeping around? Most of them will want you to extend that courtesy back. Looking for somebody who habitually goes out and does awesome stuff? They'll probably want to know what fun things you're up to. Etc.

This + 1 billion. You want open minded and caring, be open minded and caring. You want someone fit and athletic be fit and athletic. You want someone warm and affectionate, be warm and affectionate. You want someone with their emotional s**t together, get your own emotional s**t together.Don't ask for something you can't offer

Sounds like another article DNL should write!

But its all about personality….or something.

Gentleman Horndog at 180 pounds: Early 20's, allegedly in my physical prime. Riddled with anxiety, fear, and self-loathing. Romantic life largely non-existent.

Gentleman Horndog at 300 pounds: Middle-aged and tubby as hell. Generally quite happy with who I am. Romantic life excellent, with occasional moments of "Hey, I thought that only happened in porn!"

… though to be fair, I AM working on the tubby-as-hell thing. RooshV may be a fat-shaming bag of dicks, but I think I'll be even less fond of what my cardiovascular system has in store for me if I try carrying this much weight into my senior years. Still. Getting my weight down was NOT a prerequisite for getting my dating life on-track. Liking myself was.

If your body type runs to "short and stocky," you ain't never going to be thin. However, you *can* build some muscle – and it will be a good look, even if you don't lose the fat. A fat guy who loses some weight becomes a slightly less fat guy; a fat guy who gains some noticeable biceps becomes "a big guy, you know, not fat but just *big.*" And that has very little to do with your height.

I'll freely admit that my "type" runs to tall, skinny, and nerdy. And then I met my husband, who fits "nerdy" but not the other two. He's never going to be skinny and he's never going to be all that tall, but his muscles are sexy as hell and that totally makes up for it.

Great point, Wendy. I would also add that the type of women who are attracted to bigger men are almost always attracted to physical strength as well. When you're pushing 400, 500, or even 600 pounds, men and women are going to turn their heads. I've gotten more dates from going to the gym than anywhere else, even online.

It doesn't have to be gym muscle, either. My partner is a big guy, and he doesn't lift weights. He can, however, hike me into the ground. That's really, really hot.

I read somewhere that bodybuilders usually bulk up the muscles that look good, not necessarily the ones that are most useful. You want real strength, look for a farmer or a firefighter or a soldier or a ballet dancer.

This is a subject I have been working around on my blog Pretty Sneaky, Sis ( for those interested). You've hit the nail on the head perfectly here, which is what you do. I'm definitely going to point my readers to this article. Thank you so much.

This really helps me. I'm 6'3 235lbs. While people tell me I don't look like it, I've never been able to get past it seeing as my generation is the shallowest in existence.

You know, that height & weight is very much my type – but interestingly enough, as I said downthread, the last guy I dated who is exactly your height and about your same weight decided it would be a good idea to make fun of me because, after having been a chubby kid, I now work out 4x weekly with the Pilates machines to manage a dance injury from college.

So I'd submit, respectfully, that only half of it at best is "getting past it". The other half is 25% the attitude you bring to the table — I mean, please don't be that guy — and 25% percent what you're looking for (I'm not a size zero blonde, and for some "nerd" guys that's still the ONLY thing that will do, more's the irony, but I do have a six-pack and have been known to treat for a duet session at the gym on a date).

So, as my grandma used to say … you pay your way and you take your choice, you know ….?

Try being 5'6 235lbs, much harder to attract the ladies. ??

5'8" 245 ibs, you think you've had it bad? lol but I wouldnt say im huge at all, i do get girls, ive have a really sexy gf for over 2 years but we split (im 17 now) but i definately would be more confident in myself if i lost some weight all around my body.

This was a good post. Can we have a post about dating tips for short men? Like those 5'6" and shorter. A lot of dating tips for short men either suck, where shoes that'll give the illusion of height variety, or tend to be in the keep at it until you meet somebody category. Neither is particularly helpful.

I subscribe to a dating site calls Coffee Meet Bagels. The basic concept is that you fill out a very brief profile about your basic background, what your like, and what your looking for in a date. You then get a match a day and have the option of selecting liking or passing. If you select like and your match does to than they set up a private text line for you to chat through. This Saturday, my match was a woman who stated that she was five feet tall in her profile. She also said that she appreciates when her dates can dance, hold intellectual conversations (good for me) and are at least a foot taller than her. That is if your not six feet tall, don't even bother. Tall height seems to be a relatively common physical attribute that a lot of women are looking for.

Well then she was a twit, Lee. I'd never want to date someone a full foot taller than me. I'd be constantly kissing his nipples. Not that that is a bad thing, but if I'm up for nipple kissing, I can find them easy enough without them being in my face all the time. Honestly, you can't look a guy in the eyes if there's that big a height difference, and how sexy is that?

Like the fat man, you've got to own it. There are a LOT of totally hot short guys. I've dated guys exactly my height, 5'6, and a couple a few inches shorter. It doesn't really make that much of a difference.

Girls who are obsessed with the Guy must tower over me, thing are caught in a fantasy of having a big large protector, thing instead of a true partner, usually.

Like the burly guys having to own their inner viking, you have to own your inner Fred Astaire. He wasn't a tall guy either. He was slick, fun and charming though.

There are a lot of girls that are fine if you have just one or two inches on them, and since you are right at the women's average, that means there are plenty that are shorter than 5'6".

Yes, tall might be a characteristic many girls are looking for, but tall is relative, and tall isn't the end all be all. If you openly ask women for "most attractive quality" in a man, tall wouldn't be at the top of the list. Funny and kind usually are.

I agree the woman is a twit. In a dark way her profile was kind of amusing because she attempted to present herself as a strong-willed, independent women. It was very I want to have my cake and eat it to.

I realize that funny and kind are usually high on women's list when it comes to "most attractive quality." I'm not really sure about whether this is something they mean or its something they say because they don't feel free enough to say anything else. Men can list all sorts of physical characteristics when asked about what they find attractive because its expected. Society tends to look askance when women say something that seems superficial. If we had a different society than we might get more physical answers from women rather than funny or kind. Nor am I exactly sure that height is defined relatively, even tiny women I've described me as short.

Some women don't want short, some men don't want flat chested, lots of people don't want big or brown or too old. Nothing anyone who has those qualities can do about it but shrug. Nothing we can do to change their minds.

Funny or "Fun" and Kind are absolute essentials for me in all my relationships. If a guy is cruel in any way, it's a deal-breaker. If a guy is a constant downer and an energy drain on me, that is also a deal-breaker.

Height and weight are not. I know I'm not alone there. Fun and Kind lead to a person most people want to be around. Cruel and depressing do not.

Fun and Kind are absolutely essential attractive qualities. There's a disclaimer here. My hubby is very quiet, so he may not outwardly come off as "Daffy duck wild fun" but we play games together, and he has a way of throwing quiet one line observations about the world that kill me. And yes, while quiet, he's also kind.

So don't think that fun and kind means you have to present yourself as a cartoon. But yes, I do believe they are core qualities that will trump other areas of attraction.

At 5'3", I've dated a wide range of heights (from 4'11" to 6'7") and found one thing to be universal – we're all the same height laying down. ??

Honestly I like dating shorter guys more. Being used as an elbow or chin rest gets old after a while.

You need to meet every single girl in world Lee.

Just replace the word fat with short in this article and voilà, you have the article you want.

There seems to be a pretty strong correlation between women who like dancing and women who like much taller men, possibly because they're interested in dancing in heels. I'm not into dancing, so I tend to write off women who express an interest in dancing, since I'm clearly now who they're looking for, on at least one count, and quite possibly two.

I liked dancing with shorter guys. The hips match up better. So long as you can make it under an arm for a turn you're golden, and dancing in high-heels is painful.

Many dance shoes for women are in high heel form. There are dance sneakers but most people tend to wear dance sneakers only for practice and classes.

I'm sure my experience with social dance is more informal, but I rarely see women in high heels–sneakers and flats are more common where I am.

There's usually a small heel on dance shoes. My jazz shoes that I use for salsa and swing are barely an inch. That hardly effects my realistic height at all. Sure for competitions they may hike the shoes way up, but if you've got two or three inches on a girl, even with dance shoes, you should be okay. Look at Dancing with the Stars. Hardly any of those pros are outrageously tall, and none of them are a full foot taller than their partner. It causes problems if they are. Just look at what happens when the non-pros are basketball players.

I want to add that fructose/corn syrup causes a lot of problems– for both your metabolism and your brain. It dampens neural activity, and tricks your body into going into starvation mode by blocking the absorption of other sugars. It's really just poison. So avoid it, and you'll see a noticeable difference, both with how you feel and how you look.

Not that your advice is bad, but the studies that showed the truly negative effects of corn syrup (in lab rats) that every one is sighting have yet to be reliably re-produced in observational human studies. The unfortunately complex answer we have to live with right now is that the science seems to say HFCS is bad because it is a sugar and is in everything we eat, we shouldn't let it become a straw man for sugary foods in general until there is sufficient evidence.

Avoiding HFCS is healthier because of a lot of ancillary reasons, primarily that foods containing HFCS are typically not very nutritious otherwise either and often have to much overall sugar content.

There are lots of good reasons to limit your intake of High Fructose Corn Syrup, primarily IMHO the ethics of having a Corn based agriculture that favors agribusiness and deflates the cost of sugary foods. Neurotransmitter effects as related to the same effects other sweeteners may or may not have may be one of those reasons but the scientific literature as far as I can tell is still out on that one.

Any chance of a follow-up article for skinny dudes?

I realize it isn't this easy, it is how it can feel to the rest of us sometimes though. ??

Really? Am I seriously so oblivious that I didn't pick up on that vibe at all?

Yup.. it's just that easy.. all I need is the smelly T-Shirt and I'll be set..

Yup, us skinny people are totally immune to any kind of social issues, from racism to misogyny! And it's especially amazing how we just get things for being skinny! Like my university degree, I just showed up and they told me I was skinny enough to graduate! Yippy.

Also, isn't it amazing how people never objectify or degrade you or belittle your problems just because they have different body issues? Aw man, skinny life is the best! *jumps into a pool of Calvin Kline models and high-fives the king of skinny awesomeness, Urkel*

We get slammed/snarled at and have our social issues, but generally not to the degree heavier people get. For example, despite being built like a 12 year old girl, I could actually get a job as a shot girl and cocktail waitress at high end LA nightclub (as long as I wore a push up bra). Had I been bigger I'd have been laughed out of the room. Not saying us skinny folks have it easy, but we do have it easier.

What if I'm a skinny black person? Is a white chubby person privileged over me? Or is a skinny woman more privileged then a chubby male? Oh dear, we need some kind of oppression scale for this!

… or we can just accept that people deal with different issues. There is a difference in acknowledging privilege and implying that life just showers you with awesomeness. There is no need to address a certain issue by dismissing people who don't have that specific issue. It's basically complaining about the lack of sympathy by withholding sympathy. (this is not so much a reply to your comment but the video above – i know it's a joke, but yeah, life doesn't work that way, but i know too many people who think it does).

As a skinny native woman, I can safely say my life is easier than if I was a bigger native woman, but I understand and agree with your point. Life is hard all around and even folks who look like they have it all have problems and issues. We all have our demons

I've often found that when there is no race/gender/nationality/whatever to differentiate people, they can go to any length just to create an "us vs. them" scenario ??

In the future, when society consists only of infertaile clones of Bill Gates, people will start wars over which side you should peel a banana from ??

Steven Urkel changed his clothes and posture and became Stephan Urquelle. All told, the time to make that change is measured in minutes.

How many minutes would it take to lose 100 lbs?

Yeahhhhhh…I had a very, VERY different experience growing up in a small town as (literally) a 100-pound weakling who constantly got called a "f*cking f*ggot" because it was pretty clear I wouldn't be physically able to fight back (unless I wanted to commit "suicide by redneck"). Also, it turns out that in that context, getting your picture in the local paper for going to the national spelling bee is NOT the boon to social popularity that one might expect.

It took until I was around 30 for a girlfriend to finally point out to me that trying to hide in clothes that were too big for me actually made me look even smaller than I was. So that's the sort of body-type-specific advice I'd be hoping for. Or, "how to feel physically self-confident as a clumsy ectomorph in a football/action-movie culture."

Wait, I think I remember you. Why would you oppose an article like this for skinny dudes? I mean, are you so invested in this whole "I'm unfuckable because I'm skinny" thing that you will outright oppose anything that might even suggest otherwise?

I'm not "invested" in anything, it's a fact. You can tell me there is a space daddy in the sky who watches everything I do but it doesn't change reality.

Except without actually checking whether "skinny = unfuckable" is true for every woman in the goddamn universe, your "fact" is a hypothesis at best.

Better get saving for a Virgin Galactic flight then. Space girlfriend with 6 boobs, I'll be there shortly!

OK, I take it then that you have already checked it with all women on Earth. Since, y'know, it'd be easier to start with them.

Someone should tell DNL and every comment maker on here and the forum that they've been wasting their time.

Every article and piece of advice handed out to the crowd should just be "Don't change anything about how you look or act, just move until you find someone who will fuck you. They definitely exist. WHY ARE YOU STILL HERE?! GO!"

If you're going to start commenting again, can you please refrain from deleting all of your posts? It's very frustrating to people who try to read the comments later.

3 of us used the old NQB account but you can't delete "Guest" posts anyway.

Are you suggesting that you are not the person who deleted the NQB posts before?

It sounds like he's saying that other people have access to the same account.Because the only two people who can delete an individual's posts are that individual and me. And I didn't delete them.

Oh, yeah, I gathered that. I don't see why the information would be relevant to what eselle said unless NQB is suggesting one of the other two deleted his posts for some odd reason… Just trying to figure out if that is indeed what he meant.

If he is saying that, I don't really believe it, because I had been speaking to someone who had the exact same set of issues immediately prior to the deletions.

Again, I do not believe you. Your problems, concerns, tone, and writing style have been consistent throughout.

However, if there really are three of you, you're now posting under a guest account. Make up some different names for yourselves so people know who they're talking to.

Suit yourself, I'm not up for a trip to Maury Povich.

Since when does "there's probably someone out there" mean "therefore you shouldn't do anything to improve your chances of finding them"?

If there is someone out there for everyone why the hell waste time changing your looks or money spending hundreds/thousands on new clothes if someone out there is going to like you anyway?

Well, I think most of us think most people are potentially appealing to at least some people. I don't think anyone here's ever suggested that they will be appealing to those people no matter how they present themselves. A person who makes no effort to be attractive is quite different and will have different results from the very same person putting some effort into the basics of attractive dress, hygiene and social skills.

Because there's not necessarily someone out there for you in your least appealing version of yourself. There are women who like your body type. There are women who don't mind dating men who are unemployed. There are women who don't mind dating sloppy, badly-dressed men. There are women who are fine dating guys who have confidence issues. There are women who have no objection to dating a virgin.

The number of women who are open to all of those things becomes rather small, however, and many of them might not be people who are up to your own standards. That's why the focus is generally on improving things that are easier to change and accepting ones that are more permanent.

Come on, now I really want to know! ??

People turning "you just haven't met them yet" into articles and comments is pretty funny.

I thought Michael Buble had milked it but he's got nothing on some of these.

NQB, I thought you were going to go focus on things other than dating since you've decided it's hopeless for you. So why have you come back here? I'm not sure how people attempting to give meaningful advice is "funnier" than a guy who claims he's giving up trying to date who's yet unable to stay away from dating websites. ??

Why don't you take care of your own issues before you start mocking and belittling people here?

His (or their) behavior has indicated that they're not actually here for an actual conversation and more to start shit instead of actually working on himself.So he's getting an enforced time-out for a while.

Let's suppose that there are 10 women in the entire universe who would want to fuck you as you currently are. This would be enough to disprove the hypothesis that "skinny = unfuckable", but if it is not feasible to fuck those 10 women (say, they live on the other side of the world) then you're still shit out of luck.

But you can work on your appearance without having to change your body type, and you can work on your personality without having to completely change who you are, and in doing so, you could increase the number of women who would want to fuck you to, let's say, 10 million. And you might actually be able to feasibly fuck some of those 10 million women.

Do you see where I'm going? I can't confirm that those are the actual numbers, but hopefully you understand the principle.

Then why say there is someone for everyone if you've got to alter that person to "qualify"?

I don't think anyone's saying there's someone out there for everyone. All I see here is that there's someone who likes most every sort of body type, which is a vastly narrower statement.

I said there is probably someone for everyone. Forgive me if I have misled you up to this point, but the main reason I advocate that belief is not because it is right, because strictly speaking, I do not know that it is right. I advocate it because it is what I call a safe assumption.

What I mean by that is that, if I assume that there is probably someone for everyone (and by extension, me), then that lends itself to pursuing some form of romantic relationship and working on myself to improve my chances of becoming romantically involved with someone, since while my chances are greater than zero, who says they cannot be improved? If I want to become romantically involved with someone, then when I make the assumption that there is probably someone out there for me, what logically follows is a course of action that will help me achieve my desired goal of romantic involvement.

Contrast this with the assumption that a single immutable factor (let's say having blue eyes as an example) can render someone unfuckable. If I want to have sex with someone but I have blue eyes, then this assumption lends itself to not bothering. Thus, by making that assumption, I logically follow a course of action that does not help me to achieve my goal. Therefore, this is not a safe assumption.

The thing about these safe assumptions is that they work better with things like the preferences and behaviours of people and other things that, strictly speaking, you don't actually know for certain. The other thing about them is that they don't have to be right.

And after no interest in the slightest in my entire "romantic" life while I've managed to make friends at the same time, it is a safe assumption that something is very wrong. As most comments I have gotten while being rejected are around my weight it is a "safe assumption" that my weight is to blame.

Maybe I'm wrong and it's my personality, either way I'm fucked (hypothetically – unless money changes hands afterwards)

We've talked about your situation before. You're objectively quite young, haven't approached very many women, and haven't made or tried to make new friends recently either. You're somewhat isolated because of location and income issues as well.

Concluding that this is all due to being skinny is the least reasonable response to this fact pattern.

That first one is indeed a safe assumption. The second one, on the other hand …

Look, it is a likely assumption (note that I didn't say a safe one) that you are either currently interested in having a romantic life or are open to the possibility of becoming interested in one in the future, since the other good reasons for coming to and commenting on this blog don't seem to fit with your behaviour and your situation. In what way does chalking your lack of success up to something you cannot change help you have a romantic life? That is not a safe assumption.

Oh, and did you just imply that your personality is also something you cannot change? Like, not even one bit of it could be altered?

"In what way does chalking your lack of success up to something you cannot change help you have a romantic life?"

It doesn't, like nothing else has. It is just considerably easier to settle for what I've been given than to waste my time in the pursuit of the unattainable.

Then what in the world are you doing on this site? The Doc is pretty clear that he's here to help people who are looking to improve their chances, not people who've decided they don't want to waste their time.

I like reading the articles. Don't worry, I'll be banned again soon.

Is it not possible to read the articles without cluttering up the comments section?

Oh my god, I'm getting a headache just reading this. Not trying is a turnoff to most people, skinniness is a turnoff to some people.

So, you're so sure that there's no way any woman would ever want to have sex with a skinny man that you are opposed even to the idea of someone writing an article with tips about how skinny men can be more attractive?? What skin is it off your nose?

Ok, wear clothes that fit you tightly (even if you hate the way you look and have to go out feeling more self-conscious than ever) and go to the gym.

And again, why do you object to that article existing?

It already does, it'll just be reposted changing the word "fat" to skinny in 2 weeks or so time to get more hits.

i used to be a skinny hipster dude before gaining too much weight. girls jeans and girls shirts are your friends. no joke. its great

Honestly I don't think that there needs to be an article on 'Skinny' dudes.. most of the articles pretty much cover it already..

But I will admit a trick I've found for buying pants… 28 Regular, 29 Straight, and 30 Slim = All basically the same size. but anything with "Skinny" in it.. no.. just no

Also for dress shirts.. Boys XL = perfect for me at least..

I can't speak to men's clothes, but the "just try the children's department!" advice doesn't work very well for me because, though I'm smaller than a "real woman," I'm not the same shape as a large child.

Yeah. I've had the same experience. A saleswoman told me once to try the girls department for pants that would fit me. Well, since I'm a fully formed woman and have hips, that doesn't work.

I get this in the form of advice and jokes a lot, and it drives me nuts. Not to mention, I rarely want to dress like a child/teenager. Pink and glitter have their place and all, but it's not on my body.

I think ti's generally easier for smaller guys.. well cause mostly boys clothes are just smaller versions of young men's clothes.

Young Girls have a different body structure usually than adult women.. so I can certainly see where the problem comes in. Younger boys and thin/slight men don't have nearly as big of a difference in body structure usually.. So forgive me if i was not clear, but I was only trying to speak to the idea of 'Skinny dudes'.. but I've just found the dress shirts especially tend to fit the same as "Small Slim" … for me at least..

My aunt (who's a nurse) said it nicely: "People are overweight because they either love life too much or too little."

I've seen a lot of cheerful chubby (or otherwise non-conventionally-pretty) people land heaps of dates, and at the same I've seen people prone to self-destructive behaviour (like overeating, among others) give in to forever-alone. You can't be everybody's type, but I guess it boils down to: smile, and the whole world smiles with you; cry, and you cry alone.

69% of adults 20 and over either love life too much or too little?

I suspect it has more to do with the fact that so many people work desk jobs where they sit for forty hours a week and don't have time outside of work (e.g. have kids) to hit the gym. Of course, plenty of gym rats are technically overweight, judging solely by BMI.

I'd be more willing to buy that generalization if it were explaining the obese rather than the merely overweight.

For the ladies: this advice is overall good but I highly recommend embracing bold colors and prints, NOT avoiding them. I've put on a lot of weight over the last four years (which I'm finally just starting to get off) and every time I wear a really bold dress I get a million compliments. The more figure-hugging, the better – usually I have people say I look like I lost weight when I wear a nice wrap dress or a pencil skirt instead of hiding under baggy clothes like I did for so long. I throw a blazer over almost everything which helps to add structure and make me look "together" without having to do much. I have a pink blazer that makes people smile, every time I wear it I get compliments from coworkers, strangers on the bus, my cashier at the store, etc. Bold colors/prints indicate happiness and confidence, so don't shy away from them!

On a different note, I agree that being comfortable with yourself is so important to dating, and even friendships. I try really hard to hide when I'm feeling insecure because I know it just makes people uncomfortable and detracts from whatever activity you're doing together. I will talk about my feelings honestly with a good friend, but I've really made an effort to stop the self-deprecating humor or the constant acknowledgment to everyone that I know that I'm "fat." The result is that people think of me as confident, they like being around me and I have a way better time than I used to. It's hard work but it's worth it.

If you feel like garbage and can't lose weight, I recommend researching and being open to trying things. It took me a long time to figure out I have a gluten or wheat intolerance, just by trial and error, research and finally doing a guided cleanse that forced me to cut it out (after two years of being in denial about it). I've lost 1 1/2" off my waist in two weeks, whereas before I couldn't get any results no matter how hard I tried. I guess I'm saying, don't let other people tell you that you're lazy, or eating too much, or that it's your fault if you really feel like it's not. Listen to your body and trust yourself, and keep pushing till you figure it out. My ex used to tell me it was my fault how I felt but I knew that there was something wrong – turns out my adrenals were all but shut down from stress and from the enormous issues caused by being gluten/wheat sensitive and drinking craft beer, which was our favorite weekend activity as a couple. Healthy sandwiches, healthy pasta dishes, healthy wraps, healthy pitas, healthy cereal aren't healthy if you are allergic! Now that I'm addressing that issue, I'm starting to feel at home in my body again and the needle is moving in the right direction. My size isn't terrible, if I was healthy I could probably embrace it and move on, but feeling exhausted, bloated, saggy, sickly and weak is not how I want to live.

Lastly, yoga has helped me a lot. I do gentle, 15 minutes routines (these videos are great, I do the sleep or restorative ones every night before bed: to start getting my body moving again. What I've discovered is doing this super gentle stuff, instead of beating myself up to get to the gym and go crazy, has made me become more caring towards myself. It helps me get in better touch with my body so I can listen to it and figure out what it needs. It doesn't have to be yoga, but I think finding something gentle and meditative to do that makes you feel like your doing some really deep self-care is critical. Getting down to that level of attention with yourself works wonders for your relationship with your body. It's not about burning calories, miles run or pounds lifted. Every day my body is a little different and I have a conversation with it every night instead of just hating it. Last night my left hip was really tight (probably from loot hunting in BL2 all day!) and I know that because I took the time to listen during yoga. I know my back will hurt when my hips are tight, so I stretched it out instead of letting my body be in pain today.

I love that DNL addressed external factors – I don't think many people are aware of how toxic most things we are exposed to on a daily basis are, from stress to sitting to additives in our food. We are bombarded with a lot, and those of us that are sensitive struggle with it while "hardier" people seem to handle it fine. But it doesn't mean that we are wrong or lesser than, just different.

I'd love to hear from anyone else who has found things that worked. I feel like I'm on a journey and I love absorbing as much info as possible ??

Somewhat similar situation here. Also found out I was sensitive to gluten. Tried many different types of food plans and South Beach worked the best and made me feel like a new person–except that I recently found out that I can't eat too much animal protein, so I've modified it to be mostly vegetarian South Beach and that so far feels perfect. Like you said, you have to listen to your body and keep trying different things.

Also, for me, swimming was the key to getting in shape because I can swim for hours, like a moving meditation. Combined with walking, biking and Pilates/Callanetics, I'm reshaping my middle, which was always really, really tough.

I also agree that bigger men can be very attractive. I've never been attracted to skinny men or body builder types, just more of what I think of as "solid guys."

Can I just say the guy in his underwear is SO FUCKING HOT. Talk about some serious bear-mode sexiness there. Holy hell. I’d pick him any day over the waxed, thin one in the Calvin Klein ad. Mr. Bear looks like he could show a girl a real good time ??

As a young, attractive, fit, thin woman, I can’t say more that big guys with muscles are incredibly hot. I don’t register them as “heavy” or “overweight” but instead my brain short circuits to “look at that big strong hunky man, mmmm”. So I completely agree with Dr. Nerdlove’s statement to hit the gym if you want to appear more attractive. Irregardless of whether or not you lose weight, being fit and strong makes you way more attractive, often to the point where people will consider you “big and strong” rather than overweight.

Also, the dressing well thing is so true. That guy in the well fitting dress shirt up there? He looks mighty fine. Wearing clothes that fit and look good on you makes you look far more confident and attractive.

Finally, to give you all some hope, here’s a couple real world examples for you. My younger sister, who is by all accounts a knockout (stunningly beautiful, fit, thin, great personality, super smart) is super happy with and crazy about her boyfriend, who is 5’10” and about 200 lbs. Why? He’s super confident, funny, kindhearted, and allegedly great in bed. Be that dude. One of my best friends, Stacy is also gorgeous, super fit (girl’s got a SIX PACK) super fun and sweet – and her fiance is a big guy who she’s nuts about. Why? Well, he’s a firefighter and works out regularly, so he definitely has got that sexy strong bear-mode thing going on. Also he’s a caring, strong, solid rock of a man, dependable, honest, hardworking, not easily phased by anything. Super hot! Be that dude.

Be yourself! Or if that fails be this extremely specific sort of person. Be them now!

Remind me, which bits are going above and beyond the bare minimum again?

The bit where you have a body type that will never be "big guy with muscles" or enough to pass the fireman application process.

Right, but Guest was suggesting that the advice to give in all cases was "Be yourself! Or if that fails be this extremely specific sort of person." That doesn't account for women who are into different body types, and I see no reason why a woman being into other body types besides "big guy with muscles" is a bad thing if you yourself will never have that kind of body.

Then why the need for tips for any specific body type at all?

Maybe because different things work for different bodies? Or maybe because people will look at more general advice and go "Oh, that won't apply to me because I'm XYZ" where XYZ is some perceived bad thing about them?

Wearing clothes that fit you, eating healthy and going to the gym are all these articles ever say anyway an they're pretty universal things.

I’m fairly sure you missed the point of my entire post. Granted, maybe I didn’t word it the best I could have? The point I was trying to make is that women ARE attracted to different body types other than the super ripped, thin, model build. I happen to be a woman who is attracted to the big, burly type such as the underwear model in the article, as well as to men that dress well.

Truly being yourself does not mean being the worst version of yourself and expecting others to love you for it. I feel that being the best version of yourself often rings truer to who you’d like to see yourself as.

And maybe for some overweight guys, that might mean pounding some iron at the gym in order to become a big sexy bear. I’m not saying that’s what all overweight men should do. But if some guy reads this article and goes, “well, I don’t think I’ll ever be a thin Abercrombie model of a guy, but I think I could rock being big and burly” and feels better about himself from that, I think that’s good.

Myself, I tend to be drawn towards being sedentary – I love curling up with a good book and I love to relax. But you know what? I also LOVE to slam out some laps in a pool, and I choose to swim competitively for my health (and for the nice muscles I get doing so) That’s not being untrue to who I naturally am (a sedentary bookworm) that’s being a version of my best self.

I used the two examples down at the bottom as examples of overweight guys that I felt were being their best selves AND were highly attractive to women because of it. I should have explained this better in my answer. Everyone can be their best self & women (and people in general) will be more attracted to you if you are your best self. It’s up to you to decide what that entails.

Also, to clarify, I still read many a book. I just work out too, whether I want to that day or not (usually once I get going, I do)

Going to agree that fat with muscles isn't talked about as much as it is appreciated.

with muscles is the key. not all big guys have them

I can't speak from personal experience, but weight does run on my cousin's side of the family. My cousin Josh has always struggled with weight, but he actually likes himself and is fun. In my mind he fulfills the cuddly bear-man steriotype. I'm a guy and I love hugs from him. He's probably one of my favorite people and I regularly see him chatting up random girls–he seems to have no shortage of great girls that love him.

Oh and a side note: he hasn't even learned how to dress well yet, this is all personality on his part so far. He has a willingness to jump in and just do ridiculous stuff and manages to regularly beat me at basketball despite the fact that I'm 6' 3". ??

The bit about the BMI being rather inaccurate is true. I've known people who're much skinnier than I and are CONSTANTLY sick. One girl I knew in particular who's much MUCH shorter and skinnier than I was always sick and went to the hospital for a myriad of reasons and more times than I can count (and no, she didn't/doesn't have a terminal illness).

What do you mean by "sick?" Are fat people supposed to get colds/viruses more?

Sorta. I've read that because fat people eat processed junk they're prone to colon infections, bacterial infections and etc. How true that may be, I don't really know, I'm not a doctor. All I can tell you is what I've seen first-hand and experienced for myself first-hand and that I don't fully trust the BMI chart.

Meh, I don't love the immediate leap from "fat" to "eats processed junk." I'm sure some people do, but it's hardly a perfect predictor.

For individuals, you shouldn't. It was a tool developed to compare large populations against each other.

I've read that fat people who eat healthy foods tend to get sick less because they are consuming more nutrients that support the immune system.

That said, I'm overweight, eat pretty well (my problem is too much of a good thing, I suppose) but get sick a fair amount, although this is probably due to stress / travelling a lot, and of course I'm just one individual, so I could just be unlucky and have a sucky immune system.

The advice about a cheat day is fantastic. In your diet, make the changes you can, and don't beat yourself up for the ones you can't. Doing 80% of the things right for months is going to serve you better than doing 90% of them right for two weeks, and scrapping the whole thing when you cave and eat a bag of chips.

Can somebody please explain why some of my comments go into moderation and others do not?

Keywords, basically. It's a way of catching as many spam comments as possible. Sometimes real comments get caught up in the mix.Something you said matched one of the keywords in the filters I've set up and shuffled it off to the moderation queue for me to review.

Thank you doctor for finally bringing insight on dating from a fat guy’s perspective.

Every Time a larger person who tries to get dating advice online they are always met with replies of LOSE WEIGHT YOU FATTY. (As if it were easy to lose weight while dealing with the confidence issues that come with it.)

I personally have a inner conflict that I am still working on with a therapist. For the past decade I have been in denial of my weight. In the past I’ve gone through great lengths to hide this by doing numerous things. I’ve worn baggy clothing and i’ve avoided others taking any photos of me without my approval.

In the past when I tried to date and briefly got misinformation from PUAs or so called “friend”, I’ve had the belief that most women would not care about my weight as long as I had a good personality. Needless to say I could only manage to get unattractive women for one night stands and never for a relationship. Also I believed in the myth that alcohol would automatically make me talkative.

It took me a while but I came with terms that i’m an Introvert. I don’t like to drink these days and I rarely go to parties or bars. These day I would rather read or play video games than to do the former.

Slowly I am coming to terms with my weight. While I want to get healthier overall in order to reduce some health issues I have, I am starting to realize that I will never be super skinny with 1% body fat. I do have a concern about how I am perceived, which I know its something I shouldn’t worry about.

I happen to be a BLACK fat guy and in the past by so called “friends”, I was suggested to act gangster or as a pimp. (Which is something I will never do). Before I cut off those “friends” for good I managed to become the butt of jokes or the comic relief for them. I wonder how do I take ownership of my body without being seen as a joke? Its something that is eating at me.

DNL has a couple of articles on choosing your archetype and creating an image. The examples are a little white because DNL is white, but the principles are good. You could go for a powerful, but not thug persona.

While I think that finding an archetype you can use is okay, I think it can come across stronger if you can find a way to present to people who YOU are specifically (by using your interests, activities and personal characteristics). This summer at an event picnic, I happened to be seated next to an overweight black man who was absolutely charming. He was dressed nicely but normally (not costume-y), and was receptive to conversation (though he didn't initiate, so he might also be introverted). If I were in dating mode and he asked me out, I would have said yes. He just seemed like himself: a warm, caring, fairly active (walking, biking, gym) man who enjoyed life and was fun to talk to and be with. You mentioned that you like to read, so I'm wondering if meeting people via book discussions might be an option. If you can figure out ways to show off your positive traits, it will make it easier for the right people to find you (and vice versa). Good luck!

I think that you can use your non-physical traits to figure out a good physical archetype, actually. So for example if you love to read, maybe you want to dress to evoke a writer or even a professor. If you are a homebody (like me!) you can also look around your home for inspiration. For example, I realized that my house was full of warm, bright colors but I basically wore nothing but black. Turns out that owning my personal style was way more attractive than trying to hide my body!

Do yourself a favor, and don't say to the woman you're dating that she's a "fitness buff" in a derisive tone of voice, just because she does Pilates 4x weekly in part to manage an old athletic injury and in part because she was sick of hearing men of color complain about how "women of color don't go to the gym".

I don't know you beyond your post right here. However, reading your traits while thinking "sexy guy" gave me an immediate mental image of Laurence Fishburne as Jack Crawford in Hannibal. No, he's not fat, but he doesn't have a lean and sinewy build, either. Educated and articulate is the antithesis of gangsta, isn't it? It certainly seemed to work for the guys in debate. Over-educated nerdlings with no athletic ability or social prowess would put on suits and confidence for a tournament, and suddenly they were disturbingly attractive. It was a little mind wrenching at times, and a frequent topic among the debate and competitive speech ladies. I can personally attest that it was a huge boost in attractiveness regardless of size, shape, or color. I don't know how much it affected each person in their daily life, but I know that every single one of the guys was unanimously considered more attractive on tournament days than not. The degree varied, but the presence of improvement was universal.

A problem with 'fitting' clothes in my experience: When you're fat your body tends to change shape depending on whether you're standing or sitting. Shirts that fit well while standing threaten to bust at the buttons if you sit down, and likewise, a shirt that fits when you're sitting down will look like a tent when you're standing up.

I do have problems finding a balance between shirts that don't look like tents and shirts that pull the buttons apart when I move my shoulders back (although this might be due to other issues with my build other than belly problems). It's particularly an issue with dress shirts where leaving the top button open isn't an option (although with those the suit hides a lot of the bagginess). I suppose if you were serious you could try for tailored clothes, but just trying on a whole bunch of shirts and discarding the ones that look bad seems to work OK for me.

Go to a place that does dry cleaning/laundry. Ask to talk to the shirt presser. S/He spends *all* *day* handling shirts and can tell you what brands available locally are bigger than "standard" and which brands have the B (big) designation.

It's also worthwhile to spend the time and probably money to go to a good men's wear store and get fitted. Start by asking the head sales human who on staff is good at fitting.

Hello, My name is Catherine and I love bears (hello, Catherine), and by the comments I am not the only straight girl who does.

I'll take one small exception to the clothing advice- dress in well-fitted clothes for who you are/want to be. A Hawaiian shirt can make a good statement from "I am a parrothead" to "I am not stuck in boring guy colors" and so on. Nothing wrong with "boring guy colors" but it is nice to see something bright (my husband is the worst offender but even he has some Bright Blue t-shirts)

That guy up there in the Calvin Klein ad (yes, the thicker one) is absolutely sexy and all men should have that same look on their face. Confident. The Doc's right. The haters will hate and you should know, they only hate when they're seeing some aspect about you they wish were within them. If I met more men who resembled the guy from CK photo, the thick one, and less of the skinny jeans wearers, my dating life would improve greatly. Then again, I live in America where a good percent of the population is media driven and eye candy droolers so…there went that point. Such is life.

I love fat guy humour. Fat guy here, sarcastic remarks are one of our major strengths. A fat guy who can't crack wise is like a Newfie who can't get on the pogey [guess what else I am]. Hell if a feller can't make fun of himself I figure he is just a defensive schmuck. I've known people like that who if you poke the slightest bit of fun at them get their backs up about it. They can dish but they can't take. That my friends shows a lack of confidence. I joke, it would be horrid to exclude myself from the target range.

However I find many people, especially women don't truely understand confidence and easily fall for the chest beating fake sort.

As a big guy myself, probably bigger than your average big guy (like probably in the top 10% of that 35% obese group at over 400 pounds lol) I feel like I have a lot of self confidence. I don't bring up my weight, but if friends do with a joke, or it's obviously implied, I laugh right with them, and even as far as I can tell I don't feel hurt or personally attacked. And I will joke about my weight, or even a feature of theirs right back. It is, of course, different when I can tell someone is trying to be mean. It still doesn't bother me much, but I won't joke around with them at all…

On the idea of wearing clothes that fit, I used to always wear an oversized tee with an even larger button up shirt over it, unbuttoned in high school. I gradually moved away from the button up on top and just tees while in college. Recently, however, I have sort of fallen in love with polos. I do find I have an even higher level of confidence. I still wear relaxed fit jeans, but that is mainly because I have large thighs and anything else can be rather restricting while sitting for extended periods of time.

I don't know how many kids as young as elementary school would read this site lol, or much less my post… but I was made fun of as far back as kindergarten. Always called fat, and chubby. So I grew up thinking I was. When I look back at pictures of myself at that age, and even through middle school and part of high school, I realize how thin I was compared to now. Yea, I was overweight, but not by very much at all in the beginning. But enough people said it to me, both in mean and caring ways, by bullies and family respectively, so I believed it to be true, and thus, it became true. My point on this last paragraph, is that what you say to a child, either as a peer or an adult, can play with their mind more than you may give credit for.

I was 375 and got down to 308 in 6 months just by reducing calories and moderate exercise. First two weeks I was dreaming pizzas but after that I got used to it. I got my waist from 46 to 38 and now I can shop at normal stores. If I can do it you can do it too.

I am hearing people talk about "fat" and they are saying "fat" is like, 200-240lbs, so I am just assuming aaall these tips and such is for people that are not 5'10" and near 375lbs. I just feel like there is a limit I guess…

There is no upper limit of fatness beyond which no one will be attracted to you. The further you are from conventional ideals of beauty, it might get harder to find people who are attracted to men of your size in general, or not particularly hung up on your size but attracted to you specifically, but its a wide tail not a sharp line.

Kezia noble agrees 100% with what u say, trust me ive been a date expert for men for over 10 years

Great informative about fitness plan thanks

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Late to the party, but just wanted to chime in and say that as an average-to-below-average weight straight woman, I am NOT interested in chiseled, Adonis-type dudes. Mostly because I know how much dedication and deprivation it takes to maintain that type of physique, and it makes people BORING. I want a guy who will go out to dinner and have fun and cook interesting meals with me, not someone who's holed up at home doing pushups and eating plain chicken breasts. Of course there will always be some women who won't date fat guys (just like there are some men who won't date fat ladies), but for the vast majority of us, an interesting personality and zest for life is by far the most important thing.

I am a 300 pound man who happens to live in a town full of fuck holes. I was even once rejected before I coul say anything. She turned to me after I said hi and said I don’t date big guys. But a lot of this is true. I might not be the most active but I’m not lazy either and I eat right but nothing seems to work for me but I don’t let that stop me. I love who I am. Sometimes I don’t dress to impress especially if I’m working out or playing basketball or football. But I’ll tell wether it’s just a pick up game at the local gym I’m picked first because they know I can run the court all day and keep up with the skinny guys. But it is still hard to find a women who will like me for me in my town but I know she’s out there and I’m not done looking either.

So, if I find fat jokes funny, and embrace my being a fatass with a smile, I have to give up my sense of humor, and not be happy with my lifestyle if I want to date? I have to change to be healthier, even though what happens is my body goes through symptoms similar to withdrawal, and I become a grumpy asshole? Real nice tip there. I was looking for advice on how to dress sharp as a fat guy without wasting all my cash, as everyone knows confidence and politeness matter, but what I found was an article saying I have to change who I am, because for some reason it is assumed that my sense of humor is pitiful, and Ill look ugly by eating unhealthy foods in healthy portions (untrue). Unless Im missing something, this article just broke the cardinal rules of dating by saying “Be someone your not, and try to change the way you live, even if you are comfortable with it and understand how to live like that.

Wow this post went from inspiring and helpful to "Your shitty diet makes you ugly" and even more fat shaming which is just wrong! I am extremely disappointed that the article took that turn–like fat people aren't told enough that they're ugly. For any "big boys" reading my comment, I'm dating a "big dude" now and I'm amazingly attracted to him just the way he is, plus he's great in bed. Feels great to cuddle with someone and not have a bony shoulder or elbow jabbing you in the ribs. It's hilarious when we go out and people kinda do a double-take because he's 6'4" and something like 300…he's a bouncer…the best part is feeling extremely tiny and feminine next to him (I'm 5'5" and around 150lbs.) I had to get used to the judgment he receives from people and I think it makes me a more open-minded and sensitive person to see how people react to him. People can be really shitty and rude to "big guys"! (Just like the fat-shaming in the second half of this post.) I also came to realize that even though he has a self-proclaimed sweet tooth, he doesn't eat that much more than the other guys I know, and I can only assume his weight is genetic or something he grew up with and never lost. So don't listen to the second half of this article–your diet doesn't make you ugly–your PERSONALITY makes you ugly…and there are plenty of wonderful women out there more than happy to look past your weight. (Thin women, big women, middle-sized women, all types!) You just have to start thinking better about yourself and stop thinking you're "not worthy" of love because of your weight. If you keep thinking that, you'll attract people into your life who subconsciously reaffirm your low self-esteem. Look for the girls who date bigger guys. Go to places where less shallow people congregate. Dress nice, be confident, be a gentleman, and don't go for the shallow divas! If a girl doesn't want you because of your weight, trust me, you don't want her either!

Parse better, it says a shitty diet and sedentary lifestyle makes everyone look less no matter the body size. If anything, criticize the article for being classist/ableist in its assumptions that people can afford to eat good food and have the time to exercise/that their negative moods are their own doing.

If your boyfriend's a bouncer who is regularly out and about and the biggest flaw in his eating regime is a non-existent sweet tooth, high chance he's already adhering to all the advice you take offense with anyway.

I just find it extremely contradictory. The author states: "The next key is simply to accept that your body is your body and your shape is your shape and there is only so much that you can do to change that." Then follows up with "btw, diet and exercise because your shitty diet makes you look like shit." Complete and total contradiction. Honestly, compared to women, most fit and athletic guys eat like shit–they still eat greasy burritos and hamburgers, pizza, etc. So unless you're Vegan and taking vitamin/mineral supplements, cutting out a burrito isn't going to make your hair thicker. I agree with the first statement about accepting your body type, and I encourage large guys not to let food-guilt, body insecurities or low self-esteem/self-worth effect their decisions in life. Do your best with what you have and find someone who accepts you as you are. Lots of women will!

The key is in the "only so much". Aside from the primary benefits listed, better skin and slicker hair are not that visible unless you were really suffering from acne before. I also think the operating premise in the paragraph on food is "eat less junk food", not "go full vegan". If fit dudes eat proper portions and ram in plenty of fruit, vegetables and other benevolent stuff, junk food is going to have less of an impact, I suppose. I'm gonna need to dig into nutrition statistics for that, though.

Totally random note, I've felt for a long time that portion sizes in restaurants and fast-food joints reflect the patriarchal slant of society. Food is served for men's appetites, not women, which I think is why so many women struggle with their weight. We (women) should really be eating a 3rd of what they serve in most restaurants, or not eat out at all…Lord forbid you're a man with eyes bigger than his stomach, hm?…

I am a very short, chubby guy (4'10"), and I have a 'female' body (hips, the lot) because I haven't started hormones yet. But I play ice hockey, and I've found being a chunky man in the ice hockey world is less of a big deal than, say, the association football or swimming worlds. So long as you work on that muscle, and you exude confidence and eat well, being overweight is not the end of the world. Aside from the fact that ice hockey is a very accepting sport in general, ice hockey is also a game with many good stigma attached to it; ice hockey players are seen as tough, physical, athletic guys (or girls) who take no cr*p from anyone, work out like it's their last day on earth, and party pretty well too!

Of course, I am single right now, and I face challenges of my own kind being trans, but I'm working on it and certainly, ice hockey gives me a kind of confidence I feel I would not have as much from any other sport.

Harris O'Malley (AKA Dr. NerdLove) is an internationally recognized blogger and dating coach who gives dating advice to geeks of all stripes. Making nerds sexier since 20011

Remember: Dr. NerdLove is not really a doctor. [Read More …]

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