Can a Good Man Love a Size 16 Woman?

This was a search phrase that brought someone over to the blog in recent weeks. I had written a diatribe against the notion Rubenesque romances were unrealistic simply because most men (and certainly all “good” ones) couldn’t possibly want a fattie. For the (female) blogger who made this assertion, this included any woman over a size 6. So me being me, I proceeded to feature hot superbabes who ranged in size from an 8 (bootylicious Beyonce) to a size 16 (model Crystal Renn) in order to show how beauty comes in all sorts of packages.

Trust me, when straight guys are looking at women like Sofia Vergara, Salma Hayek, Scarlett Johansson and Christina Hendricks, they couldn’t care less what the number is on the label of their clothes. They’re kinda too busy doing this…

In my “Groupie” Rubenesque series of romance novels, my heroine Andy Foster is a size 16. She catches the eye of a rocker on the rise who finds himself insatiable for her fuller, more luscious curves. The books come with hot, sexy scenes and I never apologize for Andy’s size because she doesn’t feel the need to. She is comfortable in who she is, and it’s that self-confidence – along with her hourglass figure – that keeps Giovanni Carnevale coming back for more. If you have a hard time believing that a size 16 girl could have that kind of effect on a hot bad boy rocker, I present model Kaela Humphries.

Also for your consideration, model Ashley Graham:

How about Fluvia Lacerda?

So is it really unrealistic to think a size-16 can be a beautiful, sexy and desirable woman? Only if you swallow the bullshit we’re sold as women in this culture, and I most certainly don’t.

I’m a proud writer of Rubenesque fiction because I refuse to buy into this cultural mindset women only are as valuable as the size dress they wear. Femininity is a beautiful mosaic that we forfeit for some tired ol’ paper doll template with very little wiggle room. (Literally.) We’re inundated in the media with this physical ideal of what women are supposed to look like, which is reinforced in movies and in books to drive it home that if you want a prince charming, you have to be perfect (i.e. young, thin, beautiful.) Any woman who finds love, then, should fit into this narrow example. We see this perpetrated over and over again to the point we accept it as the ultimate “fantasy” of what our happily ever after should look like. All you have to do is dye away the drab, fix or prevent those wrinkles, stuff down those love handles, pluck, tuck and otherwise change everything about you.

If you go by this media standard, then I guess the answer to “Can a good man love a size 16 woman?” is “Are you freaking kidding me?”

By no small coincidence this mindset helps sell magazines and fuels multi-billion dollar diet, beauty and fashion industries. No matter what is wrong with you, there’s a product on some shelf to help fix it. How convenient is that? We are continually (and successfully) sold this bill of goods that the only things we need to worry about are how to lose those pesky extra pounds and how to find/land/keep a man. Go stand in any grocery store checkout line anywhere and peruse all those blurbs meant to entice you into picking up and buying a woman’s magazine.

What is the media telling you about yourself? It’s telling you that you are one hot mess, and only their sage and all-knowing advice can save you from your biggest problem. You know… YOU.

I’ll let you in on a little secret and save you about $5 on that magazine…it’s all hogwash.

Men aren’t nearly as obsessed about our weight as we are. They know what they like when they see it, and that runs the gamut between slender and athletic to voluptuous and “womanly”. Many men like curves. Studies have even suggested they are biologically predisposed to. They salivate over buxom beauties that are closer to a double digit size than a size 0. They sing happily about Brick Houses and Big Butts, while we give more and more of our money to those who get rich off of convincing us we’re fat and ugly (and that fat always equals ugly.) We fixate on that stupid scale while, honestly, “good men” are more concerned with how confidently we carry what we got. This is why the average American woman can be an unforgivable size 14 yet still find a husband, have a family and generally enjoy life despite what the media would have her believe.

Let’s put a face on an the average woman, shall we? Meet model Robyn Lawley, whose UK size is 16, which happens to be the average woman size of British women.

In the US, the average size is a size 14. Know what that means? THIS is the body of the “every” woman.

Yet in our media we have to congratulate Christina Hendricks for being “brave enough” to buck the norm and flaunt her curves – when her curves ARE the norm. These are the folks who want you to believe there is something wrong with you, ladies. Why on earth are you listening to them?

Fortunately the real world application of sexual attraction is a little more complex than some arbitrary number. Women are, and should be, three dimensional humans who have value above and beyond what size dress they wear, and men – particularly good ones – will find themselves attracted to all sorts of women for all sorts of reasons.

Some men even find what we consider our fatal flaws kinda sexy. It means we’re not perfect. When you think about it that’s a lot of pressure to put on a mate.

In fact, judging that all men can only love a certain size woman isn’t giving guys a whole lot of credit. Sure they are visually stimulated creatures who have a propensity to think with their penises. But shouldn’t the guy you’re with be able to love all the things that make you uniquely you the same way you love all the things that make him uniquely him? I mean… isn’t that what the ideal of love truly is? Being unconditionally accepted and valued for who you truly are, warts and all?

The real-world answer of “Can a good man love a size 16 woman” is a resounding yes. Thankfully for all the people who don’t fit in the paint-by-numbers boxes of mainstream media (which is the majority of us) love isn’t a formula. Good men can love a size 12, a size 2, a size 24 and a size 10. It’s not about the *size* – it’s about the WOMAN. It’s a novel idea, really… that someone can be loved for the sum of their parts and not something likely in a constant state of flux like one’s dress size.

Many people will tell you that what they thought they wanted and where their hearts eventually landed were completely different. Love is funny like that. If you create within you a woman worth loving, which has nothing to do with the size dress you wear, a man is going to find himself falling in love with you. The trick is to be the kind of woman he never knew he wanted/needed, which is kinda what happened with my darling hubby, Steven. I’m sure 14 years ago if you would have asked him to conjure the woman of his dreams, it wouldn’t have been me. Instead he got more, in almost every sense of the word.

Men are fully capable to appreciate all the things that make you the fully realized person that you are. In my not-so-humble opinion this is the very quality that makes them “good men.” If you’ve been dumped on your ample fanny because some guy couldn’t handle your extra padding, the problem isn’t really yours. It’s his for being a superficial jerk. Wipe that dirt off your shoulder and move on. One day you’ll be so thankful he dumped you so that a truly good man could find you and give you all the love that other guy didn’t think you deserved.

But let me also propose this: if a “good” man dumps a size 16 woman, it probably has nothing to do with her size. More than likely it has everything to do with how she views herself because of that size.

See, this is really the crux of the whole problem. I can bet you the woman who asked that question had just been dissed by the guy she fancied and it probably wasn’t the first time. This is a pattern that has repeated, so she ended up in that spot where she wondered, “What’s wrong with ME?” since clearly she is the common denominator.

If you’re being continually dumped by otherwise good men, it may indeed be something you’re doing wrong. But that has dick to do with the size you wear. Despite what our culture will tell you, being overweight is not a personality flaw or inherent failure. It’s simply a physical condition. Carrying a few extra pounds isn’t really even a “bad” condition, despite being “aesthetically displeasing” to many. Some detractors will jump on the “health” bandwagon of fat-shaming but the simple truth is you can’t determine someone’s health by the weight they carry, and that’s usually just a straw man argument anyway. The teenage boy mooing at you at the grocery store couldn’t give a rat’s ass if you are in more danger of developing heart disease or diabetes; anymore than that guy at the bar sizing up the hot chick with a cigarette in one hand and a martini in the other cares much about her liver or her lungs.

It’s not about health, it’s about fat. And here’s the great thing about fat… you can lose it. No, really. You can. If you think your weight is holding you back most of the time there are steps you can take to change your current physical condition. The problem isn’t with the weight. It’s with your attitude. If you don’t love yourself you’re not going to do the things you need to do to take care of yourself. Period. So whether you plan to stay a size 16 or not, eventually you’re going to have to give up hating your own body.

A remarkable thing happens the minute you do. The people around you then begin to treat you with the same respect you show yourself. The person most guilty of not being able to love the size 16 woman is the size 16 woman. Societal distaste aside, odds are the one beating you up most for being a size 16 is you. You’ve bought into the fantasy the media sold you. If you were a size 4 and a guy didn’t love you, you wouldn’t blame your size. So that means you accept inferiority based on nothing more than some dumb ol’ number on a label, which kinda makes you the superficial douchenozzle and not the guy at all.

Worse…if you think no one can love you because of your size then that sadly becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. You’re never going to believe that a man could love you despite your size because you clearly don’t. Even if you do luck out and find “a good man,” he begins the fruitless endeavor to fill the holes you keep gouging in your own self-esteem. Anyone trying fill that bottomless pit of validation will inevitably tire from the strain.

Even some of those “good” men.

Can a good man love a size 16 woman? I argue that only the best men can. So do your part to hang onto them… love yourself as unconditionally as you wish to be loved and give these poor guys a break. If you have a good man who wants to love you, he already thinks you are the body beautiful. Own it, diva!


17 thoughts on “Can a Good Man Love a Size 16 Woman?

  1. I just finished reading your Rock Star trilogy and really enjoyed it. I liked that it featured a woman who was not unrealistically beautiful like many romance novels. But I will say this about the series – it seemed to me that there was still an “us” and “them” attitude in the portrayal of women in the stories. Women were either plus sized or they were skinny, and it made me wonder exactly what those skinny girls looked like – what qualifies as skinny if the heroine of the novels is a plus sized woman? The only number given is with crazy Talia – she describes herself as a size 8 and seems to think that’s the ideal. I myself have ranged in size from a 2 -10 over the years and there was never a time that I didn’t feel like there was at least one thing wrong with my body. Never. This speaks to your post above and given the direction that your novels will be taking (really looking forward to Fierce!) I thought it might be worth mentioning in the hope that your portrayal of “normal” sized women isn’t that they see themselves as perfect. The size 4 girl may still have hips that are out of proportion with her bust, thereby making it impossible to find a dress that fits; just like the size 12 woman’s rear end is greater than her waist and so can never find the perfect pair of jeans. The level of unhappiness that women (and men too) feel when they look in the mirror doesn’t always correspond to the size they wear. I hope that going forward you’ll remember your own message. Everybody that buys into the media hype is dissatisfied – it can’t be any other way – even those who may appear to have an ideal body type.

    1. Thanks for your comment! 😀

      I honestly don’t believe there is an “ideal” body type or an “ideal” standard of beauty. If I mention size at all, there’s a very specific reason for it, underscoring a bigger statement I’m trying to make by the story I’ve chosen to tell. In the case of the Groupie series, the contrast of Andy’s size with the other women in Vanni’s life was intentionally a matter of “them” vs. “us.” When you’re chasing after the guy all the other girls want, that makes every other girl a rival. We are all conditioned to see other women as “better” in some way, and for an overweight character, that means any rival who is “thinner” is somehow at an advantage to win the men we want. The reason someone searched the topic, “Can a good man love a size 16 woman,” is because we women are conditioned to believe weight is the ultimate deal-breaker.

      I wanted to show that it’s not by taking what was expected and turning it on its ear. The accepted norm is that the rock gods go for the skinny chicks, not the thicker ones. If a guy can get any girl he wants, why would he want the “fat” girl? Well, because women are more than just fat or thin. If anyone saw Andy as only a “fat” girl, it generally denoted their lack of character. (i.e. Leo, Holly, Talia, etc.)

      In the case of Holly or Talia, they see Andy as inferior because of her size… not because they are thinner and “more ideal,” but because they just really aren’t nice people. They are hateful and vindictive and they go after Andy’s more prominent “flaws” as an easy/cheap way to tear her down in an effort to build themselves up. This is, unfortunately, a very realistic portrayal of how some women relate to each other women it comes to chasing after one specific man. Fat, thin, what have you, there are girls who need to “win” the man in order to validate their own self-worth. These are the women who saw Andy as a threat to what they really want (Vanni) and their attitudes toward her and her weight generally speak to the weaknesses in their characters, not thin women in general.

      I tried to contrast that with other characters in the book. Case in point, when Maggie and Andy are essentially vying for the same man (Graham,) I never make mention of weight between them at all. They are, in a very basic sense of the word, rivals, but neither thinks she is superior to the other because of something as arbitrary as body size. As far as Maggie is concerned, I never even note what size she happens to be. That is up to the reader to determine, based on their own vision of her in their head. To me, it just wasn’t important enough to note. Her strengths and weaknesses have nothing to do with the label inside her clothes says, and she would never attack Andy on something like her weight. That is what makes her a decent person worth ultimately winning the man of her dreams.

      Talia saw Andy as inferior to her because of her being fatter, but other characters never even made an issue of it… really even the “ideal” girls like Kat and Lourdes. Andy may have felt inferior to them and felt they were somehow more suited to the rock style life than she was, but those were her issues and nothing they dropped at her door.

      Andy, like me, simply got caught up in her own skewed perception of how she fits into the world. When you feel like an outcast, it shades your empathy towards those you feel have the advantages you don’t.

      I deal with that, no holds barred, in the spin-off, “Fierce.” Jordi was introduced to others as this strong, take-no-prisoners force of nature, but inside she fights every single thing this blog post speaks about. The only way to challenge her own feelings of alienation is to put her smack dab in a group where her standing out makes her fit in.

      In contrast, I put a “normal” weight girl in competition with a bunch of people who fit outside the accepted norm – making her, in essence, the “freak” who doesn’t fit in to that social structure. Even though she has what my main character Jordi thinks is the ideal (a normal sized body,) this girl struggles, too, with her own sense of inferiority. This manifests in her body image, though she has what so many girls starving themselves on the fad diet of the week want. Ultimately her journey towards self-acceptance is just as important as Jordi’s – and just as filled with self-hating potholes. They will feed off of each other as they go forward… as both friends and rivals.

      My hope is that I do justice to both sides of the issue, but it won’t be an easy task (or a very pretty one.) Hopefully I can do you proud on this issue in these upcoming books. 🙂

      Thanks for giving me that note so I can be mindful of that in the future, and not so quick to ditch my empathic portrayal of other types of women.

  2. “Can a ‘good man’ love a size 16 woman?” You bet your curvy…well you know. Sweet Jesus these women are beautiful.

  3. Hell yes! Curvy women are de-freaking-licious, and believe me, guys are NOT the only ones thinking it. Rock on lady =) great post.

  4. I love curvy women, it is as they are supposed to be. Only since the 60’s has this unhealthy desire to make them look like boys existed, bony, flat, and anorexic. Nothing worse than hugging a bag of bones, give me soft curves anytime! Healthier, sexier, and absolutely wonderful.

    Now to the dark side and double standard. Larger women blast the standards of today as being unfair. they join BBW groups and talk about size acceptance, but in fact they have a double standard and are not interested in larger guys only in skinny ones. Even in your own books you preserve this injustice. Kind of a one way street isn’t it…

    Please explain how this is fair, seems women want it only one way.

    Big bad handsome guy.

    1. You are absolutely right. It’s not fair. It’s also something I do plan to address in upcoming books, because I do find larger men as desirable as thinner men. If you ask me, Dan Connor was the perfect husband and I have a ginormous crush on Kevin James. It’s such a multi-faceted problem that it would take a hundred books to attack every nuance. So don’t give up on me just yet. I’m going to get around to it. 🙂

  5. I think chubbier men are totally at a disadvantage in this regard. When a woman puts on weight, she gets curvier – a more exaggerated version of what she is meant to be – breasts, hips, etcetera. But when a man puts on weight, he gets a “spare tire” and there is no historical, biological or social benefit to that. Bummer!!

  6. Thank you sooo much, this was brilliantly worded and right to it. My ex wife was a size 10(aus) and after a few years, went up to a size 16 and she hated it. Upon the demise and breakdown of our relationship, she slowly lost the weight, but blames it on stress from me. By the time we split, she was a size 8 and hating it! I am now dating a woman who is a size 14-16 and she is very comfortable with herself and who she is. I stumbled upon this article/blog and loved every bit of it , cheers,

  7. Just a ‘Heads up’ ladies..When you are ‘thicker’ or gain weight below the waist, It’ harder for male ‘penetration’ during intimacy. The bigger you get, you EFFECTIVELY ‘shrink’ the size of your male partner. I’ve dated both slender and BBW’s. I fall right in middle of the ‘average’ (6″ erect) American LENGTH.The slender women are a MUCH more enjoyable experience. It’s difficult to stay inside a BBW, with the layers of bodyfat in the way. Just being honest ladies. Thus, if you’re NOT happy with your guys length…LOSE some weight/bodyfat, as you will make penetration easier, not to mention help with his visualization to get an erection. I can’t believe that KNOWONE is addressing this issue. I am NOT a misogynist, this formula goes BOTH ways. If your man is carrying too much bodyfat below the beltline, that can be intrusive as well. Suggest HE loses weight, so that ‘Big Jim and the twins’ are more easily accessible to YOU.

    1. The reason no one is talking about this is because it’s a non-issue. I’ve been heavy since I started having voluntary intimacy with men. I’ve been with men who have been smaller (4-5″ erect) and those who have been larger, (8-10″,) as well as a host of slender men as partners (most of them, actually) and heavyset partners. It has NEVER been a problem with them “staying inside.” (You can ask my husband of 13 years if you’d like further proof.) There is no physiological basis to your argument. The vagina doesn’t increase or decrease in length with weight loss or gain, and there are dozens of sexual positions that do the trick not just for “heavy” sex but to fully pleasure a slender woman as well.

      So that tells me two things about you. One.) Your bias against fat women affects your erection, making you unable to keep stiff enough for sex to finish the act, OR Two.) You just aren’t overly imaginative in bed.

      Either way, to blame your partner for your sexual malfunction is a dick move. Literally.

      Go back to health class and learn a few things about anatomy. Your partner will thank you for it.

  8. The only problem is if you don’t have a big chest, and I’ve noticed a lot of fat women who are small- like a 44b or something, you certainly don’t look anything like the plus size models. And most fat women don’t have such a defined waist. Just like I’m a size 8 and do t look like a Victoria’s Secret model

    1. This is true. And I know some larger models, like Tess Holliday for instance, face a lot of backlash for not being “acceptably” large. Ashley Graham can grace the cover of Swimsuit Illustrated, but Tess and her ilk are still considered “niche” models. There’s definitely a line between acceptable fat and “too” fat, even still.

      I’ve noticed with the books I’ve written that readers are more apt to read stories featuring sizes 12-16 rather than size 20 or higher. And agents still want you to downsize models to make them “more attractive.”

      We still have a long way to go.

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