I was watching a TV show with a friend of my younger brothers and we were having a desultory conversation about my new favourite topic- making money. An advert came up and it featured a long legged African model, I’d have thought nothing of it if the young man hadn’t made a random comment about wanting his future wife to look like that. I smiled at him, gave him a thumbs up and focussed on the ad.
Soon I noticed his intense gaze and looked up to see his puzzled eyes trained on me. He told me he was surprised that I didn’t try to tell him that other girls are beautiful too and what matters is the inner beauty of a woman. To be honest, that didn’t even occur to me and I didn’t even take him seriously. The young man in question is in his early twenties, very early twenties and it will be a long while before we’ll be crying at his wedding.
I asked him why he’d thought I’d give him a lecture on inner beauty, he sheepishly explained that since I was “plumb” (his polite way of calling me fat, I’m fat by the way… but it isn’t PC to call a woman fat anymore, curvy and plus size are the standard phrases now) I would be all for inner beauty and would tell him to not let a woman’s size stop her chances of winning his heart. I smiled and told him that if he liked slim women then he should go for them and it would be terrible to be with a curvy lady and be hankering for a size zero model.
I couldn’t help mulling over that conversation later that day, although he was still young and his “spec” might change over time, I felt encouraging him to go for what he wants and not settle for someone, was the best thing I could have done. At least he won’t “try to manage” any young woman for whatever reason, knowing he’d only end up making both of them miserable. It took me down memory lane to a fleeting romantic relationship I had with someone who’s still one of my best friends, I was about twenty one at the time and I was nowhere near fat. Yet this guy was always hounding me about my weight and eventually we broke up. I discovered much later that the dude had a ‘type’, he liked them petite and soft and I definitely didn’t fit into any of those boxes. It was a miserable experience all round and until this day if a potential romantic interests says anything about my weight/size, I take to my heels as fast as I can.
I don’t understand why we try to get others and ourselves to make do with unpleasant choices in relationships in a mainly unintentional bid to be virtuous, or because the effects of time might soon be apparent. Yet we fail to see that the unhappiness thereafter in a number of cases converts the whole event to a tragedy. While I’m not disregarding the place of wise counsel, soul searching or type defying love; I believe everyone has a heart to follow and we should leave them to make the decision to either follow their hearts or not.