Plus is Equal

So about a year and a half ago I started to do the online dating thing... which in itself can be hilarious and horrifying.

As I was scrolling through, I got down to the bottom of the page and saw that there are groups or subcategories that men can be a part of, then women are filtered to them according to the groups chosen.

I see groups like:

“Men who like Disney."

"Men who like movies."

"Men who love 90’s R&B.” All of which I’m like, "YAS!"

But then I come across this one…

"For men who like BIG GIRLS."

Whoa… It had never hit me like that before. 

I tried to see if there was a category for men who like average sized girls, or men who like thin girls... or short girls... or tall girls - ANYTHING! But, nope. Just men who like - not "curvy" or "plus sized"... but BIG girls.

So what your telling me (site that won't be named) is that in order for it to be OK for men to like these intelligent, gifted, gorgeous, fierce, and full figured women is that we've gotta be something that guys are "into" like a fetish of some sort? We've basically been put in a category that says, "Weeell here they are... if you like that sort of thing..."

I'd written a post a while back, one that I was feeling all over again in this moment:


"A lot of my life has consisted of me trying to figure out how to be 'like the other girls.' I had no idea how much damage I was doing to my self-worth and how I was setting myself up for a lifetime of comparison and not feeling like I was enough. I have been in many conversations with plenty of close male friends defining their 'dream girl.' She never looked like me. That has been so painful, not being anyone's dream and never being the 'ideal' because of the way I look."


This is still a thing: feeling like I have to be someone's fantasy or fetish and not someone's dream.


"Kesha when you lose weight, THAT'S when a guy will like you..."
"Kesha you need to hone a skill because you won't keep a man otherwise..."
"Yea Kesh, just be really good friends with them, that's really as good as it will get for you... they will never date you."

Yes, these are actual words I have spoken to myself. Yes, these are the lines of the script that runs through my head when I think about my dating life. Where do these things come from? Where did I learn this thought process!?

Movies, television, and media have all been guilty of portraying male and female characters being in relationships with plus sized people as the surprising choice. And if we are all honest with ourselves, we are the surprised ones as well. Somewhere in our minds we have separated ourselves into categories of who goes with who and when something doesn't fit that mold, we deem it as some "other" category.

As I swipe and get the initial satisfaction of being mutually "liked," (the swipe hole is real... shout out to the affirmation swipers... you know who you are,) I immediately go to the place of, "oh this must have been an accidental swipe; no way this guy would ever like me, let alone date me."

I've made this my reality: the reality that the only way I'll ever be liked by a man is if he's "into that kind of thing"

I can't even tell you how many times I've been approached by men online or in person with this line: "Yea... I can get wit a big girl."

When did I become just a big girl you could be into...

and not a woman you could be into?

A few years ago one of my favorite stores made a shirt that said "Plus is Equal". I wore it proudly and often. Whether I truly believed it or not, it helped me face my own and others' prejudices and fears of plus size people. I'm learning to let go of my own fear and not walk in others' ideas of who I am or should be.

I am beautiful.






and curvy.

and EQUAL...

I am a WOMAN.

 - Kesha Shantrell.