Skip to main content

Verified by Psychology Today

Are You Too Fat for Love?

One hundred million people didn't stop falling in love and having sex.

In a few days, I will be flying to London to work with couples and individuals who are in varying stages of fatness. The one thing that they have in common is that they feel like they are too fat to have a romantic relationship, love, or sex.

Now—I know something about this topic. I have felt at various times in my life that I was too fat for the good stuff. And now I work as an integrative life coach with women and men who are struggling with feeling sexy in the skin that they are in.

According to the CDC, one-third of all Americans are obese. That is a lot of Americans. And guess what? Love, sex and romance did not stop for close to a hundred million people!

Let's face it—we live in a culture that shames fat. An entire diet industry is built around that shame. The message that is being delivered in great big heaping doses is pretty simple: If you lose the weight, you will find love, romance, and sex. Thin equals happiness and entitlement. Fat equals brokenness and low worth. What they don't tell you is that there are plenty of unhappy thin people too. Thin is not the magic bullet.

So let's look at the facts. One hundred million people didn't stop having sex, falling in love, going on dates, and getting married. That is simply nonsense. But somehow we have managed to erase fat people from the public billboard as having any of these things.

Do we get this message because of the nonexistence of happy, sexy, romantic fat people from the media and the fact that most storylines don't show fat people doing any of these things? As if it's something that none of us would want to see?

Frankly, that is the message that I have gotten through the years. Actually, I think that most of us would find it fascinating to see fat people having all of these things, as so many of us are fat, know someone who is fat, love someone who is fat, and think we are fat even if we are not fat!

As a fat woman in shame recovery—sex and fat are like the Whopper of shame sandwiches. Just think about it. Sex all by itself is loaded with all kinds of baggage. Sex can be full of vulnerability, difficult, and complicated by shame, anxiety, and worry. Now, roll it all in fat. Being a fat person is loaded with exactly the same issues. So perhaps, as I previously stated, the world at large simply feels that being a fat, sexy person is simply a bad idea.

Well, I am here to say screw that. Fat people have the same needs as everybody else. They have desires, sexual appetites, and long for acceptance, and love—just like thin people do.

So, fat people have a choice—they can put their lives on hold until they have a thinner body. Or they can start living their lives right now.

I know that this is a brazen idea. But if you are a fat person, you are not too fat for romance, sex, or love. Some people will enjoy your size for lots of wonderful reasons. Some people love the feeling of a strong solid body to push against, or the fabulous softness of gentle curves. But you have to be out there sending signals that you are open for love. Some of us are in relationships where we started out thin and then became fatter.

We judged our own fatness and closed down our erotic selves because we believe that we are no longer attractive to our partners. Try putting out the welcome mat and see what happens. Stop pressing the pause button on your life for "someday when I am thin."

There is a movement going on. It's called "Size Acceptance." And this is the central message — start living today. You can be happy. You can have love and sex. You can find someone to hold hands with in the movie theater. It is all possible.

I am not saying that it will always be easy. You could meet with rejection, hurt, or a broken heart. But guess what? That happens to thin people, too!

Want to do an interesting exercise? Check out "Are You An Invisible Woman?" (If you are a guy—just insert man for when I talk about women.)

I believe in the possibility of you finding everything you need in the body you are in now. The good news is that you don't have to count points!

More from Psychology Today

More from Pamela Madsen

More from Psychology Today