General Question

deaddolly's avatar

Why does a person's weight seem to matter more to men than it does to women?

Asked by deaddolly (3385 points ) October 27th, 2008

Check this link out:http://www.citynews.ca/news/news_27511.aspx
How many times have you seen an overweight guy with an average sized woman? Now compare that to the times you see an overweight woman with an average size guy. What’s the deal? Are men that shallow? Are women that desperate? Don’t get me wrong, I think love comes in many shapes and forms and SHOULD NOT MATTER…but it seems to matter to some men. Ever hear of a man leaving his thin wife for a plus-sized gal?
Makes you wonder.

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49 Answers

Judi's avatar

I think;
from my own experience, women sometimes get heavy in an attempt to isolate themselves. Fat protects us from people seeing the “real us” It makes us feel less vulnerable. Men on the other hand, get fat out of a sense of self indulgence, “I deserve this.”
I know these are generalizations and there are always exceptions. I am jut relying on the differences between my weight struggles and those of my husband.

deaddolly's avatar

@fireside Yes, they’re are ‘chubby chasers’, but they are not the norm.
Men seem not to care about how they look…just take a ride on a hot day and see who’s without a shirt.
Guess, I’m not talking so much about married couples…but it seems women are more acceptng of certain things than men.

mjoyce's avatar

From an evolutionary perspective it makes sense. Our minds are programmed to make superb children.

For women, the most important thing for a partner to have is lots of “resources” to take care of the many children that they have. So the tendency is for women to be drawn to “type-a” and self starter, bad-boy personalities that could go slay giant sloths to feed your 19 children.

For men, the most important thing is for the partner to survive childbirth, and have the ability to raise the children. Wide hips, “pretty hair”, “pretty skin” ans a symmetrical face are all pointers to a very clean genetic base in which to produce successful offspring.

As much as we want to put modern interpritations on this, our “taste” in the opposite sex has been crafted very carefully over the past few million years battling it out in a hunter and gatherer environment in “the bush”. Our brains have not evolved in the past 1000 (or less) years to adopt to the modern surpluses of food, makeup, hair dye, and all the rest. We are fooled by all of these things.

Nobody is shallow, they just subconsciously want to be genetic winners.

A fat man is less of a genetic loser than a fat women, for the reasons above.

Plus, guys are ugly, DUH!

Tyler's avatar

Im with you on that if you love someone it shouldnt matter but to some guys it does simply because they are afraid of what people will think

MrItty's avatar

A lot of women fall under the delusion that they can “change” a guy to make him better. In its worse examples, these are the battered-wife-syndrome sufferers. Women who believe “He’s really a great guy, he just needs a good woman to help him change”. This goes for both emotional/mental problems and physical problems. I think you see more women go for obese men than vice versa because the women are convinced they can help the guy change his diet & exercise habits, while the men would consider a woman that needs that much “help” to be High Maintenance.

Just my 2¢, anyway.

qualitycontrol's avatar

I dunno but i’m a fatty with a skinny girl.

bodyhead's avatar

I wasn’t brainwashed by television and magazines to love fat women.

Name the movies where the heroine is a fat woman or where the fat woman ends up with the attractive man. In comparison to the movies where the attractive female is the love interest or heroine, it is an extremely paltry amount.

I’m also agreed with MrItty, Ladies will go out with with guys hoping they will change (and they don’t). Guys will go out with ladies hoping they won’t change (and they do).

qualitycontrol's avatar

I like big women too though. I think bigger curves are wicked sexy. they are usually a lot more dominant than skinny girls which is hot.

Mizuki's avatar

Big and dominant, coming right up….

nikipedia's avatar

@mjoyce: I would add that evolutionary psychology posits that slender women are clearly not pregnant, which is crucial to mate selection—one of the putative driving forces behind male behavior in nature is assurance that the offspring he is raising is his own.

Also, see this post for more thoughts on the subject: http://www.fluther.com/disc/19352/why-are-women-held-to-a-higher-standard-of-beauty-than/

jsc3791's avatar

Could it be that guys are just simply not attracted to larger women (in general, of course)?

Could it be that men feel less manly when their woman is bigger than them?

I know, as a woman, it makes me feel like a big oaf if my boyfriend is smaller than I am. I am not sure of the reasons for this, but I feel more girly when I am the smaller of us.

laureth's avatar

@mjoyce – Skinny gals are in fashion at the moment. It hasn’t always been the case. In some times past, a fat woman had the resources it took to bear those 19 kids, while skinny women were poor and didn’t have enough to eat. Even nowadays, in places that aren’t America, fat women still “have it.” (I remember getting hit on left and right on my trip to Jamaica by poor skinny guys because my extra weight meant I was rich, healthy, getting enough to eat, and didn’t have parasites or AIDS.)

Fashions come in and out as fat or thin as seen as wealthier. Similarly, tanner women are seen as wealthier because they can afford to go sit in a UV booth or vacation in the Bahamas. It used to be that pale women were looked on more favorably as wealthier, because they could stay in the house (and have all the serfs outside, getting their poor field-hand tan).

Now, however, instead of looking wealthy, it looks “poorer” to be fat, not only because carbs are cheap filling food you can afford on welfare or minimum wage, but women that can afford to shop at places like Whole Foods or eat special diets or go to a gym are probably wealthier.

It’s all in what’s seen as rich/poor, and what’s in vogue in your little part of the world that year. Remember, even fat girls can be symmetrical and have a great waist-to-hips ratio that leaves the men drooling!

generalspecific's avatar

@jsc, I know what you mean. I can’t stand dating a guy who is real skinny because I am definitely not. I think you’re definitely on the right track. Guys wanna be the big manly one that can take care of their lady and protect her.
But it’s all good, because I want to be the one carried out of the chapel on my wedding day—not the other way around.

cdwccrn's avatar

I don’t know. I wonder if slot of heavy guys were handsome, popular jocks in their youth when they got their girl, then packed on weight when they quit playing sports.

emilyrose's avatar

A man’s weight actually does matter a lot to me. I could not see myself dating someone who was overweight. I am looking for someone with a healthy and active lifestyle, so it is highly unusual if I am ever attracted to a man who is overweight. But I don’t like super skinny guys either typically.

qualitycontrol's avatar

I’ve always had a better time in bed with big women. I also like a nice soft curvy body as opposed to a skinny hard body. So in from my perspective bigger girls are more attractive than skinny ones. I dunno why i think that but my friends think I’m sick haha.

windex's avatar

Because someone who shoves food down their mouth without caring about their health is not someone a person would want to be with?

*if you want to talk about the condition/genetic/illness/etc… Please! bring it on

deaddolly's avatar

@windex Why bother? You seem to know it all.

windex's avatar

@deaddolly: ...okay

I just think that you are the one who lets it get to that point, and you should never let it get to that point.

How deaddolly interpreted it as “I know everything, you are wrong” I will never know…

deaddolly's avatar

“stuffing food down their mouths without caring for their health” is an ignorant statement. All of the overweight ppl I know care about their health and don’t STUFF food down their mouths.
Food issues are unlike any other; you can’t STOP eating (as you CAN stop smoking or drinking etc). It’s not JUST a matter of food.
Next time think about your answer a bit more before you come off as an arrogant know-it-all (“please, bring it on…”) because you really know very little.

windex's avatar

I’m sorry if it sounded like I was attacking someone. I wasn’t, sorry if I hurt anyone feelings, I really am.

But why is it that in many countries the percentage of fat people is far less that those in ours (U.S.)

http://www.i-am-bored.com/bored_link.cfm?link_id=22776

we probably walk less, exercise less and spend more time behind this little box and/or the tube.

deaddolly's avatar

Apology accepted.

Americans have many more fast foods places than other countries. We work longer hours, take less vacations and have less “me” time. We look for the fast meal and the easy way out. Not saying that it’s the right way at all. We’re spolied. Gas is cheap here, compared to there. Why walk?
It’s the American way.
The thing I hate most about traveling to Europe is the food.
It’s not cooked the same (it’s healthier lol) and less is served. It’s just a matter of getting used to eating differently… they’re bought up that way. Soda is $8.oo a can there. They have no choice but to NOT consume other things! Who’s fault is it all? lol…that’s a totally different thread.

It still doesn’t change the fact that women are more accepting of an overweight mate than men are.

generalspecific's avatar

windex: I must point out, I have many skinny friends who stuff a lot more food in their faces than me. That was a sort of bogus statement.
And I do care about myself. But I also care about delicious food.
Also, down their throat or in their mouth? “Down their mouth” doesn’t exactly make the most sense.

windex's avatar

I am sorry everyone!!!

I will make sure to have a lawyer and an English Professor proofread my responses before posting them…gah

generalspecific's avatar

haha nothing to stress about windex, I’m just defensive and nitpicky :p

qualitycontrol's avatar

we should feel bad for windex he’s one of those people that can’t put himself in someone else’s shoes.

windex's avatar

…Please note that I am Not Attacking anyone here…
having said that..

Here is a Direct quote from the Article you posted

“After years of consuming too much junk food…”

did you guys even read the article? that is where my “shoving food” comment came from

They say it right in the article. I should really just post a new question instead of THIS because we are kind of forgetting the actual question.

But if this guy was a farmer way back in the day…he would have to WORK on his farm, to GROW food and support his family, He would have NEVER gotten to this point.

1,230 pounds GIVE ME A BREAK!

qualitycontrol's avatar

we can’t all be studs like you windex

windex's avatar

: (

I am actually going running and eating healthy to loose the tire around my waste

jackfright's avatar

take’s two hands to clap, no? i agree with those that say it’s largely nature.

isn’t it shallow that most of my female friends go for men with resources/money, and aren’t ashamed of it? they’re also much harsher and judgmental of another woman’s body than i am.

my girlfriend often tells me that she’d dump me if i were more metrosexual-like and watched my weight (i’m not exactly slim).

men and women just look for different things from their partners. usually.

Jack79's avatar

It is simple: beauty is a woman’s main selling point, and even though men like women slightly curvier than what fashion magazines may say, they’d only date a really overweight woman if she were absolutely amazing in every other respect (and even then, maybe not).

On the other hand, women look at a lot of things in a man, so it is possible that they end up with someone bald or fat or plain ugly, who will nevertheless have a lot to offer in other departments.

bodyhead's avatar

I agree with you Jack. Women like money and men like sex.

rollid's avatar

It’s evolutionary. Men are attracted to youth, typically exemplified by smooth skin, glossy hair and, of course, physical fitness (ie: tiny waist and tight buns). This is because men are subconsciously looking for someone to have lots of babies for them, thus carrying on their genes, and the younger a woman is the more babies she can have.

Women, however, are looking for security. Long time ago (I’m talking in the days of Lucy), men would fool around and move on, but if a woman was carrying their child, they would be inclined to share resources such as food and shelter. Women would look for the man with the best resources, which meant a better chance of survival for her and baby.

Of course we’ve all evolved to some extent, but I think a lot of these distinctions still exist (and there have been some really cool studies done on it. Google .69 waist to hip ratios). Men hate being judged on their height and how much money they have and women hate being reduced to the size of their waist and boobs. There’s an evolutionary reason for all of it, thought, which makes me feel a little better.

rh11cp's avatar

bcuzz women these days have to have the perfect body, and on guys it doesnt really matter bcuzz its not like yur checkin out the ass or boobs. its just a guy. all yu care bout is the face and personality. most guys care about having the girl to have the perffect bodyy. and girls gotta look good in clothes.. guys wear anything baggy. so it doesnt make a difference. a fat girl in a bikini- not that pleasant. lol

ubersiren's avatar

I’m told it’s because men are visual creatures and women are more emotional. I don’t buy that shit, though. Men are mostly shallow and want some little trollop to throw around in the bedroom. But us chubbies sometimes end up with fabulous attractive men! Yay for me!

Dutchess12's avatar

On the other side of the coin, I think heavy women stress over their appearance more than heavy men do…..we’ve all seen the fat dude with a belly hanging out, walking around shirtless, completely oblivious to how gross he looks! I think, that for the most part, women dress with more thought to how they look…..

bright_eyes00's avatar

I’m a woman and frankly, this will sound strange, I dont like chiseled men or large men. I’m turned off by the gut that jiggles and the flat rock hard abs. I like guys with a little around the mid section with one stipulation that is isnt all soft and squishy…its hard to describe. i’m actually currently in love with someone who has a little more at the gut but it isnt all gross and “like a bowl full of jelly”. i dunno…i would classify it as the beginnings of a beer belly but not quite there. lol

Mr_Callahan's avatar

Its all about the carrying her over the alter thing WITHOUT the use of a forklift. ):

fireside's avatar

@Mr_Callahan – you mean the threshold?
I’ve never seen someone carry their bride over the altar… seems like they should wait until they get out of the church for the honeymoon to start.

noraasnave's avatar

I have been in relationship with a overweight woman in the past >250lbs. I didn’t think anything about it, the weight didn’t matter at the time. Then she cheated on my twice.

Now I come to see that no matter how I dress it up, that some larger women have issues with loving themselves, that is the way they punish and medicate themselves by eating.

In my ex’s case, I figured out that it was because my ex-wife harbored guilt, she was abused by her father, raped many times as a teen/adult, and involved in serious PTSD causing car crashes.

Obviously everybody has issues, we try to medicate and cope with them anyway we can, as we learn ourselves better and come to terms with our issues we make better decisions. Decisions to take care of ourselves and stop punishing ourselves for mistakes or other people’s mistakes.

I hope this helps!

chell's avatar

I am a bbw. and my fiance is a tall but small man. I have never liked heavy set men just my taste. I would say that it is according to each persons likes and dislikes. He likes bigger women. He actually says i am one of the smaller ones he has been with. He thinks some smaller women are pretty but he doesn’t think that they are as sexy as a woman with curves. Now for me i don’t like a man with extra weight it isn’t sexy to me. To me a tall slim man with wide shoulders and strong chest and arms is HOT. I guess you could call it the old fashion cowboy body type. lol..So i would say to each his own. But actually on the subject as to why most men don’t like or won’t go out witha larger woman it is social status. Look at what the young man says about his friends saying he is sick because he likes larger women. Most men will put other men down for liking larger women. So they will avoid dating the bbw to keep up face. Even though alot of men like bbw but won’t let anyone know that.

hearkat's avatar

@chell: Excellent point. An ex of mine found me very sensually satisfying until several months into the relationship, when he showed a co-worker a photo of me and was told he could “do better than a fat chick.” He felt guilty and we tried to reconcile, but he never got over it.

The funny thing was that I had already started working to improve my fitness – not for weight loss, but for strength and energy to enjoy activities more – and after I had lost just about 10 pounds, he told me that if I lost weight I’d be “out of his league”. Huh? I’m the same exact person! So +/-30 pounds makes the difference between being not good enough for him vs. too good?!?!!?!
And men say that women are impossible to understand!

evil2's avatar

i am a bigger guy and prefer women who are happy withthemselves whether that is big or small , i would have to say i would rather be with a big woman with a great self image and attitude than a supermodel who is a cynic and self degrading…so i think attitude is key…

ridicawu's avatar

I’m not a big girl, but average (aka healthy BMI but still a bit curvy), and my boyfriend really likes it (even though I always feel self conscious of my weight and would like to be smaller).
I would say confidence, but skinny and bigger women (and all that are inbetween) have confidence issues.
It’s kind of funny because if you look at the Venus of Willendorf, the fertile parts of the body were exaggerated. Big hips, big breasts, big stomach. Though it’s still kind of debated as to what the specific meaning of it is, most agree it was a fertility symbol. The fertility aspects were what mattered because it showed survival of the species. The bigger the hips, breasts and stomach, it probably showed the more likely the species will live on and the more attractive the woman was.
I think the reason anyone feels like big=bad is because of health. The more physically fit someone appears, the healthier they seem, the more attractive they are.
Although I think really apparent muscles can be disgusting… yech.
Personal preference is funny that way, I guess.

Lorenita's avatar

yeah, men are THAT shallow.

ridicawu's avatar

…girls are that shallow too.
I admit, I am decently “shallow”. There’s a type I like and I don’t want to just “settle”. Attraction is both a mental and physical thing. If the person looks like what I like but don’t have the personality, I don’t want them. If they have the personality but I just can’t find myself to be attracted to them, another thing I don’t want. I got lucky and have both. I don’t think a certain degree of shallowness is bad. It’s just all about personal preference really.
Basically, one person who’s not attractive to one person could be the sexiest person alive to another.
There are girls who don’t find Brad Pitt attractive and there are boys who don’t find Angelina Jolie attractive. They’re who the media TELLS us is “hot”, but you can’t follow what the media tells you. Your perfect to someone out there. Just get yourself to a point when YOU feel confident and then stop caring what others think. If you feel your best being bigger, do it. Screw what others say. If you like to have an athletic body, then do it if it makes you feel healthy and confident!
Gosh I went off into a tangent there. But the point I was trying to get at is that I don’t think men are more shallow than women.

plethora's avatar

@emilyrose Right you are. I don’t care to have a chubby woman either. It says a lot about her lifestyle, her eating habits and her care for her appearance. I don’t like skinny either. There is a difference between thin and slender. I dated an overweight woman for a couple of months and liked her until I realized one day that i would be embarrassed introducing her to my family. No one in my family is overweight. Everyone is conscious of maintaining a normal weight. it’s a value I was raised with.

Pandora's avatar

I’ve known a lot of women who won’t date an overweight guy. I think the only reason why it may be slightly uneven is because men are criticized more for being with an overweight female and some can stand up to the pressure their friends impose on them. But there are a lot of guys who like overweight girls. Sad thing is sometimes overweight guys or girls won’t even consider dating each other.
But the human animal is just that and wired to pick a healthy looking mate. An overweight person doesn’t normally appeal to us because they don’t scream healthy.
Of course it doesn’t help that magazines are filled with thin models for us to think that is healthy.

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