Mr. Forward wrote me back and answered my question regarding why he tended to date outside of his own race by making very generalized statements regarding particular ethnicities of women. Most white women, he told me, are just after the dream of the big house, the fancy car, the husband who pays all the bills and the over-the-top Christmas parties. Nice. Asian women take good care of their men. Black women are strong and independent. Indian women are "well kept" and fun loving. Latinas are hardworking and enjoy "pumping out babies." Oh, I found a winner here, Singletons...a real Grade A racist. I'm not impressed. Nor am I stupid enough to write him back.
Although he completely overlooked the question I had regarding his religion or the lack thereof on his profile, he did take delight in telling me that he's not a virgin and has a pretty scandalous sexual history with his ex. As in currently. As in, he didn't imply that the history had come to a close. He told me to feel free to ask him about it and his divorce, he was happy to share. Ha. I am not happy to share, with anyone let alone an ex.
You'd think that after all this I would have read enough to know that this guy wasn't going to make it into any chapters of my autobiography. At first glance, I was actually considering writing him back (I obviously needed a healthy shot of self-esteem at that point) until I got to the last paragraph of his email. Remember that my photos hadn't posted to eVow.com when I first heard from Mr. Forward? I was impressed that he had given me the benefit of the doubt considering my usual lack of response to "Ask me for a Photo" profiles. The benefit is dead. Mr. Forward asked me if I could share my Facebook page with him (uh...no) because he wanted to see more pictures of me. He said that since I listed that I was "Full figured" on my eVow.com profile (don't lie about body type, people, it will always come back to haunt you), he wanted to get an assessment of "just how Full we're talking."
Granted, I don't think it's any real great loss not being included in Mr. Forward's list of dateable women, but I've run across this issue my entire adult life. And the media only instigates this double standard. Watch television and tell me how many sitcoms or commercials have overweight, borderline unattractive male main characters married to thin, beautiful, younger female characters. Then watch for the reverse. You won't find it. So, what that's telling us is that we, as women, have to accept our men regardless of their physical features, but the men don't necessarily have to do the same...?
Here's my thing. I could stand to lose some of this plus-sexiness, I'm well aware of that, for my health and to feel more comfortable in my own body (and for the fashion options). But, I will not do it to appease or attract a man. I don't want to be one of those women who can't eat an M&M in front of her husband for fear of ridicule, insults or being left alone if I gain an ounce. I will not be miserable just to have a guy stand next to me and claim he loves a pseudo version of myself who happens to be thinner. Plus, I'm sure there are plenty of things about these prejudiced men's bodies that they wouldn't want to be judged and excluded for by women. Just so happens that their pants do a good job of covering it up.
*Writer's Note: The title of this post is in tribute to one of the greatest and most talked about episodes of television in history: Designing Women, Episode #4.11: "They Shoot Fat Women, Don't They?"