Got this question from a reader last week:
Hi Chris, Thanks for all the great work you are doing in promoting and educating people about interracial dating. I appreciate your advice, love your look, and have recommended your site to other friends. I’m contacting you because I’m finding that I am not really having any success with swirling, and I’m of the opinion it’s because of my body type. I’m a New Jersey native and have been to many different states and to a few countries, and although I could be very wrong, I’ve come to the conclusion that overall, white men are not attracted to thick black women. By no means am I obese, as you can see in my photo, but I’m certainly not a size 6. The first picture is more of my profile, but I’m a solid size 14/16. In my travels, I have observed white guys with dark skinned, natural hair, thin women, or women within the black spectrum with a variety of hair types, but the one trait that was consistent with the couples that I’ve seen were that the women were all thin. I’ve yet to see a white man with a dark skinned, natural hair, thick woman. I am aware that so much more goes into who a person ultimately dates/marries (personality, similar interests, common values, etc.), but knowing that men are very visual creatures, and many times they will approach someone because of what they first see, I can’t help but feel that my body type isn’t all that attractive to white men. Is my thinking off? I feel that if I couldn’t make it work in one of the most diverse and accepting areas of the country, I would have an almost impossible time of interracially dating now that I’ve moved down to Texas.
Then I looked at the photo that she attached and was like…HUH?! This woman is voluptuous and lovely. I can’t for the life of me understand how she managed to talk herself into thinking she’s too “thick” to be attractive to non-black men, or more specifically, white men. I find that many of my readers engage in what I’m calling, “malfunctioning self talk,” in which they use assumptions, stereotypes and generalizations to talk themselves out of believing that men of other cultures won’t be into them. Of course this doesn’t happen in a vacuum; I like many of you heard some black man or other joking that a white man can’t “handle” or appreciate the physical assets of black women. Ha. I think they can handle us just fine. I show these images of happily married men to bigger black women to show these pairings DO happen. However, I have to be honest, most men of every race, color and creed prefer fit women. And yes; I acknowledge there’s some outliers who actually prefer skinny, near emaciated-looking women, and then there are those on the opposite spectrum who prefer women to be extremely overweight. But most men fall somewhere in the middle.
The male’s ultimate preference? They REALLY like women who have a waist-to-hip ratio that lends them an hourglass figure…kind of like the photo depiction of the letter writer. BUT…All the women shown in the wedding photos are bigger than the letter writer, and they’ve found love.
It’s also important to manage expectations. I remember getting a letter from a young woman who was discouraged because all the young men she liked were athletic jock types who friend-zoned her. When I looked at her photos, I noticed that she was dangerously close to being nearly 100 pounds overweight. Attraction is also about compatibility. People who embrace fitness as a lifestyle–hiking, swimming, running, eating clean–include this in their value system, and are looking for partners who share those values.
In general, I believe black women can do a lot better when it comes to managing their weight, and I’ve been preaching on this for years. Fitness isn’t just about “man catching,” but it’s about feeling good, reducing your risks of diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure and some cancers. There is something incredibly empowering about being in shape with great hair and skin! While I have never been technically “overweight,” I was certainly headed in that direction and feeling the effects…fatigue, anxiety, borderline high blood pressure, even skin rashes. Ladies, we HAVE to embrace good health, exercise, and clean eating. Okay; rant over.