Shameful confession: I have an OkCupid account.
On this dating site they ask you a bunch of questions, one being, “Can overweight people still be sexy?” My answer is, of course, something like “fuck yeah, duh, obvs, of course, always.” But an alarming amount of people answer, “No.”
I ask every guy who contacts me who answered no to this question about his reply. If they’re not a blatant angry fat-hater (I never get why those guys message me in the first place, hello, did you look at my pics?), they typically say something like, “Oh I mean… I guess they can but like I just don’t find them attractive/want to date them/want to have sexy time with them.”
People are totally allowed to have physical preferences regarding who they’re attracted to. As far as I can remember, I have never kissed a blonde in my life. But do I go around saying, “No blonde person can be sexy?” Of course not! Because attraction and beauty are different things. I’m not gonna go into the likely fatphobia lurking behind the reply from the OkCupid guys (using the blonde example: just because I prefer darker haired folks would I turn down a blonde gal or guy who caught my eye? no, not all blonde people look/are the same, why lump them alllllll together?) because that’s a whole other post for a night when I’m less sleepy, but let’s just acknowledge that just because you don’t want to kiss a person does not mean you can deny them a positive adjective they want to self-identify with. Thinking that someone “being sexy” is all about whether or not you want to have sex with them is hugely egocentric. Just like thinking someone can only “be beautiful” if you wish you looked like them. We need to stop policing people who try to love their bodies and telling them they can be “beautiful” but not “pretty” or “great” but not “sexy.” We need to acknowledge that anyone who wants to be seen as sexy is sexy whether or not we want to hop in bed with them.
There may be preference regarding attraction. But there shouldn’t be preference in regards to who you give a basic level of respect & human decency. There shouldn’t be a preference in who gets to call themselves beautiful because you don’t get to decide how people feel about themselves.
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