LIFESTYLE COMMENT

‘Fat people are just as deserving of love as slim people — I should know’

As TikTok users spew vitriol at a plus-size woman for having a conventionally attractive husband, Laura Hampson argues that people of all sizes deserve love

Wednesday 22 June 2022 16:05
<p>Alicia and Scott Mccarvell</p>

Alicia and Scott Mccarvell

A woman on TikTok has done a thing. It’s how so many stories start these days, isn’t it? But this time, the woman in question, Alicia Mccarvell, posted a style transition video of her and her husband getting ready for a friend’s wedding. The video, which has been viewed over 22 million times, has received relentless vitriol from TikTok users. Why? Because Alicia is a fat woman.

In the video, Canadian influencer Alicia and her husband, Scott McCarvell, are seen in towels in front of a mirror before switching to a clip of them all dressed up for a wedding. Scott, who stands behind Alicia in the video, is muscular, tall, and sports a big beard. He is conventionally attractive, some may say.

The perfectly nice, normal TikTok video has received over 44,000 comments, many of them nasty and mean-spirited. In several follow-up videos, Alicia revealed that some of these included “He wants your money”, “Love is definitely blind”, and “He’s waiting in position to collect insurance money”.

Addressing the comments, Alicia pointed out that the video she posted was “not unlike what all kinds of couples do on this app”, but that “we all know why” her video went viral. “It’s because with beauty standards, [Scott and I] don’t make sense,” she said. “The world looks at us and immediately values Scott more than me. People say that we don’t add up because people are adding things to my side of the equation to make it make sense.”

Alicia’s words struck a chord with me. You see, I am a plus-sized woman who is in love with an average-sized man.

I met my partner, and soon-to-be husband, four-and-a-half years ago on the most shallow of dating apps: Tinder. Because of my past experiences, before we met up for the first time, I felt compelled to send him a disclaimer: “You know that I’m fat, don’t you?” Later, when we talked about it, he said of course he knew my size, but he swiped right because he was attracted to me physically.

Prior to my early twenties, I had always believed I wasn’t deserving of love because of my size. I believed that all of the unrequited crushes I’d had up to that point were because I was heavier than most women. It wasn’t until the advent of dating apps, when I began to match with people who were genuinely attracted to me as I was, that I realised that losing weight wasn’t the answer to finding love after all.

For commenters on Alicia’s videos to think that she “must have money”, or she “must have a nice personality” to be able to “bag a man like Scott”, it is not only a major insult to Alicia, but to plus-sized women with average-sized partners everywhere.

As Alicia pointed out in the video, the world has taught us to equate our values with the size of our bodies. She explained that a thin woman had slid into her husband’s DMs and told him he should be with “someone like her”, implying that, because she was thin, her value was higher than Alicia’s.

I had always believed I wasn’t deserving of love because of my size

I have always felt like my value in society was less because of my size. Not just in a relationship sense, but in a work sense, a social sense, and a simply-existing sense. From a young age we are conditioned to think that a slim body type is normal, and everything else is not. We see a fat person and assume that they are lazy, that they don’t care about their health, that all they do is eat junk food, when the truth is often the opposite. Alicia put it perfectly when she said: “If this is how you think, how you’ve been taught, then it is your responsibility to unlearn it.”

My partner has never seen my fatness as a defining part of my personality. He loves my soft stomach as much as he loves that I make him laugh, and how we dance together in the kitchen. While I certainly think I am “lucky” to have him, I know he is also lucky to have me. We fit just right, and that’s what a relationship should be about, isn’t it?

Love isn’t exclusive to people who can shop at straight-sized stores, or who conform to what society calls “slim”. Love is for everyone, of every shape and size, because to love and be loved is a natural human instinct, and should be able to be experienced by everyone.

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