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Old 07-22-2009, 03:02 PM   #26
debz-aka
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Originally Posted by olwen View Post
So the question is how do we find confidence? If it isn't with platittudes from FAs or even from other women, then how can we help each other build up confidence? ?
I found this word choice interesting: platitude - noun
1. a flat, dull, or trite remark, esp. one uttered as if it were fresh or profound.
2. the quality or state of being flat, dull, or trite: the platitude of most political oratory.

I think one of the first ways to build confidence is to simply not consider compliments as platitudes. I'm not saying this to be bitchy, I mean it. When I managed a bakery I had the most amazing experience. When I told the male bakers that their bread looked good they'd say "Thanks". When I told the women bakers,they would immediately tell me everything wrong with the bread, or another item they had just baked. I finally one day stopped one of my women bakers and said "I'm going to try this again. I'm going to compliment you on your good work. All I want you to do is simply say 'thank you' and then stand there and know how good you are." It took several of the women many tries to accomplish this goal.

I think confidence is harder for women; we simply don't have the thousands of years of politic and fiscal power that men have had. For many generations our power was often used to attract a mate who would provide for us. Here today on this page, we are trying to except large size bodies while the world informs us that we are sick (obesity disease?) and that anyone attracted to us is some kind of pervert. If we don't all shine with self confidence, I think we have some good reasons why. Maybe, just for today olwen let someone compliment you and really just sit and experience that good feeling of being appreciated. When negative thoughts come up, push them gently away, and bask in that feeling, that's what I had to do to slowly build my confidence.
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Old 07-22-2009, 03:21 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by debz-aka View Post
I think one of the first ways to build confidence is to simply not consider compliments as platitudes. I'm not saying this to be bitchy, I mean it.
I do agree that a lot of us have problems taking a compliment gracefully; Lord knows I do. I've come to realize that when I respond to a compliment with self-criticism, it comes across as incredibly rude; someone is trying to do something nice, I really shouldn't smack them down.

Still, even when someone says something positive to me, even when it sinks in to my stubborn brain, it's not the same as realizing for myself that I'm not a flaw golem.

I've also been in the situation where my ex would get frustrated that I still got down on myself even after he complimented me, and I would get pissed at him for assuming that he could "fix" me, and then I wouldn't want to take his stupid praise. I'm not saying that's always the case, but I wouldn't be surprised if someone reading this could relate.

Also, it's not just compliments. The worn advice, although probably well-meaning, can come across as really condescending, and even work in reverse. Blowing my problems off by trying to placate me with the first thing that comes to your mind doesn't do much to make me feel like a worthwhile person.
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Old 07-22-2009, 06:24 PM   #28
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Confidence, to me, is just going out and doing what I do. I live in my body as a thin person would live in theirs-- put cookies in my shopping cart if I feel like it, swim at a public pool in a tankini, even if it DOES bare my stomach, etc. If people stare, I stare them down. I find, for the most part, by simply expecting to be socially acceptable, I am pretty much socially acceptable. Maybe this part of Maine is chunkier, but people seem pretty good with it. It also helps that I am generally affable-- if I see someone smiling at the conversation I'm having with a friend, I'll start to include them. I don't know, somewhere along the line I started not thinking "WHAT IF THEY DON'T LIKE HOW I LOOK/WHATEVER" and just started expecting, assuming I'd be treated the same. It's not really linked to my self esteem at all-- I still have days where I wake up and hate what I see, but it's not relevant to...well, anything else.

Plus, I somehow have the "do NOT mess with me" vibe. No one does. It's probably good for them that they don't.


.
Over and over and over again.
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Old 07-22-2009, 06:58 PM   #29
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wow! excellent thread. ty. this is an issue very close to my heart and i have often thought about how to approach it. i don't know what the correct answer is but i do know that giving in is NOT a way to be happy or content with your life. i understand that people have pressures, health issues and other realities to deal with but so does every other human being. thinking otherwise is childish, self defeating, and being willfully ignorant. so instead of wallowing beneath every life challenge its important to have a mind to overcome it.

many women who are fat have a serious issue with clinical depression that they sometimes refuse to deal with. clinical depression makes people feel hopeless. it makes people feel that nothing will change and why try. so it can be a vicious cycle when it cames to being fat. it makes people believe in all of the negative thoughts that can come from being fat and even creates self fulfilling prophecies like "i will always be alone" no one will ever want me" my weight will kill me" i can't be a success in business because no one likes looking at a fat person" "i can't go out because people will look at me and i'll be embarrassed". i think the depression is like a fog people can't see through. its a demon always whispering in a persons ear trying to take thier joy in life away. they can't see that what most people don't like about fat is the percieved misery it brings with it or the kind of attitudes that fat women often have . no one wants to associate with a 24/7 pity party, constant sarcasm anger or hostility. especially when the person engaging in it might be so mired down in depression that they experience the inability to change or refuse to acknowledge or take an action they might not have the emotional energy to undertake. so often when we feel we can't we are antagonistic toward those who can and do.

i'm beginning to wonder... dims is supposed to be about celebrating being fat and enjoying fat. but i really see very little of that most of the time. and when someone has found a way to it is criticised. i think its very hard for the people who are so miserable in their fat bodies to believe that there might actually be people who can enjoy it. i think you can enjoy it but only if you take control of it. the minute that your body is totally controlling you and your life and emotions you have lost. your fighting a battle against yourself. your body should not be your enemy but your, friend your temple, and your earthly pleasure. if its not you have to re-evaluate that. either your attitude or your body has to change. refusing to recognize that is willful self punishment. but i often think people mainly refuse because they are afraid they will have to act and they don't have the courage. they might have to actually learn to love themselves as they are and they feel ugly. they might have to lose weight and they are afraid because they have chosen a partner based on the fact that he only likes a fat body and they are well aware of the consequences of that. so they allow fear to be thier prime motivator.

for those who think confidence isn't a big deal--i'm afraid for you. confidence is everything. its the thing that enables you to value yourself. when you value yourself you can love other people and appreciate the world you live in. your not mired in depression and looking around for enemies to blame it on. you don't have to be right even if you are wrong just to protect yourself from having to do the hard work of looking at yourself and making hard changes. i don't think society, the world or FAs have anything at all to do with self esteem. they owe a fat woman nothing but she owes herself everything. that would include self confidence which is a an indicator of a healthy mind.

people who refuse to acknowledge that know deep down that they don't have the positive view of thier life that they should. but they'd rather pretend because they think that its easier not to face life. but in the end it makes things worse. it keeps people unhealthy, selfhating and hateful of other people. in order to really get some confidence we have to push ourselves. living is not always comfortable. you can't be afraid to live. and in order to live well we have to take care of our mental health. we have to go to the doc. and if one isn't doing us any good we have to love ourselves enough to keep going to others , maybe try meditation, get hypnotized or whatever it takes. we need to get counseling, psychological and psychiatric help when we need it to cope with the tough issues that come our way. we can't go on pretending that we should just accept that when someone is fat they should be miserable because that is not the kind of acceptance SA is talking about. we can't just bury ourselves wrapped up in negative thoughts like a shroud and hide ourselves away.

ok rant over

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Old 07-23-2009, 04:33 AM   #30
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I do agree that a lot of us have problems taking a compliment gracefully; Lord knows I do. I've come to realize that when I respond to a compliment with self-criticism, it comes across as incredibly rude; someone is trying to do something nice, I really shouldn't smack them down.
I've been working hard on this. It's not easy to overcome the modesty and doubt that leads to answering a compliment with "Nah" or "no way" and variations on that theme. Nobody wants to take a compliment and wind up sounding full of themselves, either--but I think I've found the middle ground.

I do my best to say "Thank you!" and stop right there (unless it naturally lends itself to a conversational topic). I'm pretty sure that protesting, whatever the excuse, is just another form of compliment fishing when I do it...so I'm trying very hard not to let myself do it.
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Old 07-23-2009, 07:46 AM   #31
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Over and over and over again.
Heh that kind of sounds like part of this hi hop song I have.
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Old 07-23-2009, 08:27 AM   #32
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I think I have something of use to say in this conversation, but it might take me some time to get there, so be patient.

Superodalisque mentioned the idea that a lot of times we as fat women think we can't get a particular job because we're fat. I know I still think that a lot, even as I've worked through a lot of other confidence killing issues about fat.

The other day as I was riding the bus in the heart of DC's lobby/influence peddling downtown, I noticed this man crossing the street who was very fat, and most of that largeness was in his butt and hips area. An unusual shape for a man, I'd claim, and yet by his style of dress and the appearance of his companion, I'd bet he worked at one of the shiny imposing offices that surrounded us, or at least one of the government agencies that litter all of the DC area.

This isn't the first time I've noticed a SSBHM walking aorund government agencies and such who look like they are part of the white collar class, but I can't say I see as many women of similar sizes in the same situations. Is this my own skewed vision, because I still cling to the idea that SSBBWs have a hard time finding decent employment, or is there a disparity between the types of jobs that are open to SSBHM and SSBBWs? I don't know.

In any event, I do know of people who post on this board who are women at larger sizes than me who do have white-collar jobs, so why can't I use their example as a way to increase my own confidence in this area? In all other areas, I pretty much act like Tooz describes for herself, and I too have my own 'don't mess with me vibe' that I don't even have to work at that keeps me from getting the fat-hatin crap that is out there. But the job thing is my achillies heel!

Hmm, did that have anything to do with the discussion?
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Old 07-23-2009, 01:37 PM   #33
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Heh that kind of sounds like part of this hi hop song I have.
Please tell me it's not this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=voHt52tsT1U

That was playing at LB yesterday and I wanted to die.
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Old 07-23-2009, 02:51 PM   #34
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I think I have something of use to say in this conversation, but it might take me some time to get there, so be patient.

Superodalisque mentioned the idea that a lot of times we as fat women think we can't get a particular job because we're fat. I know I still think that a lot, even as I've worked through a lot of other confidence killing issues about fat.

The other day as I was riding the bus in the heart of DC's lobby/influence peddling downtown, I noticed this man crossing the street who was very fat, and most of that largeness was in his butt and hips area. An unusual shape for a man, I'd claim, and yet by his style of dress and the appearance of his companion, I'd bet he worked at one of the shiny imposing offices that surrounded us, or at least one of the government agencies that litter all of the DC area.

This isn't the first time I've noticed a SSBHM walking aorund government agencies and such who look like they are part of the white collar class, but I can't say I see as many women of similar sizes in the same situations. Is this my own skewed vision, because I still cling to the idea that SSBBWs have a hard time finding decent employment, or is there a disparity between the types of jobs that are open to SSBHM and SSBBWs? I don't know.

In any event, I do know of people who post on this board who are women at larger sizes than me who do have white-collar jobs, so why can't I use their example as a way to increase my own confidence in this area? In all other areas, I pretty much act like Tooz describes for herself, and I too have my own 'don't mess with me vibe' that I don't even have to work at that keeps me from getting the fat-hatin crap that is out there. But the job thing is my achillies heel!

Hmm, did that have anything to do with the discussion?
Off topic about confidence, but I do want to point out that I'm not surprised by what you are seeing in DC Butchie. I don't remember people getting all upset about C. Everett Koops' size when he was surgeon general, but the new lady? Everybody has an opinion about her weight and how "fit" she would or wouldn't be as the surgeon G.

.

p.s. I'm job hunting right now, and I have to admit it is hard to maintain my usual level of natural bravado when faced with job interview prospects. This is making me lean toward temping for a while as their standards are generally more relaxed cause it behooves them to put people's asses in work chairs. Not proud of that line of thinkin but since the cats won't get jobs themselves, I gotta do what I gotta do to bring home the catnip.

g
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Old 07-23-2009, 04:15 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by AshleyEileen View Post
Please tell me it's not this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=voHt52tsT1U

That was playing at LB yesterday and I wanted to die.
Haha no, it's this ...christian hip hop dude. It's kinda geek hip hop but I love him.
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Old 07-23-2009, 06:42 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by butch View Post
I think I have something of use to say in this conversation, but it might take me some time to get there, so be patient.

Superodalisque mentioned the idea that a lot of times we as fat women think we can't get a particular job because we're fat. I know I still think that a lot, even as I've worked through a lot of other confidence killing issues about fat.

The other day as I was riding the bus in the heart of DC's lobby/influence peddling downtown, I noticed this man crossing the street who was very fat, and most of that largeness was in his butt and hips area. An unusual shape for a man, I'd claim, and yet by his style of dress and the appearance of his companion, I'd bet he worked at one of the shiny imposing offices that surrounded us, or at least one of the government agencies that litter all of the DC area.

This isn't the first time I've noticed a SSBHM walking aorund government agencies and such who look like they are part of the white collar class, but I can't say I see as many women of similar sizes in the same situations. Is this my own skewed vision, because I still cling to the idea that SSBBWs have a hard time finding decent employment, or is there a disparity between the types of jobs that are open to SSBHM and SSBBWs? I don't know.

In any event, I do know of people who post on this board who are women at larger sizes than me who do have white-collar jobs, so why can't I use their example as a way to increase my own confidence in this area? In all other areas, I pretty much act like Tooz describes for herself, and I too have my own 'don't mess with me vibe' that I don't even have to work at that keeps me from getting the fat-hatin crap that is out there. But the job thing is my achillies heel!

Hmm, did that have anything to do with the discussion?

I'd say this is very much on topic. The job situation is where I have confidence issues too. It's been the only part of my life where feeling not confident has stymied me at times. I'm sure you have something there about gender bias when it comes to the working world, but you know there are jobs where fat men will be at a very clear disadvantage like being a lawyer. I guess the only thing to do is be really good at whatever it is we do so no one can say we aren't qualified, tho the criticisms about the new Surgeon General doesn't help either...
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Old 07-23-2009, 07:20 PM   #37
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When I managed a bakery I had the most amazing experience. When I told the male bakers that their bread looked good they'd say "Thanks". When I told the women bakers,they would immediately tell me everything wrong with the bread, or another item they had just baked. I finally one day stopped one of my women bakers and said "I'm going to try this again. I'm going to compliment you on your good work. All I want you to do is simply say 'thank you' and then stand there and know how good you are." It took several of the women many tries to accomplish this goal.
This doesn't surprise me. I often compliment people on their appearance and it's amazing at the number of women that will try to down play it or criticize themselves.
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Old 07-23-2009, 07:55 PM   #38
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Haha no, it's this ...christian hip hop dude. It's kinda geek hip hop but I love him.
....KJ-52?
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Old 07-23-2009, 08:09 PM   #39
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Ladies, nothing against odd music pairings, but please try to keep the convo on topic. Thanks.
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Old 07-26-2009, 02:11 AM   #40
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I personally think pride and confidence go hand in hand...If you like yourself and you realize that you have a lot of things to offer to the world then it shines through..If you go into any situation with your head held high knowing that no matter what you can accomplish anything you set your mind to..

Most of the time we are our own worse enemies...We set ourselves up to fail before we even try..I do not think that has anything to do with size more about being fearful of failing or maybe fearful of accomplishing something...With failure comes learning, with learning, comes eyes more open..I know it's not fun swimming through shit but sometimes it has to be done to get to the other side..Sometimes we have to hunker down and do what we don't like to move along in life..If you don't move forward you get stagnant then you wont have a very fulfilling life...That act of moving forward build confidence..The knowing you can and will get through life's obstacles is what builds confidence as well..

I hope this makes sense..It after 4 am and my brain is not work up to par..
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Old 07-26-2009, 09:29 AM   #41
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Ladies, nothing against odd music pairings, but please try to keep the convo on topic. Thanks.
...Then why not delete all the posts related to it?

...
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Old 07-26-2009, 12:13 PM   #42
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...Because a lone reminder to keep posts on topic when all the other posts are on topic doesn't make sense. It would be a weird non-sequitor. Anything off topic after the reminder will be deleted.

Hope that helps and thank you for your cooperation.
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Old 07-26-2009, 12:18 PM   #43
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I personally think pride and confidence go hand in hand...If you like yourself and you realize that you have a lot of things to offer to the world then it shines through..If you go into any situation with your head held high knowing that no matter what you can accomplish anything you set your mind to..

Most of the time we are our own worse enemies...We set ourselves up to fail before we even try..I do not think that has anything to do with size more about being fearful of failing or maybe fearful of accomplishing something...With failure comes learning, with learning, comes eyes more open..I know it's not fun swimming through shit but sometimes it has to be done to get to the other side..Sometimes we have to hunker down and do what we don't like to move along in life..If you don't move forward you get stagnant then you wont have a very fulfilling life...That act of moving forward build confidence..The knowing you can and will get through life's obstacles is what builds confidence as well..

I hope this makes sense..It after 4 am and my brain is not work up to par..
It makes total sense. I had quite a few teachers as a kid who wouldn't let us say things like "I can't." there was only lack of knowledge. I even had a math teacher who refused to give 100's saying that no one was perfect, which for me anyway served as a reminder to always look deeper for the answers, course asking for proof for square roots in the 9th grade didn't help me understand it any better....anyway, that has always stuck with me. Just cause you don't know how to do something doesn't mean you can't learn or try. That does instill some confidence too.
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Old 07-26-2009, 09:12 PM   #44
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I think it does....Knowing you accomplished something by yourself with very little or no help is great...
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Old 08-04-2009, 08:12 AM   #45
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Been ruminating over the phrase "confident BBW" for a while, thanks to reading some other threads. That seems to be what all the FA's demand and desire. But I'm not sure even they fully know what they mean when they throw that phrase out. There are so many levels of confidence. Do they just mean someone who isn't flat out depressed about being fat all the time? Is it a code word for "Not On A Diet"? Code for "One of the Paysite Girls"?

I think of myself as a confident person most of the time. I'm willing to stand up for myself, others, and what I believe in when I think it's appropriate/necessary. I'm proud of what I've achieved, and set high goals for myself. I try to accept compliments and appreciate other people's good points as well.

But I'm not a steam-engine of confidence, radiating pride in everything I could possibly be. I have doubts, for example, that anyone would really want to see me in the altogether. I worry that I haven't done enough in my life, and won't achieve the things I'd like to. I question myself and second-guess myself. And only some of that is at all related to my fatness.

In other words, I'm pretty human--full of hopes and fears, love and insecurities.

I wished on a star last night for love I could trust in, and then came inside and my mother went out of her way to make me a sandwich because there was nothing left of supper. It wasn't quite what I meant, but I guess I've had that wish all along.

I know that seems unrelated--but maybe the FAs are wishing for something that doesn't exist, or that they could easily have simply by being confident in their own choices?
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Old 08-04-2009, 09:41 AM   #46
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Confidence booster (not size related, but my size changes, so I need a one-size-fits all solution):

Set a goal. Achieve it!

Repeat.

This tends to lead to more than just your confidence boosting (job performance, relationships, ect.)
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Old 08-04-2009, 06:56 PM   #47
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Been ruminating over the phrase "confident BBW" for a while, thanks to reading some other threads. That seems to be what all the FA's demand and desire. But I'm not sure even they fully know what they mean when they throw that phrase out. There are so many levels of confidence. Do they just mean someone who isn't flat out depressed about being fat all the time? Is it a code word for "Not On A Diet"? Code for "One of the Paysite Girls"?
Wow, those are really good questions. I had never thought about that before and just assumed confident bbw to an FA meant not afraid to show arms, or not afraid to eat in public, or not afraid to have our fat bits touched, or just not hiding from fatness period...maybe the way I've been defining confidence for myself just means, being able to speak up and advocate for myself, not letting other people define me, and knowing that my critical thinking skills are usually (tho not always) in good working order...the way you put it makes it seem like they might expect us to be super women, which could be too much of an expectation....but when women do anything we expect a lot from ourselves too, like we can't just be moms, we have to be supermoms, we can't just be career women, we have to be The best at what we do otherwise we are failures to ourselves and all women somehow, like it's not enough that we just do our best....my thoughts about the topic seem to be all over the place right now I think. I feel like I'm rambling. This topic is just kinda difficult for me to really wrap my brain around in a meaningful way, and I'm really not sure why. I could just be overthinking it. The responses in this thread are great tho. All food for thought.
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Old 08-05-2009, 12:47 AM   #48
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I think all men want a confident woman on their arms,not just FAs...They want their woman to walk with her head held high,shoulders back and be proud to be a woman..Sometimes to be that way is very hard and I think we women are partially responsible for it..When we see someone like that it sets off an alarm in our heads..How many have probably made a comment about such a woman being uppity..Come on admit it you have at some time in your life..Or even said she acts like her shit don't stink..We do not take pride in the fact that said woman seems to have her life in order and is proud of that fact..

My son said one time that women are down right nasty,mean and cruel to each other when they fight..They try to tear each other to shreds..He said they try to make sure they hurt each other to the point there is no self esteem left..He couldn't believe how vial women were...Which is why I tried to teach my kids to fight about the problem and not to hurt the person..One small comment can tear a hole in the spirit that either never heals or takes forever to heal..

Maybe I am optimistic that we as women can finally stop having catfights over things in life and just enjoy each other..To be bonded together in sisterhood..To be uplifting to the other women in our lives and be proud of them and for them...I know that is a big fantasy..Sorry for the rambling but it is late and my brain is trying to get it all out there..
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Old 08-05-2009, 01:01 AM   #49
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I think all men want a confident woman on their arms,not just FAs...They want their woman to walk with her head held high,shoulders back and be proud to be a woman..Sometimes to be that way is very hard and I think we women are partially responsible for it..When we see someone like that it sets off an alarm in our heads..How many have probably made a comment about such a woman being uppity..Come on admit it you have at some time in your life..Or even said she acts like her shit don't stink..We do not take pride in the fact that said woman seems to have her life in order and is proud of that fact..

My son said one time that women are down right nasty,mean and cruel to each other when they fight..They try to tear each other to shreds..He said they try to make sure they hurt each other to the point there is no self esteem left..He couldn't believe how vial women were...Which is why I tried to teach my kids to fight about the problem and not to hurt the person..One small comment can tear a hole in the spirit that either never heals or takes forever to heal..

Maybe I am optimistic that we as women can finally stop having catfights over things in life and just enjoy each other..To be bonded together in sisterhood..To be uplifting to the other women in our lives and be proud of them and for them...I know that is a big fantasy..Sorry for the rambling but it is late and my brain is trying to get it all out there..
your early morning ramblings are very good i have to say!
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Old 08-05-2009, 06:44 AM   #50
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I have been thinking about these many possible meanings of "confident bbw" for a while now, particularly when the phrase is used by a FA. I actually wanted to start a thread asking for input from FAs on the topic in the FA forum, but then read that we're not supposed to ask questions there (I find that pretty perplexing, but alrighty), so I didn't. I think it'd be useful to hear both sides of this, if at all possible - what we perceive when we hear it, and what they might actually mean when they say it. I'm not sure how to achieve that with the current bylaws of both boards, though?
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