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Old 03-08-2010, 12:25 AM   #1
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Question Preference for BBW Friendship?

When it comes to friendship with other women, do you have a preference for friendships with other bbws?

As for myself, I am not sure if I can say I have a definite preference because preference for this can indicate so many things and I really enjoy quality friendships period if there's a chance to develop them with very cool women regardless of size, race, whatever. I'm totally open. I think it's important for both women and men to find and make friends with people of their gender. There are some things that same sex friendships offer than opposite sex friendships don't and can't.

One can argue that only wanting to be friends with other fat friends is a mark of insecurity or dependency. Maybe in some cases it can be, if the preference is very driven and exclusive, but maybe it also means that some bbws really want a friend to relate to on various levels - other women who understand size discrimination and all of the issues that go with being a larger woman. That's not all we are, but it does bleed into so many facets of one's self-perception, world view and even socio-political experiences.

It might be similar to the desire that many have to relate to those of the same racial or ethnic background, not out of a need to feel racially superior or judgmental, but to form bonds with those who have similar mindsets and "speak the same language".

Thoughts?
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Old 03-08-2010, 01:48 AM   #2
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I dont know its really hard to use the word preference like you said....I think it boils down to how both people just click from the 1st meeting of each other if theres no real connection or interest in one another then theres nothing really there...
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Old 03-08-2010, 01:04 PM   #3
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I rarely meet other women who I feel as if I have enough in common to build a friendship on. So, the few female friends I have tend to have little in common physically. So, I have female friends who range from very slender to supersized, but most fall somewhere in the middle of the range.

Most of the other women I meet who are my size fall under one of two extremes. They are either obsessive dieters, or they are hardcore fat acceptors, both of which usually end up being deal-breakers when it comes to friendships.

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Old 03-08-2010, 01:09 PM   #4
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I don't think of my fatness as something significant enough in my life to make a difference in choice of female friends. It's not a religion or a college major or a profession or a favorite book. It's just the size of my ass. So, no, I can't say it's ever really factored into who ends up as a friend. Fat women are far too varied for the fat to be what binds me to them.
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Old 03-08-2010, 01:40 PM   #5
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Great question, OP. I'm really interested to hear what other fat women have to say about this.

All of my close female friends (and almost all of my close male friends) are quite thin. A couple are average sized, but most are probably size 0-6. None of the women are above a size 12. It just worked out that way. They are all also very aware of my convictions about size-acceptance, and most of them hold the same/similar views (even if they didn't initially, I think being friends with me has made them aware of various things they wouldn't think of normally, and they've shifted some - just like I've shifted on various other things because of them).

However, there are times when I share something difficult that happens to me that is based on my fatness (some kind of discrimination, a shaming doctor experience, etc.), or something fat-related that I am struggling with, and though they are totally empathetic and kind and everything, sometimes I long to be able to share those experiences with another fat woman who has been through it. It's not that they can't relate at all - I mean, the human experience is an embodied experience that women can relate to on a deep level just by virtue of being women living in any kind of body in this culture - but some of the fat-specific experiences I do sometimes feel a strong desire to share with someone who may have been through something similar.

It can also be frustrating when I talk with my very thin female friends about dating. The reality is (at least for me, I'm sure not all fat women here share my experience) that the pool of men who would potentially be interested in dating me is waaaayyyyy smaller, at least in terms of initial attraction, than for the majority of my thin friends. So when my female friends give advice or encouragement or whatever, sometimes it rings hollow to me, because they are speaking out of their own thin-experience. When one of my thin, conventionally attractive friends says something about how I shouldn't date a jerk or a guy I don't enjoy being around, I just hear it differently than when another fat woman says it to me. They are both right and I listen to them both, but somehow I trust it coming from a fat woman, because we have (potentially) had some similar struggles. Maybe that's crazy. But I trust at least a few fat women on here know what I mean.

On the whole though, I wouldn't say that I prefer BBW friends at all. I'd like to *have* a BBW friend to hang out with, but I've gotten by just fine without one. Like Jes said, there are so many more aspects of who I am that have a lot more to do with who I click with and resonate with on deeper levels (spirituality, intellectual interests, sense of humor, interests, activities, etc.). OTOH, I do feel like my fatness does affect who I am and my identity, but I don't need to have it in common with everyone I'm friends with.
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Old 03-08-2010, 02:24 PM   #6
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I dont, mostly because I have always had friends all over the spectrum size wise I tend to go on who people are and for quality of friendships over quantitiy

more of what is on the inside so to speak.
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Old 03-08-2010, 04:32 PM   #7
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Hmmmmm.....I don't know how to explain my situation, but I will try. I have a very hard time building friendships in general. I think being a survivor of child abuse, I tend to self isolate from others. I love people and I am a naturally people person, I think, but not quite sure if they like me, not sure whether they are going to take advantage of my vulnerabilities. The people I have been able to connect with seem to be over-bearing or abusive to where I don't even exist. I have had female friends who seemed to befriend me only to make themselves feel better about themselves. They would talk down on me and such, until one day I get tired of it and curse them out in the worst way and stop talking to them. This cycle kinda always happens with my relationships. And these were people from various body sizes, races and ethnicities. I'm not and never will be a person who has friends, lovers or boyfriends from mostly one race.

But, after stating all this, it would be nice to have a confident BBW or BBWs to hang with and become close friends with. Most of the BBWs I know are not really comfortable with their size, and truthfully, I just don't want to be around that type of negativity, I'm just now coming or trying to come to terms with my own body and I don't want any of that progress destroyed.
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Old 03-08-2010, 08:26 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Tracyarts View Post

Most of the other women I meet who are my size fall under one of two extremes. They are either obsessive dieters, or they are hardcore fat acceptors, both of which usually end up being deal-breakers when it comes to friendships.

Tracy

The excessive dieters, especially if they are larger women as well, can be what some call "closeted BBW's" (I thought that was a good thread and might respond later to it although it hasn't been updated in awhile).

These types can be so vicious and judgmental of what other bbws do because they don't want to look "typical" or ashamed...and they are very uncomfortable, defiantly so, of being overweight.

Eating a small salad and nibbling at a restaurant, although they want to eat more and enjoy themselves like everyone else, makes them feel a bit better about being overweight in public because it sends a "decent" message to others like, "Yeah, I'm fat, but don't worry, I don't really want to be because see I am eating very healthy and taking care of myself. I'm not like those other shameful lazy fat women you see!"

They want a pat on the back and to not embarrass themselves in public. I mean people do judge a fat person when they see them eating even normal potion sizes of something that isn't low-fat or sugarless. I used to know of someone that took pictures with her cell phone of fat women in public without their knowledge or awareness, post them on Facebook and make little joke comments about how pathetic and horrible they looked. I was so pissed when I saw this and deleted them when they wouldn't stop after I commented on that.
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Old 03-08-2010, 08:32 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by mcbeth View Post

However, there are times when I share something difficult that happens to me that is based on my fatness (some kind of discrimination, a shaming doctor experience, etc.), or something fat-related that I am struggling with, and though they are totally empathetic and kind and everything, sometimes I long to be able to share those experiences with another fat woman who has been through it. It's not that they can't relate at all - I mean, the human experience is an embodied experience that women can relate to on a deep level just by virtue of being women living in any kind of body in this culture - but some of the fat-specific experiences I do sometimes feel a strong desire to share with someone who may have been through something similar.

It can also be frustrating when I talk with my very thin female friends about dating. The reality is (at least for me, I'm sure not all fat women here share my experience) that the pool of men who would potentially be interested in dating me is waaaayyyyy smaller, at least in terms of initial attraction, than for the majority of my thin friends. So when my female friends give advice or encouragement or whatever, sometimes it rings hollow to me, because they are speaking out of their own thin-experience. When one of my thin, conventionally attractive friends says something about how I shouldn't date a jerk or a guy I don't enjoy being around, I just hear it differently than when another fat woman says it to me. They are both right and I listen to them both, but somehow I trust it coming from a fat woman, because we have (potentially) had some similar struggles. Maybe that's crazy. But I trust at least a few fat women on here know what I mean.

OTOH, I do feel like my fatness does affect who I am and my identity, but I don't need to have it in common with everyone I'm friends with.
Yeah, I think this is what it comes down to and the devil's advocate. I think it's healthy and good to make friends with all sorts of women, people period, if possible and naturally approached, but all sorts of factors do shape our way of identifying - weight, race, gender, culture, economic status, sexuality and so forth.

They shouldn't be the totality of us, but they do influence how we might want to relate to others or how we'd like to be understood and vice versa...and how comfortable certain connections might be over the long run due to clashing of realities.
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Old 03-08-2010, 08:43 PM   #10
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Question

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Originally Posted by calauria View Post
Hmmmmm.....I don't know how to explain my situation, but I will try. I have a very hard time building friendships in general. I think being a survivor of child abuse, I tend to self isolate from others. I love people and I am a naturally people person, I think, but not quite sure if they like me, not sure whether they are going to take advantage of my vulnerabilities. The people I have been able to connect with seem to be over-bearing or abusive to where I don't even exist. I have had female friends who seemed to befriend me only to make themselves feel better about themselves. They would talk down on me and such, until one day I get tired of it and curse them out in the worst way and stop talking to them. This cycle kinda always happens with my relationships. And these were people from various body sizes, races and ethnicities. I'm not and never will be a person who has friends, lovers or boyfriends from mostly one race.

But, after stating all this, it would be nice to have a confident BBW or BBWs to hang with and become close friends with. Most of the BBWs I know are not really comfortable with their size, and truthfully, I just don't want to be around that type of negativity, I'm just now coming or trying to come to terms with my own body and I don't want any of that progress destroyed.
I'm sorry to hear that this is how most of your connections have been. That definitely sucks and doesn't make it any easier to trust or open up to people, especially when there's a history of abuse to begin with. I definitely hope that changes for you and that it becomes easier to give trust to the right people who deserve it and you in their lives.

I wholeheartedly agree with your last paragraph. If I am going to make any friends, they need to be healthy connections in my life period, no matter where they are coming from in status, but in regard to bbw friends and coming to terms with my own body awareness, acceptance and embracing, it is important that any fat female friends either already are or wish to be confident in their bodies. It comes down to not allowing toxicity in one's life when you are trying to heal and healthily own and claim yourself.

As is often said, "I can do bad all by myself"...
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Old 03-09-2010, 01:26 AM   #11
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Well you know, as was stated above, there is either that click or there isn't. You can not really control who you fall in love with, be it friend or lover. And I do see it that way, with a good friend, you are in love with each other.

That said I tend to have very small and petite women gravitate towards me. (No pun intended!) I am not sure why but I also enjoy the firecracker type of energy around me. I am by no means biased against fat girls, don't get me wrong! It is just for some reason most all my best friends have been teeny tiny little things, which I just find wonderful. I love women and people of all sizes and shapes! Right now my closest female friend IS indeed a BBW and we are around the same weight though she is several inches shorter than me.

The major plus side of having BBW friends? You can share clothes with eachother!!!! I know that sounds so super girly of me but it is true. Growing up I never got to trade clothes or try on clothes with friends because I got so much taller and fatter than them so quick. It really is nice to feel that sisterhood with a woman...something deep and real in trying on eachothers clothing.

With the skinny girls we can share everything else including doing hair, make-up, nails etc. But you know, we can't even really go shopping for clothes together!

All that aside, people are people. I have always thought a persons body is their home on this earth. Some people have charming seaside cottages or single family dwellings...I think for a BBW we are more along the lines of ski lodges, grande hotels and southern plantation houses. We are all exactly as we were meant to be! LOVE MY FRIENDS OF ALL SHAPES AND SIZES! We make a great neighborhood!
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Old 03-09-2010, 06:53 AM   #12
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My friends are all shapes, sizes, genders and ages. Sometimes I wish I had more fat friends so that they can relate better to the things I go through as a woman of size and yeah the trading clothes thing. But I wouldn't change my friends for anything.
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Old 03-09-2010, 07:01 AM   #13
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This is an interesting topic. I don't seek out BBW friends, but what I do tend to gravitate towards, withouth actively trying, are women who don't compete with other women. Whenever I hear people talking about how 'women are' and they discuss at length the catty, the judgmental, the man focused, the looks obsessed, those are not the women I have ever been friends with, and luckily enough, there are a lot of women who aren't like that at all. Makes it easy to find like-minded women to be friends with, but makes it hard when that image is put out there as the 'typical woman.'

However, I think if fat is something one has to 'deal with' every day, in that if your fat causes you to consciously ponder some state of your daily existence, then fat might be a strong enough component of your self-identity that having at least one fat friend can be a benefit, because it makes things so much easier to know at least one person 'gets' that daily negotiation of the world as a fat person.

For example, one feels much more comfortable going to a restaurant and asking for a table, not a bench, when they know the other fat person with them needs the same accomodation.

As a queer person, my life is very heterosexual, my family, my friends, my work colleagues, and while I don't 'need' to have queer friends to make my life complete, my life feels better with them in my life, and the same holds true for my fat friends. I think people naturally 'get' why I'd want a queer social group, but are less likely to get the need for a 'fat' social group, and I don't see much difference between the two aspects of my identity, and the need to honor both of them with the people I spend my leisure time with.
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Old 03-09-2010, 07:26 AM   #14
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Interesting question.

I don't have any BBW friends, but then most of my friends throughout my lives have tended to be men rather than women.

I avoided women friends when I was younger on the basis that I couldnt deal with women's cattiness. Men are simple. As long as I made it clear I wasn't going to chase them around trying to make them sex me up, I could just be one of the guys. I think I would maybe want BBW friends for a similar reason, that the cattiness that was prevalent with the skinny self interested girls might not be there, maybe BBW's being more grounded because of their life experiences.

for example, currently my only close girl friend is a tiny little thing but she had similar experiences to me growing up, though for different reasons, so we have alot in common. With a BBW I may have similar experiences in common but then, I might not.

I think I would like some BBW friends but I am usually much more guarded with women than with men- men I can handle, but women tend to leave me confused and pissed off. I do know that I enjoy the forums and the ability to talk with other BBW's about common issues, things I cant discuss with my guy friends without them doing a major freak out. I mean, it reminds them that I'm a girl and they seem to have phased this out over the years :P.
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Old 03-09-2010, 08:12 AM   #15
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Old 03-09-2010, 08:40 AM   #16
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I am very much a loner by nature. I know a lot of people and there are people I like very much but I have a hard time building strong relationships with others. I tend to encapsulate myself and have accepted it as just being a part of my personality. I had a perfectly random disfunctional upbringing with no egreigious abuses or trauma. I've just always been this way even before I could walk. I'm fairly social though and have an assemblage of all kinds of people that I know and like very much of all types and genres. My closest friends are people like myself so it's not unusual for me to go months without hearing from them inexplicably and not pay it much attention, then suddenly we've reconnected and it's like we just saw each other yesterday. None of them have anything in common physically. I am the biggest of all of them though. That's not deliberate, I just don't know anyone as large or larger than I am that I relate to on that level.

A strange thing is that I *have* had large friends before. Those relationships usually peter out after a while because this odd competative vibe seems to rear it's head in those relationships. If I say I talked with 'Steve' last week she then says Steve bowed down and licked the bottom of her boot. It's one of those deals. Often when something starts to go well for me suddenly she disappears or turns acidic on me. My thin friends by comparison tend to be much more enthusiastic if I acheive success in something. I've wondered if it's because fat women are thinking, "Bitch!" while thin women are thinking, "OMG, you're FINALLY getting up off your fat ass and doing something that I might live to see you bitch." Doesn't really matter I guess.
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Old 03-09-2010, 08:24 PM   #17
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I only have a few female friends (but several acquaintances, now that I think about it) who I would categorize as fat. I wouldn't say that either of them buy into our culture's thin obsession-- for instance, both happen to be bisexual, and both of them find curvaceous women attractive, I can't recall either of them ever badmouthing fat people as a group, or criticizing someone for being fat-- but neither of them have the same feelings about fatness and size acceptance that I do, which can make me feel somewhat isolated from them sometimes. Still, it is nice to have someone in your life with whom there is size-related empathy.
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Old 03-09-2010, 08:28 PM   #18
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Interesting question.

I don't have any BBW friends, but then most of my friends throughout my lives have tended to be men rather than women.

I avoided women friends when I was younger on the basis that I couldnt deal with women's cattiness. Men are simple. As long as I made it clear I wasn't going to chase them around trying to make them sex me up, I could just be one of the guys. I think I would maybe want BBW friends for a similar reason, that the cattiness that was prevalent with the skinny self interested girls might not be there, maybe BBW's being more grounded because of their life experiences.

for example, currently my only close girl friend is a tiny little thing but she had similar experiences to me growing up, though for different reasons, so we have alot in common. With a BBW I may have similar experiences in common but then, I might not.

I think I would like some BBW friends but I am usually much more guarded with women than with men- men I can handle, but women tend to leave me confused and pissed off. I do know that I enjoy the forums and the ability to talk with other BBW's about common issues, things I cant discuss with my guy friends without them doing a major freak out. I mean, it reminds them that I'm a girl and they seem to have phased this out over the years :P.
and this too I agree...I dont have female friends that I can just fully connect with 98% of my friends are male and I have 1 female friend that I can totally connect and shes a little chubby but I wouldnt mind having more female friends somewhere down the line
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Old 03-09-2010, 09:18 PM   #19
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The whole diet - no diet thing becomes an emotional minefield when going out to eat with female friends of all sizes, but mostly with my larger friends it seems. Which is rough because that's one of the few things I can go do with a friend even if my back is really bothering me. Movies, meals, coffee, needlework... sedentary things like that.

I seem to get caught in the middle of it too. I usually eat what makes me feel good physically. But there are times when I want to eat something that makes me feel good emotionally. It seemed like my timing was really off with certain friends. If I was out with one friend who was always struggling through a really harsh diet of some kind and ordered something she just could not have, it caused tension. If I was out with another friend who was a rabidly anti-diet fat acceptor and ordered something she considered to be a diet meal, it caused tension. I just stopped going to eat with most of my female friends because it was such an emotional minefield and I got sick of picking my way through it.

Clothes shopping was rough too. I cannot remember how many times I have sat outside a fitting room at Lane Bryant while my friend spent an hour picking apart all her flaws and rejecting oufit after outfit then leaving with nothing or only a couple things. I'm not a shopper anyway, most of my clothes don't come from retail stores, so it was never any fun.

And then the friends who wouldn't go to the beach or pool because their bodies weren't "swimsuit ready", or if they did, they were really self conscious and just couldn't have a good time.

Female friends are just difficult for me anyway. Throw in all the food and body angst that so many women of all sizes seem to have, and it's even worse.

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Old 03-09-2010, 11:05 PM   #20
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and this too I agree...I dont have female friends that I can just fully connect with 98% of my friends are male and I have 1 female friend that I can totally connect and shes a little chubby but I wouldnt mind having more female friends somewhere down the line
Yes, I can relate. Most of my friends to varying degrees have been male and I get along with very geeky and quirky male types when an opportunity for friendship comes about.

However, I'd love more female friends - really good solid friendships, because as I mentioned earlier, it is good and healthy for people to be able to form strong bonds with those of their gender because those connections can and do offer a unique way of relating that opposite sex friendships don't.

Maybe this is cheesy, but seriously one of the reasons I enjoyed watching the series Sex and the City was because of the 4-way friendship between all of the main female characters. Each woman was different in her own way and brought something interesting to the table of camaraderie but they all got along very well and made it work. It made me wonder what that would be like realistically.
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Old 03-09-2010, 11:27 PM   #21
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This is an interesting topic. I don't seek out BBW friends, but what I do tend to gravitate towards, withouth actively trying, are women who don't compete with other women. Whenever I hear people talking about how 'women are' and they discuss at length the catty, the judgmental, the man focused, the looks obsessed, those are not the women I have ever been friends with, and luckily enough, there are a lot of women who aren't like that at all. Makes it easy to find like-minded women to be friends with, but makes it hard when that image is put out there as the 'typical woman.'
I totally agree with this. It makes me sad to hear about all the negative experiences people in this thread have had with women friends. Don't get me wrong, I think men make great friends too (I love men) -- but women have amazing gifts and selves to offer too, and there are tons of cool, fun, smart women who are not obsessed with dieting or competing for the attention of men. Sure, we all have our flaws, but that's true of everybody.

I love the company of women. There's no substitute.

My encouragement would be not to let a few mean girls spoil the chance at some really life-giving, affirming friendships. There are lots of awesome women out there!
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Old 03-10-2010, 04:51 AM   #22
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I totally agree with this. It makes me sad to hear about all the negative experiences people in this thread have had with women friends. Don't get me wrong, I think men make great friends too (I love men) -- but women have amazing gifts and selves to offer too, and there are tons of cool, fun, smart women who are not obsessed with dieting or competing for the attention of men. Sure, we all have our flaws, but that's true of everybody.

I love the company of women. There's no substitute.

My encouragement would be not to let a few mean girls spoil the chance at some really life-giving, affirming friendships. There are lots of awesome women out there!
I don't doubt that you're right, and I cherish the friendship of my one close female friend because shes so empathic and we have so much in common. But it took me a period of 2-3 years to let her in, because I was CONVINCED that she was going to turn around and tear me down, because she was skinny and I wasnt.

I like to think I am over most of the issues that come with growing up fat, but they lurk in the background and influence my decisions and preferences, and one of those is that it takes time, usually quite abit of time, to turn a girl that I think I might like into someone I will feel comfortable talking to. My issues with women stem from hardcore bullying which is a tough thing to let go of. I agree that same-sex friendship is important and that (obviously) not all women are like that.

But it's like having a mild phobia of flying- you KNOW that the plane isnt going to crash, but you're still scared it might and act accordingly- tensing up or taking something for the flight or avoiding flying altogether. I KNOW that all women arent going to try and screw me over, but there's still abit of me saying "what if" in the background that makes me wary.

I don't seem to have that problem online, but face to face is a whole different ballpark.
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Old 03-10-2010, 10:32 AM   #23
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But it's like having a mild phobia of flying- you KNOW that the plane isnt going to crash, but you're still scared it might and act accordingly- tensing up or taking something for the flight or avoiding flying altogether. I KNOW that all women arent going to try and screw me over, but there's still abit of me saying "what if" in the background that makes me wary.

I don't seem to have that problem online, but face to face is a whole different ballpark.
Yeah, I hear you. I didn't mean my post to minimize or disregard the fear that stems from the really terrible negative experiences that you and others have had. That stuff sucks, and it scars; and like you're saying it can make for rougher going in the future. Women can be terribly mean to each other.

And I'm sure most of us have been out with or dated guys who are complete jerks and really hurt us, and though it stings and we may give up dating for a while, in the end what we learn is how to spot a jerk and we run the other way (hopefully). I guess the same applies to female friendships.

But I hope that as time goes on and you meet some women who are kind, and passionate about things other than their body types, some beautiful friendships can be born. If you're ever in Los Angeles, look me up.
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Old 03-10-2010, 12:28 PM   #24
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You know, I don't think I have a single BBW friend, come to think of it. A few acquaintances, but no real friends. Most of my friends are men, and while a good deal of them are fat, we really don't go through the same issues, and sometimes I feel sort of alone. As for women, I do have a handful, but they're all super skinny. It's funny, I'd love to have a BBW friend, but the ones I've met are either: abrasive and mean, trashy, or just not similar to me personality-wise at all. I've got a few BBW acquaintances, but we don't discuss weight...at all. It's sort of avoided.
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Old 03-10-2010, 02:48 PM   #25
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I would like to have a close BBW friend since we would understand what each other go through, but if I click with someone, it size really doesn't matter.
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