A few years back, I heard about a guy who was given a free pass by his buddies to stray from his marriage ... all because his wife had "let herself go" -- aka she had put on weight (likely as a result of carrying their daughter) and struggled to take it off. And somehow, that was a legitimate enough reason to some people that this husband should be unfaithful! Are. You. Freaking. Kidding. Me.
Unfortunately, this is a popular belief, held by even some women. Like Samantha Brick, the Daily Mail writer, who made our hair stand on end a while back with her column about other women hating her for "being too beautiful." Unsurprisingly, Brick is attempting to piss the whole of the web off once again with a new story, which takes on the Dove "Real Beauty" sketches campaign and claims only one type of woman can be considered attractive -- a thin one. Plus, "nothing signals failure more than fat." Thus, men are right to divorce a woman if she puts on weight. OMFG.
Specifically, Brick writes:
I have only ever dated men who kept a strict eye on my figure. My partners are not only boyfriends but weight-loss coaches. My first love continually reminded me that one can never be too rich or too thin, and my husband of five years frequently tells me that if I put on weight he will divorce me.
Yeah, cuz that's healthy! This woman is either pulling our chains or could use some serious psychotherapy. Oh, to be fair, we all have issues. Most women I know have struggled with extra pounds -- maybe just baby weight, maybe their whole lives -- at one time or another. It's called being human. And if your significant other values you more for a number on a scale than who you actually are as a person, that's all sorts of screwed up. What's more, women who are somehow OKAY with that -- like Samantha Brick -- break my heart.
More from The Stir: Dear Samantha Brick: I Am Sorry for Being a Sexist Jerk
Don't get me wrong. I believe in taking care of your body -- working out, eating right, being assertive about your health care. We should want to be our best selves for our partner, and of course be attractive to them, too. But we also all go through health highs and lows over the course of our lives, and if your partner's willing to call the relationship quits because you happen to be struggling at a particular time, how much could they genuinely care?
Since meeting my fiance more than six years ago, my weight has been slightly up, way down, way up (thanks to hormonal health issues), and slowly back down again (thanks to an aggressive, holistic healthy lifestyle overhaul). We want to have children, and despite my plan to be very health conscious throughout my pregnancy, I'll gain some weight. And then I'll have to take it off again. And I rest assured my future husband will understand and respect that and love me even if I put on weight and have to take it off again several more times over the course of our lives. I know, because he's already stuck with and supported me through challenging fluctuations.
It happens. Just like there will be times when you're ahead and behind financially. Or hello, what about "in sickness and in health"? True love and commitment means sticking with your partner through superficial and maybe even more significant changes. Loving them for who they ACTUALLY are, not for what the scale says they are.
Growing up, we're taught to keep "fair weather" friends at an arm's length. Who needs someone like that who isn't really going to be there for you through thick and thin? Similarly, the concept of being married to a "fair weight" spouse is not only sad -- but it strikes me as utterly pointless.
How do you feel about this idea that men should be given a free pass to cheat on/leave a woman who puts on weight? Do you agree your partner should support you no matter what size you happen to be?