(start the video at 0:52 – also, sorry about the quality)
I wanted an outlet to write about something that has been on my mind. I’m still not completely sure how to articulate my point, or even what my point clearly is, but I’m going to try and spit it out anyways.
The other night, I was hanging out with a very good friend of mine. Our conversation started innocently enough, but then it took a turn into body image and beauty standards and what that means. Our conversations often go in that direction, actually, because it’s something I really struggle with and she is a wonderful sounding board.
Anyways, one of the reasons our conversation had gone this way was because the night before we had all gone out dancing. It was 4 of us girls, and two significant others that hung out at the bar while we danced like crazy people to Pitbull. It was a really great time, except there was one thing that consistently happened that always seems to happen in places like that.
Now, please excuse me while I sound victim-y right now. I try to be confident and as non-whiny as I can, but hear me out. Of the four of us, I am the only one of a “different” body type. Ok, why sugar-coat it? I am the only one that is plus-sized. My three other girl friends fall right into the mold of what society believes is “beautiful” (I’d like to note, my friends really are beautiful, and despite my tone, I don’t feel threatened by them, or hate them for that).
Now that I have set the stage, here is a fun social experiment. In a setting that is essentially a drunken, hook-up meat market, how do you think people will respond to a plus-sized girl in a group of “hot” girls? Well, here is my experience. For the most part, to strangers, I am not top of the list of “most sexually desirable.” At that moment, my entire worth really is chalked up in how fuckable I am. It’s objectification in it’s purist form. Once I have been established as non-fuckable, I become non-threatening and non-intimidating. Now, place me in a group of “hot” chicks. I suddenly become the tool used to get closer to my friends. Men will come straight for me, shake my hand, meet me. Once they feel that I am “cool” with them, they go in for the “kill.” This literally happened on three different occasions that night. Three-separate-TIMES I was approached by random dudes, who asked me my name, shook my hand and then PUSHED me out of the way to hit on my friends.
My other favorite instance when in this atmosphere is when a man will buy everyone in my group a drink, as to not be rude (there’s that at least), and then box me out of my group of friends, forcing me to hang out elsewhere or to look busy by myself, just outside my circle of friends. I recently went on a trip to Vegas where this happened at every single bar/club we attended. I mean, I got drunk for free, so that was nice, but I felt like shit about myself, so I’m not sure if it really panned out.
When that happens though, I’d like to note that I don’t make it look like I feel like shit to my friends. I HATE being “the victim” and girls night/girls trips are meant to be a good time. We don’t need the drama. However, because this happens often, I needed an outlet to discuss this behavior, so here I am.
I don’t know what the answer is. I know that bars and clubs are skeezy places that people go to find hookups. I get that, I truly do. What I also know though, is this: when someone comes up to our group, and treats me like shit, and then hits on my friends, I am not happy and neither are my friends. They don’t want to get hit on, I don’t want to be reminded that I am “un-desirable”. No one is happy.
I don’t know though, what are your thoughts? Have you experience this? Have you seen other people experience this? How have you handled these kinds of situations, or how do you think we can avoid them in the future? I’d love to open this up for discussion.