Renée is our incognito "Dear Abby," if you will. Veteran marriage counselor and published author, Renée gets to the heart of it without prevarication. Enjoy this week's truism on Ask Renée...
Q: “How do you date when you're plus size and over 50?” -- Nia L.
Guess what? Reportedly, over 67 percent of women in the United States alone are plus-size:
As of 2012, it is estimated that 67% of American women are plus-size — size 14 or larger. The CDC currently reports the average American woman’s measurements equate to a size 14 (though other studies put her between a 16 and 18). Yet, plus-size women account for, on average, 1 to 2% of the bodies represented in mainstream media.
- Kelsey Miller, Refinery 29
Read more of that article, here.
Also worth a read is: 3 Reasons Men Go Absolutely CRAZY For Big, Beautiful Plus-Size Women. I particularly like this excerpt:
I decided to write about my adoration of curvy women because there may be more than a few of them out there who don't know that there are attractive men who want to date them, or lust after them ... or marry them.
In a perfect world, I wouldn't have had to write this article. Women of size wouldn't be treated differently than their thin counterparts. But we live in an imperfect, unfair existence, and shapely women sometimes don't get the public fawning that smaller women do. It may not be the experience of every plus-size girl, but it is for far too many.
Gregg Simms Jr., Your Tango
It doesn't surprise me that you might be feeling out-of-place in the dating scene. Just look at the facts -- "plus-size women account for, on average, 1 to 2% of the bodies represented in mainstream media." So even though the majority of women in America are plus-size, you're not seeing yourself represented within the media you consume.
Of course you might feel like the odd-woman-out.
But, I'm happy to report that you're not!
You're actually in the majority and as Gregg Simms declared of himself above, there are TONS of men who go for women who are not Twiggy look-a-likes; you are not anywhere close to being an afterthought or a consolation prize.
That said, I think the biggest mistake that people can make is attempt to “downplay” the reality of who they truly are. Meaning, if you’re thinking about testing out online dating, a picture of just your face (if it’s for the purpose of hiding your body) is not the best - or most honest - route to take. Plus, it subconsciously sends the message that you feel like you need to hide all of what makes you a beautiful woman.
The best part about being transparent through your online dating presence is that you'll match up with men like Gregg who LOVE curvy women and want to "date them, or lust after them ... or marry them." (haha.) And you'll weed out all of the other men who don't.
If you’re being set up by a friend, encourage them to tell the truth too. A lot of women are afraid that someone won’t like the way they look, when the reality is most people just get upset when they feel deceived. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a friend of yours saying “She’s smart, funny and voluptuous. A woman in every way.” Oftentimes, it’s not about your size, but the presentation of who you are. The right adjectives (and proper placement) can mean everything.
If you’re still nervous/anxious about entering the dating scene, use this as an opportunity to pamper yourself. Get a new hairdo, invest in a mani/pedi and pick up lipstick in a fun, new shade. Go shopping for a few new outfits and also invest in some fancy underthings to wear underneath said outfits (why not?)!
A woman who is confident is amazing to look at, no matter what size she is.
As far as your age, it’s all about perspective -- but if you’d prefer to date within your age group online, check out: The Truth About Online Dating for over-50s: Which Websites Are Best for Grown-ups? And, while this might sound like a shameless plug, personal matchmaking services like ours can also be a great route to go because we specialize in privacy and customizing the experience to your needs without a lot of stress or drama.
I hope this helps! Once you get out there, let us know how things went. We’re confident that your journey can only help others.
Take special care,