No Skinny Chicks You're a waste of space
No natural grace
You're so bloody thin
You don't even begin
To interest me
Not even curiosity
It's not animosity
It's just you don't interest me.

— Wire,
"Mannequin"

I've decided to come out of the closet. I'm tired of living a lie.

Ever since my confused early days of preadolescence, I've felt like I was somehow different. I have long struggled with my sexuality before finally coming to grips with the truth that I'm not like all the other guys. Now I'm mature enough and confident enough to embrace who I am. I can stop pretending to be aroused by the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, or acting impressed by some miniskirted little thing strutting her stuff down the street. I'll say it loud and say it proud:

Nikki I like fat chicks.

Heavyset gals. Full-figured women. Big-boned babes. Zaftig honeys. Pleasingly plump princesses. Lasses with big asses. I love 'em, I love 'em, God help me, I can't get enough of 'em! I am what is called a "fat admirer," or F.A. for short.

There are those in our community who object to this label, mainly because "fat" is such a contentious word. Instead of trying to fight reality with politically correct euphemisms, I say we just roll with it. Let's embrace the dreaded F-word, and co-opt it as a positive and useful descriptive term. Until a better word like "curvophile" enters common currency, an F.A. shall I be.

Even though we take pride in our preferences, the life of an F.A. can be a bitter hell. The fashionable female body shape dictated by our demented society has been a horrific curse and burden upon me since I entered puberty. What a cruel fate to be born an F.A. in this misguided age when women with two-digit weights are considered the epitome of beauty. Everywhere I look, these scrawny, malnourished little girls -- and I choose that word deliberately because they don't look like full-grown women -- are presented as the ultimate standard of female perfection. But bone-thin women just don't do a thing for me.

It really is kind of like being gay, I guess. I know what it's like to have the world wrongly assume what my sexual tastes are, and how it feels to have my desires make me an outcast. But even gay people have the advantage of mainstream culture largely agreeing with them about what sorts of individuals from either gender are physically attractive. The women I find attractive are deemed the antithesis of beauty, treated like malformed beasts that society must ridicule, ignore and eliminate.

Hips and Curves We live under the prejudice that a man who has sex with a fat woman, or even wants to, must be some kind of weirdo and ought to be ashamed. It's a sign of failed masculinity to "settle for" a fat woman, suggesting that you're not man enough to score with an "good-looking" woman. If a man does have a romantic encounter with a fat woman, he's supposed to keep it secret and never let his buddies find out that he has "gone hoggin'," to quote a crude expression I've heard.

Of course, that's all ridiculous. F.A.'s are not perverts, and we're not "lowering our standards" for cynical exploitation. We simply like what we like. Some of us are flexible enough to appreciate women of all sizes, even thin ones, while others are more exclusive in their tastes. Some of us like moderately chubby women, sometimes affectionately known as "plumpers" or "chubbettes," whose weight is in the neighborhood of 150 to 200 pounds. Others prefer larger ladies who officially qualify as big beautiful women, or BBWs. At the far end of the spectrum is the lovers of "super-size" BBWs who surpass 300 pounds.

Myself, I'm attracted to women whose bodies are more than just a little bit voluptuous, anywhere up to 250 pounds or so, with generous amounts of flesh rounding out their hips, butt and belly. A slight double chin, little love handles, sleek but jiggly thighs, a broad and meaty hourglass shape... these are the things that make me go buck wild. Think Anna Nicole Smith during her heavier phases. Or Monica Lewinsky, a nearly perfect representation of my ideal woman: a chubby little brunette with a cute face, wide hips and a big butt. Bill Clinton certainly brought the existence of F.A.'s to worldwide attention, but unfortunately his extramarital hijinks hurt the image of F.A.'s more than helped it. People admire JFK for boinking Marilyn Monroe, but Bubba gets no respect for messing around with a tubby intern.

Some would argue that the kind of women I like are not fat, they're just curvy and womanly. As much as I'd like to agree, the fact remains that in our society, a woman is categorized as "fat" whether she's 20 pounds or 200 pounds overweight. I'm just as much an F.A. -- and just as much of a social outcast -- as the guy who's attracted only to supersize BBWs.

I know I'm biased, but I think F.A.'s are simply more in tune with natural human sexual impulses than non-F.A.'s. We are biologically correct. The human female of reproductive age is genetically designed to be rounded with layers of fat, definitely not skin and bones like the typical fashion model. Those wonderful fat deposits in the breasts, hips, thighs and buttocks are what create the distinctive body shape that distinguishes women from men, and the fat equips women for the physical rigors of childbearing. A female's well-padded body announces to the world that she is a woman and she's ready to reproduce. From the F.A. point of view, the more luxuriously upholstered a woman's body is, the louder it's screaming, "LET'S GET IT ON!"

Our culture understands this concept just fine when it comes to breasts. No one ever asks why men like big breasts -- it's taken as a given that we just do. Attitudes about the rest of the female form are where things get screwy. To me, the appeal of a big round butt and big round hips is materially just the same as the appeal of big round ta-ta's. They're all examples of excess adipose tissue distributed in uniquely feminine configurations. But our pathologically breast-loving, hips-hating society insists there's a polarization of values between these categories of female body fat. I think it's certifiably insane.

Belle Dessous Personally, I'm not obsessed with breasts (although I do indeed like 'em just fine), contrary to the assumption that if you go for fat chicks, it's only because you're crazy about big tits. I like big butts (and I cannot lie), but my particular favorite thing is something else, closely related to a lovely lady's bountiful backside: I love big, wide hips. That's right, the most despised "figure flaw" that women persistently attempt to destroy with diets and exercise is precisely what I treasure most. I'm scarcely alone in finding a nice round set of hips the most uniquely feminine feature imaginable: anthropologists have found that a female waist-hip ratio of 0.7 is what all men find ideally attractive. An opulent 42-32-46 figure fits those proportions even better a 36-24-34 centerfold... mathematically and aesthetically.

I'm also partial to round bellies. To me, there's something extraordinarily feminine and sexy about a nice full tummy bulge, which is a potent symbol of fertility. Some have argued that F.A.'s result from unresolved Freudian issues. There is an undeniable maternal association with a plump woman's appearance, and her big, curvy body reminds us of the comfort of clutching the mountainous flesh of our mothers when we were being breast-fed and all that. I've heard it said that a flat stomach represents chastity, since it demonstrates that a woman (probably) isn't pregnant, and men seeking to assure their paternity would thus find a slim waistline desirable. I guess F.A.'s are drawn to women who anatomically look a little more experienced.

Then there's the issue of food. As a natural corollary to being an F.A., I have a fascination with women eating, especially fattening food in generous quantities. After all, high-calorie food is the magical elixir of feminine beauty, capable of turning a thin woman chubby, and making a chubby woman even plumper. So for most F.A.'s, a beautiful woman pigging out is a definite turn-on. A woman with a well-fed body tacitly demonstrates her robust appetite for the fun in life, not just for doughnuts and ice cream. Her weight reflects her willful pursuit of pleasure, showing that doing what she enjoys is more important to her than conforming to the narrow rules of society. Those personality traits -- joyous, reckless individuality with a dash of hedonism -- are just as appealing to me as round hips and a big butt.

Ice Cream I get excited by the idea of a woman gaining weight, and filling out her body into the range that I find attractive. I enjoy seeing the tabloids freaking out about some hot actress getting fat and packing on a whopping number of pounds (they always use the adjective "whopping"). There is a genre of erotic fiction devoted to weight-gain fantasies that's very popular among F.A.'s on the Internet. Scenes of women eating huge meals, outgrowing their clothes and being alarmed by their bathroom scales are written just as passionately as their steamy sexual encounters.

Weight-gain fantasies probably remain fantasies for the majority of us, but there are F.A.'s known as "feeders" who get off on fattening up their partners in real life. Feederism is a topic of much controversy in the F.A. community, whether the "feedee" consents to gain weight or not, because of all the sticky control issues it raises. If a woman chooses to put on a few pounds to please her F.A. mate, I think that's a beautiful thing -- but I can't condone pressuring a woman into changing herself in any way that goes against her will or endangers her health, whether it's gaining weight or dieting, or anything else.

I think it's important to consider that in lots of non-Western cultures, big women are regarded the standard of beauty, as they were during the Renaissance. In some enchanted, faraway lands, girls are fattened up to make them attractive brides, and round bellies are a more sexually desirable attribute than big breasts. European men are known to say: "The bone is for the dog. The meat is for the man." Even in this country, African-American and Latino men are widely agreed in their fondness for phat booties and las chicas gorditas. Globally speaking, being an F.A. is perfectly normal.

Paige Plenty and Friend And that's the bottom line: F.A.'s are just regular guys. That's all I want people to understand. In the years since I first posted this essay online, it has drawn a a far more colossal response than I ever anticipated. The comments have mostly been overwhelmingly positive, from like-minded guys who've thanked me for putting their own feelings into words, but more often from plus-size women who are delighted to know that men like us exist. I can't count how many times women have told me I made them feel better about themselves, or brightened their mood on a bad day. I never expected to make such an impact on the self-esteem of people all around the world, and it truly has been an honor.

On the other hand, I've also had people tell me I'm a jerk. There have been a few male respondents heckling me, but just as it is with the praise, most of the criticism comes from female readers. Many seem to despise the entire notion of fat admirers, accusing us of objectifying women according to their body size, encouraging women to follow unhealthy lifestyles, and preying on women with low self-esteem to satisfy our depraved sexual cravings. I've seen my site discussed on message boards where I'm judged to be creepy and disturbing. I'm considered a hypocrite for defining beauty to the exclusion of thin women, making me morally equivalent to the slob who wears a "No Fat Chicks" T-shirt.

The truth is that F.A.'s are neither saints nor perverts. There is nothing inherently weird about us. Our ideal visions of attractive women differ from contemporary trends, but that's all. I openly concede that there's nothing especially noble about making a web site whatever kind of chicks one finds to be hot, but there's nothing shameful about it either. This is all about fantasy, anyway. And for all people, both male and female, our fantasy ideals don't necessarily correspond to our real-life relationships. Average guys can be quite happy falling in love with women who weigh more than Heidi Klum, and F.A.'s can be just as flexible. When the perfect woman for me comes along, I'll be thrilled if she's a hefty honey. If she's not, I'll love her anyway. Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty

My name is Donald, and I'm an F.A. I'm not ashamed of that. I'm proud of it. I want the world to know that I exist, and that I don't want thin women represented as the only beautiful women in my society. And I want all the fat chicks everywhere to know, regardless of what this deranged culture tells you, that you are beautiful, and desirable, and loved.

Fat-bottomed girls, you make the rockin' world go round.

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