…Inside The Black Man's World


July 11, 2012

The Double Standard of Feminine Beauty


A few months ago, about the time spring began to bloom, I noticed a beautiful sister walking in my direction. She wore a lovely turquoise sundress with matching heels and just enough jewelry to complement her outfit without looking over-accessorized. The way that this young lady carried herself was just as attractive as her appearance. She had the kind of walk that makes men from 15 to 115 stop to admire her until she is out of sight. Head held high, eyes wide open and hips singing a song sweeter than the blue birds in the trees. I am not ashamed to say, I was definitely captivated.

By now I know you’re wondering: What was the body like? Janet? Nope. Beyonce? Nah. Kim K? Definitely not. If I had to compare her to a celebrity, it would have to be Jill Scott, pre-weight loss. As she faded into my memory, I remember wondering “how many men would be attracted to her, but never act on it simply because she is a plus-sized female?”

men who are attracted to, yet do not date full-figured women are ignorant and afraid

A few days ago I was chatting online with a female acquaintance when she hit me with a request I really didn’t see coming. “Write an article about why men are attracted to famous full-figured women like Jill Scott and Queen Latifah, but not regular women.” Her request took me back to that very spring day that I had buried somewhere in the cobwebs of my mind.

The answer is quite simple– men who are attracted to, yet do not date full-figured women are ignorant and afraid. They have simply bought into pop culture’s illusional standard of beauty and cling to it instead of thinking for themselves. That’s a blanket statement, and a rather strong one. I usually don’t like blanket statements, but it’s the only answer.

Standards of beauty have been around as long as humanity, and will continue to be. They vary from culture to culture and sometimes even region to region. The Southeast region of the US is probably the most ‘full-figured friendly’ region of the continent. I’ve had several women tell me that what is considered “plump” back home is the norm or even viewed as “a little thin” in the South. This is not to say all Southern men are attracted to full-figured or “plus-size women” but I get the feeling it’s generally less of an issue.

The young lady that asked me to discuss this issue happens to hail from California, home of Hollywood. Watch a couple of movies and it becomes clear that Hollywood’s definition of beauty emphasizes unrealistically thin body shapes for women. Even “Voluptuous Vixens” like Beyonce and Kim K have body shapes most women may not even achieve with hours of exercise and dieting.

if you prefer a certain body type over another because that’s what you like or because you think it’s what you’re “supposed” to like

Men and women are all constantly exposed to a standard of feminine beauty that is unrealistic and often unhealthy. This obsession with being thin has caused millions of beautiful women to feel unattractive and millions of men to overlook and ignore even their own attraction to women simply because they are afraid of what society will think of them.

Please don’t misunderstand me, I’m not saying you’re shallow or brainwashed if you prefer slender women over full-figured women. All I want you to do is ask yourself if you prefer a certain body type over another because that’s what you like or because you think it’s what you’re “supposed” to like. Be sure that you own your standard of beauty instead of simply accepting what is being imposed upon you.

Missed my last post? Do We Hate Our Women?

About the Author

Award-winning college journalist. Serial Blogger. Old School R&B fanatic. Stonecold Gentleman.




  1. octavia bradberry

    I do recall a moment when a guy i was talking to told me that he normally doesnt talk to plus sized women but because i was soo fine he would make an exception… POW his number was deleted… my body doesnt define who i am my character does… my looks are just a plus… he didnt deserve me

  2. Quinta

    I have experienced the same situation as the above commenter and communication with him also ceased, immediately! This is really a great article and have heard/seen this mindset through male friends….sad.

  3. Rice and butter

    Sgaither. If a slimmer version of the same girl was walking beside her, would you still look at her the same? Was the bigness niceness, or was she beautiful in spite of being big?

    Full figured is a broad term. If you mean Beyonce, I’d say, full figured please. If you mean Jill Scott, I’d have to pass. Attractiveness is a personal thing. The rules are different for each person, so I don’t expect everyone to agree with me.

    Personally, I’m not into big women. I think a lot of guys settle for what may have seemed hot in a certain outfit. Some extra fat may seem extra naked and appealing at the moment, but the appeal wears off, and you may once again want a slimy that looks good in a skirt and heels, can show some belly skin is she chooses, and has a waist no bigger than your own.

    It’s kind of like a tattoo. I once met a girl with a giant tattoo that covered her whole back. It was daring, and made her seem exciting, but in the long run, Would I be happy to explain my girl’s gangster tattoo when she wears an open backed dress at the company party?

    I may draw in more hate here when I say, a woman that tries to watch what she eats and stays in shape is what I like. If a woman looses it a bit after having kids, but still tries eating right and exercising, I’ll be on her side. A woman that’s already big, and leads what I consider an unhealthy lifestyle isn’t cool with me.

    I once dated a girl that was kind of on the thick side. She was short, cute and on the verge of crossing over to the big side. On a few occasions I would actually wake up in the middle of the night and see her sitting up in bed, watching tv and eating candy! I know that’s a extreme example, but it happened.

    Slimness is appealing at all times. there’s a fine line between looking fertile and healthy, and being overfed. Some women take a running jump and pole vault over that line. Let’s stop encouraging this. Truth be told, if we all pushed lamborghinis and had the world at our fingertips, how many of us would tell Beyonce to hop out of the car to make room for some big girl? I’m guessing very few.

    • @Rice And Butter Thanks for your comment. I hear what you’re saying and like I said, I don’t expect every man to find plus-sized women appealing. There are, however, many men who probably do find themselves attracted to plus-sized women yet are afraid to act on it. Why? Because society has instructed them as to exactly what beautiful is and they are afraid to go outside the lines for fear of being ostracized. I would just like to see more folks adopt their own standard of what beauty is.

      As to your statement about leading an unhealthy lifestyle, I think that’s a mute point because many thin women do just as much damage to their bodies by not eating right, abusing alcohol, smoking or what have you. There are also many plus-sized women who do watch what they eat, exercise, and generally live a healthy lifestyle, but may never be considered “fit” or “thin.” Like I said in the article, I don’t like blanket statements because, there are always exceptions to the rule.

      And slimness is appealing at all times? To who? You mean like those rail thin supermodels? You know, the ones where you can actually see their rib bones? I’ll pass, but hey that’s me. All I’m saying is think for yourself, but don’t be afraid to question yourself. Thanks again for reading!

  4. BrwnGirlSlimmn

    Another great point of view. People are attracted to what they are attracted to and should be confident enough to date whomever they want without regard for the opinions of others. Easier said than done, I know.

  5. Rice and butter

    I get it. Send men to scoop up all the big girls ans leave the slimmies for you. Good tactic FYI. I should have thought of that one myself.

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