They’re Breeding!!

A Scottish study of a whopping 42 couples has produced this groundbreaking new information:

… [P]eople often married within their own social class as well as taking looks, height and race into account.

Go ahead and take a minute to get your jaw off the ground. But then get ready to be shocked again, because this study ALSO revealed that couples tend to have similar proportions of body fat.

Which leads us to the obvious scientific question: How come fatties aren’t too grossed out by each other to fuck?

Er, wait, I mean, How is this happening?!?

Prof John Speakman, of Aberdeen University, said “What is currently unclear is how these associations come about.

“Perhaps the social activities of the overweight and obese people coincide, making them more likely to meet partners who are also overweight and obese.”

How did he know? I totally met Al at the local Fatty Sock Hop, and our next date was at the Fatty Museum, and since then we’ve just been sitting in front of the TV together. Eating.

So what’s the problem with this kind of quasi-connubial bliss? Three guesses. First two don’t count.

Scientists said this “assortive mating” could be contributing to a worldwide obesity epidemic.

This, they argue, is because children who have an overweight mother and father could be more susceptible to putting on weight.

Okay, first, children with two overweight parents are almost certainly “more susceptible to putting on weight,” because it’s largely genetic. Let’s not beat around the bush on that one. Second, if the “worldwide obesity epidemic” is due to fat people having the nerve to fuck each other, doesn’t that mean, from an evolutionary standpoint, that fat people have no good reason to want to fuck thin people, since our genes are doing pretty okay for themselves?

Oh, of course not. It means scientists need to spend more money researching why fatties are attracted to each other — it’s inconceivable! — so they can nip this epidemic in the bud.

Never mind that one of the reasons why fatties end up together might just be because thin people (well, all people) are trained from day one to find fat people repulsive. Or that people with similar life experiences — like, say, being ostracized because they’re fat — might feel a natural connection to each other. Or that those other factors like “social class” and “looks” might be related to body fat. Or that if you’re fat, being grossed out by fat people means being grossed out by yourself, and not all of us are willing to spend a lifetime feeling that way. Or that, you know, attraction is weird and complex and individual.

Also, check out this train of thought:

He said assortive mating for body fat was relatively new as in the 1940s and 50s people got married in their early 20s, often before they were overweight or obese.

“It would have been difficult for them to assortively mate for body fatness because it would be impossible to distinguish somebody who was thin from somebody who was thin but going to become fat,” Prof Speakman said.

“Nowadays, we choose partners and have children much later, but if we are going to become obese, on average we do so much younger.

“This makes it possible for potential partners to select each other on the basis of body fatness.”

I was with him about halfway there. Al and I were both a lot thinner in our early twenties. If we’d met and married then, we might be looking at each other like, “Hey, what happened?” now. Or, more to the point of the first half, if I’d married the thin guy I was dating back then and started procreating right away, our kids would have an equal shot at thin genes and fat genes. (Never mind that I’ve also dated thin guys while fat and fat guys while thin and just happen to be both fat and crazy in love with a fat guy right now.)

So, yeah, I can buy the possibility that later marriage means a better idea of whether the person you’re marrying is going to be fat in the long term. Except, “Nowadays… if we are going to become obese, on average we do so much younger.”

Wait, what? If we’re fatter much younger, then why the hell does it matter if we marry later?

Regardless, I guess I can agree with his conclusion, however the fuck he arrived at it. It certainly seems as if fat people are choosing to be together. The horror!

Of course, from what I can tell here, the same research also showed that thin people are choosing to be together. Which is not at all horrific, because that pattern will probably produce thin babies.

The question then is, where are they headed with this? If things were “better” when thin people were hitching their wagons to latent fat people at a young age, doesn’t that suggest the solution to the “obesity epidemic” is to get fat people and thin people to start fucking each other more and even things out? And if so, why aren’t they campaigning for thin people to quit fucking each other and start fucking fatties for the greater good?

Three guesses. First two don’t count.

Posted in Fat

30 thoughts on “They’re Breeding!!

  1. I think many obesity scientists were the product of skinny, shallow people mating (they’re drawn to each other you know!) This has created an epidemic of skinny shallow people, some of whom are drawn to making a living in the diet industry.

    That’s my theory, who wants to give me a million dollars to do the study on this?

  2. Shh, The Rotund! That can’t be it!

    Actually, it’s just that visiting the Fat Baby Cabbage Patch is one of those social events overweight and obese people are attracted to.

  3. You’d think the so-called trend of fat people marrying each other would be GREAT for the family-values drive to reduce the divorce rate, rather than crying “bait and switch” later on.

    I just read a Tales From the Front column in the Chicago Tribune about a thin man who was divorcing his “repulsive” fat wife. He wanted to know if he was justified. Frankly I think he’s doing her a favor if he can’t LOVE HER.

  4. How completely fucked up is that?! I mean, seriously, they measured the BMI of the 42 couples and decided that they were attracted to one another by body weight? Did they know if this was the BMI when the couples met? Did they ask them if they went looking for someone their size? And why would they even think to globalize findings based on hypotheses from a study of 84 people in Aberdeen, Scotland?!

    I’m appalled.

  5. Fat babies are DELICIOUS.

    No, I mean, totally going to the Fat Baby Cabbage Patch is MY favorite pasttime!

    I mean, it’s not like storks can carry those fat babies, right?

  6. Ugh. As a fat person who chooses to date fat women (and also chose to do so when I was thin with no way of knowing I’d eventually become a fat fatty), I can still recognize that most fat people date other fat people out of necessity or resignation because thin people are so overwhelmingly hostile to romantic relationships with fat people. Most fat couples don’t accept their bodies. Instead, perpetual dieting is a function of their relationship. Heck, maybe that’s the “social activities” that coincide. At any rate, fat people choosing to date fat people are a minority. While I wholeheartedly enjoy that choice, its just not the reality for most fat people. Most fat people had this choice made for them, and YET now they are being blamed for that, too.

    It’s like they are grabbing our wrists and using our own hands to strike us while crying out “Why are you hitting yourself?”

  7. Yeah, exactly, Brian. Set fat admirers and fat people with healthy self-esteem aside, and you’re left with… the majority of fat people. Many of whom either believe no thin person would want them and therefore don’t even try, or have found from experience that indeed, thin people don’t want them. Or both.

    One other fun fact: although my current love is tall, I’ve had an unusual number of short guys express interest in me (sometimes reciprocated, sometimes not), relative to my thin friends. Now, granted, I’m short. But so are several of those thin friends. My hypothesis is that short guys and fat women have a lot in common on the dating scene; I have no data to support it but would not be a bit surprised to learn that short guys are even more likely to be rejected by a majority of women than tall, fat guys. And when you learn that people who fit the cultural ideal (more or less) reject you because you don’t, you start looking at people who don’t fit it, either.

    I love how that apparently never occurred to these researchers.

  8. Boy, with all the ways there are to reject somebody based on their body, it’s a wonder any babies ever get made at all!

  9. Yeah BStu, is there any plausible evidence of this, I do not see this at all on the streets/among people I know, I’ve heard this before it was presented as speculation, so they’ve managed to get this humongous study to put our minds completely at rest.

    I’m sure others have noticed how the same results go round and around presented as brand new. I daresay this happens in other areas but I think it is worse re fat, because they’ve got their ‘answer’ are satisfied with and have stopped there, so they can only really go round and round.

  10. Um… I’m not sure why this study even matters. Historically speaking, “assortive mating” has always happened; you always married “within your class” to a certain degree, and since populations were largely homogeneous up until the last 200 years, you married within your own race. Culture probably has a lot to do with it as well – if you’re in a culture where a larger body frame is appreciated, then you’re more likely to “marry fat”.

    I think the greater issue is “marrying jerks”, like the ones who did this study. That is a far bigger social problem than being “fat”!

  11. Oh for the love of…*headdesk* I hate all of these studies, I really do. People pay thousands and thousands of dollars to find out why fat people dare to breed, and there’s still no cure for AIDS.

    Kate, regarding post #9. I honestly believe that tall guy/short guy is an American thing. My husband is from central america, and since most all men there are short by American standards, I don’t think height even plays into identity for him. My husband is a whopping 5’7” (I’m 5’3”) and he’s really and truly never had an issue with not being tall. Probably because he’s built like a brick house and can lift heavy objects (including me) with ease.

    And if I may interject a personal aside, America really hates fat women who dare to get knocked up (I’m expecting our third) because I’ve found that the general concensus in retail is “No maternity clothes for you! How dare you have sex!” Gah.

  12. Can I just say, I used to always date thin men until I dated a fat man and discovered that thin men may look better, but fat men feel better? And then after years of noticing that fat men feel better, my eyesight somehow changed and they started looking better, too? So now I see thin men and I think “Ick, not for me.”

    Also, of course, a little self-conscious about my size when I’m standing next to a thin man. Don’t like to feel I’m actually bigger than the guy. Remnant of fat-hating culture there.

    And have I mentioned my mad, mad crush on John Goodman? Yes? Well I’m mentioning it again.

  13. I like ‘em fat and thin, Deborah — and one benefit of being really short is that even next to a tall skinny guy or a shortish average guy, I don’t usually feel like the big one. (Had a brief affair with one very buff guy who was about 5’5″. THEN I felt big.) Basically, there are a few guys who make me weak in the knees on sight, a few guys who turn me off on sight, and a WHOLE lot of guys in between whom I may or may not judge attractive, depending on what happens when they open their mouths.

    But yeah, fat-guy snuggles are hard to beat.

  14. It’s the snuggles, I’m telling you. Although this one guy, I sort of roll off his round belly when I put my head on it. And that’s a little more slopy than I actually like.

    But I love his round belly.

  15. Deborah, I agree! My 330 lbs hubby just turned 59, but he looks so young for his age because the skin on his big body doesn’t wrinkle like skin on a small body would. Oh, and he’s built just like John Goodman, who I too find devestatingly sexy!

  16. The most intimate moment of my life with my husband was not sexual or flirty. We were snuggling when we first dated, and I rubbed his tummy because it’s wonderful and big and comfy. And he was embarrassed and ashamed. And I told him I loved all of him, but his tummy was especially attractive to me. And he cried from years of humiliation ending. He told me specifics about how he was teased and made to feel inferior. I told him that his tummy deserved love, not hate. Maybe a little extra love because it needed it. And we fell more deeply in love at that moment.

    I think that was my greatest act of fat activism ever. It really changed my DH’s life and view of himself.

  17. But yeah, fat-guy snuggles are hard to beat.

    Hehehe… word. :)

    I agree that there’s a lot going on in this trend, not the least of which is what Brian pointed out above, that a lot of fat peopel simply don’t want to risk being rejected by thin people; lord knows that’s how my preference in men started to shape the way it has. (And on a side note, I’m astonished that a “research study” that asks no mindful questions whatsoever of what it has observed is actually being published. Shouldn’t these people still be in college learning to make meaningful inferences from data?)

    But I also wonder if part of the reason fat people “tend” toward other fat people is also in hopes of finding someone whose body fits with theirs. My husband is pretty much the same as me in terms of physical fitness and body fat, and our bodies seem to be perfectly proportioned for one another (for everything from snuggles to *special* snuggles).

  18. I want to go to the Fatty Sock Hop! Oh please, Fairy Godmother, bring me a spangled ballgown!

    I almost feel sorry for researchers like that. I mean, admitting in public that they’re not terribly smart after all has got to sting.

  19. Honestly, what possible good comes from this kind of “scientific” research? How does knowing that people are attracted to people for lots of reasons, possibly among them certain physical aspects that may bode well for physical (and possibly emotional) compatibility, make the world a better place? These morons, and whatever asshats are funding them, and any hacks who give lip service and media time to anything but derision for their “uh, duh” conclusions…yeah, they really ought to have their “scientist” cards revoked.

    On a personal note, I love me some big boys and always have. Can’t explain it, and don’t want to take the time to. I’d rather just enjoy it.

  20. Like you, Kate, I find all kinds of bodies snuggable and have had men in my life of all body types. Probably I wouldn’t have been as open to the idea of a guy as fat as my (now ex) husband before I got to be “officially fat” myself. But so what? Forty-eight couples represents some kind of definitive…er…nothing. I betcha if you gave me some of that Skinny Grant Money, I could do a survey “proving” that couples who are into BDSM or believe in UFOs gravitate toward one another too!

    How did he know? I totally met Al at the local Fatty Sock Hop, and our next date was at the Fatty Museum, and since then we’ve just been sitting in front of the TV together. Eating.

    I want you to know I’ve been giggling madly about this all day.

  21. Oh yeah, that totally makes sense. I mean, I’m 150lbs overweight and my husband was a cross country runner in high school; played college baseball, has run in five marathons, and still plays baseball with an over 30 league at our local park. Oh wait a minute….he’s not FAT. He’s in pretty good shape. MMM, maybe this doesn’t work for us–and we’re newlyweds still.. Our one year anniversary is in October.

    So Mr. scientist, put that in your pipe and smoke it. People never cease to amaze me.

    Jules

  22. Oh, I know…this study is such b.s.–my husband is from India, 145 pounds, and has a completely different faith than my own. I’m fat, white, and dislike organized religion. Well, according to this nonsense, we shouldn’t even be attracted to each other. We’ve been together 7 years. What nonsense.

  23. Haha… my favorite part of that bullshit article was the “in the old days, there weren’t enough fat people for this crazy fat-to-fat pairing! Cause obesity is NEW, see? It’s an epidemic (caused by failure to walk ten miles to school in the snow both ways)!
    Also, the need for continued study reeks of eugenics. This article reminds me of all that stuff coming out of Europe going “GASP! White people aren’t having enough babies!” or even the States, going “Educated women are choosing not to have babies!” Now it’s “fat people might be making fat babies!”…. scary. I wish science would turn its attention to (a) safe accessible means of preventing unwanted babies and (b) takng care of the millions of babies that already exist.

  24. Off topic a bit: Ellie, I know exactly what you’re talking about. I went into a plus-sized store in my city and asked about maternity clothes. They looked at me oddly and told me I could buy some big t-shirts.

    Wha-huh? I thought that plus-sized stores were in the biz of making clothes that fit women of plus-sizes, not of tenting them in big t-shirts.

    Back on topic: This study is empty. I can’t even believe that any organization outside of Trim-Spa would fund such shit. It could be possible that since people are marrying at later ages, that maybe they are not so tied up in the bullshit of what “should” be beautiful and what they actually find attractive. I know that when I was 20 I thought that all men should have a six-pack if they wanted to get in the sack, but then I realized that what I really wanted was someone that could make me laugh before they kissed me. That’s growth, and hopefully most of the population experiences it.

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