So, I’ve Got A Big Question

Since weight, health, self-perception, and body consciousness seem to be big topics lately, I’ve been doing a lot of introspection about this.  And in my introspection, I found an interesting side issue.  Let me see if I can properly express what I’m trying to say.

There is a subset of heterosexual men who enjoy seeing females  in “real woman” form.  I belong to this subset.  Although we are called many names,  I actually believe we are the majority of men.  Our sex symbols might include Kirstie Alley (yes, Kirstie Alley before or after Jenny Craig), Trishia Yearwood, America Ferrera, for the tackier among us there was Anna Nichole Smith, and of course, there’s the twin pinnacles of full-figured sex symbols: Marilyn Monroe and Jane Mansfield.  There are many, many others that come to mind.  The point is, a girl can be a size twelve or more and still be a sex symbol to millions of American men.

Quick, name an group of equivalent men.  You know, guys who aren’t chiseled, but flabby, even fat, yet are considered sex symbols to millions of American girls. Go on, look it up – I’ll wait.

And no cheating.  Don’t list someone who is considered a sex symbol because they are are wealthy, or have a certain amount of charm.  I’d like to see your list of men who are loved for their bodies even though their bodies are not ideal.

No?  OK, just one, then.  And although sweet, “my husband” doesn’t count, because the discussion here is focusing on celebrity sex symbols, and the reasons spouses are considered sexy are far more complex than what we’re discussing.

If you can find one, you’re doing better than me.

You see, it occurred to me that if you are a woman and “bigger”, you can still be a sex symbol.  Just accentuate your boobs and look at the camera a certain way.  If you’re a man, you’d better hit the gym, or be relegated to “Uncle Harry” roles.

It’s a double standard that had never occurred to me before, until now.

And we men are not even allowed to whine about it, lest we be called wimps.

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19 Responses to “So, I’ve Got A Big Question”

  1. nm Says:

    Sean Connery. Gerard Depardieu.

    But I’m gonna point out that with the occasional exception of Kristie Alley, none of the women on your list is “flabby, even fat.” You are comparing lack of high muscle definition plus big tits (in women), to flab (in men). That’s still quite a double standard.

  2. Shoot The Moose You’re Men « Says:

    […] So, I’ve Got A Big Question […]

  3. dolphin Says:

    I agree with nm.

    The other thing is that extra weight in certain places on women can accentuate curves, which are a major part of female sex appeal for straight men and lesbians. However, there’s no desired feature of the male physique that is accentuated by extra weight. Not sure if it’s a double standard as much as perhaps simply geometry.

  4. Slartibartfast Says:

    I’ll give you that; although there are several women celebrities who are considered “fat” that I also have an affinity for, I didn’t mention them because I do believe I am in the minority in that regard. Raven Simone comes to mind, but considering she is literally young enough to be my daughter, I’d rather not dwell on her lest you think I’m a dirty old man.

    But, in a way, what you mention is what I’m talking about. For men, there is no “middle”.

    Of course, this post is highly unfair, because I know that women are far more complex than men in all regards, especially sexuality. To take other traits besides looks out of the equation is assuming women think like men.

    I was just having a little fun, a “looks” variation on the old Tim Allen quote:

    “Women now have choices. They can be married, not married, have a job, not have a job, be married with children, unmarried with children. Men have the same choice we’ve always had: work or prison. “

  5. bridgett Says:

    George Clooney. (He looks weird at what one might call fighting weight.) Vince Vaughn. Forest Whittaker.

  6. Slartibartfast Says:

    ” Vince Vaughn”

    Got me! I had forgotten about him.

    Forest Whittaker is sexy? Who knew?

  7. Barry Says:

    I would think several men would fall into that “big ol’ teddy bear” category that women have been attracted to. John Goodman comes first to mind, but also John and Jim Belushi, Ray Romano… they may not be considered “sex symbols” in the same way equivalent fuller-figured women are, but I would imagine there weren’t too many women who wouldn’t consider them sexy in their own right…

    Even Hurley from “Lost” has his own not insignificant female following because I think at least his character’s charm is a result of his size.

    You’ll find these men more typically in comedies than dramas or action films, although they can be comic relief “buddies” or sidekicks.

  8. Katherine Coble Says:

    My list of heavy men I love is too long to go into right now.

    Rutger Hauer.
    Robert Shaw.
    Forest Whitaker.
    Jon Lovitz.

    I’ll give you that; although there are several women celebrities who are considered “fat” that I also have an affinity for, I didn’t mention them because I do believe I am in the minority in that regard.

    There are a lot of men who don’t want to be called “chubby chasers” but who do, indeed, prefer larger women. I should know.

    The sad thing is that it’s not going to get any better for anyone until these men come out of the closet, as it were.

  9. Slartibartfast Says:

    “Jon Lovitz”

    OK, I’m officially weirded out. 🙂 You are a great mystery. Well, I mean femininity in general, but…

    Jon Lovitz?

    Have we gotten into “charm = attractiveness” territory? And even if we have, Jon Lovitz has charm? I keep thinking of his character in “A League of Their Own” – which I guess was charming in a smartass kind of way.

    I think if I understood, though, life would be a lot less interesting.

  10. Kate O' Says:

    Colin (drool) Firth (slurp). Without a doubt, the dreamiest male celebrity alive, and he’s anything but petite.

    Oh, and
    “the twin pinnacles of full-figured sex symbols: Marilyn Monroe and Jane Mansfield.”

    Twin pinnacles. Heh. Heh heh. Heh.

  11. Ivy Says:

    Kevin Smith. He is teh hot.

  12. newscoma Says:

    BBW or BBM,
    I don’t care. It’s all of the good.
    And, Kate, Colin Firth makes my toes tingle.

    I don’t care what size someone is, just who they are. And if I dig it, I dig it.
    That’s all.

  13. dolphin Says:

    Ok, Colin Firth ain’t my type, but by whose definition is he fat??

    I have trouble with these discussions, because apparently I have a fairly substantial difference in my perception of “fat” than the populace at large.

  14. Slartibartfast Says:

    dolphin – you and me both. I threw Colin Firth and George Clooney out of the survey as outliers. Vince Vaughn, I get – I can tell when a man dresses to hide a belly (being an expert at it myself), so I think he counts,and he’s pretty close to a male version of, say, Jennifer, the Watson’s girl (who I forgot to mention in my original post; how could I forget???)

    Being a sports fan, I’m a little more comfortable with the subject matter because we (sports fans) have to problem talking about the physical characteristics of athletes, like they were cattle.

    But when you throw attractiveness into the mix, it gets entirely subjective. Just to make things even, I’ll throw in a strange one that equals Kat’s Jon Lovitz: I’ve always been strangely attracted to Judy Tenuta.

  15. x117236 Says:

    My first thought was Bono. I wouldn’t call him fat, but his weight does fluctuate greatly.

  16. Kate O' Says:

    Colin Firth and George Clooney aren’t fat. They are roughly the approximate analogs to Slarti’s not-fat-but-voluptuous female examples.

  17. nm Says:

    I’m an abject Forest Whittaker fan, but I’ve never considered him sexy. There are guys of his build who I do consider sexy, but I still maintain that your list of women doesn’t contain anyone comparable. Good grief, Marilyn Monroe wasn’t even pudgy! The fact that curvy women have to be considered in the same league as out and out flabby guys, though … this saddens me. And I’ll repeat what I’ve said elsewhere: the current idealized body for women is dangerously unhealthy, whereas the currently idealized body for men is very healthy (even if unattainable for anyone over 25). The standards we are using for the two hardly even exist in the same universe.

  18. Music City Bloggers » Blog Archive » Hey, Slarti, Did You See THIS?!?! Says:

    […] why I think it’s great that Heather answered Slarti’s blog post from a week ago with one of her own. I tend to believe that the female equivalents of these men would not have a […]

  19. The Editor Says:

    Oliver Reed!! (OK, he’s dead… but before he was dead… dear lord he could get me worked up.)

    {sigh}


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