Would you date someone you’re not initially attracted to?
I’ve been asking myself this question since the age of 13 when a boy who relentlessly picked on me in public felt me up privately after school one afternoon. Now, I know he was a horny, sexist teenager unsure of how to control himself or be less of an asshole. The interesting part was that all the girls he liked, chased behind, and talked about to his boys were very pretty, shapely, and wore popular name brands clothes. At that age, I was the total opposite — chubby, a bit rugged, and my mama bought my clothes off the clearance rack. I was cool with the boys but was rarely found attractive by any of them except for times like this, which didn’t make sense then or now. In fact, minus the unsolicited groping, variations of this scenario have happened about a dozen times since including recently.
A few weeks ago I ran into a guy who follows me online. We hardly talk but we know the other one exists. In person, he complimented me for being my natural self. Apparently my nappy hair, low maintenance makeup routine, and wide-framed glasses are cute and worth acknowledging. Fine; thanks. However, I couldn’t help but notice that the women he typically stans for look nothing like me.
I scroll up the popular page on Instagram and like everyone else, I’m drawn to the beautifully fit bodies all up and through. When I click on the images of women, I recognize men I know in their comments thirsting or at the very least, having liked their pictures. These men will post women with perfect bodies and tresses on their social media pages with captions like, “Goddess,” or “Queen,” or “I’ll drop it all for a woman like her”. In reality, many of these same men are in or have been in relationships with “regular” looking women who cook their meals and continuously empty their sacks. It’s all confusing and shallow at best but begs tons of questions.
If their type is a light-skinned, straight haired or weaves wearing woman, with the perfect frame, why do they secretly crowd the DMs of women like me – plus size, brown-skinned with natural hair who barely keeps her nails done?
Why are the things they seem to dislike, discredit, or at least ignore on the public front the first things they compliment us on privately? Are we filler women?
Are men settling with “regular” looking women because the Instagram types aren’t available or aren’t into them? Would they really drop everything, even a current or potential relationship, to be with the women they covet?
Do women do this too? Is this normal and I’m just figuring that out?
I’ve dated and still will date men that I’m not initially attracted to if there’s a mutually gratifying connection somewhere else. Honestly, that’s the best kind of sexiness to let happen to you, honey. But would you agree that that’s a different thing?
While I’m not sure of the answers, let me go on record and ask y’all — men and women, if that’s appropriate — to stop doing this! Compliments are fine, but pursuing people you have no physical attraction or otherwise real connection to is a waste of time. It doesn’t make women feel good knowing that you’re flirting with them because your woman of choice isn’t interested or attainable. Don’t tell me that you love my physical attributes in person while finding time to shit on them on the internet. That’s foul. Don’t put effort into me because you’re lonely or I’m the last one standing. It won’t work for either of us. And finally, if you really don’t want me, then please, just don’t talk to me.
Ariel C. Williams is the founding editor-in-chief of Slay Culture. She’s a millennial who’s down for the culture, loves Netflix, and pegs Master P as one of her entrepreneurial heroes. Buy her book The Girl Talk Chronicles here. Follow her at @ArielSaysNow everywhere.