A special love for fluffy divas

A special love for fluffy divas

By NADINE WILSON All Woman writer wilsonn@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, May 06, 2013

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TAMARA Wallace was beside herself with joy when she reconnected with her childhood sweetheart through a social networking site some years ago. But her fantasy came crashing down three years into their new relationship when instead of an engagement ring solidifying their union, he gave her a bottle of weight enhancement pills.

"We went to primary school together and live near each other and he even gave me my first kiss, however, we lost contact with each other when he migrated to the US with his family," she explained.

She said both were happy when they rekindled their friendship and they even started a long distance relationship. Wallace was finishing her pre-university studies and was smitten by her overseas boyfriend. He was tall and muscular and was attending college on a basketball scholarship. Everything seemed fine as far as she was concerned. But then came that fateful day, when he visited her in Jamaica and presented her with the pills which he explained was to help her gain weight.

"I was very upset," she said. "I was kinda hurt, too, because he made it seem like something was wrong with me because I am skinny."

Wallace trashed both the tablets and the man, and although she eventually gained weight when she had her first child, she is happy she didn't succumb to the pressure her ex-boyfriend put on her to gain weight.

While the media glamorises skinnier women and manufacturers of weight loss products are raking in billions every year, there are some men who would never even blink once at a supermodel-slim chick. A fluffy diva, however, they would never turn down.

"I have a special love for this type of girls," admitted Oneil Clarke who confessed that he has never dated a girl below 200 pounds.

"I like when they are fat," he said, "I have never approached a slim girl before to say all right, I would like to be with her. I just always gravitate to those who are strapping."

Steven Drummond said his love for his wife, Tracey-Lee, and not necessarily her plus-sized figure, was the main reason he walked down the aisle with her. Still, he feels her being fluffy adds a bit more spice to their marriage.

"I feel so comfortable with her," said Drummond, a diminutive man who has no qualms about his attraction to a woman who probably weighs twice as much as he does.

"I like her reasoning ability, she is responsible, genuine and caring," said Drummond, who also loves the fact that his wife is a fashionista who "looks good in her clothes".

Psychiatrist Dr Anthony Allen said the preference some men have for big-bodied women is connected to our African heritage. History shows that a wide girth was at one point a sign of prosperity and so it was customary for women in some African countries to undergo a process of fattening up before their nuptials.

"As you know, persons can use certain hormones that are used for chicken rearing to produce this effect," he said, in reference to a time in Jamaica's history when women flocked to poultry-rearing farms and livestock stores islandwide, in an effort to secure the coveted chicken pills. The ingestion of these pills, it was speculated, was one of the fastest ways to get big buttocks and larger breasts.

Horace Williams, a part-time lecturer in the Department of Cultural Studies at the University of West Indies, Mona, agreed that part of the attraction to plus-sized women is based on the view that the size of a woman's hips can determine her fertility.

"The perception of the pelvic area is that when you have a certain type of appearance, it suggests a woman being far more fertile," he said, while adding that this also goes for taller females.

A study carried in the scientific journal Perception in 2012, by researchers from the Scotland-based St Andrews University, also found that men considered curvier women more attractive than those with size zero figures. The study involved men aged 18-26, who were asked to rate the attractiveness of 84 female students of the same age based on photographs. The young men felt those with 18.5 to 25 body mass index (BMI) were more attractive.

Local male specialist Marlon Moore was not surprised at the findings of the study, as from his observation, some Jamaican men "generally go for the big bottom, broad hips and small waist". This preference, he said, is often shaped by a man's socio-economic background.

Still, Dr Allen warned that fluffiness sometimes does come at a price, since it puts women at risk of a wide range of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes.

"It's a great health problem... and one we need to take seriously," he said.

Psychiatrist Dr Anthony Allen said the preference some men have for big-bodied women is connected to our African heritage.

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