When I ran a matchmaking agency, I met a lot of men. When signing up, I'd meet them for a coffee, get a better understanding of their personalities in order to consider who they'd be best matched with. Sounds like fun, right? Well, it was certainly interesting.
Interesting in the respect that, it's surprising how, even those who are actively looking for love, are still so non-negotiable about what they require in a partner. The usual lists cropped up time and time again, height and income high on the list of requirements for women - for men, age and, you guessed it, weight.
Sad to say that, the vast majority of men who I spoke to who were single and ready to date, refused to date 'fat girls'. Some disguised it as 'preferring girls to be fit' or 'wanting them to be in proportion' but we all knows what that means - find me skinny.
Ironic given that, if you ask most men to pick out a girl who's a size 14 they'd probably point at a dress size 22 - brainwashed by the media to think that anything over a size 10 is plus size and quite in the dark about what real sizes look like on real women.
And yet, some of the hottest women I know are 'curvy' - and leave most thin girls for dead in the sexy stakes. Not because they necessarily, have better bodies (although some of them actually did - bigger but fitter and far more in proportion) but because they own what they have.
Their weight isn't an issue for them. It isn't at the forefront of their mind or something they consider to be a hinderance in life. Not only does this make them sexy but it makes my heart weep for every guy (lonely, I'll add - you don't join a dating agency if you're not looking for someone to fill an emotional gap) who'd joined up, entrusted (and paying) somebody else to find them love to then turned a person down, before they'd even met them, based on their weight.
And they wonder why they're single?
Why do men turn down 'fat' women? Social conditioning has a big part to play. We are constantly fed with the message that bigger is bad, that a person is seen as having failed when they can't comply to the social ideal, and in turn, a person who dates a person who's bigger, by accepting it, has too in someway failed, or settled for something less than magazine perfect.
Big girls don't make trophy wives - or so the media would have us believe.
Our society is also all about extremes - people are either fat or thin and people - men, in this case, struggle to imagine anything in-between - there is no normal or middle ground when you are being read out the stats of another person only labels that define you as a type of person.
This applies to men as much as women, take the recent internet craze of dad-bods, people celebrating men who were neither super fit or super fat - they were normal and yet you'd have thought no one had seen an average torso before.
Similarly, people subconsciously associate bigger women with being lazy and lacking in self-pride and thinner women as being active and more conscious of their appearance.
Both of which are complete nonsense. Who doesn't know at least one person who contradicts these stereotypes - a thin friend who lives on junk food or a 'fat' friend who smashes the gym, has great skin, perfect proportions and not an inch of cellulite on her (yes, I know at least three women like this)
There is no hard and fast rules to what constitutes being attractive - and whilst Im not suggesting that men should be obligated to find all shapes and sizes attractive, my one golden nuggets of advice to men who write off women before they've met them, be it online, via a blind date or through an agency is grow up a bit when it comes to stats on a piece of paper.
Men don't think they fancy bigger women because they don't bother to even meet them (and have actually very little idea of what a size 16 really is) but trust me, when it comes to being hot, bigger women can have as much sex appeal as anyone else - and you're missing out on all of it.