Dating

“BBW” – Do you love the term? or hate it?

October 7 2013 | CeCe Olisa

I was walking in the garment district last week. I had my headphones in and was in my own world until a man stepped in front of me.

“You’re a ‘B.B.W.’ aren’t you…” he said with a wide smile as his eyes slid approvingly up and down my body.

For those of you who don’t know, “BBW” stands for “Big Beautiful Woman”. The man was trying to pay me a compliment, but it didn’t feel that way for a few reasons. As I’ve said before, “if you like me, don’t call me fat” if he said I was beautiful, that would have been enough. Its implied that he’s attracted to me at my current size. Adding the size differentiator really is unnecessary in my opinion. Then, there’s the term “BBW” on its own… the term makes me cringe a little bit.

Everyone has their own opinion of the BBW expression. I’ve noticed that it has a strong connotation with celebrating of big girls only as a sexual fetish. Even when I went to BBW clubs in the past, there was a crazy sexual focus that is different from mainstream nightclubs. For someone like me, who was looking to date… that was really hard to navigate.

Anyway, I think the guy called me a “BBW” as a compliment, and because “beautiful” is in the phrase, I can see how he’d be oblivious to how it makes me feel.

But just because I find the term sleazy doesn’t mean that everyone does. I mean, I clearly find empowerment in saying Plus Size Princess on this site, so maybe there’s some empowerment in the BBW phrase that I’m missing.

So, how do you feel about being called a BBW? …love it? or hate it?

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71 responses on ““BBW” – Do you love the term? or hate it?

  1. vanessa jackson

    Hmm not sure about this as it’s never happen to me personally. But I think I’d agree with you, just call me beautiful or something like that without the reference to my size. I think it all depends on the class of the guy that’s speaking. Perhaps he/they think its a good thing to say without even thinking that it may have negative vibe to it.

  2. lilshine7@gmail.com

    Hmm not sure about this as it’s never happen to me personally. But I think I’d agree with you, just call me beautiful or something like that without the reference to my size. I think it all depends on the class of the guy that’s speaking. Perhaps he/they think its a good thing to say without even thinking that it may have negative vibe to it.

  3. elseo

    Not sure, never happend to me. But the word BBW has probably a different meaning to everyone. I am honest if I am looking around the world wide web for anything related to plus size I often use BBW but I don’t think I would take it well in a situation like you just described. Again I would be a bit freaked out if a stranger calls me beautiful. Nice, lovely, your looking good would be more appropriate.
    I agree with Vanessa, he proably didn’t think further.

  4. es82928@gmail.com

    Not sure, never happend to me. But the word BBW has probably a different meaning to everyone. I am honest if I am looking around the world wide web for anything related to plus size I often use BBW but I don’t think I would take it well in a situation like you just described. Again I would be a bit freaked out if a stranger calls me beautiful. Nice, lovely, your looking good would be more appropriate.I agree with Vanessa, he proably didn’t think further.

  5. MayaMaya

    Hi Cece I’m a teenager and im plus-sized. I’m also tall for my age so I look about 18-21. This girl at the gas station ringed me up and I noticed a teen boy behind her he looked about 19. She said ‘My brother thinks youre beatuiful’….*Cue awkward blush* ‘Haha Thanks’. I got kind of mad. he out me in a awkward situation. I’m just glad no one was behind me.

      1. maya

        The cashier noticed I was blushing she said ‘Don’t be ashamed, it’s a compliment’. I understand that but it was just sooo uncomfortable. The dude kept looking at me and im like ‘I just came to get a Arizona’ lol. I tend to try and avoid that store. The cashier seemed mad that I took it the wrong way. IDK maybe it was just me.

  6. namayabell@gmail.com

    Hi Cece I’m a teenager and im plus-sized. I’m also tall for my age so I look about 18-21. This girl at the gas station ringed me up and I noticed a teen boy behind her he looked about 19. She said ‘My brother thinks youre beatuiful’….*Cue awkward blush* ‘Haha Thanks’. I got kind of mad. he out me in a awkward situation. I’m just glad no one was behind me.

      1. namayabell@gmail.com

        The cashier noticed I was blushing she said ‘Don’t be ashamed, it’s a compliment’. I understand that but it was just sooo uncomfortable. The dude kept looking at me and im like ‘I just came to get a Arizona’ lol. I tend to try and avoid that store. The cashier seemed mad that I took it the wrong way. IDK maybe it was just me.

  7. AstarteOurania

    I’m not really fond of the term, I’m more of the “just call me beautiful and leave it at that” mind. How I’ve seen it used, it seems so associated with being a fetish and I’m not a fetish but a human being. When someone tells me, oh I like BBW like you I think well, what if I lost weight, suddenly I wouldn’t be as beautiful anymore? Again beauty tied to weight! Can’t win. lol

  8. evangelia@aol.com

    I’m not really fond of the term, I’m more of the “just call me beautiful and leave it at that” mind. How I’ve seen it used, it seems so associated with being a fetish and I’m not a fetish but a human being. When someone tells me, oh I like BBW like you I think well, what if I lost weight, suddenly I wouldn’t be as beautiful anymore? Again beauty tied to weight! Can’t win. lol

  9. Melanie S.

    The problem with this short cut is not what it means but rather for what it stands in the meantime. BBW stands primary for a fetish. But I’m not a fetish, I’m a woman. With a shape and a character. So … no, I don’t like the short cut BBW.

  10. mel.bumblebee77@gmail.com

    The problem with this short cut is not what it means but rather for what it stands in the meantime. BBW stands primary for a fetish. But I’m not a fetish, I’m a woman. With a shape and a character. So … no, I don’t like the short cut BBW.

  11. Atmikha

    According to my grandma, it is never appropriate to comment on someone’s appearance, especially in the specifics. Like, it is OK to say “You looking well today,” but “Have you lost weight/dyed your hair/had surgery,” not so much. Also, according to G-ma, I don’t have to speak to anyone to whom I haven’t been introduced. So, a man can come up to me In the street and say anything he wants, but I don’t owe him a response. If he wants to know me, he can get himself introduced.

  12. atmikha@aol.com

    According to my grandma, it is never appropriate to comment on someone’s appearance, especially in the specifics. Like, it is OK to say “You looking well today,” but “Have you lost weight/dyed your hair/had surgery,” not so much. Also, according to G-ma, I don’t have to speak to anyone to whom I haven’t been introduced. So, a man can come up to me In the street and say anything he wants, but I don’t owe him a response. If he wants to know me, he can get himself introduced.

  13. Sophie

    I once hashtagged one of my instagram photos with #BBW and I suddenly found that a lot of guys were liking that photo and started following me. A few even left a flirtatious comment. I told my partner and he laughed and explained that BBW is also a way of categorizing pornography. I was horrified, but he said not to worry – it’s not just used to categorize porn, but to expect a different kind of “follower” on my instagram if I continue to use that hashtag. I don’t have a big problem with it, but it can’t be denied that it’s loaded with sexual meanings.

  14. sophruss@gmail.com

    I once hashtagged one of my instagram photos with #BBW and I suddenly found that a lot of guys were liking that photo and started following me. A few even left a flirtatious comment. I told my partner and he laughed and explained that BBW is also a way of categorizing pornography. I was horrified, but he said not to worry – it’s not just used to categorize porn, but to expect a different kind of “follower” on my instagram if I continue to use that hashtag. I don’t have a big problem with it, but it can’t be denied that it’s loaded with sexual meanings.

  15. BlakChyna_doll

    Not my favorite term because it’s lamented in sex! I do not think of myself as a Fetish at all I have tagged my pictures with the term but I did some soul searching and I realized it was just another way for men to hide the fact that they like bigger women and put some flowery term over it to make them feel better about what they were doing. The whole “bbw” movement has become a big phenomena online and socially but it’s all about sex and not dating or marriage and that bothers me because I know my worth but other big girls have yet to realize theirs. Love your blog BTW new to the site. 🙂

  16. quanbrock@gmail.com

    Not my favorite term because it’s lamented in sex! I do not think of myself as a Fetish at all I have tagged my pictures with the term but I did some soul searching and I realized it was just another way for men to hide the fact that they like bigger women and put some flowery term over it to make them feel better about what they were doing. The whole “bbw” movement has become a big phenomena online and socially but it’s all about sex and not dating or marriage and that bothers me because I know my worth but other big girls have yet to realize theirs. Love your blog BTW new to the site. 🙂

  17. dfsd

    Do you fat women even realize how fucking ugly you are? I mean I almost vommitted looking at your picture, you fat ass.

    LOSE SOME FUCKING WEIGHT, YOU DISGUSTING FAT COW!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Disgusted.

      Why the hell are you even reading this blog you hateful piece of sh!t?! No, sociopath would be a better term. Imagine how much you could be picked apart if you weren’t anonymous….loser.

    2. KallieM

      This is a positive space for women. Shame on you for speaking to women in such a degrading way. Fat or not, we’re all human and deserve respect.

  18. sfs@gmail.com

    Do you fat women even realize how fucking ugly you are? I mean I almost vommitted looking at your picture, you fat ass.
    LOSE SOME FUCKING WEIGHT, YOU DISGUSTING FAT COW!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. disgusted1234@yahoo.com

      Why the hell are you even reading this blog you hateful piece of sh!t?! No, sociopath would be a better term. Imagine how much you could be picked apart if you weren’t anonymous….loser.

    2. kallie.marie.webber@gmail.com

      This is a positive space for women. Shame on you for speaking to women in such a degrading way. Fat or not, we’re all human and deserve respect.

  19. samille ganges

    No I don’t like it. I agree that it’s used in more of a fetish way, and men want to fuck bbw’s but love someone more socially acceptable. Agreed its awkward and somehow it still makes me feel like there’s something wrong with me, when being called that. It may turn into one of those words that started out as one thing and ended up meaning another!

  20. sganges1983@gmail.com

    No I don’t like it. I agree that it’s used in more of a fetish way, and men want to fuck bbw’s but love someone more socially acceptable. Agreed its awkward and somehow it still makes me feel like there’s something wrong with me, when being called that. It may turn into one of those words that started out as one thing and ended up meaning another!

  21. droid

    It’s all about how YOU perceive yourself. I don’t see myself as plus size, bbw, voluptuous, curvy, and all of these synonyms to describe us. I just see me as, well me. A woman with a round belly, a more prominent bohonkus, with hips and thighs. If some people (more not than often) find it attractive then great. If others don’t then fine by me, it doesn’t bother me one bit. Personally, I don’t know the difference between them since they’re all interchangeable at any moment in time, but as our cultural lexicon changes so will attitudes, both positively and negatively.

  22. joyefuller@hotmail.com

    It’s all about how YOU perceive yourself. I don’t see myself as plus size, bbw, voluptuous, curvy, and all of these synonyms to describe us. I just see me as, well me. A woman with a round belly, a more prominent bohonkus, with hips and thighs. If some people (more not than often) find it attractive then great. If others don’t then fine by me, it doesn’t bother me one bit. Personally, I don’t know the difference between them since they’re all interchangeable at any moment in time, but as our cultural lexicon changes so will attitudes, both positively and negatively.

  23. Leanne Rochester

    I agree with Atmikha. I’ve only come across the expression in a sexual connotation, it’s not something that anyone with half a brain would say to anyone, anymore that you would call someone with a double zero figure ‘superskinny’.

  24. leannerochester7@gmail.com

    I agree with Atmikha. I’ve only come across the expression in a sexual connotation, it’s not something that anyone with half a brain would say to anyone, anymore that you would call someone with a double zero figure ‘superskinny’.

  25. birdlove.ag@gmail.com

    GREAT BLOG! The thing I’ve never understood is what weight do you have to be in order to fall into that category?

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