I matched with Chris on Hinge and he messaged me fairly quickly after to start our chat. Eager, among other things, is a great way to describe him, as his responses were prompt and he either understood all my jokes or Googled them to be able to understand (Including a very niche reference to Nick Nolte’s mug shot, see below.) when I was referencing how horrible photos of me pre-braces are (braces were a turning point and opened a new world of eyebrow waxing, hair straightening and proper diets (hi anorexia, how are ya?)) So all things seemed to be advancing well.
Chris was lovely, very warm and very open – something that proved to be a game changer for him. We had finally started to have more detailed conversations, moving past our prompts and photos on the app and into actual facets of our lives, when he made an irredeemable mistake.
I had mentioned that I had an eating disorder as a teenager and was still struggling to stay on top of it, when he decided to detail his beliefs on body image and weight – something that I find not only extremely triggering, but also rude and inexcusable. I had not prompted this, beyond responding to him asking about my diet and gym regime, mentioning I don’t try fad diets or do anything extreme because I am currently working on a regime that keeps me at the level I need to be to be healthy. I spoke about body image and body confidence, bringing up that it was less about positivity and more about acceptance – acceptance that I won’t always be happy and I won’t always be where I need to be, but that as long as I am healthy I know I am safe and ok and can work through any issues that I may or may not have. Chris went in hard on this.
Ok. So before I jump into what went down next, I thought I’d jump in and say – I don’t preach body acceptance or positivity, I believe in self love and accepting that while you may not always be where you want to be, as long as you’re healthy you are doing brilliantly. I do, however, believe that people like this do not deserve to have a voice- not about me. Not about Lizzo. Not about anyone. They are harmful, rude and downright ignorant.
“I don’t think that is at ALL a healthy idea of life, you are not safe if you are overweight. Take that fat singer, that one everyone’s obsessed with, you know? Hair toss nail girl. She should not be in the public eye until she’s been on a diet and into a gym, that is not at all what little girls should grow up aspiring to be – a fat, ugly, unsuccessful woman with no talent. Girls should be looking up to people who commit themselves to hard work and to looking good, that’s the only way to be truly happy, to work on yourself first before you give yourself to someone else. I have an eating disorder, I’m bulimic. I know I do it so that I’m in the best condition I can be at gym, I absorb the nutrients I need without keeping in the harmful parts and I feel more in place at the gym as a result. I’m never bloated, I never struggle with the extra kilos because I control it. Anyone who thinks that being overweight is beautiful should be stopped, anyone who makes plus-sized clothing should be banned, we should be lowering our obesity rates instead of perpetuating this idea that everyone is beautiful the way they are. The only way you will ever be beautiful or learn to love yourself is to work on yourself until you fit normal clothes.”
A’ight, bud. That’s enough out of you for one day. Wild, right?
I was very lucky I opened the message as he sent it, as I saw the typing dots and knew I had to act quickly.
“So you’re telling me that you shouldn’t love yourself if you’re even a little bit overweight? I shouldn’t feel accomplished if I lose weight but I’m still over a certain size? You’re seriously sitting here promoting the dangerous idea that you’ll never be loved unless you’re skinny? Really?? There’s so many things wrong with that I don’t even know where to start. Lizzo, that’s her name, is not only a talented artist but an inspiration to all people, not just girls. She proves that you can be an amazing performer, a successful and talented writer and an all round incredible person without looking like society’s “ideal” woman. She IS beautiful, she SHOULD be accepted, and she SHOULD be given a platform to reach all the people, all the children, struggling with body image issues, with the idea of “imperfection.” and those who feel like they can’t be loved. Lizzo teaches you to love yourself, and if you can’t then she sure as hell will. You can’t sit here and tell me I can’t love myself unless I lose weight – you are part of the problem, you are part of the reason so many people NEED someone like her to lift us up. Take your bullshit attitude elsewhere, bud, that shit doesn’t fly around here.”
Chris, funnily enough, didn’t seem to like this. He flew off the handle about me daring to stand up to him, and every message was met with, you guessed it, Lizzo lyrics. Every message a twist of the knife, as he realized I was not going to listen to his bullshit. He tried to contend that as a “survivor” of Bulimia, he had the right to tell people what they should do to improve. Honey, this isn’t Destiny’s Child, you are not a survivor, you are someone who throws up food to fit in better at the gym.
After much back and forth about what a twat I felt he was being, I blocked him – but not after telling him to go suck a fat one, but that he shouldn’t swallow in case those extra calories came back to bite him. Chris is not the kind of person I ever wish to encounter again, and while I understand he has an eating disorder and isn’t in the best place, mentally, to be having this conversation – neither was I. He told me if I stayed fat, I would never be loved – 2 of my biggest fears. I’m also not “fat”! I’m well within the “healthy” body weight and BMI for someone my age and height. His hateful lecture absolutely spewed entitlement and arrogance, as he felt the absolute need to rip through me and my beliefs about my weight. He dismissed my progress because of my chubby cheeks, told me to give up on the coffee for the staining on my teeth (ex-fucking-cuse me I give up coffee for no one.) Even suggested lip filler, an eye lift and a boob job so that I hit ideal face shape and boob size (apparently they looked “non-existent” in my pictures.) Chris was manipulative and looking for the next girl he could mould into his perfect woman. (Or maybe he had a really good deal with a cosmetic surgeon? Bring in 10 girls and your abdominal implants are free. Mark Sloane called, he doesn’t want your human-garbage-fire of a self in his clinic, thanks.)
Dissing me is one thing, but when it’s Lizzo, the 2019 Entertainer of the Year, with sell out albums and concerts, who built herself up and worked extremely hard to get to where she is? Nah. And, because of her weight? Nah, bitch. Lizzo is an incredible inspiration, someone to be admired and not hated, someone who deserves all the praise in the world for her killer songs and work ethic, I’m sitting here listening to Juice as we speak, pumping me up enough that I forget what a horrific experience this was.
Y’all wanna know the real kicker? Chris is a Personal Trainer at a gym in my area. What a fucking flog.