The Times Between 79.

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I’m getting to the point where I don’t even know where the world stands on the body positivity thing anymore. All discourse is so cartoonishly hyperbolic I can barely believe it’s not parody. For my part I’m a fan of big girls, but I also understand the reality that it’s not healthy. I’m living that shit every day at this point. I get that there’s a spectrum and other factors and genetics, so whatever. I don’t want to have some daytime talk show debate about it where it ends with chairs thrown around. Like, if you don’t know a person just don’t bring it up. They almost assuredly have people in their lives who they can talk to about it, or are forced to, or whatever. Just mind your business. Your average fat person is well aware they’re fat and you don’t have to point it out to them. If they aren’t aware you trying to “help” isn’t going to do anything anyway. If you just want to be mean about it because it pleases you I can’t help in any way, so do whatever you want. You were never not going to do that anyway.

From where I sit in the writer’s… spot on the floor… It seems like it would be nice to feel wanted. It’s not something I’ve ever been capable of feeling because ultimately I hate myself deep deep down inside and wouldn’t believe it even if it was true. It seems like it would be nice to feel that way and it could move someone to feeling romantic feelings.

I used to get messages from time to time from women who thought it was nice to see girls of all shapes being objects of affection, so I’m just going to keep assuming that someone, somewhere, feels happy and “seen” as the kids say because I like to write stories where fat chicks get to be happy too.

If nothing else I’m glad there are people who enjoy these tales of my thinly veiled fetish.

Should you want to support this crusade please consider using the links above to do so. Perhaps Subscribestar or Patreon? Hopefully one, or both, of them will be capable of processing their pledges reliably at some point. May we all live to see that glorious day.

For now let us plan to meet here again on Monday and see what new things I make up for your amusement. See you then, you sexy, sexy, people who I’m in a parasocial relationship with.

48 Comments

No one knows where body positivity stands anymore. I figure I ain’t getting paid to make unsolicited commentary about people’s weight, and they ain’t getting paid to hear it, and we are all just sentient cucumbers with anxiety.

I think I’ve been salty for long enough that I’m more of a sentient pickle with anxiety at this point

So she thinks John was chasing?

I think it was more that she could tell that he liked her in spite of her figure rather than even partly because of it, whereas Reggie liked her overall, figure included.

John likes her overall as well. She’s the first woman he’s fallen for, and it feels like Alex doesn’t know what she’s talking about and she seems oblivious to his feelings.

To be fair, Jon had no initial interest in Alex. They met up when he wanted to use her computer, and while she was head-over-heels smitten right out the gate, Jon was just being Jon and did not view her as a romantic interest at this point; specifically having admitted not being into big girls elsewhere. Jon came around, but only even realized that he’d come around after Reggie shot his shot.

Reggie’s interest was immediate; he didn’t need convincing, or to see someone else shooting their shot to realize they wish they’d taken the chance. He went right for it after the very first conversation and has been interested every step of the way.

Yeah, that’s what I meant by “in spite of her appearance”, she has a body type he has explicitly stated he isn’t attracted to in the past, and while he (presumably) came around on her appearance after he realized their emotional connection, her body isn’t what turns him on about her.

Even if he finds her physically attractive *now*, that’s a fundamentally dependent on her personality and intelligence, meaning he doesn’t find her “sexy”.

Reggie on the other hand finds her sexy, AND he’s strongly attracted to her personality and intelligence. Alex naturally finds this preferable.

We haven’t seen John in the number of years before he appeared on panel. He may have fallen for someone hard before.

But, agreed that we haven’t seen him like this before. He’s a self-styled ladies man (per the cast page) and is used to not being in over his head emotionally.

On the whole body positivity thing, at least insofar as attraction is concerned, I think both sides kinda blow things out of proportion. Like, the fat-shamers say that fat people are just unattractive to anybody and the pro-positivity camp say that fat people are attractive and anyone who disagrees is wrong or perverted or brainwashed or whatever.

Personally, I feel both sides miss the point that what a person is or is not attracted to is entirely not under their conscious control, and everyone has a unique range of what they are capable of being attracted to (the strike zone, as I’ve heard it referred to) and a unique set of preferences within that range that make up their ideal. Some people are only attracted to certain hair colors, some people are only attracted to specific body types, etc. Some strike zones are broader than others. The societal standards for attractiveness are (probably) based on an average of what most people find attractive, basically said ideal falls within the most strike zones, which is why it’s so specific, as it’s basically the point in a venn diagram with millions of circles with the most intersections.

I wish I knew of a way to broaden one’s strike zone, as mine is rather narrower than is optimal considering how I stack up against society’s standards for attractiveness (I float around a 4 out of 10 most days, and in the tinder era of dating it’s virtually impossible to find someone as a man if you’re less than an 8 or so). I wanna find someone and if I could be less picky about what I find attractive then finding someone would be significantly easier, but try as I might, that just isn’t something I can just decide.

Everyone is somebody’s type, the tricky bit is finding someone for whom you’re their type that is also your type. This is easy for people who fit society’s standards, but for the rest of us it’s an uphill battle.

God makes women of all shapes, sizes and colors, because He makes men who like different shapes, sizes and colors.

Do what you can to take care of the body He gave you, and accept that as His gift of life. Self-loathing is destructive no matter how it’s expressed.

In my view, Tinder has made things much worse precisely because it prioritizes looks excessively. I’ve developed an interest in women I initially found to be unattractive. Granted, there is a limit, like you say. That’s just the sad reality. But spending time with people, I’ve grown to find some women better-looking when I’ve seen different expressions, different outfits, different behaviors. I have also had women drop in my scale–whether they only look good with 4 pounds of makeup or whether they turn out to be a horrid bitch, well, my interest dissipates.

Exactly, I’ve been on various dating sites since I turned 18 awhile back (I’ll be 27 in two comic updates) and initially OK Cupid was, IMO, the best option, since it had plenty of prompts to fill bios with useful information and had a bunch of questions you could answer that would help filter people with similar mindsets and points of view. I had lots of good conversations and one actual date from OK Cupid.

Then they changed their system so that you are required to have mutual likes to message someone, and this basically turned it into yet another worse tinder (worse because there were significantly fewer users, not because tinder has a better system, since it doesn’t). IIRC the stated reason was that women were being inundated with messages from men they weren’t interested in. Personally, I think the real reason for the change is because it’s easier to monetize their service if it’s tied into likes since before the change you could just ignore the like system entirely and get full functionality out of the site using a free account.

Interestingly enough, OK Cupid did a lot of scientific studies to try and optimize their service back in the day, and one that stood out to me was when they did a survey asking male users to rate female users on a scale of 1-10 with 5 being average based purely on physical attractiveness given their photos (meaning, you only see the pics, not the bio or personality questionaire) and they found that the results fit a standard bell curve, with most women being a 5 and about as many 10s as 1s, suggesting that men tended to have a good idea of what the “average” woman looks like, and rated women relative to that. When they did the same study with women rating men, the data was HEAVILY skewed low, with something like 80% of men being less than a 5 and only a handful getting actually GOOD ratings. This suggests that, despite steriotypes that go back AT LEAST a century, women are actually the ones with unrealistic expectations for men, and not the other way around (either that or male users tended to have a better understanding of the rating system, but personally I find that rather unlikely since women would either have to be significantly less intelligent or less educated on average for that to be the case, and we know women aren’t less intelligent and in this day and age women usually get the same education as men at least until college).

All of the ladies in your web comic are extremely attractive.

I will admit that Carol and Alex are the sort of ladies who turn my head at first sight, but personality holds more attention in the long run and all the ladies in the story have loads of great personality.

I always look forward to updates.
Thank you for entertaining us so well.

I had to stop following some one I went to school with on social media because they would repost the dumbest takes from the fat doctor UK. That woman should have her medical license revoked for encouraging people to foster disease and I knew if I kept seeing it I was going to snap eventually.

Yeah, don’t be mean to people over how they look but a doctor outright encouraging people to suffer and die from preventable disease is reprehensible.

/shrug

Body size is just a feature, kind of like eye color, hair color, skin tone, breast size, *ahem* backside size, etc.

Some of us will find short and large attractive, others will be drawn to tall and skinny, others (hello!) really don’t care, because other features are more important to us.

I kind of like the idea that attractive features don’t come alone, but in packages, e.g. this eye color + that skin tone + some hair color = gorgeous . . . Body size/shape is just another feature in the cocktail.

FWIW, Carol looks like my wife, and packs about the same attitude.

My wife was much like Alex, in looks, EQ, bookishness, and simmering “under the surface” raciness, but with a bit of Carol’s attitude thrown in.

First, Alex seems to be in things for the long haul no matter who.

Second, I’m thinking back to Alex and Maddie in the arc (/comics1/1471-battle-of-wits and more). “This doesn’t have to be another disaster” sticks out conspicuously and makes me wonder what that incident was. It also makes me wonder if Maddie is the cast member who is most likely to have a fling.

Third, given Reggie’s attraction to smart women, I see him as treating anyone he’s interested in with no difference to body size.

Not gonna lie. I still don’t see Reggie/Alex lasting long, and her getting over John and pursuing feels forced.

We shall see.

I am interested in how whatever hookups and flings occur in the Failureverse* we don’t see them on panel. Over how many weeks in-universe we’ve seen four couples get together in a fairly slow, measured way.

(*Is that what we’re calling it?)

Body positivity hasn’t really disappeared or anything.

The thing I find wild is I see Chads saying “they are really unhealthy,” but then I read nearly every day about a Chad who lifted weights and ran 2 miles every day died of a heart attack or cancer or something despite their best efforts to be “healthier.” In some cases, young athletes die faster than regular, overweight young people.

The reality is you don’t know when you’re going to die, or how, and you don’t know what kind of pain you’ll be in way down the line for whatever you think is healthy or not healthy for you today. Problem is we try to overthink how we’re going to survive in the future, but it’s really not on our terms to decide that. We can try, but in the end you’ll be like Travis K. who died today falling off a bridge in the cold (he was 28, healthy and went to the gym).

There are people who have smoked HEAVILY every day for over 50 years and who are by far healthier than people half their age who take care of themselves. These outliers do not mean we should be encouraging smoking.

You don’t get to determine what cards you are dealt in life, but you can decide what you do with them. Fat shaming is bad, but so is fat positivity. I’ve heard that real gym rats love when fat people consistently show up, not because they’ll get thin, but because they are showing an effort to get healthy. And honestly, gaining muscle doesn’t make you thin or make you lose weight, muscle weighs more than fat.

Yep. I’ve had a few acquaintances who were overweight and made a few changes to things.

The mean results tend to “My doctor likes the changes (blood sugar cholesterol VO max) even though I’m only losing a bit of weight”. Or “I’m still a tubby-looking guy at the gym/at the lap pool, but my body is so much more capable now and things are easier.”

Not to mention the emotional lift and head-clearing.

I am on the autism spectrum. My favourite body type would be anyone expressing interest. If it were not for some women being extremely forthright and uncommonly bold I would never have been in a relationship. However several times during my long life some have insisted that for whatever reason that I was to be an object of affection. I have totally aged out and am a hermit these last 2 decades but as stated entirely due to these women I have known some delights and I have 2 sons from one of them. Blessed beyond all expectations I am. Cheers ~ulrich

I feel like Alex is in denial about her lingering feelings for John, and this assumption that he wouldn’t have been happy with her seems somewhat insulting.
Poor John. He’s broken heartedly pining for her, and she says she’s done with him.

I wouldn’t interpret what Alex said as being “done with him”, but she doesn’t know if she could reciprocate the feelings he has for her. Not properly, anyway. He was smitten with her, and she was taken by that, but…

I guess with Reggie she clicks better with him. Would the same have worked with John? Who knows? Sometimes even the people involved have no idea, for better or worse.

SHE was smitten with HIM, while HE wasn’t sure if he could ever truly reciprocate, which is why she isn’t certain it ever would have worked and would have left her unhappy, not getting as much back as she puts in.

It is possible to be fat and fit. But most people who are fat are not fit.

The junk science that is BMI isn’t helping matters either. When your scale says that professional athletes are obese you inherently invalidate your entire metric.

Not to mention how they arbitrarily moved all the cut-offs back in the late 90’s. When you hear about how much more obese we are because the BMI average has ticked up over the last 40 years, you have to remember that millions of healthy-weight people were transformed into overweight folk overnight, without gaining a pound, and many merely overweight people were suddenly obese. Also the fact that we’re getting older; people get fatter as they get older, unless they are sickly, this is normal. Really, being thinner should be seen as a byproduct of getting healthier, not the primary end-point.

Hating on fat people is obviously pointless and destructive. If anything, it makes the problem worse; people MAY respond to gentle nudging, but try to throw them off a cliff and they’ll attempt to claw your eyes out in response, even if the bottom of the cliff is magic life-improving…stuff (I did not think this metaphor all the way through). Point is, giving people constant shit just makes them angry and resentful and then they go home and drink/smoke/eat/watch porn/whatever they probably should stop doing, even MORE to de-stress, and out of spite.

That said, the positivity movement is absolutely baffling. It had a good start, because I don’t agree with the idea that body fat percentage is a measure of health (one of the healthiest women I ever knew, who ate a very carefully balanced diet, had a wide range of physical activity, and avoided basically all vices, was on the thicc side). Take ten people of the same height, give them the exact same diet and exercise routine, and you’ll end up with 10 different weights. We all vary. But man, that does not mean 400 pounds is healthy unless you’re Bob Sapp. And it certainly doesn’t mean you can shame people into being attracted to you. Nor does it mean things like a healthy diet are irrelevant (because even if you’re heavy, eating healthy is better than not eating healthy). Telling people to be unhealthy, miserable, and lonely, is messed up, and there’s a particularly cruel irony to doing it mostly to women precisely in the name of saving them from the ravages of social pressure making them unhealthy and miserable. Although I do find it funny that I almost never see fat positivity aimed at men. Should I be offended or thankful that they never tried to gaslight me into not taking better care of the sack of flesh I’m momentarily animating?

I think it would help if more focus was put to helping fat people lose weight, and not just yelling at them for not being models. Most fat people can never be THIN, not without developing cancer or something. But making it easier to eat healthy and work out in a way that isn’t embarrassing would be beneficial at helping them obtain a more manageable size. Sky-rocketing commodity prices is NOT conducive to a healthier society, for example. High-stress in general is terrible. Maybe we should stop trying to instigate WW3 and inflating the money supply like it’s going out of style (by which I mean my government in the USA).

To me it seems like though Alex is happy with what she and Reggie have, she realizes there’s always going to be a “What Could Have Been” with John. Though I don’t see her wanting to end things with Reggie, she did crush on John first and when she fell, she fell hard. Lingering feelings aren’t just let go of, hence why they’re called lingering.

Would a relationship with John and Alex have lasted? Hard to say since it seems more and more likely that it will be an impossibility now (which I have absolutely no problem with), but both can use the experience as a lesson in the ways of love that can benefit the both of them with their respective Boothe sibling suitors.

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