Does Our Weight Affect Our Friendships? | Being Mary Jane Big Girl Recap

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I couldn’t give Being Mary Jane two hours of my time yesterday, so I just finished watching the second half of the finale tonight. If you don’t watch the show, I’ll give you a quick recap.

Wait– are you judging me for watching it? *blush*

All you need to know is that Mary Jane’s ex boyfriend found out that she stole his semen and froze it in the hopes of getting pregnant via turkey baster. (omg, you really are judging me for watching this show, aren’t you?)

Being Mary Jane Big Girl

Anyway, Mary Jane accuses her plus size friend, Nichelle (played by Brely Evans) of being the one who told him. As they argue back and forth, Nichelle says something interesting

“What I am to you is a non-threatening, big jolly girl you call when you want to have a good time and make you feel better about yourself!”

We focus so much about how being a Plus Size Princess affects our dating relationships, but what about our platonic female friendships? I’ve written this post about friends who gave me backwards compliments. I’ve written this post about my friends letting their boyfriends sleep at my house alone (cause who would cheat with a big girl??)

During #PSPfit bootcamp we talk about what its like to lose weight and how some skinny friends aren’t as eager to go out with you when you’re not the big girl anymore.

All of these things are easy to discuss after the fact, I think about some girls I was cool with in college; they would come to my dorm with boyfriend problems, call me to see if I wanted to do a late night ice-cream run, but on a Friday night when it was time to turn up at the club and meet guys, I was rarely invited. For those people I was always the maternal figure, the good listening ear… the one they called when they wanted to talk through problems, but not the one they called for a fun girls night out.

Do some people keep us around to make themselves feel better?

When I left college, I still had relationships where I wondered if I wasn’t fully embraced as a friend because of my weight. Those girls were the ones who carefully explained that Robert probably wasn’t attracted to me when I was in the grey area with him.

The good thing is, just like a character on a show can be recast, we can recast the friends in our lives who aren’t good for us. Friendships are so much more nuanced than romantic relationships, but they can be just as frustrating and painful. I think its important for us to talk about how plus size women can demand the best in any relationship we have.

Thoughts??

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  • Robin Michael Rush

    wow, this discussion hit home for me. I’m in a very common situation where the fat girl has a good shoulder to cry on and gives wisdom to men and women. The fat girl becomes a life coach, sitting in the bleachers, watching her friends on the field do the relationship hustle. A man cries on my shoulder about how women have done him wrong and he just wants a good woman — what am I? I’m everything you claim you want — in a bigger package — minus the diva attitude. Well, no more free advice, the big girl has taken down her shingle.

    • thebiggirlblog

      Ah yes, its even worse when it comes from male platonic friendships. Cause lets be honest, its so easy for us to fall for them while they’re having their hearts broken by someone else. I’ve SO been there…

    • Lona nods

      so true, you said it all. i have been in that same situation. whew. i need to take my shingle down too.

  • Robin Michael Rush

    wow, this discussion hit home for me. I’m in a very common situation where the fat girl has a good shoulder to cry on and gives wisdom to men and women. The fat girl becomes a life coach, sitting in the bleachers, watching her friends on the field do the relationship hustle. A man cries on my shoulder about how women have done him wrong and he just wants a good woman — what am I? I’m everything you claim you want — in a bigger package — minus the diva attitude. Well, no more free advice, the big girl has taken down her shingle.

    • thebiggirlblog

      Ah yes, its even worse when it comes from male platonic friendships. Cause lets be honest, its so easy for us to fall for them while they’re having their hearts broken by someone else. I’ve SO been there…

    • Lona nods

      so true, you said it all. i have been in that same situation. whew. i need to take my shingle down too.

  • Guest

    I have many friends I have removed from my life for this similar feeling. We are valuable as people, not just used as the chubby friend who understands their pain. I think that this does touch base on a very real point.

    • thebiggirlblog

      Yes!

  • Guest

    I have many friends I have removed from my life for this similar feeling. We are valuable as people, not just used as the chubby friend who understands their pain. I think that this does touch base on a very real point.

    • thebiggirlblog

      Yes!

  • Amanda

    I have removed many friends from my life for a similar situation as this. They were users in general. Now, can I pinpoint that my weight played a factor, I have a decent feeling it did. They saw me as someone who understood their pain of rejection often.

  • Amanda

    I have removed many friends from my life for a similar situation as this. They were users in general. Now, can I pinpoint that my weight played a factor, I have a decent feeling it did. They saw me as someone who understood their pain of rejection often.

  • Lucy Dorphin

    I have had friends who I felt like “the token fat chick” with. You know, not “threatening” enough to ‘steal their man,” and good for a joke / advice.

    Nowadays, I have much better, more positive friends who I don’t feel that insecurity with. I’m glad to have gotten rid of those people who hold me back from being the body-positive, fat-bulous woman I am.

    • thebiggirlblog

      Preach!!!

  • Lucy Dorphin

    I have had friends who I felt like “the token fat chick” with. You know, not “threatening” enough to ‘steal their man,” and good for a joke / advice.

    Nowadays, I have much better, more positive friends who I don’t feel that insecurity with. I’m glad to have gotten rid of those people who hold me back from being the body-positive, fat-bulous woman I am.

    • thebiggirlblog

      Preach!!!

  • BlueIris

    I had a different situation with a friend that I had known since I was 5. She had bariatric surgery and lost a ton of weight. All of a sudden she had a new lease on life that I guess didn’t include me. We slowly started doing less and less together until I just gave up trying which led to us not even speaking for a year and half. About 6 months ago she contacted me asking to meet for coffee. She apologized and we’re working on it, but our 30 year friendship will never be the same as it was once.

    • thebiggirlblog

      I. Am. Speechless.

      Never thought about that side of things… You’re a good friend for sitting down with her and trying to mend things xoxo

  • BlueIris

    I had a different situation with a friend that I had known since I was 5. She had bariatric surgery and lost a ton of weight. All of a sudden she had a new lease on life that I guess didn’t include me. We slowly started doing less and less together until I just gave up trying which led to us not even speaking for a year and half. About 6 months ago she contacted me asking to meet for coffee. She apologized and we’re working on it, but our 30 year friendship will never be the same as it was once.

    • thebiggirlblog

      I. Am. Speechless.

      Never thought about that side of things… You’re a good friend for sitting down with her and trying to mend things xoxo

  • Medina Turner

    just watched a few episodes last night because of this post. I must say that the mary jane seems like a awful egocentric person so no wonder that she treats her friend like that. I mean people that treat you like a second class friend because of your size i don’t think that they are very nice people in general. I’v had this happend to me when i was younger but it came from a fellow big girl. when her skinny friends didn’t have time for her she would call me, but as soon as they came by she would make fun of me in front of them.. lie said she couldn’t meet up, but then i would see her with them.. i would never stand for that shit these days!! nobody should. whenever i see her around town these day i ignore her, and i swear i see shame in her eyes when she looks at me..

    • thebiggirlblog

      Wow… Yeah, the characters are not people I’d ever want to know in real life

  • Medina Turner

    just watched a few episodes last night because of this post. I must say that the mary jane seems like a awful egocentric person so no wonder that she treats her friend like that. I mean people that treat you like a second class friend because of your size i don’t think that they are very nice people in general. I’v had this happend to me when i was younger but it came from a fellow big girl. when her skinny friends didn’t have time for her she would call me, but as soon as they came by she would make fun of me in front of them.. lie said she couldn’t meet up, but then i would see her with them.. i would never stand for that shit these days!! nobody should. whenever i see her around town these day i ignore her, and i swear i see shame in her eyes when she looks at me..

    • thebiggirlblog

      Wow… Yeah, the characters are not people I’d ever want to know in real life

  • siamesesunday

    Over the past two years, I have lost over 125 pounds in weight and a couple of hundreds of pounds in lost friendships. As my physical and mental health changed in a more positive direction, my best friend (who was always tiny and petitie) made it more and more apparent that she was very uncomfortable with my transformation. I think in unhealthy friendships, there lies an undercurrent of competition and she found it difficult to be around me as the proverbial playing field seemed to even out. There were some other friendships that didn’t last as well from women who were also heavier, who then seemed to resent the fact that I was losing weight while they weren’t. I no longer fit in their club. While these situations and the loss of these friendships hurt, I focus now on cultivating healthy relationships in all aspects of my life, whether it is my relationships with men, friends, food, and even myself.

    • thebiggirlblog

      This comment made me tear up a bit… I’m sorry you’re getting it from both ends of the spectrum. Hopefully, you’re finding better relationships are you move forward? Congrats on everything you’ve accomplished! xoxo

  • siamesesunday

    Over the past two years, I have lost over 125 pounds in weight and a couple of hundreds of pounds in lost friendships. As my physical and mental health changed in a more positive direction, my best friend (who was always tiny and petitie) made it more and more apparent that she was very uncomfortable with my transformation. I think in unhealthy friendships, there lies an undercurrent of competition and she found it difficult to be around me as the proverbial playing field seemed to even out. There were some other friendships that didn’t last as well from women who were also heavier, who then seemed to resent the fact that I was losing weight while they weren’t. I no longer fit in their club. While these situations and the loss of these friendships hurt, I focus now on cultivating healthy relationships in all aspects of my life, whether it is my relationships with men, friends, food, and even myself.

    • thebiggirlblog

      This comment made me tear up a bit… I’m sorry you’re getting it from both ends of the spectrum. Hopefully, you’re finding better relationships are you move forward? Congrats on everything you’ve accomplished! xoxo

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  • Gab

    This kind of made me cry. I call my life a “dramedy” (it’s even in my own blog title, heh), but in truth, I think of my life as someone else’s movie, a movie in which I’m a supporting character. I’ve described myself as the “chubby sidekick” so many times before, I can’t remember when it started. Because I’ve always been the token fat girl in the bunch, the one they come to when they need to cry, need advice, need help with something, but that they don’t ask over for that cookout or the trip to the club. And they usually don’t ask me to go clothing shopping unless they need help finding something specific (because I *do* have great taste and am a wizard at making cute ensembles, regardless of body size); on the rare occasion I have the chance to browse for myself, I’m usually by myself in the plus section, and always alone in plus-sized stores. And I never “get the guy,” I help the other person do that, giving them sage words of wisdom during the part in the movie when the leading lady is confused about her leading man.

    I don’t really know what else I want to say, except thanks. I guess it’s good to know I’m not out of my mind, and maybe I can try to figure something out, filter the bad eggs or… I dunno.

    • Niknack

      Wow, Gab. I really feel like I could have wrote your entire post. Literally. I do get asked to help pick out clothes for friends, because like you have fabulous taste when it comes to shopping. My love for fashion even lead me to earn a degree in Fashion Marketing from the Parson’s School for Design. I won’t regale with looks (classmates) and differential treatment (professors) I was given while attending that school. I graduated anyway, but I have let my size and lack of self esteem, stop me from pursuing a career in fashion…for that I am ashamed.

      I want to end my comment the way you did and thank you for your posting because it really resonated and I too will figure it out. I remain a work in progress….but I am slowly learning that I have to stop settling in life. That includes my friendships, romantic relationships, and hopefully my career.

  • leashyann

    I don’t think I’ve ever not been invited out (they all know I prefer not to go out anyway, but always invite me, about 80% of the time I turn them down), but on the rare occasion I’ve actually gone out and got hit on, while a thin friend of mine did not, it was always “Let’s get out of here, this place is boring”, “There are no good looking guys here”, or just this evil glare making them look like Hades a la Disney animated film ‘Hercules’. For a girl like myself who rarely, if ever, gets hit on, it would always hurt my feelings that they’d basically make me leave since they were normally my ride. If I were to pull that when they were getting hit on, however…oh man, I would’ve never heard the end of it. So yes, I definitely think we’re intended to be the ‘prop’ to make the ‘skinny friend’ look better.

  • Sheena DemiBruel Brown

    I have thin friends, I have plus sized friends, I have a substantial amount of male friends who also come in thin and plus sizes, and I have the older crowd of friends (people who are 15 years my senior and more). I realized I attracted a lot of friends by being extremely confident WHILE I WAS BIG. My friends didn’t see it as a flaw because I choose not to see it as a flaw. They took me places, wanted me to go to clubs and parties with them and wanted me to go on the late-night ice cream runs. Honestly? I hate clubs. Hate em’ can’t stand em’. I’m far more comfortable sitting at a bar, maintaining my good looks (before the sweat ruins it) , and dancing to a very selective range of songs when I get into the mood. Being that I’m not the friend that enjoys going out naturally my friends didn’t invite me to clubs anymore, but I think I struggle with finding friends who would want to do other things (hiking, camping, poetry slams) I don’t care what just different. Oh that was a bit besides the point huh? Okay basically, when my confidence levels were at an all time high and I learned to appreciate my curves I attracted friends who also appreciated my curves. Therefore I wasn’t the “mama” figure (although I will honestly admit to being extremely maternal), I wasn’t just the “fat friend”, I was Rasheena the “dope’d” out “swagged” out girl who just so happened to have some fluff.