When I was in college, my ex used to try to make me feel better about my body in order to “recover” from my bulimia. He would tell me how horrible it was, refuse to kiss me, discuss the image issues people face because of the fashion, film and beauty industries, repeatedly told me that my weight didn’t matter, that he didn’t notice weight, and so on. All of these things were fairly ineffective because I was attached to my disorder quite firmly, but still he tried. Then, early one morning, he sent me the link to a porn video with a message saying, “Jerked off to this last night. Sometimes a girl with some meat on her bones is a good thing.”
While I appreciated his, uhm, effort, I absolutely hate the phrase “meat on her bones.” I hate it, I hate it, I hate it. It’s uncomfortable, inappropriate and not a remotely consoling thing to say to somebody who already thinks of her body fat as being this horrifying excess that taunts as it swings from her own own figure (at least, that was the fucked up way I viewed it until I got better).
Rather than make me feel good about myself, it just made me feel confused. So, my weight doesn’t matter and he doesn’t notice weight, but “sometimes” a female with body fat is all right? What about the rest of the time? But that’s just my own peeve with his individual phrasing surrounding my main dislike in this sense: “meat on her bones.”
There have been plenty of other men I’ve met who use the same phrase, often in one of two ways: (1) In an attempt to make a woman feel “better” about being heavier than a standard model or (2) to sound as though he’s “open-minded” and “not like other guys.” Look, the whole “most guys are dicks but I’m totally not” thing is a worn-out identity card to play as it is. And if you compare women’s bodies to animal flesh consumed by human beings, I am fairly certain you are not different from the people you wish to set yourself apart from.