What About Weight?

Am I too fat to attract a husband? If I lose weight, will men notice me? What if I can’t lose weight; am I doomed to life long singleness?

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These are a sample of the body questions that seem to occupy the most-often-asked category on Boundless and Women Praying Boldly. I suspect in another era, that honor would have gone to the dowry question: Will my three cows be enough to attract a man? What if father’s barn burns again; will my fiance still want me? Will my brothers getting all the wealth make me a spinster?

Thankfully our weight is (a bit) easier to adjust than the count of cattle. But I think it’s harder to be single and heavy because it’s so personal; so close to our identity. And in our culture, it’s easy to assume that a few extra pounds equals no dates. But is it true?

In today’s question, one woman writes,

I have struggled with my weight my whole life — losing weight and gaining it back. It has wreaked havoc on my body in the way of sagging skin that cannot be fixed except for surgery. I have always been overweight and despite my efforts to lose weight, I never did reach a healthy weight range according to the Body Mass Index. I try to take care of my body and watch what I’m eating as best as I can but it seems that I will always be overweight and certainly my body will always bear the effects of being overweight.

To which I say,

Does it help to be beautiful and thin when you’re hoping to attract a husband? It doesn’t hurt. But thankfully, mercifully, it’s not essential. And I have many beautiful, thin friends who are still single and wondering, like you, if there’s something about them that’s keeping them that way.

As God’s creation, you are His workmanship. You are beautiful, already. It’s just that our culture has twisted the meaning of that word. Getting married isn’t about “looking good enough,” it’s about being fully who God made you to be.

You can read her letter and my complete response in “Can Fat Women Get Married?”