Why Do Women Think They Are Fat When They Are Not?

I asked some guys what their top questions about women were, and one of the most popular question I got back was, “Why do women think they are so fat when they are not?” Let’s talk about that!


Thin Female Standing in Front of a Mirror and Seeing a fat girl in the reflection

Does this sound familiar? You look at a woman, and she looks attractive, but she looks in the mirror and sees a whale! Worse, she talks about it all the time and forces you to continuously say, “No dear, you are not fat.” (There is a reason for that! Read to the end to find out!) And if you don’t tell her that she’s NOT fat…watch out! You are pretty much telling her that she is fat – just like she thought (there is a reason for that too!)

Want To View This Article As A Slide?

A friend of mine did an awesome job of making this article into a Slide on SlideShare. If you don’t feel like reading the whole article, following are the main points presented in her slide.

Have You Seen How Emotional Women Can Get With Their View On Their Body?

First, if you haven’t seen how women distort their body image, then this is a good video to watch. This woman is obviously not as big as she thinks, but she feels disgusted with herself and her tears are cried by many women every day.

Again, The Following Video Shows How Distorted A Woman’s View Can Be When It Comes To Her Own Body

I have seen a ton of shows where it is obvious that women think they are bigger than they are. The show ‘how to look good naked’ takes women who think they are fat, ugly, disgusting, and shows them that their view of themselves is really warped in comparison to their view of others.

Why Do Women Think They Are So Fat?

So, it doesn’t take a scientist to figure out that women cannot see their body clearly. However, scientists have done just that. In fact, they have discovered that the image we project is “massively distorted” and is up to two thirds bigger than it is in reality.

That’s good news for us women who look in the mirror and see fat, but bad news for guys who just want their woman to love themselves and not demand the constant reassurance.

So why do women think they are so fat?

There are a  few different possibilities.

Affirmations Turned Into Belief

When you say something to yourself enough, you believe it. I’m reading You Are The Placebo right now, and this makes absolute sense to me.

It is hard not to believe you are fat when you say it to yourself all the time. Alternatively, if someone else says it to you, it is hard not to believe them.

For instance, my best friend grew up with a mother who constantly told her that she had a big butt. (I don’t know why her mother did this.) My friend was so skinny in high school and beyond, that she was more bone than woman, but she STILL thought she was fat.

She claims that it was her mother that made her feel this way, and to this day she obsesses about her weight – and she is still very tiny. She is five inches taller than me and about 50 pounds lighter than me, but she insists that she is fat!

Many women are constantly telling themselves that they are imperfect and, consequently, many women think they are fat.

Senses play a part

I know that when I can feel my stomach hanging out or pushing against something, I immediately focus on it. When I do that, I feel like the fattest person in the room – even though I clearly know that I am not.

That extra fat doesn’t always look bad in the mirror, but when I feel it – the fat somehow becomes more…fatty. So if a woman is forced to dress in a way that forces her to confront areas of her body she doesn’t like, then she may feel fat regardless of what she looks like, and that feeling is what makes her think she is fat.

The Pressure To Be A Specific Looking Woman

This is the biggest reason women think they are fat. Pay attention.

Whether we admit it or not, society plays a big part in how we feel about ourselves. More specifically, society makes us feel that we need to look a certain way in order to be accepted.

You may say, “That’s not true. Nobody outright says you have to be skinny with no imperfections to look beautiful,” but it is implied.

For instance:

  • Men are constantly calling women fat and laughing about it. I see it on forums, Facebook, and even on the street. Every time women see men doing that, the belief that they need to be skinny in order to be attractive becomes firmer in their head, and when they look in the mirror and see imperfections, they feel that they are unattractive.
  • Some clothing companies will not make sizes that accommodate the majority of women in the world because they only want to cater to tiny women. Abercrombie & Fitch flat out said that they don’t want overweight women wearing their clothes. Every time a woman hears that message (they are too fat to wear someone’s clothes), the belief that they are not what they should be (and fat) solidifies more in their mind.
  • How many non-skinny women do you see on popular TV shows, movies, magazines, walking down the fashion isle, etc? There are some, now, but the damage of associating ‘thin’ with ‘popular’ and ‘beauty’ has been done. For instance, people talk about how beautiful Angelina Jolie is, but when women look at her, the first thing they see is thin. Therefore, the association of thin and beautiful is made. And she is VERY thin. There are overweight men all over TV and movies, and this gives a little insight into why it is more acceptable for a man to be overweight than it is a woman. Even Melissa McCarthy, who is popular and successful, is called fat on a daily basis. It’s like women are not allowed to be overweight in the media’s eyes, and real women, like me, see that message on a daily basis. The more we see it, the more we believe that being skinny is the only way to be really accepted into society.
  • Lastly, men tell us that thin is better. I always hear women talk about how men gravitate more towards them when they are too thin. For instance, here’s an answer in Yahoo that disturbs me greatly, but is a great reflection of what I am talking about.

Woman thinks that being skinnier is sexier to guys: Yahoo answer

So, Why Do Women Think They Are Fat When They Are Not?

Because  every day they are exposed to messages that tell them they need to be skinny in order to be pretty.

  • They see weight loss ads that make it shameful to be overweight.
  • They hear rude comments about overweight women.
  • They see men checking out skinnier (and more attractive) women.
  • They watch desirable skinny women on TV shows and movies.

The damage is caused like this:

  1. The more they see these messages, the more they look at their body and see imperfections.
  2. The more imperfections they see, the more they call themselves fat.
  3. The more they call themselves fat, the more they believe it.

It is that simple.

If they lived on an island where society didn’t influence how they ‘should’ look, you would find that they would be much more self-loving.

Here is something important to remember: Even if you are telling a woman that she is beautiful ten times a day, she sees a hundred messages through media and otherwise that tell her that she is not living up to a standard of beauty set out for all women. This gives you insight into why women ask YOU if they are fat so much…they are constantly being told that they are fat, and you are the ONE person who tells them they are not. So when you get mad at them or don’t answer them, they assume that all the other messages they heard throughout the day were right, because you are not sending them the positive validation that they are seeking from the one person they know they can get it from.

And, until women start to believe that they don’t need to live up to a certain image, they will likely feel fat and imperfect for a long time to come. 

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One Response to “Why Do Women Think They Are Fat When They Are Not?”
  1. Warlock June 1, 2017

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