A WOMAN who was subjected to a humiliating and hurtful prank has spoken out about her experience in a bid to raise awareness about dating as a plus-size woman.
Journalist and blogger, Stephanie Yeboah, was nervous and excited to go on her first date in two years, but revealed she felt “sick and embarrassed” after finding out her date had been “dared” and “paid” by his mates to “pull a fat chick”.
Writing for Refinery29, Steph revealed she had been talking to Robert* for a few weeks via Bumble and WhatsApp.
Apprehensive at first, having not dated since her last relationship ended two years ago, Steph explained Robert seemed different.
“He was funny, very intelligent, open-minded and ambitious and more importantly, accepted and preferred the fact that I am plus-size,” said Steph.
As she set off for her date – the pair had agreed to meet in Clapham, London, for a few drinks – the blogger tweeted a nervous-but-excited snap of herself, explaining to followers she was about to have a first date.
The evening went well and Steph said they had a great time, spending hours talking, laughing and chatting about their interests.
Robert even bought Steph an ornament for her bedroom (she was doing it up) and at the end of the date they kissed.
It was the following week that the relationship progressed.
“A week later, and hours of speaking on the phone and texting throughout the night, we decided that he’d come over to my flat and we’d watch a few shows while I cooked (I know, I know, rookie mistake; like I said, I’m a dating newbie),” explained Steph.
“Obviously, one thing led to another and we ended up sleeping together.”
It was at this point their relationship took a turn and two weeks later after not hearing from her date, Steph was stunned to receive an email from one of Robert’s friends, revealing the whole thing had been a dare to “pull a fat chick” and that Robert had even been paid by his mates to do so.
“I felt sick,” admitted Steph.
“A wave of embarrassment and humiliation washed over me, and I went into my bathroom and cried.
“I had been terrified of meeting and talking to men for fear of them judging my appearance.
“As much as I know that I am an awesome person, I’m blindingly aware that the way I look is not what mainstream society considers to be ‘beautiful’, and that’s something I always have to think about and carry with me.
“… Sadly, my story isn’t an isolated incident. We’ve all heard of sick pranks such as the ‘pull a pig’ game, which involves a group of men daring each other to hook up with the least attractive woman (in their eyes) in order to gain clout. ”
Steph had already deleted Robert’s number, so took to Twitter to tell the hurtful story.
“When you are not being ignored by prospective interests, you are either subjected to humiliation and abuse or you are fetishised for your weight,” Steph explained.
“Either way, the abject failure to consider the feelings of the plus-size women in these situations is just another example of the ways in which we are not afforded the luxury of being treated as human beings.
“… As plus-size women, we are not afforded the same humanity, care, love and respect as our thinner counterparts.
“This can force a monumental drop in confidence and either put us off dating for life or lead us to partake in more casual dating in an effort to prove our worth through sex.”
And while the freelance journalist explained she did it to raise awareness – receiving heaps of support in the process – she was also subjected to vile trolling, mainly from men who found it funny and suggested she change her appearance.
One wrote: “If you weren’t fat this wouldn’t have happened to you. Consider fixing yourself.”
While another said: “Men get lied to all the time in romantic situations.
“So do women. People are typically dishonest.
“Shut the hell up and improve yourself so that you aren’t sh****d on so much.”
Now, Steph doesn’t want the incident to define her as a woman, explaining every person deserves to be treated with respect, regardless of body shape.
“I like to think that I’m confident enough and maybe numb enough to the whole experience and haven’t let it define me as a woman, but for those of us who are still on our journeys to finding self love and increasing our confidence, going through an experience where you are basically seen as an experiment can be battering,” said Steph.
“Regardless of body shape, we all deserve to be treated with respect and basic common decency.”
*Names have been changed.
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