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August 17, 2017
by Ruth Gordon, MA, MSW, LCSW

Bigger, Heavier, Wider, Stronger

August 17, 2017 09:01 by Ruth Gordon, MA, MSW, LCSW  [About the Author]

Plus sized model, Ashley Graham, revealed in a recent interview that although she weighs more than her husband, Justin Ervin, he feels like he’s bigger. This begs the question, why is a size comparison brought into the equation?

Yes, the caveman had to be stronger than “his” woman since he was going out to capture wild animals. But today? We never hear of men going out with their bow and arrow to shoot a wooly mammoth.

Because a belief (men must be bigger and heavier than women) has been around for a long time, that doesn’t mean that it is true or an accurate presumption in the 21st century.

It is not unusual for a woman to be 6 feet tall or better. With increased athleticism and better nutrition, more and more women are proud of their muscular strength. It is a relatively new phenomenon that women have begun to more thoroughly understand body health and how to appreciate the torso and extensions that keep them going. Slowly, very slowly the shift has been away from viewing the female form as useful for sexual gratification only.

Granted, the average male has a larger bone structure than the average woman. As a rule, men have greater upper body strength. However, on the show America Ninja Warrior, Kacy Catanzaro, who stands 5 ft. tall and weighs in at 95 lbs was able to conquer challenges that stopped a lot of much larger men. Gradually, the public, in general, has come to accept that women are fierce and awe-inspiring competitors. More importantly, women have begun to look at themselves from that point of view.

It is interesting to take a look at why it is deemed aberrant when the female is larger than the male in the bedroom? The brain is the largest sex organ. Is it not possible for that brain to find mix and match coupling enticing? When the sexual chemistry, which depends on a lot more than physical presentation, kicks in, who's to say it’s the wrong fit?

In recent years the derriere has gained acceptance as a positive sexual attribute. The breasts have always enticed men (and women) in an erotic manner. This leaves the lone belly as a physical component that draws derision and disapproval.

It should be noted that big bellied men are just fine. Take a look at the late great Jackie Gleason, today’s John Goodman, and the cartoon of Homer Simpson. These are all men with substantial guts. Yet, there has been no scrutiny on the part of the public to attempt to figure out why slim women would be drawn into a romantic relationship with any of them.

One road that could be followed to understand this would be to take a more analytic approach. After all, everyone is carried in a woman’s belly before birth. Does this induce the male in our culture to feel he is helpless and insignificant? Does his initial dependence on the woman’s belly identify him as the weaker sex because it is essential to his existence?

Society has treated the female abdominal area as if it were a seat of shame.
There are droves of women who are afraid to display their midsection as they anticipate disdain, judgment, and, revulsion from both men and women if they are not exhibiting what is considered to be a body that is in shape by today’s standards. To recap: Breasts: ok Backside: ok Belly: NO WAY! Even designated plus size models with sizable thighs exhibit a slim waist and toned abs — the better to draw attention to the curves of the bosom and buttocks.

80% of serotonin is produced in nerve cells that reside in the gut. Serotonin reduces anxiety and depression. It also maintains bone health and heals wounds. A healthy stomach and digestive system are essential for mental and physical health. Physicians are just beginning to accept that It would be far more productive to focus on well-being than on size.

Many eastern cultures believe that the stomach is the home of the soul (chi). The Buddha’s big round belly is the seat of good fortune and happiness. It must be acknowledged that the Buddha, presumably, is a male figure.

Some men believe, and say, that when a woman (usually a wife) gains weight that she is showing disrespect for her husband. They go on to assert that these women gain weight intentionally so that they can make their men and themselves “mentally miserable”. The final volley in this salvo of insults is that when a woman, who has been overweight gets divorced and then loses the weight, that she is doing it as a “b***h move”. These are clear examples of spousal abuse and misogyny.

A slim man who is with a full-figured woman is often subjected to suspicion and ridicule. Even in countries like Nairobi the motives of said men are questioned. They are labeled as fortune hunters and losers. It is widely assumed that such a man is giving such a woman a “mercy shag”.
Any number of women fear pregnancy because of the weight gain. It merits thought about values to realize that the female of the species may be hesitant to procreate, which may be a piece of her destiny, due to fears of getting fat.

It goes without saying that everyone: young and old, fat and thin, good looking and not so good looking is deserving of love. When all the emphasis is placed on body type virtues like kindness, honesty, balance, and a willingness to share fade into the background. Beautiful/handsome can get very old when one has chosen to live with an individual who is all about the surface.

Is this a piece of the puzzle as to why it is so difficult to maintain a long-term relationship? The question bears thinking about.


Almandrala, A. (2013, March 30). Mixed Weight Relationships. Retrieved August 12, 2017, from

Derrow, P. (2015, January 26). Could Your Weight Be Messing Up Your Marriage. Retrieved August 12, 2017, from

Libbert, L. (2017, May 25). How Would You Feel If You Weighed Exactly the Same as Your Other Half? Retrieved August 12, 2017, from

Lyngar, E. (2015, May 26). Why Are Fat Women Discriminated Against More Than Fat Men? Retrieved August 12, 2017, from

Skinny Husbands Fat Wives. (2013, June 6). Retrieved August 12, 2017, from

Surviving a Mixed Weight Relationship. (2015, March 11). Retrieved August 12, 2017, from

White, H. (2017, May 11). This Blogger Shuts Down the Notion That You're Too Fat To Be With Someone. Retrieved August 12, 2017, from

About the Author

Ruth Gordon Ruth Gordon, MA/MSW/LCSW

I bring with me +30 years of experience as a clinician. My Masters degrees are from: Assumption College, Worcester, MA, Master of Arts in Psychology & Counseling/ and Boston University School of Social Work, Boston, MA, an MSW in Clinical Social Work. This is the 11th year I have written a monthly newsletter that is sent to approximately 500 individuals. The archive can be found on my website,

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Naples, Florida
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Phone: 239 293-4314
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