They say that Latinos love women with a little meat on their bones. Something to grab onto, say my tios, cousins, and even mi abuelo. So it comes as no surprise that I had trouble getting the attention of Dominicanos, Cubanos, and Colombians. Once upon a time I had a flat butt and straight hips. I was underweight and went to a nutritionist to help me gain weight. I even drank protein drinks! While other women complained about their round behinds in front of dressing room mirrors, I’d turn around and ask, “Does my ass look too small?” My friends would nod and it was back to the (flat) drawing board.
This, however, isn’t the case for all women. Many women feel pressure to be thin. There are even societal pressures for women to be thinner than their significant others, as proven in a recent study. Researchers at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington and the University of Arizona at Tucson took 43 heterosexual couples from 18 to 69 years old and conducted a study on how weight gain affects romantic relationships. The findings were interesting. Mixed-weight couples, where the woman was overweight and the man was of a healthier weight, reported greater conflict than couples that were of the same weight. There was also conflict in mixed-weight couples when they ate together. This usually involved judgment or the monitoring of food intake.
How does the conflict manifest? It can appear in the form of a fiery, full-on argument or as long lasting as resentment.
“The overweight partner might feel insecure, judged, and angry, which could ultimately contribute to a power battle around food and eating in the relationship,” the researchers wrote.
Read Related: How My Kids Motivated Me to Lose Weight
Are there healthy ways to express your concern over your partner’s weight gain and health? Of course! Methods include:
• Supporting your partner with encouraging words while she attains weight loss goals.
• Acknowledging her efforts even if there aren’t immediate results.
• Participating! This can be as simple as hitting the gym with your significant other.
• Listening to her struggles without judgment or opinions. If you’ve never dealt with being overweight, really, you don’t get it.
What you shouldn’t do is what a man in this study chose to do. He told his overweight wife that if she really loved him, she would lose the weight. You also shouldn’t tell your partner that her booty looks fat in her jeans. Unless, of course, she’s a Latina who is proud of her round behind, to the point of doing leg lifts and drinking protein drinks to fill out nicely.