On Valentine’s Day, there’s an emphasis on romantic relationships and love. Most of the Valentine’s Day imagery we see is very heteronormative euro-centric beauty standards reinforced through Hallmark movies and “his and her” gift guides. Often left out of the Valentine’s Day narrative is the fact that single doesn’t mean sad or invisible. And fat doesn’t automatically mean single and sad, either. People can be happy, sad, both and everything in between whether they are in relationships or single.
Though it’s rarely seen in the media, there are plenty of happy fat babes in relationships. There are also plenty of single plus size babes who aren’t crying about not being in a relationship; but rather, they are celebrating being single, their freedom and their love for themselves. I’ve had Valentine’s Days with partners but I’ve spent far more of them single. I realized that, for me, this day isn’t about couples. I don’t need a partner to validate that I am a fat person worthy of love and respect. I am worthy of love all on my own.
So this Valentine’s Day, I wanted to celebrate the plus size babes along with myself who are challenging the stigma that fat automatically means one is sad, single, and pathetic. These babes are happy, thriving and vibrant people who find fulfillment in all kinds of ways. Each of them is sharing why they don’t need to be in a relationship to be happy on Valentine’s Day.
"A lot of people feel diminished or deficient by being single, but I feel liberated. I make my own decisions, have far more emotional energy for myself and my friends, who have been around far longer than any of my romantic partners, and enjoy an independence that simply isn't there when I'm in a relationship. Sure, having a romantic partner is fun, but it is also hard work and compromises that do impinge on my independence." - Kath of Fat Heffalump
“Growing up in a small-town in Utah, I always felt really weird on Valentine’s Day. In retrospect, it probably has something to do with the weird gender roles (men are expected to get women a bunch of presents/be super romantic, and women… get lingerie?) and being hella queer.
This year, I’m going to be celebrating my romantic friendships on Valentine’s Day with queer witchy femme friends. Okay, I’ll probably still rant a little.” - Brianne, @ceohunty
“I rather enjoy being single. It's great not having to babysit someone else's feelings. Yes, It can get a little lonely but that stops when one of my girlfriends call with the ‘you won't believe what this clown did!’ I've seen being in a relationship isn't necessary for Valentine's day. Most of the girls on social media will be lying about what "bae" got them and please know that those flowers that came for the girl in the office; well she sent them to herself. Beat her to the punch and order yourself an Edible Arrangement.” - LaToya of The Fat Girl of Fashion
“Mostly I think it's important because there's this narrative that if you're a fat woman, a lot of the validation we get from thinner people comes from what type of people find us attractive. Like, okay, you're able to ‘keep’ a good looking man (partner), so you must not be that gross. And with Valentine's I feel like it's more about the ‘hey look at what my partner did for me, I'm valued’ and it's weird because the last time I got gifts for Valentine's Day, I was dating a serial cheater who was emotionally and verbally abusive. Fantastic. This card and this bear will definitely make up for all the trauma you caused me. As for being single, I love not being tied down, being able to date lots of different kinds of people, spend more time with my dog, do things on my terms without compromising.” - Brittany
“I've been single for a couple years now, and at first, I missed being in a relationship, but I've realized that now is a great time to focus on myself instead of giving my all to another person. I'm struggling with a lot of chronic health issues right now, running a business and am passionate about travel, so I have a lot on plate. Coordinating all my plans with another person would be exhausting and take the fun out of my current focus on living in the moment. Eventually I'd love to settle down with a great girl or guy, but right now my every day and my Valentine's day are about self-improvement and self-love. Plus, you don't need another person to buy you chocolates and flowers on the 14th-- treat yourself!” - Rebecca of Fat Is Not a Bad Word
“While loneliness can creep in, especially as I navigate mental illness, I have learnt to accept it as a part of being alive. Not being alive while single. I really thrive in solitude, my alone time and ‘doing me.’ I like doing things leisurely and indulging in my little favorite rituals -- yes, another Harry Potter marathon, please! I'm going to clean the house and do face masks until 12am on New Year's Eve! These things, my little comforts, make me feel at home in my singlehood. When most women who date men can talk about regarding relationships is how mediocre men are in relationships, I find myself thinking that I do have the best deal. There's a Warsan Shire quote about this:
“My alone feels so good, I'll only have you if you're sweeter than my solitude.”
Reveling in my aloneness means, if I eventually get in a relationship, I will have to learn to make space in my life, prepare myself to make plans and see them through. Right now, Valentine's is just another day but if I end up with a partner who builds new worlds around the day, I might learn to see the magic in it.” - Nomali of Nomali from Soweto
"My love for Valentine's Day started in 2013 when I left hospital only a few days before, after being bedridden for six weeks. I was filled with gratitude for simply being alive and having the ability to walk and it made me so sad that people would spend a whole day miserable and bitter simply because they didn't have a romantic partner, blind to the love that surrounded them. That is why Valentine's Day has always been a special day to me, it's a day I'm appreciative for all love in my life, not just romantic love and that's why I can enjoy it - with or without a relationship" - Michelle of Mind Set for Life
“Being single on Valentine's Day almost always forces you to find in places that you never knew you could. Last year, while my friends were planning to go on a couples trip to Berkshires, I was left alone for the holiday. On the morning of Valentine's Day, I started to shed a tear which quickly turned into laughter. I looked at myself and said, ‘you look so silly crying over this day. I have my health, my friends, my family, who love me EVERYDAY. And my butt is FAT! You don't need anyone to celebrate this day of love, you get it every day!’ - Chardline of Plus Size Beausion
9. Melissa Gibson
Never stop celebrating love. Our joy is radical. Our friendships rebellious. Our love for ourselves is a revolution. Our confidence questions everything. I will keep fighting, I will keep living with hope, I will keep loving.💗💗💗 #prettyinpink #cellulitesaturday #embracethesquish #notplayingbyyourrules #fatbabe #bopo #bodypositive #bodypositivity #effyourbeautystandards #honormycurves #takingupspace #selflove #babe #fatshion #curvykate #radicalbodylove #nobs #nobodyshame #whatfatgirlsactuallywear #sexyatanysize
"I love that I have time to invest into people in which I have all different kinds of relationships with and that I get to live my life without constantly having to check in and position it in context with a significant other's life" - Melissa, @yourstruelymelly
“While many tend to think that when I, as a woman, say I am ok with being single for Valentine's, it's some type of bitter scream for help. When you're a plus size woman, they immediately place you in the hallway of lost dreams eating oreos and ice cream. I'm completely okay with being single- for now because I'm not where I want to be. I need to set my table first, so when asked, what can I bring? I'm not shook or scrambling. And if I don't have to bring anything I still want the knowledge to say, ‘I can.’ Of course, we want to blame the perception of Valentine's being led by social media and society standards, but I have no trif with people being in love.” - Pepper of Pretty Plus Pep
“For me the best part of being single on Valentine’s Day is I get to celebrate the love I have for myself and how much that love has developed since I was in a relationship that was in fact toxic and abusive. I'd rather spend Valentine's Day single loving myself than with someone who made me feel unworthy of love!” - Kit, @coquettewonkette
“Being single has allowed me to really get to know myself and what self love truly means. Valentine's Day is about love in every aspect and turning that outward affection inward is great and necessary.” - Tiffanie of Embodi Collective
"I am happy with myself. I like going places alone. I enjoy spending time with myself. I don't think I could accomplish that level of self love with a partner. I get codependent. I feel healthy without a partner and being single means i can celebrate myself on VDay. Just like I celebrate myself every day." - Chelsea of Chelsea is Workin' On It
"I enjoy being single because I have an abundance of time and energy to focus on ME! I'm able to put myself first without consulting with my partner or having to consider someone else's feeling when I make decisions. I use this moment to think about the qualities I need and want in a partner, so maybe my next relationship will be my last!
Valentine's Day is a the day to celebrate love, there are no rules that say you have to be a relationship to enjoy Valentine's Day. Last year, my friends and I had a Galentine's Day celebration! This year I'm all about self love, on February 14th I 'll be at the nearest spa getting some much needed pampering! " - Ashley of Simply Curvy
"I personally don't over-love or flat out prefer to be single on Valentine's Day. But. Unlike a lot of 'single society', it doesn't affect me or make me feel less than. What time (to celebrate the love you've acquired for your very own self) is better than the day for lovers? I've been in a committed relationship for years hunny! #SelfLove" - Charisma Monroe of The Regal Fatty
"I like being single because it gives me time to enjoying loving myself. so that way when Mr. Right comes I'll be ready to love him the right way. Also it's great being single on Valentine's Day because I don't have to partake in the hype and commercialism of it all." Stavana of Vana Black
"I like being single on Valentine's Day because I get to do my own thing without worrying about focusing on anyone else but myself. What that usually means is that I get to eat all the chocolate I want and not wear any pants." - Kristen, @mz_kristen_
"I don't need to be in a relationship for Valentine's Day because I'm a holiday obsessed human being and this red & pink is going to still bang lol. Honestly, I just love the holiday. It's fun and cute and an excuse to being annoyingly red from head to toe." - Christena of Christina Melea
"To be honest, this is my first year of being single AND happy on Valentine's Day and I'm in my 40's! It has taken me years to get to this place where I know that I don't need a partner to feel whole or loved. The love affair I have with myself is the greatest love of all. It's tough because you see others celebrating with their significant others and everywhere you go, there's some sort of Valentine's Day sale or event happening. It forces us to feel like we are not enough or something is wrong with us because we are single. And that is not true. I learned you can never compare yourself to someone else because you never know the true story behind closed doors. Relationships are hard and all we see in public are the good moments, not the bad. Don't get me wrong... A relationship is wonderful but requires work, time and attention. And I am being honest right this moment in saying that I don't have space in my life to give someone else time and attention because I am too busy getting my own life together. Plus, I'm keeping faith in the unknown. When the time is right, my Mr. Right will show up. So for now, I will continue to shower myself with love and enjoy this crazy adventure I am now in my life. Too many people rush into relationships without realizing what it truly requires. So for now, I will be happily single until it is my time to be in one." - Marcy of Fearlessly Just Me
"I like being single because I get a chance to explore my individuality and discover what I truly want for my future and in a possible partner. Plus, my Netflix algorithm stays on point.
I don't need to be in a relationship on Valentine's Day because it's just a MF DATE. I don't need a date to express my love to another person. Love should be organic and come from the heart, not a reminder calendar." - LaKeisha, @lovethyself365
"Being single on Valentine's Day is definitely not the worst thing you can be. Self-love is the most important form of love that we can celebrate and practice! Without self-love there is no hope of being in a successful relationship. Also I like being single cause I can buy myself what I want, lololol." - Jeniese of The Je ne sais quoi
"I think the idea that you need to have a date or be in a relationship on Valentine's Day is mega lame. I don't need someone to be told to profess their love to me on a specific holiday for the benefit of chocolate and greeting card companies. Being single allows me the freedom to do what I want, when I want, to achieve my goals. I don't have to compromise who I am or what I want for anyone. And I love that." - Amber of aterrormusical photography
"After being in several draining relationships where my own needs were often pushed aside, leaving me feeling disheartened and hopeless, being single has really helped me regain my sense of freedom and in a way, fall in love with myself again. There’s no one else I’d rather be spending Valentine’s Day with.” - Darshana, Darshana Pathak
24. Yours Truly, Alysse
Well, I have spent enough Valentine's Days alone to know that my happiness isn't dependent on anyone else but myself. I find myself more focused and feeling more free to reach new levels of personal self discovery when I'm single. I used to see being single as a punishment but now, I see it as a blessing.
Are you happy and single on Valentine's Day? Let me know why in the comments below!