Real Life

Blokes paid to make me bigger

But I'm happier without them
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Rosie Jean, 31, shares her story with Take 5:

Walking to the bus stop, I realised I couldn’t fight the sick feeling in my stomach any longer.

Running to a nearby bush, I threw up.

It was 2006. I was 14, and the bullying I experienced daily at school was so severe that it felt like entering a war zone.

Although I didn’t have many friends, everyone knew who I was.

“There’s the fat girl,” other students would say, making jokes about me.

Little did they know of the sexual abuse I’d suffered as child.

I’d suffered sexual abuse as a child. (image: supplied)

For years, I’d suppressed my pain by eating.

My parents were Mormons and sexuality had always been taboo, so I didn’t tell them what I’d experienced.

At 13, I would often sit in my room, rocking back and forth as I relived the abuse.

God is punishing me, I told myself.

By the late-2000s, my mum and dad were working multiple jobs to support me and my two siblings.

As we were often home alone, I was free to take as much from the fridge as I wanted and would often binge on potato chips and breakfast cereals.

I was raised in a conservative Mormon home. (Image: supplied)

Throughout high school, I gained more and more weight, reaching over 200kg by my final year.

My feelings of worthlessness from my trauma were compounded by the ridicule I received at school.

Nasty drawings would be stuck up in the hallways to mock me and one student even pulled my pants down as the other kids pointed and laughed.

The internet was the only place I could find decent connections.

In 2010, at 18, I was using Yahoo Messenger when I stumbled across an over-18s chatroom.

I’m old enough to enter, I realised excitedly.

During high school, I gained more weight as I ate to suppress my pain. (Image: supplied)

Scrolling through the chatroom categories, I clicked on one titled ‘BBW’.

What does BBW mean? I typed into the chat.

It’s for men who like Big Beautiful Women, a user replied.

I couldn’t fathom what I was reading.

People actually like fat women? I asked.

Many users, thinking I was being cruel, responded furiously.

I’m fat! I quickly explained. And I only just turned 18.

I received so many messages from men who wanted to meet me.

I was 18 when I discovered a chatroom titled BBW. (Image: supplied)

Most of them were much older, and some were very inappropriate, but it felt great to be getting romantic interest for the first time.

I’m visiting your area, a 28-year-old guy wrote. Can we meet for dinner?

My world was changing fast, and it was thrilling.

He picked me up later that week and we grabbed some takeaway and took it back to his hotel room.

As soon as we finished eating, I stood up to throw the rubbish in the bin, but he grabbed me by the arm and pulled me in for a kiss.

I pulled away.

“I thought you’d never kissed anyone before,” he said.

“I haven’t,” I replied.

He raised his eyebrows in disbelief and moved to undress me.

I was feeling ready for self-discovery. (Image: supplied)

Because I craved physical validation and self-discovery, I was willing to let a stranger have access to my body.

The sex was emotionless, but I was determined to lose my virginity.

I never saw him again, and was left with a sense of immense guilt and isolation.

That Sunday in church, I grew restless.

I don’t belong here, I realised and walked out, never to return to organised religion again.

Over the years, I kept on meeting men online attracted to the shape and softness of larger women.

In 2019, I created an account on Feabie, a social media platform designed for feeders – people, mostly men, who get aroused from watching women eat.

I continued meeting men online who were attracted to larger women. (Image: supplied)

If I send you $600, will you film yourself eating junk food? one man wrote to me.

I was receiving many such offers.

Lots of these men were excited at the thought of women getting dangerously overweight.

Due to my complex relationship with food, I was willing to go along with it, but it always baffled me how much these men wanted to make me fatter.

It was never enough for them and I eventually decided I had to stop.

In my late 20s, I saw a trauma therapist.

“You have PTSD from the abuse you suffered as a child,” she told me. “But I can help reduce its impact.”

Men would send me money to buy junk food. (Image: supplied)

She used a form of therapy called EMDR (Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing) to unlock the traumatic memories, helping me process them in a safe environment.

It was life-changing and has helped me learn to advocate for myself.

No longer did I need male approval to feel sexy.

I began putting effort into creating a following online by being my most authentic, healed self.

Videos of me doing my make-up, reviewing music, or splashing around in the spa started gaining traction.

EDMR therapy has helped me move beyond the desire for male approval. (Image: Instagram @quirkyloverosee)

I was building a community of people who weren’t there to mock or fetishise me, but who were interested in me as person.

In one year I generated a following of over 80,000 like-minded people!

You’re so powerful and beautiful, one kind follower commented recently.

I’ve also been honest online about my queer identity, and while my previous partners have been men, I’ll go on a date with anyone, provided they’re a good person.

I’m focussing on my overall health and am ready for new adventures (Image: Instagram @quirkyloverosee)

Showing more and more of myself to the world has been an adventure.

Recently, I’ve been doing kickboxing and water aerobics.

I’m focussing on my overall health, not because I hate my body, but because I’m ready for new adventures like riding horses and roller-coasters.

Across the globe I’m known as a fat, hot babe, but I know my true beauty comes from having a kind heart.

And that’s never going to change.

Follow Rosie on Instagram @quirkyloverosee

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