Virtue signaling for a participation trophy

I take thee to be my lawfully wedded wife,
to have and to hold from this day onward,
for richer, for poorer,
in sickness and in health,
and, forsaking all others, keeping myself only unto you,
for as long as we both shall live.

Those were pretty much my marriage vows in a heartbeat. Probably not the exact words. But implicit in this is the obligation that I love my wife. It’s basically part of my job description to do that, along with tease her to the point where she’s giving me dirty looks all the bloody time, which I make up for with some….. moving on.

A continual trope of millennial culture is the participation trophy. And a continual trope out of the left is virtue signaling. So when a 26 year-old husband basically virtue signals on Instagram about how much he loves his fat wife, I’ve really got to wonder what the hell he’s doing.

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|| I love this woman and her curvy body. As a teenager, I was often teased by my friends for my attraction to girls on the thicker side, ones who were shorter and curvier, girls that the average (basic) bro might refer to as "chubby" or even "fat." Then, as I became a man and started to educate myself on issues such as feminism and how the media marginalizes women by portraying a very narrow and very specific standard of beauty (thin, tall, lean) I realized how many men have bought into that lie. For me, there is nothing sexier than this woman right here: thick thighs, big booty, cute little side roll, etc. Her shape and size won't be the one featured on the cover of Cosmopolitan but it's the one featured in my life and in my heart. There's nothing sexier to me than a woman who is both curvy and confident; this gorgeous girl I married fills out every inch of her jeans and is still the most beautiful one in the room. Guys, rethink what society has told you that you should desire. A real woman is not a porn star or a bikini mannequin or a movie character. She's real. She has beautiful stretch marks on her hips and cute little dimples on her booty. Girls, don't ever fool yourself by thinking you have to fit a certain mold to be loved and appreciated. There is a guy out there who is going to celebrate you for exactly who you are, someone who will love you like I love my Sarah. || photo cred: @kaileehjudd

A post shared by ROBBIE TRIPP (@tripp) on

Now I didn’t marry a supermodel by any stretch. My wife outweighs me by a not-insignificant margin, with the boobs, butt, and belly to go with it. What you’re not going to see me doing, however, is posting all kinds of pictures online about how much I love my wife. I don’t partake in the social media pastime of posting on our anniversary or her birthday how much I love her and how I’m so lucky to have her.

Because it’s not necessary.

And those who do such things make me wonder if their need to virtue signal is hiding some insecurities about their relationship. Like they have to keep reminding themselves they love their spouse when it’s something you shouldn’t need reminded of. You should be confident enough in your own relationship that you don’t need to tell everyone else how great you have it. It should be obvious by how you live, not how often you tell people.

Plus telling everyone how much in love you are with your spouse, regardless of who they are and what they look like, is about the same as a fast food worker demanding a bonus for mopping the lobby floor at closing. It’s part of what you signed up for when you took the vows and continued with your marriage and haven’t, thus far, done anything to warrant dissolving it.

On this situation involving the above, insecure husband with an inferiority complex, I like the words of Rachel Simmons, author of Enough As She Is:

I think it ends up coming off as a backhanded compliment. He’s like, “I love you so much, and the media marginalizes you, and you fill out your jeans, and I still love you anyway.” I think partly that falls flat. I also think this reminded me a lot of when dads are congratulated for babysitting their own kids. It’s like, “Dude, that’s part of your job description, so you should probably just go do your job without getting a whole big sensational story out of it.” This is the same thing. It’s part of a husband’s job description to love his wife.

The only thing to note is that when fathers are congratulated for babysitting their kids, the fathers themselves typically aren’t seeking out the adulation. Here, the husband is seeking out adulation for… being a husband. Seriously, when did the participation trophy mentality become apart of matrimony?

Here’s the thing, to Robbie Tripp and all the other husbands with fat wives: just live your lives. You don’t need to go around trying to one-up the other husbands merely because you married a fat chick. It’s bad enough that your wife is being judged by the other women. The fact that you’re now trying to virtue signal for approval from other left-leaning men and women comes off as woefully pathetic, as if you’re demanding a participation trophy for either marrying her or being a husband.

At the same time, don’t deny reality. Your fat wife is facing health problems down the line. So do what you can to encourage them to actually lose weight for a healthier future.

Let’s also get rid of the “real women are [this]” trope. Okay. For one, pornstars are actually women. I’ve actually talked to a few — no, I’m not elaborating on that. Once you look past what they do for a living, and don’t try to use that to your advantage, they’re actually quite pleasant to talk to. But they’re still women, with real lives, real ambitions. With families and friends. They just picked a different vocation than you or your wife otherwise might have.

And movie characters are played by… women. Real, flesh and blood women.

So let’s stop with the virtue signaling. You love your wife. I get it. But I have a feeling you’re more trying to assure your wife that every time you glance at women who are, frankly, better looking than she is, you’re just coming up with some excuse to avoid her ire.

Because you’re looking. Don’t deny it. Just be the best husband you can to your wife and don’t worry about what others might think.