A size 22 model who weighs 176lbs more than her partner insists they are proud of their mixed-weight relationship despite the cruel comments they receive from strangers.
Leah Stanley, 32, from Vermont, met tree surgeon Dan, 35, from New York, on a dating app in August 2019, and it was love at first sight for the couple, who hit it off immediately.
They moved in together less than a year later, and while they are as happy as can be, they admitted that they are regularly trolled for their weight difference online.
Candid: Leah Stanley, 32, from Vermont, and her partner Dan, 35, from New York, have opened up about their mixed-weight relationship
Differences: Leah, who wears a size 22, weighs 176lbs more than her tree surgeon beau
Look of love: The couple met on a dating app in August 2019, and they hit it off straight away
Digital content specialist, Leah, who has chosen not to disclose her exact weight, said: ‘Numbers don’t matter, your weight difference doesn’t define your relationship.
‘It’s literally a topic that’s never come up for us.
‘Clearly, we both know that I’m much bigger and that’s it.
‘I think in a world where people are obsessed with numbers of all sorts, it’s important to remember that they’re exactly that – just numbers.
‘When we first met, we just clicked straight away.
‘As soon as he walked into the bar on our first date, I gave him a hug which I never usually do.
‘We moved into a cute little apartment together in June.
‘Our relationship is so sweet.
‘He’s the sweetest person to me, I’ve never had anyone treat me as sweet as he does.
‘We have lots of happy times, we joke around a lot, we laugh a lot, we’re just a funny, goofy couple.’
Not important: Leah, who has chosen not to disclose her exact weight, said that ‘numbers don’t matter’ in a relationship
Hard to handle: The plus-size model said people won’t criticize them in person, but they will comment about their the difference in their sizes online
Feeling good: Leah admitted that she used to be self-conscious about her weight when she was younger, but she has a newfound confidence
Despite their perfect relationship, the couple does face negativity from online trolls who suggest that they aren’t right together.
But they dismiss suggestions that they can’t love each other because of their size difference and are speaking out because they want to see more mixed-weight relationships normalized.
Leah, who wears a US size 22, said: ‘No one ever says anything to our face but online, people will make comments about the difference in our sizes.
‘We get comments because people will judge anything.
‘People say he looks really uncomfortable in photos with me because he isn’t as comfortable in front of the camera as I am.
‘They just pick apart everything they can.
‘These people usually aren’t in relationships themselves, see a bigger girl and can’t understand how I can be in a happy relationship.
When you know, you know! Leah, who works as a digital content specialist, moved in with Dan less than a year into ther relationship
Goal: Leah and Dan are sharing their love story because they want to see mixed-weight relationships normalized
Nothing to see: ‘Our happiness doesn’t depend on our size, so we don’t really care,’ Leah said. ‘We’re just happy being together and what other people think doesn’t really matter’
‘It’s never bothered me, I’m really confident with who I am and what I look like but I think Dan maybe is a little less confident.
‘When we’re together, weight isn’t an issue, it just doesn’t come up because it doesn’t matter.
‘Our happiness doesn’t depend on our size, so we don’t really care. We’re just happy being together and what other people think doesn’t really matter.’
Leah confessed that she used to be self-conscious about her weight when she was younger, but her newfound confidence has led her to become a plus-size model.
‘Plus-size women struggle when we’re looking for a relationship,’ she explained.
‘We feel self-conscious and don’t know who to go after or who would like us but there’s someone out there for everyone and if you give up looking, you’ll never find them.
‘Everyone deserves love, but as a young girl, I struggled to find relationships.
‘I never really had boyfriends because there was something in my head saying I wasn’t good enough but I’m a lot more confident now.
‘We can’t control what someone says about us but we can control the way we react. I take it with a pinch of salt. It’s cowardly for them to do it from behind a screen.’