A woman who is overweight and is dating a thin man has fired back at all who have criticized the couple in an article for Yahoo!.
Gloria Shuri Nava, 25, is from San Jose, Calif. and is dating Ali, 22, who is from Scotland. The two met online, when Ali discovered some of her beauty videos on YouTube. They talked for years on the Internet before finally meeting.
Nava was happy to have found love, but was surprised to find that everyone around her expressed disgust and confusion about her relationship with him.
"When people say things out loud, their comments range from cruel ('is he blind?' 'He's only with you to get a green card') to awkward quips such as, 'It's great he can see past your looks,' or 'He's so nice for being with you,'" she said.
"Now and then, even people close to me made unkind remarks. Once, when I confided to a friend, 'I can't believe he likes me!' he answered, 'Yeah, I know!'"
The worst comments seem to come from fans of hers on YouTube. She has more than 250,000 subscribers to her Glowpinkstah channel, where she reviews beauty products and shares details about her life.
"While most are supportive, there are a fair number of bullies," she said. Some of the worst comments include: "She has a boyfriend? What is wrong with the world?" and "These two had sex?! Oh god, why?"
Ali is currently living in Glasgow, Scotland but will be moving to California in the summer to get his PhD in clinical psychology.
For two and a half years, the two messaged and Skyped online before meeting.
"I knew he was into big girls," Nava said. "His exes were chubby. Some think it's weird, but it's like having a thing for blondes: It's just a preference."
When they finally met, everything felt right.
"When Ali landed at San Francisco airport…I turned around and saw him walking toward me with a huge smile on his face," she said. "He gave me a hug, and kissed me on the lips. I thought to myself, he's my boyfriend and he's here!"
"He's been good for my health. I was at my heaviest when we met, and I've lost 40 pounds since. My goal is lose 80 pounds total, and he's very supportive."
The negative attention she has received for her relationship with her thin boyfriend prompted her to start The Beauty Adjustment, a site which focuses on the message that "there is no one 'normal' way to look or love."
"Beauty and relationships come in all shapes and sizes: brown, yellow, short, tall, thin, fat - and one partner doesn't have to mirror the other. Love is love. That's a lesson that Ali taught me, and now I want to teach it to the rest of the world," she said.