I saw this thread a while back and have been letting it sit, trying to work out how best to formulate my feelings on this.
The main issue that I am struggling with is the folks that call themselves "BBW" - I will agree with the first and the last, but unfortunately I do not find them all beautiful, just because they describe themselves as a "BBW".
I also need to distinguish between those women I find that are beautiful to look at and those that are relationship material. For me there is a distinct disconnect between the two. While I do have some standards when it comes to how folks look in order for me to date them, they are a lot looser than a beautiful appearance, because for me beauty comes from the inside.
It is a lot about being comfortable in your skin, and knowing you own limitations - they talk about "accentuate the positive" and I think that has a lot to do with it. There are some people who look stunning in skin-tight pants, and others that look hideous. There are others who dress nicely and obviously take care of themselves and others that are, frankly, slobs.
It doesn't matter how physically beautiful you are, facially or bodily, if you don't take pride in your appearance you are going to be ugly to anyone other than the most superficial person.
One word of advice to folks - don't trust your own instincts - you are your own worst critic. Often you can look knock-out in something, but you think that your legs are too fat, or your butt to big or your breasts to small, or whatever. Find some folks that you know you trust to not blow smoke and get their honest opinion as to what styles and colours look good on you. Conversely, you may think you look great in something, but others feel like it doesn't do a thing for you.
So, for me, within certain limitations, what is going on inside your head, and how much you take care of yourself (and I don't mean working out and eating healthy, I mean personal care and clothing) matters far more to me than physical features when it comes to someone I would have a relationship with.
The lines I draw are extreme skinniness and obesity, neither of which I find attractive. I have dated underweight and overweight ladies that I think have been beautiful and very sexy. I myself am considered overweight.
Far more important than a BMI is being healthy. Everyone has limits, in terms of ability, time and desire - being healthy is attractive to me (as long as it's not obsessive) - because if you are looking after yourself, then we are more likely to have a lot longer relationship....
Please check out The Birdcage - an open, friendly Polyamory forum for all parts of New York State
"Listen, or your tongue will make you deaf." - Native American Proverb