By Nathalie Bonney @nathaliebonney
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Videographer / director: Rees Lewis Thomas
Producer: Nathalie Bonney, James Thorne
Editor: James Thorne
Dalreece has had a fuller figure for all her adult life; while husband Jarreth has always been on the lean side. The couple, from outside of Cape Town, South Africa, had never heard of the expression ‘inter weight’ but have had to get used to looks and sly comments when out in public.
Jarreth told Barcroft TV: “A lot of the times I do hear people commenting on the sly or saying something about Dalreece when we are in public. At times it does hurt. I feel a bit sad and I try to just ignore it, so I internalise it and then I would want us to leave because it becomes upsetting.”
Dalreece added: “When we go out nobody really comments about the fact that we are different sizes. It’s more like stares and looks and you can see people whispering. And kids stare a lot.
“I think that in society, there's just like, a norm and stereotype that people of same weight are supposed to be in a relationship.”
As well as being subject to public scrutiny. Jarreth has been accused of having a fat fetish – or even being a feeder.
He said: “Assumptions people might have is that I have a fat fetish or that I am a chubby chaser.”
Dalreece added: “Being a feeder is also a thing with big size couples. Where the guy feeds the woman, which is not the case at all.”
Terms like ‘inter-weight’ and ‘mixed-weight’ relationship were alien to Jarreth and Dalreece and they don’t like the idea of a couple being labelled just because of their appearance.
Dalreece said: “Honestly, I never really heard about ‘inter weight’ or ‘mixed weight’ couples before this point. We didn't really know that it was a thing.
“I guess every day; we are challenging the stereotypes by being together. And being happy actually, because I think that goes a long way. And I think there's a lot of stigma with being overweight. Obviously, there's other things that you could be worse at or have other problems. But I do feel like, we are a long way to removing all the stigma that comes with being overweight.”
The couple first met three years ago via dating app Tinder. After matching on the app, Dalreece and Jarreth started regularly messaging back and forth and eventually made plans to meet up in real life. Conscious of her size, Dalreece had only posted photos of her face on Tinder, so she sent Jarreth a full-length photo of herself, worried he wouldn’t want to date her anymore.
Dalreece said: “I was like: ‘if you want to be friends, it's fine, just tell me now I don't want us to meet and then… [Jarreth not like her].
“In the past I did experience with guys not really wanting to talk to me because my weight and things like that. I have had experiences where I would meet guys online and they wouldn't really want to meet afterwards.”
But for Jarreth, Dalreece’s size didn’t even come into it. The couple got married just over a year ago and are happier than ever.
Jarreth said: “I just see Dalreece as a person. Not a fat person. Not a chubby person, she's my wife and she's the person that I love. The person that I that I'm spending my life with. That's what she is to me.”
On a body positivity journey of her own Dalreece has come to embrace her figure and says that being in a supportive, loving marriage has helped her to love herself more too.
She said: “I was always self-conscious and didn’t really want to post full body pics and things like that. But after we met, I think I just I loosened up a lot and became a lot less self-conscious and a lot more forthcoming and honest with myself and with my following.”
Jarreth concludes: “To people out there who think that men can’t love a larger woman. It's just superficial. You, you get to know the person and you get to see what's inside.
“Society's thinking is just skewed. Unfortunately, that is just the way it is. But it's possible you can get to know. It’s not about the aesthetics, it’s about what’s inside that matters.”