A few years ago, my cousin dragged me to Webster Hall (I was 18, don’t judge me!) for “Ladies Night” which included an open bar and male dancers from 8-10pm. The idea of a naked sweaty stranger made me very uncomfortable, so I found a spot against the wall where I could sip my free screwdriver and watch the show from a safe distance.
The lights went down and a man wearing chaps and a tasselled thong came skipping, kicking and bucking onto the stage while the women in the building screamed their faces off. After a few minutes of hand stands and humping the ground, the stripper made his way to the edge of the stage. He licked his lips as he scanned the crowd and then he reached down and grabbed a big girl from the front row.
He lifted her off the ground and she tugged on her shirt to keep it from rising up as he twirled her in the air. She was screaming, the crowd was cheering and the stripper had a confident smirk on his face. He flipped her so that her legs were around his waist and then he slowly slid her to the ground and crawled between her legs. After a few minutes of simulating the missionary position he flipped her over onto her stomach. Then he pulled her pants down in the back, slid a banana into her… um, cheeks and ate it. I almost spit out my drink.
For the rest of the night, I must have seen at least five big girls get called onto the stage. Seeing a pattern, I made sure I stayed waaay in the back, because there was no way I was going up there.
Fast Forward to this past weekend. I was on the Lower East Side for a co-workers birthday party when a guy slid up to dance with me, “Imma work on this right here!” he said (to my chest). He leaned into my ear and whispered, “You know I’m a stripper, right?” Then he grinned and lifted his shirt to show his
six pack stomach. I guess, because I’m a big girl, that was the moment when I was supposed to get excited, but I just got scared that he’d pull out a banana and try to… never mind.
Just when I thought that I was imagining the stripper/big girl connection, my friend Maya referenced a friend of ours as having stripper tendencies. “Oh, CeCe you know how he always makes himself available to the girls who no one is really checking for? He’s like… a stripper! No offense, but strippers always seek out the big girl in the back of the room ’cause they know that she’ll appreciate the attention.”
No offense taken, she was right.
My observation is that strippers get the biggest reaction from the biggest girls and so they gravitate to us. They also get a reaction from the crowd when they’re lifting and flipping us because– well, it’s pretty impressive!
Although strippers aren’t my cup of tea, I don’t knock anyone big or small who enjoys them. I guess in the back of my mind I just wonder if they feed into the big girl stereotype of desperation (which is something I’ve talked about before). Anyway, all I can do is sound the alarm, for better or worse, strippers are drawn to big girls like a moth to a flame (and if that “moth” is carrying a banana… run!)