CeCe: *sigh* He hasn’t called…
I knew she was right, I just didn’t know how to wait it out.
I was fooling around online when I ran across an online group for plus size models. It was dedicated to fashion and fierceness for big girls… I joined immediately.
After uploading some glamorous shots of myself I forgot about the group, until one day I received an email from one of the members.
Hey… didn’t I meet you at SATELLITE?
I clicked into her profile and it was Dana! The Jill Scott look-alike we met a few weeks back. She and I both use instant messenger at our offices and we began chatting daily. We’d been chatting for about a week when she invited me to REWIND, another BBW party. I felt like with every new plus size girl I met, I was told of a new BBW party. So far I had heard of BBW parties in Connecticut, Philadelphia and of course there was DIVAS. I had just gone to SATELLITE and from there I was being invited to REWIND, I couldn’t help but say yes.
That Saturday I kept it simple: dark wash jeans with rhinestone embellishments on the back pockets and a black low cut top. I carried a vintage black clutch and pulled my hair back with a black and white polka-dot headband.
Dana was interesting to go out with. While Paige and Reese would jump right onto the dance floor, Dana seemed more concerned with playing it cool. She spent a good portion of the night standing against the wall with an aloof look on her face, taking dramatic sips of her tequila sunrise. I didnt feel comfortable on the dance floor alone, so I was at her mercy patiently waiting until she felt like letting loose.
Sometimes standing alone on or near a dance floor intensifies the fact that I don’t have a boyfriend. I love dancing and its painful to constantly hope that someone will want to dance with me. Standing there that night I felt the desire for a boyfriend strongly.
Finally Dana took a step onto the dance floor, I followed her and once we went out, there was no turning back. Again, the DJ was on fire, a welcome change from the old predictable mixes at DIVAS. We were working it, and as we rocked and swayed I looked up just as a group of extremely tall men walked into the club. I briefly locked eyes with one in a blue shirt and quickly looked away.
“Oh my Gosh!” I hissed into Dana’s ear, “there are the cutest, tallest guys behind you. We have to talk to them!” As the words came out of my mouth I confused myself because I don’t ever approach men.
Dana kept dancing and turned in a circle to get a good look at them, when she turned back to me her eyes lit up, “they are cute… which one do you want?”
“Blue Shirt” I said without hesitation.
My stomach was in knots as Dana danced over to one of Blue Shirt’s friends. They immediately started moving in sync which left me standing with my heart beating as I thought of the right thing to say.
I took a step closer to Blue Shirt.
“Hi!” I yelled over the music.
He just looked at me.
I wanted to die.
After a few seconds, his friend nudged him. “Oh, Hi!…sorry” he said with a laugh. I laughed too (for lack of anything better to do). His name was William and he was at REWIND with a bunch of his buddies from college as part of a bachelor party. He was at least 6 foot 5, with a slim frame and he was super cute.
As he spoke to me something happened; I felt like I was underwater, the club began to move in slow motion and as he leaned down and spoke into my ear between sips of Heineken, it took everything in me to focus on both my breathing, and what he was saying.
This is the guy I have been waiting to meet.
We danced and talked and danced some more. Eventually we realized we were off away from our friends. “I should get you back to your girl” he said.
Then he asked “Would it be okay if I called you sometime?”
I wanted to scream, YES YES Oh My Gosh, YES!
Instead I said “sure” and put my number in his phone.
I really wanted to ask for his number too, in case his phone got run over by a taxi or something before he had a chance to call me and I never saw him again, but I held back.
He found me at the end of the night gave me a kiss on the cheek and said he’d call me soon.
“Soon” could not come fast enough.
After everything that happened, I was pleasantly surprised to see Paige’s name pop up on my caller ID. She called with last minute plans to check out a new BBW party, called SATELLITE. I had no idea there was more than one BBW party in NYC, so I happily agreed.
While DIVAS was a pretty diverse crowd, the pictures on the SATELLITE website made it clear that this crowd was predominately African-American. Paige always dates inter-racially and dates Black men exclusively, so she was giddy as we rode the train downtown.
We got off in a trendy area of Manhattan that neither of us was familiar with. As we turned corners trying to find our way, Paige noticed a full figured girl with big curly hair walking ahead of us. “Excuse me!” she called out before I cold stop her “Are you going to SATELLITE?”
The girl turned around, she looked a little like Jill Scott, “Yeah,” she replied casually “Its a few blocks from here.”
I let out a sigh of relief since Paige was making a million assumptions in asking her. We struck up a small conversation as we walked to the club together. Her name was Dana and she had been going to the SATELLITE party for a while.
We walked into the club and it was awesome! The DJ was way better than the old man who plays the music at DIVAS and there were no random contests and games. It was just good music, good drinks and a good time. Dana introduced us to a few people. We danced and traded numbers with some of the guys and although Paige’s pale skin brought a lot of extra attention to us, everyone was cool and fun.
We danced so hard that night, it was the best BBW party I had been to! We fell into the backseat of a cab exhausted and by the time I remembered that we hadn’t said goodbye to Dana, we were halfway home.
Unfortunately the SATELLITE party was only once a month, but I could not wait until the next one!
Every big girl has their own way of dealing with their weight.
The more I attended the BBW parties, the more I became aware of a stereotype: Fat chicks are desperate.
There was a certain level of wooing that some men didn’t feel the need to do at the big girl club, its like they assume that a big girl will just take what she can get.
I can recall watching a guy walk up to a gorgeous plus size diva and asking her (in the most vulgar way) if she wanted to have sex.
Another night, I noticed a man who, instead of paying to get into the club, lurked around outside asking the women who walked out if they wanted to come home with him.
Of course those are extreme examples but from the way Tony Lake treated Paige, I felt like “fat chicks are desperate” was an unspoken opinion with a lot of these guys. I knew Tony Lake wasn’t the type of guy I’d be interested in, he was just a hot guy that was fun to dance with.
Was I wrong? Should I have ignored his advances?
I kept replaying the events in my head: I barely say two words to Tony Lake, Paige kinda throws herself at him, he turns her down, and seeks me out, now Paige is mad at me.
In the end I think Tony Lake only went after me because I didn’t give him the attention he was used to getting from women at DIVAS. I knew it wasn’t my place, but a small part of me wanted to suggest to Paige that maybe her actions were playing into the big girl stereotype of desperation.
I was lost in my thoughts when the music suddenly stopped. The lights in the club came up half way and the voice of a female came over the sound system.
“Alriiight, Ladies and Gentleman…. its time for tonight’s lingerie show!”
This was the part about DIVAS that I could really do without, every Saturday night there was time set aside for a few of the women to participate or compete in events for entertainment. So far I had seen a “Big Butt Contest” a “Kissing Contest” and a “Cleavage Contest” this was the time when most of the men grabbed a seat and most of the women went out to smoke.
I went outside and found Paige and Reese huddled in conversation, when I approached they both fell silent. Paige tossed her hair over her shoulder and blew smoke up to the sky.
“We’re ready to go,” she said.
We piled into the car and rode up the highway in silence. After a while I leaned forward a little in my seat.
“Paige, are we okay?” I asked.
There was more silence.
“I guess” she replied coolly “I mean, you didn’t really know about our rule, so… I can’t really be mad at you.”
“Yeah, if I see a guy and I call him, he’s mine.”
Reese chimed in “Yeah, like… if a fine-ass guy walks in and I see him first, I’ll say to Paige ‘he’s mine’, that makes him off limits”
I couldn’t bring myself to ask “what if he’s not interested in you” but I did try to explain that when I went out with my skinny friends, we never had rules like this, but Paige and Reese weren’t having it. They had a method and they were sticking to it.
I felt like they were giving me an ultimatum. These were my first BBW friends, this was my first BBW club experience, but this concept sounded outrageous to me and I couldn’t agree to follow it. They dropped me off at my apartment and honestly, I wasn’t sure if I’d hear from them the next time they decided to go out.
Maybe this is what happens when a group of women, who often find themselves ignored, discover a place where they are celebrated by the opposite sex, the stakes get ridiculously high. And often when the stakes are high people get… desperate.
Last week I got an early birthday present from my parents: A Betsey Johnson Hobo Bag from the “Lotsa Luck” collection. Its a gorgeous, yet functional bag with a fun leopard print lining and an adorable horseshoe charm that hangs from the zipper.
I’ve always loved fashion, let me rephrase… I’ve always loved clothes, but have had to struggle in my relationship with fashion. Any big girl can find clothes if she wants to, but for a Plus Size Princess to stay fashionable… that’s a different story.
For the past few days I’ve been trotting around New York City with my Betsey, and I can’t help but think about how, because of my size, the only mainstream fashion items I am allowed to sport are accessories – Bags, Earrings, Sunglasses, Hats etc. and even then I’m not completely allowed, like the other day:
I walked into a boutique in the fashion district with a friend and while she jumped straight into the trendy tops and dresses, I hung out near the front of the store looking at some necklaces and rings. A rack of knit hats caught my eye, I walked over to them and as I turned the tag over to look at the price the store owner blurted out “They’re all the same size!”
Even though I love shopping its always been something I’ve done alone or with family, never with girlfriends, because I’ve always been the only plus size girl in my group of friends. Last summer I had a fashion emergency (dont ask) and had to duck into an Ashley Stewart store. Kenzie was with me and even though she probably thought nothing of it, I was so embarrassed. When I was in high school, I adopted the answer “I don’t remember” when girls asked me where I got my clothes. I guess as a 16 year old, the idea of telling my size 2 friends that they’d have to go to Lane Bryant to get the dress they admired on me wasn’t very appealing.
Yes, I know that now some designers are extending themselves to the plus size market, but whether its the sizing (I tried on a Michael Kors winter jacket in a 3x and laughed as I tried to zip it closed) the design (Tommy Hilfiger, must imagine his plus size patrons to all be over the age of 55) or even the name of the line (as a person who never really lost her baby fat, “Baby Phat” isn’t something I want stretched across my body) there always seems to be something awkward about the clothes mainstream designers make for us.
After I finish this entry I’m off to the gym, as I put in time and effort to loose weight, I’ve decided that I just want to get small enough to wear mainstream clothes. I think most mainstream shops go up to a size 10/12. That might be my goal. I have a ways to go, but sometime in the near future I’d like to stop saying “I don’t remember” when people ask me where I got my outfit.
I can remember being a young girl and wishing I could send out a mass message across the United States to any and all boys who liked (or didn’t mind) big girls. In my fantasy, I would line all the boys up, walk up and down the line and pick one (or two) so I could finally have a boyfriend.