Manolo for the Big Girl Fashion, Lifestyle, and Humor for the Plus Sized Woman.

April 23, 2008

The Big Question: But She’s My Ride Edition

Filed under: The Big Question — Miss Plumcake @ 3:40 pm

You know the scenario. Traditionally pretty, slim party girl with her big girl girlfriend, drinking, flirting, dancing…all in good fun. Then the party girl meets party boy(s) and big girl is left with promises of “meeting up later.”It never occurred to me that this happened more to big girls than to slim ones (it’s never happened to me at all, but that’s usually because I was the one making questionable decisions) until I heard a girl –who had just been left– complain about it.

Francesca and Plumcake want to know: 

Is this Fat Friend Phenomenon real? Has this happened to you? What do you think about it?

I am of mixed mind, so I’m interested in hearing what y’all have to say.


  1. This most definitely has happened to me several times when out and about in my college town. What’s worse is that if you are the “traditional slim party girl” then you are likely in the Greek system also, which is just as discriminatory against us curvier hot chicks. Such is life I suppose :(

    Comment by FloridaGatorBiggurl — April 23, 2008 @ 4:14 pm

  2. Nope. Can’t say it has, probably because I am also the one making the questionable decisions. YAY Plumcake! =)

    Comment by JayKay — April 23, 2008 @ 4:17 pm

  3. As a small girl who was also painfully shy and had no self-confidence back in my partying days, I can tell you that my big girl friends were the ones getting all the action and leaving me behind.

    Comment by Cat — April 23, 2008 @ 4:23 pm

  4. In they days when I had friends like that yeah – but those people aren’t my friends anymore.

    Before getting married I’ve had my skinny friends meet me in the morning afterwards, but then again I’ve meet them in the morning after a night like that too.

    Comment by RHCD — April 23, 2008 @ 5:36 pm

  5. Yup, that’s happened to me. In college, I was known for having an eccentric style (eccentric for my conservative college town) – leopard print cardigans, clunky pink boots, big fake cocktail rings, etc. – and I had a friend who would encourage me to dress as my usual eccentric self when we went to parties and bars. I never thought anything of it, until I realized that when we went out, she always looked fantastic, in slim black sweaters and skinny jeans. I mentioned it to her once, when we were getting ready and she asked why I wasn’t “all dressed up,” and I told her I wanted to look nice. Her response was that I always looked nice, I had a “different sort of style,” and I should “embrace it.” She seemed to be sincere, but I can’t help but wonder if she had an ulterior motive.

    Comment by Jen — April 23, 2008 @ 6:11 pm

  6. Yes, with one particular ‘friend’ in college. We haven’t spoken in almost twenty years. I don’t miss her.

    Comment by Phyllis — April 23, 2008 @ 6:24 pm

  7. This hasn’t happened to me. I like to think it’s because I choose better friends than that. I’ve also never done that to anyone else. Oh and wtf??? Leaving with a guy you barely know??? Stupidity at it’s finest.

    I would also like to add that saying it’s a “skinny girl” thing is implying that the big girl doesn’t get hit on and is always getting dissed off by her “friend”. I can only hope that NO big (or skinny) girl lets herself get treated in that manner.

    Comment by Angel — April 23, 2008 @ 7:35 pm

  8. I don’t think you have to be a big girl to be the one getting dumped; the one left behind just has to be perceived as undesirable baggage, and there can be a variety of reasons for that: lack of a suitable partner; disinterest on the part of the partner, disinterest on the part of the dumpee, for instance. I hasten to add that true friends don’t dump their friends like this, unless there’s agreement made beforehand; if, for instance, it was the reason for going out in the first place!

    Comment by Wendy — April 23, 2008 @ 7:57 pm

  9. I am now stable and married but in my youth I was ALWAYS the one driving and serving as the Fat Friend. Next to me, my thin friends looked better and attracted more men. However, they were mostly nice girls and good friends, so I was the excuse NOT to go home with the guy that night. At the very least he had to take my friend’s phone number, hang on to it long enough to get home, and call her and ask her out on a civilized date.

    The one time this was different was in college when there were some Nigerian grad students in the bar. Apparently my (ample, pear-shaped) body is HOT HOT HOT in Nigeria.

    Comment by Jane — April 23, 2008 @ 8:07 pm

  10. I am a big girl, and I honestly never have had this happen. I think it has less to do with being a big girl and more with picking bad friends… although, maybe if you’re not feeling super-fabulous about yourself and have low self-esteem, you are more apt to pick friends who don’t treat you well. Everyone should have self-confidence, but we’d be lying if we didn’t admit that many big girls have a rough time of that.

    Comment by Luanne — April 23, 2008 @ 9:50 pm

  11. yeah, this has happened. at the time i thought it was cause i was the fat girl. Still think that some, but I am married now so it doesn’t matter. At the time it was hurtful but oh well. I’m over it.

    Comment by Angela — April 23, 2008 @ 11:15 pm

  12. No, and for one simple reason. My friends and I agree on the “we get there together, we leave together” rule. Saves hurt feelings and possible dangerous situations.

    Comment by Cassie — April 24, 2008 @ 12:19 am

  13. This happened to me through both college and graduate school. I can’t count the number of times that I thought a man was interested in me, only to find out that they really wanted my friend’s phone number. I don’t think it’s because of teh fat, but because I am not attractive.

    Comment by GeekGirl — April 24, 2008 @ 1:10 am

  14. Not really. I’m not big into “going-out” I would rather poke a fork into my eye (repeatedly) then go to a club. I will go to a bar sometimes, but only the nicer bars. I want to sit in a booth and drink, not fight for standing room at a bar while some 60 year old toothless man tries to look down my shirt. When I do go out it’s always with a few different friends, guys and girls, so if you loose one, there are others. I’m also not the only fat chick in my group of friends, and the skinny ones aren’t jerks. Besides, I get plenty of attention when we go out!


    Comment by Jeni — April 24, 2008 @ 1:38 am

  15. All yapping about the D.U.F.F. aside, I think it happens with the girls-who-dump-their-girls-for-guys types. No matter what size.

    And a note to all those girls: If you don’t think the boys you’re leaving with don’t ascribe to “Bros Before Hos”, you’re kidding yourselves.

    So just STOP! In the name of love …

    Comment by littlem — April 24, 2008 @ 4:39 am

  16. My friends never left me behind, but one time I was out with a close friend of mine. We usually lived in different states so we hadn’t been out to a club together before. Anyway, I saw a guy in the club I thought was cute and really wanted to chat to him. He came over and started chatting up my friend. She flirted with him, told him to buy me a drink because she didn’t drink. He did. I thought that meant he liked me and he kept coming around and talking to us. But my friend kept hitting on him and he kept bringing his unattractive male friends over to talk to me.
    I wasn’t buying that crap.
    Neither one of us left with any of these guys nor did we intend to, but the fact that she stayed so chummy with this guy the rest of the night when I told her when I saw him that I thought he was cute and she said he looked like crap…well, it caused a big fight with us after we left the club.
    Oy vey.

    Comment by Hailey — April 24, 2008 @ 6:37 am

  17. I’m embarrassed to say I’ve done this twice at a bar (I never left them w/o a ride, I was just like, “Uh, you go on ahead, I’m gonna stay…). But I’ve never had a skinny friend do it to me, so now I feel bad about that.

    Comment by boots — April 24, 2008 @ 9:15 am

  18. Never. I agree w/ you. Doesn’t happen to me. It has to do w/ your own confidence. It’s not your size. My skinny friends are more likely to get left cuz I meet a guy then vice versa.

    Comment by Tam — April 24, 2008 @ 9:38 am

  19. I think this is a problem that happens more with girls of any size who a) lack confidence in themselves and b) pick their friends badly. The one time I got left behind at a party (without warning, thanks a hell of a lot! I spent half the night waiting patiently for someone who had left an hour after we got to a party I didn’t even want to be at in the first place)) was well before I got fat. I never went to a party with her again.

    This is the sort of thing that could happen to anyone once, but if it’s a pattern in your life, then it’s time to take a hard look at that pattern and freaking change it. Fat or thin, tall or short, dark or light…it doesn’t matter. Somewhere along the line you need to stand up for yourself and recognize that friends don’t do that to friends repeatedly.

    I’m not blaming the victim. It’s not her fault this sort of thing is done by some people. But the cool thing about this one is that the victim has the power to change the situation simply by refusing to go along with it. Think about it. Your ‘friend’ is counting on you to make her look both prettier by contrast and deeper by having a less socially desireable friend. If you opt out, she has to stand on her own two feet unless she can find another willing victim. Teaching her that she has the power on her own to find people is a valuable lesson for her, as is learning that using people doesn’t make the usees happy campers.

    Oh, and as has been pointed out, it’s a completely different thing when prior arrangements have been made or the matter is properly discussed when it comes up. I’m talking about finding yourself stranded in the middle of a party or club where nobody is interested in you because someone has simply assumed you don’t mind or – worse yet – that it is your purpose to be her expendable backdrop.

    Comment by Twistie — April 24, 2008 @ 11:01 am

  20. I was generally just as likely to be the one finding a guy, although I wouldn’t leave a friend alone (we usually went out in groups of 3 or more). In the event that my sister and our other friend both found a guy and I didn’t, they would just invite me along. (Not to watch them have sex, haha, just to hang out).

    Comment by Becky — April 24, 2008 @ 12:11 pm

  21. I am not a social butterfly but I am trying.

    I’ve had it happen once but with a cool twist. My friend (petite and thin) helped me get a cab to the nearest Metro station (District blocks are extra long when you have on nice dress shoes). She already knew the guy anyway. He was nice enough but I was not interested.

    A few weeks before that we (same friend) both went out with one guy after a formal event. No, it was only for coffee and chilling out. We did look pretty cool together in our formalwear! Everyone made sure all got home safely. Much texting happened.

    Bottom line? Be cool and help all your friends have a safe trip home.

    Comment by dcsurfergirl — April 24, 2008 @ 12:16 pm

  22. Jane, yes, Africans appreciate some meat on their women. My friend Susan was a Peace Corps volunteer in Zaire. An African guy told her one day he’d just married and his new wife had a butt that was [holding hands very far apart] this big!

    I have never been left by a friend, but I have always been the sidekick friend to someone cute and flirtatious. I guess I pick friends who are manbait.

    Comment by class-factotum — April 24, 2008 @ 1:36 pm

  23. I haven’t gotten left anywhere, but I have been left holding the purses a couple of times. Not because men rejected me for my thin friends, but because I was being a stick in the mud.

    I think it’s a personality thing in most cases. Having gained a lot of self-confidence, I’ve learned to relax and have fun. Nobody likes the hostile girl in the corner, no matter what size she is. Me: The Fun Edition and my booty are far more popular than angsty high school me would have ever believed.

    Comment by Sara — April 24, 2008 @ 4:33 pm

  24. Ugh. I’m embarrassed to say how long it took me to figure out why I so often ended up bored and alone at a table when I went out with a certain group. Once the cluebrick landed I stopped going out with them. I’d rather be alone when I’m actually by myself, thanks.

    Comment by Sniper — April 24, 2008 @ 8:40 pm

  25. happens all the time. not cos my friends are bitchy, just cos they get hit on and i don’t, so they get busy flirting (or whatever) and i just hang around waiting til it’s time to go home. i’m also usually designated driver, but that’s cos i’m not a big drinker and don’t really care whether i have alcohol or not.
    so, my point it is, yes it happens, but as a natural consequence of being the less attractive friend and definitely not because i’m being used.

    Comment by kathi — April 25, 2008 @ 1:58 am

  26. I always think of this as the “purse girl” syndrome. When a group of “girls,” and I use this term deliberately, goes out there is usually one that gets left watching the purses while the others have fun. When women go out together, they don’t negate the existence of their female friends when they get a whiff of testosterone. Thus, the repeated references to “when I was in college.”

    Purse Girl syndrome does not necessarily correlate to body weight. Given the obsession with thinness in our society this may becoming prevalent now though. The Purse Girl is just as likely to be shy, flat-chested, acne-ridden, bespectacled, very thin or very tall. Mostly, the Purse Girl has some visible differnce from her friends that she has allowed to diminish her in her own eyes. Also, she has made a poor choice of friends. I personally didn’t suffer purse girl syndrome in college because I was very outgoing and social and didn’t allow myself to be “put in a corner.”

    On a safety note, when women go out in a group to a club or bar, it isn’t advisable to leave one person behind or the allow someone who is impaired to leave alone or with strangers. Men have wing men. Women have a safety net. Natalie Holloway would probably be alive today if she had had better girlfriends.

    Comment by Nanette — April 26, 2008 @ 8:30 am

  27. 1. Jeni, where the hell are you going that has a bar full of toothless 60 year olds? Uganda? Most American 60 year olds have full sets of teeth!
    2. I am lucky in that my “hot blond, blue eyed” friend was clueless. I was the life of the party and this guy joined the fun at a convention. He then started talking about this ultra posh exclusive party he had tickets to and asked my friend if she wanted to go. My friend looked at me and “Let’s go!” I had to explain to her that I wasn’t invited. She thought I was the one and she was the tagalong… Attitude is all my friends!

    Comment by Jennie — April 26, 2008 @ 10:53 am

  28. One of my close friends in college was a big girl in another sense – she’s six feet tall and very beautiful. Back then, she was also model-thin, so she always attracted a lot of attention when we were out! It was okay with me, though – I was never the pick guys up in bars type – I’m more the church on Sunday type. Watching all the guys trying to talk to her usually provided me with a night’s entertainment.

    Comment by Kate — April 26, 2008 @ 2:33 pm

  29. I personally didn’t suffer purse girl syndrome in college because I was very outgoing and social and didn’t allow myself to be “put in a corner.”

    Same here. And I have always been a pretty, outgoing girl (thin and fat). But fat I have noticed that often my skinny party girl friends (very loosely used term) get pissed, I mean tantrum throwing mad, because boys like me. How dare I take up space and be charming!

    Comment by Red Queen — April 26, 2008 @ 3:00 pm

  30. This is totally true. My best friend (a size ZERO) is always leaving me behind when she finds a cute guy. She has a habit of sleeping with a guy as soon as I tell her I like him. It’s almost as if she can’t stand me getting more attention than her. After all, I’m the fat one, they HAVE to like her more, and if they don’t, she sleeps with them until they do. It makes me sick.

    Comment by Kristen — April 28, 2008 @ 12:17 am

  31. Kristen: Why is this girl your best friend if she treats you that way?

    Comment by Cat — April 28, 2008 @ 4:20 pm

  32. I haven’t had that problem, but a variation on it: I tend to have these gorgeous redheaded women for roommates – and people get to know me so that they can hit on my roommate. no fun!!

    Comment by sb — April 28, 2008 @ 6:13 pm

  33. I did it once, but not for any old reason: I ditched my friend in a club to be with the man who I ended up marrying. She happened to be larger than me, but that wasn’t why I left.

    Comment by M :) — May 1, 2008 @ 11:04 am

  34. I’ve been the ditched and the ditcher so I’m riding both sides on this one. My current skinny friend acts as if she has no self esteem until we’re surrounded by men b/c I’m tellin u, she’s a knock out! Many times I’ve wanted to knock her out but she gets me free drinks and I usually end up finding a guy or an old girlfriend at the bar/club to talk to, possibly go home with! Just an update, my skinny friend has been taken off her topomax, she acts alot better now haha!

    Comment by jen — May 1, 2008 @ 4:03 pm

  35. One tried; a former friend once told me, as we were getting ready to go out, “Tonight is all about ME!” Meaning I shouldn’t compete with her in any way. Admittedly, she was getting over a bad break-up, but seriously, everything was always about her anyways! She got all the guys anyways since she was a) gorgeous & b) always had to be the centre of attention. I’m a lot more mellow.

    She was really threatened by me for some reason; when I dressed low-key-normally for the club we were going to, she pitched a FIT. It was supposed to be about HER!! I gently told her I wasn’t trying to look BETTER than her, but I wanted to play WITH her. She seemed a little embarrassed & backed off.

    But seriously, it was a long skirt & a tight T-shirt, bland for a goth bar. SHE was wearing a latex mini-nurses outfit; how much more non-threatening could I BE?!? What the hell was I supposed to wear; a rainbow fright wig?

    That friendship is over.

    Comment by QuiteLight — May 4, 2008 @ 9:19 pm

  36. Good post, thanks

    Comment by high street opticians — May 18, 2010 @ 6:14 am

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