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

June 30, 2010

Portrait of a (fat) Lady

Filed under: Art,Plumcake's Secrets of Fabulousness — Miss Plumcake @ 3:51 pm

I have crashed a party exactly once in my life.

It was New Year’s Eve and rumor had it THE most fabulous miniature gay man on the face of the planet –I mean he out-Capotes Truman Capote– was having a little shindig and I’d heard so much about his legendary house I simply HAD to go or I would just DIE.

So I charmed, finagled, and finally begged my way into being someone’s plus one. The big night came, my ticket had to bail. Well. By that time I was already in sequined cocktail gown and white Dior tailcoat and by GOD I was going to this party, so I waltzed in with my lynx coat and hastily gift-wrapped box of Walker’s shortbread and I crashed that party like a pro.

I cannot even begin to describe to you this house, other than I accidentally knocked my handbag against one of the many Picasso harlequins on the walls that were tessellated floor-to-cathedral ceiling with art. Because why have ONE Modigliani when you can have three, plus some Dali etchings to fill in the spaces and a few Cecil Beaton photographs OF YOURSELF just for good measure.

Above the story-tall fireplace in the great room was a huge painting of our host as a young man, painted by his brother who apparently was something of a Big Deal back in the 30’s. My friend –who had also finagled his way into a plus one– commented:

“It takes a certain type of person to have their own portrait hanging in their living room.”

to which I replied, slightly hurt but for no good reason “Hey! I have my portrait hanging in my living room!”

“…Of course you do.”

And this is why I’m of two minds when it comes to the art of Les Toil, the artist behind the Toil Girls, a series of mostly individually-commissioned drawings of plus-size women in the pin-up style.

Francesca was a fan. I am definitely not.

On one hand, I totally get it.

I understand why women –maybe women who don’t necessarily get a lot of positive feedback about their desirability– would want to be transformed into a cheesecake cartoon.  Lord knows I’m all about the vanity and as far as vanities go, it’s a relatively cheap and harmless one. On par with those tack-o but inoffensive Glamour Shots you get in the mall.

On the other hand…sheesh. Low. Brow.  Now I understand that for some unknown reason you all aren’t required to share all my tastes YET (say what you will about Fascism, at least they had a unified aesthetic) but…sheesh.

BUT, all indications to the contrary, I’m not here to hate on Les Toil.

He seems like a decent enough fella. He certainly loves the big girls and, perhaps more importantly, is willing to monetize that love.  More power to him. It takes all kinds.

And who knows, maybe he’ll be the next Art Frahm and then someday you can entertain your grandkids with the photo the same way Frahm’s models (if indeed he used models) probably tell their grandkids about how they had to pose drop-knickered with a bag of celery for a five cents an hour.


This whole thing just smacks of yet another case where instead of getting what they really want –say an oil portrait of your reclining nude self– big girls settle for what’s available and acceptable.




Houses settle, bets settle,  benches settle.

You? Don’t have to settle. Not about most things, and certainly not about this.

If your soul yearns to be a Toil Girl and only a Toil will do, by all means, get one. Get a dozen and make a freakin’ calendar and cherish the crap out of that hot kitschy mess.  BUT if what you want is a mixed media painting of yourself in the nude (and I firmly believe all women should sit for a nude painting or drawing at least once in her life) then kick the kitsch to the curb and get what you want.

“But what about the money?”

Mister Toil charges between $400 and $500  and to me that’s perfectly fair.  I know some women have this idea that if you sit for an artist you are being his muse and not only will he probably fall madly in love with your beauty, he will paint you for free.

These women are high.

BUT,  getting a fine art portrait (I view Mr Toil’s work as illustration, and there’s certainly no shame in the illustration game, but fine art it ain’t) doesn’t have to be that much more expensive. It just takes a little legwork.

If you want to drop a grand or more for a traditional oil portrait but don’t know where to start, you might try calling your city capitol building. Ask a docent who painted the portrait of the sitting governor. If he or she isn’t taking commissions, you might ask who they would recommend.

If you prefer a hipper more impressionist –though potentially less polished– portrait,  go to the coffee shops, teensy galleries, bars, wherever they display local artists. If there’s an artist you just loooove on Etsy, ask them if they’ll take a commission. Heck, even Craigslist works if you live in a relatively artsy town.

Meet with your potential artist, get a feel for the artist’s work and personality. I’ve found many if not most artists genuinely prefer to work with women with a more traditionally voluptuous build. If it clicks it clicks. If not, move on. It will help if you’ve got an idea of what you want and what you don’t want.

Just don’t settle.

In eighty years you (or your children or your great grandchildren) will love to see how gorgeous and vibrant you were in all your beautiful curving glory. Make it something you want them to see, especially above the fireplace.

June 29, 2010

The Big Question: Fat Girl Walking

Filed under: Food,The Big Question — Miss Plumcake @ 12:11 pm

Okay, let’s say the Feds have finally caught on to your life of crime –you’ve been going on a killing spree, shooting in cold blood every person who says “You have such a pretty face” and then sighs heavily looking at the rest of your body– and you’re sentenced to sit in Ol’ Sparky at the state courthouse bright and early tomorrow morning:

What’s your last meal?

I honestly don’t know what mine would be, because all the great meals I’ve had that I’d want to recreate –the Snug Harbor at Fred’s in Annapolis, where my grandparents and I would go as a special treat, the incredible Taverna burger with Greek-seasoned fries at Dave’s Taverna in my little college town, the eggs over easy at Cafe Edison in Times Square the morning after Andre proposed– wouldn’t be much of anything without the company. It would be edible nostalgia, and for the most part, food nostalgia is lost on me.

I’m not Proustian by nature and if someone slipped me a madeleine I’d be all “delicious! Can I have twelve more to go and a cup of tea please? Cream no sugar.  I’ve got to get back to work.”

So I suppose I’d go with toast. I’m always happy to have toast. Toast and jam, toast and butter, cheese toast, shrimp toast, toast with cream cheese and preserves. Toast with runny egg.  Anything except Marmite.

What about you?

June 28, 2010

Lazy Monday Poll: Don’t Talk About The War edition

Filed under: Lazy Poll,Sports — Miss Plumcake @ 11:42 am

Good morning my little vuvuzelas, how’s every little thing?

It was a rough, rough weekend for your pal Plummy. Of course I’m taking about the World Cup. America’s loss to Ghana was sad because you hate the see the home team go down, but I like Ghana and if anyone deserves the psychological victory that comes with bringing home the big W against the U.S., it’s Ghana. BUT.

The England match.

Oh sweet buttered Bolingbroke, the England match.

Let me paint you a little picture: your pal Plummy is not only awake, but fully vested in her England soccer jersey and coordinating Hermès scarf (a girl’s gotta have a little glamor, especially when said girl will be drinking at 8 o’clock on a Sunday morning, because the difference between addict and enthusiast is all in the accessories) and enjoying a full Irish and a velveteen –like a Black and Tan but with cider instead of Bass, also called a snakebite– with my Irish expat friend at the local Irish pub.

The joint is packed with expats and a few wrongthinking people who support Germany –because fanatical Germans waving flags has ended so well for the world, historically–and they play We Will Rock you, which I am ashamed to admit makes me want to kick some ass (see also: the bagpipes. There is something deep in the genetic recesses of my whatever that, upon hearing a live rendition of Scotland the Brave takes me from my normal delightful and mild-mannered self to DOON WI’ TH’ ACCURSED SASSENACH! in about .82 seconds flat. Fun fact, if you watch the very dark  video you can juuuust about see Miss Plumcake in the background here, talking to one of the drummers who was so cute in his kilt I forgot the name of my date, which wouldn’t have been so bad had I not known the aforementioned date for TEN YEARS prior to the incident).

The game started and then…bad things happened.

And the worst part, THE WORST PART, wasn’t that the English were ROBBED of that goal by a stupid bad call –which of course resulted in many enthusiastic chants, the favorite seeming to be “The Referee’s a Wanker” to the tune of “Nanny Nanny Boo Boo”– but the fact that after the game when I went to my ANGLICAN as in ENGLISH church, our opening hymn was “Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken” set to the tune of Austria by Franz Josef Haydn which is also the tune for…you guessed it: Deutschland, Deutschland Uber Alles, the German National anthem.

ANYHOODLE, what’s been going on with you? Anything grand?  Buy anything sparkly? Get arrested? Meet a new loooovair?  Anything going on in the world of fattery we need to know? Put it in the comments!

June 27, 2010


Filed under: Uncategorized — Twistie @ 8:14 pm

Okay, I know I posted an article for this morning. I honestly did. It was full of yummy pictures and wit and all the other things this blog is noted for, really.

But apparently WordPress in its infinite lack of wisdom doesn’t think you need to read it.

That being the case, here’s a pic of the ever delightful and wonderful Eddie Izzard to get you through because I’m too exhausted from doing good to write anything important.

June 26, 2010

Twistie’s Sunday Caption Madness: The Angsty Rabbit Edition: The Result

Filed under: Twistie's Sunday Caption Madness — Twistie @ 8:30 am

Oh my darlings.

You do make me proud.

Last week I inflicted this…

image upon you all, and you took up the gauntlet to smack me hard with twelve hilarious and witty captions.

You took your inspiration from a plethora of deliciously devilish directions and made this one son of a so-and-so to judge.

In the end, though, there can be but one… unless there are two. This week the laurel must be shared by two deranged readers. One took the image precisely in the same twisted direction as my mind did when I found it. The other took it to a frighteningly apt place I had not even begun to consider.

The first is Elish for this ode to modern art:

While he had many admirers of his paintings, few were as familiar with Munch’s epic installation piece near his home in Norway.

The second is Miss Fontina Fromage (Plummy, is that you? If not it should be) for this terrifying train wreck of imaginary cinema:

I don’t care WHO thought it was “inspired casting”, having M. Night Shyamalan direct the remake of Harvey was a disaster from the start.

Congratulations to both winners, and thanks to everyone who played.

June 25, 2010

Shoe Month! ARRRGHH!

Filed under: Shoes,Sports — Miss Plumcake @ 11:29 am

Hey guys, sorry I didn’t post yesterday (FALSE! I’m totally not! I haven’t skipped a weekday since Francesca left to “Bavaria” or wherever and it was AWE.SOME.) but the stress of the World Cup has just been killing me. I had a headache all day after Lando’s epic goal because my whatever levels got all wonkety, spiked and crashed.

Then there’s the post-work wrap up I have with my gentleman caller who is WAY more obsessed with soccer than I am because he played for Atalanta B.C. for seven years and gets too excited and ends up talking to me in a mixture of English, Italian, French and possibly German, and I’m pretty okay with all of those individually –except for German– but when they’re all blended together and pushed across the voicebox of an overexcited ex-soccer player? I’m screwed.


You KNOW how I feel about green shoes. There are on the list of Top Five Things I’ll Ever Really Love, right there between Henry Rollins’ back and Jesus.

But you ALSO know how I feel about glitter in my house. Because glitter, much like children and the herp, does not go away. I refuse –again like children and the herp– to have it in my house, sullying my white furniture and insinuating itself into my nooks and crannies.

That being said, if you’re NOT strictly anti-glitter (and maybe it’s laminated? maybe?) these are on pretty spectacular sale at Saks.

June 23, 2010


Filed under: Sports — Miss Plumcake @ 12:33 pm

The rest of the blog will be CLOSED ON ACCOUNT OF AWESOME.

and, I repeat, OH MY GOD!

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