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

May 16, 2011

The Big Question: Under There Edition

Filed under: Intimates,The Big Question — Miss Plumcake @ 4:12 pm

So I’ve been thinking a lot about underwear recently.

First, someone in Ireland stole a pair of my underwear. Let me just tell you how unacceptable that is. It is ALL THE WAY unacceptable. I know I joke about packing more underwear than you need in case you need to give some out as souvenirs, but I didn’t actually mean it! But no! Last night in Ireland I get back from the disco and the guy I accidentally jilted for his best friend from grade school is in my room unattended and during the next morning’s panty count (I had to pack, and much like the Marines, I am firmly committed to No One Left Behind) I was down one pair of size 9 Delta Burke light control briefs.

Also, who steals a pair size 9 Delta Burke light control briefs? Not. Cool.

Oh, and SPEAKING of Marines, has no one told them that when one wears white pants, one should probably not wear white underpants as well? Because I won’t say my grandparents’ inurnment service was ruined at Arlington National Cemetery, and by all means Marines bending over with visible panty lines (including, surprisingly, a pair of bikinis) are better than no Marines bending over at all, but it didn’t exactly add to the solemnity of the occasion.

Finally, last week I went to an open mic comedy night fundraiser.

The catch?

All the performers had to be in their underwear.

I was Not Enthused.

Frankly, if I wanted to laugh at pasty white dudes in their underwear, I’m going to do it the old fashioned way: in hushed whispers on the phone to my best friend while Honky McUnderpants is taking a shower. It’s just good breeding.

Anyway, the hostess, aside from being the only funny person to touch the mic that evening, was also a big girl. She was wearing a corset –thankfully NOT the platter-o-boobs type– a tulle skirt, control-top sheer black tights and heels. The only other woman was in a robe. Meanwhile, every.single.guy. wore boxers, tighty whities or –and fair play for commitment to the theme– a pair of adult diapers. Only one of them remembered to sew up the fly. It was not a good scene.

Later that night, I asked my best friend if she’d strip down to her actual undies –in a non-titillating way– for a good cause. She said probably not.

As for me? I don’t really care.

I’m not an exhibitionist. I’m used to people looking at me because they always have, not because I’m any great beauty but my height/size/features have always been unusual and thus attract attention. It doesn’t bother me. So going down to my skivvies in a totally unsexy way to raise money for a good cause? Eh. No skin off my nose.

The real objections I have are usually tied in with the idea that the only way women are supposed to raise awareness for anything is by getting their kit off. I’d much rather roll up in some joint in my Aint Nobody Gettin’ Any Tonight underthings than get all trussed up in some sexy lingerie-ish ensemble, even if that meant I was wearing more clothes.

So today Miss Plumcake wants to know:

Would you get down to your knickers for a good cause? What would the situation have to be? If yes, why? If no, why not? Would being a big girl make a difference? What about if you were the biggest girl in the room?


  1. Oh hell yes! Why not? If it’s all in good fun I will so totally do it. I am not ashamed of anyone seeing my body – it’s a roadmap of scars, stretchmarks, freckles and moles that basically tell my life story.

    I mean heck, I did a polar bear splash in a homemade bikini made out of antelope skin with a pair of jackalope horns on for a Special Olympics fundraiser – and yes I was the biggest girl there! Did I care? Not a bit – I had a great reaction to my costume – everyone loved it and I didn’t hear one twitter of “too fat to wear that!”

    I will say, however, that the full monty type of fundraisers are getting a little old, I think.

    Comment by HurricaneDeck — May 16, 2011 @ 5:22 pm

  2. I would- probably a pair of boy shorts and fun matching bra, and maybe a cardi, because I tend to catch a chill if my arms are exposed, and of course a great pair of shoes. I am comfortable in my own skin, and have spent too much time having to change clothing publicly to care. I am not an exhibitionist, not by a long shot- just have spent time camping, doing relief work, performing, where the luxury of privacy is not always afforded. I figure if I am comfortable with it, everyone else will be too. I am often the largest woman in the room-I know I am Sexy, and my husband thinks I am insanely sexy- the rest of the world can pound sand with their opinions…

    I am with Hurricane- my scars, stretch marks and moles are all evidence of a life well lived. Ohh- and the lets see people in their undies thing is overrated.

    Comment by Kimks — May 16, 2011 @ 9:47 pm

  3. Who would take a pair of light control briefs- and do you want them back?

    Comment by Kimks — May 16, 2011 @ 9:49 pm

  4. Why Plummy, you were in my neck of the woods last week. A friend of mine organized that showcase and I did not have the heart to tell him that no one wants to see open mic comics in their underwear. Why not embrace one of the few art forms that so caters to the strengths of the skinny dork?

    Comment by Tiff — May 16, 2011 @ 11:01 pm

  5. I wouldn’t. My husband thinks I’m perfect, I often forget I’m the size I am & I have come to terms with the size of my jeans. I simply would rather eat amazing food than be a size 2.
    That’s not it though. Even when I was a little teeny tiny size I wasn’t a fan of minimal clothing. My Mom bought me my first miniskirt, I would’ve stayed in my Levi’s. Little short kilts in the 90’s? I wore VERY opaque tights. I’m just not a skin girl. Alone with my hubby? Sure. Any where else? Any reason else? No, it’s just not me.

    Comment by Leah — May 17, 2011 @ 12:16 am

  6. For a great cause that I believe in I totally would. Hell, I probably would if it was just a sorta great cause. Yes, even if I was the only big girl there, or perhaps especially then. I think there are too many big girls who think that if they aren’t a “straight” size that they aren’t/couldn’t possibly be beautiful, and I call Bullship on that.

    While I’m not an exhibitionist per se, I’m not shy in any way shape or form. I am one fat, hot chick and I don’t care what anyone thinks. I love myself, and my opinion is the only one that truly matters. Although I try to keep my husband’s opinion in mind, occasionally…Sometimes…Don’t quote me on that :)

    Comment by Jessica — May 17, 2011 @ 2:30 am

  7. The only cause I will strip for is the I-need-medical-help one, in the sense that doctors and nurses are the only people apart from my husband who see my undies. (Although I did show my colleagues – also nurses – how high up my maternity underpants go up on my stomach, so that may be cheating.)

    It has less to do with my body shape and size than with the fact that I think that taking your clothes off to support something is crass.

    Comment by Rebekka — May 17, 2011 @ 2:57 am

  8. @Tiff: Ha, I certainly know who you’re talking about (he tried to chat up my friend) and he probably remembers me because it was a small room and I stuck out like a sore thumb (perhaps 5″ rock python sandals, my Hermes hores et dies scarf in my hair and the Birkin might have been overshooting it a teensy bit, but c’mon, I was wearing jeans. that should count for something!)

    I always feel bad at open mics because I’m almost always the only person who makes their living, hell, makes any money at all, off of being Professionally Funny. But yeah. Never let him do that again.

    Comment by Miss Plumcake — May 17, 2011 @ 3:52 am

  9. “the full monty type of fundraisers are getting a little old, I think.”

    That is an understatement.
    I’m just not that comfortable fully exposed to the elements (It’s probably my Canadianity: not enough clothing is a You vs. Nature battle you will always lose). I’ve been big and I’ve been small, and in each situation, clothing on has always been better for me.

    I’m also one of those people who think that “nudity”, especially professional nudity, is a bigger cloak than we want to think. We are surrounded by it in images and advertising for everything, and then we want to tell ourselves it’s titillating when it happens around us, at say, something like a fundraiser. In my skin I look like everyone else, right down to the extra fat and scars and stretchmarks. In my clothes, though, I don’t look like anyone but me.

    Comment by ChaChaheels — May 17, 2011 @ 8:07 am

  10. No. And this is the problem I have with “Slutwalks.” They’re more about exhibitionism than making a political point. Real political change is effected by people dressed in dignified outfits, not young girls in bras showing off.

    Comment by harri p. — May 17, 2011 @ 8:54 am

  11. Oh how exciting! I’m fairly certain that the fabulous big girl you are referring to is my friend. I didn’t know about this particular gig of hers, but I saw a photo on Facebook, and then read your description, and the fact that you were in the DC area…

    E is in fact quite fabulous and always the funniest at the Open Mic nights I’ve seen her in. My favorite thing is when she makes fun of guys telling fat girl jokes…and then the next guy who gets up does a really lame fat girl joke! Do you really not have enough material to switch that one out?

    Comment by jen209 — May 17, 2011 @ 10:03 am

  12. “Oh, and SPEAKING of Marines, has no one told them that when one wears white pants, one should probably not wear white underpants as well?”

    Sigh. Yes, we do tell our Marines that. I promise. (I’m in the Navy myself, but I know we tell our Marines the same thing.) When I was going through training, we had a whole lecture on what to wear under our whites… I really don’t know why we forget, I really don’t. I think its so counter-intuitive for a lot of males, that they simply don’t believe it when they’re told it.

    BTW, the same is true for shirt stays. We tell our people to switch out their white shirt stays for black ones with their white uniforms, but no one believes us, and then they don’t do it, and well, this happens. :)

    Comment by Genevieve — May 17, 2011 @ 2:42 pm

  13. @jen209: Yep, that’s the one, she did a bit of that material too. Thank goodness she was funny (as opposed to every.other.comic. up there) because we all had drinks after. She’s friends with my BFF. I kept pretty quiet and didn’t blow my cover as a Professionally Funny Person because I didn’t have much nice to say about…well, anything. I was tired and cranky and not feeling well to begin with, plus I vaguely resent open mic nights in the first place because I think if someone wants to test out their material on me, they should have to pay me my going rate. She seemed like a doll though. So uh hey! We had cocktails by association!

    Comment by Miss Plumcake — May 17, 2011 @ 2:59 pm

  14. @Genevieve: See, I actually told my friend “That would NEVER fly at Navy.” I spent a great part of my formative years in Annapolis and I don’t recall a single vpl (and I was looking!)

    Comment by Miss Plumcake — May 17, 2011 @ 3:02 pm

  15. @Plumcake I definitely wish I had gone to that show now! It really is sometimes painful to go and watch the other comics though, they are usually SO bad. I’m glad to have outside validation, since I’m sure I’m biased as a friend. Most of the time I’m sitting there deciding whether I feel like pity laughing, or just staring at them so they get the message that YOU SHOULD NOT DO THIS AGAIN.

    Comment by jen209 — May 17, 2011 @ 4:14 pm

  16. can somebody please give me the name of the comic who is flattening guys who do fat girl jokes? I would kill to see if I can find her material online?

    Comment by Thea — May 17, 2011 @ 4:45 pm

  17. I don’t have a problem stripping down to my skivies. Year round swim team practice from ages 4 to 18 resulted in a rather functional attitude towards my nearly stripped down body.
    If you don’t like it, that’s your problem, not mine.

    That said, I don’t think that there are that many good charity fund raising ideas that have to do with me stripping down.
    Polar bear plung, fine. But honestly, I’d rather be comfortable at my charity events. Give me a dance, auction or wine tasting and you’ll get more money out of me. Bachelor/bachelorette auctions and dating games are sufficiently awkward without the addition of visible underwear.

    Comment by jojo.k — May 17, 2011 @ 6:02 pm

  18. @ Miss Plumcake: Yeah, when you’re told by your male class Chief that he will be knocking points off if he can see your underwear during a uniform inspection…you don’t wear white underwear. Seriously. He was amazing, and its not like he was all up in our situations (in fact, he was more than a perfect gentleman at all times!) but the lecture was so, uh, specific, that we were all scared into doing checks on each other before venturing out of our rooms for inspection. Having some guy knock on your door, asking if you can see through his pants is one of those things that becomes (amusingly/awesomely) normal.

    If only we could get the Marines to have the same mentality. ;)

    Comment by Genevieve — May 17, 2011 @ 6:03 pm

  19. @Miss Plumcake: That particular room is known for being newbie friendly, too. Anyway, should you need a recommendation for particularly excellent cocktails, or feel like socializing with Internet strangers, I’m happy to oblige.

    Comment by Tiff — May 17, 2011 @ 9:09 pm

  20. Okay, I hope she doesn’t mind me giving this out (and I hope this doesn’t get caught in a spam filter), but here’s the link to her Youtube page:

    Comment by jen209 — May 17, 2011 @ 10:48 pm

  21. @jen209
    Thank you! I owe ya a cocktail
    PS any comic who doesn’t want their act publicized, um, I never met :-)

    Comment by Thea — May 18, 2011 @ 12:30 pm

  22. Only for a bad cause … a very, very bad cause.

    Comment by Susan — May 19, 2011 @ 9:44 am

  23. Well, I’m a burlesque performer, so I guess I’d have to say Yes. Apparently I’d even do it for a not so good cause. I’d do it because it’s Thursday.

    I started taking (fully-clothed) classes about 2 years ago, and have progressed into performing. What has been interesting for me on my journey is that I went from, “This sounds like a fun way to work up a sweat, but I could never do it on stage” to “Huh, maybe I’m better at this than I thought. Maybe someday I could do this for a boyfriend” to “Stand back, bitches, I’m takin’ the stage and rockin’ my pasties!” It wasn’t overnight, but it’s been fun to watch my confidence in myself and in my body grow. I think the trick is to own it, to claim the space as your own and invite others to join you in having fun.

    I do still have some issues with my stomach, so I like to wear a waist cincher, but I’d happily don a pretty pair of ruffly panties and a cute bra to raise money for the animal shelter where I volunteer. So far, however, no one’s asked.

    Comment by Bubes Radley — May 19, 2011 @ 11:59 am

  24. Probably a no. I’m comfrotable around people I know, but I don’t think I could in front of strangers.

    Also, @harri p:

    “Real political change is effected by people dressed in dignified outfits, not young girls in bras showing off.”

    I’ve got to call shenanigans on this for slut shaming. There will always be those who are more exhibitionist than activist, but the point of the slutwalks is that women – and their rights – should be taken seriously regardless of how dignified an outfit they (can afford to) wear.

    Comment by Alix D — May 19, 2011 @ 12:19 pm

  25. @AlixD – respectfully, no. Just no. Slut walks are a middle class white girl with an exhibitionist twist affectation – that has no real value or meaning for women’s rights. Tell the girls to throw on a sweatshirt and spend the night doing intake at a battered woman’s shelter, a rape crisis center, or lobbying your local congressperson for better funding/support for woman’s issues and Planned Parenthood. You can do all 3 things in clothes from TJ Maxx and make a REAL difference – instead of making a self-indulgent spectacle of yourself.

    Comment by Thea — May 20, 2011 @ 11:17 pm

  26. Thea: YES. Agreed, completely. There’s no way to “reclaim” slut in any kind of meaningful way, and why would we want to? Yuck.

    Comment by Jezebella — May 25, 2011 @ 10:36 am

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