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The Thin Girl Code? | Manolo for the Big Girl

The Thin Girl Code?

Just to be clear, I don’t really care why the sulky twenty-something who texted all the way through our service didn’t like me. I’m just not that needy. I noticed it because it was unusual and it made me think about my own expectations and whether they were reasonable. Even though many of you adhere to a Big Girl Code, from the comments just as many of you don’t, or stick to it personally, but don’t expect the same from others. To me, that’s reasonable.

I also think it’s reasonable to expect, if not service with a (usually fake) smile, at least service without being treated like you’re a nose-dropping clinging to the most offensive hair of Benito Mussolini’s mustache. Call me old-fashioned.

Maybe she was jealous that a foreign fatty landed such a weapons grade hottie (when the fact is, of course, HE landed ME) and took him out of the dating pool.

Maybe she didn’t like Americans, although it should be noted that I can and do speak borderline lovely Spanish and do my best to counteract the myriad Ugly Americans who’ve retired here and STILL manage to be big racist jerks even while living as a guest in a foreign country.

Maybe her cat died or her feet hurt or I reminded her of her third-grade math teacher who didn’t let her go to the bathroom during a timed multiplication test which resulted in Severe Unpleasantness that she remembers, most often in nightmares, to this day. Uh, just an example.

It doesn’t really matter.

I remember working at the newspaper and there was a woman I just knew as Barbie.

An immaculately-groomed blonde ponytail (expensively reblonded every three weeks) swinging to the middle of her back, perfectly straight school girl bangs, cute girly dresses, stilettos at all times. She was clearly invested in looking like Barbie and even though she was just a little past the age where it looked effortless, Barbie was her aesthetic and Barbie she would be.

For years I vaguely disliked her. She worked in sales, the professional bastion of the former cheer captain, and I had no love for the mostly vapid fembot employees who stayed for three months before bouncing their ponytails to a pharmaceutical rep company, but year after year, Barbie stuck around.

Once I commented on her shoes, which were nicer than the good-enough-for-retail-work Nine Wests she usually pranced through the office. She said they were Isaac Mizrahi, but didn’t know how to pronounce Mizrahi. I found it endearing.

A year or so later on a particularly cold day I asked her where she stored her fur coat in the summer. The lynx had recently come into my life and it would need professional cold storage when May rolled around.

She grabbed the lapel of her mink stroller and announced “It’s carpet!”

With that we were pals. Not friends per se, but chat-in-the-elevator, what-are-you-doing-this-weekend work pals.

I had just assumed that any woman whose personal style icon was Barbara Millicent Roberts: plastic doll, would be so deep into the Fat Hate Rabbit Hole that she wouldn’t want to be in the same room with me, lest thighs that touch in the middle prove contagious.

I’ve never had that problem with men, thinking they automatically disliked me.

The one exception was years ago when a good-looking jock yelled “Hey Fatface!” over and over again from across the street, clearly trying to get my attention. I was incandescent until I realized I knew him from the dog park and he was talking to my Sharpei whose magnificently pendulous jowls earned him that term of endearment weeks before. Oops.

Both the fitness model Bulgarian and Hot Latin Boy have told me about their troubles getting big girls to go out with them because the gals in question thought they were either playing a joke or just being cruel. That’s heartbreaking on a whole mess of levels.

It’s just the girls.

I thought I’d open up a question for the weekend.

Whether you subscribe to a Big Girl Code, do you implicitly expect the opposite treatment from stereotypically attractive slim people? Is it justified or just the specter of middle school/high school/college rearing its ugly head?

Let a girl know and have a great weekend!

27 Responses to “The Thin Girl Code?”

  1. Jacquilynne March 23, 2012 at 2:28 pm #

    I’ve never particularly noticed that thin pretty girls are meaner to me than anyone else.

    I do, however, tend to significantly doubt the motives of most guys who are interested in me.

  2. HeidiAphrodite March 23, 2012 at 2:49 pm #

    My best friend for almost 20 years was a Big Girl and it was never an issue to me, although it was hard to go shopping with her because, at the time, so many Big Girl clothes were just ugly and unflattering. I think being friends with her for so long gave me a perspective most Thin Girls don’t have: Thin Girls don’t realize how humiliating it is to go into a store and have someone look at you like you’re a cockroach. Thin Girls don’t know that it’s uncomfortable to go to the movies because the seats are too small. Thin Girls have no idea what a nightmare bra shopping is. I’m not a mean person. I don’t judge. I would never humiliate someone just because they’re bigger than me–that’s not right or kind and it upsets me when others are mean.

  3. Scarlett March 23, 2012 at 2:50 pm #

    I’ve actually tended to notice the opposite. Thin pretty girls are not one bit threatened by me, so they feel they can be nice to me even when they’re not nice to other girls. Other heavy girls, or girls who are thin but not super-attractive, tend to be meaner to me than thin-and-pretties.

  4. Miss B March 23, 2012 at 3:17 pm #

    I used to feel that I would be dismissed by thin people, as a matter of course. This mistaken belief kept me in a job I hated, working in a plus size retail store, for long past the expiration date. Now, I work with mostly thin to average people, and I’ve found that they actually tend to be *nicer* to me than my cohorts in fat. The fat people I worked with were full of self loathing, and was expressed outwardly in a nasty, judgmental attitude. The thin to average sized people I work with now tend to like themselves more, and are at ease with themselves and other people. I think it has much more to do with individual attitudes vs. body size. If you hate yourself, you aren’t going to be nice to be around.

  5. Constance March 23, 2012 at 4:13 pm #

    Fat people can be mean to other fat people; I don’t automatically assume we belong to the same sorority. Some thin people (especially the effortlessly thin) are very open-minded, even oblivious, to the fact I’m fat. It’s really about people’s own insecurities and lack of self-acceptance.

    And to be perfectly candid, I have to constantly monitor myself, because I can be very judgmental as well, especially about class markers.

  6. Christy March 23, 2012 at 4:38 pm #

    I don’t get too much in the way of meanness from skinny people, but I do get to hear the occasional thoughtless comment about how they couldn’t even imagine being NEAR 300 pounds.

    I do agree that it’s hard to believe that the hot skinny guys are ever doing anything but joking when they show interest. I’m trying to get over that, but it’s hard.

  7. Liz March 23, 2012 at 4:47 pm #

    Um, no.

    I’ve never found that size and personality go together. I’ve met lovely thin people and horrible fat people – and vice versa.

    I may be alone in this, but I’ve also never been clothes shopping and, as Heidi put it, had anyone look at me like I’m a “cockroach”. Yes, some shops don’t make clothes in my size, but that’s not the fault of the sales assistants and they’ve always been lovely about it.

    The closest I’ve got to any of that was when I was enjoying a fry up in a cafe one morning, and two Yummy Mummies walked past with strollers. They spent a good 15 seconds giving me the dirtiest looks they could manage, even going so far as to turn their heads back to me waaaay past the point when it would have been more comfortable to look ahead.

    But it was funny. I just looked back at them, smirking, which seemed to make them madder.

    I sometimes think that a lot of the Fat Girl problems have more to do with other things, or even projection.

  8. wildflower March 23, 2012 at 5:43 pm #

    Now you’re getting into dangerous territory! To assume that someone will be kind is a good policy, whatever the size of the person in question. To have such an attitude often brings out the kindness in that person. To assume that someone will be unkind can do the reverse–bring out the unkindness in them, and then reinforce your bad opinion. I think it’s best to assume the best of everyone (cautiously, of course!). Then develop a thick skin for the times when you are disappointed. :)

  9. Thalia March 23, 2012 at 8:08 pm #

    I agree that pre-emptively disliking people because you assume they will dislike you is never a good idea. Also, sneering at people because they wear Nine West or other not-good-enough-for-you shoes isn’t significantly more valid than sneering at them for weighing more than you do.

  10. TeleriB March 23, 2012 at 8:34 pm #

    I think I missed Girl Lessons somewhere along the line.

    It’s also never occurred to me that thin women would be nasty to me on account of my being fat.

    I expect to get attitude over my weight from health care people, and attitude over my gender in certain geek situations (e.g., first trip into a new gaming store). I have data to back those up. Otherwise, I try not to borrow trouble.

  11. RHCD March 24, 2012 at 12:58 am #

    My bestie is a size eight ex modern dancer. I’m so very not. I”m now usually the biggest gal in the room and I do catch some nasty people giving me *that* stink eye. Doesn’t matter if they are thin, fat, in between they are typically horrible people anyways.

    Although years ago when I was active but still solidly not a tiny dancer (swing), I was in a conversation with a teacher/established dancer. Her comment to me that I was one of the popular dancers in the scene… It caught me off guard as my name and popular in the same sentence had never been uttered. What it taught me was it’s all about attitude.

  12. Joan March 24, 2012 at 10:00 am #

    Thalia – AMEN! That attitude on this blog really bothers me sometimes.

  13. Liz March 24, 2012 at 10:55 am #

    @Thalia and Joan:

    Yeah, that sometimes bothers me. I really don’t see much of a difference between Miss Plumcake’s attitudes towards class indicators in clothes, and others’ attitudes towards weight.

  14. Melissa March 24, 2012 at 2:25 pm #

    If we’re asking questions… How is it that we haven’t had a single post about any single show from any Fashion Week? Because there has been some awesome shit this year that would translate beautifully for big girls.

  15. Joan March 24, 2012 at 10:21 pm #

    Melissa – I agree. As much as I have enjoyed this blog in the past, I deleted it from Google Reader today because I come here for “Big Girl Style,” not just a personal (kind of mean spirited) blog. Oh well.

  16. dcsurfergirl March 25, 2012 at 1:54 am #

    I don’t put anything past anybody. Both good and bad attitudes come in all shapes in sizes.

  17. dcsurfergirl March 25, 2012 at 9:06 am #

    PS: Hugs to Thalia.

  18. Madame Suggia March 25, 2012 at 9:45 am #

    @Thalia, Joan & Liz I kinda see your point BUT if I wanted to read a ‘nice’ blog I wouldn’t read this one…I come for the sparkling snark as much as anything.

    And I do think we ALL judge appearances in different ways-for instance, I couldn’t care less if you wear Payless or Choos but if your eyebrows are a mess or you’re drenched in a nasty I-bought-it-duty-free-at-the-airport-perfume I.Will.Judge.You.

    As for not judging weight V appearance…most of us have very little choice in what weight we carry, but we DO have a world of choice in accessories. I may not love your choice of outfit, but I can certainly appreciate and tell the difference between someone who gives a cr@p and someone who doesn’t.

  19. Susan March 25, 2012 at 10:44 am #

    These days I do not expect much in the way of service in any but the poshist or most venerable restaurants or retail establishments. The “do it your own damn self” service model established in fast food restaurants and big box stores has lowered the standard of service almost everywhere.

  20. Liz March 25, 2012 at 10:49 am #

    “…most of us have very little choice in what weight we carry, but we DO have a world of choice in accessories.”

    Good lord, I hate this “logic”.

    If we did have complete choice over what we weigh, would that make fat bashing okay?

    If sexual orientation was 100% a choice, would that make Rick Santorum right about same sex marriage?

    How about race? If that was a choice, would it have justified slavery and Jim Crow?

    The Fat Police is all about finding a proxy for bashing people for their class, income or race. So is the Fashion Police.

  21. tartandtreacly March 25, 2012 at 4:37 pm #

    Ladies, the key to enjoying reading Plumsies is to imagine her as the Delta Burke character on “Designing Women” and not as a real person issuing dictums on style from behind swathes of Hermes scarves.

  22. Jezebella March 26, 2012 at 12:48 pm #

    I confess: I don’t pre-judge thin women, but women who are all fake nails, fake tan, fake blonde hair, fake boobs, botox, stilettos, etc.? Yeah, I do. I judge them. It’s shitty of me, but I think they’re too conformist for me to like them and probably not so smart.

  23. bushpiglet March 26, 2012 at 1:18 pm #

    Whenever I see a group of teenage girls giggling my angsty little 15 year old self still wants to run. When you spent most of those teenage years being fat shamed the belief that everyone around you is still doing it never really goes all the way away. Your skin just gets a little thicker and you learn to mind it a little less.

  24. Madame Suggia March 26, 2012 at 1:35 pm #

    @ liz

    I may not have made myself clear-‘judging’ someone for not meeting your aesthetic ideals does not mean that, ipso facto, you’ll then treat them in a less respectful way than someone else.

    Just means you don’t like their scarf, or whatever.

    Also, my ‘logic’ is perfectly logical to me, you don’t have to agree but my logic doesn’t need an ironic quote mark.

  25. Thea March 27, 2012 at 3:19 pm #

    No I don’t believe in either a big or thin girl code. Like every woman on the fricking planet, I’ve been judged too many times by superficial, improbable and the flat out idiotic standards. I don’t wanna be that person.

    I prefer to focus on the fabulous, which is why I love fashion in the first place. Once’s scarf may be “Oh honey NO!” but her posture/lipstick/9 Wests impeccable.

    I was in Rome last summer and a beautifully turned out woman in a fantastic necklace caught my eye. She looked over at me and gave me a conspiratorial grin and an approving nod that said “Yes, WE look hot” So much nicer than the usual mental check list I see woman running of who is thinner, younger, fitter, more expensively dressed, etc etc etc.

  26. Shelly March 28, 2012 at 9:51 pm #

    I was super insecure in the dating pool, even after having the reassurance of using an online dating website (if they don’t like you, fine, you don’t get a message. No visible rejection). When I first went out with my Hot Irish Boy, I was half worried that we would start the date and he would say “I’m sorry, I didn’t realize that you were that fat” and leave. This was despite me having my profile pic as an entire body shot, not a cropped cop-out. Luckily, Hot Irish Boy is all about big ladies, and here we are, two years later, moving in together.

    It’s kind of ironic, because he is a extremely attractive Hot Irish Boy with dark curls and blue eyes, and yet he worries that I’m not attracted to his slim body type. We both worry that we’re too fat or skinny for the other partner! Body issues are a crazy thing.

  27. Carmen March 30, 2012 at 6:26 pm #

    I tend to have friends who aren’t super skinny, but who are skinnier than I am. Perhaps I should also note that I don’t have alot of friends.. just a few people I am VERY close to. But one friend tell me she liked that I was the fat friend in the group because it helped her feel better about herself! She is no longer a friend. I am very leery of men who are interested in me if they are attractive. I have dated somen men who became very cruel after a short period of time. Honestly, it was verbal and emotional abuse. I am trying to move beyond that, and my current boyfriend has NEVER said a hurtful word to me, and is quite attractive. Sometimes it felt like I was being held under water by the previous men I dated but, at last, I can breathe.