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

March 23, 2012

The Thin Girl Code?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Miss Plumcake @ 2:23 pm

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!

March 21, 2012

Do You Believe in the Big Girl Code?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Miss Plumcake @ 1:24 pm

Do you expect a level of solidarity from fellow big girls?

I realize this might be more for the size 18 and above than our inbetweenies but ever since the big girl scowled and slumped her way through our service at the Russian museum and restaurant (which, if you’ll recall, was not Russian, a museum nor a restaurant) it’s been tickling the back of my mind.

Of course one grumpy swallow does not a bitchy summer make.

Maybe she’d had a bad day or was just a generally unpleasant person. It can’t possibly be that she didn’t like ME. I’m totally likable until you get to know me. Still, I’ve come to realize I expect a little something extra in the way of friendliness or conversation when a fellow fatty crosses my path.

On one hand I sort of know that’s unreasonable. I don’t expect a thing from my fellow tall or pale girls. On the other, I do slightly expect –and receive– the silent shoe-check of appreciation from other divinely-shod members of society.

I’m always a bit chummier with a big girl, as if we’re both members of some sorority, Alpha Gamma Thigh Chafe or something and I always always go out of my way to be nice to chubby kids.

It’s not that I have an unnatural desire to be Auntie Mame (I totally do) or even that I like children all that much, but because despite personally having a relatively easy time of it at school teasing-wise, I know how much the constant comments from well-meaning –or more appropriately,”well-meaning”– family members can wear on a person’s young Play Doh-like soul.

It can mess a girl up.

I remember the It Gets Better campaign that resonated so deeply with the gay community and wish someone had taken me aside and told me it was even possible to have a rewarding job, loving friend, an enviable sense of self, a million pretty shoes and Get The Guy all while being what is medically referred to as a “fatty fatty two-by-four”.

Not guaranteed, nothing in life is guaranteed except for death and the fact that some guy will bang on your window trying to sell you a lace tablecloth, a giant glittery Betty Boop dressed up as the Virgin of Guadalupe (and if THAT doesn’t illustrate the infamous and widespread Madonna/Whore dichotomy, I don’t know what does), a ceramic turtle AND some churros while you’re waiting to cross the border back into the United States, just possible.

So what do you think? Is it reasonable to expect the club handshake from a big-boned sister or is this just one of many examples of Miss Plumcake spending too much time in the South where almost everyone is a friendly as a demented golden retriever (I’m not saying we’re nicer, but charm counts, especially in concealed weapon states)?

March 19, 2012

The Big Question: Rainy Days and Mondays Edition

Filed under: The Big Question — Miss Plumcake @ 3:01 pm

Happy Monday my precious after-dinner mints, how’s every little thing?

Me, I’m fab. Well okay, not fab per se, but it’s raining outside and while most other suckers are getting their socks wet, I’m here bundled up with my heating pad (central heat has not yet been invented here) tea, blankets and fluffy striped socks that came into my possession in some unknown way and which make me look like my medical profile should feature the words “brain trauma: severe” somewhere therein.

Saturday, Hot Latin Boy and I roadtripped it down south to go to the olive festival and check the potential next Villa Plumcake.

This would’ve been fun except it was not merely raining, it was –in the parlance of my deeply missed Texas– a real frog strangler.

Sadly, none of the houses are destined to be the next Villa Plumcake.

I did find one I positively adored –a fantastic mashup of a lighthouse and a ziggurat perched atop a cliff with 270 degree views of the ocean– but it’s 90 minutes to a store that might actually sell meaningful toilet paper, and so I had to let her go.

The olive festival was cancelled, but HLB insisted on taking me deep into the (surprisingly very good) wine country to visit a Russian museum and restaurant he’d ventured on before.

The Russian museum and restaurant only had three problems: it wasn’t Russian, a museum or a restaurant.

Aside from the name on the wall and a solitary gourd painted to look –if you squinted– like a vaguely Eastern European doll, this place wouldn’t have recognized Russia if Catherine the Great’s pony fell on it.

Being both starved for sustenance and adventure, HLB and I agreed to eat in the *pointed dry cough* restaurant, which was a shack of bare corrugated tin that mostly overlapped, except in places where it didn’t, like, oh I don’t know, the walls and roof.

The floor was, of course, dirt and aside from one rusty Pixar-style desk lamp on the opposite side of the room, benefited from no electricity. We huddled freezing around the cast iron stove –the only heat source– avoiding drips and ate our grim meal (the traditional Muscovite dish of corn smut empanadas) with dampened cheer.

Wow, on second thought, maybe it was more Russian than I originally thought.

(I assure you, it is delicious)

Plus the fat girl at the counter was mean.

I know it’s probably ridiculous, but I expect a degree of solidarity from my corpulent cohort. Sort of the way military veterans treat each other: We were there, man; except there is here. Sister was not having it though. Whatever.

With that adventure in mind, and the scent of almost ready rosemary shortbread making advances on my nostrils, I thought I’d open it up to a Big Question.

Today Miss Plumcake wants to know:

What is your preferred rainy day schedule? Do you enjoy the cats and dogs or, like your pal Plummy, do rainy days and Mondays always bring you down?

I have two versions. When solo, nothing makes me happier than to nestle on the couch with plenty of rich Welsh tea (milk and just the teensiest grain or two of sugar) Bach’s works for organ and an improving book, which I’ll read about two pages of before falling asleep. If I’m feeling ambitious I might make scones or shortbread.

With the fella, the black tea turns to lemongrass with ginger and the Bach stays on the shelf in exchange for film noir, ideally of the Sam Spade oeuvre. Then one of us (hint: not me. Ever.) will brave the rain to get takeout. Snuggling, more tea, more Bogie…romantic, no?

March 18, 2012

Twistie’s Sunday Caption Madness: The Gettin’ Jiggy Edition

Filed under: Twistie's Sunday Caption Madness — Twistie @ 11:22 am

Top ‘o the morning to you all! It’s time once again to play Twistie’s Sunday Caption Madness.

You all know how this works. I find a deathless (or possibly undead) image that’s praying to every saint going for a witty caption or seventeen. You provide said captions via the comments function. Next saturday, I declare a winner who stands us all to green beer, or, you know, takes an internet bow of triumph.


This week’s image comes to you from the Gotta Dance file and looks something like this:

Ready… set… snark!

March 14, 2012

Whisky Tango Foxtrot Results!

Filed under: Whisky Tango Foxtrot — Miss Plumcake @ 2:20 pm


There were fifty four responses to last week’s Return to Whisky Tango Foxtrot wherein I asked readers to give the situation for which wearing this outfit would be appropriate.

I’m a little disappointed that no one suggested it was a part of an art installation describing how a salmon would look dressed as Diana Ross and jumping through a pile of raw chitterlings (that’s chitlins, y’all) but I’m hoping it’s because none of you have had the misfortune of seeing a pile of comestible pig intestines. **shudder** you can’t unring that visual bell.

Most of you dutifully shied away from The Little Mermaid and Las Vegas references, a rule I added to make the game a bit more challenging, although SarahDances wins the Reading Comprehension Medal of Fail for her nonetheless amusing submission:

“You’re starring in an all-mermaid production of “Gone with the Wind” set in Las Vegas, where Tara is a casino, instead of a plantation.”

Don’t worry SarahDances, we still love you.

Reader Ravna wins the highly-coveted Ribbon of Sincerely Sincere Sincerity (awarded to anyone whose response is so heartfelt and sincere that it makes me feel like I should be strapping a single antler to the family dog and endeavoring to steal –among other things– a roast beast) with her two comments:

All these replies and NO ONE thought that this would be good for a Carnevale themed wedding or as a more demure Carnevale costume if you so happen to be in Rio de Janeiro when it goes down?
If I knew I was going to Rio I’d buy that one and salsa it on the streets!
On a completely personal plane I think it’s awfully tacky and would never use it for any other purpose.

I also would like to add that a gown as loud as that requires more bold makeup and a out of the world hairdo plus a steamroller personality so the gown doesn’t overtake you.

The poor girl in the picture is swallowed up because she looks far too plain for the dress.

Ravna, you’re a ray of sunshine in the bat-infested blackness of my soul. Don’t ever change!

Thea’s suggestion of a Drag Quinceañera warmed cockles I didn’t even know I had, and makes me wish they had such things in my part Mexico. Alas, it has been my experience that there is hyper-sequined polyester chiffon and there is satire, and never EVER the twain shall meet.
All the readers who noticed how closely the skirt resembled a fluffy mountain of unrolled latex prophylactics are to be commended and will be in charge of the Safety Dance table at the MftBG Prom should such an event occur, but it is Bushpiglet who wins this WTF-Off with her comment:

“She looks as if she escaped from my Nana’s bathroom and is on the run from the toilet roll she managed to ditch down a side street somewhere.”

with honorable mention going to Mel, who first came up with the toilet paper doll theme.

Congratulations all, and many thanks to the creative and the realistic (you can’t deny it would be perfectly appropriate for a traveler wedding). Join me again soon for new adventures in Whisky Tango Foxtrot!



March 12, 2012

Quality vs Preference

Filed under: Body Love,Movies — Miss Plumcake @ 1:15 pm

Well I never!

Let me just say I am aghast, no, several ghasts at so many of your treasonous cinematic ways.

It’s like that time a few years ago when I played that April Fools joke where I shamefully admitted to having promoted Crocs in exchange for cash and prizes (do I LOOK like a mommieblogger? Do I talk about gluten-free cupcakes, knitting or fabric with owls on them? No, I do not.) and a whole bunch of people were calling for my head, offering themselves as my editorial replacement.

Treacherous harpies.

Of course there are classic films I don’t enjoy.

I adore Vivien Leigh but I’d be fine without sitting through another viewing of Gone with the Wind, and although I won’t say neither love nor money could make me sit through Lawrence of Arabia again, it would take large quantities of both to get me to watch Omar Sharif ride in from the horizon on his camel, no matter how cinematically important that scene remains.

(like this, but for about five minutes)

These are not bad films.

It’s the rare piece of pop culture that stays relevant 50 years (as in the case of Lawrence of Arabia, released in 1962) or nearly 75 years.

It’s amazing so many of them still are.

1939 brought us GwtW, The Wizard of Oz, Of Mice and Men, Ninotchka, Dark Victory, The Women, Mr Smith Goes to Washington, Gunga Din, Stagecoach and a whole bunch of other classics that lend credence to the idea that it’s been all downhill in tinseltown since the clock struck 1940.

Ideals, tastes and conventions, not to mention technology, have changed dramatically since Greta giggled, so it’s important to appreciate film (or music or, I don’t know, body shape) on their own merits and not how well they compare to modern tastes, no matter how deeply or subtly engrained those tastes are.

Take, for example, the top musical hits from the same year.

You’ve got plenty of Glenn Miller, Bessie Smith singing “God Bless America”, a doubtlessly timeless ditty called “The Adventures of Piccolo Pete” and a personal favorite of mine, “Little Brown Jug” (it is a Plumcake family tradition to bounce wee children on one’s knees and sing Little Brown Jug, dipping them dramatically during the “we fell in!” line).

You can’t really fault Glenn Miller or Bessie Smith even if they’re not your preferred genres, but for my imaginary money, the only song that sounds as fresh and painful today as it must have then is Billie Holiday’s haunting “Strange Fruit”.

It reminds me of a brutal breakup when I was 26.

Uh, the over-easy rejection of classic films, not the horrifying epidemic of lynching of the thirties and forties, although I once had to gently tell my sweet but occasionally oblivious voice teacher that even though he was doing an all Billie Holiday tribute, as a middle-aged white man from East Texas with a twang thicker than day old grits, he didn’t exactly have the cultural pedigree to get away with singing that particular song.


Back when I was 26, my long-term fella dumped me HARD for an East German amnesiac who couldn’t remember her name.

I’m not EVEN making that up.

Although he’d always been all about my big girl body, and his new strudel had all the svelte daintiness normally associated with a brain-damaged East German shot-put champion (I’m just guessing about the shot-put part, but the rest is dead on) he told me

“Just because you don’t hate your size doesn’t mean your size is okay.”

I was, for one of the very few times in my life, speechless. How could someone so smart be so wrong wrong wrongitty wrong?

It was then I realized –because I’m not very bright and hadn’t figured it out sooner– that some people really did decide on a person or object’s value and virtue based on whether they liked it or not.

What a crippling way to live.

Which isn’t to say there aren’t empirically rotten films or people out there, and there’s a whole conversation to be led by someone much more erudite than I about the joys of good taste and whether the enjoyment of quality craftsmanship is better or purer than the pleasure derived from “ooh, shiny thing go boom!” and whether, from a pleasure aspect, having good taste is more of a blessing or a curse.

Oh, and the next person who dares to say The Searchers is a bad film, when it is fairly and universally acknowledged as one of the best American films ever made, gets a one way trip to the woodshed behind Villa Plumcake and will be treated to a lengthy lecture on its cultural import, visual beauty and merciless examination of racism and the attitudes about Native American genocide. You don’t have to like it, but it doesn’t mean it’s not great.

March 11, 2012

Film Buff Heresy

Filed under: Movies — Twistie @ 8:30 am

There are a lot of Great Classic Films I adore. Mention Casablanca, and I’m going to sigh joyfully and start quoting. Talk about Citizen Kane, and I shiver at the deathless images that pop straight into my brain. There are other Great Classic Films that do and will always make me happy.

But then there’s Gone With the Wind.

I know there are people who would willingly trample their grandmothers to see this film again, and more power to them. One of the most interesting Cultural Experiences of my life was going with Mr. Twistie (who is a huge fan) to see the 50th anniversary re-release at the Castro theater in San Francisco. I know Hattie McDaniel had all the same lines she ever did, but I didn’t hear one of them through the cheers, and the anticipatory screams for ‘Frankly my dear, etc.’ began about twenty minutes before the line was spoken.

It’s clear that a lot of people are passionate fans of this film. Me? I’m not one of them. I don’t find the story line terribly compelling, I can’t work up much nostalgia for the Antebellum South, and I don’t really care about any of the characters. No, scratch that last one. What happens is I see them and my slapping hand starts itching up a storm.

Not to rain on anyone’s parade, but this is a film I decided years ago to give a miss to at every possible opportunity.

The other Great Classic Film I will never sit through again?

That’s right, The Wizard of Oz.

I was pretty meh on this one even as a very small child. And then my parents gave me the book. After that, I was really done with the movie. There’s so much more in the book, and I read what L. Frank Baum said about what he’d hoped to achieve with his book. What he wanted was a real American fairy tale where the child had amazing adventures and it didn’t turn out to be all just a kooky dream.

For me, Oz is so much better when it’s real, when Dorothy goes back again and again and has further adventures that are equally real. I prefer the winged monkeys when they’re controlled by a magical golden cap. I prefer silver slippers. I like the balance of two good witches (North and South – which is where Glinda comes from), and two evil ones (East and West).

In my book, Judy Garland just isn’t compelling enough to make me like Oz as a coma fantasy.

My guess is that everyone has at least one Great Classic Film you couldn’t pay them to sit through again. One of my very best friends practically froths at the mouth at the mention of Citizen Kane, which, as I said before, is a great favorite of mine. My father couldn’t watch The African Queen (another great favorite of mine) because he said the boat couldn’t possibly work the way they had it set up. I believe him, too. He knew his boats. And you can see what I think of two of the most sacred cows of American cinema.

So what’s the Great Classic Film you intend to avoid for the rest of your life?

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