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

March 24, 2010

The Big Question: Finger on the Trigger edition

Filed under: The Big Question,The Fat's in the Fire — Miss Plumcake @ 3:01 pm

Oh my God. How is it only Wednesday? I barely crawled out of the primordial ooze into my cheersome little Georgina Goodman slippers this morning. Frankly, I’m surprised I’m even wearing a bra (wait…quick fact check. Yes. Continue.)  much less attempting to post with all the wit, cleverness and uh, otherstuffliness that you’ve come to know and expect from a Miss Plumcake Joint.


Georgina Goodman "Slipper Slipper"

The thing is, I have absolutely no idea WHY I feel like someone locked me in a portapotty filled with angry badgers, I just do.

I think it might have something to do with seeing my nutritionist. Now, I love my nutritionist. She’s 10 pounds of awesome in a five pound bag and if if we didn’t have a patient/client thing happening I would totally take her out for cocktails at some college bar and play “Guess The Social Disease” based solely on each girl’s tramp stamp totally meaningful lower back tattoo. Good times.

Anyhoodle,  my nutritionist believes that PERHAPS going all day without eating anything and then having a big dinner at 10:00 p.m. is not exactly the ideal food model for proper nutrition.  I know, I’m as shocked as you are.  So in an effort to get me to eat during the day and at regular intervals she’s had me keep a food journal.

Did your heart just drop with anxiety?

Mine did.

It brought back pretty much every anxious feeling I had as a chubby young girl subjected to diet fad after diet fad by people whose main goal for me wasn’t health or happiness, but being thin.

I don’t have many food issues now, and I certainly don’t have much in the way of food shame, but handing over my brutally honest food journal –well really my iPhone with all my notes– was an incredibly vulnerable feeling.

I can’t say I particularly enjoyed it.

She wasn’t shaming, but I noticed I was hyper-aware of what she was saying.  She observed that I had a sweet tooth and for a second I felt defensive.  Historically I DON’T have much of a sweet tooth, at least not compared to my brother and my father who could eat sugar from the jar and while the sweets I like are very rich, they aren’t generally super sweet. I wanted to point out that prunes, a square of 90% dark chocolate, a lump of homemade pseudo-marzipan (almonds, salt and honey) and some grapes –while sweet– is all pretty healthful.

And then I caught myself.

Sweets = Bad

If I like sweets then I must like bad things, and what sort of person likes bad things? A BAD PERSON.  Dude. It was vicious. And this all happened in a second AND to someone who has, as I’ve said, a relatively normal, value-neutral relationship with food.

I was raised believing what went into my mouth was a reflection of who I was as a person, and that ain’t necessarily so. What goes into your mouth doesn’t make you a bad person. What comes out of it does. And I don’t mean on Twenty Cent Tequila Night, either.

And then I checked myself.

I may be a bad person (honestly though, if the kid didn’t want me to tell her my coat was made of puppies she shouldn’t have asked) I’m not a bad person because I like sweets.

Today Miss Plumcake wants to know:

What is a food or fat-related anxiety trigger for you, and how do you address it? Where does that trigger come from and if you’re a mother, does it affect how you relate to food with your child?

March 15, 2010

SUCK IT Donna Simpson

Filed under: Suck it,The Fat's in the Fire — Miss Plumcake @ 1:30 pm

I don’t like Drudge Report. It’s muckraking yellow journalism at its most slithery. However, I’ve gotten several emails today asking me to address the Daily Mail story that appeared on Drudge about the woman who –with the help of her partner– is trying to reach 1000 pounds and become the world’s heaviest woman.

Donna Simpson, ruining it for the rest of us

I’m of three minds about this.

Mind One: I’ve done a little research on the Feeder relationship (if you can, get a copy of Fall 2009’s Bitch Magazine, there is an excellent article on the sexual politics of Feeding by Jessica Hester. Also there’s an interesting-in-a-dry-academic-way scientific study in the Journal of Sex Research by Swamee and Tovée 46(1), 89–96, 2009) and I don’t like it one bit. I have a really hard time understanding why someone who purportedly loves you would abuse you and help you abuse yourself by doing something that’s drastically bad for you to the point where, they would take away your freedom of mobility, ultimately making you completely dependent on them just to satisfy their own desires. AND YOU LET THEM??? That’s some messed up stuff.

Mind Two: That being said, they’re grown adults and it’s not really any of our business what they do as long as her child is being taken care of. We can get all shocked and judgy, which is what we’re supposed to do. But psst, wanna know a secret? People Like Weird Things. Trust me. I dated a guy who went to Catholic school before Vatican II. You can only be hit by nuns for so many years before it takes its toll on your psyche.

Mind Three: Hey, thanks for reinforcing the stereotype that fat people are freaks who live on doughnuts and sweets! Because you know, it’s been SO easy to fight for fat acceptance and just be treated like normal human beings. Now, I don’t think the reading public is dumb enough to necessarily think all fat people are like her, but it does subtly lend credibility to fatbashers. I can work my vegetable-eating, workout-getting, healthy lifestyle-leading, size 22 ass off day in and day out FOR YEARS and it can all be negated, or almost negated, by one sensationalist interview from a lady with a very specific and unusual fetish.

PLUS, what better way to help the anti-fat brigade than by becoming unhealthy ON PURPOSE so everyone can get up in arms about how much money fat people are costing the government in health care? Because I’m not sure if you’ve noticed it yet, but we’re having a BIT OF A ROUGH TIME OF IT RIGHT NOW and it’s not quite expensive or difficult ENOUGH to be fat in this country, you’re willingly becoming the poster child of the folks who want to make it even harder. Thanks, Donna, you’re a real pal.

March 10, 2010


Filed under: Suck it,The Fat's in the Fire — Miss Plumcake @ 8:47 am

OH NOES!!!!111ELEVEN!!! Did you know there was a way to be SECRETLY FAT! It’s called “Skinny Fat” which means you’re slender on the outside but ZOMG YOU ARE FAT ON THE INSIDE WHICH MEANS YOU’RE GOING TO DIIIIIIE.

You CAN NEVER BE SAFE FROM TEH FATZ! It waits in your closet until you’re asleep!  It swallows your grandmother and then puts on her comically small glasses and nightgown!  IT IS FILLING OUT A CREDIT CARD APPLICATION IN YOUR NAME RIGHT NOW AND THE INTEREST RATE IS USURIOUSLY HIGH!!!

Basically the news here is –hold onto your hairnets– just because you’re slim doesn’t mean you’re healthy.


We here at Manolo for the Big Girl are all about health at every size and an unhealthy lifestyle at ANY size is, well, less than ideal.  I’ve got plus-size friends who RUN FREAKIN’ TRIATHLONS and you know I’m sorry, but if you can run a triathlon, you really don’t need to worry about what size pants you wear.

Also, where is the reverse of this Skinny Fat phenomenon?  Where is Porky Slim? I’ve got amazing blood pressure and cholesterol and I get my vitamins by Any Means Necessary (this apparently involves nude sunbathing, I Am Not Making This Up we’ll talk later) no one is asking me on tedious morning television shows saying “OMG GUYS! This girl is fat AND YET SOMEHOW she’s not a walking timebomb of sloth and disease!”

February 16, 2010

More on the Kevin Smith and Southwest Scandal

Filed under: Suck it,The Fat's in the Fire — Miss Plumcake @ 3:20 pm

Yesterday we chatted a little bit about Kevin Smith being kicked off a Southwest plane because he was what in the medical community is known as a fattyboombalatty and thus a safety risk.

Of course they ignored the fact that he could fit in his seat, fasten the safety belt AND put down the armrests (earlier reports said he couldn’t).

I listened to the SModcast wherein Smith tells his side of the story.

What struck me most was he wasn’t ready to “scorch the earth” as he put it, until after he was seated on the NEXT flight.  Apparently he’d bought two seats and a fat woman was seated at the other side of the three-person row.

Get this.

The crew asked the fat woman to come with them, and then had a conversation with her, and very nearly did the same thing to her as they’d done to Smith earlier that day.  Plus they made her ASK him if it was okay that she was seated next to his completely empty seat.

What broke my heart was what Smith said about the look on that woman’s face. “It was like she’d been through Fat ‘Nam.” She’d suffered every humiliation, had every judgmental look, and the one big of her dignity she could still hold onto was that she could put her armrest down.

THAT’S when he decided to go on his rampage. Until then he thought that some guy –NOT the captain or the flight attendant– just didn’t like his movies and decided it would be funny to bounce him from the plane. It was when he saw the humiliation of the face of that unfortunate fat woman that he decided to lay siege.

Let me tell you something about Kevin Smith:

In the Fall of 1998 I got to spend an afternoon with him when he came to my university to discuss…Chasing Amy I think.  You might not believe it if you’ve only seen his movies, but he is absolutely a scholar and a gentleman and could give any of the traditionally gracious Sons of the South a run for their confederate money in the manners department. So when in his most recent SModcast he said his motto has always been “death before discourtesy” he’s not lying.  He’s better behaved than some Anglican Bishops I know.

What bothers me so much about this whole thing other than it’s just ANOTHER indignity to heap on the pile is this problem just isn’t going to go away.

“The average legroom in coach is getting smaller. The seat width remains unchanged in decades even as Americans get bigger. Airlines are increasingly using small regional planes to serve less-popular destinations. To combat slow demand, they’ve eliminated capacity, resulting in fuller planes and stiffer competition for upgrades. And airlines’ rules requiring obese passengers to pay for an extra seat are being enforced more strictly.


Macsata says airlines’ “fat tax” overlooks the fact that seat size hasn’t kept up with increasing girth. From 1960 to 2002, Americans have become on average of about 25 pounds heavier. The typical seat width — at 17 inches to 18.5 inches — hasn’t changed since 1958, he says.

Tealer says she has never been asked to buy another ticket but says coach seats can be painful. “Your hips are pressing against the armrest. I’ve had bruises, muscle pain.”

The armrest test to determine who should buy a second ticket also is discriminatory against women, says Tealer, who’s a board member of the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance, which is battling the second-ticket rule. “Women carry weight more in the hip area. People of color tend to be bigger.”

The federal Air Carrier Access Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in air travel but doesn’t cover size. But obesity can result from debilitating or chronic medical conditions, Macsata says.”

Smaller Jets Squeeze Big and Tall Fliers –Roger Yu, USA Today

So basically people are fatter and taller than in 1958 but the seat size? Still the same.

I don’t fly often –as I said, I’m a road-trippin’ kinda gal–  but when I was flying back and forth to New York a lot with Andre we always took Jet Blue into the JFK Terminal 5 and it was always pleasant. Yes, actually actively pleasant. And Jet Blue isn’t even paying me to say that (although they totally should!  Cough it up Jet Blue! Mama needs a vacation!)

Fun fact: Jet Blue was founded by David Neeleman, a former member of Southwest. Neeleman’s idea in creating the Jet Blue identity was to –catch this– “to bring humanity back to air travel.”

What a novel idea.

February 15, 2010

Suck it Southwest Airlines

Filed under: Suck it,The Fat's in the Fire — Miss Plumcake @ 5:00 pm

So filmmaker Kevin Smith got kicked off a Southwest Airlines plane for being too fat.

He was able to get his buckle done, but he couldn’t put the armrest down beside him, so the pilot said no go.

He’s a big dude, but he’s not like, Richard-Simmons-Crying-in-Patriotic-Hot-Pants big. He’s about 5’8″ -5’9″ and looks what, maybe 250-300?

Kevin Smith, Too Fat to Fly?

That is not the sort of big that I associate with getting kicked off commercial flights.

His story:

I was told 5:20 flight was packed, but I could go Standby. They sent me to gate. Told lady whole story, and she said there wouldn’t be two seats on that earlier flight. I said I only needed one seat & that I didn’t buy an extra seat because I’m fat (which I am), but because I’m anti-social and didn’t want to sit next to someone & possibly have to make convo (in person, I’m very shy). She said she understood. I was issued the solo ticket. I get on the plane: open seat in the front row. Put my bag away, the sit between two ladies. As I’m about to buckle my extender-less seatbelt, the woman who issued the ticket to me appeared in the doorway of the plane, came over to me and said the Captain said I wasn’t going to be allowed to sit there because I was a safety risk. I asked for clarification and was given none (also asked “Please don’t do this” but that, too, fell on deaf ears.

Ladies on either side said I wasn’t a problem. SWA-lady said arm-rests the decider. Arm-rests come down, and voila! I’m legit! I’ve passed the stinkin’ arm-rest-test. And still, the lady asks me to get up and come with her off the plane. I get up without a fuss at all, quietly grab my bag, make eye contact with a fellow Fatty who was praying he’d pass, and leave. You think I wanna f— around on an airplane? I was right: I fit in that seat. But I can’t risk not complying: I’m more afraid of AirFeds. (via Twitter)


I can’t even tell you the anxiety I got when I read that. I don’t fly much, because I much prefer driving (your pal Plummy here loves nothing more than Seeing America. I’m totally that person who, if I was your dad, would make you stop at The World’s Largest Collection of Ear Wax Scupltures In The Shape of Abe Lincoln) but when I was doing quite a bit of air travel, I would always pray and magically think myself thin enough to fit in the seat.

As I’ve said before, I’m 5’10 and a size 20/22. That’s big, but again, not the sort of big I’d associate with getting kicked off planes.

Also, I’m curious as to what exact safety risk not being able to put your armrest down entails. I’m serious.  Will your little mask thing not drop down? Will your under-seat flotation device not dislodge? I really want to know.

I never flew Southwest that often to begin with but you can damn well be sure that Southwest won’t get the chance to do to me what they did to Kevin Smith (who, fun story, burned a hole in the carpet of my first apartment in 1997).  The only money they’ll EVER get from me is the cost of a postage stamp because I’ve got a nice letter brewing.

Perhaps you’d like the address too?

Southwest Airlines
P.O. Box 36647 – 1CR
Dallas, Texas 75235-1647

February 3, 2010

In Response to Plumcake’s Question of Yesterday…

Filed under: Abominations,The Fat's in the Fire — Francesca @ 4:34 am

…comes the cover of the March issue of Vanity Fair, according to which everyone in “New Hollywood” is a thin white woman:

Fat Black Males need not apply

Whether the problem lies with Hollywood, or with Vanity Fair, or both is up for discussion.




February 1, 2010

(Poor)Body Image

Filed under: The Fat's in the Fire,Uncategorized — Francesca @ 2:43 pm

A la Levni Yilmaz, the sardonic force behind the (not always safe for work) Tales of Mere Existence:


« Newer PostsOlder Posts »

Powered by WordPress