Can't We All Just Get Along?
The Trouble with Skinny Women
I really wish I didn't have to write this book, but it appears I have no choice. Especially when BIG girls are still subjected to ridicule simply because we've been blessed with a few extra pounds. It's no secret that I am a BIG girl. Always have been. Always will be. Hell, Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder could see that. Which means that the only way I'll ever wear a size six, or even a sixteen, is if you add them together. That's right. I wear a size twenty-two. And I'm proud, because I wear it extremely well. I've never had a problem with my doubles -- double chin and double belly. I've also never had a battle with the bulge. Oh, we may have had a few choice words every now and then, but it was always after some stupid he say/she say bullshit. What I've enjoyed is a lifelong love affair with every roll, every lump, and every curve. And because I love me, I've never felt the need to apologize for being my BIG, BEAUTIFUL self.
But it's hard to be a glamour puss when there are forces in the universe that don't believe BIG girls have a right to showcase our assets. They think we should cover up and wear muumuus. Well, I've got two words to say about that -- hell no! Why should I hide all this loveliness under big-ass tent dresses? It must be showcased as the masterpiece -- of lovely legs, perky breasts, and the dazzling derriere -- that it is.
You probably think I'm just paranoid. And saying to yourself, Mo'Nique, girl, stop trippin'. But I've seen the enemy, even witnessed their schemes firsthand, and I'm convinced that the troops on this mission have one goal in mind -- TOTAL DOMINATION. That's why fighting them will be tough. They're a powerful, nimble, and wicked bunch, and damn it, they aren't about to go down without a fierce fight. The enemy is on a seek-and-destroy assignment for total destruction -- and BIG girls are the targets. You may be wondering, who could be so petty, so treacherous, so damn evil?
Yes, you read right.
And skinny bitches know who they are. If your dress size is in the single digits, chances are I'm talking to you. You're evil and need to be destroyed. I know because for years, I thought they were my friends, but as time rolled on, it soon became clear that these evil bitches didn't give a damn about my feelings. It was always all about them. Well, not if we destroy them, or perhaps trick them with a one-day all-you-can-eat salad special, round them up, and ship their tiny asses off to a sandy island with nothing green on it, just wall-to-wall fried chicken and fast food. That shit would drive them as crazy as they make me and other BIG girls. Don't you hate it when they say stupid shit like, "You need to do something about that gut," and "Isn't that your fourth slice of sweet potato pie?" No, bitch, it's my fifth, and I may go for a sixth. It's idiotic stuff like that and passing the purses and jackets to me whenever we hit the club, like I'm some damn coat-check girl, that makes me hate them. Hello? Men like BIG girls, too. That's probably why we've got brothers standing in line -- plenty of them -- and their skinny asses can't get a return phone call. At the mall, they'd walk fast just to see if I could keep up. So you know what I did? Sat my tired ass down and slowed up the entire shopping day. And they loved to taunt me with skimpy outfits I couldn't possibly squeeze one thigh into. So I'd buy three and sew them together. Bottom line. Skinny women are the most intolerant, competitive, judgmental, shallow, sharp-tongued creatures to walk the face of the earth. They play too many damn games and put the PORTLY down in the process. Just because we like to get our eat on doesn't mean there shouldn't be room in the spotlight for us to shine, too. I guess nibbling lettuce cups and tofu steaks makes folks do some hateful shit.
That's why you won't catch a skinny bitch apologizing for being too damn thin. Hell, no. They eat sugarless cake to celebrate it. Well, if those toothpicks can celebrate their minimal assets, then I'm going to flaunt this mega-masterpiece, too, all 220 pounds of it. Shit, I'm so FLUFFY and FABULOUS that if I were to walk into a room with Iman, Naomi, Tyra, and even that original skinny bitch, Barbie, I'd strut my stuff with the grace, finesse, and attitude of the world's finest high-fashion supermodel. That's right! Those trees haven't got shit on me, except maybe an eating disorder. Yes, I'm HEAVY, but I'm also HEALTHY and HAPPY.
Happy to be a THICK girl in an image-conscious industry who's ready to shake some shit up and squash haters that attempt to box me in. Shoot, there ain't a box BIG enough to hold this gift. Skinny women will not get over at our expense. No more talk shows hosted by skinny bitches who proclaim, "You're too fat to wear that." We've got to put a BIG-ass plan in place to eliminate them. And while it may sound harsh, maybe even cruel, what are BIG girls to do? Get even, of course. Armed with a FULL stomach, and a fuck-them-if-they-ain't-feeling-me attitude, I set out to destroy those who cause FAT folks turmoil, and help other BIG girls tired of hearing, "Are you pregnant?" No, bitch. I'm FAT. It's finally time for us to get some respect. Take our place in the spotlight. Represent. Fight the evil bitches determined to keep us down. But too often, all we hear about is how it's in to be stick-thin. What the hell is so attractive about ribs sticking through skin? Not a damn thing. Now, ribs sticking off the side of a plate, slathered in barbecue sauce, that's a beautiful sight. So is a cute, CURVY girl who knows how to work her shit. Because no one but a dog wants a bone, and even Fido wants one with some damn meat on it. But turn on the television and all you see is bones, like that Ally McBeal, who I think could have used a McMeal from McDonald's. That's probably why her feeble ass used to fall out every week. She was faint from a lack of food. Thank God she's gone.
That's one down and many more to go. It's time for the skinny sense of superiority to end -- for the stronghold to be broken and the grip loosened. Besides, how do those walking knitting needles think they're gonna keep us down? Do they plan to crochet nets to trap us in? Good luck. Because as a BIG girl with an even BIGGER mouth, I'm ready to lead the WIDE way, make a BOLD statement, especially in Hollywood where the skinny starve their way to stardom while that other FAT lady is waiting to sing. Well, let me clear my throat, because this FAT lady is warming up to throw down a PHAT rap called "Skinny Bitch, Give Me the Damn Mic." And I've got a lot to say about how the PLUMP, FULL-FIGURED, OVERWEIGHT -- ah, hell, let's just call it like it is, FAT -- are treated. Yes, BIG girls, I said FAT. But, don't get nervous, because FAT is only a bad word if you allow it to be. What it really stands for is FABULOUS AND THICK. So, the next time someone calls you FAT, just say thank you and keep those pounds moving. Shoot, girl, don't worry about them words. Because we're taking them back and slapping our BIG-ass seal of approval on them. Since when did a woman who possesses the total package -- strength, beauty, and a great body -- become PHAT (Pretty, Hot, And Tempting)? Since a skinny bitch got ahold of the shit. You can dress it up, respell it, and make it stand for whatever you want, but the shit is still pronounced F-A-T. And since we're respelling things, then I say PHAT stands for Pretty, Hot And Thick. So chew on that. They can't hurt us with our own shit.
As you read this book, you'll see a few choice adjectives emphasized in BIG letters. It's not a mistake. Just like us, those words are LARGE and LOVELY for a reason. So get comfortable with the descriptions. Embrace them, my BIG sisters. Things must change, not only in tiny-ass Tinseltown but in every town across America, and now that I'm here, its about to get THICK.
A few years ago, folks doubted that a HEAVY honey could make it in Hollywood. They said I'd never be the star of a show. Well, I've got three words to say about that nonsense -- kiss my . . . well, you know. My motto is either love this BIG ass, or see you later, 'bye. Life is too damn short and food is too damn good to waste time trying to convince folks that I'm worthy of respect simply because the day the good Lord chose to pass out extra helpings of hips and ass, I thought it was a buffet and got in line twice. Okay, maybe it was more like three or four times, but so what. Hell, it was free -- and it looked good.
And isn't that what life is about, anyway, looking good, living well, and eating what you want? You damn right it is. Well, baby, Mo'Nique's got meals to eat, money to meet, sex to get, and skinny bitches to check. Like one skinny agent who told me the best I could hope for in Hollywood were roles as the FAT neighbor, the FAT cousin, or the FAT mother, but never the star. Did she think she was saying something new? Did she really believe this was my first FAT fight? Hell, no. And it damn sure wasn't going to be the last. What she failed to realize is that this star was born long before she stepped foot in Hollywood. I've been waiting all my life for this moment, and I'm not about to let a skinny bitch ruin it. But trying to explain to this bulimic agent that BIGNESS isn't something that just happened to me would take far too long, and so would waiting for her to pull her finger out of her throat. So I told her to stop gagging, move the fuck out of my way, and watch a BIG girl shine. I promise you, my F.A.T. sisters, that together we will conquer small-minds that attempt to limit our abilities. We will be the love interest and the music video hotties. We will be the BIG-assed STARS God meant for us to be. Which means if that Popeye's five-piece chicken dinner (and I'm not talking just wings, either) is calling my name, I'll be able to send some skinny assistant to get my shit. Might even have her fetch me a LARGE strawberry soda, and a slice -- or two -- of sweet potato pie, too. And I better not hear any shit about it.
Folks don't know it, but I will call in some MEATY mamas and stage a BIG boycott if they don't start adding a few more nonsalad items to menus in this crazy town. Fuck losing five dress sizes to fit into Hollywood. Hollywood is going to have to expand to accommodate the millions of BIG, beautiful, talented women out there. All this loveliness is coming -- and I'm bringing Star Jones, Camryn Manheim, Iyanla Vanzant, Loretta Devine, Emme, Queen Latifah, and my girl Oprah -- whether skinny folks like it or not. I'm on a CHUBBY charge and calling on all DOUBLE-DIGIT sisters who are CHUNKY yet FUNKY, FLUFFY and FABULOUS, and refuse to accept size as a limitation to join the struggle. It matters not the creed or color. All that matters is that you're prepared to fight the FAT fight. It's time we begin to give to skinny women the same shit they give to us -- a headache. Don't change your behind, BIG girls, just your mind. And please, eat up, because strength is essential for this mission. If it feels like a Red Lobster evening, order the FATTEST lobster you can get your hands on. But step your FLUFFY ass into that restaurant and do it in the nicest two-piece pantsuit in your closet. Show evil bitches that PLUS-SIZE sisters are about so much more than the sum of our parts.
I began the first part of my life as a nine-pound baby, December 11, 1967, in Baltimore, Maryland, the fourth child born to Steven and Alice Imes. From the time my parents brought me home from the hospital, friends thought they had gotten the wrong baby. Surely this CHUNKY child didn't belong in a slender family of five. Folks assumed what I had was a temporary bout of baby FAT. Well, that was thirty-five years ago, and the baby FAT grew up right along with everything else. There ain't nothing baby about it no more, this is me. As a child, I didn't see too many FAT role models. That is, until Oprah Winfrey came to town. When Miss O became an anchor of the local news, I remember thinking, Wow, who's this sister? She was FAT, she was black, and damn it, even her Afro was HUGE. Girlfriend may have been BIG but she's brilliant. For the first time, I reasoned that if this BIG girl could make it on television, then I could, too. I liked the fact that Oprah could deliver the news with flair and professionalism, then sit down for a fabulous T-bone steak with all the fixings. I was proud, because here was a sister who'd broken through, and she did it in a BIG-girl way -- wearing BIG hair, BIG clothes, and BIG feet too. Finally folks could see that smart people didn't all wear a size six. Some of us wore sixteens. At that point in life, I didn't know what path I'd take to get to the top, but I always knew that I'd be a star, and I pursued entrepreneurial avenues that allowed me to shine. In Oprah, I saw myself.
That is, until the fateful Calvin Klein incident, when girlfriend dieted herself down to nothing and tricked BIG girls. We didn't know whether to eat or not eat. Exercise or not exercise. BIG girls reasoned that if Oprah slimmed down, then, damn it, we had to, too. Especially when she sashayed her happy ass onstage in a pair of Calvin Klein jeans, pulling a wagon of FAT that symbolized all the weight she'd lost. Oprah cheered. The audience cheered. But girlfriend's weight-loss antics didn't move me. It made me mad. What was wrong with representing for SIZABLE sisters? I bet that skinny girlfriend of hers, Gayle, was somewhere in the background cheering her on, too. If some shit is amiss, there's usually a skinny bitch behind it. All at once, Oprah went from being a member of the BIG and BEAUTIFUL to the skinny and skeletal. Since Miss O had abandoned us, someone else would have to champion the BIG cause. So I decided to take up the FAT fight, blow the whistle, and divulge the wicked tricks of the skinny.
I first recognized skinny schemes on the playground in elementary school. I may have been CHUBBY, but my parents told me from an early age that I could do whatever I set my mind to. In fact, my father, bless his heart, told me I was the prettiest little girl in the world. I believed him then -- and still do. But those skinny little girls were cruel. Every day it was some new trick. First they accused me of kicking the ball too hard, then complained there wasn't enough room to play in the sandbox with me in it, and snickered if I even ventured toward the monkey bars. They called me Jelly-Belly, Shamu, and even CHUNKY Butt, and piled up on one side of the seesaw because they swore it was impossible to get down with me on the other side. (Some of your eyes may be filling up with tears from the memories, but don't cry, BIG girls. Just hold on, because there's a new sheriff in town.) I may have been BIG, but those evil monsters hurt my little feelings. And since they wouldn't let me in the clique, I had no choice but to settle the score. If it was war those tiny tots wanted, then damn it, it was war they were gonna get. With the seesaw as a launching pad, I got those skinny bitches in the air, then jumped off and watched as they tumbled to the ground like blocks. Just because we had to shop for my school clothes in the HUSKY girls department didn't give them the right to tease me, or snicker at the submarine sandwich, Cheetos, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, and Twinkies my mother packed in my lunch every day. Shit, it took a lot to keep this body powered.
By the time I got to Milford Mill Academy High School, those skinny little girls had grown into skinny cheerleaders. And every year was the same old story. I'd try out for the squad, only to be told, "Mo'Nique, you were great, but we decided to go with someone else." Damn it, do you know how hard it is to get 200 pounds up in the air? I should have made the squad for that trick alone. I'd be out of breath, and they just snickered. Well, their snickering stopped when, dressed sharp as shit every day, I became the life of the party, the girlfriend of the flyest boy on campus, and by senior year voted Most Popular and Best Dressed. That's right -- not the sinister six, or the evil eight, but the enchanting eighteen. YOU CAN'T KEEP BIG GIRLS DOWN!
That's why I need a few million of you to be down with the FAT fight. BIG girls get ready, because there are many components to this mission. First, you've got to get off the sofa, stretch. Next, throw away (my bad -- rather, put down) that pint of Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey ice cream. Then, I want you to head to the closet and get all dolled up. Strap on a pair of the cutest shoes in your closet, then step out of the house. So what if your feet spill over the sides just a bit, and you stumble at first? Just keep on stepping. And you better step proudly, too. Hold your head up high. Refuse to allow folks to snicker when a HEFTY honey shows up in a miniskirt that has creeped up in the back (due to extra JUNK IN THE TRUNK, also known as bootie-age. No, that shit isn't a word, but those of you who've got it know what it means). Shut them down if they so much as make a moo sound as we bypass the salad bar and head straight to the carving station at the buffet, or laugh hysterically at a your-mama's-so-fat joke. Which, by the way, has caused many a skinny-bitch beat-down. If you must shop with the enemy, fuck that shop-till-you-drop bullshit. Shop till you're hungry, then head straight to the food court for a Krispy Kreme doughnut -- you've got to keep your blood sugar up to run through a damn mall all day. Begin to check the insensitive at every level, like I had to when a skinny bitch offered everyone peach cobbler at the party but me. I waited patiently, and when she was done, asked where mine was. Her skinny ass chirped, "Oh, Mo, I thought you were on a diet." Why, because I'm FAT? I shot back, "Well, shit, you look like a starving child from a third-world country, but you don't see me trying to shove food down your throat, do you?" Once skeletons get a taste of their own medicine, trust me, shit will change. Recognize evilness and correct it accordingly. Don't let a few names like tubby, blimp, huge, hefty, husky, two-tons-of-fun, bulky, ample, sizable, whale, and my all-time favorite, chunky butt, shut you down. Sure, name-calling is wrong, but in the game of total domination, the skinny will pull out all the stops. And name-calling is usually their first line of defense. Clearly, they don't realize that it's one's mind, not the size of her behind, that counts. Well, you can count on me to remind them, every chance I get. Remember that, BIG girls. Make it a mantra. Also remember, there are a few choice names for their frail asses too, like toothpick, beanpole, anorexic, bulimic, wiry, svelte, lean, lithe, emaciated, bony, scrawny, skeletal, malnourished, underfed, hungry, weak, starved, famished, gaunt, slender, trim, sinewy, and tiny -- oh, and let's not forget my all-time favorite, skinny bitch. Throw a few of those at them, if you must, because it may be the only way for the BIG and small to peacefully coexist.
Or you may have to do as I finally did and kick skinny bitches to the curb altogether. Get yourself some new girlfriends -- F.A.T. ones. Who needs the stress? BIG girls have a simple philosophy about life, and we understand one another. Hungry? Eat. Tired? Take a nap. Hate to jog? Fuck it, just walk. Bottom line, whatever feels good, do it. Send a message that you're cool being a FATTY girl, and folks will begin to see you in a different light.
Speaking of cool: While the majority of skinny women are a problem, there are a few who're actually, dare I say it, cool. But trust me, they're a rare breed. If you do happen upon one, observe her behavior, and ask a few questions. You may discover she was a CHUBBY child, grew up under the influence of a loving BIG mama, or can honestly see past a few extra pounds to what really matters -- the heart. Cool thin ones don't make distinctions. They're generally helpful, friendly, and genuine. They speak first, compliment you on a hot outfit, and indulge right along with us at the all-you-can-eat buffet. If some shit is amiss, cool thin women won't let you leave the house looking crazy. They'll pull us aside and say, "Girl, that red leather bustier looks like its cutting off your circulation, but hey, if you're cool with it, then lets roll." Or, if they see you're about to pass out in a strenuous exercise class, instead of laughing at you, a cool one will whisper, "Girlfriend, fuck this hot Tae-Bo class. Let's go home, eat a salad, and watch the video instead."
Now listen up, BIG girls, because I'm about to offer you a surefire method to measure the level of evil -- or coolness -- at hand. No need to spend time with the enemy if you don't have to. Especially if you use Mo'Nique's Thin-O-Meter to gauge her behavior -- because you can never be too sure. Mo's Thin-O-Meter can truly help you determine what you're dealing with. Because there are a few things to look out for. (1) Attitude: When she enters a room, is she friendly and warm, or standoffish and cold? Most evil ones stand off to the side so they can size up the competition. (2) Appearance: Does she look like a bandage wrapped in spandex from head to toe, or sport lightweight fabrics that blow in the breeze? Skinny bitches will wear some too-tight shit in a minute, and sacrifice comfort for cute. Especially if it'll get them noticed. This may help to determine point number one if you're having trouble. (3) Conversation: Is her speech peppered with phrases that describe anything BIG or LARGE as bad? Watch that. It's a telling sign. Actions are another important sign. To gauge action, you can use a scale -- one to ten, one being a cool thin one and ten standing for the skinniest, foulest bitch you've ever encountered. Does she persuade you to rock something sexy to the club? (That's a cool two.) Tell fucked-up FAT jokes in your presence, then try to play it off and say, "But I'm not talking about you, girl?" (That's an evil eight.) And finally, does she invite you to lunch and then pull up to some soup-and-salad joint and, once you sit down, declare, "Wow, doesn't this look good?" Run, that's an evil ten at work. If you're still having trouble trying to figure it out, never fear, that's why Mo'Nique is here -- to get to the bottom of the entire skinny mess.
The issue isn't really whether the BIG and small can get along, but rather, can the skinny see past a few rolls and doubles and handle sharing the spotlight? It's like the difference between handling a Hyundai Sonata and a Porsche 911 Turbo -- it's all about how you approach the curves. Some you've got to hug tight, and others you've got to swing real WIDE. Contrary to popular belief, we're not all interested in losing a TON of weight -- some of us are happy at 250 pounds, shit, 300 even. We aren't all sad, depressed, and lonely. Most of us have a FULL belly, a FULL refrigerator, and our fill of men.
So, listen up, because here's the deal. If you bought this book expecting a guide to love and acceptance, sorry to disappoint you, because this ain't it. Love and acceptance are qualities you've got to get to on your own. But BIG girls, if you're ready to beat skinny bitches at their own game and take your rightful place in the spotlight, then Skinny Women are Evil is just the book for you. Pay attention and take plenty of notes, because you'll want to be up on the tricks of the small-minded. And if you happen to be a single-digit sister and you're reading this book, consider this your last warning. Either work with us, or we'll be all over you like butter on hot cornbread. OH, IT'S ON! So move over or scoot the fuck out of the way because the FAT is gonna hit the fire and you will get burned. Contrary to popular belief, size really does matter. Good things do come in BIG packages -- like a BIG house, a BIG car, a BIG bank account, and even a BIG, beautiful woman. After all, inside every skinny bitch is a FAT girl dreaming of -- and screaming for -- something to eat. Livin' LARGE is more than just a state of mind -- it's the desired destiny.
With that in mind, sit back and get comfortable, BIG girls. It's time to handle your shit, because it's finally our day. Fuck these skinny bitches. Eat what the fuck you want to eat. In fact, while you're reading this book, go into the kitchen and make yourself a sandwich if the spirit moves you as you read my personal observations on life as a BIG girl in a world aimed at the very small. I'm exposing everything -- from the evil tricks of the fashion trade and the games restaurants and health clubs play to the benefits of dating a BIG girl and the trials and tribulations of family and friends -- it's all here. So let's get started.
Copyright © 2003 by Mo' Nique Imes and Sherri McGee