Yesterday I decided to get my hair blown out and straightened (not the smartest decision considering its raining today, but whatever.) The woman who does my hair moved to a unisex hair salon in Harlem, so I made my way over to see her.
It was a Sunday and the place was more or less empty. I was on one end of the salon getting my hair done and on the other end a barber stood by watching another barber cut his clients hair. I didn’t pay much attention to them until I needed to go to the ladies room.
I had to walk between the three men in order to get the the bathroom. As I approached them, I became slightly self conscious because the back of my hair was bone straight, while the front was a curly mess on the top of my head. “Excuse me,” I said as I slipped between the two barbers. “No problem, darling…” one of them said giving me a grin.
When I emerged from the bathroom a few minutes later and had to slip past them again. The men went completely silent and I could feel three sets of eyes on me. Even the guy getting his hair cut, who had his back to me, found a way to check me out in the mirrors reflection. Then one of the men said something that I couldn’t hear and the other two grunted in agreement, “…see you’re my kinda dude,” one of the barbers said. “I was thinking the same damn thing!”
Making my way back to my chair, I wanted so badly to know what was said, since it obviously pertained to me. Were they talking about my unruly hair? Or perhaps something else… Although I couldn’t see who was saying what, I kept my ears peeled as they continued to talk on the other side of the room. As the conversation swelled I heard things like:
“Mmm a big woman, that’s me right there. I really don’t like them skinny. Not super fat either. But Big? That’s sexy”
“I dated a big girl once… she was big but real pretty” I bet her $100 she couldn’t lose 20 pounds in a month. She said she could, but then she ate up all the food in my house!”
“Yeah, its hard for them, cause they’re bodies are fighting against them, they just want to eat…”
“I had a big girl when I was younger… real nice girl. I did her dirty though, I would never want to walk in public with her. I always had her meet me at my house. I always felt bad about that. She’s married now, to one of her longtime friends.”
“…But you know one thing? Those big girls… They give good head and they’re p*ssy is always tight because guys don’t really mess with them too much…”
Although I thought the conversation was over the top and slightly nauseating. I have to admit it was educational. In my mind, being plus size is the least interesting thing about me, but for the rest of the world (and for men in particular) its the thing they’re most interested in. Having a body that carries extra weight means that I carry the burden of stigma, mystique and myth that I can’t escape. Men will draw conclusions about me before I even open my mouth. Men will approach me assuming that I’m over-sexed, under-sexed and everything in between.
Because of this I often feel robbed of the privilege to just be a girl. My guard stays up longer than it should as I try to figure out if men are interested in Celeste, or if they just want to know if this big girl will do the things big girls are known to do: take care of her man, cook well, be freaky in the bedroom… and apparently have a “tight p*ssy” due to lack of desirability/experience.
I almost made this a rant, but I felt like doing that would discount all of the men who walk in public with their plus size princesses and think nothing of it. I’ve dated men like this, men who actually saw “me”, but for a multitude of other reasons, they haven’t been what I needed/was looking for. Of course, getting super skinny would also solve this issue, but I’m pretty sure I will never be a waif which means that as a PSP I may have to sift through more men with this “barber shop” mentality before I find The One. That’s a hard pill to swallow.
I’m not sure how many men read TBGB, but I would love to hear from both girls and guys on this one… Thoughts?