TLC’s Big Sexy Delivers Big Smiles, Big Stress

I did enjoy TLC’s new show, Big Sexy, quite a bit. But, it also bothered me at times. I give the show’s premiere episode an A minus!

The ladies of Big Sexy remember the first time anyone called them fat. That insult sticks with you, and implies that your most distinctive characteristic is the size and shape of your body. For some of these ladies, the criticism came early, and was dished out by well-meaning parents and family members. 

One of the women on the show, Audrey, is plus size AND 6’3. Oh, AND her parents are both models with seemingly perfect figures. I can’t even fathom how rough it must have been for her growing up. Audrey is not surprised when they are denied entrance to the club, and then asked for $30 cover charge each, even though thin women AND MEN were being ushered in for free right in front of them. The other ladies are, for the most part, startled and dismayed by the treatment that Audrey is used to by now.

The fat insults were often aimed at the Big Sexy‘s difficulty in finding or keeping a man. Leslie says:

I was in junior high, and somebody told me, “you’re never gonna get a boyfriend, because guys don’t like chubby girls”. I proved that bitch wrong!

A bit later in the show, Tiffany declares:

You think big girls aren’t sexy? Honey, give me five minutes, I’ll change your mind.

I could relate to almost everything that these women said, and I feel like the show portrayed them quite honestly. They all felt authentic in their attitudes, accomplishments, and insecurities, and I respect that. I didn’t agree with everything, though, and some things made me uncomfortable because they hit too close to home. My main point of contention was how some of the women approached the dating scene. I fully support how they are keeping their standards high, and not settling for just anyone. As Leslie says:

I’m not gonna settle for someone just because I’m fat.

Nikki – who has a boyfriend that I’m totally crushing on, because he’s sweet and funny and hot – summed it up nicely:

I think men see curvy women as either an experiment – something new to try – or like, “she’s gonna be easy, and we could just use them for sex”

So, I understand that the ladies of this show aren’t willing to compromise. I also know that some people watching will take the “beggars can’t be choosers (choosy? I’ve heard it both ways)” approach. I think both sides are a bit wrong. These women aren’t beggars – they’re just appealing to a smaller subset of available men. There are less fish to choose from, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to keep every fish that bites. With that being said, I think that some of them were a bit judgemental… (click “read more” at right for the rest!)

Examples:

Audrey, the aforementioned 6’3 Big Sexy, wears a size 26, along with her long black hair and funky makeup. I want to call it goth, but I’m not positive that’s what she’s going for. On the first episode, the ladies go to a BBW Goddess Gathering, for plus size women and the men that love them. One guy approached Audrey and said, “Excuse me, I don’t want to alarm you – you’ve got something right here…”, referencing the dots of black eyeliner (?) that she drew on near her eyes. Maybe I’m an easy laugh, but that cracked me up. It isn’t the best pickup line, but hey, at least he was making the effort. Audrey, however, was not impressed.

Later, Leslie is chatting with a guy at the bar. He asks her if she wants to see a card trick, which she is less than enthused about. I get it – I don’t usually want to see damn magic tricks unless I’m specifically attending a damn magic show. This guy was cute, though, and dorky in that endearing kinda way. He and a friend came to the table where all of the girls were sitting, and the friend offered to do some magic as well. Leslie was confused, and asked him if they had inadvertently ended up at a magician’s singles event. That made me LOL, but then she said:

Really? THESE are my options? That can’t be right.

These guys weren’t perfect, but they were all normal looking, and apparently interested enough to attempt conversation. I would have chatted with both magicians – they were funny! I might have ruled out Audrey’s guy, but that’s only because he had long blonde hair and I find that to be really gross on a man for some reason. I was surprised by Leslie’s response, because she also said:

I don’t discriminate with boys. I like all kinds of boys. I like ’em short, I like ’em tall, I like ’em big, I like ’em small, I like ’em all!

Later, they all attend a speed dating event, which doesn’t go much better. Tiffany has the misfortune of chatting with a guy who freely admits that he has only dated a big girl at the end of a long night when he’s drunk. Presumably when he couldn’t get a skinny girl and didn’t want to leave the bar or club empty-handed. It was a shitty thing to say, but to be fair, she did introduce the topic. He probably wouldn’t have brought up her weight if she hadn’t addressed it first. 

Heather talks with a guy for a minute, and (hesitant after their multiple encounters with magic makers, I guess) inquires if he is a magician. He says no, and then says “I am a wizard though…” I’m pretty sure this dude was joking – I doubt he actually believes he is a wizard, warlock, or any other type of mystical creature. He didn’t initiate the topic, so I think he was just teasing. I would have picked him for sure, since he was also cute and seemed fun. Heather said:

He was a WIZARD. That’s not what I’m looking for.

To which I say, eh, we could all probably do a whole lot worse than a wizard.

It reminded me of the blog post on Gizmodo, by the woman that met the Magic: The Gathering world champ via OKCupid. (My Brief OkCupid Affair With a World Champion Magic: The Gathering Player) She was uncomfortable with his hobbies, and felt like he should have made them clear from the get-go. Many readers were uncomfortable with how the author – Alyssa Bereznak – called this guy out by his full name, on a well-known website, and basically mocked him. I’m guessing she figured that referencing the world champion would reveal his identity easily, so she might as well just print it. It’s not what I would have done, but I don’t think she included his name maliciously so much as irresponsibly.

Anyway, I wouldn’t immediately write a guy off just for this – he’s the friggen champion, come on! That says something about him. It might say that he spends way too much time playing Magic, but it might also say that he’s determined, intelligent, and passionate about his pastimes. If you’re on OKCupid, and searching for a date, then for whatever reason, you’re single. Or dating, perhaps, but most people aren’t on the dating sites if they already have someone.

(I say “most” because I have received 3 emails from totally different polyamorous couples asking me to join them. One specifically said that I seemed like an excellent candidate for becoming a sister-wife, because I’m very sexy and I seem great with children. So that’s flattering, I guess, but not really what I’m looking for, ya know?)

Alyssa was on there looking for a man, which means she wasn’t recently able to acquire one in quote unquote “real life”. So, perhaps she doesn’t have quite so much room to judge others as she thinks.

Back to Big Sexy! Near the end, Tiffany meets with her ex-fling turned best-guy-friend, Dante. I don’t think I like Dante all that much. Tiffany wants to know if her weight is the reason she can’t keep a man, or if it’s something else altogether. She asks Dante, and he has a pretty good explanation:

If your size is a problem for you, your size is a problem for him.

So I was all set to like Dante, despite his strange choices in choker necklaces and tribal chic horn earrings, but then he elaborated on his past with Tiffany. He said that she stalked him, and came to every single one of his standup comedy shows. To me, stalking is going to someone’s house, following them around, etc. Not just going to his place of employment which conveniently happens to invite as many paying patrons as possible. He should be grateful that he had a consistent fan! But he rubs it in and says that people would warn him that his stalker was there again. None of it seemed to concern him enough to request that she be removed from the clubs, though, so I think he should tone down his stalker accusations. Tiffany reflects on the situation – this is the part that got a little too real for me:

It’s not easy to hear from someone that, “oh no, it’s not your size, don’t worry about your size – you’re actually crazy”.

Personally I’m not actually crazy, but I’m sure I’ve done my fair share of crazy girl things. I pointed out to my mom that being fat gives a single person the advantage/disadvantage of being able to blame every failed relationship on just one flaw. I can always say, oh, well, he didn’t like me because I’m fat, so forget him. That allows me to completely ignore any other negative personal qualities, which may well be driving men away in droves. It’s a handy excuse, but it diminishes the entire dating/sex/love experience. 

So, that’s what I have to say about Big Sexy thus far. Did you/will you watch? What are your thoughts on their dating practices?

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2 thoughts on “TLC’s Big Sexy Delivers Big Smiles, Big Stress

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