Fat Jokes… Thoughts???


When it comes to talking about my weight, I’m a little weird.

On one hand, I have a blog called “The Big Girl Blog” where I dish all the dirty details of my life as a Plus Size Princess. On the other hand, if you know me in real life you never ever hear me reference my weight. Some PSP’s prefer to comment on their weight before someone else does but that’s not my style. I don’t bring my weight up and neither do my friends.

I’ve slowly been telling some close friends about TBGB. With some friends I’ll just vaguely mention that I write about being plus size in NYC, with others I’ll send them a link and allow them to read it. Last week, an old friend came to visit me here in the city and I told him about TBGB. After I told him that I write about being a Plus Size Princess in NYC, something strange happened.

All of a sudden he was constantly making comments pertaining to my size. Like when he came to see my office and gushed “look at you and your ‘big girl’ job, in a ‘big girl’ office”. At first I thought I was being super sensitive, so I brushed that off because I do work in a grown up/big girl office now (last he saw me, I worked in a book store).

The next day, one of my girlfriends met up with us for dinner. As we planned the rest of our night, my girlfriend suggested that we grab a drink at a bar called “The Sunburnt Cow”.

“Don’t talk about CeCe that way!” my friend said with a giggle. Then he looked at me “did you hear her call you a Sunburnt Cow?”

I didn’t laugh and neither did my girlfriend. I was pretty stunned because I’m just not used to people making fat jokes to/about me. Its odd because he’s known me for years and never said things like that, but he finds out about The Big Girl Blog and suddenly it felt like he only saw me as fat.

I don’t want you to get the wrong idea about him, he also constantly gushed about how cute/pretty/gorgeous/adorable I am, but it was like the minute I acknowledged my weight, he couldn’t shut up about it.

Normally this wouldn’t be something I obsessed over, but lately I’ve been thinking about not being so anonymous anymore. A lot of you have been asking about meeting me in person and I’d love to maybe invite you guys to hear me sing sometimes. But if that means I’m going to become CeCe “The Fat Girl” Olisa… I don’t know how I feel about that.

Don’t get me wrong– I’m proud of who I am and confident with my size, but whether its race, gender, sexuality or size no one wants to be known as one thing only. I hope I’m making sense here.

But again, maybe I’m being too sensitive… Thoughts???

  • http://www.1dallasflychic.blogspot.com Carlas

    I don’t think that you are being too sensitive. It seems wierd to me that he would think it is ok to make that comment to you now that you have told him about your blog. You don’t make fun of yourself in your blog or talk about your weight in a negative way.

    If I were you I would just let him know that you didn’t like or appreciate the comments about your weight and maybe how it makes you feel. Being your feind he should take you serious.

  • http://www.shellysaysso.com ShellySaysSo

    I don’t think you’re being over-sensitive at all. The “Sunburnt Cow” comment was out of line and I would definitely say something to him about it. There’s a difference between acknowledging you are a confident PSP and comparing you to a cow.

  • Sade

    No you are not being to sensitive. That was dead wrong.

    I don’t talk about my weight either and this is one of the reasons why. The few times I have made the mistake of discussing it with skinnies or normal sized people (whether making a comment about watching what I’m eating or saying I’m going to workout etc), it was as if it gave them the sign that it was okay for them to say something in return about my weight or they had been dying to say “oh yea you are fat” for a long time and were just waiting for my green light.

    It is out of line for ANYONE to make comments like that even IF you tell them about your feelings or experiences as a PSP. I feel it is a friendship/trust issue. You are trusting them with sensitive information and they should behave in a manner that shows they will not abuse what they learn about you.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/stylesavvygirl Vannessa

    OMG CeCe, I totally feel you on this. Just because we are ok and have accepted the way we are does not mean that people can be insensitive and roll out the jokes because they know we’re cool… I had to stop a best friend in high school from calling me PHAT- then quickly she’d say Pretty Hot and Tempting…. I told her she really needs to shut it, because even if she means it that way, it is heard a different way and it is not cool. She was kind of thrown off by how hurt I was by it- but you know what, I taught her a lesson- and I know since then she’s always watched what she says to not only me but others. I even remember asking her- do you think even if it is PHAT that they are hearing it is really even funny? What’s the point?! Urgh- I totally feel for you. You should just be direct and say, hey even though I’m cool with who I am I am not cool about the silly jokes and references- are you saying that I am a cow? How is this funny to you?! You’re just being a meanie… I know “meanie” is childish, but if you ever drop the M word people definitely listen- no one wants to be called mean. Straighten your friends out CeCe!!! xoxo V

  • Just Sayin

    There are tactful ways to mention someone’s weight in general discussion. If you make fun of, or talk openly and uncensored about your own weight, that does NOT make it okay for someone else to do it.

    Same rule aplies to talking about siblings. Only you can call them crazy.

    I would be pissed if someone felt it okay to mock my size. But then, I’m a bitch and will nip it in the butt with a insult to a soft spot of theirs to make a very direct point.

    Don’t make fun of me. I’m not your personaljoking punching bag.

  • http://singlegirlblogging.com singlegirlie

    Well, I’m not a PSP, so sometimes I don’t feel like I am entitled to make comments on the topic. But I sort of regard this in the same manner as when someone makes comments about my mom. When I was a teenager, my mom and I fought all the time. I thought she was too strict and unfair. I remember once telling my friend what a bitch my mom was, and my friend replied, “I know, she’s a total bitch!” I was immediately offended, thinking, don’t talk about my mom that way!

    I think the situation here is similar. We can make comments about ourselves (or our families), but when someone else does, it’s hurtful. And those are just sort of the rules.

  • Sarah

    PSP is NOT equal to cow. It breaks my heart that he thinks that being plus sized is a negative. Now I’m sure there are some pretty cows out there but COME ON!

    You my dear are a gorgeous and confident woman (the PSP blog just shows how honest and willing you are to share your heart). Don’t take it. Tell him it’s not appropriate and feel free to make a few small penis jokes if he continues. Sometimes bluntness is my weapon of choice. Don’t let one person break your heart (and now mine!).

  • http://thefatgirlsguidetolife.com/ Mandy

    I’m sorry that happened to you.

    If he’s a long-time friend, though, it could be that he’s just trying to connect with you on this new level that opened up after learning about your blog and this different side of you. It sounds like he’s just being clumsy and awkward about it.

    I would suggest letting him know, as tactfully as you are able, that the comments were unwelcome and hurt your feelings. See how he responds and go from there.

    It would suck to lose a long-time friend over a misunderstanding when confronting the issue could resolve the hurt feelings.

    Good luck! I hope it turns out alright for you.

  • http://www.thehungrycinderella.wordpress.com Amy

    Not cool. Has he actually read through your blog since you told him? If he had, I would think it’s pretty clear that you don’t go around calling yourself fat (which is a four letter word as far as I’m concerned) or making jokes about your weight. Friends should be supportive and tell you how amazing it is that you’re sharing your journey and struggles, not hurt your feelings. I’ve always found the best way to stop this kind of behaviour is to straight up tell the person your feelings are hurt. Most of the time they don’t even realize they’re doing something hurtful and it really makes them think twice about what they say in the future to you and other people.

  • Mel

    Gosh! I’m soooo sorry that happened!!!! Horrified, actually.

    Absolutely you’re not being too sensitive. I can’t see ANY circumstance where ANYONE would think that was funny. I’m amazed your other friend didn’t punch him! Even if you make jokes about your size (which you weren’t), it’s STILL not appropriate for him to make jokes.

    I don’t know what to think about your friend. From your description of it, it feels mean somehow. And yet, if he’s your long-time friend I can’t imagine that he meant to be mean. Was he just trying to be funny and failing miserably???

    So what did he mean?

    It’s not like you’d given ANY indication that mocking you was a good idea. Your blog certainly doesn’t say that.

    I don’t know. I think I’d say something to him…he certainly must have picked up on the weird vibes his comments caused?

    You could say, “The other day when you were kidding around about the Sunburnt Cow, etc., that didn’t feel very funny to me. It felt mean somehow. I just don’t see why you’d think that was a funny thing to say, & I’d like to talk about it, cuz my feelings were pretty hurt. I felt pretty betrayed that I’d share something so personal with you & you used it to mock me.”

    If he’s a good guy, he’ll probably be appalled that he was so stupid and will apologize profusely. And you’ll get to have a good conversation with him about all of this.

    Hopefully. Good Luck!

  • HP

    To play Devil’s Advocate here, by telling him that you write about being a PSP, and him OBVIOUSLY not having read the blog. I’m sure his guy brain immediately went to what media labels as okay, fat people are funny. It’s definitely a stereotype but lets face it, most guys some where along the line have the one guy friend who is over weight and will constantly make himself the butt of jokes because that’s okay and that’s what’s expected. As women we don’t do that, nearly all my friends have idealized body types and even when I’m down on myself because of my size they have always thought I was beautiful and don’t even realize that I can’t always shop at the same places as them and stuff.

    So I feel that in his guy brain, he though that in this online blog world you probably make fun of yourself and dwell on the pitfalls of being “outside of the societal norm”. I don’t feel that this means he was purposefully being insensitive, it’s just the only way he could process what you were telling him. Weight has never been a factor in your friendship which is why it was never brought up until now. But since he has a misconstrued idea of how you are presenting yourself, he thinks that he’s joining in on the fun.

    Best thing to do would be to sit him down and explain how you feel and hell even show him some snippets from the blog. I feel like this is all yet another example of the differences between men and women. Bless them but boys can be pretty dense sometimes but that’s why we love ‘em! haha

  • N

    “When someone shows you who they are believe them” -Mya Angelou

  • Knight

    *facepalm* He is such a dumbass. I have to say though, I think the attempt was to find a way back into your life. When all the old jokes weren’t funny anymore he took a new dumbass route and just offended you. It’s odd though. With as much past as you have I’m shocked he sees weight at all. Do you feel like maybe we got older and wiser faster then he did? Going back in time eight years was a little scary.

  • Joe Jay

    That is so messed up. Since I live in NYC I always wonder what you look like. And then to have someone that presonally know and trusted to see this site and say somehting stupid just pisses me off.

  • DCBabygirl

    I’m sorry that your friend has gone all wierd on you. Make him aware of it and then take it from there. As for coming out that you have to decide. Comfortable or not you can’t go back.

  • http://www.biggirlbigfashion.blogspot.com Kapunkt

    I guess he had a single story about you…


  • http://growingwings.net Faith

    I totally get what you mean about not wanting to be defined as one thing. It’s hard to have something that’s a big part of who you are, and not have people see you as that only.

    I think that the things your friend said are wrong, but maybe he’s just trying to show you that he’s supportive and gets it, and it’s coming out all kinds of awkward and wrong. When someone comes out of the closet to a friend, they’ll often make some awkward gay jokes in an effort to show that they don’t have a problem with it and are comfortable (which obviously ends up doing the opposite)…. my point is that hopefully your friend will cut it out once he doesn’t get encouragement on his jokes. Sorry this happened!

  • http://fitnessworld.marketingprofitsworld.com Tim Cole

    Particularly insightful many thanks, I presume your current visitors may very well want a great deal more content like this continue the excellent content.

  • Monica

    As someone who’s almost on the opposite end of the Plus-Sized New Yorker spectrum (I’d call myself a Plus Sized Punk), it’s offensive to say that to a friend. You weren’t being touchy or over-sensitive, he hurt your feelings and that’s not okay. You’re obviously cool with being Queen-Sized but that doesn’t mean you’re calling yourself a cow and he shouldn’t either. But at the same time, it was probably just a miscommunication that can be easily resolved with a nice phone convo.

    Also, you mentioned readers wanting to meet you, have you considered making a Meetup page and having, like, a NYC Plus Sized Meetup?

  • Crystal

    I’m really glad to see this post here. Not that you were involved in this circumstance but that I’m not alone in my experiences being a PSP (in training) from Greensboro, NC. I’m a college student and today I was on my way to my department study lounge to do homework and a similar situation happened to me. When I entered the lounge there was a class mate of mine there who is a big guy, and three other students working; two girls and my study partner. When I came in and sat down the class mate asked was I okay and said I looked upset, and I responded I’m not feeling well today (tummy ache). He said okay and left. I was getting settled when one of the girls said “Hey Crystal”, “I was trying to talk him for you but he’s engaged”, “I’ve been seeing you guys talking alot recently”. I didn’t respond, I proceeded to have a conversation about a homework problem with my study partner but in my head I was really upset at her statement. Why did she feel like I needed her to talk to anyone for me, I never led her to believe I needed assistance with such? Is this her way of saying you’re both fat so I thought you could be fat together? Was it supposed to be funny or illicit a heated response from me? Are you watching who I have conversations with? I’m always curious as to why people say things like that. If I didn’t have that tummy ache I don’t know how I would have responded. but I wasn’t in the mood today to give her the satisfaction of taking my attention away from my homework.

  • http://ladyblahblah-blogs.blogspot.com/ pam

    I’ve only just read this entry – I’m spending a cosy night in catching up with your blog (I love reading your posts!) – and I’ve never commented before.

    I live in London (not that it matters!), and am also a PSP…I can relate to SOOOO many of the things you write about and have experienced, especially with this post – I NEVER comment on my weight to friends or family (well, I do it a bit more these days…with age has come a little confidence) but for me, not talking about my weight has never really been a confidence thing, it’s always been more like “I don’t have a problem with my weight, so you BETTER not have a problem with it either!” I’ve always managed to attract guys, have also been complimented often, been called beautiful, sexy etc…and I think because I have never outwardly shown that I have an issue with it (although privately, of course I have my moments and issues!), it makes people treat me respectfully about it. I think it also shows my degree of confidence (I have never ever let my body issues stop me getting close to a guy, and they definitely pick up on that in a positive way)

    I also wanted to comment as I love the way you write about your life! I’m so envious of your life, you seem like a really lovely woman (hope I don’t sound like a weirdo there…!)

    I lived in New York (favourite City in the world) for 1 year, a few years ago, and while I was really upset to read about your friend’s comments about you, I screamed out loud when I read this – I remember eating a GREAT meal at the Sunburnt Cow when I lived over there! Glad to hear it’s still open (it’s on the LES, right?) – I know how quickly things/restaurants/bars change in that wonderful City…anyway, keep up your great work, I love reading it!


  • Callie

    I don’t think you are being sensitive at all. I often find that people get obsessed with weight and talking about peoples bodies. Your blog discusses all kinds of things and I think that you are way more than just ‘The Big Girl Blog’ I personally don’t have a problem with discussing my weight if people talk about it in a diplomatic way, but as soon as someone makes a fat joke I am sure as hell putting them in their place! xx