Mo’Nique goes to Paris


So, Mo’Nique is taking her Fabulous and Thick competition on the road to Paris? Oui!

I read the word competition and got excited! I love the thought of Mo’Nique and her F.A.T. crew engaged in a stare-down with the heroin chic models of the haute couture houses in Paris. Imagine watching both groups of women standing at opposite ends of the catwalk with their hair styled high and makeup on, wearing quality fashion and ready to rumble, anxiously shifting from one high-heeled foot to the other (you know that nervous dance you do while waiting for a competition to begin). Then the bell rings, the music starts and wigs start flying everywhere up and down that catwalk, accessories wiggling and jiggling and twisted around. The two groups sashaying back and forth, just working it, leaving it all out there on the runway!

The music ends and all of the women are bent over, breathing heavy, exhausted and spent by the end of the rumble. Tickets would sell out and there is no doubt in my mind that the majority of female onlookers would cheer on the F.A.T crew rather than the T.A.N.A.S (thin and need a sandwich) posse. As much as fashion promotes thin, the reality is few women really are that thin. And I for one say thank goodness.

OK, so Mo’Nique’s F.A.T. competition isn’t quite like the one I described (here’s the real one), but it is still a great way to emphasize that even though women (especially girls?) are consistently fed the notion that “thin is in,” we can also see for ourselves that a “chick can be thick” and still be sexy and desirable and wear lovely things and look divine.

I’m impressed with Mo’Nique. It’s impossible not to be on some level. When asked in an interview if she has started a plus-size revolution, she says:

“I don’t think I have, because there were so many women before me that were big and voluptuous. They were very sexy and accepted. I’m not sure when things took a turn. At some point, these invisible people at the Hollywood table said, ‘We no longer like that. We want women to look like little boys.’ I don’t know if I can take that charge. I’ve always been so comfortable with just me and now I have a platform to say how comfortable I am with me. And in doing so other women can be comfortable, too. It wasn’t something I set out to do.”

Of course, some women who are attracted to other women actually LOVE women who look like boys or are androgynous. And Mo’Nique’s comment, in my opinion, is not directed at that reality. The comment really addresses what many women feel about themselves, not what they find attractive in others.

I was aware of Mo’Nique in The Parkers but never really watched the show. The first time Mo’Nique registered on my radar was a few years ago, when I saw a re-airing of The Queens of Comedy, a special that she and Adele Givens, Sommore and Laura Hayes taped for Showtime. Immediately I understood that this woman was plus-size with plus-self-esteem. Her comedy routine didn’t center on all the tried and failed diets, or on shame or lack of self-worth. No, her humor focused on empowerment of plus-size women, on how one should love and accept oneself.

Obviously, there are health issues associated with being too overweight, and no amount of humor can minimize that, but one can be healthy and “thick” (as Mo’Nique says). So, trying to eat right and include some time during the day for exercise is all part of what she seems to preach, but trying to fit into a size zero dress is something Mo’Nique would probably call a sermon from the devil.

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