The F word

I’m really lucky to have grown up in the way I did. Even though there was a lot of trauma and bad things and insanity, I grew up with a lot of very basic things that it seems like a lot of people miss out on. When I was a kid we never had a TV (okay, twice we did, and both times make entertaining stories but they didn’t last long) and we didn’t listen to the radio or read magazines. I had a vague idea that stupid rich people made themselves sick over trying to look like movie stars, but I really couldn’t have named a movie star. Every other weekend, at my mom’s house, we’d watch british comedies and eat popcorn, and that was the extent of my media-indoctrination.

In school I realized that people were wearing cool clothes and make up and stuff, but I just wrote them all off as stupid rich people. Most of my friends were older, anyways. I stayed home for the eighth grade, and ended up going to an alternative high school (where what people looked like was the last of anyones concern, really) for a year. Then I spent a few months finishing high school in a really cool place with, like, no exposure to mainstream cultural ideals either.

When I started dancing it did not occur to me even once to wonder if I was fat. I knew that women looked good and I knew that I was a woman, and that was enough for me (though I was pretty proud of my big boobies). I had been around naked people my whole life (thanks to hippies, saunas, and other group bathing rituals) so strippers were just naked women to me. And it was Alaska and it was this crazy dumpy little club where anyone could dance, and no one ever said a thing about being skinny except for this one older woman who I thought was just crazy and listened to stupid rich people too much.

I was, fortunately, rather naturally slender with big, perky boobs back then. I never had a problem getting hired at nice clubs, though I did end up getting my hair and nails and stuff done when I was in Vegas. I knew some girls worried about being fat, but I still was pretty oblivious and just blamed it on the stupid rich people.

I stayed that way until I left LA and left a nasty habit behind, too. My metabolism crashed. I got fat. It didn’t really bother me though, because I was still normal for a non-stripper, and it didn’t stop me from making money or anything. Eventually another stripper convinced me to go on a diet. She was like, “look, you have rolls! Cut out the freakin carbs!”

I was so oblivious that I was like, “really? That’s bad?”

When I started going to college was when I really realized how lucky I was. Here was a world full of young girls wearing skimpy clothes and dieting and spending hours doing their hair and make up every day. For free.

I made friends with a girl who agonized over her virginity and swore that she had a problem with over eating. She was so skinny that if she had been a stripper she’d have been the kind that guys told to eat a sammich. One day she was all excited. She showed me a book with pictures of muscular naked woman. “This is what me and my sister look like!” she said. “I never knew there were other women who looked like us.”

“Um,” I said looking at the pictures, “that’s how most women look?”

Then I realized that the only naked women she’d ever seen were airbrushed in magazines. Probably all those other college girls, too. And every newbie 19 year old stripper who asks me a gazillion times a night if she’s too fat. Holy fuck, all these women are deprived of growing up knowing what normal people look like under their clothes, and then they look in magazines and think everyone looks like an airbrushed model. Y’all need to get your kids around some nekkid people.

You know what? There are fat strippers. Maybe not at Scores or Hustler, but in every city there is a club with a 200lb+ dancer. Because this isn’t a magazine, it’s real life, and in real life real men sometimes like fat women. And where there’s a market there’s a stripper to meet it.


  1. Whereas I didn’t think my body was anything special and that maybe I shouldn’t wear bikinis to the beach until I started stripping and then figured out that it was pretty nice in the scheme of things.

  2. This is a hot topic for me right now. I have been contracted at the same club in LV for 9 years. Three weeks ago they moved me to day shift for “weight restriction” My weight hasn’t changed for years, of course I started my career 15 yrs ago at probably 115 but never thought about it really.

    I am 5’4″ and 130 lbs (1.63m 59 kg for the rest of the world)

    Interestingly, the manager did not look at me and decide I was fat, it was something in the computer. (My trusted coworkers suspect my non-participation in payola as the real reason)

    So after 9 years of working nowhere else in Vegas, do I go try a new club? And am I really fat such that the other top clubs will turn me away? I now have this stigma hanging over my head in addition to the regular stress of “the audition” that I haven’t had to deal with for 12 years.

    Woo-Hoo! I can go to work at 6AM, when all the really quality crowd comes in. “You at a strip club and the sun is out, you got problems” – Chris Rock


  3. This post made me feel really really good. Thanks for sharing the reality of the world with me. I’ve been living with an eating disorder for the past few years and it’s words like this that bring me back to reality.

    I really appreciate what was said here.

  4. Magazines are some of the worst liars and cheaters in the world. Look at Yoga Journal. I’ll bet that something like 0.01% of all yogis in the world can bend themselves into positions like you see in YJ; I know I sure as hell can’t, and I’m a yoga teacher! It’s all airbrushed, rich, white women because that’s where the money comes from. Follow the money trail, and you’ll find a rich, white, blonde woman with her foot behind her head.You are not fat. You are beautiful. You are you. And you are a goddess.D,

  5. Good post! ….. Hey, FunDiva Christy- come on the road with us…. small town America is just happy when we show up ๐Ÿ˜‰ Once in a while I go back to Big City when I feel a dose coming on, but otherwise I follow the seasons to the $….various fishing, hunting, golf, nascar, troops home from Iraq …. you name it…. Small Town, America is waiting for you, sister! ๐Ÿ˜€

  6. OT:Kept getting an error when trying the contact button.

    I stumbled across your site and had a great laugh. I’ve got a blog at and we’ve just added a blogroll. I though our two sites would be good candidates for a link exchange.

    Take a look through Lost Weekend and see what you think


  7. It’s astonishingly easy to grow up with a rounded view of the human body – provided you live with folks who are skin friendly, and don’t stress about closing the bathroom door, or peeing with the door open, or walking from bedroom to bathroom, or sleeping naked.

    And it’s astonishingly easy to grow up with no idea that people look like you, when all you see is ads on TV and magazines and media-representations of the ‘ideal’ look…

    I count myself very lucky to grow up with the former. I may be fucked up in a lot of ways, but my self-image ain’t one of them ๐Ÿ™‚

    xx Dee

  8. And thank the goddess for real women shaped like real humans. i ggrew up with skinny soccer player types with no hips and no boobs, and constantly got shit for “stuffing” my bra, because I had nice tits at age 13. It aint much better here in Boulder.

  9. I was worried when I was first hired that I was too fat, and so I lost about ten pounds. I’m the thin one. I’d like to lose another ten, but my boobs would disappear, and it’s not like I have much to lose. I’d go to an A-cup. Most of the time, I try not to harrass myself, but some days, I look in the mirror, and I don’t like my thighs, or I really want to lose the other ten pounds, but men still get turned on. And they still pay.

  10. This is an awesome post! My weight has fluctuated quite a bit over the years, and no matter what I weigh, there are men who love me and men who won’t give me the time of day. I think every newbie who worries about weight should be directed to this post.


    It wasn’t until I was in the bath houses in Morocco that I realized this truth about American women. We are not exposed to the beautiful variety of the female body in it’s pure form. We have issues because of modesty that came over with the colonizers so long ago. We aren’t exposed to the beauty of growing and aging the way Moroccan women (some of which wear veils in public) are.

    I hope we’ll get over it someday, some way…but how? when?
    I am sharing this post with the mother of a girl. I hope others will too.

  12. This was great. It really is a stupid disease of the mind. I grew up with people calling everyone a variation of the f-word all the time. My mom excercises 2 hours a day and tells me to stop eating so many carbs. It wasn’t until very recently, after 2 and half years of stripping, where I finally gave up and believed the guys who proclaimed to like my body.

  13. Ain’t nothing worse than a fat bitch… I like the Thai girls at Lipstix massage bar, they’re all thin and they’ll let you do anal. But really I prefer sexy transsexuals.

  14. Wow, you were so lucky growing up not being exposed to all that mainstream media that makes us so vain and obsessed about our weight.

    And you’re so right about how some men love larger women. It’s just us women putting pressure on each other.

    A few months ago I decided to stop watch TV (especially the news) and reading the paper and I tell you what, I’m much happier for it!

  15. I love this story. My daughter grew up a lot like you did. Her dad and I are really non-judgmental people and have friends of all sexual orientations, nationalities and etc. She grew up for 10 years in Key West, a very liberal place, was home-schooled with 6 other kids til grade 4 and then we moved to regional Australia. Here there is a lot less pressure on girls to be perfect. There are a lot less super-skinny and also less super-heavy women here than in the US, and I personally think it is because most girls feel ok with their bodies. Any girls body image is based on how she perceives herself in comparison with others, and if the others are imaginary, photo-shopped and perfect, well, of course it is damaging to our collective self esteem. I am not as free minded (although I try). Since I have turned forty though, and my daughter is 16, her self-esteem is rubbing off on me!! I actually am fitter and slimmer than I have been in years and I think it is because I have finally learned to relax and live to have a full life, not to appear a certain way. Feeling confident and comfortable in your own skin is the greatest beauty treatment there is, in my humble opinion. If you love yourself, you will naturally take better care of your needs. By learning to stop obsessing about how I look, I look better than I did at 30! You girls keep your self esteem up, and don’t ever compare yourself to these false images that the mainstream is trying to shove down our throats. The girls in those pictures are probably a lot less happy than you think – ‘struth. Cheers.

  16. It always amazes me the pressure women put on themselves to be perfect. I worked in the sex industry for 10 years as a dominatrix. At my smallest I was an australian size 14 and now at the age of 44 I am an australian size 18 and weigh 85 kilos. Despite retiring from b&d 7 years ago, I still have ex clients saying how much they miss me. I have always been large and have always had plenty of male attention. I am now happily married to a man 14 years my junior who loves me unconditionally. Stop reading the magazines, stop watching the tv and start appreciating yourself! Although there are some critical men out there, the majority focus on what they like about a womans body, rather than finding fault. Any man who starts finding fault with your appearance is either a control freak who is using it as a tactic to make you feel bad and therefore dependent upon him, or else he is simply reflecting the way you already feel about yourself.

  17. That’s amazing. Finally someone who thinks like I do. Although I could never be a stripper, the whole nekkid thing…not a big deal for me or any of my friends.

  18. I’ve just discovered your awesome blog. What a fantastic post. I’m pregnant with my first baby and the whole media issue is really important to me. So many people go through life hating themselves– it’s ridiculous but true that the only naked people most people see are the airbrushed “perfect” ones. I’m blessed because part of my job is to work with naked people (not as a sex worker but as a massage therapist). So much of my job is helping people feel normal and at ease with themselves. Having kids, it seems like another fulltime job making sure that they don’t grow up with the same issues so many people who are used to mass media have.

  19. Great post!

    I grew up in a household that wanted to be like yours, but never quite made it. My mother was quite round, at 5’1 and 200 lbs at her heaviest. Some months were better than others: “love your body, you’re beautiful just the way you are,” etc. Other months she was on crash diets, starving herself to lose 20 lbs, just to gain it back shortly after, and lament the life of a fat woman. So I grew up with mixed messages, and my struggles continue to this day.

    Oh, and Christy: those jerks are crazy! I’m sure you’re gorgeous as you are.

  20. Thanks, Tara, for talking about the F word…fat and body image.

    Did you hear of the 700 lb woman who last 500 in 2.5 yrs just learning to like
    herself…her sister gave her a computer and after 12 yrs in hiding she started talking in chat rooms to people who didn’t need to see her. No diet or surgery or…said she lost 100 lb not even noticing. All how she sees herself. Getting naked is like getting on the road to getting well sometimes.

    I get nekkid a couple times a year at a retreat place with normal folks. I shot my tv recently, too. Yes, who we are and who we are nekkid and how we see each other…and ourselves; very important…soul work.

    one of the dear memories of my mom and I was when we went on a picnic some 30 yrs ago and I thought nothing of skinny dipping and laying in the sand naked because it was hot and the place remote. Thank God I’ve been getting naked since I was 18 and feeling good about myslef…so healing. Thank God my parents and friends didn’t make feel weird about it.

    a guy
    in California

  21. The quickest way to gain body confidence is to be a stripper!

    you realise you are insanely hotter than you thought you are and that all that crap you were worrying about doesnt matter cos guys dont care. ๐Ÿ™„

  22. QUOTE:”…and in real life real men sometimes like fat women. And where thereรขโ‚ฌโ„ขs a market thereรขโ‚ฌโ„ขs a stripper to meet it.”

    I have a few customers @ my club that come in on a regular basis and they only patonize the heavier dancers. Its not smart to NOT have a dancer on the line-up to fill this niche.

    Nice article as allways!!

  23. Unfortunately I didn’t grow up like you, Tara, but with TV and magazine images, and no nakedness. My self image was largely based on those media images, and didn’t compare well. I had boyfriends tell me I was beautiful. They would say that, wouldn’t they? It wasn’t until I started doing webcam, and having strange men telling me how sexy I was, and wanting to see me again, and again (and pay for it!), that I recognized my power. I started doing webcam at age 49, with gray hair, and tiny tits. Most men do like real women, in their many shapes, sizes, colours, and types. And the more I did it, the more confident I grew, and the more it reflected in my appearance. And that brings me full circle to something a male friend told me 28 years ago – the sexiest thing in a woman is confidence. I wish I had listened to him then.

  24. Hurrah for you! I’ve just finished reading your entire stripper blog series, and I love it. Beautiful, proud dancers unite!

    I made less money as a shy size 7 than I did when I returned post-partum as a confident size 12. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  25. Ok, I’m male and I didn’t get the meaning of “F word” until after I finished reading the whole post.

    I know that too many women read fashion magazines instead of news. If you follow news, every so often see study results showing that men prefer women who are larger than fashion models. The percentage who do that is consistently 70% to 80%. For once I’m in the mainstream!

    FunDiva Christy, whomever wrote that computer program is not attracted to women. See above.

  26. :mrgreen: “get your kids around some nekkid people”

    stumbled upon your blog tonight, and i adore it. this post is so true… there was a poem i found last year for an english project… “Fat is not a Fairy Tale” by Jane Yolen. you can google it an find it. ever since i read it, i’ve paid a LOT more attention to how the media portrays what real is. it disgusts me.

    people like you however, remind me that its ok to be ok with your size, no matter what your size is.

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  29. I know this post is so so soo old, but I hope you see this comment anyway.

    Thank you so much for writing this. Before I went through puberty my mother used to grab my fat thighs and jiggle them for people (strangers in the supermarket even!) and tell them how I needed to lose weight. She was ashamed of me – and I was a size 8. I became anorexic, but the smallest size I could reach was 5. I’m just not built for that. The healthiest I’ve ever been – eating a very healthy diet (maybe a little too restrictive on the carbs, but still good) and running 3 miles every morning – I was a size 12. But I felt so wonderful. Now, she’s praising my weight again – this time? I became type 1 diabetic and lost 40 pounds. Lost 40 pounds – feel like shit.

  30. That settles it. I LOVE YOU! I’ve spent SO many hours watching my favourite 80’s and 90’s SF&fantasy with my daughter, lecturing her about this decade’s INSANE need to make everything smaller (eg: Sarah Jessica Parker. What is she? Like 5′ tall and 80 lbs? At least she’s sorta smart and can sort of act–unlike some of these professional rehab bitches that make you go WTF?!?is she famous for?)

    Better to raise our girls with CURLING champions and stunt women as role models than crackheads like Kate Moss. It’s so sad to see a little girl looking at a healthy actress in a 20-year old movie saying “how did women ever get that muscular?” Or worse–seeing healthy muscular young women starving the health right off themselves.

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