By Amy Silverman
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons
By Chris Parker
By Michael Lacey
By Weston Phippen
"Hey, where's the buffet?!" cries the Mandy Moore of P-town, otherwise known as Her Regal Jettiness, as we saunter into the Scottsdale sports bar known as Buster McNutty's. "You're tellin' me this is a big girls' night and there's no buffet?"
I answer her query by stepping on her big toe and applying 300 pounds of blubber to that cowboy-boot-covered tootsie, resulting in a yelp of pain from the bisexual beeahtch.
"Mind your manners, my skankified sista," I spit. "We're here to partake of a whole different kind of buffet -- a buffet of Big Beautiful Women, or BBWs for short."
In fact, the J-unit and I are rollin' on Buster McNutty's on a Saturday night to check out Club FullFilled, an evening of plus-size pulchritude, tons of fine, round mamas in touch with their sexuality, rippin' loose with dancing, contests, and a lil' romance with their infatuated menfolk -- known in the community as "fat admirers" if their asses happen to be skinny, or as BHMs, "Big Handsome Men," if their waists are as wide as Roosevelt Dam. It's all about "size acceptance," in the verbiage of the BBW community, which is, kidding aside, large all across the U.S. of A. Just type the letters BBW into Google, and you'll feel me. From the East Coast to the West, chasin' chubby chicas is comin' out of the closet, big-time, and Club FullFilled is just a local manifestation of all that sweet weight being on parade.
"One of the reasons the girls feel comfortable here is that they know they're in a place where the men present are interested in them," explains organizer ChristyLee, a gorgeous, auburn-haired chubette with cleavage deeper than Lake Pleasant, who meets us at the door. "They don't have to deal with the whole stigma of going to a bar and being the only BBW there, and not having anyone hit on them because the guys there are looking for a skinny girl. It's also good for guys because there are a lot of them out there who like larger women but would never admit it because it's not socially acceptable."
The weekly event has been up and running since October 2004, when ChristyLee recognized the need for a night like this in Phoenix. Currently, Club FullFilled (online at http://clubfullfilled.com) takes over half the bar, drawing 75 or more persons every Saturday at $5 a head before 10 p.m., and $10 after 10 p.m. ChristyLee's dream is to own her own full-time, plus-size venue, a goal that, considering the ever-expanding size of Americans, might well be in the realm of the possible. The stocky siren tells us she's a relative newbie to the BBW scene, albeit one who now has a sexy calendar of herself in various cheesecake poses which she sells at Club FullFilled.
"I didn't know there was anything like the online groups for BBWs until two years ago," she relates. "I joined some of those, and then went out to a bar for a meet-and-greet for one group. While I was there, these folks I met wanted me to model for them at this big Vegas bash for BBWs, and they ended up paying for me to go out there to be at the fashion show. It was so much fun, and I found out about all these plus-size dance clubs. That's when I decided Phoenix was ready for something like this."
According to ChristyLee, there have been other attempts at BBW nights in the Valley, but none with the staying power of Club FullFilled. Indeed, despite a little wind and rain outside, the club is packed wall-to-wall with flabalicious flesh, the gals outnumbering the fellas 60-40. Some cats in the hizzy are livin' large like Fat Bastard in Goldmember, but most of the men are normal-size to Jack Sprat skinny. As we step up in da club, there's a DJ spinning everything from Southern rock to crunk, and some hefty hotties are shakin' their big bootays out on the dance floor, as a number of other peeps chill at tables and booths nearby. The Jettster and I take advantage of Buster McNutty's drink specials to score some cheap schooners of brew, suck down some suds, and start partying with the plump, pretty thangs on hand. Jett's still got a two-by-four up her butt, so I leave her behind and begin to grind up on this curvaceous-bodacious black lady by the name of Twana. While we groove to 50 Cent's "Just a Lil' Bit," I do an impromptu interview.
"Mmm-mmm, you're finer than the shine on my Impala, Twana. What're you doing out tonight?" I ask, bumpin' to the beat.
"Havin' fun with my girls," smiles Twana, brightly. "That's my little sister Clarissa over there. I came out with her and some of my friends."
"So tell me, Twana, have the Big Beautiful Women got it goin' on?"
"Of course we got it goin' on!" exclaims Twana. "Society needs to wake up and recognize that beautiful isn't a size 3 anymore. It's a 16 and up."
"Hey, personally, I like women with some curves," I tell her.
"Oh, you got to have curves," she agrees. "My boyfriend says he's got to have a little steak on his chicken bone. But until the magazines and TV shows get the message, there'll always be some discrimination against the big girls."
"Is your boyfriend here tonight?" I wonder, with a lustful gleam in my eye.
"No, I left him back East," she says. "I just moved out here from New York, and I'm lovin' it out here."
"How about you, do you like men with some, um, girth?" I inquire, hopefully.
"As long as they're tall, I don't care," she says, laughing. "My boyfriend's like 6'4" and 250 pounds. I'm a whole lot of woman, so I need a whole lot of man."
I'm feelin' Twana's style, but she sounds too happy in her relationship for me to fantasize about gettin' with her. That's okay, because soon I'm rubbin' up on another squalie and sweatin' to some Lil Jon on the box. She's a brown-haired, extra-large dime by the name of Janelle Jackson, and eventually we're taking a breather so she can tell me all about her Mesa company Big Gals Lingerie (www.biggalslingerie.com), as I curl up next to her in one of the booths in the back.
"We sell plus-size clubwear and lingerie, all the way up to 8X!" brags Mizz Jackson, while I'm hoping for a wardrobe malfunction. "But if you need it bigger, we can make it bigger."
"Now how long have you been doing this, and what inspired you to get into this game?" I ask.
"I've had the company for about two and a half years now. I got tired of going to the mall, and all you see is stuff for skinny girls. We want to wear what they wear. I figured somebody has to do it, so I'm doing it. We can custom-make anything you need. Tori here is wearing one of our pieces right now," she says, indicating a plump, brunette pussycat next to us in a form-fitting black tube top and party dress.
"I wear a four or 5X, usually a 5X, depending on the clothing," Tori DeLuca confides. "I've got 65-inch hips, and proud of every one. I've done some modeling for her site, but I have a whole other story."
"Which is?" I bite at the bait.
"I'm the publisher of Big Butt magazine," the double-wide diva shares, pulling out copies of her X-rated rag. "Here are some freebies. We've been in business 15 years. We started out as a quarterly, now we're one of the largest adult monthlies in the world, printed in several languages, and carried by most adult bookstores."
"Sweet," I say, perusing the May 15th Anniversary Issue, featuring a pictorial of DeLuca spreading it for the camera. As large as Tori is, I have to admit she's pretty friggin' hot, like Ricki Lake in Hairspray, and then some. If you don't believe me, check her out for yourself at www.TorisLair.com or www.BigButtMag.com. "How'd you get this gig?"
"I started working for them about seven years ago," she states. "First as a model, and then I began writing for them -- a monthly column as well as Web site and video reviews, all focused on the plus-size woman. One thing led to another, and now I'm the publisher. Actually, it comes out of New York, but I telecommute."
"Impressive. So do you think the whole fascination with women of size is growing?"
"It's becoming more accepted," she responds. "Five years ago, you wouldn't see all these men out. But the popularity of performers like Mo'Nique, Queen Latifah, Camryn Manheim and others is encouraging it. And some of the plus-size movement in California is trickling over into Arizona. We used to caravan to Club Bounce in Long Beach, and there's a huge one in West Hollywood called Volupcity. Now we've finally got a place to go here, with Club FullFilled."
"Some might consider BBWs to be a fetish. Is it a fetish?"
"For many years, we were considered a niche, but now we're mainstream, because 65 percent of the U.S. is overweight. The average woman is not petite. What are we gonna do? Hide in the house because we're not a Scottsdale size 3 with fake boobs? Uh-uh, I'm sorry, this is all me, and I'm not hiding anywhere."
About then, the Jettster walks up on me with the pages of Big Butt open before me, and gets all riled, hands on her hips.
"Having fun, Kreme?"
"I was until you appeared; where've you been?" I ask as I rise from my seat, begging Tori's pardon.
"In the powder room," she grumbles. "Wedging into the women's poo-lounge is usually bad enough, but give it a shot when the average bitch in the place is a yard and a half across!"
"Hey now, that's not nice," I chuckle. "Sounds like someone needs to pop her Prozac."
We perambulate back to the bar and grab a couple more steins of suds, while ChristyLee gets a "shake-it" contest going, followed by a lap-dancing competition, with the guys doing the gals first, then vice versa. At a table before us, we strike up a confabulation with a skinny dude named Dutch, and his hella-fine BBW, who goes by Ditto. The married couple came all the way from Tucson for the night. Ditto is an agent for plus-size models, and Dutch -- check it out -- is an adult filmmaker, with a series featuring bigger girls called Bubble Butts.
"I've always been drawn to bigger women," says Dutch. "I lost my virginity to a big woman, which may be the reason. But it's not just me. Everything these days is becoming more and more reality-based. And I think people are sick of what the media gives them, these skinny models, when only one in a hundred women is like that."
"Well, you're totally a hottie," Jett, finally coming 'round, tells Ditto. "You just look voluptuous to me, not fat."
"Thank you," she replies. "BBWs come in all shapes and sizes. It's a whole category of women, and that's why I started my agency, because no one else was catering to BBWs and the demand for them."
The J-unit and I mingle some more, and soon run into another booful big gal named Yvette Jackson, who's in the midst of starting up a clothing company called Big Beauty Wear (BBW, get it?). Action Jackson tells us she's here to hang out, not really to promote. Seems she'd had a blind date she'd set up online, but it didn't work out and she cut it short.
"Club FullFilled sort of gives you a safe environment to meet people," the zaftig cutie confesses. "Then if you're not hitting it off with the person, you can be like, 'Talk to you later.'"
"That's nutty, because some of my colleagues labor under the impression that well-fed femmebots are easier to get next to, and if the shorty's thicka than a snicka, she'll give it up easy," I say.
"Some of the guys just want to knock boots with you and go home," she sighs. "And like in every group, whether you're small or big, there are girls that are easy, and they give you a bad rep. But me and my friends, we're not like that. I'm afraid you're gonna have to work a little harder to get mine."