“My Story… ” Monday: The “Thick” Guy


I was working at the bank in Virginia. I was about twenty-six years old and, truth be told, I was at one of my heavier weights. I was a solid size ten– I never wore a twelve, but it was rare that I could squeeze into an eight at that point, either. I was happily married, but didn’t yet have children. I was hoping to have them soon, but I wasn’t in any kind of panic about it. (I got pregnant at twenty-seven; so, clearly, I was right to not freak out.)


Anyway, all was well and, while I may not have been feeling AWESOME about my body at that point, I wasn’t too upset about it. My weight remained in the “healthy” bracket for a 5’7″ woman and I was mostly curvy with a small waist. It wasn’t my favorite size to be, but– I’ll be honest– I wasn’t really doing anything to change it, either.


One day, a young, black man walked up to my teller window. He eyed the turquoise pants suit I wore with appreciation. He also eyed the ring on my hand and remarked, “Platinum, huh? Nice…”


I smiled, thanked him, and processed his transaction. When I looked up, I met his narrowed gaze.


He tipped his chin and asked me, “Is your husband a black man?”


The question threw me. Not because it would be so odd for me to be married to a black man, but just because no one had ever asked me that. Given that I had previously worked in Boca Raton, FL, really no one had ever asked me that.


I gave him a crooked smile. “Nope. Well, he has black HAIR,” and we both laughed.


He nodded, “Alright. I was just wondering, ‘Cause, you know, don’t get me wrong– you’re smokin’… but you might be kind of thick for a white boy.”


. . . . . . . . . . . .


At this point in time, I had no idea what to say. I pretty much just smiled and thanked him for his business. He left.


I immediately fled my window and high-tailed it over to Yvette, a tall, elegant African American teller working two stations down.


I repeated the interaction, word for word, to her, tears springing to my eyes.


“Thick? THICK, Yvette? That’s just a euphemism for FAT, isn’t it???” I cried.


Her clear laugh rang out and she tossed a careless arm around my shoulders.


“Girl… your ebonics is sadly lacking. You’re “thick.” You’re curvy. You don’t look bony or like you’d be sharp or scrawny. You look exactly like the brother thought you should look and that’s why he said it.” She chuckled, then muttered, “White girls are funny.”




That story still cracks my husband up. I don’t even know if I qualify as “thick” anymore, but it makes us laugh just to bring it up. Many of his co-workers have had quite a laugh at my expense, too. That’s fine; glad to be a source of humor.


So tell me… has anyone ever called you “thick”? Would you take it as a compliment or an insult? Am I the only one who had never heard the term?



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9 comments to “My Story… ” Monday: The “Thick” Guy

  • Amanda

    Lol that’s pretty funny. Yes I’ve been called thick but I knew what it meant. I’ve also been asked if I’m white…..which is weird because I have brown hair, blue eyes and fair skin. Apparently as some previous coworkers have told me I have a booty that makes them jealous which is why it was questioned.

    • Ha! You were wiser than I, Amanda. I guess I just figured “thick is the opposite of thin, so it must mean fat.” I must confess I was only mildly relieved to learn the “real” definition. ;)

  • I had an ex tell me “I was getting healthy.” haha Apparently I started gaining while we were dating and he didn’t know how to tell me he didn’t care for it, but didn’t want to hurt my feelings. Or at least that is what I told myself. IDK I do know that I cring every time I hear that word now. I was getting clean at the time. (aka not using meth) so gaining was a really big deal at the time. I’ve struggled with disordered eating all my life so maybe I was just being overly sensitive?

    • Oh, Elizabeth, I’ve also struggled with disordered eating and it really does mess up our whole relationships with food, weight, size, etc. It’s so sad that “healthy” now has that connotation for you. :( I feel that way about the word “solid.” I hate when someone describes a child or woman, especially, as “solid”.

  • Laraba

    No, I’ve never heard that! It was kind of odd the way he said it, too, so I’m not surprised you took it poorly. “kind of thick for a white boy” makes it SOUND like he thought you were heavy (clearly you weren’t.) Obviously that is NOT what he meant, but I would have been confused too!

    It was also kind of a personal comment. Did you get remarks like that often from random people? That would be a hard part of your job. The only thing anyone has ever said to me in my very part time job (I’m an engineer) is “you don’t look like you’ve had 8 children” which I guess is a compliment. I guess :-).

    • I think most people in “service industries” get lots of comments. I’d previously worked in a restaurant and, trust me, people are far freer with their remarks there, so the bank wasn’t a big deal to me. :) (And, yes, that is
      DEFINITELY meant as a compliment, I would say! :) )

  • My dear, departed Grandpa felt the need to call me and my sister his “sturdy German granddaughters” once. As someone who actually is thick … sturdy is not really my favorite term. I do think HE meant it as a compliment. Ha!

  • “Girl… your ebonics is sadly lacking.” Ebonics. That’s my new vocabulary word for the day!

    Also, our middle child is solid. We prefer that over chubby, because she really is STRONG and SOLID.

    Fascinated by the use of terms!

    • *giggle*… Did I really just teach you the word “ebonics”, Amy? I think that word first gained traction back in the early 90s… ;) (And, reality is… the northwest hills of CT aren’t much more diverse than KS, truth be told.)

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