In Praise of Big Thighs


By Corinna There’sthunderinthesethighs Tomrley 

I’ll come clean. I am a big fan of T&A. Thighs & Ass, that is. Now before I get accused of objectifying women and breaking them down to mere body parts let me tell you, I myself have rather magnificent T&A and there’s a correlation between that fact and my attraction to big ole chunky thighs and a massive butt.

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So, what I’m basically saying is this objectifying is all about self-love. And yeah, that’s tinged with a lil narcissism, I’ll own it. However, as much as there is such a thing as fandom of large T&A, we are, of course, often told that we should desire smaller bodies on the whole. So I do think of this preference as political, too.

Besides, who said anything about just women? People of all genders can have head-turning, heart-stopping T&A. Just look at Prince Fielder.

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We’re in an age of pro-booty. Beyoncé, Nicki, Kim etc. And I will not get into any kind of body bashing or discussions of ‘thigh-gaps’ or one body type being preferable to another. There are no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ bodies. All types are valid, all types are appreciated by different people. And I’m not just a fan of the fat body. I’m a fan of many types of bodies. I just happen to have a penchant (read, weakness) for substantially sized T&A.

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Our American cousins describe bigger bodies as ‘thick’. For us over in the UK, the descriptor doesn’t quite work because we use ‘thick’ to mean stupid. But if we forget that for a second (just as we should forget what ‘fanny’ means to us because it is such a great word for ass), I actually really like ‘thick’ as a descriptor.

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I used to be all about fat. I will still use fat to describe myself over any other word. And people will go, ‘oh, no, don’t, you’re not’ because they don’t know that I use fat both as a neutral descriptor of my body size and shape and as a positive reclaimed word. And sometimes when I explain that they still don’t understand, so ingrained is the negativity of fat in our heads. I’m not wanting or expecting to be placated into being told I’m not actually fat, I’m just curvy, it’s just my big tits… no. I am fat, people, and I’m super ok with that. Anyone who isn’t, that’s your problem, it really is not mine and I do not care what you think.

So, fat is a great word and I used to eschew the euphemistic words like curvy, plump, plus size, bigger etc etc. There are far too many and they’ll use up my word count. But now, as long as they’re being used as an expression of our rich language instead of avoiding ‘fat’, I think they’re super ok to use.

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So back to thighs. I like ‘em thick. And there’s rarely a case where someone with big thighs doesn’t also have a substantial tukus. It’s a great combo and just makes me lusty. Powerful, empowered and lusty.

I am very, very proud of my own T&A. I think they’re my best assets. All my strength is in my lower body (my arms may as well be noodles) and I could do proper harm with my lower portions were I a Bond villainess or something. As I’ve gotten older they’ve got better, I swear. I have even developed cellulite, finally. I don’t know why I didn’t have it before but it just goes to show it has nothing to do with being fat.

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I’ve celebrated my big body since I was very young. Even though I was made fun of for it and grew up in a fatphobic environment, I simultaneously hated and appreciated my body.  When some assholes shouted at us ‘who’s got the fattest legs?’ me and a fellow fatty friend compared to see. For us it was just a practical thing, we somehow just didn’t take it as an insult. Other times I despised my legs and widening body. Actually, it took a while for me to embrace my arms and legs as great parts of my body; they were the last hurdle. Now I love my arms and think my legs are fucking incredible and rarely ever cover them up anymore. It takes a lot of time and work to undo all of that internalized bullshit about body size. And, sadly, it never seems to ever fully go away. But I’m stronger than all that and know in the end that all my stuff is good.

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I remember on my 16th birthday going to see Taj Mahal, live. He, alas, didn’t do his song ‘Corinna’, but he did play a tune called Big Legged Mamas Are Back In Style Again. And I felt like he was singing that song just for me.

Big legged mamas come and go out of style but for me they are perennial.

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My first lady crushes were Julie Newmar (Catwoman), Lynda Carter (Wonder Woman) and Catherine Bach (Daisy Duke); amazonian goddesses all. This stuff was formative. They are the earliest attractions I can remember; I simultaneously wanted to be and to ‘marry’ these women.

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I would obsess over them for hours after the programmes ended, sitting on my own and just thinking about them. They are part of my queer root and it was a combination of their attitudes, their cool and their bodies that I was fixated on.

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I knew who she was but I first noticed Mariah Carey when I saw her video for ‘Without You’. It’s a ‘live’ video and she’s wearing a slightly weird all black ensemble. For years in my head it was a long dress or skirt she had on but I see now it’s actually trousers.

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That makes sense really because the most enduring image seared into my brain and eyeballs is a shot of her from behind. I instantly fell for her tukus. (Although it’s not nearly as big as I remember… funny thing, time and perspective, isn’t it?)

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The same with Jennifer Lopez. My first encounter with JLo was a gorgeous photograph of her in Vanity Fair, again from behind. I have a very instinctual gravitation to a woman’s tush. It just works for me, what can I say?

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So I’ve been a Mariah’s bum fan for a long time. Then a couple of years ago when she was doing her Vegas residency someone posted some photos of her from the show. Now, Mariah yo-yos with her weight but in recent years she’s often been on the bigger side of things.

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For the Vegas shows she was larger and, oh my word but I was altered by these images. Her thighs were huge. A few of her costumes were weird but I didn’t care. I was obsessed with her great thighs in these pictures.

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Then recently I saw more pictures of her thighs and felt compelled to try and put into words what they do to me. I have attempted 1000 words on the topic. I feel I can say no more.

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I can only show-and-tell these big-thighed cuties and let us all appreciate the wonder of a marvelous, substantial set of T&A.

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In praise of Thick Thighs because, after all, they make our dicks rise.

Ethel Loves Todd Brandt


 

Over the years it seems that whenever I’ve Google-imaged a particularly fabulous diva, the best pics would belong to the blog Stirred, Straight Up, With a Twist. I have continually marvelled at the enormous, youarethere clear, unusual images and smiled at the succinct, sharp, witty text that accompanies them. But the author of those words and collector of those pictures remained somewhat of a mystery. Sure there was the thumbnail of a gent as dapper and sophisticated-looking as you’d expect. But apart from the ‘TJB’ next to his photo, there was no further clue as to his identity. Nor – frustratingly for me – a way to get in touch and express my love.

I recently happened across the facebook group Hollywood Babylon. Immediately hit with ‘How on earth have I inhabited facebook for so long and not had a CLUE that this was there?’: I felt home. And amongst the fabulously well-informed trivia-toting wonders was a familiar face belonging to one of the most prolific of HB’s posters: none other than the star of his own thumbnail, Mr Todd Brant, he of Stirred, Straight up, With a Twist. It made perfect sense that someone of his knowledge, wit and detail should be found here. Hurray! I could get more of a fix of the Brandt magic than just the blog and – BINGO! – get in touch with the man and tell him how much joy the blog and its content have given me over the years. I could tell him he simply MUST be interviewed for ‘Ethel Loves…’ and become the Honorary Mermaid he was born to be.

So darlings, with a tinkle of ice over gin and vermouth, the stab of an olive and a splash of its juice (take note: how I like mine), please join me and raise a glass to the wonderful Mr Todd Brandt.

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Tell us about Todd Brandt – what’s your background?

One of my friends calls me “Queenie” — NOT because of any limp wrists, but because of the novel of that name by Michael Korda. That’s my one enigmatic answer, darling, and I promise to not be coy for the next sixteen questions.

When did you first fall for Old Hollywood?

I distinctly remember seeing “How to Marry a Millionaire” on afternoon television one day when I was sick and not at school. I must have been around eight or nine years old at the time. From then on, I was hooked. I would scour the TV Guide every week, highlight the old films that were playing, and if they were airing late at night, I’d set my alarm clock to, say, 4 a.m. to watch Barbara Stanwyck in “The Mad Miss Manton.”
In 1989, I contributed to my middle school paper. My contributions? Memorials for Bette Davis and Lucille Ball. Also that year, our English class final assignment was to write a book — literally, write a book. We wrote them, supplied illustrations, bound them, the whole nine yards. Ever the teacher’s pet, I wrote two: one was a work of fiction which borrowed very heavily from “All About Eve”; the other was what I considered to be the definitive biography of Marilyn Monroe.

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 How did Stirred, Straight Up, With a Twist come about?

I give all credit to the amazing, fabulous, talented “Thombeau,” whose late, lamented blogs “FABULON” and “Chateau Thombeau” are still legendary in all the right circles, darling. Seeing what he was doing completely influenced what I started doing.

Where do you get such amazing, massive pictures?

I don’t necessarily “create” when I blog, but I DO “curate.” It takes me a long, long time to find just the right images which fit the theme or concept that I have for a particular post. Every picture I use is by design, for a specific purpose. And I almost always use high-res images. I think that gives the blog a particular look and consistency.

You have a wealth of historical knowledge and a wonderful way with words yet you use them sparingly on the blog. Was it a conscious decision to have the images dominate on SSUWAT?

It is definitely a conscious decision, and there are two reasons. The first is partially answered in my response above: when I write a longer, more detailed “essay” post, it automatically necessitates, by my standards, very specific photos which are directly related to the text. You may have noticed that I do a lot of “triptych” style posts, with three related images. Those kinds of posts can take hours, just to find three images which carry out the theme I have in mind. (I’ve abandoned some ideas, because I couldn’t find the right image or images.) With an essay-style post, it obviously takes much, much longer, and I don’t always have the time (or energy!) to do so. The second reason is that even though I adore trivia and gossip and all of the minutiae of Hollywood information, I primarily envisioned SSUWAT from the very beginning as featuring beautiful, unique images — not the same tired ones that you can see almost anywhere — with funny or ironic titles/captions. I dream in captions and one-liners, darling. I reserve the essays for “special” occasions, or when I’m feeling particularly verbose and inspired.

 Who are your top 5 goddesses and why?

Joan Crawford: For her unwavering self-discipline and unyielding determination to create herself from the ground up.

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Judy Garland: For possessing more raw talent than any other human being of the 20th century.

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Arlene Francis: For ineffable, unflappable, indisputable charm.

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Marlene Dietrich: For creating the most flawless image possible, and then refusing to spoil the illusion.

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Diana Ross: For inventing the pop diva template as we know it today, and for nurturing what’s essentially a small talent, then developing and polishing it to her best possible advantage.

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You’re having a pool party at your Brentwood home circa 1938-1965. Who do you invite and what shenanigans occur?

Guy Madison, and I’d give the servants the day off, darling.

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What are your favourite star biographies/ autobiographies?

I actually find a lot of the more “scholarly” biographies boring — the biggest exception I can think of is Sam Irvin’s exceptionally well-researched and thoroughly entertaining biography on Kay Thompson. It not only is a long-overdue, scrupulously detailed look at a vastly under-recognized performer, but it’s a great read. Movie star autobiographies can be entertaining, but so self-serving that you must take them with a shaker of salt. Personally, I think that the fluffy, advice/self help/memoir genre (of which “My Way of Life” by Joan Crawford is the Holy Grail) is not only the most entertaining, but probably closer to the true essence of these stars, as they saw themselves, than anything else. I’m letting my philistine side show through, but I’d rather read a tawdry dime-store paperback like “Jayne Mansfield’s Wild, Wild World” (1963) or a silly beauty guide like Arlene Dahl’s “Always Ask a Man” than a lengthy biography with annotations any day.

Your favourite star?

Joan Crawford. Definitely.

I’ve just discovered Hollywood Babylon on facebook and I LOVE the community – I feel like I’m home! What are your thoughts on the campness and queer appeal of Old Hollywood?

Without putting too fine a point on it, I think the queer community — particularly gay men, and particularly gay men of a certain age — completely understand the concept of creation. Creation of a new persona, creation of a new life, a new identity — creation of a community or chosen family. Old Hollywood glamour is all about creation and illusion. We not only understand that, we embrace it. Younger gays understand that, too, but I think the concept resonates more with people who lived through a less liberated time — when smoke and mirrors were the order of the day.

Do you ever take your martinis dirty?

I like a lot of things dirty, darling, but never my martinis.

Gin or vodka?

Gin. I never quite understood the vodka martini. It has no balls.

Bette or Joan?

Joan, of course. I adore Bette; I just happen to often champion the underdog. Joan was tough in her own way, but also insecure and running from her demons. I feel oddly protective towards her.

Streisand or Midler?

Streisand. I have my issues with her, but I can’t deny that the lady is pretty fucking incredible. I like Bette Midler, but I never thought she was half as fabulous or talented as her followers do.

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 Jayne or Mamie?

Jayne all the way, baby. I respect Mamie for still being alive and kicking, and she’s fun in those bad girl B movies, but Jayne took bad taste to such a stratospherically, operatically, insanely awesome level that one can’t help but just sit back and be amazed. I adore her.

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Liz or Debbie?

Connie Stevens.

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What’s next for Mr Brandt?

If I were more of a planner, and more organized, I’d probably not only have a better idea, but I’d most likely be there by now! I just take life as it comes, darling, and I believe that enjoying life is appreciating beauty and surrounding yourself with it. Even if it’s only in your own imagination.

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