When I read this story about, Shadoe Grey, the founder of a nightclub for plus size women and their admirers being bullied into quitting after losing weight, I just had to write about it. Shadoe founded Club Curves in 1997 in Los Angeles. She was 350 pounds and wanted to start a place for plus size women to have fun, dance and meet guys who appreciated their curves; and most importantly not be judged. For health reasons, she decided that she needed to lose the weight and got gastric bypass surgery. She went on to lose 238 pounds and that’s when the haters started.
Shadoe Grey BEFORE Image Source: The Daily Mail
She was constantly bullied by plus size women at the club telling her she was no longer one of them and did not belong. It got so bad she decided to quit. She was no longer offered to speak at plus-size related events. Shadoe also mentions her friends turning on her once she lost the weight.
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This is ridiculous. First of all, I would not have quit. The haters would not be welcomed in my establishment. Second, why is it that those women couldn’t be happy for her, support her and be inspired? She was doing something for her health that should have no effect on her ability to run a club. She knows very well what it’s like to be a big girl, as she was one since childhood, and can still relate even at her smaller size. She was a manager and founder; she could have been behind the scenes and made appearances as necessary. Her weight loss should have no effect on her right or ability to run the club.
Shadoe Grey AFTER Image Source: The Daily Mail
You can read the full article at the Daily Mail here
First – I think it’s admirable that she lost the weight and kept it off. But I do understand how the other plus size women felt. I’m not in favor of bullying a person or ridiculing other people’s life choices BUT the club was set up for plus size women to have a place to feel “normal” There is so much anti-fat, fat discrimination faced by plus size women in all other aspects of their lives that I’m sure that the club felt scary and no longer a safe haven for them with her running it. Definitely not agreeing with the bullying but definitely do agree that she should have stepped down. It seems to me her new mission should be guiding others through weight reduction surgery and helping them to succeed – something that would work outside the confines of this club/situation.
Wow..you must have real low self esteem to even think this way.. “I’m sure that the club felt scary and no longer a safe haven for them with her running it” That is her club, I am not sure why she even felt the need to quit..forget that…if a woman can feel insecure because another woman decided to lose weight..that is their mental issues not hers.
I have read through the comments that have been written regarding my friend Shadoe and some of them are really disappointing to say the least. The BBW Community is the hardest on our own people in the community for some reason than they are on others who are not part of The BBW Community. What amount of weight lost would be acceptable for someone to still own and operate a BBW Night Club and be a positive influence on our community? If she was still at least 50 pounds overweight would that make her still a part of our family? I think it’s ridiculous to judge someone based on their weight whether they are large or small. Larger people are always complaining that we are being judged and discriminated against because of our weight but than we discriminate against people who are smaller than we are or turn our backs on our friends who have chosen to be smaller than they were before. I have had boyfriends in the past who would get extremely upset if I would even talk about losing some weight for my health and to reduce the pain in my knees and legs. The fact is I need to have my knees replaced because they are just that bad from the many years of being in the upper 300’s or lower 400’s but my doctors won’t do the surgery until I lose 140 pounds. Should I now be worried that my friends will no longer want to be my friends because I am making a choice to lose 140 pounds to be able to have my knees replaced so I can be in way less pain than I am now and of course more mobile? Or is the fact that I will still be 250 pounds make me safe from being hated on by others or have people tell me that I should close down BBW Club Catalina in San Diego because I’m just not fat enough to understand the people who come to the night club and have empathy for them? Shadoe is still Shadoe whether she is 350 pounds or 150 pounds… I think people who say things like she isn’t fat enough to be an owner of a BBW Night Club needs to think about how they would feel if someone said hey I can’t be your friend if you lose some weight. If you are someone’s friend you stand by them no matter what their weight is.. pure and simple… Kathy Edmondson–BBW Club Catalina–San Diego
I have to say I totally disagree with you. She was the founder, and unless she was deciding to try and turn the club into a weight loss vigil and harassing other women about being fat, then no way should she of stepped down from a club that she founded. Rather the people doing the bullying should of been banned until they learned to control their ignorant behavior. Furthermore, so many of these women are arguing that they want acceptance and these fat clubs are meant for some place to be accepted, then they need be accepting of others rather than being hypocritical and thinking it’s okay to shame someone else. Body acceptance happens on ALL lines of the spectrum, whether that be skinny or fat and anything in between.
She isn’t pushing anyone to lose weight or be small and thin or whatever. She had to make that choice for her health, HER health. So she should be allowed (gah, allowed to keep her own club!) to stay on and continue. It’s not like once you lose the weight you suddenly forget what it has been like all your life as a heavy person. I’m sure she’s even going through a great transition emotionally and mentally because she’s suddenly in a new body but she will still think like a heavy person. Where’s the support for just doing the best for yourself? Why do people have to have everyone mirror them to be acceptable?
I totally agree with you Carolyn. Its a place for plus size people to fit in and once she made the conscious choice to change … well, she no longer belongs. And frankly she no longer needs it since now she has access to an incredible array of places would’ve been denied her before. It doesn’t remove the need for safe places for plus size people.
Further more her presence reinforces a stereotype, that’s being echoed here in these comments – that fat is unhealthy, that anyone can and should change and good on you for loosing weight and fitting in. Its so obnoxious and patronising and I can understand her previous community not wanting to have any part of it.
Bullying is never a good response to anything. The clientelle would have been better off voting with their feet and just leaving.
I don’t see that as reinforcing stereotypes. She may have legitimately had some serious health problems that were being caused by or aggravated by her weight. Just as an example: I had a relative who was so morbidly obese that her intestines collapsed on themselves, got gangrene and she died, that was directly caused by her weight. I’m not trying to get into this conversation of whether fat is healthy or not, but we do not know this women’s exact circumstances of why she chose weight lose. Most people are congratulating her because, let’s face it, it’s harder to lose weight than to gain it-even with the weight loss surgeries are not an easy and quick fix. But just out of curiosity, is it alright for places to throw fat people out because they ruin the aesthetic?
I think that anyone loosing weight, or not loosing weight, is not my business, or in fact anyone else’s business. The fact that people are complimenting this woman about her weight loss is patronising because they’re commenting on something very personal. To me when people compliment weight loss they’re really saying you’re much more acceptable now, which I don’t agree with. I think she was cute and vivacious and obviously very talented while she was fat.That doesn’t change now her body shape has!
As to the health issues; clearly you believe fat = unhealthy. I do not. We disagree.
Asking a fat person to leave an establishment because of aesthetics is shallow and degrading to a particular person and continues to support systemic bigotry. Based on what, you’re interpretation of how people look? It’s ridiculous. Asking someone to step down from leading a group of people because they are no longer qualified to be part of that group is different. It’s like a leader at Weight Watchers. If they gain weight, they are no longer qualified to be a leader. It’s sad, and I would I would feel for that person. I would also understand Weight Watchers response. They have built a business around certain things. Just exactly as this lady did. Its sad for her, but she is no longer qualified to lead that establishment that supports that group of people.
SHE built the business though. It came from her own blood, sweat, and tears. Just because her body shape has changed doesn’t mean her dedication to her client’s has. She has provided a fun, bully free place for plus size people to enjoy themselves. I think it’s a crying shame she stepped down. The person within is the EXACT same as she was before the weight loss. Her values are the same, her compassion is the same, her love for her clients is the same. Why on earth would you think getting rid of a woman like that who provides such a great place for plus size ladies should be kicked out of her own business?? Should we fire all fashion designers who aren’t inhabiting plus size bodies (disregarding their talent for dressing a plus size woman????) No, no we should not. That mind set is JUST so so wrong. And so very cliquish. I’d hope the plus size community wouldn’t be so quick to outcast someone as a lot of us I’m sure have felt that kind of hurt before.
THIS frame of mind here is the problem… why must the only people who support and celebrate be a monolith? This is like saying white people arent allowed at a black club, or straights are not allowed at the gay club… Her support is still there… and her journey is HER JOURNEY.
I disagree. I’m not talking about people attending the club; you cannot exclude anyone as you say. I’m talking about the leader. I think it would be more like joining a women’s only gym and finding out that your personal trainer is a man.
In that scenario I might not want a male trainer but I would not be upset if the owner was man. But really I think this example doesn’t fit the true scenario.
It really reinforces the stereotypical comment of, “you only care because you’re X” i.e. she can only care about the plight of fat people because she herself must be fat or you can only care about ugly people if you’re ugly or fill in the blank. This is said again and again by millions all over the internet because they can’t get it through their thick heads that you don’t have resemble the thing, person, cause, idea, or whatever to actually care about it and care about those who might be suffering with it. No one says, “You only care about ending cancer because you HAVE IT” but they will say “You just care because you’re FAT!”
I’m sorry, but to insinuate that she should have to step down purely because she lost weight is laughable to me. Just because those women have such low self-esteem that they feel the need to down the person who started this club in the first place, doesn’t mean she should step away from the place that she created. If anything, I would think these ladies would be supportive and not chastise someone for their efforts. I would have honestly told those females get the hell over it. As much as these women might have gotten chastised or not included because of how they looked, they are pretty much doing the same thing to her. They should be ashamed of themselves.
I agree 1000%
I have to disagree. Just like there are gay supporters, who are not gay, those who advocated for minority right, who were not… there can still be support here… Soooo a slim man who loves plus size woman could own a club, but not the woman? That is not fair…
Huh? Just because she lost weight, she no longer has empathy for others? Not sure how that makes a bit of sense. I’ve gone to “normal” gyms and have NEVER had issues. If anything I’ve had people say go head and do your thang. I never joined Curves because it didn’t fit what I wanted to do but that was HER baby. Did she discriminate against someone in the club? Or did the fat chicks do to her the one thing they don’t want done to them? I’m appalled that people would think that just because she lost weight that she can’t be empathetic to others any longer. Wow. And I’ve gone past Curves and have seen women of ALL SHAPES AND SIZES, not just fat girls.
Carolyn ma’am, you just bullied the owner of Curves in your post by insinuating that she made her own club scary. I don’t think any of us have the right to determine what she should/shouldn’t do with herself. To say that a former fat woman can’t run a fitness club for current fat women is…ridiculous and kind of a slam. I don’t know this lady at all, but I know that she deserves to be happy and deserves to run her business as she fits.
I’m FAT. Have been forever and a day. I’m marrying a man who knows I’m fat and loves me as myself. I have fat and “normal” sized friends and they love me as I am. I used to run from things because I was fat…now I run TO them. Because it’s something I want to do and will do it regardless of what people think or say. My family and friends applaud me for being my own person, and doing what I want to do.
If this woman wanted to lose weight, for whatever reason she chose, good for her. Instead of beating up on her, allow her to do her own damn thing. We get pissy when the rest of the world taunts and ridicules us for our size, but then we’re willing to do it within our own community and it should be ok?
Carolyn, I know you feel the way you do for whatever reason, so it’s all good. But I have to ask you–really?
This is actually something I thought of JUST the other day. You see, I am plus sized and recently found out I HAVE to loose weight for my health. I wanted to start a blog/lifestyle magazine and have always had a passion for making women feel good at any size! I thought of it because I wondered how I would be received/if I would be received by plus women after the weight loss. I.E. – If I would be viewed as a trader for loosing the weight. I wouldn’t have quit either!
It’s like the whole Crystal Renn thing, she made her debut as a plus size model and then lost a bunch of weight. She was being attacked on all sides, but specifically from the plus sized community that basically they’re who made her famous and she’s now a traitor.
I know… I think in her case, it was hard to receive because of her stance, what she and her agent was saying, and it was confusing…
Do it honey… There is someone who has thought about the exact same thing, and your journey is YOUR journey. Do not let this hinder you from self discovery.
Absolutely not! If it was her club, then she should have gotten rid of the haters first and foremost. She above anyone else, understood the challenges that plus size women sometimes have. What happened to acceptance of all sizes and shapes? What happened to women supporting women? Doing it only for appearance is one thing, but for health reasons? Come one! Apparently, she was in danger of losing her life and had a choice of losing the weight or dying. If given that choice, *I* would have chosen my health. If you don’t have good health you have nothing. I really think she should have stood up to the haters.
I wish she did too! 🙁 Or rallied up those who support her! 🙁
Oh, goodness, how *dare* she lose weight for health reasons?
Really, people? She may have a smaller waist, but it didn’t change her mindset. She could have easily started trying to preach to people about losing weight. Obviously she still cares to be there for the larger set of women who may be ostracized in
other clubs/bars/etc, but that falls on blind eyes, I suppose. They are lucky that she didn’t stoop to their level and tried to shut down the business.
I kind of see this attitude almost every time Torrid posts images of new items. The models are often being criticized for not looking like the average customer, but what does that even matter? It disappoints me to see women, who I’m sure have been bullied over their size at one point, would turn right around and do the same to a fellow curvy gal, simply because she’s at the “smaller end” of the curve spectrum. :
What’s particularly irritating about Torrid or any other plus size store for that matter, is that not only do people complain that the models are not plus sized, but when the stores do post pictures of bloggers wearing their products who are larger, the people still complain and berate the women! It’s utterly ridiculous, but unfortunately still happens.
So true. Whatever happened to simply being supportive of all women?
Girl. I hear you. I KNOW what you mean, I wrote about this!
So true. We need to be encouraging each other. There is enough hate from non-plus people.
I KNOWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!! We face enough, why!!!!
The sad thing is this is the truth, I have lost a lot of friends because I had to make the decision to live or die. Before I made the decision, I was active in the curvy community and since I am no longer welcome. I have been discriminated against for my size by people who want to end size discrimination, can we just say hypocrites.
Sad! Good for you for getting healthy.
I think it is a sad stte of mind… I am sorry you were shunned or ostracized. Sending you love.
Shadoe made a conscious decision to get healthy not skinny. She should be praised for this.
I think whatever choice she made doesnt mean she doesnt support the community… 🙂
The Plus Size “World” is a very tiny space in the real scheme of things – at least that’s what many Plus Size establishments and businesses have made it feel to be.
The clawing and fighting has been turned inwardly and the people that should come together as a “community” really has run in the opposite direction. WHY it has been a difficult understanding of the phrase:
“I AM A REFLECTION OF YOU”
Promoting Unity and Uplifting has been the retraining of many in our society. Many of the strong bend and falter when there is none around to strengthen during the strongest of storms.
We ALL have our own stories, triumphs and losses. Our bodies are ONLY a SHELL of the wonderment that makes US. We ALL have choices on how we live our lives and have a RIGHT to do so accordingly.
Absolutely. Thank you for sharing!
Thank you! And yess….
She should not have had to step down. We need to learn to do what we want others to do, which is to accept people of different sizes. Once someone has been plus size, they don’t lose their memory of what that was like because they lose weight. So very said that she stepped down. I wish she had not let them pressure her into leaving.
Ironic that she founded the club as a haven from discrimination, and then became the victim of discrimination by the very people she’d been serving.
That’s just wrong, and I’m with you Marie I would not have quit the establishment I created- hell nah! But I can understand that maybe it just got to be such a negative space for her she opted the better choice was to walk away.
This is the one thing I see too many times in our curvemmunity – we can’t flip out the minute someone has to evolve their body for whatever reasons. It’s THEIR body, their life, their health and we don’t know what’s taking place in any of them so just let people do what they have to do for themselves. I remember when J.Hudson started WW some people lost their minds saying she betrayed us…no she didn’t, she made a personal choice and those things need to be respected.
I agree with you, it’s wrong that she was driven out of her own business by bullies. It’s funny because her niche in the market was established by people who didn’t want to be bullied… and yet, they’re the ones bullying her. I think that it comes down to culture. We have to stop shaming women about their bodies, full stop. Whether they weigh 395 pounds or 110, we have to stop hating our own and each others bodies and shaming each other based on our looks. It’s wrong. It must stop.
But I’m with you, I’d have kicked the haters to the curb and kept on rocking. It’s hard to make a change, and the behavior of the ones who bullied her out of business says more about their own negative outlooks (about themselves and others) than about her.
I think it’s terrible what happened to her. It always amazes me how women who have dealt with such horrible discrimination and hatred, like those of us in the plus size community have, will turn against someone and treat them JUST as terribly. It is the height of hypocrisy. The plus size community screams from the rooftops about how badly we’re treated but then members will turn and behave just like those haters toward another woman. Ultimately what I have learned is that if you love yourself no matter what your size, skinny or plus, you will NEVER attack or criticize or be cruel to another woman no matter WHAT she looks like. Because that kind of critical mean behavior is rooted in self-hate and insecurity. It breaks my heart what this beautiful caring woman has endured. She will always know what it is to be plus size as she lived it for most of her life and she is a HUGE advocate for our community. That she has been ostracized for losing weight to be healthy is a true shame on our community.
I’m very concerned for this lady who just lost her business after so many years. As has been noted, she had health issues severe enough that her doctors had her do bypass surgery. Given the number of side effects you see with people after procedure, her health must have been in a very bad place for her to risk the surgery and losing her income as well. My prayers go out for her.
I hope that she never reads any of the negative comments here. I can see exactly the clique attitude that drove her away. There may have been lingering insecurity inside of her from spending most of her life as a plus woman and girl with the negative it that can come our way. I am shocked at some of the people who are callously talking of excluding her. I can’t imagine how shocked she must have been when those type of attacks began in person and online while she was already ill.
Funny thing is I LOVE Shadoe… and everyone I know loves her. I was a faithful fan of Curves (or Moxie’s. or Da Underground…depending on when you attended, in which location…lol) and I only stopped attending because I just simply fell out of the club life… but whenever I got the urge, I would always return and it always felt like home. Curves was a welcoming place for us fluffy chicks and all of the guys who love us… the club was so amazing, even the skinny b*tches started coming at a point. (lol) I think it’s deplorable that people forced her to step down… she is an amazing business woman, a gracious hostess and being that one of dear friends was her DJ forever, I hear she was also a pretty damn good employer. I wish her the best; I always try to support her endeavors… I’ve been to every location Curves has been and even frequented her consignment store. She has always supported the big girls and for them to turn on her is completely uncalled for. But there are just some very hateful people in the world… they see things in you that they wish they could see in themselves and they hate you for it. But Shadoe if you’re reading this… you are amazeballs and I thank you for giving a big girl like me a place to feel desirable, (did I mention I won the booty shaking contest there in the early years…lol!) wanted and damn sexy!!