Maybe it all started back when Sir Mix-a-Lot, a veritable Robert Frost among commercial-radio MC’s, said that he liked big butts and he could not lie. Ever since, guys from the city to the suburbs have been forthright in their fondness for boo-tay.
Though the chubby rapper may have seen his snappy tune as a coming-out of sorts, he can certainly take some credit for helping big girls feel free to be big girls. The song in question, “Baby Got Back,” predates the Hollywood sop Real Women Have Curves by a decade.
The magazine racks tell the story: Sprinkled among the covers of slim, fresh-faced beauties are glossy paeans to plus-size women, including King, 40 on 40, and possibly soon THCK, a forthcoming bi-monthly mag published in Fort Worth, with offices on East Berry Street, that will be distributed in five metropolitan regions: Fort Worth-Dallas, Houston, Miami, Atlanta, and Las Vegas. The magazine had its launch party last weekend at Bent, where in my brief time I saw a steady crowd of about 50 people coursing through the downtown nightclub’s VIP loft space.
“It was like Hollywood up there,” said publisher Claudia Darobi. (Not sure about all that, or that that’s even a good thing, but the gourmet food was great, and everyone was exquisitely dressed.) “An investor we had been courting for awhile now came up to me and said, ‘I got that check waiting for you next week.’ “
Darobi got her start in the magazine business about four years ago, when she founded The Diversity Directory, a list of minority businesses that she refers to as “the Fort Worth-area black pages.” (The directory now also includes contact info for Asian, Hispanic, and other minority-owned businesses.)
Darobi started THCK (pronounced “thick”) to tap a sexier, less conservative market that she feels is being underserved by national and local media alike. The perfect THCK reader, she said, is sophisticated (Ebony, Jet) but not too serious (Maxim). “THCK,” she said, “is also an acronym for ‘True Hustlas and Corporate Kings.'”
There’s also the matter of the pictorials. “We’re actually trying to help change the way the media depicts women,” she said, noting that her magazine is non-pornographic.
Darobi isn’t planning on taking on the big boys like King and Ebony yet – she’d rather build off word-of-mouth reputation first, which is why she’ll be hosting parties on a regular basis in each target city. If they’re anything like the one last weekend at Bent, she might be onto something. The crowd was ethnically and seemingly culturally diverse, from black California model Elke to white local urban-nightclub mogul Woody Shanahan.
“We’re going to do the same, city by city, and make a noise they can’t refuse,” she said. “We’ll create the demand.”
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