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The Harlem Social Club

Ah, yes, "Gentlemen's Clubs." In my mind they call up visions of 50-ish white guys with white hair and moustaches, sitting around and talking about stocks, golf, and pleated pants....

That's a bit outmoded, I readily admit: you and I both know what Gentlemen's Clubs really are. Nikki has found a New York Times piece on the Harlem Social Club. This "Club," fronted by Thomas Lopez-Pierre, has pretty strict requirements. Oh and, of course, no fat chicks.

So far 200 young women, among them doctors, lawyers, accountants, investment bankers and models, have applied for associate membership, Mr. Lopez-Pierre said. He has deleted the e-mail applications of overweight women.

Deleted! Even though larger women are more accepted in Hispanic and African-American circles, it's scary how much of an influence on the unattainable female figure is spreading.

I'm not in favor of these clubs anyway, but consider this a reminder of a type of size discrimination that flies under the radar almost all the time.

Less Recommended Weight Loss | A Balanced WLS Article!

siamesemeg April 25th, 2004 | Link | What's more disturbing - the
What's more disturbing - the fact that he has deleted the applications of "overweight" women, or the fact that the author of the article felt he needed to mention this? Cause lord knows we need to be reassured that the club owner's not going to let any FATTIES on stage...
melanie April 27th, 2004 | Link | Does he also delete the
Does he also delete the applications of fat men, or is his bias only gender based?
butch April 27th, 2004 | Link | It's gender based, Melanie.
It's gender based, Melanie. According to a recent CNN interview with Lopez-Pierre, the men are not judged by their appearance at all. These sorts of clubs have existed in Black upper middle class communities for many years. There was a "secret" club founded by wealthy Black men just before the turn of the twentieth century nicknamed, The Brown Paper Bag Club. It's prospective members were subjected to having their skins compared to the color of the bag and if their skin was darker, they could not join. Crazy but true.
Olena April 27th, 2004 | Link | Would any intelligent
Would any intelligent beautiful (never mind the size) want to belong to such a club? Would you want to be just a pretty object to compliment the o so wonderful gathering of macho men? Disgusting.
Olena April 27th, 2004 | Link | Would any intelligent
Would any intelligent beautiful (never mind the size) woman want to belong to such a club? Would you want to be just a pretty object to compliment the o so wonderful gathering of macho men that see you for nothing more than "possible marriage material"? Disgusting.
Maria April 27th, 2004 | Link | Paul said it best - "[I]t's
Paul said it best - "[I]t's scary how much of an influence on the unattainable female figure is spreading." The more I read the article, the more appalled I became. Yuck. I'm a part of a growing group of single professional black women. In this group we're all concerned about finding a suitable mate. But this group is focused on providing a revolving door of hot-and-cold running buxom babes to satisfy the various proclivities of the dues-paying members. It's like a hip-hop video for young professional black men. Moreover, the ideas of beauty espoused in the Harlem Social Club hurt me to the core. In many ways I'm used to being the odd-woman out in many social and political arenas. But these men are supposed to be my own people. We're supposed to be celebrating diversity, NOT being more exclusive, using arbitrary standards that have never served people of color, dammit. What pissed me off the most was the claim that women who didn't fit the "traditional" beauty types described by the Harlem Social Club could pay to join, and Lopez-Pierre said this was the most equal way to do it. Excuse me?!! I have to pay to be invited to the table?!! How is this equal? Thin women get in for free, but fat women, women with children, women over 35, and working-class women should be satisfied with paying $5000 to join? What a load of crap!
Terri April 27th, 2004 | Link | And to think that black
And to think that black people have been fighting (and dying in the process too!) for equal rights under the law, only to have crap like this become the norm. Martin Luther King Jr. must be turning over in his grave. Disgusting isn't the word. I can't think of a word vile enough to describe this shit.
Kim April 27th, 2004 | Link | it seems really stupid on
it seems really stupid on the women's part to join. i mean, if you're looking to get married (and LOOKING is your first mistake, if you ask me), you're probably not going to find a good husband in a group of men who only want a woman who is under 35 and looks "perfect." that might be all well and good now, but what happens when you get too old for his taste? can you handle being traded in for a younger model? basically, it's a bourgeois brothel that's preying upon the whole "oh no, i'm going to die alone!" hysteria that's been kicked up among black female professionals. as far as the influence of the thin ideal on the black community, it's gotten more prevalent over the years and tends to get worse as you move up the economic ladder. i remember when i used to get made fun of in the 80's for being thin-- back when jackee and the formerly thick janet jackson were in vogue-- and now a slim black woman (a la vivica fox or gabrielle union) is something of a status symbol. it's extremely odd... i mean, the same guys who laughed at me for my body type were suddenly interested in that exact same body a few years later because society convinced them that that's what they should want. whatever happened to just liking what you like because you... like it?
mercurior April 30th, 2004 | Link | first of all i object to the
first of all i object to the idea that people men and women should be an "IDEAL" weight/size.. we are all humans we all love the same way.. now a little off subject.. what is the real harm in men only clubs.. there are women only gyms, women only courses..why cant men have the same things as women.. people want equality wether its size, or sex.. i dont like it when people judge on any form of discrimination, i am big ok i am fat.. but i am happy.. and content.. thats all that matters not that i may become ill in the future and cause x amount of money to be spent on me.. it all helps the economy.. we pay nurses medical companies..

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