Ah yes, New York City! Perhaps one of the worlds most coveted and iconic cities. It was a place I had always dreamt of starting my professional career post grad- a place that always seemed to draw me back. Yet, after spending some time overseas, going back to New York this time felt different.
I used to find peace in the chaos of New York. There was something about being there among the millions that felt tranquil. Call me crazy if you want, but I’ve always had a love that’s difficult to put into words for that place. But on Saturday night, my whole view changed.
We were in the city for my friend Victoria’s birthday. We had just enjoyed an eclectic Jamaican dinner at a wonderful little spot in SoHo called Miss Lilly’s. It was very much an upbeat vibe- a happy and welcoming place, if you will. But our next encounter was far from that.
The four of us were all dressed up and headed to a lounge on the Lower East Side called Jia. Decked to the nines and ready to enjoy the night, we got in line and waited for the bouncer to check all of our IDs (mind you, all of us are well over twenty-one). I could sense that there was a bit of apprehension in the bouncers voice, as he was listening to queues coming to him through his earbud. Not more than thirty seconds later, a second bouncer comes out to us and says “sorry ladies, this is a private event tonight.” I knew this was clearly false. But I couldn’t understand why we were being turned away.
The next words that came out of his mouth were shocking- I’m still appalled thinking about them. He looked to us and said “listen, ladies, it’s not that you don’t all look beautiful or anything, but I just can’t let CURVY girls in this evening. But maybe you can try Sons of Essex around the corner.”
I fell silent. I was so disgusted and I wasn’t even in the mood to argue with him. To think that myself and three beautiful friends had been turned away because we were too “curvy” to get in? I was, and still am at a loss for words.
In utter shock, we turned away and walked to another bar around the corner, where the manager was outside INSPECTING US HEAD TO TOE to make sure we were “hot enough” to be in the bar- also disgusting.
But I leave this weekend behind me and look toward the future with optimism. I also leave this weekend behind knowing that I learned an invaluable lesson. I’m proud of who I am, and I will never be shamed for being a size SIX/EIGHT. New York- you have so many wonderful attributes, but you are full of plastic, phony, social-climbers, who live to impress one another with THINGS. You can keep your drugs, anorexia, money and lies- if I am ever going to be a part of your city, I will NEVER succumb to your pathetic ‘standards’ that you enforce.
That will never be a life for me.