Jaclyn McCabe, owner of the plus-size boutique Jaci Blue on Magazine Street wants people to know that wearing a swimsuit in public isn’t a privilege reserved for the thin.
She’s bringing back the Not So Skinny Dip pool party for its second year on Saturday, and this year’s sold-out event promises to be even bigger and better than the first.
“Taking up space in a swimsuit is not a privilege generally offered to us in public settings,” McCabe says of the event. “I’m trying to change that.”
While men and thinner women aren’t excluded from the event, McCabe does request “that a plus-size lady friend” accompany them. “This is not a space for body shaming or hooking up,” McCabe wrote on the event’s Facebook page. “If those are your motives for coming, you do you boo, just not in this space.”
Many people in today’s society equate “plus size” with unhealthy. In the same breath that young girls are told to love their bodies, they’re told that they should “eat healthier” or not wear certain styles of clothing, or that they should exercise more. All in spite of the fact that studies have shown that people who are overweight or obese actually have no greater risk of cancer or heart disease than thin people – as long as they are metabolically fit in spite of their weight.
This year’s event is being held at The Drifter Hotel on Tulane Avenue, a “toptional” space. Partygoers can choose whether or not they want to go topless at the party, though it is not a requirement. Those who have already bought a ticket who are uncomfortable being in a “top-optional” environment can private message McCabe on the Jaci Blue Facebook page for a refund of their ticket.
For entertainment, the event will feature special guest Chenese Lewis, a plus-size fashion model, podcaster, and the first crowned Miss Plus America. In addition there will be music by hollagraham, Ian Means Dyer, and Tatum Neill. Food will be provided by Taco Cat and Ice Cream 504.
While the event is sold out for advance tickets, there may be tickets available at the door, depending on occupancy. The party is tomorrow, June 15 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. at The Drifter Hotel.
Jenn Bentley is a freelance journalist and editor whose work has been featured in publications such as The High Tech Society, FansShare, Yahoo News, Examiner.com, and others. Follow her on Twitter: @JennBentley_