At Mo’Nique’s house, the greens are on the stove, the chicken is popping and the crab cakes are about to get fired up. Working the pots are two mother figures whom the comedian has known since she was 7. Aunt Dena and Mama Z arrived from Mo’Nique’s hometown, Baltimore, with Accent and other spices in their suitcases. With a splash of hot sauce, the star of The Parkers and host of Showtime at the Apollo recently released her hilarious new book, Skinny Women Are Evil. Here Mo’Nique sticks her fork into fat injustice and other juicy subjects.
Skinny girls are a big, fat pain in the booty. Some of them look at us big girls as if we did something wrong. Like they ask, “Are you gonna eat all that?” No, I’m just wasting time putting it on my plate. At 220 pounds and a size 22, I’m like, “This is who I am—I’m sexy, I’m glamorous and I don’t apologize for eating.” Even when I was a little girl, you couldn’t call me fat pig, because I was like, “Honey, I am CHUNKYYYY!!!” That’s my message: Be okay with the skin you’re in.
What if fat people said, “Dammit, I’m okay”? The billion-dollar weight-loss industry would go right out of business, every last one of them. [Tae Bo king] Billy Blanks would be Billy Broke. And yes, I’m healthy. I exercise, I drink tons of water—and I’m fine with this roll right here. I don’t want to get it sucked out, stapled up. This is mine. In my first meeting with The Parkers’ executive producer, I said, “I don’t want to be the stereotypically fat Black woman on TV: unattractive, unloved. I want to show legs, cleavage, every curve that God gave me.”
My family is all up in my business. My brother Steve is my manager. He created what you see. He believed in me so much that he put everything on the line to make his little sister a star. My sister, Millicent, runs my management company and is my personal assistant. My mom gets a check just because. My dad’s my adviser; he’s an incredible man, and he has always told me that I was beautiful. We’re thinking about having my brother Gerald do my security. But I have to watch out for him. He likes a little drama, and sometimes I have to say, “Hey, put that person down.”
I performed for the Ku Klux Klan and it was Steve’s fault. He booked me on a show in Alabama, but didn’t know who the audience was. The Klan had no idea I was Black. When I got there, though, I had to do the show because I needed the money to get gas to drive home. So the first thing I said was, “You will not hang my Black ass in here tonight!” After that it was cool. Laughter makes people take down their guard.
I think my son Shalon’s generation is lost. He’s 12 and ass whupping is my last resort, but I will do it. I’m raising a king, not a wimp. I’m raising a man who’s going to be strong enough to stand on his own.
When my best friend, Charisse, was dying, I said, “We’ve had a wonderful time together. I’ll see you on the other side. But don’t mess around and send for me too soon.”
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