Robbie Tripp Put the Final Nail in Body Positivity’s Coffin With His ‘Chubby Sexy’ Music Video
In “Chubby Sexy,” Tripp capitalizes on his wife’s “thickness” while using a poor approximation of AAVE to deliver heavy-handed fat jokes.
By Noor Al-Sibai
Robbie Tripp, dubbed “Curvy Wife Guy” by internet cajolers, is back at it again — and this time, he’s White Boy Rapping about his spouse’s fat ass. On May 24, the man who became a meme for negging his full-figured wife, Sarah Tripp, in public, released his musical ode to her figure in the form of a poolside video for his single “Chubby Sexy.”
With “Chubby Sexy,” Tripp has managed to outdo his July 2017 Instagram essay about how hard it was for him to like bigger girls, an ostensible love letter to his wife and other plus-size women which managed to entirely miss the point of body positivity by contextualizing a woman’s worth within the confines of men finding her attractive. Before the music even begins, Tripp begins his Big Girl Negging anew, declaring that “chubby is the new sexy” in sans serif text superimposed over a pool one can only presume is what he and his wife bought with their “desert money” after going viral.
“This jam is dedicated to all the curvy queens out there just living your best life, girl you deserve that, you deserve an anthem,” the Curvy Wife Guy boasts, listing off terms like “thick” and “BBW” as the tired descriptors he’s ridding us of in favor of the eponymous “Chubby Sexy” moniker he coined for his partner. As a professional journalist who has worked in politics and feminist criticism, I’ve heard my share of offensive soundbites. And reader, I was shocked — shocked! — when Tripp not only shouted out his wife’s weight three separate times and compared her to both James and the Giant Peach and London’s Big Ben. “She got a waist so big that her belt can’t reach,” he sings while rubbing his wife’s butt, a backhanded boast that sounds like something straight out of a pickup artist playbook. Later, he brags that Sarah’s “cheeks swallow up that bikini like a g-string.”
“She don’t need a man,” Tripp bizarrely and awkwardly raps. “Yeah she chubby-yummy.” Beyond all the poor, strange and inconsistent lyrical choices the Curvy Wife Guy makes (he at one point claims his wife is too curvy for a one piece while she’s seen strutting on camera in one and later says she has “thick thighs like a mermaid”) and the obvious autotune, this song serves as yet another reminder that Robbie Tripp is passing off being a chubby chaser as “feminism.” As Vox’s Rebecca Jennings pointed out in her profile of the Tripps, the couple’s problematic pasts were revealed after the “curvy wife” post went viral nearly two years ago. But Robbie Tripp’s most glaring misdeeds have been out in the open since the phrase “I love this woman and her curvy body” became a meme.
Like Sarah Tripp and the small harem Robbie surrounds himself with in the “Chubby Sexy” video, I too am a big girl — and am in fact bigger than “the curvy wife” herself, who before going internationally viral called herself an “in-betweenie” due to being “between” plus and straight sizes. I am, ostensibly, the type of woman to whom Tripp dedicates his body positive “anthem.” Yet while watching it, I felt more ashamed of my body than I have in months, as I was reminded of all the men who told me they like my “big stomach,” told me they’re into my cellulite, and made me feel like there was something distinct and other about my body in comparison to those of thinner women.
The Curvy Wife Guy is not just a meme, nor is he a traditional chubby chaser. He is an influencer-grifter who managed to monetize the tried-and-true “negging” scheme off of his wife’s slightly-broader-than-average backside.
Since going viral, Tripp has failed to realize why so many people were angry when he framed his love for his wife in the context of his desire, that of his peers and societal beauty standards at large (pun very much intended).
In “Chubby Sexy,” Tripp capitalizes on his wife’s “thickness” while using a poor approximation of African-American Vernacular English to deliver heavy-handed fat jokes. As many other columnists have pointed out, Sarah Tripp is a barely plus-sized, blonde, cisgender white woman who is by no stretch of the imagination far outside the confines of Western beauty standards. But in her husband’s telling, she’s fat enough to be compared to massive structures both fictional and actual.
Body positivity, at its inception, was never about selling soap or clothes or increasing the dating pool for heterosexual men. It was meant to reframe the conception of “acceptable” bodies to include fat people, to help us stop feeling like our bodies are disgusting or perverse just because we are different from the women we see on TV and in fashion spreads. With “Chubby Sexy,” Robbie Tripp heightened those differences by objectifying and fetishizing his wife and the big women they cast — and then had the gall to call it a “celebration.”
Noor Al-Sibai is a journalist, part-time fascist hunter and cat mom. She previously worked at Bustle, Raw Story, and Feminspire. When she’s not cuddling or accosting her cat, she can often be found discussing sexuality or politics on Twitter, where she uses the handle @nooralsibai.
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