Charlamagne tha God fat shamed Reesa Teesa, and it’s not OK

OPINION: I am here to help disabuse you of the notion that fat Black women are undesirable and desperate for love simply because they are fat and Black.

Charlamagne tha god, Reesa Teesa, tiktok,
Charlamagne tha God attends the 2023 iHeartRadio Music Festival at T-Mobile Arena on September 23, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images for iHeartRadio) Credit: Photo byGabe Ginsberg / Getty Images for iHeartRadio

Editor’s note: The following article is an op-ed, and the views expressed are the author’s own. Read more opinions on theGrio.

Hello, it’s me — your resident big, beautiful, Black woman here with a message for all of you who think that me and any other fat Black woman you may encounter are out here down bad, desperate, undesirable and looking for love simply because we are fat.

You are wrong. 

I feel like I have to do this again, as I have done many times before because there’s a narrative that continues to be pushed about fat Black women that is both reductive and harmful to all of us. 

In case you don’t get on social media or simply don’t care, a woman recently went viral for detailing how she had been taken in, married, and duped by a scammer. 

Reesa Teesa, as she’s known, told her story in 52 parts in a series of TikTok videos she called “Who TF Did I Marry?” and people have not stopped talking about her or Legion, the man involved in the scandal. 

I have not personally watched the videos, not because I am uninterested, but because I have the attention span of a toddler on sugar, and I don’t think I could sit that long to hear the whole thing out, but if you haven’t seen it, you can find it on her TikTok channel or read one of the many summaries of the drama available online. 

To sum it up, Reesa said she met a man on a dating app in March 2020, married him in January 2021, and divorced him in August 2021. She ended up discovering the man was a pathological liar who misrepresented everything about himself including his finances, his personal relationships, and his job. 

During a recent segment of “The Breakfast Club” with Charlamagne, Jess Hilarious, and DJ Envy, the topic of Reesa’s viral video series came up. After Jess Hilarious summarized the story for her two co-hosts, Charlamagne decided to get fat-phobic in his response. 

“I’mma be honest with you, man,” he said. “I hear a lot of big back behavior. Does she have a big back?”

“She do,” Jess Hilarious replied. “She do give Sheila that was driving up the mountain.” 

“OK. OK. Sheila was beautiful though,” Charlamagne said.

I want to pause here to point out how he was very careful not to diss Jill Scott, who played Sheila in the Tyler Perry franchise “Why Did I Get Married?” even though he’s dissing other women who look like her, and that’s telling.

He went on to say, “In a situation like this, some of you big backs … y’all gotta stop being so thirsty for a man. There’s a man out there for you, OK? This woman believed all of this because she wanted to believe all of this. Big-back belief isn’t like everybody else’s belief. She said it herself, ‘he said everything I wanted to hear.’

“She wanted to believe whatever was coming out of his mouth,” he continued, “because she wanted a man so bad.”

Continuing to make it about her size and not the fact that the man she was involved with was allegedly a liar and scammer, he then asked his co-hosts, “How big is she?”

As Jess begins to try to explain how big she is, Envy interjects that her size doesn’t matter, but Charlamagne insists that it does. 

“It does because this is big back behavior. They be thirsty for men,” he asserts. 


Charlamagne and Jess are dead wrong for making this about Reesa’s weight, but they aren’t the only ones who do this. 

Fat Black women (myself included) are often accused of being desperate for love and attention when we are not. 

If I were to take a screenshot of my DMs across social media, you would know this to be true, and I am sure there are other fat, Black women who concur. 

The problem isn’t our lack of desirability. The problem is people who are incapable of seeing past their own insecurities and unable to look beyond what is considered conventionally attractive versus who they themselves are attracted to. 

Chubby chasers are a thing, as are men who actively seek out fat Black women because they like them, but even as they seek them out, they try to hide these desires from others for fear they will be shamed for liking something that is outside “the norm.”

Projected insecurity is a thing. 

I’ve had people try to shame me and put me in my place because my level of confidence as a fat Black woman makes them uncomfortable. 

How dare I walk around with my head held high, feeling good about myself when I am at least 50 pounds overweight? How dare I turn a man down or think I deserve better? 

The idea is that fat Black women should just be happy with what they can get and not want more for themselves. 

What happened to Reesa didn’t happen to her because she is overweight, and it’s incredibly reductive and dismissive of her experience to reduce it to that. And while she herself admitted that there was some amount of desperation involved on her part, that desperation is not necessarily tied to her weight. 

Furthermore, plenty of thin and conventionally beautiful women get played by men as well. Halle Berry, Beyoncé, and Ciara come to mind immediately. 

They aren’t fat, so how do you explain what happened to them? What is the exception, and what is the rule? 

There are also plenty of fat Black women in loving and happy relationships, so how do you explain that? 

Society as a whole needs to stop treating fat people as less than. Body shaming on either end of the spectrum needs to stop. 

I’m not here to debate how or why this happened to Reesa because to be quite honest, women fall prey to lying-ass men every single day. Men lie. Men cheat. Men do weird and awful things to women because there are some men who are wholly unhealed, and instead of seeking healing, they project that hurt and pain onto other people — specifically women, and when all is said and done, the woman in question ends up taking the heat for it and not the man who did the damage. 

Instead of placing the blame on her weight, let’s unpack why men walk around like open gaping sores, oozing hurt and harm and inflicting pain on others. 

Reesa’s weight isn’t the problem; people like Charlamagne and Jess Hilarious who aren’t able to see past her weight to view her as human and worthy of the same love, compassion and empathy they would give to a woman they consider to be beautiful and desirable are the problem.

Monique Judge is a storyteller, content creator and writer living in Los Angeles. She is a word nerd who is a fan of the Oxford comma, spends way too much time on Twitter, and has more graphic t-shirts than you. Follow her on Twitter @thejournalista or check her out at

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