Making a bid for body positivity in black fat men.
Don’t blame me. Blame Snarky. She sent it to me.
I’m just posting it to get a reaction.
But it’s real:
But Mayfield says he didn’t see this journey coming.
“I honestly did not expect everything to take off like it has. That was nowhere in my mind frame,” he says.
Carrying the body positivity torch, however, came naturally. Mayfield has repeatedly triumphed in standing out — shining with strength and confidence — despite arbitrary, but often rigid, norms. Growing up in Dallas, he was a member of his church’s all-men’s praise dance ministry, something practically “never heard of in the Black community.” After more intense training in Houston post-college, he headed to LA and met the challenge of what he calls “a wake up call” in the competitive city, even as he saw very clearly how size affects opportunity. There’s a place for him there, he notes — but the entertainment industry is inherently selective and subjective.
“Just with the nature of dancing, obviously it’s physical work, so when I first moved here, I lost at least 100 pounds,” he says. “Once my body kind of leveled out… not trying to gain [the weight] back, it just kind of naturally happened with my work schedule and different things like that, the opportunities always came when I was a little heavier.”
He’s grateful to have been passed “the baton” of body positivity, and is “taking it on full force.” Mayfield has walked in more Marco Marco shows, but he’s also representing self-love and acceptance deep into more stereotypically mainstream culture. In fact, he’d already broken in before he stunned the runway. By 2014, he’d already danced in videos for Sara Bareilles and J. Lo, was featured in a Target commercial, and had a role in the How to Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular, and the gigs kept coming. Last year, he worked with Katy Perry for the “Swish Swish” video — and then some.
“Working with her was honestly just one of the most eye-opening experiences I had last year,” Mayfield says. “[She’s] one of the first artists I got to do multiple projects with. Building a relationship, not just with Katy, but with Capitol Records, and working with Dave Meyers… like, literally having conversations on the phone with Dave Meyers! It just really opened my eyes to what I could potentially really be doing, and that’s what I’m really gonna try and focus on this year.”