A Few Words With...Maggie Dubonet
By John A. Wilcox
Maggie Dubonet's eyes immediately grabbed my attention. So captivating. The rest of her face & body is a poem to beauty and sensuality. Beyond her beauty, Dubonet is a chef with a strong will. Unforgettable! I was delighted when she agreed to talk to Progsheet about her life and career. Join us...
PS: Where were you born?
MD: In California, in a suburb between LA and Pomona called West Covina.
PS: What are your favorite memories of the town you grew up in?
MD: My brother and I would ride our bikes to the movie theater in the summer and pay for one movie, but see three or four. We'd stock my purse up with candy and microwave popcorn and stay there all day in the cool air conditioning.
I used to go to the bookstore near my house all the time, to sit and read for hours. Sometimes I would re-organize the entire comic book section, because it was always a catastrophe.
We have a pool in the backyard of my childhood home, so we were always swimming. I loved it best when my dad was grilling carne asada on the grill, and we'd jump out of the pool to steal little bits of meat when they were done.
PS: Were you a creative child?
MD: Oh yes! I took dance classes, singing lessons, art classes, was in every school play from kindergarten to 12th grade. I've always been drawn to anything creative.
PS: Do large breasts run in either side of your family?
MD: I think on both sides... my maternal grandmother and my mom are both top heavy, and I'm told my paternal grandmother was too. I don't think anyone is really close to where I am, but it does run in the family.
PS: At what age did you pass a C cup?
MD: Around 12 is when I started to go through puberty, and it seemed like my breasts came in literally overnight. I went from wearing training bras to being a DD cup very quickly.
PS: As you pushed past a DD, how did your schoolmates react & how did you feel about their reactions?
MD: I've always gone to smaller, private schools for most of my life, so everyone knew everyone. It was almost too small for proper cliques most of the time, which was nice as there was hardly any bullying or anything like that. I do remember clearly the first time I noticed a reaction, it was during PE and we were running laps around the school. I've always hated PE and sports, so I was taking my sweet time and jogging at a slower pace. All the guys in our class were already finished and were just standing around. I asked my friend I was running with why they weren't going back inside and she looked at me with a mix of confusion and pity. She said "Didn't you know? They all like to watch you run". It was such a shock to me, I felt equal parts powerful and powerless. I had their attention, but did I want it yet? It's a feeling I still struggle with.
PS: I could be wrong, but you strike me as being a bit on the shy side. As your body developed, were you seeing that as a positive or a negative thing?
MD: It's so funny that you say that, because in "real life" I'm one of the least shy people you could ever meet. Everyone who knows me jokes that I can't even wait in line without making a new friend. I've always been super outgoing and talkative. I changed schools six different times, so I quickly learned how to make friends right away. High school was a bit difficult at first. I skipped 8th grade and started halfway through the year, so I was this awkward 12 year old wearing baggy men's shirts. Luckily, I quickly found an amazing group of friends and my confidence grew exponentially from there. They were the first steps to me making peace with my body. Developing as early as I did, to me, was almost always a negative experience. It's very hard to have a woman's body when you're that young, especially with how a lot of men are. Getting catcalled walking down the street, having middle aged men ask me out... as a 12 year old! It was very frightening, I didn't know how to get them to leave me alone.
PS: What is your current breast size? Are they still growing or are they staying a consistent size?
MD: It's 38M. They've been at a consistent size for quite a few years now.
PS: What was the first adult film/video you remember seeing?
MD: I actually don't watch porn at all! It's never been sexy to me.
PS: As you headed out of your teens, how were you manifesting your creativity? Any bands/plays/art post-school?
MD: I started my first job as a sous chef at a tea room when I was 15, so I was lucky to have a great creative job that really taught me a lot, instead of the usual retail or fast food jobs a lot of teens are stuck with. I find that cooking has always been a great creative outlet for me through my whole life. I did, and continue to do, a lot of hair and makeup stuff, which I absolutely consider to be artistic work. I worked at Renaissance Faires all over the states, and lived a nomadic lifestyle for a few years traveling from faire to faire to work. It's great stuff for a drama nerd like me; you're in accent and costume, playing a part, and getting paid for it.
PS: How did you phase into modeling?
MD: I started posing for my friend's pencil drawings in high school, and it seemed natural to go into art modeling from there. I worked for several art colleges and studios, and individual artists as well. I made a Model Mayhem profile for art modeling, and got a lot of people asking if I would do photography as well, so I figured why not? Did fine art nudes, pinup, glamour and boudoir, creative shoots, you name it. The adult modeling came later, and by surprise. I answered a casting call for what turned out to be a photo shoot for BBW Fan Fest, made some contacts, and started shooting some solo and girl/girl stuff.
PS: As you entered the adult world, was it what you expected it to be?
MD: Well, I have a very limited view since I only ever did soft core. One of the best things about it was all the amazing people I met while doing it. So many wonderful and supportive women who welcomed me and gave me advice and helped me on my way. The downside was the amount of vitriol you could get in comments or messages. I think people definitely forget that there's a person on the other side of it: in their mind they dehumanize you to the point where you are just a product to them. It's funny in a way though, they really think I care about their opinions... Like dude, I don't give a shit if you don't like my tattoos, or if you think I'm ugly. I'm not changing anything for some random internet troll.
PS: Were you ever asked to do anything you didn't want to do?
MD: I've been asked multiple times to get into hardcore. I've lost opportunities for sure because I won't do hardcore. But it's not something I've ever been interested in. Other than that though, not really. I try to make my limits very clear when I set up a shoot. Some photographers are creepy, sure, but that's in every area of modeling, not just adult work.
PS: How much content control & rights assurances have you had?
MD: I had my own site with a wonderful webmaster, Carrie with Dangerous Curves Design. I would send her all the content I wanted on the site, and she would upload it and maintain the site. So I only ever put up the exact content I wanted, that I shot myself or had shot for me. It was great, but I just didn't have time to create new material for it at the pace that's required for a successful site. This has never been my full time job. For other sites like Juggmaster or DivineBreasts, I get paid per hour or per shoot and sign a standard model release form giving them the rights to those photos.
PS: You do much less high profile work now. Why is that?
MD: I actually had someone send letters to my dad's work, to my parent's house, even one addressed to my then underage little brother, all detailing my adult work, my stage name, sites I'd been on, everything. It was absolutely horrifying. My parent's are quite conservative and religious, I never told them about my adult work and never planned to. It caused a huge fight, I almost wasn't allowed to see my little brother anymore because of it. So to me it wasn't worth it... to have someone try to ruin my life, cause me distress, and make me fear for my safety? It was much easier to just stop doing any high profile stuff. I still have no idea who did it or why. Thank god I've repaired my relationship with my parents over it.
PS: Let's talk tattoos for a moment. How many do you have & what does each represent?
MD: Oh man, big question! I have 15 right now, I had a hand in designing all of them, and love them all.
I have one on my wrist, a heart with a banner that says 'NOPE', got that on a Friday the 13th special the day before Valentine's Day last year.
On my upper back I have a snake with nightshade and Slytherin's locket with a banner that says 'Those Cunning Folk', as my Harry Potter tribute tattoo. I'm a total Slytherin.
On my lower back I have a lock and crossed keys with roses and a banner that says 'Amor Ordinem Nescit', which is 'Love Knows No Order' in Latin. Can you see a theme here? Haha, lots of banners with writing.
My half sleeve is of Lucrezia Borgia, a historical figure from the Italian Renaissance. Her family was famous for poisoning their enemies (allegedly) with cantarella, so she's holding a poison bottle, has 'mori' on her knuckles, which means 'death' in Latin, and has the alchemical symbol for arsenic, which cantarella is derived from, under her eye.
On my hip I have a t-rex with a tiny crown on, with a banner saying 'Semper Fidelus Tyrannosaurus', or 'Always Faithful Terrible Lizard' in Latin. Can you tell I'm a fan of Latin? It's an obscure reference to one of my favorite television shows, The Venture Brothers.
On the backs of my thighs, I have two playing cards, the king and queen of diamonds, based on illustrations of 18th century Dutch playing cards. I'm a history nerd.
On the side of my left thigh is a siren with a human skull, in a cove during sunset. I love myths and mermaids, so it was a no brainer for me.
On the side of my right thigh is a drowned girl with an octopus, in keeping with my love of the ocean. I really like symmetry, so you'll notice a few of my tattoos are meant to go with one another.
My calf has my big Doctor Who piece, with a TARDIS, a Dalek, and fob watch and chain tying it all together. Pretty self explanatory!
And the last two are on my feet. Left foot has a Wedgewood teapot and peonies for my mom, right foot has a Cessna 150 plane for my dad. That's all of them!
PS: How did you choose your professional name?
MD: At first it was actually Belle Dubonet. I always loved the sound of Dubonet, I think I first saw it in a vintage advertisement. I thought Belle had a nice ring to it and went well with the last name, but then a few people told me that Belle was too common in the industry and I should change it to stand out. So I went with Maggie, my favorite character from my favorite comic series, Love & Rockets.
PS: Maggie's from Jaime Hernandez' Locas series in Love & Rockets. What do you see in Maggie that you connect with as opposed to Hopey?
MD: Well Hopey grew up somewhat wealthy, she's aggressive and carries a lot of her anger right at the surface. She gets into trouble a lot as a teenager and can be a bit careless and rude. None of those things really resonate with me. I see a lot of myself in Maggie; she had a difficult childhood, she's sensitive, and gets massive crushes on people like I do. She has good intentions, and wants to think the best of people, but she gets taken advantage of that because of that. She can be a bit naive and overly trusting, but she absolutely takes care of herself, and others along the way.
PS: At what age did you start to get deeply into comic books & what book or books drew you in?
MD: I think in high school is when I really started getting into them. First comic I read was Sandman, and from there I was totally hooked.
PS: Do you mostly read current comics or do you also read silver/bronze age books?
MD: I don't really read a lot of "superhero" comics, so silver/bronze age stuff isn't what I'm familiar with. Think more Ed Brubaker's Criminal series as opposed to Winter Solider.
PS: Do you have any interest in writing/drawing comics yourself?
MD: No, I'm not artistic in that way, nor am I an accomplished writer. I'm content to just read them.
PS: How do comic books resonate in you that other mediums do not?
MD: I'm a big reader across the board, so the written word has always been a bit part of my life. Adding beautiful and detailed art to that just elevates it to an amazing experience for me.
PS: What non-comics writers resonate with you most?
MD: Neil Gaiman, though he does write comics too, has such amazing and beautifully written books. Janet Fitch, who wrote my all time favorite book White Oleander. Lauren Groff's book The Monsters Of Templeton is one I recommend often. Plus so many more, I couldn't begin to list them all.
PS: What attracted you to the culinary world?
MD: I've always been cooking. My mom is a fantastic home cook, and she taught me from when I was very young. Cooking brings a lot of people joy, and that's part of what drew me to it. It's also great if you're already a very particular and organized person. Mise en place is one of the first things you learn going into a kitchen. Everything in it's place. Cooking is a very useful skill to have, you can get a job almost anywhere, and I like to travel.
PS: What does chervil bring us that parsley does not?
MD: Honestly? I prefer parsley to chervil. Chervil has a slight anise taste to it that I don't really care for, while parsley is a nice, neutral hit of vegetative taste to any dish. It's one of my most used herbs.
PS: Is there a certain style of cuisine that is more in your wheelhouse than others?
MD: Not really, I'm used to cooking a pretty wide variety of cuisines. I love to bake, so I'd like to think I have a nice specialty with that. A lot of chefs don't necessarily know how to bake, it's a much different discipline. People think it's extremely scientific and exact, but it's like most other things; if you know the fundamentals of it and why things do what they do then you can play around with it more and be creative.
PS: What dish has given you the most issues to nail to your satisfaction?
MD: I haven't had very many issues when cooking. As long as you follow directions, I find it pretty simple, and then you can modify it to your particular tastes from there. I'm used to cooking for people with dietary issues, it was a lot of what I did as a private chef. Vegan, raw food diet, gluten-free, lactose-intolerant... everything has a substitute. You just have to make it taste good.
PS: When you worked Ren Faires, did your travels ever bring you to the NY/CT area?
MD: No, I focused a lot on the West Coast, since it's closer to where I'm from. Farthest East I got was the Bristol Faire in WI.
PS: Why did you stop traveling the Ren Faire circuit?
MD: It was fun living that nomadic lifestyle and I would do it again, but I needed a little more stability. Living out of car and camping is something that I can only handle for so long.
PS: Many BBWs advocate for being seen as just as beautiful as size 4 women (which, of course, they are). At the same time, the majority of BBWs on adult sites overwhelmingly only do videos & photos with buff, thin men & are rarely if ever seen with larger men. Is this hypocrisy or am I missing something?
MD: I take issue with this question for a few reasons. First off, a lot of fat women don't give a shit about their fuckability. This is what men assume because it's what they care about. It's about respect and treating bigger women like complex individual human beings, instead of stereotypes. I don't care if some guy doesn't want to date me because he isn't attracted to fat chicks, I care about not being paid less than my thin counterparts. I care about representation in the media. I care about how my medical care could be coloured by my doctor's perception of fat people.
Secondly, these unattainable standard of beauty for both men and women are imposed on us by the society that we live in. However, the standards for men are way more lax than those for women. Can you name more than one show with a fat women dating or married to a thin man? Now what about the other way? I can think of at least five right off the top of my head. No matter what men look like they are shown as entitled to young, beautiful, subservient woman, and that's fucked up. Male actors can visibly age and gain weight and still be seen as hugely successful.
Thirdly, who are these supposed BBW's who only date "thin, buff men"? That's an absolutely ridiculous assumption. Are you really saying that fat women are "rarely, if ever" seen with larger men? Because I just don't believe that, nor would that be my experience in what I've seen. Everyone is allowed to have preferences and calling it hypocrisy because you personally don't like it is not the way to go about it. I could keep going but I'll just say, yes, you are "missing something".
PS: What work currently occupies the majority of your time?
MD: I'm doing a lot of freelance work with art and photography modeling, plus custom photo sets and videos for fans. Taking a break from restaurant cooking because it's so physically demanding and was taking a toll on my health. I might ease back into cooking with some personal chef work soon. I'm starting as the new co-host for my friend's fantastic feminist podcast, which I'm very excited about.
PS: What thoughts do you have in terms of what you'd like to explore in your future?
MD: I want to travel more and see the world. I have crazy wanderlust and love going to new places. I'm working towards ways to have enough financial security to explore more creative outlets like burlesque, which I've always wanted to do. I'm very happy right now, and I feel like continuing down the path I'm on currently and seeing where it takes me.
PS: Please tell me 6 albums/CDs you never tire of listening to.
MD: I love music, so my favorite albums change all the time. Here's my favorites right now:
White Stripes- White Blood Cells
Does It Offend You Yeah?- You Have No Idea What You're Getting Yourself Into
Spoon- Girls Can Tell
Kaiser Chiefs- Employment
Stella Ella Ola- I Think We Should Hang Out All The Time
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