For years, Pamputtae waved the flag for “fluffy women” everywhere, but when health issues forced her to lose the pounds, she says the reaction to her weight loss was brutal. She had received criticism when she was heavier, but this was different and unexpected.
“People cuss mi… . Dem come inna mi DM, and dem say ‘Yuh talk bout fluffy, and yuh run gone get slim’,” Pamputtae told Dania Beckford in an episode of the Being Broadtail podcast, adding that she never had a problem with her weight until she began to experience health issues. “Mi neva have a problem being fluffy, nuh care how some people come and say who yuh black and yuh fat and yuh a sour power,” she said.
Pamputtae discovered that she had diabetes during her second pregnancy, creating the need for lifestyle changes. She said that as she shared her health struggles, the responses changed, but the second round of attacks cemented for her the need to love and believe in yourself, no matter what. “You have to love and accept yourself because when you do, people have to accept you,” she shared.
Pamputtae was brought into the dancehall space solely because of her talent and what she calls “vibes”. However, many looked past her catchy lyrics and jovial personality and focused on her size and skin tone. Not at all daunted by what people had to say, she used the negative comments to become a powerhouse in dancehall and now preaches self-love and confidence to just about anyone who will listen.
Born Eveana Henry, the dancehall artiste had a traumatic childhood, having lost her mother at age 10 and her only sibling a year later. She was left in the care of her grandmother, who also died shortly after, leaving her with her aunts.
At 15, she got pregnant, and she realised early that she had to become a provider. While Henry applauds the Women’s Centre for its care and support, she said it wasn’t enough. She got emotional as she shared her experiences with Beckford.
Determined to make ends meet, Pamputtae shared that she became an entrepreneur when she was gifted $240. She used the money as capital and invested in a pack of rags, and with her profit, she started to buy supplies to fill her “baby bag”. Giving meaning to the phrase ‘laughing in the face of adversity’, the artiste beamed as she spoke about her son, who will be 21 years old in a few months.
Years later, while working at The Gleaner, Pamputtae was summoned by Tony Matterhorn. Having met her a few times, she had piqued his interest, and he wanted her to record an intro. The intro was the start of many things in Henry’s life, one of them being an attack on her weight.
The artiste said she was told that she would not make it in the music industry because she was too fat. Having a strong personality and with her confidence level a solid 10 on the scale, Pamputtae used the comments to cement herself in the dancehall space, waving the flag high for full-figured women. One of her more popular songs — Slim vs Fluffy —defends the skills of full-figured women with her fellow female artiste, Spice.