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Issue #18 - August 2005

Welcome to the Large In Charge Newsletter

 

In this Issue of L.I.C

 

LargeInCharge Flea Market - Online area where you can sell and purchase clothing, shoe's, etc. at low prices.  Bring all your used, items here to sell.

 

Annual Community Drive - LargeInCharge helps the Community. Can you Donate?

 

Featured Person - Yuliya Zeltser Founder and Designer of IGIGI Designs

 

Raqui's Spot - Obese Women and Walking

 

Jay's Spot - Interview with Infamous BBW Artist Paul Delacroix

 

Guest Spot - WINNER OF THE PLUS SIZED WRITING CONTEST!

 

Product of the Month -  Products for People of Size

 

Events & Pictures - L.I.C. Delivers Info. on the hottest BBW events, See what we are doing in the community.

 

Big World Links-  Check out the Big Sized Companies who want to cater to you! Clothing, Party Promoters, Websites and more!

 

 

Feature of the Month

Monthly Feature

YULIYA ZELTSER

Founder of IGIGI Designs

 

Yuliya Zeltser Founder of IGIGI

 

 

 

 

 

IGIGI Designs

 

 

 

     Looking at the picture above what do I see.  Sensual, Sexy, Beautiful and Busty.  Fun and Flirty.  All in a bigger than so called normal package.  Can I imagine myself there.  OH YEAH.  Now we have a great company who is actually making this a reality for plus sized women up to size 32.

 

     Upon viewing the IGIGI website I see that the clothing is beautiful.  Much like the very designs we see for small females.  They are some of the best looking clothing I have seen for large females.

 

Some of the great features of this site:

  • A Shape Calculator to help you determine your shape and what looks best on you.

  • Bra friendly fashions so that you can have support at well as fashion.

  • A occasions section for special occasions wear, that features the following categories.

    Red Carpet

    Evening Cocktails

    Glamorous Night

    Think in Pink

    Dating Game

    Work Elegance

    Chic and Casual

      I sure wish I was a size 32.  But for all of you who are a size 14 - 32 give IGIGI a good look because there prices are decent, the clothing is off the hook and basically you will be looking good when you wear IGIGI.  Big thanks to IGIGI for making wonderful clothing and let me know when you go SUPER SIZED! 

Interview with Yuliya Zeltser Founder of IGIGI Designs

LargeInCharge.com: What is your name?

 

IGIGI: Yuliya Zeltser, I am a founder and a fashion designer of IGIGI

 

LargeInCharge.com: Where are you from and what is your current Location?

 

IGIGI: I was born and raised in Ukraine; however, for the past fourteen years I have been living in San Francisco, California.

 

LargeInCharge.com: Do you consider yourself a BBW or a SSBBW?

 

IGIGI: Even though I am not a BBW, my mother and my aunts are. Because of that, all of my adult life I believed that any woman can look beautiful with the attributes that she possesses at that moment; her attractiveness should be least determined by the size of clothing that she wears.

 

LargeInCharge.com: Who is the owner of you company?

 

IGIGI: The parent company, Voluptuous Fashion Enterprises, is a small corporation consisting of 3 major officers: Alex Brodsky – our CEO, Angie Bates – a VP of Manufacturing, and me, Yuliya Zeltser – Founder, Creative Director and a Fashion Designer.

 

LargeInCharge.com: Tell us about your company?

 

IGIGI:  IGIGI designs, manufactures and retails (at www.igigi.com) stylish, feminine and fashion-forward clothing in sizes 14-32. Our main goal to help every woman who wears IGIGI designs to feel sensual, feminine, confident and beautiful. We translate our vision into everything we do - from design, photography, and visual presentation, to the sales process and the customer service. We are very passionate about our mission; we make sure that the fit and the quality of our garments are the best in the industry, as well as our customer service. 

 

 

LargeInCharge.com: How did your company begin?

 

IGIGI: Designing and making clothes has been my passion since I was five years old.

The awakening moment came in 1997 when I went shopping with my mother, a BBW, to the well-known plus-size chain store. My mom, who loved to dress beautifully but found it difficult to find ready-made clothes that flattered her figure and satisfied her taste, had asked me to come with her and help her shopping. Needless to say, after seeing the selection available in the store, we were extremely disappointed. I began asking myself whether any woman could feel beautiful wearing the clothes that were available in the plus size stores. Would I personally enjoy dressing in this clothing, and how would it make me feel?

 

     I realized that no matter what size a woman wears, she wants to look feminine, stylish and very attractive. The clothes that were available on the market at that time did not do justice to women who wore them. At that moment my personal and professional mission was formed.

 

 

LargeInCharge.com: How did your company get its name?

 

IGIGI: I wanted to find a name which reflected my vision and mission. I was looking for the fun, short and a “sexy”, word that will remind women that they are beautiful. I thought of very many names, but when I heard my friend coming up with the “IGIGI”, it instantly felt right. IGIGI is pronounced in French manner - “ee-zhee-zhee”.

 

LargeInCharge.com: Does your company have a motto or slogan; and what does it mean?

 

IGIGI: We have several mottos that describe IGIGI brand.  ‘Be Unforgettable’ is my favorite.

 

LargeInCharge.com: How long have you been in business?

 

IGIGI: I started IGIGI in 1998; and the online store (www.igigi.com) began in February of 2000 after taking two years to learn the specifics of the Internet retail as well as understanding the needs and requirements of the plus size women’s market.

 

LargeInCharge.com: Tell us about your clothing products?

 

IGIGI: We design three main collections that serve different needs of our customers. Metro, Trends, and Gala are created to dress a free-spirited, voluptuous metropolitan woman who is not only an independent and self-assured individual, but also a woman who never forgets about her femininity, beauty and sensuality. These three separate collections are created to help her celebrate Life to the fullest ability, no matter which incident, or an occasion she has to experience. The silhouettes are designed to flatter and define her curvaceous body shape. Patterns are cut and tailored to fit to the perfection, enhancing comfort, sense of well being, confidence and poise.


Metro is a youthful, modern and stylish career wear and everyday styles that can be dressed up or down.

 

Trends collection is the trendiest of the three collections. It is inspired by my favorite fashion directions of the season. I usually translate the runway hits to fit our customers’ shapes in the most beautiful and flattering way.

 

Gala consists of haute couture inspired evening gowns, and special-occasion dresses and separates, and is definitely my favorite to design.

 

LargeInCharge.com: What made you decide to make clothing?

 

IGIGI: While growing up in Ukraine, the skill of designing and sewing my own clothes proved to be invaluable, since the clothing options that we had were extremely limited. In addition, the process of creating clothes for my family has been very rewarding for me personally.

 

LargeInCharge.com: Who designs the clothing you sell?

 

IGIGI: I design all of the garments that IGIGI sells. I also work closely with my friend and a colleague who is a former BBW model as well as a plus size boutique owner. She consults me on the needs that women have. She also acts as our “in-house” fit model.

 

     Many of our customers also help with the design of our collections by participating in our surveys or submitting their requests via e-mails or verbal communication. The design process is very laborious - after literally dozens of initial designs have been created and made into samples, we only choose about 5-6 of the best-looking ones that work for the lifestyles of our customers. A typical collection may take up to 2 months to design.

 

LargeInCharge.com: Are you currently looking for new designers?

 

IGIGI: No, not at this time; although, we are planning to do so in the future.

 

LargeInCharge.com: What is the size range on your clothing and do you custom?

 

IGIGI: Our clothing ranges between sizes 14 through 32. Unfortunately at this time we are not offering a custom made service. However, it may be something we will consider doing in the future.

 

LargeInCharge.com: Does you company do Fashion shows, if so where?

 

IGIGI: We have participated in a few fashion shows that were organized by the separate promotion companies. We are definitely planning to do much more often in the future.

 

LargeInCharge.com: Do you have a website and a hardcopy catalogs; how do we obtain a hard copy catalog?

 

IGIGI: All of our designs are available to purchase on the website at igigi.com. Although, we do not have any printed catalogues yet, we are considering doing so in the near future.

 

LargeInCharge.com:  Tell us about your latest fashions and any up & coming products?

 

IGIGI: I am very excited about the Spring/Summer collection that is currently posted on the website. The Metro is very feminine and sensual, reminiscent of the 50’s style. For the Trends, we introduced an entire collection made from cotton in edgy, youthful, sporty style.

 

And as for Gala, we introduced Hollywood inspired evening gowns in rich satins and iridescent chiffons trimmed with sparkling crystals, ribbons and beads.

 

 

LargeInCharge.com: Overall, What are your best sellers?

 

IGIGI: Evening wear collection of semi-formal gowns are definitely bestselling items, along with the feminine day dresses. We are also very successful with our fashion-forward Trends collection that dresses women for the club, dating and out on the town scene.

 

LargeInCharge.com: Has your company or clothing ever been showcased on Television or in Print?

 

IGIGI: Although, we have kept a low profile in the past, our designs have been featured in the editorials of the BBW magazine. Also very recently the morning shows Good Day Alabama – Fox channel 6 and Good Morning Milwaukee - …. had exclusive segments showcasing IGIGI designs. Catherine Schuller, a consumer advocate and a spokesperson for the whole Plus Size fashion industry, introduced our summer collection and educated women on the types of the body shapes they have and recommended styles to wear to fit and flatter their figures.

 

LargeInCharge.com: Do you feel the fashion industry is doing a good job providing quality clothing for Big Women?

 

IGIGI: It is a very complicated question. I think that today, the fashion industry as a whole is a bit more open-minded about providing quality and stylish apparel for voluptuous women as compared to the past. I must admit, it still has a long way to go. We are slowly emerging from the Dark Ages with a few companies like IGIGI that care about more than just the bottom line. We are also paving the way for the future generation of contemporary designer companies that will specialize in plus sizes by creating an entire new concept for the rest of the fashion industry. By integrating beautiful and sexy imaging and presentation as well as figure flattering and body conscious yet forgiving fit instead of the conventional baggy and lose styling, we are revolutionizing the way plus size clothing will be created in the near future.

 

LargeInCharge.com: What are the ordering options that customers have?

 

IGIGI: Our customers can view all the styles on our website and order online via a secure shopping cart or call our toll free number 1.888.418.7428.

Website

 

LargeInCharge.com: How long does it take for a purchase to be received?

 

IGIGI: Most of the orders are shipped within one work day and usually arrive within USA in 3-5 days, or sooner with the expedited shipping service.

 

LargeInCharge.com: What are your refund options?

 

IGIGI: We offer a refund or store credit within 30 days of the receipt of the order on all non-sale items. For the garments found in our Sale Items section and returned within 30 days of the receipt, we offer store credit if

 

LargeInCharge.com: How do you find your models?

 

IGIGI: We are constantly looking for the next IGIGI face, and our customers can send their digital picture to our Model Search contest. We will post the winners very soon.

 

LargeInCharge.com: How can someone apply to be a model for your website or catalog?

 

IGIGI: Please take a look at the Model Search page for the full instruction page

http://www.igigi.com/page/100/CTGY/_model_search All are welcome to apply.

 

LargeInCharge.com: What qualifications do you look for when choosing a model?

 

IGIGI: We are looking for women of all the sizes and shapes to be our fit models, since we test fit every size before each design goes out to production. For the photo shoots we also welcome everyone; however, a woman has to have a very beautiful and photogenic face and curvaceous and proportional figure. She also has to understand a job of professional modeling and needs to feel very comfortable in front of a camera.

 

LargeInCharge.com: Who does the photography on your website?

 

IGIGI: We are very lucky to work with a very talented photographer from Spain, Masha Salvado. We have been working with her for over a year. All of the pictures and visual presentation on our website is also her work. She is a passionate individual who understands how women want to feel and translates it into all of her work.

 

LargeInCharge.com: Did you construct the website with the release of your clothing or did it come after?

 

IGIGI: They both happened at the same time. After I had the idea of creating beautiful clothing in larger sizes in 1999, the only affordable way to have my own boutique was opening an on-line store. Since I began the business from my bedroom that was shared with my sister, she agreed to help me with the shipping and customer service, while I did everything else, from fashion design, production management to photography and web development. Now it seems like something from a dream but at that time doing this was the only way this business could have began.

 

LargeInCharge.com: Was the site it an automatic success or did it take time to kick off?

 

IGIGI: I would say because of the enormous challenges due to lack of the necessary finances and staff to make the business succeed, it took almost three years for us to create a loyal following. But I would say that truly the business started taking off with the involvement of Alex, our CEO in the beginning of 2003. He was able to take the business to the next level. Today we have thousands of loyal customers who love IGIGI designs and support our mission.

 

LargeInCharge.com: Name some designers and companies you admire?

 

IGIGI: I personally get inspired by many of the major ready to wear designers. I love the work of Valentino, his couture and ready to wear collections. I would also include the latest collection of Carl Lagerfeld for Chanel. I love Emanuel Ungaro for his fun and ultra feminine style; I also use a lot of his style for the inspiration. There are a lot of other major designers that I like. Unfortunately, none of them are creating sensual looks like that in plus sizes, and to me it is very disappointing.

 

In the plus size fashion industry I admire designers Abby Z and Anna Scholtz.

 

LargeInCharge.com: What are the most important elements to running a successful Online Clothing Company...quality; comfort...what is important/ what is not?

 

IGIGI: The most important element is to know the needs and desires of your customer. Another one is to always strive to exceed customers’ expectations. Once this philosophy becomes the integrated part of the company’s culture, quality of the garments, customer service, on-time delivery of the orders and the exciting visual presentation follow.

 

LargeInCharge.com: Do you feel people of size have made progress in the last 10 years, do you think the internet is part of that progress?

 

IGIGI: While there is a progress in the way society treats and accepts people of size, there is still a long way to go. I think what impresses me most however, is how a plus size community cultivates and promotes self-acceptance and empowerment. The new frame of mind of self-validation is empowering people to no longer postpone a lifestyle that a person would like to lead, and to take charge of their lives and make the most with the attributes that one possesses at the moment. When people are living and enjoying life to the fullest, that is the best progress anyone could ask for.

And to answer the question, I do think that internet has played a huge role in this evolution by easily connecting everyone at any time of the day or night.

 

LargeInCharge.com: How has the internet helped your business?

 

IGIGI: I think that internet has made it possible for the designers like me to reach out to millions of people; an opportunity that we would never have had without it.

 

LargeInCharge.com: What can the readers at LargeInCharge do to help support your business?

 

IGIGI: The best thing is to spread the word to all your friends, that there is a company out there that cares about needs of customers and makes it possible for beautiful women who wear larger sizes look and dress sensationally. Another thing that can help us tremendously to grow and evolve is for you to share with us your needs and desires, as well as how we can help your readers.

Hope you enjoyed Our Feature this month please send comments to:  Raqui: raqui@largeincharge.com

Raqui's Spot

Raqui's Spot

From a Female's Point of View

This month's subject:

Study - Obese Women and Walking

Email Raqui:  raqui@largeincharge.com

Now you can check out Raqui's Blog with reviews and recommendations for places to go. As she travels she will give you the info on what is best for Big Sized people.  Plus you can take a quick view of her life!  She has also been giving the info. on internet bullshit!  And Bullshit in General.

CLICK HERE FOR RAQUI'S BLOG

Obese Women and Walking

     Through a group on the net i have found a Study that was conducted here in New York.  It deals with Obese people and why we might walking slower.  Why we walk slower and why we should walk slower than so called normal sized people.  I found it interesting and reading it made me wonder a bit.  Please send your feed back in on what you think about this article.

 

Obese women should slow down to lose weight

Study By Charnicia E. Huggins


NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Obese women might better manage their
weight by slowing their walking speeds, according to two Colorado
researchers.

 
"Walking slower for a given distance can burn more calories that
walking at a normal pace," study co-author Raymond C. Browning, of
the University of Colorado in Boulder, told Reuters Health. "This may
also reduce the risk of musculoskeletal injury," he added.

Although the amount of energy used while walking depends on the speed
of the walker, researchers had not previously determined the amount
of energy obese adults used as they walked at different speeds.

Walking speeds are greatly influenced by the amount of energy
required. Normal-weight individuals typically walk about 1.4 meters
per second, or 3 miles per hour, the speed that requires the least
amount of energy. Studies of obese adults, however, suggest they
prefer to walk more slowly than normal-weight adults. Yet they have
also been shown to burn up to 33 percent more calories while walking.

Thus, it was not known whether the preferred walking speeds of obese
adults also corresponded to the speed that required the least amount
of energy.

To investigate, Browning, a doctoral student in integrative
physiology, and Dr. Rodger Kram, an associate professor in the
department, studied 20 women, half of whom were moderately obese.
They measured the women's preferred walking speeds as well as the
amount of energy they used to walk a set distance.

The researchers had thought that the obese women would prefer to walk
at slower speeds than their normal-weight peers, but they did not
find this to be true. The obese women walked slightly less fast, but
the difference was not statistically significant, the team reports in
the journal Obesity Research.

Preferred walking speed for women in both groups was about 1.4 meters
per second, as indicated in previous research. Also, the obese women
did burn much more calories while walking than did the normal-weight
women

Browning and Kram had expected the obese women to use more energy due
to their heavier mass. Their wider stance and wider leg swings to the
side as they walked would suggest the obese women burn more calories
per minute than their peers.

Still, the difference in calorie consumption between the two groups
was only 11 percent, much lower than expected, the researchers note.

"Our findings suggest that the walking movement is not as expensive
for obese women as we thought it would be and that obese individuals
are probably adjusting their gait to conserve energy," Browning noted.

"We thought that the obese women would walk more slowly than the
normal weight to reduce the effort, but instead they appear to choose
a walking speed that minimizes how much energy they need to expend to
walk a given distance," Browning noted.

Thus, while both groups burned a similar amount of calories while
walking at their preferred speeds, the obese women used more effort --
 i.e., they consumed more oxygen.

In order to burn calories while using the same amount of aerobic
effort used by normal-weight women at their preferred walking speeds,
obese women should reduce their speed to 1.0 meter per second,
according to Browning and Kram.

"Our results suggest that walking slower for a set distance may be an
appropriate exercise recommendation for a weight management
prescription in obese adults," they write.

Due to the reduced health benefits of slower, less aerobic walking
speeds, however, Browning suggests that "non-weight bearing
activities be prescribed to reduce the risk of cardiovascular
diseases."

 

 

Thank you for Reading Raqui's Spot!

Would you like to give your comments?

Email Raqui:  raqui@largeincharge.com

Jay's Spot

Jay's Spot

From a Male point of view.

This months Subject :

Artist Paul Delacroix

 

jay@largeincharge.com

 

Paul Delacroix

Paul Delacroix Bicycle Girl

Paul Delacroix Officially Kicks off his New Website!


     As a SSBBW FA Fan, I appreciate the skills of artist who draw Big Beautiful women. As a tailor, I look up to FA's who use their art to make names for themselves. I found that a lot of guys who promote themselves in the Big World....are successful at what they do. You hear about the party promoters, the (Big Girl Club) DJ's, the web designers, the photographers, the empowerment activist, the online radio jocks, and even the FA Rappers and Record Label Owners are on the scene. Business minded FA's are on the rise...no dought!  BUT...In my opinion....no one FA skill has did it as strong as the FA Artist!

 

     It's like they popped out of nowhere and made a lot of noise to show a presence. I can name 10 (Men) off my head...strictly Big Girl Art Only...and strictly online. I could never have gone to a local newsstand and picked up a Big Girl comic book, or any BBW Art...anywhere. Now I can go online, review a "FA Gallery"... and actually be a fan. AND.. when I think about it....I don't know the names (off the top of my head) of 10 FA DJ's, or 10 FA web designers, 10 FA photographers.....Bottom line, they came hard.. and in abundance. These artist deserve respect...from the entire Big World. The FA Artist of today are interesting, promote themselves online, sell good products, set up vendor booths at the bashes, create websites, Big Girl logo's...what more could we ask for? As a tailor, I admire their style and the way they grind to "Make it Happen!".


     Who is Paul Delacriox?...."A FA Legend"... in The Big World! If you do your homework, you'll find that he is one of the true FA Pioneers of BBW ART. Paul Art is Unique because he has excellent art mixed with digitalism....and his art has a voice. Paul is that one artist who also made a name for himself in the Fat Acceptance and Size Empowerment Movement. His experiences as a FA Activist raises the bar for the typical guy who just draws the Big Girls...as a closet hobby. I support Mr. Delacroix site because...#1 (BBW ART) He's good at what he does, and #2 He publicly put himself out there to support Big Beautiful Women "Worldwide". The first time I saw his work..."Three Graces".. I knew he had real talent. Then when I saw "African Princess and Bambina", I was sure he is one of the best...if not "The Best" FA Artist online.

 

www.pauldelacroix.com

 

 

 

 

 

Interview with Paul Delacroix

Jay of LargeInCharge: Where were you born? 

 

Paul Delacroix:  Dallas, Texas.


Jay of LargeInCharge: Where are you currently based?

 

Paul Delacroix:  Hillsboro, Texas...about 80 miles southwest of Dallas. I have a farm there...it's very nice country--very peaceful.

 
Jay of LargeInCharge: When and why did you first began drawing?

 

Paul Delacroix:  I developed a knack for it in my youth. I was fascinated by comic books, political cartoonists, and MAD magazine. I also idolized Walt Disney. Later on, more recently, I took an interest in the Old Masters, and I've studied them as well as I could. 


Jay of LargeInCharge: When did you begin drawing Big Women? Were you naturally good at it or did it take time to get it right?

 

Paul Delacroix:  I didn't really start drawing the kind of women I admire until about sixteen years ago, in the late Eighties. It took a few years for me to fully understand the figurative anatomy of fat women, which is extremely subtle compared to--say--drawing a lean, muscular male. In my opinion, it takes a lot more subtlety to draw a 300 pound woman standing on terra firma, with her feet planted firmly on the ground, than it does to draw Michelangelo's 'David', doing the same thing.


Jay of LargeInCharge: When did you first realize that you loved Big Women? Did your family  and friends accept it?

 

Paul Delacroix:  I realized it from the start. I never had any interest in thin girls and I have never dated one. My family and friends really had no problems with that. I was plenty eccentric enough in other ways, so it seemed like no big deal. 


Jay of LargeInCharge: When you first realized that you were an FA, were you outright or in the closet?

 

Paul Delacroix:  I was never in the closet. Even at puberty, I liked chubby girls and tried to follow them around the schoolyard.


Jay of LargeInCharge: I notice that you mainly focus on SSBBW Art....why is that? do you prefer SSBBW's or what?

 

Paul Delacroix:  My favorite size for a woman is around 330 pounds. That doesn't mean I don't also like women who are smaller. Or who are 400 pounds or heavier--I also find that size range very appealing. But I essentially like any beautiful woman who is not thin--I always liked Marilyn Monroe in her 'zaftig' period, for example. As I see it, abundant bodyfat is just an essential ingredient in female beauty. I think this is true of most FAs...we have a wider range of what we find attractive than men who like thin women.

 

     I often wonder why we are considered fetishistic, while men who want scrawny women with breasts that defy gravity are deemed 'normal'.  Not to say anything 'ugly' toward thin women--but I feel thin women are not natural in a civilized culture. At least not during most phases of a woman's life. 

 

Jay of LargeInCharge: Name the 5 top things that you love about a Big Woman?

 

Paul Delacroix:  Her hips. Her upper arms. Her belly. Her thighs. And the varying soft spots on her body in general.


Jay of LargeInCharge: Do you base your art on live models or do you originally create the characters?

 

Paul Delacroix:  I almost always create the characters from the imagination. I rarely do models, although if someone wants a portrait, I'll look at photos in that case. If something inorganic and dead is in the picture, like a car, let's say, I might use reference, but the women almost exclusively come out of my head.


Jay of LargeInCharge: Do you have any art influences....and which BBW Artist do you admire?>

 

Paul Delacroix:  My biggest artistic influence is Peter Paul Rubens. I know the women I create are heavier and more Western-looking than Rubens', but I don't try to mimic him. I just feel he was one of the greatest artists who ever lived, and studying him has greatly influenced my work.


Jay of LargeInCharge: In my personal opinion, in The Big World, you are the SSBBW Art MASTER of DETAIL.  Tell us about the scenes you draw....around your characters?

 

Paul Delacroix:  Thanks, that's very kind. You mean the backgrounds? I just try to draw the natural world, and when I'm drawing or painting a beautiful fat woman, I often feel a sort of inner kinship with the beauty of the tropical world--the jungles, the beaches, the palms---the flowers and sand and earth and water in such places.

I have often felt that while thin women are most evocative of cities, rocks, and snow; fat women are evocative of warm water, and the abundant life of the world in places dominated by sunlit sand. So when I draw them, I am often inspired in my own small way to draw lush plants, water, and foilage around them. 


Jay of LargeInCharge: Which is your personal favorite SSBBW Artwork...if you had to pick one?

 

Paul Delacroix:  Of my works? My favorite painting is 'Bicycle Girl'. 


Jay of LargeInCharge: Which art work has the best public response?>

 

Paul Delacroix:  I believe 'Wader' is the most popular--judging from what I have read from women who look at my artwork. 'The Three Graces', depicting the bikini trio in the sunglasses, has also gotten a lot of commentary.


Jay of LargeInCharge: I took a L.I.C. survey and found a Black reader who picked "African Princess" as her favorite Paul D. pic, a White reader who picked "Three Graces" as her favorite, and a Latina reader who picked "Bambina" as her favorite. Tell us why you choose to draw cultural art?

 

Paul Delacroix:  Well, I don't know if I'd call it "cultural art" or not, but I admire the beauty of fat women of all races. African women often have a marvelous skin texture--it's very sensual. And absolutely beautiful legs and thighs.

 I love the sort of bouncy energy that Latina and Mediterranean women seem to project. I tried to capture a glimpse of that in "Bambina".


Jay of LargeInCharge: Do you attend BBW events in your area? If so which is your favorite?

 

Paul Delacroix:  I actually had a lot of pen pals in NAAFA before I attended my first event--which I believe was Chicago in 1995. I also attended Big As Texas several times, and attended a big BBW event in Atlanta in 1999.

I haven't attended as many events as I'd like to. I may upgrade that in the future. Part of it is that I am very happily married to my wife Lisa, so I don't do social events related to dating. Still, I enjoy all the socialization.


Jay of LargeInCharge: I notice that you are very active as a Size Acceptance Activist. When, how, and why did this come about?

 

Paul Delacroix:  I always had an interest in the activism aspect of the movement. I used to write and draw pieces for Dimensions, Rump Parliament, and other publications. I have spoken at NAAFA and Big As Texas a few times in the past as well. I'm been friends with Allen Steadham for years, and have high hopes for his organization, ISAA.

 

     I've often participated in size activism because I like to address self-esteem "image" issues. I feel the Beauty issue is very important, because there are a lot of reasons why fat women are held down--not necessarily conspiratorial reasons, but what you might call "market forces at work". There is simply too much money to made off the fears and insecurities of modern women. It's very unfortunate, and I feel activism must address this, in addition to nuts-and-bolts issues like seating access and seatbelts and so on.

 

     I feel there are not enough publications and activist organizations out there at present.

 

Jay of LargeInCharge: Tell us about your experiences speaking on panels at Size Acceptance events?

 

Paul Delacroix:  The best reception I had was at Big As Texas in 1999--speaking of my love for fat womens' bodies. It seemed to resonate with the crowd, and there was a special moment there.


Jay of LargeInCharge: I enjoy reading your SSBBW articles....tell us about your writing skills?

 

Paul Delacroix:  Well, I just write impulsively. Whether I have actual skills is a matter of opinion!

 

PAUL'S PERSONAL FAVORITES:

  • Favorite Color - Teal, I think. The color of the Caribbean Sea. I also like red.

  • Fav Car - I prefer full-sized vans. They're big (I like big things).

  • Fav Movie - Tough one..I love movies. Among recent films? Lord of the Rings trilogy. 

  • Fav Album - Queen's Greatest Hits, Jimmy Buffett's "A1A". Any soundtrack album by John williams.

  • Fav BBW site - Dimensions Magazine's online site.

  • Fav Actress - Renee Zellweger.

  • Fav Food - Lobster. Pastas with marinara sauce. Smoked BBQ. Sushi.

  • Cats or Dogs - If I had to choose, I guess dogs. 

  • Coke or Pepsi - Pepsi

  • PC or MAC - PC.

  • Pens or Pencils - pencil

  • Dress Pants or Jeans- jeans

  • Boxers or Briefs - briefs

  • Leg Man/Yes.

  • Breast Man/No.

  • Butt Man/Yes.


Jay of LargeInCharge: Do you mainly focus on sketching or do you also paint, air brush, sculptures....?

 

Paul Delacroix:  I do all of these but not often. I'm renovating a big art studio now, where I plan to do more sculpting and large paintings.


Jay of LargeInCharge: Tell us about the construction of your website, when did it go up online and who is the web designer?

 

Paul Delacroix:  The web designer is James Polk..he's very good. We're still adding touches as we go. 

 

Jay of LargeInCharge: What is the publics response to your site?>

 

Paul Delacroix:  Seems positive...I enjoy reading comments from readers in the blog.


Jay of LargeInCharge: Advice for People of Paul Delacroix:  Size who have low self esteem?

 

Paul Delacroix:  You're normal. You're not alone. There's nothing wrong with you. You should be proud of your body.


Jay of LargeInCharge: How can attending Size Acceptance events help People of Size with low esteem?>

 

Paul Delacroix:  It sometimes gives the participants a feeling of "being at home with one's own kind". At least that's what I felt when I attended the first NAAFA gathering. Like, "Hey! These are my people!" I have often looked at "racy" photos of the latest Hollywood anorexic--Paris Hilton comes to mind--and wondered if this is what a space alien would feel like marooned on a strange world.


Jay of LargeInCharge: (In my personal opinion) The term..."SSBBW's (Only)" is usually frowned upon in the Big World.
How do you feel about guys who think it's okay to focus only on SSBBW's?

 

Paul Delacroix:  I think it's perfectly okay. Everyone has a preference. Some people have a narrower range of wants --especially in personal ads--than is truly practical, but that's their own business. Each to his own.


Jay of LargeInCharge: Disrespect Question: Do you have personal experiences of being with SSBBW's in public and people outright disrespect them?

 

Paul Delacroix:  Not really--no, never, actually. But I have always lived in Texas, and while Texans will sometimes tease you to the point of utter exasperation man-to-man, they usually will not disparage somebody else's woman.  I think that breaches our code of chivalry.

 

     Of course there are also more fat people in Texas, therefore we are on the cusp of the so-called "epidemic of obesity". So a big woman has never been an oddity here. Texas is the epicenter of fat humanity.

 

Jay of LargeInCharge: I personally always come across SSBBW's who feel that there are not enough admirers (on Earth), and SSBBWFA's who feel that they (SSBBW's) are a rare item and hard to find? What do you think?

 

Paul Delacroix:  I think western culture is in the process of accepting fat women. It will take a bit longer.

In my opinion,there are lots of men who like supersized women, but almost all are closeted.


Jay of LargeInCharge: What is your next major event?

 

Paul Delacroix:  I'm building a renaissance faire on my farm. That keeps me busy and off-deadline a bit with my other projects. I have been planning to build my own faire for a number of years.


Jay of LargeInCharge: What can the readers at LargeInCharge.com do to help support your business?

 

Paul Delacroix:  I'm actually not trying to sell anything yet, but I'll soon have new works, and may open an Ebay store. 


Jay of LargeInCharge: What are your future plans as an artist?


Paul Delacroix:  "Well, I'm not interested in the fine art world. I'm going to be a storyteller and an illustrator. Which in my mind is a much more exciting and more creative calling. I'm going to go back and finish a lot of old projects. A few years back, I went through a sort of explosion where I was drawing comic books, writing novellas, illustrating everything under the sun, and at one point I published a small press magazine that was filled with my own work. Many projects I liked were eventually left hanging--short stories and so on. I'm going to extend and finish and wrap up some of
these projects. Then I will publish them on CD. The first such CD project will be an old sword-and-sorcery tale I did
called Aurora and the City of Pearls. It will be profusely illustrated. I am also interested in developing new comic book characters in the same electronic medium. I may experiment with Flash media. And I'm going to try to develop my painting more, and possibly do more painted covers and posters."


Jay of LargeInCharge: Is your CD Project Available?

 

Paul Delacroix:  Not as yet. I have not finished the novel, unfortunately. When I do I will publish Aurora on CD.

I'm also still working on a comic book series which will feature large-sized female superhero characters. I plan to self-publish that as well, although I may briefly pitch it at DC and Marvel first.  Both projects are still works in progress.


     "There's a certain fantasy mindset among the not-quite-size-accepting to the effect of "Oh, sure, there are some men who like a woman with a little meat on their bones, but not BIG AND FAT." And it's true that there are some men who fit that description--they're essentially Breast Men. But a Breast Man and an FA are not one and the same thing, any
more than an apple is the same thing as an orange simply because both are (a)round, and (b)fruit."


Jay of LargeInCharge: Some SSBBW's don't like when men can date them in private but have
problems being seen with them in public? Is it okay for an FA (or curious Breast Men) to be in the closet?

 

Paul Delacroix:  I think being closeted hurts both the FA and his mate, but it's something people will do until society stops mistreating large-sized women. The closeted FA is not a villain, he's a victim.


     There are many kinds of beauty, and that's a message we have to get through to outside society. It should be as high on our agenda as any other activist goal. I know that it's difficult to educate people in matters of taste, and it requires more subtlety than addressing theater seats or nuts-and-bolts issues, but the equation "Fat Equals Ugly" must be put to rest once and for all. If we want the morons to stop laughing at fat people, we must stop encouraging the perception of fat people as asexual, or otherwise physically unattractive.

Jay of LargeInCharge: "Fat Equals Ugly" is a major issue. "There are many kinds of beauty, and that's a message we have to get through to outside society"...(okay...nicely put). Do you feel the message is now getting across...if not what more can we (at LargeInCharge) do?

 

Paul Delacroix:  I actually feel a leading weapon on our side is to capture the art community. The avant garde.  

I know I said I don't want to become a fine artist--and I don't--but I might consider doing figurative photography on a fine art level. Since fat has become more and more statistically mainstream in the past decade, more rich people have become heavy and they are beginning to look at themselves differently. The easiest way to change the mind of a person about body fashion might be to show them a gorgeously sensual fat nude that's an unretouched photograph shot in natural lighting. In Black and White, which seems to lend gravitas. Women En Large did this very well, and I think this approach to the figure is something we should see more often.

" fat is unhealthy, but diets are 98% ineffective." As long as we continue to take that approach--as long as we turn away from actual fat advocacy, in favor of Diet Denial-- people will continue to try new and dangerous alternative ways to lose
weight . . . and people will continue to die. The Health Myth is the head of the beast. We must eventually take it by its horns. "


Jay of LargeInCharge: Some readers at L.I.C. (on our message board) feel that some People of Size come down too hard on the medical world and fabricate the truth to hide behind health issues.....basically lack facts that they are being treated any different from everyone else. AND, That "The War on Fat" is needed and...People of Size are losers...who don't want to loose weight...or loose The War (on Fat)! Is there really a "War on Fat" and what should People of Size do to help get better health care?

 

Paul Delacroix:  What I see as the number one health problem for People of Size is an inability to comfortably and effectively exercise. I think weight loss is irrelevant to health and what we eat is even more irrelevant. We need gyms and home exercise equipment for super sized people. Everyone needs exercise, and super sized people should get in a good half hours' aerobic activity at least four days a week. That's hard to do in a gym setting full of tendonous people with hollow cheekbones, and the exercise equipment is, for the most part, substandard.

 

     If I could wave a magic wand and accomplish one thing, it would be that super sized women would get to better enjoy the gift of exercise and full mobility.

 

Paul

 

Thanks for reading Jay's Spot

jay@largeincharge.com

 

   Guest Spot

Large In Charge Guest Spot

We want to hear and see your talents!

 

One of our favorite parts of the newsletter.  The Guest Spot is for our readers to submit there talents to be viewed.  We want to see all you wonderful supporters making moves of your own.  If you write poetry, short stories, commentaries, or just thoughts in general, please submit them to us.  If your a designer we want to see pictures of your clothing.   We would love to include your talents in our newsletter.  We hope you take an active part in the L.I.C. newsletter.

NOTE: The Opinion of the writer is not always the opinion of The Large in Charge Staff.  We support the Right to all views.  We do not Condemn or Approve writing based on our personal thoughts.  We approve writing based on if the subject is a concern for the BBW / SSBBW / BHM Community.  Thank you for your writing and please send in those articles!  - The Large in Charge Staff

PLUS SIZED WRITING CONTEST WINNER

 Yes we have a winner for the Plus Sized Writing Contest.  I have to tell you it was so hard to decide.  I got many wonderful entries.  They all shone out at me with there different ways of candor and speech.  But our winner's writing gave me a feeling of a roller coaster building you up to a ending.  Like a sunburst realization of beauty and affirmation.  It made me feel satisfaction afterward.  I truly enjoyed it and I feel that it flowed.  I can almost imagine myself full of wine and giving way to abandon.  I better not spoil it for you so go ahead and enjoy.  - Raqui

Our Winner

Name:  Mindy Sommers


Age: *gasp* 45

Ethnicity: White, Jewish (neurotic)

Location:  Vermont, USA

Goals: To help people heal and access their inner selves through art and color.

Hobbies: Anything that begins with the letter "C" is a safe bet: color, coffee, chocolate, cats, creating.

 

Mindy's Site: www.dreamincolortarot.com
 

 

NOTE: Mindy says she will be donating her $125.00 clothing certificate to someone who is more needy than her.

 

SALOME AND THE LENS

By Mindy Sommers

     I have always been fat. It's taken years of therapy to even say the word. I don't know how two totally opposite emotions--vanity and shame--can live under the same roof, but they do. I know I'm pretty; my friends tell me that I remind them of the Renault painting Salome. She holds a saber in her lap because she may decide to stab the softest part of you, then excite you with her tongue and she licks the blood from your skin. Her lips are turned up in an almost imperceptible smile. You amuse her, because, after all, she knows you better than you know yourself. She does not care for concepts like good and evil, vanity and shame, light and dark; her only concern is whether or not I am true to her.

   Salome, capricious gypsy, often abandons me before I even realize she’s gone. She sneaks out the door when I open it to the pizza deliveryman, being extra friendly so he doesn’t have time suspect I am going to eat the whole thing myself. She is cruelly silent when I eat three pounds of bittersweet chocolate-dipped fruit in an orgiastic frenzy of self contempt when the man I love rejects me, the only way I’ve ever known to get sweetness.

   I feel both her absence and my own; lately there is a sense of unreality as I lumber through identical gray days. I realize a peach-colored balloon floating in the street is only a glimpse of my face in a store window; I cut myself, and it seems as if I bleed only when I realize it is what I am supposed to do.

   By the time I meet Francois, a freelance photographer who works for my boss, I have only a vague memory of Salome. She is too painful to think about. Sometimes I am afraid to close my eyes because her knowing, smirking face floats in front of me, daring me to remember what my life was like when she was in it.

   Francois’ smell is the most vivid part of him. It is musky, damp and a tiny bit sour. He smells European. We are introduced. I look at him quickly and offer a smile as fast as a blink. He smiles back. His smile is so huge and fierce, it considerably softens his worse feature: a bulbous nose. It is ugly, dwarfing his face and sucking up the whole room. I concentrate instead on his body, his beautiful body, God’s consolation prize, a flawless DaVinci sketch that could make a woman want to throw herself at his feet. He smiles so utterly without malice that I decide to brave a direct stare, instead of keeping my eyes down like I usually do, staring at my shoes as if they were the most fascinating things in the world.

   One day Francois tells me he likes my body; he thinks I am beautiful. I would have preferred he slap me. I fold and unfold my fingers, saying nothing. I want to take pictures of you, he says. I want you to be nude. He does not notice that I am shaking.

   Let me do it, he says. Nude. You need to be nude.

   ‘You need to be nude’ gives me a jolt. It is such a frightening, wonderful phrase. What exactly does he mean?

   I play with it for a few days, like it’s a new toy. You need to be nude. You need to be nude. The words move around in my head until they lose their meaning. These words are giving me a strange, new energy. When I have used them up, I need more words for renewed pleasure. So I tell him yes.

   In his studio, I wait for him to tell me what to do. I have my winter coat on, a shapeless woolen poncho that blankets me from unfriendly eyes. I sit awkwardly, under the hot lights, watching him set up. I start to perspire heavily. My knees lock together, and I feel sweat trickle between my thighs, dripping on the chair. I am leaving wet trails, I think, like a slug. How could I have imagined I would ever do this?

   Francois doesn’t notice. He is twisting and turning some important-looking dials. He moves the hot lights around, making eerie shadows. He does something mysterious holding a black box in his hand, aiming it at a big white screen placed behind a couch---the one, I supposed, on which I am supposed to lie. This thought makes me twitch--all of my pink folds being raped by that light. And with him to see. Up close.

   This repulses and thrills me.

   He sends me to undress behind a tattered old Chinese screen. I do not do this right away; instead, I listen to myself breathe and feel the stickiness between my thighs, under my arms, on my forehead. I wipe it off, but it stubbornly returns, and I think: why shouldn’t this body betray me? It’s only fair.

   I undress. I pray he won’t come behind the screen. He doesn’t. I am devastated.

   His face is impassive as I lift my bulk gracelessly onto the couch. He fusses with the lighting, his perfect body making mine want to beg for forgiveness.  I lie naked under the light. There is nothing to cover myself with, so I use my hands, woefully inadequate against the miles of pink imperfection.  I do not know what he sees when he looks through the lens. I cannot bear to see his face, the slightest grimace will send me reeling, screaming into the street, to go home and curl up into nothing at all. More sweat trickles into the folds of my flesh. I stop fighting it, tired.

   Suddenly he scowls at me. In a thick accent, he informs me that he dislikes my expression. Relax. Relax. Try to relax. Some wine maybe. You’re too tight. No good.

   He hands me a glass of wine. I obediently sip, miss my mouth, feel it dribble down my chin and under my breasts. I look down to see little crimson tears escaping from under my nipples. I am too embarrassed to wipe them off.  He is shooting now, in rapid succession, talking in French. He sounds annoyed. The lights flash again and again and I am grateful I cannot see anything.

   No good. No good. No! You are beautiful, a big fat temptress, please try to relax---you will ruin everything. Drink the wine. Think of something wonderful.

   Big fat temptress. Did he really say that, or is it something else entirely that I misunderstand because of his accent? I need to throw up. It is suddenly clear: my boss knows about this, and these photographs will be passed around like a used whore, to be laughed at, pitied…. I grab the bottle of wine. To hell with it. To hell with all of it. My life is over, I am a dead woman, so I will get drunk and not care. I drink in big gulps, wiping my mouth on the back of my hand, like a man. I feel the tightness leave me, my breath become more fluid. Everything gets easier when you stop caring. Soon, I start to move my body around with careless languor. I do things in front of Francois that I only do when I am alone.

   Yes! Yes! There is excitement in his voice, and it makes my body rise and answer. I primp, preen, pout…I can do this now, for he is only a mirror.

   Yes! Yes! More! Continue on! He is yelling, and I can see nothing---there is no pause between the shrieks of light. I show him everything, even the parts of me I’d never seen myself. If I am to die, I think, let it be a brave death; a death that Salome would envy.

   My nipples harden into little pink buds. I feel desire touch the inside of my thighs, like the kiss of a tiny brush. Love me, love me, make love to me. Though he is across the room, hidden behind a big black machine, I can feel his hands on me.

   Francois talks on the phone as I dress. His thick accent booms across the walls, chilling me. I take a long time; I am waiting for him to get off the phone, as I need his full attention when I come out. When I am dressed, he is still on the phone. I stand in front of him with my coat on, squirming, waiting for him to notice me. He must notice me, my life depends on it. He finally cups the mouthpiece of the phone, a gesture I find quite sensual: now I know how he would cup a woman’s breast.

   You finally gave me when I wanted, he says in a low voice. Thank you. He smiles at me sweetly, and I wonder if I should kiss him.

   I leave. When he waves goodbye, I do not know how I feel.

   Soon afterward, we sit in his darkroom and wait for the images to appear on the contact sheet. As it is a small room, we sit too close together, and I enjoy the scent of him, sniffing at him without letting him see. I decide to refrain from washing my clothes so I can bury my face in his smell when I am alone.

   When the swirls of black and white and gray begin to take form, I hold my breath, wait for the horror of my nakedness to take shape, to awaken from the dream with a cruel blow to the stomach. How dare I desire him? I close my eyes.

   He sighs. Beautiful, I hear him say, just beautiful. Don’t be such a silly girl, look at yourself.

   I look. I blink against tears.

   He hugs me, delighted with me, with himself, with the world. Yes. You are beautiful. Look how beautiful.

   Oh, I am. Oh God, I am. What a lovely woman, I think. There she is, full of life and sex and love.

   See this one, he says, pointing to a portrait. Her lips are turned up in an almost imperceptible smile. She does not care for concepts like good and evil, vanity and shame, light and dark; her only concern is whether or not I am true to her.

   She is amused. After all, she knows me better than I know myself.

   

Product of the Month

Large In Charge

Product of the Month!

What is good for Big Sized Bodies

 

    A very important and necessary part of LargeInCharge.  Find out what is helpful for big bodies.  Keep your self straight with some of our tips and tricks. Find out what other Big Sized people use to keep themselves smelling, feeling, looking, and living a proper life.  What kind of products are allowed. Anything that deal with the body. From cleaning aids to soap, lotions, powder, healing aids etc.  anything that can help a big body!

NOTE: The Opinion of those who submit items are not professional.  They are everyday people who found something that worked for them.  We are not held responsible for there opinion - The Large in Charge Staff

Send your favorite Item to be Product of the Month - Follow format below, include a picture of product (most can be found online) and Send to raqui@largeincharge.com


Hamamélis Shower Gel

About the Product
 
 
Recommender:  Raqui
 
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Cost of Product: $6.00

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it is so sudsy and soft feeling as it glides on your skin.  It has a nice
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     The Hamamélis care line also includes hand wash, Moisturizing
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