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Welcome to the Large In Charge Magazine                                          Issue #42 - September 2007




In this Issue of L.I.C


Feature of the Month

                Freestyle Queen JUDY TORRES

Cover Model of the Month - Lone Star Beauty Ashley Brown

- Let it go and Confess! Get it off your Chest!

Raqui's Spot
- Becoming a Plus Sized Model - Open your Door!

Super Sized Sounds

From the Plus Side
- The Cool Night ~ Emily Smiltneck

Why, OH Why
- And, what do you think your doing ~ Diabolique Belle

Papi's Peace
Remembering 9-11

Good 4 U Food
- ChocoHaze Cheesecake ~ Xander

Guest Spot
- Facing Facts - Lady Moore Sabb

Fashion Furious
- Fashion Finds with Plus Size style. Submit a Find!

Product of the Month
- Products for People of Size

Ask Raqui
- Get some advice from one Big person to another.

Events & Pictures
- Events, Parties, Press Releases, Pic's & More.


LargeInChargeDating - Dating for the Large People who are going to be in Charge of their Love Lives!


LargeInCharge Friends - The Place for Big People to make Friends and maybe MUCH MORE!

Feature of the Month

The Free Style Queen

Judy Torres



Judy works it live at the Feast of Santa Rosalia on 18th Avenue!!!


Judy performing live at KTU's Party Gras 2006 COPACABANA


Judy Torres


Judy Torres and Big Pun were my inspiration for becoming a music artist. It is not often that one gets the chance to interact with one of their heroes. I am truly excited about this special feature for LargeInCharge.


In the summer of 1989 or 1990 I had the pleasure of watching Judy Torres perform live at the Queens Day Festival at Flushing Meadows Park.


I was never one for going out to parade or events where there were large crowds as I hated to go out in public since people were so mean and gave me a hard time because of my size, but I had come out especially to see Judy Torres perform. I wanted to see for myself that a person her size was actually living out my dream.


Well, I got to the park and of course there were people pointing and staring and I just rolled my eyes at them and waited for Judy to perform.

She came out onto the stage and began singing and dancing and I was ecstatic. I knew instantly that that was what I wanted to do.


And then, the unthinkable happened…the crowd began to chant “Go Hippo, Go Hippo!!”


I was mortified, had it been me up there on that stage I would have died. My heart was breaking into a thousand pieces and I really felt totally disconnected to my fellow Latinos in the crowd, some of the people I was standing next to started laughing but quickly shut their mouths as I glared at them and daring them to laugh again.


Judy was a trooper and continued to perform and the chanting died down but then the crowd went at it again by chanting “Go Gorda, Go Gorda!!” (Which means Fatso in Spanish). I couldn’t believe that this was happening to someone like Judy. All I could think of was the awesome talent she possessed and I started to cry, for myself and my dreams and for the humiliation I just knew she felt.


Judy wrapped up her performance and before she got exited the stage she looked into the crowd and said “I know what I am. And in case you all don’t know “I am Chunky but I’m Funky!!” And with that the crowd broke into applause and started hooping and hollering and cheering her on and she bowed and exited the stage with her head held high like any Queen.

What a revelation of the human spirit. I continued to cry but this time it was tears of relief, I was relieved to know that Judy wasn’t broken down or defeated. And that somehow it would be possible for me to face an audience who may not be so BBW friendly.


I was so ghetto with mine, I was whistling and screaming out “I love you Judy” and she turned around and mouthed the words “I love you too” and blew a kiss out into the air with confidence, style and grace.


Now my people, I want you to know that I faced the same cruel remarks and unfair treatment as I was out there performing and trying to make a name for myself. Anytime the audience acted up I would always think of Judy and her response to the HATERS, and that thought alone would help me make it through. Judy’s reaction to what the crowd was doing to her made me realize that no matter what someone may say about you or how someone may treat you because of how you look; what matters the most is how you see yourself.


Judy my beautiful Latina sister of size, it was truly an honor to conduct this interview and I would like to thank you for being undeniably big beautiful you. You are an inspiration!


This interview is a celebration of your beautiful spirit and ambitious drive. I wish you every success and may God bless you and keep you safe.


My people, mi gente…here is our Big Beautiful Latina Freestyle Queen Judy Torres.







Interview with Judy Torres



SUPERSIZE SPANISHFLY: Tell us about your musical background and When did you realize that you wanted to become a singing artist?


JUDY TORRES:  My music background began at a very young age, when I sang on the table with a brush in my hand and sang to my parents.  By the age of 9, I knew I wanted to be a singer.  As a single parent, my mother could not afford singing lessons, so I just joined the church choir and the glee club in grammar school.  By fifth grade, I wrote my first song.  I then attended Aquinas High School, Bronx, NY, where I met my musical mentor, Mr. Frank Roman.  To this day I credit him for everything I have learned about performing.  While I was there, I was in the glee club and all the musical productions, focusing on musical theater.



SUPERSIZE SPANISHFLY: Have you ever had any formal music education?


Judy Torres:  I didn't have any formal musical education until I attended college:  Lehman College & Kingsborough Community College.  I was hungry to learn how to read music - I took music theory courses, chorus and finally got to study private voice for 2 1/2 years.  I studied opera and can say that to this day, it has helped my vocal stamina tremendously!



SUPERSIZE SPANISHFLY: Do you play any instruments?


Judy Torres: I studied piano for 2 years in college...but I've lost a lot of whatever skills I had acquired.  My voice is truly my instrument



SUPERSIZE SPANISHFLY: Were there any difficult challenges you faced concerning being a bbw and pursuing your career?


Judy Torres: The challenges I faced as a bbw came far before I began pursuing my career:  trying to find flattering clothes, feeling occasionally isolated, etc.  When I began pursuing my career, I found the same challenges; however, they were magnified one hundred times over. 


I once had a manager who had a problem with my "size."  Like I said, I HAD a manager like that! LOL. 


As I began singing professionally, the crowd would chant:  "go golda, go golda."  Sometimes I would leave the stage crying.  I couldn't understand how people could make fun of me while I was trying to entertain THEM.  One day after an outdoor show in Queens, a man was passing by, and he said, "Ooh, I like that!"  I thought, oh God, here we go, another stupid comment about my size."  He said to me, "You're chunky, but funky!"  At first I was offended, and then as I thought about it, I laughed.  Perhaps there was something to this; perhaps I was taking things too seriously.  I was booked to perform at the Palladium for the first time.  My parents were there, and it was an important night.  To my horror, the crowd began chanting:  Go golda!  That's it, I thought.


I asked for the dj to stop the music.  I addressed my audience:  "I look into the mirror everyday, and I know what I look like, it's no secret.  I know I'm not skinny.  But I have one thing to say:  I may be chunky, but I'm funky!"  They roared and applauded, and that was the last time they ever made fun of me.  That was the lesson:  People will accept you, when you accept yourself.  And that is the truth!




SUPERSIZE SPANISHFLY: Tell us about your personality on and off stage?


JUDY TORRES:  My personality is pretty much what you see on stage:  I want to create intimate and honest relationships with people.  I am outgoing, sociable, creative, spiritual, and compassionate. I am sensitive, and can be stubborn at times, but all these are why I am who I am today!




SUPERSIZE SPANISHFLY: What do you want to accomplish, what are your dreams?


JUDY TORRES:  I dream of crossing over into pop.  Career-wise, I dream of winning a Grammy award. On a personal note, I dream of owning a dream home, somewhere in a forest, with horses.  I want to be married, have a child or two.  Ultimately, I would love to have a performance school that would provide young people voice lessons & workshops that would help them love themselves and create their dreams!  I especially want to know that there is a cure for multiple sclerosis, which I was diagnosed with in 2005. 



SUPERSIZE SPANISHFLY: Have you had any collaboration and if so who were they?


JUDY TORRES:  I have collaborated with two artists previously:  Artie Rodriguez:  Man With a Dream and Collage:  The Air That I Breathe.




SUPERSIZE SPANISHFLY: Who do you admire in the Music field?


JUDY TORRES:  I admire those in the music field who have persevered and never accept being told "no."  I especially admire:  Lisa-Lisa, TKA, Liza Minnelli, and Linda Eder.



SUPERSIZE SPANISHFLY: Tell us which of your songs is your own favorite?


JUDY TORRES: My favorite song among those I've recorded is probably Come Into My Arms, because I had to fight to get it.  My producer at the time, Mickey Garcia, had written it for someone else, and I BEGGED him to give me a shot.  It was only half way written, so I completed it, and then auditioned for it!



SUPERSIZE SPANISHFLY: Have you had any media appearances yet?


JUDY TORRES:  I have been on the Joe Franklin Show, the Richard Bey Show, Urban Latino, CBS, the local news.  I have also been featured in articles in the Daily News, Jersey Journal, Billboard Magazine and others.  I was also a plus size model for Ashley Stewart and for Hanes.




SUPERSIZE SPANISHFLY: What is the Feedback you have received from the BBW community?


JUDY TORRES:  From the BBW community I have felt lots of love and support.  I especially have received emails over the years from women asking me where I purchase my clothing.  Every once in a while women have told me that just seeing me on stage inspires them to go out and live their lives!  That's a wonderful feeling and it makes it all worth it!



SUPERSIZE SPANISHFLY: Tell us what BBW entertainer do you admire?


JUDY TORRES: When it comes to BBW entertainers, I love Aretha Franklin & Jennifer Hudson!  They both work what they have, and they do it with passion!



SUPERSIZE SPANISHFLY: If you could who would you like to team up with?


JUDY TORRES:  If I could sing with someone, I'd love to sing with Barbara would be the most thrilling, intimidating and educational experiences I could ever thing of.




SUPERSIZE SPANISHFLY: Do you ever attend or ever perform at any of the BBW Club's or Bashes?


JUDY TORRES:  I have performed at a few BBW bashes and had a great time!  It was wonderful to celebrate who you/we are!




SUPERSIZE SPANISHFLY: Do you consider yourself a Plus Sized Person?


JUDY TORRES:  In the last year, I have lost 62 pounds, I am now a size 14, but yes, I consider myself a plus sized woman.  I have been a size 16, 18, 20 and 22 for the majority of my life.  When I was diagnosed with ms and both of my parents were diagnosed with diabetes and high blood pressure, I realized that my health would have to be a priority.  Even now, that I have lost some of the weight (I still weigh over 200 lbs) - in my mind I am always plus size:  I have plus size dreams, a plus size life and plus size love!!!



SUPERSIZE SPANISHFLY:  Are you totally comfortable with being a bbw?


JUDY TORRES:  I can say my comfort level goes back & forth.  When I'm on stage, I forget that I'm plus sized, because I feel most comfortable on stage.  I think I'm only uncomfortable when I'm trying to sit on an airplane seat!  Otherwise, I could just kiss myself!  Ha, ha ha!


SUPERSIZE SPANISHFLY:  Are you single married or its complicated?


JUDY TORRES:  I am in a long-term relationship of almost five years.  I love him, he is my lobster (the reference is from a FRIENDS episode where Phoebe says that Ross is Rachel's lobster - soul mate)  It can be complicated because sometimes it's hard to see each other, but we decided a long time ago, we would communicate and make it happen. 


SUPERSIZE SPANISHFLY: What can our “LargeInCharge” readers do to help support your career?


JUDY TORRES: If you'd like to support my career, I don't ask for much:  tell me how you feel about my music, what you would like to see me do, and it wouldn't hurt to purchase my new song called I Don't.  Thank you!  Stay Chunky but Funky!!!   


SUPERSIZE SPANISHFLY: Do you have a Website?


JUDY TORRES:  My website address is


SUPERSIZE SPANISHFLY:  What message would you like to give to our readers about living as a



JUDY TORRES: I would like to tell my fellow bbw readers this:  Be the best person you can be:  look good as best as you can, smile when others wish you would cry!  Believe in yourself, be your biggest fan.  When you feel love for yourself, that will vibrate to others and your being a bbw will be a plus for them!Show them who you are!



Thank you so much for this special interview Judy and continue to represent us as well as you do.



Check out Judy's Website


Also check out Judy’s my space page


* For more information about Multiple Sclerosis please visit

Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA)



Thank you for Reading The LargeInCharge Feature

Please send thoughts and comments to

Cover Model of the Month

Ashley Brown


Interview with Ashley Bronx What is your name?

Ashley Brown Where are you from and what is your current Location?

I am from Columbia, Sc currently in Addison, Texas Can you give us some information about yourself (Age, Height, Size, Nationality, Marital Status, Children, etc.)?

I am 25, 5'9, size 16, Black, Single, one son Were you a big child, or did you gain weight later in life?

I was a small child and gained weight after the birth of my son (If you gained weight later in life) what caused you to gain weight and how did you feel about it?

Having my son, I was really uncomfortable about it at first, but the support and love of my friends and family helped me to realize nothing about me has changed, and I look even better than before. What made you decide to enter the LargeInCharge model search?

Because I feel so large and in charge...I have been trying to break into modeling for some time now and thought this would be a great way to start. Did you find it a hard journey to be accepted for your size?

Not at friends and family think I look great as a plus size women. Do you find acceptance among your family and friends?

Everyday What would you say inspires you most in life?

My son...I would do anything for him What is your primary job?

Office Manager and Insurance Sales How did you get into this line of work?

Kinda fell into it, the Office Manager job is temporary until I can start investing in Real Estate. Do you find acceptance in the work force?

Yes What changes do you believe should take place for Large People in the work force?

I think everything is what you make it...if you come off as a weak person then that's how you will be treated. I have always held my heads up high and at least acted like I knew what I was doing and I have always been respected. What do you think about the fashion industry for big sized clothing?

I think there are some great clothing lines like Torrid and Ashley Stewarts to name a few, but for the most part I hate that the clothes are so homely. Why can't we wear sexy clothes (tasteful of course) What do you wish to see change with the fashion industry?

I want plus size fashion to be high fashion also...I want to see a plus size model on the cover of Elle and I also want to see plus size Victoria's Secret models.. you have plus size clothes just not plus size models, what since does that make. What changes do you think will happen if plus sized modeling for men and women were to expand?

I think more clothing lines will have a plus sizes Tell us some of the places you buy your clothing from.

Lane Bryant, Ashley Stewarts, Torrid and department stores like Dillards and Macy's Tell us one of your secret beauty tips.

Tummy control under wear...they really do work, you look less lumpy. Give us some tips on how to have a successful Photo shoot. What should models be prepared for?

Make sure you are comfortable...I like to practice in front of a mirror to see what I can pull off and what I can't. Example: I am top heavy so I have found that leaning forward is not a good pose for me. Look at Size acceptance five years ago... look at size acceptance now. What changes do you see?

I have to say it is accepted more now. What changes do you think will happen five years from now with size acceptance?

I think there will be much more acceptance...I think the plus size modeling industry will boom in the next few years. Tell us about your goals as far as modeling and other interests.

I would love to model for big name designers, and I plan on being a huge real estate investor. Let me tell it I plan to be the first plus size Victoria's Secret model Can you tell us about an inspirational moment in you life that made you feel good about your size.

When I let the words I look fat come out of my mouth in front of my son and he said "mama you are beautiful to me." Is there a person in your life that makes you keep going?

My son and my boyfriend....I want my son to have a good life and my boyfriend refuses to let me give up, he slaps me on the ass and tells me to suck it up. What advice would you give to other people of size who want to model?

Why not...always remember those words..."Why Not" What plus size figure do you admire?

Mia Tyler Describe yourself with one word.



Thank you for Finding out more about our Cover Model

Please send thoughts and comments to

Raqui's Spot

     Raqui the Owner and Founder of LargeInCharge Magazine.  This spot is dedicated to her thoughts, vents, and observations of Plus Sized Life.  Raqui's  "Tell it like it is" style of writing has brought hundreds to her blogs and thousands to  There is so much behind the woman who has brought this magazine into existence.  Being Internationally known as a wrestler lead the way to modeling for companies and being featured in magazines and documentaries from all over the world.  She has made a career out of her size and personality.


     For the past 4 years moving into Size Acceptance and Empowerment.  She is a woman who doesn't let things get to her.  Knock her down for the moment but she will rise up stronger and better.  Being a speaker on behalf of many subjects and counseling Plus Sized people online her grace and style has made people love her.   Raqui continues to set an example of a powerful woman who will bend the world to fit her, her way.

Raqui Appears on The Christina Show                   Raqui Appears on The Maury Show

Becoming a Plus Sized Model - Open your Door

     Many plus sized women today are suddenly realizing, and aspiring to become models.


No more super skinny models" they say,


     We want to see women who look like us on the cover of magazines.


"No more fetish porn only work" they scream.


     I want to be taken seriously, I want to be seen for all that I am and not used for adult entertainment only.  Reduced to being called a fetish and valued for what is between my legs.

    This is a touchy subject, because we are ready to be seen but society is not ready to see us. We are slowly working our way into magazines, TV and other areas of public life. But we are not showcased the same way the super slim models are. We do not have the same status.

     But Raqui some of you may say. Many more companies are looking at us and we have some very famous plus sized models. I agree and what is begingin to happen is amazing and history making. The plus sized models out now are opening up the doors, but the doors are not OPEN WIDE YET. Notice I say yet.

    The label Plus sized in modeling. Really annoys me because they women who are being used as plus sized models are average size. When I look at what they call a plus sized model what I see some tall women who are a bit thick. I don't see any fat rolls on them in the pictures. I don't see a chubby double chin or the beginnings of one. I don't see a belly. I don't see any of the signs of plus sized in them. They shoot pictures and airbrush them  to make them look as close to slim models as possible. When I look at the Plus Sized Models I don't see plus sized. We haven't broken through yet but it is only a matter of time.

     The biggest question on this subject I get is, How do I become a model? People, Men and Women included, we have to look at ourselves objectively, and see what you can do as a model. I had to do that and I found my niche and have expand it often through the years.


You can read my story at my site.

     This month I have 5 tips for those who want to be models and are trying to find there way. I hope this will help some of you expand your minds in the world of modeling.

This is the hardest part, sitting back and really looking at yourself to see if you are model material, this can help you to determine which avenue to go for in the modeling industry. You may not fit the bill for one but work perfectly in another.

     A model is not just a pretty face, there has to be a fire in the eyes that reaches out to people through the picture. You have to be versatile in your look and being able to be photographed from many angles. Everyone has a signature pose which they believe is the best.  But every picture cannot look the same with the same pose. Learning to be versatile is important

     Understanding in the beginning you will not make much money. While you are building up your portfolio and getting experience under your belt, most of the time you will not be paid much, if at all. Companies and individuals will tell you what you will be paid.  If you see that they are not offering payment you should ask.  Many times when your work on small projects you have to balance getting paid verse the exposure you may receive from doing the project. At the very least your expenses should be taken care of if you have to travel.  You have to remember every project you do should run in theme with your modeling career.  If you are determined and continue to build up your resume and portfolio you will see that after some time being paid is not an issue.

WHAT YOU CAN DO - You cant sit back and wait until someone like you is out there already being showcased.  Or you can be that  person that paves the way. The more areas of modeling Plus Sized people get involved in, the more accepted we become. There are many types of modeling and if you cant fit in with one, you can try another.

If you cant model for a clothing company because you don't fit the type (I couldn't because I am to large for the clothes) Why not model for other avenues

  •  Try modeling for photographers

  • How about commercials

  • Local departments stores or online stores

  • Art students and Professional artists

  • amateur photographer's who want to expand there portfolios

  • Make up companies local and large

  • Local newspapers and magazines

  • Hair dressers

  • Make up artist

  • Online Magazines

  • Online photo contests, and more.

     You will have to open your mind to see the many possibilities.  You may not fit the bill for one type of modeling but another avenue might be perfect for you.  If your photogenic and are willing to commit yourself to Opening your own doors. You can start your modeling career in more than one field.

You want to be a model you have to have the skills, only super models and models who are part of certain projects receive the hair and make up treatment. You must be able to be on set, on time and be ready with clothing options, shoes, make up and hair in place. Unless you are modeling someone's clothing or their skill in hair or make up you must come ready. Always ask the project manager in advance what they are expecting.

This may take some time but if your serious about your craft you will dedicate yourself to the following:

  • All over body skin care - not just your face

  • Learning to apply your make up properly

  • Learning to take care of and style your hair.

  • Nail care of the Hands and Feet.

  • Some exercise to keep the heart pumping.

  • Having a variety of clothing and shoe options.

  • Walking in high heels.

  • Posing properly - No dead fish eyes. Dead fish eyes is a flat look with no recognition in the eyes. When you model many times you will begin to give a flat dead fish eyes look.

There are many books and magazines that can help you determine what is best for you. Of course trial, error and practice are always the way to go.

It is all in the presentation. Here is an example (from the Cosby show)

     Ok take your favorite food, Lets say it is a steak, it is cooked just perfect, you got everything ready, salad, potatoes, mushrooms if you like. Everything is cooked to perfection and it is smelling wonderful. They are about to serve you this marvelous meal.  And you see the chef take the garbage can lid off the garbage can, and put the steak right on it with the potatoes and salad and all the fixings and bring it to you and put it in front of you to eat.

Do you want to eat it? I don't think so.

     How you present yourself is quite the same. You think about how you are showcasing yourself, to the people, you want, to pick you to represent them. Are you presenting yourself in the best light or on a garbage can lid? Because that is what you do as a model, you are the face and body that represents, the company. or person, who you modeled for.

     Do not use pictures of yourself in your portfolio that have a cluttered background. No one wants to see what kind of lotion you have in your bedroom, in fact no one wants to see your bedroom. No one wants to see you standing in your hallway or sitting on your couch. That is not professional and if you present your self as a mediocre wanna be model. You will not be taken seriously.

BIG TIP: If you want to do photo shoots at home. Invest in a good digital camera with auto picture taking options, some lights you can buy them at home depot for 10-20 bucks, and a tripod. You can use a large piece of material, buy it by the yard at a fabric store. I suggest to buy a few different kinds. It should be as wide as possible and should cover the whole wall from the top of ceiling down to the floor and cover some of the floor where you stand (about 8 - 12 feet of material). You can reuse it over and over for different shoots and to cover things when your shooting your photos

   Networking with other models and people in the industry can help you get  to know more about what you should and shouldn't do. You will also collect many contacts and get advice from those who know the ropes.

TRADE TRADE TRADE - I know many of you are thinking, this is a lot of work, time, and effort and I might not get paid ever! I would have to invest a lot of money into pictures, comp cards, and a website to help advertise myself.

Yes it is true this is an investment this is not some fly by night thought.  It is a dedication.  Still there are many ways to cut costs and make a bit more affordable. It is called trading.

Search on and off line for photographers amateur or professional, hair stylists and make up artists in your area. Trade skills with them. Let the make up artist do your make up, the hair stylist your hair and let the photographer take your photos. You should all chip in to cover the costs of the film and developing and share the pictures (Using a digital camera will cut out this expense) all of you can use them for your portfolios. Make sure to write a contract you all sign saying you all have rights to use the photos for your own purposes.

Many times you can trade for clothing from smaller online clothing companies if you agree to model the clothing and send in your professional pictures for their website. You can model for up and coming designers for all sorts of occasions and ask to keep the clothing you model.

This will also work with independent jewelry companies, make up companies, Nail, Hand and Hair online companies or distributors.

The sky's the limit if there is a service or something you can trade, it can work out wonderful for you and them. All these jobs regardless if they are trading or not can be added to your work portfolio.

This is one area that you don't want to trade because you want the best quality. Design of your website, webpage, and comp card are essential.

You need to have a comp card made. When you present yourself to companies or people you should have a printed comp card with your resume and you should have a comp card you can send via email.

A comp card is a designed card (either a 4x6 or 8x10) featuring your modeling pictures. You will also have your contact information, measurements, age, race and other vital information on it.

Here is my comp card you can view as a sample:


Usually this cost is $75.00 to 150.00 dollars. You can try to find an up and coming designer though your comp card may not have the flair a professional can create. It also must be rendered properly for printing and sized accordingly for distribution over the web.

Weather you have a webpage anywhere on the net. (IE. myspace, photo sites, yahoo, blackplanet, etc.) nothing will represent you like your own dedicated website that is updated with as much information as you want. Having your own email account through your server is the professional way to go.

You can view my site as an example (it is due for reconstruction soon)

Showcasing you and your work is an important step for all people in the industry. This makes you viewable and searchable on the internet and shows your experience. Many people have websites that are hard to navigate and are not compelling the person who visits to stay. Sites that are annoying and cumbersome will not make people want to stay and read about you. Never the less visit regularly for updates and information. You are selling yourself and your site should drawn people into you and want to stay.

Usually the cost for a website starts at 1,000.00 and up. Yes that is a big investment which is why so many people try to do one themselves but only a real designer can make a site that draws people in.

HOW DO I GET HELP - I am dedicated to helping those who are up and coming and want to take the right steps to presenting themselves properly. If your ready to take the step to getting your comp card and website done I will personally work on your site with my top designer and get you a super discounted price on all your design, printing, and online needs.

We can give you the below prices:

Comp Card design: $50.00 - $75.00
Website design: Basic design starting at 250.00 - 350.00 including hosting and domain
Printing for all your needs
Email for quotes or price list

Shoot me an email for price lists:

I hope you got some good information here and I wish you the best on discovering your potential.


Contemporary Art Video "DOUGH" Staring "Raqui" is being shown @ The Guggenheim

NOW SHOWING @ The Guggenheim Museum in NYC. "DOUGH" Contemporary Art Video Staring Super Sized Model, Wrestler, Size Activist, "Raqui"

For more information and pictures  go to

Black Student sits under the "White Tree" - next 3days NOOSES were hung from the Tree!

The History: Six black students at Jena High School in Central Louisiana were arrested last December after a school fight in which a white student was beaten and suffered a concussion and multiple bruises. The six black students were charged with attempted murder and conspiracy. They face up to 100 years in prison without parole. The fight took place amid mounting racial tension after a black student sat under a tree in the schoolyard where only white students sat. The next day three nooses were hanging from the tree.

This can not be tolerated

The Jena Six end racism in America!! Stand up

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Raqui's Cool Links

Raqui's Blog-Spot Page 

Raqui's My Space Page

Raqui's Yahoo 360 Page

Raqui's BBWVibe Page


Thank you for Reading Raqui's Spot

Please send thoughts and comments to

Super Sized Sounds



     Super Sized Sounds will be a Music Column that will feature those who are in the industry or up and coming who are size positive. Giving recognition to the plus sized people who are out there and showcasing themselves.  Reviews, Interview, News and more from our new writer Super Sized Spanishfly Lynx.


      Lynx Garcia, also known as "SUPERSIZE SPANISHFLY", is a Latina BBW from Queens NYC.  Lynx is an activist speaking out against size discrimination and began performing back in 1996 at social events for big beautiful women and big handsome males and their admirers. Her special mixture of sound held true as she sang, spat, danced and performed spoken word, soon she was in demand by Big and Beautiful parties nationwide.  Lynx taking her "look" and sound mainstream was rejected because of her size. She did not let this break her spirit, hurt her confidence or minimize her drive. Instead she rose up and started a public access show (LYNX' LAIR) aired in Queens on TIME WARNER QPTV . Combination of comedy and sexy style, she showcased underground artists of all walks of life. The response to her show was less than a year she has showcased many artist, some who moved to bigger and better things.


     Currently Lynx has caught the attention of Joey Mekkah of BLACK SOLARIS ENTERTAINMENT and found herself on the Grandmaster MELLE MEL's SOLO ALBUM "MUSCLES" featured on the hot latin hip-hop track called 'DIMELO", she is the only collaboration on the album. Lynx recently has started her own radio show on EXTRAVAGANGSTARADIO.COM  called Ladies Night. EXTRAVAGANGSTARADIO is #1 on the itunes network.



Artist of the Month


     My people, mi gente...I would like to thank all of you for checking out my review. I do what I love and I love what I do ,whether it’s writing music reviews for largeincharge or hosting my ladies night show on I enjoy coming across and embracing all kinds of people from all walks of life and having them embrace me.

     This month I give you two very different types of from the wild side with a gritty in your face kind of attitude with tremendous heart and one very calm come correct righteous artist with a romantic street savvy soul. One is a female and one is a male. Can you guess which the wild child is and which is the gentle soul?

     Allow me to introduce to you this month’s featured artists who are supporters of bbw’s and bhm’s..

Jah Jah and Kyle Rifkin  


Jah Jah Kyle Rifkin


Album: The Attack

Genre: Hip-Hop/Reggae/Pop/Rock/Club

Jah Jah has been on the underground music scene for many years now and The Attack is her third album. Jah Jah’s claims of top rap artists such as Fifty Cent and Fergie stealing lyrics and ideas from some of her songs has caused quite a commotion on the internet.

Jah Jah is outspoken and not afraid to fight for what she believes is right. And looks like there’s plenty of fight in this tiny little blond headed Diva, she even came face to face with a 90lb pit-bull who chewed off a chunk of her leg. She may have even bit him back!

 Brooklyn’s own crazy wild in you face child, an unlikely Diva, sexy with a hint of grit and grime not the dirrrty kind but the kind you get from grinding and traveling the world and being attacked. Don’t sleep on this tiny white female… She attacks back!! Beware and definitely don’t cross her lyrical path for she will RRRip you down with a vengeance and and draw you in her web of highs and lows and her music will take you there. With some crazy European beats courtesy of Quickmix and Reggae/Rock influence and plenty of Hip-Hop flavor this album will have you bumping it up. Her hooks are Oh so catchy and her delivery is intense. Jah Jah has performed all over the world Paris, Brasil and at local clubs here in New York.

So my people, mi gente...

“Don’t Beat Around the Bush” go ahead and fulfill the desire to respond to her directness in “Do You Think I’m Sexy?” but whatever you do don’t be a “Copycat” (feat. Quickmix) or you will be forced to “Change Lanes” or Jah Jah will “Pop that” because if you want a “Senora” you just might find a “Gangsta Bitch” who will “Kiss Kiss”   like a “Pimptress” should in a “Play Pen” with a “Hot Boy” or a “Gangsta Gangsta” as long as he got “More Cheeba” for this “Crooklyn Queen”.

Oh’s a hot ghetto mess and you will love it.

This album is available for purchase through her myspace page at










Album: Hell Up In Harlem

Genre: Hip-Hop/R&B

Kyle Rifkin has been in the music game for almost twenty years. You may recognize Kyle’s voice from some of Hip-Hops most memorable songs like Rob Base’s “Joy and Pain” and he has also worked alongside some of the biggest names in Hip-Hop and R&B such as Run DMC, New Edition, Mase, Camron , Smokey Robinson, Ice T to name a few.  When you meet Kyle Rifkin you automatically get the feeling that you are talking to your best friend or brother. He is humble, soft spoken and kind.

Despite his hectic schedule Kyle manages to dedicate time to various causes and charities.

He has tremendous stage presence and his voice is remarkably soulful and strikingly similar to some of the greatest R&B singers of our time.

Hell up In Harlem is a mixture of street savvy suffering and constant struggle to maintain a name in this game. He tells his story with raw edginess and manages to draw you in with his relevant lyrics. This hip-hop infused album will take you through his life’s ups and downs and we all love a good story, one of hard work, determination and perseverance. Songs of substance and songs of celebration and of love and loss will surely make an impressive addition to your collection and you will be sure to find a favorite track with producers such as Omen and DJ King Assassin, DJ Voodoo and Dark Child.

Bueno my people, if you want to know how hell came up in Harlem you have to be willing to “Raise It Up” (feat. Rob Base) and “Keep Talking” (Feat Reed Dollarz) in order to “Change The Game”, we need to indulge in “Ghetto Reflections” and go back to “Another Tyme” when songs like “When You Touch Me” made you reminisce about “The Best Days” you already know “What It Is” to stay connected to your streets even when you are “Far Away From Home”. It is a humble man’s story that you will want to hear over and over again.

Album is available for purchase at

Also check out Kyle’s myspace page at

Kyle knows all to well the difficulties new artists face with obtaining a venue where their music can be heard the following is a petition that was written by Kyle.


Want to send in your Voice in for review? Are you a singer, rapper, or poet who performs spoken word?  Up and Coming, already established?  Contact Lynx through her Myspace page or email and all information will be forwarded to her (PUT "FOR LYNX" IN THE SUBJECT AREA) 

You must be a Size Positive Artist, or a Plus Sized Supporter.

Thanks for reading

Super Sized Sounds with Lynx


Lynx Cool Links

From the Plus Side


Emily Smiltneck

     From the Plus side will be column dedicated to short stories that deal with all aspects of Plus size Life.  Emily Smiltneck was chosen for this position because of her dedication, and realistic writing style. She captures the emotional and mental rollercoaster those who are Plus Sized go through.


     Emily Susanne Smiltneck lives in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (pretty much dead center in the middle of nowhere). She is a substitute teacher, and has recently started a tutoring business. Emily is currently working on several writing projects, including a historical fiction novel and several collections of poetry.


The Cool Night


“Well, of course I don’t want you to be gone an extra day.  I miss you.  The kids miss you.  Yeah, I understand.  Not mad, just disappointed.  Love you, too.  Bye.”


            Lacie hung up the phone and fought back burning tears.  It seemed like all of his business trips lately had been extended for one reason or another.  Every phone call that started with “I’m sorry, baby, but—” sent pangs of self doubt through her.  He had never given her a reason not to trust him, though.  Not lately, anyway.  No man had hurt her in a very long time.  With effort, she hoisted herself from the chair in front of the phone.  On a whim, she hurried into her bedroom, the bedroom in which she would once again be sleeping alone, and took a plastic bag from the back of the closet.  She situated herself on the bed and regarded the bag.  It was tied tightly shut, hadn’t been opened in years, but the memories it held were slowly drifting out.




            “Whoa!  No, wait.  Stop.”


            She pulled her lips away from his and looked up at him, confused. 


            “I mean, you are definitely the coolest chick I know, a really great friend.  Otherwise I never would have asked you to come with me tonight.  I just don’t think that things can be like that with us.”


            In the ten, maybe twenty, seconds it took her to close her eyes, draw in a deep breath, and open her eyes again, it seemed like millions of thoughts filled her head.  The first ones (is he gay? committed to being a virgin? trying not to get too serious too fast?) had nothing to do with her own possible shortcomings. 


The next fast-moving, cloudy, dark thunderstorm of thoughts that converged on her dealt much more with his shortcomings than her own: Was he really just a jerk after he had seemed so close to perfect for so long?  Was he so insecure that he had to reject her to feel powerful?  Was he just playing with her emotions? 


Finally came the darkest, deepest fears of all: Had she chosen the wrong prom dress?  Was her makeup not right?  Was she not thin enough, not beautiful enough, or popular enough, or prom-queen enough, for him?


            She swallowed her anger, her sadness, her insecurities, and carefully, guardedly, met his gaze. 


            “You don’t think things should be like what with us?”


            “Like more than friends.  I mean, it’s not—we’re buds.  Pals.  Things are good the way they are.”


            “I see.  Fair enough.  You wanna take me home?”


            “Home, already?”


            “Yeah.  You pretty much just brutally rejected me.  How did you think I would feel?”  Her eyes darted around his bedroom, searching for the place in which she had discarded her sweater.  This had always been a place where she felt safe before, not to mention the place in which she had always thought she would make, for the first time, to a man she really did love.  A few tears blurred her vision then, but when she faced him her dark eyes were flashing and she was smiling.


            “Just a test, anyway, really.  Wanted to see if you got into the spiked punch or not.  Guess not.”  Lacie laughed hollowly as she finally located her sweater.  She turned away from Jake and slid her arms into it.


            “Come on, babe.  Lacie, I didn’t mean—”


            “Yeah, I know exactly what you meant.  I just need to go home.  I need some time to myself.”


            At home, Lacie slipped silently into the house.  She didn’t want her parents to hear her and come ask all kinds of questions.  She didn’t feel like trying to come up with some stupid excuse for being home so early.  It didn’t matter, anyway, though.  Her parents were sitting side by side on the couch, holding hands and totally engrossed in whatever they were watching on TV.  It was easy enough for Lacie to go unnoticed.


            When she had safely closed her bedroom door behind her, she slipped her sweater over her shoulders and let it drop to the floor.  She fell back onto her bed and wondered how things had gone so horribly wrong.  The tears swam back into her field of vision.  This time, she let them fall.


            It was supposed to be the perfect, fairy tale night.  The night which held the very best moments of her high school years.  For months now, she and Jake had been seeing each other almost every day.  Nothing romantic, but you could feel the edges of romance dancing around them.  Lacie had wanted more than friendship right from the beginning, but she had been careful about it.  She usually had no trouble getting dates, seducing guys.  High school boys were easy.  All they thought about was sex, and if you were willing to give it to them, they would do anything for you, no matter who you were.




            Lacie set the plastic bag aside, got up from her bed, and undressed.  She pulled on a robe and then went to open the window.  The May air rushed in around her, soothing her just a little.  Being all alone, her children sleeping and her husband away for so long, remembering—it was a melancholy sort of night.  Funny how the memories could still hurt after so long.  Some things, a girl just doesn’t forget.  The first time Lacie had seen Jake, for instance.  It was all still there.




            He had appeared in her 11th grade creative writing class toward the beginning of the year, a new student, very intellectual looking.  The kind of guy Lacie always noticed.  The kind of guy who never seemed to exist in such a small town, so far away from universities and any kind of sophistication.  But there he was.  His poetry blew her away.  His words, and the deep, smooth, jazzy voice that spread them through the room, were the most striking, beautiful, haunting things she had ever experienced.  By the end of that class period, Lacie was sure she couldn’t live without him in her life.


            So, when the teacher divided the class into pairs for their final project, Lacie had a quick after-class conference with her.  Lacie was one of the good kids, one of the smart ones, the student every teacher wanted in every class.  So as always, Lacie got her way.  She and Jake were a pair, at least in creative writing class.


            Lacie was pretty sure her little maneuver had broken poor Joey Madden’s heart.  Well, not his heart, because it wasn’t his heart he had given her.  It was his virginity, something that she knew was rarely tied to matters of the heart in high school boys.  That didn’t bother her too much.  She liked Joey well enough, but she was smart enough to know that it wasn’t she he loved; it was merely the very feminine attention she gave to the most masculine of his parts.  He would get over it, she knew, and in the meantime, she and Jake could produce an absolute masterpiece and maybe fall in love in the process.  That was her plan, her hope, her dream.


            They worked hard, spent long hours on their project, and of course, in the end, it had been a hit.  Even the mostly bored, disinterested members of their sixth hour creative writing class had recognized its brilliance, and Joey Madden had actually risen with the rest of the class to applaud when they had finished presenting it.  Their teacher had asked permission to enter it into a statewide creative writing competition.  Together, Lacie and Jake were untouchable.


            When the project was completed and the school year was over, Lacie worried that Jake would find other people to occupy his time.  All for nothing, though, because they continued to spend every spare minute together.  They visited each other at work, shared meals, read together, never stayed apart for very long at all. 


            Lacie lay awake every night, remembering every moment of every day in which Jake had spoken to her, looked at her, touched her.  She even stopped sneaking Joey Madden and the few other boys she had spread her attention among into her room at night.  It was no longer the act of sex that kept her awake at night, but rather anticipation of love.  She dreamed every night of the day that Jake would fall in love with her.


            That day hadn’t come, though, not really.  She wondered if he was shy, or afraid of commitment, or just cautious, but with Joey and company waiting in the wings, she never once thought to wonder if he actually liked her.  Because he had always been there, because he had never gone out with any other girls, because of the expression he wore when they were together, Lacie took it for granted that he liked her, that sooner or later he would fall in love.


            When their creative writing project had won first place in the state competition, Lacie had been elated.  She was being recognized for her writing, the man she loved was being recognized for his writing, too, and they would finally be forced into spending an entire night alone together.  She spent hours fantasizing about all the possibilities.  Lacie imagined that this night, together, alone, in a hotel room a few hundred miles from home, would help her create the intimacy she craved in their relationship.  With Jake, she would have everything she dreamed of.  There would be no quick, giggly blow jobs or hurried, desperate, careful-not-to-get-caught sex.  Everything would be somehow effortlessly, naturally, easily right with Jake.


            The night of the awards ceremony, in the hotel room, Lacie and Jake slept together.  They began the night on opposite sides of the bed, but by morning they were completely entwined with one another.  Jake never tried anything at all, though; all he did was sleep.  Lacie, on the other hand, did not sleep.  She lay awake for almost the entire night alternately daydreaming about what might happen and crying because it hadn’t happened yet.  For the first time since she was twelve years old, Lacie was afraid to make the first move, afraid to do the wrong thing.


            Back at home, their relationship continued the way it had always been.  They were inseparable.  Anyone who didn’t know them would have mistaken them for the closest, most loving couple in town.  Lacie, sometimes, deep in her imagination, pretended they actually were the closest, most loving couple in the world.  And then on Valentine’s Day, Jake invited Lacie out for dinner after a yearbook committee meeting that ran late.


            “We can just stop at McDonald’s on the way home, sound okay?”


            A part of her perked up immediately at the thought that he had asked her out on Valentine’s Day, almost like a real date.


            “Sure,” Lacie responded, because she never said no to Jake.  He even paid for her Big Mac when they got there, which Lacie thought was incredibly sweet.  Another part of her, though, probably the more rational part, reasoned that it was only McDonald’s, and that she had been waiting the better part of a year for him to make a move, and that he had given her no indication that his feelings or intentions had changed.


            It was after ten when they finished eating, and the restaurant was empty except for an old man reading a newspaper, a group of college students animatedly discussing the a recent football game, and an assortment of falsely cheerful employees.


            “Hey, Lace?” Jake mumbled through his the last of his Big Mac.  “Wanna go play?”




            “In McPlayland.  No one’s paying attention, we can get away with it.  I haven’t been in one of those ball pits in years.”


            “Oh, my God, you’re crazy!  Okay, let’s do it.”


            They quickly cleared their table, both grinning stupidly, and ducked into the play area, slipping off their shoes as they did.  Lacie slid into the ball pit and started moving as if making snow angels, reveling in the sensation of the cool plastic balls giving way to her limbs.  Jake immediately sunk to the bottom of the pit; Lacie couldn’t see him, but the shifting of the balls that were piled on top of him let her keep tabs on him.  She was watching this movement, intrigued, when a sudden voice made them both stand up.


            “Hey!  Hey, guys, outta here!  What’s wrong with you two?”  An angry looking manager had appeared in the playroom, staring at Lacie and Jake through the mesh walls of the ball pit.  His face was red and he was pointing at the door with one hand and waving the other menacingly in the air. 


            Lacie turned and scrambled toward the entrance to the ball pit.  Just as she was about to escape, she felt herself being pulled back in, Jake’s hand tightly wrapped around her ankle.


            “Hey, Lace,” he whispered as she fell toward him.  “Wanna go to prom with me?”


            Before she could even think about answering him, the angry manager had grabbed her wrist and was pulling her away from Jake.


            “Come on, out!  You are way too tall, not to mention way too old, to be in here.  Besides, this room closes at ten!”


            “Sorry.”  Lacie jammed her shoes on the wrong feet and hurried toward the door.  Gototheprom, gototheprom, gototheprom—she didn’t trust herself enough to believe that she had actually heard him right, but she was afraid to ask him to repeat himself, for fear that she had heard him wrong.


            On the way home, Jake and Lacie laughed about the expression on the manager’s face when he yelled at them.  They discussed the yearbook meeting.  They wondered whether the basketball team would make it to the state championship.  Neither of them said the word prom at all.


            As soon as Jake stopped his car in her driveway, Lacie’s nervous energy propelled her out of her seat and toward the house.  She paused, though, and turned, when she heard his tires gently crackling on the pavement as he backed out.  Before she could change her mind, before he could drive away, she ran back to his car. 


            “Forget something?” Jake asked as he slid the passenger window open just a crack.

            “Yes.  I mean—no, but yes.  Yes.”  Lacie quickly walked back up the driveway, not looking back, not stopping until she was on the doorstep, fumbling for her keys.  By the time she turned the key in the lock, her cell phone was ringing.  In the window, she could see the reflection of Jake’s car, his lit-up cell phone glowing from within. 


            “Yes to the prom?” he asked when she answered.


            “Yes to the prom,” she whispered back.




            Lacie went to the kitchen, stopping on the way to make sure her daughters were still sleeping, and poured herself a cup of coffee.  Her stomach was upset in anticipation of the memories she knew were coming next: after prom, in her bedroom, alone.  So alone.  It was almost like watching a movie she had seen before; she wanted to turn down the volume, shield her eyes from the next scenes. 


            Back in her bedroom, Lacie set her coffee cup on the dresser and eased herself back onto the bed.  She picked up the plastic bag once again.  Hugging it to her, she swore she could still smell the perfume she had been wearing the night she had sealed the bag shut.  Despite her efforts, the movie kept on playing.




            She angrily rid herself of her dress and heels.  She had driven three hours twice to find that stupid dress!  No place closer had a prom dress in her size that didn’t make her look like someone’s grandma.  Her stupid shoes had just about cut off the circulation to her feet, too, and she’d gone all day without eating so she wouldn’t get nervous and throw up, and for what?  She had finally gathered up the nerve to make a move, damn it, and now it was all over.


            She stripped off the incredibly tight, uncomfortable under-wire bra she had been wearing, and the matching royal blue thong.  Jake’s favorite color, and he had never even gotten to see it.  No, he had chosen not to see it.  Lacie slumped into the chair in front of her computer and, chin resting in the palm of her hand, jabbed at the power button.  She sat back and studied her body while she waited for the computer to boot up.


            Her breasts were full and high, not huge, but enough to make the boys take notice.  Her legs and arms were large and strong, twice the size of most, but still—nothing not to like.  Her belly was full and round, soft, womanly.  It wasn’t tight and flat, the way so much of the world seemed to think it should be, but Lacie had never had a problem with it.  She had always imagined her body had a certain gentle charm, a hint of sensuality, and Joey Madden and his friends didn’t seem to disagree.  They were all too willing to slip into her warm, soft bed and spend the night enjoying her.  But Jake—maybe Jake was different in more ways than she had thought.  In all the wrong ways.


            Lacie forced herself to turn her attention to the computer screen.  She logged in to MySpace, MSN, Yahoo, AOL.  No one was online to chat with.  Of course they weren’t.  They were all out celebrating prom night, or just one of the first warm Saturday nights of spring.  Only losers were sitting at home online.


            That last thought gave Lacie an idea.  She picked up her cell phone with a surge of hope.  She knew exactly what could make her feel better.  It had been a few months since they had really talked, since Lacie had begun to devote her nights to thoughts and dreams instead of flesh, but it was worth a try.

            He answered on the second ring.


            “Hey, Lace.  Long time no see.  What’s up?”


            “I was just wondering if you went to prom tonight.  I didn’t see you there.”


            “Nah.  I’m not really into the whole prom thing, so much.  Just chilled at home.”


            “Yeah, I know whatcha mean.  Hey, I was just wondering, too—would you—ya wanna come over?”


            “You mean?”


            “Yeah.”  She dropped her voice seductively.  “I’m naked and waiting for you.”


            When Lacie’s phone beeped to signify that Joey had ended the call, she tossed it onto her desk and glanced once more at her computer.  Jake—that was who she had really wanted to talk to, not anyone else—still wasn’t online.  She swiftly crossed the room and opened the window, then arranged herself on her bed.  At first, she pulled the blankets into a pile and artfully placed them across her stomach, but then she remembered that this was Joey, not Jake.  Joey liked her just the way she was, lumps and bumps and all, even if he would never love her.  She bared herself completely and sprawled on her bed, waiting.  Her skin tingled and her muscles tensed when she heard him climbing in through the open window.


            “Hey—oh, wow,” he started, then broke into a low whistle.


            “Shh!  My parents are home.  And they think I’m not.”


            Joey lowered his voice to a whisper.


            “It has been way too long.”  It took him only seconds to be out of his clothes and on the bed next to her.  Electricity raced through Lacie as he ran his hand down her body.  He slowly began to retrace the path with his tongue and was just burying his head between her breasts when Lacie heard her computer beep out a tone informing her that she had received an instant message.  She froze. 

 Immediately, unwillingly, her thoughts shifted from the exquisite things that Joey was doing to her body to the topic that occupied every waking and sleeping moment of her life for the last two months: Jake. 

            Was it Jake?  She desperately wanted to find out, but couldn’t figure how to go about it.  She tried to glance at the computer screen without looking letting Joey know that she wasn’t completely caught up in the moment, but the screen was too far away to see.  As Joey slid his tongue down her belly, Lacie sighed and slipped out from under him as gracefully as she could.


            “Sorry. Just a sec.  I need to check this out real quick.”


            Joey slumped onto the bed with a ragged sigh and lay face down.


            “Okay.  Do whatcha gotta do.  I’ll be here when you’re done.”


            A mild, queasy feeling of guilt washed over Lacie, but she shrugged it off and sat down at her computer anyway. 


            “Hey,” read the message.  It was, indeed, from Jake.


            “Hello,” she typed back.  She didn’t want to seem too happy to hear from him, seem too desperate or needy.


            “Sorry for tonight.”


            “Yeah.  No prob.”


            “No, really.  I am so sorry.  I was hoping you’d be online because I wanted to explain some things.  I though it might be easier here than in person.”


            “Okay.  Whatever.”


            “God, I knew you would be mad.  Hell, I’m mad.  Not at you, I mean.  At myself.”


            “Okay, fine.  Explain.  I tried to give myself to you.  You made it seem like that’s want you wanted.  And then you completely rejected me.  This better be good.”


            While she waited to see what Jake would type back, Lacie looked over her shoulder at her bed.  Joey was leaning on one arm.  He was flipping through a copy of Cosmo that had been on her bedside table.  She closed her eyes to block out the scene, one man awaiting her return while she was involved in a desperately complicated conversation with another, and turned back to the computer screen.


            “I know that, baby.  And I really did want you, I never faked it or anything.  I know it seemed like I wanted the same things that you did.  I was afraid, though.  I am ashamed to admit it, but I was afraid of you.”


            “You think I wasn’t afraid?  What the hell were you so afraid of?  It obviously wasn’t my rejection, since you knew you wouldn’t get that.”


            “There are just a lot of things I am afraid to face, I guess.  Not easy things to talk about.  Not things I am proud of, either.”


            “Things like what?”


            “I really don’t want to hurt you.  And I might, if I say everything that’s on my mind.”


            “Well, you already hurt me once tonight.  May as well finish me off.  Go for it.”


            “I don’t want to hurt you.  You have to know that.  I really don’t.  I just have some issues I never really knew I had.”


            “Yeah, so does everyone.  You gonna spill, or what?  If you’re just playing games and don’t really want to talk, I have other things to do.”


            “No, I want to get it over with.  It just isn’t easy.  It’s just that I sort of have issues I didn’t think I had.”


            “Issues with me?”


            “Sort of.  Not with you as a person.”


            “Then what?  Tell me, Jake, I can take it.”


            “Well, you’re kind of a bigger girl.”


            “Yeah, no shit.  You think I’m not aware?”


            “It isn’t that I’m not attracted to you.  It isn’t. You’re beautiful.  And I love you.  There, I said it.  I really do love you.”


“Then what’s the problem?

”I, God, I hate saying this.  It’s just, it isn’t easy, you know.”


“What isn’t?”


“Guys think things about other guys based on who they like.  And it makes a difference.”


“What the hell are you talking about?”


“It isn’t cool to like big girls.  The guys just don’t get it.”


“Okay, great.  So you rejected me because you think OTHER guys might not like me.  Point of interest number one: the ‘other guys’ mostly like me just fine.  Point of interest number two: so far in your life, you’ve done pretty much everything the ‘other guys’ would never do, and it never bothered you before.  And point of interest number three: the ‘other guys’ know we hang out like every day all the time, and probably think we’re dating anyway. and it never bothered you before, not ‘til I tried to kiss you, which they didn’t know about anyway.”


“I’m not happy about it, baby.  I always thought I was strong enough to be my own person.  It’s just hard, you know?”


“Don’t ‘baby’ me.  It won’t help, and it’s sort of pissing me off.”


“I’m sorry.  And you know, sex is part of a relationship, too.”


“Where the hell did that come from?”


“Well, I just, say we were dating.  We would probably want, well, you know…”


“Yeah, I would assume.  And I was working on that part when you went and freaked out.  I am really confused right now.  This conversation might go better over the phone, if you wanna just talk about it tomorrow.”


“I need to do it now.  And it’s easier online, for me.”


“Whatever, fine.  Hurry up.”


“I’ve never been with anyone like you before.  A big girl.  And it’s kind of hard for me to imagine that part.  The sex part, I mean.”


Lacie threw her head back in frustration and looked away from her computer screen.  Joey was sitting up on her bed now, a notebook in one hand.  A quick glance at the clock told her that she had left him there, abandoned, for a half an hour now.  God, how many relationships could a person screw up in one night?


“You got a pen, babe?” he asked when he looked up and caught her studying him.  She tossed him one.


“I’m really, really sorry.  This is sort of an important conversation.  I feel really bad; I’ll try to hurry up.”  The mood had passed for Lacie, but she figured after making Joey wait for so long, she owed him something.


“It’s okay, really.  I understand.”


“Thank you,” Lacie whispered.  She turned her back on him again.


“I’m afraid of you, Lacie.  Afraid I wouldn’t know how to make you happy,” Jake had typed.


“No, you’re afraid I wouldn’t be able to make you happy, Jake.  You’re probably afraid I’d roll over on you and squish you or something, too.  That’s what I usually get from the REALLY ignorant guys.”


“Lacie… I just… no.  I just don’t know how things would work out.”


“This may come as news to you, but I’m not exactly a virgin.  I’ve been with plenty of guys and done plenty of rolling around, and I’ve never killed anyone yet.  For a smart guy, you are really pretty dumb.”


“If it helps, Lacie, I love you.”


            “Right now, that doesn’t help the tiniest little bit.”  Joey put his hand on Lacie’s shoulder then and interrupted her typing.  She hit send and looked up at him.  His clothes were back on.


            “Here’s your pen, Lace.  I’m heading home.  Give me a call tomorrow, ‘kay?”


            “All- all right.  Joe, I’m really sorry.  This night has just been a big mess.  It’s the rudest thing I’ve ever done, I know that.  I just—had to get through this conversation.”


            “I know.  It’s okay.  Just call me tomorrow.”


            “I will.  Sweet dreams.”


“Night.”  Joey climbed out of the window into the cool May night and was gone. 


     New tears rushed from Lacie’s eyes, this time because of her own rudeness.  At least she wasn’t breaking Joey’s heart, though, not like Jake was breaking hers.  Once again, Lacie turned back to her computer.


“Even if it doesn’t help, Lacie, I love you,” Jake had typed.  “And when and if you are ready to try and make things work, let me know.  I want to make it all up to you.”  He had signed out of messenger while she was talking to Joey.  Lacie shut down her computer and walked across the room to the window.  On the way there she scooped up her dress, her shoes, all the things she had worn that night, into a plastic bag and placed the bag in her closet.  She sat down on the edge of the chair by the window and rested her head upon her crossed arms, leaning on the window sill.  A breeze washed over her skin.  To the sound of the crickets outside and her parents making their way to bed inside, Lacie fell asleep.




Now, ten years and two kids after her prom night, Lacie was happily married.  Well, as happily married as she could be to an absentee husband.  He was around sometimes, of course, but he was gone for work more and more often, and the trips were getting longer.  She couldn’t help wondering.  What if she had ignored Jake that night, spent the night with Joey instead.  Or even alone, but what if she hadn’t sat and listened to Jake all night?


She had never really thought of herself as fat before that night.  Well, she knew she was fat, but she had never thought of it as a bad thing, a problem, something that got in her way.  She had always accepted herself, and been accepted.  But that night, Jake had given her a totally new perspective.  And looking back, it hadn’t been a good one.




            The summer after her senior year, Lacie spent holed up in her bedroom writing and sleeping.  Nothing else, or not much else, anyway.  She heard through a friend that Jake was hot and heavy with a girl that worked at the gas station on Main Street, and it just seemed easier to stay at home.  When Joey Madden and just about everybody else headed off to college, both Jake and Lacie started at the community college in town.  She knew that everyone in town was wondering why two of the brightest and best had stuck around instead of going off on to bigger and better things, but she didn’t have the energy to care.  She couldn’t think of herself as fun or beautiful or sexy anymore, and didn’t dare attract any attention at all to herself, sure that every person she encountered would see her as Jake had.


            Jake had sent her a few e-mails over the summer, but she hadn’t answered them.  It seemed too humiliating, encountering face to face the person who had taught her just how the world really saw her.  A fat girl, that’s all she was.  And all she ever would be.


            She went from class to class with her books hugged tightly in her arms and her eyes cast downwards.  Everyone who had ever known her ignored her now, because, Lacie was sure, they could see who she really was now.  No one.  She got used to being invisible.


            And so, in January, when she sank into a seat in the back of her math class and saw Jake sitting 3 seats over, her heart skipped a beat and her stomach heaved and she almost left class, but she forced herself to stay, sure that he would never even notice her.


            And it came as to a shock to her that she obviously wasn’t invisible when a folded up paper with her name on it landed on her desk.  And the shock was even greater when she recognized the handwriting.  She would have known Jake’s handwriting anywhere, even with her eyes closed.  When she carefully unfolded the piece of paper, it simply said, “Hey.”


            Everything inside of her that had died in the last few months came back alive.  And at the same time, she suddenly appeared stiffer, more withdrawn, more guarded than she ever had, on the outside, anyway.  Lacie couldn’t think of any way to respond.  She needed to sound like she hadn’t just about totally cut herself off from the world because of him, and like she was happy to be talking to him again, but not too happy, because then he would know how much he mattered.  And she couldn’t let him know that he still meant everything to her.  Casual and funny, that was how she had to do it.


            “Passing notes?  That’s sooo second grade,” she wrote, and sent the note back to him.


“Of course it is, and you know you love it.  Remember the night we got kicked out of McPlayland?  Oh, and I broke it off with Kelly, you know.”


“Who could forget?  And why should I care?”


“Because you used to love me, and because I still love you.  And because I’m ready now.  And so are you.  Some things never change.  I can still read you like a book.”


Lacie couldn’t argue with that.  In fact, it was all she could do not to cry.  She forced herself to focus on factoring polynomials, and then as soon as class was over that day, she focused on other things.  Like teaching Jake to love a fat woman.  She taught him the ins and outs of her body, of her emotions, of her soul.  She taught him to be bold and unafraid, and she taught him about the strength of the human body, and she taught him to make love to her soft, warm, sensual flesh.  She put to rest every fear that he had expressed on that cool May night after prom.


            Slowly, in the process, she came back out of her shell and learned to live again, and slowly she accepted Jake’s misgivings from prom night as his own temporary flaws and not the vision the whole world had of her.  It had taken a long time, though.




            It had been a lot of work, teaching Jake, but it had paid off well.  Still, Lacie found herself thinking often of that one stupid night, just like she was now.  The humiliation she had felt was not something that could ever completely disappear, she supposed.  She remembered how beautiful she had felt in her flowing pink dress with her hair all done up, the promise of true love standing arm in arm with her.  And when she remembered, she wondered.  She wondered how her life might have been different if she had found someone who could love and accept her, just as she was, right from the start, if she had not had to go through that summer of hell, in which she had believed she would never be loved.


            She looked at the plastic bag that lay tied shut on her lap.  It was time to let the pain out of that plastic bag and say goodbye to it forever.  When she slowly untied the bag, the feelings of that night, good and bad, rushed over her even more strongly than they had been, all night long.  She could still smell the perfume on her dress and the sweat on her shoes.  She grasped the dress by the shoulder straps and pulled it out of the bag, an inch at a time.  She could feel the ghosts of May nights past dancing around her.  She buried her face in the soft, silky coolness of the garment.  In some ways, the night was still perfectly clear to her, as if it had never passed, but in others she found herself hardly able to remember who she had been back then.  She pulled the dress fully from the bag and shook the wrinkles out.


            The stupid bra and thong she had chosen so carefully fell to the floor.  When she reached out to retrieve them, a piece of paper fluttered to the carpet.  Lacie set the clothing aside and reached out to pick it up.  It was folded into a tiny square.  Carefully, she opened it up.


            Hey, Lace.  I don’t know if you’ll ever find this and read it or not, but I had to try.  I am watching you talk to Jake right now and its killing me.  I don’t know what he did to hurt you but I know he did something and I’d like to rip him apart for doing it. 


You think that there is no way I like you for anything more than sex, I know you do.  And I do like that.  But theres so much more.  You can’t seem to believe no matter how I try to tell you that I can possibly love you.  I can tell by the way you stop me every time I try to say so. And its hard enough to get the words out the way it is.  I’m scared of getting hurt too.  But  I don’t know what you’re so afraid of.  I know I’m not a stud like Jake or smart like him, but I really do love you, just the way you are, whether you believe it or not. 


You act all tough and cool and even a smart guy like Jake can’t see through it, but I can.  I haven’t climbed through your window all these times and spent all these nights in your bed for nothing.  I see how you think other people see you, and how it makes you push them away. You don’t even know it.  You think you are all strong and brave and everything, but you are not quite as brave as you think you are.   The only person you seem to want close is Jake, and its because hes safe, because he doesn’t respond to you.  I wish you weren’t so afraid underneath it all.  You are beautiful and you are sweet and smart and kind and Beautiful—with a capital B.  I am not quite as smart as Jake and I am no where near as smart as you, but I do know the one thing that is important.  No matter what happens or where I go, you will always be the first woman I ever loved.  –J


            J.  J for Joey, not J for Jake.  And yet, it was Jake she had married.  Because his love wasn’t strong enough to scare her.


Lacie stood slowly and went to kneel on the window seat.  She crossed her arms on the window sill and rested her chin on them.  Tears ran down her face and fell from her chin as she questioned every decision she had ever made, all because of a little tiny piece of folded up notebook paper.  A breeze washed over her skin.  And to the sound of the crickets and the first love letter she had ever received rustling in her quaking hand, Lacie fell asleep.


Thanks for reading

From the Plus Side with Emily Smiltneck


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Why, OH Why


Diabolique Belle

     Why, OH Why will be column dedicated to all the experiences Plus Sized people go through that make you want to say WHY OH WHY does this have to be.  Part vent, part inspiration this column will surely be one that readers will related to. Diabolique Belle was chosen for this position because of her flare for telling it like it is and turning it around for the better. 


     Diabolique Belle originates from Brooklyn, NY. She is a computer specialist who passionately loves making toiletries and designing gift baskets. She is capricious and dynamically outgoing and loves to say what she means and she means what she says. Diabolique is currently working on several entrepreneurial endeavors, including taking her toiletry hobby to a professional level and transitioning her writing hobby into an erotic mystery novel series.


And, what do you think you’re doing?


            I stroll through the local supermarket pathetically attempting to make the tedious decision between good & evil. Healthy or Delicious, Self control or self indulgence. Triscuit cracked pepper & olive oil with roasted pepper hummus or pecan shortbread cookies with brownie mud pie ice cream. LAWD! I can’t be held responsible for making such complicated decisions. The internal debate has turned into a full fledged war as desire attempts to slaughter logic.  Suddenly, I am forced to rejoin reality as I hear laughter and snickering nearby.  I adjust my peripheral vision and see two under nourished looking females. I adjust my hearing and hear a slew of snide comments.  “Girl, I didn’t know they made those in THAT size,” said skinny chick one. “Child, you know she needs to take that &^$%^ off”, lamented skinny chick two. I have never had a problem speaking my mind, especially when ignorance is running amuck.  So I turned to skinny chick one and said, “I see stupidity comes in all sizes and fits you perfectly.”  Skinny chick #2 said, “You know you are too fat to be in a tube top. That #$!% is just nasty.”  It took every bit of self control not to knock them through the next aisle, (ok, I have a slight temper).  I opened my mouth for a sharp retort but swiftly closed it as a heavenly segment of fine walked past skinny and skinnier still and eye balled me like I was breakfast, brunch, dinner, and snack.  He smiled and blew me a kiss and kept going.  I turned back to the females who were aghast and said, “Yeah, you are absolutely right, downright nasty!”  I smiled wickedly and continued along with my shopping endeavors.       

     Let’s take a look at the adult industry.  Even in one of the most controversial and diverse areas known in the entertainment business receives a slew negativity for the plus sized.  I’ve interviewed several plus sized women who are in the adult industry.  The negative feedback they obtain is devastating.  It is simply more acceptable for a “regular” sized female to model or strip.  Society is more accepting of women size zero to ten posing semi nude or nude, exotic dancing or even engaging in pornography.  While the adult industry invokes mixed feedback, the plus division of the industry is barely recognized or acknowledged.  It seems to be unfathomable that anyone would want to see the nudeness of a plus sized individual.  It seems to be just unimaginable that anyone could find a heavier woman or man sexy must less a subject to be lusted after.  Here are some of the viewpoints from plus sized females in the industry:

     Luscious: “The fact I pose naked must mean that I am sex starved, desperate and need attention from every low life and derelict available.  I couldn’t possibly just enjoy taking pictures and feel confident enough about myself.  At this size, I can’t possibly want to be ogled over and seen as sexy.  There is no chance that I would want to feel desired by the opposite sex.  At this weight, what could I possibly have to feel good about?  It always amazes me how many men think that this is the main focus point of my life or that this aspect of my life is a cry for attention, affection or sex.  Or that being overweight should automatically make me a supply of sex because I am so desperate for attention.”

     Ana:  “I am a big woman.  That is a known fact. However, the point that most people seem to miss is that behind the declaration of size is the acknowledgement of who I am as a human being.  I am a woman.  That fact alone entitles me to some common courtesy… Doesn’t it?”

     Sultry Suzie:  “I’ve had women laugh at me.  I’ve had men tell me that I am crazy to expect anyone to pay to look at me.  The criticism is never ending.  It is amazing to me that when it come to me (a woman of size) people loose sight of the moral ramifications.  It is all about the fact that I am heavy and have enough confidence to flaunt my body seems to be an outrage.  Apparently, once you gain weight you are supposed to be depressed and suicidal.  The thought that a plus sized woman could feel confident and think she is sexy is just a foreign concept and is almost perceived as high treason.  Who do I think I am to feel good about myself? The nerve!”

     Bronze Goddess:  “I’m not going to sit here and say that I don’t receive compliments. I must get them because I have a website that I continue to run on a monthly basis.  The only reason the negativity doesn’t phase me is because I don’t let it.  If I pulled my site down behind every negative comment or connotation that I receive, I would have never had my site up in the first place. This is about how I want to be seen and how I see myself.”

     Now, I am not saying that being overweight is a source of pride.  What I am saying is that you have to make the best of the situation that you are in.  Happiness and self acceptance needs to be a reality no matter what size you are.  The decision to do something about it needs to come from within.  However, happiness is not guaranteed if you are a size 6.  It is a state of mind which is a choice.  You have to DECIDE that you understand that you need to make some changes.  You have to DECIDE that you love yourself no matter what size you are.  You have to DECIDE that you want to loose weight for health reasons, not to feel better about yourself.  Weight loss is a physical change that does not warrant that your mental image will follow suit.  Any person of any size can find a reason to be unhappy.  You see it all the time with skinny women buying bigger breast.  Infomercials boast that even skinny men have insecurities about themselves.  Build a better body in only moments a day.  Your mentality has to change first and foremost.  Satisfaction lies within … not in what size you wear.


Warning: The happiness you desire may be closer than you think!



Thanks for reading

Why, OH Why with Diabolique Belle


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Papi's Peace

     Papi's Peace A column dedicated to the Large man and his mind.  Papi a Chicago native takes the concerns of the Big man and brings it to light, realizing that sometimes his thoughts and feelings are not always so secure.  A how to column that deals with the issues that many men deal with in today's society.  He also hits the many aspects of living life large and putting your best foot forward as a big person.  Papi was chosen because of his dedication to motivate and weekly inspirational emails he sends to many people across the net has helped and captured many.  Papi has a flair for making difficult situations a bit more easier to deal with.  Part motivation, part realism, lots of observation and a big helping of tell it like it is.  Papi has used humor with to deliver every month.


Remembering 9-11 

9/11 gave the Bush people carte blanche to carry out their extreme agenda - and they didn't hesitate for a moment to use it. They've used the war on terror to justify everything from tax cuts to Alaska oil drilling. - Ron Reagan

If someone did this [9/11] to get back at Bush, then they did so by killing thousands of people who DID NOT VOTE for him! Boston, New York, D.C., and the planes' destination of California -- these were places that voted AGAINST Bush! - Michael Moore

If you're writing a book that takes place in New York in the moment, you can't not write about 9-11; you can't not integrate it. My main character's view is the Statue of Liberty and the Trade Center. It doesn't have to take over, but it has to be acknowledged. - Richard Price

We were told that we were attacked on 9/11 because the terrorists hate our freedoms and democracy, not for the real reason, because the Arab Muslims who attacked us hate our Middle-Eastern foreign policy. - Cindy Sheehan

Am I emotional? Yes, my first born was murdered. Am I angry? Yes, he was killed for lies and for a Neo-Con agenda to benefit Israel. My son joined the Army to protect America, not Israel. Am I stupid? No, I know full-well that my son, my family, this nation, and this world were betrayed by George [W.] Bush who was influenced by the neo-con PNAC agenda after 9/11. - Cindy Sheehan

What we have failed to realize is the terrorists showed us on 9/11 that we are vulnerable. And Katrina showed us here in late August and September that we are still a very vulnerable society--and the most vulnerable part of the population ends up without the lifeboat. - Stephen Flynn

I think people have forgotten what happened. I think we should show the footage every single day to let people know what al-Qaeda did, and why we've got people over there [in Afghanistan and Iraq] to protect people here. The fact that we're over there is because of what happened on 9/11, so I think they should show it on TV, every single day. - Todd Coffey

I learned in the first poll we conducted after 9/11 that Americans still want their wars to be quick, they want them won and they want them over so the troops can come home . . . It's curious, but right now there's a mixed message coming out of Washington. The generals are saying we'll begin some troop withdrawal come hell or high water in 2006, but the president is saying we're going to stay there with as much force as we need until we get the job done. It's a contradiction. - John Zogby

A weapon of mass destruction smuggled into our country in a cargo-container could be the next 9/11. The bad guys watched and learned how we reacted after the last attack by grounding all aviation. They could generate massive economic and societal disruption if they succeed at spooking us into closing our borders and ports to all incoming containers. - Stephen Flynn

We must not descend to the level of those who perpetrated Tuesday's violence by targeting individuals based on their race, their religion, or their national origin. Such reports of violence and threats are in direct opposition to the very principles and laws of the United States and will not be tolerated. - John Ashcroft, Attorney General

All of a sudden there were people screaming. I saw people jumping out of the building. Their arms were flailing. I stopped taking pictures and started crying. - Michael Walters, a free-lance photo journalist in Manhattan

We're going to find out who did this and we're going after the bastards. - Orrin Hatch, US Senator, Republican, Utah

Let's roll. - Todd Beamer, before he and others apparently thwarted the fourth set of terrorists



Your alarm goes off, you hit the snooze and sleep for another 10 minutes.

He stays up for days on end.

You take a warm shower to help you wake up.

He goes days or weeks without running water.

You complain of a "headache", and call in sick.

He gets shot at as others are hit, and keeps moving forward.

You put on your 'Anti war/Don't support the troops' shirt, and go meet up with your friends.

He still fights for your right to wear that shirt.

You make sure you're cell phone is in your pocket.

He clutches the cross hanging on his chain next to his dog tags.

You talk trash about your "buddies" that aren't with you.

He knows he may not see some of his buddies again.

You walk down the beach, staring at all the pretty girls.

He walks the streets, searching for insurgents and terrorists.

You complain about how hot it is.

He wears his heavy gear, not daring to take off his helmet to wipe his brow.

You go out to lunch, and complain because the restaurant got your order wrong.

He doesn't get to eat today.

Your maid makes your bed and washes your clothes.

He wears the same things for weeks, but makes sure his weapons are clean.

You go to the mall and get your hair redone.

He doesn't have time to brush his teeth today.

You're angry because your class ran 5 minutes over.

He's told he will be held over an extra 2 months.

You call your girlfriend and set a date for tonight.

He waits for the mail to see if there is a letter from home.

You hug and kiss your girlfriend, like you do everyday.

He holds his letter close and smells his love's perfume.

You roll your eyes as a baby cries.

He gets a letter with pictures of his new child, and wonders if they'll ever meet.

You criticize your government, and say that war never solves anything.

He sees the innocent tortured and killed by their own people and remembers why he is fighting.

You hear the jokes about the war, and make fun of men like him.

He hears the gunfire, bombs and screams of the wounded.

You see only what the media wants you to see.

He sees the broken bodies lying around him.

You are asked to go to the store by your parents. You don't.

He does exactly what he is told.

You stay at home and watch TV.

He takes whatever time he is given to call, write home, sleep, and eat.

You crawl into your soft bed, with down pillows, and get comfortable.

He crawls under a tank for shade and a 5 minute nap, only to be woken by gunfire.

You sit there and judge him, saying the world is probably a worse place because of men like him.

If only there were more men like him!


Remember 9/11 Prayer

The White House Commission on the National Moment of Remembrance. Compiled by a Navy Chaplain

Almighty God, the past year will be indelibly inscribed in our memories.


We looked with horror on the terrorist attacks of last September 11th.

But we looked with honor on acts of courage by ordinary people

who sacrificed themselves to prevent further death and destruction.


We shed our tears in a common bond of grief for those we loved and lost.

We journeyed through a dark valley, but your light has led us to a place of hope.

You have turned our grief into determination.

We are resolved to do what is good, and right, and just.


Help us to remember what it means to be Americans-

a people endowed with abundant blessings.

Help us to cherish the freedoms we enjoy and inspire us to stand

with courage, united as one Nation in the midst of any adversity.


Lord, hear this prayer for our Nation. Amen.


9/11 on the Web

Let's Say Thanks -

The mission of Let's Say Thanks is to provide a way for individuals across the country to recognize U.S. troops stationed overseas. By submitting a message through this site you have the opportunity to send a free personalized postcard greeting to deployed servicemen and women. The postcards, depicting patriotic scenes and hometown images, were selected from a pool of entries from children across the country.


911 Digital Archive -

The September 11 Digital Archive uses electronic media to collect, preserve, and present the history of the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York, Virginia, and Pennsylvania and the public responses to them. Funded by a major grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and organized by the American Social History Project at the City University of New York Graduate Center and the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University, the Digital Archive will contribute to the on-going effort by historians and archivists to record and preserve the record of 9/11 by: collecting first-hand accounts of the 9/11 attacks and the aftermath (especially voices currently under-represented on the web), collecting and archiving emails and digital images growing out of these events, organizing and annotating the most important web-based resources on the subject, and developing materials to contextualize and teach about the events. The Digital Archive will also use these events as a way of assessing how history is being recorded and preserved in the twenty-first century and as an opportunity to develop free software tools to help historians to do a better job of collecting, preserving, and writing history in the new century. Our goal is to create a permanent record of the events of September 11, 2001. In the process, we hope to foster some positive legacies of those terrible events by allowing people to tell their stories, making those stories available to a wide audience, providing historical context for understanding those events and their consequences, and helping historians and archivists improve their practices based on the lessons we learn from this project.

Questions? Please feel free to contact us at


A Tribute -

"Even though the tragic events of September 11, 2001, are well behind us. The people of the City of New York, the United States, and in deed the world are still mourning. The effects of the shock remain as if the horrors occurred just yesterday."

"The rubble has been cleared away, the ashes washed cleaned by the rain."


America Attacked 9 1 1 -

Dedicated to the men, women and children who lost their lives. Those brave people who gave their lives and the Heroes that responded to the emergency 11 September 2001.


Loose Change 2nd Edition -

"Loose Change 2nd Edition" is the follow-up to the most provocative 9-11 documentary on the market today. This film shows direct connection between the attacks of September 11, 2001 and the United States government. Evidence is derived from news footage, scientific fact, and most important, Americans who suffered through that tragic day.


9/11 Pentagon Strike -

The "Pentagon Strike" Flash Movie raises questions about the official story of the attack on the Pentagon on 9/11.



Papi Remembers 9/11

Today is a good day for remembering. Introspection. Reflection. How could we ever forget what happened 6 years ago? This is one of those events that define a generation. You will always remember where you were or what you were doing when you first heard the news. When you first saw the footage. Surreal. Unbelievable. I was laying in bed. Rolling over and checking the clock when I glanced at the TV and thought I saw a plane crashing into a building. By the time I was fully alert and focused the next plane was crashing live. Incredible. Although people OFTEN misuse the word, this was an AWESOME and ominous sight.

Whether you subscribe to the conspiracy theories, agree or disagree with Bush and or the War, have a sense of patriotism or not, one thing is for sure. MANY people died. Many lives were changed forever. Many people were dealt a very real and very strong blow that can never be replaced or forgotten. It is in this time that we should pray for and honor all those affected by this tragedy. Pray for and honor all of our troops that are still fighting because of this tragedy. Pray for our fellow man and ask that solutions replace anger and bullshit like this doesn't have to happen.

Something else we should have learned is that life is short. Life is precious. Time is not promised. We need to embrace and cherish everyday that we are given in this life. We need to appreciate the special people in our lives and let them KNOW that they are special. We need to reach out to friends and loved ones we have not talked to in a while. Don't wait. Don't put it off. There may not be a tomorrow. We need to reconnect with those we lost connections with. Forgive petty problems. If you forgot why you stopped talking to someone, you need to let it go. If you have wronged someone, apologize. if someone has wronged you, accept their apology and let forgiveness rule your heart. Nothing is promised. Nothing is promised. Embrace every moment you are given in life.

Saying that, I apologize to anyone I have hurt or wronged. Played or misled. Angered or saddened. I am sorry and I hope you have it in your heart to forgive me. Prayers go out to all who have lost someone recently, in the aftermath of 9/11, or anytime and the loss still pains you. I LOVE YOU Mark Douglas Gearring (My brother that passed in 1987). And I miss you! I send out love and prayers to my actual family, especially to ALL of my nephews AND my grand nephews. I hope this world remains a place where they can dream and grow and prosper. I hope the anger of man doesn't tarnish their spirit or douse their flame so that they can accomplish anything in life they put their minds to.

Finally, to anyone and everyone that reads these words. If I have ever helped, touched, affected, motivated, inspired, or changed anyone through my writings then it is all worthwhile. I appreciate you for allowing me to rant, vent, confess, snap, preach, teach, and reach you on a monthly basis. Because I do this for you, please feel free to comment on anything you read. Ask questions. Write me. Whatever you want. As therapeutic as this can be for me, I do it all for you.

Damn. When I wrote this, I BARELY got through this peace. I was teary-eyed the entire morning. I hope today is a good day and you have a wonderful month.

Please call someone you love and tell them so.

I love you!



Papi's Poetry


I Cried


I know I ain't no punk. Fuck all that soft junk.

Fuck that red white blue. And if U don't like it fuck you.

I don't stand 4 no anthems and my hat stays on.

Fuck patriotism and the early light dawn.


But I cried.


Never been 2 the big apple. Only seen movies and TV.

Had a few friends, unaffected directly. As unaffected as one could B.

Considering the circumstances. Looking at things from afar.

At first thinking happenstance. And then thinking how bizarre.


And I cried.


How could U hate that deep, that strong.

How could U plan that much. That long.

How can U B so cold, so wrong.

How can there B nothing where a heart belongs.


How I cried.


How many mothers, fathers. Sons and daughters.

How many lives lost in the slaughter.

How much imagery can a mind consume.

How many pictures of impending doom.


How I cried.


Anger. Fear. Sorrow. Pain.

Revenge. Animosity. Paranoia. Disdain.

Devastation. Emotional unrest.

Retaliation. Forever obsessed.


Now you cry.


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Good 4 U Food

Recipes for Good... Healthy Food

By: Xander - The Food Dude



     Ok, maybe I am crazy.  I went into the bookstore this weekend.  As I run (ok, maybe not run, perhaps leisurely saunter would be a more correct description), I notice a few people here, a few people there, and then WHAM !!, there’s an aisle I can’t possible get through.  I’m thinking, maybe Tom Cruise is here, maybe the collective life work of Anna Nicole Smith has been released, maybe someone fainted.  It becomes apparent in moments, nothing special is happening on this aisle.  So what’s the draw ?  I look up to the aisle header and it says “SELF HELP”.  It strikes me at that moment, the rollercoaster ride we all live through on a daily basis. 


     First, let me start with a confession.  I, too, have traveled the route of the SELF-HELP aisle.  Was I that  desperate ?  Oh, yeah.  I mean, let’s think about this.  We spend our limited resource (ie. Money and time) force feeding ourselves advice (superior or inferior it might be) from people who we don’t know.  I think the latest craze, “Dr. Phil” phenomenon strikes me the weirdest.  Yes, I think it surpasses the Tele-Tubbies and Barney.  I have only seen the guy a couple of time in the briefest of sense from his show.  Both times he loudly chided his guest into begrudgingly admit the HE / SHE was the problem, not him.  If they couldn’t handle that truth, then it was obvious that they were both gay.  Let’s take a look at this guy, to my knowledge he’s never been overweight, but he writes a diet book.  Is that a little like him writing a book on how to grow hair.


     Anthony Robbins doesn’t know me.  Richard Simmons has no idea what my life is like, and Dr. Phil is about covering up more of his own inadequacies of sex and life than worried about my particular problems.  Point blank, I’d rather get a reading from John Edwards than talk to any of the others.  At least he deals in something real like spirits and ghosts.  So why do we rely on them ?  Why is it that we place so much more in a total stranger’s interpretation of our lives than we do our own.  Who could possible know us better ?  Shouldn’t we know ourselves as well or better than anyone.  A HAH !! and there in lies the problem.  These days most of us don’t know ourselves.  Why ??  I think its because we let people, like these self helper guru’s use a general sense of hope to define who are.  Let me ask you this, if we aren’t able to define ourselves in terms we create, then how can we expect to understand how we fit into a world defined by someone else.


     I had a biology teacher once who was famous for giving non-answers.  These are the ones you ask and the person answers “YES”, and then quickly follows with a “BUT IN SOME CASES… NO”.  I like to call those YING YANG ANSWER, because is covers just about anything in the universe that could potentially happen.


     Lately, there has been a slight controversy about the head of the National Weather System.  His employees have called for his firing or resignation because he had “undermined the confidence of the public in the National Weather Service”.   I try hard to continue typing while I laugh.  Confidence in the National Weather Service, sounds like a political joke.  Two horses and weather man walk into a bar…. You get the point.

I am firmly convinced that if someone completely trusts a weather forecaster, then you might be SELF-HELP BOOK BUYER.  There’s probably a direct correlation to it in fact.

I thought, just for sake of saving money, speeding things up and helping out, I would go ahead and list universal truths that apply to everyone that would then make what Self Help Guru claims to be right.


     After an exhaustive period of time (I personally spent 8.3 minutes thinking about this) I have the entire list of requirements that self-help authors have so that their information is the one that can save your life.  This, in fact, is how they target their audience.  The requirements are as follows.  You MUST be:




Oh my God, I’m breathing, therefore, what they say must be true for me.  NOT !!!


     Although I must confess, I really hadn’t thought much about it, but then they are right in thinking that dead people don’t read, or purchase anything.  Wait, that may not be true for John Edward’s products.  There’s always gotta be one guy in the crowd.


Now let’s talk about real universal truths.  These generally apply to all of us.


     We all Love.  Well all Lose.  Happiness, Pain, yep we all got’em.    Spirit, yea sireee, we all got it too.  From Atheists to the Pope we all have it, although we may express it differently.  It is those similarities that do more to tie us to each other than keep us apart.  Even though in some warped reality we think that being Christian, Islamic, or Buddhist makes us so different.


So next time, before you reach for that SELF-HELP book, try helping yourself first.


     If you only answer one question, it can be start of a new beginning for you.  Ask yourself “What do I really want ?”.  Answer that, and your ninety percent the way home on any problem.


     By the way, you can get my newly released self help book, entitled “Their Wrong, You’re Wrong, I’m Right !!!”  available at any discount bookstore or book burning event.


     Just kidding.  You may be thinking this is the longest article he’s written.  He must have been really upset and impassioned by this topic.  Well, yes, but there is also another reason I was so upset.  You see on the Aisle that was blocked, was also the cookbook section.  Try as I might there was no way I was getting to the cookbooks because of those blasted self help book readers.  Cookbooks can guide you and save your life.  Have doubts ?, answer one question…. Are you breathing ?


Until next time take care and God Bless.

Xander's Recipe of the Month

ChocoHaze Cheesecake

The Cheesecake is SINFULLY Good.  Watch your portioning.  I used to hate the word portioning, but then I realized it just makes the sweetness last the much longer.  I little time consuming to make, but WELL worth the treasure you’ll get.


  • 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs
  • 3/4 cup hazelnuts - toasted, skinned and coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Go to fullsize image3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons hazelnut liqueur
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 13 skinned, toasted hazelnuts
  • 4 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon hazelnut liqueur


  • Using a blender or a food processor, finely chop 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips. Place in a small mixing bowl. Add vanilla wafer crumbs, ground hazelnuts, 2 tablespoons white sugar, and melted butter or margarine. Mix until well combined. Press onto the bottom and up the sides of a 9 inch spring form pan. Bake in a preheated 300 degrees F (150 degrees C) oven for 15 minutes. Cool.
  • In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually add 1 cup white sugar; mix well. Add the eggs and 3 tablespoons liqueur. Mix until well blended. Coarsely chop 1 cup of the semisweet chocolate chips, and add to the cream cheese mixture. Stir. Pour batter into the cooled crust.
  • Bake at in a preheated 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven for 1 hour. Let cake cool for 1 hour. Remove outer ring from pan. Then let cool completely.
  • Melt 2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips over hot (not boiling) water. Stir until smooth. Dip 13 hazelnuts into the chocolate, covering one-half of each nut. Shake off the excess chocolate. Place on a waxed-paper lined plate. Chill until set.
  • To the remaining melted chocolate, add sour cream. Mix well. Stir in 1 tablespoon liqueur. Spread glaze on top of the cooled cheesecake. Garnish with chocolate dipped hazelnuts.



Thank you for Reading Good Food 4U

By Xander the Food Dude

Please send thoughts and comments to



Time to tell it like it is!


     This is an experiment in Confession, you can anonymously confess, or let everyone know something that you feel.  Every Month we will post all the confessions and you can come and view them and be inspired to make your own.


     You can send in a picture,  You can make a graphic,  You can just send in your written words.  You can do it anonymously and get something off your chest.  You can let everyone know who you are and liberate yourself.


     Hope you enjoy Confession!  Send in your own check the bottom of this page!





I have slept with more men than I can count. It wasn't because of low self esteem I was just trying them out to find one who was good enough to have sex with more than once.





I hate going to bbw dances and seeing all the sexxy men standing holding up the wall!!!! -  Trina





Sometimes I look at my man and wonder "WHY THE FUCK AM I WITH YOU!!!"

Even though I am fat I could do so much better.




I keep saying that I am family orientated and most of the time I truly cant stand them.





When I was a little girl I wanted to be a Dancer,  But I was told Dancers don't come in FAT - Raqui




Society says Fat people are always, Hungry, Sweating, Smelly, and Lazy.  I have so many Fat friends and none of them are and I always say that it is a myth.  I am the only Fat person I know who can say all those stereotypes are true when it comes to myself.





I finally fell in LOVE, Totally, Truly, Wonderfully in LOVE, with MYSELF!!!!




Send in your own Confession,  Use the email to the Right and send in a your confession, weather it is a graphic you made (NO BIGGER THAN 5x7 92 DPI) or a picture you saw.  You can also just send in text words.  Your Confession can be Anonymous or you can tell everyone who you are.

Send in your Confession NOW!

Thanks for reading Confession

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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. Send in your article, poetry, comments to -

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

I am an African American female with strong spiritual beliefs. I am empowered by the positivism that flows through us as individuals bound by love and respect. I am also what society considers to be a middle aged woman but I say I am well seasoned and old enough to do what I want and young enough to still enjoy it. Just because there's snow on the roof doesn't mean there's no fire in the furnace. I am 5'8"tall with salt and pepper hair and may I say I wear it well. my favorite quote comes from Pslam 139 " I am fearfully and wonderfully made, marvelous art thou works and that my soul knoweth right well." I am a TV\ show and live show host, poet, manager and promoter. And I have grown to love life and enjoy it to it's fullest no matter what comes my way.

Facing Facts

Come here baby, take my hand.
I've got so much to say.
I need to make you understand,
the pain I feel can't wait.

You claim I mean so much to you.
You claim you love me so.
I can't tell from things you do.
How am I supposed to know?

Everyday I con myself to think you'll be okay.
But when I wake another morn things are still
that way.
You call me names that aren't mine,
then sit and criticize.
You even have the gall to note
the increase in my size.

If I didn't always have to sit
to watch the clock and wait
Then maybe I won't have the time
to clean off both our plates.

You even seem to feel the need,
to exploit all you did.
You make me want to reach inside
and give you back that rib.

Everyday while I'm at work,
I pray the time goes fast.
Then I fly home like superman,
just to run your bath.

The house is cleaned from stem to stern.
Your drink is poured with care.
My pots are watched so they don't burn,
candles everywhere.

Then the time begins to pass,
Your water's turning cold.
Ice is melting in your glass
the fantasy unfolds.

Bubbles go from firm to flat
and still you have not called .
Candles melted, room gone black
there is no hope at all.

We've talked about this once before,
but still you will not change.
I've got better things to do
than play your little games.

You walk in here with no regard
just before sunrise.
Then you have the nerve to sit
and reel off rolls of lies.

Well this time while you lolled around
and simply took your time,
I had the sense to look inside
and make up my own mind.

I realized, I've done my bid.
I've simply had enough.
I took the time to separate
and pack up all your stuff.

Yes it's finished damage done,
find yourself another fool
Cause I am not the one.

No don't bother it's alright,
I've simply faced the facts.
Even if you changed right now
I would not take you back

So call your boys and call your girls
Yes call your faithful friends
tell them that I put you out
and see who'll take you in.

Lady Moore-Sabb @ 2000

Send in your Work to Appear in LargeInCharge

We love our guest writers, they help us to make LargeInCharge more personal and reader friendly place.  We bring the people words from there own peers.  If you always wanted to write but never knew what to do with your thoughts and opinions.  Send them in to us we love to feature you in our guest spot.


What type of entries do we accept?

  • Original Articles that have not been placed in publication.

  • Size Empowerment Stories

  • Discovery of Size Acceptance

  • Romance of Large Size

  • Poetry - at least 25 lines in length

  • Complaints about Society

  • Complaints about what is provided for Big People

  • Complaints about Health Care

  • Weight Loss Surgery Experiences

  • Dealing with Doctors

  • The Joy of being Big

  • Learning to Love yourself

  • etc.

How to Submit my Article for review?

  • Check your article for spelling and correct format, We do not edit articles.
  • Attach your article either in Word, Text Format, or in the Body of your email.
  • In your email send your Real Name, E-mail and Address (state, location).
  • Under your Name and Address include date, and the line. "I give and there owners, permission to use my written article. I am submitting it for there use at their discretion."
  • Include a picture if you so wish in .jpg or .gif format and a brief description of yourself.

Send in your stories, poems, etc. to



Ask Raqui

Ask your Questions and We will answer!

Send your question to Raqui -

NOTE: The Opinion of Raqui  is just that. I do not claim to be professional or to solve your problems.  I can however give you a real answer that may help you out.

Ask Raqui

Q: Raqui your eye brows are FIERCE, how do you get them that way?


Raqui:  Well I know you going to hate me LOL.  My eyebrows are naturally shaped like this.  I also happen to be blessed with an abundance of eyebrow hair so they do not look thin.  I do groom them to keep them looking naturally tame.  I use one of those eyebrow shavers to keep the stray hairs in line.  I always make sure no hairs are growing on my bridge and use it to define a bit on my lid.  

One trick I also do is trim my eye brow hairs.  My hairs grow long and I hate when I am sweating and wipe my face that my eye brows hairs kind of paste against my face and looks weird.  With an eyebrow brush I brush some gel on to my eyebrow making the hair stand up then I trim them with little scissors  according to the line of my brow.  You can always add a little gel when your going out to keep your eyebrows in line.

Here is the product I promised I would find for you to help with your eyebrows.  They are eyebrow stencils and if you don't like these just put eyebrow stencil in any search bar.

Q:   I keep entering the raffle but I haven't won yet? 


Raqui: Hi Liz, All I can tell you is keep entering. Every month we have hundreds of people who enter our raffle and even with out a prize people send in there information for when we have our next prize.  You just have to keep at it and hope to win.  It doesn't take much time to enter and it is free so you can't go wrong.

Q:   When will you have your next cover model search?


Raqui:  We usually have our cover model search between December and January.  That is also our voting time for Model Model of the Year.

Q:   When I submit a confession how private is it?


Not Telling

Raqui:  The confession doesn't go from hand to hand it comes directly to me through email and I don't know who you are.  If you chose to post a name then that is all I know and your email address.  I don't keep confessions I copy the confession and immediately delete the email so no one could hack my box or look into and get your information. I pride myself in keeping things as private at possible.



Thank you for Reading Ask Raqui

Please send thoughts, comments and questions to

Large In Charge

Fashion Furious

BBW/BHM Fashion of the Month

     We all hate how the Fashion Industry is just scratching the surface when it comes to Large Sized Fashion.  But I have found out that many clothing stores and online companies are beginning to take up the slack.  Creative BBW, SSBBW and BHM's are making there own clothing or mix matching and finding basic everyday wear and night club wear. 

     Making it affordable is what can be hard so showcase your wonderful finds here.  If your a regular shopper, sew your own clothing or a designer showcase your clothing here by submitting a picture for Fashion Furious of the month.


Fashion Furious of the Month

How to send in your Fashion Find. Send a Clear Picture as an attachment

and use the Format Below to describe your Fashion Furious picture.

Email to Raqui:

Akademiks Brand Banner (125x125) Static

Fashion Find by: Raqui

Fashion Type: Men's Big and Tall Urban Wear

Description:  Finest Quality Threads NYC - Clothing for Men, Women and Kids


Why I like this item: One I love akademiks sneakers, I have two pair.  From now on when I want some nice footwear i am wearing akademiks.  Checking out their site i realized they have a Big and Tall men's section now.  With shirts up to 5XL and jeans up to 50x35.  This one set i loved features an Indian necklace on the sweat shirt and the jeans.  Damn I would love to see a big man sporting that outfit!  The prices are reasonable for designer clothing.


akademiks -





Send in your Fashion Furious Picture and Details to

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

Product of the Month


iRobot_Roomba 500 Series_720x300

About the Product

Recommender: Raqui

Name of Product: iRobot Roomba

Type of Product:
Vacuum Cleaning Robot

Cost of Product: $119.00 - $399.00 depending on unit

Where Product can be found:


A better way to maintain cleaner floors every day!

Meet the new Roomba! The newest iRobot Roombas feature dramatically improved vacuum pickup, brush design, debris and particle filtering, advanced cleaning coverage and navigation plus innovative new scheduling capabilities.

  • Improved cleaning performance

  • Improved brush design and faster brush rotation

  • Improved navigation

  • Easier to use, maintain and upgrade

  • Voice demonstration

  • Virtual Wall® Lighthouse™

  • Amazing pickup

  • Larger filter

  • Won't get stuck

  • Lower maintenance

  • Safe and gentle navigation

  • On-board Scheduling

  • Wireless Command Center

Why I like this Product:
How can you not love a Robot that cleans your floor, takes up hardly any room and once it is done it goes back to the docking station to recharge itself!  If you have a pet it has a safety feature.  Great for hardwood floors and carpets.  Automatically detects dirt and wont fall down the stairs.  I cant see one problem with this machine.  It is a great investment for many people check out all the videos and information at the above site.




Send in your Product recommendation to

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