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Welcome to the Large In Charge Magazine           

  Issue #44 - November 2007


In this Issue of L.I.C

Feature of the Month - When are you too FAT!

Cover Model of the Month - Texas Belle
Shereja Rage

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

Raqui's Spot - Like every other Woman.


From the Plus Side - Choices ~ Emily Smiltneck

Why, OH Why - Reversing the Roles   ~ Diabolique Belle

Good 4 U Food - Brined Turkey ~ Xander

Guest Spot - Send in your writing for our Guest Spot

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.

FREE RAFFLE - Enter to win our next prize!

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

When are you too Fat?


When are you too Fat?

article by: Raqui


     Big Beautiful Woman, BBW, Big Handsome Man, BHM, Super Sized Big Beautiful Woman, SSBBW, Super Sized Big Handsome Man, SSBHM.  These are common terms in the Plus Sized community.  But the rest of the world knows only one word:  FAT!  When are you too fat?


     I watch slim people about 115 pounds talk about being fat.  I then wonder, what in the world am I?  A whale?  If people, barely 20 lbs over what doctors and society say is normal, sit around worrying because they are told they are fat, it is no wonder someone like myself is not even considered fat.  I am, of course, MORBIDLY OBESE.  I guess fat is too small of a word for someone like myself.


  The real question is:  When are you too fat?  Are you too fat when the scale says so?  When fat dimples say so?  When your belly hang says so?  Or are you only considered too fat when you can’t walk?  When you are unable to move?


     I asked a question to a few people and received interesting answers.  I also asked for them to describe themselves.  Let’s see what the online public says.


NOTE: Names have been changed for privacy purposes.


The Question:  When is a person considered too fat?


Mark:  I am 32, about 195 lbs, 6 feet tall, black, and I like to work out.  I have to say a person is too fat when they can’t live a good life, if they can’t have fun or go out.  I think a lot of big people are too fat but don't like to say so.  They know they’re too fat and are not doing anything about it or don't want to.  So they just get fatter.  You look good though even though you’re big.


Nachelle: Well, I am a BBW, 5'2 and 220.  Southern and proud.  Fat is too fat when your body is not normal.  Like, your stomach hangs over your knees type of thing.  Some women in my family are like that and I think it is way too fat having all that hanging around.  You can’t stand up straight.


Lisa:  They would call me too FAT.  Way too FAT.  I can’t weigh myself but last time I was weighed, I was 600 lbs.  It is crazy, Raqui, because you’re 600 lbs but you don't look like me. I am 5 feet, so I think that is what makes the biggest difference.  I have to be way over 600 lbs now.  Probably like 700 or 750.  I think in some ways, I am too fat, but in some ways I really don't give a fuck what people say.  I have a husband, he takes care of me and he doesn't think I am too fat.  He enjoys me, and I enjoy eating all the things he gets and cooks for me.  I guess I have an eating disease or something, but I am happy and the only thing I would want to change is that I want to walk better.  I need a lot of help to move and it is not very well.  I don't go out much, but my friends come to my house and my family also.  I can relax in my backyard when I want to, so I go out, but that is only when the weather is good.  I don't live my life like everyone else, but I am happy.


Omera: Ok, I don't think anyone but themselves can say if they too fat or not.  But, another part of me thinks there is such a thing as too fat.  I think if your fat is getting in the way of walking, then you’re too fat.  I don't care if you walk slow or fast, but I saw a show where a man has so much fat on his legs that his legs couldn't get around each other.  I really do believe in my heart that he was too fat.  Still being a slim woman with big relatives of all types of sizes, and even one who is immobile, another part of me says fuck all that too fat stuff.  If you’re happy, be happy.  With all the damn addictions in the world that people can die of, I would want food to be mine.  I rather be fat because I eat too much than be a drug addict or a drunk.  Why not die eating all my favorite stuff?


Nathan:  I am what some call a BHM.  I am 6 feet and 280, Hispanic male.  I have had so many different types of girlfriends.  Some were small, some big, and some REALLY BIG.  I wouldn't say any of them was too fat.  They all complained about their weight.  But I liked them all for different reasons.  Their bodies were different, but I liked being with them all for different reasons.  So I can’t say that there is a woman in my mind who is too fat.  I am going to love the woman I love no matter what.


Jenny: You ask me this question.  Damn, I would say I am too fat.   LOL.  I am 5'7 and 320.  I think I am too fat, but when I look at other fat people, I don't think they’re too fat.  I guess I am only critical on myself and what I think I should be.  I love my fat girlfriends and I feed them, also.  I like to see them happy and full.  I have been told I am somewhat of a feeder.  I learned that from my mom.  She would cook so much food and was only happy when they had to roll you out of the room.   Even you, Raqui.  You’re bigger than me and I don't think you’re too fat, but I look at myself and say “DAMN, I AM TOO FAT!”  I am not sure why.


Victor:  I'm dark-skinned, 6 feet, brown eyes, short hair, clean cut, athletic build.  I consider a person too fat when they can’t get up.  Someone who is unwilling to get up to do simple everyday tasks.  Some people who are bigger don't like, or are unwilling to, or cannot go out.  I can’t say everyone who would be out of breath or anything, but someone who takes 10 steps and is totally out of breath.  Someone who is out of breath and sweating.  I can’t say someone who eats a lot, because anyone can eat a lot.  Skinny or big people can eat a lot.


Scott: Well, I'm tall, on the dark side, salt and pepper hair.  That question is a conflict because I have been around some pretty heavy people.  They’re pretty, not ugly, and they’re just big.  I wouldn't say they are too big or too small.  I just see it like that.  There was a lady I saw on TV a while back and she was up there in pounds.  Like 7 and some change.  She was pretty heavy and they were trying to get her out of her house.  She felt ashamed for years, so she didn't come out.  I found that pretty wild.  Still I don't have a comment on that.


Narissa:  I am 5'8”, medium build, enough cushion for the pushing, fine features, caramel colored with curly hair.  I consider a person too fat when they have a problem doing daily actives and tasks.  When it disables them.  You can be big, but when it disables you in some way, that is what I consider too fat.  When it affects you health-wise and the doctor is telling you that you have to lose weight or else you will have certain problems.


Marvado: Too fat?  Well, me being a man who was near immobile at one time and now more active it is hard to say.  For me, when I saw that I couldn't breathe with out a tank, I realized I had reached my limit.  I went into the hospital and got treatment.  I saw so many people who were beyond my size, and all they wanted to do was stay in bed and continue to eat and be.  They didn't want to change and were satisfied.  Can I say they were too fat?  Yeah, maybe for a chair or for the regular bed.  But in their mind, their size didn't matter as long as they could continue to be as they were.  I only could decide for myself when I felt I had gotten too big.  Then I changed my life.  Even inside, sometimes I think of the days when I was waited on hand and foot and ate what I wanted without thinking about it.  When I decided to diet it was too late. I was so used to staying in bed all the time.  Any amount of food I ate turned straight to fat.  I trained my body to be that way.  Turning it around is a struggle and I am not happy with life like this.  Thinking about every bit of food and never having what I want.  I wish for the freedom I see in smaller people who gobble down anything and never gain a ounce.  My problem is that I think about food and the pounds pile on.  I have to say I was happier when I was free and fatter.


     So what is the answer?  I don't think an answer can be determined with a scale or a book.  Rulers and tape measures won’t do it.  I can’t say society can judge it because everyone is considered fat by that standard.  You will never achieve happiness by going by another person’s opinion of what they believe your weight should be and how you should live your life.


     You’re going to have to be your own judge, and everyone will have a different standard that will constantly change when people come into your life.  Someone who you would have seen as too fat walking down the street yesterday may not seem that way when you make friends with them.  Who is to say someone isn't living a good life, a perfect life for them?  If they are happy and living the life they want to, can you say they are too FAT?  Who among us it to judge?


   Each person lives their own life. You can only judge your own fat content and say what is too fat for your own body.   For many people, vanity is the reason they lose weight.  What some people see as unattractive, another person finds as beauty.  So, if your mate loves your fat, then you can’t be too fat for them.  Are you too fat only when the person you want to be with finds you unattractive? 


     Is being fat a health concern?  What if you’re fat and healthy?  Are you destined to die of fatness?  There is no disease that only fat people get.  Doctors say being heavy can increase some of these problems, so can being of a certain nationality, or family genetics.  So can a lifetime of eating the wrong diet.  But that is not a fat person problem, it can be any persons problem.


     If you are unhappy with your weight it is your job to take the measures necessary to change it.  If continuing the behavior that causes you to store extra weight (over eating, no exercise, choosing the wrong foods etc.) is more important than changing your lifestyle, you will live with the consequences of that choice.  But you do have the freedom to choose, and you have the right to live any way you want to.  What about people who cannot change their weight no matter what they do?  Should they be considered too fat or just weight challenged?


    What is the true answer?  I can’t give you one.  Just live, be happy, without regrets.



Thank you for Reading The LargeInCharge Feature

Please send thoughts and comments to

Cover Model of the Month

Shereja Rage


Interview with Shereja Rage What is your name?


Shereja Rage Where are you from and what is your current Location?


I grew up in a small town in west Texas called Midland. I currently reside in Arlington, TX. Can you give us some information about yourself (Age, Height, Size, Nationality, Marital Status, Children, etc.)?


I am 28 years old and married with one stepdaughter.  I am German, Dutch and English. I am 5’4 and weigh in at 262 pounds. Were you a big child, or did you gain weight later in life?


I was very athletic as a child. I also had a big chest from the time I was in the sixth grade. I used to lift weights and was pretty solid. Because of my chest and potbelly I was considered to be fat even when I was wearing a size 8. (If you were a big child) how did you feel growing up as a large child?


It was hard at times. I was made fun of for a long time, until I finally had enough. During high school people never really said anything to my face. Everything was pretty much implied, but I survived. (If you gained weight later in life) what caused you to gain weight and how did you feel about it?


I was in a wreck with an 18 wheeler back in 1999. I broke my back and that has caused me to be unable to exercise or move around as much as I would like. I have started eating better foods, and doing yoga. I simply want to be healthy, not thin. I am not built that way. What made you decide to enter the LargeInCharge model search? 


I wanted the opportunity to show that big people are just as attractive as small ones. There is beauty everywhere; you just have to look for it. I love being confident and sassy. I think the way I am is a personification of what LargeInCharge is all about. Did you find it a hard journey to be accepted for your size?


I still haven’t been fully accepted. I know that there will always be people that are prejudiced. Race, weight, sexual orientation, gender, even height; we are all discriminated against. It is just wrong to judge a person according to their external appearance. Do you find acceptance among your family and friends?


Yes. They want me to be healthy and happy no matter what size I am. What would you say inspires you most in life?


My mother is my inspiration. She is the glue that holds me together. She is the most phenomenal person I know and I would be nothing without her. What is your primary job?


I own a small business, and am a plus-size pinup model and photographer. How did you get into this line of work?


Just sort of fell into the modeling and have always made items people wanted to purchase. Do you find acceptance in the work force?


All of my co-workers look like me, so yes I do. What changes do you believe should take place for Large People in the work force?


An employee should be judged solely on their credentials and work performance. Appearance should not even come into question. What do you think about the fashion industry for big sized clothing?


It is getting much better. We aren’t quite there yet, but we are definitely coming out from the shadows! What do you wish to see change with the fashion industry?


Shorter people allowed to do more modeling. What changes do you think will happen if plus sized modeling for men and women were to expand?


All people will have the ability to shop more and find attractive clothing. Tell us some of the places you buy your clothing from.


Lane Bryant, Torrid, Ross, Hot Topic, Hips and Curves,, Wal-mart, Macys, and wherever else I can find clothes to fit.  Tell us one of your secret beauty tips.


I use a bit of white cream eye shadow under my eyes and it makes the eyes pop. Also, always wash your face thoroughly after a night out.  Give us some tips on how to have a successful Photo shoot.  What should models be prepared for?


Standing still in various poses, getting hot and tired, wearing uncomfortable clothing, doing makeup and hair touch-ups, smile and open your eyes. Photos turn out better when the white of the eye is clearly visible. Be prepared to work hard, but always stick to your principles. Look at Size acceptance five years ago... look at size acceptance now.  What changes do you see?


As I said before, larger people are becoming more accepted in the media and in general. We have come a long way, but we have much further to go. What changes do you think will happen five years from now with size acceptance?


Hopefully acceptance will continue to progress and being large will become mainstream. Tell us about your goals as far as modeling and other interests.


I just want to be the very best at everything I do. I want to do classy, elegant shoots, and eventually start getting more paid jobs. I intend to live life to the fullest and live it my way. Can you tell us about an inspirational moment in you life that made you feel good about your size.


Getting chosen for this magazine was wonderful. Getting accepted to a very popular website that only features model thin women. Being told “I” am beautiful, not just “You have such a pretty face.” Is there a person in your life that makes you keep going?


My mother and my husband What advice would you give to other people of size who want to model?


Go for it! Be yourself, and work hard. Eventually your hard work will pay off. What plus size figure do you admire?


Queen Latifah 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

Like every other Woman

     I am a Fat Woman in NYC.  I represent Fat Women all over the country.  I represent those who hang their heads down low and struggle to lift there chin up to the sky.  I represent mothers, and daughters.  I represent the working woman and the house wife.  I represent the Fat woman who is wanted and thrown to the side.  I represent the essence of nature and the beginning of time.  I represent the suppressed and abused.  I represent the goals and dreams and achievements we are told that are not available to us.  I represent you.


     When your Fat there is a time when someone will treat you like your contagious.  As though the fat on your body will somehow slide over and consume them.  As though you are truly unreal, not a person but just a big being.  No be scared very very scared I mean look she is fat!  When your a fat women society values you by your outside shell and for some apparent reason having a big shell doesn't make you a good person, or maybe I should say a person who is good enough.   Good enough to be considered human.


     Something must be wrong with you because how could you live your life like this?  Why are you not jumping up and down on trampolines and eating lettuce everyday.  Why are you smiling don't you see how big your stomach is, how fat your thighs are, how about your double chin?  How in the world could you be happy when you look like you do?  How could you even bare to live?  How dare you even show yourself in public. Your worthless a waist of space as some would say.


     When your a Fat Woman society decreases your value.  You are nothing, not even worthy of the air you breathe.  But you know what there is something that suddenly makes you acceptable.  When your seen with a man (or mate).  Eyes open wide, mouths gap open, and suddenly you are given a measure of respect.  Obviously there must be something worthy about you.  Your not so much of a joke as before,  why you wonder?  Because if someone wants you and is proud to be seen with you then you must have some value.  Suddenly you become a bit better than before.  You will be smiled at and even told how cute you look together.  When just a moment before they were laughing at your or looking at you with disgust.   Suddenly if someone in this world finds you good enough to be with then you deserve respect.  If that person who you love is also big then you will receive nods of knowing.  Oh yeah see fat people together makes sense.  Double the disgrace.  But let you stand alone as a positive force and you are condemned for even thinking you deserve acceptance.


    With out even bothering to know you society has made it ok to be judged by the pound and not in a positive way.  A Fat women in the USA and many other countries suffer on a daily basis.  Fat is the last accepted form of Racism, and every person of size is battling it all the time.  Some in hiding scared to face what could happen on a regular trip to the store.


     What makes me sad is that people of size, THE FAT OF AMERICA are no different than the so called normal people.  While many people speak of acceptance they do not fight for it.  We feel pacified while people on TV open and close their mouths letting honey coated words drop down on our ears.  Words and sentences that have double meaning.  How many days and nights go by while we wait for a day when we are valued and not judged negatively for more than the excess flesh we may carry.


     Why must my value as a human being only be increase if

  • If am not ugly.

  • If I have a man.

  • If I am smart.

  • If I don't smell.

  • If I have a nice smile.

  • If my clothes (surprising to many) are clean.

  • If I sound intelligent.

     Why only under certain conditions am I considered a person.  Why am I not treated exactly like every other woman. A woman who lives and breathes and believes that she is more than Fat.  One who embraces her body mind and soul with every fiber of my being.  Instead of being celebrated for thinking the way I do.  I am chastised and told that I am foolish. One who doesn't allow another persons views to limit her.  Why are we treated this way just because we are Fat?  Why instead cant we be treated like every other Woman.  Because that is what I am that is what we are, Women.

Raqui will be Honored for her Work in the Plus Sized Community at the below event.  Join in my JOY!


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

add your signature

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


Aye my people, mi gente…these certainly are trying times.  It seems as if every other story in the newspapers is stories of hate/racial crimes.  Nooses found hung in various locations around the country, a swastika sign spray painted on the door of a NYU Professor who survived the holocaust.

Que tragedia, what a tragedy…

It is true that the swastika as well as the hangman’s noose have long been symbols that represent hatred, intimidation, violence and death.  My people, you all may be wondering why I would choose an album whose cover displays the artist, who happens to be black grabbing a hold of the noose. Why? 

I will tell you why. All forms of art, whether it be music, poetry, sculptures, acting or photography are subject to interpretation. Do you all want to know what I interpret from this cover?  I see a MAN who is grabbing a hold of that noose in victory!   By grabbing hold of that noose he says “I am NOT nor will I ever be intimidated by this noose.  I do NOT fear the noose.   I will not be held hostage by the FEAR of the violence or the hatred directed to me because the color of my skin by the faceless cowards who would choose to hang this noose off of the branches of “white” trees or highway entrances. You can not CONTROL me.  I am a FREE man,   free enough to hold this noose and yall can hang yourselves with this noose.  I see a Man who will not conform and not be silenced 

Now, find out what I hear.



yall should all get lynched


Album: Hood Treason The Warm Up Album

Genre: rap hip hop

     NYOIL is a social conscience rapper who is no stranger to the rap game and is the winner of the Training Camp showcase beating out thirty other acts. NYOIL is not your average MC, he is also a spoken word artist, producer, graffiti artist, dancer and video director (his video “Yall Should All Get Lynched” has been titled the most controversial song of the millennium) and he incorporates all his life’s experiences into his music. He is also the first rapper to respond and help to bring awareness to The Jena Six.

NYOIL’s fierce and flawless powerful delivery and controversial lyrics have made NYOIL a favorite among the people. People who miss that real Hip Hop flow. His style is unique and his word play is ridiculously clever and his expression is intense. Lit by a fire ignited by our ancestors and driven by his passion and love for true hip hop, NYOIL has managed to bring back the kind of hip hop meant to heal, to uplift, to speak of the people and their struggles and passions.

Yes, my people if you want to feel moved and inspired, if you want to feel a connection with your people in the struggle or if you just want to understand that struggle - no holds barred- then join me as I
“Shout It In The Streets”, “Hip Hop You Don’t Stop” and if you all try to stop or hate on the message then “Yall Should All Get Lynched” for the crime of “ Hood Treason” for trying to mess up “The Perfect Beat” beware of “Self Destrukktion” “Don’t Get It Twisted” and always remember that “Misery Loves Company” don’t you want to end “The Hate That Love Made” my sisters don’t you want to hear someone tell you “ You’re A Queen”.

My people I am giving you the perfect lubricant for your ears and the perfect fuel for your hip hop soul -crude petroleum, raw, slick, smooth and combustible. And to think , this is just the warm up.

NYOIL’s HOOD TREASON The Warm up Album is available @

Don’t forget to check out NYOIL’s myspace page @


     My people …here are some events that I am involved with and maybe you all would like to come out and support.

Join us as we mark the one year anniversary of the death of SEAN BELL


     Blessings sistah(s)! I write to you as a concerned citizen of Hip Hop. Hip Hop has changed dramatically in its 30 year evolution.  Once a voice of the oppressed, commercialism and corporate America now make a mockery of our struggle.  These abusers use Hip Hop as a tool for violence, degradation of communities of color, and commit rampant violations against the feminine psyche and spirit. 

     As women of color, we are in a state of emergency! Granted, this state of emergency is not something new, but it has definitely taken on a new face. Where the face of Women in Hip-Hop was a powerful emcee promoting self-respect and esteem, we are now bombarded with provocative, lustful images; mind you, this is just one example.   It is our responsibility to take this issue by force and re-establish what it means to be a woman in the Culture of Hip Hop.  Despite all of the work we do in our homes and communities around the world, a looming cloud that spells out “HOE’ and/or “BITCH” still plagues us.  I know we are all very aware of this situation and are doing what we can to erase this stereotype. Sistahs, we need to do more!

     Very seldom are we the highlight of any type of Hip Hop event, and when we are, it is usually women’s organizations that host it, or male promoters that feel bullied to make it happen because of some close female hip hop head friend.

     I know what you’re thinking…. “Ok, this is true, but what can we do? I believe I am doing what I gotta do on my end to make it better.” Well sis, you probably are doing an awesome job in promoting a healthier and more conscious Hip Hop Culture; I am sure of that, especially if you are receiving this letter.

     On that note, on Saturday, February 16th, 2008, I, Lah Tere of Rebel Diaz along with the Kathleen Adams of ProChoice Public Education Project will be hosting “Momma’s Hip Hop Kitchen: The Soup Kitchen for the Hip Hop Soul.” Its mission is: To create a dynamic interactive exchange and safe space for all women of color to express themselves through their art.   We designed this forum to take your love and passion for hip hop and social justice to another level. This event will bring a beautiful array of artistic sistahs together to share their medium with young women of color across the city.

    I encourage you to respond to this letter as soon as possible, so that I can confirm your participation in this event. I look forward to talking with you about how you can contribute to inspiring young women of color who are organizing and mobilizing their communities around Reproductive Rights and HIV/AIDS.

    Once confirmed, I will send you all of the details and a contract for your services.

    I am very excited about this event, and believe that your desire to make the world a better place is a perfect fit for this exchange.

Cookin’ up a storm,

Lah Tere and Kathleen Adams

I am helping provide talent for this event


Calling all DOPE FEMALE  mc’s, bgirls, graffiti artist and dj's...poets, spoken word artists, singers, dancers and educators.

Do you think you are the next best thing in this Hip Hop culture?

Is your music/lyrics/moves or art empowering , positive and uplifting?

Can children of any age listen to or watch your performance?

Are you passionate about creating a better image for women of color through your art?

Then your our kind of girl! Join us ,MAMA's HIP HOP KITCHEN, LAH TERE of Rebel Diaz and the ProChoice Education Project  for a remarkable event.

This is an opportunity for all of you females- true to the hip hop culture- to showcase yourselves and be a part of something real and positive.

You will have the opportunity to share your talent and participate in a truly amazing event that will help bring awareness and resources to Young Women Of Color who are organizing and mobilizing in their communities in regards to Womens Reproductive Rights and the HIV/AIDS crisis.

If you are interested please send me an email with your bio, contact info , website information and samples of your music/mixes/art/video clips to both HIPHOPKITCHEN@GMAIL.COM and SUPERSIZESPANISHFLY@GMAIL.COM  Please be advised that the deadline for submissions is Friday November 30th, 2007.

If you are contacted you will be considered to perform at this event that will have massive media coverage.


**Also If You Are A Young Woman Of Color dealing with HIV/AIDS

related issues and would like to share your story or simply want to volunteer some of your time send an email to SUPERSIZESPANISHFLY@GMAIL.COM  or HIPHOPKITCHEN@GMAIL.COM



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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.

Emily Smiltneck receives recognition in Neighbors Daily Press - See article below


     It is a great joy when our fellow Plus Sized people receives recognition for their life's work.  Join me in this Joyous moment when one of our LargeInCharge writers is seen for her contribution and great dedication to her goals in life.  Click the images above to read the article about our dear Emily. When the page open click on the article to zoom in and read it.



“We choose our joys and sorrows long before we experience them.”

Kahlil Gibran


            Keith woke up to his wife nestling against him in her sleep.  She wrapped her arms around him and buried her face in his back.  Without even trying, trying not to, in fact, he stiffened up and pulled away.

            She rolled away from him, sighing.  He lay silent, frozen, trying to determine if she had woken or not.  It was a few minutes before his own breath quieted enough for him to hear the ragged breathing that told him she was awake.  Awake and crying, most likely.  He could almost feel the tears that must be welling slowly from her tightly closed eyes.  His own tears mirrored hers.

            Keith wanted to get up, leave the room, the house, the Earth.  Anything to escape the guilt that was settling down around him, but he knew the guilt would only follow him, and if he ran from it, its strength would be tenfold.

            He turned to face Belle’s back, punching his pillows into a more comfortable shape.  He carefully studied the outline of her curls in the darkness and the softly glowing skin of her creamy white shoulder.  The curve above her hip slowly rose as her lungs filled with air and then fell again as she exhaled.

            She was perfect, absolutely perfect.  Any man in the world would have done anything to be where Keith was, in bed with her, close enough to touch her.  Her body was trim and tight, her skin taut and smooth, her fashion sense impeccable.  And besides that, she was ambitions and intelligent and loyal and kind.  There was nothing about her that was lacking, nothing at all.  Which hurt and confused him all the more.  What the hell was wrong with him?  Why did he cringe at his wife’s touch?


            When Keith’s alarm woke him, it seemed as if he had hardly slept.  He slapped at the snooze button and turned to look at his wife.  Belle was wrapped around the edge of the bed, as far from him as she could get without getting out of bed.  He rolled toward her slowly.  Did she remember last night, or had it melted away in the haze of sleep?  Gently, he placed his palm firmly on her lower back.  She jumped at his touch and turned to face him, pulling the blanket tightly around her. 

            “Good morning,” Keith tried, his voice quiet and guarded.

            “Morning,” she answered, her voice husky with sleep.  She looked at him for a minute, then buried her face in her pillows.  “What’s wrong with you lately, baby?  Or what’s wrong with me?” she asked finally, her muffled voice barely reaching his ears. 

            Keith sighed and buried his own face in pillows for a few seconds before he lifted his head and spoke. 

            “I don’t know.  I don’t want to talk about it right now.  I just want to hold you for a little while.”

            Belle twisted her head and stared at her husband in silence for several seconds before she turned, at last, and pushed her back against him.  Although his wife’s flesh was warm against his, he could feel coldness emanating from within her.  But at least she was in his arms for the moment and he could pretend everything was okay again, at least until it was time to go to work. 


            When Keith got to work, there was a mountain of paperwork on his desk waiting for him.  He loved his job.  It came easily to him, and usually kept him fully engaged, but for the past days or weeks, he wasn’t sure anymore how long it had been, he had found himself unable to give it his full attention.  It wasn’t that he didn’t want to.  It was just that as soon as he settled into a task, his thoughts would suddenly be obscured by an intense, detailed picture of Belle.  He might see her doing something that was part of her everyday routine, like carrying a bowl of mashed potatoes to the dining room table, or folding laundry, or pulling socks up over her ankles as she dressed for work.  Or maybe she would see her in bed with him, naked and soft-skinned and caressing his body, or staring down at him, her hair brushing his face, as they made love. 

            He couldn’t keep his wife’s face out of his mind.  He only wished her sudden, stubborn existence there was borne of real desire and not of horrible, painful, heart-twisting guilt.


            After lunch, Keith called Belle’s cell phone.  She was at work and didn’t answer, but he hadn’t expected her to.  He left a message.  “Hey, baby.  Sorry about last night.  And about everything.  I don’t know what’s wrong with me lately, but it’s me, not you.  I love you.”

            After that, he managed to get some work done.  He made his way through about half of the stack on his desk before his attention waned again.  It wasn’t his wife’s face in his mind this time.  Instead, he was distracted by the woman in the reception area just outside the glass door of his office.  She had been there for a few months, ever since their regular receptionist had broken her hip, and for whatever reason, he found himself watching her more than he figured he should.  There was no reason for it.  He wasn’t really attracted to her or anything.  There was just something about the way she looked, moved, went about her work, that drew his attention.  He tried not to think about it very often, but when he did, it added to his guilt.


            Belle left work early.  She pushed her catalogs and client lists aside, shut off her computer, pulled her jacket over her shoulders, and smiled at the receptionist on her way out the door. 

            “Mrs. Kearns, where are you going?” the confused receptionist asked her, glancing down at the calendar on her desk.

            “Just out.  It’s one of those days.  I have my cell if you need me.”

            And she was out the door, turning off her cell phone as she went.  She drove immediately to gym and, once there, wasted no time in changing.  IPod in hand, she stepped onto the treadmill.  She started walking.  And walking.  Every so often a look of sadness, of longing, would come over her face.  When that happened, she pushed the “up” arrow on the treadmill and walked even faster.  She didn’t stop walking until she was red-faced and breathless, nearly falling over from exhaustion.  And then, when she could walk again, she quietly made her way into the locker room.


            At five, Keith had a decision to make: stay late at work to catch up on everything he had been neglecting, or go home to Belle and try to make things right again.  Staying late at work was certainly what he should do; it was much easier, less stressful, and probably more responsible.  He wouldn’t have to pretend, at work, and the receptionist had already left, so he wouldn’t have that distraction to worry about.  But then the guilt and the images of his wife’s face would come flooding back and he might not accomplish anything anyway.  At least if he went home, he could pretend to be the same Keith he always had been, the Keith he wanted to be, madly in love with his wife and anxious to spend every spare moment with her.

            At what cost, though?  It hardly seemed possible to him that she wouldn’t be able to tell he was only going through the motions.  After her reaction to his almost unconscious middle-of-the-night rebuff, her frustrated questions this morning, it was obvious that she knew something was wrong, or at least that things were not the same as they used to be.  At home he would only be playing a game, one that made him feel worse with every passing day.

            Sighing, he shut down his computer and resolved to come in early the next day.  He considered stopping for flowers on the way home, but rejected the idea almost immediately.  Giving Belle flowers would only be admitting that he had done something wrong, and he wasn’t entirely sure he had.  Something was wrong, he knew that, but he couldn’t yet get a clear enough picture of what it was to know if it was his fault, or anyone’s fault at all.

            When he walked through the kitchen door, he was greeted with the smell of baking something—he couldn’t tell what—and a flurry of activity.  It made him ache inside as he wondered how he could be anything but the happiest man in the world.  It also made him sure that the only thing he could do was pretend.  He would pretend that whatever had been wrong with him was gone now, that he had been waiting all day to come home to her, that he was relaxed and happy without a care in the world.

            “Hey, Babe.  Smells good in here.”

            Keith smiled at Belle as he walked toward her, then pulled her toward him, rested his chin on her head, held her.  She tensed at first, then finally relaxed into his arms.  She stayed there a minute or two before she spoke.

            “Dinner’ll be ready in a half hour or so.  Your mail’s on the table by the door.”

            He kissed her head before he let go, then took a beer from the refrigerator and wandered into the living room.  He had been prepared to pretend everything was alright, but he hadn’t been prepared for the feelings that were filling his being.  Love, attraction, joy, all the things he hadn’t felt in so long he almost forgot what they were.  He suspected he hadn’t expected the flood of emotion because he also hadn’t been prepared for Belle to work so hard at pleasing him.  She really did know something was up.  It wasn’t that she didn’t cook dinner often or anything.  But they usually cooked together, or one of them would throw something together before the other got home from work.  And his mail was on the table?  Most days, if he didn’t stop and get it on the way in, she sent him back out for it.  Keith sighed and dropped onto the couch.

            He hoped that Belle knew, even if she could sense that he was pulling away, how much he appreciated her.  He couldn’t stand to hurt her.  None of it was her fault.  She did everything right.  Somehow, it just wasn’t enough anymore.  Or for right now, anyway.  Maybe it was just a phase he was going through.  Keith just wanted to feel like he knew himself again.

            He turned on the TV, threw his legs onto the couch, and tried to forget himself for a while.


            Belle quickly arranged a chicken breast, some brown rice, and a heap of mixed vegetables on a plate.  She filled two bowls with lettuce then topped them off with onions and cherry tomatoes.  She sprinkled cheese on one of them and then carried it all into the dining room.  She placed the plate and the salad adorned with cheese in front of one chair, along with a glass of milk and an assortment of salad dressing bottles.  She placed the other salad and a glass of water in front of another chair.  This was the chair that Belle sat in as she called her husband to dinner.


            Keith stood up and stretched when he heard Belle’s voice calling him, and carefully put a smile on his face before he went into the dining room.  He hoped against all hope that he would start feeling like himself again soon; he was determined to fake it, if he had to, until that happened.  It was the least he could do for Belle.  And maybe if he faked it for long enough, the feelings would be real.  Or maybe they were already starting to be real again.  He hadn’t imagined the things he had felt when he first walked back into the kitchen, he knew that much.  It was a matter of how strong they really were, what caused them, how long they would last.  But in her arms, for those few minutes, he had definitely felt love of some sort.  Love, and attraction, too, something he had to admit he hadn’t felt in a while. 

            The thought crept into his mind that the attraction may have been caused by some innate desire to protect her, some caveman-esque instinct to care for the woman who loved him, rather than by chemistry, but he pushed it away.  Of course he was attracted to her.  He always had been.  She was his wife.

            Keith sat across from Belle at the table and took a long drink of milk.  As he did, he noticed that while there was a full plate of hot food in front of him that looked as if it could have come from the pages of a magazine, there was only a small salad in front of Belle, and a glass of water.

            “You feeling okay, Babe?”

            “Yeah, I’m fine.”

            “You don’t—you’re not having any chicken?”

            “This is all I want tonight.”

            “You—you, um, sure about that?”

            “Yes, I’m fine, I said.  Don’t start bugging me about how much I eat!” 

            After that, they ate in silence.  Keith was lost in thought once again.  It seemed like he spent a lot of time lost these days.  He could remember other times when she had stopped eating real food.  It was one of the things about her that had surprised him when they were dating.  Mostly, she was healthy and well-balanced and rational and confident, but there had been times before they were married when she would sink into a depression, usually set off by some small argument they had had.  Or some argument she’d had with someone else, or, once in a while, just by the fact that she had seen some woman she didn’t feel she measured up to.  At those times, she slid into a state of constant jealousy, and started eating almost nothing and exercising like Richard Simmons on speed.  When she finally felt like she looked good enough to be secure again, she would stop and become herself again.

            Keith suspected that one of her depressions was coming on again, for the first time since they had been married.  And he knew with great certainty that the cause was his own behavior.

            He wanted to tell her that it wasn’t her fault, that she had done nothing wrong, that she was perfect just the way she was, but putting his thoughts into words would be making their problems real, and he had promised himself that, as of tonight, everything was going to be right again.  And anyway, every time she’d been like this before and he had tried to convince her that he loved her no matter what she looked like, that he found her perfect exactly as she was but that even if she gained ten pounds or twenty or even a hundred, or if she shaved her head or wore a garbage bag for a dress or did anything else to change her appearance, he would love her just the same, but it never worked.  Until she met some arbitrary weight loss goal and went out and got her hair done and filled her closet halfway up with new clothes, she never became herself again.

            Although Keith could understand why she might be feeling insecure, it still angered him just a little.  It was frustrating to him that she felt like she needed to change, assumed that something was wrong with her.  It frustrated him that women, in general, always seem to think that any relationship problems they have must be connected to their physical appearance.  It was hard for him to believe that Belle could think he was so shallow.  What had he done to make her think that her appearance was so important to him?  It was the way that she was that attracted him to her. 

            Hell, now he didn’t want to eat either.  He didn’t know if the way he had been feeling was his own fault anymore.  Maybe it was her fault.  Or no one’s fault at all.  That was still a possibility.  He looked up at Belle and found that she was very carefully not looking at him.  He got up and covered his plate with plastic wrap, then put it in the refrigerator.  He walked up behind his wife and stood there awkwardly for a second, wondering what to do.  He didn’t want to walk away from her without saying anything, but he didn’t know what to say.  Finally, he just placed his hand on her shoulder and rubbed his thumb across the back of her neck before he left the room.

            He picked up the mail from the table where she had left it and carried it with him to their home office, where he turned on the computer.  Maybe he could get a little work done from home and not have to go in early after all.  He logged into his e-mail account and rifled through the mail while he waited for it to load.  Nothing important, just some credit card offers and a wedding invitation from one of the guys at work.  He filled out the RSVP for himself and Belle and got it ready to send back, then turned his attention to his e-mail.  He had received a few responses about some legal matters he was researching, which game him something to work on from home.  There was also a memo from the head of his company’s legal department with a list of upcoming staff meetings and project due dates.  It also contained a picture that had been taken at the staff picnic over the summer.  The entire legal department was framed by the brilliant blue sky against a background of the sparkling lake at the park they had held the picnic at.  Everyone was smiling broadly, but one face caught his attention immediately.  Desirae, the woman who was filling for the receptionist at work, was in the very center of the picture and she was wearing the biggest smile of all.  Her eyes sparkled even more than the ripples on the lake did, and one had the sense that she was having the best time of her life.  She had one arm raised with her fingertips against the side of her head in a movie star pose and the other rested across the shoulders of one of the legal interns. 

            Maybe that was what his attraction to her was.  She always seemed so bright, happy, optimistic.  It gave him hope that his life could be simple again.  Not that hers was as simple as it seemed, probably, but she made it seem that way, and who wouldn’t want to be around someone who made life seem like so much fun?  His life wasn’t so terrible, or hadn’t been when Desirae first started working in the office, but she had made it seem like it could have been so much better.  And she was great at her job, too.  She did it competently, handling every crisis as if it were a top priority but nothing to get worried about at all and making everyone she came into contact with feel happy just to be alive.  With a start, Keith realized that he had been staring at her for a good ten minutes.  He turned to make sure Belle wasn’t standing behind him, although common sense told him that he would have heard her approach, and closed the e-mail.

            Delete it, he told himself, and began to, but once he had looked at her face again, he couldn’t make himself do it.  He turned off his computer and sat, staring at the screen, for a very long time.


            She turned and looked across the bed at Keith for a long moment.  Then she slid out from under the covers and dressed in shorts and a sweatshirt.  She grabbed her iPod on the way out the door and by the time she had reached the sidewalk, she was at a solid run.  A few blocks away from her house she passed a house where a family was in the process of moving in.  She watched the woman, holding a newborn in her arms, stop and kiss her husband on the cheek before going into the house.  Her eyes teared up as she ran.  She took a left and ran the four miles to the river, where she slowed to a walk which was still not all that slow.  It was a cool fall day and she was alone except for an occasional jogger or bum. 

            She sat down on a bench for a few seconds, but then as if she were propelled by some invisible force, she stood and started running again.  A couple more miles along the river and then she turned and headed back toward home.  By the time she got there, she was completely winded and hardly able to walk straight.  She peeled off her clothes in the bedroom, dropped into bed, and fell asleep almost immediately.


            When Keith woke up, Belle’s side of the bed was empty.  He found her in the kitchen.  There was a box of donuts and a coffee drink covered with whipped cream on the table.

            “Morning, honey.  I walked down to the coffee shop and grabbed you some breakfast,” Belle said, as she loaded the dishwasher.  “I thought you might like something a little different.”  She closed the dishwasher and took a plate full of carefully arranged fruit from the refrigerator.  “Here’s something to go with it.”

            They sat at the table together.  Belle was drinking plain black coffee and she only nibbled on a few strawberries as they talked about their plans for the day.

            “I have to get some work done today.  I am way behind.  I might be late tonight,” Keith heard himself saying.  He almost cringed when he said it.  He hadn’t meant to, his plan was to spend as much time as he could with Belle, trying to pump her up again so she could go back to being her old self.  Somehow, though, his resolve had weakened.  It was hard to see her like this, easier to just not see her at all.  And he really did have to get work done.

            “Okay.  I’ll probably just go to the gym after work, then.  I can pick something up for supper on the way home.”

            “That’s okay, you don’t have to.  I’m not sure what time I’ll get done.”  Damn it, he’d done it again.  Instead of making it easy for her to reach out to him, or trying to help her attain some degree of happiness, he’d pushed her away.  “I’ll just have something delivered to the office.”  Shit.  He couldn’t seem to stop his mouth.  But he really found himself wanting less and less to spend time at home.  The good feelings of yesterday were gone and they were replaced by an emptiness.  It hurt him to watch her starving herself, or beginning to.  He wanted to take her by the shoulders and shake her and yell, “Eat something, damnit!  Enjoy life!  Smile!  Have fun!  Loosen up!  Stop spending so much time trying to change and just be who you are!  That is what I always loved about you!”  He couldn’t, of course.  But he really wanted to.  He wanted her to be the same old Belle so he could be the same old Keith and not have this heaviness weighing him down anymore. 


            By some miracle, and the influence of several dozen cups of coffee or so, Keith managed to get almost caught up with his work by four or so.  It was only when he had pushed aside the second to the last project he was working on, completed, that he realized he had been aching to look at the picture of Desirae all day.  She had called in that morning and said that her daughter was sick and she had to stay home with her, so she wasn’t on the other side of his glass door for once.  That may have helped his concentration a little. 

            Keith remembered, back somewhere around noon, promising himself he could look at the picture before he left if he got caught up on everything.  He hadn’t meant to bribe himself with something he shouldn’t be doing anyway, but between all the caffeine and the intensity with which he was focusing on his work, it had seemed like a logical way to keep himself on task.

            “See ya, Keith.  Have a good weekend,” one of the company’s other attorneys said, sticking his head into Keith’s office.  Keith jumped at the sound of his voice, and pulled his hand off his computer mouse as it had just been dipped in hot lead. 

            “ Bye, Rob,” he managed with a shaky voice.  Obviously he was feeling a little guilty.  “Hey—you the last one here?”

            “Yep.  I’ll lock the door on my way out.”

            “Thanks, man.  See you Monday,”


            Once he was alone, Keith tried to open the e-mail again, but he found that he couldn’t.  Every time he attempted to click on the message, his face flushed and blood rushed in his ears.  He could almost feel a scarlet A being burning on his forehead, and he hadn’t even done anything.  Hell, he’d hardly even talked to her, except to get his messages.  It struck him that if he felt that guilty over doing nothing, his feelings must be fairly strong, either his feelings for Desirae or his current troubled feelings for Belle.  It meant that there was something wrong that he needed to take a serious look at.

            He settled into working on his final project, but Belle’s face, and Desirae’s too, floated into his mind from time to time.  He clenched his teeth, squeezed his eyes shut and grimaced, the way one would look away from a terrible accident, but when he relaxed again, both faces would still be there.  And he found himself looking toward Desirae’s more and more. 

            Finally, he gave up and clicked open the e-mail.  It wouldn’t hurt anything to look just once.  Other guys read Playboy all the time and didn’t consider that cheating.  And Desirae wasn’t even naked in the picture he was looking at.  There were a dozen other people in the picture with her, for Pete’s sake.  Even if, by some weird twist of fate, Belle came waltzing into his office unannounced, somehow defying the locked door in the process, and caught him, what would she say?  What could she say?  He was looking at a picture from the company picnic, one that he, himself, was in.  No one who caught him at it would ever give it a second thought.

            He had been looking at the picture for several minutes, studying every soft line of her shape, the light in her eyes that seemed to sparkle even from the photograph on the screen, the wide, broad, unapologetic smile that danced on her lips, when the he heard keys jangling somewhere outside of his office.  He reached for his mouse to close the e-mail message the picture was in when the door swung open and Desirae walked in.  He froze.

            “Oh, wow, hey, Mr. Stearns,” she said, her voice raised to reach through the glass that separated them.  “I didn’t think anyone would be here.”

            Keith shrugged and smiled weakly, unable to use his voice.

            “My sister took the kids for a while after work so I could come in and finish a few things.  I don’t think I’ll be back yet tomorrow, so I wanted to make sure everything was set so you guys could handle things without me.  Mind if I come in?”  She placed her hands on the door leading into his office as she spoke.

            Keith tried to say, “Sure,” but his voice barely squeaked and he nodded instead.  She came in and stood at his side.

            “What’re you working on so late?” she asked, peering over his shoulder to look at his computer screen.  He feebly reached for the mouse to get rid of the damn picture that seemed to be haunting him, but gave up when he saw that she had already seen it.  “Oh, hey, that’s a great picture, isn’t it?  We all look so happy and summery and carefree.  I printed it out and framed it to put on my desk.  Looking at it’ll get me through the winter months.”

            Keith took a deep breath and thought that he might be able to talk again.  He cleared his throat to try out his voice.  It seemed to have stopped squeaking.

            “Yeah,” he managed.  “It was a good day.”  Desirae smiled at him and patted his shoulder.

            “Okay, well it was good talking to you.  We never get to talk much during the day, do we?  I better get to work.  If you need anything while I’m here, let me know.”

            “’K.  Er, okay.  Here, might as well take these with you.  They’re all ready to send out.”  He handed her a stack of large manila envelopes.  “And you don’t have to call me Mr. Kearns.  No one else around here does.  I’m just Keith.”

            “Okay, ‘just Keith.’  I’ll get these ready and drop them in the mail on the way out.  See ya.”  And then she was gone from his office, sitting in the reception area, back towards Keith, bent over her desk.  The shock of seeing her walk in just when he was bust staring at her face pumped adrenaline through his system and he was finally able to get back to his work.

            An hour later, he had finally finished with his last past due project.  He shut down his computer and took a look at his watch.  Nine already.  Well, almost, anyway.  And he hadn’t eaten a thing since noon.  So much for ordering takeout.  In the old days, he would have stopped at one of the little hole-in-the-wall restaurants in the neighborhood to load up on greasy, unhealthy food to bring home and share with Belle, but the way she’d been the past few days, he’d be lucky to get her to drink a glass of water.  He grabbed the newspaper he hadn’t read yet, rolled it up, and stuck it in the outer pocket of his briefcase.  It’d give him something to read if he decided to sit inside somewhere and eat.  Pulling on his jacket, he backed out of his office and locked the door behind him.  When he turned to leave, he almost ran into Desirae.

            “You leaving too?” she asked him.  “I just finished up here and figured I better hurry up and get home so I can take my kids off my sister’s hands.  They should be in bed by now, but with my sister there, they won’t be.  She’s a softie, doesn’t know when to set limits.  Not that I’m much better—all they gotta do is look at me with the right expression on their faces and I melt.”

            “Kids are like that.”  He held the door for her and then locked it.  When they stepped out of the elevator on the first floor, Keith took his car keys from his pocket.  Desirae took a bus pass from a pocket on the outside of her purse.  Keith wondered if he should offer her a ride.  She was trying to get home to her kids, and who knew when the next bus would arrive.  On the other hand, he probably shouldn’t be alone with her, especially since he wanted to so badly.  He wouldn’t do anything, of course.  She’d probably slap him if he did, and he wasn’t the cheating type anyway.  Look how guilty he’d been over looking at that damn picture!  But it seemed wrong to him anyway.  Outside of the building, she leaned against the wall.  She looked at her watch, then pulled a magazine from her purse.

            “Hey, um—you want a ride?” Keith finally asked, against his better judgment.  After all, it wasn’t her fault he was so intrigued by her, and her kids were home waiting for her.  “Be better than waiting around for a bus.”

            “Uh, yeah.  Sure.”  She smiled and tucked her magazine away again.  “That’d be great.  I hate the bus, but it’s cheaper than a car these days.”

            “Yeah.  I just can’t seem to give up the freedom, though.”

            “I know what you mean.  If I could afford it without going broke, I’d have one too.  I’ll just wait ‘til I can pay cash, though.  My husband got loans for all his cars—he had three—and it caused nothin’ but headaches.”

            “It’s no good to owe money.”

            They got in the car and Keith turned up the heat a bit to ward off the cool night air.  He backed slowly out of his spot and left the parking ramp.  So she had a husband.  One who was in debt, but a husband.  The thought brought him a strange mixture of relief and disappointment. 

            “So—you’re husband.  What does he do?” he finally asked.  He couldn’t stop himself.

            “Oh, we’re not married anymore.  He’s a great guy and all, but no money sense at all, and he makes decisions the way a twelve-year-old does.  I can’t handle that.  We decided the best thing for us to do was split up before we started hating each other.  That way we could both be a part of the girls’ lives without turning them against anyone.”

            “Wow, most people can’t be that clear-headed about things.  That’s great.”

            “We try.  I’m probably a little more clear-headed than he is.  I think he just went along with the whole thing because it meant he could be young and irresponsible again.  But he’s a great dad.  I have no complaints there.”

            They rode in silence for a while, other than Desirae giving directions every once in a while.  Keith hoped she wouldn’t hear his stomach growling.  Between going so long without food and being so nervous about having her alone in his car, his stomach muscles were working overtime and he was sure it was perceptible from the other side of the car.  He reached down and turned the radio up, offering, “I love this song,” as an explanation. 

            “We’re almost there.  Just a few more blocks and then you’re going to turn right by a Starbucks.  Hey, wait a minute, would you mind stopping for a minute?  There’s a great deli on the next block that should still be open.  I’m starving, and my sister probably hasn’t eaten, either.”

            “Sure,” Keith replied, and pulled over when he saw the place she had mentioned.  “I’ll grab something, too.  Haven’t eaten since lunch at noon.”

            “You poor thing!  I bet you’re even more starved than I am!  Let me treat you, since you gave me a ride home.”

            “No, you don’t have to—”

            “You gotta let me.  You saved me bus fare, and besides, you went way outta your way.  Please?”  She stuck out her bottom lip in a mock pout.

            “Okay, okay, fine.  But I’m ordering something cheap.”

            “It’s a deal.”

            They went in and ordered, then sat down to wait.

            “So, how come you got to stay at work so late?  Your wife isn’t sittin’ home missin’ ya?”

            “I don’t know.  She might be.  I had to get this stuff done, though.  I’ve not been very productive at all lately.”

            “Well, that’s too bad.  I bet she’ll be glad when you get home.  You should grab her a sandwich or something, too.”

            “She wouldn’t eat it anyway.  She’s sort of given up on food lately.”


            “Never mind.  I shouldn’t have said anything.  She’s just been feeling a little low lately, and the only way she knows how to deal with it is to starve herself and work out twenty-four seven.  She was like that back when we were first dating, too.”

            “That’s too bad.  It must be hard for you.”

            “Yeah, it is sometimes.  But to be honest, it’s my fault as much as it’s anyone’s.  I don’t know, I’ve just been drifting away a little lately.”  Keith rubbed his eyes and then ran his hands over his head with a sigh.  “But never mind.  I really don’t need  to be telling you all this.  You don’t need to hear it and I shouldn’t be telling the whole world about our marriage.”

            “It’s okay.  I won’t say anything.  Any time you need to talk or whatever, I’m here.”

            Their number was called then, so the conversation came to a halt, and Keith was glad.  He wondered what had come over him, sharing everything like that.  Especially with Desirae, who was part of the problem, it seemed.  What an idiot!

            When he pulled up in front of the building that Desirae pointed at, she thanked him for the ride and got out. 

            “Remember, any time you want someone to unload on, give me a holler,” she reminded him.  She turned away and started up the walk.  Just as he was putting on his turn signal to pull out, she spun around and came back.  He rolled the window down and she stuck her head inside.  “You wanna come in and eat with us?  My sister’s there, so we won’t be alone.  That way you don’t have to go home and eat—well, you know.  You don’t have to eat alone, or in front of your wife, or whatever.”

            Keith considered her offer.  His original plan had been to stop down by the river to eat in the car before he went home, and her idea sounded much better.  The apartment he could see that radiated light three stories up with two little girls’ faces in it was inviting.

            “Sure, I guess I could do that.”  He parked the car and got out, following her in and up the stairs.  Once inside, she introduced him to her sister and her two little girls and then doled out the food.  They had a good time eating together, listening to one of Desirae’s daughters talk about her day in school while the other tried to outdo her by telling tales of woe from her day sick at home.  Their were only three chairs at the table, so they sat in a circle on the floor, and every so often Desirae or her sister, Deanna, would reach out with a napkin and dab something off of one of the little girls’ faces.  Deanna looked almost exactly like Desirae, just a little younger, and had the same easy-going demeanor.  Keith enjoyed himself more than he had in a very long time.  He didn’t want to leave, but when he finally looked at his watch again, he couldn’t believe how late it was.

            “Uh, I’m having a great time, but I really need to get going.  Belle’s going to be worried sick about me.  And I haven’t seen her all day, so I really should get home before she goes to sleep.  It’s almost eleven already.”

            “Eleven!”  Desirae looked startled.  “Girls, go to bed!” she ordered, with a grin on her face.  “Your dad’s coming to get you at nine in the morning, and if you get up grumpy, I’ll turn ya upside down if I hafta to make ya smile!”

            Giggling, the girls jumped up and hugged their aunt goodbye.  The older girl stood shyly by Keith’s side.

            “I think Sarah’s wantin’ a hug from ya, Mister,” Desirae pointed out.  Keith looked over at her and hesitantly opened his arms.  It had been a few years since he’d had a child around to hug, since his brother and sister-in-law and nieces and nephew had moved across the country.  Sarah and her sister both leaned into his open arms and hugged him.  He was surprised by how good it felt, how strong and protective it made him feel.

            Once they had gone, he said goodbye to Deanna and stood up to leave.  As he walked down the hall, he heard Desirae called out softly, “Anytime you need someone, I’m here.”  He turned to her and smiled, then hurried out to the car.


             Keith hardly saw Belle for the next few weeks.  And when he did see her, he almost didn’t recognize her.  She was still existing on fruit, vegetables, and water, and the only thing she took in enough of was the water.  She was getting up at 5 to run a few miles before work, then going right from work to the gym every day.  She’d get home around seven and make dinner, then sometimes, on her good days, she’d sit with him while he ate, munching on a carrot or an apple.  Other days, she just walked on her treadmill in front of the television or went out to God-knows-where.  Either way, Keith could hardly stand to eat his food.

            He tried to talk to her a few times.  At first, he told her how beautiful she was, how much he loved the womanly curves of her flesh.  Not that there had ever been all that many curves, and there were definitely more angles than curves now, but he wanted her to stop feeling as if she had to melt away to nothing.  When that didn’t work, he started bringing home her favorite foods.  All that did was cause her to run off to hide in the bedroom, where he suspected she was crying, so he stopped doing that.  Then he tried to explain to her that she was getting dangerously thin, and that it was bad for her health.  Tried to convince her to go get help somewhere, even.  Brought home pamphlets on eating disorders.  But none of it worked.

            It was during those weeks that Keith started to realize what was missing in his relationship with Belle.  When they had first met, and throughout most of their marriage, she had been so happy about everything, so easy to get excited, except for those few times when she had sunken into her depressions, but they had never lasted long back then.  She had never worried about what anyone thought of her and was willing to change plans on the spur of the moment.  Just being around her could make a person glow with happiness.  But slowly, that had changed.  Even before the depression set in, Keith realized, which was probably why he had felt himself pulling away.

            She had started taking everything more seriously.  She had always been able to take things seriously when the situation called for it, but lately she had really started taking everything seriously.  He had first noticed it when he had brought up the subject of children.  Keith had always assumed they would have children, and he never thought to ask Belle about it because she seemed so fond of other people’s kids.  But when he finally brought it up, she had been horrified.  She had told him that she wasn’t nearly ready to start thinking of someone else first every second of the day, and she didn’t feel like she was prepared to be a good parent.  In fact, she wasn’t sure she’d make a good parent at all.  She liked her job too much.

            Keith had tried briefly to convince her that they could afford good childcare, that she didn’t need to give up her job, that together they would make sure everything worked out.  Once he’d taken time to think about it, though, he’d realized that having children is not something you should talk a person into.  So, he’d backed off, decided to wait until she brought up the idea herself.  Which, of course, she never had.  As the days passed, she had grown more and more careful about every decision.  Anything Keith suggested they do at the last minute, whether it was heading to the beach to swim or getting tickets to a play, she had to stop and think through completely.  And if there wasn’t time to consider an option thoroughly, it wasn’t an option at all.  She lost the spontaneity that Keith had loved about her.  And finally, of course, she had stopped eating.

            Throughout all of it, after the night that he had spent with Desirae’s family, Keith remembered Desirae’s repeated reminders that he could talk to her any time.  As much as he longed to explain the whole thing to her, to bask in the wonderful way that she accepted everything and made reality not seem so harsh, he knew that she was the last person he should talk to, so he kept his distance.  He would stop and say hi to her in the office every so often, smile warmly, to let her know he appreciated her, but otherwise, he stayed out of her way. 

            Finally, after weeks and weeks, and a few phone calls with his brother, Keith knew what he had to do.  Belle was tearing herself apart, and she wouldn’t stop.  Unless something drastic happened, she wasn’t going to stop, and she was tearing him up right along with her.  He had to get out in time to save both of them.

            Before he talked to her, he called Jeannette, her closest friend.  The three of them had gone to high school together and Keith knew her almost as well as Belle did.  He explained what was going on and told her that she could hate him if she wanted to, and should definitely tell Belle that she did, even if it wasn’t true, but that he really wanted her to be there for her.

            Then he did the hardest thing he had ever done.  He sat down on the edge of the bed after dinner one night, when Belle was getting ready to go out running, and told her that they needed to talk.

            “I—we—we’re growing apart, Belle.  I know you’ve noticed it as much as I have.  We both have our jobs to keep us busy, and you’re absorbed in your running and working out, and—”  Keith paused.  That wasn’t the right thing to say.  He was making it seem like it was her fault, and he didn’t want to do that.  He still loved her too much.  Or loved who she had been, anyway, enough that he didn’t want to hurt who she had become.  And he knew, of course, that she was very fragile now, both emotionally and physically.

            “And—I have my things going on, too.  I’ve been busy at work.  And things just aren’t what they used to be, and we aren’t happy.  I think we need—we need some space, Baby.”

            Part of Keith expected her to break into hysterical sobs, throw herself at his feet, threaten suicide or murder or both, and storm around the room in a rage.  An other part of him expected her to fall to the floor in a faint, unable to accept what he had said.  There was no part of him at all, however, that expected what happened.

            “I’ll have to think about that,” she said quietly.  “Once I’ve thought it all through, I’ll get back to you.”  And she picked up her iPod and jogged through the door.  He was laying awake with the lamp next to the bed turned on when she finally came home several hours later.

            “You okay, Belle,” he whispered.  She did not answer him, but when he looked at her eyes, it didn’t look like she had been crying.  He turned the light off and lay awake, confused.


            When Keith got home from work the next day, Belle was gone.  Disappeared.  All of her personal things were gone from the house.  The only thing left was a piece of notebook paper by the phone.  The neat, bold, distinct handwriting on it told him that she was staying with Jeannette and she could be reached on her cell phone if he needed her.  When he tried calling, she didn’t answer.  And a few weeks after that, he opened up the mailbox to find divorce papers.


            Keith continued to go to work every day, but he had lost his passion for the job.  In some ways it was a relief that Belle was gone.  Now he could enjoy his meals without feeling like she had put every ounce of herself into preparing them, so much so that she couldn’t eat herself.  And he could do things on the spur of the moment again, and come and go as he pleased.  But he made those meals himself now, and ate alone, and he didn’t have anyone to do those spur-of-the-moment things with anymore, and no one to come and go with.  A few times, he thought of asking Desirae to do things with him, have dinner or go to a play or just take a walk at lunch time, but he couldn’t do it.  He didn’t want to explain what had happened to his marriage, didn’t want to think about it even.  And he still felt guilty, as if his attraction to Desirae had somehow been the cause of the end of his marriage.  Even though he knew with certainty now that his attraction to her was a symptom and not a cause, he couldn’t seem to give himself permission to approach her.

            But she stopped him one Friday on his way out of the office.

            “Hey, there, Mr. St—Keith.  Are you going to Bill’s wedding tomorrow?”

            “What?  Oh, wow, I forgot all about that.”  He stopped and considered her question.  Now that she had reminded him, he remembered, of course, because the day that he had received the invitation, sent in the RSVP, had been the same day he had gotten the picture from the company picnic.  He very clearly remembered sealing the envelope and then opening up his e-mail to see Desirae’s face smiling at him from his computer screen.  “Um, well, I guess—I sent in the RSVP.”

            “So you’re going, then?”

            “Well, I don’t know.  I mean—well, when I sent it in—see, Belle and I are divorcing.”  He stopped immediately when he realized he had said the words out loud.  What was it about this woman that made him say things he was trying not to say?

            “I know.  I was sorry to hear that,” she said kindly.

            “You—you knew?  Who told you?”  Keith didn’t think he had told anyone but his brother.  It shook him up to hear that Desirae had known. 

            “I don’t know, I think Rob heard you talking on the phone or something.  You know how things get around in offices.  We’ve known for a while.  But we figured it was your business and you’d tell us when you were ready, so we’ve just been waiting.  I think you should go to the wedding, you know.  It might do you good to get out for a night and have some fun.”

            “You’re probably right.  Actually, I was pretty sure I was going as soon as you reminded me about it.  It’s better than spending another night home alone, and if things get too bad, there’s an open bar, right?”

            “My thoughts exactly,” Desirae said with a smile.  “And now for the reason I was asking.”

            Keith froze.  She was going to ask him to be her date.  She was great, he liked her a lot and was still borderline obsessed with his attraction to her, but he just didn’t feel ready to date yet.  He held his breath and prepared to turn her down.

            “I was wondering if you’d be able to give me a ride to the reception after the service.  I can take a bus to the church, but I don’t think the buses even go out to where the reception is.  I’ll pay for some of the gas.”

            Keith almost fell over with relief.  Just a ride.  That much, he could handle.

            “Sure, no problem.  Don’t worry about the gas; I’m going there anyway, right?”

            “Thanks, Keith.  I appreciate it.  It’ll make my life a lot easier.”


            Keith arrived at the church just before the service started.  He parked and hurried in, sliding in the end of one of the pews just as the groom began walking up the aisle.  He scanned the room for Desirae but couldn’t find her.  He finally gave up and focused on the bride and groom standing in the front of the church.  He watched and listened for a while, but once things got started—“‘Til death do us part,” and “forever and ever,” and all that stuff—he realized he shouldn’t have come.  Not to the church service.  It threw him back too sharply to the day of his own wedding, when he had still believed the words, “I do,” before he had recognized that they didn’t mean as much as they seemed to, as they were supposed to.

            He quickly stood up and made his way out of the church. He could feel tears stinging the inside of his eyelids and he didn’t want to ruin a wedding with his tears.  Not to mention the fact that he’d rather no one see him crying no matter where he was.

            But just as he was about to open his eyes and let the tears out, he heard footsteps coming up behind him.  He blinked and turned sharply to greet whoever they belonged to.  It was Desirae.

            “You okay?” she asked gently.

            “Yeah, I’m fine.”  Keith stepped backwards and turned so that she wasn’t looking directly into his face.

            “I saw you get up and thought you might be upset, so I came out after you to make sure you were okay.  It can’t be easy for you to be here.”

            “Yeah.  I shouldn’t have come.”

            “I’m sorry.  Did you come just because you said you’d give me a ride?  You could have said no, I would’ve understood.”

            “No, I never even thought about it.  It just sort of hit me when I got inside.”

            “Yeah, I hear ya.  Hey, they’re just about done in there, I bet.  Why don’t we just head for the reception now.  Then you don’t have to go back in there, and the change of scenery might do you some good.”

            Keith nodded and they walked together to his car.  They had been on the road for a while, with Desirae reading from a map that had come with the wedding invitation, when she abruptly looked up and said, “Take that exit!’

            Keith slammed on his turn signal, turned the wheel hard, and stomped on the brake to make the exit.  He looked confused and reached for the directions.

            “No, it’s not on here.  I just recognized the exit and thought we might as well stop, since we had some time to kill.  My family used to come here for picnics when I was little.  Follow that road over there and hang a left once it turns to gravel.  There’s a pond at the end of the road.  It’s gorgeous.”

            Keith shrugged his shoulders and followed her directions.

            “Okay by me.”

            He stopped the car next to the pond she had described.  They got out and sat side by side on a picnic table bench, looking out over the water.  Tiny bugs skated across the surface and every so often, a fish jumped into the air and sliced cleanly back into the pond.  They could barely hear the traffic from the highway.  They sat in silence.

            Keith felt Desirae shift her weight and turned toward her.  Before he knew what was happening, she placed her hand on his shoulder, pulled him down toward her, and kissed him.  He was so surprised that he couldn’t kiss back, but he didn’t pull away, either.  When she straightened herself out so she was looking out over the pond again, he couldn’t stop staring at her.  Finally, she spoke.

            “I’m sorry if that was the wrong thing to do, but I’ve been wanting to for so damn long.  Ever since the night you drove me home.  You were so open, and good with my kids, and just—you were everything.  I know this probably wasn’t a good time, but I just had to.  Is that okay?”  She looked up at him pleadingly.

            It amazed him that she would be so bold.  Out of nowhere, when she knew there was a very good chance he would not respond the way she wanted to, she had just up and kissed him.  It amazed him even more that she was worried about the timing of the kiss and not whether she should have kissed him at all.  Belle would never have taken such a risk; she’d always let him make the first move, even after they were married, just in case he wasn’t in the mood or something.

            It amazed him, and it pleased him.  Which amazed him even more.  He leaned over and kissed Desirae this time.

            “Yes.  Yes, that is very much okay.”


            Keith picked up the phone and dialed Jeannette’s phone number.  He had been trying all morning to reach Belle, but she still wasn’t answering his calls.  It was Sunday, so he couldn’t call her at work, and he was pretty sure her secretary had been covering for her anyway.  He had been thinking of her ever since last night, though, and he needed to know how she was doing, if things were okay.

            He had stayed late at the wedding reception with Desirae and had a wonderful time.  They danced almost every song, and in between songs, they kissed.  It was the best Keith had felt in a long time.   But it made him think of Belle, too.  He still loved her in a lot of ways.  He didn’t want to be this happy if she was miserable.  He hadn’t even seen her since she had moved out, except for once or twice when he had parked across the street from her office to watch her leave work, so he could see for himself that she really was okay.  That had been in the week or two after she moved out, though, and it had been months since he had seen her now.

            Jeannette answered on the fourth ring.


            “Hi, Jeannette.  It’s Keith.”

            “Keith?  Keith!  What are you doing calling me?”  She had dropped her voice to a whisper.

            Keith couldn’t tell if there was displeasure in her voice, or just surprise.

            “I’ve been trying to get Belle on the phone for a while now, and she won’t talk to me.”

            “Well, can you blame her?  I shouldn’t even be talking to you!”

            “Don’t hang up.  I’m not going to pry or anything.  I’ve just been worried about her and I wanted to see if she’s okay.”

            “She’s fine.  Go away!”

            Keith didn’t answer right away.  Instead he drew in a deep breath and took a minute to consider her words.

            “Alright.  Okay.  I’ll go away.  But please tell her I called.  And tell her, if it helps, that I still love her, even if it isn’t like it used to be.”  He could feel the tears of the night before stinging his eyes again.  He was about to hang up when he heard Jeanette’s whispered voice again.

            “Keith.  KEITH!”

            “Yeah, I’m here.  What is it?”

            “She’s not doing so well.  You know how she was being so careful to do everything right, how she stopped eating?  Well, she went completely the other way now.  All she’s done for the past four months is go to work, watch TV, and eat.  She says without anyone to look good for, without anyone to love her, she might as well give up.”

            “I’m sorry to hear that.  Tell her—tell her that if she had given up a long time ago, she’d be happier now.  She never quite got that looking good doesn’t equal love.  No, don’t tell her that.  It’ll only hurt her now.  But do tell her that she’s one of my favorite people and I love her, even if I had to move on.  Please?”

            “I’ll tell her.”


            Belle was in the mall,  walking toward the food court, when she saw him.  After successfully avoiding Keith for more than a year, there he was, twenty feet in front of her.  She ducked off to the side where there was a crowd of people, but watched him carefully so as not to let him out of her sight.  He was in line at the Panda Express.  She made sure to stay hidden from him; when he turned his head to the left, she ducked into a crowd of people to the right. When he turned his head to the right, she ducked into a crowd of people to the left.  While he waited for his order, she looked down at herself.  She was drowning in a large pink t-shirt and baggy jeans, and while no one would have called her fat, neither was she trim and fit as she had once been.  She followed him when he lifted a tray overflowing with food and moved toward the back of the cafeteria.  He approached a table that was surrounded by people.  There were two little girls across from each other on one end and next to them were two women.  They were almost identical, except that one looked a bit more youthful. 

            And they were fat.  Belle couldn’t stop staring at their massive bellies and doubled-up chins, at their broad and flabby arms, and their legs that didn’t seem to want to stay pressed together under the table.  But more than that, she noticed that they both wore wide, bright smiles.  They were laughing uproariously, and the little girls were rolling their eyes, but they were smiling too.  And when Keith set plates in front of them and in front of the little girls, and in front of an empty chair for himself, they immediately dug in.  No picking out the parts that were too fatty or avoiding the rice.  They seemed to be enjoying themselves as much while they were eating as they had while they were laughing.

            As Belle watched him walk behind the little girls and scoot their chairs in closer, bend down to talk to them, rub their shoulders for a second, she began to look almost ill.  It wasn’t until she watched him move around to one of the women and bend over her, brush her hair back, kiss her passionately right there where anyone could see them, that the tears began to fall.


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.


Reversing the Roles…



     Ok. So I felt a little vulnerable exposing myself with that last article.  I had quite a few people tell me that the article was deep and wanting me to go a bit deeper into the topic.


So Here We Go.  

     The general questions were:  Do you date big girls/guys?  If you do, what is the difference between the two?  If you don’t, why not?


Legendary Player: Yes, I date big girls. The difference a lot of times is the attitude and the essence.


Diabolique: Explain please.


Legendary Player: Some smaller women don't have the same confidence in them selves that larger women have.  Larger woman have a presence that commands the attention of those around while a smaller woman often seem intimidated by her own looks.  She is never content on how she looks. Thinner woman maybe accepted in society as what's hot, but they don't always believe it.


Diabolique: So... when you are out with a big girl. How do you handle people's reactions?


Legendary Player: Most who are idiots say stuff; but I ignore it because it's the woman who I chose to be with so it didn't matter because I am more concerned with her reaction.




Orgasmic Conclusions: Of course I date big girls.   I don’t see a difference they are normal people just like anyone else.  Skinny chicks love to dance and go to clubs and watch movies etc and so do big women; so there is really no difference.


Diabolique: Do you perceive a different reaction from people when you are out with a big girl?


Orgasmic Conclusions: Yes, I do. They look at me like you shouldn’t be with her.


Diabolique: So... how do you respond to that and how does she respond to it....


Orgasmic Conclusions: Well the female whoever she may be will usually not see it but I will.  I don’t let it bother me it’s my decision to date or relax with whom ever I please.  If they don’t like it hey forget them.  Society doesn’t understand that just because you are full figured doesn’t mean you do anything differently...things don’t change you are still a person you can do the same thing a smaller woman can do...size means nothing...but that type of thinking would only happen in a perfect world.




Diabolique: What made you marry a "big girl"...?


timotastic69: I didn't marry a big girl.  I married a woman who I loved, who happened to gain weight as a result of bearing my children.


Diabolique: hmm... did you have any resentment because she gained weight?


timotastic69: Not at all, that is my preference


Diabolique: ok... so when the two of you are out... do you acknowledge the looks that people often give when a woman of size has a man?


timotastic69: I am not sure I understand


Diabolique: let me try to explain where I am going... in today's society... being overweight is becoming more tolerated but not acceptable... it is common for thinner women to be annoyed when a woman of size has a man and they don’t.


timotastic69: I understand much better.  I have told many of thinner women that I don't care for them because they look like boys with breast or that because they are thin they are ugly with their attitudes.  I am not swayed by the notion of them supposedly being better because they are thin.  Nor do I feel that I should be attracted to them because they are thin.




Lovely D: No, I don't date big guys.  I have dated a few in the past about three; if I recall correctly.  I found that they were lazy, too heavy and they had eating habits worst than my own. Although, I must admit that have a father who was very large and that adds to my decision.  I'm not really even sure if most of his behavior had anything to do with his weight but that doesn't change how I feel now about smaller men.  I just like them thin and thin; partially because I fine them more attractive and partially because I like to feed them.  I don't know that just seem like they could use some good old fashioned T.L.C and cake!  I'm a bit motherly.




Diabolique: my article is about the preconceived notion that beauty and being a person of size just do not go together.


Taz: ok, I don't think that’s true


Diabolique: my first question for you is what made you marry a "big girl"?


Taz: For me, I’ve always had a love for big girls. Seriously speaking, big girls tend to have bigger features. Bigger breast, bigger behinds and I love that. Plus for a guy my size, having a lady who weighs no more than 170 wouldn’t look right.


Diabolique: Ok...before you got married...what type of women dated you?


Taz: Big girls


Diabolique: did skinny girls approach you?


Taz: I think in all of my time dating, I only had one small girl date me.  I think I had maybe three skinny girls have interest in me, but I only dated one


Diabolique: so... "Big girls" were more accepting of you as a "big guy"


Taz: yep


Diabolique: let me ask you a interesting question... if skinny women had been more accepting of you... if you would have had a better response... would you have still dating big girls?


Taz: I would still date big girls. In some cases they tend to have more self esteem than skinny or smaller women. Plenty of times I’ve seen big girls be proud of their size, where I’ve come across a lot of smaller girls say, "I need to lose weight and I need a women with curves.




Diabolique: Ok, so if you have some time; can we continue our discussion from yesterday


B&B Man: Of course


Diabolique: So you confirmed that you dated women of size. Why is that your preference?


B&B Man: I like to hold a woman with substance.  I like them on top.  I love to cook. I love to eat. They appreciate every little thing that I do.


Diabolique: So "big girls" have better personalities


B&B Man: Yes, skinny woman to me are shallow and they expect stuff just because they are skinny.


Diabolique: Ok, here is an interesting question for you. Do you think big women are nice because they are big?


B&B Man: To me it makes a person more humble because they are more self conscious.


Diabolique: Explain that comment a little bit for me


B&B Man: When a person is conscious of one's weight they tend to be more humble and caring, concern about others feelings.   I was raised in a household full of plus size women.


Diabolique: Ok, but even in that instance... you could have gone both ways... you obviously embraced women of size. You could have vowed never to be bothered with them again because you were exposed to that every day of your growing life. What made you embrace it?


B&B Man: I feel other people’s pain and suffering, I always stuck by the underdog, I went out of my way as a child to get bullies beat up.


Diabolique: So it’s just your general disposition?


B&B Man: Yes


Diabolique: Ok, .so is that to say if the roles were reversed... if skinny women were nicer and big women were convinced of their own greatness... your preference would have gone the other way?


B&B Man: Yes


Diabolique: so your attraction has to do with the content of the character more than the physical characteristics


B&B Man: I still really prefer a BBW's physical characteristics


Diabolique: you lost me a bit... the bulk of your it physical or personality based?


B&B Man: 60/40, physical winning.


Diabolique: you just completely contradicted yourself...


B&B Man: Why? I need emotional attraction and physical attraction.  I just don’t deal with life on one level.


Diabolique: Understandable... there are different depths to everything.  So... the physical characteristic of a woman of size is more attractive to you complimented by her humble and caring personality.


B&B Man: yes




Diabolique: do you date big men?


Erica Cane: I used to exclusively date big men but now it depends on the man. The guy I most recently dated was very slim.


Diabolique: Ok... so before, did you find yourself with skinny men or big men more?


Erica Cane: I dated all type, but found most relationships were with husky men.  It has to be a certain type of husky though.


Diabolique: ok...this article that I am writing... I have found more big women who say they will not and do not date big guys


Erica Cane: I’ve found that women who do not date big men are  lazy, they don't like to do some work in the bedroom, that is why.


Erica Cane: I am attracted to larger men more, but certain types of big. If they have breasts, I am not interested.  If their belly hangs over their manhood, I am not interested.  Husky is nice, because it is soft and comfortable.


Diabolique: lol...


Erica Cane: I don’t like it when a man has to put his belly on my butt when I am in the doggie position.


Diabolique: I SOOOOOOO understand


Erica Cane: One of my boyfriends was 340 and 6'6.  I like men tall and big; not short and big.  Big men are more comfortable when you’re on top.


Diabolique: lol...


Erica Cane:  Most women are lazy.  They want sex but they don’t like to work.  I find that when I am with a big man I am more vigorous in bed.


Diabolique: Really?


Erica Cane: With slim men, you can just lie around and there’s nothing to hold on to.  No skin to slap.  You can’t dig your fingers into them, you hit a bone. Boring! My Ex was not physically my type; but I learned to adjust to him.  I  become very lazy in bed with him.  I tried to do more, but I couldnt do all I wanted to do with him.


Diabolique: Why not?


Erica Cane: It was  not comfortable as with a man with more meat.   I can bounce around on a man with meat because he bounces back.  I can dig my fingers into him and get all rough and fun.  When you do that to skinny guys, it hurts them.


Diabolique: I guess it’s the point of figuring out what you want and what you are willing to sacrifice. 


Erica Cane: Well now there are some added bonuses with skinny guys.  They fit just about anywhere; you can do more relaxing positions.  They aren’t too heavy on me.


Diabolique: Very, very, very true


Erica Cane: So I appreciate both sizes.  There are pro's and con's to each. It all comes down to what you find visually attractive, but love has a lot to do with it. When I first started considering skinny guys, I looked at them and felt I was looking at little boys’ bodies.  I was not attracted to his body, but I began to appreciate him as he was.  Now I am a bit more attracted to slimmer bodies because of him.  Where before I was not attracted to slim men at all, only husky.


Diabolique: So in the beginning...his personality drew you... but now you like his body because of his personality...


Erica Cane: It was all personality, but I began to see his body differently with time and enjoy things about it. So you can say my horizons are broader now. Now that we broke up I am involved with both big and slim men.  I enjoy them both for different reasons.


Diabolique: Yes... I see.'s a question for you... is there a difference in the way they treat you?


Erica Cane: Well not on a whole, but in couple of areas yes.  They both treat me well but a bigger man has a bit more understanding when you say that you need a better seat or I am too big for some places.  I think they understand it because they have to live it a little more even though they may not be my size; they understand what its like to endure it. 


     Slimmer men have to be taught those sorts of thing.  Some skinny men may be resentful because they have to slow there life down for a BBW.  Depending on the woman’s size of course, if she is very large and used to be inactive and he is extremely skinny and active.  The difference is huge.  He can back flip across the room where she only flops on the bed.  He roller blades for miles while she only walks a block. He can walk all over while she rather not walk.  She has to push herself to keep up with his slowest speed.  All of this also depends on the size of the woman, and how big or limited she is, and how the skinny guy really feels about her.  Also, how much her he really understands.  He might not understand that when she lifts up her arm it is like lifting a 60 lb weight.


Diabolique: lol..So true


Erica Cane: He may begin to feel like she is a weight pulling him down away from the life he is used to living.  If he isn’t real with himself, some real problems can arise.  There is a chance that in time the pounds that once delighted him now become just pounds like a big heavy weight holding him down. What happens then?


Diabolique: He has to examine what he was in love with.  If he loves her...he has to love the complete package.. Not just bits and pieces and not just a temporary love... that is the definition of real love.. You love the person without stipulations


Erica Cane: Right, but love changes.  But you never really know.  The way people feel changes.  So you just have to see what happens. What you feel today is not always true 10 years from now


Diabolique: Most people only have a surface level love... most people don't really take time to honestly and truly love someone... they are fascinated with certain aspects of the person and confuse that with love.


Erica Cane: But of course this is what big women have to deal with, we are for some men a curiosity.


Diabolique: For some men, simply a project.


Erica Cane: they are fascinated and enamored


Diabolique: for some men... a fleeting thought




Chika mooneye: yes, if I found love with her.  For me it doesn’t really matter "big or slim" what is the most important is the inner quality in a girl.




Smiles sweet:  I don’t really have a preference but I find myself attracted to skinny men more.  Skinny men maneuver better in bed and know how to hit the corners and spots better than big men. 



Wow, are men more accepting than women are.  It is a common misconception that women are more understanding and generally accepting.  A deeper look seems to reveal much darker truths. 

Do we secretly do unto others as we don’t want done to us?  Do we have an obligation to be nice to people with the same struggles and hardships as we have and continually endured? 


What is beauty?  Who defines what constitutes beautiful?  How can a topic which relies so much on individual perception ever truly be agreed upon?  The varying contrasts will be debated until the end of time.  The Scottish philosopher David Hume one wrote:  ‘Beauty is no quality in things themselves: It exists merely in the mind which contemplates them.’ 


Can beauty lie within the bugle?  Yes, I believe the saying goes,


‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.’


Thanks for reading

Why, OH Why with Diabolique Belle


Diabolique Cool Links 

Good 4 U Food

Recipes for Good... Healthy Food

By: Xander - The Food Dude


Thanks for Nothing and Everything

     I start this article once again looking at the time that were heading into.  High stress periods are coming to us.  Before you know it they are on top of us, and then suddenly gone, leaving us gasping as though we just got pulled under the water for a few minutes.  Perspective, my friends is what we always combat against.  The view of the world to ourselves and ourselves to the world is a mandated concern.

In this time of year we are often reminded that we should be “thankful” for what we have.

     Perhaps, in an effort to once again flip the universe on its ear I wanted to take the opportunity to say “Thanks for Nothing”.  Now wait a minute.  Before you pass judgment on what I just said, let’s think about it.  Am I facing the world in defiance of my existence claiming that no one or force has helped me?  No, that’s not what I’m saying.  Am I indicating that I am the only one to be attributed to my successes?  No.  Then I must be saying that whatever went wrong in the past year must be due to someone else’s problems or situations where they just couldn’t stand my success.  I don’t think so.  Not only would these conclusions be wrong of me to imply, they would be REAL wrong of me to suggest. 

     I had a couple of friends once who put in some really great ways.  The first always said, “If you ever see a turtle sitting on top of a fence post, then it’s probably reasonable to assume someone helped him get there.”  Another friend would say “We all drink from wells we never dug.”  Both of my friends remind me that for any accomplishment I may achieve, there were people who guided me, protected me, and cherished me.  If it hadn’t been for them, I in most likelihood wouldn’t be where I find myself.  While things could always be better, things could be vastly worse.

     This year, I’ve seen many things come to pass.  Perhaps it’s age that add perspective to the passing of time.  Perhaps it’s experience that makes you start to see the story unfold for yourself and others.  In that aspect is the concept of “Thanks for Nothing.”  This is for all those in our lives who didn’t shoot down our dreams.  The ones who did no harm to our spirits.  These are the people that pushed us, prodded us, and prided us into becoming the people that we could be.  This is for the ones who let us make our mistakes, raised us back up, and let us gather our own wisdom.  In short its for everyone and everything they did for us without expecting anything in return.

     So in this year, take some time to think about “what” didn’t happen that could have.  Think of all the everything’s that has been granted with nothing needed in return.  Know that when they do what they do for you, they do it from the heart.  It is a point of blessed time when one soul shares with another.  Shakespeare once wrote that Mercy was twice blessed, once for the receiver, and once again for the giver.  In the end we’re all thirsty turtles on a fencepost.  We drink from wells we didn’t dig, and are given lifts by the spirit and mercy of others.

I hope God has blessed you and your family during this holidays season.

Xander's Recipe of the Month

Brined Turkey


     In the past few years Brined Turkey has started getting the respect it deserves.  As of late the technique has been surpassed by the “Deep Fried Turkey”.  While I am a fan of the process of deep frying anything, I also know the potential hazards associated with the process.  Brining, however, is relatively simple and created a quality product.  Just make sure you follow the process very carefully.

     Brining is a pretreatment in which the whole turkey to placed in a salt and water solution known as brine. This pretreatment produces a wonderfully moist and well-seasoned bird. Brining should be done in the refrigerator or in a cooler with 5 to 6 ice packs to keep the turkey and brine at 40 degrees or below during the entire brining process. Brining is more manageable with a rather small turkey from 12 to 14 pounds.

     Table salt or kosher salt can be used to make the brine. Crystal kosher salt is recommended since table salt contains additives such as anti-caking ingredients, iodine and other additives. Table salt is also very finely ground and more is required to produce good results.

1. Start the brining method the day before you plan to cook the turkey. Start with a fresh or completely thawed turkey. Wash the bird inside and out and remove the giblet bag and neck.

2. In a large stockpot, plastic tub or cooler dissolve 4 cups kosher salt or 2 cups table salt in 2 gallons cold water. Add 1 cup sugar. Stir until the salt and sugar are completely dissolved. Water will look clear, not cloudy.

3. Herbs and spices may be added to brine to enhance the flavor. Add several crushed bay leaves, several sprigs of dried thyme, or other dried herbs, if desired.

4. Place the turkey in the brine solution, breast down. Cover and chill for 6 to 8 hours. Or use the overnight method by reducing the salt and sugar amounts by 1/2 so the turkey does not retain too much salt.

5. Remove the turkey from brine, rinse inside and out under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels. Place on a shallow pan and refrigerate overnight. This allows the skin to dry out so it becomes crisp during roasting. This step may be omitted if desired.

6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place turkey on shallow roasting pan. Tie legs together and tuck wings underneath the bird. Coat the skin with butter or olive oil. Cover the breast loosely with aluminum foil. Add 1 cup water to bottom of pan.

7. Cooking time will vary depending on the size of the turkey. Check the wrapper to see how much the turkey weighs and determine the approximate cooking time (see chart). Roast the turkey until temperature in the innermost thickest part of the thigh reaches 165 °F as measured with a food thermometer. Check the internal temperature in the wing and the thickest part of the breast as well. The temperature in all parts should read 165 °F or higher. The thigh juices should run clear when pierced with a fork. For reasons of personal preference, you may choose to cook the turkey to higher temperatures.

8. During the last 1 to 1 1/2 hours of cooking time remove the aluminum foil from the breast and baste with pan juices to encourage browning. Add more water to the pan if necessary.

9. Cover the skin with softened butter or olive oil. Add 1-cup water to bottom of pan and place turkey in hot oven. Cooking time will vary depending on the size of the turkey. Check the wrapper and cook according to weight. Cooking time will vary. Roast turkey until temperature in the thickest innermost part of the thigh reaches 165 °F or higher as measured with a food thermometer. Check the temperature in the thickest part of the breast and the wing. The internal temperature in all part should read 165 °F or higher. The thigh juices will run clear when pricked with a long tined fork or leg wiggles freely in the joint. A 12-pound turkey will take about 3 hours and 15 minutes to roast. Add 15 minutes for each additional pound.


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 hate when men call me a Bitch just because I say I am not interested in them and don't want to chat!



There is a BBW woman that I really like.  I never took action on it and regret it to this day.  Now I am scared to even talk to her.




Even though I am engaged and will be getting married soon I still wonder if he is the right one for me!

Maybe I should have dated an FA (Fat Admirer)





When I go to the Carnival and people look at me I feel Like I am the Fat Lady at the Circus.





I am in love with a thin woman.  I feel like I am betraying all the Plus Sized women I have dated in the past.




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

Send in your Confession to


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

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 What is the Process for Appling to be a Cover Model? I am so interested!
Miss Nice
Raqui:  I usually hold the search between December – February. LargeInCharge keeps our entrance to be a cover model free by using photographs that the person submits for our covers. We don’t ask nothing from our models except clear good photographs that would be considered portfolio type of pictures. At the end of the year we have a voting for the public so that we have one cover model of the year she or he wins prizes and possibly money from our sponsors depending on what our sponsors give that year.

We do not look only for regular plus sized models I want people outside of the box also. Bigger and differently shaped that what society considers a plus sized model. I encourage everyone to enter and give it a try.

If you don’t have photographs or know what to do to start. Look in the LargeInCharge magazine I have answered many modeling questions in the ASK RAQUI section over the years and also I wrote a article about modeling and how to find your nich this month. In RAQUI’s SPOT

Good Luck and when we have a search try entering. Keep up with the magazine and you will know when we search.

Q:  What would you say makes a good bbw party?


Raqui: To me a good mix of culture is what I like in a BBW party.  I personally don't like when a party is all one nationality.  I like to see many different kinds of people.  But really it comes down to LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION.  Good sized bathrooms close to the party area, safety, parking or being close to transportation,  good music and a nice seating area.  I like to sit off to the side and have a place to talk and laugh with my friends.

Q:   I see you don't go to all the bbw parties like you used to why?


Raqui:  To tell you the truth, It is hard work going to parties and taking pictures and posting it every weekend.  I will usually make an appearance when invited and I am given a pass for me and a guest or guests to enter.  I have given the option to all the promoters from all over the USA and internationally to send in there photos and I will post them but not many people do that.  I feel why should I work hard to promote your company? I am not being paid to do that.  I can make some forms of advertisement free by posting the pictures that are sent in up.  But that is all I can do right now.

Q:   I am interested in being a LargeInCharge writer?  How do I apply.



Raqui:  Every year we look for new writers and we will do so for this coming year.  You can start by submitting some work for our guest section and then keeping track of the New Issues for what type of writers we will need in the future.



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:

Fashion Find by: Raqui

Fashion Type: Classy

Description:  Ever since igigi first started and I featured them in LargeInCharge years ago I have seen it rise and become a strong force as far as clothing for the sexy classy Plus Sized woman. From a small online site to having its own catalog and being on TV.  Igigi is worth a look and its fashion defiantly beautiful!






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

About the Product

Recommender: Raqui

Name of Product: Express Ramps Website

Type of Product: Wheel Chairs and Ramps in many sizes for many needs

Cost of Product: Depends on product

Where Product can be found:

Website with many products to help those who are wheel chair bound  or disabled get around.

Why I like this Product:
Finding this website was great luck.  This company can help you find many many products to help those who are Disabled, Wheel Chair bound and those who use scooters get around.  Easy to fold ramps for home and to help you get into vans.  I even saw ramps that will support up to 800 lbs.



Send in your Product recommendation to

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