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Welcome to Large In Charge Magazine           

 Issue #49 - April 2008

Welcome to LargeInCharge Magazine

In this Issue of LIC


Raqui's Spot -  with our Founder Raqui


From the Plus Side ~ Emily Smiltneck

Good 4 U Food  ~ Xander


Big Girls on the Red Carpet  ~ Cher Rue


More than a Teddy Bear  ~ James Nealon


Hot & Heavy Entertainment ~ Stephanie Baham


DID YOU KNOW?  ~ Iolande Argent

National & International Plus Sized News


WHY, OH WHY  ~ Erin Thompson

Guest Spot - Shelly Willer


CONFESSIONS - Let It Go and Confess!

Fashion Furious - Fashion Finds with Plus Size style.

Product of the Month - Products for People of Size

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


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!

Ruben Esq

     It is not hard to find this amazing artist online.  His work is all over the net and has delighted so many for so long.  Many women have found pride in their abundant frames by seeing how beautiful they are through the eyes of Ruben Esq.

     Ruben's work can only be described as amazing.  You see a funny, playful, sexiness to the plus sized form that many in today's society do not wish to see.  But when Ruben puts his tools to work he creates a world of plush, lush abandon. The sprit of woman is seen.

Yes we are Vixen, Cheerleader, Silly, Sunday School Girl, Seductress, Vamp, Lady Sublime and more. Take a good look because you will never forget Mr. Ruben Esq. 



Interview   Where are you originally from and where is your home now?


I’m originally from New York City, but home is Los Angeles now.   Are you a person of size?


I guess I am. I’m 6 feet 4 inches tall and 270 pounds.   Tell us a bit about yourself, age, nationality, marital status?


I’m 50 years old, African American and in a serious relationship.   Have you always shown an interest in Art? 


I’ve been interested in art probably before I knew what art was. I was always drawing as a child and fascinated by all kinds of pictures.   How old where you when you started creating? 


I don’t really remember. I started that young. I started drawing characters I liked from television and comics. My parents kept a lot of little comic books I drew starting in first grade.   What type of art where you most interested in when you were younger?


I remember responding to paintings and sculpture when I was young, but nothing captured my interest as much as animation, superhero and newspaper comics. I was always drawing the characters I saw on television and comics. It’s almost the only kind of art I did all the way through high school.   Do you have any formal schooling in the arts?


 I took weekend drawing classes when I was in high school, but I had formal art training at the School of Visual Arts. I majored in Illustration and also took animation classes until I graduated in 1979.   What are the mediums you use to create?


Most of the drawing I do is in graphite. When I created pin ups for Juggs magazine years ago I painted in watercolors, but I haven’t done that in a very long time. Now, most of my color work is done digitally. I’m teaching myself how to use the computer to make art and I’m pretty pleased with how I’m progressing.   How have you progressed as an artist from your younger years?


When I was a little kid I wanted to be a newspaper cartoonist. My favorite comics to try to imitate were Peanuts and Archie comics. When I was in junior high school, I created a comic strip with African American characters that were my age at the time. It was pretty much Peanuts as translated through Archie, and I worked with those characters until my horizons were widened in college.   Tell us about the many projects you have done? 


A few months after graduating from SVA, I decided to follow some of my animator friends and see if I could get work in the Hollywood animation business. I was very fortunate and got my first job within a week of landing in Los Angeles and I’ve been living and working there ever since. I’ve worked on all kinds of animated TV shows for just about all the animation studios. I’ve worked for Warner Brothers, Disney, Hanna Barbera (when they were still around), and lots of other companies.   You have used people of size in some of your work, tell about those projects in detail.


That was something that grew into my work gradually. Once I hit puberty, I began to notice that the girls I drew started out the size and weight of Betty and Veronica, and then slowly they grew larger and larger. My work started changing as my personal taste in girls changed. I hadn’t given it any serious thought until one day my father saw me drawing an overly developed teenaged girl in pretty short, tight clothing and said “So you like big girls, huh?” I was embarrassed at first, but the evidence was right there and I’ve just continued following that path since then.   Do you feel the large art you have created depicts the large form properly? 


 I don’t know what “properly” depicting the large form would be, but I draw the kind of women I’m most attracted to and pleased to see, and I try to show how I feel about them in my work.   Tell us about the first time you created a piece of art featuring a large person,  how old were you and what feelings did you have upon completion?


 I never sat down one day and decided, “I’m going to do something different from what I’ve done before and draw a large person”. I’m interested in depicting all kinds of different people, especially if they are characters in a story, and large people were always included in that. Being a healthy heterosexual male, I’ve been drawing attractive girls for a long time. Mine just became bigger than the average pin-up.   How long have you been a professional artist?


I’ve been a professional artist for over 25 years.   Do you currently work in the art field?


 I still work in animation in Los Angeles.   What makes your creations different than others? 


 There aren’t that many prominent artists drawing attractive big women. Offhand, I can think of Les Toil, JNess, Leigh Young, Nigel Morgan, Vincent Stephens and Coop who draw big women sometimes, and me. I don’t mean to leave others out, but after that, it gets harder for me to come up with names of artists whose work I see very often.


I think what makes my work different is that I bring my animation training and sensibilities to it. There always seems to be an undertone of humor to what I draw. My work doesn’t take itself too seriously, except when it comes to being sexy. If an improper thought doesn’t cross your mind when you look at a Ruben Esq Girl, I’m not doing my job.   What agency do you work for or who is your manager?


 There’s no agency I work with. So far, I am my own manager.   Do you have associates who you work with?


 No.   Has your work ever been in an exhibition? 


Not yet. I’m sure it will happen eventually, but at the moment I have other priorities.   Where can people see your work?


I have two blogs that I update twice a week with new work that ranges from quick rough pencil sketches to digital color. You can see my work at




Also I have an online store where I’m selling the last of a series of sketchbooks I self-published years ago. Come visit my store and you can own some of my work.   Are you currently on tour or attending any major functions in the near future? 


I’ve never gone on tour, but I am considering attending the San Diego Comic Convention next year and selling my work there.   Do you have other Artists that you collaborate with? 


 No. Like Mr. Incredible, I work alone.   Who are some of Artist's that you admire?


 All of the other big women artists I mentioned above. The artist that had the biggest personal influence on me was Will Eisner who wrote and drew “The Spirit” newspaper comic. He was a teacher of mine in college and was a mentor to me for the rest of his life. Some of my other personal favorite artists are Olivia, Vargas, Gil Elvgren, and Robert McGinnis for pin-up art, Frank Frazetta for his sexy women and powerful men, Spencer Davis for his Booty Babe Art figures, Erich Sokol and Jack Cole who drew and painted the sexiest women that ever appeared in Playboy cartoons, Charles Schulz who taught me a different way to approach comics, and Dan de Carlo who burned Betty and Veronica into my adolescent brain.   What would you say to other artist's who are trying to make it? 


 Figure out what your point of view is, what makes you different from other artists, and then put that in your work. Learn about marketing art. I’m learning that myself. Art doesn’t sell itself. You have to learn how to sell it, and no one is going to be a bigger advocate for your art than you. Even with agents, managers and galleries working to sell your art, it’s important that you retain control of your image and how your art is presented.   Do you have a good support system from family and friends?


I’m very lucky that my family and friends have always supported me following my dream of becoming an artist.   What has been the response you have gotten from the work you have done which featured the plus size?


The response has been amazing since I started my blogs last year. Before then no one had seen any of the work I’ve done since the early 90s. Thanks to the blog and MySpace, more people have found my work than I could ever have hoped for when I first started creating Ruben Esq Girls. A lot of people have written telling me they remember my work from years ago and wondered what happened to me. Others have told me that they’ve been seeing my work floating around the Internet for the last ten years, but didn’t know who created it until I came to MySpace. It’s been great for almost the last two years.   Have you had any responses from the Plus Size Community?


 I’ve had a lot of response from the Plus Size Community. It’s been overwhelmingly positive. I hear from women all that time that my work has helped them see themselves as attractive, sexual beings. Some, for the first time in their lives. That’s the best compliment I could ever get on what I create.   What are your future goals? 


To keep learning and growing as an artist, and to create more Ruben Esq art for sale in different forms. I want to design tee shirts and figures, publish more sketchbooks and prints, and create more original art to sell. After that, who knows what could be next.  Do you have a website, myspace page?  How can the public find you or communicated with you online?


 People who are on MySpace can find me at

My public blog, which is available to everyone, is at  My online store is You can also reach me by email at  For people who still like the feel of letters and stamps, you can write to me at


Ruben Esq.

P.O.Box 2546

Los Angeles, CA 90078   Give us one word that you can say best represents your Art?


Playful. I always want my Ruben Esq art to be sexy, but I think being playful at the same time is what is most appealing about it.   How much have you evolved as an Artist since those first days as a youth? 


I have a much better idea of how to pose and move the human body, which makes drawing almost anything I can think of much easier and faster. It frees me to concentrate on interesting ideas rather than “is that hand right, or that leg too big”.   How can the readers at help support you? 


Visit my blogs and leave comments and suggestions. Let me know what you’d like to see that I’m not creating or anyone else is doing. Visit my online store and buy some of my art. At the moment I have my first three sketchbooks, but there will be more art available for sale at the end of this year and beginning next year.


Thank you for Reading The LargeInCharge Feature

Please send thoughts and comments to

Cover Model of the Month

Talisa Hopson - Anderson


Mrs. Plus Indiana 2008 & Mrs. African American United 2008



Photographed by: jjlaughner - What is your name?


Talisa Anderson Where are you from and what is your current Location?


 I was born in Savannah Georgia, Raised in Chicago Il., and I now reside in Muncie Indiana Can you give us some information about yourself
(Age, Height, Size, Nationality, Marital Status, Children, etc.)?

I am a Promotional Model & Regional Director- Xchange Modeling Agency
I am 5’7, size 30-32W
I am Mrs. Indiana Plus America 2008, my platform is -Each 1 Reach 1
"If each one reached one, the world would be a better place!
Promoting positive self image/esteem, & Youth Mentoring Programs
I am Jamaican/Creole aka Black (LOL)
I am Married, and have been for 8mo we have been together 5 years
No children 6 God babies including 2 sets of twins
I would like to look at myself as an over comer, I never let my circumstances define my outcome! Were you a big child, or did you gain weight later in life?


Yes, all the women in my family are curvy, there are not too many skinny women in my family, and if they are skinny once, they have a few children, it is over. I have always been a LOVELY thickness as I call it. I was always the bigger girl that people made fun of in elementary school, but by the time, I got to high school males would try to be with me on the low! Too most women that would have been okay but I knew I deserved better! (If you were a big child) how did you feel growing up as a large child?


When I was young I felt like an outcast, but by the time I got in middle school, I started teaching people how to treat me. My grandfather always told me “Lisa, people will only do to you what you allow them to.” In addition, I have found that to be true. What made you decide to enter the LargeInCharge model search?


The title of this magazine describes me. It describes my life, people of size it is time to take control of your life! Did you find it a hard journey to be accepted for your size?


Actually after I took my grandfather’s advice no, my biggest challenge in being a “super plus” model is other plus models looking at me in just the same light skinny models look at them. I have never seen no much negativity. I thought we were all apart of the same movement? The Bible says, “a kingdom divided against itself will fall” let’s not be that kingdom! Do you find acceptance among your family and friends?


Yes, They all kind of look at me and say “that’s Lisa” they all realize I am just going to be “Ms. Tally”! I have many skinny friends who sometimes compliment me on my confidence. What would you say inspires you most in life?


God inspires me, my husband and all the family that I have inspires me, both the spiritual and the natural; my god babies really keep me going! What is your primary job?


I am a Support Analyst for Sallie Mae Corporation and I am the Regional Director for the Mid West Chapter of X’Change Models as well as the State Liaison for Indiana. How did you get into this line of work?


I live in a college town so it’s either work for Sallie Mae or owe them…LOL  I was invited into X’Change Models by Myisha Hill (CEO) in 2007. Do you find acceptance in the work force?


Most people treat me differently then I see them treat of there full figured employees, people at the work place always say “your different, your not a regular big girl!” and my reply is well what’s a regular big girl?” I always get the blow off when I ask that! I had a supervisor who would train me correctly and I believe it was because of my size. She would use terms like “Oh she doesn’t need to know that!” What changes do you believe should take place for Large People in the work force?


They should be more accommodating to us, we are human too! What do you think about the fashion industry for big sized clothing?


OHHH I could preach until Jesus returns on one.
First, if I see one more flower, star, or stripe in a pattern, who wants to walk around looking like a daisy, a flag or a zebra? Secondly, I don’t like some of these plus-sized fashions, and the stuff that I do like is extremely expensive, so does that mean only high class plus sized people can wear those clothes? I will say it has come along way but we have a way to go! I like to look classy, sassy cute and comfy, excuse me if I want it all. What do you wish to see change with the fashion industry?


I would love to see more variety, I like to change up my look, and this woman loves options! What changes do you think will happen if plus sized modeling for men and women were to expand?


There would be more opportunities and then maybe more unity? (A girl can hope right.) Tell us some of the places you buy your clothing from.


Lane Bryant, Catherine’s, Simply Fashions & , just to name a few! Tell us one of your secret beauty tips.


Drink water, take vitamins and wear the right under garments! Give us some tips on how to have a successful Photo shoot. What should models be prepared for?


A model should be prepared for anything. I always make sure I have my few basic pieces (black pants, pencil skirt, ect.) If I am changing clothes a lot and I am the MA (Makeup Artist) then I’ll do makeup that can be worn with just about everything. Do not be afraid of a hairpiece or two, they have saved the day for me on many shoots! NEVER TRAVEL ALONE! Look at Size acceptance five years ago... look at size acceptance now. What changes do you see?


Yes I defiantly do, all we had was Monique then, but we have Gwen Devoe and Sharon Quinn and a these ladies are doing big things, letting this world know that we aren’t just a fad but we are here to stay. The sky is the limit, it is our time! What changes do you think will happen five years from now with size acceptance?


I can see us having our own Tv networks, talk shows, sitcoms and even more! Tell us about your goals as far as modeling and other interests.


My goal is to be the next Tyra or beyond! My goal is to be apart of raising up a generation of ladies that come after me that won’t have the issues we had growing up, being a person of size won’t even be an issue! That is my dream. Can you tell us about an inspirational moment in you life that made you feel good about your size.


My life right now inspires me! Is there a person in your life that makes you keep going?


Yes, my husband, he is my cheerleader, he always tells me “honey you can do it” when I tell him a dream of mines that seems so far off to me! My Spiritual family also cheers me on, they pray for me and hold me up in my times of need. What advice would you give to other people of size who want to model?


Make sure you want to model because you love it, it’s so much more than picture and stage lights, it is HARD work. What plus size figure do you admire?


Monique thank you! I really admire Ms. Gwen Devoe Describe yourself with one word.





Thanks for reading about our

Cover Model of the Month

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

Plus Sized Clothing Catalog Review


          I was at home hanging with a good friend of mine.  We were messing around with my small digital camera and talking about some things we didn't like as plus sized women.  Namely catalogs and clothing.  Of course with my large mouth I started doing a review on some of the catalogs that I actually order clothing from.  I ended up going through a few catalogs venting about the options and quantity of Clothing for the Super Sized Woman.  While I have found some things in the past it is a fact that my finds are few not often and far in-between.  Why are all the clothes I like never in my size? Then all the items I find ugly are right up there in 5, 6, and 7XL?


     I decided to share my crazy home video with you and while it is not the best quality, I am sure you will get the idea of the whole thing. You are welcome to leave me a comment.  I would love your feed back and let me know if Video articles are something your interested in seeing?



LargeInCharge Radio - Weekly Radio show discussing Plus Sized Issues.  Friday's 5-7 pm EST - Call in & Chat in our Chat Room.

Raqui's Cool Links  

Raqui's My Space Page

Raqui's Yahoo 360 Page

Thank you for Reading Raqui's Spot

Please send thoughts and comments to

Super Sized Sounds



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


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


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



Artist of the Month


My people, mi gente…

     Sorry to report I had no submissions this month. So no music review but I will throw up some youtube’s .

You Tubes of the Month


 This talented brother was a former member of the Born Jamericans and now he has proven to be a versatile force in the music industry repping riddims to ritmos and he thinks I’m hot so you gotta love him. Show this brother some love visit his my space page at  


My Interview With Notch @ Calle Ocho

     Check Out this video from new hot up and coming Latin Hip Hop Sensation Jimmy Flavor and lookout for the review of his highly anticipated album “Flavorr Of The Year” Soon to come. Show him some love visit his myspace page


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

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

Thanks for reading

Super Sized Sounds with Lynx


Lynx Cool Links

From the Plus Side


Emily Smiltneck

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


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

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


     It is a great joy when our fellow Plus Sized people receive 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.


And Then The Weight Lifted

by Emily Suzanne Smiltneck 

It was a dark and stormy night.  Of course it was a dark and stormy night; it had to be.  All murders take place on dark and stormy nights.

Panting, Michelle let herself fall from her knees and land on her side in the wet, muddy grass.  Her nightgown was stained, her fingers bloody and blistered.  And she had a wild, uncontrollable urge to laugh out into the darkness of the rainy night.  She wondered to herself if all murderers felt this way, or if she was just crazier than the rest.  She gave into the urge and rolled in the grass, laughing loudly.  Even to her own ears, the sound was maniacal, almost scary.  Her laughter faded to a broad grin and she sat up.  She hadn’t expected this moment to feel so good.

Mission accomplished.  It was all over now, the evidence buried in the woods a quarter mile behind the big empty house.  There were tears in Michelle’s eyes, to be sure, but they were tears of relief, not tears of shame.  She had finally done the thing she had been thinking about, dreaming of, obsessing over, for years.  Since childhood, really.  The focus of her rage had changed over the years, but never the rage itself.  This very moment was the first in what seemed like her entire life in which Michelle could honestly say she felt no rage at all.  Still grinning, she stood, shovel in hand, and breathlessly began the walk home. 

The clock was chiming when she sloshed into the house and stepped out of her husband’s knee-high waders.  They were wet and filthy, covered with mud and grass and God knows what else.  She didn’t stop to clean them, though.  It was three a.m., and it wasn’t like he would be using them any time soon.  She smiled to herself as she lifted her nightgown over her head, discarded it in a watery pile on the floor next to the boots, and walked up the stairs naked and gloriously muddy. 

She almost hated to go into the bathroom like this.  She had cleaned it so carefully.  But there was no other way.  She needed a bath, couldn’t go to bed all covered with mud.  It would ruin the sheets.  And besides, she was already so sore.  If she didn’t soak her poor muscles now, she’d barely be able to move by morning.  So, into the sparkling bathroom it was.

Michelle stared at her body in the mirror while the bathtub filled.  Her feet were short and stubby, her ankles thick and swollen.  They were the only parts of her body not covered in muddy swirls.  Her knees were barely more than indentations in her massive legs.  Turning sideways, she looked at her heavy, drooping belly and the rear that protruded, firm and large and round, behind her.  Her arms swelled from her shoulders and her neck almost disappeared between the mounds of flesh on her chest and the folds of her chin.  Not much to admire.  Except, tonight, for the first that she could remember, Michelle was looking at her body with no hatred, no shame.  She had finally freed herself, and it felt good.

She ran her hands over her body, feeling every inch of fatness that she could reach, then climbed into the bathtub and drew a deep breath.  Reality was beginning to set in, just a little.  Reality, but not yet remorse.  Michelle smiled once again and lay back in the warm water.  The fiberglass sides of the tub pressed against her, comforting her in their firmness.  It felt good to be contained.  Her eyelids drifted closed and she let herself relax into her dreams.


Michelle shot upright in the tub, splashing water onto the bathroom floor.  She listened carefully.  Nothing to hear but silence.  What had woken her—just the cooling water, or had there been something else?  She waited for the water to stop sloshing and strained her ears.  Still nothing, so she hooked her toe around the bathtub’s plug and lifted it.  Silence was replaced by the gurgling of water running down the drain.

Michelle hoisted herself from the tub with difficulty.  Between her aching muscles and the fact that the tub was barely wider than she was, it took a few minutes to get out and balance herself precariously on the edge of the tub.  Dripping, she opened the bathroom door and listened once more.  There didn’t seem to be anyone in the house.  She considered going downstairs to check that the doors were all locked, but it seemed like it would require too much energy.  The very thought of climbing down the stairs and then back up tired her.  She had already climbed those stairs so many times tonight.  Instead, she retreated into the bathroom once more and began refilling the tub with hot water.  Then she flipped on the CD player to kill the silence and submerged herself in the warmth of the bathtub.

This time, eyes closed, head resting on the wall of the tub, Michelle did not find sleep.  Instead, she could see everything she had been through in the past few hours playing like a movie in her mind.


Michelle glanced at the clock and sighed.  Quarter after six, the dinner reservations were for seven, it would take her ten minutes to get there, and she still hadn’t found anything to wear.  Hadn’t even thought about her hair or makeup yet.  She reached into her closet and pulled out a pair of black pants.  She pulled them on and even managed to button them all right, but when she did, her stomach bulged out above them like she was wearing a tire around her stomach.  In desperation, she yanked on an underwire bra in the hopes that her thus enhanced breasts would hold her shirt out and away from her protruding belly.  The only clean shirts she could find pulled across the front, though.  She needed one loose enough to hide her imperfections.  Tears welled up in her eyes and she tore yet another outfit off in frustration.

The closet was just about empty.  The bedroom floor, on the other hand, was almost completely covered.  She had gained a little weight since the last time she’d gone out anywhere.  Not a lot, but enough that every pair of pants was just a little tighter, fit just a little differently than it had before.  And everything she owned made her bulge out in some place that she wasn’t supposed to bulge. 

Finally, she dug to the bottom of the pile on the floor and found the first pair of pants she had tried on and then discarded as too casual.  At least they fit; Michelle hated the fact that she had to wear stretch pants, but she had to admit that they were a fat woman’s best friend.  She dug into the pile once more and came up with a red sweater that was pretty enough to dress the pants up a little, then grabbed a pair of heels from the closet floor and escaped from the chaos of the bedroom into relative serenity of the bathroom.  She dressed quickly and then looked in the mirror.  Her hair was standing out in wild peaks and nests from pulling so many shirts over her head, her face was blotchy and tear-stained, and her eyes were red and dismal-looking.

She sat on the toilet and felt a wave of grief washing over her.  She was tempted to give in to it, to settle into a solid fit of tears, go hide in her bed and never get out.  But Chris would be waiting for her, and she didn’t want to upset him.  She stood up again, doing her best to avoid seeing any more of herself in the mirror than she had to.  She was amazingly good at pretending that no part of her body below her neck existed.

Michelle set to work with a comb, untangling her ratty hair.  When she had worked out all the clumps and knots, it still didn’t look smooth and sleek like she wanted it to, like every other woman’s seemed to.  She gathered it in a knot and pinned it at the top of her head.  There, that was taken care of.  She quickly dabbed at her eyes with a cold washcloth and then carefully lined them with white liner that would, according to some magazine she’d read, lessen the redness.  A quick dash of lip gloss later, she was ready to leave.  Finally.  Five minutes before she was supposed to be there.  She scowled at the scale in the corner of the room, the bane of her existence, and hurried out the door.

When she got to the restaurant, her husband was already there, waiting.  Of course he was, because he was perfect.  Always early, always well-dressed, always the understated center of attention in every room.  Michelle had wondered many times how the hell he had wound up with someone like her.  She was glad he had, but even now, after ten years of marriage, she still felt like it was somehow all a dream. 

She’d first seen him in the park one day, jogging past the playground where she’d been watching a friend’s kids.  She’d just landed her dream job and was experiencing an unusual burst of self confidence.  A deliriously bold burst of self confidence.  When he’d stopped at the fountain a few feet away from her for a drink, she’d introduced herself and asked him out.  Just like that.  He’d been so surprised that he’d said yes. 

But by the time they’d actually gone out, the confidence had faded.  Instead of a sexy, self-assured woman, she’d acted like a puppy dog, soaking up his attention, begging for his approval, practically resting her chin in his lap and panting.  And she supposed that was how it had happened.  What man wouldn’t be somewhat flattered by a woman who adored him that way?  So, they’d wound up dating without really planning to.  And they’d wound up married.  And since then, the dream had been more like a nightmare at times.  Not always, but at times.

Michelle slid into the chair opposite her husband at the table he was seated at.

“Sorry I’m late.  I—my—something came up.”

“No trouble.  I used the extra time to finish up some things from work.”

At least he wasn’t angry.  But he didn’t put his Blackberry away, either.  Silently, Michelle studied the menu.  She fought back tears again.  This night, of all nights, was the one she wished he would notice that she had made an effort for him.  Not that she looked wonderful or anything; her eyes were still red, her face always looked too fat when her hair was pulled back, and she wasn’t exactly dressed up.  But he could have lied, just once.  She craved acknowledgement, attention, just a little bit of praise.  But Chris never even looked up.

Until the waitress approached, that is.  The tiny, blonde waitress, with funky black glasses, the reddest of lips, and a brilliant smile that must have cost her parents a billion dollars in braces and whitening treatments.  When she strutted up to the table, fruity perfumed air surrounding her, his head snapped up and the charming smile slid onto his face.  Damn, Michelle hated that smile.  It was never aimed at her anymore.  Never really had been, because she’d been easy. 

As soon as the waitress walked away, Michelle launched into a conversation about a catalog she’d received in the mail.  Then she switched to one about a movie she’d seen advertised, and then one about a client at work.  But she never got more than a cursory nod as her husband’s eyes chased the waitress around the room.  Finally, she gave up and sank into silence, allowing her husband to concentrate more fully on the tight black pants hugging the girl’s rear and the low-cut sweater she wore that left very little to the imagination.  And when the girl came back to take their orders, Michelle found herself ordering a full-sized entrée, along with soup and salad and bread.  An appetizer, too.  She would have ordered more, but it was too early to order dessert. 

And that only depressed her more.  She had ordered half the menu.  She found herself doing that a lot.  Whenever she was feeling a little down.  Or insecure.  Or nervous.  Or lonely.  And once in a while when she was happy, too.  To celebrate.  Which was why none of her pants fit right and her husband was so busy staring at a seventeen-year-old hussy that he had forgotten she was even there.  But he would definitely remember she was there when he got the bill. 

When Michelle had finally finished eating, or at least had eaten as much as humanly possible and asked the tiny little waitress to box up the rest, Chris finally spoke to her.  To tell her he had to run back to the office for a while and would be home later.  She cried all the way home.

Once there, she went upstairs.  She picked up all the clothes from the floor and piled them on the bed, intending to put them away, but once she had gotten that far, she lacked the energy.  Instead, she stripped off her clothes, pulled a long, sleeveless nightgown over her head, collapsed onto the bed among the wrinkled clothing, and fell almost instantly asleep.

Her sleep was filled with a million tiny dreams that brought back every minute detail of every humiliating moment of her life.  When she finally pulled herself from sleep, stopped the dreams from coming, the first thing she did was look at the clock.  Shortly after eleven.  He had to be home by now.  But was he?  Michelle listened carefully but heard nothing.  Either he was hiding out in the living room—there wasn’t actually room for him on the bed, she supposed—or he was still out.  Still working.  Or not working, which Michelle thought exponentially more likely.  That damn waitress!

She got up to use the bathroom.  The light was on when she swung around the corner, and when she entered, her eyes focused on a sight that brought back all the rage she had been holding inside all night long.  Her whole life, really.  She couldn’t hold back any longer.  By the time she was inside the bathroom, her fists were swinging. 

A few minutes later, she was back in the bedroom digging under the bed.  She came up with a long screwdriver and a hammer and quickly, breathlessly, flew back into the bathroom.  She stabbed and pounded and struck for much longer than she actually needed to.  The bathroom was a mess when she finally stopped, slid to the floor in tears, lay there among the broken pieces of her life.

After a very long time, maybe an hour or two or even three, she forced herself to stand.  Her knees were weak with the importance of what she had just done.  And with the heaviness of the task that awaited her.  She made her way down the stairs and into the pantry.  She noticed some blood on her nightgown, but there wasn’t time now to do anything about it.  She’d have to see to it later.  She grabbed an armful of plastic bags and slowly, painfully, she climbed the stairs once again.

It took her another two hours to fill plastic bags.  She couldn’t work for very long without pausing to catch her breath, but she wanted to be sure nothing was left behind.  It struck her that she was being very clinical, very emotionless, about the whole thing.  The only emotion she could seem to register, in fact, was pleasure at the sound of rain on the window, thunder in the air.  It seemed fitting.

Michelle piled the bags outside the bathroom door and got the mop out of the closet.  She scrubbed the bathroom until her knuckles were bleeding again and every inch of the floor, every fixture, shone.  She turned the lights off and stood watching the bolts of lightening reflecting on the shiny white surfaces for a few minutes before she began the task of doing away with the evidence.  It must be a horrible thing she had done, she knew that, but it didn’t feel horrible.  It felt pretty damn good, actually.

The bags seemed heavy to her.  She had purposely filled them only part way, but they were still so heavy.  She was so weak.  She threw them down the stairs and then began hauling them out into the woods behind the house.  It took a few trips to get them to the place she would bury them, and then another trip to the shed by the house to get a shovel. 


But she had finally finished, and now she was back in her shiny, clean bathroom, relaxing in a tub full of bubbles, still unable to find any guilt within herself.  She had simply done what it was time to do. 

All her life, even as a child. she had been told to step on the scale every single day.  If the number was bigger than the number she’d seen the day before, she’d been deprived of cookies, cakes, bread, everything but fruit and vegetables, until the number was back down.  Which it rarely was, because all the steady diet of fruits and vegetables imposed on her by her judgmental mother did was make her steal candy from the store down the street and hole up in her room to eat it. 

All her life, long before she was even old enough to care about men, she had been told over and over again that if she didn’t keep that number on the scale down to a reasonable level, no man would ever love her.  She had been told that she would be a failure as a woman, would never have children, would never know sex, would never know love, unless she stepped on that goddamn scale every day and kept the number down .

Well, she was done now.  She no longer cared about men, or sex, or love.  She had gotten a husband, regardless of the number on the scale, that goddamn scale that was the first thing she saw every time she walked into the bathroom.  And if he had decided since then that he’d rather be with a skinny little seventeen-year-old waitress, that was his problem, not hers. 

The number on the scale wasn’t her problem anymore. 

She’d taken care of that by smashing it and burying it in the backyard.  And it had been well worth some bloody knuckles and muddy boots. 

And for better or worse, whenever he came home and wherever he’d been in the meantime, Michelle couldn’t wait to tell her husband what she’d done.  It was, without a doubt, a jubilantly dark and stormy night.   


Thanks for reading

From the Plus Side with Emily Smiltneck


Emily's Cool Links

Good 4 U Food

Recipes for Good... Healthy Food

By: Xander - The Food Dude


It's not Over Yet

by Xander The Food Dude


     In a recent article, it noted how the Prime Minister of France had state the because of the economic problems occurring, trade problems, extended war in Iraq, and political strife, the “American Dream Was Over”.  I took the time to read through the article and with contrite fashion he marked off the fallacy of the American Dream ending with some rhetoric about how everyone knew the dominance in the world would finally fail.  Personally, at first the idea upset me, but little by little it came to me like a lightning bolt, fast and strong.  Misery loves company.


     We as Americans are often savaged by people outside of the states because of our governments actions and political stances.  We are wholesale bashed because of our county wide blessings of economic power and military power.  But what defines the American Dream.  I thought for a while on this and came to realize there is no such things as the American Dream.  Any motivational speaker will tell you that dreams are wispy clouds, or even illusions if never acted on.  I think back to one of the best known dreams of history was Dr. King’s, “I Have A Dream” speech.  Many of us, much of the time speak of “dreams” that we have, be it a better life, healthier body, better economic conditions, more fulfilling social life, etc.  But left in the dream context, they will never take shape, never have substance, is short, never know the light of day.  If we look back through history, can we actually say this is such as thing as the “American Dream” ?  


     I look back through people who have changed the course of history for good or bad and ask myself, “Did they have a dream ?”  Some yes, some no, but one thing can be universally agreed upon is that they took action.  Whether that be through personal choice or forced into the decision, they took action.  The change of a dream into a reality and then a life can only be defined by the journey that is begun with the decision to take action.  Until then, the dream is fluffy like a cloud.  It has no substance, no reality, and no foundation or hope of becoming real.  Action is the true key to attainment.  It is the guide to where we want to be.  It is also the greatest downfall of 90% people who fail to attain their dream.  Action requires that you face fear, adversaries, pain, and resistance.  Not exactly the best way to spend a quite spring day.  But, it is necessary to be what you want to be.


     I think the concept of the American Dream is a some way is a fallacy, or a figment of someone imagination.  Action the key.  In America, we have, by our birthright, and a great many lives of many willing to sacrifice their for their legacies, the right to choose how to live our lives.  We have the “Freedom” to decide what in many cases is right us or wrong for ourselves.  We have the Freedom to choose.  With every trial, adversary or pain, we have a world of options that we can take.  We each have the right and responsibility to be the masters of our path.  So in the end if we talk about American Dreams what we’re really talking about is the Freedoms we have.  I can understand how someone outside of the freedom would expect that something so intangible as the concept of dream could die.  Freedom, they say can be taken.  “They” would be wrong.  Once you’ve had or tasted freedom, you can never go back to a place where you don’t have it.  It is like being touched by the Grace of God.  You’re never quite the same again.

Its like the envious person who always wants what someone else has.  When the can’t have it, they talk it down, as though it were trash they would never be seen in.  For us in America, while in most case do not honor nor acknowledge the gifts we have, they are nonetheless there for us.  The only true way we can lose it is by giving it up for ourselves.


     I guess in the end, the fabled American Dream is actually American Freedom.  Freedom to be anything we want to be.  It can never end or be stopped.  Let me ask you this…..


What do you dream about ?  How will you act on it ?


Until the next may God keep you and family’s safe and fulfilled.


Xander's Recipe of the Month

Baked Souiza Chicken with a Cornbread Bake


This dish is a variation on tamales.  It is inspired Spanish cuisine.  Tradition meets tradition.

This casserole has a cornbread base with Chicken, Sour Cream, and Mushrooms.  Its very easy to make.



  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 (15.25 ounce) can whole kernel corn
  • 1 (15 ounce) can cream-style corn
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 (8.5 ounce) package corn bread mix
  • 1 Can Cream of Chicken Soup 
  • 2 1/3 cups chopped cooked chicken breast
  • 2 tablespoons canned green chile peppers, chopped
  • 1 (4 ounce) jar chopped mushrooms, drained
  • 1/2 cup nonfat sour cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 (8 ounce) package Monterey Jack cheese, shredded



1.      Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease 9x13 inch baking dish.

2.      Melt margarine in a small skillet over med-high heat. Saute onion and garlic until tender, 4 to 6 minutes; set aside. In a large bowl, combine corn, cream style corn, salt and eggs. Beat in muffin mix. Fold in cooked onion mixture. Pour into prepared baking dish.

3.      In a large bowl, combine chicken, green chiles, mushrooms, sour cream, salt and pepper. Spoon over corn mixture to within 1 inch from edge. Sprinkle top with cheese.

4.      Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until edges are golden brown


Thank you for Reading Good Food 4U

By Xander the Food Dude

Please send thoughts and comments to

Big Girls on the Red Carpet


Cher was born in Los Angeles California in 1955. Being adopted by wonderful parents she grew up in the city of Encino, and was always surrounded by loving caring family and friends. Growing up with a thin mother, who was always trying to get Cher to lose weight, diets of all types, sending her to fat camp, bribing her, and
not ever having sweets in their home.

Growing up Cher never was lacking in friends and boyfriends who loved her personality and her kindness.
Guys in her life always were saying your so pretty but why don't you lose some weight. This she heard all of her life but her weight just would go up and down.

Cher has always loved seeing others happy and helping others to find their inner self and beauty.
Ten years ago, she found the plus size community and she knew this is where she would focus on helping others who were like her and had some of her experiences and pain that she went through.

Cher has been in the community working with others for size acceptance. She was seen on "Dr.Phil, "Good Morning America","Entertainment Tonight", "Russian, British, Japanese,and Viet Vietnamese Television". Also a documentary filmed at the Las Vegas Bash on the Travel channel, and Current TV, a online station, with numerous radio interviews talking about size acceptance.

She was a promoter for the number one BBW hip hop club in California, and seeing people come into the club and make new friends and feel good about themselves warmed her heart.

Her love for helping others to feel better about themselves and to help mainstream accept the plus size community is her focus and goal. She is Vice President of "Hollywood Cure For Pain" a celebrity movement to help those who suffer in chronic pain. She is now showing mainstream that "Big Girls can rock the Red Carpet"! Besides being a wife, mother and activist, playing with her Chocolate Lab Ruby is what she loves best!


Pimp My Wheel Chair Red Carpet Event Video

TONEO, Cher Rue, Amanda Rushing, Johnny V and Fawn.


Pimp My Wheel Chair Red Carpet Event

Article by: Cher Rue 


On Saturday February 16th was a red carpet event at Les Deux nightclub in Hollywood California.

In celebration of one of the owners Dave Pearce and to spread awareness for a non-profit organization

devoted to helping the disable, customize and modify their wheelchairs. Pimp My Wheelchair works directly with the Los Angeles Children's Hospital as well as Jerry's Kids, in an effort to make the lives of the young disabled more hip and stylish, and to be accepted. Granite Rock Films' Founder Dave Pearce and Pimp My Wheel Chair are committed to raising awareness via celebrity outreach to bring light to this cause.


Invited celebrities were some great people but most I did not see. Here they are.

 Gnarls Barkley, Verne Troyer(mini me), Kevin Conley, Brandon Davis

Bishop Dawn Jaun, Will I am(Black Eyed Peas), Ce Lo, Ron Jeremy, Cathy Griffin, Cee Cee Devile, Clifton Collons. Danny Treo, Efren Ramirez, Jeff Bozz, The Sunset Tan Girls, Jacob Vargos, Jason Biggs, Larry Birkhead,Jay Davis, Nick Cannon, Paul Davis, Tommy Davison, Brandon Malole



The ones I ran into were Efren Ramierz, Jeff Valentine, Johnny V, Danny Treo, Ce Lo, Amanda Rushing, Fawn, Al Burkette and Jason Biggs and TONEO. It was packed full of young people drinking, dancing and having a lot of fun.

         Efren Rameriez and Fawn    -     Efren Rameriez and Cher Rue


Steve Valentine (Spiderman 3) & Cher Rue     -    Johnny V Loves Cake     -      Johnny V and Jon Rue


            Amanda Rushing, Cher Rue, Johnny V                          TONEO (Talk Show host) & Cher Rue


                           Amanda Rushing, Cher Rue            -          CE LO (Rapper) and Cher Rue


Thanks for reading Big Girls on the Red Carpet

More than a Teddy Bear



I am a big guy with a big heart.  My favorite thing in the world to do is to make others laugh.  It gives a sense of calm and peace to both people involved and there is nothing better than to walk up to that person later in th day and just see the smile on their face from the memory they have of what you did earlier. 


I am a family man as well.  I live in Montreal, Quebec with my wonderful wife Naomi and my two adorable children Connor and Brett.  They are the sun around which I revolve and without them my life would have more tragedy than comedy in it I guarantee.


I was raised in Southern California, Moved to New York, Moved to Kansas and then back to New York.  Follow me so far?  I have a perspective on the entire country I think, from the surfers in Los Angeles, to the Wheat Farmers in Kansas City to the Kodak Managers in Rochester.


I am sick and tired of mainstream media not allowing the plus-sized person, be they man or woman, to be represented fairly in the media.  You have wonderfully bright spots in the darkness, like our own Raqui, but the rest of the clouds have yet to be broken through and I hope I can help in that.


I am a open man who loves to talk.  You want to ask me a question, go ahead.  You have an idea for something you want me to write?  Go ahead.  I don't mind posting my email ( because I do not shy away from responding to people.  Plus, I have a really good spam filter.


Love and Respect to all.  James, by the way, they also call me Kaobear


As a Child... Part 1
with James Nealon


I have always been a big guy.  I was nearly six feet tall before I got into high school and as I got into High School, I grew up and out.  I could sit here and lie and say I had open-minded and caring schoolmates who treated me as an equal, I think you would know you had just started to read fiction instead of fact.


I did what all big guys in High School do.


I joined the Football team.


I was a damn good tackle my friends.  6'6” and a Rampaging Beast, which was my nickname on the team coincidentally.  I took running backs down a peg or twelve and god help any quarterback I ever happened to meet.


It was not to last though.


I ripped my knee out Sophomore year and after that I was worse than just the fat kid, I was the fat kid who couldn't even do what fat kids do.


I was teased so incessantly that I didn't go to school for weeks on end.  I would have arrangements with teachers to get my work and then turn it in before anyone showed up for class, or, in some cases, I would simply hand it to them in the parking lot and never come into the building.


I would wander about the small town I lived in and smoke copious amounts of tobacco.  I have a voice similar to a rusty can now because of that stretch of time, even though I no longer smoke.


I tumbled down avenues of drink and drug to wash away the memories of what would happen when I actually did go to school.  By the time my Junior year stared, I was on Heroin and sliding down to death as quick as any man could without the assistance of a gun.


One afternoon, cold if I recall correctly, I met a person who would make me reevaluate my choice, my life, my very purpose for being.


A priest named McCoy.


Thanks for reading More than a Teddy Bear

James Links:

Hot & Heavy Entertainment


     Stephanie Baham is a native of Los Angeles, CA and now resides in the San Francisco area. She's a 38 year old professional who has long enjoyed the craft of writing. Her other interests include film, theatre, yoga, dancing, literature and politics. Stephanie holds a Bachelor's degree from Cal State University, Long Beach in Theatre Arts. She is currently working towards her degree in Psychology.


The Brits
with Stephanie Baham



     This month I decided to check up on the Brits.  I wanted to see if there were any plus sized entertainers from Great Britain I could focus on this month.


     I came across a British movie called “Run, Fat Boy, Run” which is going to be released in the US this spring.  I wasn’t sure about the title at first…was this going to be a plus size positive film or plus size negative?  I decided to investigate further.


     The story is about a guy who left his wife at the altar, and now he wants her back.  In order to win her heart & woo her away from her handsome & wealthy boyfriend, he decides to run a 26-mile marathon.


     As I scrolled through the cast list I came across my favorite British actor in the lead role, Simon Pegg!  You might remember him from “Shaun of The Dead” and “Hot Fuzz”.  Simon is a very funny actor. But, he’s not big. He’s not even chubby.  Was he playing the “fat boy” that’s running? Was he going to wear a “fat suit”?  How he’s going to pull that role off?


     I decided to watch the trailer. My man Simon Pegg was playing the “fat boy.” And the only fat on him was a few extra pounds around the waist.  He barely had love handles. Is that Britain’s idea of fat?  10 extra pounds?  No thanks United Kingdom, there’s not enough meat on his bones for my taste.  Could they not find a plus-size actor? What about Simon’s co-star in the two films I mentioned above, Nick Frost?  He’s a big guy and one of the funniest British actors to crossover to the US.


      The picture you see above on the left, is Simon Pegg lifting some hand weights in a gym.  It’s a picture from “Run, Fat Boy, Run”.  It looks like they stuffed his shirt with a pillow to give the illusion of some extra pounds.  The picture on the right is of Simon Pegg & Nick Frost from “Shaun Of The Dead”. Who looks bigger???


So let’s focus on a true plus size actor….British performer, Nick Frost!


     Nick is a 36 year old actor/comedian from Essex, England.  Simon Pegg was the one who discovered Nick, and later cast him in several movies.  His most popular crossover film to the US was “Shaun Of The Dead”.  He played the crazy roommate….and he was absolutely hilarious.  The best part about his role was that although he played a lazy, goofy roommate…his size was never portrayed as something that was slowing him down during the story.  He ran from zombies, fought zombies, and helped save England from the undead.  His character was quick-witted, loveable and just funny as hell!


Keep your eye out for this big guy….he’s the best of the Britain’s biggest!  Cheers!


Thanks for reading Hot & Heavy Entertainment


National and International Plus Size News


     I am a former plus-size model and stage performer. I have written articles that have appeared in local newspapers, college magazines and I was a sports editor for my school newspaper. Currently I have a book coming out in May 08, How to Make a Living Without a Job: the Guide to Professional Temping. It will be available online through Amazon and can be ordered through Barnes & Noble or Borders. I split my time between the Bay Area, CA and Houston, TX.


Changes keep Coming
with Iolande Argent


     Well it was only a few years ago, the fashion industry lambasted models like Kate Moss for looking anorexic, but today the runway still showcases skin and bones. One questions if that industry was only thumbing its nose to Kate Moss thin after the backlash occurred over drug usage, given the term used to be “heroine chic” synonymous with the only way adult female models maintained their skin and bones physique. Remember Kate was only in “trouble” after she came out of rehab, but not when she was the poster child for that look.

Indeed, 33-year-old French model Johanna Dray, like Smith, is beautiful but voluptuous.

      "The fashion industry is still really snobby," Dray said in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle. "There are only a handful of designers who have used big women for their shows. It's still pretty closed."

     Italian plus-size fashion house Elena Mirò now regularly stages a prêt-à-porter show during Fashion Week in Milan. On February 19 2008, fuller figure models graced the runway to present Elena Miro collection at Milan Fashion Week Fall-Winter 2008-09.

     Elena Miro specializes in sizes 14 and over. Her range includes wide range of women clothing and lingerie. Her clothes sell through hundreds of stores around the world.

     Other well-known high fashion designers are starting to look more closely at the earning potential from serving consumers wearing plus-size clothing with prêt-à-porter (ready to wear), and have started booking plus-size models for their advertising campaigns and catwalks. Velvet D'Amour made headlines by appearing in John Galliano’s Spring 2006 ‘Everybody is Beautiful’ prêt-à-porter show and in Jean-Paul Gaultier’s 2007 Spring/Summer prèt-â-porter show.

     In Europe, the industry has taken voluntary initiatives to bar super-thin girls. Madrid's major fashion show applies weight limits. Exhibitions such as a wedding dress showing in Barcelona banned fashion models who took a dress size below 38 (British size 10, US size eight). As of 2006, excessively skinny fashion models are now barred from a major Madrid fashion shows. Spain, in fact, passed a resolution to not allow anorexic models as they send a bad message to young women about body image. Three cheers for Spain.

     Milan sent rumors going in 2006 that for the first time ever there was going to be a plus size trade show happening at the end of September.  The event took place on September 22-25 whereby a special “plus size” pavilion would be dedicated to 80 European designers with “Sopra 46” (Italian for “over size 12”) lines within the Milano Vende Moda (Milan Sells Fashion). The event was a thrilling success since 53% of women in Italy qualify as “sopra 46” – they pretty much share the same percentage statistic as every other country around the world.

Milan requires models to carry medical certificates.

     Following on their heels similar efforts went under way in London and in France to promote a healthier look.

     But waiflike models still dominate the fashion magazines, and fat women are still objects of ridicule, according to Michael Musto, who writes a gossip and celebrity column for the Village Voice. "Vogue put Jennifer Hudson on the cover and then went right back to promoting stick-figure type women," he said.

The more things change the more they stay the same…but the wheel goes round.


Thanks for reading Did You Know

Why, Oh Why

    Erin says she grew up in a rural Texas town, the small town life atmosphere has always appealed to me and that is why I currently reside here. I have the city life girl burrowed deep within me though and sometimes she is able to escape to Dallas and have a good time. I was a very awkward child, and when ADD was not even understood, I had it, and spent a lot of time in the principals office. I grew up very much a tomboy. Once I hit 18, I set out on the world and started school. My major was to be journalism, then in 1999, tragedy hit me and I nearly died in a car accident. The outer wounds healed rather quickly leaving me with the inner scars I still deal with daily. I try to see each day as a new one and keep family and friends really close to my heart where they belong. I enjoy music and photography and my love for writing has stayed with me since I was a child. Now as a 29 year old woman, I spend most days still day dreaming and working hard to make them come true. I am currently in school full time and will complete my journalism degree with a minor in music. Pink is my absolute favorite color! I write poetry and am currently working on my first book about my life.


Erin was chosen because of her flair with words and her ability to find real day to day instances in which Plus Sized people say WHY, Oh, WHY.


Music World

with Erin Thompson


   The music business is a tough place to make it in even under normal circumstances. So why oh why are there not any plus size women really hitting the big time in music?


     From Debbie Gibson to Britney Spears the pop star factory has been going strong for a very long time. Popping out blonde beauties with pop songs everyone can sing along with. When I think of plus size singers, all that come to mind are a handful – Mama Cass, Carnie Wilson, Nell Carter, Missy Elliott and I am sure there are more in which I have not named. But are they in the real spotlight where everyone can see them?


     Are they super famous like Britney Spears? It is a well known fact that these young pop stars today can sing, act and dance. However, there are millions of proud overweight girls just dying to be a pop stars. They are sitting in the rooms watching the latest music video saying “I wish I could be like that” I was one of those girls. From a very young age watching Debbie Gibson I fluttered around my bedroom like a butterfly, untamed and not jaded by society’s outlook on the “chubby” girl. I wanted to be a pop star. I wanted to sing about things that mattered to me and be a role model for young children.


     Society tells us that it is not ok to fat. The magazines tell us it is not chic to be fat. You have to really look inside your heart for what is really ok. You have to see the world through your own eyes and not everyone else’s. If you want to be a pop star, BE A POP STAR. If you want to model, MODEL. If you want to be someone’s assistant, BE AN ASSISTANT. Do not let the physical over power your mental.


     Our daily struggles can sometimes not keep us motivated. It is hard to believe that some day will be your day to shine. I am proof that you can. I have never given up on my dreams and even though I am not a super famous pop star, I am living my dreams out through my art and writing. I took a different avenue only because I do not have a voice like Kelly Clarkson, so it is best I stay indoors with my talent. You have to become whatever it is you want to become in life. You have to soar.


     You have to be the one, who at the end of the day is proud of yourself first. Reach for the stars, it is ok!


Thanks for reading Why, Oh Why

Erin's MySpace:


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!





He held out his hand and touched my heart.  Big Girls can have love too.




Spring is coming and I want to fall in love finally.  I am not going to limit myself

I will find the phatty girl I always dreamed about.





I know you read the Confessions.  Every month you tell me about them.

I don't want to be just friends... I love you.  Do you love me?




He left me and I finally feel relieved.  He never loved my body.

Someone will.





Why is it so difficult to find a young BBW-Lover? 

It seems like all the men interested in Plus Sized women are 35 and older.

What's a 23 year old to do?





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 Magazine.  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

Guest Writer of the Month

I Think I Figured it Out

A submission from our Writer's Search Applicant's

Written By: Dawn Diethra Snearl


 I remember my outrage at being called a human. "Fuck that and fuck you" I'd say. As if that was the ultimate insult, right up there with "yo mamma" and the derogatory use of the word "bitch". And I guess in many ways for me, it was.

     When you're a minority on multiple levels, i.e. sex, race, size, etc...You learn that life will certainly be different for you. I learned at a very young age, that I would never be prettier and therefore more desirable than my older, thinner, sluttier sister. This was never presented to me as an opinion; therefore, I never questioned its accuracy. You can only accept fact; you can't bend it, or reshape it. It just is. "Thank God you're smart." my mother would say to me after seeing me in a dress. At first, her words hurt. Mainly, because it came from my mother, my blood, and if family can't accept you for who and what you are, then what chance have you of being accepted in any other group?

     But soon I became numb. And it was that numbness that made me feel less human. At first that scared me, then it comforted me. "Who wants to be human?" I thought. They hurt each other, kill one another, steal from each other, rape, beat and demean each other. Who wants that?

     Slowly I began to die. I didn't allow myself the chance to feel. Feeling was human, and human was not me. I was something else, a mistake. Something that went wrong in a science lab. An alien dropped here by negligent parents, and all I wanted to do was go back home.

     It wasn't just my mother that helped me die. It was teachers, students, and other so called friends. Little by little, chipping away at the beauty that was at the very essence of me. Robbing and raping without my knowledge. Planting seeds of self doubt. Forcing me to question my worth. Throwing coal on the light.

     I became more and more detached from everything, and everyone. More and more wrapped up in my delusions, until I nearly broke myself.

And then I ran.

     But there's one thing you can't run from. Life. It'll find you, no matter where you go. And sooner or later, you'll have to live it. It's a game you can't stop playing, not even when you're completely out of pieces. But that sure as hell didn't stop me from trying. When life came from my left, I took a sharp right. And I kept running so much that I ended up falling right smack dab in the middle of love.

     And I knew it was love, because I could feel it. It had kissed the beauty that slept inside me. The one I long ago pronounced dead. The one I buried alive, all the while forcing the shovel into someone else's hands.

     It took me into restless nights and days of praying for miracles. It gave me joy and hope, even when I really had nothing to believe in. It was brief and all consuming.

     But that love was enough. Not returned, never returned. But enough to give me hope that one day it will be. And I began to live again.

I can see me now. All of me. All of my worth, my beauty, my light.

     I'm horrible, evil, selfish, hateful, vengeful, wonderful, smart, kind, loving, giving, selfless, magnificent, and human.

Just like you.



Interested in applying for a writers position?


     Send in the information below along with a clear photograph of yourself and one complete article at least 300 words.  Please make sure your article is matching the position your applying for.  If you are a versatile writer and applying for more than one position send in one article for each position.


     Any submissions maybe be used in the magazine as a guest article or other wise if you do not receive a position.  If you are picked for a position it will be used as a back up for your column in case of emergency.


I want to Apply for a Writers Position:


My Name is:

My email address is:

My Phone Number is:

My location/address is:

The position I am applying for is:


Here is my article:


I am allowing LargeInCharge to use my image and article as they see fit.  By typing my name and date I understand that I agree to the above.   NAME/DATE


Send to:


Thank you

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:  Why is it so difficult to find a young BBW-Lover?  It seems like all the men interested in Plus Sized women are 35 and older. What's a 23 year old to do?
Raqui: That is something because I find that all the young men come after me.  I cant find a man my own age interested in me.  I am 33 years old and I get men from ages 15 to 30.  My Man now is 26 and I met him when he was 23 and I was 30.  But I have heard of this before.  I think the younger men are attracted to the older women and the older men are attracted to the younger women.  I would say your best bet is to find one you like and go to him instead of waiting for him to come to you.

Q:  I saw you perform your poetry, what is your price to perform?


Raqui: Right now I haven't charged yet to perform. I want my traveling expenses at least handled.  So if your interested email me and we can work something out.


Q:   Are you going to Vegas Bash this year?  I hope so..


Raqui:  I have been trying to get to Vegas Bash for 2 year now.  But because of financial reasons I couldn't make it.  If I am able to get my hands on enough money I will be there with bells on :)

Q:   What can I do to make my BBW lady believe i have no problem with her body.



Raqui:  Telling her over and over and touching her and talking, letting her know why you love each part.  It is a process your changing everything that she has been told and has learned.  She will get it with time.



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:  Swim wear and Cover Ups

Description:  Summer is coming and many of us are going to events in which swim wear is necessary. There are some affordable Cover Ups in Romans this year which are affordable.  Some nice swim suits also.


Roman's -




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:
Bed Rail and Tray

Type of Product: Tray

Cost of Product: $129.99

Where Product can be found: 

In the Health & Wellness > Bed & Accessories > Rails


Makes movement in and out of the bed much easier by offering a means to maintain balance while rising to a standing position, or lowering to a sitting position. Fits between the mattress and box springs. Rail easily pivots out of the users way when not needed and the included convenient bedside tray can be pivoted toward or away from the bed. Height adjustable and reversible so it can be used on either side of the bed. No assembly required, made of steel and includes a safety strap.

Why I like this Product: I think this product because it is useful to many types of people.  If you like to study in bed weather you are bed ridden or not this item helps all. If you need help with rising out of bed due to any number of ailments this item is sturdy.  If you like to use your laptop or any number of items while in bed this makes it very comfy.  It is adjustable and you can use your sears card or apply for one to purchase this item.



Send in your Product recommendation to

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