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LargeInCharge Magazine - Six Years on the Net!

 Issue#74 - May 2010

Welcome to LargeInCharge Magazine

In this Issue of L.I.C.




Words of Wisdom from the Heart & Mind of Raqui


Big Girls on the Red Carpet  ~ Cher Rue


From the Plus Side ~ Emily Smiltneck

Good 4 U Food  ~ Xander


The Big GB My Gastric Bypass Memoirs - Soyna Bennett


Tales of a Happy Fat Girl ~ Estrelia Mateo


From the Desk of NAAFA

National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance


Fashion & Products with The WebGirl ~ Lucia Roth


Free All Thinking ~ Candace Lane

Reflections from a Plus Sized Sista


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!

Davina Robinson - The Rock N Roll Soul Chick!
written by Raqui
     In Japan there is a Diva on the underground scene who is rocking it out.  One whose rich voice resonates with power and confidence.  Performing for fifteen years now Davina Robinson has broken the conventional mold.  She does this in Japan no less where size and weight can be more of an issue than we in the US have to face. 

     Yes it is the land of the Sumo, but this plus sized Soul Chick doesn't use her size as a gimmick.  She sings about things that matter to all humans regardless of size or race.

     " I don't want to contribute to the already-limited ideas of what people of size are "allowed" to do or be." Davina says.

     "Thin people can sing about heartbreak, bad relationships, partying, sex, whatever. People of size also have these same issues on their minds - WE can sing about them, too."

     What can I say about Davina?  She is an unforgettable powerful singer.  She knows what she loves and stands for what she believes in.  Let me Introduce to you all Davina Robinson - The Rock n Roll Soul Chick! What is your name (Real and name used for Artistic Expression)?

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

Philadelphia, PA, now Osaka, Japan Are you what most would consider a person of size?

yes Have you always been a person of size, or did you grow with time?

Yes, with a few "thin" years here and there Your performances are unique and interesting, Please tell us about your style?

I like and grew up listening to most popular kinds of music, but the one genre that spoke to me was rock.
Because of my size and color and the stereotypes involved, I allowed myself to perform other genres of
music so I could be more accepted, i.e., "acceptable". For example, you rarely see women of color AND
size doing rock music; jazz, blues, sometimes R&B - these are the genres that seem to accept more
women of color and size.

As much as I like these genres, rock was the genre that was in my heart, and the genre that would
evolve when writing my songs. Over the years, I guess I became a bit bolder, so I stopped allowing my
fear of acceptance to dictate my dream of performing rock. Tell us about your fellow performer (musicians).

I live in Japan, so all my musicians are Japanese. There are many expats like myself living and
performing in Japan; however, most of the expat musicians I know only do jazz, blues and r&b. My
current band lineup has been in place for about six months, though it seems longer - in a positive way.
However, I've known my bassist for 3 years now. I met him when he was hired to play on my CD. What or who inspired you to get into this type of entertainment?

I knew I wanted to perform since I was a kid. But I kept it to myself, because I was too shy. I've just
always loved music, and more than anything, wanted to sing. What was your original occupation and what other things have you done over the

Since I was too shy to perform, I went through the educational system, as far as graduate school. After
graduating, I moved to Japan and became an English teacher. Over the years, I've also been a
translator and proofreader. How long have you been a performing?

I've been performing fifteen years. Tell us about your first performance and how it has grown since then?

I was still really green when I first started. My friends in the audience told me I looked up or down too
much. I also didn't introduce songs very well. Not enough audience talk. I was still really afraid of being in
front of people. But now I look at the faces in the crowd, where possible, I walk around in the crowd, I
talk to the crowd. And when I tell people that I used to be really shy, I get groans of "no way!" and fits
of laughter. So that's my proof I've come a long way. Would you say you are a popular performer?

I'm not particularly famous or anything, but I have a following. I think I'm more on the underground
scene radar than on the mainstream radar. Please tell us about some of the details of your performance?

I perform my original songs, which are basically rock, some hard, some light, and some have a blues
feel. I perform anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. Occasionally we do a cover as an encore, like a
Lenny Kravitz or Led Zeppelin tune. Do you work with others when you perform, what part do they play?

I play with my band: 2 guitars, a bass and drums. What make your performances different than others?

As an expat woman of color and size, I definitely stand out, and in addition, since I do rock I really stand
out. I sing in English. I would like to add a couple of original songs in Japanese, and will eventually, with
some songwriting help. I always go by the credo, "sing each song as if it were your last". So there's a lot
of emotion and a lot of SWEAT. :) Tell us what is the response you get from your audience?

The response has always been positive, even in venues or events that weren't particularly rock-based.
The one adjective I hear consistently is "powerful". How does your size come into play in your performance?

It doesn't. It helps people remember me, though, by standing out. I know there are people who think I
should use my size in my act, but if I did that, I'd wind up being a novelty/comedy act. I don't want to
contribute to the already-limited ideas of what people of size are "allowed" to do or be. Thin people can
sing about heartbreak, bad relationships, partying, sex, whatever. People of size also have these same
issues on their minds - WE can sing about them, too. Do you have other people of size who work with you?

Not currently. Do you collaborate with other acts?

Not too much. Lack of opportunity. I sometimes perform as a guest with a blues band or two. Tell us about some of the press coverage you have been featured in?

In the US, mostly indies music netzines. In Japan, I was featured in an English-language publication called
"JapanZine". Nothing mainstream, however. Yet. How can people learn about you and possibly hire you, do you have a

I am my own booking agent and manager, for now. My husband helps out on the Japanese end. Are you currently on tour or attending any major functions in the near future?

Not currently. Would you say this is a form of performance art?

No What type of emotions do you want your audience to experience?

I try to convey the emotions of my songs, whatever theme the song might be. I want them to take the
ride with me, through the feelings of loneliness, isolation and sadness to anger, revenge, redemption and
also the tongue-in-cheek humor and happiness of my songs. What would you say to other performers who are trying to make it?

I watch American Idol, and one of the things Simon often says is "decide who you are as an artist".
Performers who don't know who they are generally fall by the wayside. They're busy thinking, "What do
they want me to sing?" or they ask themselves "What style is my voice suited for?" and keep trying to
change their look and their songs, trying to find an audience. If you do your own thing, the audience will
find you. The way you find out who you are is to at first try different things. And that might take some
time. Once you find the place where you feel most comfortable, then you can start marketing yourself
appropriately. But if you give up before you find yourself, you'll never know that. You really have to be
persistent. Do you have a good support system from family and friends?

Yes. Family is always there to take up the slack, like when I don't have time to do household chores, or
when I need to be somewhere, my husband will stay home to take care of our son. What has been the response you have gotten for others(negative/positive)?

Always positive. I get some reactions like, "if you did r&b you'd be famous!" or whatever, but my
reaction to those types is always, "but I don't like r&b!" which isn't true, but it shuts them up. In general,
people seem to like the way I sing, and they like my songs, so that's always nice to hear. Have you had any responses from the Plus Size Community?

The Plus Size Community in Japan doesn't seem to exist, and the one in the US probably doesn't know
that I exist. Not yet, anyway. I'm starting to record stuff for my next album, so I'll start plugging myself
online again (full-time). A while back I was supposed to be featured in "Figure" Magazine, but before my
interview was published, the magazine went under, unfortunately. That would have been great exposure.
Most of the PSC sites focus on modeling, it seems. But maybe I'm looking in the wrong places. I would
love it if there were a Plus Size Musicians site. :) What are your future goals?

I've started to record some new songs, and I'll be doing my first music video this spring. I did an
acoustic tour in '08 of the L.A. area, and enjoyed it tremendously. I'd love to do another tour, and
perform at some festivals in the US. My ultimate goal is to branch out internationally, and be able to
afford it. :) Do you have a website, myspace page? How can the public find you or
communicate with you online?

Website is 
Myspace is
Facebook (new page) is
YouTube is  

All of my sites have an email link where they can contact me directly, or if you want to post on my
Facebook wall, that would be great, too. I have a YouTube page, but I'm working on getting some
newer, better videos up. Give us one word that you can say best represents your act?

Powerful How much have you evolved as an Performer since those first days?

I know who I am as an artist, I know what suits my voice and I try to convey my songs to the audience
in an entertaining way. When I first started, I didn't know these things. How can the readers at help support you?

This interview is a great first step, so thanks for reading! Anything your readers can do - spreading the
word about me and my music, requesting my music on the radio or in stores, recommending me to
music bookers, festivals, tour sponsors, indie music labels - I'd really appreciate. I also hope your readers
check my site from time to time to see what I'm up to. Lots of new stuff coming up!

Thank you for Reading The LargeInCharge Feature

Please send thoughts and comments to

Conselola Brown

Cover model of the Month Interview What is your name?
Conselola Brown Where are you from and what is your current Location?
I am from Nashville, TN, I currently reside in Murfreesboro, TN which is 30 minutes from Nashville. Can you give us some information about yourself (Age, Height, Size, Nationality, Marital Status, Children, etc.)?
I am a 22 year old African American, mother of one son whom is 4 years old. I wear a size 14, and I am currently single, never married. Were you a big child, or did you gain weight later in life?
I was not a big child, my weight was always in between big and small, but I was always considered the biggest out of the bunch. Later on in life my weight did increase. (If you were a big child) how did you feel growing up as a large child?
I was never considered large, but always being considered the biggest in the bunch made me feel as if I was not good enough, so I look for ways to make myself feel better and as good as those who were smaller than me. (If you gained weight later in life) what caused you to gain weight and how did you feel about it?
I gained weight after the birth of my child. I felt okay with it. I knew where the weight was coming from and what I needed to do to get it off if I wanted to. What made you decide to enter the LargeInCharge model search?
A friend of mine referred the website to me and thought that I would be a great candidate and told me to look it over. After I did I decided that I would be great as a cover model, especially for my career, so I went for it. Did you find it a hard journey to be accepted for your size?
Not until recently, as I have grown in the modeling world and began to branch out, it has become hard as a plus size model. Do you find acceptance among your family and friends?
Absolutely, my friends and family accept me 100%. I only surround myself with positive people. What would you say inspires you most in life?
I would say life itself inspires me most in life. Through pain, suffering, trials and tribulations, and the different curves that life may throw you, a person can get back up and start again. Life helps you gain wisdom and knowledge that no one can tell you, you just have to experience it through life. What is your primary job?
Currently I am a Full Time Student. How did you get into this line of work?
I wanted a way to express myself. I am a very confident, beautiful, and determined person. The only problem is that I cannot sing or dance, so modeling gave me a way to do all of the things I wanted and want to do. Do you find acceptance in the work force?
Yes I find acceptance. What changes do you believe should take place for Large People in the work force?
I think that the mentalities needed to be changed toward large people in the work force. So many people look at being large in a negative way. If there was a way to change that perspective so that large people could be seen in the same way as small or regular people are that would be great. What do you think about the fashion industry for big sized clothing?
I think that the fashion industry is changing slowly. More and more mainstream stores and boutiques are offering plus size clothing. I think they are beginning to recognize and acknowledge the bigger sizes. What do you wish to see change with the fashion industry?
I wish to see more plus size on the runways, tvs, advertized, and shown in the fashion industry. You see smaller clothing with the latest fashions and trends, I just with to see that with plus size clothing. What changes do you think will happen if plus sized modeling for men and women were to expand?
I think there will be great changes if plus size modeling was to expand. I think the industry will respect plus size modeling more, and see that the demand for it is great because the average person is plus size and want to see someone advertising something they can wear. Tell us some of the places you buy your clothing from.
I buy my clothes from Lane Bryant, Wet Seal, Forever 21, Macys, etc. Tell us one of your secret beauty tips.
Eating fruits and vegetables daily can keep your skin clear, as well as drinking a lot of water. Give us some tips on how to have a successful Photo shoot. What should models be prepared for?
Models should prepare for everything. Always have a makeup bag just in case the makeup artist does not show. Bring 6-7 different outfits just in case the model changes their mind about the look they want. Bring shoes in all the basic colors, black, brown, grey, and white. Look at Size acceptance five years ago... look at size acceptance now. What changes do you see?
I see a big change. Five years ago you would not think of a plus size model being on the runway, doing print work, or even being accepted into the modeling industry. Now you see plus models doing shows like Rip the Runway, local fashion shows, as well as designers and brand name stores catering to the bigger size. What changes do you think will happen five years from now with size acceptance?
Five years from now I think plus models will be considered a part of high fashion. Right now they are not, plus models are more mainstream and stores, but with the break in of that, I think in five years plus modeling or bigger sizes will be common. Tell us about your goals as far as modeling and other interests.
I want modeling to become my career someday. I want to do runway shows in the states as well as overseas. I would love to break into high fashion modeling as well a more print modeling. The other interests that I have are to open up my own clothing boutique catered to the bigger sizes. I also want to open a charity aimed at helping the less fortunate with food, bills, and knowledge about life. What have you accomplished as a Plus Sized Model?
As a plus size model I have been featured in many runway shows in the Nashville, and surrounding areas. I have met a lot of people like the Boys and Girls clubs and girls with low self esteem to where I have had the opportunity to inspire them and show them that big is beautiful. Have you entered or won and Contests or Pageants? What was the experience like?
Does not apply. Can you tell us about an inspirational moment in you life that made you feel good about your size. Is there a person in your life that makes you keep going?
Yes my grandmother. On the days that I want to give up or I just don’t feel like doing something, she reminds me of all of the people looking up to me and how I am not just modeling for myself, but to show them that anything is possible. What advice would you give to other people of size who want to model?
I would say go for it, the sky is the limit. Yes it is hard, but it is all worth it in the end. The biggest obstacles that a person can face are themselves. You can freak yourself out with negative thinking, but once you start to think positive is when you move toward what you want to do. You can do anything that you put your mind to. People do not determine your destiny, you do. What plus size figure do you admire?
I admire Queen Latifah. Describe yourself with one word.


Thanks for reading about our

Cover Model of the Month


     Raqui the Owner and Founder of, Raqui's  "Tell it like it is" style of writing has brought thousands to her blogs and millions to  There is so much behind the woman who has brought this magazine into existence.  Being Internationally known as a wrestler/squasher 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. Born, Raised and Residing in the Bronx NYC. This city girl is taking the world by storm.


     For the past 6 years Raqui officially moved into Size Acceptance and Empowerment.  With the creation of LargeInCharge she took what she said to individuals to a higher level and made it public to the internet world. 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's appearances include, Uk Television, German TV, Japan, Europe, Sweden and the Spanish circuit.  Her many magazines appearances have been world wide.  She has hit American Television in 2006 with Good Morning American and since has appeared on The Cristina Show,  The Maury Show and The Tyra Banks Show.

To view her Online portfolio visit

Raqui featured on and Glamour Plus - go to Portfolio Section

Raqui-ism - We are all Human… But are you Humane?

Written By: Raqui 


     It seems logical that we should be able to identify another human being. As people we are always
looking for the familiar in others of our kind. From top to bottom we evaluate and often criticize our
fellow man. Often unknowingly looking for a way to validate our humanity and strip others of theirs.

     We do not only look for the familiar, truthfully more often than not we look for the differences. For
qualities we do not accept and find subpar. Almost like radar our minds sweep over the crowd looking
for as many flaws as possible to berate. Why do people do this?

     For all the talk about humans being the superior species. Our emotions work more like our fellow
inhabitants of this world. Animal instincts are some of the ruling factors that make us feel and act the
way we do. Like a gigantic pecking order men and women are constantly trying to find a way to grant
themselves a higher rank. Any deviation from what is socially acceptable is instantly seen as a flaw,
making you less valuable to the human race. If by looks alone you can deem another person as
unacceptable are you working with your Human self or your animal instincts?

     To be Human or rather Humane means you are not using instincts alone. You are not only
working with your emotions, you are also using the one thing that makes humans different. The ability

to think freely.

     Now many people will say animals think and feel. Yes they can, I am an animal lover myself. But
there is something different about the way animals think. Lions and Dingo's work within their pride or
pack to feed the community and to survive. The same way I watched my Cat and Dogs get
together to find a way to access treats and food that was put away in my hall closet. They can find
their way into mischief and can give love and attention to each other and to us. But to be Human
means your mind thinks in ways that animals do not. We can create, we can adapt, we can decide
and analyze. We can make and create change with in us and others. We can train animals, to do as
we wish. But they will not do so on their own. They will only adapt for survival. We can change the
way we think and do things because we wish to.

     While we are all Human are you able to say your being Humane? Are you subjecting your fellow
man to your judgmental ways. Animals will cast out those who are different than they are. Is that
what our society is doing to those who are different? Socially rejecting them casting them out to die
due to the elements, with out protection, to be attacked by enemies. To live with out the support of
their human pack, with out a pride. Or maybe I should say with out pride at all?

     Are you a person who is enforcing the view that society has drilled into our minds? There are so
many things that make people valuable to our world. The way we think, what we believe, how we
live, what we create, and most importantly how we treat each other. You cannot sum up a person
on looks alone, especially when you have seen them for a few seconds. Why try to tear each other
apart when we can embrace the differences we have. Realize that the way we look is not the only
valuable part of humanity, it is a small part. There is so much more that makes us amazing

     The next time you see someone who you want to make fun of, or put down for not being the
type of Human you approve of, ask yourself are you being Humane.

LargeInCharge Radio - Weekly Radio show discussing Plus Sized Issues.  Friday's 7-9 pm EST - Call in & Chat in our Chat Room.

Raqui's Cool Links  

Raqui's My Space Page

Raqui on Twitter


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.





Happy Happy New Year .....2010 is here and in honor of the new decade approaching I decided to give you musical INSPIRATION!. I hope they find a way to soothe your souls and give you all hope for a better tomorrow. And as usual I will provide you all with a new featured artist and a must see events to attend and classes etc.

I am also announcing that as of this day I will be taking a break from submitting articles to LargeInCharge till sometime in the spring. I would like to take this moment to thank you all for following my music column and for sending me so much love and positive energy. I send it right back to you and look forward to bringing you new fresh style and hot music and celebrity interviews (via youtube..oh yeah!) Time to gather resources and strength, wishing you all health, wealth and wellness from the inside out. Viva Gorditas!-

Special side note to Queen Raqui: "Thank you my sister for creating this positive platform for the people of our plus, full-figured and supersize community. Thank you for offering me the opportunity to utilize this platform to do what I love most...share music and pieces of myself, but mostly Raqui.  thank you for being my friend, for always lending an ear and for offering the best advice and for being five times more human than anyone I know with five loving hearts to match. I do love you Queen Raqui. Much success, till I return be well my friend."

ENIGMA "Return To Innocence"-sometimes we have to go backwards and reflect and go back to the beginning of ourselves and experience a spiritual rebirth, may God as you understand God ,The Most High to be fill your paths with love and light.

Michael Jackson "Man In The Mirror"- Before we can change the world we have to look at ourselves and inside ourselves and begin the change from within. Michael Jackson's !989 Grammy performance was that of one who is possessed. Haunts me till this day.

U2-"In The Name Of Love"-isn't everything we do in the name of love. Fight for love, live for love, open your hearts and receive love in your life! Whether it works out or not you will grow from the experience.

DIANA ROSS- "Do You Know Where You're Going To?"- Amazing how one simple question can make you assess your life, your history your place in the universe

WHITNEY HOUSTON- "The Greatest Love Of All"- when you love yourself all is possible.


Featured Artist Audio Submission: Our BBW sista CARMELINA featured in The Bollywood Movie "QURBAAN" here is her song "Starride To Heaven"



Featured Artist Video Submission from BBW Admirer and Supporter: SUPA NOVA SLOM "Purify Or Die" "So Sick So Sick of being sick and tired!" Wepa... Pura Vida! Pure Life... energy... loving the message, not preachy but right on time. He loves us fuller gals and we love him back! Can he tickle us with his feathers? I'm just saying.. lol... enjoy the yummy eye candy! Be inspired to be well... it's about being here longer. healthy at any size.

Be sure to look out for our homie Nova on Bill Cosby Presents "The Cosnarati" State Of Emergency - Hip=Hop album (support positive music) available on itunes
Also look out for his book 2010 "The Remedy" and join his social network at 


I have been hearing so much about this play, I am happy to announce I am finally going to see it! Won't you join me...hit me up and let me know if you're attending so we can say hi!



EXCITING UPCOMING WORKSHOP: Ooh Whee, this one is definitely interesting. My dear friend world renowned artist LILO KINNE will be conducting TANTRA workshops. I will be attending as well. Reasonable rates people of all colors ,shapes and sizes welcome!



Please call for information: 1 (646) 500 9820 (let her know Lynx Garcia sent you for reasonable rate)

LILO KINNE practices TANTRA which TRANSFORMS SEX INTO LOVE-MAKING. The experiences attained through the UNIFICATION OF SPIRIT, MIND & BODY are magnificent.






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.


The Adventures of Phatgurl

by Emily Suzanne Smiltneck  


The Adventures Of Phatgurl is a serial collection of stories about the adventures of Jany, a plus-sized young woman who, in desperation, places an ad on a personals website.  As she embarks on her dates, she meets many different kinds of men who expect many different things from her.  Some of her adventures are wildly amusing and others are more serious and even sad. 


If you have any ideas or experiences, funny or otherwise, that you would like to see depicted in a future Phatgurl story, please e-mail me at  I will do my very best to incorporate all reader ideas into future columns.  Thanks!


The Ad (Part 2)

SWSSBBW seeks SM who will not rape her, emotionally or otherwise.  The ability to both speak and write in complete sentences is a plus.  Must not inadvertently throw her down stairs or pretend that she is “Mama.”  Intelligent conversation, a little respect, and the lack of a current significant other will get you far.  And a well-developed sense of humor won’t hurt, either.  If you like smart chicks with jelly bellies and thunder thighs, reply to


Looking Back


     Jany looked at the piece of paper she was holding.  Bob, it said at the top.  Guy who kinda raped me.  Paul- threw me down the stairs.  Dale- wanted bj in mall.  The whole list was there, all the guys she and Mala and Selena had decided she needed to ask out.  But who should she ask first?


            Not Bob.  This was nerve-wracking enough without having to deal with someone who'd been so aggressive with her, or so inconsiderate of her feelings.  And not Haroon, the guy she'd met in the park after her disastrous date with the guy who'd lied about his age.  Jany still lacked the confidence to ask someone out just out of the blue.  At least the rest of the guys had gone out with her already.


            Don, maybe?  She didn't care that much what he thought of her, so it wouldn't bother her too much if he turned her down.  Or Paul, because he would be far more nervous than she would.  Even though Mala and Selena had voted him off the list, Jany had added his name after all.  She felt sorry for him, in a way.  His awkwardness had to be crippling.  And he'd been a really nice guy.


            Jany thought briefly about asking Selena out first, but they hung out all the time now anyway, so that seemed sort of like cheating.  Besides, she wasn't entirely sure about the whole dating-a-girl thing yet.  So Paul it was.  She circled his name on the list and sat down at her computer.




Subject: Hi!


Hey, there.  I don't know if you still have your account here anymore, but I thought I'd try it.  I never got a hold of you after the night we went out, and I'm sorry.  It wasn't that I didn't like going out with you, just that I figured if you didn't get ahold of me, it meant you didn't want to see me again.  But I've realized I never really gave any of the guys I met a chance because I was so scared and insecure.  So, I'm trying to fix that.  Anyway, I was just wondering if you'd want to get together again sometime.  Even with the whole ankle thing, I enjoyed myself at the dance.  Look forward to hearing from you.


            Jany forced herself to get up and walk away from her computer.  No sense just sitting there and waiting for a response when she didn't know if Paul even had his account anymore, and even if he did, he was probably not staring at his computer screen awaiting an e-mail from her.  Or maybe he'd even met someone.  Maybe he was sitting next to a beautiful woman, holding her hand, enjoying her company.  Jany's eyes teared up at the thought.  It wasn't fair that someone as awkward and weird as Paul could find someone when she couldn't.  Then she laughed at herself and wiped away her tears.  It was mildly insane to get all upset over something she'd completely made up, something that may or may not have any basis in truth.


            Michael should know about this.  Jany suddenly had an urge to talk to him, to tell him how brave she'd gotten, that she was asking guys out and taking risks.  And besides, talking to him would help her get over her insecurity over Paul's relationship status.  She dialed his number and smiled when he answered.


            "Hey, it's Jany."


            "How are things, babe?"


            "Pretty great, actually.  I just asked someone out for the first time in my whole life.  This is pretty exciting.  I'm going back through all the guys I've met through the personals ad and contacting the better ones, because I never made any contact in any of them after my first meetings.  I expected them to do all the work and when they didn't, I assumed they didn't like me.  But I'm trying to find the courage to prove myself wrong.  Or at least try."


            That's good to hear, Jane, but be careful.  You know a lot of these guys weren't the cream of the crop, right?  You recognize that?"


            "Well, of course I do.  I'm only calling the ones that weren't creeps."


            "Even some of the ones that weren't creeps weren't right for you, you know.  You can do far better than any of them.  Don't sell yourself short.  You have no idea what the future has in store for you, and you can't settle for any less than a man who can help you take advantage of all the wonderful things that come your way."


            "Um, okay.  That's not necessarily the case, but I won't argue with you.  Anyway, I just wanted to tell you what I was up to.  I was kind of excited about it."


            "Okay, Jane.  Just be careful.  Listen, I have to go.  Talk to you later."


            "All right.  Bye."  Michael hung up before she even finished speaking.


            Jany stared at the phone, confused.  She'd fully expected Michael to be happy for her, but he'd seemed almost angry.  Why had he been encouraging her this whole time if he thought so lowly of the guys she was meeting?  Finally, she dialed Mala's number. 


She needed another woman's perspective.


            "Jealous," Mala said when Jany had explained what had happened.


            "No.  I'm not jealous.  I mean, I wouldn't like it if Michael was seeing someone else.  I'd probably get super upset.  But I never even thought of that.  And he never said anything to make me think he-"


            "Not you, ding dong.  Him.  He's jealous of the other guys.  He said you could do better, and he thinks he's better."


            "He has no right to be jealous!  He's the one who won't come visit me, who says we can't be together!"


            "Don't flip out on me, girl.  I never said it was your fault, and if you wanna call and cry on my shoulder, you can listen to what I got to say."


            "Sorry.  I'm just stressed.  I don't know what I'd do without Michael in my life, even if it is at a distance, and I just e-mailed Paul and asked him out and I'm all nervous waiting for his answer."


            "What on earth is your problem?  They're just guys.  Relax!  And I thought you decided not to go out with Paul again."


            "I changed my mind.  He was the least scary, and he was at least nice.  Thanks for yelling at me and stuff.  I'm gonna get going, now, though.  Watch some TV or something maybe."




            Before bed, Jany decided to check her e-mail.  She told herself it was to see if Mala had sent her any instructions for the next day, but the way her heartbeat sped up when she saw that she had a new message on wouldn't let her lie to herself.




Subject: Re: Hi!


I do still have my account on because I have not met anyone to get seriously involved with yet.  I never did get very many responses and I have been too busy with my job to look for any dates in quite a while now.  I was hired two months ago by the Raising Russia Foundation as an intern.  Do you remember that organization?  They sponsored the dance we went to the night that you fell and sprained your ankle.  I would have called to ask if you were all right, but I thought you might be angry with me for not being able to get back on the bus and I didn't know what to say to you.  I did enjoy our time together and I am glad you would like to see me again.  When would you like to go out on a date?  Fridays and Saturdays are best for me because my father likes me to get to bed at a decent hour on nights when I have to work the next day.




Subject: Re: Re: Hi!


I'm glad to hear you got a job.  Would you like to go to the movies Friday night?  You can just pick a theater near where you live and I will meet you there.  And it wasn't your fault that the bus left.  The driver just had a schedule to keep and didn't know how long you would be, I guess.  There was nothing you could do.  Let me know about Friday.


            Jany let Paul pick the movie; it seemed easier than trying to argue about it and pick one they both wanted to see.  Jany suspected their taste in movies wouldn't exactly jive.  The bus she took got her to the theater just barely in time for the movie he'd chosen, N.Y.P.D. UFO.  She figured that was okay, because it sounded suspiciously like a sci fi flick, and she didn't think the previews that played along with it would be worth watching.  She could see when she got there, though, that arriving so late had been a mistake.  Paul was pacing in front of the door of the theater, wringing his hands and glancing constantly at his watch.  When she got closer, Jany could hear thathe was also muttering under his breath.


            "Hey, Paul," she called out.


            "Jany!  I thought you weren't coming!  We're late!"  He grabbed her arm to drag her into the theater, which made her flinch at the memory of what had happened last time he'd grabbed her arm.  They made it safely to the ticket booth, though.  Jany had planned to buy their tickets, since the date had been her idea, but Paul beat her to it.  And even though he appeared to be having a stroke when she stopped to buy popcorn, looking frantically from his watch to the line ahead of them to the theater the movie was playing in, he stepped in front of her to pay for the popcorn, too.


            If Paul was so eager to impress, Jany thought, he must really like her.  She was still on the fence about him, so she wasn't so sure how she felt about that.  A little guilty, maybe, for leading him on, if that was what she was doing, but she tried to channel Mala.  Maybe the ability to not worry too much about other people's feelings was the key Jany had been missing out on, the key to having a crowd of admirers gathered around at all times.  It seemed to work for Mala, the queen of leading men on.


            "Let's hurry!  We might miss the previews," Paul whispered.  Then, as he half dragged her through the theater, "I bought your ticket and the popcorn because my dad said I should.  To make up for last time."


            "Okay, so maybe he wasn't worried about impressing her.  At least his father was.  Jany scuttled breathlessly after Paul, doing her best to keep up.  They sank into seats near the back just as the last preview ended.


            "Oh, man!  We missed the best part!"


            "Sorry.  I guess I should have taken an earlier bus."  Jany reached for the bucket of popcorn.  Paul handed it to her, then leaned over to whisper in her ear.


            "I hope I won't disturb anyone any more than we already did by coming in so late, but I wanted to tell you something.  You are welcome to share my popcorn.  And believe me, you don't owe me anything."


            Jany munched on a handful of popcorn while she considered what he had meant.  Was he saying she didn't have to pay him back for whatever amount of popcorn she ate?  That didn't seem to make much sense, since he'd just about knocked her over in his hurry to pay for it.  She shouldn't have bothered to wonder, though; like always, Paul had an explanation and was more than willing to share it.


            "My dad said that sometimes guys buy things on dates so that a girl feels like she owes him

something.  You know what I mean.  So I thought I might need to reassure you that I don't expect you to kiss me or anything."


            Jany resisted the urge to ask Paul if he didn't think that might make for an awfully boring date.  Instead, she smiled and thanked him for being so considerate.  They both turned their attention to the movie after that, to Jany's relief.  It didn't take her long, though, to discover that she didn't have much interest in a bunch of aliens running around and shooting each other with lasers, even if they were dressed as New York City cops.  She pulled out her cell phone and texted Selena to tell her about the Paul's declaration that she could share his popcorn without owing him anything.


2 fun e


I know, right? Good thing he doesn't expect anything, b/c after that I'm not really in the mood.


lol does this put u in the mood? [Download PictureMail]


            SELENA! Are you drunk?! WHY would you send me a pic of your boobs?!?


i dont no. thot it wud be fun e. did it turn u on? seduce him!


            Jany put her phone back in her pocket and forced herself to stare at the movie screen.  She was glad that the movie had moved from New York City into space, because everything on the screen had a blueish tint to it that, when it reflected on Jany's face, hid the fact that she was blushing furiously.  Selene had promised not to push the issue, to stay out of the way while Jany was dating these guys.  So much for promises.  But in a way, it had excited Jany.  Not excited her, exactly, but flattered her in a strange way.  It gave her a shot of courage.  Enough courage to test Paul's limits.  And hers.  After all, this was an experiment of sorts, to see if the ads on had worked.  To see if Jany could hold her own in the dating world.  She reached out and took Paul's hand.


            He jumped when she touched him, and his body immediately flung itself as far as it could to the side of his seat opposite Jany.  But he didn't pull his hand away.  Jany smiled.


            When the movie was finally over, Jany deliberately took her time gathering up her coat and purse and the empty popcorn bucket, so that they were the last two people in the room.  She followed Paul down the aisle between the rows of seats, but she reached out and touched his shoulder just before they walked out into the lobby.


            "Would you like to kiss me?" she asked quietly, and very quickly, to get the words out before she panicked.


            "I-uh-I, no, that's okay.  I mean, like I said, you don't owe me-"


            "No, I know that.  I just thought-well, I'd like to kiss you.  I mean, it is our third date."


            "Um, okay, then.  You don't have a cold or anything, do you?"


            Jany laughed softly, then reached her arms up and around Paul's neck.


            "Paul? Shut up," she said, and pulled his face toward hers.  She kissed him gently on the lips.  Paul pulled back and turned, running into the garbage can.


            "Um, okay, well, thank you.  That was nice," he called, almost running out into the lobby.  Jany followed.  She was pretty sure she might feel rejected later, when she thought about Paul bolting from the room, but at the moment she was just proud that she'd been brave enough to kiss him.


            "Hey, wait for me!  Paul, wait-watch out, Paul!"  In his hurry to get outside, Paul didn't think to stop running when he turned around to look at Jany.  He faced forward again just in time to run smack into the pole between two doors.  He was leaning against the wall looking stunned when Jany caught up to him.


            "Are you okay?"


            "I'll be fine.  I'll ask my parents when I get home if I should see a doctor.  Um, Jany?  I don't know if we should see each other again.  I think it is dangerous.  We get hurt too much."


            If anyone else had said the same thing, Jany would have laughed, but Paul was definitely not kidding.  She was sure he knew how to kid.  And he was probably right, jut like Mala and Selena had been.  Paul and Jany just weren't a good match.


            "All right, Paul.  Whatever you think.  If you change your mind, give me a call, okay?  You have my number."


            Secretly, Jany hoped he wouldn't call.



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


Hope and Change

by Xander The Food Dude


Computer people who working to find the inner working of computers or programs.  Then they rewire it or reprogram it to do what they want.  This month starts the process of renewal for all of us.  As spring dawns, spirits are lifted and change is in the air.  Not just for me, but for you as well.  As with computer people we can (if we choose) to hack ourselves.  By taking the time to understand why we do things the way we do them can lend to the solution as well.  If we take the time to hack ourselves, mind, body, and soul, maybe, no…. we CAN make the changes we need in our lives for the better, and the better we will be for it …..

Having stated that we begin…

Stop assigning blame. This is the first step. Stop assigning blame and leave the past behind you.

You know whose fault it is that your life isn't perfect. Your boss. Your teachers. Your ex-lovers. The ones who hurt you, the ones who abused you, the ones who left you bleeding. Or even yourself. You know whose fault it is — you've been telling yourself your whole life. Knowing whose fault it is that your life sucks is an excellent way to absolve yourself of any responsibility for taking your life into your own hands.

Forget about it. Let it go. The past isn't real. “That was in another country, and besides, the wench is dead.” If we're not talking about something that is real and present and in your life right now, then it doesn't matter. Nothing can be done about it. If nothing can be done about it, then don't spend your energy dwelling on it — you have other things to do.

I may sound cruel, I may sound simplistic, I may sound like I'm saying you should just “get over it,” by suggesting that you should let go of your past. I'm sorry for that. But life won't hold still and wait for you to lick your wounds. The race is still being run. Get up and keep moving. You can't do anything about yesterday.

You can do something about tomorrow. And about the next day. Focus your energies there.  “I don't have time to write.” “I can't dance.” “I can't talk to new people.” “I'm not attractive.”   I hear this all the time. I always hear the people around me sabotaging themselves, drawing lines and borders and boxes around themselves.

To which I say, make the time; dance; just talk to people; be attractive!

Yes, again, it's simplistic of me to say that. But it's simplistic of you to so easily say what you cannot do!   We're excellent pattern-matchers. That's what the human mind does — it's a pattern-matching engine. So we look at ourselves, at our history, at our behaviors, and we draw straight lines between the points — we assume that just because we've done things a certain way in the past, we'll always do them that way in the future. If we've failed before, we'll always fail.  Screw that.    Surprise yourself. No — amaze yourself.

You don't have to keep doing the things you hate. Why go home and beat yourself up for, say, not going over and saying a few words to someone you find really attractive? Can any damage they could do to you by rejecting you possibly be any worse than the damage you're going to do to yourself for missing the chance?

Find the demon.

Do you know what I'm talking about? It's the little voice in the back of your head that's always whispering, “You can't.” You know the demon. You may think you hate the demon, but you don't. You love it. You let it own you. You do everything it says. Every time there's something you want, you consult the demon first, to see if it will say, “You can't have that.”

What you don't realize is that your demon doesn't know anything. It's an idiot. It's nothing but a parrot, repeating back to you anything negative that it's ever heard, anything that makes you hurt, makes you squirm. If a teacher once told you “You'll never accomplish anything,” it was listening; it hoards words like that and repeats them back to you to watch you jump. It doesn't know what it's saying. It doesn't care.

Exorcise yourself.

You can take me literally or not, as suits you. But do, please, the next time you hear that voice in your head, imagine it, visualize it, as something physical that you can get hold of; tear it out of you, feel its fingers weaken and lose their grip on your spine, and grind it to dust, to nothing, under your boot heel on your way out to dance in the streets.

You can. You think you can't; but it's telling you that. You can.

You don't exist.

You just think you do.

We're nothing but the stories we tell ourselves. We know in our hearts what kind of people we are, what we're capable of, because we've told ourselves what kind of people we are. You're a carefully-rehearsed list of weaknesses and strengths you've told yourself you have.

(Self-confidence, for example, is a particularly nebulous quality you can easily talk yourself out of having.)

You owe no allegiance to that self-image if it harms you. If you don't like the story your life has become — tell yourself a better one.

Think about the person you want to be and do what that person would do. Act the way that person would act.

Amazingly enough, once you start acting like that person, people will start treating you like that person.

And you'll start to believe it. And then it will be true.

Welcome to your new self.

You are a product of your environment.

Most people realize this — usually, in the form of having something else to blame — but they tend to forget one important fact:

Humans are the masters of changing their environment.

What this means is that if your environment affects you, and you can affect your environment, then obviously, you can affect yourself.

  • Your environment includes people. Figure out who in your life isn't good for you, whose presence tears you down more than it builds you up, whose nearness is poison to you — and get rid of them. Get them out of your life. I don't care if it's your best friend, your boss, your mother, your lover — if they are harming you, if they are doing nothing but reinforce everything bad you tell yourself about yourself, then your relationship with them needs to radically alter or it needs to end.
  • Your environment includes goals. Don't set yourself pie-in-the-sky impossible goals and then beat yourself up over not achieving them — set yourself goals that will be good for you, not a source of pain. Attainable goals. Set them and meet them. Don't tell yourself you can't — that's the old story, that story you used to tell yourself about what a poor sad victim you were and how you could never change anything about your life. You can meet your goals. This is the new story.

Trying to clean your house? Good for you — a clean house can really affect your state of mind for the better. But don't say “Today I'm going to clean the entire house from top to bottom,” when you don't have the time and energy to — don't set yourself up for failure; don't feed the demon. Just say, “Today I'm going to wash all the dishes and clean off the kitchen counter.” And do it.

Don't tell yourself, “This month I'm going to write that novel.” Tell yourself, “Today I'm going to write five pages.” And do it. Take your dreams and break them down into small pieces and you'll have them in your hands before you know it.

And you'll find, as you start meeting your goals, that you like it. That it feels good, makes you feel confident and capable. You'll develop a hunger for it.

  • Your environment includes yourself — your physical presence. Do what you know you need to do — treat yourself better. Sleep, eat right, exercise. This doesn't mean you have to stop staying out late at night now and then, it doesn't mean you can't have a candy bar, it doesn't mean you have to stop sitting around watching television — it just means start doing the things that are good for you as well as the things that are bad for you, every so often. It's not an all-or-nothing proposition; you don't have to devote your life to being a health nut. Just try eating more fruits and vegetables, the occasional vegetarian meal; go for walks in the park on the weekends. You'll feel better and be more alert if you're a little healthier, and once you start feeling a little better, you'll start wanting the things that make you feel better. You'll see.
  • Your environment includes your appearance. If you're not happy with yourself, if you're angry with the person in the mirror, it can honestly help to literally change who you see when you look in the mirror. Try a different hairstyle, new glasses, new jewelry, new clothes. It doesn't have to be expensive — there's a whole universe full of possible You's waiting to be found in thrift stores, if need be. If you're deciding to become the person you want to be, and then decide what that person is going to look like. Dress the part. It's not shallow, it's not about vanity, it's about self-transformation — even the most primitive tribes understand the value of costumes and masks for ritual, for change, for becoming someone else.

You are not an object. You are a system. Like with any system, if you change the inputs — change what goes into it — you'll change what comes out.

Despite everything I've just said:

Self-examination can be paralysis.

Don't “remember to breathe” — just breathe. It's a Tao thing.

It's the paradox at the center of all this — remember that, “Am I living up to being the person I want to be?”, is not a question the person you want to be would ask.

If I can leave you with just one thought, it's this:

Stop wasting your time fretting over not being happy.

Just be happy.

JUST           BE                 HAPPY


Xander's Recipe of the Month


Dill-icious Cucumber Salad


This recipe is cool as a cucumber and great for Spring days and nights.  ENJOY


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon snipped fresh dill
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 medium cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup sour cream



  1. In a saucepan, combine the sugar, vinegar, water, dill and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from the heat. Place cucumbers in a large bowl. Pour vinegar mixture over and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Drain and discard vinegar mixture. Stir sour cream into cucumbers. Cover and refrigerate until serving.


Thank you for Reading Good Food 4U

By Xander the Food Dude

Please send thoughts and comments to


Cher Rue is an actress, writer and producer. Starting out with writing "Dear Cher" she knew she loved helping other people. Being plus size all her life this was where she knew her calling was.

Cher 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.
You can also see a recurring show "Secret Lives of Women" seen on the We channel "Women's entertainment".

Cher was recently in a new movie "Forever Plaid" coming out soon.

Cher is now involved with mainstream "Hollywood" and charity events showing that beauty comes in all sizes
it is what is inside that counts.

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.

One Nation Under a Cause: 70's Disco Ball!
Presented by the Kierrah Foundation

Article by: Cher Rue

 Los Angeles, CA April 8th was a memorable night. It was going back to the 70's. I walked into the club and so many people were dressed like the 70's. I loved it, I think those were the best times. The The Kierrah Foundation hosted “One Nation Under a Cause: 70’s Disco Ball at the Legendary Jewel’s Catch One (4067 West Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90019) from 7 P.M. to Midnight.

Hosted by Kierrah’s King of Comedy, Michael Colyar (“The Princess and the Frog”, “Norbit”, “Barbershop”), this Boogie Night was filled with tons of fun and excitement for all who attended. Kierrah’s Best Man, Shawn Carter Peterson (“Bones”,”Eli Stone”) will got the party started with the introduction to the Disco Ball festivities and Kierrah’s Angel of Laughter Luenell (“Borat”, “Californication”, “The Hustle”) and VH1's Reality TV Celebrities Real and Chance ("I Love New York" and "Real Chance of Love").

The Rockin’ DJ Lovey C will jammed 70’s hits all night long. Special performances by the fabulous Songstress/Writer/Poet Aquilah Ali, Pop RnB Twins 2-U-NEEK, Tap Dancing Sensations Sean and John and Pop/R&B Singer Trueful did serenade the ladies.

     An outstanding performance from acclaimed Singer/Songwriter, Jesse Campbell during the Memorial Tribute montage of the 70's Legends who have made their transitions from this life but will live on forever.

A Flash to the 70’s Fashion Showcase presented by “Hollywood’s Most Notorious Fashion Coordinator” the phenomenal Parris Harris featuring designs from African Cowboy, Carolyn Wilbourn and Forbidden Kiss Lingerie. Featuring The Kierrah Star Models & Kierrah Girls: Amanda Christmas, Battina Cooper, Critesh "Monae" Brooks, Cynthia Jenkins, Danielle Korman, Emma Zerner, Janelle Taylor, Jasmine Finley, Khadija Sy, Kim Hayward, Krystle Farmer, Linette Johnson, Lola Parker, Patty Mo, Samantha Davis, Teresa Wyatt, Tumica Collins, Yatta Smith, Yonah Eveline and Special Appearance by Plus Model Alana Chandler from Janice Dickson Modeling Agency.

70’s Legends include: Rapper/Music Producer Kurtis Blow ("The Breaks", "Christmas Rapping"), Kierrah’s Angel of Song, Soul Singer/Songwriter Brenda Lee Eager (“Ain’t Understanding Mellow”, “Wild Women Blues", “Grace: The Brenda Lee Eager Story”), Kierrah’s Honorary Brother, Filmmaker/Producer Cassius Vernon Weathersby (“You Got Served”, “House Party 4: Down to the Last Minute”, "D.C. Cab”), and RadioScope Founder, Lee Bailey, Model/Singer/Actress Kathleen Bradley ("Barker's Beauty" The Price Is Right", 70s Girl Group The Love Machine, Miss Black California 1971), Actor Ernest "Raj" Thomas (70s' Hit TV Show "What's Happening", "Everybody Hates Chris", Singer/Songwriter/Musician/Record Producer Billy Osborne of Ltd.

Pop and Rnb Twins, 2-U-NEEK, Actor/Choreographer Aldofo "Shabba Doo" Quinones ("Breakin", Breakin 2: Electric Boogaloo"), Actress/Comedienne Annie McKnight ("The Soloist", "BET's Comic View"), Model/Actress Antoinette Smith Genesis, Actor/Artist Arif Kinchen (“Method & Red”, “The Wash”), Actor Bill Lee Brown ("Without A Trace", "The Shield", "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom"), Actress/Hip Hop Artist Charyse Monet, Actress Dee Freeman (“Pretty”, “The Young and the Restless”, The Hughleys”), Singer/Entertainer Dian Wilson, PR Princess Eugenia Wright, (ISA Public Relations), Singer Recording Artist Fawn, Actor John Prudhont, Actress/Comedienne Kymedienne ("Operation Repo), Slind, Actor/Entertainer Lejon O. Stewart (“Community”, “Pirates of the Caribbean”), Actor/Dancer Sagar Parekh, Actress/Model/Pin Up Doll Stella Stewart, Celebrity Fitness Trainer Sam Bell, Singer/Songwriter/Vocal Arranger Tim McAfee Lewis, R& B Singer Tionne, Record Producer/Performer Jay King of Club Nouveau.
Also guest celebrities include singer/songwriter Fawn,actress Cher Rue, actress Dee Freeman and Personality David Levi Harrison.
It was a fun night with a lot of fun people helping to raise money for a great cause.

     About the Kierrah Foundation: Founded in 2004 by Brandy Sanders and her late husband Stan Sanders, The Kierrah Foundation assists young women whom have “aged-out" of the foster care system without family or friends. Their purpose is to provide material, intellectual, and emotional support to former foster girls with their transition from state care to early adulthood. 




Thanks for reading Big Girls on the Red Carpet


In 2007, Sonya was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes; a generational curse that she had prayed to avoid, but didn’t worry about while she piled butter pecan ice cream on her German Chocolate Cake.    Only a few months into this diagnosis, she woke up one morning unable to walk and in excruciating pain in her left foot.  Doctors finally diagnosed an acute tendonitis, exacerbated by uncontrolled diabetes. 

That was the wake-up call, She had suffered for years with high cholesterol and sleep apnea; all associated with her weight,  it wasn’t until this happened (wheelchair bound for a month and on crutches following that) did she tell herself "I have to do something about my weight."  On April 17, 2008, Sonya had the gastric bypass medical weight loss procedure and it was the best decision that she made for herself.  In these upcoming writings, Sonya invites you to learn the ups and downs of gastric bypass: through the eyes of one who lives it every day.

Food Detectives

with Sonya Bennett


     I never thought my life was so interesting. It never ceases to amaze me how people will watch you – become your personal detective – when they believe you can be caught in something! For instance, if I were an alcoholic, I know that people would always watch to see what’s in my cup and my whereabouts on the weekends. I already know I “shouldn’t take that drink”; the same is true after the gastric bypass. I’ve taken this time off work for the surgery, I’ve started bringing my lunch – which has saved me SO much money! I never realized what a hot topic lunch is; around my job, we start figuring out lunch plans at 10:00 a.m.! I suppose people feel they are helping by stating what they believe is obvious: “Should you eat that?” little do they know that my attention to meals/snacks is in depth. It almost feels like I’m obsessed with the next meal. It takes more care to think, “What will I have for dinner” versus stopping at the closest fast-food drive-thru that you come across. It has become a habit (which takes some worries off) to have a protein drink for breakfast – one meal a day taken care of! Finally, it takes discipline to say, “I brought my lunch” and not be included in the Reindeer Games of the Office Lunch Discussion.

     I have a friend, “Mary”, who had the surgery four years prior to me and she would tell me, “Don’t police me” when I would ask her if she should eat something – it’s a natural question, it shows concern, a little bit of nosiness, but an irritating reminder that people are watching you. Socializing around meals is an international bad habit and now that I can’t eat as much as I could, it’s become more of a chore than entertainment. With Mother’s Day approaching, my family often goes to a buffet to celebrate my grandmothers. Of course, these auspicious occasions usually run about $25.00-$30.00 each, plus have for my grandmothers so I wind up spending $45.00 for a few nibbles of meat and maybe half a roll LOL I was just telling my sister that I waste SO much money for food; those plastic containers only keep for so long and, quite frankly, after eating the same leftovers a few days in a row, you grow tired of them. Being single, I don’t like going grocery shopping. So instead of shopping frequently, I often shop in bulk and I have had to end THAT habit, as well. Buying a half pound of sliced turkey breast to make the half-sandwiches that I take to lunch versus the two pounds of sliced turkey breast that I normally would buy is more feasible so that it won’t go to waste. Whereas I would take several slices and pile them onto cheese, lettuce and mayo, I now find myself only using two slices of turkey, a little lettuce, mustard and a slice of cheese and that is my sandwich – no bread. Bread fills you up and protein is more important these days.

     Join me next month as I share current pictures, a year later ?

     We’re in May: Spring has sprung! Should you desire that hour-glass figure for yourself or your Sweetie , visit my site at: and send a note with any questions



Thanks for reading

The Big GB - My Gastric Bypass Memoirs

Sonya's Links:

Sonya Bennett on Facebook

 Tales of a Happy Fat Girl is the story of one girl’s journey towards size acceptance in a positive light. Estrelia Mateo was born and raised in Miami, Florida. She began writing poetry and short stories in middle school as way to deal with the teasing and bullying she received due to her weight. She has won numerous awards for writing including being nominated for the Silver Knight Awards in Journalism by the Knight-Ridder Foundation.
Estrelia is also one of the founding members of Chi Zeta Theta Sorority, Inc. Chi Zeta Theta Sorority, Inc. is a multi-cultural sisterhood with the purpose of uplifting, encouraging and empowering the plus size woman. Estrelia currently resides in Boca Raton, FL.


Springtime for a Happy Fat Girl

with Estrelia Mateo


     Spring is here and with it comes the spirit of renewal. The trees and the flowers are in bloom and of course causing us allergy suffers to run to the pharmacy like they are giving out free money. The rain washes away the dirt and grit from the depression of winter and everything looks fresh and clean.  Well, sometimes in life you need to have your very own personal springtime, a period in which you renew yourself. You get rid of all the dirt, grit and cold out of your life so you can be fresh and clean.


     As Fat girl we constantly are faced with negativity coming at us from every angle, be it parents, friends, media or society in general. Just ask Gabby Sidibe. Sometimes the worse of the negativity comes from the ones that are closest to us or from our very selves.  Shortly after my little excursion to the nude beach, I graduated high school and went to college. At that point I had lost most of my Fat posse and found myself pretty alone for the first time. So I did what I always did to make friends I joined a school club and I met some pretty cool people but I also met some pretty negative people.


     Do you remember being in high school and seeing that group of girls that made fun of everyone and were constantly fighting and back stabbing each other? Well that was the group I fell into. You can always find them by looking for the group of girls that call each other bitch. The customary greeting when dealing with the group is,


“Hey Bitch, whatcha doin?”


      Now one thing you must know about me is I have a mouth on me. I can shred anyone into pieces by bringing out their greatest insecurities and it skill that I have had for long time. So you can imagine being in a group like that made me a little vicious.


     I am not proud to say that I have made people cry and if you are reading this I truly apologize for pain I caused. I was a different person but that is no excuse.  It was only after I talked to a true friend that I realized how horrible I was acting. When she told me that my whole attitude had changed me into someone she didn’t recognize anymore, I knew I had to change. I remember after she told me this I went to a park not too far from my house and just sat on a bench for a while. I started to look about, I noticed all the change happening around me. See I live in Florida and springtime is very subtle here so you have to really look for it.


     I sat there and thought just like a tree sheds its leaves sometimes you have to get rid of your dead weight too and that is what I did. I got rid of the negative people in my life and along with them went my attitude. I worked really hard to change the way I viewed the world and I’m not saying it’s all rainbows, roses and puppy dogs but instead of going straight to the negative I do my best to look at the situation from both aspects. So the next time someone tells you need to lose weight maybe you should take a hard look at where you can trim the fat.



Thanks for reading Tales of a Happy Fat Girl

     Founded in 1969, NAAFA is a non-profit civil rights organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for fat people. NAAFA works to eliminate discrimination based on body size and provide fat people with the tools for self-empowerment through public education, advocacy, and member support.


     This Column is dedicated to the tremendous work NAAFA has been doing for over four decades.  LargeInCharge wishes to support NAAFA in spreading the word of its work, and give the public more information into issues we as plus sized people should be aware of.  The fight for equality for people of all sizes is one we support.


     This Column will include News Releases and Calls to Action from NAAFA Directors.


This Column has been Approved by


NAAFA'S Announces Health at Every Size (HAES) Summit


In keeping with NAAFA's ongoing commitment to eliminate size discrimination and in response to inquiries focused on health concerns, the NAAFA Board of Directors is pleased to announce the first NAAFA Health At Every Size (HAES) Summit to be held at the Westin San Francisco Airport Hotel on Monday, August 9, 2010.

The NAAFA HAES Summit Objectives are:

• To bridge Health At Every Size (HAES) work that supports NAAFA's civil rights efforts
• To provide a supportive venue to bring together various individuals across
disciplines to present and discuss their work and latest findings.
• To award a scholarship to a promising undergraduate or graduate student whose studies and research are focused on or embodies the HAES tenets.

The Summit content will include:

• Engaging keynote speakers
• Affinity Table and networking format during lunch
• Panel Sessions on cutting edge topics from experts
• Evening Reception & Poster Session

Registration Fee Structure:
Professionals: $150.00, Day of $175.00
Student: $75.00 (limited to spots available and student ID is required) Day of
Go to to register

Hotel Information:
Do you need a room? The Westin is prepared to take your reservation 

Interested in volunteer opportunities?

For more information about HAES and the NAAFA HAES Summit,



Thanks for reading

From the Desk of NAAFA



Our WebGirl Lucia Roth, was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. Graduated with a B. A. degree in Communication from Southeastern Louisiana University and is considering going back for her Masters degree. Lucia a people person and is always willing to help out a friend in need. She enjoys music, movies, poetry, and good book on a rainy day. Lucia has several mottos about life.

This is one: Knowledge talks, wisdom listens.



The WebGirl Picks of the Month

Fashion Find Product of the Month

Fashion Find by: Lucia

Fashion Type: Clearance Sale

Why I Like this Item: Fashion Diva’s Unite! The Avenue/Jessica London has a clearance sale that will make any “Diva” cry… well in my case say “What The Fig Newton” (smile). Ladies get ready set go and don’t stop until your inner diva finds you.

Sizes: 12-32

Big Gals Lingerie
Recommender: Lucia

Name of Product: NOW brand Lavender Oil

Type of Product: Oil
Cost of Product: $ 6.99 - 54.99 Depending on Size

Where Product can be found:

Description:  I really like Now “Lavender Oil”. It’s truly a wonderful product. It’s 100% pure and there are multiple uses… It helps with Aching Muscles, Acne, Cuts & Wounds, Stress & Anxiety and Sunburn. All natural product has many health benefits.

Thanks for coming to Fashion & Products with the WebGirl

     Candace Lane (C.L.) is a 24-year-old plus sized artist from Illinois, where she was born and raised. She is a graduate of Proviso East High School. Candace is a certified Patient Care Technician who is experienced in the medical field.


     C.L. now works in technical support for a major electronics manufacturer. C.L. is currently pursuing a bachelorette degree in Mixed Media Art. Her artwork has been featured in local artist competitions. Candace considers herself a spiritual person. Being the oldest of four siblings gave her courage to lead and the wisdom to know when to follow.  As a member of what has been labeled Generation Next, she believes that life is a learning experience and everyone can teach you something; you just have to be willing to learn.


     In her free time, she enjoys traveling, art, music, good food and great conversation. Presently she is single, sassy and satisfied with where life is taking her.



I am Not My Hair

with Candace Lane



India Arie Video - I am Not my Hair


     I am not my hair, I am not this skin, I am a soul that lives within- India Arie.


     Many women spend more time trying to look like someone else then we do trying to look like ourselves. Think about it… We cover up with makeup, perm and relax, extension, suck in with girdles, swell up with silicone, all in an effort to look like someone who is unnatural to ourselves. I am not knocking women for wanting to enhance the things that GOD gave them. My point is, that if you have not first learned to appreciate the canvas, the artwork means nothing. Before you can claim you love who you are and you are “pro-you” all made up, you have to be able to love and appreciate you in the raw, naked and uncut. Otherwise, the thing that you really are “pro” and love so much is just an illusion.


     I have met many women in my life. Some have been more beautiful than any magazine cover and some have been the plainest Jane. One thing that I noticed a lot women have in common is that we are all trying to keep up with the standard of beauty set by society. The problem with keeping up with the standards of beauty is that it is a mold that was definitely not made for everywoman. Some of us will never have long straight hair, light yet tanned skin,  be 21 forever, be a size 4 and 5 feet 9 nine inches tall with jumbo breast and the ass to match. It’s just not in the DNA, yet you will see so many woman killing themselves to achieve something that is so very far away. What we can’t become, we buy. These beauty standards were clearly set to only be met by some, while leaving the rest of us in a frantic, never-ending, expensive search for the Holy Grail. How is it that we let other people dictate what we should call beautiful?

        I say all of this because of something that I experienced in the last few months. I was at work and a coworker blurted out to me, “Your hair is nappy.” We were at the lunch table and sitting with another coworker. The comment came way out of left field, I mean we were mid-sentence of talking about the weather or weekend or something. I was stunned by her comment, but then I realized that they had been discussing my hair before I even walked over to the table and sat down with them. Now, these are not random women. These are women that I have gone out and partied with, had over to my home, have gone on sister-girl dinner dates with. These were women that I considered friends. I told her the comment was mean spirited and she stated that she didn’t mean it that way, it’s just that if your friends can’t tell you when you are out of order, who can? I was sitting at the table with a woman who only wears a ponytail because her hair is thinning to bad to do anything else and the person who said it herself was also in need of a relaxer. I had been dealing with some life things so I wasn’t really on my A-game. But as a “friend”, she should have been able to see that. Instead of saying, “Hey girl, you are not being you right now. What’s going on?” she said, “Your hair is nappy.” Why do you even care what my hair looks like? I had thick medium length hair with about an inch of new growth (relaxer-free hair). Hair was the furthest thing from my mind that day. That comment had me self-conscious the rest of the day. I ended up purchasing a wig and wore it for three full weeks before I came to my senses.

        I had always admired black women with the courage to rock their natural hair texture. From childhood we have all be taught that our natural texture is not good enough, it’s not straight enough, it’s not appealing so we relax it. There is a certain power in rocking your natural texture that is something like “I am beautiful with or without your approval.” Black women spend so much time and money trying not to look the way they were born to look. We even keep each other in line about it.

     “Nappy.”  I will show you what nappy is… I cut of all of the relaxed ends until there was nothing left but my nappy. Just my nappy and me. I felt liberated and then I felt like I had lost my mind. Why did I just do that? My hair was healthy and all I really needed to do was visit my beautician for a touch-up. I had achieved what every little black girl strives for: long straight hair. Thankfully, I remembered why I had done it in the first place: I am not my hair. I am not what the world thinks I should look like. If I am happy with my nappy, then who cares what anyone else thinks? I am rocking my TWA (teeny weenie afro) and learning more about who I am naturally. Beyond the relaxer, beyond the weight, beyond my dark skin, right down to the heart of who I am, the woman that GOD created in his own image. If I can’t love me for me, how can I expect anyone else to?

        Whatever you do to alter your appearance is your own business. Ask you self one question: why do I do this? If the answer is not simply because I like it, you are doing it for the wrong reasons and you need to reevaluate some things and some people in your life. If hair or weight or skin color has the power to make or break who you are, then you are no one to begin with. Physical beauty fades, that is why the plastics and hair industry is booming and you have all of these people trying to hold on to their youth and beauty at any cost. We are making the people who tell us we are not good enough as we are filthy rich. We fund and fuel our own self-hate. Crazy, right? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder anyway so love what you be holdin’ and don’t let anyone make you feel otherwise.


Be blessed- C.L.




Thank you for Reading FAT - Free All Thinking

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