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LargeInCharge Magazine - Eighth Year in Progress

 Issue#92 - November 2011

Welcome to LargeInCharge Magazine

In this Issue of L.I.C.

 

 

Raqui-ism

Words of Wisdom from the Heart & Mind of Raqui

From the Plus Side ~ Emily Smiltneck

 

Good 4 U Food  ~ Xander

 

The Big GB My Gastric Bypass Memoirs - Soyna Bennett

 

From the Desk of NAAFA

National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance

 

Fashion & Products with The WebGirl ~ Lucia Roth

 

Fattitude - Its a Fat way of Life ~ Pat Llewellyn

 

The BIG - Beautiful Inspirational Girl  ~ Ms Suga

 

Big Girl, Small World - Gabriela Falarz

 

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!

 
A Victory for Erica Watson
and all Large People!

A Victory for Erica Watson and all Large People

By: Raqui plus Online Sources

 

It came to my attention recently that TV One’s new national show “Love That Girl”,  illegally used a Plus Sized woman’s body in a fat joke.  Whose body was used? The very talented Plus Sized woman named Erica Watson.  I met Erica some years back when she hosted Phat Poetry in New York, I was one of the many Plus Sized women who performed Spoken Word.  I have watched her career grow and grow over the years and I have pride in my heart to see Erica’s successes.

 

Photo: Erica Watsons FB

When I found out what happened I was quite upset for Erica because I know what it feels like to have someone steal your image and use it for their purposes without consent.

What Happened to Erica:

Quote (The Frisky): “Making fun of the fat girl” is the oldest and most cliché gag in TV history. And when Tatyana Ali’s show “Love That Girl” made fun of a fat girl in a recent episode, they were downright cruel. Instead of using a stock image or say, not mocking a plus-sized woman’s body at all, the show used an image of a real, plus-size woman.

And she just happened to be my friend, the actress, comedian and gorgeous plus-size woman Erica Watson.

The episode shows the character Tyana (Tatyana Ali, who you’ll remember as the little sis on “Fresh Prince of Bel Air”) and her friend, Latrell, talking about his new gig working as a trainer. He’s not an actual trainer, but he’s duped some people into becoming his clients by hanging up “before and after” posters. The “after” photo is of Tyana now; the “before” photo is my friend Erica Watson with Tatyana Ali’s head Photoshopped onto her body. Tyana is repulsed, shrieking, “How could you!” 

How do we know it’s Erica? In 2009, Erica did a series of press photos for her one-woman comedy show, “Fat Bitch,” wearing a bright green blouse. I know it’s her in the photo because I used the same image when I did a Q&A with Erica on The Frisky and we discussed her role in the movie “Precious.”( Yeah, she’s all-around amazing.) If you look at the press photos and the “before” image in “Love That Girl,” you can see very clearly the show decapitated Erica, put Tatyana’s head on top, and then made fun of the bigger body.

Ironically enough, Erica sent me an email about this incident while she’s in Los Angeles speaking about … wait for it … Love Your Body Day. “Why is my body a joke from the waist down?  It’s very hurtful,” she wrote. Erica also noted that the show did not contact her, or the photographer she hired to take the photos, for permission to use it. “People started calling me yesterday saying that they saw it on TV and recognized my photo,” she said.

 

Photo Credit: Charlie T.         /    ScreenShot: From The Frisky

QUOTE (Daily Venus Diva): The above photo can be viewed 0:51 seconds into the scene.

The show used Ms. Watson’s body in a before and after weight loss photo but they never received permission from Erica Watson nor did they receive permission from Erica’s photographer, Charlie T.

Erica Watson is best known for her one-woman stand-up comedy show, “Fat Bitch.”  In the show she uses comedy to tackle issues of stereotypical portrayals of black women in the media and this TV One mishap is just the type of situation she speaks about in her show.

Ms. Watson is hurt by the actions of the network and released this statement:

“I work so hard in my comedy to make sure that all women, regardless of size, feel good about their bodies. We live in a society where the value of a woman is determined by what she looks like and it saddens me that a network like TVOne, which does it’s best to combat distorted images of African-Americans would in turn use the body of someone like me for a cheap laugh. What were they thinking?”

Word spread across the internet rapidly and Erica’s supporters stood up and voiced their thoughts including me.

So What did TV One do?

Photo: TVOne FB

Quote (TV One Facebook Page) October 21, 2011: TV One was unaware that "Love That Girl’s" production company used a flier in Monday night’s episode that we now understand included an unauthorized image of Erica Watson. The producers of the comedy have taken the material out of the show, and we have taken it off of our website. We offer our sincere apologies to Erica Watson and are especially sorry that it has caused offense and resulted in hurt feelings when TV One has always worked to present a positive and inclusive portrayal of black Americans of all sizes and shapes, ages and cultural backgrounds.

I think it is great that a Formal Apology was made but really I personally didn’t feel it was enough I wasn’t alone in my thoughts.

A few Comments from the TV One Facebook Page: under the apology

 Raqui  - The only way to right this wrong is a true public apology, to compensate Erica Watson not only for using her picture but for doing so without permission. They stole not only her image but her photographers work. Where is the photographer’s compensation as well? To then chop off Erica's head and use her body purposefully as a joke WITHOUT PERMISSION, and aired on tv to millions illegally. Erica is a very talented woman, I have met her myself. This is not enough in my eyes.

Lynx  - Bottom line is Erica Watson image was used without her knowledge/permission, she had to come across it and that certainly would make anyone even the skinniest celebrity feel violated. It's not about size but it's about RIGHTS, the fact that she is a big woman of course raises the age old sentiment that "we" (plus size people) are easy targets for jokes and violations against our dignity, adding insult to injury. Still in all one must keep in mind that TV One's main goal is to portray people of color in a positive light, now I am sure they will make it their business to included "big" people of color. If they were really on it they would see the power of numbers in our Plus size world not to mention the support. We have each other’s backs, still and all I hope someone cuts a check to Erica and as Raqui stated to the photographer, and gives Erica her own show, if they were on it, they'd do all three! Word!

Christa - I think a public apology is needed! Not only from the network but the team on the show as well!

Allyshia - When it's all said and done, what TV One and other networks should take from this is to stop cutting corners and hire people that know copyright rules and regulations. All of these companies nowadays are a little too relaxed when it comes to simple things such as proofreading and fact checking. Maybe this will force them to make sure their employees are up on their stuff!

But this whole situation does have a happy ending.  Remember while all this drama was going on our talented Erica was in LA getting ready to make a special performance at Love Your Body Day

NOTE: Hollywood NOW "Love Your Body Day," produced by Chenese Lewis is a community celebration to promote healthy body image for women of all ages and to combat the negative portrayals of women and girls in mainstream entertainment…

http://loveyourbodyday.com/erica-watson

Erica was very happy when Phil Morris (one of the Stars of the Show Love that Girl) came personally on behalf of TV One to apologize at the Love Your Body event on October 22, 2011

Photo Credit: S LaVel Thisdeejay-Andemcee DeLone FB - Left to Right - Chenese Lewis, Erica Watson, Phil Morris

Quote (Erica Watson): I am happy to let you all know that Phil Morris came to my performance on Saturday at Love Your Body Day to apologize to me in person. He is a class act, and I adore him! Chenese Lewis hooked it up! I cried...it was so touching! Thank you Phil and TV One.

TVOne is showing they are trying to be a company that wants to treat all with respect.  Mistakes are going to be made but at least TVOne is trying to own up to their part in the situation.

I feel this is a victory not only for Erica but for those like me who never got an apology when our pictures were misused.  (go to this month’s Raqui-ism Column to read about my personal story).  It is a victory for Chenese Lewis who was able to bring together Erica and Phil, showing all who attended (and heard about the Love Your Body event) that we can be treated with respect and should fight for it.  Chenese’s cause for our equality is much needed.   It is a victory for every plus sized woman or man who felt like the entertainment industry used and abused us at its whim without being held accountable.

One More step for us all on the scale of equality.  There is only one things still on my mind... I wonder whose body was used for the after shot?  Does this body builder know her body was used... Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm 

 (go to this month’s Raqui-ism Column to read about my personal story on how my picture was used illegally by The London Paper)
 

 
 
 
 
 
 

Thank you for Reading The LargeInCharge Feature

 

 

Kamane' Malvo Marshall

 

Cover Model of the Month Interview

 

 

Interview:

 

LargeInCharge.com: What is your name? Comedienne Queenie TT

aka Kamane' Malvo Marshall

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

I was born and raised in the SF Bay Area but I have southern lineage on both sides of my family, Louisiana and am very much a southern girl at heart.

 

LargeInCharge.com: Were you a big child, or did you gain weight later in life?

I've been dealing with food and weight issues since I was eight years old.  I've lived at different sizes of large for the majority of my life.

LargeInCharge.com: (If you were a big child) how did you feel growing up as a large child?

It was difficult at times; however, I was very accepted amongst my peer group because I've always had a warm, friendly, and outgoing personality that attracted people to me.  If a new kid at school tried to pick on me, my friends would always defend me and of course I would always have something sassy to say.  My parents raised me to love myself no matter what the scale said.  However, in high school I moved to a predominately Caucasian upper-middle class city and was ostracized by my peers for being a big black female, but by the time I graduated I was the bell of the ball.  Once they got to know me, my charm won the over and to this day I have people from high school who come to seem me at my comedy shows and have also bought my novel, Praise Be to the Plus-Sized Sister.

LargeInCharge.com: (If you gained weight later in life) what caused you to gain weight and how did you feel about it?

I am guilty of using food to anesthetize everything.  I am an emotional eater.  I admit it openly.  It's a constant battle for me not to binge eat.  Sometimes I win and sometimes I lose.  Right now I'm winning.

LargeInCharge.com: What made you decide to enter the LargeInCharge model search? 

There are so many reason but to narrow it down; it's for exposure and inspiration.  I want to showcase my gifts and talent to the BBW/FA community in an even greater way. As a comedienne, I'm out there on the front lines representing women who look like me, breaking down stereotypes, and changing perceptions about the beauty and relevance of full-figured women.  When I look out into the audience, I want to see tables full of big men and women celebrating right along with me!

LargeInCharge.com: Did you find it a hard journey to be accepted for your size?

Yes, and I still do.  Some people hate fat people.  I've been discriminated against in some form or fashion all of my life.  As a triple minority: big, black, and female I face prejudice and discrimination on three fronts.  However, it wasn't until I chose to develop myself esteem based solely on God, self-love, serenity, and forgiveness did I not begin the love affair I am currently having with myself.  I have forgiven the fat haters past, present, and future.  I am able to do so because I love myself and there is nothing in this world that can defeat that.

LargeInCharge.com: Do you find acceptance among your family and friends?

Yes.  If you can't accept me then I love you form a far.  There are certain family members who have a hard time seeing me successful that I didn't have to lose weight first to get married, to be a comedian, to write my book, to graduate from college, to enroll in graduate school, to model in fashion shows, to be a motivational speaker, to write my book, to inspire others....etc.  They want to keep me in a box because my success in spite of my weight makes them uncomfortable and that is there problem not mine.  I pray for them and when the come around I'll be here.

LargeInCharge.com: What would you say inspires you most in life?

God, my husband, my parents, and modern-day miracles. 

LargeInCharge.com: What is your primary occupation?

I am an entertainer and business own of my own entertainment company, The Plus-Sized Sister Movement which is mainly fueled by my comedic alter-ego Queenie TT and by my novel, Praise Be to the Plus-Sized Sister which is available for purchase on Amazon.

LargeInCharge.com: How did you get into this line of work?

I've been performing all of my life, but stand-up comedy is my passion. This amazing art form has been a place of healing for me. After being diagnosed with Stage II Lymphedema Acute Hypothyroidism, the state of California deemed me permanently disabled as there is no cure. This was a wake up call for me all the way around. A year later I wrote and published a novel, Praise Be to the Plus-Sized, which was a dream of mine since graduating from college in 2002. The brash and sassy character of Queenie TT was birthed from that endeavor. Encouraged by my readers, I wrote a one-woman comedy show and began performing within the gay and lesbian coffee house community in Sacramento. However, true stand up comedy began within the Pepperbellys and Tommy T's comedy communities. At the time I was still cane dependent and couldn't even stand during a five minute set. Well, you should see me now. Not only can I perform 15-30 minute sets standing up; at the end of each of my sets I perform my signature TT dances that range from freestyle hip hop to belly-dance.

This journey has been amazing. I'll be celebrating my year performing stand-up comedy in February. So far I've opened up for Luenell, Tony Roberts, BT Kingsley, and Donald Lacy. I've performed in professional shows at Tommy T's, Laughs Unlimited, Pepperbellys, The Purple Onion, Actor's Theatre, Celestine's, Velma's, and Kimballs Carnival. This past year I've performed in fundraisers, at birthday and holiday parties, belly-dance haflas, and poetry slams. In February I'll be performing with Cocoa Brown for the ladies night Valentines show and in March, I'll be performing at a Gospel Jam. My comedy is universal and ranges from Bill Cosby clean to Lisa Lampanelli blue. 

Ultimately, my message is about self-love, dispelling social myths about what it means to be a big black woman in thin-obsessed, misogynistic, racist, ageist, overtly prejudiced society. In my act, I proclaim with sister-girl vibrato that "When I look in the mirror, I see Halle Berry on snacks!" This line brings the house down every time. I love me some Queenie TT because she's fearless, empowering, and inspirational.

 

LargeInCharge.com: Do you find acceptance in the work force?

 Yes, I have for the most part.  Put it this way.  Amongst the professionals in the business, those who make the big decisions and the seasoned performers and headliners, they have opened there arms up to me and have helped me free of charge to fine tune my comedic skills.  They accept me.  However, amongst my peers, those who I am competing against for the limited amount of hot gigs available for new comics, I've had some issues even a few verbal altercations.  However, the Bay Area  comedy community, especially in Oakland and San Francisco have embraced me whole-heartedly.  In the Bay Area comedy scene; it's been incredible, amazing, exciting, inspiration and life-changing.  I've found so much love and acceptance within that community.

 

LargeInCharge.com: What changes do you believe should take place for Large People in the work force?

Stop the discrimination period.  We have bills to pay too!  Weight has nothing to do with intelligence and being able to think critically. 

 

LargeInCharge.com: What do you think about the fashion industry for big sized clothing?

It's improving but there is still room for growth.  If I wasn't a savvy fashionista and a fierce bargain hunter, I wouldn't have a clue where to find beautiful, figure-flattering fashion for my size 34 dress size.

 

LargeInCharge.com: What do you wish to see change with the fashion industry?

 

Greater selection in the areas of lingerie, including body shaping and silhouette enhancing undergarments, especially in the areas of hosiery.

  

LargeInCharge.com: What changes do you think will happen if plus sized modeling for men and women were to expand?

 

I think it would help to aid in the advancement of the size acceptance movement.  After a certain size, the media completely disregards large people.  More positive images of large-sized people will translate into greater society because it will demystify yet humanize the lifestyle of big people.

 

LargeInCharge.com: Tell us some of the places you buy your clothing from.

Zaftique.com, Romans, and various sellers on Ebay that have clothes that go up to size 36/38,

  

LargeInCharge.com:  Tell us one of your secret beauty tips.

 

Body Shapers and a Good Bra.  Always buy the correct size.  Even if you have to buy a size bigger and take it to the tailor to have it fitted to your figure makes all the difference.  If you find something that works, buy it in every color and use accessories to make the outfits look different.  Find a good tailor that is size friendly and knows how to fit and tailor for extra curvy figures.  I am bottom heavy and pair shaped with a beautiful waistline.  Often times I have to buy my clothes to fit my butt, hips, and thighs and have my tailor take in the top. The extra expense is oh so worth it because I look fabulous.  The trick is to wait for the sales, get on every online advertising list you can and wait for that sale or send an email to the customer service department and ask for a discount code or free shipping.  The money you save can be reserved to pay for your tailoring.

 

LargeInCharge.com:  Give us some tips on how to have a successful Photo shoot. What should models be prepared for?

 

Go there feeling fabulous and ready for anything.  Exercise before you go to make sure your body is warmed up and ready to move.  Make love to your spouse or partner   the morning of he shoot and you will see the afterglow in your eyes.  If you are nervous turn on some empowering diva music and do a sexy self-love dance naked in your full-length mirror.  If you can find confidence in that mirror, you will be fierce fully clothed behind that camera lens! 

 

LargeInCharge.com: Look at Size acceptance five years ago... look at size acceptance now.  What changes do you see?

 

Much larger models.  More diversity meaning more models that are women of color.

 

LargeInCharge.com: What changes do you think will happen five years from now with size acceptance?

 

Hopefully, the same.  I'd love to see some 4x, 5x, 6x models in more mainstream fashion media outlets.

 

LargeInCharge.com: Tell us about your goals as far as modeling and other interests.

My goal is to further my entertainment career but also to be a living and breathing example that beauty comes in all shapes and size.  Too be woman is to be beautiful!

  

LargeInCharge.com:  What have you accomplished as a Plus Sized Model? 

Career exposure, runway work, and meeting the goals as outline in the mission statement of my business, The Plus-Sized Sister Movement which states the following, “The Plus-Sized Sister Movement is an entertainment company promoting the beauty and relevance of full-figured women through size-positive literature, motivational speaking, comedy, and fashion. The Plus-Sized Sister Movement is dedicated to empowering women of all shapes and sizes to fully embrace the power of faith, self-esteem, and self-confidence. By contributing positively to the size acceptance community, The Plus-Sized Sister Movement's goals are set on combating prejudice and discrimination on three fronts: race, gender, and size.”

 

LargeInCharge.com:  Have you entered or won any Contests, Pageants or Awards?  What was the experience like?

Tommy T's Best Open Mic (Finalist) - Rancho Cordova, California

Tommy T's Crowds Choice (1st Place, 2nd Place, 3rd Place)- Rancho Cordova, California

SFICC Comedy Competition (Preliminary Invitation)- San Francisco, California

Missouri Street Poetry Slam (1st Place)-Fairfield, California

T2's Open Mic Comedy Competition (1st Place)-Sacramento, California

 

All of these experiences listed above were amazing because people accepted the total package; my size, my gender, my race, and my talent and called it “Winner.” 

LargeInCharge.com: Can you tell us about an inspirational moment in you life that made you feel good about your size.

There is so many to name but to narrow it down; every time I take the stage as Queenie TT, every time I read from my book, Praise Be to the Plus-Sized Sister, every time I walk out in the world representing for women like me, every time my husband holds has me on his arm proclaiming to the world that he loves the big beautiful woman in his life, every time my parents tell me how proud they are of me, every time men and women of all shapes, sizes, and hues give me a hug after the show and tell me how much they love my comedy and that my journey, my story inspires them. 

 

LargeInCharge.com: Is there a person in your life that makes you keep going?

My husband. He is my rock, my strong tower, my covering, my inspiration and the love of my life.

LargeInCharge.com: What advice would you give to other people of size who want to model?

Get out there and do it!  Start your own portfolio online.  Get involved within your local community and put on a fashion show of your on.  Talk to your local plus-sized shops and see if they'd be willing to sponsor a fashion show.  Combine your efforts with other entities like poets, musicians, comedians...make it a comedy fashion show.  Trust they exist. I've been in one.

LargeInCharge.com: What plus size figure do you most admire?

My own. 

LargeInCharge.com: Describe yourself with one word.

Powerful.

 


 

Thanks for reading about our

Cover Model of the Month

 

 

     Raqui the Owner and Founder of LargeInCharge.com, Raqui's  "Tell it like it is" style of writing has brought thousands to her blogs and millions to LargeInCharge.com.  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 www.Raqui.com

Raqui's New Blog titled Raqui-ism "Soulfully Speaking! - http://raqui-ism.blogspot.com/

 Raqui Host's Super Sized Seminar at 15th Annual Vegas Bash 2011

go to www.Raqui.com Portfolio Section

Raqui-ism -  STOLEN IMAGES - The trend that can victimize us all!

Written By: Raqui

 

It was November 2009 when I received a message from a friend.  They sent me a link to a publication called "The London Paper".  When I followed the link I found a picture I had taken a couple of years before at an event in Connecticut when Jadox (A friend, supporter of the plus sized community and rap artist came from the West Coast (LA) to the East Coast (NY) for an event.)  We finally met in person and we took a picture together for a memory.

 

 

 What did The London Paper do with this photo.  They took our faces out and put Famous Actress, Singer, Performer Jennifer Lopez over my face and her husband Actor, Spanish and English Singer, Performer Marc Anthony, over Jadox's face.   They used the title "Find out what J-Lo would look like as a Chav."

 

What is a Chav you may ask?  - info from Wikipedia and Urban Dictionary.

 

Wikipedia 

A Chav - is a stereotype of certain people in the United Kingdom. Also known as a charver in Yorkshire and North East England "chavs" are said to be aggressive and arrogant teenagers and young adults, of underclass background, who repeatedly engage in anti-social behavior such as street drinking, drug abuse and rowdiness, or other forms of juvenile delinquency.

Urban Dictionary 

Chav - Derived from Chatham in Kent, this term can be applied loosely to every culture with a nasty, thieving element. There are many variants of this creature but all are subject to the following commonalities:

Chavs are completely Amoral, having never been subjected to right and wrong by their inattentive, uncaring and often absent parents. 

Chavs are part Mag

pie, evidentially supported by their love of all things shiny, or as vacuous, illiterate street-slang would say 'Bling'.  

Whatever their ethnic background, Chavs have a built-in affinity to hip-hop/R&B, even if they are inherently racist (see the Scottish). They see their life as glamorous and cool.

Chavs are for the most part, extremely stupid. However, some of them render a form of low cunning, which can be misinterpreted as intelligence. However this is false. A Chav has no desire to better themself through honest means nor learn anything outside of car modification.

Chav - Sub species of human

Commonly thought to be of inferior intellect, the Chavette surprises us with its cunning plan to avoid taking up a professional career and provide itself with free accommodation supplied by tax payers by spawning multi colored mini chavs at a early stage in life, usually mid teens.

 Clearly recognizable by their distinctive tribal Burberry they congregate in town centers and on street corners, Chavs have a reputation of being creative with public property and motor vehicles, building themselves Chaviots out of mechcano sets and strip lighting, and providing us with humorous banta written on toilet walls like ‘Shit’ and ‘Tasha woz ere’ in an attempt to relieve our boredom while urinating. 

 Their language is a basic form of English thus avoiding any words they cannot spell or pronounce, even to the extent of creating new words only they know the meaning of.

In other words we here in American would say a Chav is Ghetto Trash.  I took it as a personal offense, Anyone who knows me or has dealt with me knows that I am far from Ghetto and I am not Trash.  I have none of the above attributes of a Chav.  They stole a picture I have sole ownership of and used it to degrade me, Jadox, Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony.  None of us are Ghetto Trash/Chav's.

I know many of you are thinking why talk about this now.  Well recently a Friend of mine Erica Watson, an amazing comedienne, actress and all around talented woman was also the victim of this horrible pattern that is still a ever present problem through out the Internet, TV, Magazine, Entertainment Industry.

Quote (The Frisky): The episode shows the character Tyana (Tatyana Ali, who you’ll remember as the little sis on “Fresh Prince of Bel Air”) and her friend, Latrell, talking about his new gig working as a trainer. He’s not an actual trainer, but he’s duped some people into becoming his clients by hanging up “before and after” posters. The “after” photo is of Tyana now; the “before” photo is my friend Erica Watson with Tatyana Ali’s head Photoshopped onto her body. Tyana is repulsed, shrieking, “How could you!” 

Photo Credit: Charlie T.         /    ScreenShot: From The Frisky

 READ ABOUT WHAT HAPPEN TO ERICA IN OUR FEATURE SECTION FOR THIS MONTH:

 

Erica's story was different from mine because she got the formal apology she deserved where I did not.

 

Fatimah Parker another friend of mine in the fight for size acceptance tried to help me by calling The London Paper and their Head Corporation "News International Newspapers Ltd." which is located in London.  They would not remove the photo because they said that The London Paper website was not active.  Though it was clearly visible online.  They would not give me a formal apology nor a phone call, email, or letter.  They basically refused to acknowledge their illegal actions and me as a human being.

 

This was not the first time nor the last.  I was also alerted that Plenty of Fish (a Dating website) Stole my image and used it for advertising a Dating Site.  No matter how many times I called they would not return my emails or calls. They kept giving me the run around.

 

 

 

If it isn't enough that those in the Entertainment industry are taking photos for there use.  There are those in our community that do the same. Jerry Gatlin a self proclaimed photographer in the plus sized community stole a photograph that was taken for a special art project called The Full Beauty Project, and used it to promote himself.  Even though the photograph was not taken by him and was stolen with out permission for use of any kind neither from me or Yossi Loloi the photographer and creator of The Full Beauty Project...

 

 

Read More about this in the November 2010 Issue of LargeInCharge Magazine... CLICK HERE

 

 In all of these cases I never received an apology and the images were never removed. I was never asked if my picture could be used, I never gave permission and I was never compensated in anyway.  This happens everyday and can happen to you as well. If you post pictures to your accounts or anywhere on the net, there is a chance you can have your image/work stolen.

 

Know that if you have been victimized in this way you are not alone, and you should fight for your rights even when you think that no one will do anything about it.  We must be happy when another member of our community gets the apology that is deserved it is a victory for us all.

 


    

 


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

www.raqui.com  

Raqui's My Space Page

Raqui on Twitter

 

Thank you for Reading Raqui's Spot

Please send thoughts and comments to

articles@largeincharge.com

From the Plus Side

with

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 emilysuzanne20@hotmail.com.  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 phatgurl@personalz.com

 

Enlightened

    

 

 

“Jany?” Haroon whispered, when he managed to stop laughing.  “I am sorry.”

            “Sorry?  For what?”

            “I do not usually sleep with women like this.”

            “You mean with two other people in the bed, or without your pants on?” Jany giggled.

            “I mean I do not sleep with women this soon.  I know we did not make love last night, but I feel like I should not have been sleeping with you with—with no pants.  I really like you, Jany, and I’d like to spend more time with you.  I do not want you to think I am the sort of man who—“

            “Did you seriously just say ‘make love’?”  Selena sat abruptly upright.  “Who says that anymore?  Really?”

            “I—why—yes, I did,” Haroon stammered.

            “So you love her?  You’re saying you love her.  Because it seems like you gotta, like, love someone to make love to them.  Otherwise, it’s just sex.”

            “Selena, shut up!” Jany hissed.  “I think we all know what he meant.  As if waking up in a bed with like a million other people isn’t awkward enough, now we’re trying to have a serious conversation and you have to make that awkward, too?”

            “I’m not the one who decided to have a serious conversation while I was in bed with a million other people.  It’s not like I was trying to listen or something!”  Selena threw her arms in the air in frustration, almost slapping Jacob in the face as he sat up.  He wrapped his hand around her wrist and brought her arm back down to her side.

            “Looks like someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed, Selena.  And Jany.  Come on, girls.  Kiss and make up.”

            Selena and Jany glared at one another.  Haroon, who hadn’t said anything since Selena’s outburst, had scooted so far back he was nearly falling out of the bed and was watching silently. 

            “This is no time for being crabby,” Jacob continued.  “We had a great night last night, a really wonderful time, and now Haroon and I are in bed with two beautiful women.  Let’s not ruin it by fighting.”

            Jany was pretty sure she knew what the problem was.  After everything they’d been through the previous day—Jany’s frantic call to Selena for help, their flirtations at the bar, Jany’s insistence that Selena was her date—Selena probably hadn’t been overly impressed by Haroon’s confession of his feelings for Jany.  And Jany felt a little guilty, even though his confession hadn’t been her idea.  Should she say something to indicate to him that she didn’t feel the same way?  That wouldn’t be fair; she wasn’t sure how she really did feel.  The fact that Selena was soaking up Jacob’s attention had sort of made her forget that she’d promised that she was Selena’s date for the night.

Jany did the only thing she could think of that might break the tension without saying something to hurt either Selena or Haroon: she followed Jacob’s instructions.  She reached up, grabbed Selena’s head, and pulled it toward her.  As Selena gasped in surprise, Jany kissed her, long and hard.  Their eyes locked again, more in surprise or even horror than in passion, and when they pulled apart, both held their breath.  Haroon, round-eyed, had risen up on one elbow to watch.  Jacob smiled broadly.

            “Thank you, Jany.  Didn’t that help?”

            Neither of them answered.  Instead, they continued to stare, unsure whether their standoff was over or not.  Finally, Jany tipped her head to the side and silently mouthed, “Come on,” at Selena.  And then, just as Haroon hesitantly whispered, “You should do that again, Jane,” Selena leaned over and kissed Jany in return.  Everything was okay.

            “This is very, very different from how I thought my Sunday morning would be,” Haroon said.  “I thought I would wake up by myself, very early, and drink some coffee, and then I would spend the day studying.  Instead, I slept with other people and now—well, this is interesting, isn’t it?”

            Jacob laughed heartily.

            “I thought that maybe you two were the kissin’ kind.  After all, I was there in the bar last night.  To be honest, that was part of what motivated me to bring you all back here last night.”

            “Pervert!” Selena spat, but she was smiling now.

            “We’re not—well, I’m not—I mean, I like guys too.  So does she.  Really, I mainly like guys.  I just—well, Selena’s the only—I--we’ve—oh, God, never mind.”  Jany flushed bright red. 

            “No need to explain.  I think Haroon over there is glad to hear ya like boys.  He probably wouldn’t complain if ya kissed her again, though.  With less clothes on.”

            “She was right.  You really are a pervert.  And I’m not sure that’s really what Haroon wants..”

            “I do,” Haroon sighed.

            “So you felt funny waking up next to me without pants on because you thought I might get the wrong idea about what kind of guy you are, but you have no problem with me getting naked right in front of you?  With another girl?  How’s that for a double standard?”

            “I—I just mean that I would not think badly of you.  You are both beautiful.  I would like to see that.”  Even Haroon’s skin wasn’t dark enough to hide the fact that he was blushing.

            “Let’s not fight again, girls.  We’re all here together, now, and we may as well enjoy ourselves,” Jacob said gently.

            “Jany?  I think they’re totally trying to talk us into an orgy,” Selena whispered.

            “I heard that, and no, we’re not.  I don’t like that word.  Haroon isn’t trying to talk you into anything; he can barely talk at all, in fact.  And I was merely suggesting that the two of you should enjoy yourselves, here, in my bed, and that if the mood strikes us, Haroon and I may enjoy you as well.”

            “Well, now this is all just weird.  I don’t usually get naked and start making out on command,” Jany said, lying down and hiding her face in a pillow.

            “Performance anxiety.  It’s only natural.  Just relax and do what you’d do if you were alone.”

            “Oh, you mean start talking about how much men suck?  ‘Cause that’s how it usually starts.  Let me out.  I gotta pee.”  Selena shoved Jacob’s legs to the side and climbed out of the bed.

            Selena left an uncomfortable silence behind her when she exited the room.  Jacob shrugged, then threw back the blankets and wandered out after her.  “May as well get up, I guess,” he mumbled.  Haroon got up and followed him.  Jany, not sure exactly what she should do, stayed in the bedroom, but she got out of bed, too, and walked over to the window.  The view was almost as pretty as it had been at dawn.  The sun and the sky were amazingly bright and clear, and the two together seemed to magnify the colors of everything that existed underneath them.

            “Hey, Jane!”  Jany turned around to see Selena hiding behind the half-closed door.

            “Yeah?”

            “They’re out in the kitchen.  We should—you know.  We should do what they wanted us to do.”

            “You mean get naked and make out?”

            “Yeah!”

            “Why, Selena?  I mean, they’re not even in here.  It would just be us.”

            “I’m kinda in the mood now, though.  I mean, after everything—and they’re not here to make us feel weird about it.”

            “Are you just doing this to try and make me forget about Haroon?  I know it probably wasn’t that cool for you to hear the stuff he was saying before, but don’t worry about it.  I don’t even know him that well—“

            “Jane, shut up.  I just wanna kiss you.  Nothing to do with either of them, ‘kay?  I just wanna, like, mess around.  We were pretty hot an’ heavy last night ourselves, you know.  At the bar?  Jacob even noticed.”

            Jany giggled nervously and glanced toward the kitchen.  Jacob and Haroon seemed to be keeping themselves busy.

            “Yeah, we kinda were.  I just—“ Selena walked across the room and stopped her from talking by kissing her.  Then she led Jany across the room and gently pushed her onto the bed.

            “Let’s get naked.”

            “What if they come back in?”

            “You really think they’re gonna mind?”

            In answer, Jany slowly stretched her arms into the air.  Selena took the hint and slid Jany’s shirt up and over her arms, then removed her own top.  She pressed breasts against Jany’s breasts and pressed her lips against Jany’s lips.  Jany wanted to stop her, wanted to say that she just wasn’t sure, that she was afraid of what might happen if Haroon and Jacob came back, but when she opened her mouth, she moaned softly instead.  Without her permission, her legs parted and made room for one of Selena’s legs to find a place between them.  And then, in the distance, she heard Jacob’s voice trying to speak quietly but failing.

            “Now this is what I was waiting for!”



 

   
   
 

Thanks for reading

From the Plus Side with Emily Smiltneck

articles@largeincharge.com

 

Emily's Cool Links

www.myspace.com/heartsoulspirit

 

     Xander brings blend of life experience and culinary twist to his writing. From cooking on television and live demonstrations, to writing Xander cook’s like he feels. A former Chicago native transplanted to Tennessee, His goal has been to experience the fullness of food heritage. He believes that as a people and society, can learn a lot from what we eat. Combining a great life lesson and a easy recipe.  They go hand-in-hand to provide a tasty addition to your day. Xander has to confess that ingredients in a great meal are like the ingredients in a great life are never far apart.

 

   

Tasting Life

by Xander The Food Dude

 

I have a very special friend named Paul, and in just a few days, the grownups in his life will be celebrating his first birthday. Plenty of my friends have children, but this is the first time in my adult life that I’ve been so intimate with the day-to-day, inch-by-inch development of a human tadpole. In the few months that my friend’s diet has expanded beyond the bottled facsimile of breast milk, I’ve had the privilege of observing his experiences with this thing called food, a front-row seat at the high-chair theater, complete with bowl tossing, high-pitched screams and other primal expressions of gustatory joy.

 

One night, I cooked a small pot of red lentils, suggesting to his mother that it’s baby food as Mother Nature had intended, self-pureeing in about 25 minutes. She agrees to the experiment, eager for variety beyond sweet potatoes and applesauce, but me, I’ve got bigger aspirations. I’m secretly hoping that on some level the kid will intuitively understand that his uncle is trying to expose him to the world, that lentils just aren’t lentils; they’re culture and history and nutrition and agriculture. (I also plan to introduce him to the sounds of Miles Davis before his second birthday .

 

I wait for his reaction. At first, he grimaces, a sign of cranky uncertainty, but he forges ahead, masticating like a champ. He sings that “num, num, num” song and the chubby legs begin to swing in excitement beneath the counter. He grins wide, with all four teeth, and readily receives a second helping. Folks, I think we’ve got a winner.  I thought a lot about Paul and the purity of his experience with food. It’s free of judgment and filled with wonder, joy and openness, a sensory interaction of the highest order. And now his taste knows lentils, something I didn’t experience until I was in my 20s.

 

Paul may grow up to hate lentils -- and all the other things I’ve got planned for him to taste. But taste is all you can do in this life. My mother was insistent that we try everything at least once before deciding we didn’t like something on our plates, and I think that’s a good rule of thumb for many aspects of life. Try everything once. Be open to the flavors, textures and aromas that life presents you, both smooth and velvety as well as sharp and bitter. Open your mouth and taste something new everyday -- or something familiar in a different way. When was the last time you bit into a radish? Really tasted mustard from a spoon? Listened to the crunch of a potato chip? Smelled the perfume of sautéed onions? Life is delicious, every minute of every day. Life is also precious. So let’s get busy.  Keep the spirit of cooking alive!

 

Xander's Recipe of the Month

   
Lentil Soup

Ingredients

 

1 onion, chopped

1/4 cup olive oil

2 carrots, diced

2 stalks celery, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 bay leaf 1 teaspoon dried basil

1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes

2 cups dry lentils

8 cups water

1/2 cup spinach, rinsed and thinly sliced

2 tablespoons vinegar salt to taste

ground black pepper to taste

Directions

In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery; cook and stir until onion is tender. Stir in garlic, bay leaf, oregano, and basil; cook for 2 minutes.

Stir in lentils, and add water and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for at least 1 hour. When ready to serve stir in spinach, and cook until it wilts. Stir in vinegar, and season to taste with salt and pepper, and more vinegar if desired.

 

Lentil Chili

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup dry lentils
  • 1 cup dry bulgur wheat
  • 3 cups low fat, low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups canned whole tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions

In a large pot over medium high heat, combine the oil, onion and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes. Stir in the lentils and bulgur wheat. Add the broth, tomatoes, chili powder, cumin and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, or until lentils are tender.

 
   
   
   
 

Thank you for Reading Good Food 4U

By Xander the Food Dude

Please send thoughts and comments to

articles@largeincharge.com

   

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.

Now Sharing her story Angie Bee  (Sonya's Sister) is sharing her Similar but entirely Unique Story with LargeInCharge Readers through Sonya's Column.
 
Angie Bee - It's Time for Reflection
with Sonya Bennett & Angie Bee

 

Well, it's that time of year again:  It's November; time to Meet, Greet and EAT!

I'm entering this month knowing that this is the season for eating.  Thanksgiving leads to Christmas and Christmas leads to drinking (New Year's celebration with wine and cheese!).  Entering this time of year after having gastric bypass surgery is something that dreams are NOT made of. 

 

A year ago this month, I was a pending gastric bypass patient.  I distinctly remember getting the phone call from the scheduling nurse, providing instructions for me to scale back my food consumption just before embarking upon the biggest eating holiday of the year.  It was required to lose as much weight as I could before the holidays. I couldn't believe it!  My family was coming to my home for Thanksgiving Dinner and NOW you want me to scale back my eating?!  My daughters were BOTH cooking turkeys and my grandmother was bringing her famous Apple Cake recipe!  I was hoping that Thanksgiving would be my "Last Hoorah" of overindulgence... but then again, I need to learn control.  What better way to do that than during the Thanksgiving Holiday?!  I spent the holiday with my family in quiet reflection of the joy of having them in my home rather than the greed of overeating.  I marveled at my 80+ year old grandmother flying alone from Michigan to Florida in order to join us around the dinner table.  I beamed with pride over having both of my daughters and my son-in-law with us for dinner and I giggled with joy watching my younger sisters "switchin' in the kitchen".  My mother was there in Spirit and her hand was on my shoulder to guide me as I turned away from second helpings and I was happy with myself as I took control over my appetite. 

 

As Thanksgiving 2011 approaches, I am thankful that I have reached many milestones!  I have lost over 70 pounds since my gastric bypass surgery on February 28, 2011.  I am off insulin injections and diabetic prescriptions.  I am off the high blood pressure medicine.  My daughter tells me that I am no longer snoring and now I need my CPAP machine adjusted (actually, I think my sleep apnea is gone but I will wait for the actual diagnosis to determine that!)  At my last checkup in July, I had lost over 70 pounds.  My next checkup is next week.  I am standing now.  I am walking farther.  I am physically able to DO so much more than before!  I am not focused on food as my everything, just as a necessity of life.  I am actually skipping many meals simply because I forget to eat; this is not recommended as skipping meals can slow your weight loss.  I recently got my FIRST passport and when I compare that picture with my driver’s license picture there is a measurable difference in my facial appearance!  I attended a Christian rap concert and took photos with one of the groups that performed.  I slapped that picture up on Facebook and got comments like "you look so skinny" and "looking great!" - WOW!  Praise GOD!

 

When I reflect on where I was one year ago compared to today, I can't believe how much my health has improved!  Remember, this time last year I was a PENDING patient!  God is good and His mercy is everlasting, and I pray that this improvement in my health serves as a testimony for others.  I AM IN CHARGE OF MY LIFE!  I am in charge of my improving health and I am in charge of ME!

 

Enjoy your Thanksgiving and rejoice with the time that you are planning to spend with your families.  I will keep you all in my prayers and if it is the Lord's Will... I will see you on the next day, and the day after that.  Happy Thanksgiving, Fam!

 

BEE Blessed

 

 

Angie BEE

Author, Magazine Publisher, Producer, Promoter &

The Host of The Hottest Home Hotspot WORLDWIDE

Syndicated Holy Hip Hop Radio Show


 

   
 

Thanks for reading

The Big GB - My Gastric Bypass Memoirs

Sonya's Links:

www.SonyaBennett.com

Sonya Bennett on Facebook


     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.org

 

Healthcare Provider Guidelines Minus the Fat Bias

from: NAAFA.org

 

 

In the midst of our nation’s frenzy to fight fat, there is an alarming increase in bias against fat patients among healthcare providers.  NAAFA is working to change that discriminatory attitude by introducing our 2011 Guidelines for healthcare providers who treat fat patients. 

NAAFA has stepped up to provide education for healthcare providers to help them better understand and treat fat patients.  We believe that the information included in NAAFA’s Guidelines for healthcare providers who treat fat patients will help them create a safer more welcoming environment for their patient’s office visits as well as a more understanding attitude which can lead to more open conversation about best health choices. NAAFA believes in equality at every size. 

NAAFA’s Guidelines for healthcare providers who treat fat patients is available as a free download from of our website at www.naafa.org   Look for the link under “Quicklinks”.

 

 

Thanks for reading

From the Desk of NAAFA

Link

www.NAAFA.org

    

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.

 

I just wanted to re- introduce myself, since I just joined Large In Charge magazine last year. My name is Lulu, and I am a fashion writer for largeincharge.com I am a fashion junkie:) I look forward to finding wonderful fashion find and product of the month for you. I also look forward to chatting with you all an reading some good fashion comments! Please let me know if you have a favorite. Web_girl1999@yahoo.com

 

 

The WebGirl Picks of the Month

Fashion Find Product of the Month

 

Fashion Find

Fashion Find Type: Avenue

Sale Price: $ various

Link: http://www.avenue.com

Hey Ladies, it that times again. End of summer sales and if you’re a Fashionista! You should check out what I have for you in store. That right!  Sale for the Fashionista in you!  Sizes 14-32 so ladies bring out the sexy in which you are. 

 


Product of the Month

Recommended by: Lucia

Name of Product:  My Life by Mary J. Blige

Type of Product: Perfume

Where Product can be found: http://www.fragrantica.com/perfume/Carol-s-Daughter/Mary-J-Blige-My-Life-8921.html

Description:   If you’re hook on perfume like me… you’re going to Love “My Life” by Mary J. Blige the sent is rich and warm.  Full body aroma that will have your man swooning and ladies asking what are you wearing? Because it smell so good!  Blushing… Go and try it for yourself I did and mmm….  Never leave the house without it.

 

Pat is a forty something woman living in Southern Ontario, Canada. She has a varied past and has worked teaching literacy and English as a second language to adults, as an environmental science technician and in the health and safety field. Currently she works in marketing.

Pat fiercely believes in human rights for all and has volunteered for organizations that raise funds and develop and implement programs to help impoverished people and educate women in third world countries. Although relatively new to the size acceptance movement, Pat believes with all her heart that people of size deserve equal treatment and respect.
In her spare time she likes to read fiction, go to bashes and spend time with friends.

Fat and Fabulous

with Pat Llewellyn

 

 

I’m tired of all of the supposed well-meaning articles/inspirational posts telling me how I should feel about my body and how I should dress my body. I’m not talking about posts that say love your curves, but the notes, comments, quotes that shame you for not loving your body.

 

Seriously, people just need to stop and mind their own business. Where I am in my personal journey is not going to be the same place someone else is and we shouldn’t shame those who aren’t as advanced as others. I know I share much of myself here, but ultimately it is what I chose to share and I make no apologies for how I feel.

 

 In an ideal world we would all love everything about ourselves. We don’t live in an ideal world and we all have things we dislike about ourselves.  I have issues with my belly. I make no bones about this. I’m trying to love it, but I’m not there yet.

 

I also abhor the endless articles on how to dress my body to minimize how big I look. Seriously? I’m over 300lbs, nothing is going to make me look slim. NOTHING.I also think a lot of the rules are just stupid. Who decided that fat people, shouldn’t wear stripes, animal print, miniskirts, form fitting clothes and should always keep their arms covered?

 

You know what? I DON’T CARE about the rules. I’m going to wear what I like and what feels good to me.

 

Don’t like it? Don’t look at me.

 

I’m fat and fabulous, don’t you forget it.

 

[rant]

 

 

Pat (A.K.A. Lulu)


 

     Ms Suga is a plus size woman hailing from Sunny South Florida. She is a 24 year old recent recipient of a Bachelor in Arts degree in Communication Studies. Being plus size for the majority of her life she has overcome many obstacles to finally come to the point where she is fully content with herself and her life. This self love has also allowed Ms Suga the privilege of sharing her love with those around her. She is very passionate about life and loves to help others.

     Ms Suga likes to see herself as the one everyone can go to for positive, inspirational and truthful words of advice and/or support. She is the Beautiful Inspirational Girl that is blessed, intellectual, trustworthy, caring and hardworking.

     Ms Suga has had a passion for writing since she was a little girl when she used to think of short stories about what her life would be like as she got older. This is Ms Suga’s first opportunity for her thoughts to be public for the world to see. Excited about this column Ms Suga is also very optimistic of her future in writing and promoting self love and acceptance in the plus size community.

 

I am who I am! Like me Love me Hate me... F*** You!

with Ms Suga

 

 

So somehow or another I have gotten hooked on Oprah's new show called Oprah's Lifeclass on her station OWN. If you haven't come across it yet I do recommend you check out at least one episode. I'm sure you will get some positive inspiration from it.

 

Any who, I was catching up on the episodes I missed and it so happened one episode is about accepting and loving your true self. In this episode the lesson said, "If you are keeping a secret or pretending to be something you're not, you will never become all you were meant to be." The main focus was the episode of Oprah’s talk show about Ellen DeGeneres "coming out" and how much of a stink the public made about gay and lesbian relationships.  The show also showed how much happier Ellen, just like everyone else that came out before her, was with herself once she came out to the world and freed herself of her painful secret. This show got me to thinking and you know what...I am who I am! Like me Love me Hate me...F* You!!

 

As a plus size woman I have been subjected to all types of opinions and criticisms. My mother has always hounded me about losing weight...it never worked but that never stopped her from nagging me about it. I've been told you are so pretty for a big girl (like there’s some rule that you can't be fat AND pretty). Been told that if I sleep with a guy he'll love me, and other bullshit opinions that others felt I should live my life by. Well after 25 years of listening to bullshit let me tell you how I feel about everyone else's opinions and criticisms...I am who I am! Like me Love me Hate me...F* You!!

 

It's about time that we learn to love ourselves as God has created us to be and accept the things we cannot change. Large In Charge is a company that supports Size acceptance and now I think we should take it a step further. I challenge you to support SELF acceptance. If you don't like something about yourself change it, do what you need to do so you can live a happier, healthier life. But do it for YOU!!

 

In case you didn't know Ms. Suga is here for a reason and I refuse to let someone else interfere with the blessings I am to receive or the blessings I've been chosen to deliver. So I say F* the world! F* the bully that picked on you as a child.  F* the person that broke your heart and left you bitter and angry.  F* that negative person who always told you that you will never be good enough. (Don't get it twisted were still positive and inspirational… F = FORGIVE!!)  Forgive all those the world has against you and support accepting yourSELF.

 

And when that person steps to you again spewing ignorance and negativity tell them “Ms. Suga said to tell you. I am who I am! You can like me, you can love me, you can hate me, and I forgive you because I still am who I am!"

 

Ms. Suga

 

 


 

Gabriela Falarz lives in Toronto, Canada. She has been up and down the scale for most of her life (mostly up), and is proud to say that she loves herself no matter what her size, although it has definitely been an evolution.

 

She blogs about size acceptance in her blog, Celebreight Yourself (www.celebreightyourself.blogspot.com).  Gabriela discovered Large in Charge Radio about a year ago and has been hooked ever since. She is thrilled to be writing for Large in Charge and to be part of an organization that helps all large people realize how beautiful, special, and amazing they are.

 

Fairweather Fat Girls 

with Gabriela Falarz

 

Have you ever noticed that some of the most annoying and prejudicial people are former fat people? They are usually the stereotypical fat girls who grew up fat, excluded, teased, and marginalized. Then, suddenly -- they see the light! They realized that they were being left out, teased, and marginalized for a very good reason: they deserved it for being too goddam fat! So they go on some temporary “miracle” diet or undergo bariatric surgery, and, once they lose a significant amount of weight, feel they have earned the right to be one of the beautiful people and new leaders in the fight against fat.

 

I have nothing against anyone who wants to lose weight. If that is your choice, go for it, and I wish you well. What bothers me is when someone goes to great lengths to pretend that they love themselves when they don’t. These people always show their true colors eventually, and reveal how much they really hated themselves and others like them.

Classic examples are the celebrity diet hawkers. Let’s start with Jennifer Hudson. When she appeared in the movie “Dreamgirls”, she was too large to be cast in the starring role, but gained undeniable acclaim (and even won a best supporting actress Oscar) in a lesser role. She seemed to be a great role model for other large women -- the quintessential proud, beautiful, confident woman. A few years later, she is shilling for Weight Watchers, sporting a very svelte body. She proudly tells everyone she works out on a daily basis, in what must be a frantic effort to maintain that newly svelte body.

 

What about Oprah, whose fight with fat was such a public spectacle? Do you remember when she went on that Optifast diet all those years ago and came out hauling that wagon of fat in her skintight jeans? Somehow, after Oprah lost the weight (even though she kept going up and down the scale over the years), she seemed to lose a fundamental part of herself far more significant than the weight. She lost that soft, open, easy likeability that made her so popular, and she began to let streaks of incredible vanity and body hatred peep through.

 

The latest hypocrite on the fat-loving train is Jess Weiner, who recently did an interview with Glamour magazine. This is a woman who made a career out of being a “self-esteem expert”, the author of a book titled “Do I Look Fat in This? Life Doesn’t Begin Five Pounds From Now”. She had been an advocate of plus-sized women loving their bodies for 17 years. After a visit to her doctor -- where she supposedly discovered she was “pre-diabetic” -- she concluded that her body love was killing her, and decided to go on a diet and start exercising rigorously. The last I heard – get this! – she is now promoting a diet program. How’s that for irony?

 

How about those diet commercials, where everyday women are shown alongside their fat pictures? Most of the women in these commercials aren’t even significantly overweight. They just have a slight belly or thick thighs, or some miniscule body imperfection. They’re usually standing in bikinis or skintight dresses to emphasize how much better they look than the pictures of their former fat selves. They’re smiling from ear to ear, and happily telling us how glad they are to be rid of their former bodies. Now they can live! Thank you Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, NutriSystem! Hallelujah!

 

I remember seeing a diet commercial where a young woman gleefully ripped an old picture of herself in half and happily threw it away, saying “Never again!” It made me feel incredibly sad to think that this person hated herself so much that she actually enjoyed ripping a picture of herself in half. I’ve got news for you, lady: That old you is still there. She always

 

 

 



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