LargeInCharge Magazine - Eight Years & Going Strong!

 Issue#104 - November 2012

Welcome to LargeInCharge Magazine

In this Issue of L.I.C.




Words of Wisdom from the Heart & Mind of Raqui


Good 4 U Food  ~ Xander


The Big GB Getting my Life Back after Gastric Bypass - Angie Bee


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 B.I.G. - Beautiful Inspirational Girl  ~ Ms Suga


Big Girl, Small World - Gabriela Falarz


Dating Survival for Today's Woman

Kathy Hernandez


The Observer - Jness


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!

The Plus Sized Party Scene
Hardships of a Promoter

The Plus Sized Party Scene - Hardships of a Promoter

By: Raqui


All over the USA there are small clusters of size acceptance parties/events going on. Through the Plus Sized/BBW party scene it is often how large people begin to learn about the Plus Sized community that exists online. So you can imagine how important it is to create a nice atmosphere where large people would feel comfortable going to and be able and relax, have fun, meet new people, dance etc.

 This month we are showcasing a few event promoters from around the USA.  They joined us for a recent LargeInCharge Radio Episode to talk about the difficulties and responsibilities it takes to create a successful event company/organization. Get an indebt view of the struggle it can be at times.

LISTEN TO THE SHOW BELOW: or follow the link to the LargeInCharge Episode page

Listen to internet radio with LargeInCharge Radio on Blog Talk Radio

The Wonderful Event Promoters who joined us for the show!

JoAnn Bellemore - Founder

Darwin Bellemore

Las Vegas, Nevada
BBWnetwork was formed 20 years ago with one thing in mind. "It is our philosophy that all people are valuable and productive citizens of society regardless of size.

By developing and acknowledging self-esteem, self-love, pride and self-acceptance of who we are it is our intent to reflect positive images onto others. Thus, the ultimate promotion of Size Acceptance. "
Since then we have been featured on Good Morning America, The Travel Chanel, and The New York Times, to name a few.

The Bash started as a place for us to meet in a comfortable and accepting environment.
BBWnetwork has helped many people get the exposure necessary to start their own business, performing, and starting events like the Vegas Bash. We have helped those in need, personally and when disaster has struck. We continue to support the BBW Community.

Through the years, the Bash has evolved to include a fashion show, vendors fair, seminars and workshops. Then dancing and dance lessons, national and international BBW Clubs and pool parties. All taking place at one location that offers adult entertainment in addition to our events.

Las Vegas is the vacation destination of the world. We have guests that travel to the Vegas Bash from coast to coast, and around the globe. We average guests coming from 14 countries outside the United States.To honor those who travel from afar, our Friday night theme last year was "International".
The Vegas Bash is the largest, longest continually running Bash in the world. Nearly 1400 guests attended the 10th Anniversary Vegas Bash at the Star Dust Hotel Casino in 2006.

JoAnn and I want to explore new avenues and will be stepping back from doing the Vegas Bash. It is amazing the people we have met and the friends we have made through the years. We are like an extended family. We have shared good times and sorrow, and we have supported one another.
This 17th Annual Vegas Bash will be our final Bash, but we will still be active in the Plus Size Community.

NAME: Kathy Hernandez-Owner



BBW Club Catalina in San Diego is San Diego's Best Kept Secret!! We are a BBW (Big Beautiful Woman) and Size Acceptance Night Club. We play Hip Hop, R & B, Old School, Reggae with a mix of the 80's. If you are a person of size or are an admirer come party with us once a month in Pt Loma at our location at Riley's. We have been open 5 years and the grand opening was November 2007

BBW Club Catalina is celebrating it's 5 Year Anniversary Party in Pt Loma on Saturday, November 3, 2012. BBW Club Catalina is San Diego's only BBW (Big Beautiful Woman) Size Acceptance Night Club. We play Hip Hop, R & B, Old School, Reggae with a mix of the 80's. If you are a person of size or are an admirer you are invited to party with us at our monthly parties and special events in Pt Loma at our location at Riley's. Club Catalina has been the Club Sponsor for many BBW Bashes in Southern California and Nevada. "Club Catalina--Where San Diego's Sexy and Classy BBW's Party" Please visit their website at for future club events and other social activities such as pool parties, bon fires, movie and dinner nights, house parties, trips to the Wild Animal Park, etc.

Link should be

Club Catalina is located in San Diego California

Full Figure Entertainment

Full Figure Entertainment was created by a full bodied lady for full bodied ladies and their friends and fans. We launched in the spring of 2008 with a fundraiser for one of our favorite charities, The Princess Project. Since then, we have been committed to planning the hottest BBW parties in the Bay Area. We are proud to be based in Oakland, CA.

Our mission is simple: we will plan the hottest nightlife events for the plus-size community in Northern California. We will work with the best of the Bay in venues, DJs, and event sponsors.
Full Figure Entertainment supports body diversity. Our events are designed with full bodied women in mind, but ALL BODY SIZES AND SHAPES ARE WELCOME. We do not condone size-hating of any type. We are fat-positive, but we are not thin-negative.

Full Figure Entertainment supports cultural diversity. We make no apologies for doing targeted outreach to communities of color, but ALL COLORS ARE WELCOME at our events.
Full Figure Entertainment supports the LGBTQ community. When we say “full bodied ladies and their fans,” we know that heterosexual men are not the only fans and friends of women of size. ALL SEXUAL ORIENTATIONS ARE WELCOME at our events.

Full Figure Entertainment supports community causes. We commit to hosting at least one event per year to benefit a non-profit group that does work in the Oakland community.
Full Figure Entertainment supports body positive events, socializing, and activism. We are primarily a party promotion company, but we believe in community building and will engage in practices that support body-positive attitudes, size acceptance, self-love and diversity of all types. We are happy to direct our customers to other organizations that support these values and beliefs.


Sonya Bennett

Michigan BBWs…..Doing Our Own Thang!

Michigan BBW, established November, 2011 out of a simple necessity: a party in the Metro Detroit area focusing on size-acceptance for the 2011 Holidays.  Though there are other BBW Groups in different regions of Michigan, the owners – compiled of the internationally-known The Detroit Divas and four additional supporters of size – Michigan Big Beautiful Women is the only one rooted in the city of Detroit.

The dilemma: two, similar groups ended their events for 2011 in October thus, our group owners wanted to throw two, holiday parties.  The inaugural party in November, 2011 was planned and generated within a three-week period and attended by more than 200 guests from the Midwest!  With its DJ: “DJ Big Kahuna” who is also one of the owners, a professional photographer and the hospitality of the Doubletree Hotel, Detroit; this $7.00 party was a complete success and continues to be as we approach our one-year anniversary party. 

Since its inception in this past year, we have aligned with two, separate non-profit entities and have made monetary and product donations to the Military, local schools and national charities due to the generosity of our faithful guests and supportive donators.  We have  a standing, hotel room discount of $85.00 the Saturdays of our parties, we do a 50/50 raffle and provide our guests with great raffles.  So the next time you’re planning to visit Detroit, check out for upcoming events and come have a great time!   November 24th, 2012’s party theme,” Rep Your Team” will celebrate our team spirit for your high school, professional/or college players; come wear your jersey, enjoy the guest DJ and party with some spectacular people!

Cher Rue

Dana Point, Ca

Rock Your Curves


Location of events California

After being a promoter of 3 plus size Nightclubs and deciding to reinvent myself, I started doing charity fashion show events in mainstream Hollywood, I would integrate plus size models into the shows. Each show I would bring more and more, then I was approached by Oliveia ( ) if I would like to do a BBW bash in Los Angeles, I was happy to do so and we Created Rock Your Curves. This is our 2nd bash and we know it will be a great time for all. Besides the meeting of new people, the vendor fair, dancing and having fun, I am producing my 2nd fashion show for the plus size community with all the fashions for plus size people.

We have a red carpet, celebrities, media and the finalist from the "Voice" Kim Yarbrough who will open the show with a performance. Fashion show is Saturday November 10th at 1pm at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Lax. This show just like last year is in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness, and I will be doing it in memory of my cousin Debbie Friedman who passed from Cancer. We have lots of surprises and expect a huge turnout this year. I am now getting involved in fashion and have my own Perfume "Cher's Rock Your Curves" perfume by Dede Allure. So helping others spread the word of size acceptance has been my vision for the past 15 years and I love doing it. My next endeavor which will be starting after the November 9-11 Rock Your Curves Bash, will be a "Rock Your Curves teen fashion Show" date to be announced. This will be a whole day event where plus size teens will learn how to apply make up, tips on hair, walking the runway and self esteem. This is for girls 12-17. My hope is to inspire these girls and get the message,

"We are beautiful no matter what size we are"!

So Rock your curves is growing and I am just figuring new ways and avenues to help the plus size community which I LOVE!

BBW NorthWest

Nancy and Ellen


Facebook link:

BBW Northwest has been active for about 12 years now; I’ve been running it for the last 2+ years.  Our goal is to promote size acceptance and provide a place where likeminded people can come out and have a good time in an accepting environment.

I’ve been part of the BBW Community for over 10 years now, I’ve been overweight since childhood. I stumbled into it after my husband left and was at a point where I hated myself and was sure that no man would ever find me attractive because of my size.  I forced a friend to come with to my very first event and showed up literally covered from my neck to my ankles, hardly moved from the table or talked to anyone.  I was terrified and intrigued all at the same time so when the next BBW Northwest event came up I forced myself out the door again and attended, I did a little better and a wonderful lady took me under her wing and introduced me to other people and this time I actually made it out on to the dance floor.  I quickly became a regular and as you view the pictures of me over the course of the events you can actually see the change in confidence as you gradually watch my neckline and hemlines expose more skin.

  I became friends with Daniel and Deven Mckay who were running the group and hosting the events and often served as their Newbie hostess for the events.  When Daniel became seriously ill I was made a moderator along with another lady and we kept the board going for him, he passed away July 7, 2010.  At this point with much pushing and shoving from friends and group members I stepped up and planned the summer picnic from there the requests for the annual Boo Bash started.  Without meaning to end up in charge I had somehow become the leader and was being looked to make it happen.  At this point I felt it was worth my time and effort to keep the group going.  I had gained so much personally from being part of this community that I truly felt letting the group die off was not the way to go.  If I could help even one person come back from the ugly place I had been before I learned to accept and love myself just the I was from this being an  active member of BBW Northwest than it would be worth and time and effort I had to put into keeping the group going.  So with the help of some wonderful friends and group members, Ellen Crownover, Jill Merrit, and several others we have continued to put on several size acceptance events a year for the Northwest BBW Community.

Featured Interview


Thank you for Reading The LargeInCharge Feature



  Miz Liz!



Cover Model Interview

 What is your name?

MizLiz Where are you from and what is your current Location?

I am from East Los Angeles, CA  and currently live in Long Beach, CA Can you give us some information about yourself (Age, Height, Size, Nationality, Marital Status, Children, etc.)? 

I am a short and round Mexican standing at a whopping 5’ Nothing.  I weight 240lbs and a size 18/3XL… I am divorced single Mother of two AMAZING children ages 8 and 10. Were you a big child, or did you gain weight later in life?

I am a daughter of a Beauty Queen in Jalisco, Mexico.  I was expected to follow in her foot steps and recall at my earliest age of 4, being told that I was too fat to be pretty.

As the years progress knowing their ‘disappointment’ in me made me a very self-conscious young woman.
I gained most of my weight during my mentally abusive marriage, but have always been over weight. (If you were a big child) how did you feel growing up as a large child?

Fashion in the 80’s for a ‘husky’ child was difficult.  I DETESTED going shopping with my parents for clothes.  They made it demeaning and really dug in on how hard it is to find clothes that fit my FAT body.  I was only a child! (If you gained weight later in life) what caused you to gain weight and how did you feel about it?

I gained an added 100lbs during my marriage due to the mental abuse.  I was depressed and food was my comfort. What made you decide to enter the LargeInCharge model search?

I’ve been wanting to for YEARS.  I LOVE Raqui and her philanthropy… her writings and talk show have opened up my horizons on viewing the Pluser than Plus Size world. Did you find it a hard journey to be accepted by others at your size?

The hardest journey was ACCEPTING MYSELF.  I’m a strong soul and have fought physically and figuratively to EXIST in this world.  BUT… EVERY DAY I try not to HATE the image that reflects back at me.  EVERY DAY I force myself to SEE beauty…
32 years of MANY voices telling me how ugly and worthless I am can’t be quieted in just the 6yrs of SCREAMING BACK at them. Do you find it a hard to accept yourself as a Plus Sized Person?

I OWN IT now.  I find PRIDE in it even when people say I’m too small to be considered “Plus Size”.  My height may be deceiving but I AM PLUSER THAN PLUS. Do you find acceptance among your family and friends?

I have come to the realization that my family will NEVER ‘ACCEPT’ me.  Told them during my FINAL stand that I was DONE trying to be what they want me to be.  Ever since then I get a jab about my weight once in a while but they are far and few in between.

Friends I have very few of but LOVE ME… even if I weighed 100lbs or 1,000lbs!  I think if I grew another head they will STILL LOVE ME.  I am blessed. What would you say inspires you most in life?

My children!  I started modeling and infiltrating the media with MY pictures because of them.  My daughter was told by my Xhuband’s current girlfriend that she should “Stop eating because her stomach was getting too big!”  My baby was ONLY 4 YEARS OLD!

I found out when I noticed she didn’t want to eat her food any more for a few days.  One night my son found part of her dinner wrapped up in her napkin hidden in the trash can.  I was livid to put it mildly. 

She is now 8 years old and still struggles with low self-esteem.  She is the reason for my work for “BBWGeneration” and helps me in a few projects.  I am currently in the midst of starting her own project to empower other children facing what she is facing among other Acceptance issues. What is your primary occupation?

I work in Accounting for a Non-Profit How did you get into this line of work?

I was born with an Entrepreneur Spirit and owned my own businesses since age 12.  I’m great with numbers and started taking Accounting courses in Jr. High.  It’s one of the most stable professions. Do you find acceptance in the work force?

No.  I have seen how my size and confidence brings out the worst in people… including the work place. What changes do you believe should take place for Large People in the work force?

I believe that we will have LAWS to PROTECT OUR RIGHTS that are not in place at this time.  As more and more of us become confident our voices become louder and can no longer be bullied or ignored. What do you think about the fashion industry for big sized clothing?

We’ve come a long way BUT have A WAYS TO GO.  Seeing Plus Size Models that are Size 24 and OVER is not the norm.  There are MANY Size 8-16 “Athletic” bodied “Plus Size Models” modeling the clothes.  The designers limit their sizing to a Size 24 as the MAX for majority of the lines. 

We’re SLOWLY moving in the right direction but still dragging our feet.
 What do you wish to see change with the fashion industry?

How I WISH we were MORE outside the box.  We’re still doing shows/lines/clothing like the general industry.  WHY?!
I’m an ‘outside the box’ woman of the 21st CENTURY.  ACCEPTANCE needs to roll fast AND HARD.  Magazines and media want to stay in the ‘safe’ zone more so when it comes to VOLUPTUOS Bodies. What changes do you think will happen if plus sized modeling for men and women were to expand?

There will be MORE empowerment.  Seeing larger models that have OUR body PERFECTIONS… including dips, rolls and indentations…. Will be realistic of how their garments will lie on OUR BODIES.  We would purchase more confidently aNd in higher quantities.


AFFORDABILITY would be key and when there’s a higher buying force the pricing will be at a range that even THIS Single Mother of 2 can AFFORD designer clothes. Tell us some of the places you buy your clothing from.

I like to support local shops.  I also purchase from the known on line brands when they’re offering sales/clearances.  One of my favorites are the bargain shops that offer Plus Size Items for $30 or less.

I’m creative in finding my garments and LOVE to go shopping in my FB Friends closets!  Best bargains ever PLUS they have similar bodies and pictures of them wearing these items.  Tell us one of your secret beauty tips.

I believe I look younger because I DON’T drink, smoke or use drugs.  I try to keep my life simple and as full as laughter as possible.  Give us some tips on how to have a successful Photo shoot.  What should models be prepared for?

ALWAYS prepare your hair and skin DAYS before a shoot.  Moisturize moisturize moisturize!  Fresh pedicure and manicure… use makeup artists and stylists that have already worked with you or offer pre-testing sessions.

 Do a dress rehearsal with the items you’re modeling for the shoot so you can feel comfortable and CONFIDENT. 
Take care of that smile!  Pretty white teeth are the most beautiful accessories in a shoot.

SLEEP as much as you can BEFORE the shoot and LOTS of water.  Eat hours BEFORE the shoot and make sure they’re ‘power’ foods.  Shoots can last hours and need the energy and if you’re anything like me I GET NERVOUS EVERY TIME… A quizzy stomach is not a good thing to have.  Take a power bar with you if you get hungry during those long shoots.
HAVE ALL THE UNDERGARMENTS READY.. from strapless, to halter… to waist cinchers and body contouring… nylons and lots of heels. Look at Size acceptance five years ago... look at size acceptance now.  What changes do you see?


There are more groups developing than there was five years ago.  I just wish they would truly UNITE. What changes do you think will happen five years from now with size acceptance?

I foresee a higher impact on the quantity of models and designers in the Plus Size Industry.  There will be more people ACCEPTING themselves and making a stronger force in changing laws. Do you face discrimination in your daily life as a Plus Sized Person?

Yes.  People are more critical to judge me by my appearance.  EVEN when I am DIVALICIOUS!  Dare I say MORE SO? Tell us about your goals as far as modeling and other interests.

I’m too out of the box for me to pursue modeling in earnest.  I want to concentrate in making BBWGeneration and Acceptance-PG a stronger presence than it is now.  A few ventures are already planned and my photo shoots will be in directing the ‘in your face’ strategy that I’ve seen more of a response to.  Even when seen negatively by many.  What have you accomplished as a Plus Sized Model?

I have helped many people with my work by empowering them with strong images of beauty, strength and adversity.  Have literally saved a few from taking their own lives.  My biggest accomplishment is seeing my children grow with a broader understanding of beauty and ACCEPTANCE.  Have you entered or won any Contests, Pageants or Awards?  What was the experience like?

I have entered contests but deemed too short to be considered as a contestant.  No awards as of yet. Can you tell us about an inspirational moment in your life that made you feel good about your size?

The most inspirational moment is when I arrive at my children’s school and have at least 10 little girls running up to me to hug me and tell me how pretty I look.  They ask where I get my clothes and accessories.  I know I’m doing something right when I see them dreaming of growing up to be like me. Is there a person in your life that keeps you going?

My two little ones… I LIVE FOR THEM!
We have faced poverty and living in the streets together. They are the fountain of my Super Powers. What advice would you give to other people of size who want to model?

Don’t be JUST a model… BE A ROLE MODEL!  It’s not about the fame and money.  It’s about ALL the men, women and CHILDREN that need to see themselves IN YOU!
Do not compromise whom you are to ‘fit’ in because it will leave you feeling empty.  Your work and beauty will shine to those that matter… even when it’s NOT a modeling agency.
 What plus size figure do you most admire?

I have a few… YOU for one… You are gorgeous and one of the REALIST people I am fortunate of knowing. 

There’s Tess Munster that has kept to HER SPIRIT, style AND size.

Velvet D’Amor is AMAZING!  I love her out of the box style and look as well as photography.

There’s too many to list! 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 in the Bronx NYC. This city girl is taking the world by storm.


     For the past 8 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's New Blog titled Raqui-ism "Soulfully Speaking! -

 Raqui Host's Seminar at 16th Annual Vegas Bash 2012

go to Portfolio Section

Raqui-ism - Long Lasting Love

Written By: Raqui

It was a random late night watching Netlix, I was enjoying a nice movie.  It was a real feel good type... man meets dog and they become best friends, family setting really nice little town, little family, little people loving and going on in this world, When suddenly one sentence changed everything in my mind.


  The man in this movie who accidently meets a dog and brings it into his family, Has a wife and a daughter who just recently got married to yes a nice young man.  His daughter is having lunch with his wife after they speak about the fact that she is pregnant.  The daughter wants to speak to her mother about how her parents met.  Which is so sugary sweet you just want to love all over the both of them LOL, When the wife says something that really touched me. 


The conversation went something like this:


Daughter: Mom, you and Dad have been together a long time.


Mother: yes 25 years now.


Daughter:  Wow.


Mother: Me and your father have been together longer than we have been apart.


   And there it is... They have been together longer than they have been apart.  When you think about that... out there in this world, people have been together, married, in love, through the good and bad, longer than they have been without each other.  The math behind that… to count your years on earth, and have spent most of them with your partner.


     I was in love with the idea, in love with the reality of it, in love with the fact that I know it is true.  Right now there are couples all over the USA all over the WORLD who have that.  Then I think... I might have already missed my chance at having that.  Chances are I will never have that.

     You see... I’m almost 38 years old now, a widow for 11 years, and if you do the math.  If I met someone today that I ended up marrying, I would have to be with them at least 39 years to be able to say I have been with them longer than I have been without them. Which means; I would have to live until I was at least 77 years old.  Is it possible?  Yes it is completely possible, though with accidental death and health problems more and more people are dying younger.  Plus one more thing I don’t have a man in my life that fits marriage material.  I don’t have prospects currently which means every day and year that pass comes the reality that I might not ever be able to say, I have been with someone longer than I have been apart from them.


     That fact kind of crushes me a bit. For a moment I thought how amazing it would be, how I wished I could say that.  Isn’t that the true test of love?  Long term, forever love, for better or worse, in sickness and health until the day you die?  Isn’t that what people seek, love that is strong enough to stand the test of time.  When you have been together so long you don’t know nor want to know what it is like to be apart.


      I say to myself, that this type of love isn’t superior to another love.  It is just different.  Just because you were together longer doest meant that another situation cannot have just as much love and care involved.  Being a widow first hand I know this is true.  I had my husband in my life for 3 years in total 1 year dating then engaged and 2 years married.  It also made me relate even more to the movie.


     So back to the story our nice family now includes, A great husband, talented wife, loving daughter who is now married to a nice young man with a baby just born and man's best friend ever faithful companion.  With a dare I say a special soulful connection to his master. 


     The husband and his furry friend walk everyday to the train station where man and beast part ways.  The man off to work the dog taking a tour of the neighborhood then home, before returning to meet his master again by the train.  As they are happily living life the unspeakable happens.  The man dies and on that day dog waits and waits ever faithful yet confused, Until family comes to retrieve him.  All attempts at keeping and relocating him failed.  He escapes again and again to wait for his best friend and owner who will never return.  For ten long years he waits everyday he waits until his dying breath.  With dreams and memories flooding into this kind creatures mind.  His last moments of life, were filled with fleeting moments in time of him and his master running, walking, meeting at the train where they walked home.  Is that not love? a Loyal pure love, though they are owner and pet still you can’t help but see that it is a undeniable showcase of love.


It makes me think about how I related to the movie:


I can relate to the wife whose whole life was devastated at the loss of her mate a good man one who she spent most of her life with,  More years together than apart.

I related to the daughter who tried to keep her father’s dog to love him and to care for him but finally understood she had to let him go to do what he needed to do,  wait for his best friend.

I related also to the dog, to the loyalty of love, to knowing what it is like to love someone so much that you want to wait for them, even though you know in your heart you will never see them again.  To find comfort in the act of remembering and giving honor to what you had.  To still be waiting after all those years.

     Isn’t this love just as amazing as the love of those who have been together longer than they have been apart?

     I even started to think about how many widows (wives who lost husbands) and widowers (husbands who lost wives) never marry again, some just can’t seem to get past the loss, others cannot put another into the position that will always belong to their mate who passed.  Being a widow myself I understand the feeling at a point in time I could never see myself marrying again.  Sometimes even though I am still young I wonder will I ever find someone who I am compatible with in that way again.  Others may  see it as you trying to replace your love with another and that just won’t do.


     Some feel like our canine friend in the movie, who went off on his own, he could have stayed with his master’s daughter in their home, with the nice husband and new son.  But he left never returning almost as though no other person could replace and be his owner now.  He rather wait until they can be reunited.  Loyalty and love is a powerful thing.

     Still yet when it comes to love you can’t say one love is better than another.  That you cannot know what love is unless you have been together longer than apart, unless your willing to spend the rest of your life alone. I know that is a reality, that doesn’t mean I don’t dream about it.  Wish I could say that sentence and have felt what its like. 

     Maybe I won’t be gifted this experience in my life.    If I marry again it won’t be because I want to replace my husband.  He has his own place in my heart.  It will be because someone else was able to capture a piece of my heart. I don’t feel it is a dishonor to him.  If I don’t marry again it isn’t because I need to punish myself, It is not to honor his memory it is because the map of my life didn’t have that detour printed again.  Maybe a bit because my husband treated me so well, I won’t accept someone who won’t treat me well. 

     Either way… I know love is something that seems like a simple word, but with strong connections and I respect all versions of this connection, including those between man and beast.  Still when times are quite and I have only my own thoughts I think about loving someone and being with someone longer than I have been apart from them.  We all can dream can’t we?



Hachi: A Dog's Tale  2009

When his master dies, a loyal pooch named Hachiko keeps a regular vigil -- for more than a decade -- at the train station where he once greeted his owner every day in this touching drama based on a true story.



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


Thank you for Reading Raqui-ism

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     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.



When Our Heroes Fall

by Xander The Food Dude


According to legend, when a Roman general achieved an important victory or conquest, he was treated to a hero's welcome by the citizenry and Senate of Rome. A march was organized around the central city forum, and the general was paraded through the adoring crowds on a chariot of gold drawn by white horses. Standing next to the general was an attendant who held over his heart the laurel of victory. As the chariot rode through the crowd, the attendant would continuously whisper into the conqueror's ear: "Remember that all glory is but fleeting!"

As individuals and as people, we want heroes, we need heroes, we seek out heroes and when the real thing isn't available, we often create heroes. Heroes offer us lessons, visions and values about life. Heroes offer us maps, guidelines and directions on how to live our lives and how to conduct ourselves with others.

Heroes take us away from the commonplace, failings and failures of the ordinary life. Heroes gives us something to believe in; something to cherish; something to hold dear; something untouched and unsullied by the pedestrian life that most of us lead.

But when heroes stumble, when they fall from grace, when they show themselves to be susceptible to temptation, we are shocked, and we often disbelieve or deny their failings. However, when the evidence builds and we can no longer deny their culpability, we are depressed, disillusioned and very angry.

Heroes often serve the purpose of being "true north" on our individual and collective moral compasses. They establish standards, offer models of behavior, suggest how we "ought to" live, how we "ought to" be. When they deceive us, when they fail us, we are cast adrift, we are unsure about how to proceed.

The heroes' loss of place is our loss of place. When heroes fall from grace, what hope do any of us have? When heroes are dethroned, we too are diminished. The heroes' failure doesn't just breed disappointment; it breeds disbelief, discontent and reinforces a deep skepticism and cynicism about the possibility of ever achieving honor, decency and dignity in life. When heroes burn out and die, all of us die a little too.

My thoughts go directly to Lance Armstrong and Tiger Woods as the biggest heroes who have fallen in the last few years.  Despite all their achievements, the means by which they have fallen is based on their own weaknesses as human.  However, as people we need to remember that we all have faults and failures, but we can take what our heroes gave us and hang on to those bits and pieces of glory.

Ultimately a hero’s sole purpose is to inspire us to greatness, or remind us of what we want to aspire to become.  Their fall doesn't stop the pursuit that they inspired in us.  In my youth, I would jump on the band wagon when my heroes would fall, casting them into the abyss.  With age, I've mellowed, realizing in some cases, I might have made the same mistakes given the same situation.  Essentially, I've had to accept the fact that for whatever reason, I may have been a hero to somebody at one time, perhaps more than one.  I also have to accept that I've failed people.

I have no right to judge people by standards that I don't judge myself.  I've learned that in the end we have to become our own heroes.  Will this stop the disappointment?  No. However, if we can learn to take the best elements of our heroes and make them ours, trying to live up to those lofty standards we can be proud each day that we are trying to meet those goals.  We have to be able to find the hero in ourselves.





Xander's Recipe of the Month

Roasted Acorn Squash Soup

This is a beautifully smooth soup for the cold weather to come.  Wholesome, filling and healthy.



Make 6 Servings


·       2 acorn squash, halved and seeded

·       water, as needed

·       3 tablespoons unsalted butter

·       1 large sweet onion, chopped

·       1 large carrot, peeled and chopped

·       1 clove garlic, minced

·       3 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken stock

·       1/4 cup half-and-half

·       1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

·       1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

·       1 pinch salt and ground black pepper to taste



Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

1.   Put squash into a baking dish with the cut side down. Pour enough water into the baking dish to cover the bottom.

2.   Bake in preheated oven until the flesh of the squash is easily pricked with a fork, about 45 water. Remove from oven and allow to cool until squash can be handled. Scoop flesh into a bowl and set aside.

3.   Melt butter in a pot over medium-high heat. Cook onion, carrot, and garlic in melted butter until soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Pour chicken stock into the pot; add the squash.

4.   Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.

5.   Pour mixture into a blender no more than half full. Cover and hold lid down; pulse a few times before leaving on to blend. Puree in batches until smooth and return to pot.

6.   Stir half-and-half, nutmeg, and cinnamon through the blended soup; season with salt and pepper. Thin the soup with water if desired.





Thank you for Reading Good Food 4U

By Xander the Food Dude

Please send thoughts and comments to


Angie BEE grew-up a standard-sized young woman, educated in communications, promotions and planning.  She became a wife, mother and ministry support member while building businesses and her faith.

Through stress, age and a poor diet and while suffering from major depression and attempted suicide, Angie BEE's weight climbed from 180 pounds to 360 pounds.  She was diagnosed with high blood pressure, diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, an overactive bladder and poor leg circulation.  At the age of 40 an anxiety attack and the decline in her mental health forced her to stop work and look at improving her declining health.  It was during this time that Angie BEE became inspired by her younger sister Sonya Bennett during her process towards Gastric Bypass Surgery.  Sonya launched this column and will return occasionally to contribute to it, but now that she is three years-post surgery... her life is focused on something new!

Now, celebrating her first year of a new life since having the procedure herself, Angie BEE is healthier than she has been in over a decade.  Losing the first 100 pounds was just the bonus!  She is now diabetes-free.  She has normal blood pressure.  The circulation in her legs is normal.  She sleeps without a c-pap machine and more!  The joy that she feels is documented each day in her syndicated radio show, a brand new weekly  TV show documentary and each month in this article.  The Big GB stands for The BIG Gastric Bypass and it also stands for "Getting (my life) Back".  This article reflects how Angie BEE's life has improved... by the grace of God and as the result of having Gastric Bypass surgery on Feb 28, 2011.  This is now her life!


I Can Remember the Joy

with Angie Bee


I got on the scale today and as I stood there, the digits on the scale started moving.  I held my breath while I tried to predict what the final number would read.  “I haven’t been drinking enough liquids, I’ve been eating sweets and skipping meals” I thought to myself.  Before my mental bashing could continue, the digital scale stopped calculating and rendered a verdict:  My weight on this day was 211 pounds. Oh my goodness!  I am only 30 pounds away from reaching my goal of 180 pounds and I still losing weight! Praise God!

When I graduated high school (just a few short years ago in 1983 – lol) I weighed about 120 pounds and wore a size 5 dress.  My paternal grandmother took me shopping for my graduation dress and had me try on dress after dress after dress.  “These are all too big for you!” she proclaimed.  “Let’s try on this size 5”.  That dress fit like a glove, and it was the only one in that size.  I couldn’t wait to take off my cap and gown so everyone could see my lovely dress! What a joyous occasion!

When my eldest daughter was conceived on Valentine’s Day of 1990, I weighed 135 pounds.  (Yes, I know the day and approximate time that I got pregnant.  I was THAT MUCH in charge of my life and my body back then!) The joy that I felt throughout my pregnancy was indescribable.  My body grew and changed and after her birth, my body returned back to normal; well, almost normal.  When you are 5’5 inches tall and weighing 135 pounds, you don’t have too many curves.  After the birth of my first daughter, I realized that I had curves and I enjoyed carrying a few pounds around.  I looked good weighing in at 180 pounds!  I looked so good that in June of 1992 I got pregnant with my second daughter!

I had gastric bypass surgery 20 months ago.  I remember that February morning at the Florida Hospital Celebration when my surgeon, Dr. Keith Kim, came to talk to me one final time before the anesthesia kicked in.  “You have to use this surgery as a tool.  It is not the solution, this surgery is just the beginning of a lifetime of acceptance and change and JOY!  You will find joy as you begin to lose weight and as you watch your health improve. You will find joy as you reach for a slice of cheese instead of a chocolate bar.  You will find joy in your life as you realize you can walk farther and stand up longer and consume less prescription pills.  You will find joy in your life.  Now, let’s ask God to guide us along with this procedure and I will see you when you wake up”. 

I can remember the joy of my childhood having no health issues and not a care in the world.  I can remember the joy of my then-married life having children and starting businesses.  I can remember how I rejoiced one year ago when they told me that I was no longer diabetic and removed me from ALL high blood pressure medicine, all diabetic medicine and more.  The joy has returned to my life as my health improves and as the weight drops off.  I feel joy when I hit the stage on our tour concerts (I am the MC… don’t have to sing, just have to introduce the artists and tell a few jokes – lol) and I feel joy in the morning when I wake up and praise God.  I can remember the joy of my youth, and I embrace the joy that I am blessed to have now.  Happiness is fleeting but JOY comes in the morning when you take charge of your health and your life and embrace the blessings that you have been granted.  Take a moment today and remember YOUR joy!



Angie BEE

Author, Magazine Publisher, Producer, Promoter &

The Host of The Hottest Home Hotspot WORLDWIDE

Syndicated Holy Hip Hop Radio Show

Last Week I wanted to Die!




Thanks for reading

The Big GB - My Gastric Bypass Memoirs

Sonya's Links:

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


Put an End to Bullying




NAAFA is proud of Jennifer Livingston, a TV news anchor from Wisconsin, who took a public on-air stand against a bully who felt it appropriate to call her out as a “bad example” and not a “suitable” role model for youth, particularly girls, because of her body size.  Bullying comes in many forms and is pervasive in our society. Fat people are among the most bullied.  People come in all sizes.  Good role models are not determined by body size.  Good role models come in all sizes, races and creeds.


We need more people of size to stand up to say that they are living examples of the majority of people in this country who work every day,  live their lives now (not when they’ve lost weight or when they look as others think they should look), have a family and are happy as they are.

Those accusing any celebrity or media representative of being a bad role model because “being fat can’t be healthy so you need to diet" are absolutely wrong.  Thin does not equal health, fat does not equal disease.

NAAFA is standing with Jennifer in fighting against the bullies that would attempt to destroy our self-esteem and sense of self-worth. Stand with NAAFA in its fight for EQUALITY AT EVERY SIZE.  Stand with us and make a difference in the lives of adults and children who are faced with the hurtful words of bullies every day.


Jennifer ended her message as follows:  "I leave you with this: To all of the children out there who feel lost, who are struggling with your weight, with the color of your skin, your sexual preference, your disability, even the acne on your face, listen to me right now. Do not let your self-worth be defined by bullies. Learn from my experience — that the cruel words of one are nothing compared to the shouts of many."

NAAFA started its “End Bullying Now” campaign in 2011.  We have created a free resource for anyone who has contact with children. The NAAFA Child Advocacy Toolkit (CATK) shows how to take the focus off weight and direct it to healthy behavior. It addresses bullying, building positive self-esteem and eliminating stigmatization of large children. The toolkit includes educational materials, curriculum and programming that is beneficial for all children. NAAFA’s CATK is available at:






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.


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 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.



The WebGirl Picks of the Month

Fashion Find Product of the Month

Fashion Find

Sealed With a Kiss

Fashion Find Type:  On Sale

Price: Reasonable


The holidays are here and we want to add the 3S’ to our fashions sense that’s special, sexy, and super-cute! But, it can lower your spirits when trying to find that ultra-special, super-cute sexy style at an affordable price. I know! I’ve been there, done that and made the T-shirts.  That’s why I like Sealed With a Kiss or (Swak). Offering trendy and stylish tops, bottoms, and dresses in sizes 1x to 6x. They have a lot of signature pieces which are incredibly popular for the holiday season.


Product of the Month

Recommended by: Lucia

Name of Product: Hairfinity

Type of Product:  Hair Vitamins

Where Product can be found:

Description: Hair Vitamins can boost your hair growth rate by up to 200%.



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 Shaming

with Pat Llewellyn



*I have some good news on the depression front! The medication is starting to kick in and I’m slowly starting to feel better. I still cry at the drop of the hat, but the oppressiveness of the depression is lifting. Yay me!*

I’m a little riled up right now about a couple of ad the Blue Cross in Minnesota

(see links and Video below)

The goal of these ads… are to shame fat people so that they will lose weight.  The thing is, research has shown that shaming doesn’t work.

I’ve been fat most of my life. I’ve dieted, gained the weight back. lost it again and gained it back. For a large part of my life I believed that because I was fat I did not deserve love, happiness and that I should be embarrassed because I’m fat. I was to wear clothing that covered up how fat I was.  I don’t need research to show me that shaming doesn’t work; I’ve lived the cycle of self-hate and loathing.  But for those who do need research, a study at Yale’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, has spent over a decade studying attitudes toward weight.

Rebecca Puhl states: “"What our research shows is that people feel much more motivated and empowered to make healthy lifestyle changes when campaign messages are supportive and encourage specific health behaviors," she says. "But when campaign messages communicate shame or blame or stigma, people report much less motivation, and lower intentions to improve their health behaviors."

All these ads have done is reinforcing the image of fat people being lazy, and poor food choices. There is no mention of Health at Every Size and no mention of recent studies that have shown being fat does not necessarily equal being unhealthy.  

A representative from the MN Blue Cross has said they stand behind these ads and they were meant to start conversations about obesity. Reading the comments under the videos and the news article about these ads shows more of a free for all of blame and shame than a discussion.

It makes me angry to see the concern trolls comment and the passionate hatred they have towards fat people. After pointing out a few inconsistencies in their comments I had to leave the page. I know in my head that nothing I say, no research I post will convince these people that they are biased and being disrespectful. My heart wants to scream at them and rage right back, to make them back down and apologize for being so hurtful and condescending.

I know in the end that all I can do is provide a logical and fact based response and hope that just one person gets it.




     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.


Me, Myself & I

with Ms Suga



How well do you know yourself? Do you like yourself? Would you date yourself? Last month I challenged you to look at the person in the mirror and decide if that's the person you want to be. Now I'm challenging you to evaluate yourself and decide whether you can live with that person.


 Since I've been making all these changes I have been learning to get to know myself a little better. I'm starting to branch out and do a lot of stuff on my own. In the past month alone I've gone out to eat by myself, gone shopping by myself, worked out by myself, I've somewhat become my own bestie. Ok now don't roll your eyes at me it's actually an interesting journey. Most women and even some men are afraid to be alone. And because of this fear we allow ourselves to settle for or remain stuck in ridiculous situations.


 You ever had a friend that was with a man or woman who was all wrong for them? You see it, your friends see it, everyone sees it including the couple but no one moves to change the game. I know some people that will allow themselves to be treated badly just to have a body lay next to them at night. If you are that person then I must tell you that you are traveling down a dead end road. All you're doing is wasting time and energy and will eventually have to turn around and go back the way you came to find your path.


 I was once in a relationship and all I wanted to do was continue to be in a relationship. I didn't care how much we fought or how neglected I felt I just wanted to maintain the appearance of a relationship. I was afraid to be alone. Well one thing led to another and I started feeling more alone even when that person was physically next to me and it got to the point where I had completely lost my mind. And as a result I lost my relationship. Looking back on it now I laugh at myself because I was a complete basket case. I allowed myself to succumb to the fear of being alone and in return I had nothing left but myself.


 I promised myself that I will never allow anyone's company (or sexual organs) to make me feel like I need to keep them around while I suffer. I'd rather be alone and happy than surrounded by a million people and be miserable. So with that in mind I started my journey to get to know myself.


 You guys should try it!! It can be very interesting. And it'll open the door to you meeting more people. A couple months ago I had the opportunity to go see President Obama speak live and in person! That's a chance of a lifetime! But my best friend lived in another state and my other best friend had somewhere else to go. So I grabbed my headphones and my keys and went to stand in line all by myself to get the tickets. I stood in line for hours and by the time I got to the front of the line I could only get one ticket. Wtf but I got it because there was no way I would miss this opportunity. The day came for me to go see the POTUS. I went to church then drove downtown and prepared myself to wait in line again by myself. While walking the few blocks to the line (that was literally a half a mile long and about a four hour wait before the doors even opened) I bumped into an acquaintance. I knew the girl but I didn't really know her and would have never thought of spending a whole day with her. But by fate I bumped into her and she was also going to hear the POTUS speak by herself. We decided to walk together and you can imagine the rest. We had a ball!! To this day she and I keep in touch and I made a new friend simply by trusting myself and stepping out in faith.


 I share with you my situations just to show you that you never know what blessings you are missing out on because you are waiting on someone else's clock. I encourage you to try it; if I'm full of crap then I'm full of crap and if nothing else you can at least say you tried. So pick a place this week and go for it. Take yourself out to dinner or go the movies by yourself. It won't kill you. And stop worrying about what other people are thinking of you. It might encourage them to do the same.


 No one ever wants to be alone and I'm not saying you have to be all I'm saying is get to know yourself enough that you are happy with or without someone in your life. At the end of the day all I have is me, myself and I and I have to live with them so I might as well like them.


 Blessings to you all! Until we speak again!!



 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 (  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.


Great Fat Books

with Gabriela Falarz



Few things are more satisfying than a really good read. I have been a book lover for as long as I can remember. Even before I could read, I was fascinated with them, Small wonder that they have become so important in my life.


I love books of all kinds, but some of the books that are the most special to me are books about fat. Some of them fall into the non-fiction category and some are novels, but both genres have the same things in common: they are about women like me and I have never forgotten them.


These books have earned prized places on my bookshelf and in my heart. I would like to share them with you in case they haven't graced your life yet. I guarantee that you will find something familiar, encouraging, supportive, cathartic, and uplifting in every single one.


I hope you enjoy my list, and if you'd like to see a video I made summarizing each book, you can visit my Youtube channel:


Curl up with one of these great books and enjoy!




Fat!So? by Marilyn Wann. 1998, Ten Speed Press.


Shadow on a Tightrope: Writings by Women on Fat Oppression. 1983, Aunt Lute Book Company.


No Fat Chicks, by Terry Poulton. 1996, Key Porter Books.


Succulent Wild Woman, by SARK. 1997, Fireside Books.


Fat Girl: A True Story, by Judith Moore. 2005, Hudson Street Press.


Confessions of a Carb Queen, by Susan Blech with Caroline Bock. 2008, Rodale.


Lady Oracle, by Margaret Atwood. 1976, Seal Books.


Sheila Levine is Dead and Living in New York, by Gail Parent. 1972, Bantam Books.


Two Girls, Fat and Thin, by Mary Gaitskill. 1991, Bantam Books.


She's Come Undone, by Wally Lamb. 1992, Pocket Books.





Kathy is originally from a small town in Michigan but has lived in San Diego County since she's been 18 years old.  Kathy graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelors in Finance in 1999.   She has a real estate broker’s license and works as a mortgage banker.  


Kathy also owns BBW Club Catalina in San Diego which has monthly night club parties and other fun events on a frequent basis.  Kathy has been an avid supporter of NAAFA, Vegas BBW Bash and San Diego BBW Bash and believes in size acceptance and health at every size.  


Kathy is a firm believer that people need to have a full life by going to the movies, dinner, bowling, dancing and anything that will make them a happier person and not wait till they are at the perfect size to start living their life to the fullest. 


Kathy is in her mid-40's and her children are grown and living productively on their own.   In her spare time she likes trying new restaurants, dancing, modeling, bowling and spending time with family and friends.



10 simple ways to make your relationship grow stronger

 with Kathy Hernandez


When we first start dating someone we are always on our best behavior and putting our best foot forward. We hide things about ourselves that we think might turn off the person we are dating. We do this because we are afraid of rejection and because we think once they get to know us better than some of our bad habits will be accepted because our significant other will see the big picture and all the great things about us which of course will make the small annoying things seem easier to deal with.  How many times have you heard someone say when we first started dating you used to buy me flowers, take me out more, surprise me with small gifts and tell me you love me all the time.

     When I was 18 years old I was roommates in a large home with 5 other people and one of them was named Dave and he was around 30 years old so much older and more experienced than I was. We used to talk while watching tv in the living room or outside in the backyard while barbecuing. He gave me some advice about relationships that I have tried to do in all of my relationships. He told me that I should never stop caring about how I look once I am in a relationship with a man because the things that you do while first dating someone is what attracted them to you in the first place.


     He said his ex wife was showered and smelling great when they dated, had her hair groomed well, dressed well and had her makeup and nails done every day. He said shortly after they were married he never saw this woman except if they had a party to go to or some special event. He would come home and she would be in sweat pants and a t shirt, un-showered, hair uncombed and of course nothing was done such as make up and her nails like she did when they were dating. When they were dating she made sure the dishes were done and the home was clean all the time but this was no longer a priority for her.

     There is a fine line between being comfortable with someone and just letting yourself go because this just doesn't affect the way your significant other thinks about you, it affects how you feel about yourself because you are looking in the mirror and knowing this isn't how you want to look and feel about yourself.


What are some ways to keep your relationship strong and grow?


1. Keep your personal hygiene the best you possibly can, showering frequently, doing your hair, makeup, nails because this is what attracted your boyfriend to you when you were dating and this is when you feel the best about yourself.


2. Don't yell or pick fights with your man because no one wants to be talked to like that.


3. Make sure to keep having date nights and try new things with each other. Doing the same thing gets boring and it's hard to make new memories when you are basically reliving the same date over and over.


4. Try to do our intimate personal hygiene behind closed doors such as sitting on the toilet, plucking eyebrows, shaving your legs. Leaving a little mystery to how we look so great is a definite plus!!


5. Don't pressure him to change the way he dresses, career goals or his religion, When and if he wants to change than he will make these changes on his own.


6. Watch the football game with him even if it's not something you really enjoy because he's taking you to the chick flicks that isn't on his top list of things to do. There's no way to do things together that both of you like all the time and it's important to do things that he likes and you don't sometimes.


7. Learn to argue in a positive way. Keep the communication during an argument open and don't shut down to avoid talking about what is bothering you so you can resolve the problem.


8. Don't stop cooking for him when you used to cook for him all the time when you were dating. This tends to make him think that you don't care about him as much as you used to when you were first dating.


9. Encourage him to spend time with his friends and have guys nights out so he stays connected with his male friends.


10. Tell him you love him every day. Starting the day with a big hug and kiss makes everyone's day better!!


Whoever told you that being in a relationship is easy was absolutely lying to you because all of us know that we need to work hard every day to have a healthy and happy relationship. I want to be that old couple walking down the street holding hands when I'm 90 years old and you catch a glimpse of us looking at each other with love in our eyes.





Celebrating almost 2 decades as a Graphic Designer/Published Illustrator, Jean Nerestant Jr (Jness) got his start as a graphic artist in 1994, Still working as a graphic designer by day/ Jness devotes time to his hip hop Culture, comic book art and Plus size/BBW Art.



Wonder Woman

with Jness


This month’s article starts by me taking you on a brief trip down memory lane. I am turning the pages back to many Septembers ago. I remember waking up before everyone in my house and sneaking into the living room in order to turn on the television. I kept the volume as low as possible making sure that Mom and Dad’s sleep went undisturbed. You may ask what was so important to make a kid wake up so early on a Saturday morning?


Saturday morning cartoons of course! When I got up extra early I watched Kukla Fran and Ollie, followed by Isis, then Captain Marvel and the list goes on. But the one show that really held me in the grasp of anticipation was “The Superfriends”. This cartoon featured Batman, Superman, Aquaman and Wonder Woman. Many other heroes were added to the cast in later seasons.


I had no way of knowing that the impression they made on me would last a lifetime. My fascination evolved to comic books, to drawing, and ultimately any extra helpings of the genre that would fit on my plate. Nowadays the Superfriends are more formally known as “The Justice League”. They are officially American icons whose fame has reached every boarder of the world. Which brings us to the point I wanted to make, as you see in the illustration featured in this article, I drew these heroes in my own style. I especially wanted you to pay close attention to Wonder Woman. I took the liberty of making her plus-sized, as I have done often with other superhero women. I often get big reactions when people see this special twist on the characters they have grown accustomed to seeing as much leaner women.


I offer this rendition of Wonder Woman void of humor and serious, in the same thread of dignity and womanhood that the character always portrayed through the years, the only difference is that she is a full figured woman. It is important to me that my artwork has visual impact. That impact has to make a memorable statement. Wonder Woman is an American icon, a symbol of women and their strength, not in the super model frame, but in the curvy girl frame. This artwork allows a wider audience of women the chance to see themselves in the character and identify with her even more.


The public response has been very supportive, and I am grateful. There are many voices saying yes to these new concepts. Society’s views have been one sided long enough. An enormous canyon of difference exists between the way things look compared to the way we look at them. That is the reason why I love art as a communication tool. It doesn’t have to adhere to the rules, and it doesn’t have to make apologies. It’s art, visual explorations of the mind that either restate the obvious or attempt to harness the unimaginable.


It’s a great privilege to have my art represent the everyday Wonder Women of the world.





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