Cover Model of the Month!
Want to be a
LargeInCharge Cover Model? Download the Application for 2013 -
LargeInCharge.com: What is your name?
Carol Hogan Kindred aka Neema Styles
LargeInCharge.com: Where are you from and what is your current
I am from Laurel, Mississippi, currently living in San Antonio, TX.
May 28 of this year, will make 11 years for me.
LargeInCharge.com: Can you give us some information about yourself
(Age, Height, Size, Nationality, Marital Status, Children, etc.)?
I am 31 years old, standing 5’9”, wearing a 14W/16W depending on the
brand or designer. I am
of African descent. I
am married to a wonderful man.
We are actually newly weds, just married June 4, 2012.
I have two sons who are 11 and 12 years old.
They are the joys of my life.
LargeInCharge.com: Were you a big child, or did you gain weight
later in life?
Growing up, I was a skinny child. I put on weight as a teenager but
I was not really heavy.
As a young adult, after having my second child, the weight
fluctuated a bit. Even
with the fluctuation, I was still wearing around a 10.
After moving to San Antonio, eating all this delicious food,
the weight started build.
LargeInCharge.com: (If you gained weight later in life) what caused
you to gain weight and how did you feel about it?
I believe that my weight gain is because, once I got to Texas, I was
no longer as physical as I was when I lived in Mississippi.
I walked a lot and I hung out a lot when I was there.
Once I got here, play time was over…I was a young, single
parent so the running the streets and hanging out all the time had
to come to a halt. I
had to work and go to school and take care of my children.
LargeInCharge.com: What made you decide to enter the LargeInCharge
I saw it as an opportunity to minister to the people who do not know
me. What I mean
by minister is… attend the needs of women and men who feel like they
are out of place because they are heavy. NO!
We belong just as well as everyone else.
There is nothing wrong with us. As long as we are healthy and
we can handle our business, WE BELONG!
LargeInCharge.com: Did you find it a hard journey to be accepted for
your size, and do you find acceptance among your family and friends?
My personality is the first thing that people recognize about me.
I really do not think that most people I know pay attention
that I am a heavy girl.
Half of the time, they are out of breathe before I am….lol
As far as being accepted by my friends and family… I am
ACCEPTED and RESPECTED. My family and friends love me.
As long I am healthy, they are happy.
My size is not an issue.
LargeInCharge.com: What would you say inspires you most in life?
I would have to say, having God as the head of my life, being loved,
having family and friends who support me inspires me.
LargeInCharge.com: What is your primary occupation, and how did you
get into this line of work?
My primary occupation is an Administrative Assistant at a
University. I have been
working in this occupation for a little over 6 years.
I was tired of working crappy jobs so I applied for jobs with
this University and I have been there ever since.
LargeInCharge.com: Do you find acceptance in the work force?
I most certainly do.
They love me at my work place.
Thank God for my boss, She is very supportive of me.
I talk my co-workers ears off about modeling and such.
LargeInCharge.com: What changes do you believe should take place for
Large People in the work force?
When I first started my latest position, my chair was not
When we interview, they need to be sure to have a chair in our
offices that is big people friendly.
That chair in my office was not!
But honestly, I believe that workplaces should be more
accepting and empathetic
rather than bias when it comes to Larger people in the
workplace. People look
at Larger people and make all sorts of assumptions. Get to know me
and then we can go from there.
LargeInCharge.com: What do you think about the fashion industry for
big sized clothing?
I think that the plus size fashion industry is growing and booming.
I think that there are high demand fashion pieces.
Do I think that it is perfectly fine? No.
I still feel like some people in the plus size world is being
left out in the plus size fashion industry.
The plus size fashion industry most certainly still have room
for inclusiveness and engagement.
LargeInCharge.com: What do you wish to see change with the fashion
Inclusiveness!!! I see
fashion cliques as of now.
Let’s open ourselves to others.
Let’s encourage one another.
LargeInCharge.com: Tell us some of the places you buy your clothing
from. Do you have any
Oh wow!!! Do you have about 10 more pages? Lol
I love to shop at Burlington, Marshall’s, ROSS, Avenue,
Wal-Mart for Miss Tina, Target, local boutiques,
DOTS, Thrift shops, I like to shop in my friends closet and I
LOVVVVVEEEEE hand me downs…Especially the good stuff.
I am pretty open to shop anywhere that has a quality product.
I do not like replacing my clothes quick so the quality of
the fabric is important to me.
do you prepare for a Photo shoot?
What should aspiring models be prepared for?
I make sure that I have
everything that I need.
Make-up, personal hygiene, water, time set aside, model bag with
necessary items, extra shoes, jewelry and etc.
All models should come with a positive attitude, open mind
LargeInCharge.com: Tell us about your goals as far as modeling and
As a model, I want to step out of my comfort zone.
I want to meet more people in the business.
I would love to walk in FFF Week and eventually, I would like
to open my own boutique.
I am currently trying to get into the business of styling
models for photo shoots, fashion events and personal styling.
have you accomplished as a Plus Sized Model?
As a plus size model, I have accomplished confidence and motivation.
you entered or won any Contests, Pageants or Awards?
What was the experience like?
A few years ago, I entered a Most Photogenic Portfolio contest here
in San Antonio with PSP.
I won. Winning
the contest was a great feeling.
It motivated me to expand my horizons. It gave me a drive to
boost my level of ability.
LargeInCharge.com: Can you tell us about an inspirational moment in
you life that made you feel good about your size.
I am not sure if it is inspirational but It feels good to get
compliments about looking good and being well put together by
straight size women.
LargeInCharge.com: Is there a person in your life that makes you
My kids and my husband makes me keep going…That’s my support
group….They look out for me.
LargeInCharge.com: What advice would you give to other people of
size who want to model?
Don’t give up! Work hard and stay positive. Network and surround
yourself with people who are working towards their dreams just like
you. Make sure you know
what the qualifications to be a model are.
LargeInCharge.com: Which plus size figure do you most admire?
I would have to say that I admire what Gwen Devoe is doing for the
plus sized community.
LargeInCharge.com: Describe yourself with one word.
Thanks for reading about
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 in the Bronx NYC. This city girl is taking the world by
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,
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
Raqui's New Blog titled Raqui-ism "Soulfully
www.Raqui.com Portfolio Section
Raqui-ism - Worthy Charities 2013
Written By: Raqui
This year LargeInCharge
has begun its 9th year moving toward our 10th. I challenged myself
this year by starting my own little quest
toward learning, giving, and expanding my own mind, by donating to a
new charity every month. I hope that you all will enjoy
learning about these new charities with me.
I began to
understand that most of us only donate to a charity
if we have an emotional connection to the charity itself or someone
who is trying to raise money for a cause. One day when I
happen to dismiss a charity that was asking for donations, I realized
I dont want to be that person. I want to give because the
cause is worthy and I can. Not only because of an emotional
connection. So join me in learning about new causes and
charities this year. I will post a new one to my column every
CHARITY OF THE MONTH: Umoja Women's Village
How did I learn
about Umoja Women's Village
In watching the documentary "Half the Sky" I was inspired and
moved by the many, many stories of diffrent people across the
world and their mission to help their communities. I was
touched by the purpose of the Umoja Women's Village in Kenya.
Victims of rape, abuse, female circumcision, poverty and
murder... many times at the hands of their own men or invaders.
These women were able to make a safe haven "The Umoja Women's
Village" still they fight off attacks at the hands of invaders
to this day. They promote business skills and education
that will help their women to earn an income, be able to support
their familes and have the freedom they need to prosper. I
knew right away I had to donate to these LargeInCharge Women.
I urge you all to watch the documentary and learn more.
Who is Rebecca
Rebecca Lolosoli is featured in the second night of Half the Sky:
Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide.
Rebecca Lolosoli is the matriarch of the Umoja Women's Village in
Kenya and an advocate for women's rights.
Growing up as a member of the Samburu tribe, Lolosoli attended
primary school and then nursing school but dropped out early due to
a lack of money to pay for school fees. She married at the age of 18
and then started her own business selling goods. As she learned of
women who had been raped by British soldiers training nearby, she
began to speak up to help them. In retaliation, neighborhood men
beat her, and when her husband did not protest the beatings, she
Lolosoli, along with several other women who were also survivors of
violence, established the Umoja Women's Village, which means unity
in Swahili. To sustain themselves, they sell beadwork and open up
their village as a tourist attraction. With the money they have
earned, they built a school for their children and those in
surrounding villages and eventually purchased the land they live on.
Because the area is prone to drought, Lolosoli and her village have
worked to decrease their reliance on cattle, which often die or are
stolen during such weather conditions. They now have a chicken coop,
which provides both income and protein to the women and children in
Lolosoli has been repeatedly elected as chairperson of the village
and is also chair of her local chapter of Maendeleo Ya Wanawake
Organization (MYWO), a nonprofit, voluntary group working to improve
the lives of women and youth in Kenya. Lolosoli received the Global
Leadership Award from Vital Voices in 2010. She continues to fight
for a woman's right to make decisions, own land and run a business,
and she works tirelessly to end harmful and unsafe cultural
practices and violence against women.
She plans to run for local office and will be the first Samburu
woman ever to do so.
Want to Help?
You can donate at the following link, this month my donation
though small will help two women of the Umoja Village to visit
the clinic and recieve medical services.
You can also donate at the below link or purchase
the traditional, beaded jewelry handmade by the women of Umoja,
Kenya, a woman-only village founded by Rebecca Lolosoli. The village
was established for survivors of violence as a refuge — a place for
women to sustain themselves through their traditional beadwork. The
funds they raise through their jewelry help support community
projects. With money they earned in the past, they bought the land
they now live on and built a school for their children and those in
surrounding villages. They are currently raising funds for
scholarships for the young girls of Umoja, teachers' salaries, a
fresh water project, and more.
- Weekly Radio show discussing Plus Sized Issues. Friday's
pm EST - Call in & Chat in our Chat Room.
Thank you for
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!
JUST LOOK AT ME
with Angie Bee
"Hey Mom! Your butt looks GREAT in that dress!"
My youngest daughter proudly proclaimed that statement during my
recent visit. She left home a year ago to attend college and
even though she tells me that she is okay when I talk to her on the
phone, I just HAD to go and see her. We went to see a movie,
and finished the day at an all-you-can-eat restaurant. Whew!
What a shame! It almost doesn't seem fair to charge me an
adult-priced meal; even it they DO have cotton candy and a chocolate
fountain! I am full off of a half of a piece of grilled
salmon! I watched my daughter fill her plate to the brim with
a LOVELY salad and I didn't even stick my fork in the middle of it
(well... maybe I did steal just ONE green olive... yum!). She
grew up knowing that her mother was always going to steal from her
plate and whatever she did not finish, I would finish off as the
official 'family garbage disposal'. She told me that she was
proud of me for not eating half of her salad and I was proud of me,
Two years after undergoing gastric bypass surgery. the
tools are still working and I am still losing weight! The
night before I shared a day with my daughter, I was honored to spend
the evening as the MC of a women's ministry event called, "The 100
Women In Red Gala" which took place in Ocala, Florida (I am still
waiting to see John Travolta every time I visit that city).
Every woman that attended wore red, and it was the first time I
attended a formal event where I didn't wear a black gown. You
know how it is: black is slimming (or so they have told us over the
years) and to step out in a red dress brings all the attention to
every lump and bump and dimple and curve. I have to admit that
I almost ditched the dress code, but the Holy Spirit told me to step
into that ballroom with pride and have a good time. I did just
pictures galore! I tried to remember to turn my head to the
side when I smiled so that my saggy chin-skin wouldn't make me look
old. I tried to remember to "suck in my gut" for the red
carpet photos. I tried to remember all those little tricks
that I used to do when I weighed nearly 400 pounds two years ago,
and when I look back at the pictures I was proud of myself. I
looked like I had fun. I looked like I had a great time!
OH MY! Even standing next to the skinny teenagers on the red
carpet, I didn't look like a blimp! I loved my arms in that
red dress, I loved the fact that my bra was "working it" that night
and I love that fact that I am LOVING ME throughout that entire
Today I weighed
in at 200 pounds even. I remember one day just a couple of
years ago when I got on a scale and the digital readout blinked 387!
My doctor says that I weighed more than that just before my weight
loss surgery, but I told him that I just didn't even want to know
what I weighed. I remember that I couldn't stand up for too long or
my ankles would swell. I stood and walked and even climbed the
stairs this past weekend wearing a formal red gown and heels!
I remember one day a couple of years ago when the insulin and
out-of-control elevated blood sugars had me shaking and trembling if
I didn't eat something every hour. At this red dress gala,
someone had to fix me a plate and remind me to eat because I wasn't
even hungry! When my daughter and I left the movie theater
during my visit and she complimented me on my rear-end, I
remembered a similar day years ago when I wore no panties to the
grocery store because I couldn't find a comfortable size to wear.
Wow! Just look at me now!
God is good (all the time,
and all the time God is good) but sometimes I just gotta look at
what He created: He took me through the challenges of living with
high blood pressure, Type II Diabetes, an over-active bladder, sleep
apnea, poor leg circulation and more. I lived with those
diseases and my weight escalated. My children were embarrassed
by my perspiration and heavy breathing as I walked in the building
to meet their teachers and during their school concerts I would have
to pray that I didn't get stuck in the auditorium seats. Even
when I was diagnosed with major depression and generalized anxiety
disorder, many people said "you will feel better if you lose the
weight". Why does everything that is wrong with you have to do
with your weight in the mind of another?
Earlier this month, I traveled to Dayton, Ohio to
participate in two book signings. Rev. Dawn Martin of 'Just
Dazzlind Ministries' had just seen me last July, but when I stepped
off the plane in Dayton, she smiled and called me skinny!
During my visit, she allowed me to accompany her when she spoke at
the juvenile jail and at the elementary school. I walked with
pep-in-my-step even while I carried my camera equipment and I was
thrilled to be with her. Rev. Dawn was with me years ago
when the weight and the disease forced me to take a daily nap and
further hindered my actions. Now, she sees a new me: still
larger than some, but definitely healthier than I was before.
After my book signing I posed for pictures with three local
recording artists, and it felt good to share some of my testimony
with the attendees.
Today I am
disease-free and nearly 200 pounds smaller. I still have
curves and I LOVE them! While standing on the red carpet, my
new shoes started to hurt but then I remembered that I was wearing 6
inch heels! The first pair of heels I have worn in DECADES!
Oh my goodness, look at me now! Look at what God has created!
I am a new creature in His Kingdom and I am excited about where He
is taking me, but the joy really comes from seeing where I came
from. My new website is live now at
www.DaQueenBee.com and it will not only
tell you where I am headed next, but it will serve as a testimony as
to where I came from.
Next month is my
birthday and it will be time to schedule consultations with plastic
surgeons. Maybe later this year I can get this extra flabby
skin removed from my tummy. Maybe next year, I can lift these
flabby breasts and remove the skins from my arms. My thighs
could use some work and maybe even this chin-skin... who knows?
There is one thing that I know that I don't have to worry about
though; I don't have to worry about my butt because my daughter says
that it looks GREAT!
I love you Jasmine.
Mom will see you
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!
NOW AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE!
Thanks for reading
The Big GB - My Gastric Bypass Memoirs
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
NAAFA's Goin' to Vegas!
NAAFA’s Goin’ to Vegas!
NAAFA, the civil rights organization working for Equality at Every
Size, is excited to announce that it’s goin’ to Vegas, Baby!
NAAFA’s 2013 Annual Convention and Expo will be held on July
25-29, 2013 at the Westin Hotel, Casino & Spa, located at 160 East
Flamingo Rd. Las Vegas, NV 89109.
In keeping with this year’s theme of
All Sizes Welcome! NAAFA’s convention workshop tracks
Diversity, Size Acceptance and Corporate Culture
Bullying in the Classroom and Beyond
Accessibility: Tools for Everyday Living
Being Healthy at Any Size
Promoting Equality: All Sizes Welcome!
is the preeminent event for size diversity advocates from across
North America, including Canada and worldwide. This year’s event
promises to provide informational and educational opportunities of
the highest quality." stated Brandon Macsata, NAAFA's Convention
Committee Chair and Advisory Board Member.
NAAFA has negotiated a terrific rate with this Westin resort
property just a block and a half off the Strip in Las Vegas on
Flamingo Road. Our
group rate is only $89.00 per night with NO resort fee and FREE
There are lots of options available at this Westin, like a casino on
the ground level and a restaurant open 24/7.
"Many people say that the experiences they have had at previous
conventions were life-changing for them," said Peggy Howell, NAAFA's
spokesperson. "How will this year’s convention change you?"
NAAFA invites people of all sizes who support Equality at Every Size
to come together with likeminded people for a week of learning,
laughing, sharing, networking, community building, swimming, dancing
and fun! Visit
NAAFA's website today at
http://www.naafa.org to learn more about the NAAFA 2013
Annual Convention and Expo. Convention registration and hotel
accommodations can be completed from the website.
Founded in 1969, NAAFA is a non-profit human 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.
Thanks for reading
From the Desk of NAAFA
Some of you make know me as web girl/Lulu from Fashion Find. Well…
I’ve move on to another one of my favorite’s pastime which is
cooking. To get you all up to date on what’s going on. I’m currently
pursuing a graduate degree at Ashford University I have a B.A.
degree in Organizational Communication from Southeastern Louisiana
I am most passionate about cooking. I believe with cooking you can
always grow… I fried my first egg when I was 2 and baked my first
cake at 5. Cooking is an easy and dynamic experience if you have a
passion for a good tasting meal.
Motto: Cook with your heart not with your head.
If you have a favorite dish you would like to share please forward
with recipe and photo to
with Lucia Roth
APRIL BIRTHSTONE is a DIAMOND… we all know the saying “Diamonds
are a girl best friend”! And the old adage the best way to a man
heart is through his stomach. Every girl deserves a diamond and
behind every diamond is a man who deserves a robust meal and a
mouthwatering dessert. Why not fix your hubby, boyfriend, or
your significant other that lip-smacking, succulent, dessert the
he or she deserves… I’m talking about super easy Chocolate
Covered Strawberries. Mmmmm…
Chocolate Covered Strawberries
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
3 ounces white chocolate, chopped
1 pound strawberries with stems (about 20),
washed and dried very well
Put the semisweet and white chocolates into 2
separate heatproof medium bowls. Fill 2 medium
saucepans with a couple inches of water and bring to
a simmer over medium heat. Turn off the heat; set
the bowls of chocolate over the water to melt. Stir
until smooth. (Alternatively, melt the chocolates in
a microwave at half power, for 1 minute, stir and
then heat for another minute or until melted.)
Once the chocolates are melted and smooth, remove
from the heat. Line a sheet pan with parchment or
waxed paper. Holding the strawberry by the stem, dip
the fruit into the dark chocolate, lift and twist
slightly, letting any excess chocolate fall back
into the bowl. Set strawberries on the parchment
paper. Repeat with the rest of the strawberries. Dip
a fork in the white chocolate and drizzle the white
chocolate over the dipped strawberries.
Set the strawberries aside until the chocolate sets,
about 30 minutes.
Send in your sexiest chocolate covered Strawberries
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
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
You Cant drive a car by looking in the rear
with Ms Suga
"You can't drive a car by looking in the rear view mirror" -
So I must admit I have read a couple of Bishop Jakes' books,
watched videos of his sermons and even watched one of the movies
he produced. It is my personal opinion that Bishop Jakes is a
very intelligent man and the information/advice he provides is
not only scripture based but beneficial to one’s everyday life.
I say this to say I cannot recall the exact time that I heard
this statement but I can say that I've heard it more than once
and that i embrace the knowledge behind this statement.
Recently I was listening to the Steve Harvey Morning Show and
Steve referred to this quote by Bishop Jakes and he broke it
down in a different way than I had heard before. And as you all
should know by now I'm all about paying it forward so here you
Many people today are nowhere near reaching their full potential
in life due to several different reasons. The most common of
those reasons is fear; fear of failure and/or fear of repeating
failure. The simplest example of this is matters of
relationships/companionships. As a woman, I now know that my
heart is closely guarded because I don't want to get hurt like I
did in the past. But also as a woman, I have this never-ending
desire to be loved and wanted. At this point in my life I am
learning that my future relationships are not dictated by my
past relationships. The experience of heart break has taught me
what I want and don't want in a spouse as well as what I am
capable of doing and what I need to work on within myself. (Ok
enough of my personal feelings.) Regardless of the realization
and reflection stemming from my past I know that this is April
2013 I have to keep the lessons from years past and apply it to
the here and now.
Granted this is a difficult concept to put in place but it is
necessary. I encourage you to consider my thought process, which
is simply; you can't drive a car looking in the rear view
mirror. If you focus on the past you won't be prepared for what
is to come. If you take the explanation in its literal form (DO
NOT try it just THINK about it) and you attempt to drive forward
while looking only in the rear view mirror it won't take long
for you to crash. To attempt such a task (in the literal sense)
would be equivalent to suicide. And to attempt the task (in the
mental sense) would be equivalent to emotional suicide.
It is my belief that one of the reasons we are given these lives
is to experience life, past tests, learn lessons, and proceed to
the next level. Some of us may seem to have harder tests than
others but you cannot focus on that aspect either. Don’t waste
time worried about what Suzie, Mary and Keisha have going on,
focus on your path. One can't drive looking solely out the
driver side window; yes you will have a better view of what is
coming than from the rear view mirror but you still aren't fully
aware of your position and/ or progress.
I encourage you this month to attempt to look forward into your
future, imagine your goal and work to get there. I usually close
my eyes when in working out and try to focus on the body I dream
of having. That vision gets those last 25 crunches and that
extra mile out of me. So give it a try and if it doesn't work
then you can at least say you tried something different. But if
it does work and you continue the path of success, make sure you
stop and tell someone along the way "You can't drive a car while
looking in the rear view mirror.
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
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
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.
The Girl Friend Rule... do you live by it?
Yes… the long lived Girl-friend Rule that most of us live
by, has been explained and interpreted by many in different ways
around the world. What is the girl friend rule you say? The
girlfriend rule in its basic form is when you are friends with
another woman; you won’t date someone that they have dated in
Most of us instinctively wouldn’t date our friend’s
ex-boyfriend, fiancé or husband because it just seems wrong and
well… kinda icky to do that doesn’t it? Although if you ever
watched Jerry Springer on tv it would seem that no one ever
talked to them about the girl friend rule because you not only
have friends going behind other friends backs and dating their
significant other. They even go as far as to date or sleep with
a family member and even mothers are sleeping with their
There are different ways to view the girl friend rule of course,
because everyone has a different way of thinking about
something. There are certain lines that can’t be crossed
physically, and emotionally, for someone to be comfortable, with
their friend, dating someone they thought might they might have
connection and future with.
For example if you went out on a coffee date with a guy, you
found out there wasn’t any chemistry between you, you ended the
date with a hug good bye, then most women would say it is ok for
their friend to date him, because there was no emotional, or
physical contact, between you. I think that’s pretty reasonable,
because if you weren’t attracted to this guy, or didn’t have
enough things in common, this shouldn’t mean that your friend,
who is attracted to him, and has a lot in common with him,
shouldn’t have a chance to date him. There also should be, a
mutual agreement, between these two female friends, that the
first person, who dated him, is comfortable with the fact, that
her friend now wants to date him, they have to agree, so the
friendship doesn’t suffer at all.
Now let’s talk about a guy that you slept with, but it was just
sex, and you moved on to date other men, and now your friend was
asked out by this same guy… it’s a whole lot different than a
simple coffee date, and a hug good bye. Again, the best thing to
do is keep an open communication with your friend, letting her
know that you didn’t have any emotional connection to this guy,
so it would be ok if she wanted to go out with him. You should
also be honest too, if it is an issue, because where some might
not care if you slept with the same guy, there are others like
me, that absolutely hate, the idea of my friend, and I sleeping
with the same guy.
Let’s now talk about your friend, who dated a guy for 2 or 3
months, and of course there was an emotional and sexual
connection. This is when a HUGE alarm should go off in your head
saying, GIRL FRIEND RULE, GIRL FRIEND RULE, and this is the guy
that you shouldn’t even consider dating. How do you talk to your
friend about your new relationship, when it used to be her
relationship with the same guy in the past? How would your
friend feel knowing, that you are with someone she had feelings
for, and how could you hang out together, without there being a
huge amount of tension in the air?
There are so many men out there, that there is no reason, why
anyone, would have to date the same guy, their friend had a true
relationship with. I am a true believer in the girlfriend rule,
because good friends are hard to find, and I wouldn’t risk
losing my good friends, over dating a guy that they had feelings
for, and being a true friend means being there for them always.
Celebrating almost two 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
This month rather than share a piece of art that has been
previously released to the public by me I am revealing a project
that I have shied away from releasing to the public.
Follow along as I explain why I have artwork that I have
felt restricted from releasing.
About 13 years ago, I decided to make plus size art my signature
thread of art. I started off illustrating full figured women in
the nude, primarily because I appreciated exploring anatomy
through my art, and I felt the platform made an impact on the
viewer. I saw the plus size woman as art, and I knew this was a
way to make that statement heard. The reaction was mixed.
Eventually there was an increase in volume from the voice of
public acceptance. But there were many who insisted that
anything displaying nudity was considered a form of
pornographic. I never clearly understood why the general
consensus leaned towards the conclusion that nudity in a modern
illustration is morally questionable. However, nude figures
featured in Renaissance art have been considered as acceptable
and truly artistic.
In regard to my art, there is a stigma that follows the full
figured woman throughout creative and social mediums. For
example, Mae West, and Marilynn Monroe played rolls that
presented them in a sensual way (for a lack of better terms).
Curvy women seem to be more acceptable in the media playing a
sexy roll rather than head strong, and intelligent roll. With
that being said, I think curvy art receives the same reception.
It’s instantly considered sexual. Don’t get me wrong; we have
come a long way since the examples I mentioned. Does anyone
remember Camryn Manheim, playing the roll of a powerful attorney
in the television series “The Practice”?
As I mentioned, I exclusively did illustrations of the full
figured woman in the natural. Until I received an email from a
twelve year old girl, who said, that before discovering my
artwork she never thought that someone who looks like her could
be perceived as beautiful.
The experience lead me to changing my creative strategy.
This started the direction that eventually became the type of
art I produce now.
remember when the term BBW (Big Beautiful Woman) was associated
with something positive and uplifting to the plus size
community, now when placed into a search engine all you see are
pornographic search results. My website is called
www.bbwartbyjness.com, spread the word the name of my
website reflects early days when the term was fresh and
There was a collection I sketched out called “Curves”, it would
feature close ups of plus size women. A series of panel squares
featuring close observations of curves. I was not anxious to
revisit the discussion of art versus porn so I put the project
on the shelf. On this page you can see a sketch of what the
concept would look like.
I have decided to exercise my creative freedom and make this
idea I came up with from years ago a reality. I will reveal the
collection here very soon. Thank you for reading.
Hello there all my fashion loving friends. My name is Amy Lucas and
in this column I hope to bring you some new outfits that will make
you feel great and be Large and In Charge.
My whole life has not been devoted to fashion as my background is in
teaching Spanish, Math, and Science. I also have a master’s degree
in Central Office Administration.
With that said, I have been wearing
plus sizes for as long as I can remember so I do know the struggles we all
face to find cute clothes. I come from a smaller town in Michigan, which
means I have an even harder time finding plus size clothing in my area
since the choices are so limited; as well as, the sizes and styles each
Out of necessity, I started looking
online instead of just settling for the places here and have found that
other women could use the help too. I run a fashion group on Facebook
called BBW Fashion where I post something fabulous each day hoping to help
all those to find what they want in their size.
In my career, I've helped plus size
students and their parents to find fashion in their sizes that would help
them with their self-esteem and make them feel good about themselves. I
have also dabbled in fashion before this modeling for three different
stores, winning a cover model spot in July of 2012 in Large in Charge
magazine, and I was Ms. LBC 2008 for Linda's Big Connections in Chicago. I
look forward to showing you what is available in plus size fashion and
help you to look even more beautiful and chic.
Crazy for Mint
with Amy Lucas
No matter what store you go into right now you will see the color mint and
shades similar to it everywhere. You can add just a few mint accessories
to the wardrobe you already have to give new life to an outfit or add a
few pieces to create a whole new look. Lace is also trending right now so
pairing mint with lace is great as it makes a look soft, feminine, and
Roaman’s Lace Cardigan by Denim 24/7 in White, sizes
Avenue Embellished Chiffon Tank,
sizes 14/16-30/32, $44,
Ulla Popken Stretch Twill Relaxed
Regular -length Pants,
sizes 12-38, $59,
A2 by Aerosoles Women’s Plush Above,
available in medium and wide widths,
Tri Rose Earrings in Mint,
Large Clasp Clutch in Mint,
COC110312 Batwing Dress in Mint,
sizes 0-5x, $75,
ASOS Leather Bow Across Body Bag,
Josephine Ballet Flat in Mint,
available in medium width,
Iridescent Tile Drop Earrings,
Tiered Ruffle Embellished Top in White,
sizes 12-26, $34.50,
Mossimo Women’s Plus Size Pencil Skirt
in Green Curacao,
sizes 1-4x, $24.99,
Anna & Ava Pave Bangle Bracelet,
Softspots Women’s Naveah in Mint Leaf,
available in medium and wide widths,
Carita by Mellow World,
Ruffle Front Cardigan by Ellos
in Pale Seafoam, sizes M-5x,
Ivory Lace & Beaded Trim Dress,
Mint Flower Necklace,
Bridle Party Bag in White,
Lia Crochet Flat in White,
available in medium width,
White Lace Blazer,
sizes 0-5x, $58.50,
Avenue Satin Trim Cami in Seaglass,
White Lace Drawstring Shorts,
Bangle Bracelet Set
with Colored Metal and Stones,
Betseyville Classic Quilted Satchel
in White, $40.00,
Audrey Brooke Tobago Wedge Sandal,
available in medium and wide widths,
Mint Lace Dolman Top,
Dark Wash Cropped Sophia Skinny Jeans,
sizes 12-26, $48.50,
Simply Vera Vera Wang Velvet Rose Flip Flops
in Mint Green, available in sizes S- XL,
Monet Minaudiere Clutch in Skye,
Floral Cutout Bracelet,
Jay Hansen and Heidi Davis are size-acceptance advocates from Oklahoma and
co-own Oklahoma's only social size-acceptance group,
Oklahoma BBW, BHM, and their
Admirers. Heidi was born in 1969 and has been a large woman her whole
life, just as Jay has been an admirer of such plus-sized women all of his.
Heidi graduated High School in 1987, which is the same year Jay was born.
The two met online in 2005 and quickly developed a friendship. In 2009,
Jay graduated the University of Central Oklahoma with a Bachelor’s in
English Education, and the following year he and Heidi started dating and
quickly fell deeply in love.
Heidi is experienced, blunt, pragmatic, down-to-earth, and strong in every
sense of the word, while Jay is intellectual, articulate, ideological,
contemplative, and gentle. Heidi is eighteen years Jay's senior and nearly
three times his weight, while Jay is 140 pounds soaking wet with a brick
in his pocket. He's a king amongst nerds and all things geeky; she's a
tattooed, rough-and-tumble, hard rocker to her core. Together, they are a
beautiful personification of the old adage
"The Skinny on Big Love with Jay Hansen" was started in 2013 with Jay as
the primary writer and Heidi as his muse and endless source of ideas and
inspiration. Together, the two hope to provide people with a new frame of
mind on love and relationships, promote open-mindedness and acceptance,
ask intriguing questions, foster conversations, and prove to the world
that titles such as weight and age, amongst countless others, should never
stand in the way of one's pursuit of happiness.
The Dining Experience
with Jay Hansen
Every time Heidi and I go out to eat at a nice restaurant we encounter the
same problem, and yet every time I find myself surprised by it. We step
inside and I approach the hostess while Heidi finds a place to sit. I ask
her for a table for two, and usually I'm told it's about a twenty-to-forty
minute wait. I'm handed one of those little buzzing pagers and I return to
Heidi, usually standing next to her rather than sitting so that we take up
less space. We wait our fair share of time before our buzzer goes off, we
return to the hostess, and she shows us to our table.
As soon as I begin following her I am reminded of what is about to happen,
as it always does. My pace is an unusual, alternating speed so that I can
keep up with the hostess rushing us to our table, but not get too far
ahead of Heidi as she steadily saunters behind us. The hostess soon stops
and places menus at our table once I've caught up with her, where I then
can't help but sigh and close my eyes so the hostess doesn't see me roll
them. She's brought us to a booth, not a table, despite specifically
asking for a table upon arriving.
It's no secret that Heidi is a very large woman, as anyone could tell just
by looking at her. Like most plus-sized people, it's very difficult for
her to squeeze into a booth because of the fixed position of the seats and
table. When she has to sit at a booth, she describes it as "being cut in
half," with her belly below the table and breasts forced up top, spilling
over it. There's no room for her plates, food gets all over her shirt and
cleavage, and the whole situation is just an unpleasant mess. This is
exactly why we always specify a table when we go out to eat, yet our
hostess never seems capable of understanding that.
"Excuse me," I chirp up, "we asked for a table, not a booth."
The expressions I receive in response to this comment have always varied
from neutrality to annoyed. Some hosts pause to ask why, others have quite
rudely insisted on the booth, but usually they move right along with
business and tell us it'll be another twenty minute wait. Inevitably, we
end up waiting another twenty minutes or so because of the host's mistake.
In my short-lived brooding over these circumstances I always contemplate
how such an obvious mistake could be made. The only conclusions I ever
seem to reach are more systemic than a single simple-minded hostess
incapable of reasoning that bigger people need more space. We live in a
society that thrives on simple-minded assumptions and is growing ever more
incapable of sympathy towards other people, especially those of size.
Being treated rudely or at least insensitively at a restaurant as I've
described is but a single symptom of this much larger problem, and there's
no single, simple solution for it.
This is why, as a partner to a large person, there are some steps I've
learned to take to prevent these kinds of circumstances from arising. When
possible, I like to scope out the actual seating area before even waiting
to be seated. Are the tables far enough apart for Heidi to sit
comfortably? Do the chairs look sturdy enough to support her? How long of
a walk is it to the restrooms? When we get to the table I always let her
sit first so she can take all the room she needs to get situated, and I'll
often feel the chairs for a better idea of how safe and comfortable they
will be for both of us. We will also ask for extra napkins most of the
time to wipe up spills, which are slightly more common since Heidi must
sit so far back from the table (and for me because... well, I'm a klutz).
Although we're out to have a pleasant evening together in a place where we
are supposed to be waited on, Heidi's physical and mental comfort falls to
me. Thus is the nature of love, as I do this without so much as a second
thought and with great, loving pleasure.
As for the table-versus-booth situation, I'm still trying to learn to be
clearer with the hostesses. Until our society overcomes its problems with
insensitivity, usually as a result from a lack of sympathetic thought, I
try to request a table by saying "I need a table for two, not a booth." If
we're ever asked why, Heidi usually just points to her boobs and says
"because I don't want these served up on the table." We get a giggle out
of it, and hopefully by using humor and old fashioned honesty, we can
start to change and open some minds towards being more sensitive and
sympathetic to the needs of others. At the very least, we can make the
moment more memorable for the hostess, which in turn may prompt her to ask
"is a booth okay?" the next time someone just asks for a "table for two."
I was born in San Diego,
California on August 30, 1972.
Grew up in
San Jose, San Francisco, and San Diego California.
I Graduated from San Diego State University in
1996 with a Bachelors Degree in Journalism
(Radio-TV News) and a Bachelors Degree in
I interned with U.S.
Senator Dianne Feinstein from 1995-1996.
interned with CBS News during the 1996 Republican
Currently I'm a
Licensed Sales Representative with Pacific Shores
Real Estate, Inc. in Solana Beach, California
I'm Co-Owner of Club Catalina BBW Night Club
in San Diego, CA.
And a newlywed, married
to Kathy Edmondson as of December 31, 2012.
I am the father of one daughter - Safiyah
Edmondson (8) and stepfather to two young men,
Alexander Hernandez (22) and John Rhakman Macklin
I enjoy bowling, basketball, tennis,
football. I play 12 musical instruments. I also
design a web page for a real estate company.
with David Edmondson
Life is all about the adjustments you make. That’s something you hear
growing up but you may not take stock in it at first.
When you have grown up most of
your life skinny, where relatives and others are ready to force feed you,
because you look frail, you may never heed that advice. When your
metabolism never goes out of whack, no matter how hard you try, you tend
to forget that advice.
When you can’t run that mile in 7 minutes any more or you can’t quite dunk
that basketball on a 10 foot rim anymore, you dismiss it as getting older.
When your memory starts to fade away, it’s accepted by society, as the
natural order of things. These are things that as people we are not able
to control. Yet when it comes to being big it is frowned upon by some. If
you’re not ready, the things that were happening gradually can literally
appear without warning.
Perhaps it was that moment, when those pair of jeans that you tried to put
on no longer fit. Maybe it was that Sunday, when that custom made suit
that you could always wear, was no longer an option, as the buttons on
that jacket popped. Yes, you have grown and you may need to improvise that
Sunday. This is not a bad
thing, but it seems as though society wants you to believe it is. So they
tell you, see a therapist or go to your local gym and try to burn it off
or take something like the Hollywood diet and loose the weight overnight.
That sounds great except for one thing, I actually enjoy food and don’t
believe I should be reduced to eating twigs and lettuce, just to keep up
with society’s definition of being fit.
Now I’m not trying to downplay anyone who feels they need to lose weight.
If you do not like something about yourself, then by all means change it.
If that means, you want to lose weight; then go for it (I recommend
Hip-Hop Abs and Insanity). What I’m saying is being big is not a death
sentence. Yet, people want to make you feel you did something wrong
because of your size. Now, I’m defined as 70-80 pounds overweight and
believe me there are those in the peanut gallery who let me know that I’ve
put on weight. But strange as it may seem, I’m thankful for the weight,
because it allows me to separate those who are really in my corner from
those who are trying to use me for their own personal means of getting
Yet, being bigger requires some…..wait for it……adjustments. I can’t just
go to the same stores I’ve been going to and expect to find something in
my size. It may mean I have to special order a few things or make friends
with the guys at the shoe store, so that when a new shipment comes in, I’m
first in line to receive it; or even shop at a store that actually caters
to my size. It can be a lot to get use to at first but it doesn’t define
you. I’m still the same person that would help someone across the street
Understand, I am a work in progress, just as all of us are. But the notion
of being confined to one area based on my size is not something I accept,
nor do I accept it for race, religion, creed or sexual preference. In this
day and age, we must THINK BIGGER than that. I hope that this column will
help men of size understand that they should not feel that they have to be
closed from the world or each other. That it will serve as an outlet to
explore those questions they’ve been afraid to ask. The stereotype can
never be squashed without first understanding and then empowering. When we
are able to THINK BIG and feel confident, it will rub off on others and
that confidence will make you, the life of the party.
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