Catching up with Frannie Zellman Author
of the Fatland Trilogy!
LargeInCharge Featured People and Companies - Where are they now?
Frannie Zellman was recommended to me by Peggy
Howell, when I asked about interesting people who are doing great things
in the plus sized community. We were able to feature her and her
book Fatland and Fat Poets Speak. Getting to know Frannie over the years
has been a slow and nice process. Since her first interview with
LargeInCharge we have interacted through facebook and that has been a
great way to share. Frannie is a passionate person about all her
beliefs, yet respectful of others thoughts as well. Her writing
takes you into a special place with that same passion she lives with.
This year we have been honored to have Frannie be a Cover Model of the
Year Sponsor, we are so proud of all she has continued to accomplish
with her writing and projects.
Check out the Orginal
Feature by Clicking the Cover below
Issue #67 - October 2009
LargeInCharge.com: What is your name?
Frannie Zellman here J
LargeInCharge.com: Where are you from and what is your current Location?
From New York (city and suburbs) a long long time ago. But I have been
in NJ now for eleven years. Have lived here in Cherry Hill, NJ for five
LargeInCharge.com: When did you
first appear in LargeInCharge Magazine?
I seem to remember being in LargeinCharge right around the time that
FatLand (1): A Novel was published. That would be in 2009.
LargeInCharge.com: Please tell us why you were featured?
I was featured for writing FatLand: A Novel. FatLand presents a land in
which fat people are rightful and proud citizens, a land where
dieting/starvation and scales are forbidden.
you feel when you appeared in LargeInCharge?
It was rather exciting to appear in a place which was fat friendly and
LargeInCharge.com: How do you
feel now about being included in our special Decade editions?
It is just lovely to be able to honor your first ten years, and my first
five years as a fat positive novelist.
LargeInCharge.com: How has your life and endeavors changed since your
Since the appearance of FatLand, I have written FatLand (2): The Early
Days, and have contributed to and edited two volumes of fat-positive
poetry:Fat Poets Speak 1:Voices of the Fat Poets’ Society and our upcoming book (out in
April), Fat Poets Speak 2:
Living and Loving Fatly. (Pearlsong Press, owned and managed by Peggy
Elam, Ph.D., is the publisher of all books mentioned, and many many more
fat positive books.)So
you could say that my writing and fat-positive goals have expanded since
then (pun mostly not intended).
changes have you made to advance your career/business?
I have two blogs now, one for FatLand and one for Fat Poets Speak:FrannieZellman.blogspot.com and fatpoetsspeak.blogspot.com
LargeInCharge.com: How long have you invested in your venture/career?
I have written poems since I was six. It is only within the last fifteen
years that I have finally understood why I was writing and what I was
writing about. I guess that my investment has been mostly emotional.
about some of the most exciting events/occasions, you/your business have
I think one of the most exciting occasions had to be the formation of
Fat Poets’ Society at the 2006 NAAFA Convention, when Mary Ray Worley
decided that the people who were participating in my very first
fat-celebratory and liberation Poetry workshop should join together in a
society so that we could keep writing and keep in touch. This coming
together produced the poems that later went into Fat Poets Speak: Voices
of the Fat Poets’ Society in 2009, four months after the publication of
my novel, FatLand.
been featured in any press, on tv, newspapers etc?
There was a newspaper article about me and about FatLand and Fat Poets
Speak(1) in a North New
Jersey local paper in 2009.
That is the only newspaper article one I know about. I know that the
NAAFA Newsletter has featured articles about FatLand and Fat Poets
Speak, as well as poems by some of the poets in Fat Poets Speak. Some
blogs have done so, as well.
LargeInCharge.com: What changes have you seen for plus sized people
since your first appearance?
Actually, I think there have been some very exciting changes. We still
have a long way to go, but there have been some very encouraging
articles about Fat Acceptance and about HAES in places such as The New
York Times and Huffington Post. I think people in general are starting
to understand that fat is a kind of body, a descriptor, not a curse, and
that fat people can be both happy and beautiful without changing their
size. Fat Studies is now a respected discipline in universities. More
and more people are writing novels and poems from a fat acceptance and
fat positive perspective.
LargeInCharge.com: Are there any changes you had to make for your
The most important change I had to make was to realize that I had
something unique to say and that I had the ability to say it in writing.
Anything else –the blogs, the Facebook participation- pales in
LargeInCharge.com: What are some of the most important things you have
learned through the years?
I think of the Jim Croce song, “The Hard Way Every Time.” However, if
there is something to be learned here, it is not to put yourself into
one particular place or niche, but to keep trying different ones if you
don’t feel that a place or position or niche expresses what you want to
say to the world. I feel that what one has to say and the way one says
it will come together if one is writing what one was meant to write. I
am not saying that FatLand and Fat Poets Speak contain the only things I
have to write, but they do say what I consider as the most important
things I have to say to the world about being fat and proud and not
apologizing for it, but celebrating it. And just as importantly, one
does not have to put anyone else down to celebrate one’s own shape and
writing and talents.
LargeInCharge.com: How is your standing in the Plus Sized Community
among the people?Good
feedback, negative feedback, learning lessons?
A few years earlier I tended to be impatient at times with people who
are/were at different, mostly earlier stages of their fat acceptance
journey. Tracey L. Thompson’s book Fatropolis (also published by
Pearlsong Press) showed me that many people experience their fat shapes
as victims, not only of hate and stigmatizing, but also of their own
negative internalized images, before they become empowered. I appreciate
her perspective more than I can say, and it has taught me that it is
very necessary to be gentle and encouraging with people who are taking
their first steps in Fat Acceptance and positivity. Rome was not built
in a day! Fat pride must often be nurtured and constructed slowly,
LargeInCharge.com: What would you say inspires you most in life?
The memory of my grandparents. They were
people who were passionate about what they believed and fought hard for
it. They fought for the rights of workers to have things like an eight
hour day, weekends, paid time off, pensions, non-discrimination policies
for women and minorities in hiring and on the job. When I think of them,
I say, “The fight will go on.” Although some of their work and that
of people like them has been eroded in the last thirty years because of
psychopathically greedy wealth-worship(p)ers, I still cherish what they
were and stood for, and their memory keeps me workingfor Fat Acceptance and Fat Pride.
ventures you have planned for the future?
Not new, but I am greatly looking forward to finishing the third volume
of the FatLand Trilogy.
However, I must say that there seem to be other books about FatLand and
the Other Side/USA that want to be written. I don’t know if I would
consider those books a venture, but they may start to comprise one if
and when they are written.
LargeInCharge.com: What are your future goals?
I have wishes. I don’t know if they could be considered goals. I have
this vision of a series of “safe houses” for fat people where they can
go if they feel that they are being harassed and stigmatized by people
in their own neighborhoods or locales.
Another wish:A website
devoted to FatLand. That may happen sooner than the first one J
LargeInCharge.com: What advice would you give to other people of size
who might be interested in doing something simlar?
Don’t stop writing and don’t stop believing in what you write. And…read,
read, read. Read Fat Acceptance books of all kinds, fiction and poetry
and non-fiction, but just keep reading anything that interests you.This will feed your dreams and visions, which in turn will feed
LargeInCharge.com: Describe yourself/ your company/org with one word.
Fat Poets Speak (people and books):Inspirational
Thank you for
Reading The LargeInCharge Feature
Cover Model of the Month!
LargeInCharge.com: What is your name?
Talisa but everyone calls me Tally!
LargeInCharge.com: Where are you from and what is your
I was born In Savannah Georgia, raised in Chicago and I
reside in Indiana currently.
did you first appear in LargeInCharge Magazine as a Model?
Issue #49 - April 2008
LargeInCharge.com: What made you decide to apply that first
I thought that it would be exciting to do. I wanted to be a
part of the “movement”. I met Raqui at a party and I
instantly loved her so I figured if she is involved then it
must be okay to do.
LargeInCharge.com:How did you feel when you appeared as a LargeInCharge
I was both nervous and excited. I was trying to find my
place in the full figured “world” and being on the cover was
a great stepping stone.
your modeling career grown since your appearance?
Shortly after I got invited to do a few shows here and there
as well as participate in various photo-shoots. Actually my
career as a MUA took off more. I began to book and continue
booking clients to this day.
LargeInCharge.com: Have your life and endeavors changed
since your appearance?
I was a newlywed then and I am still married to my husband
of almost 7 years. I have gotten a degree a few
certifications and I am currently getting my BA in
Psychology. I have so many friends and buddies in the
industry who have done some major things, I tend to glean
from them and follow their footsteps. One thing I have
learned over the years is that this industry is small and
the ladies in it (most of them) are willing to share their
knowledge. I appreciate that.
LargeInCharge.com:What changes do you see in Plus Sized Modeling?
We are getting a (little) more diverse. We are growing and
changing daily and that is exciting.
LargeInCharge.com: What changes do you see for Plus Sized
There is so much more acceptance of self among the people of
size. I like the fact that I now see so many of “us” taking
care of their bodies. It is perfectly fine to be Plus Size
but we want to be in good health as well. #CuteCURVES
LargeInCharge.com: What would you say inspires you most in
The things and the people around me inspire me. I draw
inspiration from everything from music, nature, my friends &
family and even the people I look of too!
LargeInCharge.com:Any new modeling tips and tricks to share?
Be true to you and who you are. Many women try to be the
people that the look up to. It is fine to have someone that
you admire but take what you like about them and make it
LargeInCharge.com: What are your future goals?
My goals are to open up a Women’s Wellness Center.I am working on a T-Shirt line. I would like to do
makeup for awards shows and celebrities one day so I plan on
taking my business there.
LargeInCharge.com: What advice would you give to other
people of size who want to model?
Do your research and avoid scammers. I would also tell them
to “plug in” to the industry. PLUS Model Magazine is a great
source of information.
LargeInCharge.com: Describe yourself with one word.
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 and Raised in the Bronx NYC. This city girl is taking the world by
For almost a decade 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.
In this world we live in, it can be hard at
times to see anything but the horror and insanity around us.
News Reports, Crime Shows, Newspapers, Online Sites and blogs are
way more interested in what is sensational and wrong with this
world, with out focusing on what is good in this world. So this year I dedicate my comlumn to all
that is inspirational, postive and helpful.
Believing in your Talent
This is something that
I have struggled with personally. I have been told I have many
talents and I believe that to be true because I am interested in so
many things. But the truth is there was a time in my life where I
didnt feel that anything I did was really good enough. I
loved to write but who would read it? I love to draw and
paint, but who would want to see it? I was good at speaking,
but who would want to listen? I had great ideas and thought in
depth about things, but who would actually think my thoughts were
valueable. I never got a formal education, I never got
to college, or to have a job I liked, never got to think about my
life at all. It seems my life was directed by what was
happening around me and who needed me, not what I wanted to do with
I know many of you feel
the same, we didnt have choices, life just happened to us.
What changed me was when someone believed in me, that didnt happen
until I was in my mid twenties, that person was my husband and
then he died. The only person who believed in me, but that
belief started me believing that maybe I could do something
valueable. With time and taking some chances, I have done some
great things, one of which is create LargeInCharge.
I know many people who believe that their
talent is worthless because of their body. They firmly know in
their mind that no one will give them a chance because of size and
That is why this month I find this one little boy
named Akshat from all
the way on the other size of the world so important. To me he
is Inspirational because he has a talent, he knows it, he is on the
chubby side in a country (India) where size acceptance is not
abundent, yet he finds a way to use his weight, talent and character
to win people over. He went on India's got Talent Show
(the same as our America's Got Talent) and the crowd roared when
they saw him.
You cant help but smile when you see
perform and I was even more happy to find out he was invited on The
Ellen Show. I am a person who watches Bollywood movies
and you can see this young man is playing the part of that Macho
guy, who is supposed to be oh so irresistable to the ladies, and has
some slick moves. But usually that heart throb is not a chubby
guy (they use the chubby people for comedy, something us americas
know about) but that doesnt matter to this young man he is showing
that he got lots of moves and if you think a big guy cant dance you
got it wrong here. He has a great outlook in life at such a
young tender age of eight years old. I think I see Bollywood in his future!
Watch the Below Videos of Akshat
Straight from "India's Got Talent," this
talented young dancer had some moves to show Ellen you just won't
believe. The cute little boy Akshat Singh is one of the participants
of the Indian television popular reality dance show India's Got
This 8 years old kid, who hails from Kolkata
has mesmerized the audience with his amazing dance moves. Apart from
his bubbly personality he has performed difficult steps very easily.
His flexible body and deep love over dance made him to stand in
peak. The chubby dancer likes actor Salman's dance very much and
calls himself as "Sallu bhai ka chhota bhai".
The sweet boy Akshat Singh has
showcased all his dancing talent in the show India's Got Talent. Now
he has became the an overnight internet sensation and hot property
online. His dance moves not only impressed the Indians, but also one
of the producers on Ellen's show, US. They have invited the kid to
Los Angeles and to perform in their show. Akshat admitted that he he
hadn't heard of Ellen. He is very happy to fly to Us along his
father participate in an interview.
Akshat on India's got Talent
My Favorite Moments:
When Askat dances to the judges and at the end. He does a
split and rubs his belly at the end, I found through the video
comment feed Akshat was saying. You didnt know fatty can
dance. I wa blown over and clapped with appreciation at that
comment. What confience he must have.
Akshat on The Ellen Show
My Favorite Moments:
Seeing some more of his dances moves that was cut from the India's
got talent video. When Akshat speaks to Ellen about his
dancing practices. Akshat says he has been dancing since
he was 4 years old (he is now 8) he dances 3 hours everyday and then
he eats more. There is a laugh in the audience and then Akshat
uses his translater to say. "If there is no petrol in the car,
how will it run." I loved it he eats to have the energy to
dance and that is wonderful. He sure has a way with words.
- Weekly Radio show discussing Plus Sized Issues. Friday's
pm EST - Call in & Chat in our Chat Room.
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
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 weeklyTV 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!
"Don't Tell Me What To Eat!"
How many times have you been with a friend or family member dining
out at a restaurant enjoying your meal, when you open your mouth to
take a bite and someone says to you "You don't need to eat that!"
What is your response to that statement?Do you become hostile and snap back?Are you apologetic?Do you stuff more in your mouth just to spite them for their
comments or do you lose your appetite like I recently did? Yep,
that's exactly what happened to me:I was having dinner with someone and I reached to the grab a
biscuit and I heard some words that hurt initially; "Now, Angie you
know that you don't need to be eating bread!You just spent all that money on your tummy tuck (where they
removed 8 pounds of skin and over 2 liters of fat) and you are
working on losing more weight you don't want to start gaining all
that weight back".Well
what did I do?I looked
at him and said "But it's a Red Lobster Biscuit!!!"Then, I defiantly popped a half of the moist, delicious
biscuit in my mouth, chewed and swallowed.
I know that I almost died after having my Abdominoplasty last
did nothing wrong, but there was a problem with my blood and it did
not clot properly; I bled internally and needed a second surgical
procedure to stop the bleeding.Since then, my healing has been slow and complications
resulting in a challenged immune system have been many:the incision was slow to heal and a bad cough quickly turned
into pneumonia just last month.Yep, I went through a lot but if I had it to do all over
again I would do so in a minute and recommend it to others.My lower back pain and shoulder/neck pain is GONE since I'm
not carrying around all that extra weight.
Why would I want to put my Gastric Bypass and Abdominoplasty surgery
results in jeopardy by eating Red Lobster biscuits?Overall, my weight loss from both procedures is right at 200
pounds and I'm wearing a size 12 dress.Why would someone return to smoking or drinking after
realizing an improvement in their health from ceasing?I recently saw a Facebook post written by Dr. Steve Mariboli
and it said "The Healthy Life:It's not about losing the weight; it's about losing the
mindset that got you there".I understand that: it's not just so significant that I lost
the weight, what it significant is that I maintain the lifestyle
change that led me to where I am right now.
On her TV show, Joyce Meyer recently preached on the power that we
each possess internally to stand against sinful actions and
distractions that take us off our path.I set a goal to lose 200 of the 387 pounds that threatened my
life and I have reached that goal.Now, am I going to let a Red Lobster biscuit set me back on
the path where I had no control over my health or my life?NO!The Lord
blessed me last August to marry a man that treats me like I am a
precious Child of the King and am I going to mess up my glorious
relationship over a Red Lobster biscuit?NO!Why was I so
quick to snap at my loving husband over a simple statement of
correction?Why was he
so willing to try and correct me?Why did I humbly apologize to him afterwards and why did I
pray to God for correction of my attitude on that day and well into
the future?I love my
husband and I am grateful for his correction and care.I really am grateful.
I am in control of my life and over every piece of food that passes
my lips.If I need a
reminder or a helper and my husband steps up to that plate (no pun
intended) then I need to appreciate him for that.He doesn't need to do that and I certainly don't need to snap
at him for taking care of me.Not only do we need to recognize that we are in control of
our lives and our goals, but we need to be grateful for the helpers
that travel these roads with us as we strive towards our goals.
It is a blessing to be Large and In Charge but we need to also be
shining lights and examples of how to reach a goal with joy on our
lips.Think about the
act of fasting: you don't need to pout or complain about the hunger
pains.You don't need
to complain about the withdrawal symptoms as nicotine escapes your
body.You need to
rejoice that you are becoming a better person and invite others to
join you in becoming better!Nobody is gonna want to be around a grouchy, complaining,
ultra-sensitive person and nobody is gonna want to be around you!
BE in charge and appreciate those around you as you travel through
life.It's just that easy...
tell yourself what to eat and what to do and who to be each and
The Big GB - Getting My
Life back after Gastric Bypass
with Angie Bee
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
Fat People Don’t Wear Seatbelts?
from: NAAFA.org - by:
As the Public Relations Director for NAAFA, I was contacted to
comment on a recent study that concluded that seatbelt use is
significantly less likely in obese individuals compared to their
normal weight counterparts. As a result, obese individuals are more
likely to suffer fatal injuries.My first response was to wonder about the motivation for
conducting such a study. Are “they” trying to prove that fat people
break the law more than thin people? Or will the next step be
to charge fat people more for our insurance because we don't wear
our seatbelts and have more catastrophic or fatal injuries...or be
profiled by police to pull us over to see if we are wearing
seatbelts. I don't get the motivation for this study.
The study's lead author is Dr. Dietrich Jehle, director of emergency
services at Erie County Medical Center and vice chairman of
Emergency Medicine at the State University of New York at Buffalo.Jehle said he would like the study to prompt car
manufacturers to make longer belts (our own Elizabeth Fisher has
worked on this project:
) and for safety regulators to use larger dummies in crash tests.
I decided to consult NAAFA Advisory Board Member, Dr. Deb Burgard
who sees this study as problematic, "...we are taking a highly
specialized set of events here where there was an accident, where
there was a death, and then looking at how likely the driver was to
be wearing a seatbelt based on their BMI...This study shows that in
the specific situation of a crash where someone has died (not
necessarily the driver), there was a statistically significant
higher chance that the highest-weight drivers were not as likely to
be wearing a seatbelt as were drivers with lower BMIs. But
that is a very specific situation, not everyday life."
"We can't really say that a
driver in this situation is representative of all the people who
have their same BMI, which is what the authors are trying to do.
There are obvious factors that could skew this specific situation,
for example, income. Financial resources make it more likely
that you will have a newer car that has more safety features, and
therefore less likely that you or your passengers will die if you
are in an accident. Because income is inversely related to BMI,
people with less safe cars (and perhaps even cars that are older
with fewer functional seatbelts) are going to be more likely to have
a higher BMI. The authors did not have data about income and
so it is understandable that they did not control for this factor;
however it would be an obvious explanation for the data: Safety is
more related to having economic resources than to BMI.
It is also certainly the case that people at the highest weights
have fewer options in terms of access to a working seatbelt that
fits, as well as to airbags that are calibrated to deploy
effectively for a higher-weight person. It is good that the
authors call for more attention to auto design for a diversity of
weights, but they also try to blame higher weight drivers for this
lack of equipment and ‘obesity’ for the understandably worse health
outcomes of a medical system that is suffused with weight bias and
discrimination. They commit the all-too-common error of
blaming higher-weight people for the outcomes that are really
traceable to stigma and discrimination."
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.
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
I love lasagna but I don’t really like all the work that goes
into making this classic dish. So, I found this awesome recipe
that is easy and without all the fuss.
Quick Lasagna Toss is perfect when you've got a craving but
don't want all the annoyance.
There's nothing like a crispy, crunchy Caesar Salad
to compliment a pasta dish!
Quick Lasagna Toss
What you’ll need:
Cooking Time:25 min
What You'll Need:
lasagna noodles, broken into large pieces
hot Italian sausage, casing removed
jar spaghetti sauce
(8 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
grated Parmesan cheese
What To Do:
Cook noodles according
to package directions; drain.
Meanwhile, in a large
pot over medium-high heat, cook sausage 6 to 8
minutes, or until no pink remains, stirring to
crumble sausage; drain. Add noodles and
remaining ingredients; mix well.
Reduce heat to medium-low and cook 6 to 8
minutes, or until heated through and the cheese
has melted. Serve immediately.
Add a sprinkle of
chopped parsley before serving and this will
look extra-fancy and fresh-looking.
There's nothing like a crispy, crunchy Caesar
to compliment a pasta dish
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’s feature is inspired by a few factors. First of all
we have last month’s article which started me on a thread about
LargeInCharge.com Editor-in-Chief, Raqui and I have a weekly
drawing challenge, where we choose a random word to illustrate.
Once the word is chosen we take a week to create our rendition
of that word. It is a fun exercise that pushes our ability to
communicate with art to new heights. The most current WORD OF
THE WEEK is the word -CHERISH- the artwork featured here is the
result of that challenge.
Now the main inspiration for this piece also comes from a very
special place. My wife and I are celebrating our 22nd
Wedding Anniversary this week. 22 years of love, support,
friendship, ups and downs. I have learned a lot about her, child
rearing, and about myself in that time. I am grateful for her
patience and her ability to push the very best out of me. It’s
been a wonderful journey, and I am happy to have her to share it
This JNESS illustration represents the time two people share
with each other, stealing moments that allow them to forget
about the stresses that the challenges of life will bring. The
man is holding his big girl as close as he can while leaving the
world behind. It’s amazing what an embrace can do. It was
created using alcohol based markers for colors and blends, ink
for outlines and definition, and color pencils for highlights
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.
22 Spring Trends for 2014
with Amy Lucas
Ever look at the new fashion trends and only like a few items? This spring
happens to be one of those seasons for me. Let’s look at the many styles
that are popular this spring.
Faux leather and moto jackets are all the rage so why not combine them
together to get a jacket or a vest that covers both trends. Prints of all
kinds will be seen everywhere this spring so you can easily add a few of
these pieces to update your current wardrobe. Wrap dresses and skirts are
also in and tend to be very flattering on curvy girls. Neutrals, nudes,
and the color orchid purple will be popular color choices.
Luckily, these colors also tend to be easy to fit into your current
wardrobe. Lastly, peplums, cold shoulder tops, maxi dresses and skirts,
high-low dresses, and lace are all still going strong this season.
After looking at the styles for spring, here are some of my hot picks
within these trends.
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.
with Jay Hansen
Back in January, Dove released a new project called
This project sought to create more healthy beauty
standards for young girls and promote self-love by reminding everyone
that even the things we perceive as flaws in our appearance are part of
us and contribute to our uniqueness, and it is our uniqueness and
individuality that makes us all special and beautiful. Therefore, our
self-perceived flaws make us beautiful. They did this by way of
something all young girls are very familiar with: selfies. As
administrators to a successful social media-based community, Heidi and I
have a lot of experiences with selfies, and our experiences have mostly
soured our already less-than-positive disposition on them.
Let me back up a minute by first outlining what
constitutes a selfie. A selfie is a photograph
or video that one has taken of oneself and uploaded to a social media
website for little to no substantive purposes. This is especially true
of selfie videos, a relatively new trend, wherein the subject shoots a
very short video of only a few seconds doing or saying the most
irrelevant things like reading their grocery list or brushing their
teeth. This is actually a thing now. The Young Turks recently reported
on a story that Dr. Panpimol Wipulakorn, an official from Thailand's
Department of Mental Health, believes that selfies could be destroying
the country (watch it by clicking here). A tad hyperbolic, but as the show hosts
Ana and Cenk pointed out, the reason people are obsessed with sharing
selfies is because we crave attention and validation, even if that
validation is as simple as another "like" on Facebook.
Social media has enabled people to get as much validation
as they want, but at a cost. People can get addicted to this validation
and attention, turning them into selfie addicts that post endless
streams of pictures of themselves. We all know this person; the one you
either have to stop following or unfriend entirely because they're
clogging up your timeline with pictures of themselves. Selfie addiction
drives people to be more self-focused, which narrows their worldview.
The more we focus on ourselves, the more attention and shallow
validation we try to get for ourselves, making us self-absorbed. The
more self-absorbed we are, the less compassionate and sympathetic
towards others we also become. There's even a fad called "funeral
selfies" now where people take selfies at other people's funerals. It's
hard to articulate the disgust I hold for this level of narcissism, so
just click here to learn more.
If you think I sound too hyperbolic myself, allow me to
explain what's happened to our group. Oklahoma BBW, BHM, and their
Admirers is primarily based in a Facebook group right now. Our primary
mission with Oklahoma BBW is to promote the idea of loving your own body
and self-confidence, foster a size-positive community and size-friendly
events, and to appreciate the beauty in all people, ourselves included.
This year, we began experiencing a large influx of selfies in our group.
Despite our numbers nearly doubling to well over 600 in the past three
months, a vast majority of the selfies were coming from just four or
five people. Some were literally sharing a dozen selfies a day on our
This became a problem. Posts containing important group
information, social outing invitations, funny videos, meaningful
conversation, or the less confident, infrequent selfie posters were
being bumped off the front page minutes if not seconds after posting.
When a selfie addict posts so many selfies a day in a community group,
whether they realize it or not they're effectively saying they believe
their need for validation is more important than any of these things;
conversations, group event information, even the self confidence of
other group members. Not only that, but it's entirely counter-productive
to the main purpose of our group's existence. We can't foster a
community because they keep pushing out information about group events
and conversations between members. We can't build self confidence
because the self-conscious don't even bother posting pictures of
themselves since it'll just be bumped out by someone else's
ten selfies, and in the rare
event we can convince someone to come out of their shell and share their
beauty with all of us selfie addicts immediately take the spotlight away
from them to shine it back on themselves (again, whether they realize it
That's why after being inspired by the Redefining Beauty
project, Heidi created Selfie Sunday for our group.
We now do this every Sunday. It prevents any one person
from hogging the spotlight, it creates a safe environment for people to
post selfies without feeling self-conscious, and it even promotes
compassion for others by encouraging everyone to find something
beautiful in every member of our group - the exact opposite of the
problems selfies create. We've taken a weapon that undermines self
confidence, chips away at realistic beauty standards, and destroys
compassion for others and turned it into a tool to rebuild these exact
Aristotle believed that for every virtue there are two
opposing vices at each extreme end of a spectrum. Courage, for instance,
is the virtue caught between cowardice at one end and recklessness at
the other. The "opposite" of self-confidence and loving yourself, then,
is not self-consciousness or self-hatred alone, but rather
self-confidence is a delicate balance that lies between
self-consciousness and self-absorption. Narcissism and selfie addiction
are just as toxic and counter-productive to the size community and its
goals as self-hatred and fat-bashing. Perhaps, then, we should remind
others that in addition to fostering self-confidence, teaching a little
bit of humility every now and then wouldn't be such a bad idea.
I was born in San Diego,
California on August 30, 1972.br> 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
My last article was dedicated to men because of the
Super bowl, so this time I thought I would turn the
tables, seeing as how Valentine’s Day has past (at the
time of publication). Every year, men go out of their
way, spending money on flowers, candy and dinner, in the
hopes of either cementing their relationship or
achieving a one night stand. Still, some of your fellow
brethren, whom treat women with less than respect, will
actually call the same person they broke up with months
before, back for the Valentine’s Day holiday, because
they do not wish to be alone. My goal is not to stop
this outright, but to help alleviate this in some way,
by giving you tips that you can use year-round. While
each woman is different in unique in her own way, there
are similarities that they share. All you have to do is
listen to them.
By listening, I mean actually pay attention to women. Do
not dismiss them, like you usually do during football
season, with the occasional nod and smile. Football
season has ended and that excuse will get you physically
hurt and even worse, reserve your permanent sleeping
arrangement on the couch. Remember, despite what people
tell you, Valentine’s Day IS a holiday…..It is HER
HOLIDAY. Forgetting that fact, is just like forgetting
an anniversary, which could be the kiss of death.
If you are
married, you cannot afford to rest on your laurels, as
you must use Valentine’s Day to remind her, why she said
yes to you in the first place. This means, you will
actually have to put some work in to Valentine’s Day,
but it doesn’t have to be work if you pay attention.
All women will give you clues as to what they like and
what they do not like. If you are still struggling as to
what to get her for Valentine’s Day, just days before
the holiday, you weren’t paying attention to her, which
probably means your relationship is on shaky ground. If
you are alone with her and she mentions, I like this a
lot……..the radar should be going off in your head to
consider this as something she would like. If you still
do not know what to get her………FOR GOD’s SAKE ask her.
The last thing you want to do is get nothing or get her
something she does not want. I was lucky this year as my
wife told me exactly what she wanted this year.
Remember, Valentine’s Day is pretty much like your
wedding, it’s all about HER and not you. So do not try
to inflate your ego, by expensive chocolates that she
may not want or buying a giant stuffed animal (Vermont
Teddy Bear) at the last minute. Unless you are in the
military and cannot physically be with her on
Valentine’s Day, the stuffed animal is a waste of time.
I personally do not know a Woman that would be content
with a 4 foot stuffed teddy bear. Then again, she may
like teddy bears in which case you will have scored
major points. Again, that can only happen by actually
listening to her likes and dislikes.
Valentine’s Day does not have to be difficult for men.
Just remember that this holiday and yes it is a holiday,
is all about rekindling that connection with your loved
one and not about what you wish for it to be. If you can
leave your ego at the door and listen actively, you can
be the one shooting the arrow into their heart and not
get hit where the sun doesn’t shine.
Freakie has been a member of the BBW community for
over 20 years. She lives in Washington State with
her two cats Boo Boo & Maxie, and has also resided
in California and New York. Besides advocating for
Big Beautiful Women she is a lifelong child
advocate and is a strong believer in Size
Acceptance (ALL sizes). She dreams of travelling
the world and being an ambassador for the fat
community. Her personal motto is, “FAT CHICKS
Shame Is Not the Business
Fat people are constantly bombarded with shame; from
within, from our families, from our friends, from the
media, from the medical profession, from society in
become so used to it that it becomes a part of our daily
is an inner-dialogue that we carry around in our heads
without realizing it.We constantly reaffirm that our bodies are a
source of shame that makes us less worthy of respect and
The first step to changing this dynamic is recognizing
when it happens.You have to make a point to notice when you shame
yourself in thoughts or actions.Every time you have a negative thought or make a
negative statement about yourself you need to follow it
up with a positive one.If you think to yourself, “I am so stupid”, you
need to follow it up with, “I am a smart person”.What you think about yourself is what you
portray. You can’t change how society perceives you if
you don’t think well of yourself.You can’t think in terms of what you could be if
only you made some changes.You have to love yourself where you are at
You have to rise above your perceived imperfections and
learn to love and be grateful for who you are, as you
Being thin or thinner doesn’t bring you happiness just
as being fat doesn’t mean you are destined to be
Fat is just a state of being.If you want to make changes then make them.Be empowered!If you are happy where you are at then allow
yourself to be happy and don’t let anyone else dictate
what makes you happy.Life is short and this is your life to live your
It is also important to remember that if your happiness
is coming at the expense of someone else’s self-esteem
then you aren’t fooling anyone.A person filled with love and self-acceptance
does not feel the need to project shame and hurt on to
fat person shaming someone for being too skinny has
missed the point entirely and needs to work on their own
issues and body image.If you feel the need to exclude, deride, and
shame others then you are just projecting your
insecurities on to others and have far more self-work to
do than the people you are attempting to ostracize.
The day I decided to accept myself where I was at and
accepted that this might be the best it ever got was the
best day of my life.I no longer had to worry about what anyone else
doesn’t mean I never have insecurity or self-doubt.Of course I do!But I don’t accept it as right.I recognize that I need to work a little harder
at self-love.By encouraging others I encourage myself and so I
hope that you recognize how wonderful you