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LargeInCharge Magazine -  10 Year Anniversary!

 Issue#122 -May 2014

Welcome to LargeInCharge Magazine

In this Issue of L.I.C.

 

Raqui-ism

Words of Wisdom from the Heart & Mind of Raqui

 

The Big GB - Angie Bee

Getting my Life Back after Gastric Bypass

 

From the Desk of NAAFA

National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance

 

Foodie in You ~ Lucia Roth 

 

The Observer - Jness 

 

Curvy Styles - Amy Lucas 

 

The Skinny on Big Love - Jay Hansen 

 

Thinking Big - David Edmondson 

 

The Sacred Fat - Freakie

 

LargeInChargeDating - Dating for the Large People who are going to be in Charge of their Love Lives!

 

LargeInCharge Friends - The Place for Big People to make Friends and maybe MUCH MORE!

 

Catching up with Yuliya Raquel
formerly of IGIGI.com

 

LargeInCharge Featured People and Companies - Where are they now?

By: Raqui

 

It was 2005 when I contacted Yuliya Raquel about her line of clothing called IGIGI.  I loved what I saw even though it was out of my own size range.  Classy, beautiful, flowing and well designed dresses and outfits at IGIGI.com.  Me and Yuliya never got to meet in person, but I have gotten to chat with her through the years. 

I appreciated her dedication to the plus sized form.  Yuliya herself is what many in the plus sized community would call a normal size,  what I call a socially appreciated/acceptable size.  I wondered if someone who wasnt plus sized, would be able to truly design for the plus sized form.  Yuliya showed me that passion for her designs was all that was needed, and that a real true designer doesnt have to be the same size as the clothing he or she will design. 

Yuliya not only is a great designer but she is also a wonderful supporter in the plus sized community.  I have seen Yuliya give many donations to numerous individuals and organizations, including us right here are LargeInCharge Magazine.  We are thankful for the wonderful donations that allowed our raffel winners and cover models to sport there own IGIGI orginal.

Now Yuliya is starting a new adventure in her life.  She is no longer affliated with IGIGI (except for name) she has moved on to a whole new venture that we hope will be even more amazing than IGIGI.   

Who is rocking an IGIGI orginal by Yuliya Raquel: Click the Images to see full size.

 

                  

         

 

Interview

LargeInCharge.com: What is your name?

My name is Yuliya Raquel

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

I was born and raised in Ukraine and now live in the beautiful SF Bay Area.

LargeInCharge.com:   When did you first appear in LargeInCharge Magazine?  

I first appeared in LargeInCharge Magazine about 9 years ago, in 2005.

Issue #18 - August 2005

LargeInCharge.com: Please tell us why you were featured?

Being a Founder, Head Fashion Designer and the Creative Director of IGIGI by Yuliya Raquel, I had the honor and pleasure to speak about my passion and vision behind IGIGI and what I stood for.

However as of February 2013, I am no longer an active player at IGIGI by Yuliya Raquel, although the company still bears my name. For many reasons, I am unable to speak in details behind the reasons of my separation with IGIGI. Despite the great sadness and disappointment that I feel because of my separation from the company I founded, and worked in for over 13 years. I have chosen to make the best of it, and use the enormous experience I got, to continue to empower, and to contribute to the people that I love.

I was inspired by the thousands of women who approached me and shared that they would love to start a career as a fashion designer, but are limited by their resources and lack of knowledge of the industry. And by multitudes of women who sew their own clothes and want to wear unique, custom-designed and perfectly fitted clothing. Thus, an idea behind Mylinego.com was born – to create an ultimate resource to help anyone with any experience (even none) to be able to design one custom–fit dress or launch a collection of hundreds.

LargeInCharge.com:  How did you feel when you appeared in LargeInCharge?  

I felt honored and excited!

LargeInCharge.com:  How do you feel now about being included in our special Decade editions?

I feel the same – honored and acknowledged.

LargeInCharge.com: How has your life and endeavors changed since your appearance? 

I ‘grew up’ and became wiser, and at the same time I still feel the same passion and enthusiasm for Life. I have also learned to accept situations even if I feel that they are unjust or even cruel. This attitude has allowed me to truly enjoy the deliciousness and joy of what is in front of me right now, right here

LargeInCharge.com:  What changes have you made to advance your career/business?

I am learning a whole new realm – a world of high tech. It is so exciting to be able to combine my fashion expertise and my new founded love of technology.

LargeInCharge.com: How long have you invested in your venture/career?

Priori to IGIGI I have invested close to 6 years to being custom designer; later I have invested 13 years in IGIGI, and now over a year into Mylinego.com

LargeInCharge.com:  Tell us about some of the most exciting events/occasions, you/your business have held/participated in.

Throughout my career I loved the fashion shows that I had a pleasure to participate in.

LargeInCharge.com:  Have you been featured in any press, on TV, newspapers etc?

My work has been featured in Glamour, O magazine, Elle, In Style, Marie Claire, Lucky and many many more. And I loved being featured on the Curvy Girls show with Denise Bidot.

LargeInCharge.com: What changes have you seen for plus sized people since your first appearance?

I see that the community is much more free in expressing their fashion and style preferences, probably because now there is a lot more availability and options.

LargeInCharge.com: Are there any changes you had to make for your venture/career flourish?

Through out my career at IGIGI, after the economical crush in 2009 I had to re-think on how I designed the IGIGI collections. I started to bring forth a lot more details and innovation, while keeping the silhouette the classic IGIGI look.

LargeInCharge.com: What are some of the most important things you have learned through the years?

I know it sounds cheesy, but really the most important lesson I learned is to listen to myself, especially my intuition and gut, and follow with focused actions to fulfill on my ideas.  Anything is possible!

LargeInCharge.com: How is your standing in the Plus Sized Community among the people? 

Good feedback, negative feedback, learning lessons?

I love the kindness, generosity and affection that the community has showed me through out the years and even now. I am truly moved and touched by the loving emails and facebook messages that I get almost every day.

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

What inspires me most are my children. Anytime I feel down all I have to do is to look at them or spend time with them and my experience is instantly transformed into one of joy, piece and fulfillment.

LargeInCharge.com:  Any new ventures/items/products you have planned for the future?

Custom-fit pattern making software, that allows anyone with any experience to be a professional fashion designer, as well as providing people with all the designer tools such as affordable trend reports, resources and training.

LargeInCharge.com: What are your future goals?

My goals are to launch the Mylinego network, to create unique fashion design software, to create e vibrant community and to continue and to empower people interested in fashion design.

LargeInCharge.com: What advice would you give to other people of size who might be interested in doing something simlar?

In fashion design is to find a niche that your vision will make a huge difference in. Frankly in any business I would advise the same.

LargeInCharge.com: Describe yourself/ your company/org with one word.

Empowerment

 
 
 

Thank you for Reading The LargeInCharge Feature

 

 

Cover Model of the Month

Francisca Ramos!

 

 

 

    
 

Interview

  • LargeInCharge.com: What is your name?

    Francisca Ramos….aka Franny

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

    I was born and raised in Southern California, about 20 minutes North of Los Angeles and now living in Gardnerville, Nv,  About 45 minutes South of Reno.

    LargeInCharge.com:   When did you first appear in LargeInCharge Magazine as a Model?

    My first cover was October 2007

      Frannies First Appearance


    Frannies Second Appearance

    Frannie is our 2012
    Cover Model of the Year

    Issue #43 - October 2007   


    Issue #86 - May 2011

    Issue #95 - February 2012
         

    LargeInCharge.com: What made you decide to apply that first time?

    I was trying to get into plus size modeling for some time and I thought that if I entered a few contests, my face would be seen.  I heard of Large In Charge back in the “My Space” days.  It’s been a part of me for 6 years now and I can’t even think what life would be with you.

    LargeInCharge.com:  How did you feel when you appeared as a LargeInCharge Cover Model?

    Shocked, amazed, accomplished, happy, thrilled!!!  LOL…

    LargeInCharge.com:  Has your modeling career grown since your appearance?

    It grew a little bit but real life takes over and things had to be put on hold for awhile.  I want to get back into it now and it’s just a matter of time before my face is seen again!

    LargeInCharge.com: Have your life and endeavors changed since your appearance? 

    Life sure has changed…I became a grandma to a beautiful baby girl!!!  She is now 4 ½ yrs old and is smart, awesome, gorgeous, and a ham in front of the camera just like her grandma.

    LargeInCharge.com:  What changes do you see in Plus Sized Modeling?

    From what I see now, it has changed so much in the last 6 years.  It is more accepted by society but not as accepted by all clothing designers.  These designers NEED to realize that women of the world are NOT all a size 0.  Be real, the average size woman today is 14/16.

    LargeInCharge.com: What changes do you see for Plus Sized People?

    I see more and more and more acceptance.  Yes, there are those out there that will never accept a plus size person but the majority is growing.

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

    My family.

    LargeInCharge.com:  Any new modeling tips and tricks to share?

    Don’t overdo your make-up, unless the shoot calls for it.  If there is a theme to the shoot, then go for it, otherwise look as natural as possible.  Don’t look like a clown.  Make sure the clothes you are modeling, compliments you unless the shoot calls for costumes.

    LargeInCharge.com: What are your future goals?

    I’m still waiting for the instruction book on how to grow up!!!  LOL

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

    Just be you.  No one should force you to change or lose weight or do something that you just done want to do.  Be yourself and love yourself!

    LargeInCharge.com: Describe yourself with one word.

    UNIQUE!!!


  •  

    Thanks for reading about our

    Cover Model of the Month

     

     

         Raqui the Owner and Founder of LargeInCharge.com, Raqui's  "Tell it like it is" style of writing has brought thousands to her blogs and millions to LargeInCharge.com.  There is so much behind the woman who has brought this magazine into existence.  Being Internationally known as a wrestler/squasher lead the way to modeling for companies and being featured in magazines and documentaries from all over the world.  She has made a career out of her size and personality. Born and Raised in the Bronx NYC. This city girl is taking the world by storm.

     

         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, Sweden and the Spanish circuit.  Her many magazines appearances have been world wide.  She has hit American Television in 2006 with Good Morning American and since has appeared on The Cristina Show,  The Maury Show and The Tyra Banks Show.

    To view her Online portfolio visit www.Raqui.com

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

    go to www.Raqui.com Portfolio Section

     

    Raqui-ism - Make 2014 a Inspirational Year

    Written By: Raqui

     

     

     

     

    Inspiration

    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. 

     

    The Only Size that Matters is the Size of your Heart

    In today's Society the only thing that seems to matter is the size of your body, not the size of your heart, when it comes to who is or is not acceptable.  Everyone is ready to claim best interests when talking to large people.  Who are you really concerned about?  Being Large comes in many diffrent styles, some have more bone and muscle mass some have more fat mass.   Some are tall and some are shorter, some are kind and some are not.  But yet no one looks at the kindness factor first.  What really makes me upset is when someone is fat there seems to be this great need to some how speak well of them in other ways.  Because you know fat is the worst thing you can be.

     

    Example:

    "Oh, do you know Miss Brown?"

    "You mean the Fat lady in the yellow house?"

    "Yes that is her, Miss Brown the very large lady."

    Yes and she is so nice right?"

    "Oh yes so very very nice."

     

    Why is Miss Brown the Fat nice lady in the yellow house?  Why is she not just the nice lady in the yellow house.  Why do people need to point out or excuse her physical appearance with compilments?  Compilments should be given freely, because they are deserved, not to combat the horrible fat that Miss Brown has on her body. 

     

    Yes many fat people are nice people, they are also caring, giving, kind, they work hard for their families and in their communities.  But yet they are rarely publicized or praised.   Fat can be the right ingredient you need to save a life, anothers or your own.  With size comes a few things; the space you take up, with that space (or rather the more space you take), comes the fact that you can block things.  You can handle more, you can intimidate others if needed, you are harder to push over, to over power.  More padding and meat, muscle, fat , bone means your more dense, your harder to kill, your mass makes you stronger and more likely to be able to take physical blows.  In the right hands these tools of size and weight can save a life.  I have many times come inbetween a difficult situation, had to stand up for myself, had to protect those around me and my size is what helped me do so.  Men and women alike thought more than twice when seeing my 6'4  600+lb frame.  They more often than not decided they didnt want to tangle with me in anyway. 

    Fat has its postives and negatives in this world but today we want to see some large People who have huge hearts for those around them and those in which their size played a role in helping another. What it all boils down to is , if your in trouble or in need are you going to refuse the fat person that comes to your resuce?   No... I didnt think so, so why do you put them down in every other aspect?  Why do we allow them to put us down?

    Watch the Below Videos

    Incredible Jamaican Woman has 32 Children

    The FORGOTTEN Jamaican Child is homeless, uneducated, exposed to violence, and at risk of being Trafficked: For Annmarie Richards, Jamacias children are HER children. Annmarie and her husbnad take in the children of jamaica into their home. "We feed them, we wash them, we teach them, we give them unconditional love."  "I do this because there is a need, I do this because I see myself in them" - Annmarie Richards

     

     

     

    Female Good Samaritian saves Mother and Child from Violent Male Suspect
    Chief Officer Nestel says the woman came to the young mother's rescue. Warding off the male and escorting her away from the imposing suspect at least twice. Then, she physically blocked him from approaching the young mom and her baby.


    "She gets between this guy and that young mother and prevents him getting close to the mother and the child. It is phenomenal to watch," Nestel added.


    Tameka Bates is the woman seen in the surveillance video on the SEPTA train boldly standing between a woman holding her week old baby girl and a man allegedly harassing her.

     

     

    Big Man uses body as human sheild and saves Baby from Tornado that kills 125 people

    Baby Grayson was getting pictures taken Sunday inside the Walmart store when it took a direct hit from the tornado that killed at least 125 people.

    The 3-month-old boy was in his car seat on the ground with his mother and grandmother when a complete stranger threw himself over Grayson and his car seat.

    The man was badly bruised by debris that fell on him, but Grayson was unharmed.

    "He's our hero," Grayson's grandmother, Debbie Chaligoj, said.

     

     

    Raqui


     
     
     

    LargeInCharge Radio - Weekly Radio show discussing Plus Sized Issues.  Friday's 9-11 pm EST - Call in & Chat in our Chat Room.

     

    Thank you for Reading Raqui-ism

    Please send thoughts and comments to

    articles@largeincharge.com

     
     

       

    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!

     

    How Large is Too Large - Does my Size Really Make a Diffrerence

    with Angie Bee
     

    This month, I celebrate my birthday.  I'm really excited to reflect upon this past year of my life and to see how God has used me and blessed me immensely.  I can look at myself in the mirror and see the scrapes and scars of past illnesses and surgeries and changes, but I can also look at my wedding ring and see the growth of my family and ministry during the past year.  Birthdays are a great time for reflection and I found myself doing just that earlier.

     

    Today I had to visit my doctor.  I needed to hear a report on recent blood work and receive my monthly B-12 injection.  Gastric Bypass patients generally have vitamin deficiencies for the rest of their lives because we no longer consume enough nutrients from our smaller diet.  You can take a daily B-12 supplement under your tongue or get a monthly injection; I chose the injection.  The nurse had me hop on the scale and as she was taking my vitals, she gave me a nice compliment.  When my doctor entered the room she gave me another compliment and as I was leaving the office another nurse told me "You have such pretty skin!  Every time you come in the office I want to tell you that!".

     

    WOW!  Three compliments in less than an hour!  I didn't have on a lick of makeup and I didn't feel like pulling on my girdle... I just kinda rolled out of bed, showered and headed to the doctors' office.  I remember a time in my life when I wouldn't leave the house without being all "done up" and "girdled down" because I wanted to look my best.  I used to say, "It's bad enough that I weigh nearly 400 pounds, but I don't want to be jiggling all over the place too!"  I felt that I was fatter than I needed to be and I didn't want all that fat to make a difference in how people looked at me or dealt with me.  Large was TOO large for me at that time and it really did make a difference in how I looked at myself and how people treated me.

     

    Don't get me wrong.  I have ALWAYS been a beautiful woman.  I was a pretty teen and a lovely young adult.  At 387 pounds I was still stunning, but the health complications that came along with that fat really took away from my good looks.  The diabetes made my skin dry and the headaches from the high blood pressure gave me chronic squinting and headaches.  The obstructive sleep apnea had me yawning and non-alert and the poor leg circulation made it difficult to walk in anything but flip-flops and orthopedic shoes. I was large, but I certainly was NOT in charge of my health.

     

    Today I was a fly on the wall while I was in the waiting room of the doctor's office..  There were two patients waiting in the room with me and they were just chatting away.  "How tall are you now?" the woman asked the man.  "Oh, I'm 5'9" She then asked "How much do you weigh?" His reply was "oh, I'm about 226 - 227 pounds".

     

    Now this conversation was between two strangers.  The man's wife was sitting right there with him as this stranger across the waiting room was asking him these personal questions.  As I listened to them, I tried not to jump in the middle with my comments.  Believe me... I had PLENTY of comments that I could have contributed!

     

    "Well you really need to lose some weight" says the woman to the man  "You are carrying the equivalent of two 10-pound sacks of potatoes on your mid-section and that is really too large for you".  Did the man's wife step up and say anything in defense of her husband?  Nope.  Her silence meant that she agreed with the comments from the stranger.

     

    Does size really make a difference?  I know that in a man's mind there is a certain part of his anatomy that he wants to be large... but how about that "pregnant-man-belly" that can obstruct the "prized feature?".  I was talking to my sister Sonya about some of the differences in men and woman when it comes to being LARGE and this is how our conversation played out.

     

    "Why is it when you see a fat teen boy or adult man, some people think that he played football in the past and he is considered a BIG MAN?"  "But when you see a fat woman you think "she needs to lose some weight so she can find a man!" A man's weight is a badge of honor while a woman's weight is often the scarlet letter of shame.  Why is there such a difference of opinion between the sexes and why was this stranger in the doctor's waiting room so opinionated about this man's weight?

     

    "Why are you here to see the doctor today?" the stranger asked the man. "I'm having trouble with my legs, so they are going to run some tests" he replied.  Her response was "well, your legs just can't hold all that weight.  You really need to lose some weight".  Why was it so important for this woman to give unsolicited advise to a perfect stranger?  What difference did it really make?

     

    Since I had Gastric Bypass surgery in February 2011, I have lost nearly 200 pounds and have seen my health dramatically improve.  I am still considered large wearing a size 14 dress and 42 DD bra.  I have saggy skin on my arms and thighs and although I had an abdomiplasty (tummy-tuck) last November I still have a round, protruding upper belly.  I look like I am pregnant.  As I look to celebrate my birthday later this month I will be eating cake.  I will be enjoying a steak and I will be wearing my new hip-hugging dress.  Do my curves make a difference to me in my selfies?  Nope.  I am healthier than I have been in decades.  Does my large frame feel too large for me to stand in front of others?  Nope... in fact I will be debuting a weight loss support group for surgical candidates and graduates.  With the help of mental health and medical professionals, I want to offer a weekly opportunity for people to share experiences with others and to continue to heal.  What a way to celebrate my birthday, huh; sharing with others with love and support!  Way cool.

     

    Happy Birthday to me and all other May birthdays.  More to come next month!

    BEE Blessed

    Angie BEE

    www.daqueenbee.com

    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 - 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

     

    NAAFA - CC Introduces the Size Savvy Project

    from: NAAFA.org - by: Peggy Howell

     

     

    The NAAFA-Clark County Chapter is pleased to introduce the Size Savvy Project.  This project makes information available to the public regarding business owners and healthcare providers who have made their businesses or medical facility welcoming to people of all sizes.  A Size Savvy facility will be accessible and accommodate people of all sizes.

    Do you always enjoy the experience where you spend your hard earned money?  People come in a large range of body sizes and people of large body size often have negative experiences with the accommodations in some businesses or offices.  The goal of the Size Savvy Businesses Project is to provide reviews of businesses that we will be happy to patronize in our neighborhoods.  Check out our reviews for businesses in Clark County, Nevada:  http://naafa-cc.org/Size-Savvy-Businesses/ 

    Planning to travel to Las Vegas for business or pleasure? Be sure to check out our database to assist with your plans and your stay. It's much easier to decide where to stay or dine when casinos/hotels and restaurants have been reviewed with people of size in mind.

    Many patients of larger body size avoid seeking preventative care or health care when they experience symptoms, because they assume that they will either receive another lecture on weight loss or that accommodations will not meet their special needs.  Check out our list of doctors, nurses, dentists, chiropractors, therapists, clinics and medical groups that have been reviewed by someone in our community and deemed as (or believe themselves to be) size-savvy:  http://naafa-cc.org/Size-Savvy-Healthcare-Providers/

    We believe that it is important to recognize and patronize the businesses and practices of individuals who have shown that they care about our health and well-being and who are happy to have our business! If you are a Clark County local and are interested in helping us build this database, we invite you to join us.  Information about the chapter and the next chapter meeting are available at:  http://www.naafa-cc.org/  

     

     

    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

    Link

    www.NAAFA.org

        

    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 University.

     

    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

    Web_girl1999@yahoo.com

     

     

     
    Happiness Kitchen
    with Lucia Roth
     

    I love sandwiches and I cherry-picked this month the month of May to be sandwich month! So I’m diving into my sandwich volt and picking out one of my favorite sandwiches so you can indulge.  You can have it with an ice cold beer, wine spritzers, and or lemon aid the choice is up to you.

    When I’m in the sandwich zone My  go to is Grilled Pimento Cheese any time of year… yummy and I like my grill chees with pickles melted gooey and running over  I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.

    Finger-licking awesome!

     







    Grilled Pimento Cheese Sandwhich

    Ingredients:

    1/4 cup cream cheese, at room temperature

     3 tablespoons mayonnaise

     1 teaspoon grated onion

     1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

     Pinch of salt

     Pinch of fresh ground pepper

     2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

     1 cup shredded Pepper Jack cheese

     1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

     1 jar (4 ounces) chopped pimentos, drained

     Thick slices of hearty white bread

     Butter, softened for easy spreading

    In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a knife blade, process cream cheese, mayonnaise, onion, garlic powder, salt, and pepper until smooth.

    Add the shredded cheeses and pimentos and pulse to combine. Do not over-process. Transfer pimento cheese to a bowl and stir if needed to combine ingredients thoroughly. Cover and chill for at least 3 hours.

    Heat a skillet or griddle to medium heat. Do not get too hot or it will burn the butter and bread.

    Butter one side of two bread slices. Spread a thick layer of pimento cheese on the un-buttered side of a bread slice.

    Place pimento cheese covered bread slice butter side down in the skillet. Cover skillet with a lid and cook for 1 minute.

    Remove lid and top sandwich with the other slice butter side up. Cook until bottom is lightly browned and toasted.

    Flip sandwich over and cook until the other side is lightly browned and toasted.

    Transfer sandwich to a plate and slice in half.

    Repeat with remaining bread and pimento cheese or grill 2 to 4 sandwiches at a time, depending on size of skillet. Do not over-crowd the skillet.

    Refrigerate extra pimento cheese for up to 5 days.

    Bon Appetite!


    Note: Make extra for family, friends, or just be selfish it’s that good.

     

     
       
     

     

     

    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 size/BBW Art.

     

     

    Plus Sized and Natural

    with Jness

     

    The month of May, the year is flying by so quickly. As expected 2014 has had its fair share of challenges.  There were some setbacks, but more importantly there have been some leaps and bounds forward. Forward is certainly the direction I am after.  Spring is the ideal time for a renewed sense of purpose and filling up the tank with fresh creative fuel. I am planning the creation of a new 7 piece collection. I will share more information soon. I just wanted you all to know that it is in the works, no sketches yet, I am still pulling references for these compositions.

     I am also excited about continuing the International Princess/Queen Collection starring the lovely Andrea Jenkins. I have also charted the course for some newsstand alone illustrations. There always needs to be a space reserved on the calendar for drawing spontaneously as inspiration strikes. So expect the expected as well as the unexpected.  Today’s art was inspired by a few sources. First of all my usual pilot light of inspiration – IllustrationFriday.com, the word of the week was “Nature”. It was also inspired by a photo I saw out there in the world of social media. So I penned a piece called, “Natural” It features a Plus Sized Beauty taking a break and taking a selfie. Her hair is not chemically processed. She has gone natural.

     

    JNESS

     

     

     

    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 store carries. 

     

    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.

     

     

     
    25 High Waist Bikini's
    with Amy Lucas

    The hottest new trend in swimwear for plus size women are high waist bikinis. The bottoms are high enough to hide quite a bit of tummy and yet it still shows some skin to allow you to feel sexy. These bikinis also allow you so many options by switching the tops and bottoms you can create a whole new look quickly and inexpensively.

     

    Here are some high waist bikinis to help you keep cool this summer.

     

     

    25 High Waist Bikini's  
    Number 1.  

     

    Swim Sexy Jardin Plus Bikini,

    sizes 10-24,

    $78,

    www.swimsuitsforall.com

     

     

     

     

     

    Number 2.  

     

     

    Bombshell Bikini Top in White,

    sizes xl-3x,

    $12.80,

    www.forever21.com

     

     

    Bombshell Bikini Bottom in White

    (comes in 5 colors),

    sizes xl-3x,

    $11.80,

    www.forever21.com

     

     

     

    Number 3.  

     

     

    Cat’s Meow

    Underwire Top & High Waist Bottom,

    sizes 3-6x,

    $135,

    www.blackcatbikinis.com

     

     

     

     

    Number 4.  

     

     

    Beach House Newport

    Tropical Floral Underwire Bra Top &

    High-Waist Bottom,

    sizes 16-24,

    $120

    ($63 for the top and $57 for the bottom), www.dillards.com

     

    Number 5.  

     

     

    Sao Paulo

    High-Waisted Plus Size Bikini Top

    with Underwire in Neon Orange,

    sizes 14-24,

    $88,

    www.monifc.com

     

    Sao Paulo High

    Waisted Plus Size Bikini Brief in Neon Orange,

    sizes 14-24,

    $70,

    www.monifc.com

     

    Number 6.  

     

    Tori Ruffle Bikini Top in Raspberry

    with Super High Waist Bottoms,

    sizes s-6x

    (If you would like a size above a 3x just send a message to the designer Danielle Pierce with what size you would need),

    $65.60,

    www.etsy.com/shop/DANALIAbyDP

     

     

     

    Number 7.  

     

     

     

    Casablanca Bikini Set in Tigress,

    sizes 0x(10/12)-3x(22/24),

    $225,

    www.madisonplusselect.com

     

     

     

    Number 8.  

     

     

    Fierce Fiesta

    Bikini Set in Red,

    sizes xl-3x,

    $27.80,

    www.forever21.com

     

     

    Number 9.  

     

     

     

     

    Women’s Plus Size Mix and Match Collection

    in Cobalt Blue,

    sizes 14-24, 

    $49.98

    (26.99 for bandeau swim top and 22.99 high waist swim bottoms),

    www.target.com

     

    Number 10.  


     

     

     

    Sugar Mama Underwire Top,

     sizes 32AA-46H,

    $85,

    www.blackcatbikinis.com

     

    Sugar Mama High Waist Front Skirt Bottom,

    sizes xxs-6xl,

    $65,

    www.blackcatbikinis.com

    Number 11.  

     

     

     

     

    Zebra Yellow High Waist Bikini,

    sizes xxs-5xl but it can also be made to your custom measurements if you contact the designer Nicolle Nish,

    $80,

    www.etsy.com/shop/NishKollection or www.nishkollection.com

     

     

    Number 12.  


    South African Safari

    Bikini Set in Black Sand,

    sizes 0-3x.

    $198,

    www.madisonplusselect.com

     

     

    Number 13.  

     

     

    Tie-Dye Cleavage Enhancer Swim Top,

    sizes 0-4x,

    $54.50,

    www.torrid.com

     

    Tie-Dye High-Waisted Swim Bottom,

    sixes 0-4x,

    $38.50,

    www.torrid.com

     

     

     

    Number 14.  


     

     

    Magisculpt Underwired Bikini Top

    in black/ivory, sizes 34c-42i,

    $39.95,

    www.simplybe.com

     

    Miraclesuit Plus Size Super Hi-Waist Bottom,

    sizes 18-24,

    $76.95,

    www.swimoutlet.com

     

     

    Number 15.  

     

     

    Pink Bowtary High Waist Bikini,

    size xxs- 5xl

    but it can also be made to your measurements if you contact the designer Nicolle Nish,

    $85,

    www.etsy.com/shop/NishKollection or www.nishkollection.com

     

     

     

    Number 16.  

     

     

    Cherry Bombshell Ruffle

    Underwire Top & High Waist Bottom,

    sizes xxs-6xl,

    $140,

    www.blackcatbikinis.com

     

     

     

    Number 17.  

     

     

     

    Maritime and Again Swimsuit Top

    in Black, sizes xs-2x,

    $70.99,

    www.modcloth.com

     

    Maritime and Again Swimsuit Bottom

    in Black, sizes xs-2x,

    $58.99,

    www.modcloth.com

    Number 18.  


     

     

    Unique Vintage Pink & White

    Polka Dot Monroe Bikini Top,

    sizes xs-2x,

    $38,

    www.unique-vintage.com

     

    Unique Vintage Pink & White

    Polka Dot Monroe High Waist Bikini Bottom,

    sizes xs-2x,

    $36,

    www.unique-vintage.com

     

     

    Number 19.  

     

     

    Suddenly Slim by Catalina

    Women’s Plus-Size Slimming

    High-Waisted Bikini 2-Piece Set

    in Classic Red Black Dot

    (comes in 6 different colors),

    sizes 1-3x,

    $34.96,

    www.walmart.com

     

    Number 20.  

     

     

     

    Swim Sexy Eclipse Retro High Waist Bikini

    in Black, sizes 10-24,

    $58,

    www.swimsuitsforall.com

     

     

    Number 21.  

     

     

    Madagascar Bikini Set in Merlot,

    sizes 0-3x, $198,

    www.madisonplusselect.com

     

     

     

    Number 22.  

     

     

    Harley Dot Halter and Skirted Bikini Set,

    sizes 14/16 – 26/28,

    $99,

    www.luluwest.com

     

     

     

    Number 23.  

    Yacht Queen Underwire Top,

    sizes 32A-46H, $80,

    www.blackcatbikinis.com

     

    Yacht Queen High Waist Bottoms,

    sizes xxs-6x, $58,

    www.blackcatbikinis.com

    Number 24.  

    High Waist Ruched Skirted Bikini with Halter Top

    in Jade, sizes xs-6x

    (If you would like a size above a 3x just send a message to the designer Danielle Pierce the size you would need),

    $60.80,

    www.etsy.com/shop/DANALIAbyDP

    Number 25.  
    Nish Black Bowan Swimsuit,
    size xs-5xl

    but it can also be made to your measurements if you contact the designer Nicolle Nish,
    $80,


    www.etsy.com/shop/NishKollection or www.nishkollection.com
     
     
     

    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 opposites attract.

     

    "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.


     
    Nocturne of Jay and Heidi
    with Jay Hansen
     

    This is our snuggle spot (also known as our bed). See the footnote* for art credit

     

    We’re all creatures of habit to one degree or another. As children, one of the very first things we come to learn and understand are daily routines and nightly rituals that help us “learn to fall asleep” by teaching our body when it’s time to recharge. I think it’s in part because of this childish concept of “bedtime” we adults oftentimes overlook the importance of such routines and underestimate the good they can do for all of us.

     

    Heidi and I have our own unique routine. Normally when we’re done with dinner and Netflix for the evening we move into the office to work on our own unique projects, take care of business (bills, BBW group work, responding to e-mails, etc.), or just generally have individual computer time. I try to keep a close eye on the time so that social media addiction doesn’t cause a temporal disturbance that consumes three hours of our lives. At a certain point, I’ll tell Heidi that I’m going to get ready for bed, or on rare occasions she’ll tell me, and that signals to the other that they have about 10-15 minutes left before they too should begin unwinding for the evening; ample time to finish anything that had been started but not enough to tempt us into starting something new.

     

    I can’t speak for everyone in this, and I know it’s not always possible for everyone – including me and Heidi on rare nights – but I’ve found it much better for couples to go to bed together. It eliminates the possibility of one accidentally waking the other one when they attempt to come to bed, creates a stronger bond between partners, can improve the quality of sleep by further establishing a sense of “routine” to bedtime, and fosters a sense of trust in one another by putting away fears of what the other may do once you’ve gone to sleep.

     

    I’m usually the first to step away from my computer at night and start getting us both ready for bed. For me, this just involves brushing my teeth, hair, and getting into my pajamas. It’s much more involved for Heidi, so I like to give her a head start while she finishes what she’s doing. In an ideal world (you know, nights where I’m not already falling asleep at my computer desk), this includes getting a glass of water for Heidi with which to take her pills, preparing her insulin shot, filling the tank on her CPAP (a medical device that helps her with her sleep apnea), filling the tank on our humidifier, and if necessary fill her pill boxes for the week so her medication is already sorted for every evening. Upon finishing all that, I’ll usually crawl into bed, but not get too comfortable, because I need to keep myself available should Heidi need assistance with anything else when she makes her way to the bedroom. Sometimes I may have to adjust the temperature in the house for her or massage her neck, back, shoulders, or feet if she’s aching. Usually though, this just involves putting her insulin away in the kitchen to spare her from having to get up again, and more importantly, the moment she looks forward to all day - when I help her take her bra off and vigorously scratch her back in ways and places her poor little t-rex arms just can't reach. The hooks, straps, and rings of her bra especially dig into her shoulders and back, and not being able to reach those spots herself is torture, so that's when I come in. This gives her pleasure unlike anything else, so gentlemen, take note.

     

    After a good scratching session, we’re both in bed and ready to sleep, but there’s still one all-important part of our nightly routine. We would even go as far as to say it’s the most important part of our routine by far. Every night, right before we go to sleep, Heidi and I have mandatory cuddle time. Cuddling has been found to reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and even boost memory, and even if you're not quite sold on the science it just makes you happy, relaxes you, and helps you bond with your partner. For me and Heidi, it's when we're at our silliest, and if you know us, that's saying a lot. Partially because we're tired, partially because we're at our most vulnerable and exposed, but mostly because we love each other and when we cuddle it just overflows.

     

    Besides, even if cuddling isn't your thing. you never know. Speaking from experience, cuddling could very well lead to other things, which is all the more reason to get to bed early. I'm not saying anything of course, but I'll leave you with the words of Benjamin Franklin, "early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise." Interpret that as you will.

     

     

    Good night, and sweet dreams.

     

    *Art Credit: The portrait above our bed is "Succubus" by Sheree 'Blue' Rehema. Succubus is in fact a BBW Medusa (and vampire). You can view the artist's online shop by clicking here, and even purchase your own Succubus!

     

     

    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 Political Science.

    I interned with U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein from 1995-1996.

    I interned with CBS News during the 1996 Republican National Convention.

    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 (21).

    I enjoy bowling, basketball, tennis, football. I play 12 musical instruments. I also design a web page for a real estate company.
     

    Defending The Honor of all Big People

    with David Edmondson

    This column is usually dedicated to issues that Big Men in the community face and need to talk about but this time around, I am going to dedicate this particular article to a certain individual. It is often said that injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere. Thus I dedicate this article to Tigress Osborn, Founder and Owner of Full Figure Entertainment in Oakland, California.

     So that I do not try to tell her story incorrectly nor speak on her behalf, I will try to give a short version of what happened.  For those who may not know, Tigress runs a BBW nightclub in addition to being a feminist and activist for the BBW community. While others may talk about size acceptance, Tigress has been on the frontline in every way imaginable trying to break the negative stereotypes associated with people of size. This includes: promoting via video, print, social media sending the message that society should not discriminate nor tolerate prejudice against anyone of size. Unfortunately, there are some whom still see the world differently.

     Thus because of a project she participated in two years ago, via French Television, which was originally a documentary to show empowerment in the BBW community, which was later turned into a hit piece entitled “Obesity in America”, for all to see on the internet and discovered by some her students at the College Preparatory Academy, she is out of a job. Apparently, there was some disagreement between parents as to what constituted as art, when semi-nude footage was shown and the school, which was warned ahead of time of the footage, asked for Tigress to resign, after 9 years of service.

     If this had been semi-nude footage of a woman whom society defined as acceptable, would there have been this outcry to dismiss Tigress? How do you think men of the BBW community are perceived outside if something like this can happen to one of us? Many of us have gone into hiding, trying any and everything not to attract attention to ourselves for fear of ridicule. You’ve heard and seen it all before; such talk of, “You don’t have to look like this.” How can we be proud of our size and the fact that we are all of different shapes and sizes and that the world cannot define the perfect look, if we do not stand up for each other?

     Is it a travesty? Yes. Does it mean we sure hide in the corner and wait for something like this to go away? No. As for what will happen to Tigress, I am more than confident that she will emerge, on her own time, stronger than ever. However, we must show support and stand up for ourselves. If we don’t, no one else will. Which is why as a show of support, I am asking all of you who read this column, to dress in the color of red, on May 18th, as a sign of unity. We are of the same blood, the same community, we are in this together. Thank You.

     

     
     

    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 RULE!”

     

    Acceptance

    with Freakie
     

    In the BBW community we throw around the word “acceptance” frequently but it means different things to different people.  There is the acceptance of self; accepting our bodies as they are, accepting our own limitations, etc.  Some people think acceptance means allowing certain people into their social circle.  But there is the larger meaning of acceptance. 

    There is the acceptance of others; all others.   Accepting that what we favor or are attracted to, may not be what others find pleasing or acceptable.  Some people think that if you are pro-BBW then you must be against skinny people.  That is not acceptance.  That is reverse discrimination and it is not okay.  Why would we subject others to the shame that we find so hurtful, diminishing, and negative?  Why would any of us promote the idea that there is only one pleasing type of body?  Surely we know better than that, considering the many types of BBW’s there are.  How can we say that there is only one ideal?

    We all need to work on practicing true acceptance.  Acceptance of all body types, all skin colors, all sexualities.  Until we realize that all individuals are meant to be here and have a place on this planet we will never have peace. 

    Certainly acceptance starts within.  You must believe that you have a place and a purpose on this earth.  Then you have no need to gain a false sense of value from de-valuing others.  This does not mean you have to love, or even like, every person.  It just means you accept that their path is different from your own.  You don’t even have to understand it.

    Those that hate are scared: Scared of differences, scared of their own perceived flaws, scared that if they look too closely at themselves they will see ugliness.  So instead they focus on others and their perceived short-comings.  Hate is the most obvious form of insecurity.  Our most basic instinct as humans is the instinct of Fight or Flight.  When we are faced with things we don’t understand or frighten us our brains send the signal to run or be hostile.  When a complete stranger is rude or hostile regarding your body type it isn’t a reflection on you; it’s their own insecurity.   Just remember that applies to all of us.

     

    If you find yourself judging others that would be a good time to sit down and think about what that kind of thinking is doing for you.  Anytime you can overcome your own negative thinking or actions you are doing more for your own self-esteem than any kind of counseling could ever do.   Acceptance, it’s a beautiful thing.

     

     

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