Cover Model of the Month
LargeInCharge.com: What is your name?
LargeInCharge.com: Where are you from and what is your
I was born in NJ and now live in KY.
LargeInCharge.com: When did you first appear in
LargeInCharge Magazine as a Model?
The first time was June, 2010
Cover Model of the
Issue #75 - June 2010
Issue #103 - October 2012
Issue #107 - February 2013
LargeInCharge.com: What made you decide to apply that first
I am a fan of the magazine.
LargeInCharge.com: How did you feel when you appeared
as a LargeInCharge Cover Model?
I was honored.
LargeInCharge.com: Has your modeling career grown since
It has been steadily growing for some
time. I think the appearances in your magazine, has helped
along with my journey.
LargeInCharge.com: Have your life and endeavors changed
since your appearance?
My life has changed a bit do to
personal circumstance situations but all and all things are
LargeInCharge.com: What changes do you see in Plus
I would like to say I have seen a lot
of changes but it all seems to be the same.
LargeInCharge.com: What changes do you see for Plus Sized
I have not seen any changes; the
majority of society still seems to think that the media
should do their thinking for them.
LargeInCharge.com: What would you say inspires you most in
My son does. He is absolutely
LargeInCharge.com: Any new modeling tips and tricks to
Take care of your skin and do not
LargeInCharge.com: What are your future goals?
I am the creator and found of Very
Full Figured magazine and I am working to make it bigger and
better with every issue. My career goals all circulate
LargeInCharge.com: What advice would you give to other
people of size who want to model?
Do it. Try it at least. If it is your
passion, don't ever take no for an answer!
LargeInCharge.com: Describe yourself with one word.
Thanks for reading about
Cover Model of the Month
Raqui the Owner and Founder of LargeInCharge.com, Raqui's "Tell it like it is" style of
writing has brought thousands to her blogs and millions to
LargeInCharge.com. There is so much behind the woman who has
brought this magazine into existence. Being Internationally
known as a wrestler/squasher lead the way to modeling for companies
and being featured in magazines and documentaries from all over the
world. She has made a career out of her size and personality.
Born 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.
To view her Online
Raqui's Blog titled Raqui-ism "Soulfully
www.Raqui.com Portfolio Section
Raqui-ism - Make 2014 a Inspirational Year
Written By: Raqui
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, without focusing on
what is good in this world.
So this year I dedicate my column to all that is inspirational,
positive and helpful.
Woman Sized not Plus Sized
There is a lot of division among women, the light from the dark, the
have from the have not’s, tall from short, race from race, and yes
fat from skinny. This division steams from looks alone,
competition and the need to feel as though you’re more wanted, more
sought after, more attractive to love interests. The desire,
to meet an impossible standard for most women. The desire to
be the “it” girl, and to be admired and looked up to. We have been
so conditioned that we only allow a small number of women to
actually be acceptable. The ones who have fame, talent, look
the way society says they should look. If you don’t fit into
that small number then you are someone who will not get the same
services or opportunities as someone else who fits the mold.
If you were an “it” girl and gained some weight you are attacked and
humiliated for everyone to see and laugh at.
That is why this month I was inspired by two totally different
situations but yet they come together to give me hope.
I was not surprised when I read about
Melissa McCarthy going to 6 high level designers and all of them
refusing to dress her for the Academy Awards in 2012. The fact
that I was not surprised is a sad thing. With all of her
success in movies and on television, with her amazing talent on the
screen still she was not good enough to wear a dress made by a high
profile designer, they just refused to dress her.
Snippet from The Washington Post
Why no one would make an Oscar dress for Melissa McCarthy,
despite her ‘Bridesmaids’ success.
Soraya Nadia McDonald - June 5th, 2014
Read more of this article at The Washington Post –
Actress Melissa McCarthy wore Marina Rinaldi to the 2012 Academy
(Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
There are all sorts of micro economies that are fed or supported by
Hollywood. Picture-making doesn’t just provide a living for actors
and the small armies of lawyers, crew members, production and
insurance companies enlisted by movie studios; it contributes to the
livelihoods of hairdressers, stylists, designers, makeup artists and
handlers. When you’re a star, you’re not just famous. You’re a
giant, monetizable billboard. The more recognizable you are, the
more stuff you get for free.
Unless you’re Melissa McCarthy.
Awards season is the prime opportunity for designers to showcase
their most decadent wares; this year’s Oscar telecast had 43.7
million viewers. But two years ago, McCarthy couldn’t find anyone to
design an Oscar dress for her.
“When I go shopping, most of the time I’m disappointed,” McCarthy
said in the July issue of
Redbook. “Two Oscars ago, I couldn’t find anybody to do a
dress for me. I asked five or six designers — very high-level ones
who make lots of dresses for people — and they all said no.” That
year McCarthy wore a dress made by Marina Rinaldi, a ready-to-wear
plus line you can find in stores such as Bloomingdale’s or Saks.
Bear in mind, with the Oscars in particular, most actresses are
wearing borrowed dresses, shoes, and jewelry valued at more than
most Americans’ mortgages.
McCarthy, the much-loved breakout star of “Bridesmaids,” won an Emmy
in 2011 for her role on CBS’s “Mike & Molly.” Her work with director
Paul Feig, including “The Heat,” “Bridesmaids” and the upcoming
“Spy” have made her a
favorite funny lady, particularly in feminist circles. In
interviews, she seems down-to-earth, approachable, and well, normal.
Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy in “The Heat.”
(Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation)
And that’s because she is. Despite her success and the wealth that
comes with it, McCarthy faces the same problem of millions of
plus-size American women: wanting a wardrobe that’s stylish and
fashion forward, and finding slim pickings, which is why she decided
to develop her own plus-size clothing line. She collaborated with
couture dress maker Daniella Pearl for the gown she wore to the 2011
Emmy Awards, and the two are releasing a line called Pearl. Before
becoming an actress, McCarthy studied fashion design at Southern
Read more of this article at The Washington Post –
I guess these designers didn’t want to put their clothing on
Mellissa because she is plus sized, for shame if their designs were
worn by a person they don’t find acceptable. Melissa is a
woman plain and simple, she was going to have the night of her life
being Nominated for best supporting actress in Bridesmaids.
Even with the nomination she worn an off the rack dress because
these designers didn’t deem her worthy of there their frocks.
Why must we divide the small from the large? There is no
fashion only for African Americans, Hispanics, Asian, and Caucasian.
While there might be different styles and custom for dressing in
different parts of the world. Fashion is interchangeable and
you can take different pieces from separate items and create a whole
new look. Unless of course you’re fat then your limited, you
can’t express your own style if no one makes your style in your
size. I know this first hand, while I am told I dress very
nicely, the clothing doesn’t express my particular style because
those items are not made in my size. I take what I can get,
that I think will look ok on me, so I am very happy Mellissa is
going to address this with a new line of clothing.
What I would like to is something I didn’t know if I would ever see
until I happened across this ad online.
I have to say I love this company, they have sizes that go up to
4xl. They advertise not as a plus sized company but a company for
women as you can see we have three different sizes of women all
unique, beautifully dressed, and accepted. Their clothes are just
fabulous and not just fab for the smaller sizes the plus size
clothing is amazing and nicely priced.
This is what I want to see more of, nice clothing for all sizes of,
because after all we are all women, why are we treated or dressed
according to size instead of according to style.
- Weekly Radio show discussing Plus Sized Issues. Friday's
pm EST - Call in & Chat in our Chat Room.
Thank you for
Please send thoughts and comments to
Angie BEE grew-up a standard-sized young woman, educated in
communications, promotions and planning.
She became a wife, mother and ministry support member while
building businesses and her faith.
Through stress, age and a poor diet and while suffering from major
depression and attempted suicide, Angie BEE's weight climbed from
180 pounds to 360 pounds.
She was diagnosed with high blood pressure, diabetes,
obstructive sleep apnea, an overactive bladder and poor leg
circulation. At the age
of 40 an anxiety attack and the decline in her mental health forced
her to stop work and look at improving her declining health.
It was during this time that Angie BEE became inspired by her
younger sister Sonya Bennett during her process towards Gastric
Bypass Surgery. Sonya
launched this column and will return occasionally to contribute to
it, but now that she is three years-post surgery... her life is
focused on something new!
Now, celebrating her first year of a new life since having the
procedure herself, Angie BEE is healthier than she has been in over
a decade. Losing the
first 100 pounds was just the bonus!
She is now diabetes-free.
She has normal blood pressure.
The circulation in her legs is normal.
She sleeps without a c-pap machine and more!
The joy that she feels is documented each day in her
syndicated radio show, a brand new weekly
TV show documentary and each month in this article.
The Big GB stands for The BIG Gastric Bypass and it also
stands for "Getting (my life) Back".
This article reflects how Angie BEE's life has improved... by
the grace of God and as the result of having Gastric Bypass surgery
on Feb 28, 2011. This
is now her life!
Sometimes You Just Need To Be With Others
On May 1st we launched a weekly Surgical
Weight Loss support group in Daytona Beach, Florida.
The local Salvation Army was gracious enough to grant us
meeting space, promotional opportunities and beginning with our very
first meeting, there were people that attended that really needed to
be around others who are like-minded.
When you think of a "support group", what
comes to mind? "Hi, my
name is Frank and I have been sober now for 14 days".
There are support groups for gamblers, sex addicts,
shop-a-holics and others.
Most weight loss surgeons have support groups that you can
attend prior to and after you have surgery; I learned a lot from Dr.
Keith Kim's support group sessions at Florida Hospital Celebration
in Orlando, Florida. I
learned the good and bad, recipes and coping skills.
I also learned that sometimes, you just need to be around
other people; loneliness can lead a person to overeat.
Remember the movie The Klumps?
There was a scene where sadness and loneliness set in and a
LOT of food was consumed!
Do you remember Monique in the movie Phat Girlz?
When she retreated back to her bed watching TV and
That's a visual and that's reality!
I remember dealing with those issues during my adult life.
Overeating through difficult pregnancies, marital abandonment
and abuse, illness and disease, divorces, depression, a car
accident: I remember
living through EACH of these situations and comforting myself by
eating. When others were
around me I didn't overeat.
When I was alone, there wasn't a piece of chocolate that
survived my rampage even after I was diagnosed with Type II
From the very first surgical weight loss
support group meeting, all I saw were folks that wanted to be around
others. They wanted to
be around other obese people.
They wanted to be around others that either had already
experienced weight loss surgery or were considering having surgery.
They wanted to ask questions and share stories.
They wanted to feel accepted and see what others were going
through. They wanted
fellowship. Each session
kinda reminds me of attending church.
Some people go to church to hear the choir.
Others go to hear the Word of God from a preacher.
Others go to church for the fellowship; the meet-and-greet
with cookies and juice after service has ended.
I remember being a part of some congregations where the
duration of the fellowship was twice the duration of the actual
church service! People
long for fellowship.
Even the Bible said that it's not good for a man to be alone, so God
made a helpmate suitable for him.
(Genesis 2:18) Whether the Bible refers to a man or a woman,
it is just not good for a person to be alone.
especially if there is food in the house.
In February 2011, I was blessed to have
gastric bypass surgery.
As a result of the surgery I no longer have Type II Diabetes, the
High Blood Pressure is reversed, the obstructive Sleep Apnea and
overactive bladder are gone and the poor circulation in my legs and
nerve damage are gone too.
At my heaviest, I weighed 387 pounds.
At my lowest weight loss I weighed 197.
Throughout these past three years, I was at my best when I
was around other people.
It's just not good for people to be alone, especially those of us
that overeat. By taking
steps to be around other people during this time, I have been able
to truly get my life back after gastric bypass surgery.
Find a good support group in your area and
attend it faithfully.
Your presence may not only help another attendee but can help you
too! If you can't find a
support group in your area, start one like I did!
I'm grateful for my hubby that found the Salvation Army in
our area. They have
welcomed us with open arms.
I thank the Captains at the LPGA Blvd location and the PR
Director Kimberly Long for helping us promote this group and for
greeting me with a hug every time I enter the building.
Their fellowship is a warm oasis for all attendees!
I look forward to Thursdays support group
where we can all share with each other.
Don't be alone when your life is going through a transition.
Food is not a comfort.
Fellowship can be!
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
Returns to our Nation's Capital
from: NAAFA.org - by:
NAAFA will be returning this year to the Washington, DC area for our
Since many of our members have expressed that tight budgets are an
issue, we are scaling back to a more casual two day conference
beginning the evening of Friday, August 8 through Sunday, August 10,
NAAFA is pleased to announce that we have made arrangements for
accommodations at the beautiful Crowne Plaza Dulles Airport Hotel,
2200 Centreville Road, Herndon, VA 20170. Rates will be an amazing
$84.00 per night - single occupancy and $94.00 per night - double
Our focus at this conference will be on networking and NAAFA’s plans
for the future. Workshops will include:
Enjoyable movement classes,
Focus on health not weight,
An update on the End Bullying Now Campaign
The Size Savvy Project introduced by the Clark County
Chapter in Nevada this year.
The evenings will be filled with fun activities such as a networking
party, pizza party, talent show and karaoke with a swim party to cap
off every evening.
Registration for both conference and hotel are available through the
NAAFA website at
Founded in 1969, NAAFA is a non-profit human rights organization
dedicated to improving the quality of life for fat people. NAAFA
works to eliminate discrimination based on body size and provide fat
people with the tools for self-empowerment through public education,
advocacy, and member support.
Thanks for reading
From the Desk of NAAFA
Some of you make know me as web girl/Lulu from Fashion Find. Well…
I’ve move on to another one of my favorite’s pastime which is
cooking. To get you all up to date on what’s going on. I’m currently
pursuing a graduate degree at Ashford University I have a B.A.
degree in Organizational Communication from Southeastern Louisiana
I am most passionate about cooking. I believe with cooking you can
always grow… I fried my first egg when I was 2 and baked my first
cake at 5. Cooking is an easy and dynamic experience if you have a
passion for a good tasting meal.
Motto: Cook with your heart not with your head.
If you have a favorite dish you would like to share please forward
with recipe and photo to
with Lucia Roth
Carrot Cake Is My Wedding Cake
Last year my mother and I were having a conversation when the
subject of marriage came up. She asked me what type of cake I
wanted for my wedding cake. The first words that popped out of
my mouth were either humming bird or carrot cake. Unlike carrot
cake humming bird has bananas and walnuts and carrot cake
doesn’t… I knew everything down to the last detail about my
wedding day cake.
I found the perfect recipe for my humming bird cake and that was
so mouthwatering suck the skin of your fingers good. That was
it! Humming Bird was it “the wedding cake” until…..
found this slap you’re mama, carrot cake recipe passed
down from my grandmother’s best friend’s family.
Mrs. S, made this cake for me this past holiday season
and I tell you as sure as I write this… this cake will make you
want to slap you’re mama.
Carrot Cake Is My Wedding Cake
2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup flaked coconut
3 cups grated carrots
(about 1 pound)
1 cup chopped walnuts
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
1 (8-ounce) package cream
2 sticks butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
What to Do:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat two 8-inch round
cake pans with cooking spray; lightly flour the pans.
In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, combine
granulated sugar, oil, eggs, baking soda, flour, cinnamon,
salt, coconut, carrots, and walnuts, beating 30 seconds to 1
minute, or until a smooth, thick batter forms. DO NOT
OVER-MIX! Pour batter evenly into prepared cake pans.
Bake 45 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted
in center comes out clean and the tops are golden. Let cool
In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, make
frosting by combining cream cheese and butter; mix well. Add
vanilla; mix well. Gradually add confectioners' sugar,
continuing to mix until well combined.
Place one cake layer on a serving platter and frost
top of cake. Place second layer on top of frosted layer.
Frost top and sides of entire cake. Serve immediately, or
cover and chill until ready to serve.
You can substitute regular Flour with Multipurpose Flour,
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
Plus Sized and Natural
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
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
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.
Ready for White
with Amy Lucas
The color white is hot this season. People
all over the country are having parties where you must wear
white to attend sometimes called a whiteout.
Here are some great looks for you to wear
wherever you want to go.
Ready for White 22 Summer Items
sizes 1-3x, $32,
Peplum Skirt in White,
sizes 1-3x, $59,
Sequin Trim Jumpsuit in White,
sizes 12-24, $59.50,
Hailey Eyelet Dress in white,
sizes 1-6x, $59.90,
Baroque Appliqué Corset,
sizes 12-24, $39.50,
Torrid White Label Cropped Boyfriend Jean
sizes 16-28, $48.50,
Ava Dress in White,
sizes xl-4x, $108,
Jewel-Neck Peplum Dress in White,
sizes 12-24, $59.50,
Ralph Lauren Woman Full-Zip Peplum Sweater
sizes 1-3x, $101.40,
Cameron Studded Top,
sizes 1-3x, $49.95,
White Five Pocket Short,
sizes 14-26, $33.60,
Bella Dress in White,
sizes 8-26, $235,
“Whimsical” Embroidered Top,
sizes 1-3x, $50,
sizes 1-3x, $32,
“Whimsical” Embroidered Skirt,
sizes 1-3x, $85,
Pearl Neckline Cutout Tunic
sizes 12-22/24, $39.50,
Perforated Flare Skirt,
sizes 1-3x, $25.50,
Embellished Maxi Dress by Denim 24/7®
sizes 12-34, $79.99,
Riviera Dress in White,
sizes 12-24, $160,
“Pearl” Crop Top,
sizes 1-3x, $36,
“White Swan” Tutu in White,
sizes 1-3x, $80,
YK High Slit Drape Gown,
(custom made according to your measurements)
All White Dress,
sizes l-3x, $50,
Short Dress in Folklore Style,
Melody Bow Top in Ivory,
sizes 1-3x, $22.50,
Mynt 1792- The Sybille Trouser,
sizes 12-26, $168,
Eternity Maxi Convertible in White,
sizes 1-3x and 4-6x,
Tummy Concealing Retro Maillot Swimsuit,
sizes 14-28, $109.95,
Mesh Cover Up in White,
sizes 14/16-30/32, $33.60,
Trim Tank Hi-Lo Maxi Dress,
sizes 0-5x, $68.50,
Linen Blend Capri Set in White,
sizes 12-28, $60,
Gold Tier Dress in Ivory,
sizes 14-34, $39.99,
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.
Our "Too" True Life
with Jay Hansen
Late last year Heidi and I were presented with a unique opportunity. I had
just finished filming a documentary based here in Oklahoma when a friend
sent me a Facebook message about a casting call for MTV’s
True Life series. They were looking for couples they described as
being in “mixed weight relationships.” What they meant by that was a
romantically involved couple where one partner was very fat, and the other
very slim or fit. You wouldn’t have guessed that, though, had you read
some of the online criticism of the casting call, and unfortunately, some
of it turned out to be right. The entire project turned into a very
fascinating adventure into other people’s perspectives.
I’ve never been much of a TV person, or even had cable, so I had never
seen the show. My first impressions of it came from Facebook comments both
on the initial casting call post and other pages that shared it, and they
were not positive. An overwhelming majority of the comments were extremely
critical and cynical of the episode topic, series, and even the entire
network for even considering this for an episode idea. One commenter
pointed out that a better episode theme for a series that focuses on
bizarre lifestyles would have been
“I only date people the exact same weight as me,” because technically
all relationships are “mixed weight” to some degree. The comments led me
through a labyrinth of external links to blogs and reviews, all of them
filled with scathing, often sarcastic and rude words against the show from
cynics and literalists. I was a little shocked at first, but am perfectly
aware of why this was the reaction of the size community. Believe me, I
have little trust for tabloid-esque shows like
Inside Edition or
Entertainment Tonight for much the same reason I’d assume everyone
does; malicious editing, twisting words and taking them out of context,
and generally using someone’s own words to smear them or misrepresent them
for the sake of entertaining the ignorant, low-brow masses that take great
pleasure in judging other people.
But like I said earlier, I had never seen
True Life before and certainly
didn’t want to judge it before even knowing
what it was. So, I set out to do
my own homework on it.
I watched several episodes of the series, and honestly, it didn’t seem
that bad. It was actually quite insightful, and apparently has won several
awards for the quality of its documentaries. I asked everyone I know, both
inside the size community and out, for their opinion of the show and how
honest they felt it was. I even consulted with our illustrious leader here
at Large in Charge Magazine, Raqui, for her opinion. Like most people I
asked from within the community, she was dubious and advised caution, but
also didn’t directly discourage us from doing it. From those outside of
the community, I got a very different reaction. My co-workers, for
example, mostly had praise for the show, with one going as far as to say
“if the show is fake, they must have
some of the best actors in the world because it seems really genuine.”
All in all, it really didn’t seem as bad as the internet made it out to
be, so I decided to write the show's producer and submit an application
for me and Heidi to be their “mixed weight relationship” despite mass
online protests of it. After all, if we aren’t a good example of a mixed
weight relationship, who is? And more importantly, we wanted to do the
show in hopes of breaking stereotypes about both weight and age when it
comes to love and relationships, and to promote size acceptance. If we
didn't do the show, just what kind of couple would, and could we really
leave representation of the size community up to fate and some faceless
people of unknown maturity levels?
Not one day later I got a phone call directly from the producer all the
way up in New York. Apparently our relationship had caught his attention
and he was very interested in our story. Unfortunately, our application
was declined on the grounds that Heidi and I, ironically, were "too
enlightened." What he meant by that was
True Life, in his own words, is
not really a documentary series; it’s a “docu-drama,” and the purpose of
every episode is to enlighten their audience to... well, certain
life that may defy stereotypes or social norms. In the case of this
episode, they wanted to enlighten people to the fact that size shouldn't
be a contributing factor in determining relational compatibility, and that
it's wrong to make assumptions about others based on their weight. That
was exactly what I had hoped for in submitting an application, but the
problem was how they go about enlightening their audience. According to
the producer, they enlighten their audience
through the participants in the
documentary, meaning that the characters in the episode must undergo the
same enlightening process they want the audience to experience, hence is
why Heidi and I were "too enlightened" for the show; they needed there to
be some sort of conflict between the two of us as partners to resolve in
the episode. We're active members of the size community that promote
acceptance, and we're deeply in love. We're very understanding of each
other's limitations and complete each other by filling in each other's
shortcomings. Most importantly, we do so happily without drama or
complaint. This is sadly and ironically why we ended up being wrong for
But then, funnily enough, about a week later I get another phone call. It
was the producer again, and he was just so utterly taken with me and Heidi
that he wanted to completely re-structure the entire theme of the episode
to be able to include us. Since there was no drama between me and Heidi,
he wanted to change the theme to me and Heidi "versus the world." Instead
of being between us as partners, he thought the conflict could be between
us as a couple and someone else important in our life like a friend or
family member that doesn't understand why we're together, be it because of
the difference in our age, weight, or both. He felt that we would be
excellent candidates to "enlighten" others on the issue of size
discrimination in documentary form because of our relationship, activism
within the size community, and prior experience with documentaries.
There was just one problem; we didn't have anyone like that in our lives.
Heidi has always been amazing at not allowing negativity into her life,
which is one of the many reasons I love her. That is why any time someone
tries to start drama or cause conflict in her life, especially because of
her weight, and they are unwilling to reason or calm down, she just severs
ties with them. She's not afraid to let go of those people that try to
weigh her down, and wouldn't you know it, getting rid of negative people
in your life improves the quality of it. You'd think that's some big
mystery with the number of people that don't grasp the concept in today's
So sadly, in the end, we were not chosen for
True Life, first because we were
too enlightened, and second because we were too happy and too drama-free.
If you're to consider any online commentary of this show, let it be this
one, and interpret it as you will. Hopefully, Heidi and I will someday get
the opportunity to share our story on a larger stage to promote love and
acceptance of others and prove that numbers like weight and age really are
I was born in San Diego,
California on August 30, 1972.
Grew up in
San Jose, San Francisco, and San Diego California.
I Graduated from San Diego State University in
1996 with a Bachelors Degree in Journalism
(Radio-TV News) and a Bachelors Degree in
I interned with U.S.
Senator Dianne Feinstein from 1995-1996.
interned with CBS News during the 1996 Republican
Currently I'm a
Licensed Sales Representative with Pacific Shores
Real Estate, Inc. in Solana Beach, California
I'm Co-Owner of Club Catalina BBW Night Club
in San Diego, CA.
And a newlywed, married
to Kathy Edmondson as of December 31, 2012.
I am the father of one daughter - Safiyah
Edmondson (8) and stepfather to two young men,
Alexander Hernandez (22) and John Rhakman Macklin
I enjoy bowling, basketball, tennis,
football. I play 12 musical instruments. I also
design a web page for a real estate company.
with David Edmondson
It was once said that most important responsibility a
father has is to keep his daughter off the stripper
pole. While that line delivered a few laughs for Chris
Rock back in the day, if you have a little girl, you may
find that line hitting close to home. I know for myself,
I want my daughter to take self defense classes (of the
UFC) variety, boxing, karate, judo, you name it.
The fact of the matter is it’s hard for dads;
because we can’t be with our daughter’s 24/7 and 365.
Therefore, it’s up to us to teach our daughter’s what a
real man is supposed to be like; how they conduct
themselves; what their roles and responsibilities are.
Yes, unless you are one of the ones who run away, only
to be caught on Maury, Steve Wilkos, Bill Cunningham or
Jerry Springer, responsibility starts from the moment of
conception and with the birth of a little girl, that
responsibility will never go away.
In an ideal
world, I would have my daughter’s 6’5” brother; just
kick the crap out of any boy that tried to date her;
while I, the kind father, politely escort them back to
their car. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out that way. I
often thought of other methods of protection such as: a
Stun gun, numb chucks, shotguns, crossbows and swords
but then realized, it would leave a trail.
I even thought of having my daughter placed in a
school with nuns. The truth is, you won’t have to go
through these extremes, if you teach your daughter the
Teach your daughter to know her worth.
This means you
cannot go back to the stone ages where men tried to
dominate women. This means actually (stop me if you
heard this before) treating the woman you are already
with, as an equal. It’s not about your pride or ego
being hurt, it’s about your daughter watching you by
example, so that she knows in the future, what she
should expect from a man, so that in the future, she is
not a domestic violence statistic.
Give up the Player Handbook
Yes, a lot of us
are angry with Steve Harvey, for giving up the secrets
of bachelor’s to women but guess what; as a responsible
dad, you will be doing the same thing. It’s for your
daughter’s own protection and it could mean the
difference between: teenage pregnancy, her marrying a
low life; bouncing around from guy to guy or actually
marrying the type of
man you can
Let your daughter explore new things while being there.
Our girls are far
behind when it comes to math and science and
unfortunately, we seem to glamorize video vixens,
reality television stars and entertainers more than we
do doctors, lawyers and teachers. Some of our daughters
have ambitions being President or CEOs, but what are we
doing as father’s to encourage that? When you
participate in take your daughter to work day are you
actually speaking to her to find out what her hopes,
ambitions and dreams are? This may require actual work
on your part as you will need to be a parent. Encourage
your daughter and give them the access for the
opportunity to expand their horizons. More times than
not, they will amaze you with what they can accomplish.
I’m not saying
you can turn into a feminist overnight, but you can be
all that your daughter needs you to be: Her protector,
her teacher and her mentor. Statistics have shown that
the more active a father is in his daughter’s life, the
more she succeeds. The better opinion she will have
about men. Otherwise, don’t get mad at the next man, who
shows up at the strip club, with a pocket full of ones,
to give to your daughter, during her routine. It will be
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
You Set the Path
There was a time in my life when insecurity
Every new situation was scary and I tried to find
security in trying to control.
Controlling my environment, controlling who could
have power over my feelings (by not letting anyone get
truly close to me), etc.
I couldn’t enjoy anything because I was too
worried about “what if”.
What of someone gets hurt?
What if things don’t go as planned?
What of someone is mean to me?
What if I don’t know what to do?
I completely lost sight of the purpose of life,
which is to enjoy the journey as best you can, come what
There are so many things I didn’t enjoy,
didn’t try, and didn’t aspire to because I was afraid.
I was in a constant state of worry, wondering
where the next emotional hit was going to come from.
A wise person finally explained to me what a
waste it is to worry about things you can’t control.
If heartache is going to come it will happen
whether or not you were worried about it.
So why waste those moments with worry when you
could be seeking or instigating happiness?
It was a real epiphany for me.
Of course my life didn’t change in an
instant; it has taken many years to get where I am
today. I am
a much better judge of what I have control over and what
I don’t. I
also understand that if I can’t control a situation that
makes me unhappy or uncomfortable I can always control
my response to that situation.
I think the hardest part has been truly
understanding that other people are not responsible for
If someone says something to me make that causes me
emotional pain, that pain is my issue to deal with.
I have to understand why it hurts and what I need
to do in response to it.
Is it about me?
Is it about my relationship with that person?
Is this a relationship I need to step away from
or is it just a sensitivity in myself that I need to
acknowledge and learn from?
Whenever I catch myself saying, “You made me
feel…” I have to put on the brakes and take ownership of
what I am feeling.
Nobody can make me feel anything.
Those are my feelings and I need to figure out
what they mean.
Once I learned that, it really changed the
dynamics of some of my relationships, especially within
All the negative cycles that I used to take part in no
longer worked when I stopped participating.
And it stopped without drama or confrontation.
It just didn’t happen anymore because I took
responsibility for my role in it.
Once you stop blaming others for how you
feel and take ownership of your personal happiness it
becomes a lot easier to actually be happy.
If you are walking around constantly trying to
make others responsible for your feelings you create a
You have to be your own advocate.
We experience physical and emotional pain for a
tells us there is a problem that we need to address.
It is important to stop hiding from pain and deal
with it as it comes.
Experience it, acknowledge it, and learn from it.
If we allow ourselves to do those things, that
pain makes a much shorter visit to our lives.
Sometimes it is
easy to forget all of these things, but I just keep
trying and life just gets better and all of my
relationships become healthier.
I’ll take that over fretting and blaming any day!
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