LargeInCharge Magazine -  Nine Years and Counting!

 Issue#110 - May 2013

Welcome to LargeInCharge Magazine

In this Issue of L.I.C.




Words of Wisdom from the Heart & Mind of Raqui


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


From the Desk of NAAFA

National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance


FOoDiE in You ~ Lucia Roth


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


Dating Survival for Today's Woman

Kathy Edmondson


The Observer - Jness


Curvy Styles - Amy Lucas


The Skinny on Big Love - Jay Hansen


Thinking Big - David Edmondson


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!


Abby Lee Miller
Renowned Dance Teacher


Abby Lee Miller - Dance Teacher Extraordinaire

By: Raqui with additional information via Internet Soures


     I knew about Abby Lee Miller Dance Studio long before Dance Mom's appeared on tv.  When I heard the name Abby Lee Miller I had to watch the show.  I have always loved dance and wanted to be a dancer at one time when I was just a young Raqui,  but I didnt have the resources nor was I really given a chance to think I could be a dancer, because I was a big girl who turned into a super big woman.  Still I loved to watch dancers and knew about the famous Dance Company that produced so many outstanding talented dancers.  So I was very interested in how this reality show would be showcased and to get to see who Abby Lee Miller was.

     When I realized Abby Lee Miller was a Plus Sized Diva with plenty of attitude to boot, I thought "WELL GO GIRL!"   Yes she is showcased as a hard assed meanie.  But, I can understand the lessons she is trying to teach her students.  Being an entertainer of any kind means you will be harshly treated and judged.   While I don't always agree with her tactics, I know these student will receive much worse when working professionally even though they are children and even if they are an amazing dancer.  There is no doubt that Abby had been producing high quality talented dancers for decades.  Her studio is known world wide and is always on top in competitions.  I also realize that this is reality TV, if there is no over the top drama, who is going to watch the show?

Let take a little time to learn about Abby Lee Miller and see how she never let size stop her success, nor did it ever matter.

From the Lifetime Website - http://www.mylifetime.com/shows/dance-moms/cast/abby-lee-miller

Originally from Pittsburgh, Abby got her love for dance from her mother, Maryen Lorrian Miller, who is a 50-year member of Dance Masters of America. Maryen owned seven dance studios in Miami, Florida, prior to marrying George L. Miller of Pittsburgh and giving birth to Abby. Maryen taught classes all over the city before opening her main studio in Penn Hills. Abby took classes at her mother’s studio throughout her formative years. After traveling with her mother to several national dance conventions, she was inspired and captivated by the newest “dance craze” competitions! At just 14 years old, she started the Abby Lee Dance Company. In 1980, she opened her own dance studio and estimates she has taught 3,000 to 4,000 students throughout her career. Now known for her incredible dedication, discipline and passion, Abby is one of the most sought-after dance teachers in Pittsburgh, as she has turned out numerous professional dance stars.  

 Abby explains her history with dance:
Obviously, I took classes all my life at my mother’s studio. Intuitively my mother chose not to push me or let me hang out at the studio. My dad took me to my class each week in addition to Girl Scouts (how much fun can you have for a quarter a week?), clarinet lessons (really hurt right after your braces were tightened), roller skating, ice skating, sewing lessons at Sears, swim team in the summer, ski club in the winter, and let’s not forget Charm School!!! I was lucky to accompany my mom and her staff every summer to several national dance conventions — I learned from some of the most amazing originals, pioneers in the dance world. I became interested in this new thing forming called “DANCE COMPETITIONS!” At the age of 14 I started the Abby Lee Dance Company, and the rest is history!

I hate to be onstage; never enjoyed performing — that’s one reason why I am a great teacher … I don’t envy or compete with my students. My dreams for them are sometimes greater than their own but never confused with mine.

Highlight performances of Abby’s dance instructor career:
The first day “Footloose” moved into its home on the Great White Way and one of my students stepped on a Broadway stage. Without his knowledge, I snuck into the theater and was granted permission to watch rehearsals. My friend AC Ciulla was the choreographer. He sat down on the steps next to my aisle seat and asked my opinion of the choreography … that was a moment. Another would be attending the Tonys! All the awards and titles my students have won over the years are very important to me.

Abby’s former students who have gone on to become professional dancers: Mark Myars — First job: “Carol of the Bells” solo at Radio City in the Christmas Spectacular. First Broadway show: Original cast, “Footloose,” and he went on to become the dance captain for “Wicked.” Now he is the dance supervisor for the casts of “Wicked” in London, Tokyo, Amsterdam and Belgium. This year alone he was called in to swing principal tracks in the Broadway casts of “Wicked,” “Come Fly with Me” and “West Side Story.”

Asmeret Ghebremichael — First job out of high school: Principal swing for three different tracks for “Footloose” on Broadway. She went on to perform in “Spamalot,” “Lion King,” “Aida,” “In the Heights,” “Legally Blonde” and “Book of Mormon.” I drove her butt to NYC myself four times for callbacks for “Footloose.”

I have had dancers in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular for 26 years. I have had 13 dancers contracted to work in Japan at Tokyo Disneyland. I could go on and on …

Does she still keep in touch with these former students?
Yes, of course, I still take their butts to dinner! They don’t send me any percentage of their earnings — I’ve wised up! I know that I am with them in spirit every single time they step on a stage or into a class.

What Abby has learned most from having a career as a professional dance teacher:
It takes 15 years to make an overnight success!

What inspires Abby most about dance:
The entertainment value, the ability to make something so difficult look so easy and the raw emotional execution.

What she hopes to teach her students about the performing arts:
Survival skills. Absolutely everything they need to know to be employable professional dancers.

What skills Abby thinks most of her students will walk away with after completing her classes:
Proper dance technique, as well as a realistic look at life, an understanding that everyone is replaceable and everything is possible! They should be able to stand taller, speak confidently and be comfortable in front of a mirror or on a stage.

What Abby loves most about teaching dance:
I love the joy in a child’s face when they achieve a goal or master a trick for the very first time.

Go to the Abby Lee Miller Dance Company Website: http://abbyleedancecompany.com/



Thank you for Reading The LargeInCharge Feature

Cover Model of the Month!
Brooke Bradshaw
Ms Utah Plus America


Want to be a LargeInCharge Cover Model? Download the Application for 2013 - HERE




LargeInCharge.com: What is your name?

Brooke J

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

From Las Vegas, Nevada, currently living in good ole Utah J

LargeInCharge.com: Can you give us some information about yourself (Age, Height, Size, Nationality, Marital Status, Children, etc.)?


I am 30 flirty and fabulous, 5’6, a size 22/24, Caucasian, Single with no kids, However, I do have a nephew and 3 nieces that I love to spoil, and then send them back to their parents J

LargeInCharge.com: Were you a big child, or did you gain weight later in life?

I was always a little bigger, but super active and athletic. I started gaining my weight more in my early 20s.

LargeInCharge.com: (If you were a big child) how did you feel growing up as a large child?

I was very blessed to have amazing friends in my life that never made me feel any different or unaccepted. I also kept myself busy with sports, study and socializing.

LargeInCharge.com: (If you gained weight later in life) what caused you to gain weight and how did you feel about it?

I was in a very dark place in my life, and was looking for ways to feel fulfilled. I became very inactive and looked to food as a comfort.  I am so grateful for this struggle because it taught me that I am a fighter, and that I want to do whatever I can to never revisit such a dark place.

LargeInCharge.com: What made you decide to enter the LargeInCharge model search?

I am in such a good and positive place in my life, and have overcome a lot in life. I want to do everything I can to express and share that positivity with others who might be having their own struggles.

LargeInCharge.com: Did you find it a hard journey to be accepted for your size, and do you find acceptance among your family and friends?

It has been a very challenging struggle to go from where I was, to where I am now. I have learned that we are our own worst critics, and our harshest enemies in life. However, just like most things in life, it comes to the point where you must decide if you are going to give up, or if you are going to move forward, because standing still is not an option. With the help of amazing friends and family I have gained an incredible love and acceptance of myself, and while there is always room for improvement, I am truly happy with who I am J

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

My grandmother, she is the most selfless person I have ever met. She’s an amazing example and inspiration of what a good classy woman should be.

LargeInCharge.com: What is your primary occupation, and how did you get into this line of work?


I am a Nurse for an ENT and Dermatologist. A couple family members became very ill and needed a lot of in home medical care. I learned what I could by reading books, searching on the internet, and asking questions of the homecare nurses, so that I could help in whatever way I could. My family quickly recovered, and seeing such a great outcome from all the hard work, was so rewarding. I have also loved helping people, and the combination of the two just seemed very fitting. J

LargeInCharge.com: Do you find acceptance in the work force?

Absolutely, I work with amazing people, and being larger has helped me when interacting with patients that face insecurities about their weight.

LargeInCharge.com: What changes do you believe should take place for Large People in the work force?

I full heartedly believe in equality. I believe that everyone should have the opportunity to work, and should be given the tools needed for them to do their job.

LargeInCharge.com: What do you think about the fashion industry for big sized clothing?

I think that we have a long ways to go when it comes to plus size fashion being more available and accepted, but that we are slowly making advances to make it more main stream.


LargeInCharge.com: What do you wish to see change with the fashion industry?

I would love for the fashion industry to be more realistic, and realize that the majority of women are plus size, and as such, should have more lines that cater to women of size.

LargeInCharge.com: Tell us some of the places you buy your clothing from.  Do you have any beauty tips?  

Torrid, Lane Bryant, Ashley Stewart, SWAK, Maurice’s, Old Navy, Cult of California, Pinup Girl Clothing, we love colors (for cute pantyhose and leggings), and Big Gals Lingerie J As far as beauty tips, I have two words ladies….FAKE  EYELASHES!!!! It is amazing how something so simple can make you feel so glamorous and feminine.

LargeInCharge.com:  How do you prepare for a Photo shoot?  What should aspiring models be prepared for?

It is super important to know about the company that you are modeling for, and what their expectation is of you as a model. I am always sure to ask questions about what look they are going for so that I make sure we are on the same page.

LargeInCharge.com: Look at Size acceptance five years ago... look at size acceptance now.  What changes do you see?


I see positive changes; mostly from men and women who embrace who they are and share that with the world. I think that modern technology has helped spread people’s messages of size acceptance.

LargeInCharge.com: Tell us about your goals as far as modeling and other interests.

Right now I believe the sky is the limit and there is nothing that I can’t do, so I am just choosing to seize every moment that comes my way.

LargeInCharge.com:  What have you accomplished as a Plus Sized Model? 

I did print modeling for years, and have also been involved in a few fashion shows. I am currently putting my time and effort towards pageantry and charity work.

LargeInCharge.com:  Have you entered or won any Contests, Pageants or Awards?  What was the experience like?

Yes, I am the currently Ms. Utah Plus America, and will be competing for Ms. Plus America in July. It has been an amazingly rewarding experience, and I am so blessed to be a part of it. Not only do I get to raise awareness for size acceptance, but I also get to help local charities, and raise awareness for mine.

LargeInCharge.com: Can you tell us about an inspirational moment in your life that made you feel good about your size.


During the past year, I have attended quite a few BBW events and bashes. The first of which was “Well Rounded” put together by Brie Brown. I fell so in love with the event, and the friends I made at it, that I have attended several more thrown by Stu Bo.  At these events, I was so inspired to see how comfortable and happy everyone was with themselves. The level of confidence is so amazing when people are free from being judged, and can just be themselves. I was also so inspired by the time and energy that it must take these two incredible people to put these events together, that I am forever grateful for their contribution to the plus size community.  

LargeInCharge.com: Is there a person in your life that makes you keep going?

More than anyone else, it is me that keeps me going. My love of life, family, friends, work, and my commitment to helping others gives me enough motivation that I know I can endure anything that comes my way.

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

The best advice that I can give is to be confident. Modeling is about selling yourself. It is about connecting to other people, and making them love who you are,  So love yourself J

LargeInCharge.com: Which plus size figure do you most admire?

Adele. She is gorgeous, talented, and doesn’t let anyone destroy her confidence in herself.

LargeInCharge.com: Describe yourself with one word.

Balanced J




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 - Worthy Charities 2013

Written By: Raqui





 This year LargeInCharge has begun its 9th year moving toward our 10th. I challenged myself this year by starting my own little quest toward learning, giving, and expanding my own mind, by donating to a new charity every month.  I hope that you all will enjoy learning about these new charities with me.  


I began to understand that most of us only donate to a charity if we have an emotional connection to the charity itself or someone who is trying to raise money for a cause.   One day when I happen to dismiss a charity that was asking for donations, I realized I dont want to be that person.  I want to give because the cause is worthy and I can.  Not only because of an emotional connection.   So join me in learning about new causes and charities this year.  I will post a new one to my column every month.


CHARITY OF THE MONTH:  St. Jude Children's Hospital

About St. Jude

When late entertainer Danny Thomas opened the doors to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in 1962, he was not just changing the lives of children who would walk through its doors—he was changing lives across the world. When St. Jude completed its $1 billion, five-year expansion in 2005, it bolstered the hospital's efforts to find cures for the catastrophic diseases of childhood. The growth more than doubled the size of the hospital’s original campus. The expansion included the Children's GMP, LLC—the nation's only pediatric research center on-site facility for production of highly specialized treatments and vaccines—an expanded Department of Immunology and more. Now with the addition of the Chili’s Care Center, a larger, rejuvenated Kay Kafe cafeteria for employees and patients, and renovations to the medicine room and rehabilitation areas, the hospital is more poised than ever to advance cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment.


The expansion moves St. Jude much closer to ultimately realizing the dream of founder Danny Thomas that "no child should die in the dawn of life."



Quick Facts about St. Jude


·         St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital opened on February 4, 1962 and was founded by the late entertainer Danny Thomas. Its mission is to find cures for children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases through research and treatment.

·         St. Jude has treated children from all 50 states and from around the world.

·         On average, 7,800 active patients visit the hospital each year, most of whom are treated on an outpatient basis.

·         St. Jude has 78 inpatient beds and treats upwards of 260 patients each day.

·         St. Jude is the first and only pediatric cancer center to be designated as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute.

·         St. Jude is the first institution established for the sole purpose of conducting basic and clinical research and treatment into catastrophic childhood diseases, mainly cancer.

·         Research findings at St. Jude are shared freely with doctors and scientists all over the world.

·         The medical and scientific staff published more than 680 articles in academic journals in 2010, more than any other pediatric cancer research center in the United States. St. Jude’s researchers are published and cited more often in high impact publications than any other private pediatric oncology institution in America.

·         No family ever pays St. Jude for anything.

·         Parents magazine named St. Jude as one of the top children's cancer care hospitals in the U.S. for two consecutive surveys.

·         St. Jude has developed protocols that have helped push overall survival rates for childhood cancers from less than 20 percent when the hospital opened in 1962 to 80 percent today.

·         In 1962, the survival rate for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most common form of childhood cancer, was 4 percent. Today, the survival rate for this once deadly disease is 94 percent, thanks to research and treatment protocols developed at St. Jude.

·         The daily operating cost for St. Jude is $1.8 million, which is primarily covered by public contributions.

·         During the past five years, 81 cents of every dollar received has supported the research and treatment at St. Jude.

·         St. Jude recently completed an extensive expansion program that bolstered the hospital’s research and treatment efforts, while more than doubling the size of its original campus. The campus now has 2.5 million square feet of research, clinical and administrative space dedicated to finding cures and saving children. The expansion included the Children’s GMP, LLC, currently the nation’s only pediatric research center on-site facility for the research and production of highly specialized treatments and vaccines; an expanded Department of Immunology; and a new Department of Chemical Biology and Therapeutics for discovery of new drugs.

·         The Chili’s Care Center, opened in November 2007, integrates patient care and research where rapidly evolving CT (computerized tomography) and MR (magnetic resonance) technologies keep St. Jude at the cutting edge for radiation therapy in a pediatric/adolescent setting. Additionally, a state-of-the-art cyclotron enables St. Jude researchers to undertake many important new PET (positron emission tomography) studies. These imaging techniques facilitate the rapid evaluation of new therapeutic approaches and help choose those most likely to be successful.

·         St. Jude pioneered a combination of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery to treat childhood cancers.

·         Peter C. Doherty, PhD, of St. Jude Immunology, won the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1996. He shares the award with Rolf M. Zinkernagel, MD, of the University of Zurich. Their findings have led to breakthroughs in the understanding and treatment of viral infections and cancers, and in the development of organ transplant procedures and vaccines.

·         St. Jude patients are referred by a physician, and generally have a disease currently under study and are eligible for a current research protocol on clinical research trials.

·         St. Jude researchers and doctors are treating children with pediatric AIDS, as well as using new drugs and therapies to fight infections.

·         St. Jude was the first institution to develop a cure for sickle cell disease with a bone marrow transplant and has one of the largest pediatric sickle cell programs in the country.

·         St. Jude is a World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Studies on the Ecology of Influenza Viruses in Animals and Birds.

·         St. Jude was the first facility outside the National Institutes of Health to receive federal approval for research involving human gene therapy.

·         The St. Jude faculty includes three National Academy of Sciences members: Peter C. Doherty, PhD, of Immunology; Charles Sherr, MD, PhD, of Tumor Cell Biology; and Robert Webster, PhD, of Infectious Diseases. Sherr and Brenda Schulman, PhD, Structural Biology, hold the coveted title of Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigators.

·         The St. Jude faculty also includes five members of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences: William E. Evans, St. Jude director and chief executive officer; Arthur Nienhuis, MD, of Hematology and former director and CEO; Charles Sherr, MD, PhD, of Tumor Cell Biology; Nobel Laureate Peter Doherty, PhD, of Immunology; and Mary Relling, PharmD, Pharmaceutical Sciences chair.

·         St. Jude is the national coordinating center for the National Cancer Institute-funded Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium. St. Jude is the coordinating center for the nationwide Children’s Cancer Survivor Study, funded by the National Cancer Institute. St. Jude is the national coordinating center for the National Cancer Institute-sponsored Pediatric Drug Discovery Consortium. St. Jude is the coordinating center for a national study of sickle cell disease treatment funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Cancer Institute.




Want to Help?

You can donate at the following link - https://shop.stjude.org/GiftCatalog/donation.do?cID=14222&pID=23750

You can also donate via phone by calling - 1-800-805-5856


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




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!


Five Years Later, 200 pounds Down!

with Sonya Bennett - Angie's Sister


I'd like to thank the named author Angie Bee and Raqui for allowing me to share this byline for May!  Don't worry, she'll return next month  :)

It's amazing how time flies; it's been five years since I had my gastric bypass; the Roux-en-Y at Barix Clinics in Ypsilanti, Michigan.  Before the initial cleanse that is recommended to all Weight Loss Surgery patients, I was 385 pounds and now at 42 years old and the mother of a one-year old daughter, I stepped on the scale and weighed in at 185 pounds!  Some may feel that's not an accomplishment; however, I didn't achieve this size based on what 'some' think.  How many women can look back and say they were in a tight size 32 dress and are now in a comfortable size 12 even after having a baby?  I can!  I'm not limited to the Plus Size sections of the clothing aisles/stores and even though it was not an easy trek, I don't regret it.


Weight Loss Surgery is not for everyone.  People who feel it is a 'magic pill' will find themselves going back for revisions or, worse yet, not being successful in the first place. Whenever I'm asked, I proclaim it is the best medical decision I've ever made for myself; I had carried that weight for almost all of my adult life along with high cholesterol, sleep apnea and, just prior to my April 13, 2008 "new birth-day" had just been diagnosed with Type II Diabetes which resulted in a Diabetic Neuropathy of my left foot.  Though I am in remission from my Diabetes and my foot has strengthened, certain seasons bring about an excruciating pain that reminds me that I'm not 'healed'.

I would encourage anyone considering Medical Weight Loss Surgery to research the options.  If you are 100 pounds overweight, or more, the Lap Band won't help you in my opinion.  If you are planning to have children, I suggest you have them before a significant weight loss and if you aren't planning to have children, please know that when your body is in a healthy state, the probabilities of becoming pregnant are higher.

I'm constantly trying to incorporate protein into my baby's life; protein burns fat.  I'm not neurotic; starving my growing child; however, I am glad that I've learned that food is fuel and I hope to incorporate good eating habits into my daughter. I embrace my size: I'm nowhere near where I was, but far from what society deems 'fit'. I hope, as we're almost approaching June -- the middle of the year -- that if your health is affected by your weight, that you will consider some changes.  Should you be in the Midwest/Detroit, Michigan area this July, come experience a size-acceptance weekend that is being hailed a Big, Beautiful Weekend that will explore vendors/sponsors and parties celebrating our curves!  


I’ll see ya!





Angie BEE


Author, Magazine Publisher, Producer, Promoter &

The Host of The Hottest Home Hotspot WORLDWIDE

Syndicated Holy Hip Hop Radio Show

Last Week I wanted to Die!




Thanks for reading

The Big GB - My Gastric Bypass Memoirs

Sonya's Links:


Sonya Bennett on Facebook

     Founded in 1969, NAAFA is a non-profit civil rights organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for fat people. NAAFA works to eliminate discrimination based on body size and provide fat people with the tools for self-empowerment through public education, advocacy, and member support.


     This Column is dedicated to the tremendous work NAAFA has been doing for over four decades.  LargeInCharge wishes to support NAAFA in spreading the word of its work, and give the public more information into issues we as plus sized people should be aware of.  The fight for equality for people of all sizes is one we support.


     This Column will include News Releases and Calls to Action from NAAFA Directors.


This Column has been Approved by NAAFA.org


CVS Wellness Program: a Prescription for Discrimination!

from: NAAFA.org by Peggy Howell


Last month NAAFA issued a press release calling on the leadership of CVS Caremark to re-evaluate their new so-called “voluntary” wellness policy.  The program requires employees to release private medical information to their employer’s wellness program or pay an additional $50 per month for healthcare coverage.  How can a program be called voluntary when non-compliance results in a penalty?

Our objection is not with employers offering wellness programs; it is simply with those whose wellness programs include punitive measures or differential rewards based on health status factors, including a person's cholesterol, blood pressure, weight or body mass index.  Body size or weight is not a proxy for health or wellness.   These programs are discriminatory practices.

But there’s so much more to this story.  CVS joins the ranks of cost cutting corporations such as Whole Foods, Safeway and Boyd Gaming who are disguising an attempt to squeeze more out of employees as benefits packages and wellness programs.

Boyd Gaming introduced a similar “voluntary” wellness program three years ago.  At the beginning of year two, the program became mandatory with non-compliance costing employees more than an additional $600 per year for health insurance.  Non-compliance also made employees ineligible for the company’s premium coverage.  Additionally, their program requires those employees with a BMI above 25 to see a Boyd employed health coach three times a year.   


Boyd's annual health assessment can be provided by your personal physician or you can go to one of their assessment clinics and they will take your blood, weigh and measure you.   They will assist with the 100 question health assessment form which asks for information such as height, weight, waist measurement, how often you exercise, how many hours per night you sleep, do you wear your seat belt, alcohol consumption, how often do you floss, etc.


So what’s next?  Tracking how you spend your minimum wage paycheck?  Seriously, they already have the capability to do so!  Check out this article:  http://www.policymic.com/articles/33807/obesity-crisis-this-service-lets-your-boss-track-your-grocery-purchases


As representatives of some of the major stakeholders involved, members and the Board of NAAFA are requesting the re-evaluation of the intent and execution of CVS Caremark’s Wellness Program.  NAAFA offers its assistance in referring experts that may be of service to you in finding health-based wellness programs.  To voice your objection to CVS, sign the petition at:  http://tinyurl.com/csnf7z8


Since the announcement from CVS/Caremark, Michelin North America, Inc. has announced their version of madness labeled as a wellness program.  Employees at the tire maker who have high blood pressure or certain size waistlines may have to pay as much as $1,000 more for health-care coverage starting next year.  The company will reward only those workers who meet healthy standards for blood pressure, glucose, cholesterol, triglycerides and waist size — under 35 inches for women and 40 inches for men.  Speak out against Michelin’s policy at:  http://tinyurl.com/bm4smss


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 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




Happiness Kitchen
with Lucia Roth

Midweek Meal - How quickly the weeks are flying. I wish time would slow down a bit.  Anyone found the formula for squeezing extra hours into the day yet? Well… on those days that you just don’t have enough time in your day and you need a quick easy meal to prepare.  I have a wonderful recipe for those days you just don’t know what to cook and time is not on your side.  Try Shrimp Risotto! This dish proves to be an easy quick and sophisticated meal. 


Shrimp Risotto


5 cups canned low-salt chicken broth

3/4 cup dry white wine

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

1/2 pound uncooked large shrimp, peeled, deveined

3/4 cup finely chopped onion

1 1/2 cups arborio rice* or medium-grain white rice

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley

*Arborio, Italian short-grain rice, is available at Italian markets and many supermarkets



Bring broth and 1/4 cup wine to simmer in medium saucepan. Reduce heat; keep hot.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in medium skillet over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon garlic and crushed red pepper, then shrimp. Sauté until shrimp begin to turn pink, about 2 minutes. Add remaining 1/2 cup wine. Simmer until shrimp are just cooked through, about 2 minutes. Drain shrimp, reserving cooking liquid.

Melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and remaining 1 teaspoon garlic; sauté until onion is pale golden, about 4 minutes. Add rice and stir to coat, about 2 minutes. Add 2 cups broth mixture. Simmer until liquid is absorbed, stirring often. Continue adding broth mixture 1 cup at a time, stirring often and simmering until liquid is absorbed before adding more, about 20 minutes. Stir in reserved shrimp cooking liquid. Cook until rice is just tender and mixture is creamy, about 5 minutes longer. Remove from heat.

Stir shrimp and 2 tablespoons parsley into risotto. Salt and Pepper risotto to taste. Transfer to bowls. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons parsley.

A fruity, spicy Sauvignon Blanc would be perfect with this meal.

Bon Appetit!!



     Ms Suga is a plus size woman hailing from Sunny South Florida. She is a 24 year old recent recipient of a Bachelor in Arts degree in Communication Studies. Being plus size for the majority of her life she has overcome many obstacles to finally come to the point where she is fully content with herself and her life. This self love has also allowed Ms Suga the privilege of sharing her love with those around her. She is very passionate about life and loves to help others.

     Ms Suga likes to see herself as the one everyone can go to for positive, inspirational and truthful words of advice and/or support. She is the Beautiful Inspirational Girl that is blessed, intellectual, trustworthy, caring and hardworking.

     Ms Suga has had a passion for writing since she was a little girl when she used to think of short stories about what her life would be like as she got older. This is Ms Suga’s first opportunity for her thoughts to be public for the world to see. Excited about this column Ms Suga is also very optimistic of her future in writing and promoting self love and acceptance in the plus size community.


I Cried and its Alright

with Ms Suga



This morning I cried (yes I'm a girl it's what we do). Anyway, this morning I cried, I have a lot of personal things going on and I had to let it all out. So I cried and afterwards I had the calming feeling that everything would be alright. Now don't get it twisted I don't cry just because; it takes a strong person to release their feelings physically. There once was a time when I wouldn't cry, I'd just be a bitch to any and everyone around me and party till I couldn't party anymore. For the longest time, that was how I masked my feelings. I was ruthless, cold hearted and selfish and it all came from built up emotions. When someone hurt my feelings I would fight back the tears and lash out at the closest person to me. It got so bad that at times I didn't want to be around myself. 


Eventually, I would take a long hot shower, wash my hair (that way I could blame my red eyes on the shampoo ;-)) and cry my heart out. When I was finished I knew that everything is alright. I knew I had to get my feelings in check and that I could no longer bottle up my emotions but I was still Leary about seeming vulnerable to others. As I got older I started to realize that I can't handle everything on my own. Some things we have to let go of while other things we can handle it just takes time.


How do you let go? Does my wacked out method sound familiar? Or are you constantly bottling up life's trials? Do you feel like everything will be alright? Now I'm no expert so I cannot tell anyone how to live their lives but what I can tell you is that masking your feelings or bottling them up won't do anything but make things worse. If you don't release it, it'll never be alright.


I know sometimes it seems like letting go is the worst thing you can do but let me tell you this... it's alright. You might be going through tough times and it seems like there's no end in sight; remember this...it's alright. This month I'm challenging you all to do something different. Let it all out; release the anger, stress, hatred, heartache, bitterness, judgmental behaviors, resentment, debt and all the other worries of the world. Let it all out. Crying may not be sufficient; some of you may need a stress ball or even a punching bag. The ultimate goal is to release your frustration without causing more frustration. 


Sex, booze and drugs are some people's "go to" stress reliever but that is only a temporary fix. You may get doped up to forget your problems but when u come down from that high the shit is still on the fan. Like I said I cannot tell you how to live your life but what I can tell you is you can't put a Band-Aid on a bullet wound. Physical wounds are very similar to our mental wounds. First the actual problem needs to be discovered and a treatment is described. Then the medicine needs to be applied consistently in order to heal. Once healed, there may be a scar but that scar is there to show that you had a problem but everything turned out alright. 


I encourage you to treat your problems instead of ignoring them. It might seem damn near impossible now but in the long run it'll be alright. :-)


Until next time!

Encourage and be encouraging to others.

~Ms. Suga~






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


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


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


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



Dating Sites do they Really Work?

 with Kathy Edmondson

There are all kinds of dating sites out there for someone who wants to meet someone else.   There is the popular E Harmony, Christian Singles, BBW Cupid and Singles 50+ Our Time.   There are more relationships and marriages started on a dating web site or a social media web site today than if you meet someone just by bumping into them on the street.


There are a lot of pros and cons to on line dating because let's face it people aren't totally honest on their profile and about everything they put on there.   You have to decipher what is real and what isn't when you look at their on line dating profiles.   Dating web sites can definitely have their pros because you can browse a profile and get a feel for someone.   I think looking at someone's pictures can tell a lot about someone too.  For example if a guy has a lot of pictures of him partying and basically no other pictures than you can tell that he isn't going to be the guy sitting on the couch every night watching TV.  

You should definitely pick a dating web site that fits your interests and what you are looking for in a relationship.   Setting goals on what you are looking for in a relationship so you don't spend your time going out on date after date with men that don't have the same relationship goals in mind.    Even though you know that not everyone is going to write their profile as truthful as you would like you should try to make sure your profile is as truthful and accurate as possible so you have a better chance of meeting someone who will be a good match.  

You should also be prepared for the people you turn down for a date being mean and rude because it happens all the time.   I've had men talk to me on line and tell me how beautiful and sweet I was but... the moment I said I wasn't interested in going out on a date with them the tables turned pretty fast.   The next thing I am reading is this same man who said I was beautiful, gorgeous and sweet is now saying that I'm stupid, fat and ugly.  

Yes there will be married men on here posing as single men so you also need to look out for the signs that a guy is married also.   Those signs can be that he texts you and hardly ever calls, when you call him he doesn't answer and then texts you back, the time of the day he can go out on a date with you are limited and he has to cancel dates unexpectedly. 

We also have to look out for men who live out of the country who say they live here and tell you everything you want to hear romantically to get you to fall for them than they have some kind of emergency that they need you to send them money via Western Union. 


Spend some time on line getting to know someone before giving out your phone number and test the waters to see what kind of a person this man is but if you don't see any red flags don't want too long to meet in person because you need to get to know someone in person to really see what they are like.


Also remember to be safe when meeting someone for the first time and make sure to meet them in a public place until you feel comfortable with them.   A friend of mine a long time ago had rules for meeting men in person that she had first met on line to be as safe as possible when meeting someone who really is a stranger.   She would always meet the man in a public place and before she left for the date she would e mail her friends the name, screen name, phone number and where she was meeting the man.   She would always let the guy know she was e mailing her friends his information before meeting him and she would e mail her friend when she returned home safe from her date.  Dating web sites can help you find the person who is just right for you and as long as you are being safe than you are going to have a good time dating and finding a great person.




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.



Forbiden Curves

with Jness

This month rather than share a piece of art that has been previously released to the public by me I am revealing a project that I have shied away from releasing to the public.  Follow along as I explain why I have artwork that I have felt restricted from releasing.


About 13 years ago, I decided to make plus size art my signature thread of art. I started off illustrating full figured women in the nude, primarily because I appreciated exploring anatomy through my art, and I felt the platform made an impact on the viewer. I saw the plus size woman as art, and I knew this was a way to make that statement heard. The reaction was mixed. Eventually there was an increase in volume from the voice of public acceptance. But there were many who insisted that anything displaying nudity was considered a form of pornographic. I never clearly understood why the general consensus leaned towards the conclusion that nudity in a modern illustration is morally questionable. However, nude figures featured in Renaissance art have been considered as acceptable and truly artistic.


In regard to my art, there is a stigma that follows the full figured woman throughout creative and social mediums. For example, Mae West, and Marilynn Monroe played rolls that presented them in a sensual way (for a lack of better terms). Curvy women seem to be more acceptable in the media playing a sexy roll rather than head strong, and intelligent roll. With that being said, I think curvy art receives the same reception. It’s instantly considered sexual. Don’t get me wrong; we have come a long way since the examples I mentioned. Does anyone remember Camryn Manheim, playing the roll of a powerful attorney in the television series “The Practice”?

As I mentioned, I exclusively did illustrations of the full figured woman in the natural. Until I received an email from a twelve year old girl, who said, that before discovering my artwork she never thought that someone who looks like her could be perceived as beautiful.  The experience lead me to changing my creative strategy. This started the direction that eventually became the type of art I produce now.

 I remember when the term BBW (Big Beautiful Woman) was associated with something positive and uplifting to the plus size community, now when placed into a search engine all you see are pornographic search results. My website is called www.bbwartbyjness.com, spread the word the name of my website reflects early days when the term was fresh and unexploited.

There was a collection I sketched out called “Curves”, it would feature close ups of plus size women. A series of panel squares featuring close observations of curves. I was not anxious to revisit the discussion of art versus porn so I put the project on the shelf. On this page you can see a sketch of what the concept would look like.


I have decided to exercise my creative freedom and make this idea I came up with from years ago a reality. I will reveal the collection here very soon. Thank you for reading.







Hello there all my fashion loving friends. My name is Amy Lucas and in this column I hope to bring you some new outfits that will make you feel great and be Large and In Charge. My whole life has not been devoted to fashion as my background is in teaching Spanish, Math, and Science. I also have a master’s degree in Central Office Administration.


With that said, I have been wearing plus sizes for as long as I can remember so I do know the struggles we all face to find cute clothes. I come from a smaller town in Michigan, which means I have an even harder time finding plus size clothing in my area since the choices are so limited; as well as, the sizes and styles each 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 Dresses for Summer
with Amy Lucas

Fun, feminine, and flirty dresses are the way to go this summer. They not only look great for any occasion but they also keep you cool when the temperatures soar. Whether it’s a maxi or a short strapless dress you will look great. It’s also the perfect time to try out bold colors, color blocking, pretty pastels, and interesting patterns. Here are some great options for spicing up your summer wardrobe.




So Cute Frill Front Maxi by City Chic,

sizes 14-24, $118,





Linen Placket Bias Dress

in yellow apple, sizes 12-26, $39.50, www.ashleystewart.com






Scarf Print Midi Dress

in yellow/ print, sizes 10-28, $55, www.simplybe.com




Ombre Ruffle Front Tube Dress

in azalea combo, sizes 0-4x, $44, www.maurices.com




Pleated Maxi Dress in coral,

sizes 14-28, $78,






Ruffle Front Belted Shirtdress

in poppy orange, sizes 12-26, $49.50, www.ashleystewart.com




Sabrina Maxi Dress in jade,

sizes 1-5x, $34.88,






Jasmine Cold Shoulder Maxi Dress

in navy/magenta, sizes 14/16 - 34/36, www.swakdesigns.com




Borderline Maxi,

sizes 0-5x, $98,




Turquoise Stripe Print Dress,

 sizes 14/16-30/32, $59.99,




Denim 24/7 Ciara Diva Dress

in white, sizes 12-34, $60,



Light Blue Striped Strapless Dress,

sizes 0-5x, $48.50,




Women’s Plus Chevron-Stripe Maxi Dress

in warm stripe, sizes 1-4x, $39,



Belted Stripe Tube Dress

in multi, sizes 0-4x, $44,






Georgia Maxi Dress

in red chevron, sizes 1-6x, $49.88, www.swakdesigns.com



One Shoulder Ruffled Dress

in cabaret, sizes 14-28, $69.95, www.lanebryant.com



Pink Color Block Maxi Dress,

sizes 0-5x, $58.50,



Floral Strapless Maxi Dress

in cabaret, sizes 14/16-26/28, $79.95, www.lanebryant.com


Vanguard Maxi,

sizes 0-5x, $98,


Colorblock Floral Print Dress,

sizes xs-6x, $82.95,



Chevron Striped Maxi with Chain Belt,

sizes 12-26, $59.50,




Ruched Paisley Maxi Dress

in green multi,

sizes xs-6x, $99.95,



Merona Women’s Plus Size Sleeveless Ruffled

Maxi Dress in hipster violet,

sizes 1-4x, $32.99,



Women’s Plus Maxi Tank Dresses

in cool colorblock, sizes 1-4x,




San Tropez Maxi,

sizes 0-4x, $88,



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.

Light Hearted Chest Pains
with Jay Hansen

After Heidi and I moved, we had terrible luck finding a regular physician for her. The first two she visited left town shortly after seeing Heidi for the first time; something I keep telling myself wasn't personal, but still funny. Eventually when we did find a dedicated doctor Heidi got an appointment for a regular physical exam, and I got to attend. I aim to attend as many doctor's visits with Heidi as possible to collect as much information as I can on taking care of her. Usually, there isn't anything too important or ground-breaking in such regular checkups, but this exam in particular had a surprise for us.


Heidi's doctor, who is thankfully size-friendly, was reading over all the results and information she had collected from her routine testing in a very casual, matter-of-fact way, until she uttered seven words that brought the conversation to a screeching halt.


"... then, of course, there's your heart murmur." She paused, blankly staring at us, "But, you already knew about that... right?"


Needless to say, we did not. In all her life Heidi had no idea that she had a heart murmur. The everyday nature of the exam quickly came to an awkward collapse as the doctor continued to tell us about it. Because it was newly detected, several tests were going to have to be done to make sure it wasn't dangerous. The first was a simple EKG that they could do that day since all the equipment they needed was in the same building, but for Heidi there's nothing "simple" about any tests that involve her chest.


Heidi is an extremely top-heavy woman. I won't divulge too many personal details, but just know her actual bra size is not sold at any store, including most online ones (save of course for the high-end, custom-design companies). Any medical exam that involves a woman's chest, be it cardiac, respiratory, or a mammogram always has an added layer of complexity when administered to a particularly large woman. Heidi's often regaled me with stories of exams that take unfortunate turns because of her size, particularly the size of her breasts. Her very first mammogram, for example, was administered by what she could have sworn was the tiniest little woman she'd ever seen with the hands of a four year old. She struggled to administer the test, audibly grunting and straining throughout, which actually made it kind of funny. I'm a 6 foot adult male, and not even I can properly hold one of her breasts out of the way without both hands; I can only imagine what must have gone through both of their minds. For Heidi, it involved nightmares of the poor little thing just getting consumed and lost forever, but I digress.


What troubles her more than an unfortunately, albeit humorously, sized technician is the same concern that haunts all too many people of size and is only amplified by a hospital setting; the fear that they are being judged for their weight. Often, when Heidi gets assigned some younger, conventionally good-looking guy, she can't help but assume the worst; that she's going to end up "the story" he tells at the end of the day to all of his equally young, conventionally good-looking guy friends. This was the case for the second of Heidi's heart-murmur related tests, her echocardiogram, which I could unfortunately not attend. It didn't exactly get any easier when one of Heidi's breasts completely pinned his arm down just as easily as it did the previously mentioned, ill-fated mammogram technician's hands.


This fear of judgment is one that I am constantly trying to alleviate as the partner to a large woman, and no where is it as potent as in a hospital setting. The hospital requires us to be in our most vulnerable position possible and demands complete honesty and openness. That's why the importance of finding a size-friendly doctor can never be overstated, but more importantly it's also why I try to be involved in doctor's visits whenever possible. Being there to help her dress and undress, move around the small exam rooms, climb up and down the tables, or even physically maneuver parts of her body to help the doctors and technicians is of vital importance. They are not as familiar with her or her body as I am and know little of where she is sensitive or thin-skinned, physically and emotionally. Sometimes, you just need to be there just to be there. As always, the comfort of your plus-sized partner ultimately falls to you, and under the often unflattering scrutiny of a doctor's office is when it is most needed.


The final test Heidi needed to check her heart-murmur was referred to as a "bubble test," but it would require going all the way to Oklahoma City to see a much more specialized doctor. It may go without saying that this hospital visit was an adventure in and of itself, and one that'll have to wait for another time.


(But don't worry - the heart murmur turned out to be nothing!)





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.
When Tolerance is no longer Acceptable
with David Edmondson

     It doesn’t matter what context this word is used, but when the term Tolerance is used in conversation, it is sure to raise eyebrows. When it is mentioned on topics such as race, sexual preferences or religion; people seem to have a wide range of opinions. Yet, I’ve noticed that when it comes to being big, people have to be reminded, to check their egos and their attitudes at the door.


     How many times have you been starred at when at a movie theater, restaurant or an amusement park? When you are traveling on an airplane, do you feel the stares as you get to your seat? Are you the odd one at a stadium or arena, when someone else has to get past you and your seat, to get to the concession stand? It makes you feel as though you have to apologize for being big.

Let’s look at the term Tolerance for a moment. According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary; we are shown that it means:

1. Capacity to endure pain.

2. Sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one's own. B. The act of allowing something

3. The allowable deviation from a standard; especiallythe range of variation permitted in maintaining a specified dimension in machining a piece.

It is with 2B and 3 that I have a huge problem with.

The very definition or meaning clarified in 2B and 3; seem to indicate that there is a standard for how you have to be in order to fit in. Slim, skinny, fit. You’ve seen it portrayed in movies, television and film on a daily basis. People of every race, color and creed, breaking their collective necks and backs in order to gain the approval of those whom worship every unwritten law that Madison Avenue subscribes to. My question is, in a land where we are supposed to celebrate what makes people unique, why does this have to be another barrier. It is one thing when you have to feel challenged by society as a whole, but to endure this among family and friends is a completely different story.

These are the so called people we live our lives through, whom we count on for their unwavering support. Yet, at least one person has had to endure that relative, whom makes you the top target of every joke or perhaps they want to give you advice as to how you can fix your problem. As if you were the one who chose this lifestyle.  It has for some people led to overall depression another battle that people of size have had to endure. Now men, we tend to get a little more leeway because of sports, where being big is accepted. However, it is not so easy for all men. How many times have you wanted to date that woman whom makes your heart melt, only to be told directly or indirectly that she would never date you, because you are too big?

There is a solution to all of this and that is…….wait for it……Intolerance. No one should have to tolerate being treated unfairly or criticized for being a certain size. No one should have to be tolerated for choosing to be who they are. In fact the word tolerance has a negative connotation when you think about it. We should be using words like, acceptance, celebrated or diverse, because that’s who we all are as a people, no matter your size. One day, we will hopefully reach that point.




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