Tag Archives: plus-sized

Big Girls on the Red Carpet

Jeanette working the Red Carpet with the two directors of the Haute Curves Fashion Show for LA Fashion Week: Angela Rene’ AKA “The Purple Diva”, CEO of PurpleDivaDesigns.com and Jasmine Epperson, CEO at Kris Eliza Boutique

On the list of things we big girls are told we will never experience, you can add wearing beautiful clothes.  As a kid, I never thought I’d get to wear gorgeous things and the idea that there would be plus-sized models seemed extremely remote.

So in my week of saying “neener, neener, neener” to the list of stuff we fluffy folk “shouldn’t expect to enjoy,” I’m telling you that the models ROCKED THE HOUSE at this past weekend’s Haute Curves fashion show for LA Fashion Week.  For over two hours we watched unbelievably gorgeous men and women of all sizes, small to super-sized, strut down the runway in some extremely gorgeous clothes.  And folks, these were not your mama’s muumuus.  There was an awful lot of extremely beautiful clothes from delightfully weird to sporty to super sexy on that runway.  Angela and Rene put on an absolutely spectacular event!

The Fat Chick near the runway at the Haute Curves fashion show.

So besides the need to feed my considerable ego by showing you pictures of the cool thing I got to do on Saturday night, why am I sharing this with you?  I think it’s important to bust myths about what people of size can expect for their lives.  I know for me, the panic over the things I thought I would miss as a plus-sized woman, like true love and a kickin’ black leather skirt I could wear, once filled me with feelings of panic.  And I think in some cases our loved ones (especially our parents) are unduly fearful of the things we will miss out on or can’t have if our bodies are larger than societal ideals.

It took several decades, but I now realize that there is virtually nothing completely unavailable to me as a person of size.  (Well maybe a comfortable coach-class airplane seat, but I’m not sure ANYBODY feels comfortable in one of those.)  And it has taken several decades, but those who love me most have come to realize that I can do all that I want and have all that I dreamed of without losing 100 pounds first.  And let me share with you, it has been an absolute blessing and a joy for all of us to just calm the heck down about the whole thing.

Yes Virginia, there is a Sexy Santa Claus costume just for you.  There’s even a fabulous black leather skirt in your size, just waiting for you to claim it.

Love,

The Fat Chick

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When Life Gives You Lemons–Work Out!

The Fat Chick now appearing in the fall issue of Volup2 in English and French. C’est chic, non?

Hello my little Chicklettes or mes petits poussins as the case may be. I’m so excited to share with you my first fashion magazine appearance in the ever so very awesome VOL.UP.2 with Velvet D’Amour! Truthfully this was so much fun. First, shopping for props with my super awesome husband. Next the photo shoot with the incredibly talented Kelly Varner.  And finally the final product. I’m so excited to share this with you!

I’m also pleased that this spread captures what I really believe. I do think that you can work out anywhere without fancy equipment. I think exercise should be fun. I don’t think you should take yourself too seriously. And I think when life hands you lemons, you should make a workout!  And never miss an opportunity to go to the beach.

Speaking of the beach, if you’re in the LA area, you’re in for a real treat this coming weekend.  On Saturday, September 29, local size-diversity activists are hosting Take Back the Beach in Huntington Beach.  Join us for this free, fun, joyful event including a “flesh mob” led by the amazing Ragen Chastain and an LA beach version of a Hot Flash Mob with the Menopause Mambo.  Click here to learn the dance!  I hope you can come.  But those of you who are far away (even in Paris) can always join in vicariously via the photos and videos I’ll surely be posting!

So my little chicklettes, in closing I’d like to state, life is a beach!  So you might as well don your swimsuits, grab a towel and soak up a little sun.

Love,

The Fat Chick

The Power of a Few Unkind Words: Project Runway Fail

Well the world is buzzing with the recent antics of new Project Runway “super villain” Ven Budhu.  Apparently the past week’s challenge was to create looks for average people rather than models.  Ven’s model Terri was, horror of horrors, a plus-sized girl.  Now at about a size 14, Terri is actually pretty close to the US national average for women of about a size 12 on the top and a 14 on the bottom.  She definitely met the “Project Runway” criteria for an average person.  Yet Ven could not keep his yap shut from the beginning of the show to the end about how unfair it was that he was asked to work with this model who “has no shape” and “no personality”.  He said these things to Tim Gunn in the workroom.  He said these things in front of Terri.  He made her cry.  He did not put a particularly attractive look on the runway and he wasn’t the one sent home this week.

For the record, Terri is a beautiful woman with a modified hourglass shape.  And she didn’t deserve to take the blame for Ven’s basic incompetence as a designer.  And she didn’t deserve to be exploited at the hands of “Project Runway” in order to boost ratings either.  But that’s exactly what happened.

Let me let you in on the world’s worst kept secret.  Reality shows are not real.  They are heavily edited and produced to one end–bump up the ratings.  And the producers of the show saw an opportunity to stir up drama and controversy.  Ven played his part.  The super baddy is often one of the last to go home on these shows because people love to hate them.  And viewers tune in so they can boo and hiss at the bad guy.  The villain creates drama and drama drives ratings.

So don’t just be mad at Ven.  He did his part.  He chose to be the bad guy character and had to use whatever was at his disposal to stay on the show.  Be mad at the producers of “Project Runway” too.  Because they exploited Terri every bit as much as Ven did.  And worse, they did it because they felt pretty certain they would get away with it.  Because as a nation, we seem to think it is still okay to pick on people who have the audacity to be anything larger than a size 2.

Let’s look at that for a second.  Do you think Ven would have had this tantrum with a model who had dark skin or naturally curly hair?  What if his model had a physical challenge and was in a wheel chair or had artificial limbs?  Do you think Ven would have pulled this garbage and “Project Runway” would have aired it in those situations?  In a word, no.  Because “Project Runway” and Ven would have known that picking on people in those situations would have caused a backlash with negative consequences for both the designer and the show.  But they pulled that garbage with Terri because they knew they could spark controversy, but not too much controversy.

The whole thing makes me sad.  Because as I said yesterday, a few kind words can have incredible power to make the world a better place.  Conversely, a few unkind words can tear someone down forever.  Fellow contestant Fabio Costa said of Ven, “It’s really sad that you have the power to make someone feel bad about themselves and you use that deliberately.”  To which I say, I agree Fabio.  But don’t let the show’s producers off the hook.  They are at least as guilty as Ven.

So my little Chicklettes.  I won’t be watching any more “Project Runway” this season.  I would rather place my eyeballs and my energy on something that makes the world in some small way a better place.

Love,

The Fat Chick

Baggy

Wear what feels good to YOU!

Well it was hot in So Cal this past weekend so I did what every single other red-blooded California resident did and I went to the mall.  I wasn’t really intent on shopping but rather on killing loads of time.  So I went to lots of stores and tried lots of stuff on.  My husband was with me, so naturally he rendered his opinions.

Often as I tried things on, he sent me back to the dressing room with a smaller size.  It’s not that I’m losing weight (I’m not).  It’s just that my renewed body confidence and my supportive husband are encouraging me to come out of the fat closet and wear clothes that actually fit.  Many of the clothes in my closet at home are gorgeous, but at least one size too big.  Often when I try something on that I love, if it shows even a leetle roll or jiggle or chub, I buy one size larger.  A lot of the clothes in my wardrobe hang on me.  Because, somehow, in my little brain, I imagined that if folks couldn’t SEE the rolls or chub or jiggle, they would imagine that it wasn’t there.

Trouble was, they can’t really see my body at all.  And I’m coming to realize that my body is FABULOUS and it’s simply a crime to hide it under a big drape-y thing that is far too large for my frame.  So I’m actively working now to buy clothes that show my body rather than draping it under the wardrobe equivalent of a sheet and hoping that folks imagine my body is fantastic.

Now my little chickadees, I want you to understand that you can wear anything you like.  If you want to wear a muumuu, then by all means do so and feel free to ROCK that thing.  I’m just reminding you that you have a choice.  Maybe you could dare to bare just a little bit.  Show some arms.  Buy a skirt that curves lovingly around your butt.  Wear a shirt that shows off some fantastic cleavage.  Whatever floats your proverbial boat.  Because it’s your fabulous body and you should show it off (or not show it off) any way you darn well please!

Love,

The Fat Chick

Reductionism: Why They Want Us Smaller

Yup, those dogs sure like to chase!

A friend of mine recently started experiencing a lot of success and positive attention in her career.  She started doing really well, and began to realize some of the dreams she’s had for decades.  But she also started seeing a lot more criticism for her weight, and found that that criticism had become nastier than before.

In addition to the increase in body shaming she received, she found that she was also feeling especially vulnerable to these negative comments.  She found that things she might have easily shrugged off a few weeks ago were now hurting her deeply.  She found herself frustrated both with herself and her peers.  And she found herself yelling at herself for her hurt and her tears.  It led her to ask me, “what is going on here?”

I think that as we get larger in the world and as we make a bigger impact, forces both within and without conspire to make us want to be smaller.  I think this is true for two reasons:

  1. Many of us women have been taught all our lives to be smaller. Think about it.  From the time of our birth, many of us girls were taught to fade into the background.  We were taught to sit with our legs together with our handbag sharing the seat.  We were taught not to brag, not to make too big of a deal of ourselves, and not to make too much noise.  So I think, for many of us, as our lives become larger, we are triggered by a desire to make our bodies smaller.  We feel so conspicuous and so exposed by the new attention in our lives, we want to shrink back down, curl up, and not expose our luscious bellies to the enemies.
  1. Dogs don’t bark at a parked car.  And it’s not so surprising, really that our enemies head directly for our soft underbellies just as we start to see some success.  Most of our enemies were taught the same thing we were taught.  They were taught to be small and humble and inconspicuous.  So what happens when they see somebody who starts to grow in stature and achieve many of the dreams they may have had for themselves?  What happens when they see the car speeding away from them?  They start chasing, and they start barking.  And oh my goodness what a racket they make!  When folks see somebody achieving something they wish the had the guts to go after, do you think they are introspective and use it as a life lesson to get themselves off their butts?  Well some folks do.  But most folks just run along side, nipping at the tires and yipping their fool heads off.

So my dear chicklettes, this week I’d like to talk about reduction.  I want to talk about making our doubts smaller and our lives bigger and louder and even more amazing!  Because I don’t want you to let the yipping dogs slow you down.  Oh no.  I want you to speed on ahead in your gorgeous, great big convertible and leave all those other dogs panting in the dust.

Love,

The Fat Chick

Thursday Theater: Exercise for People of Size

Steppin’ out can include stepping into an exercise program. In this week’s video I talk about how to maintain physical and emotional safety while exercising in a big body.

So my dear feathered friends, find some exercise birds to flock with and shake your collective groove things!

Love,
The Fat Chick

Finding Help: Buyer Beware

When it comes to fitness, if it hurts, DON’T DO IT!

So far this week we’ve been talking about helping others. And I’m a BIG fan of that. Today we’re going to talk about finding help for yourself.  And I’m a BIG fan of that too.  But in finding help, you DO need to be careful.

Settle in my little chickies, and I’ll tell you a little story–an instructive parable as it were.  At one point in my life, when I was deeply worried about being thin, I panicked and I hired a personal trainer. Now believe me, I think having a personal trainer can be an awesome investment. But in this case, I was ruled by panic. Did I check to see if this guy was certified? Nope. Did I ask to talk to other students of his? Uh uh. Did I even do an online search to see if this guy was a maniac? That would be negative. I saw the guys phone number on the gym bulletin board, I called him and I started working with him.

I should also mention that at the time I could barely afford to buy food or medicine. But that didn’t matter because this guy was gonna do it. He was gonna make me skinny and from there on out my life would be PERFECT.

I should have known from the very first workout that this guy was not for me. The FIRST thing he did, before he did an intake questionnaire or asked me about my fitness level or fitness goals or potential health problems was to plunk me on a treadmill, crank up the speed, crank up the incline and to tell me to stay on there for 20 minutes. And by goodness I DID stay on there for 20 minutes.  Sweating, wheezing, heart pounding, and feeling sick, I staggered over to where he was reading a muscle magazine.  “Wow,” he said.  “I wasn’t really expecting you to do the whole 20 minutes.  Now we can get down to some real work.”

Now my little chicklettes, that scenario is what we in the business call a “clue”.  The guy basically threw me into a “maximal” testing situation where he intended to test me to failure, but he didn’t check my history first, he didn’t monitor me and, here’s something important, he DIDN’T BOTHER TO TELL ME that’s what we were doing.  Dangerous? Yup. Epic stupidity?  Yah, you betcha!  But he later confessed he didn’t tell me because he could tell by looking at me that I was “soft” and he didn’t want me to “wimp out”.

But did I yell at him? Did I quit giving him money? No I did not.  I kept training with him because he was thin and muscular and I was fat.  I trained with him for months.  Unable to walk after our exercise sessions, frequently vomiting in the locker room after workouts and feeling sick and miserable, I worked with him until I got injured and couldn’t work out any more.  And I guess you can tell at this point, I’m still pretty darn angry about it.

Look, if I had tuned in with my instincts, which were SCREAMING by the way, that I should RUN (well at least stagger) away from this guy, I could have avoided a whole lot of heartache and saved money to buy something awesome, like shoes.  But I allowed my feelings of insecurity and false hopes to lure me into getting myself hurt.

So my little chicklettes, the lesson is this.  Please do seek help.  We all need help from time to time.  No woman is an island.  But please seek help that is competent, qualified, and compassionate.  Do your research first.  Shop around.  Ask questions.  Ask for references.  Ask for qualifications.  Any trainer, doctor, therapist or coach who doesn’t want to give this sort of information to you is not worth considering.  And if your instincts tell you that this isn’t the right person for  you or that you don’t feel safe, leave.  Take your toys and GO HOME.

Because my sweet little chickadees, when it comes to helpers as with everything in life, you deserve only the best.

Love,

The Fat Chick