When Positive Changes Lead to Negative Reactions….

Time for some real talk – I have hated myself since I was around 6 years old.

That was around the time when three things happened: (1) My parents separated which later led to divorce, (2) My mother, little brother and I ended up homeless for the first time and (3) It was the first time I was told I had to lose weight.  Of the three obviously there are two things on this short list that should hold more weight in terms of importance, yet they all greatly affected my self-esteem, body image and mental health.

These pictures were taken only 4 years apart! Same dress (Kara Lace Dress from SWAK) but different attitude. (Left -2017, Right – 2014)

It wasn’t until I entered my 20s, inspired by the bloggers I followed online, that I decided to look past the qualities that others celebrated and worked on loving the “flaws” I was always told I should make every effort to correct.  I replaced my old wardrobe with new items. I learned to accept compliments. I started experimenting with makeup in ways that I found comfortable. I accessorized more. I cut my hair. Twice, even going shorter the second time. I’ve colored my hair a bold color. By all accounts, I’ve become a different person. Continue reading

Spring Floral Feels

Last week we got an unexpected treat in terms of the weather here in NYC. For two days we got to take a break from the chilly temps and have a sneak peak of what is to come this spring. To celebrate the occasion I decided to rock my natural curls and tried something very different (for me) – a pastel floral flounce hem crop top and high rise jeans.

Made of what has to be the softest material in the world*, this knit  floral print top has a ruched center construction with a self-tie that can be used to adjust the length. This is the  first time I have found a crop top that works well with my petite frame and short torso as most of the time a crop top fits like a regular shirt on me. I tied the drawstring a bit high to show a sliver of skin but it was tasteful as the flounce hem also provided some coverage.  Because of the deep V-neckline  I added my leather cord spiral cage pendent necklace with a rose quartz crystal that matched perfectly with the blush color of this top.

I paired the crop top with these close-fitting Seven7 stretch skinny jeans I got at the Platinum Lounge during theCURVYCon last year. I went for this dark wash high rise pair as Seven7 is a bit out of my price range for jeans so I figured that while they were offered as a Platinum perk I might as well take the time to try something new. However, they stayed unworn and with their original tags in my armoire since then.  I was all for giving this trend a try, yet I still found myself scared to try a high rise jean because I believed that it was a style that worked best with a traditional hourglass body shape. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this is not the case. These jeans complimented my shape, were high enough to wear with this crop top without showing too much skin and incredibly comfortable as well. The softly frayed hems with split side seams also added an interesting detail that fit the overall boho aesthetic of this look.  Continue reading

V-Day, Me-Day

Five years ago a close friend and I decided to give “us” a try and my first thought that spring was how I finally had someone to go on my “dream date” with. Christmas is the time of year I actually consider to be romantic so when we broke up a couple of months later that summer, not only was I heartbroken that our “relationship” never had a real chance, but being “alone” again meant that  I couldn’t go on that date. For the rest of the year I moped about this. Well, I did until I took myself on the date instead and I found myself loving every minute to it.

This has become a bit of a tradition for me since then, though I have branched out of doing this solely in the month of December. And while I learned that I can enjoy my own company, I love that in the five years since that day I have met people with similar interests that I also can share  experiences with. I also take great care to show them just how much their friendship means to me at every opportunity including Valentine’s day.
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Be Mine

When it comes to Valentine’s Day the immediate thought that comes to mind is the concept of sexy. I’m the kind of person that has never considered myself sexy by any means but I’ve noticed that what women in particular are drawn to is pretty uncomfortable. With the pencil thin heels, and revealing outfits in various shades of red and/or pink. There isn’t any necessarily wrong with that, yet I think being comfy, sexy and cute should always be an option if only to leave your date choices  open to some non-traditional ideas outside of a formal dinner and a movie. For me any potential date, be it for Valentine’s day or otherwise,  would involve a lot of walking since I love playing tourist in the city so in I would definitely reach for this comfy yet cute outfit.

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+Size Matters : Fat Monica & the Reformed Fat Friend Trope

When I started my blog back in January of 2015 I did so with half of a notebook full of  potential post titles, and blog topics I wanted to cover. These topics included race, fashion, life in NYC, beauty routines and dating, however, even with all those note-filled pages only only one item was underlined, and highlighted under a section I had entitled “+Size Matters” — Fat Monica. It was a blog topic that I had been pushing back discussing because it is a problematic aspect of a popular character from a beloved 90’s sitcom. However, once 2018 started I decided to start the year with another entry to the +Size Matters series. Why? Well we are just finishing off the third week of January which traditionally is when the pressures of diet culture reaches its zenith due to the  weight loss resolutions pushed at the start of the new year. So its basically the perfect time to look at  the very damaging  trope that Fat Monica embodies, that  of the “reformed fat friend” which perpetuates diet culture and the “value” that is attached to thinness especially when it comes to women’s bodies.

To be clear, I know that this particular “Friends” character has pretty much been analyzed to death and for good reason. “Friends” was and still remains to be a popular series, even with its problematic lack of a diverse cast though set in New York City, but it is definitely gaining some strong criticisms  at the moment since it is now streaming on Netflix. People are doing a double take at the sexism, homophobia, stereotyping and fat-phobia/fat shaming that is present in almost every episode. Continue reading