+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

+ Size Matters : Curvy AF & The Significance of Body Positive Fashion Illustration

Last month we saw the unique collaboration between body positive artist, Jonquel Norwood of Jonquel Art and plus size fashion designer Courtney Smith of Courtney Noelle Inc. The brain-child of Jonquel, this event brought a different kind of fashion event – one that definitely put a spin to the concept of “wearable art.”

This event was one that I was really looking forward to since the day Jonquel first mentioned the idea of working on an event that celebrated both fashion and body positive fashion illustration. After all when people think about art it is rare that fashion is considered as part of that category. Yet the fact is anything that is designed, be it fashion or otherwise, is perfected first on paper with illustration really being a major part of the process toward the end result so it stands to reason that art and fashion shouldn’t stand so independently as they often are. Nevertheless, what made Curvy AF so unique, besides the unapologetic name of course, was the idea of having the holiday fashion show and accompanying art exhibition to not only provide a unique shopping experience, but more importantly empower women and prove that style and beauty have no size.

Art with fashionable women is not new but Jonquel’s work is relevant for when it comes to fashion illustration plus size bodies are the last thing you expect to find – especially dressed in styles that the fashion industry has made a point to say women above a certain size should never wear. I greatly admire her eye for great style as she even references straight size fashion designs to clothe her models, reworking them to show how they could work on a plus body. Continue reading

Disney Fangirl Fashion feat. Little Petal

Being plus size and a huge Disney, Harry Potter, Anime, J-rock, and Marvel fangirl is really not easy. For one thing, when it comes to shopping for geek/nerdy tees, and cosplay apparel it is rare to find pieces in sizes larger than an XL for women.  Then there is the expectation that one should only choose characters that are of your same race. As I mentioned before in an earlier post,  cosplaying is often seen as something that should only be done by those that “can truly emulate a character as depicted in comics, film and video games.” This obviously leaves people of color as well as plus size women like myself out or at risk of getting highly criticized by the geek community.

For this reason, when it came time to order my  Little Petal convertible dress, I had originally chose the Korra dress because I figured that that was a character I could get away with cosplaying, but when I started communicating with designer, Danielle Ward I changed my mind.  As a body positive designer and business owner, she doesn’t believe in things like size limiting who you can dress up as, rather you should think of who you see yourself as. For me that made the decision easy – Esmeralda from Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

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The Difference Between Surrender and Acceptance

One of the biggest pushes against body positive movement is this idea that those involved with it are promoting/glorify obesity. For some screwed up reason “making an effort” equals thin while being larger is equated to “letting yourself go” or simply “giving up.” Those of us in this body positive/love community, know this is not the case but for those on the outside looking in, this is their only way to understand what is going on.

At the third annual Golden Confidence Pool Party last month.

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2017 FFFWeek Day 4 – White Party Cruise

While I took the week off to attend many of the events at Full Figured Fashion Week  I did it knowing that I wouldn’t be able to afford to attend the two major signature events, one being the All White Party. Needless to say it was a pleasant surprise and an honor to be given the chance to attend the cruise for the very first time. (Major thanks to Lisa of Mustang Sally Two!)  The “Curves At Sea All White Party” is well known for being the hottest ticket on the FFFWeek event schedule with people even flying in from other countries just to attend.  Brooke and I were so excited we arrived at the pier no less than a full hour before the suggested early arrival time. It worked out for the best though since it gave us time to do a mini shoot by the pier before boarding the ship.

Only Brooke could look like a Goth Goddess in white.

Feeling cute in white summer lace and gold.

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