Sweet Like Deadly Nightshade

Fun fact: When I was growing up, my father had major aspirations of my brother and I becoming child models. Every so often he would put up a white bedsheet on one of the walls in the living room, get some props and outfits together and we’d have our own photoshoot sessions right at home. I still have the albums full of the photos including the professional ones that he had done to send to modeling agencies. Neither my brother or I ever got a modeling contract as kids (Not for lack of trying, I mean we were adorable but I guess that wasn’t enough, hahaha) but at the very least we have the memories.

At the start of quarantine last year, my brother was actually the first one to point out that I could not use the pandemic as an excuse for not continuing to take photos and create content. According to him, I’ve been “trained for in-house photoshoots” and now I even have more space to work with than we did growing up. I initially disagreed because working in one space can be pretty limiting, but in time I took up the challenge, working around issues with lightening (my apartment is intentionally dark in certain spaces) and even did some much needed furniture/decor shopping which I had put off for the last 2 years.

I’ve done quite a bit of shooting at home as a result, some of which I haven’t shared yet, but I wanted to try my hand at something “different” for this new year. So armed with my trusty tripod, selfie light, new make up, new bedding and a lux velvet set I bought as a Christmas gift to myself, I figured it was time to try something way, way outside of my comfort zone – my own boudoir shoot. Continue reading

Flawless Summer

Like most people I’ve spent most of quarantine in loungewear or pajamas, only reaching for a basic tee and jeans every once  in a while to do some grocery shopping nearby to stock the pantry for a week or two inside. So it was a nice and welcome change to play with some summer fashion this month, if only to give myself an excuse to dress up again even while being home.  I even got to wear one of these “new” outfits out and out with my best friend, Brooke, when we got to see each other again a few weeks ago.

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Q & A With Journalist & “The Souls of Black Girls” Documentary Producer, Daphne Valerius

thesoulsofblackgirlsLast November I had the privilege of attending a screening of a documentary involving the representation of black women in media entitled “The Souls of Black girls.” Featuring Regina King, Jada Pinkett-Smith, the late Gwen Ifill,  and Rapper Chuck D to name a few this film presented hard truths that are often ignored even now, ten years after it was produced. The screening and the discussion that followed left me wanting more so I reached out to the creator and producer, Daphne Valerius for some insights as to her film and the planned sequel that is in the works. 

Host, Producer and Entrepreneur Daphne Valerius

Check out my talk with her below.

Disclaimer: Responses have been edited for clarity and length.

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+Size Matters: Hairspray (1988 and 2007)

hairspray-postHairspray is a very interesting film and musical as the protagonist is plus size but the story presents a character of this body type be more than just a source of humor due to “gluttonous practices.” The heart of the story is the theme of acceptance of difference, whether it be size, race or even economic background. The protagonist, Traci Turnblad, uses her privilege and local celebrity platform to bring on a cultural change which in this case involved integrating a very popular dance show. The very title implies the significance of appearance which is conveyed better in the 1988 original with the opening sequence being that of the council members getting ready to  go live on television.

the-von-taseels-vs-turnblads

Colleen Fitzpatrick as Amber Von Tussle, Debbie Harry as Velma Von Tussle, Divine as Edna Turnblad, and Ricki Lake as Tracy Turnblad, Hairspray (1988). Image Credit: © 1988 New Line Cinema

I truly believe that what makes this Hairspray so appealing is the layers that come with it. The story follows Tracy’s rise in dance show scene, the racial conflicts of the 1960s, the socioeconomic differences of their community, as well as the relationship between the two mothers, Edna and Velma, and their daughters, Tracy and Amber. With the live broadcast of the musical adaption set to air tonight, I thought it would be great to take a look at these two very distinct films and how they help set the standard for what makes a great body positive, plus size protagonist lead story.

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+Size Matters: Valiant’s Faith Mini-Series Review & Giveaway

Its been a while since my last installment of the +Size Matters series. I know I promised the internet that I would be posting regular videos, that clearly has not been a thing I could actually do. So while I am not going to promise anything else, I am just going to do my best to post videos when I can. Another promise I had made was that my next video was going to be a +Size Matters review of Shrek and that’s turned out to be very difficult because of what I want to present with that video but it is in the works. I am still editing and trying to find usable footage so keep a look out for that because it will hopefully be done by the end of the summer.

If you follow me on Instagram you know that I’ve been talking about Faith for a while. I have been happy and excited about it since it was announced last year. I even went as far as visiting the  Valiant Booth at NYCC last year for some Faith news and possibly merch. Until this point I didn’t see a plus size superhero unless it was on deviant-art. It is highly unlikely that Faith will be the first and the last plus size superhero. Faith is probably not going to be the last plus sized super hero. While most people don’t see the need for such a hero, I do.  I grew up watching X-men the Animated Series, and as much as  I loved the characters Jubliee and Rogue, I would have liked someone in the cast be someone that looked like me. I have never been hourglass and thin like those characters were so to see someone with a more realistic body shape would have been very empowering. I am more of a Marvel fan and I hadn’t heard about Valiant until recently, though considering the fact that they announced that Faith is getting a full story run beginning in July, they definitely have a new fan. Check out my review below!

Disclaimer: I don’t give much of a plot summary because I wanted to make sure that this review was spoiler free for those who haven’t had the chance to read the mini-series, but basically the series follows Faith as she tries to have a life away from her former crime fighting team while saving the innocent when a new threat arrives. The series does reference the Harbingers comics, though just enough to remind the reader where this character is from and where Faith’s story began.

I am very happy to announce  that this video includes my first giveaway ever!  To learn more about it, watch until the end of the video. Originally i was going to hold off on this giveaway and video because I wanted to get these signed at comic con but for the first time in six years I will not be able to go because I can’t afford a ticket. (Those are the realities of being unemployed.)

Visit my Rafflecopter page here for a chance to win this complete set of comics.  Winner will be announced on Wednesday, June 15th at 12 pm EST. Good luck!