Category Archives: Body Image

Honey, There Is Nothing Wrong With Being Curvy

Fat…a word I vehemently detest. I especially hate when women that aren’t a size 6 or below are deemed “fat” because they have curves, but in the tradition of media & body image, the word “fat” is thrown around so loosely.

Yesterday, I was reading a few articles on the web about Christina Aguilera’s new video, and I ran across more than a handful of horrible comments calling her fat, lard, cow, and so many other cruel obscenities. As I sat there reading the comments, I began to get pissed off. How the hell is she fat? Just because she has thick thighs (which most men would find sexy) and an overall voluptuous build in comparison to her skinny figure, that doesnt make her fat; she has the body of a curvaceous sexy woman.

There is a big difference between being curvy, thick, fat, and obese, but in the eyes of media any time someone gains weight or their body changes, they are immediately deemed as “fat.” You all know exactly what I’m talking about, take for instance Jessica Simpson “struggling” to lose weight after having a baby, and let’s not forget Lady Gaga’s “shocking” weight gain.

If you have been paying attention to media in the past two days, then you know about Lady Gaga and her weight gain. The pop star who admittedly struggled with bulimia has gained 30lbs from eating good homemade Italian dishes, but she doesn’t regret it at all. She admits that she gained weight from eating too much “good food” and that she is dieting now, but doesn’t feel bad for the way she looks. Yet, people in the media & rude commentators on blogs are already pouncing on her calling her “fat.”

Lady Gaga has been such a spokesperson for bullying, self acceptance, and those in the LGBT community, but she gains some weight and we treat her like crap? That is so messed up! Why do we make these women feel like shit just because life happens and they gain weight? And what if they, like Christina Aguilera, decide they like their new figures, is that such a sin?

There is nothing wrong with being curvy, trust me, there isnt. I myself am a curvaceous size 14 (size 12 dress) standing at 6ft tall with thick thighs and hips for miles. Am I fat? Nope, I’m just a real woman with curves that I don’t mind flaunting and I haven’t had any complaints from the fellas, so there is nothing wrong with me. Yet, I used to actually compare myself to media images and thought I was deemed “unattractive.”

The absurd hatred and ignorance in media’s dealing with body image pisses me off. It’s not everybody’s plot in life to be super skinny. Some of us, like myself, actually have diseases/disorders (I have PCOS) that make losing weight a constant struggle. I used to beat myself up so bad and try starving myself just to be the dream size 2, but that never happened (and I don’t think it ever will nor do I want it to.) I mean I remain active and work out because I love it, but I know that getting super skinny is a challenge and I already have other aspects of my disease I deal with, so I just embrace my sexy curves and make it work. But I knew if I was in the media spotlight, people would immediately deem me “plus-size” and make me feel like shit. SHM, it’s ridiculous!

The issue of body image and what is apparently beautiful (according to media guidelines) is something that probably won’t change anytime soon. The individuals that embrace being curvy and set a new “trend” are often seen as the outcast in the limelight. But the sad reality is that being curvy is now a “trend.” Really folks, it’s an acceptable trend now to use curvy women? Wow, what has the world come to?

Instead of it being normal for curvy women to be bold, beautiful, and present in media, it’s now a shocking news ticker that Ralph Lauren hires it’s first “plus-size” model ever; Robyn Lawley is a plus-size model who is currently modeling for Ralph Lauren. Don’t get me wrong, I’m super proud that she is going to be modeling and representing for us curvy women for a clothing line that surely caters to skinny women, but why should this even be news? It should just be another day for a beautiful woman doing something awesome with her career and moving herself forward, instead of it being such a shocker in the fashion industry that Ralph Lauren is using a “thick girl.” And I wouldn’t even call her (or myself) plus size. Lawley is the average size 12 and she stands of 6 ft 2 (thumbs up for tall chicks!)

I could go on and on about body image and how it pisses me off that women with curves are deemed as “fat” by the so call bs standards of media and the modeling industry, but I’m not going to waste any time trying to convince folks curves are beautiful. At the end of the day, it’s up to you whether you think being curvy is beautiful or “fat.”  And don’t think I’m hating on women that are skinny, because I’m not. My whole point is that, you have got to love yourself the way you are and if you decide to flaunt your curves and thickness, it shouldn’t be an issue.

Curves shouldn’t be like a rare UFO sighting or Bigfoot sighting; curves aren’t a freak of nature. We need to get to the point in our society where we stop “bullying” women for being curvy or gaining weight and deciding “hey, I don’t mind being curvy, I don’t have to be a size 2 anymore.” As anorexia rises amongst women and men as well, we need to get to accept all different types of bodies and not treat those who have curves as if they are doing something wrong. Honey, there is nothing wrong with being curvy. Get out  their, shake your butt, flaunt your curves, and let the world know that you are curvy and damn proud of it.

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True Life | Bears, Chubby Chasers, & Fat Fetishism

I always make sure that I never miss an episode of MTV’s True Life. I actually have my DVR set to record old & new episodes just so I don’t miss anything. True Life always has some very interesting topics they cover, and it’s nice to get a glimpse into someone’s lifestyle.

Every episode usually covers an interesting topic, but last night was a new episode that followed two men who are self-proclaimed chubby chasers. Pause. Really? Like when I first read the description I was taken aback. I’ve heard of how popular the Bear community is, but I was a little caught off guard by this Black guy from Harlem who only dates overweight women because they tend to be nicer & have less drama. Wow, how ignorant can you be?

I guess the best place to start in addressing last night’s episode is to discuss what bears are. Basically in the gay community there is a sub-culture of chasers (typically skinny men) who chase after bears (overweight men with body hair) The chasers prefer to be with a bear because they feel protected, but the bigger the guy is weight wise, the more turned on the men get. So when you hear “bigger is better” in the bear community, they are referring to mass & overall weight.

It wasn’t my first time hearing about bears, but I couldn’t believe that the guy actually didn’t want his boyfriend to lose weight, even if it meant a variety of health problems. He was actually a little disappointed that his boyfriend would have to lose weight and couldn’t remain as heavy as he was. But in the end he realized that his health was more important, so he could lose a little weight but still needed to be heavy. The heavier he was and the bigger his belly turned him on. Um….yeah….weird….

I guess everyone has their preferences, but why would you want to date someone that big who is risking their health? I’ve never in my life dated someone that was obese. I couldn’t date someone who didn’t work out and take care of themselves; might as well walk away, because I’m just not down for an unhealthy lifestyle. I work out 5 to 6 days a week, I monitor what I eat, and I always make sure I’m active. If I’m not at the gym running, then I’m on my $200 spin bike in my room sweating up a storm. Staying active is a passion of mine, and I’m not even where I want to be yet. Still got a lot more hardcore cardio to do.

There is a difference between being chubby & overweight. Chubby is just like a little fat here & there, but overweight/obese is like a serious issue that has many health risks. Yet there are folks out there who date people just because of their size, kind of like the other guy profiled on last night’s episode. I mentioned him earlier in this post. Basically he’s this Black guy from Harlem who prefers dating overweight & big girls because they don’t come with drama, they are nice, and he finds them sexy. That’s just ignorant stereotyping. Not all big girls are nice & come without drama. Some big girls can be fake & bitches just like skinny chicks.

But I guess he did find that out on last night’s episode with this big girl (she was not cute at all & her voice irritated the hell out of me, so dumb & ditzy) named Ashley he was dating. She did porn in order to pay her bills and was preaching how she was independent & crap. Oh, shut up! They got into an argument, she slapped him a few times, and then walked off. The guy flew back to New York (she lived in Los Angeles) and decided not to talk to Ashley again, but still only date big girls. Wow, can you say low self-esteem? Dating big girls just to make yourself feel better.

Sadly enough I’ve met a few losers that prefer dating overweight & “big girls” because they come with less drama, they know how to treat a man, and they know how to cook. I’m serious, guys have actually told me this. They have this fat fetish for women that are fat. Not only is it a stereotypical approach involved, but they also are extremely turned on by fat women. It’s a fat fetishism.Some guys didn’t want to date me because I wasn’t big (thank God I’m average with curves,) but I’m glad they didn’t want to date me. I couldn’t date a man that ignorant to prey on big women just because of a stereotype he has.  I especially couldn’t date a feeder. Ewww. Guys that just constantly want you to eat & get bigger (yeah, some sick dudes out there.)Date someone for what you learn about them, not because they are big so right off the back you assume certain things about their character.

Chubby chasers & the bear community are just very interesting. I don’t think the bear community necessarily has to deal with a stereotype of what a big man can do for them, but rather it’s just a sexual preference.  Somehow they get really turned on by all that body fat. But as far as men, like the guy on True Life, they date big women because their internal insecurity and these ignorant stereotypes they have of big women. That’s just a hot mess. And the sad thing is I know a few guys like that, but that also explains why I don’t talk to them that much. It’s just sad how they chase these big women only based on a stereotype. SMH….get some balls and a self-esteem, maybe then you could actually learn how to relate to women and not prey on girls that might also have low self-esteem issues.

If you want to know more about this True Life episode & fat fetishism, then feel free to go watch the entire episode on MTV’s website. Click here.

©Jasmine McGee.ThinkSoul25. http://thinksoul25.com

Moments in Transition

Every time I meet someone new I’m constantly reminded how explosive my personality is. I don’t mean like explosive in a bad way, but many have said my personality is just so vibrant, sort of like a beautiful spontaneous combustion. Never have I been one to shy away from hiding my emotions, my thoughts, or my quirky antics. Unless I’m in a professional environment conducting myself as a mature woman, then most likely I’ve got an aura of awesome wit.

I have those moments in which I enjoy being alone, but I’m far from being an introvert. My attitude and approach to life is so uninhibited, I just can’t be alone for too long. When I mention being alone, I’m referring to the context of an overall vibe of gloomy sadness that can overwhelm the mind. The type of being alone that is emotionally unhealthy. If you’re going to be alone, then it should be a healthy approach and not a pity party.  I may be extremely busy with school, but I’m still surrounded by my family and hang out with folks when we can actually coordinate time to kick it. Being in a state of solitude for too long frustrates me, especially if I don’t have access to some form of social communication.

Being alone just makes my life dull. I feel as though I have this pretty radical outgoing personality, and it’s not cool to keep it cooped up in the house too long. Yet I keep working on myself and becoming the best I can be, so when I do go ahead and rock life to the fullest I won’t have any regrets. I’ll feel fabulous and be ready to tackle any challenge that comes my way! I already feel pretty complete when it comes to knowing who I am as a woman and I never hold back on my thoughts, but I’m still a work in process when it comes to formulating my style/look. It wouldn’t be a moment of transition if I didn’t tackle my looks and discover what I think makes me look and feel my best!

Losing weight has been pretty cool so far and I’ve dropped a total of 15lbs in the past 2 months. I realized that it’s not going to be drastic weight loss like you see from celebrities who probably lie about their methods or work out 8 hours a day, but it’s steady weight loss that is realistic. I have an idea of the way I see my body, so I’m working on it. Basically I’m on this transitional phase of life. I’m not quite where I’d like to be yet, but I’m putting things in place for when that day comes. Once I turn 21 in April, graduate college, and get a job to afford a lifestyle of living on my own, paying bills, and of course going out and about, then I will be out of this transitional phase.

Life is filled with varying moments of transition, but that just means you’re actually doing something right; you’re living a realistic life that isn’t stagnant. Dull moments and stagnant phases are something I rarely have, and if I sense it attempting to creep this way then I change the pace and avoid it. Being an emotionally whole human being is about making the best of life, and using moments of transition to stay on track to making your dreams come true. Don’t ever settle for being complacent, and don’t settle for second best.

Whatever you want to achieve in life, then get up and go for it. I’m not saying it’s going to be an easy road, but you can work your way down the highway of transition until you reach your exit. Just make sure you’re at least cruising on that highway and not just sitting in a parked car in the shoulder lane. If you look up and somehow find yourself shifting back and forth between positions, then wake up, smell the coffee, and get back on that highway of transition; you might have a few exits to take, but eventually you’ll reach the right exit that is a dream fulfilled.

One of my favorite songs below. This song may not be talking about transition, but it is a powerful song filled with so many moments….

©Jasmine McGee.ThinkSoul25. http://thinksoul25.com

Chelsea Settles: MTV’s New Plus-Size Reality Star

So a few days ago at the gym I happened to turn to the Wendy Williams show. Usually I don’t watch her show, but lately I’ve enjoyed watching the gossip and loving her witty personality. Now I will admit that sometimes her guests are so annoying, but other times they actually intrigue me; which is what happened the other day, one of her guests actually caught my attention. The guest I’m talking about is MTV’s new reality star Chelsea Settles.

Settles made an appearance on Monday’s episode of Wendy and discussed her new reality show. Of course her appearance on Wendy is quite different than the show because she lost a lot of weight. She looks pretty good now that she lost weight; even Wendy said she looked sexy now. But prior to losing weight, her new show basically documented her overweight journey and move from Pittsburgh to LA in hopes of making it in the fashion industry as a stylist.

I usually don’t like watching a lot of MTV’s reality shows, but this one with this Chelsea Settles girl has some potential. I could tell from watching the show that her weight has kept her back from a lot of things, including being more outgoing and perhaps dating around instead of settling for the jerk she is with. On Wendy we learned that Chelsea has only had one boyfriend for the past 5 years; that is crazy! While watching her show we learned that she stays with him because she thinks nobody else will love her. Mind you, this guy has cheated and is in the army, but she settles (haha, no pun intended) and doesn’t leave him.

I’ve never in my life had a weight problem as drastic as hers, but it’s fascinating see the emotional drama in the situation. I mean I felt so sorry for her when she couldn’t get in the club for her friend’s birthday party. The bouncer wouldn’t let her in because she was big compared to all the other hot girls. Of course Chelsea stormed off and then got ridiculed by a bunch of drunk people, which then caused her to go cry and finalize her decision to lose weight and move to LA.

The episode was pretty good and at one point I got so pissed off at her lame ass boyfriend Rory. He had the nerve to attempt to deter her from moving to LA and saying she wouldn’t fit in out there. He wanted her to just move down to the military base with him and get married, have babies, and just be happy the way she was. WTF? This guy has cheated on her and then says he wants to marry her in order for her not to move to LA. She’s 24 and deserves to go for her dreams. Like seriously what is up with her man, who does that?! I was so upset because I know so many men that just want to settle down and talk about us having a future. I’m like woah! I’m young, single, and once I graduate in Summer 2012 it’s on! No commitment, just me starting my fabulous new life and on a journey with new friends. When I’m ready to settle later in my twenties, then I’ll think about slowing down and committing. But I think everyone deserves that time in their life to find themselves, go out to clubs, travel, find their career, and just live life! So I’m so happy Chelsea didn’t listen to her boyfriend and decided to jet set off to Cali. You go girl!

I like this Chelsea Settles chick, and last night’s premiere episode was an hour long, but it’s worth checking out. Like I said, I couldn’t imagine having major body issues like that. I couldn’t believe it was her first time going to the gym; I go to the gym 5 to 7 days out the week, so it was mind blowing seeing someone not work out on the regular. But she has a lot of issues surrounding how she got overweight, so I’m sure we will see more in the next few episodes. It’s unlike MTV to have a plus-size reality star, so I’m interested in seeing how this show will play out.

Check out the show at MTV’s site. I’m telling you, this show has potential. I strongly believe everyone deserves to live their life, be young, be fabulous, and go for their dreams. Don’t just live life being complacent and especially don’t settle for some lame relationship when you want to be young and go explore the world. Get up and make life happen!

http://www.mtv.com/videos/chelsea-settles-ep-1-ive-always-had-this-dream/1672104/playlist.jhtml

©Jasmine McGee.ThinkSoul25. http://thinksoul25.com

America the Beautiful 2: The Thin Commandments

Even though I work out almost every single day, it doesn’t mean that I’m striving for “perfection.” I work out in order to maintain a healthy life style, to reach some personal goals, and because it’s so fun! I love getting all sweaty and feeling the adrenaline rush. If I lose weight in the process, then right on! But no body should feel pressure to strive for “perfection” in regards to standards of beauty within our society.

I’ve done a lot of essays, even speeches for school, on the unrealistic images portrayed in media. I’m a curvy woman and I’m all for woman loving their body. There is actually a site called Curve Appeal that has hundreds of real woman across the world submitting their pics and showing off their natural curves. Just your average women showing that they have curves and they don’t care about being a size 0. Check it out if you’d like @ http://curveappeal.tumblr.com/

Sites that showcase women and their real curves are a great contrast to the pro-ana sites that show off anorexic girls and gives tip on how to be anorexic. It’s sad that some many women feel pressure to reach standards in media that are often airbrushed, achieved by unhealthy tactics, or are simple just different body types. Not every woman is naturally thin, which is why I think it’s great to see filmmaker Daryl Roberts expose the reality of beauty in America.

His first film, America the Beautiful, was a documentary that followed Gerren Taylor (she was also on that horrible BET show Baldwin Hills) and her journey as a young model. Roberts used the documentary as a format to follower her career and America’s obsession with beauty. I originally watched the film On Demand and then watched it a second time on Netflix. It was interesting seeing how obsessed with beauty a lot of women and men are. Issues of beauty don’t just affect women, men deal with them as well. For more information that, read my article “Men & Body Image.”

Beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors. I think a woman that is naturally a size 4 is just as beautiful as a size 14 woman(hey, that’s my size!) You’ve got to love what you’re working with and flaunt it! Even if you’re working out and trying to lose weight (I will admit, I am working out to least tone up and burn some pounds) you’ve got to know that no matter what size you are, you are fabulous! Don’t stress yourself out and get caught up in the American obsession with being thin and beautiful.

I know it sounds like a message that is being told over and over again, but it’s important that everyone realize they are beautiful. Don’t hate on girls that have the toned bodies and don’t make fun of girls that aren’t so toned. The goal should be to be healthy. So if that means losing weight and changing your eating pattern, then do it for health reasons or personal goals. Not because you want to be a size 0 model. If that was the case, then all of us brown skin women would have to bleach our skin in order to look like all the White models we see dominating fashion. Um, I think I’ll pass on that!

Here is the first film, America the Beautiful. You can watch the entire hour-long film on Hulu or feel free to check it out on Netflix. Part 2, America the Beautiful 2: The Thin Commandments will be limited released in the next few weeks and then I think there will be a nationwide release. Check out the trailer below and visit the site for more information. http://americathebeautifuldoc.com/2/atb/the-thin-commandments/

©Jasmine McGee.ThinkSoul25. http://thinksoul25.com

Work What You Got: Sofia Vergara Kmart Collection

The beautiful Colombian actress and star of the hilarious hit ABC show Modern Family has finally debuted her fashion line at Kmart. Yay! I’m a huge fan of Modern Family and the season premiere was so funny! There are so many good shows on television this fall, but I’m glad that I have a DVR to record all the mania.While watching Modern Family and recording Up All Night, I finally saw the debut commercial for Sofia Vergara’s clothing line.

I’m a huge fan of Sofia Vergara. She is funny, stunning, and has this sexy thick Colombian accent that she is known for. She talks to fast with such a thick accent, but she uses it to her advantage in her comedic presentation. I think she is such a funny actress and her looks are stunning! She is one of those women that I’m not ashamed to say is beautiful, sexy even. I have no problem dishing out a compliment to a beautiful woman, and Sofia Vergara in my opinion is a beautiful woman that knows how to accentuate the curves.

She works with what she’s got and that’s the whole motto of her new fashion line at Kmart. It’s all about embracing your curves and working with what you got. Be fierce, be fabulous, and honey don’t be ashamed of them curves. Work it!!! I’ve been working out lately and it’s amazing to see how, even though I’m losing weight, my hips and waist are becoming more defined. The hour glass figure I’ve had is finally starting to shine and its fabulous; now all I need our some new clothes on a college student budget.

I’m glad her collection is at Kmart, an affordable store for the everyday woman. Of course I still shop at H&M, Nordstrom, and other department stores, but Kmart, Target, and the occasional shopping spree at Payless are perfect for the fashionista on a budget. It’s nice to see more celebrities and fashion designers making affordable versions of their designers available for the everyday woman that may not have $500 bucks to drop on a new outfit. I have no problem spending a lot of money on fashion, but I’m in my last year of college and don’t have that 9 to 5 yet. Once I graduate and get a job technical writing or proposal writing in DC, then I’ll be having those weekend shopping sprees and finally treating my body with the fabulous clothes it deserves.

Until I graduate in Spring, I just have to keep working on crafting my body into a better piece of art, but also begin finding my personal style and showing off the curves that probably won’t go away. I’d hate to lose my curves, so I’m glad they aren’t disappearing. Being curvy doesn’t make you a woman, but it makes me feel like a gorgeous woman. I love having those natural curves, hips, dips, and booty. Being super skinny wouldn’t work on my 6ft frame, so I love finding clothes that can accentuate my curves and height.

The clothes in the Sofia by Sofia Vergara collection are simple yet fabulous. They are the basic essentials that every curvy woman needs. You can never go wrong with a tight fitting dress, leggings, long tunic tops, and a sexy blouse. The line also has that Sofia Vergara flair people are used to seeing on Modern Family. Can we say prints?! She has a few printed tops in the line, also a printed dress that is sure to be a banger on any woman that has curves. It is also rumored that Sofia is working on a racy lingerie line that should debut in the Spring, so I’m looking forward to seeing what else the sexy Colombian has in store for us curvy fashionistas.

If you love Sofia Vergara, fashion, or are a curvy fashionista on a budget, then be sure to check out the Sofia Vergara collection at Kmart. It is a must see collection for all those curvy women out there who don’t have the budget to go on expensive designer sprees. Pick up one of her outfits at Kmart and then head over to Payless and pick up a pair of fabulous shoes by Christian Siriano; a true fashionista knows how to live on a budget and splur when she has the right job to pay for it.

So go out there and be the sexy, daring, and fabulous woman you deserve to be! Don’t be ashamed to say you got it from Kmart and Payless; it’s a great deal and just goes to show you can be sexy on a budget. I actually have a date coming up in the next few days, sounds like a trip to Kmart and Payless is in store; gotta work what I’ve got! :)

http://www.kmart.com/shc/s/dap_10151_10104_DAP_Sofia?adcell=promosofia&adCell=W2

©Jasmine McGee.ThinkSoul25. http://thinksoul25.com