So, Obesity Is a Disease Now, huh? WTF?

The American Medical Association has now deemed obesity a disease.  How profoundly ignorant, well timed and devious of them!  I call bullshit.  And so do a lot of other people.  And they’re not even fat.  Hell, even the New York Times is confused:  To some extent, the question of whether obesity is a disease or not is a semantic one, since there is not even a universally agreed upon definition of what constitutes a disease. And the A.M.A.’s decision has no legal authority.” (Anthony Pollack)

It seems me that  the medical community has now empowered itself to shame fat people even further.  They claim it will reduce the stigma attached to obesity.  But will it really?  It sounds good on the outside, but it also completely ignores the fact that people who are not obese have plenty of health related problems like diabetes, high blood pressure and lead sedentary lives.  There is much focus on the BMI (Body Mass Index) which measures and individual’s body fat based on their weight and height.  I find the BMI a poor measure of one’s overall health.  I am considered obese based on the index, yet I have normal blood pressure, low cholesterol and am in good health, save for a vitamin D deficiency.  The public health council that advises the AMA agrees with me:

“The council said that obesity should not be considered a disease mainly because the measure usually used to define obesity, the body mass index, is simplistic and flawed.
Some people with a B.M.I. above the level that usually defines obesity are perfectly healthy while others below it can have dangerous levels of body fat and metabolic problems associated with obesity.”

Well, halle-fuckin-lujah!  

Oh, look. Fat people DO exercise!

Opponents of the declaration say that this is just one more way the drug companies can profit from patients who are desperate to be thin–not because of health reasons–but the overwhelming desire to quench their thirst for vanity in a beauty centered society.  It sounds pretty manipulative to me.  So, I’m not buying it.  

According to Merriam & Webster, a disease is defined as “something that impairs normal functioning of the body.”  Let’s see…So, I went out dancing until 4 am on Saturday and I was fully functional, I assure you.  Ask the the 15 plus size women I was dancing with for four hours.  They were functioning at a very high level.  In fact, I think we out-danced everyone that night, even people who seemed to fall within the healthy limits of the BMI.

In summary, the AMA’s declaration that obesity is a disease is really crap.  I’m just sayin’.  Do I deny that some obese people are unwell? Certainly not.  But if we’re going to be fair, then let’s make sure we also dissect the health of all people, rather than targeting a specific group based on a measure that is inaccurate and outdated. 

In the meantime, I choose to chuck my scale and swear off BMI charts forever. And so should you.  

Ciao for Niao,

Hey, What’s Your Number Baby?

I’m thinking of the song by the Morris Day and the Time, 777-9311, which was part of my wedding dance performance this past February (that’s another story for another time).  I got the song stuck in my head this week and it got me thinking about our obsession with numbers: age, weight, size, height, and the number of diets you’ve been on this year alone.  God, it’s all so dull.   Don’t we have anything else to think about?  I get it, I’ve been there, hell sometimes I still go there, but it’s so exhausting.  Let’s just all take a break, shall we?

Get off the fucking scale already

If you weren’t thinking about how much you weighed or the stupid size tag on your jeans, what would you do with all that free time?  Seriously, many women, whether we are thin, fat or somewhere in between, obsess about or bodies a good part of the day.  “What will I wear today? Does that make me look fat? Maybe I should go on a diet.  I look so fat, therefore I suck.  My life is over as I know it.”  

Here’s what I started doing with my time when I finally got sick and bored of thinking about my body all fucking day long:
  1. Writing my awesome blog.
  2. Going dancing and letting my back fat jiggle in rhythm to the music.
  3. Swimming–yep!!
  4. Making new friends with my winning personality and dazzling smile.
  5. Putting on clothes that fit, feel good regardless of the size tag. I even cut the tags out so I won’t obsess. Try it. It works.
  6. Reading–oh how I love to get wrapped up in a good book.
  7. Spending quality time with my husband.  He’s so darn cute, I can’t stand it!
  8. Throwing and going to fabulous parties and wearing sleeveless dresses that feature my ample arms. Case in point–fab party last Saturday at the Conga Room:
Look at those arms, baby!

9.  Traveling! I went to Turkey and Kenya last year and I actually got to experience their beauty and wonder without worrying about thigh rub. No, really.
10.  Creating the Curvy Sexy Chic empire.  Are you ready for me?

What could you do with your new found freedom from body obsession?  As much as I detest the hashtag, I’m gonna use it here cuz it works.  


Ciao for Niao,

Aida Cosmetics Launch Party

Last night I had the pleasure of attending the Aida Cosmetics Launch Party at the Spot Bar near downtown L.A..  Aida cosmetics is the brainchild of Aida Danielle, a former french model.  Her partner is Amberly Olguin, who joined the company in 2011.  The Aida Cosmetics brand is about quality products at affordable prices so that every woman can feel beautiful.

The big news: Aida chose celebrity Chenese Lewis to be the face of the brand for its national launch of the Confidence & Glamour campaign.  Last night Ms. Danielle explained that so many beauty brands use straight size models to promote their products, and that using a plus model like Chenese was a perfect way to let consumers know that beauty comes in all sizes.  Ms. Lewis was absolutely stunning in a long black gown that hugged her every sexy curve.  

The event was lovely. There was a beauty bar, where I got to try on luscious lip gloss and an eye shadow called Green Eyed Lady.  It was a fun evening and a chance to mingle with the Los Angeles plus size community.  Angela Rene’ of Purple Diva Designs was there looking gorgeous as usual.  My pal Jana’e Holmes of Naturally Kinky Curly was also in attendance.

So, keep your eyes peeled for the new campaign and be sure to try out all the fun products which are:
  • Manufactured in North America
  • Hypoallergenc
  • Fragrance Free
  • Allergy Tested
  • Non-comedogenic

Ciao for Niao,

14 Women’s Horrifying Fat Discrimination Stories

A recent article in the Huffington Post explored the fat discrimination experiences of 14 different women.  The women are young and old, black and white, tall and short.  Their stories are as different as each woman, but equally humiliating in their psychological effects on the victims.  The question is, why is this shit even happening?  How do we deal with this kind of abuse and prejudice in this day and age?  Though some would disagree, fat discrimination is in fact a civil rights issue.  

Kristina, 38 years old, from New York shared this story:

“In 2000, I had lap band surgery. I have lost over 100 pounds. I am exactly who I was the day prior to surgery as I am today.  My level of confidence may have increased a bit, but my outgoing, happy, carefree personality has not changed. Everyone else has changed.
People hold the door for me when I enter or exit a building. More people say hi to me. When I randomly chat with people while waiting on a line, they are more likely to engage in a full conversation instead of giving a quick answer. Men approach me, despite me telling them I am married an[d] uninterested. Life as the “thick girl” vs. the “fat girl” is huge. Every day, I see how differently I am treated. Every day I know how people react to people who are severely overweight … But no matter what people are, they all react to fat people the same — as lazy, unwilling, ugly members of society. I was never lazy, never unwilling and always productive.”

Patti, 52 years old, from Indiana:

“I have been waiting 30 years to tell my story! I applied for a clerical job fresh out of college at a local optometrist’s office that had advertised an opening. I had a stellar interview, as far as the line of questioning went. As we were wrapping up, the optometrist’s wife, who was conducting my interview, gazed past me and said “You know, we have VERY small hallways here.” My naïveté prevented a good comeback, although I’ve thought of many since then! Mind you, I was probably a size 18 (while she was likely size 2).”

How is it that perfect strangers have the audacity to make such comments and be so obvious in their discrimination?  If Patti were Black and the interviewer said” You know, we’re pretty much a White office here,”  there would be an outrage–the company would be sued.  We must, as a society, demand that all people, including fat people, be treated with respect and dignity.

I know a lot of fat people–hell I’m one of them. And they are smart and stupid, ambitious and lazy, pretty and ugly, nice and mean.  I also I know a lot of skinny people who are smart and stupid, ambitious and lazy, pretty and ugly, nice and mean.  Just as the color of one’s skin is not a measure of one’s worth, neither is the size of their jeans.  

Enough is enough!  I look forward to your comments.

Ciao for Niao,

4 Reasons I Love My Thighs

I have always had big thighs. Even when I weighed 140 pounds and wore a size 8 in high school, my thighs were big.  I can remember thinking how dreadfully ugly they were and wishing they were small, elegant and waif-like.  I couldn’t bear to look at myself in the mirror without bottoms on. And being seen in a swimsuit was the most mortifying thing I could think of.  Pool parties were out of the question. And when I did swim, it was with a very long t-shirt that covered my everything.

My thick thighs!

When I look at photos from when I was 14 and 15, I realize that my body was beautiful. My thighs were long and strong.  They fit my body.  I had an athletic build. I wish I had know how lovely I was back then. I would have saved myself a lot of anguish and let myself experience more of life.  It’s been a long time coming, but I am arriving at a place of self-acceptance with my body today.  This past weekend, while I was relaxing at home in a colorful mu-mu, I crossed my thick legs and stared at them for a while.  They are still lovely after all these years, and I weigh much more than I did then. There are plenty of great reasons to admire these gams, and here are just a few:

1.  They are strong!  My legs carry me all day long, and for the most part they don’t complain.

2.  They are soft and cuddly–just ask my hubby.

3.  My thighs look damn good in jeans, especially skinny  jeans.  

4.  I don’t have hair on my thighs–it simply doesn’t grow there.  So I don’t have to shave them–EVER.  Lucky me!

Feel free to share this. I think it’s awesome!

Name a part of your body that you’ve had trouble loving and claim it as perfect.  Your body is a gift. Speak well of it and and treat it with respect.  Love it and it will love you back!

Ciao for Niao,

Plus Size Office Chic

Last week, or maybe it was 2 weeks ago–I can’t remember because I’m getting old–I promised I would feature my co-worker, whose style I very much admire. She has clued me into some really great plus size fashion sites that I had never heard of, or just hadn’t really explored quite yet.  My co-worker, we’ll call her M, is very chic and always has on something great. We talk shop in the afternoon (when most people are taking coffee breaks) to chat about what we’re wearing, why we like it, and most importantly, where it’s from.  It’s fun to have someone in the office who shares my passion for fashion and style, and doesn’t keep all the good info to herself!

M. workin’ it at the office!

Now of course you’re wondering where she got the fab gear. 
Don’t worry, all the info is below.


Goes up to a size 22

Sahara Shoe from Shoe Dazzle
Up to size 11

These days dressing for work doesn’t have to be dull.  Spice things up with a dazzling shoe and wrap dress that does everything for your hot body.  Happy shopping!

Ciao for Niao,

Why Fat Is Not A Four-Letter Word

    Fat   adjective  \’fat\ 

I just got to interview two amazing photographers for the NUDE issue of
Volup 2 magazine, which will be out this summer.  I can’t reveal much, except to say that I am so lucky that I get to do what I do.  The “F” word came up a lot during my interviews. Fuck. Fuckery. Fucktastic.  They were used in good-hearted fun and they are all words I absolutely love.  But the one that I am learning to love, or at least like, is FatThose three letters carry more weight than a barrel of “fuck you’s” and bitch slaps. It incites fear into the souls of impressionable teenage girls, and is the insult of choice for drunk frat boys. Fat is a word that has been used to insult and torture the corpulent for decades.  Fat has been equated with  ugly, lazy, stupid and incapable of control.  It has been used by the media incessantly to create a culture in which diet companies are making billions of dollars off of the insecurities of people–mostly women. But how did we let this happen?  And what can we do about it?


Photo by Substantia Jones

Personally, I still struggle with the word because it has been used against me in the cruelest of ways.  But when I break it down, it’s really just a descriptive word, like blonde or short.  It only has power if I allow it to. It says nothing about a person that is of any positive or negative value. It just is. Fat is fat.  That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less.  So, the next time I’m feeling fat (and by the way, fat is not a feeling), I will also remember that I’m a tall brunette.  And none of that affects how I feel about myself.  So, why should my fat?  I propose a challenge to you: the next time someone complains that they’re fat, or calls you fat, just look at them, say “yup,” and smile.