My Fall Fashion Wishlist: Neutrals With a Twist

Fall is my absolute favorite season for fashion. But the heat in Los Angeles doesn’t seem to want to quit. I’m so ready for cool sunny days, funky boots, a chic trench coat, oversized sweaters, boyfriend jeans, and tons of fabulous jewelry! What I love most is all the layering you can do in the fall. Mixing textures and neutral tones with subtle pops color is my goal for autumn style. Below is my wish list with links to where you can find these dynamic, yet versatile pieces!

 

asos white top

I am obsessed with white shirts right now. They are such an easy go to when you don’t know what to wear. This one from Asos Curve is adorable. I love the small button up collar which would look amazing with a statement necklace or one of my famous headwraps.

stella sutton 3 stella sutton 2 stella sutton 1

The Sutton White Stone necklace from Stella & Dot is giving me life! It’s a gorgeous and versatile statement necklace that you can dress up or down. I’d wear with a t-shirt and some boyfriend jeans for an instant style upgrade. The versatility of this necklace more than makes up for it’s price tag.

asos black pants

Also from Asos Curve are these black peg pants, which have my much required pockets. These days, if it doesn’t have pockets, I’m not that interested. Pockets just feel good, right?  Anyway, I love how this looks with heels, but I don’t do heels anymore, as you know. I would pair them flats, chuck taylors, or booties.

naot sky bootnaot sky 1    naot sky 2

I am a boot freak. Plain and simple. But my feet have deteriorated as a result of arthritis and fibromyalgia, and so my choices for stylish, comfortable boots has diminished by leaps and bounds. So when I found these beauties by Naot, I was wowed! Yes, they have a slight wedge, but it’s low and the toe box curves up for all day comfort. They are a bit spendy, but I think I’m worth it!

wet seal acid wash shirt

A shirt like this would normally be too trendy for me. I actually wore acid wash jeans in the late 80’s and early 90’s when I was in high school. Frankly, I hoped I’d never live to see the trend again. But it seems that designers are paying homage to styles gone by with modern interpretations of decades old designs. I really love this shirt from Wet Seal Plus. It has the kind of texture that gives an outfit that edge and interest. You can pair this acid wash button up with with loads of things, even with more denim. Yes, please!

forever 21 leopard scarf photo (1)

I adore scarves. I wear them in so many ways. They are by far my favorite must have accessory of all time. If you only owned 10 pieces of clothing period, I would advise having a leopard print scarf.  Animal print is practically a neutral, according to stylist, Melinda Mann. But it does so with ridiculous style and grace.  I wear them as regal head wraps over my curly locks; around my neck and shoulders in 12 different ways; as thick belts;  gauzy skirts and; flowy dresses in the summer.  You can score this one for under ten bucks at Forever 21.  Go. Buy. It. Now.

forever 21 boyfriend jeans

If you don’t own a pair of boyfriend jeans you’re missing out. For a long time I avoided this trend because I didn’t think they’d look good on my fat frame. I was so used to buying fitted jeans that “flattered curvy figures” until my stylist/ bestie helped me see things in a whole new light.  She let me borrow her favorite pair (I’m so lucky we wear the same size) and showed me how to make them work. My world was turned upside down! Think outside the box and try these super affordable ones from Forever 21.

dkny trench macys

What would autumn be without a fabulous coat? It doesn’t get super cold in Southern California, so I probably won’t need a parka. This fucking hot trench by DKNY at Macy’smodeled by the oh so sexy Denise Bidot, is probably at the top of my fall wish list. It’s a bit hard to tell, but the color is midnight blue.  I love black and blue together — it’s so sophisticated and unusual.  The price tag of $189 is a bit off-putting, but I think I can convince myself it’s a “good investment.”

Suffice to say that I’m socking away some cash so I can afford to indulge myself a bit this fall season. I figure 3-4 of these pieces will be enough to inspire me. I can’t wait to see where this goes…Follow me on instagram @mixedfatchick to see how I creative I can get with these knockout neutrals!

Love, light, & happy shopping,

Pia

Learning to Love My Totally Imperfect Ass

I’m a Black woman who yearns for a better ass.  It wasn’t always flat.  It used to be high and round and lovely.  But about 11 years ago I had a nasty fall on some steps, and my butt literally landed where the tread meets the risers.  It was incredibly painful, but I never went to see a doctor because I figured the pain would eventually go away. And it did. At least for a while.

But years later I began to notice that the shape of my butt was different, disfigured — there was a deep indentation that spanned the width of it, creating four quadrants, if you will.  I finally went to see a doctor who told me that scar tissue had formed under the skin to protect the area when I injured it.

That made sense to me.  So, I asked how it could be removed. I wanted my round ass back ASAP.  Apparently, it can’t.  I was upset, but not deterred.

My next stop was to see a plastic surgeon. I explained the problem to him and he began to tell me about all the other things that were “wrong” with my body.  And he too, said there was no way to get my ass back to it’s former loveliness.  I was humiliated and defeated.

In the years that followed, I visited massage therapists that specialized in myofascial release.  But the treatments were painful and yielded no results. Just more pain and more shame.

In addition to the shame I felt about my ass, the scar tissue was also painful and had begun to impact  the function of other parts of my body.  I was truly devastated.

I think the other part of the shame is cultural. In our society, Black women are often expected to have round, shapely asses, which are supposed to somehow validate their Blackness and attractiveness.  Which is why I feel like an anomaly.  My mom and sister both have amazing asses (and my mom is 72).  In truth, I have girlfriends of all colors and ethnicities who have amazing bootys, and I secretly wish I had one too.

The ass of my dreams.

A few years ago I began seeing a chiropractor to help me with my back, and I shared with her my “ass story.”  She reiterated what the other doctors had said, but was hopeful that she could help decrease the pain for me. I visit her once a week and my pain has been reduced significantly.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for the pain relief. But I still struggle with accepting the shape of my highly irregular, 38-year old, dented ass!  No amount of stair-stepping or squats will ever make the scar tissue disappear.  This is the ass I have and I need to find a way to love it.

Wearing fitted clothing on the lower party of my body is difficult for me without feeling insecure.  In the last year or so, I’ve tried to love my ass for what it is. I’m simply not there yet.

I know I’m not unique in struggling to love parts of my body. My hope is that having the courage to share my story with you, will allow you to do the same thing. And perhaps even inspire me to accept myself more fully.

My healing will be a journey that will last my whole lifetime.  However, I vow to all of you that I will be more consistent in speaking kindly of my body, because she deserves it.  I will caress my ass, look at her in the mirror, and declare her perfect!

In solidarity,
Pia

3 Reasons I Avoid Talking About My Sugar Addiction

I’m a sugar addict. I am.  When sugar gets into my system, I get high.  And then I need more. And more. And….Ugh!

I don’t like talking about my sugar addiction for three reasons:

  1. It’s very real, but conflicts with my position on dieting, and my disdain for food/body policing.
  2. I’m not sure I can stop, and that frightens me because it completely affects my fibromyalgia and arthritis. Let me be clear, I am talking about MY health, NOT yours.
  3. I don’t want you to judge me.  Yes, I can be that insecure.

So, in order to tackle this issue, I’ve decided honesty is the best policy.  I’ve given up sugar three times in my life, for periods ranging from two months to a year, and I had lots of help. It felt so good, and my body was grateful. If you want to know what I did, you can email me and I would be happy to share more. But for the purposes of this post, it’s irrelevant.

Processed sugar is one of those substances that is in so many of the foods we eat, that it requires a lot of awareness and intentionality to avoid it. I know, I know — I should eat more veggies and just stop with the sugar.  But it’s not that simple for me.  Sugar behaves like heroin in my body.  At first it soothes, then it gives me a spurt of energy, followed by an awful crash that can only be avoided by eating more sugar. And so, I do.  The cycle is beyond vicious. It’s insane.

When I was diagnosed with arthritis two years ago, and fibromyalgia a year later, the first thing my doctor’s told me was to eliminate sugar because it causes inflammation.  It made sense, and I thought that having a doctor tell me would change my behavior, but it hasn’t.  Why? Because I’m an addict who fools herself into believing she can control the controller. And I’ve proved to myself thousands of times that I will always lose this battle.

So, why am I sharing this with you? Why should you care?

Well, I know a lot of people who deal with this addiction, fat, thin and in between. And I want them to know they’re not alone. They may be size acceptance activists like me, who are struggling with the moral dilemma of having a sugar or food addiction and not wanting to fall into the misogynistic trap of fad diets. You guys know I spent many years dieting, and I’m so over it (mostly).  But this isn’t about weight loss, it’s about continuing to do something that I know is harming my body. It’s like if I kept dipping my toe into boiling water and burning the fuck out of it, but doing it anyway because I just can’t help myself.  Yes, it’s that crazy.  It’s doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Which, by the way, is the definition of insanity. The definition of addiction.

I talk to my close girlfriends and my husband about this issue regularly, but I’m tired of thinking about it now. I simply want to let go of it so that in it’s place, a peaceful, spiritually sound woman can emerge. I want to make space for more important things, like working to create a world in which women of all sizes, ages, colors, orientations, and abilities are free to use their goddess-given gifts without fear of being judged on their appearance.

Is that so bad? 

This inner work is never done and it’s hard.  But I know it’s worth it. So, I don’t have any hard and fast answers to my sugar problem, but I just wanted to acknowledge on a public level that I struggle too. And I want to remind myself and you, that body positivity takes so many formsI can love my body at it’s current weight, and still aim for better health.
 

 That’s me!!

I’m so grateful for the Health At Every Size campaign, which proves to me that even at 230 pounds, I can achieve my health and fitness goals without having to ever lose a pound. I want to improve my downward facing dog because it would feel fucking awesome to push my body that much.  I want to wear a tight yoga top and matching pants that hug my every roll, and celebrate my shape as I move into a headstand. I want to give up sugar so my body won’t hurt so damn much.

That’s all.

In solidarity,
Pia

The Fat Girl Diet Debate & How I Fucked Up

So, here’s the thing.  I’ve spent at least 20 years of my life on a diet and I’m not sure I ever want to be on one again.  That’s why you will see me posting cute memes like the one below.  And my point is that if you don’t want to lose weight or ever be on a diet again, you don’t have to.  You don’t have to let the media and our culture force you into believing that your life will be awesome when you get to a size 2, when you are perfectly happy and free as a size 22.

But lately I’ve been seeing a lot of plus size women posting photos of themselves working out and sharing their weight loss stories on social media. I admit it irritated me initially because I felt like my fellow fatties were quitting the “team” and going over to the dark side along with Jennifer Hudson and Queen Latifah. It was as though they’d all been sucked into the dieting vortex, never to show off their their round bellies again.

Jhud before & after

I felt, well, abandoned.

But then I began reading the nasty messages (traitor, hater, you think you’re hot, etc.) that my fellow chubsters were writing on the weight loss posts, and that made me angry.

Why?  Because we have choices.  And yours are not the same as mine. They are also not better or worse than mine.  And what you do with your body is none of my fucking business.

I think I can feel my hypocrisy lifting just a little bit as I write this.  Yes, I do feel lighter. Aaaaahhh…

Women’s bodies are constantly being policed, and I certainly don’t want to be a part of that oppression. Hell, I’ve been a victim of it.  I cannot, in good conscience, criticize another woman because she is making decisions based on what she feels is best for her body. Especially if it in no way negatively impacts others. 

Not to mention, that one day I may decide that I want to lose some weight or begin an exercise regimen again.  And I should be able to do that without comment at all. I don’t need to be glorified or denounced for what I choose to do with my body.  

This is an official apology to anyone who has ever felt that I made them feel less than part of the body positive movement because they choose to lose weight.  My bad.  I get it.  You do you and ‘Imma do me! We can all be a part of this very important movement, no matter what we look like or what choices we make for ourselves.  All our voices count.

Ciao for niao,
Pia

6 Reasons to Love Your Stretchmarks

These aren’t mine, but they are beautiful!
 
Women are told that stretchmarks are ugly and that we should use expensive creams to get rid of them.  I was sold on the idea that my stretchmarks were inherently bad and that getting rid of them would enhance my beauty.  I actually tried some of these so called “miracle cures” years ago with no results. I felt desperate and unattractive. That was then. This is now.  
Don’t let this be you.

I have a lot of stretchmarks — mostly from having an eating disorder that had my body going up and down in weight many pounds at a time.  With every 20-30 pounds gained and lost, a new set of stripes would appear on my hips breasts, and stomach.  I used to cringe at those marks as they altered the texture of my skin.  I still don’t love them 100%, but I’m really trying.  And here’s why:
  1. I earned these motherfucking stripes god dammit!  My stretchmarks are a steady reminder of where I’ve been.  When I look down at them, I see a girl who used to hate her body and cover it up in shame.  I see a woman who has evolved into having a more positive relationship with her body.  My marks tell a rich story, with lots of twists and turns.  These stripes are sacred now.  They are mine.
  2. They’re perfectly normalA lot of people have them;  both men and women, fat and thin. I am not unique!
  3. Stretchmarks are like fingerprints: No two sets are exactly the same.  How cool is that?
  4. I get to tell advertisers to fuck off.  I LOVE doing that.  No more selling me shit I don’t need.  I no longer have to be manipulated into believing that parts of my sacred body are ugly.  So next time I see an ad for stretch mark diminishers, I’m going to scream “NO THANKS MOTHER FUCKERS!”
  5. They’re kind of cute. I know it doesn’t feel like it right this second, but I’m going to give it some time.  I will be nice to my stretchmarks and tell them that I love them.
  6. I have an opportunity to set a good example for the women and girls in my life. It’s not what we say that has impact, it’s what we do.  So I will be brave and show the people in my life that stretchmarks are not scars to be hidden, but badges of honor to be worn with pride!

Here are some links to sites that celebrate stretch marks:
http://stretchmarksarebeautiful.tumblr.com/
http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/stretch-marks
Google search
 

In solidarity,
Pia

An Honest Letter to the Guy That Created #FatShamingWeek

Roosh Vorek, author of the blog Return of Kings (no, I will not provide a link to his site), is a self-proclaimed misogynist who couches his anti-feminist and fat-phobic rhetoric under the guise of concern that masculine superiority is losing its stronghold on Western culture. He also coined the hashtag #fatshamingweek which failed miserably when he launched it last week.  



If you don’t know who he is, then I’m incredibly happy for you.  

ROOSH BELIEVES (these are direct quotes from his website):

  1. A woman’s value is mainly determined by her fertility and beauty. A man’s value is mainly determined by his resources, intellect, and character.
  2. Women are sluts if they sleep around, but men are not. This fact is due to the biological differences between men and women.
  3. Ironically, the less you respect a woman’s intelligence, the more you will retain her interest long enough to get her into bed. You can’t turn a millenial chick into a philosopher, no matter how much you educate her. 
  4. Fat people are all self-absorbed assholes. Like an alcoholic, all they care about is the next slice of double stuffed crust pizza cruising down the conveyor belt. Instead of craving the high of drunkenness, they lust for the rush of harmful nutrition.
  5. Considering how self-absorbed feminists are, it only makes sense for them and fatties to unite. This often takes the form of “fat acceptance,” which is always couched in feminism, which means it is meaningless. It claims people are not responsible for their personal choices, that other people exist to validate them or mollify their self-hatred as it inevitably bubbles up when McDonald’s runs out of nuggets. Their feminism is simple extension—others exist to maintain their personal emotional state. And that state is never your responsibility. It was the gift of fatphobic patriarchy that privileges those who care about themselves over those who want to waste away in a fat-encased shell of a human body. 

Roosh states emphatically that women and homosexuals are prohibited from commenting on his site and that they will be immediately banned.  He has a right to say all these things-I believe in free speech.  However, I cannot support stupidity.  And so I write this letter to him.

Dear Roosh,

If only your parents hadn’t dropped you on your over-sized head as a child, I might not have needed to write this letter shaming you. In fact, I’ve started a new hashtag:  #RooshIsADouche. See, it even rhymes.  I know you don’t think I’m capable of this great feat (#rhyming) because I have a vagina, but you’re wrong. Let me break it down for you Douche. I mean, Roosh.  

Audre Lorde


See, feminism isn’t about devaluing men or what they offer. It is about lifting up women and recognizing that we are more than just baby-making machines that serve you up meatloaf and mashed potatoes whilst wearing corsets and stilettos.  We are people. And while we are capable of doing all of that, we also simultaneously get PhD’s, run for President, and masturbate, because men like you are incapable of getting us off.  We are not equals, you and I, because you are a blubbering fool. 


You say the term “fat acceptance” means that fat people are not responsible for their personal choices, and that feminism exists to make us feel better about ourselves.  Perhaps we can liken that to your use of Viagra which makes you feel better about being impotent.  But I didn’t start a hashtag called #impotenceshaming week because I’m not an asshole.  

It seems to me, Douche, that if feminism didn’t exist, that you would have absolutely nothing to talk about.  Is your masculinity so much in question that you must try to prove to the world that having a dick means you’re better than I am?  Prove it.  What do you offer the world that’s so fucking great? Yeah, I didn’t think so. 



I contemplated not writing to you about your failed attempts at shaming me and my people because I honestly thought it would give you bigger a platform for your bullshit.  But upon further reflection, I felt it was my duty to shine the light upon the sheer ignorance with which you pontificate on what most people agree is an archaic way of seeing the world.  And hopefully it will inform all types of people on what NOT to do when trying to be a decent human being.

And the thing is, your hashtag didn’t get much buzz because it was dumb and mean-spirited. Most sensible, decent people just aren’t going to jump on that bandwagon. Sorry Douche, but misogyny and fat hatred are the NOT the new black. 

Ya know, I don’t think you really hate women and fat people. I think you hate yourself for being feeble-minded and unoriginal. To spew your brand of hatred means you are in a dark and ugly place from which you may never return. Hell, I feel sorry for you. Perhaps a chunky female psychiatrist with a dual degree from Berkeley can help you through it, in between training for a marathon, raising her family, and feeding the homeless.

Wishing you radical change,
Pia
#MixedFatFeminist

P.S. Oh, and you spelled “millennial” wrong. 

The Urge to Purge (This is NOT About Bulimia)


I’ve been driving myself mad the past few years-ok, decades-to become willing to whittle down my wardrobe to just the basics with a few WOW pieces thrown in for good measure. It’s like yoyo dieting, only with clothes instead of food.  I’ve stopped dieting from my supposed “bad food” list this year and it’s felt great (most of the time).  But my failed attempts at putting the kibosh on my fashion addiction are catching up with my conscience.  To be blunt, I feel like the consummate consumerist.  I find the joy in purchasing things transformative and calming, though momentary at best. 



I will, 99% of the time, walk into a store for a specific item, not find it, silently say to myself, “I’m already here. I may as well have a look around,” and purchase something(s) else completely unrelated. I basically get high off of acquiring new things and believe I’ve somehow improved my life.  And that, my friends, is a lie. 




The reason that I struggle is I go back and forth between the ideas that I’m a creative who sees fashion as wearable art, and the overwhelm I feel at trying to easily find something to wear on a daily basis.  On the one hand, I love the diversity of my closet and all the fun looks I can create.  Plus it’s a political choice for me to wear things that challenge people’s ideas about what fat people should or shouldn’t wear.  But on the other hand,  I tend to wear the same tried and true items over and over.  They are my favorites, which not only look good, but feel really good too.  The extra clothes get tried on when I’m playing dress up (which happens a few times a week at least), and then I discover that something just doesn’t fit as I remembered, or it simply doesn’t go with anything else.  Or worse yet, I already have something exactly like it.  I mean, how many black crochet peasant tops does a gal need?

Having a closet full of stuff is hard to keep up with.  And my closet is actually an entire room, with a closet of its own-which is also filled to capacity.  Zoinks! My husband is in awe, or maybe it’s disgust, at the amount of shit I have.  I can’t shake the feeling that it’s not just a drain on my pocketbook, but on my psyche as well. What’s a gal to do?

Shot of my closet.  This is just one small section.


Do I buckle down, find some willpower and purge like crazy? Or do I accept the fact that I LOVE clothes and this is just a part of who I am?

Perhaps this is a plea for advice from my readers.  I invite you to share your experiences with me so that I might have a chance at finding peace.  Yes, I’m asking for help.  So bring it on ya’ll.

Ciao for Niao,
Pia

P.S. I have a gift card to Zappos that I’m dying to use.  Fuck.  This is not going well.  Or is it?