I’m Fucking Overwhelmed

 

I know I’m not alone in this.  I have so much going on in my life right now, and at times it feels completely unmanageable.  I have a full time job which is extremely stressful;  I have a marriage that requires time and commitment; I’m an activist, blogger, model and writer too.  Many of the things that are happening are wonderful, and my hard work is paying off in all sorts of amazing ways.  But I feel the need to slow down and say “no” more often.  
  
Many of you know I have fibromyalgia, which is a chronic illness I’m learning more about since my diagnosis last year.  For me that means I can’t do everything I want, because my body simply won’t let me.  

It’s very frustrating, but at the same time it feels good to slow down and make time to take care of myself. My doctor told me, “you need to really pamper yourself.”  I don’t think any medical professional has ever said that to me.  But it was just what I needed to hear. 

I know intellectually that getting massages regularly, and going to bed early are not only good for my body, but also for my mental health.  But strangely enough, I find relaxing really hard to do.  Even when I’m not technically working, I’m on social media late at night, or doing chores, or running errands, or thinking about what’s next. I’m always running!

It’s rare that I’m still.

What does all this mean, anyway?  

I think it means that I have to trust the Universe/God/Goddess/Higher Power to guide me during this tough adjustment period.  I’m a spiritual person who has lost her way a bit.  I’m a tough broad, but I’m not impermeable.  I’m human and I have limits.  

As a feminist I often feel like I have to do more just to prove that I’m down with the cause — that I’m always hustling.  But an exhausted Pia cannot be of service, she cannot give her best if she is not caring for herself first.  It feels selfish to say no and to take a nap instead, even if that’s what I really need.  

So, if you see less of me on social media, it’s not because I’ve abandoned this important piece of my life, it’s because I need a break from time to time. I’m still here. I’m just taking extra special care of myself.

In solidarity,
Pia

Nearly Naked Plus Size Models Strut at Fashion Weekend

I am so freakin’ excited I can’t stand it!  As I was researching a topic for this week’s blog, I came across an article on Brazil’s recent Plus Size Fashion Weekend, featuring women with hips, breasts, cellulite and real curves strutting their stuff on the runway in not much more than their bras and panties!  I was immensely inspired and simply had to share it with you.  These women make me proud to be a feminine creature, with my own unique set of dips and dimples!  The fashion show, which is the biggest in Brazil, was created by journalist Renata Poskus Vaz.  The plus size journalist has a blog of her own, called Mulherao, where she is an advocate of plus size women.  The Fashion Weekend has been instrumental in the growth of the plus size industry in Brazil.  

It’s interesting to compare the body types of these Brazilian models with what we are used to seeing in the U.S. market.  Plus models, like Fluvia Lacerda, Tara Lynn and Denise Bidot seem to have firmer, more toned figures.  Is the Plus Size Modeling industry perhaps a bit hypocritical?  I don’t know.  I suspect there’s a some photo-shopping going on there as well.  Yes, there are great strides being made, but there is still a great amount of pressure on plus models to be keep in shape, and yet not get too small. Don’t get me wrong, I think Fluvia, Tara and Denise have bangin’ bodies. I’m simply offering that plus size models and women who have some jiggle in their wiggle are just as beautiful and just as worthy.  I hope we continue to see progress in this area, so that young girls and women everywhere will begin to celebrate their bodies, instead of hating them.  As plus size bloggers, we have a responsibility to embrace all types of beauty.  And I think collectively, we’re doing a great job.  There is always much to discuss, and like anything else worth pursuing, there is always more progress to make.  So, let’s support one another and keep creating forums where we can talk about creating a world in which a woman’s worth is not determined by her dress size, but by virtue of her value as a human being.  Keep on keepin’ on!

Ciao for Niao,
Pia


3 Ways to Love Your Body Now

Loving your body isn’t always easy, whether your a size 6 or a 26.  As women we are bombarded with unrealistic images of ultra-thin models and actresses who represent about 1% of the population.  It’s no wonder we’re totally fucked up about our body image.  I know it’s possible to love your body at any size.  Here are three ways you can begin doing it today:

  1. STOP  READING MAINSTREAM FASHION MAGAZINES. I made the decision to stop buying and reading these magazines because they lacked the diversity that exists among real women.  Super thin, air-brushed women are not role models to be emulated.  They are false images, conjured up by the media and corporations who create an unattainable ideal to get your money and mess with your head!  Yup, I said it.  It’s all a bunch of bullshit.  I realized that after many years of reading those magazines and obsessing over the cellulite and stretch mark-free bodies on the pages, that I felt really crappy about myself. Those women are not real.  Instead, I prefer to read wonderful publications like Plus Model Magazine and Skorch.  I read blogs by real, confident women who accept themselves and love their bodies, imperfections and all.  I suggest you do the same.
  2.  WEAR SOMETHING THAT MAKES YOU FEEL GOOD NOW.  It makes me so sad when I hear women say “I’ll wear that when I lose 20 pounds.”  What the hell for? First of all, you deserve to feel good all the time.  Secondly, what if you never lose the weight?  Should you be doomed to a life of fashion mediocrity because you don’t look like Naomi Campbell?  I DON’T THINK SO!  Life is too short to not enjoy every moment.  If that size 18 label makes you uncomfortable, then cut it off!  Besides, there are so many wonderful clothing options for plus size women today.  You can be fashion forward, chic and trendy at any size.  So go out and treat yourself!
  3. HIGHLIGHT YOUR FAVORITE BODY PART.  We all have a part of our bodies that we really like.  Whether it’s you sexy thick legs, shapely bosom or gorgeous hair, you should play it up.  I love my smile and my decolletage.  So, I wear red lipstick and necklines that highlight my graceful neck.  It always makes me feel good about myself.  When you begin loving one body part, it becomes easier to love the rest of your body too.  It may not happen over night.  But the next time you are in front of the mirror, just say to yourself “I love my…!”  It really works!