43 Grey Hairs And Counting. Rude.

Just when did it become okay for grey hair to just show up unannounced on my glorious afro? I mean, they’ve fucking packed serious luggage — this is not a weekend visit.  My grey hair has a lazy-boy, ESPN Deluxe cable package and fucking PBR’s on ice.  

Uh. Rude.

I doth protest.

Just when I’m getting comfortable with my fat, Winter arrives earlier than expected, in all it’s white splendor.  Er, grey dreariness.  
I have been plucking my grey hair.  There.  I said it.  I can feel my fellow feminists shaking their heads in dismay.  I feel like a soldier who’s deserted. Here I am, encouraging all of you to embrace yourselves no matter what, while I find a new patriarchal mandate to obsess about.  That’s just great.

This feminism thing, it’s kinda hard.  As in all things, I aim for perfection (one of my many vices, or virtues, or vices. I don’t know). So feeling like a C-average feminist is totally humiliating. But I figure honesty is still the best policy when it comes to my blog. So maybe my comrades will give me a pass on this one (fingers crossed).

These grey hairs, they aren’t ugly.  They’re just surprising.  And I know I can’t keep plucking them.  At this rate, and despite how much hair I have, I could be bald in a couple of years. And that, I am not ready for.   

Plus I always imagined I’d have a perfect grey fro, like model Renee Davis.  My coiffed curls framing my face in sophisticated style, making me look demure and cosmopolitan.  

This is how my grey hair DOESN’T look.

Yeah.  It hasn’t gone down like that.  It grows in disparate directions, staying close to the crown, and tries to hide behind the other hairs, so I can’t find it and pluck it.  Sometimes I win, and am washed over with the weird pleasure that only popping a pimple can rival. But other times I get frustrated,  give up and let them live another day.  

This dance, however, is getting laborious and dull.  I figure I have two options:

  1. Dye my hair, or
  2. Let it do what it do.
As tempting as it is to dye my hair, (and I’ve been thinking of doing it for a bold fashion statement), I don’t want to succumb to the pressure that accompanies women in their late 30’s and early 40’s, living in Los Angeles. The kind of pressure that would have me at the salon every 4-6 weeks for a $150 touch up.  Do you know what I could do with $150 dollars?  I can buy 2 pairs of designer leather flats at Nordstrom Rack.  

Shoe shopping heaven. 

I guess it’s an easier decision that I thought. Thank God for my shoe obsession.

Ciao for Niao,
Pia

Why Social Media Feels Like Degrassi Jr. High

Sometimes Social Media feels like high school, or worse yet, middle school.  It’s like Degrassi Junior High with memes. Do you ever get that feeling that somehow we are all fighting for a second chance at first place? Or at least to not be the Facebook version of the dweeb from Mrs. Kraft’s 6th period History class — which I actually was by the way — so that maybe, just maybe, you can experience a sliver of the popularity you missed out on as a teenager?




I’ve had that feeling.  And I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I fell into the dangerous trap of relying on comments and emoticons to determine my mood and perceived popularity. It’s that moment I Instagram a perfectly crafted selfie and then dive into a hash-tag orgy with attendees like #fatshion #happy #lovinglife #myfatiscute #honorcurves #effyourbeautystandards #plusmodel #plusblogger #youdontknowaboutthislife #onmywaytothetop #naturalbeauty#checkmeoutnowimafunksoulsista  #godisblessingme #fuckyes #thisliferighthere, and so on.

The anticipation of what may or may not arrive post-post, is what I call “The Twitch.”  It lasts approximately 7 minutes, which is how long I wait before I let myself see who enjoyed my post (ok, it’s more like 4 minutes). 

When it’s good, it’s really good.  I’ve beat my record.  56 likes in under an hour. 17+ comments.  4 shares.  Fuck yeah. 

Other days, not so much. 2 likes, and one is from my mom.  Fuck.

As a writer, my biggest vulnerability is that I rely on you to approve, validate and praise my work.  It’s like being in the teen movie Clueless and I’m a dorky Britney Murphy. I await the virtual high I might get as a result of my writing efforts…Was my comment witty? Was it inspiring?  How many people liked it? Did anyone comment? Any new followers? Who shared it? Has it been 4 minutes yet?  Nope.  It’s been 37 seconds. 


The roller coaster of emotions is violent and thrilling.  It’s a high.  Dare I say, an addiction.  

I found myself worn out a few weeks ago, overwhelmed at work and, trying to keep up with my blogging, modeling, and various other projects.  The stress caused me to have a fibromyalgia flare up that forced me to slow down.  I decided to lay low, realizing I was under too much stress and that something had to change.  I got to talk to my boss about my illness and get the support I needed at the office.  But I also knew I needed a break from social media.  I always think I’m going to miss out on something HUGE if I look away for a second. But that rarely happens.  Actually, it has never happened.  

Don’t let this be you


So, I took about a week off from Facebook, Instagram and blogging.  And while it was tough the first day — it felt like withdrawal — after that I felt quite free.  I was no longer hostage to insanely long hash tags and scary selfies.  My mind quieted down.  I picked up the book on my nightstand in the evenings and read for hours.  I had not realized just how much time I was spending trying to stay relevant in social media.  As much as I wanted to stay away another week, I couldn’t.  I had an editorial spread in volup2 magazine come out, and I wanted to share it, which is one reason social media can be so great.  I’m pretty much back to my old ways, crafting witty emails and posting awesome photos of cute fat girls on my page.  But I’m slightly less neurotic about the whole thing, and that feels good.


Taking a break showed me that life does go on without me.  I learned that I like having time for my hobbies, like crafting and creating collages on Polyvore.  I realized that I don’t need to over-post either (showing restraint can be a good thing).  I also discovered that I’m not alone. There are other people who have experienced the same addictive feelings I have, and we agree it’s a tricky business.  Finding the right balance is what I’m always seeking in life, and this experiment was no different.


At the end of the day, this is isn’t junior high.  This is life, swirling around me with enough stress of its own.  My love affair with social media is really more of a crush now.  I’ll always flirt with it, but I won’t commit.  I’ll need to use it to promote my work and see the beautiful photos of my nieces and nephew growing up across the continent.  But I’ll rely on myself and my spirituality a lot more to lift me up and keep me going.  To the best of my ability, that is.

ciao for niao,
pia

25 Things You Didn’t Know: The Naked Truth About Me

Call it vulnerability, stupidity, craziness, bravery or whatever you want.  For some reason, I’ve decided to share this list with you. Some things are less compelling than others, and some are just naked truths that feel like burdens lifted off my heavy body.  Or maybe this my attempt at getting the support it requires to feel just fucking OK in a world obsessed with the thin female body. I suspect it’s the latter.  This whole acceptance of self thing is really hard, and I just want to acknowledge that.  Even the most confident of fatties struggles to keep her head up and exist peacefully in her body and the world.  I’m no different.  You’re probably not either. So, here it goes.
I am (in no particular order or importance):
  1. Often on guard about taking up space (airplanes, restaurant booths, narrow aisles).
  2. An occasional puller down of long shirts over wobbly bits.
  3. Worried I might look stupid when trying something new.
  4. Cautious to let you really see me and not care what you think.
  5. Courageous enough to call myself fat, even though it’s scary and controversial.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
  6. Confused about how to be true to myself without disappointing others (this may not be possible).
  7. Hopeful that I will have peace around my body soon (define soon. right.).
  8. A writer who wishes to be understood and perhaps quoted one day.
  9. Someone with socially acceptable fat (i.e. fat that can be disguised in constrictive clothing).
  10. A work in progress.
  11. Still questioning whether complete self-love and acceptance is possible.
  12. Self-judgmental to a fault. I will forgive you more quickly than I will forgive myself for the same offense.
  13. People-pleaser and hence carry some resentments, which gets in the way of #21.
  14. Attention seeker (The I-was-a-dork-when-I-was-a-kid-and-I-need-your-validation garden variety bullshit).
  15. Consumerist—I just fucking buy too much shit.                                                                                                                                                                                   
  16. Uncomfortable being naked, even when it’s just me and the bathroom mirror.
  17. Somewhat uneasy being in a swimsuit in public.
  18. Sometimes believe I am less attractive than thin women, and thererfore less worthy of happiness and love.
  19. Lover of my curly hair.
  20. Eclectic in style and personality.
  21. Seeking a spiritual path that works for me.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
  22. A pretty decent friend.  See #10.
  23. A pretty decent wife. See #6 and #10.
  24. A fat model breaking down barriers and taking names.
  25. Silly and goofy because it makes me feel good to make people laugh.
  26. Intelligent but not always wise.
Ciao for Niao,
Pia

Who You Callin’ a Fat Bitch?

Last week on my Facebook page  I asked the question, How do you feel about the word fat? or bitch? or for that matter, fat bitch? Does it offend you or empower you? Or neither?”  The responses were very interesting and I thought it was worth exploring a bit more. 

I recently changed the name of my blog from Curvy Sexy Chic to Chronicles of a Mixed Fat Chick (though I also considered Mixed Fat Bitch).  I had and still have mixed feelings about the words “fat” and “bitch” or the idea of using them both to describe me.   Historically, the word “fat” has been used used to marginalize people of size and make them feel less than human. But as you know, people like Jes Baker (The Militant Baker) and Rachele (The Nearsighted Owl), and many other bloggers are taking back the word “fat” and giving it new meaning. Does it still mean someone who has extra adipose tissue? YES!  Some say that by calling ourselves fat and really dissecting the meaning and the context of the word, we can begin to see it simply as a descriptor, neither good nor bad. In some cases, it’s actually a good thing!  



As for the word “bitch,” the responses were mixed.  Some thought it was OK if used playfully, while others found it offensive altogether.  Admittedly, I use the word rather a lot, and use it to describe everything from people (male and female) to situations to inanimate objects–sometimes playfully and at other times in anger.

Now I want to share some of the responses from the Facebook survey.  Not all the women who posted responses were fat, by the way.  

  • I definitely wouldn’t consider it a term of endearment…
  • I have come to love the word fat and my fatness in and of itself. In its definitive essence fat is merely a descriptor, just like being tall or having brown hair. It’s only a pejorative term because of years of re-appropriation and misuse.
  • Personally, I don’t know a woman at any size that has truly managed to stop thinking about herself as fat, so I’ve tried to accept that my body is a certain shape, that some will find it beautiful, and some disgusting, and I can’t control that.
  •  I wouldn’t call myself that. When/if I’ve said it about myself have been in moments if self-hatred. Or like poking fun first before anyone else can. But I don’t think I’ve ever said fat bitch. Ill say “my fat ass knows I don’t need that slice of pie” hmmm pie. Also just so we clear I WILL always have that slice of pie…
  •  I love to walk into a store and ask where the fat section is LOL, I also call myself fat girl, it throws people off and they back peddle – normally I end up with the “Oh you aren’t fat” and I counter with “You are sweet but I do look in the mirror every day and you know what? I own this!” As for the Bitch part… well everyone just knows that I own that word as well. I use those words and own them because I am not going to let myself be brought down because of the words that come out of someone else’s mouth
  • I think that both words are hurtful and playful depending on how they are used and by whom. And I think that is wrong. I think fat should be just a descriptive word but in my reality it is not. I call myself fat and it does not make me feel bad about myself but if someone else says it to me (especially a thinner someone) it is hurtful. That may be wrong but that is how it is for me. Bitch on the other hand is constantly changing for me. In my youth, bitch was just another word. We threw it around like it was nothing. These days it is dependent on who says it and how, again. I do describe myself as a bitch at times (although more often now I say I am an asshole). Its the one word equivalent of saying I’m going to respect myself and stand up for myself and not take your shit. And usually it works out that way. But I don’t much care for someone calling me a bitch in anger (such as ‘you fat bitch’). I know it is a double standard. I know. 


ALL BODIES ARE GOOD BODIES


I’m so encouraged that there was such a big response (pun intended) to these questions. Opening up a dialogue and sharing ideas is important.  I’m still not sure how I feel about the whole thing, really.  In truth it’s a daily struggle to accept myself as I am.  I think many women feel this way.  I want things to change so that the next generation of young girls can avoid the hideous ridicule and infliction of twisted beauty standards the media has thrust upon us.  I will continue to be honest and share my thoughts with you and ask the important questions.  

Women are powerful and we can create lasting change, but we must be committed.  I would love to hear from you about what you’re doing to create change!

Ciao for Niao,

Pia


Why I’m OK at 200+ Pounds

I wondered whether or not I wanted to tell the world (or at least the people who read my blog) how much I weigh.  I’ve ranted on and on about tossing your scales and that the number doesn’t define you in any relevant way.  But in truth, there is a part of me that feels exposed and vulnerable at the thought of highlighting it for public consumption.  I have no idea whether people will be inspired, appalled or just not give a rat’s ass.  I’ve started this journey, and I keep moving forward in hopes of encouraging other folks to be at peace with their bodies.  I post photos and encouraging quotes on my FB page, and get lots of LIKES and lovely comments.  But I can’t talk the talk and not walk the walk.  



You’ve seen me in a bathing suit and cheered me on when I posted a blog on why I love my thighs.  So why is it so scary that I should tell you that I weigh over 200 pounds? Perhaps it’s because it is a further act of defiance that will set me free.  And to be set free from something  that you have known intimately for years (even if it’s painful) can be scary shit because it’s uncharted territory. It’s like being in an abusive relationship where you convince yourself that you don’t deserve better.  Who would you be outside the realm of that familiar, yet hurtfuul relationship?  Same idea.

So declaring my number to the world is a way for me to be an activist in the struggle toward size acceptance.  I must do my part if what I want is a broader cultural definition of beauty.  I cannot sit on the sidelines and whine about why I detest advertisements for cellulite cream and anti-aging potions without actually backing it up with some kind of action.


I think the other reason I want to share it is that there are so many of you whose daily moods are based on what the number on the scale reads.  And I get it, because I’ve been there too.  If the number was low, that meant I was a good girl, and worthy of love and success.  If the number was high (in my distorted opinion) then I was useless, lazy, fat and ugly.  It was a terrible way to live. In fact, it wasn’t living at all.  Being a slave to that number kept me from living the life of my dreams. I missed out on so many incredible experiences that I can never get back.  


Do I have regret?  Yes and no.  

I wish today’s Pia could go back and tell Pia of 20 years ago that she was amazing, lovely, smart and perfectly imperfect. But then I realize that this journey is mine, and the painful experiences I’ve had around my self-image are part of what make me who I am today: A mostly confident, kind, compassionate, attractive and intelligent woman, who wants to help others transform their self-hatred into self-acceptance and eventually love.  


If you’re feeling brave, or just want to shout from the rooftops how much you weigh, join the movement by leaving a comment here and/or on my Facebook page for the world to see.  Help break down the myths around traditional beauty standards and say ‘fuck you’ to the media for feeding us bullshit.  Claim your space in this world and take no prisoners!

Ciao for Niao,
Pia

www.curvysexychic.com
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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.  

#YOLO

Ciao for Niao,
Pia

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,
Pia