Curvy Girl Shopping

Okay so this year one of the things that I’m trying to do is show you me. All of me. Be more transparent in my writing. I think I’m pretty transparent, but there are some things that I still hold back on. One of the things is simply…me.

I don’t like putting my body out in cyberspace. Not that I’m embarrassed. No, I just don’t want the attention. Good or bad, I’m really private like that. Well, in my published piece last year I talked about owning my attitude about how I feel and look and being comfortable in my skin. I wanted to stop hiding and start loving.

Yeah, I love me. However, not on cyberspace. I am withdrawn and shy. As I started approaching 40, my best friend encouraged me to buy some new jeans. She said, “You’re losing weight and all your jeans hang off your waist and it’s not flattering.” I was shocked. One that she noticed my weight loss and two that it was bothering someone. I know it may seem small to some of you, but a curvy girl hates to be told she looks drab. Especially by someone you love and admire.

So, with that piece of advice, I bought my first pair of skinny jeans. Yep, at 40. It was hard ya’ll. I hated drawing attention to my waist and backside. But, I had to admit that it did flatter my shape in a positive way. Great advice bestie!

This weekend I accompanied my bestie shopping because she is going out-of-town and needed some cute clothes. Let me tell you that my bestie is a curvy girl too and if she does shop, she needs to try on clothes in the store. I’ve not tried on clothes in a store in years because I hate undressing in public spaces. I always wonder if they are secretly recording you. LOL!

So, I decided it would be a good idea to get another pair of skinny jeans and try on some clothes for moral support. Now, I’ve been losing weight and I find that I’m in between sizes. I hate that. I was originally in a size 26 jean and now I’m in a size 20 because a 22 is too big. I can’t believe I shared that, but I am owning my size and loving the skin that I’m in.

Now, back to the clothes. Ashley Stewart had their spring collection out and I was loving it. I was gravitating towards the bright colors because I could use some enhancements in the color department for my wardrobe.  Why? Because, I tend to gravitate towards darker colors. I found this beautiful fuchsia peplum trench jacket because a girl can never have too much pink in her wardrobe and this green trench with gold detail.

I’ve never been a fan of green, but let me tell you that I loved it. I loved the fit, the cut and the color was so eye-popping sexy that I had to buy it. I didn’t really try on any clothes outside of a pair of jeans and a lightweight sweater. I told you that I hated trying on clothes. But, I wanted to share the photos with you.

Let me know what you think.

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Under Construction

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I recently read this great piece on Huffington Post entitled “My Stretch Marks Don’t Define Me” and I screamed “Yes”. I love the article. Mainly because the author was talking about how she loves and accepts her stretch marks and they don’t define the sum of who she is.

In the beginning, I felt that my body was still under construction. You know trying to lose the baby weight, get sleep, eat right and get back down to my pre-pregnancy size or smaller. Well that didn’t happen and six years later it is still under construction.

I lost weight my entire pregnancy and in the end I gained 15 pounds before they removed munch for medical reasons. I was sick. So, that cute mommy whose baby was eating off her fat cells the entire time she was pregnant was excited that I could actually eat normal again after delivery. However, no one told me that the pregnancy weight would redistribute. I had pockets of fat in other places.

Too weak to exercise and too tired to care about being smaller for the first 4 years of his life had me accepting my bigger figure. But, I wanted to be healthier. Make healthier choices with food. Be alive for him. I have no health issues and I wanted to keep it that way.

I made many life changes this last year and the weight and inches are coming off. My body is still under construction, but I’m not embarrassed by the imperfections. I don’t want surgery to fix the reminder of my struggle to conceive. I accept it and will work at being healthy in my own way. Naturally.

My stretch marks show the path to parenthood running from my stomach to the top of my (umm, let’s say Olivia Pope). They show the price I paid to be a parent. The white weirdly shaped lines show that I fed my son in my womb. They mark the immense pressure my body was under when I was pregnant. They remind me of the painful bursts of pain I experienced when my son sat on my sciatic nerve. They are beautiful and I love them. I accept them.

Many things about my body changed when I had a baby, but I don’t care. The only thing I’ve ever hoped for was bigger breasts and a smaller nose, but unfortunately that didn’t happen. Wasn’t in the plans. My breasts grew big enough to nourish my son and then sadly went back down to their original size after nursing was done. But, even that doesn’t matter.

Why? Because I love my body just the way it is. Yep, I’m working out (not to be skinny) to be healthy, but my stretch marks won’t disappear. My breasts won’t grow (without surgery), my stomach will always bulge (unless I do liposuction), my thighs will still have cellulite and my incision will still be seen because of my C-section.

This body is and has been under construction for the last six years and it’s okay. Because you know what? I will still accept that I’m perfect just the way I am.

In Search of More

“I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.”

Mother Teresa

Okay so I’m working on my first book which will be fiction (very loosely) based off my life and experiences. It’s weird because I’ve never intended to write fiction, just tell my story. My truth. My way. With no filter. The response to my two short stories have created a surge to write the story of a woman named Faith and her experiences with a man named Teddy.

I’m so excited because the respect and appreciation for my short stories have increased my Twitter followers, Facebook friends and followers to this blog. This means that people get me. You don’t know how wonderful that makes me feel. It is an amazing feeling and I thank you for your continued support.

That being said, I have no plans to quit my job and write full-time (primarily because I love and need my health benefits) but I just want to share this woman’s story. What makes it interesting is that I can see parts of me, my friends, family and women I’ve met on this journey into everything I write now. We all want more. Whether it be a poem or short story I feel like I’m weaving a tapestry that tells one story for everyone…the search for more. More. We don’t want to settle. We know we deserve it but oftentimes we find ourselves trapped in situations where we accept what we can get instead of pulling ourselves away from things that don’t give us more.

My search for more has opened my eyes to things that I never thought I would experience and anthems about taking back your power that I am in awe of how I’m subconsciously moving and gravitating towards my destiny without even knowing it. In other words, I’m not settling. I’m asking, no rather DEMANDING more. More for me.

I hope you do the same love.

Fat Jokes

So, last week I had the pleasure of going to drink at an establishment where my girlfriend was the bartender for the night. The bar was small, but nice. They had a comedy show whereby local comedians were featured. As I settled onto my bar stool with my drink I was immediately captivated by the talent of a black woman about my age and rocking a beautiful African head-wrap. Sister was funny. She was bringing the jokes and I was feeling the pain from laughing so hard.

But, she lost me. Why? She started to talk about how she’s 40 and never been married and doesn’t have kids. She remarked about how she is attractive and that she seems to be entering the dating field at the wrong time. For example, when skinny is in she’s considered too fat or when fat girls are in she’s considered too skinny. Apparently she had it rough (insert snarky smile). As she progressed through her routine she said that she was watching Discovery Health one day and it depressed the heck out of her. Why? Because she saw two women who were both married to attractive men with children.

The first woman had no legs and was pregnant. She mused, “I mean, why can’t I find an attractive husband and get pregnant. I have legs. What’s the problem?” She inquired. She said that a friend had told her that the legless woman can outperform her in the bedroom (too much for this post). Everyone laughed. Now disabled people are humorous? She then said there was a show about a 692 fat woman who was married to an attractive man and she couldn’t understand how she could get a husband and she can’t. What was up with that? Everyone laughed imagining this situation because the comedian couldn’t have weighed more than 160 pounds herself and was attractive.

She told a few more jokes and got off the stage. A few more comedians came up to do their act and I realized a theme forming in my brain…Fat jokes. Men and women both think that joking about fat women is funny (not even fat men). They all wondered how fat women can find attractive husbands, boyfriends or even date because we’re so busy being fat and eating.

Now, check it! I get that they were just jokes but as the only curvy sister in the establishment they were all looking at me and saying, “Not you sister” as I was giving them the side-eye that their jokes weren’t funny. I am a plus size princess, a curvy cutie and a full-figured feminist so how do the fat jokes don’t apply to me? Because I’m not big enough like the women you are referring too?

Man, kick rocks with that kind of backwards thinking. I asked my boy who was with me why did they do that? He said, “They’re just jokes. All fat women want to be skinny. Look at Monique.” Really? WTH! I was outraged at his insensitivity to the issues that big women face and I said, “Not all women want to be skinny and Monique didn’t. She wanted to be healthy and she’s not skinny.”

I guess I’m disappointed that we still can’t find humor about real-life things instead of picking on me and my plus sized sisters. I just wish that a true comedian would develop their craft by finding other topics. I mean fat girls like me like comedy shows and you just might have to spend your routine looking away when I give you the side eye when you make fat girl jokes. I’m not ashamed of my size and not everyone wants to be skinny. Just healthy.

My two cents…find other things to make us laugh such as politics, sex and religion. You would offend a lot more people instead of one group. I’m just saying.

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Femininity and all that Jazz

Earlier last year, I went through a major change in my life.  I had so many friends tell me that I needed to take time out for myself and find the “true me”.  So, I told them…I know who I am.  But, then I stopped to think that they may not know who I am.  But did it really matter as long as I was happy?

My friends are seeing major changes both inside and outside of me.  They don’t understand that most of my life I’ve spent running from the “true me”.  The “true me” was scared of her femininity.  I hated the changing shapes of my hips and I didn’t want to accept the curves in my body because I’m a woman who was taught brains before beauty.  So, what did I do?  I tried to hide. Hide my curves behind baggy clothes and box structured pant suits because I didn’t want to draw attention to my body.  I liked being under the radar.

I know that I’m a woman with hips that are in the double digits, but no one taught me how to embrace my shape and ever changing body.  To truly love my coffee colored skin.  To love my oddly shaped nose that no one in my family has.  To love the fullness of my lips or the smallness of my breasts.  No one taught me that I can be sexy without dressing like I worked the corner of a busy intersection in a seedy part of town.  Because sexy wasn’t something that I identified with.  I wasn’t sexy.  I was too big to be sexy.  I was just big.  So, I just hid myself behind a proverbial wall never to draw attention to myself.

When I was younger, education was stressed.  Not beauty, but brains.  I was taught that it is more important to be smart.  Focus on education, learn my history and be self-sufficient because as a woman it would be hard for me.  You know the glass ceilings and such.  I am both simple and complex at the same time.  I am greater than the sum of my parts and both my femininity and color make up the whole of me, but there is more.  A lot more.

So, I took the path laid out before me.  I focused on being smart and structured in the business world.  I wanted to be seen as keen, analytical and dependable.  I wanted to be taken seriously and not to be the “angry black female” or the “emotional woman” at the table when discussing business.  I wanted to have a voice that was valued.  But how did I do that?  By dressing the part.  I dressed the part of the sharp, no-nonsense, business woman who wanted to be rewarded for her brains not her beauty.  I wanted to climb the corporate ladder on my own merits and not my backside, but I was naïve. 

I discovered that hiding my femininity behind boxy glasses and sharp pant suits didn’t make me appear smarter.  Nor did wearing tight clothes with six-inch heels.  I needed to find a balance.  I could still climb the ladder on my merits without thinking I had to enter into a sexual harassment type situation.  I needed to find me.  But, not just find me, to like me and accept who I am.  To realize that my voice is not based on how I dressed.  I am not a size 6 or a size 10.  I’m in the double digits when it comes to pant sizes, but this year I realized that it is okay to be a beauty with booty and still wear clothes that show my femininity.  I wear more dresses and bright colors that compliment my skin tone.  I get beautiful earrings that draw attention to my beautiful face wearing my Chanel glasses and I swing my hips proudly as I embrace my curves.  I have sass and smarts and I deserve to be seen and not hide behind my clothes.  So, if you see my timeline flooded with selfies, it’s because I’m embracing and loving my femininity.  I’m shedding pounds and layers and stepping into my own one outfit at a time.