27 March 2013

Flowers, Creepers and Curls

Marie Southard

Marie Southard

Marie Southard

Marie Southard

Marie Southard

Marie Southard

Marie Southard

Marie Southard

Marie Southard

Marie Southard

Marie Southard
Marie Southard

First photo shoot of spring!

For a similar look:

Dress & Tights: H&M
Earrings: ModCloth $11.99
Shoes: ASOS $41.56
Lipstick: MAC  Full Fuchsia $15.00

11 March 2013

Emerald + Plus-Size = YES

Pantone has announced that 2013's color of the year is emerald, and I couldn't be more pleased.  Green (any shade of it!) is my favorite color, which means that the fact that this year will see an emerald takeover in everything from fashion to makeup to home wear makes me sufficiently pleased.  I thought I'd collect some of my favorite emerald items of 2013 thus far.  This list will probably get longer as the year goes by (and can I just say, it's going by so fast!), but thus far, here are the cutest products in clothing, beauty and accessories, perfect for any plus-size lady looking to show off those curves or add some emerald dazzle to an outfit.

Emerald Plus Size

ModCloth's "Esther Williams Bathing Beauty" may not show too much, but it's sure to highlight any hourglass bod.  I'm thinking this will be my swimsuit of the year.
Emerald Plus Size
I LOVE Igigi.  They make some of the classiest plus-size pieces out there, and apparently they do accessories as well.  This Monaco Clutch is sure to complement any curvy gal's outfit.

Emerald Plus Size
I never used to get peticoats, but something tells me that pairing this Domino Dollhouse one with a spandex bodysuit and perhaps some Creepers would be ridiculously cute...I kind of want to do it...soon.

Emerald Makeup
Estee Lauder's "Emerald Oasis" palette is gorgeous.  I'm going to get this a.s.a.p. and create some lovely shading on my lids.

Emerald Plus Size
Any curvy lady in today's world has got to befriend ASOS Curve.  If you don't believe me, check out this emerald skater skirt!

I for one will definitely be going green this year ;)

International Women's Month: Let's Love The Ladies

I'm sure you all already know this, but March is International Women's Month, and organizations worldwide are teaming up to celebrate how amazing the female species is.  I was able to write a post for Marie Claire on the subject, which I'd love to share with y'all.  And obviously my #WomenWishes is that plus-size ladies can start embracing their bodies and loving their curves and rolls instead of trying to adhere to some sort of pre-conceived notion of what it means to be beautiful.

From Marie Claire:

Today, women may finally be able to have it all. Women go to outer space, write captivating screenplays, create (and model!) couture fashion, raise little ones and even run for president. Though we often praise the women in our lives on a small, personal level, March is the month where women are celebrated on a huge, international scheme for International Women's Month. The event may be a month-long celebration, but March 8 is the heart of it all: International Women's Day. It's a time to vamp up the praise, and look not just at the leading ladies of our own lives, but at the leading ladies of the world — past, present, and even future.

International Women’s Day (IWD) has been around for over a century. Through the years, IWD provided a platform for ladies to express their dissatisfaction with the workforce, voting rights, or the status-quo of being designated housewives, while also celebrating the women who were making it out in the big world — writing books, starring in films, sitting in the front seat of buses or flying airplanes (props to Rosa Parks and Amelia Earheart; we still love you!). A century later, it's become more a celebration of how far we've come rather than a look at how far we have yet to go.

IWD is celebrated in more than 60 countries, and in some, it's even become more popular than Mother's Day (not to say we should ever forget Mother’s Day, obviously). IWD events include everything from photo collections (publications and magazines gathering photos of women in their best heels, for instance) to erotic art shows (what better example of how far we’ve come than our sexual liberation), from conferences with titles like "Empowering Women: Changing Lives" to handmade craft fairs.

We're hoping you'll all join the cause for womanhood. Even if you can't partake in the events, send out a tweet with your wish for womankind. Using the hashtag #WomenWishes, tell us what you hope to see in the future of females — what you think needs to happen, what you hope will happen or what you don't think is happening enough. You can send a shout out to a leader of ladies, or even just tell us what is about women that's so completely awesome. And for more #WomenWishes coverage, follow @MarieClaire_W for MC's Women's Day account!

07 March 2013

I Want To Make A Baby With Beth Ditto...

Beth Ditto

...so we can have the trendiest babies ever.  They'd be little punk/vintage hybrids who wear Bernie Dexter and MAC liquid eyeliner and it'd be amazing.  Plus they'd be ridiculously curvy -- as long as they were girls.  I don't really want to know what the boy babies would look like.  So yeah, this needs to happen. #girlcrush


I was kind of pleased with my outfit today...which is why I'm sharing it...even though I realize this is kind of narcissistic...but then again, I think all writers are just a smidge narcissistic...so it's ok...maybe.

Marie Southard

' Marie Southard'
Marie Southard

Marie Southard

For something similar:

Headband: ModCloth
Earrings: Target
Tank Top: Lane Bryant
Denim Top: American Apparel
Skirt, Leggings, Shoes: H&M
Handbag: ModCloth
Purple Pearl Lipstick: Dolce

Color Me Obsessed: Domino Dollhouse

Domino Dollhouse
By absolute chance, and luck, I stumbled upon Domino Dollhouse, the self-proclaimed e-commerce site for “plus-size clothing without compromise.”  Their mash-up of sci-fi looks with vintage and rockabilly styles has me in an absolute tizzy, and actually looking forward to my birthday this year (sending out winks here to those who are wondering what to buy me in three weeks!).

What I really love about these designs is that they are far more unique than so much of the plus-size apparel out there.  You go to ASOS Curve and you kind of know what to expect (not that this makes it any less fabulous).  You go to Forever 21 Plus, and you know you’ll be finding more straight patterns and quotidian designs.  But Domino Dollhouse is different.  It’s got its own flare, and furthermore I couldn’t be more pleased by the models!  Unlike so many sites, this one actually uses larger ladies, not 6’1” size 8s.  These women are rocking their curves and by the looks of it, most are about a 14 or up.  So hurray for actually using plus-size models to model plus-size clothes!  And hurray to founder Tracy Broxterman, whose blog Chubble Bubble always makes me smile, and now whose clothes do the same.

Check out some of my favorite pieces below!

Domino Dollhouse
  Domino Dollhouse
Domino Dollhouse
  Domino Dollhouse
 Domino DollhouseDomino Dollhouse

04 March 2013

For The Love Of Thunder Thighs

Maya Shleifer

People seem to complain a lot about their legs.  This isn’t something I’ve ever understood.  I quite like my legs.  It’s funny, because skinny people complain that they have chicken legs while heavier people complain they have tree trunk legs, and you never hear of anyone being happy if they have something in between either.   I suppose this is like most things; the blonde wants to be brunette; the brunette wants to be blonde.  But I, for one, proudly subscribe to the label of “thunder thighs.”  I’ve always had big legs, whether I was thin or plus-size.  Call it a character trait, I suppose.  And I’ve found that the legs I find most beautiful on other women happen to fit into the same category.

It all falls into the love of curvaceousness I suppose.  Bigger legs are somehow more womanly; more feminine.  You look at legs that are stick-like and, they may be nice.  They may genuinely be beautiful; but you may also be able to picture them on a boy.  I love femininity.  I really do.  This doesn’t mean I love sci-fi or dark ale any less, but I also love womanhood and girly-ness, and with that, comes loving fat legs.  I know some people don’t approve of the word “fat,” but the types of legs I’m referring to are comprised primarily of fat, so I don’t see the problem in using the word.

I found this piece of art, and I fell in love.  It reminded me of the types of legs you would’ve seen on a pin-up girl from the 1950’s or on a burlesque girl today.  The flower detailing adds to the perception that this is beautiful.  Thunder-thighs, tree-trunk legs, whatever comment meant to be derogatory…I find lovely.  I don’t conceive those comments derogatory at all to be honest.  I’m sorry if you do, but I just don’t think you should.  Thick legs = femininity and femininity = beauty, or a type of beauty that I perceive anyway.

I know my legs chafe when I walk, and I know this is really uncomfortable and momentarily makes me annoyed at my legs from time to time, and makes me spend far more money on Spanx than I'd like to, but ultimately, I’d rather be “piernona” as we’d say in Spanish than have the legs of the twelve year old boys I see playing soccer in the park.  I’d rather have legs like the beautiful ones in this painting.

Pretty In Pink

Marie Southard

I never used to be a big fan of pink, or of Molly Ringwald for that matter.  But these days, I'm loving bright colors.  I was given this crazy bright pink dress from a friend who got it at H&M (the biggest size they had was a 14 so it's a smidge tight in the chest, but who cares?) and I genuinely love it.  Plus, it gave me a good excuse to finally wear the over-sized choker I got at H&M around Christmas.  It's a little over-the-top but heck, I'm all for being bold.

Marie Southard

Marie Southard

Marie Southard

Marie Southard

What The Monthly Weigh-In Really Says

H. Armstrong Roberts

There are all these misconceptions about very large masses of land – entire continents and countries assigned to a few main clichés or stereotypes by which people in other continents and countries judge them by.  America: land of the free, home of the brave, where the streets are made of gold and people of all shapes, colors and styles are best friends and sings songs about their togetherness.

I’ve been lucky to travel quite a lot in my 22 years.  I’ve been lucky to live in other countries and see other places and witness firsthand how wrong the misconceptions actually are.  When I went to live in Madrid, I was told not to be surprised by how Catholic everyone was.  Then, of course, I actually went to Madrid, and didn’t encounter a single Catholic.  I went to live in Prague, and was told that, there, tourists were welcomed and befriended effortlessly.  Then, of course, I actually went to Prague and didn’t make a single Czech friend.  And I’ve lived in America for most of my life, constantly being told that this is the most open-minded, accepting, liberal nation in the world, but have seen not a single thing to prove any of those statements (other than television shows, which last I checked, aren't real).  Spain, the so-called “Catholic” country, legalized gay marriage and abortion way before we did (and may I remind you all that gay marriage still isn’t legal nation-wide).  A trip down the Bible belt will tell you that we’re still one of the most religious countries in the world – heck, the entirety of our constitution is based on trust in God.  Liberal?  Yes, we have a black, Democratic president – but only half the country actually supports him at this point.

I bring this up because one of the many “America is paradise” clauses includes the supposed fact that, here, people of all sizes and shapes and colors are accepted.  We’re the melting pot that’s supposed to put all other melting pots to shame.  But then, why, when I interviewed Marshana D. Ritchie, the only black contestant on Season 12 of “The Bachelor” did she tell me the first question that she was asked by one of the other women on the show was, “So, do you even know who your biological father is”?  And why, if we’re supposed to accept all sizes, do children get made to feel repugnant when they are overweight, and not just by their peers and the bullies that torment them, but by the adults with supposed intentions of caring and protecting them?

I write this post for two reasons.  Number one: I just re-watched the first episode of Newsroom, whose opening scene will forever be my favorite opening scene to any television show every made.  When a misinformed sorority-esque student asks Aaron Sorkin’s character what makes America the best country in the world, part of his response that counteracts her silicone silliness included the following:

“We’re seventh in literacy. Twenty-seventh in math. Twenty-second in science. Forty-ninth in life expectancy. A hundred and seventy-eighth in infant mortality. Third in median household income. Number four in labor force and number four in exports. We lead the world in only three categories: Number of incarcerated citizens per capita, number of adults who believe angels are real, and defense spending, where we spend more than the next twenty-six countries combined, twenty-five of whom are allies.”

Suffice it to say, we’re not the best.  And I will forever bow my hat to Aaron Sorkin for putting it out there on national television.

The second reason I write this post is because of a conversation I had with my friend’s little sister – a 10-year-old who reminded me a lot of my former 10-year-old self.  She was quiet, shy, nerdy and, yes, chunky.  She told me that they took her height and weight in school that day (I remember the monthly weigh-ins we had to undergo through elementary and high school) and that the nurse told her she was drastically overweight for her height, and that if she didn’t make the necessary changes to her life, she would get diabetes.  The nurse then added, “People die of diabetes, you know.”  Doesn’t she sound lovely?

My friend’s sister, who I will call Maddie, isn’t even that overweight.  She has baby fat, sure, but so do many pre-pubescent kids. Maddie was so distraught at the thought of dying from being mildly overweight that she spent most of the afternoon in complete anxiety, biting her nails, tapping her foot and sitting solemnly on the couch staring at a blank television screen.  She was devastated, because some school nurse made her think that something was wrong with her – that she might die from a practically nonexistent amount of baby fat.

I’ve asked people in other countries whether they were subjected to the monthly weigh in’s that are so common in the American school system – a procedure I’ve never quite understood considering that a: school nurses are not doctors and b: why would the school need to know how much anyone weighs?  It’s a torturous exercise that I believe lessens any tiny parcel of self esteem heavier children may possess.  Nowhere else, as per my asking around, does this procedure take place.  I’ve asked relatives in Colombia; nope.  I’ve asked my boyfriend in the U.K.; nope.  I’ve asked teachers in Spain and the Czech Republic; nope.  We’re one of the only places to do this – and for what benefit?  So that a nurse can tell a child they may die of diabetes if they don’t lose weight?  I can’t help but be reminded of that scene in Mean Girls where the coach/sex-ed teacher tells the kids that if they have sex they will get AIDS and die.  There you go folks; logic at its simplest, most uneducated form.

It just amazes me.  It amazes me that we as a nation are put on a pedestal, and yet we’re probably the only country in the world that would force kids onto a scale during school hours to make them feel awful about themselves.  The makers of Mean Girls had it right; the way we’re taught certain things is just unacceptable.  Putting a 10-year-old, mildly chunky kid on a scale, telling that kid they will die if they don’t lose the 5 pounds of baby fat they’re carrying around, is unacceptable.

We lead the world in three categories: number of incarcerated citizens; number of people who believe in angels; and defense spending.  I venture to say the fourth category we lead the world in is: number of children who go home crying every day because someone has told them that they as human beings are broken, wrong, inadequate.

01 March 2013

You Meet The Best People At Plus-Size Events

Katie Cundiff and Me at Lane Bryant's Flagship Store #LBNYC34

Here's a photo of the lovely culinary student Katie Cundiff and myself at Lane Bryant's flagship store unveiling on 34th street last night.  We bonded over our fascination with each other's dresses -- obviously.  She was such a sweetheart, and as you can tell, simply stunning in that white dress and red lipstick.

Marcy Takes A Minute: Talking Plus-Size, Lane Bryant And The UltimateDream

Courtesy of Marcy Guevara

Yesterday evening Lane Bryant unveiled their new flagship store on 34th street with cocktails like the Lanetini (witty, isn’t it?), trays of canapés filled with éclairs, cupcakes and corn dogs and plus-size gurus like bloggers Alissa Wilson, Ashley Falcon and Marcy Guevara.  The through the charts gorgeous-ness of the night (I say ‘through the charts’ because Lane Bryant’s new collection is beyond amazing) was vamped up even more by the presence of our favorite make-up artist Jay Manuel and the stunning plus-size model Candice Huffine. Let me tell you, being surrounded by this many beautiful plus-size people (well, primarily plus-size with the exception of Jay) made me feel like I’d died and gone to curve heaven.

I received the invitation to go to Lane’s opening by none other than the stunning Marcy Guevara.  You may know her as Marie Claire’s former “Big Girl in a Skinny World,” or from her YouTube channel “The Marcy Minute”, but now she’s the newest style correspondent for Rachael Ray.  Marcy is living the plus-size dream – she graduated university with a degree in broadcast journalism, a degree inspired by a perpetual desire to be on TV, and has since come a long way (last night she interviewed Jay Manuel right on the LB red carpet!).  “I have always wanted to be on television, since I was 11 years old,” she said.  “I have footage of myself pretending to be a reporter!”  This may sound cheesy, but watching this intelligent, plus-size beauty interview Jay then and there was like seeing an in-the-flesh success story right before my eyes.

Like so many aspiring plus-size writers/bloggers/columnists, Marcy started out with her YouTube channel about four years ago, and was discovered by Skorch Magazine, who immediately recognized her unique voice, one that’s sassy, well-spoken and cutely clever, and asked her to do plus-size fashion videos.  “I was like, ‘plus size fashion?’” she said, noting the surprise she must have felt at the time.  “I’ve always known I was plus-size.  It’s never been a secret, and I’ve never necessarily been ashamed of it, but I don’t think I fully embraced it until I realized it was such an amazing world.”  And what an amazing world it is.  This night couldn’t have been a better example of that – Lane by Lane Bryant is a total re-branding of the LB we all know.  Gone are any signs of middle-aged home-wear; now are the days of a youthful era, full of life and color, energy and vivaciousness.  It’s absolutely the perfect segway into the spring season.

Marcy says her experiences in the plus-size world have been a complete blessing and an open door leading to her ultimate goal.  “My biggest thing is being able to help women feel good and confident,” she said.  “It isn’t really about money or fame, or even fashion.  It’s just about helping women feel amazing.”

[Courtesy of Marcy Guevara

Coming from L.A., a city she refers to as the “most vain city of the entire country” (sorry Californians!), Marcy’s take on plus-size fashion is a little different than some of other bloggers and stylists out there, whose main premise may be to do away with all the fashion do’s and don’ts set aside for plus-size ladies.  “I’m all about shape-wear and finding things that fit you and flatter what you have and work with what you’ve got,” she said.  “I don’t necessarily believe in the ‘rules’ but I do believe in wearing things that not only make you happy, but look good.  And sometimes what may not look good to others makes you happy so that’s a weird, personal thing you have to deal with.”  For Marcy, the things that make her feel good include smooth lines, trend pieces, awesome colors, patterns and prints and things that “make other women inspired to try something new.”

As a plus-size woman, Marcy does realize clothing options are still limited.  Some stores she swears by are the Lane collection from Lane Bryant (if you hadn’t already figured), Torrid (especially the denim!), City Chic and Fashion to Figure.  “I’m not a label whore,” she said with a laugh.  “It’s really about what looks and feels good.  So if you find something in the neighborhood shop and it works and feels great, then wear it!  And if you find something that’s Michael Kors and its $500 dollars and it looks and feels great, fabulous!”  You have to love this mentality!  It’s not about the price; it’s not about donning the designer threads; it’s about the feeling you get when you see yourself in the mirror.

To the aspiring blogger/writers/spokespeople out there, Marcy offers some advice.  “If you’re blogging about anything, plus-size fashion, food, travel, live it and be passionate,” she said.  “I’ve heard that it’s from 9 to 5 that pays your bills, but it’s from 5 to 9 that really matters.  It’s about finding your niche – what makes you different from every other blogger out there – what you can bring to the table.”  For Marcy, her niche was that she’s born to be a host; she’s confident in front of the camera and confident in her own skin.  For others, it may be a punk rock edge or a preppy, sophisticated look.  Everyone’s got something that sets them apart, but it’s about presenting that something in a way that appeals and relates to everyone else.

And Marcy’s dream for the plus-size world: “I want Glamour!  I would love to be Glamour's plus-size guru.  I would love to see Redbook and Nylon and Lucky and everyone have a plus-size blogger and go-to girl,” she said.  “I would love us to not be so segregated, but if it’s going to be segregated and just going to be one little page and one little column, then let’s get one little page and one little column on every single magazine on every single newsstand.”  We might just be on our way.  Marcy seems hopeful.  And seeing all those women there last night, proud to be plus-size, showing off their curves and foxy voluptuous-ness, made me pretty hopeful too.  So let’s keep those curves coming!

You can follow Marcy on Twitter!
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