Month: August 2013

50 Years Ago Today…

Fifty years ago today, 250,000 Americans gathered at the Lincoln Memorial for what would be a pivotal moment in the struggle for civil rights in this country. This past weekend, I had the opportunity to participate in the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington organized by the National Action Network. Although I am definitely not one for crowds or heat, I felt that it was my duty - as an African-American and as a woman - to participate in the event...to recognize the sacrifices of those who came before me and to acknowledge all that remains to be done. Even though it was really crowded and really hot, I am so glad that I went...the speeches were amazing. (Only the Rev. Al Sharpton can get away with saying "Rosa Parks wasn't no ho! Fannie Lou Hamer wasn't no bitch!") Also, my father always talked about how he missed out on the opportunity to attend the 1963 March because he didn't have the bus fare. Last Saturday, he and my mom were able to watch this March from the comfort of their living room tv. But I was glad to be there standing on their behalf. Here are a few pictures to give you a sense of what the day was like...enjoy! [gallery columns="2" ids="6729,6730,6731,6732,6733,6734,6735,6736,6737,6738,6739,6740,6741,6742"]    

Evolution of Curves Rocks DC! (August 2013)

On Saturday, August 17, 2013, Sandy Jean-Phillippe - the Haitian Sensation - brought her Evolution of Curves Plus-Size Charity Fashion Show back to the Nation's Capital for an evening of fierce, show-stopping fashions. Held at the exclusive L2 Lounge by the Georgetown Waterfront, this event featured what was truly the best choreographed fashion show I have ever attended. It was clear that Sandy brought her background as an actress and dancer to the table as each scene featured sharply executed moves by the models as they strutted through the lounge. Here are a few pictures from the event as well as a video from my favorite scene - the model battle! (I apologize for the quality of the video but, unfortunately, there was low lighting at the venue.)

[caption id="attachment_6715" align="aligncenter" width="274"]Evolution of Curves Model Evolution of Curves Model[/caption] [caption id="attachment_6714" align="aligncenter" width="246"]Evolution of Curves Model Evolution of Curves Model[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_6716" align="alignleft" width="274"]Yours Truly - Rocking a Forever 21+ Peplum Top, Ashley Stewart Rhinestone Studded Belt, and ASOS midi skirt. (Don't remember where I got the shoes!) Yours Truly - Rocking a Forever 21+ Peplum Top, Ashley Stewart Rhinestone Studded Belt, and ASOS midi skirt. (Don't remember where I got the shoes!)[/caption]

But, the evening was not just about fashion. In thanking everyone - the models, the makeup and hair stylists, and the audience - Sandy shared the origins of this project. Just a few short weeks after winning E!'s Bank of Hollywood competition (and the seed money to launch the touring fashion show), the devastating earthquake struck Haiti. Many of her own family members were affected - including a cousin who had to give birth outdoors. In the aftermath, Sandy decided to transform her fashion shows into charity events. Currently, she has raised enough funds to have built the foundation for several homes. By next year, which will be the fifth anniversary of the tour, her goal is to have five houses built.

In truth, I am in awe of Sandy. Not only does she manage to pull off this show in multiple cities and remotely book talent, secure designers, venues, and so on, but she is also making a real difference in the lives of people. Now if that's not fabulous, I don't know what is.

If you live in or near Atlanta or New York City, be sure to check out the upcoming Evolution of Curves tour stops in each of those cities!! Check out http://evolutionofcurves.com/tour-schedule/ for details!

Monday Morning Memo – Pursue Justice with Dignity and Discipline

monday morning memo "[T]here is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline." - Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., "I Have a Dream," August 28, 1963 Today's Monday Morning Memo comes from Dr. King's iconic "I Have a Dream Speech," which he delivered during the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. As we have been taking time recently to commemorate the 50th anniversary of this momentous event, I reflected on how our society continues to struggle against discrimination based on race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, and so on. For many of us, this battle also includes having to contend with discrimination based on weight. Weight bias is often referred to as one of the last forms of socially acceptable discrimination. This is slowly starting to change as jurisdictions are beginning to institute laws that protect people against weight discrimination. Just the same, it's more common than not to hear of someone being overlooked for an opportunity or taunted because of their weight. If you find yourself in such situations, I want to encourage you to harken to the words of Dr. King. Let us always conduct ourselves with dignity and discipline, even in the face of fat-shamers and bullies. This doesn't mean that you shouldn't stand up for yourself. But if you retaliate, well, that makes you no different or better than those who provoked the issue in the first place. Here's to keeping our heads held high no matter what! Have a great week, everyone!

Which TV Character Are You?

When I was in college, I was part of a fabulous foursome...we were (and still are!) ride-or-die, best-friends-til-the-end group of chicks. Being that there were four of us, inevitably, the comparisons to other famous foursomes (like the girls from The Facts of Life) would emerge. The one comparison that really stuck, though, was to the roommates of Living Single. Yes, before there was Carrie, Samantha, Miranda, and Charlotte, there was Khadijah, Regine, Max, and Synclaire. Despite my best attempts to be the ever-fashionable, vampy Regine, because of my goofy nature, I was always the "Synclaire." livingsingle - me as synclaire While it irritated me at first (because, I mean...I'm not *that* silly), I grew to embrace this moniker. (The fact that I just love Kim Coles helps.) That got me to thinking - what tv character reminds you (or others) of you? Share in the comments section! *Synclaire voice* Woo woo woo!

The Reality of Vivica Fox

A few weeks back, L.A. Hair (one of my FAVE reality shows) featured actress Vivica A. Fox. I've been a fan of her since I was a tween and saw her on a guest spots on Fresh Prince of Bel-Air...y'all remember that, right? VivicaFP1 VivicaFP2 I thought she was so beautiful. She was what I aspired to BE. Anyway, like I was saying, Vivica popped up (and popped OFF) on a recent episode of L.A. Hair. Peep this clip:

Just a few days later, I noticed that she would be appearing on the Style Network's new reality show, Hot Listings Miami. Check it out....

Now we've seen Vivica on reality tv before. She appeared on Dancing with the Stars in 2006, hosted the Lifetime show Prank My Mom, and served as the host for reunion episodes of Jerseylicious and Big Rich Texas. But her most recent forays into guest spots on reality tv has me wondering - will we see Ms. Fox get her OWN reality show? Now that would be really cool. What do you think? Are a fan of Vivica Fox? If she's reading this, I just want to say, "Vivica, love you, girl - do ya thang!!!" Smooches!

From Blurred Lines to Best Blog

Hey Fam - Well, the nominations for the 2013 Black Weblog Awards are now open! So, you know what THAT means...time for me to butcher the song of the summer. Hit it! robinthicke

Now you know this is a good blog You wanna read it You wanna read it You wanna read it It's a good blog Can't let this get past me So nominate me Just click on this link please I hate to ask this But I really want it I really want it I really want it And it's a good blog You love to read it So I'll repeat it Please nominate it Just nominate it

Everybody vote now!

So, yeah. If you think that Curvy CEO is one of the best plus-size blogs on the internet, please click this link to submit a nomination. Last year, you helped me get to the final round – won’t you help a sista out again this year?

Monday Morning Memo – One of the Beautiful People

monday morning memo "I'm not the most beautiful woman in the world, but I am one of them." - Mary J. Blige For many of us plus-size women (and, in truth, women in general), the world seems to pit us in a futile, never-ending battle of "us vs. them." First, there is "us" - the regular, everyday folks who are just trying to survive and handle everything that we must attend to on a daily basis (going to work, paying the mortgage, feeding the dog, carting the kids off to school, making dinner, etc.). Then, there is "them" - the beautiful people. The ones who never seem to have more to do than eat at the finest restaurants (without gaining a pound), shop at the most exclusive boutiques, and look effortlessly fabulous at all times. They don't work. They don't clean. They don't sweat. Shoot, they don't even use the bathroom. They just exist. Mass media, from magazines and commercials to my beloved reality shows, have done a great job of drilling this into our psyche. (However, I will say that shows like Hollywood Exes and R&B Divas peel back the gloss and prove that all that glitters is NOT gold and that the hustle and struggle for the fabulous life is real.) But, as I grow older, I'm realizing that each of us - I mean every, single one of us - has something special about how we look. And even though there are billion dollar industries out there designed to make us feel like we are nothing without this hair product, cosmetic, or clothing item, WE, in fact, are the "beautiful people" -- just as we are. If it helps, think about how God sees you. Or your best friend. Or your parents. When they look at you, they don't see your "flaws" as imperfection, but rather as that which makes you perfect. The crooked smile. The chubby cheeks. The shelf booty. Those are the precise things that makes you beautiful. (Sidebar - I remember once when I lost weight in college, my mother - who had always been on me to lose weight - lamented that I no longer had my "chubby cheeks" that she loved so much. Not to worry - they are now firmly back in place. LOL!) But, even if thinking of how your loved ones view you helps, it can't be your crutch. Because, just like people can lift you up, they can also tear you down. A prime example is seen in Aishwarya Rai, the former beauty queen and Bollywood actress who has been called the most beautiful woman in the world. Recently, she faced harsh scrutiny and backlash from fans after failing to immediately lose the weight gained during her pregnancy. This tells us that ultimately it is up to US to decide that we are, in fact, beautiful and to live and walk in that belief. No. I may not be the most beautiful woman in the world, but I am one of them. And guess what? You - yes, YOU - are one of them, too! Have a fabulous week, ladies!

Don’t Miss Evolution of Curves TOMORROW NIGHT in DC!!!

EOC DC 2013 Evolution of Curves - the charity plus-size fashion show - is happening TOMORROW NIGHT at L2 Lounge (3315 Cady's Alley NW, Washington, DC 20007). This event will bring the hottest fashions and fiercest models to the Nation's Capital. Don't believe me? Check out my recap of the 2011 tour stop in DC. Tickets are available HERE and go towards the rebuilding of homes in Haiti, which is still recovering from the tragic 2010 earthquake. Note that the doors will open at SIX o'clock, not 7 as noted above. Hope to see you there!!!

How Are YOU Spending the End of Summer

[caption id="attachment_6663" align="aligncenter" width="320"]President Obama getting briefed by National Security Advisor Susan Rice during his vacation in Martha's Vineyard. (source: thehill.com) President Obama getting briefed by National Security Advisor Susan Rice during his vacation in Martha's Vineyard. (source: thehill.com)[/caption] As the last few days of summer are upon us, I hope that you will be taking time to rest and relax FOR REAL. I mean, unless you are the leader of the free world (see picture above!) or representing prisoners on death row, you are fully entitled to take a break. No email. No cellphone. Just you and whatever allows you to unwind. How do you plan to relax during these final weeks of summer?

Fest Africa Fashion Show (August 2013)

Fest Africa SignAs part of my "Weekend in Africa" I attended the Fest Africa fashion show on Sunday afternoon. It featured designs by Designers Berg, Sifa Designs, MontRosee Fashions, and Yodit Tibebu. Now, given that this was an African fashion show, I was expecting that there would be some plus-size models and fashions presented. No dice. Even when I went up to the vendor booths afterwards...they only had up to size 12/14. In fairness, they said the did make custom orders to accommodate all sizes, but still I was kinda disappointed. Nonetheless, the fashions were beautiful and the models looked great. (I have to give them serious props because it was H-O-T out there on Sunday afternoon.) Here are some of my favorite looks from the show.... [gallery ids="6611,6612,6613,6614,6615,6616,6617,6618,6619,6620,6621,6622,6623,6624,6625,6626,6627,6628,6629,6630,6631,6632,6633,6635"]