Month: January 2014

From the “Fairly Heavy Black Woman” in Your Yoga Class

By now, you're probably read the highly controversial xoJane piece in which a self-described "skinny white girl" details how she was pretty much traumatized by the presence of a "young, fairly heavy black woman" in yoga class: It Happened to Me: There Are No Black People in My Yoga Class and I'm Suddenly Uncomfortable With It. Highlights of the essay include phrases like "I had no choice but to look straight at her every time my head was upside down (roughly once a minute)" and "If I were her, I thought, I would want as little attention to be drawn to my despair as possible—I would not want anyone to look at me or notice me." (You think this, yet you spend almost 1,000 words describing her and how she made you so uncomfortable that you were "completely unable to focus on [your] practice.") [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500"] source: http://wifflegif.com/tags/14518-retta-gifs[/caption] At this point, I don't feel the need to parody the piece or break down exactly WHY it is so troubling. Several ladies - like Erika and Pia have already done that. [pullquote]Reactions Across the Web: - Black Girl's Guide to Weight Loss: An Open Letter to the xoJane Writer Who Cried About a Black Woman in Her Yoga Class - The Frisky: Frisky Rant: On That White Woman Who Saw a Black Woman at Yoga and Wrote an Embarrassingly Tone Deaf Essay About It for xoJane - Gawker: Black Person in Yoga Class Causes Profound Moral Crisis - Huffington Post: I'm a Big Black Girl Around Small White People and I'm Suddenly Feeling Uncomfortable With It: My Response to xoJane - xoJane: It Happened to Me: I Read an Essay About a White Woman's Yoga Class/Black Woman Crisis and I Cannot [/pullquote] Instead, like CeCe of Plus Size Princess fame, I'd rather discuss my own experience in yoga classes in which I am the "young, fairly heavy black woman" in the room. In fact, I'd love to juxtapose my own thoughts against what the author says in her piece. While, admittedly, I was not the same woman in her class, I have been that woman many, many times. Your Experience: "It appeared she had never set foot in a yoga studio—she was glancing around anxiously, adjusting her clothes, looking wide-eyed and nervous." My Experience: Every yoga studio is different. Some are elaborate havens complete with zen-inspired artwork and free mats and towels. Others are merely spare rooms at the back of the massive chain gym. So, when you see me looking around, perhaps I am new to that studio...trying to figure out where they keep the mats, blocks, and other accessories. Or, maybe I'm just trying to carve out a space in what is always a jam-packed room with highly experienced, very fit yoga enthusiasts who generally don't go out of their way to welcome non-regulars to their classes. (Sort of like the mean old ladies who stake a claim to the same pew each Sunday in church.) Your Experience:  "Before we made it into our first downward dog, she had crouched down on her elbows and knees, head lowered close to the ground, trapped and vulnerable. She stayed there, staring, for the rest of the class." My Experience:  As a general matter, I don't "do" downward dog. Or planks. I just don't. (Do you know how much wrist strength I'd need to keep my size 22 self into the air?) Instead, I do what works for me. Sometimes, it's a modified version of a pose. Other times - like when y'all are standing on your heads - I will opt out altogether and bliss out in child's pose (or, if I'm feeling really emo, corpse pose). No, I'm not crying. I'm not embarrassed. Just like you, I'm trying to get some exercise and ease my mind. Your Experience: "Over the course of the next hour, I watched as her despair turned into resentment and then contempt. I felt it all directed toward me and my body." My Experience: Um, no. I'm not wishing I were you in your little Lululemon tank top. Instead, I'm actually watching how you conduct your practice. Sure, I admire the strength you exhibit and even appreciate the little wobbles when you're slightly off balance. But no, there is no hateration going on. It's not that serious, Boo. Your Experience: "I thought about how that must feel: to be a heavyset black woman entering for the first time a system that by all accounts seems unable to accommodate her body....Should I tell her after class how awful I was at yoga for the first few months of my practicing and encourage her to stick with it, or would that come off as massively condescending?" My Experience: Let me make sure I understand. You're wondering if you should presumptively go up to a stranger (who has not asked for help) and utter the equivalent of "Hey, it sucks to be you. But keep at it and soon you'll be like me!" As someone who *has* had that happen before, all I can advise is that you keep your pie hole shut. Your Experience: "I got home from that class and promptly broke down crying....Knowing fully well that one hour of perhaps self-importantly believing myself to be the deserving target of a racially charged anger is nothing, is largely my own psychological projection, is a drop in the bucket, is the tip of the iceberg in American race relations, I was shaken by it all the same." [caption id="attachment_7359" align="aligncenter" width="300"]source: http://memecrunch.com/meme/1860G/really-tho source: http://memecrunch.com/meme/1860G/really-tho[/caption] To sum up, don't make assumptions...because we all know what happens when you assume.

Model Call!

fffweek2014logoI tell you, between the Curves Ahead Project's upcoming District of Curves Showcase and now Full Figure Fashion Week (FFFWeek), opportunities ABOUND for plus-size models in the DC-area. THIS SATURDAY, February 1, from 11:30am to 2:30pm, FFFWeek is hosting a casting call for the 2014 event! Full details below:   DATE: Saturday, February 1 TIME: 11:30 am to 2:30 pm (NOTE: You must be in line by 2pm to be considered!) LOCATION: The Festival Center, 1640 Columbia Road, NW Washington, DC 2009 IMPORTANT NOTES: (1) Bring comp card OR a full body shot AND a beauty/headshot. (2) Wear 3+ inch heels. (3) Plus petites are encouraged to apply. (4) Must be height/weight proportionate and have excellent runway experience - no beginners, please. (5) Sizes 14-20. (6) Models are compensated to work at FFFWeek. (7) Casting will be filmed - be prepared to sign a release form. (8) Please do NOT call the venue for details. For more information about FFFWeek, please visit fffweek.com. Good luck! Sponsored by: In His Image Ministries, LLC

I’m on Instagram!

instagram icon - pinkAh, just when you thought you couldn't get enough of my headless selfies and other random pics designed to conceal my identity...ya girl is now on Instagram! I have no idea how I will keep up with yet another social media outlet...but I will try!

Please follow me at @curvy_ceo! (Oh and if you'd like me to follow you, please leave your, uh, instagram name in the comments section! I am also taking recommendations for good folks to follow...so far I'm already following Queen Bey and several of the BLM Girls.) Enjoy!

Monday Morning Memo – Don’t Fail by Abandoning Your Goal!

monday morning memo "Ninety percent of all those who fail are not actually defeated. They simply quit." - Paul J. Meyer Well, this is the last week of the first month of the new year. How are we doing on our resolutions - fashion or otherwise? As for me, I've been doing just okay. I've been able to check a *few* things off of my lifemap calendar... [caption id="attachment_7329" align="aligncenter" width="560"]My lifemap for January. (Yeah, I know. It looks different than the one for sale. What can I say? It was the prototype.) My lifemap for January. (Yeah, I know. It looks different than the one for sale. What can I say? It was the prototype.)[/caption] ...but seeing how much remains unchecked got me to thinking. What can I do to make more progress on my goals? (This is a huge step forward for me, by the way. In the past I would've just shrugged my shoulders and gone back to the status quo.) First, I think I'm going to narrow down the action items for each focus area. So, instead of creating 2-3 goals for each area, I will just select one. [pullquote]What's this "life map" I'm buzzing about? Read all about it here. Want a life mapping calendar of your own? Click here to buy one![/pullquote]Also, for the areas where I made little to no progress, I will tweak the types of goals I set. (For instance, in the area of "Spirituality" one of my goals is to "listen for God"...yet, no where in my list did I include regular church attendance. Because that's an area where I struggle and, I think will prompt me to make more progress with my other goals around spirituality, I think THAT needs to be my focus for the coming month.) How about you, dear readers? How are you doing with your goals? Please share in the comments section!

Inspiration from the Chasing Joy Brunch & Learn DC!

As you know, the Chasing Joy Brunch & Learn DC went down about two weeks ago and it was a HUGE success! Today, I'm so delighted to share some images and inspirational messages from that day - enjoy!! acknowledge accomplishments Chasing Joy Brunch_Jan14-35 spend time [caption id="attachment_7258" align="aligncenter" width="541"]MY FAVORITE QUOTE OF THE DAY!!! MY FAVORITE QUOTE OF THE DAY!!![/caption] [caption id="attachment_7268" align="aligncenter" width="560"]Guest Speaker Jese Gary of LuxeGiving Guest Speaker Jese Gary of LuxeGiving[/caption] dress the part [caption id="attachment_7267" align="aligncenter" width="560"]Guest Speaker Erika McDaniel of Your Chic is Showing Guest Speaker Erika McDaniel of Your Chic is Showing[/caption] you dont need a million fastest makeover [caption id="attachment_7269" align="aligncenter" width="560"]Sponsors Judy Ford & Monica Barnett exchanging their books! Sponsors Judy Ford & Monica Barnett exchanging their books![/caption] cheer door [caption id="attachment_7266" align="aligncenter" width="560"]Sponsor Cherise Rollins of Ispaci Sponsor Cherise Rollins of Ispaci[/caption] [caption id="attachment_7264" align="aligncenter" width="560"]Ice Breakers!!! Ice Breakers!!![/caption] Itching for moe? Check out Arlett's list of 10 Things She Loved about the Chasing Joy Brunch & Learn DC! Thanks again to all our phenomenal sponsors! Adorn You, Miss Sassy, CreekSide Naturals, Crystina Noel, Jin+Ja Drink, Soulevant Lingerie, Sweet Trinity Aromatherapy, Junonia, Sunrise Consulting, Cheveux Souffles, , Ispaci, and Blueprint for Style

Reader Request: What Can I Wear Under My Lab Coat?

miranda bailey cute scrubs Now, not every Curvy CEO works in an office. Many of us work in doctors' offices, hospitals, etc. Yet, I must admit that I don't know much about how to stay stylish while wearing lab coats or scrubs...or even where to find plus-size lab coats or scrubs So, yesterday when I received the following email from a reader, I knew that this was one to toss out to all of you: I'm a nurse practitioner and size 18-20 triangle. I really struggle to find outfits to wear under lab coats (since it's hard to layer under a layer) and finding lab coats as well. Any advice for me? Well, ladies, I am stumped on this one. Do you have any advice for our friend? Please share in the comments section!

Monday Morning Memo – What Do You WANT For Your Life?

monday morning memo "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" - Mary Oliver, "The Summer Day" In case you couldn't tell from the lack of posts and social media engagement, I have been incredibly busy over the last few weeks. In the midst of my meandering between 14 hour days with little sleep and even less nutrition, a friend said to me, "What do you WANT for your life?" When you're working around the clock, it's hard to think rationally about what you want for your life. Pretty much all you want at that point is sleep....But, somewhere along the way I began to think to myself, "What if you were as dedicated to your own well-being as you are to your job?" In answering that question, I realized that that would mean making time for proper sleep, more healthful meals, moving my body, and maintaining connections with people I care about.... What about you, dear readers? What would it mean for you to be as dedicated to YOURSELF as you are to your work or even your family? Discuss in the comments section!

Event Alerts!

Hey Everybody - Sorry I've been so quiet this week. There has been TONS going on in my "real life." But, the great news is that there are tons of fun fashion events coming up in the DC area as well! The first event is happening THIS weekend and is sponsored by the Curves Ahead Project...check it out! model Call Flyer 1.19.14 Gearing up for the 2nd Model Call for The Curves Ahead Project's District of Curves Plus Size Fashion Show coming to DC this Spring. Join our cast! Come out and show us how you rock your curves during the 2nd Model Call on January 19th @ MLK Library in DC!!! Interested in being a media sponsor, advertiser, corporate sponsor, partner, stylist, MUA, or volunteer? @curvesaheadproject would love to have you on board!!! For members of the press, please email info@AbovePrestigePR.com. The next event comes from YOURS TRULY!! *fanfare* Event Ad Calling all Full-Figure Divas and Plus-Size Fashionistas!! Are you and your friends ready for a lingerie party like no other? Great! Curvy CEO has partnered with Curvy Girlz Lingerie, LLC to bring you an intimate shopping experience - just in time for Valentine's Day 2014! Enjoy the feeling of finding that perfect piece in an inviting environment that is catered for you. Shop with confidence and ease for it is all about you!!! Guests will also enjoy sweet treats and spicy conversation! Admission is free, but guests must register! (Oh, and before you get any funny ideas, this event is LADIES ONLY!!) NOTE: The event is already at capacity. However, if you are serious about attending, please sign up for the waitlist as registration as required for event guests.

Monday Morning Memo – Release Expectations to Increase Happiness

Arlett of Chasing Joy and Me. (I hated hiding my face - my makeup was pretty amazing that day. *lol*)monday morning memo "My happiness grows in direct proportion to my acceptance, and in inverse proportion to my expectations." - Michael J. Fox This weekend, Arlett Hartie of Chasing Joy and I hosted the Chasing Joy Brunch & Learn DC. Even though we had an awesome set of speakers - Erika McDaniel of Your Chic is Showing and Jese Gary of LuxeGiving - as well as a TON of amazing sponsors, I was still supernervous about the event. Would people show up? Would they have a good time? Well, as it turns out, I shouldn't have worried. The brunch was a HUGE success! The room was packed. The food was yummy. The speakers were fabulous. And the fellowship was amazing! We will have more pictures from our official photographer - Photography by Akili - very soon. In the meantime, enjoy these snaps of me in my new Carissima Dress by IGIGI :) [caption id="attachment_7228" align="aligncenter" width="560"]I am chasing joy in my Carissima Dress by IGIGI! I am chasing joy in my Carissima Dress by IGIGI![/caption] [caption id="attachment_7229" align="aligncenter" width="612"]Arlett of Chasing Joy and Me. (I hated hiding my face - my makeup was pretty amazing that day. *lol*) Arlett of Chasing Joy and Me. (I hated hiding my face - my makeup was pretty amazing that day. *lol*)[/caption] Special thanks to our event sponsors: Adorn You, Miss Sassy, CreekSide Naturals, Crystina Noel, Jin+Ja Drink, Soulevant Lingerie, Sweet Trinity Aromatherapy, Junonia, Sunrise Consulting, Cheveux Souffles, , Ispaci, and Blueprint for Style.