Guide to the Film BULLY: Fostering Empathy and Action in Schools
helps adult and student audiences confront the stories in this
film and explore the meaning for their schools and their wider
BULLY offers insight into the often cruel world of
the lives of bullied children through intimate glimpses into
homes, classrooms, cafeterias and principals’ offices.
Like the phenomenon of bullying itself, the film is
direct and hard-hitting. Through the power of individual
stories, the film aims to be a catalyst for change in the way we
deal with bullying as parents, teachers, children, and society
as a whole.
Facing History and Ourselves has worked with the
creators of BULLY to craft a guide that can help adult and
student audiences confront the stories told in the film and
explore their meaning and resonance for their schools and wider
Careful preparation by educators who intend to use
the film with their students is not only critical, but will pay
off in precipitating the kind of honest, open discussion about
caring and responsibility that the film is designed to engender.
At Facing History and Ourselves, we have spent over
35 years researching, teaching, and writing about historical
episodes of collective violence in which the marginalization and
humiliation of particular groups played the central role.
Seemingly small steps of ridicule and labeling, when
allowed to persist and go unchallenged, have too often had
catastrophic consequences. Why, in such cases, did some people
willingly conform to the norms of a group, even when those norms
encouraged wrongdoing, while others spoke out and resisted?
That is a Facing History and Ourselves question that
might well be on the minds of viewers of this film. It is part
of the intellectual and pedagogical framework developed by
Facing History, which not only focuses on how history informs
the present, but also helps young people look at difficult
events and find connections to their own lives. That framework
further encompasses concepts and vocabulary that are familiar to
adolescents: identity, membership, stereotyping, conformity,
peer pressure, leading and following, in-groups and out-groups,
judgment, and responsibility.
Having students use such terms as a lens through
which to view and discuss the stories in the film will encourage
them to make connections between more extreme situations and
less serious actions and behavior that they participate in or
observe in their everyday lives.
The necessity of adults previewing the full film
before using it with young people cannot be overemphasized.
Ideally, that would be done with a group of faculty and school
personnel, including counselors. In any case, it is important
that adults take the time to reflect upon their reactions to the
film, and many of the suggestions in this guide will assist in
When using the film with students, adults need to
anticipate and prepare for how young people will respond.
Initially, there can be a wide range of responses—silence,
blaming victims, discomfort that shows itself in joking and
laughter—as well as an insistence that it has nothing to do with
On the other hand, some students may see the film as
hitting particularly close to home, and need individual support.
But engendering the kind of classroom atmosphere of trust,
respect for different opinions, and honest, informed discussion
that is described in the opening section of the guide will best
facilitate moving on and thinking together about actions that
sustain an environment in which bullying of any sort is simply
Preventing bullying in our schools and communities
will not be a quick fix or simple solution. Stopping it needs to
go far beyond reacting to alarming media headlines, completing
surveys, and distributing zero-tolerance policy reminders—as
important as all of that may be.
In the best schools, every adult, no matter what his
or her position or job title, recognizes and accepts his or her
responsibility as role model and educator. Every adult takes the
matter of bullying seriously, and sees it as his or her
responsibility to prevent it when possible and intervene if it
arises. Explicit curricula and non-curricular programs foster
social and emotional competencies, such as perspective-taking
and empathy, which make bullying less likely. The entire school
community is alert to signals and warning signs and everyone
finds a way to “upstand” on behalf of the safe and respectful
learning and living environment that every young person
About the Author
Facing History's Dan Sigward worked
extensively with middle school students for eight years in the
Boston area. He taught Facing History to eighth graders before
joining the organization as a researcher and curriculum writer
this past fall.
Thank you for
Reading The LargeInCharge Feature
Cover Model of the Month! April Jones
Want to be a
LargeInCharge Cover Model? Download the Application for 2013 -
COVER MODEL INTERVIEW
LargeInCharge.com: What is your name?
My name is April Jones.
LargeInCharge.com: Where are you from and
what is your current Location?
I am from Temecula, Ca and I currently live in the
LargeInCharge.com: Can you give us some
information about yourself (Age, Height, Size, Nationality, Marital
Status, Children, etc.)?
I am 33, 5’4 a size 12 and am of Mexican-American decent.
LargeInCharge.com: Were you a big child, or
did you gain weight later in life?
I was not big as a child. I gained weight after I had my
children. It was a difficult adjustment after being thin most of my
life. I struggled to adjust to my new body as well as, learn to love
my new curves.
LargeInCharge.com: What made you decide to
enter the LargeInCharge model search?
I entered the LargeinCharge model search to promote a
healthy body image and demonstrate love and confidence for my new
LargeInCharge.com: Did you find it a hard
journey to be accepted for your size, and do you find acceptance
among your family and friends?
I have found it difficult to find acceptance with my size.
At my work places I have been encouraged to join Biggest Loser
contests, I receive multiple solicitations online to join weight
loss groups or join work-out sessions, I have even been solicited by
personal trainers for discounted sessions. I find that people
provide a large amount of praise and support when I am losing weight
but as I gain, the compliments stop and some people are even so bold
to comment on my weight gain. People seem to feel it is acceptable
to encourage weight loss rather than accept a person at any size.
LargeInCharge.com: What would you say
inspires you most in life?
I am inspired most in life by my relationship with Jesus
Christ. I am a devoted Christian and mother. Watching what God has
done for my family and I, inspires me to continue to minister into
the lives of others.
LargeInCharge.com: What is your primary
occupation, and how did you get into this line of work?
I am a Marriage and Family Therapist. I started college in
2002 and graduated with my Masters degree in February 2011. Since
then I have begun a career as a Social Worker at a non-public school
and have recently started my own private practice providing
individual, couples, family and group therapy. I also do
motivational speaking and volunteer with the local police department
providing psycho-education to at risk youth. In addition I have
develop my own faith-based self-worth curriculum. I conduct
workshops helping people know their self-worth by knowing what God
says about them.
LargeInCharge.com: Do you find acceptance in
the work force?
I have found acceptance in the work force, I work hard and
do my best to perfect my craft. In my field results speak for you,
and I am able to provide them.
LargeInCharge.com: What do you think about
the fashion industry for big sized clothing?
With the exception of Torrid, finding fashionably trendy
attire is difficult for a plus size woman. I do not want to be
reduced to wearing muumuus and sundresses. I like pencil skirts and
mini dresses too J
Fashion should be designed to enhance your curves, not make you look
frumpy and without a waist-line. I like to pair a large belt with
oversized dresses and shirts to define my waist.
LargeInCharge.com:How do you prepare for a Photo shoot?What should aspiring models be prepared for?
When I go to a photo shoot I bring several out fit
changes, I always include a black tank top and black heels and make
sure I have my own mascara and lipstick. I don’t like to share or
use others mascara and lipstick. I also make sure to bring lots of
water and get a good nights rest the night before, I don’t want
LargeInCharge.com: Look at Size acceptance
five years ago... look at size acceptance now.What changes do you see?
I have seen changes in size acceptance with reality shows
like Curvy Girls and recent ad campaigns in major fashion magazines
highlighting plus size models. However, fashion magazines continue
to define plus size as sizes 9-12, anything above that continue to
be unacceptable. They expect a small waist-line, toned arms and legs
and no double chin. In my opinion, that’s not really plus sized and
eliminates many beautiful women.
LargeInCharge.com: Tell us about your goals.
My goal is to become a licensed Marriage and Family
Therapist and increase my private practice. I would also like to get
LargeInCharge.com: Can you tell us about an
inspirational moment in you life that made you feel good about your
In 2008, I was invited by a great friend to speak at a
women’s empowerment conference, We Are Sisters, presented by Royal
Fabulosity. At the conference I was able to empower women of all
sizes to love the person they are. I gave a 30 minute lecture on
self-esteem. I received great feedback and at that point realized I
have discovered a new calling. I have continued to work with Royal
Fabulosity to empower women throughout Southern California.
LargeInCharge.com: Is there a person in your
life that makes you keep going?
My mother passed away October 2011, she was proud to see
me speak at my first empowerment seminar and encouraged me to
continue. Whenever I speak or blog, I feel saddened that she is not
here to see me but know that she looks down on me and feels proud.
LargeInCharge.com: What advice would you
give to other people of size who want to model?
I often tell women who want to model to go for it. Royal
Fabulosity provides opportunities for women of all sizes to model
and show off the body they been given. I have also developed a
faith-based self-worth curriculum and on my media images I use
models of all shapes and sizes. I use the connections I have to help
empower other women to take chances and accept that beauty comes in
LargeInCharge.com: Which plus size figure do
you most admire?
The plus size figure I most admire is Rosie Mercado. She
has re-defined beauty and pushed through stereotypes. She has found
success in her size and is a beautiful woman inside and out.
LargeInCharge.com: Describe yourself with one word.
If I had to describe myself in one word I would say,
Christian. My passion for Christ surpasses all other accomplishments
in my life.
Thanks for reading about
Cover Model of the Month
Raqui the Owner and Founder of LargeInCharge.com, Raqui's "Tell it like it is" style of
writing has brought thousands to her blogs and millions to
LargeInCharge.com. There is so much behind the woman who has
brought this magazine into existence. Being Internationally
known as a wrestler/squasher lead the way to modeling for companies
and being featured in magazines and documentaries from all over the
world. She has made a career out of her size and personality.
Born, Raised in the Bronx NYC. This city girl is taking the world by
For the past 8 years Raqui officially moved into Size Acceptance and Empowerment.
With the creation of LargeInCharge she took what she said to
individuals to a higher level and made it public to the internet
world. She is a woman who doesn't let things get to her. Knock her
down for the moment but she will rise up stronger and better.
Being a speaker on behalf of many subjects and counseling Plus Sized
people online her grace and style has made people love her. Raqui continues to set an example of a powerful woman who will bend
the world to fit her, her way.
Raqui's appearances include, Uk Television, German TV, Japan, Europe,
and the Spanish circuit. Her many magazines appearances have
been world wide. She has hit American Television in 2006 with
Good Morning American and since has appeared on The Cristina Show,
The Maury Show and The Tyra Banks Show.
This year not only is LargeInCharge
begining our 10th year but I will be starting my own little quest
toward learning, giving, and expanding my own mind by donating to a
new charity every month. I hope that you all will enjoy
learning about these new charities with me. I began to
understand that most of us only donate to a charity
if we have an emotional connection to the charity itself or someone
who is trying to raise money for a cause. One day when I
happen to dismiss a charity that was asking for donations, I realized
I dont want to be that person. I want to give because the
cause is worthy and I can. Not only because of an emotional
connection. So join me in learning about new causes and
charities this year. I will post a new one to my column every
CHARITY OF THE MONTH: Operation Smile
We work to transform the lives of children who suffer from cleft
lip, cleft palate and other facial deformities. Our approach to
solving the problem globally distinguishes us and is leaving a
lasting legacy — and a world of smiles.
"I am so happy. My life has changed. I give thanks to all the
Operation Smile people."
·1 in 10 children
born with a cleft will die before their first birthday.
·We are helping
children in need around the world.
standing by to volunteer and provide free surgeries and train
Angie BEE grew-up a standard-sized young woman, educated in
communications, promotions and planning.She became a wife, mother and ministry support member while
building businesses and her faith.
Through stress, age and a poor diet and while suffering from major
depression and attempted suicide, Angie BEE's weight climbed from
180 pounds to 360 pounds.She was diagnosed with high blood pressure, diabetes,
obstructive sleep apnea, an overactive bladder and poor leg
circulation.At the age
of 40 an anxiety attack and the decline in her mental health forced
her to stop work and look at improving her declining health.It was during this time that Angie BEE became inspired by her
younger sister Sonya Bennett during her process towards Gastric
launched this column and will return occasionally to contribute to
it, but now that she is three years-post surgery... her life is
focused on something new!
Now, celebrating her first year of a new life since having the
procedure herself, Angie BEE is healthier than she has been in over
a decade.Losing the
first 100 pounds was just the bonus!She is now diabetes-free.She has normal blood pressure.The circulation in her legs is normal.She sleeps without a c-pap machine and more!The joy that she feels is documented each day in her
syndicated radio show, a brand new weeklyTV show documentary and each month in this article.The Big GB stands for The BIG Gastric Bypass and it also
stands for "Getting (my life) Back".This article reflects how Angie BEE's life has improved... by
the grace of God and as the result of having Gastric Bypass surgery
on Feb 28, 2011.This
is now her life!
Buzy, Buzz-ing and Still Losing Weight!
with Angie Bee
Well, I just celebrated the two-year
anniversary of my weight loss surgery and I can't believe how
incredible I feel; not just because I have lost about 187 pounds
during that time, but because I am TRULY a buzy little bee!
When my diabetes was out of control, if was
difficult for me to stand and walk; my ankles would swell and the
bottom of my feet would burn like hot needles were piercing them. I
had to drive around in the handicapped grocery cart at the grocery
store and my physician actually approved for me to have diabetic
orthopedic shoes (so unattractive!)
When the high blood pressure was kicking my
behind, I suffered from headaches. With the overactive bladder, I
couldn't drive more than 10 miles from my home without stopping to
find a bathroom. The sleep apnea, the pills, the injections... all
made for a miserable life as a 380 pound woman.
Now that those ailments are in remission I
feel SO MUCH BETTER! I am walking and standing and rejoicing and
even driving! I recently made a 90-minute car ride, non-stop and I
didn't need to find a bathroom! I was amazed. I stopped before the
return trip home just on general principles... but I wasn't doing
the "I-gotta-pee" dance! The TOUR had a three-hour radio interview
at WKTO 88.9 Radio in New Smyrna Beach and I don't think I had to
use the bathroom for the entire interview!
I have to admit, I love having curves and I
know that I am an attractive woman. Many of you are attractive and
you feel the same way that I do. My goal was not to lose weight in
order to "find a man"; my goal was to save my life. How healthy are
you weighing in at over 200 pounds? How healthy are you weighing in
at over 300 pounds? How healthy are you, really? If your doctor told
you to lose weight so you could live longer, would you do it/could
you do it alone? If your doctor told you to lose weight so you would
become healthy, would you do it/could you do it alone? My doctor
told me that I probably would lose my limbs from the diabetes, and
that I could suffer a stroke or heart attack before the age of 50.
My doctor told me that I was shortening my life span by not sleeping
and another doctor told me that I would suffer from ulcers from the
chronic acid reflux disease.
Now, I am living with some of the effects
from the obesity. As the result of my eating habits and size two
years ago, I was diagnosed with G.E.R.D. (indigestion and heartburn
as the result of being fat). Even though the G.E.R.D. is gone now,
the acid destroyed a lot of the enamel of my teeth and made them
thin. Now, several of my teeth have cracks in them! It seems like as
soon as the dentist fixes one tooth, the x-rays find another one
that needs work. Root canals, temporary crowns and gingivitis
treatments are how I've spent my past month. I told my friend about
this and he says "that sounds like a Facebook status - Save your teeth! Avoid obesity AND heartburn today!"
This past month I have made appearances at a
Christian night club and two separate radio stations for interviews.
This past month I spoke at a Florida juvenile detention center with
"Hope 4 The Hood Ministries" and next week I will MC a Holy Hip Hop
concert during an AutoFest in Winter Park, Florida. Later in the
month I will speak during a book signing in Dayton, Ohio and in
April I will do backstage concert interviews at another concert in
Ohio. In May I have been invited to speak at a women's group retreat
and in a few moments I will go for a walk with my 7-year old nephew.
During last night's walk he told me "Angie, I don't ever remember
seeing you go for a walk before. You're not even huffing and
I want to keep buzzing around for many years
to come. I want to live a long life so I can go for walks with my
infant niece and I want to see her graduate from college. I will be
the Auntie in the front row yelling and jumping up and down with
joy! I want to keep getting hugs from my physician when she sees
that I am still losing weight in between check-ups and I want to
keep standing and speaking and loving my life! I am grateful for the
weight loss, I really am... but I am THRILLED by the healing and the
ability to do more for myself and others too.
Founded in 1969, NAAFA is a non-profit
civil rights organization dedicated to improving the quality of life
for fat people. NAAFA works to eliminate discrimination based on
body size and provide fat people with the tools for self-empowerment
through public education, advocacy, and member support.
This Column is dedicated to the tremendous
work NAAFA has been doing for over four decades. LargeInCharge
wishes to support NAAFA in spreading the word of its work, and give
the public more information into issues we as plus sized people
should be aware of. The fight for equality for people of all
sizes is one we support.
This Column will include News Releases and
Calls to Action from NAAFA Directors.
This Column has been Approved by NAAFA.org
Mariano and Reed Added to the Ranks of Shame
When Dr. Connie Mariano and film critic Rex
Reed made public statements criticizing the body size of New Jersey
Governor Chris Christie and award winning actress Melissa McCarthy,
they both stepped way over the line and outside their job
descriptions entering the ranks of the Shame Police. The Shame
Police are a group of self-appointed, unqualified individuals who
believe they are influencing the health of individuals by publicly
shaming and embarrassing them about their body size. Reality check;
Connie and Rex it does not work!
"Fat or thin, we all pay dearly for a
culture that stigmatizes the diversity of human bodies. Surely the
ethical path is to liberate us all from this burden, not to
intensify it,” states Deb Burgard, PhD., Clinical Psychologist,
Eating Disorders Specialist and NAAFA Advisory Board Member.
NAAFA, a civil rights organization working
for Equality at Every Size, wants them to know that fat shaming and
public embarrassment do not achieve positive results. They are tools
of the dark ages.
“NAAFA urges people to understand and
embrace size diversity. We come in all sizes. You cannot determine a
person’s health, ability to do a good job or talent based on their
body size." stated Peggy Howell, NAAFA’s Public Relations Director.
Founded in 1969, NAAFA is a non-profit human rights organization
dedicated to improving the quality of life for fat people. NAAFA
works to eliminate discrimination based on body size and provide fat
people with the tools for self-empowerment through public education,
advocacy, and member support.
Some of you make know me as web girl/Lulu from Fashion Find. Well…
I’ve move on to another one of my favorite’s pastime which is
cooking. To get you all up to date on what’s going on. I’m currently
pursuing a graduate degree at Ashford University I have a B.A.
degree in Organizational Communication from Southeastern Louisiana
I am most passionate about cooking. I believe with cooking you can
always grow… I fried my first egg when I was 2 and baked my first
cake at 5. Cooking is an easy and dynamic experience if you have a
passion for a good tasting meal.
Motto: Cook with your heart not with your head.
If you have a favorite dish you would like to share please forward
with recipe and photo to
St. Patties Irish Stew
with Lucia Roth
March! Is pretty much know for St. Patrick’s
Day, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Beware of the Ides of
March!, March Madness if you're a college Basketball fans,
...the March wind doth blow, bringing the April showers... ,
Coming in like a lion, out like a lamb, and the spring equinox.
But it also so known for family gathering around the table and
enjoying a big bowl of Irish stew.
The History behind Irish Stew
Irish stew is a peasant dish made with the
cheapest, most readily-available ingredients. Irish stew,
"ballymaloe" or "stobhach gaelach" as it is called in Gaelic, is
traditionally made of lamb or mutton (less tender sheep over two
years of age), potatoes, onions, and parsley. Often, lamb or
mutton neck bones, shanks, and other trimmings were the only
basis for the stock. Yet, these would-be discards still held
enough flavor after a long simmering process to do justice to a
hearty bowl of stew.The root vegetables added further flavor and thickening
power, as well as filling sustenance. Some cooks added turnips
or parsnips, carrots, and barley when available.
Irish Stew Today
When the Irish people
began immigrating to the United States, fleeing from the ravages
of starvation caused by the potato famine, they naturally
brought along their wonderful hearty food traditions. The stew
evolved and adapted to include the local offerings.
Sheep were not as plentiful in America, so other types of meat
were often substituted. When made in the traditional manner, the
result is very thick and hearty.
1 Heat olive oil in heavy large pot over
medium-high heat. Lightly salt the beef pieces.
Working in batches if necessary, add the beef (do
not crowd the pan, or the meat will steam and not
brown) and cook, without stirring, until nicely
browned on one side, then use tongs to turn the
pieces over. Continue to cook in this manner until
all sides are browned, about 5 minutes. Add garlic
and sauté 1 minute. Add beef stock, Guinness, red
wine, tomato paste, sugar, thyme, Worcestershire
sauce and bay leaves. Stir to combine. Bring mixture
to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, then cover and
simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
2 While the meat and stock is simmering, melt
butter in another large pot over medium heat. Add
potatoes, onion and carrots. Sauté vegetables until
golden, about 20 minutes. Set aside until the beef
stew in step one has simmered for one hour.
3 Add vegetables to beef stew. Simmer
uncovered until vegetables and beef are very tender,
about 40 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Tilt pan and
spoon off fat. Transfer stew to serving bowl. Add
salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with parsley and
serve. (Can be prepared up to 2 days ahead. Cool
slightly. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then
cover and refrigerate. Bring to simmer before
Yield:Serves 4 to 6.
Ms Suga is a plus size woman hailing from Sunny South Florida. She
is a 24 year old recent recipient of a Bachelor in Arts degree in
Communication Studies. Being plus size for the majority of her life
she has overcome many obstacles to finally come to the point where
she is fully content with herself and her life. This self love has
also allowed Ms Suga the privilege of sharing her love with those
around her. She is very passionate about life and loves to help
Ms Suga likes to see herself as the one everyone can go
to for positive, inspirational and truthful words of advice and/or
support. She is the Beautiful Inspirational Girl that is blessed,
intellectual, trustworthy, caring and hardworking.
Ms Suga has had a passion for writing since she was a
little girl when she used to think of short stories about what her
life would be like as she got older. This is Ms Suga’s first
opportunity for her thoughts to be public for the world to see.
Excited about this column Ms Suga is also very optimistic of her
future in writing and promoting self love and acceptance in the plus
with Ms Suga
Recently I encountered three women all of whom chose to share
their stories of trials and survival with myself and about 200
other ladies. The event itself was extraordinary and when I left
I felt a sense of gratefulness as well as joy. I mainly felt
grateful because after hearing their stories I'm not sure how I
would've handled those situations better yet if I could have
been as strong as they were. One lady, whose story I will share
with you said that "through this whole ordeal, through all the
pain and the treatment I never asked 'Why me?'
Ok so here is part of her story. At age 21 this woman was in a
horrible accident. The driver in the other car swerved in her
lane and collided with her head on. As a result of the collision
she ended up with 3 broken ribs, a crushed pelvis, one broken
hip, one sprained hip, a cracked femur, cracked tibia, a broken
wrist and the whole bottom row of her teeth were pushed back in
her mouth. Because of all her horrible injuries the hospital put
her in a drug induced coma for 12 days. I am happy to say that
ten surgeries and 20 years later she has healed completely, gave
birth to two happy healthy children and had a successful career.
Now I'm sure you are wondering, just like I did, why did she
have to go through so much? Or what did she do to have to suffer
so much? After experiencing such a strong woman and some serious
praying I feel as though now I know the answer. I've always been
one to listen to the tales of other people and try to take the
lessons they learned in their experiences and apply them to my
life. I used to think that if I learn all the lessons the test
wouldn't be too hard, and after crashing into a wall
(metaphorically speaking) so many times, I'm finally
understanding how "life" works.
Life lesson #1019: Sometimes your struggles are not meant for
you but for you to share with someone else. I personally feel
that God made struggles for us to build and determine our
character. And even though I know there is always someone or
something that is against us, I also know that everything
happens for a reason. According to the lady I referred to
before, she never questioned, why did all these things happened
to her, because she always knew her miraculous story was meant
to be shared with others… Including myself.
I encourage each reader to consider this: life happens and there
is NOTHING we can do to stop it. You might feel that you are at
the lowest of low points in your life but do know it can always
get worse. And also know there is always someone in this world
that wishes they can trade places with you. Your story might be
just what someone else needed to know that they can make it to
see another day. With that being said wherever you are in your
process of trials and troubles I suggest you grab the bull by
the horns and face your problems dead on. It will be hard, you
will fall and you might fail. But the true success lies in the
survival. From now on I encourage you all to not ask "Why me?"
But better yet hope that whomever that lesson is for you both
understand it and apply it. We all want to complete that journey
and know that we made it from Surviving to Thriving.
Be blessed ~Ms. Suga~
Kathy is originally from a small town in Michigan but has lived in
San Diego County since she's been 18 years old. Kathy
graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelors in
Finance in 1999.
She has a real estate broker’s license and works as a mortgage
Kathy also owns BBW Club Catalina in San Diego which has monthly
night club parties and other fun events on a frequent basis.Kathy has been an avid supporter of NAAFA, Vegas BBW Bash and
San Diego BBW Bash and believes in size acceptance and health at
Kathy is a firm believer that people need to have a full life by
going to the movies, dinner, bowling, dancing and anything that will
make them a happier person and not wait till they are at the perfect
size to start living their life to the fullest.
Kathy is in her mid-40's and her children are grown and living
productively on their own.In her spare time she likes trying new restaurants, dancing,
modeling, bowling and spending time with family and friends.
The Single Mother and Dating
with Kathy Hernandez
The dating world is hard enough when you are single without
children. It can be harder when you are a single mother, but it
doesn't have to be an impossible mission. There are some men who
won't date women with children and of course there are some who
will date a woman with one or maybe two children, but if you
have 3+ children than it's a larger challenge.
There are some valid issues that have been brought up why men
prefer not to date women with children, because children taken
up a lot of our time and this would be less time spent dating a
man. The very beginning of dating, a man has to be divided
between him, and your children because most women won't
introduce a man they just started dating to their children,
which I think is a good idea. Single mothers have to decide at
what point in their relationships it's a good idea to introduce
their boyfriend to their children. I think most mothers want to
make sure the relationship is going somewhere before they even
think of integrating their dating life with the lives of their
children. Children can
get attached to a new man in their life, and it can be
devastating to them when the relationship doesn't work out.
Of course dating someone involves time away from our children.
It requires that a single mother find adequate child care, when
going out on a date. When I was a single mother (when my son
Alex was younger) I would date a man exclusively for over 3 or 4
months before I introduced Alex to him. I didn't want my son to
be disappointed if my relationship with a guy I was dating
didn't work out. I also traded babysitting with a few friends of
mine, making sure my son was with a quality person when I was
out on a date. When a single mother is out on a date, she is
trying to enjoy herself and the person she is with.There is nothing worse than the constants thoughts, is my
child is happy? Am I
being selfish going out instead of spending all my free time
with my child?
Single mothers need to know that it is alright for them to date,
or just spend time with friends, without her children. Being a
mother is one of the best blessing in the world we could ever
have, but we also need to be a well-rounded person, and continue
to grow (on a personally level) outside of being mom. If a
single mother has very young children then going out on a date
after the child's bed time, (making sure the child is with a
responsible friend or family member) is going to make the mother
feel better about going out, and doing something good for
ultimately have a much better time on her date.
The man that she is dating also needs to be viewed as a possible
future father figure for her child.
She wants to be certain
that this new man will love and respect her children. I was
lucky in the fact that my step father treated me, and my sisters
just like he treated his own children. A good man isn't going to
care if the child he loves, and cares for isn’t biologically his
child. When you find a man who loves you, and loves your child,
then you are just that much closer to having a happy future,
full of love that you and your child both deserve.
Celebrating almost two decades as a Graphic Designer/Published
Illustrator, Jean Nerestant Jr (Jness) got his start as a graphic
artist in 1994, Still working as a graphic designer by day/ Jness
devotes time to his hip hop Culture, comic book art and Plus
A Changing World
We are in the car bobbing and weaving through traffic, the call
came 40 minutes ago. Fortunately the traffic flow is not too
heavy, but just enough to prevent us from reaching the hospital
sooner than later. I never heard of this hospital, why did they
take her here? I gather my thoughts; it’s a hospital, when the
unexpected goes down you don’t pick and choose… you just get to
the nearest one. This one just happens to be far from where we
live. Time to stop thinking about myself and focus on some prays
that our friend is ok.
We get to the main driveway of the hospital and I note how old
and stately the buildings look. Not a good thing I think in my
unconscious mind. I can’t say I remember ever seeing a medical
faculty that looked so much like a throwback to decades ago.
Well at least that’s how it looked from the outside. Another
mental note was how big this place was. Well at least that’s how
it looked from the outside. After a brief stay at the security
desk for some guest passes we took the hike to the gift shop.
The hospital was actually modern on the inside, and the staff
seemed upbeat, in contrast the depressing appearance of the
Our friend was in good spirits, and was being held for testing
on her heart. They made careful evaluations on the function of
its valves and chambers. The doctors and nurses were kind and
thoughtful. They took their time to explain every procedure.
They even had translators on call to translate every detail in
Spanish so that our friend was comfortable. I was impressed.
While my wife, our friend and other visitors exchanged
sentiments and stories of better times, I decided to feed my
curiosity about this place. I walked around, and was politely
greeted by staff in every hall. At the elevator something caught
my eye. It was a sign on every floor of the building, it echoed
the good ethics of PATIENT SAFETY. Seems like a normal thing to
see in a place medical practice. Upon closer inspection I smiled
and had a sense of victory and progress. As you know I am a
graphic designer and illustrator. My artwork and client base
closely adheres to the needs of the plus-size community and the
positive representation of the same. I said all of that because
my goal is for my artwork to change the way the world sees
people of size.
The PATIENT SAFETY SIGN actually had plus-sized people on it. It
made me feel like maybe the world is catching on. Here we have
art in its most practical state, being used as a tool to
communicate a very important message, while including characters
that stray away from the leaner and more common renditions. I
wonder if the unknown artist had a a goal that is similar to
mine. Though we may never know the answer, it’s nice to imagine.
I keep drawing and creating logos and graphics with my goal in
mind. Who knows, maybe a major hospital or government
institution will call me someday and my work will be featured
for all to see without my signature, but heavily saturated with
my thoughts. Visually making my statement heard.
Shout out to Einstein Hospital, in Philadelphia, PA.
Hello there all my fashion loving friends. My name is Amy Lucas and
in this column I hope to bring you some new outfits that will make
you feel great and be Large and In Charge.
My whole life has not been devoted to fashion as my background is in
teaching Spanish, Math, and Science. I also have a master’s degree
in Central Office Administration.
With that said, I have been wearing
plus sizes for as long as I can remember so I do know the struggles we all
face to find cute clothes. I come from a smaller town in Michigan, which
means I have an even harder time finding plus size clothing in my area
since the choices are so limited; as well as, the sizes and styles each
Out of necessity, I started looking
online instead of just settling for the places here and have found that
other women could use the help too. I run a fashion group on Facebook
called BBW Fashion where I post something fabulous each day hoping to help
all those to find what they want in their size.
In my career, I've helped plus size
students and their parents to find fashion in their sizes that would help
them with their self-esteem and make them feel good about themselves. I
have also dabbled in fashion before this modeling for three different
stores, winning a cover model spot in July of 2012 in Large in Charge
magazine, and I was Ms. LBC 2008 for Linda's Big Connections in Chicago. I
look forward to showing you what is available in plus size fashion and
help you to look even more beautiful and chic.
Pretty in Peplum
with Amy Lucas
Peplum has become a very popular style whether it is in
dresses, shirts, or skirts. With so many ways to wear peplum, it can be
figure flattering on everyone. It also makes you look feminine, classy,
and modern. Wearing black and white is another hot trend for spring so why
not combine them both to create that ultra chic image you desire.
Jay Hansen and Heidi Davis are size-acceptance advocates from Oklahoma and
co-own Oklahoma's only social size-acceptance group,
Oklahoma BBW, BHM, and their
Admirers. Heidi was born in 1969 and has been a large woman her whole
life, just as Jay has been an admirer of such plus-sized women all of his.
Heidi graduated High School in 1987, which is the same year Jay was born.
The two met online in 2005 and quickly developed a friendship. In 2009,
Jay graduated the University of Central Oklahoma with a Bachelor’s in
English Education, and the following year he and Heidi started dating and
quickly fell deeply in love.
Heidi is experienced, blunt, pragmatic, down-to-earth, and strong in every
sense of the word, while Jay is intellectual, articulate, ideological,
contemplative, and gentle. Heidi is eighteen years Jay's senior and nearly
three times his weight, while Jay is 140 pounds soaking wet with a brick
in his pocket. He's a king amongst nerds and all things geeky; she's a
tattooed, rough-and-tumble, hard rocker to her core. Together, they are a
beautiful personification of the old adage
"The Skinny on Big Love with Jay Hansen" was started in 2013 with Jay as
the primary writer and Heidi as his muse and endless source of ideas and
inspiration. Together, the two hope to provide people with a new frame of
mind on love and relationships, promote open-mindedness and acceptance,
ask intriguing questions, foster conversations, and prove to the world
that titles such as weight and age, amongst countless others, should never
stand in the way of one's pursuit of happiness.
with Jay Hansen
"I know you. You're Heidi." said a woman at the table next to ours at
IHOP, "You own the Oklahoma BBW group, right?"
Heidi, my partner, confirmed her remarks and engaged in a conversation.
Apparently, being a large woman herself, our table-neighbor had heard of
our group and was eager to learn more, especially since she had the random
chance encounter of meeting the owner in public. A few sentences were
exchanged before she looked over at me with a smile. She was sweet,
polite, and genuinely had no idea how much she was about to stick her foot
in her mouth.
"And you must be her son." She said.
I saw it coming a mile away. The moment she looked over at me I could hear
those words charging in her vocal cords. I've heard them before, and I
know I'll hear them many times again. More amused than offended, Heidi and
I only giggled to ourselves and suppressed the urge to sigh or roll our
"Actually, this is my boyfriend." Heidi said. Immediately the woman's face
sank. I've never seen someone so quickly and hurriedly issue an apology.
To save the woman further embarrassment, Heidi soon added "my son looks
much older." We all had a giggle over it and continued our conversation,
and meal, normally. Our new friend actually provided lovely company and
conversation to our lunch.
Cougar-ism, a lifestyle or dating relationship in which significantly
older women of their forties or higher date younger men usually of their
twenties, has become increasingly more socially acceptable over the past
few years. My partner Heidi and I have nearly eighteen years, a whole
person who can legally smoke, between the two of us and we've never been
happier. We get lots of looks and questions when we go out together or
meet new people, usually followed by shocked reactions, especially when
they learn my partner's actual age, thinking her much younger.
I can't say that I'm specifically attracted to older women, but I have
noticed a repeating pattern in my life where the women I do find
attractive for whatever, separate reasons do end up being at least
moderately older than me. This likely has a lot to do with the fact that I
put high stock in maturity, pragmatism, and common sense, all of which
grow with age. Of course, a woman's waistline tends to grow with age too,
so as an admirer of larger women I'm sure that plays a large part as well.
It was this concept that got me thinking one day; is cougar-ism more
prevalent amongst the fat admirer and big, beautiful woman communities?
When I was younger I went to a very "preppy" high school filled with
children of very affluent families. Many girls were already getting
cosmetic procedures and plastic surgery at the age of sixteen or
seventeen. Chubby girls were almost non-existent, so there was hardly a
girl to whom I found myself even remotely attracted, let alone worked up
the courage to ask out. This trend continued, though not to the same
extent, into college. Women at that time in my life leaned both towards
immaturity and rail-thin figures. Because of my preferences in both mind
and especially body, I time and time again found myself driven towards
older women. Eventually I met Heidi and we've been madly in love ever
since, but I can't help but wonder if similar admirers that have been
attracted to bigger women their whole lives (such as myself) have similar
stories about encounters with older women and cougar-ism. If so, there may
be something to my theory.
As cliché as it may sound, to me age is just a number. As an admirer of
large women, this concept has never been foreign to me because of my views
of weight as well. Surely, the taboo of admiring larger women does itself
require a certain level of open mindedness, particularly about
relationships and public displays of affection, but cougar-ism requires
this exact same mentality as well. Considering everything else on top of
this core principle, it seems more than natural that a love for big women
and cougar-ism would go hand-in-hand.