Catching up with Dennis Wilson of Amish
Crafted Furniture! Size Friendly made for the Bigger Fram
LargeInCharge Featured People and Companies - Where are they now?
Find Amish Crafted on Faceook:
CLICK HERE to see all the wonderful products and Furniture. Stay
updated as to when and where to meet Dennis and which events you can try
out the Plus Sized Line of Furniture
I met Dennis the Summer of 2008, when I attended
my first Vegas Bash. It was my first time in Vegas and at the
Bash. I was conduting mini interviews through out the week with my
small digital camera. (Go to:
www.youtube.com/LargeInChargeTV to see videos from the event)
While I had heard of Dennis and the Furniture he
sells. Thus Amish Crafted was born when Dennis was able to connect with
some Amish Furniture makers. Working together with the Amish
Crafters, Dennis has been able to supply many types of furniture,
especially what I am most interested in, their plus sized furniture
Large Sized Glider 34
inches between the arms - The Glider we Raffled off. - modeled by Raqui
I have seen this line expand and get large
through the years. I truly love the craftmanship of the furniture
having touched, sat in and tried out almost all the items, which
includes bed, tables, chairs, sofas, dressers etc. for every room of
your home. I have gotten to know Dennis on a personal level he not
only is a wonderful person, but he has become a friend. Through
the years at the many bashes we have attended, I have tried out
many of his indoor and out door furniture including the gliding chairs.
We were able to raffle off a wonderful Glider through LargeInCharge one
year, and it was given to a wonderful woman who was very happy with the
Size Friendly Outdoor Chaise Lounger (Reclined)
- Modeled by Raqui
I myself have invested in a custom chair to my
height and width. I have spent 5 times over buying and replacing chairs
which never were comfortable, either to low, to narrow or just not
strong enough. With my Amish Chair I know it is a piece to stand
the test of time. I plan on furnishing my home with many pieces
from Amish Crafted, I can personally say you will want to buy from this
company, now that they have payment plans it makes it so much easier to
invest in a few good pieces that will last.
Amish Crafted Furniture -
VEGAS BASH 2008 - Check out the Video
Check out the Orginal
Features (Amish Crafted had a Special two month feature)
by clicking the covers below.
Issue #58 - January 2009
Issue #59 - February 2009
LargeInCharge.com: What is your name?
Dennis Wilson, I
am the co-owner of Amish Crafted Furniture LLC and Size Friendly
Furniture by Amish Crafted Furniture LLC.
LargeInCharge.com: Where are you from and what is your current Location?
I presently live
in Hays KS. Our Company is located in Lagrange IN. “In the Heart of
Indiana Amish Country”
LargeInCharge.com: When did you first appear in LargeInCharge Magazine?
NOTE: if you
don’t remember exact date and issue I can look that up for you. Put
Please Look Up as the answer.
Please Look Up
LargeInCharge.com: Please tell us why you were featured?
We were new to
the Size Friendly Market and Raqui saw us at the Las Vegas Bash. She was
impressed with our product lines as well as our solid and quality
construction. She asked and we responded.
LargeInCharge.com: How did you feel when you appeared in LargeInCharge?
We were very
excited to be included in such an important publication within the BBW
and BHM Community. It really spread the word about us and assisted us in
creating a brand within the community.
LargeInCharge.com: How do you feel now about being included in our
special Decade editions?
I am truly
honored to be included. It means to me that I have been successful in
keeping the promises we made in our Size Friendly Mission Statement. “We
at Size Friendly by Amish Crafted Furniture Ltd. provide the highest
quality American Made hardwood products. Our products are available in
Oak, Cherry, Maple, Hickory, and some in Black Walnut. We believe that
people of size deserve fine home furnishings that can enhance their
comfort and reflect their style. “
LargeInCharge.com: How has your life and endeavors changed since your
My life has
remained blessed and I have had the pleasure of being invited to and
attending Bashes, Parties, and Conferences all over the Country. I have
made many friends and customers plus hundreds of acquaintances. All who
have shown me that the Size Friendly Market is alive and well,
appreciating the products aimed at them.
LargeInCharge.com: What changes have you made to advance your
We are always
adding products as requested; we have built many pieces to custom
specifications to meet the needs of the customers. We have reached the
ability to make almost every item as a size friendly piece, Even pieces
not in the catalog for special requirements.
LargeInCharge.com: How long have you invested in your venture/career?
We began our
company in 2004, selling Amish Furniture to the Hospitality industry. We
still provide our products in Restaurants, clubs and Casino’s. Our first
introduction to the BBW Community was in Chicago at the NAAFA
Conference. We hope to continue and expand our Size Friendly Market by
keeping in front on the competition and asking and listening to you the
final users as you tell us what you want and need.
LargeInCharge.com: Tell us about some of the most exciting
events/occasions, you/your business have held/participated in.
participation include 3 NAAFA Conferences, 8 Las Vegas Bashes, 10+ LBC
Halloween and Mardi Gras Events in Chicago, The Dimensions Event in
Florida, always looking for new venues to show our products and meet new
LargeInCharge.com: Have you been featured in any press, on TV,
We have been
interviewed for pieces in Las Vegas, the Bar and nightclub show and the
National Restaurant Suppliers, Also the great video interview with Raqui
at our First Las Vegas Bash. (Boy I was young then.)
LargeInCharge.com: What changes have you seen for plus sized people
since your first appearance?
The changes in
the acceptance within the mainstream, more and more People of size being
on TV, in Movies and not being the joke, but in serious roles.
Newscasters, Models, and the recognition that this is an important
market to pay attention too, this will increase the availability for
easier access to Clothes, Shoes, and of course furnishings.
LargeInCharge.com: Are there any changes you had to make for your
Stay in touch
with your customers. Be available for Service calls and act quickly to
make changes if necessary.
LargeInCharge.com: What are some of the most important things you have
learned through the years?
We know the most
important thing we can do is listen, then ask for ideas, and be open to
opinions, Then making the changes in the product to be more useful.
LargeInCharge.com: How is your standing in the Plus Sized Community
among the people? Good feedback, negative feedback, learning lessons?
I would say our
feedback is very good. There will always be a shipping problem, or a
small adjustment needed to be made. The most important part is
correcting the problem and making it right.
What would you say inspires you most in life?
I am inspired by
the amazing human spirit, a person’s ability to accept the situation and
make it work for them. I see this happen all the time. It is always a
blessing to see and sometimes share with those you are acquainted with.
I enjoy facebook for that reason.
LargeInCharge.com: Any new ventures/items/products you have planned for
We will always
be looking for new designs and products we can make and add to our
lines. Sometimes it takes 4-6 months just to get the new stuff right.
LargeInCharge.com: What are your future goals?
what I do. I know when you like what you do, your life remains an
adventure, constantly learning.
LargeInCharge.com: What advice would you give to other people of size
who might be interested in doing something similar?
Product knowledge, Know what you are capable of and stay within your
LargeInCharge.com: Describe yourself/ your company/org with one word.
Thank you for
Reading The LargeInCharge Feature
Cover Model of the Month
Since being a LargeInCharge Cover Model Jennifier has made
waves all across Latin American in Magazines, On Tv,
Modeling and writing for Online and Print Magazines and much
more. Check out her extensive portfolio @
LargeInCharge.com: Where are you from and
what is your current Location?
From Caracas, Venezuela, currently living
When did you first
appear in LargeInCharge Magazine as a Model?
Issue #66 - September 2009
LargeInCharge.com: What made you decide to
apply that first time?
I was tired to not get chances in the plus
industry, tired of the dynamic in the plus size modeling
world. I´ve decided to apply one more time, one last time
and surprisingly I got the cover!
LargeInCharge.com:How did you feel when you appeared as a LargeInCharge
I felt the most beautiful girl on the planet
for a month. I couldn´t believe it! It is an honor to be
part of the “Large in charge” cover girls. I´ve got so many
compliments and so many positive messages that are hard to
Has your modeling
career grown since your appearance?
Big time, in all matters. I can´t complaint!
LargeInCharge.com: Have your life and
endeavors changed since your appearance?
Well I started to get notice much more not
only in the plus size world but in Latin-America, which was
and still my priority, not only open the market, but helping
LargeInCharge.com:What changes do you see in Plus Sized Modeling?
Plus models are less afraid to talk and speak their minds,
they have now many tools as social networks to find
opportunities and keep in touch with their fans. When I
started 18 years ago it was a totally different thing.
LargeInCharge.com: What changes do you see
for Plus Sized People?
We have now more places and spaces to talk,
but we still have a long road to walk. Sometimes we sabotage
ourselves instead of support each other and that's a big
mistake we haven't realize yet…
LargeInCharge.com: What would you say
inspires you most in life?
Life itself.The possibility to have a better and a different day
tomorrow, the idea to have and meet good people and lovely
places is enough reason to be inspired, no matter how hard
your life it is.
LargeInCharge.com:Any new modeling tips and tricks to share?
Be humble, learn from who started before
you, never be afraid to ask advice and guidance and never
say no to changes, is part of being a model.
LargeInCharge.com: What are your future
I hope to be retired in about 5 years and
start coaching. So many wrong people in the Latino plus size
industry in the wrong positions, teaching and speaking about
something they don't really know. Is a major concern for me.
For personal life I have a million of
dreams, but who knows if any come true?
LargeInCharge.com: What advice would you
give to other people of size who want to model?
Be realistic, not because you have a pretty
face or you are invited to a TV show you are already a model
or model material, is hard to say this, but I think is
enough of the “I´m a model” trend. Being a model is a
serious thing, a lifestyle, you have to earn it with blood,
sweat and tears as if you were a singer, lawyer, doctor.
Respect is the keyword here.
LargeInCharge.com: Describe yourself with
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 and Raised in the Bronx NYC. This city girl is taking the world by
For almost a decade 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.
In this world we live in, it can be hard at
times to see anything but the horror and insanity around us.
News Reports, Crime Shows, Newspapers, Online Sites and blogs are
way more interested in what is sensational and wrong with this
world, with out focusing on what is good in this world. So this year I dedicate my comlumn to all
that is inspirational, postive and helpful.
Showing Off Your Moves
Fat Girls cant Dance,
I remember those words when I was young. I didnt realize I was
fat and when I look at pictures of myself back then, I wasnt fat, I
was a tall big muscular girl. I was strong, I
could jump higher, run faster, I was very flexible and with training
I would have been a powerful dancer. Still not
accepted on the stage, but to have the freedom to be able to dance,
to have been trained and to be guided on a journey toward something
I loved to do.
I did get taller and bigger and I made my teachers look small in
Elmentary School. Still a list of all that you cannot do as a
amazon type female became the usual. Still I liked to boogie
with the best of them. Dancing is still something I have fun
doing and weight has never stopped me from having fun at a good
watching Fame (the show that started in 1982) as a little girl,
thinking that dancers didnt look like me. Until that day when
a big girl blew them away on Fame. That changed my mind for a
second she had more passion than anyone in the show. She had
something to prove, but why did she have to prove somethin?
Because no one would look at her, take her seriously, and respect her as a person who can
dance because of her weight. That was a clear message I took
home from the show, and even through she showed them, I always
felt that she shouldnt have to prove that she can dance because she
is fat. She should just be seen as a dancer and prove herself
as a dancer not as a fat person.
Now through Youtube,
Facebook and more you see many ameteaur videos of people who love to
dance, and many of them are big people, men and women alike.
Bringing old school dance techniques, and bumping them up with some
modern music and dance styles. They are having lots of fun and
the cheers and claps from watchers shows the support. Dance is
a way to express yourself and it is rediculous to think that Fat
people are not allowed to express themselves through dance, because
another person doesn't want to watch them dance. It
is a shame that if a person has joy, feels good, wants to get down,
bust a move, and just shake that groove thang. They should be
looked down upon and feel some sort of shame at actually throwing
their weight around. The main response is Ewww... Yuck look at
all that Fat moving etc. Sometimes you get someone who
says Oh you wont be fat for long. As if that is the only
reason why dancing is ok for fat people. Only dance if you
plan on using it as a tool to lose weight.
challenge yourself to live, love, dance and feel free, no matter
what your weight... size... ability is. Below I have found videos of
women who love to dance. I will also post some links to videos
from facebook that have some Large Sized men showing off there
moves. I find them Inspirational because they are showing that
size doesnt prevent you from the Joy of Dance.
My Favorite Moments:
My Favorite thing about this video is that it is one in a series of
this woman (Witney) dancing and showing off her movies. She
has danced on many day time shows and on the news she is making
waves by dancing in the streets of NYC. Protoming a NO SHAME out
look on life.
Brazil has Talent
My Favorite Moments:
The video might say Britin but it isnt britin it is Brazil. I
loved seeing our big girl dance with a famous brazilian singer and
dance one of the dances she is most knowin for.
- Weekly Radio show discussing Plus Sized Issues. Friday's
pm EST - Call in & Chat in our Chat Room.
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!
"I'm Wearing Pants"
My daughter called to say hello and to tell
me about her day. She recently turned 21 years old and was calling
me while on her way to work. "Whatcha doing, Mom?" she asked me.
"I'm actually standing in my closet trying to decide which pair of
pants I'm going to wear today" was my reply. "Mom, What did you say
you were wearing?" my daughter asked with justifiable shock coming
from her voice. "You heard me right! I'm wearing pants!"
My daughter doesn't remember me ever wearing
a pair pf pants... ever! As I mentioned earlier, she is now 21
years old and all she remembers me wearing are dresses and
nightgowns. When I came to her school concerts, I wore a dress with
a wide-brimmed hat so that she could find me when she looked out
into the audience. When we went shopping, I wore a dress. When we
went to the movies, I would wear a dress. I never owned a pair of
pants; except the one pair of paints I purchased about a month
before I had Gastric Bypass Surgery. I bought a pair of pants
just so I could measure my weight loss after surgery.
Have you even seen those pictures of people
that had lost so much weight they could stand within one pant leg of
an old pair of pants? Well, I wanted to be THAT person. I bought
the size 26 pants thinking that eventually I could have my daughter
take a picture of me standing in one pant leg. I remember the first
time I pulled those pants up over my hips and belly. They were snug
around the middle, and really too long... but they were mine to make
a statement with. My statement? That I wasn't forever going to be
too fat or too incontinent to wear a pair of pants.
Sometimes we allow someone's opinion of us,
or our own self-appearance to dictate what we do everyday or even
what clothing we want to wear. Some religious teachings tell some
women not to wear pants or makeup or jewelry; that isn't why I never
wore pants. Sometimes we feel that our butts are too big (or too
small) to wear a certain style of pants or certain length of skirt;
that wasn't my reason either. In fact, I wore a couple of "shorter"
skirts (hitting just at the middle of my knee rather than below my
I remember when my aunt had Gastric Bypass
Surgery and she started wearing shorter skirts. She proudly
proclaimed "the more weight you lose, the shorter your skirt should
get!". I remember thinking to myself "why not wear short skirts
when you are fatter? What's wrong with that?". Is that the way YOU
think, or this the way that someone else makes you feel?
We need to be in charge of our lives so that
we can lead the abundant lifestyle that the Bible teaches us about.
We need to have faith that our Lord and Savior will never allow us
to go through anything alone; Jesus is always with us through the
good and the bad and we need to thank Him for this. Sometimes we
may feel like we are alone; there are times when the depression or
the abuse can be unbearable and we alter our lifestyles to
accommodate this negativity. Someone tells us that we are too "big"
to wear those skinny pants or they may say "that short skirt makes
you look fat". I know men that like to wear long pants or men that
wear saggy pants and lately I have seen more pregnant women wearing
clothing that reveals their bulging bellies. Why do these people
choose to wear their clothing in a manner that may make others
question their appearance? Why did I choose to stop wearing pants
while raising my daughters?
When my daughter was born, I weighed
somewhere around 180 pounds. During her years in middle school I
started gaining weight and developing an overactive bladder.
Sometimes my bladder would leak and while I was out shopping with
my daughters one day I sneezed and completely wet my pants. I
remember leaving our groceries in the cart and asking my girls to
walk behind me while we left the store. That was the
last day I wore pants out in public.
It became easier for me to wear a dress; to
run in the bathroom and simply squat over the toilet when my bladder
urges became strong. If I sneezed and started to leak, I could just
wipe my legs without having to worry about my pants being stained.
The fatter I got, the more I leaked. Wearing dresses helped me to
Last month, my husband took me shopping for
an outfit to wear while we went bike riding together. Now,
understand that I don't have a bike yet, but I DO have my bike
riding outfit. I now have two pairs of sweat pants with matching
shirts. It is such a wonderful feeling: to wear a pair of
pants and not worry about bladder leakage! You see, sometime after
I lost the first 100 pounds, I began to go for longer periods of
time without having to run to the bathroom. I am now even dealing
with horrible bouts of sneezing from allergies and my undies are
just as dry as ever (Whoo HOO!). I hadn't even realized that my
overactive bladder had been in remission until my husband asked me
"do you want to try on a pair of pants?". Well, every excuse came
to my mind as to why I wanted to pass on that offer: "My belly is
too fat, my butt is too flat. I don't even know what size pants to
try on!". Thank goodness my man saw through those excuses and took
me shopping anyway.
Now, my closet has a black pair of pants
with pink trim and a pink pair of pants with silver trim. (I like
the color pink). It's really cool to know that not only did my
health improve enough for me to wear them, but my curves improved
too! I look at the "before" picture of me undergoing a medical
breathing test in February 2011 while wearing my new pair of pants.
I ran to the bathroom just moments before this picture was taken
and I went back to the bathroom just after the 20 minute procedure
was finished and I still managed to leak quite a bit on the car ride
Today my husband and I sat and walked on the
beach for about an hour while I wore my pink sweatpants. We left the
beach and walked through the grocery store for another hour before
we headed home. I only had to stop at the bathroom once while we
were out and my pants remained dry. God is good and I am thrilled!
The Big GB - Getting My
Life back after Gastric Bypass
with Angie Bee
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
from: NAAFA.org - by:
In the spirit of New Year’s Resolutions, the
OC Chapter decided to start the year off right and plan a special
End Bullying Now event for kids in Anaheim. On January 2nd,
2014, students at Walt Disney Elementary school received a special
visit from Batman and Batgirl. Our Superhero team spent the
afternoon with the kids talking about bullying. The message; anyone
can be a superhero if they make the decision not to be a bystander
and take action against bullying.They explained that a superhero’s job is to protect people
from bullies and stop the hurt that is caused. They also said that
you don’t have to use violence to stop a bully.
Instead, you can get help
from an adult. “Being a superhero takes courage “, explained
Batgirl. “Sometimes it’s hard to speak up. It can be scary, but
superheroes must defend people who have a hard time defending
Students were asked to identify superhero
teams and discussed that sometimes it’s easier to approach a bully
as a team. Examples given were The Justice League, X Men, Fantastic
Four, and others. Batman and Batgirl explained how bullies seem
powerful because there is an imbalance of power. By creating a
superhero team, students can feel stronger knowing someone is
standing beside them. They emphasized that violence is never the
answer and bullying back makes you a bully too.
After the discussion, students signed pledge
cards and took individual pictures with Batman and Batgirl. There
was a reporter present from the Orange County Register. She
interviewed several students and wrote a full page article featuring
lots of pictures that was published in the following issue.
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
with Lucia Roth
I love Chinese food!It’s one of my favorites meals in which I can treat
myself to seven days of the week.However, reality steps in and that in not the case. I’m
unable to visit one of my favorite Chinese establishments
because my budget just won’t allow it.
So, I came up with an idea what if I can
make my own Chinese dish? ... Light bulb! So I did some
searching and I for an easy peasy Beef and Broccoli aka as
Mongolian Beef recipe to make for dinner.
Yummy! Meat is super tender and sweet and my
family and I enjoy it.
2 tbsp Vegetable oil
1 tsp Ginger, minced
2 tbsp Garlic, chopped
1/2 cup Soy sauce
1 cup Dark brown sugar
1/2 cup Vegetable oil
1 lb Flank steak or sirloin sliced thinly
1/4 cup Cornstarch
3 Green onions sliced or 2 Cups Broccoli
Note: I also you regular onions in this dish
Heat 2 tbsp vegetable oil in skillet over
medium high heat until hot. Add ginger and garlic
and let sizzle for 30 seconds, next add soy sauce.
Gradually add the brown sugar and let it dissolve
while stirring. Let the sauce come to a boil, next
simmer for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and set
Cut the flank steak into thin strips against
the grain. (Tip: Meat is easier to slice when it’s
partially frozen. It will thaw quickly after sliced
too!) Place meat and corn starch in a bag and shake
to coat the meat. Let meat sit for 10 minutes, so
the cornstarch sticks to the meat.
Put 1/2 c. vegetable oil in a wok/ skillet
and heat on medium-high until hot. Add the meat to
the wok and brown for about 4-5 minutes. Remove the
meat from the pan with a slotted spoon and place on
paper towels to drain.
Clean the pan out and return meat to pan and
cook on high for about 2 more minutes. Add the sauce
to the pan and cook for another minute. Add the
green onions or broccoli and cook for 1 minute
Remove from heat and serve with rice.
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 True Friendship Twist
The illustration featured in this article is
entitled TWISTED; it was an illustration challenge piece. It was
created using alcohol based markers, color pencils, and ink.
It started with one plus
size woman gazing out her window at a tornado. As I continued to
work on the sketch I added a few of her big beautiful friends.
This led me to thinking about how tumultuous friendships can be.
I don’t pretend to be a relationship
specialist by any stretch of the imagination, but I have been
best friends with a guy who has been my friend since first
grade. We are approaching 5 decades of friendship. I have been
married for 22 years. Neither of these relationships are easy or
perfect, but it does make my words on relationships notable at
Connecting yourself with the wrong friends
can really prove to be a toxic experience. There is a great deal
of time and trust invested into a friendship. Your friends are
people you equate yourself to. You identify who you are by how
you fit in your social circles. Friendship often happens via
circumstance, not in all cases but friendship usually finds us
instead of us seeking it out. When you do get a chance to choose
them, choose wisely. Every now and then evaluate the ones you
have. Don’t keep people in your life who want you around to make
them look good. If they are bringing you down get rid of them.
If they are building you up, keep them.
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.
22 Glamorous Prom Dresses
with Amy Lucas
Prom is that special time of year in high school when you get to wear
something that makes you feel very beautiful.For those of you who are not in high school anymore, there are also
plus size events such as bbw proms, cruises, and new year events all
around the country so you can wear these fabulous dresses once again.
Fortunately, there are so many great prom dress choices available today
that there is the perfect dress for any body type, desired style, and in
any color you could ever want. There are also just as many choices of
shoes to pair with the dresses.
Here are just twenty two of the amazing options there are along with the
shoes to make you look glamorous for your special event.
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
Last year I wrote a column about how one of the most troubling parts of me
and Heidi's relationship can be her paranoia over infidelity. Literally
every relationship she's ever had, save for ours, ended when her partner
cheated on her, so Lord knows she has good reason to be at a heightened
state of alert. It's inconvenient and uncomfortable for me at times, but
as I wrote back then that's all just part of accepting each other as we
are, and being willing to fulfill our partner's special needs, be they
physical or mental. While her trust in me has only grown over the years,
it is unfortunately the world around us that continually provides her with
reasons to cling to her paranoia.
Recent events in the group prompted a conversation between us the other
day about our group's policy on cheating. Oklahoma BBW has a
zero-tolerance policy for anyone that cheats on their significant other;
any member caught cheating is immediately banned. Members of the size
community have enough difficulty with their self-esteem as it is in a
society that constantly judges them, yet they often make frequent targets
of those more likely to commit such impropriety for this very reason. No
one should have to put up with the level of dishonesty and disrespect
inherent in being cheated upon, least of all from a significant other, and
we at Oklahoma BBW do everything in our power to make sure it doesn't
happen. Fostering a safe environment for plus-sized people - for all
people - is our top priority. That's why we take such a hard stance and go
to such great lengths against infidelity, yet despite this, when Heidi and
I had our conversation about the topic, we found ourselves hard-pressed to
think of long-time members, past or present, of our group that have never
been affected by cheating, be it cheated upon or doing the cheating.
Seriously, of the people we know personally, the final tally was in the
Surely the fact that we're a group for the plus-sized and under-confident
contributes to the alarmingly high cases of extramarital and
extra-relationship affairs, but that on its own couldn't be it. A little
over a year ago Ashley Madison.com, a website specifically for people
looking to cheat on their partners (<insert eye roll here>) released a
report on the American cities with the most cheaters. For two years in
a row, Washington D.C. has been number one. Oklahoma City, however, wasn't
far behind at number five, and numbers two and three were nearby - Austin
and Houston, respectively. Based on these statistics, there does in fact
seem to be a cultural variable to this particular region of the country
when it comes to cheating. Even our own Governor Fallin, in a state
dedicated to so-called "family values" and "traditional marriage," is an
Even with that, though, we aren’t getting a full picture of all the
infidelity in our region because Ashley Madison’s report only counted
physical, sexual affairs. It did not take into account emotional affairs.
Most of the time when we think of cheating we think of sexual intercourse,
but an affair need not be physical to be hurtful and disrespectful.
Especially in today’s world of casual sex, emotional affairs are actually
far worse than physical love affairs, because sex is just sex. It’s
impulsive, hormonal, based purely on shallow, physical attraction, and is
more likely to illicit feelings of guilt or internal conflict within the
cheater; it’s more short-sighted and short-term. Emotional affairs take
place slowly over time; they are long-sighted and long-term. This means
the cheater has the opportunity to actually think about their actions as
they’re doing them, to think about the disrespect they’re showing their
current partner by looking for or at another person without extending
their partner the courtesy of ending the relationship as a mature adult
would (or at the very least extending them the same freedom by way of an
open relationship). Worst of all,
someone involved in an emotional affair is straight up being lied to
at all times whenever they’re being told “I love you,” because clearly
either the cheater doesn’t actually love the person they’re cheating with
and are instead thinking with their genitals, or they never actually mean
it when they say it to the person they’re cheating on for however many
months or years whenever they parroted the phrase back at them
meaninglessly, because true love for another person involves extending
them much higher levels of trust and respect than any cheater could ever
offer. If that respect wasn’t there to begin with, it wasn’t true love at
There’s a reason it’s called
“alienation of affection” in court, and not
“they f*cked a whore.”
Therein lies the fundamental reason why cheating is bad too. Humans aren’t
naturally monogamous; we don’t have some inherent part of our psyches that
make us feel bad for having multiple sex partners. Cheating makes a person
feel bad because they’ve violated the trust of someone that means so much
to or has done so much for them. They extended the cheater trust and
freedom out of kindness and love, and the cheater responds by taking
advantage of this kindness. This is also why we at Oklahoma BBW, despite
our strict policy on cheating, are fine with open relationships; in an
open relationship, both parties have extended that freedom to each other,
and both parties are mutually respectful and honest with one another.
There is no violation of trust. Whenever Heidi and I learn of infidelity
in our group, this is the first thing we investigate, often by directly
asking if the supposed cheater is in an open relationship with their
partner. If they are, and we can confirm it with their partner, then that
is their business and their lives to live as they wish. If not, then they
are banned from all of our group events and online communities, end of
discussion. This policy is for the safety, happiness, and well-being of
our members and for the advancement of our group’s goals to foster
self-esteem and respect for other people as well as oneself all while
learning to live happily the way we are. Without the bare minimum level of
trust and safety that this rule provides, none of these goals are even
remotely possible for our group, or for individual relationships of any
I was born in San Diego,
California on August 30, 1972.br> Grew up in
San Jose, San Francisco, and San Diego California.
I Graduated from San Diego State University in
1996 with a Bachelors Degree in Journalism
(Radio-TV News) and a Bachelors Degree in
I interned with U.S.
Senator Dianne Feinstein from 1995-1996.
interned with CBS News during the 1996 Republican
Currently I'm a
Licensed Sales Representative with Pacific Shores
Real Estate, Inc. in Solana Beach, California
I'm Co-Owner of Club Catalina BBW Night Club
in San Diego, CA.
And a newlywed, married
to Kathy Edmondson as of December 31, 2012.
I am the father of one daughter - Safiyah
Edmondson (8) and stepfather to two young men,
Alexander Hernandez (22) and John Rhakman Macklin
I enjoy bowling, basketball, tennis,
football. I play 12 musical instruments. I also
design a web page for a real estate company.
Knowing Better and Doing Better
with David Edmondson
This month has been a struggle for me personally from
many reasons. First, health-wise I took the dreaded
physical at the doctor’s office. Now for those of you
whom have insurance and have been doing physical
check-ups on a regular basis, I salute you. You have
taken responsibility for your life and are willing to do
what it takes to have a long life. I like many in this
Obamacare age, did not come across medical insurance
until recently, so taking a physical was a daunting
task. Unfortunately, some of my worst fears came to
I had to face
the reality of my family’s history of high blood
pressure and diabetes. I was then told I had to come in
for more tests and be prepared to take medication. I was
given a prescription for Lipitor to regulate my blood
pressure. I had always prided myself with eating foods
with no salt but that didn’t combat the fried foods I
continued to ingest. The fact that I was getting older
and those 2 mile walks, which use to be a breeze was now
a big challenge was reality. Are there things I could
have done better to have avoided this point? Of course
there were, but I let pride get in the way. I assured
myself, this could all be handled easily, all I need to
do was take it seriously. I will start tomorrow. Then
tomorrow turned into the next day and the next day, then
next week turned into next month and well…..you get the
I had to get
past that pride and will myself to take the medication.
Now my high blood pressure is normal and with careful
planning, I can actually eliminate the word Lipitor from
my vocabulary. But there are things we can all do to
avoid those dreadful diagnosis that doctors give us. The
question you have to ask yourself, how much pride is
enough. Having that extra piece of fried chicken, is it
worth missing walking your daughter down the aisle. Is
sneaking that cigarette outside really worth missing
your 25th wedding anniversary? We aren’t
getting any younger people. The things we did when we
are younger are coming back on us and there is nothing
we can do to rewrite history. However, there are things
we should do and know we must do, to be able to enjoy
the life we still have. You may not think so now, but
there are loved ones, who are counting on us.
Freakie has been a member of the BBW community for
over 20 years. She lives in Washington State with
her two cats Boo Boo & Maxie, and has also resided
in California and New York. Besides advocating for
Big Beautiful Women she is a lifelong child
advocate and is a strong believer in Size
Acceptance (ALL sizes). She dreams of travelling
the world and being an ambassador for the fat
community. Her personal motto is, “FAT CHICKS
When Little is Big
When I taught Pre-Kindergarten, there were days when the
kids just needed to get out and have a change in routine
(okay the adults too).I had a roster of 45 children in my class and I
generally had at least 30 children in class every day.With my two assistants, I worked hard to maintain
routine but sometimes you just need to mix it up.
If it was rainy I would turn on some music (usually jazz
or classical), put a long piece of butcher paper on the
floor, and pour our big box of crayons on the paper.We would all lie on our tummies and color and
The only rule was that you couldn’t color on someone
else’s work unless they said it was okay.This activity never failed to change the dynamic
of the class for the better.It literally brought us all down to the same
level, it created a sense of closeness and security, and
it fostered relaxed conversations.
When it was sunny out, we would walk to an overpass near
We would gather on the sidewalk in the middle of the
overpass and the kids would wave to all the cars and
arm-pump the big trucks driving down I-5.We got lots of honks but the part I loved most
was all the people you could see smiling & waving back
from inside their cars; all this reciprocal goodwill!
It was so fun
and was an amazing pick-me-up for all of us.
Coloring on the floor might seem like a lame activity
and it certainly wasn’t on my lesson plan.I guess that just points out the biggest flaw in
the American educational system.We very seldom take into account the emotional
needs of our students. We treat it as if acknowledging
our feelings is some kind of weakness when who we are
emotionally is WHO WE ARE.
I know "waiving from the overpass" didn't sound like we
were doing very much either but, looking back, what we
were doing for ourselves and others was amazing.We were exchanging positive energy with people we
didn’t know, would never know and it was powerful stuff!I really had no idea at the time.I can look back now and wonder how many lives
those kids may have changed for the better with an
innocent wave from the top of an interstate overpass.
We are bombarded daily with trite memes about simple
acts of kindness and they are all true.They are so true that it is easy to overlook them
or forget to act on them.Think how life changing it could be, if each one
of us decided to smile at one stranger every single day.Just one, of course the real challenge is to
actually do it.