Focusing on Women with Curves—Size 14 and Up
Plus-size fashion shows?
SDB: By going out there dressed up and being celebrated, the women modeling feel better. We are spreading acceptance.
LM: Beautiful women: check. Fashion: check. Curves: double check. The same values as any fashion show, supersized with flavor. We definitely know how to work a runway.
Calendar or show—which came first?
LM: Calendar. We met so many beautiful women with powerful stories that we decided to expand. LaToya White, our calendar fashion coordinator, specializes in runway modeling.
YW: Speaking of the calendars, a percentage of sales will go to Village of Hope, which supports girls academically. They’re $10 at the event and available online at bigbeautifulblessed.com.
Where did you find the models?
YW: Craigslist, Facebook, word of mouth and two open calls. We asked family and friends, attended festivals and distributed flyers.
LM: Basically, everywhere we went, we looked for uniquely beautiful people.
Advice for plus-size women?
SDB: Make your liability an asset. Avoid comparing yourself. Easier said then done, though. I can’t stop comparing myself to Beyoncé. She, too, used to be a whole lotta woman. But…that’s her story.
LM: Be open to change. Don’t be afraid to love you. How one feels is the true essence of beauty.
For boys and men?
SDB: Boys are a bit different. It is often cool for a boy to be heavy. He is “Big D,” or whatever. Girls are just “big,” “fat,” “chubby” or lonely—rarely celebrated.
LM: I will say: stay true and always support women. Tell them how wonderful they are, and mean it. Say, “You make the world more beautiful.”
Causal factors in American life?
SDB: Finding inexpensive, healthy food. Good foods cost more; bad foods are typically cheapest. Diabetes runs rampant.
SDB: Growing up, I suffered low self-esteem. I was targeted and bullied, so I learned to be a bully, too. I used food, piercings and sex to hide my pain—pain from feeling “not OK.”
YW: People get mislabeled as lazy, greedy, undisciplined and apathetic. Continued, extended discrimination, racism and weight-ism result.
Off the Cuff believes nothing heals like laughter. Good plus-size jokes?
YW: Sure. We are women who know Victoria’s Secret—she is hungry.
The fashion show and calendar launch are Sunday, Nov. 3 at 4 p.m. at El-Bethel Church of God in Christ, 5401 W. Good Hope Road. The show is free.