Manolo for the Big Girl Fashion, Lifestyle, and Humor for the Plus Sized Woman.

April 24, 2008

Francesca recommends a book: Critical thinking edition!

Filed under: Books — Francesca @ 9:10 am

Francesca has been greatly enjoying a wonderful, informative, and thought-provoking blog by a nurse, Junkfood Science.

Here is the “subheading” of the blog, which will help you see why it is so superfantastic:

Critical examinations of studies and news on food, weight, health and healthcare that mainstream media misses. Debunks popular myths, explains science and exposes fraud that affects your health. Plus some fun food for thought. For readers not afraid to question and think critically to get to the truth.

Before reading this blog, Francesca knew that newspapers and magazines and television often gets science wrong — because most people are just not very good at interpreting scientific studies — but she had no idea how often.  It is truly unbelievable how often a newspaper will tell us something along the lines of “study shows that fat people keel over and die ten horrible deaths before they are 28!” when in fact the study cited just says that “people whose BMI’s are over 45,000 are more likely to have a stroke by the time they are 72 than people whose BMI’s are 44,999.” (Francesca exaggerates, but you catch her drift.)

Anyway, to educate yourself, dear Manolo reader, about how to spot mathematical and scientific fallacies in your mainstream media, Francesca suggests you begin with the superfantastic, easy-to-read, and short-and-to-the-point book, Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics: The Manipulation of Public Opinion in America.

Francesca hath spoken.

April 23, 2008

The Big Question: But She’s My Ride Edition

Filed under: The Big Question — Miss Plumcake @ 3:40 pm

You know the scenario. Traditionally pretty, slim party girl with her big girl girlfriend, drinking, flirting, dancing…all in good fun. Then the party girl meets party boy(s) and big girl is left with promises of “meeting up later.”It never occurred to me that this happened more to big girls than to slim ones (it’s never happened to me at all, but that’s usually because I was the one making questionable decisions) until I heard a girl –who had just been left– complain about it.

Francesca and Plumcake want to know: 

Is this Fat Friend Phenomenon real? Has this happened to you? What do you think about it?

I am of mixed mind, so I’m interested in hearing what y’all have to say.

Boutique store for the Tall girl!

Filed under: Fashion,Women of Great Height — Francesca @ 9:19 am

Francesca tries to remember that “Big Girl” can refer not only to the woman of generous tummy or hips, but also to the Girl of Great Height.

Our friend Genevieve has turned our attention to, a boutique store in Canada for the Tall Girl, which has an online catalogue!  And they have extra-special security and extra-special personal attention; Genevieve writes:

A friend of mine ordered something from the site. They don’t take credit cards over the Internet. You place your order, and then they call you, talk to you about what you bought, help you make sure you bought the right sizes (it’s a small boutique, and they just started selling online…the people who you talk to also do the ordering for the actual store), and then take your credit card info over the phone. She said they were very helpful, particularly with sizing.

Happy shopping!


April 22, 2008

Stop Deforestation, Save Your Eyebrows!

Filed under: Be Super Fantastic — Miss Plumcake @ 2:30 pm

I’m worried about your eyebrows.

Well, not your eyebrows in particular, which I’m sure are gorgeous and not at all like mine which currently look like two lovelorn caterpillars yearning to become one, but the state of eyebrows in general and on big girls, especially young ones, in particular.

They seem to be going away and that concerns me. Everywhere I turn it seems that women are plucking their eyebrows into tiny squiggles that look like –and I’m sure you’ll pardon my indelicacy– the “boy” part of the boy-meets-girl part of the fertilization story. Not alluring.

What’s the story? Why are women giving themselves the facial version of The Lower Lindsay? It’s a puzzlement.

Here’s the thing about eyebrows. There are few prettier ways to frame a face than with groomed but healthy brow, arched outside and ending in an elegant taper. Think Liz Taylor or Marilyn Monroe.

Eyebrow pencil –or powder if you’re not as clumsy as I am– can clean up and define a brow in a heartbeat. Just one hint though, unless you want to look like you spend your days with some short man in a trench coat coming up with creative ways to murder Moose and Squirrel, use a pencil lighter than your natural hair color.

The best part? It’s totally okay to buy a cheap eyebrow pencil. I’ve used the Chanel pencil and I’ve used the Wet n’ Wild cheapies. They work the same.

And because we at Manolo for the Big Girl CARE about your needs, here is a brief guide to eyebrows:

Marilyn Monroe

Yes (if you’re a Fright Queen, otherwise No):
Simply Divine

La Liz

No (but bitchin’):
The Most Exalted Potentate of My Heart: The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams

Bra reminder and news

Filed under: Absolutely Fabulous,Fashion,Fat and Famous,Lingerie,Racktastic — Francesca @ 8:40 am

Oh, my goodness! Can you believe this blog has been going for 9 months? It feels like yesterday that Plumcake and I dove into the wonderful, wide world of plus-size clothing here at the Manolo network. And what a superfantastic trip it has been!

This means that it has been 9 months since Francesca reminded you to consider carefully whether it is time for you to replace your bras. Much can happen in 9 months! If a baby can gestate in 9 months, that is plenty of time for your bras to stretch out, sag, and gap. It is enough time for you to gain or lose a few pounds and now need a new size.

So, start shopping!

If you are racktastic and need a hard-to-find bra size, Francesca recommends that you start with and Bravissimo.

Of course there is also the Cacique line at Lane Bryant, the ONEsexy bra collection at Avenue, and the full-figure department at Frederick’s of Hollywood! Mmmm!

And now — hat tip to our internet friend Carol for bringing this to our attention — Big Singer Jill Scott has created a bra brand of her own in partnership with Ashley Stewart. The “Butterfly Bra” not only has wide, gel-filled shoulder straps but also two support bands in the back and — Francesca’s favorite feature — underwires filled with gel. No more underwires cutting into the delicate flesh of the Big Girl! Hallelujah!

Take care of those girls!


April 21, 2008

Smart and Superfantastic

Our internet friend Shannon turned our attention to a delightful fashion-related article in an online publication called “The Smart Set.” Writer Jessa Crispin reviews various books about fashion . . . .

Instead of alleviating our body fears, however, so many books advising what to wear do nothing but exaggerate them. The entire structure of Trinny Woodall and Susannah Constantine’s book What Not to Wear is built to help you define your particular version of body dysmorphic disorder. Do you think you have short legs? A big butt? Big arms? There’s a chapter telling you how to dress around each perceived flaw. It’s hard to walk out the door feeling hot and feisty when your entire dressing process has been focused on your main source of anxiety. If I tried to dress to hide all the parts of my body I have ever been self-conscious about, the only thing left to wear would be a hazmat suit.

. . . . and ultimately recommends The Meaning of Sunglasses: And a Guide to Almost All Things Fashionable by Hadley Freeman.

If more fashion writing was done in the tone of smartypants Freeman, we could avoid the fear that caring about our appearance makes us a vain fool or a victim. A work colleague recently took one look at the four-inch peep toe heels I was wearing and snarled, “Don’t you know why men invented high heels?” I doubted anything I said would deflect what was coming next, so I just shrugged. “So you can’t run away when they want to rape you.” I understand. I used to be a humorless feminist, too, complete with shaved head and my father’s combat boots. Then I discovered Charles David heels and got over it. If only The Meaning of Sunglasses had existed sooner, I could have spent less time being a self-righteous twit.

Francesca says: It is possible to be intellectual and feminist and fashion-conscious!

April 20, 2008

Twistie’s Sunday Caption Madness

Filed under: Uncategorized — Twistie @ 12:19 pm

You know the rules: I post a picture, you send in your best captions, and next saturday I declare a winner. And here’s the image for this round:

Giant Helmet


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