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

Fat Girl Smash!

Frustration. We all have it. Why? Because people who aren’t us insist on Doing It Rong.

Doesn’t matter what it is, from running a government to running a Piggly Wiggly, someone somewhere along the way is going to figuratively get on our tits without the decency of doing it literally first and it’s going make us yearn for the good old days before ugly phrases like “DNA evidence” and “toxicology reports” were bandied around our judicial system the way they are now.

Frustration is about as close to anger as many women feel allowed to get. Angry women are unreasonable. Angry women are crazy or hormonal. A woman should never be president because what if she gets her period and decided to blow up the world, harharhar…sigh.

Listen, if a woman can get past senior prom, not to mention any number of meetings, job interviews and day-to-day interactions where her worth is judged by the same criteria most commonly used to evaluate a finger sandwich –is she delicate, small, easy to handle and generally pleasing to all senses?– without hauling off and murdering someone, go ahead and give her the football. Trust me, she’s good.

The fact that we’re not encouraged to even experience, much less show our anger or frustration leads to, say it with me now, MORE anger and frustration. That’s when we get those toxic mean girls who grow up into horrible people.

I’m all for harmlessly channeled aggression. You wash your face to get rid of dirt, you take that weird pill once ever 90 days to get rid of parasites (you think it’ll all beach blanket bingo down here in Baja?)…there’s got to be some way to get out anger and frustration without damaging yourself or others, at least not more than necessary.

Time was, I’d just go down to my beloved Red’s Indoor Range and shoot at things until I felt better. It’s not that I especially like guns but for me, there’s no better reminder about the destructive power of uncontrolled anger than holding something that, unless carefully and thoughtfully handled, can literally kill me and everyone around me. Call it Texas Zen.

Guns are like babies except guns are illegal in Mexico (yet somehow Mexico’s numbers were left off the little Facebook graphic that listed firearm-related deaths for countries with gun control) and babies are most definitely not. There’s something inherent about them that says “hey, you might not like me or want one in the house, but it would be a bad idea to drop me.”

So how do you handle your anger and frustration? Hit the gym? Sleep it off? Yell and yell and yell and yell? Is it constructive or destructive? If you’re still not comfortable with your anger, why not? What steps are you taking to treat this like just another strong emotion like love or sorrow?

Twistie’s Olympic Wrap Up

Friends, I have spent the last couple of weeks the way I spend every Olympic cycle: glued to the television spouting stats. That’s not the way I live my life, even though I do happen to watch a lot of television, if I’m completely honest. But sports? Not so much. If I happen across an exhibition or a competition in figure skating, I’ll watch. I have also come to find curling oddly hypnotic… but you don’t see that as often on American television, and it’s rare to run across it randomly.

But the Olympics, well, they’re something other than else.

Most of the world counts the Olympics in terms of medal counts and victories against traditional rival countries. I’m certainly not above rooting for the home team or hoping someone I’m not wild about loses, either. And yet there is a deeper meaning to these Games, one that I love – indeed, prefer – to celebrate.

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Fun Concept, False Advertising, Good Read All the Same

So. Fannie’s Last Supper by Chris Kimball. Let’s talk about this book, shall we?

The concept was deeply cool. When Kimball moved into a house built in Boston in 1859, he learned that it was right down the street from where America’s most famous home economist and cookbook author, Fannie Merritt Farmer lived. This inspired him to decide to create an historically accurate kitchen and – using Farmer’s recipes and the techniques of the day – cook and serve an historically accurate American Victorian dinner party, circa 1896, the year the Fannie Farmer Cookbook was first published.

The result is a highly readable (albeit occasionally painfully graphic) documentation of his attempts to do just that.

Continue Reading…

The Gospel According to Saint Dolly of Parton

“It takes a lot of money to look this cheap.”

Christian Louboutin Studded Patent Leather Platform Pumps, $1395.00 at Saks Fifth Avenue

Giuseppe Zanotti Printed Metallic Suede Wedge Pumps $795 at Saks Fifth Avenue

Brian Atwood Alesha Studded Leather Platform Pumps $970 at Saks Fifth Avenue

But if you HAD to wear one, which one gets your well-shod nod?

Short Hair for Big Girls (now with more math!)

I’m not that great at hair.

I mean I’m not terrible, but while I’m usually about to break down any other aspect of a person’s style success and explain mathematically why it works (or doesn’t) when it comes to hair I’m sort of like “well, do this because it’ll probably look nice and if not, it’s only hair: It’ll grow.”

It’s been five years since I defied all received Fat Girl Wisdom and went for an Eton crop/pixie cut and I still count it as the best thing to have come out of my brief engagement to the French Chef. Considering he gave me a Birkin and a townhouse in Lyon (which I couldn’t keep for some tangled Franco-American reason) that’s saying something.

I cropped my hair in preparation to meet his beloved and completely intimidating widowed mother. La Veuve Witchypoo was not enthused at the prospect of her only child, the light of his generation and only scion of a old and storied family, marrying an American, and not just an American, but a Protestant, and not just an American Protestant, but a FAT American Protestant. AND I had big teeth. I never quite figured out why the big teeth bothered her, but the rest I knew counted against me. So in the interest of hedging my bets, I went to my stylist and had her chop away, leaving nothing but a chic cap of hair with little kiss curls framing my face.

It worked, thank goodness, and I vaguely knew it had something to do with my enormous frog eyes and big lips, but I couldn’t explain why it worked exactly.

Half a decade later I have  my answer, thanks to Imogen Lamport of Inside Out Style.

According to John Frieda, hairdresser to the stars, a measurement of 5.5cm or less from the base of the ear to the bottom of the chin is important, this is because it makes you look less jaw heavy (a more ‘masculine’ trait).  So in general, shorter face shapes (square and round) find it easier to carry off shorter hair.”

Math! Now we’re talkin’. That makes so much sense! It explains why it works on me, and looks so cute on Michelle Williams and Ginnifer Goodwin (even with Those Ears) both of whom have round/heart shape faces but on Pink it’s a little Early Eddie Izzard.

Lamport continues by pointing out stuff I kind of already knew: big eyes, big lips, great cheekbones all help. Let me go one further: it has to suit your personality. I already look like Betty Boop with a glandular issue, so her haircut was a no brainer for me, but imagine the divine Helena Bonham Carter with a chic little crop. Her face would be perfect for it, but her personality is a complete mismatch.

What do you think about cropped hair on big girls? Do you have any follicular wisdom that has helped you along the way to The Perfect Cut? Put it in the comment!




Open Forum Monday!

Hey gang, the past few weeks have had be running hither and yon and my posting schedule has suffered for it.

While most of the hithering is over, I’m still yonning a great deal, so to make it up to you, I thought we’d have one of those rare days where you can ask pretty much anything in the comments and I will do my best to answer you.

I get a lot of questions via email and Facebook, and I can’t always answer them all, so now’s your chance. Ask away. Just keep it clean!

No Fat Olympians?

As many of you know, I’m an Olympics junkie. I’m not a sports fan in general, but the Olympics… in spite of its flaws, in spite of scandals over the years, there’s still something profoundly special to me about the concept behind it. I want to believe in people from all over the globe coming together to marvel at the possibilities of the human body and speak a universal language of friendly competition. And yes, I have been cheering for Michael Phelps and Gabby Douglas and all the incredible athletes out there, whatever country they come from.

I was talking with a friend of a friend the other day about watching the Olympics and she said that I must be seeing a lot of great bodies. I agreed. I’m watching a lot of people who have trained their bodies to do things most of us could never dream of accomplishing.

Yeah, that wasn’t what she meant. She meant men with washboard abs and ‘zero percent body fat.’

First off, I haven’t seen a single person at the Olympics with 0% body fat. And you know why that is? Because people with 0% body fat are not alive to compete in the games or enjoy watching them. They are dead. Period. This is something a lot of people don’t seem to understand right now, but it is the truth.

Second off, while there are some amazing thin athletes and I would never take anything away from any of them, no matter where they finished in the standings, there are some equally amazing fat athletes who are kicking some serious booty over in London and I want to celebrate that fact, too.

This is the gold medal winning Italian men’s archery team. The American team looked fitter, according to current popular standards… but these are the guys who won.

350 pound weightlifter Holley Mangold almost didn’t make it to the Games because she had so much trouble finding sponsorship. Apparently heavy weight class weight lifting isn’t very feminine.

I don’t know whether she’ll medal in weight lifting, but she’s already won gold with her attitude:

I love my body. I think it’s perfect. I don’t know what my personality would be like if I wasn’t so huge. And I think it’s a great thing for me. I’ll never be skinny and I’m perfectly okay with that. As soon as I retire I will be doing cross-fit and I’m sure I’ll go crazy with health stuff. But right now I’m kind of enjoying being a super heavyweight. I kind of like it.

And I’m kind of loving her.

Chances are you haven’t heard of the fattest Olympian this year. Judo doesn’t get a lot of air time here in the US, and everybody’s afraid of showing the ‘bad example’ of somebody who they don’t want to see in a string bikini proving they can be athletic.

Ricardo Blas, Jr. continues his family’s tradition of competing in Judo at the Olympics. His father represented their country of Guam in 1988. But Blas, Jr. did his dad one better. He won his first match to get further in the competition than any other judo contestant from Guam in history.

Ricardo, I hope you’ll be back in 2016 and get even further. All four hundred eighty one pounds of you.

Win or lose, victory, tragedy, or infamy, you don’t get to the Olympics without being damn good at what you do. And isn’t the point to admire the human body and the human spirit working hand in hand to achieve greatness?

Well, that and understanding across borders and language barriers.

Olympians, I salute you, no matter your size, no matter your age, no matter your color, no matter your chances of winning medals.

Best of luck to you all.

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