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

August 27, 2009

Memoirs of a fat childhood

Filed under: Books,Fat and Famous,Food,The Fat's in the Fire — Miss Plumcake @ 3:00 pm

Loving to eat, I mean REALLY loving to eat is slowly coming back into vogue thanks to renewed interest in Julia Child and several foodie blogs and yet there’s always a frisson of the forbidden.  Think about “food porn” and those marginally talented but uniformly busty TV chefs who tongue strawberries in soft focus and moan for the cameras. It’s a dirty little secret that’s not such a secret.

It’s no wonder then, that Dominique Browning called Frank Bruni’s –the outgoing New York Times’ restaurant critic– memoir Born Round brave.

“I hold him in even greater estimation, not only for his discernment and his accomplished prose but for his bravery. “Born Round” is a book about growing up with a love of food, family and friendship. And it is, more important, a book about a lifelong struggle, one that drives an endearing, heartfelt narrative. “Born Round” is about being fat.”


“His mother worried about his weight, but any diet she imposed was stymied not only by her need to feed everyone, but by Grandma. The problem was simple: food was love. “You love Grandma’s frits? . . . Then you love your Grandma!””


“Still, he always carried at least an extra 10 pounds. “Once a fat kid, always a fat kid, never moving through the world in . . . carefree fashion.” By the time he attended college, he had become adept at deploying a panoply of weight-loss tricks, from popping amphetamines and laxatives to forcing himself to vomit.”

read the rest of the article here and, if you’re as intrigued as I am –I think Bruni and I might have the same grandma– you can purchase the book by clicking the image below.

Born Round: The Secret History of a Full-Time Eater

June 16, 2009

Honey, No: Kate Mulleavy. I Hate to Do It Edition

Filed under: Fashion,Fat and Famous,Honey. No. — Miss Plumcake @ 5:08 pm

Kate Mulleavy –also known as “the chubby sister from Rodarte”– and I are totally best friends in my head. I could see us hanging out and talking about how old Agyness Deyn really is and how we love Kate Moss despite ourselves because all the other models do just as much coke and are STILL dead boring.

I bet she’d be a really good break-up buddy too, like I’d go over to her place and we’d drink way too much cava, watch Spiceworld and then sometime after the third bottle we’d try to prank call Victoria Beckham but not be able to carry it off without collapsing into piles of laughter. Then in a few weeks when she’s feeling down because Anna Wintour keeps bullying her to lose weight I’d pick her up in the Cadillac and teach her how to shoot a .44 and although Texas law prohibits shooting at paper targets with faces on them, I’d surreptitiously draw a severe bob on one of them and hijinks would ensue.

I also would talk to her about this:

Laura, La Dunst and Kate

Kate. This is not your best look. I’m not going to talk about the hair because I get that it’s a branding tool (although I will say it’s a leeettle mid-90’s Carnie Wilson for my tastes)  but the rest of the stuff, which you’ve apparently made your uniform, is not working very well for you.

You’re an actual real-life fashion genius, so WHAT is this about? You’re better than this. You look like a secretary I had to fire once because she wouldn’t stop crying at her desk.

It’s not that you look actively bad, but you’re at the Council of Fashion Designers of America Award, and you HAD to know you were going to win the big one, so black knit separates and a pair of skimmers (which is pretty much what you wore to last year’s CFDA’s)? Seriously?

CFDA 2007

The problem here isn’t that you look actively bad (which you don’t) or that you’re inappropriate for the event (which you are, even though I get this is your uniform) it’s that you’re committing three of the biggest crimes against style in the Big Girl book.

1) The bad bra. A big girl’s best friend is her bra, and yours could be better.  I think we’re similar in that we don’t have hugely enormous breast so often we can buy off the rack (as it were) as opposed to our more massively-mammed sisters who,  in trade for never having to buy their own drinks, have to get the army corps of engineers involved every time they need get their usuals in the upright and locked position. Everyone needs a well-fitted bra, but big girls need them the most, regardless of breast size, because we have to fight the battle of the schlub, and it doesn’t matter how great the outfit is; if you’re wearing the wrong bra, it’s a nonstop train to Schlubville Heights.

2) Slouching. I want to poke you in the back and make you stand up straight. I was ready to give you a pass because sometimes a slouch is inevitable in a group picture, but check it out:

Met Costume Institute Gala 2008

It just goes on and on, and your sister isn’t much better.  Here’s a hint from the classical music world, before you go on stage, roll and set your shoulders back. It will feel funny at first but it’ll set your posture beautifully. Of course you could always get one of these or, better yet, just pay me to travel around with you and nag.

3. Injudicious Black. I love black. I wear a lot of it. I’ve got dramatic features and coloring and black suits me extremely well, but when I wear black, I decide to wear black. It’s not a default. It’s not slimming by default, it’s not chic by default and it’s not flattering by default. Attention must be paid, and it’s not just adding a pop of color, which would do wonders, but it’s about paying attention to line and drape and proportion. Especially if you’ve got a short neck (which Kate and I do) You’ve got to create some visual space to rest the eye. To put it in other terms: Your body and face is the painting, your clothes are the frame. The space you don’t cover is the mat. 

with Mandy Moore

I get having a uniform as a designer;  Carolina Herrera has been working her impeccable shirtwaists for the past 30 years to great success (she’s also the only woman designer I can think of who was truly traditionally beautiful) and head to toe black is yours but maybe consider a little dash of something. After all, the uniform for the uniformly delicious New Zealand All Blacks aren’t even, well, all black.

The New Zealand All Blacks performing their Haka ritual

(Helllllooo Kiwi thighs…is it warm in here?)

And by the way. Don’t think I didn’t notice you’re wearing the same shoes in every photo I’ve found of you, going back to 2006. I know, how hard it is to find cute flats and I wear mine into the ground too, but if you insist on wearing skimmers to Important Fashion Events, at least get some new ones. Every season Valentino makes incredible slippers in a sort of burnished silver. They’re TDF. Git you some. Fetch me one of those Kiwis while you’re at it. I’ll be right over, and I’m bringing wine.

May 4, 2009

Crystal Renn!

Filed under: Books,Fashion,Fat and Famous,The Fat's in the Fire — Francesca @ 12:33 pm

Francesca is so happy!

The beautiful and ubiquitous “plus-size” model Crystal Renn, 22, has a multi-page feature in the May issue of Harper’s Bazaar! The message of the spread: “Be Proud. Embrace the feminine beauty of the curve.”

Francesca wishes that plus-size models could appear in Harper’s without any “Be proud” commentary, just an understanding that the size 12 model (which isn’t even truly plus-size!) is at least as beautiful as any size-0 girl, but still.

Gorgeous photo of an unwearable shirt! Curvy girls have hit the mainstream!

The dappled light on her legs is unfortunate, but the Crystal is GORGEOUS.

Ms. Renn models for Lane Bryant, Torrid, and Evans, as well as Saks Fifth Avenue.

According to her Wikipedia entry, her book, Hungry, is due for release at the end of the year. Francesca will keep you updated!

February 1, 2009

I Need Seven People Just To Help My Hair Get Dressed

Filed under: Fat and Famous — Twistie @ 1:13 pm

A few days ago, Mr. Twistie started cackling from the kitchen where he had his laptop set up. When I went to check what was causing this reaction, he showed me a couple YouTube vids of Katy Brand.

Katy Brand
I hadn’t heard of Katy before, but I am now officially a fan. Why? Because of this awesome Amy Winehouse parody (now with Spanish subtitles!).

Amy Winehouse parodies not your bag? No problem. How about this fabulous send-up of Lily Allen? Note that some of the lyrics may be NSFW.

Check out a couple vids, and have fun!

October 2, 2008

O, O!

Look! The October issue of O Magazine has a feature on where to shop for larger sizes:

This image was taken from the website of our friends at, who are included in the feature. The blouse mentioned in O is available here.

Here is the cover:

The headline says: “YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE THIN to be gorgeous: The knockout clothes that prove it.”

Of course, they also have the obligatory diet ideas but still . . . Kudos to Oprah and her staff for being plus-size friendly. Keep it coming, with more, similar features and lots of plus-size models!

August 13, 2008

Big Girls in Art: Austria celebrates the original Big Girl!

Filed under: Art,Fat and Famous,The Fat's in the Fire — Francesca @ 9:13 am

Thank you to our reader Jamie, who alerted us to the celebrations in Vienna surrounding the 100th anniversary of the discovery of Venus of Willendorf.

She is indeed the beautiful, fertile, sexy, voluptuous, original superfantastic Big Girl!


August 4, 2008

Bad-Girl Blonsky?

Filed under: Fat and Famous,The Fat's in the Fire — Francesca @ 9:20 am

blonsky.jpgBy now you may have heard that one of our Big Girl celebrity favorites, Nikki Blonsky, was arrested (along with her dad) on charges of assault:

 Hairspray star Nikki Blonsky and her father were arrested on assault charges following a brawl involving the family of America’s Next Top Model contestant Bianca Golden in a Caribbean airport, police said Friday.

The 19-year-old actress was released on bail, while her father, Carl Blonsky, remained in jail. Golden was also arrested and released on bail. Golden’s mother Elaine was reportedly hospitalized with serious injuries.

According to the Providenciales Police Department in the Turks and Caicos Islands, the fight erupted in the departure lounge of the Providenciales International Airport after everyone had gone through security.

“Things got out of hand in an argument over seats in the departure lounge, and several people were involved in an altercation,” a police source tells PEOPLE. “There were some injuries involved.”

Rumor has it that Golden asked the Blonsky’s to move their luggage so that Golden could sit down, the Blonsky’s refused, and mayhem ensued.

Francesca is sad that one of our own would be involved in such a mess.

However, the pertinent point for today is that, so far, Francesca has not seen any media outlets or blogs which, in reporting this story, point out Blonsky’s size. They simply report that she is an actress from Hairspray.

This is a very good sign, especially considering that the altercation was between a Big Actress and a Thin Model. Francesca shudders to think of the crass humor that could be traveling ’round the internet. It is also noteworthy, when one compares it to this report from the memoirs of Camryn Manheim:

manheim.jpgHere is the definitive list of fat synonyms and fat euphemisms, all culled from reviews about me. These are from actual reviews. Many of these critics took upon themselves to alert people that I was fat, just in case they wouldn’t notice. And it’s obviously really important to these critics that people do notice.

:: list of 32 phrases::

Look, I don’t mind being described as fat . . . But I hope there are more interesting aspects to my performances, and I would hope in the future reviewers will focus on my acting and not my dimensions. The reason they don’t mention that Tom Cruise is 5’8″ in reviews is because it doesn’t matter. And I hope that some day, my weight will be regarded as equally irrelevant.

So, readers, the assignment for today is to direct traffic to online entertainment-news vendors who report on this incident without mentioning Bronsky’s size. Let us reward those who know that her weight is irrelevant! Include links in the comments!


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