“IS SHE REALLY THAT GOOD OR JUST ARROGANT?”

OK…. this is part random musings and part rant/vent.

Here I am on a Sunday afternoon catching up on the last episode of Scandal. To say that the “drama” and the proverbial “sh*t” is hitting the fan would be an understatement. If you are a fellow “gladiator” you know what I am talking about. For those of you who are not, here is the shortest synopsis of what the show is about and what I am referring to:

Scandal is the ABC network’s political drama loosely based on the life of Washington, DC- based “fixer,” Judy Smith that was created by the Shonda Rhimes (think Grey’s Anatomy). The series stars Kerry Washington as the Smith-like character, Olivia Pope, who runs a “crisis management” firm (think about some of the most salacious political scandals in recent times—she’s the one type that helps them disappear from the headlines and our memories). The show centers around Pope’s eponymous firm and its staff as well as the staff of the White House under fictions President Fitzgerald Grant III (played by Tony Goldwyn).

The key point you need to know about the show is that Olivia is having an affair with the married President of the United States (this didn’t happen to Ms. Smith) and the First Lady knows about it and of course is being driven crazy by this fact. It has been going on for years (the show alludes to the long standing romance with flashbacks to the days of Fitz’s gubernatorial and subsequent presidential campaigns). Well here’s what is going on this season—the cat’s been let out of the bag and after past insinuations by many of the President’s political foes, the whole world has confirmation that Olivia is sleeping with Fitz and get this…. she admitted it on TV! I know when that happened, everyone was “clutching their pearls,” gasping and whatever else one does in shock when the news broke.

Olivia Pope as portrayed by Kerry Washington

So of course, as with any scandal, the news programs decided to give us some insight on who the real Olivia Pope was (remember Monica Lewinsky?). Well as Olivia is sitting at home watching all these different programs delve into her past as an African American woman who “done good” by any means necessary (he father is in prison for supposedly embezzling money to fund a lavish lifestyle for him and his daughter when she was younger – but that is just a “cover”)—the pull out all kinds of people from her past including her 3rd grade teacher (smdh).

So as we watched Olivia watching all of this, one of the reporters uttered a phrase that had me hitting pause and question what I just heard….” Is she really this good or just arrogant?” The reporter was referring to her success as DC’s top fixer and the academic accolades and other achievements she racked up over the years. Now I know it is a TV show and that this is fake and all, but it really made me stop and think. Why did a question like that really have to be asked? Couldn’t she really be that good to really achieve all the success she had professionally? What did she have to be considered arrogant? Is it because she saw herself as amazing and deserving of that title? And before all of you jump on me about the whole sleeping with a married man (and yes, the President) thing, I am talking that out of the equation for now because I am going to relate it to real life now. Sadly, it seems that when one refers to a woman of color (particularly a Black woman) who is successful, there is always some caveat that comes with it. Oh it’s great that she is successful but she’s a bitch or she’s conceited or she’s arrogant or thinks too much of herself. It is never…oh wow her accomplishments are so impressive or inspiring or great for ALL women.

First Lady Michelle Obama in her 2013 official portrait (Courtesy of Wikipedia)

Over the years I have had this conversation with women of all races and creeds in my circle and it always is something that left us either confused or angry. My white friends would first think I was being sensitive until they started listening more to what was being said. My friends of color (Asian, Black and Latina) would just shake their heads because it had become par for the course. What do I mean? Let’s take First Lady Michelle Obama for example. Over the years we have heard her called a bitch, arrogant, standoffish, “angry” and all kinds of stuff. Why is that? I am not saying one has to love or even like her, but can she just have accomplishments noted without adding admonitions about people’s perception of her as a person? And for the record, I actually say this about all women at the end of the day.

In my own life, I have had a lot of people later admit to me that I am totally different than what they surmised me to be like given my background and education level. One said that I am actually nice and not bitchy at all (how does one take that as a compliment?). I try not to get too worked up about it but things like this have happened on more than one occasion. Just last week, I was told that I must think I am entitled because I didn’t grow up in the projects and went to Wellesley. (Really?????????)

I mean seriously…why is it wrong for me to think I am worthy of success and recognition (and for the record I really don’t go looking for any) of said success? Is it wrong to think that I deserve the best things in life like my male and non-Black counterparts? Maybe I should blame it on my Caribbean upbringing that valued hard work and striving for the top; or maybe that as a woman of color I’ve had to put in twice as much work to be considered a fraction (can’t even say half) as good as others in my field; or maybe it’s just because I am a Virgo—that’s what I say when anyone points out that I am an “overachiever.” I wonder If I looked more like what many consider the American ideal of beauty (blonde hair, blue eyes and a size 2) would you say the same things to me about being arrogant or would that just come with the territory of who I was perceived to be? I have theories about the answer to this question but I am just going to end my post here so that I can get back to watching my “stories.”

Until next time love bugs.

*** NB: All images from the television show Scandal are courtesy of ABC.

Advertisements

THE CS BOOK CLUB: Brittany Gibbons’ Fat Girl Walking

The last few months, I think I have gotten the same piece of advice/instruction from almost everyone I know—“Stop stressing.” And when I say everyone, I mean everyone. Mr. Socialite says it daily. My mother has been saying it a lot lately too. Even my physician went as far as to write a prescription literally saying….”Stop Stressing and go have fun.” Thanks Doc. Great advice but easier said than done.

The sad part is I know I stress a lot. Sometimes it’s warranted and other times it’s due to the stars. Yes, I said the stars. Being a Virgo has its privileges but there are some nasty side effects—one of them being the never-ending quest for perfection and the stress that comes with this (Ask me how many times I have actually started this post and why it’s taken me almost two weeks to finally post it, SMDH). But I am learning to manage stress and being a Virgo a lot better as I get older. One of my coping mechanisms is reading.

Just as much as I like to write, I love to read. Magazines (I’m subscribed to a million of them), the newspaper (I blame you Mama Socialite for that one….I read 3-4 different local newspapers every day. Seriously how different can each retelling of the same news item be?) , Blogs (Bloglovin’ is one of my most active apps on my phone) and of course books.

Books are like the ultimate vacation. Where else can you travel to exotic places, time warp to the past or future; or even live someone else’s life (without being on the lam) for free? Alright….maybe for the cost of the book or download but free if you go to the library (support your local library!). For me, books are the ultimate escape from the everyday. And sometimes they are almost as good as a therapist or sister-friend. So it’s no surprise that I am launching the Curvy Socialite Book Club. The CS Book Club will feature new and old books alike (truthfully what catches my fancy at the time) with my thoughts on the book, the author and more.

To kick things off, I will talk about fellow blogger extraordinaire, Brittany Gibbons’ book, Fat Girl Walking.

Many of you know Brittany Gibbons already—maybe not by her real name but at least by her blog’s name, Brittany Herself. She is ranked as one of the top bloggers in the Plus Size/Curvy, Mommy and Lifestyle categories. I think Brittany first came across my radar after I read some coverage about an experiment in body image and self-love were she had sex every day for a year with her husband, Andy (yeah you read that right—yeah she tells us all about it in her book). To be honest, I always thought she was brave as she bared everything for the world to see (she’s also known for wowing the crowd as she stripped down to a bikini during her TED Talk a few years back). But how did Brittany Gibbons become the fabulous body positive activist and champion for the everyday woman? Simple…she was just herself.

Fat Girl Walking is one of those books that reads more like a conversation with your BFF rather than an autobiography. In it, Brittany shares her life story of growing up as a “big girl” in Ohio and dealing with mental illness, obesity, family, dating (not easy at any size) , eating disorders and more. Chock full with hilarious stories riddled with pop culture references as well as some of raw painful moments that out right broke my heart, I found myself sitting their laughing out loud (and sometimes at the most inopportune times—try cracking up in the quiet car on the Metro North….if looks could kill….) and even shedding tears throughout the whole read. She pretty much bares her soul to the reader to giving us all the good, bad and sometimes out right gross details of it all (yeah the post childbirth stories will have you second guessing kids if you don’t have them already) At the end of the day, she takes us on an intimate journey of how she came to love herself despite—rather in spite of—her size.

Fat Girl Walking is definitely a must for your summer reading list….no matter your size.

Brittany Gibbons…herself

WHAT’S IN MY BAG?

Randomly last week, Mr. Socialite filled me in on what he thought was one of the biggest mysteries known to man—what is actually in a woman’s purse.

After giving him a serious side eye, I had to admit that the knowledge of what’s inside a lady’s handbag is really one of the world’s burning questions. Think about it. For 60 years folks pondered what Queen Elizabeth could possibly carry in her purse. It was such a hot topic in the UK that it inspired a book (What’s In the Queen’s Handbag and Other Royal Secrets by Phil Dampier).

Walt Disney went as far as to make it seem like a purse was some kind of magical land of wonderment when he had the beloved character Mary Poppins pull out everything in her seemingly bottomless carpet bag from medicine to magical umbrellas to even a small potted plant in the 1964 musical film. The curiosity is still a big thing today. US Magazine has made discovering what lives in the depths of our favorite celebrities’ bags a regular feature—giving readers a glimpse into what makes them tick.

For those of you who know me offline, I am always carrying a large tote. Because of my life as a publicist and blogger, I need a bag that can carry all my essentials needed to get through my day. Though it changes from season to season or at times based on my whim that day, my handbag has to be able to carry my arsenal necessary to sustain me throughout the day.

For spring 2014, my go-to handbag is my MICHAEL Michael Kors Jet Set Signature Tote in Vanilla. Because I carry a lot of “stuff,” having a bag with a lot of pockets is key to me staying organized. This signature tote has double compartments, slip pockets on the outside, zipped divider, and pockets throughout the interior ideal for all your little knickknacks including your smartphone, and more. The light, airy color reminds me of sunny days making it perfect for the warmer weather.

MICHEAL Micheal Kors Jet Set Signature Tote in Vanilla

So my lovelies, here’s a snippet of what’s in my bag…

I never leave home without my SAMSUNG Galaxy s3 (though I am about to upgrade to the S5). I hate to admit it but I’m lost without it. I keep track of everything on it. Currently my favorite app is the Any.do Calendar App which takes the traditional phone calendar to the next level with Google Maps integration, customizable settings, sync capability with my online calendar as well as it works seamlessly with its sister task app. My smartphone just makes life so much easier. But because Manhattan seems to be an energy black hole, I also carry an old school agenda as backup.  A dead battery or no access to an outlet is no excuse for not knowing what I have on deck.

Samsung Galaxy S3 (Image Courtesy of Phandroid.com)

I am a huge supporter of independent designers. I’ve been a fan of the SK Wilbur brand for years. I am currently using the handmade brown and beige zebra print “mini” as my wallet. Given to me by the designer himself, I carry everything from my train ticket to cash in this super cute accessory.

SK Wilbur Mini in Brown & Beige Zebra

With the schedule I have, sometimes it’s hard to take time for a lunch break. I recently started subscribing to Graze Box, a subscription service which allows you to pick healthy, delicious snacks. Four tasty treats come in a box (delivered at a frequency of your choice) in perfect portions. I carry one of the options with me to stave off hunger and lightheadedness with the long stretch in between meals. I’ll be doing a full review soon. (Wanna try Graze box for yourself? Use my friendcode CKTJKRQ3P to get your first and fifth box free!)

Graze Box sends tasty but healthy snacks that are perfectly sized for a quick bite.

Because I spend at least an hour a day on a commuter train of some sort, I treasure my ASUS Memo Pad 7. This chic seven inch Android tablet is perfect for catching up on client emails, social media or enjoying some downtime listening to Pandora or playing whatever my gaming addiction of the moment.

ASUS Memo Pad 7

Now that the weather is getting warmer, my beauty needs have morphed a bit. The higher temps bring an oily face. I swear by Boscia’s Green Tee Blotting Linens. They quickly suck up the oil without removing your makeup.  Also in my bag beauty wise is Grand Central Beauty’s S.M.A.R.T. Skin Perfecting Serum + Primer. Alone or under makeup, this Serum + Primer works instantly to smooth and moisturize  your skin without any sulfates, parabens, mineral oil or strong fragrances (simply put it looks good and is good for your skin). And because you always want to have healthy, kissable lips, I make sure I have my limited edition Carmex Ultra Hydrating Moisture Plus lip balm in Chic in my bag at all times. The lip balm we have come to love has paired a fashion forward exterior designed to match one’s style and personality with the brand’s patented moisturizing formula and SPF 15 sunscreen to keep lips looking luscious, healthy and protected.

Boscia Green Tea Blotting LinensS.M.A.R.T. SKIN PERFECTING SERUM+PRIMER by Grand Central BeautyCarmex Moisture Plus Limited Edition stick

Now you know what I carry….so what’s in your bag?

WADING THROUGH ALL THE MUCK: The Muck B 1802 Boot

As I said in a previous post, I’m not big on the whole reality TV thing. But I have to admit there is one reality show that is a guilty pleasure of mine…The Amazing Race. Maybe it’s the thrill of the competition (11 teams of two compete in an elimination style “race” for a grand prize of $1 million) or the exotic destinations that the teams get to visit throughout the competition—whatever “it” is, it has made a fan out of me.  The Amazing Race has had some memorable teams over the years. One of my favorites happened to be the season 21 winners (and the stars of another reality TV show entitled The Fabulous Beekman Boys—ironic right?), Josh Kilmer Purcell and his husband, Brent Ridge.

Back in 2007, the couple bought a 19th century farm called Beekman Mansion in bucolic town of Sharon Springs in upstate New York. The couple launched a business, Beekman 1802 selling products derived from the produced grown on the farm.  Last week, Brent and Josh took their lifestyle brand one step further by teaming with The Original Muck Boot Company on the footwear company’s first fashion collaboration inspired by the growing farm-to-table movement—Muck B 1802. Known for creating comfortable boots ideal for messy and tough conditions in work, farming, agriculture, outdoor sporting, lawn and garden– even the spring monsoons that now plaguing New York. The Muck B 1802 boot is the perfect marriage of both brands—combining style and substance. The boot debuted this past week in New York City at the charming organic eatery, Green Table, located in the famed Chelsea Market.

Muck B 1802 boot
Muck B 1802 boot

Only 200 pairs of the limited edition boot will be sold on both the Beekman 1802 website and on www.muckbootcompany.com. The Muck B 1802 boots come in two styles: black with red trim and black with grey trim. The 100 percent waterproof boot will feature Muck’s XpressCool liner, which keeps feet cool in warm weather. A lightweight sole with rubber pods provide optimal traction and support with comfort and flexibility. The boot’s suggested retail price is $170.

The Muck B 1802 boots come in two styles: black with red trim and black with grey trim.
The Muck B 1802 boots come in two styles: black with red trim and black with grey trim.

The debut of the Muck B 1802 boot also heralded the announcement of the winner of Beekman 1802’s first annual Mortgage “Lift” award which gives a $10,000 grant  to a deserving family farm that demonstrates innovative business practices, helping restore small farms as the economic backbone of America.  This grant was inspired by Ridge and Purcell’s own experience trying to pay off their own loan which led to the production and naming of an heirloom tomato variety, “The Mortgage Lifter,” which they hoped the pasta sauce it produced would raise enough to pay off their own land loan. While bottling their first jars of sauce, Brent and Josh won the Amazing Race. With the proceeds, they were able to pay off their own mortgage. It was then they pledged to give back 25 percent of proceeds of the sauce—2014 marks the awards inauguration.

Not only does the Mortgage Lifter award winner take the “Lift” award grant to invest in the future of their farm, The Original Muck Company donated their best selling Chore farm boot to the entire staff of the winning farm.

For more information on The Original Muck Boot Company, visit www.muckbootcompany.com.

For more information on The Fabulous Beekman Boys, visit www.beekman1802.com,

 

The Fabulous Beekman Boys at "work."
The Fabulous Beekman Boys at “work.”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM THE CURVY SOCIALITE!

It’s been an amazing year. I thank each and everyone of you for taking a moment to visit my blog and get to know me and grow with me. I’m gearing up for a wonderful 2014 filled with new experiences and great finds. I can’t wait to share the journey with you.

Brad Paisley said it best when he said…

You can pen your own future. 2014 is your year– and it’s going to be a remarkable one. What will your story say?

HAPPY NEW YEAR, my lovelies!

BLACK IS THE NEW GREEN : Black Soy Beans, the Curvy Socialite & Dr. Oz

We live in a society that is obsessed with being fit, healthy and young. I’m not going to lie; I am not immune to it. To be honest who doesn’t want to look and feel their best? There are entire industries built around our quest to achieve our fitness goals (hello…the beauty and fitness & wellness worlds make billions of dollars every year). Think about it…you can get liposuction during your lunch hour, extensions to make your hair look longer or fuller, Botox to hide the wrinkles and let’s not forget the magic creams and pills that will make you look younger, have the cellulite disappear and give you the energy to run ten marathons.

Some of these miracles in a bottle actual work…others not so much. And many times these fixes are super expensive. But what if there was something out there that could help you curb your appetite, regulate your blood glucose level and decrease your cholesterol… all this for around $2? I can feel you looking at me sideways through your computer screen. Yes there is something out there that it cheap and healthy that can NATURALLY help you do all these things…enter the BLACK SOY BEAN.

Black Soy Beans? Yeah you read right. Not your normal edamame (salted green soy beans you get at many Asian restaurants as an appetizer); black soy beans are a naturally low carb, high fiber, high protein and a great addition to a healthy diet. How do I know? Well for 3 days, I did an experiment in preparation for an appearance on the Dr. Oz show (airing on this afternoon and replaying on tomorrow—click here to view the preview). For three days I ate a half of cup of black soy beans a half hour before lunch and dinner and recorded my results (two days prior to that I ate normally as my control).

And here’s what happened….

  • I felt fuller longer. With black soy beans being such a high source of protein and fiber, it took longer to digest which means you are actually fuller longer.
  • As each day progressed, my portions got smaller. The soybeans were curbing my appetite. Based on my food log (and that of Karen…the other guest who did the experiment with me), Dr. Oz surmised that I ate 35% fewer calories a day by the end of the experiment. And let me repeat, I DID NOT FEEL HUNGRY.
  • Also, at the end of the experiment, I lost 2.5 pounds (and I wasn’t even trying).

Now for the purposes of the experiment, I ate the black soy beans separately prior to my two largest meals, but you can easily add them to your favorite dishes that call for beans. Check out some of the suggestions from Dr. Oz’s website below.  But I will warn you. They can be a little bland. I personally love them with hot sauce (and for those who know me personally I like everything with hot sauce) but a pinch of salt is fine too.

Black Soybean Chicken Caesar Salad (pictured). Click the image to see some tasty recipes as suggested by Dr. Oz and his team.

I’d love for you guys to give it a try and share with me some of your thoughts. Who knows…you may end up liking it and adding it to your grocery list like I did.

 

Also, if you like the necklace I wore on the show, you can get it and other great pieces at Shop Lately! Click the image to visit their site!
Also, if you like the necklace I wore on the show, you can get it and other great pieces at Shop Lately! Click the image to visit their site!

 

 

LEANNE MARSHALL Spring 2014 Collection (NYFW)

I checked…her hands indeed were a subtle shade of coral.

Notoriously hands-on when it comes to getting her pieces the exact right shade, Project Runway winner (Season 5), Leanne Marshall saw a return to the bright colors and whimsical shades that  her line has become known for. While Fall/Winter 2013 saw her experimenting with darker silhouettes and was better described as after-five than black-tie, Leanne’s Spring/Summer 2014 collection embraced the formalwear which has become her brand’s staple.

Full of movement and intricately layered, Marshall added a few more modern touches to her usual flowy  cocktail and tea-length dresses while weaving bolder colors in with her usual pastel palate. Her full-length gowns were updated with regal lace overlay and almost origami-like accents, while her non-traditional offerings added a well-needed punch of color to the collection. True to form, Leanne found a way to sneak in at least one extra layer or ruffle into every piece while managing to defy gravity, as models almost seemed to float down the runway.  Silk and jersey was the star here, no doubt locally sourced as is the standard for the always eco-chic designer.

Here are a few of my favorite looks.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Written by Guest Blogger Amaris Acosta of Black Latina & Fabulous, which covers topics including life, relationships, pop culture, fashion and beauty– all from a fabulous Black Latina perspective.

CONFESSIONS: BLOGGER EDITION

The Curvy Socialite is in the September Issue of Ladies’ Home Journal

Ladies’ Home Journal, September 2013

So D-Day is finally here.

I got the September issue of Ladies’ Home Journal in the mail yesterday. A mixture of excitement and dread filled me as I held the magazine in my hands as I stared at the headline, “Love Your Body at 30, 40, 50+.” As I mentioned here a few months back, I was selected as one of the women to be featured in a piece on body confidence. Who would have thought I’d be featured in a piece about that.

So confession time…

Body confidence—or rather a lack there of—has been an issue for me for most of my life.

My vision of how I see myself and what others perceive me to be has dominated decisions I have made, paths I have taken and just how I lived my life in general. It started from a young age at home where I was constantly told that I was too big or too muscular (I was an athletic child) and that I need to be smaller if I ever want to have a boyfriend or get married. I wasn’t considered a pretty child with my thick calves, overdeveloped hamstrings, muscular arms and thick waist. I wasn’t lithe like my younger sister and my mother and every family member made sure I knew that. “You’d actually be pretty if you were skinny,” was a regular comment I’d hear from family growing up. The seed that being of a thicker frame being considered ugly and not attractive was planted back then.  I’d look at all my thin friends and family members and wonder why I wasn’t built like them. What was I doing wrong? What was wrong with me?

For years I was obsessed with becoming smaller. I tried fad diets, diet pills, purging, and starvation…whatever it would take to make myself be considered “small” and pretty. I’d read all kinds of crazy articles about dieting, celebrity diets and listen to what some of my friends and teammates would do to stay small. As a gymnast, I was bigger than many of the other girls on the team.  I was a super toned athlete (think a Serena Williams or a Mary Lou Retton or Shawn Johnson) versus what many thought was the ideal look for a tumbling pixie (think Gabrielle Douglas). I would sabotage myself and pretend to be injured or “not ready” for a meet so that I wouldn’t have to go up in front of crowds and perform. Why would they want to see how fat I looked in my leo?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Going to college didn’t make the situation any better.  Seeing girls from all over the country and around the world that were beautiful and thin just made me hate myself even more. I would work out a lot and eat as little as possible. Many times, I would take my meals up to my dorm room and eat (or not eat) there. Who wanted to see a fat cow stuffing her face?

My weight would fluctuate dramatically for years. I’d be a size 4 one moment or an 8 a next. But when I entered into the real world, the real roller coaster began. I ballooned up to a 12. For many that wouldn’t be considered fat at all but because now I was a double digit size, I thought my life was pretty much over.  “Well meaning” friends and family had a lot to say about my expanding size. Offering tips or publically letting me know that I was too fat to order anything other than a salad. And dessert…perish the thought!

By my early 20s, my self worth was so wrapped up in my dress size. I was always depressed. I was already in and out of really bad situations with “boyfriends” who used and mentally abused me because they knew they could do that because at the end of the day I was too fat to be cared about. That’s when the binging and purging really started.  I knew it was wrong and could seriously harm me, but I didn’t care. I had seen the after-school specials and made-for-TV movies with Tracey Gold and others who suffered from anorexia and bulimia. I knew it could kill me. But I didn’t care. All those did were give me tips on how to hide what I was doing better. I had to be as close to a size small dress size as possible—at any cost. Ironically, I actually was a plus model for a few years and did rather well with it. Though I smiled for the camera, secretly I was stressing on how fat I was going to look in the pictures that came out. I was generally a size 8/10 back then.

Tracey Gold on the cover of People Magazine

Around this time I met my significant other.  Much older than me, he always saw me as a person. it would make him angry how obsessed I was about food, my looks and specifically my weight. But he is a patient man. He tried to use reverse psychology to get me to eat “real” food versus the “rabbit” food I ate regularly. I began putting on more weight but he didn’t mind. He would tell me every day I was beautiful. But it wasn’t easy for him either. When I got to a size 14/16 we’d end up in fights when it was time to go out on the town. I couldn’t wear that dress because it made me look like a cow. I couldn’t wear that top because you can see my rolls. Those pants…hell no…they made my thighs look huge. Mind you, during this time I was still going to the gym almost every day. But still I got bigger.

Fast forward to a few months ago my blogger friend, Alice, telling our blogger collective about this opportunity with Ladies’ Home Journal to be a part of a feature about body confidence and…we’d be shot in our underwear. I mentioned it to my mister and said I was thinking about applying (more as a joke than serious). He was all for it. So were some of my friends (including Black, Latina & Fabulous blogger, Amaris Acosta). Not thinking they’d actually call me back, I applied. A few days later, I got a call that LHJ wanted me for the shoot. DAMN.

The week before the shoot I was in California. The entire time I was out there I was stressed over the upcoming shoot. I worried about every morsel of food that I ate and worked out as much as possible while on the trip. The trip also served as the medium for another first…the first time I wore a bikini since I was 7. I wore it…but didn’t really take pictures in it. I still hated how I looked.

The day of the shoot finally came around. And after a crazy morning (I had lost my wallet), I finally made it on set. Everyone was so sweet. The staff at Ladies’ Home Journal went out of their way to make all of us “models” feel comfortable. Hair and makeup made us look gorgeous and the gorgeous lingerie. The photographer and his team gave helpful hints as to how we should pose and still be natural. And for the most part, I had a great time.

When I did the interview for the quote to accompany my picture, I talked about how the diets and pills and how I was working on building my self esteem. How my focus was on being a healthier me (all true). I kind of fibbed a little when I said I loved my curves. It’s more like I am coming to grips with them and learning to love myself. Looking back on all the things I did to myself in my never-ending undying quest to be the perfect size2, I knew I had to stop. I already proved my family wrong by getting into a loving happy relationship with a man who loved me for who I was not what the scale said. I have even become a proponent of thick, pleasantly plump, curvy and full figured communities. I love to see beautiful curvy women like Asia Mone’t, Liris Crosse and Christina Mendez in ad campaigns in all their full figured “goddessness”.  I’m in awe at how gorgeous and confident in themselves they are. I want to be like them.

After a trip to the GYN last month, I found out that I actually suffer hypothyroidism (pretty much my thyroid isn’t functioning properly and causes issues like weight gain, depression, decreased heart rate, hair falling out and more). Turns out that it can be genetic (I just found out that there is a history of thyroid issues in my family) and can also be triggered by stress (a constant state of being in my life). The mister thinks that part of it could be from my abusive behavior towards my body. Whatever the cause, I am working on managing it. Because like I said in the article, I am about a healthier me.

But as I sit here looking at page 88… (I have a whole page to myself) typing this post with mixed emotions, I am crying. Pausing from time to time because I can’t see through my tears to type, I look at this picture of me and others from when I was younger and realize how far I have come—and how far I still have to go. To be honest, I am not super happy about the picture (in my opinion my face looks way too big). But I am a little happy with myself because I can say I did it. I took a picture in my underwear for the whole world to see. I did that. That is something to be proud of.

PS…I’m still camera shy and it will take me a while before I start posting more pictures of myself here or anywhere else…but this was a start.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Scandal’s Kerry Washington is MARRIED!

Actress Kerry Washington  & NFL player, Nnamdi Asomugha!
Actress Kerry Washington & NFL player, Nnamdi Asomugha!

Congrats to Scandal‘s Kerry Washington who married the NFL‘s Nnamdi Asomugha (San Francisco 49ers)!

The hush hush wedding took place last month in Idaho. Maris (Black, Latina & Fabulous) and I think that is the new Hollywood trend (secret wedding and leaking the details in casual convo weeks later)

MUST WATCH TV: being Mary Jane

I am a TV connoisseur.  I have a delicate palate for programming that has me shying away from most of what the general viewing public likes. I am not really a fan of reality TV. You’ll never hear me talk about Real Housewives of Anywhere, The Bachelor/rette, and Big Brother, Love & Hip Hop or any of the other favorites of virtually anyone else. According to my significant other, I like high-brow television (whatever that means). I like psychological dramas/thrillers (Criminal Minds is a fave), crime dramas (SVU, NCIS LA, Castle) and a bit of “trashy TV” with those teen “soaps” (yeah, I remember Drake from his days as Jimmy on Degrassi—so much for coming from the bottom…).

Recently, I’ve fallen for shows with women in high powered roles. As I said a few weeks ago here on the blog, I love Scandal (one of the few programs the rest of the viewing world and I seem to agree on). I love Kerry Washington’s character, Olivia Pope, with her take-charge no-nonsense attitude mixed in with a little vulnerability. As a woman of color, it’s refreshing to see someone like Kerry Washington in a starring role that is a character who is not relegated to a stereotypical life (let me not comment on Devious Maids). It’s been a while since we had a show like that. In the 80s we had Phylicia Rashad as Claire Huxtable (lawyer, wife, mom and all around fab woman) and shows like Girlfriends touched on it. But Scandal kind has lead the way for more actresses of color to get lead roles as highly successful, incredibly smart, beautiful, and stylish women in prime-time TV. Yes, they are somewhat flawed. It wouldn’t make for good TV if they weren’t.

Kerry Washington & Gabrielle Union (courtesy Zaput)

With Scandal on hiatus until the fall, there’s another show waiting in the proverbial wings.  Enter…being Mary Jane. Starring Gabrielle Union, the new series, debuting tonight, premieres in the form of a 2-hour movie on BET. Yes! BET. Why is this such a big deal? Well, it is the network’s first original drama series (created by the Mara Brock Akil, the producer of other hit series like Girlfriends and The Game). It is also marks Ms. Union’s return to the small screen.

The show centers around Mary Jane Paul, a successful TV anchor and well established woman who is the backbone to her family who don’t necessarily share her drive and ambition.  BET assembled an all-star supporting cast (Margaret Avery, Lisa Vidal and Richard Roundtree) to bring this drama to life that touches on major themes of love and family that should be easily identifiable with many of the viewership.  “I think you’ll see yourself or somebody that you know. If not Mary Jane, then one of the other characters,” Gabrielle Union said in a telephone interview with the Wall Street Journal.

I have high hopes for being Mary Jane.

Check out the trailer for tonight’s premier. The movie will become a series, expected to air in January.