Botanical Beauty – Dress Your Senses

Sassyd2-22You know when you walk into a store, or walk past a window and something just stops you in your tracks, and you stare in complete adoration? Well, that’s how I felt about this dress by Addition Elle, simply named the “Reversible Sleeveless Printed Maxi Dress”, but I lovingly call it the Botanical Beauty.

With such a vivid explosion of tropical blooms contrasting on that solid black background, its exuberance called to my senses.

If you happen to feel a little shy about your arms sometimes, like I do, and it depends on the day to be honest, this dress can be paired with almost any color shrug, and I decided on this fresh pink one also from Addition Elle. I liked the look with and without the shrug.

Sassyd2-5I also like to wear belts – they are not for everyone, and again, do what makes you feel good. For me, I like how they cinch the smallest part of my body (the waist), and also add style and edge. But the look would have been great without the belt as well.

Sassyd2-17

I added a simple necklace from Ardene. With such a bold print, I didn’t need a statement piece that would compete with the dress, and I wanted to pick up the black and silver from the belt.

Sassyd2-18

I can’t wait to wear this lovely Botanical Beauty again – and did I mention, it has pockets??? Such simple things make us happy don’t they?

Sassyd2-23

Sassyd2-24

And my trusted lace up sandals from Penningtons that I featured in a previous post here were perfect for this outfit, and for comfort.

Sassyd2-9

Sassyd2-1

Sassyd2-20

Love Stef xox


Dress by Addition Elle here

Necklace and belt, in store at Ardene

Pink bolero, in store at Addition Elle

Lace up Sandals by Penningtons here

Photography by Rebecca Northcott Photography


Copyright SassyPlus 2015 – All rights reserved.

BUY MORE SAVE MORE sale at SexyPlus Clothing

Feel like shopping? Here’s a good excuse:

With wedding season, graduation and SUMMER around the corner, you’re going to need some fresh new threads, so from now until Thursday, May 28th, SexyPlus is offering:

Buy-more-Save-more-coupon

*Valid on almost entire inventory – certain exclusions apply. Present this coupon in print or in your mobile device to receive your savings. Minimum purchase amount stated is pre-tax amount. Valid May 21 to May 28, 2015 in store and online at www.sexyplusclothing.com.

Fishnet and Lace Ups

Plus Size Mesh DressEver since the 80’s I’ve been a fan of fishnet – it’s edgy, sexy and reveals just the right amount of flesh. So whether it’s lingerie or clothing, I’m a sucker for holes, see-through, mesh, chiffon, lace…as long as its suggestive, I’m in it. Well, mostly after work…

So when I spotted the Michel Studio Mesh Maxi Dress first in the Addition Elle Spring look book, I had-had-had to have it. From the moment it was on me in the fitting room, I was in love. What more could I want in a sexy, casual, plus size summer dress – that could easily transform into a beach cover or even a sexy night out look?

I first wore my it over this two-piece swimsuit by Forever 21 Plus Sizes (featured in a previous post here). I added an electric blue skinny belt, my Jessica Simpson statement necklace and my new Penningtons strappy wedge sandals that I love! (More on those later!)

It was kinda neat how the criss cross strappy back of the swim suit gave this illusion to the back of the dress.

Plus Size Mesh Dress by Addition Elle

SASSY-DRESS-9-sm

I found it quite flattering – it just fell nicely over my body. The length was perfect for me because I like dresses to hit at or below the knee and I’m only 5′.

SASSY DRESS-8 sm

I thought it was perfect with my new Penningtons wedge lace up sandals, which are not too high, so comfy and sexy. Hard to get all those qualities in a lady shoe!

SASSY-DRESS-7-sm

SASSY-DRESS-5-sm

Another way to rock this dress, in keeping with the whole 80’s style I like, is with this super cute crop hoodie also from Addition Elle and on sale now for $14.99!!! Because of my height, or lack of it, I cut it about 2 inches from the bottom so that the crop length would actually show my waist. I am totally digging the retro, rebellious curled edges look – watch out now, I might start cutting up more clothing. After all, there are no rules in fashion. It’s what you make it.

IMG_9485 IMG_9479 close IMG_9488 IMG_9481

And finally, just to show you the versatility of this amazing dress, here it is paired with a pink bolero also from Addition Elle (currently in stock) and Penningtons pink sandals from last year. Sexy, non?

11196274_622179811259707_6603670153027977958_n

So get this dress ladies – you’ll be so glad you did!

Love, Stef


Dress here – here

Strappy wedge sandals – here

Crop hoodie – in Addition Elle stores ON SALE (not found online)

Pink bolero – in Addition Elle stores (not found online)

Necklace, sold out, similar at SexyPlus Clothing, in store only

Belt – SexyPlus Clothing, in store only

Photography by Rebecca Northcott Photography


Copyright SassyPlus 2015 – All rights reserved.

12 Easy Ways to INCREASE your Libido as a Plus Size Woman, naturally.

As women, in all our emotionally charged glory, feeling good about ourselves, feeling pretty, and sexy, has EVERYTHING to do with our sexuality, and –> our libido.

There are so many things that can increase or decrease our libido. And as plus size women, most of us have been through countless and sadly similar experiences of bullying, self-hatred, shame, public embarrassment, rejection – and while some of us have overcome and even soared over these, their effects can still linger and interfere with our libido at different times in our lives.

I’ve partnered with Stefani Ndhlovu, BSC, MA, a Sexual Health and Wellness Therapist (and plus size woman) to talk about this, and how we can take small but important steps to revive our mojo, naturally.

1. REDUCE STRESS.

It’s a huge libido killer. I know it’s easier said than done, but it’s all about perspective. Sometimes when my stress is at its highest, I take mental inventory of the things that are good; that are going well, that I have to be grateful for because despite the stressful things happening in my life, there is still plenty of good. And comfort. Stefani encourages us to do the same:

In a quiet spot, close your eyes and visualize 3 things that you’re grateful for and that genuinely make you happy.

You just have to consciously see them. I’ll go first: I am healthy. I love Canada. I have fabulous hair. I’ve made mistakes and I am a better person because of them. I love my job. I love warm summer nights. I LOVE flannel anything, strawberries and puppies. I am a glorious woman and my complexities are my fabric. I enjoy friendships. I am grateful for my girlfriends. I can dream.

Your turn.

Do it.

2. PAMPER YOURSELF.

We’ve heard it before, but it has significant impacts. Certain changes in your body, due to weight or age or stress, can make you feel less attractive. And with women, libido is all about self-esteem. It is our nature to give and nurture others, but we forget about ourselves often putting our families and loved ones before us.

But as they say on a plane, in case of emergency, you must put your mask on before you help those in your care. Bottom line, you need to take care of yourself first.

Spend that $40 on a pedicure, get those $100 highlights, use that expensive cream you got as a gift, buy a new dress that makes you feel pretty – even if it’s NOT on sale, get a facial – yes, book one right now, wear your sexiest bra and panty, or better yet don’t wear any panties at all! Not only are you so worth it, YOU NEED IT. These actions will lift the funk. You feminine, sensual seductress you.

Part of pampering yourself also includes, in my opinion, being kind to yourself. If you are feeling unattractive, try to see yourself through your partner’s eyes. In most cases, from what I see from the couples than come shopping at my boutique, the women are harder on themselves than their partners are. Your partner is with you because you are attractive to them. Accept that. And putting yourself down certainly doesn’t do any good in the sex appeal department, in anyone’s eyes. Focus on the parts of yourself that you find beautiful – the world will see them, and so will you.

3.GET OUTSIDE.

As Stefani says,

“It’s amazing what a little vitamin D can do for the soul”.

15672-girl-smelling-the-nature-1280x800-girl-wallpaper

And my Mom always said, “you don’t know what’s important until you’re in touch with nature”. Being outside puts things in perspective. Go for a walk by yourself. Get to the waterfront, with a girlfriend. Bring a blanket and sit with her. The water is therapeutic. Take an evening stroll with your partner. Warm summer nights are infectiously romantic. Stop in a shaded area and make out. Yes, it’s ok to initiate. If your backyard is private, create an inviting environment there. You don’t need a reservation or a dollar. Just get outside.

4. WEAR LINGERIE.

It sounds cliché, but regardless of how your partner feels about lingerie, whether they’re into it or not, this is about YOU. Wearing a slinky babydoll that you feel sexy in, or perhaps you prefer a totally racy fishnet chemise, either way, it’s going to drive a few points on the libido scale. Early in my relationship, my husband said he didn’t really feel that lingerie made a difference. So for a long time I gave up wearing any; I gave up on something I had previously enjoyed, and this negatively impacted my sex drive. It made me feel sexless, asexual. I eventually realized that whether he expressed his interest or not, I felt sexy in lingerie and that was a turn-on for both of us. So now I just do it and I’ve reconnected with my sensual self. Here are some links to where you can purchase plus size lingerie:

www.stagshop.com

www.loveshop.com

www.fetishfantasy.com (for more Fetish look)

www.sexyplusclothing.com

www.additionelle.com

www.ENVIE.com

www.coquette.com

www.hipsandcurves.com (USA)

www.foreveryourslingerie.ca

Pardon the unprofessional selfie, but I had to capture myself because it’s what inspired this post. This sheer night gown is from La Vie en Rose and their XL fit me (size 16). Just getting it on, having had a fresh pedi and new highlights earlier that day, smelling like my favorite peachy fresh skin cream with a hint of Pink Friday perfume, taking the time to put ON a necklace just for the occasion, and taking pictures totally made me feel sexy and in the mood. Even taking some close ups to send to my husband during the week by text was exciting. I shall unabashedly report that the evening was SO MUCH FUN which brings me to point #5.

11251700_10155545041375517_1791407927_n 11272106_10155545041500517_1009520218_n

5. DO THE DEED.

“Make whoopee…that’s right, have sex” says Stefani. Yes, even if your libido seems like its in a dark closet collecting dust, sometimes just doing the act itself, even if you don’t feel like it, “…can increase your endorphins, and what do endorphins do? They make us happy – and actually cause a release of oxytocins, the so called “love hormone” which goes straight to your brain, and that’s the most important sexual organ on the female body.”

Can we repeat that? The brain is the most important sexual organ on the female body.

Stefani goes on to state that “taking care of your mind is one of the best things you can do for your sexual health and wellness…trust me ladies, your vagina will thank you.”

6. AWAKEN YOUR SEXUAL IMAGINATION.

Fantasize. If you’re driving along, on your way to the grocery store, and something, whatever it is, makes you feel excited or, dare I say, horny for a moment, relish it. Do not push the thought out, do not question it. “Don’t let the taboos of society cloud your sexual potential”, says Stefani. Instead, “let it linger, acknowledge it and make a point to think about it again later, when the time is right, whether that’s a quiet moment alone at home, in the shower, with a B.O.B (Battery Operated Boyfriend) or with someone that will help release your sexual energy”.

7. SWAP BUBBLY FOR RED WINE – excerpt from Health.com

Romantic dinner? Order a glass of Pinot Noir or other red wine: Women who drank a glass of red daily reported higher levels of sexual desire and vaginal lubrication, compared with those who sipped any kind of alcohol only occasionally or those who didn’t drink at all, according to a study in the The Journal of Sexual Medicine. Researchers suspect that red wine’s high levels of polyphenols, a type of antioxidant, may help blood vessels widen, which can increase blood flow to key arousal areas. Stick to one glass, advises lead author Nicola Mondaini, MD; any more may extinguish your libido.

8. PLAY WITH YOUR SENSES.

According to Stefani, taste is a great way to get the “juices” going.

Eat some of this: berries, strawberries, blackberries or raspberries – yum, broccoli, cloves, figs, watermelon, eggs, ginseng, saffron, lettuce and ginger. Read why here.

And contrary to popular belief, oysters can play a negative role in libido levels, as can processed baked goods and dairy.

Stefani suggest taking sandwich making to a whole new level because peanuts are a natural aphrodisiac for men, and for women, it’s asparagus. Eating pineapples or drinking natural pineapple juice a few hours before oral engagements is not only great for your skin and energy levels (and super tasty like fruit of the Gods!!) but it will also temporarily change the taste of your secretions. YUM! But Piña Colada doesn’t count 🙂

9. EMPOWER YOURSELF.

Knowing how and why your body works will not only empower you; but give you power over the mighty O, Stefani says. And here’s why: The sexual response cycle is a sequence of physical and emotional changes that occur as a person becomes sexually aroused during sexually stimulating activities including intercourse and masturbation. Knowing how your body responds during each phase of the cycle can enhance your relationship with sex. Detailed descriptions of each cycle are provided below.

10. PLAY WITH TOYS.

Our bodies are a wonderland, so it’s ok to play. Stefani tells us how to choose sex toys and what to look for.

“Purchasing a sex toy is like purchasing a car – you need to spend some time researching what kind of quality is being offered by all the different brands, makes and models. Price, look, design, features; benefits and feel all come into play. Think about what you are looking for in a sex toy. Since most stores have thousands to choose from, you could be standing in front of a wall full of dildos, vibrators and dongs for days*. Below you will find tips to help you choose a sex toy that’s right for you.

11. BLAME IT ON THE HEALTH BENEFITS.

Stefani reports that people who are dissatisfied with their sex lives often complain about not being able to find time for sexual expression. Whatever the cause (fatigue, children, work, etc.), it is possible to find time to engage in sexual activity, whether it’s with a partner or alone. Aside from reproduction, sex is ultimately about intimacy and pleasure.

Sexual expression has MANY positive physical, intellectual, emotional, psychological, and social benefits.

Here are some findings on the health benefits of sex.

Physical Wellness and Physical Appearance

An active sex life may yield benefits such as a more youthful appearance. In addition, sexual activity burns calories and fat, and it has been suggested that people with active sex lives tend to exercise more frequently and have better dietary habits than those who are less sexually active. Likewise, physical fitness can improve sexual health.

Sleep

The intimacy hormone, oxytocin, is released during orgasm. Studies show that oxytocin promotes better sleep. And better sleep has been linked to stronger immunity and longer lifespan.

Disease Prevention and Management

Your chances of having heart problems decrease if you stay sexually active. This is due to higher levels of oxytocin, a neurotransmitter (brain chemical) that is produced during arousal and orgasm. Research has shown that sexual activity and orgasms bolster our immune system. Sexual activity and orgasm during menstruation has a potentially protective effect against endometriosis. Women who continue to be sexually active after they reach menopause, with a partner or through masturbation, are less likely to have significant vaginal atrophy and are more likely to report sufficient vaginal lubrication.

Emotional Benefits, Well-Being and Relationship Improvement

Sexual experience and satisfaction are closely correlated with overall quality of life. They increase your sense of well-being and personal satisfaction. Sexual activity is negatively correlated with the risk and incidence of psychiatric illness, depression and suicide.

Sexual activity and orgasm reduce stress.

Sexual satisfaction is also associated with the stability of relationships. Consistent mutual sexual pleasure increases bonding within a relationship. It has also been demonstrated that coupled partners have increased relationship satisfaction when they fulfill one another’s sexual desires. A study of young married women found that those who reported masturbating also reported greater marital satisfaction.

12. CREATE A CLEAN AND INVITING ENVIRONMENT.

While those hot, spontaneous moments like you see in the movies, are well, pretty hot, there’s something to be said for preparation. Sex and cleanliness go hand in hand. When you feel fresh, and your environment in clean, you are less inhibited, and perhaps even more adventurous. While there’s nothing wrong with a hot and spontaneous moment, taking the time to create a fresh and romantic space definitely doesn’t hurt. Scented candles, a plush new area rug, music. There’s a reason love songs have stood the test of time you know.

So that’s a wrap ladies – what are you waiting for? Do you have tips to share that have worked for you? Comment below. Let’s elevate each other and keep ourselves in a positive space.

xox

Stefanie


APPENDIX


*Definitions

Vibrator: looks like a penis and vibrates

Dildo: looks like a penis, sometimes vibrates sometimes doesn’t

Dong: doesn’t vibrate, looks like a shaft but not phallic looking


The Sexual Response Cycle
There are four phases of the sexual response cycle: excitement, plateau, orgasm and resolution. Both men and women experience these phases, but the intensity of the response and the time spent in each phase varies from person to person. For example, it is unlikely that both partners will orgasm at the same time. Understanding these phases may help partners better understand one another’s bodies and responses, and enhance the sexual experience.

Phase 1: Excitement
The excitement phase can last from a few minutes to several hours. During this phase…

  • Muscle tension builds.
  • Heart rate and breathing accelerate.
  • Skin may flush.
  • Nipples become erect.
  • Blood flow to the genitals increases. A woman’s clitoris and labia minora (inner lips) swell, and a man’s penis becomes erect.
  • Vaginal lubrication begins.
  • A woman’s breasts become fuller and her vaginal walls begin to swell.
  • A man’s testicles swell, his scrotum tightens, and his penis secretes lubricating liquid.

Phase 2: Plateau
The plateau phase extends to the brink of orgasm. During the plateau phase…

  • Body changes that began in the excitement phase intensify.
  • A woman’s vagina continues to swell, and the vaginal walls turn a dark purple.
  • A woman’s clitoris becomes highly sensitive and may even be painful to touch. The clitoris retracts under the clitoral hood to avoid direct stimulation from the penis.
  • A man’s testicles withdraw into the scrotum.
  • Breathing, heart rate and blood pressure continue to increase.
  • Muscle spasms may begin in the feet, face and hands.
  • Tension in the muscles increases.

Phase 3: Orgasm
This phase is the climax of the sexual response cycle. It generally lasts only a few seconds. During orgasm…

  • Involuntary muscle contractions begin.
  • Blood pressure, heart rate and breathing are at their highest rates, with a rapid intake of oxygen.
  • Muscles in the feet spasm.
  • There is a sudden, forceful release of sexual tension.
  • A woman’s vaginal muscles and uterus contract rhythmically.
  • A man’s muscles at the base of his penis contract rhythmically while he ejaculates semen.
  • A rash, or “sex flush,” may appear over the entire body.

Phase 4: Resolution
During this phase, the body slowly returns to its normal level of functioning, and swollen or erect body parts return to their previous size and color. During this phase, you may feel a general sense of well-being, enhanced intimacy and, often, fatigue. Some women are capable of a rapid return to the orgasm phase with further sexual stimulation and may experience multiple orgasms. Men need recovery time after orgasm, called a refractory period, during which they cannot reach orgasm again. The duration of the refractory period varies among men and changes with age.


SEX TOY TIP #1: KNOW YOUR ORGASM!

Answering these questions to the best of your ability will help narrow the overwhelming selection.

How do you orgasm or what are you looking to stimulate? Clitoris?  G-spot? Deep Penetration? Duel? U-spot? A-spot? Anus? There are toys that are designed for each of these erogenous zones.

What is your sensitivity level?

Is durability important to you?

What about portability?

Is noise a factor?

What about price?

Will vibration be too intense for you? Will a dong do?

How sensitive are your vaginal walls? Do you like the feel of a veined penis?

SEX TOY TIP #2: Who, What, When, Where…Oh My!

The WHO is not always as easy as you would think. Are you looking for a toy for casual play? Alone or with a partner? How does your partner feel about toys? Have you talked about it with them? Is it going to be used as a marital aid? Are you newly single again and need a toy to help with “SEX-peration anxieties?” Are you already an avid toy collector and looking to spice it up, challenge yourself and go to the next level?

The WHAT comes with a few more complex questions. What are you looking for from the toy? What kind of orgasm do you want to experience? What do you hope the toy will be able to provide you with? What are your lifestyle circumstances? Are you living at home with parents? Do you have children that are in the next room?

The WHEN is more of a lifestyle question. When are you going to be using your sex toy? Is it your birthday, anniversary? Just because it’s Tuesday? Do you want to experiment with new positions, ideas or fantasies? Where are you using your sex toy? Steamy, sex in the shower?  Heating up your play in the hot tub? Bedroom, kitchen or the garden? Outside can be a fun way to spice up your love life, just know the laws surrounding public nudity in your area. In your backyard with a fence is okay, public park…play at own risk!

OH MY!

You’ve made the decision to buy a sex toy. Although some people are reluctant to patronize a sex shop, you will find one of the largest selections of toys at the Stag Shop, which is a more upscale “sex boutique” with highly knowledgeable and trained associates. They provide a non-judgmental and safe environment to shop and ask questions regarding one of the most sensitive and personal purchases you’ll ever make. Purchasing a sex toy is easiest if you can see it in person. You won’t get a proper sense of the toy’s size, smell, texture or vibration unless you can pick it up and turn it on.

SEX TOY TIP #3: What the PH-uck?

The material of the toy is a big one: just like reading that fine print on the bottom of the contract before you sign your life away to purchase that new car, you need to know what you are about to put into the most sensitive parts of your body. What is the toy made of? PVC? Silicone? Jelly? Latex? Glass? Wood? Acrylic? TPR? Elastomer? Aluminum? Steel? Rubber? A combination of “surprise materials?”

IMPORTANT: Is the product phthalate free? Phthalates are a family of industrial chemicals that are used as plastic softeners or solvents in many different consumer products. They can be absorbed through the skin, inhaled as fumes, ingested when they are in your mouth. Phthalates are not just found in sex toys, phthalates have also been found in many leading beauty care products, including hair spray, deodorant, nail polish and perfume that you may be using every day.

Phthalate chemicals are very hard on the environment. They cannot be fully recycled, they are not biodegradable and they have a harmful reaction known as “off gassing”. Basically the chemicals in the toy are released over time into the air, environment and of course into your body when you use the toy and can disrupt the human hormonal system. When our PH balance is off set that leaves us vulnerable to infections and UTI’s.

SEX TOY TIP #4: What’s that smell?

If it smells like burning rubber or has an intense “chemical” smell to it, usually this means there are high levels phthalates in the product. You can still buy and play with sex toys that are made with phthalates, but you will need to cover it up with a condom or toy cover.

SEX TOY TIP #5: Touch Me!

You should always be able to touch a toy and see how it works, or even if it works before you make your purchase, because in most cases you will not be able to return it. You should always ask to see the toy work before you pay for it and leave the store. If the toy has a slimy or really sticky oily residue on it, then it is most likely due to the leaching of the chemicals in the product.

Sex toys are not regulated by Health Canada or the FDA because they are considered novelties, and not meant for actual use. So when it comes to manufacturing sex toys there are little to no considerations given to the fact that they are going to be used in highly sensitive areas of the body. Since sex toys are not regulated, they can be made out of any material. That being said, while some toys are “bad”, there is always a safe, healthy alternative.

SEX TOY TIP #6: K.I.S.S: KEEP IT SAFE SEXPLORER!

It is so important to keep your sex toy safe and clean. Don’t drop your sex toy on the floor; this can damage the motor or the material – but if you do because you’re just having such a good rodeo time, then so be it (YAY!) but it may need to be discarded and replaced. If you have a toy that requires batteries…always remove the batteries from your toy when it is not in use. This will prevent the toy from being accidentally left on and wearing out the motor. It will also keep the batteries from leaking and corroding the motor. Try not to use rechargeable batteries with your sex toy. The power of rechargeable has been proven to be too powerful for the motors! Use new or fresh batteries with new toys. If you have a plug-in toy, remember to turn it off, as these will over heat if left on too long. When you are done with your toy, let it cool down before you store it. This will prevent any overheating before you put it away. Never immerse your sex toy in water, unless it is a water safe/proof sex toy. Always take time to clean nonporous sex toys with a mild soap and warm water or toy cleaner. Use a damp cloth to wipe your toy down. Make sure you ask the associate for cleaning instructions or read the cleaning directions found in the packaging of the toy. Not all sex toys clean the same as they all vary in material.

Sex Toy Shopping Checklist

PURPOSE: What part (or parts) of your body do you want to stimulate? Is it for solo play, partner sex or both?

INTENSITY: Electric vibrators offer stronger vibrations than battery operated ones.

DURABILITY: Electric vibrators and brand name battery vibrators last the longest.

PORTABILITY: Battery vibrators or rechargeable electric models travel well.

TEXTURE: If you will be inserting the sex toy, do you want hard plastic, pliable vinyl or rubber, or realistic cyber skin or silicone? Nonporous surfaces are easier to clean.

SHAPE: Smooth? Rippled? Curved? Resembling a penis?

COLOR: Flesh tones? Pastels? Metallic? Jewel tones? Glow in the dark?

NOISE: Coil-operated electric vibrators are the quietest. Hard plastic battery vibrators and some large wand vibrators are the loudest.

PRICE: You get what you pay for. Electric vibrators and duel battery vibrators are on the higher end. Basic battery vibrators are on the lower end.


To contact Stefani Ndhlovu, BSC, MA, a Sexual Health and Wellness Therapist

Twitter @stefanindhlovu

Instagram @StefaniNdhlovu

LinkedIn Stefani Ndhlovu

Facebook StefaniNdhlovu

Email: intimateinitiations.therapy@gmail.com

Phone: 519 749 5115

By appointment ONLY

Kitchener, Ontario


Copyright SassyPlus 2015 – All rights reserved.

Why are Plus Size Celebrities Always Cast as the Token Fat Girl?

Ok, I’m all for the rising popularity of plus size celebrities, like 1000%, but am I the only one who’s offended that they are almost always cast, and ridiculed, as the messy, ill-clothed, hungry for cake, uneducated token fat girl?

Can’t they just be a girl in a movie?

Or maybe a successful entrepreneur? Or a seductive lover? And why is no one else speaking out about this? Am I the only one who feels this way?

Let’s look at who’s currently in the headlines, and their roles.

rebel-wilson-in-pitch-perfect-movie-12

Rebel Wilson – very funny role in Pitch Perfect, and funny girl in real life, and also cast in Pitch Perfect 2 (set to be released May 15 by Universal Pictures UK). In the first movie, Pitch Perfect, is seems like almost every single line she speaks, and almost every single joke around her in the movie is based on her weight. I can understand that laughing at oneself is healthy to a certain extent, we must after all, not take ourselves too seriously, but that’s not the case here. Everyone is laughing at her. Because of her weight.

In Pitch Perfect 2, the trailer actually starts off with her coming in as a wrecking ball, which malfunctions, of course, because of her weight. And everyone screams in horror as she starts to swing towards the audience in the suspended pendulum, apparently without underwear. As if seeing plus size private parts is utterly disgusting. The team is then suspended from the finales because of this horrendous “birthday gift from down under”.

How is this not offensive people???

Her social media image, on the other hand, and how some publications have elevated her, like ElleUK.com in their #bemorerebel campaign, is refreshing and positive.

o-REBEL-WILSON-900 rebel-wilson-social-media-queen-2-11741-1417135432-3_dblbig

Melissa McCarthy – Beautiful Melissa. From Mike & Molly, Tammy to Bridesmaids to Identity Thief and The Heat, they all supply an endless amount of body shaming and fat jokes. The clip of her new movie Spy ends with her being unable to ride a motorcycle because of, you guessed it, her weight.

a2ab161976c957e2e42dc20a5f7939b04431e29f 1400175761_468488847_melissa-mccarthy-467

So, when can a fat woman play a role in a block buster film similar to the role Camryn Manheim played as an intelligent, professional, polished attorney and normal, loving woman as Ellenor Frutton on ABC‘s The Practice?

66083_262 - THE PRACTICE -- The multi-Emmy Award-winning drama

Sigh. Someday.

Thanks for reading loves, and please comment. Let’s talk about this.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Copyright SassyPlus 2015 – All rights reserved.

From Baggy Sweats to Swimsuits on Stage – Sarah Taylor’s Journey in Plus Size Modeling

An honest and inspiring interview with Sarah Taylor Miss Plus Canada 2014/15

banner

1. Tell us about your journey – how has modeling changed you from your audition at Miss Plus Canada to now?

As a little girl I wanted to model, be in pageants and be on the runway but I never thought in a million years it would actually happen.   When I was little though I wanted to do this stuff because I thought it would mean that I was valuable, worthy and beautiful.  When I started my journey with Miss Plus Canada I had been through a few years of some intense inner healing so I really knew my value and worth and for the first time in my life I loved myself.

As doors have opened in the modeling industry I questioned, is this really what I want to do – mainly because I had attached doing this with validating who I was and now that I knew who I was and loved me, and didn’t need a ‘stamp of approval’ – was I sure I wanted to do this?   Well, I’ve figured out that I do want to and the reason I want to is because I’m such a girly girl and enjoy it – the whole thing, hair, make up, photographing, being on the runway, all of it.  But more importantly it’s more than just about modeling –  it’s a platform to give a message of hope, confidence and encourage other women to love themselves just as they are today! My passion is to help women see how valuable they are and to truly seek wholeness and balance in all areas of their life because out of that life is so much more enjoyable, you make wiser choices and you can in turn help other women strive for the same thing.

2. How was the Miss Plus Canada experience; being assessed and judged in front of so many people?

To be honest, I didn’t quite think about the ‘being assessed and judged’ aspect until night of the pageant and was standing in front of everyone.  For a split second I thought – what on earth did I sign up for?  I had no intention of winning, I had actually planned my life around not winning.   I just thought that it was a really cool experience and we’d see what happened.  But like with everything I do, I put my all into it and prepared in every way I knew how and people were either going to like me or not and at the end of the day I knew I loved me so whatever would happen, would happen.  I was so proud that I was in a place of confidence that I was prancing on a stage in a swimsuit and 6 inch pumps – like come on!

11173587_10152947871887950_197858762_n

Sarah on right, age 16

The girl who wore baggy clothes all her life because she was ashamed of her body had now embraced all 317 pounds of her beauty and walked with her head held high in a swimsuit and a massive smile on her face.

quote-swimsuit

The whole experience with Miss Plus Canada was such an amazing one.  I met so many awesome people, learned so much and it’s opened so many more doors.  I am forever grateful.

10561570_10152320247242950_4939705463832418602_n

Sarah Taylor at Miss Plus Canada 2014 Pageant, wearing Swimsuits For All, Photo by Rebecca Northcott Photography

10487207_10152320247472950_393968473212321368_n

Sarah Taylor at Miss Plus Canada Pageant 2014, Photo by Rebecca Northcott Photography

10492123_10152320248032950_8312372090351502376_n

Sarah Taylor at Miss Plus Canada Pageant 2014, Photo by Rebecca Northcott Photography

10501736_10152320248637950_8242871678500876371_n

Sarah Taylor at Miss Plus Canada Pageant 2014 with her Mom, Photo by Rebecca Northcott Photography

10511352_10152320246637950_7045906558694585245_n

Left to right, Trisha Hillary, Kaity Wuebbolt, Shannon Thompson, Sarah Taylor at Miss Plus Canada Pageant 2014 Photo by Rebecca Northcott Photography

3. What is something embarrassing or personal no one knows about you?

When I get overtired I’m beyond silly and usually end up in laughing fits that I cannot control….my little sister has had lots of entertainment from this….

As for some embarrassing things…I scare really easy and being as expressive as I am I often end up surprising myself with my reactions.  My childhood pics are also rather embarrassing – from my mullet to mushroom cuts to a horrible fashion sense.

11139514_10152947872017950_1412898098_n

Sarah, age 7

11160440_10152947871957950_837349203_n

Sarah on right, age 10

4. What do you do for a living and for fun after work?

Currently I work in the energy field at a steam plant as the Executive Personal Assistant to the President.  We are under construction right now so by day I have traded in my heels and crown for a steel toe boots and a hot pink hard hat.  This is a very recent career change as the last 5 years I’ve spent in the Non-Profit industry helping Tier 1 Canadian and US charities with their fundraising strategy and implementation (tele and online fundraising).

Sarah at work, pink hard hat & all!

Sarah at work, pink hard hat & all!

I also volunteer at a ​WINGS ​Maternity Home in Ajax as the assistant to the director, event coordinator, fundraising manager and help her with her marketing (web and print), etc.  I also mentor the girls and lead our group called SOAR in the home (www.wingsmaternityhome.com).

11185664_10152947940417950_749620456_n

Sarah on left at WINGS Maternity (Volunteer)

As for fun, I love to travel … I love to go out dancing. I have an amazing family and a great circle of friends and I’m always up for doing something with them … Hanging out with my 5 year old nephew is also the highlight of my week.  I’m also really active (I actually enjoy working out).  Life is for the living so I’m really up for whatever comes my way.

Sarah (right) and her Sister

Sarah (right) and her Sister

5. How do you find time for modeling and volunteering, and yourself?

This is something I’ve recently learned actually.  My parents divorced when I was 21 and I had to work 2 full time jobs to help pay the bills while finishing my college education.  My identity became all the things I could do and conquer and I lost a lot of who I was and was very performance driven to please others.  After my divorce about 3 years ago and getting laid off shortly after our separation, I was brought to a place where I had to focus on me and getting whole on the inside and the outside.  Learning this has come in stages but I’ve really learned that my body needs to rest, I need to have some time for myself and that it really is ok to ‘Be Still’.  Learning to say no and have healthy boundaries was really hard but I have learned that it is necessary to stay healthy.  I really see that everything in life has to be balanced – living in extremes is unhealthy for long periods of time.

Words-inserts

Click here to watch Sarah talk more about this point on our YouTube channel.

6. What would you tell young women struggling with weight and body image?

This is a message I’m so passionate about getting across to women…. Don’t wait to love yourself, love who you are today!  The number on that scale does not define you!  You are unique, you are beautiful, you are valuable just the way that you are and you are worthy of immense love. Learning to love who you are is a process but it’s so necessary.  If I had learned to love myself and really saw my value and worth when I was younger I wouldn’t have made such unwise choices and I likely wouldn’t have entered into a marriage with a man who was abusive and unfaithful.   When we are unhealthy on the inside we often make poor choices.  You deserve greatness because you are great!  One of the tools I used to see my value and worth was by writing out all of the qualities I loved about myself and that others said over me and I put them up over my mirror and around my bedroom and I would repeat them out loud until I believed them.  This is a great first step in really learning to love who you are and seeing your immense value.

7. What are your thoughts on the current trends in plus size modeling, do you think retailers should continue what they’re doing or use larger models to represent a greater diversity of their clients?

I think we are starting to see a little bit of change when it comes to diversity in plus size models but I think we need more of it.  I know that for me personally I’m not only plus size but I’m tall, so I always look for a woman who is my size and my height modeling clothing.  For example – a short bodycon dress on a girl who’s 5’7 is very different on me because I’m 5’11.  There are a few designers/retailers that state the size and height of those in their garments and I love that – it actually helps give you a better idea of what something will look like on you. I think it’s also so great to see more diversity in terms of size because not all plus size women are a size 12 or 14.  We have curves, lumps and bumps in a lot of different places.

8. If you could say something to your ’10-years ago self’ regarding body image and self confidence, what would you say?

There is so much I would say to my younger self, like:  Love yourself today, you are beautiful just the way you are, that the number on the scale doesn’t define you and to accept the love that others give you rather than push it away.  Life’s goals should not be to get skinny and get a man – there is so much more to life than that. I would also tell her do not disqualify yourself from anything, try everything and dream BIGGER.

disqualify-quote

Sometimes I kick myself for not listening to my mom when I was younger but then I remember that if I didn’t go through all I did, I wouldn’t be who I am today or where I am today and I wouldn’t have this message of hope to share with other women.

9. Congratulations on being selected to walk in Full Figured Fashion Week 2015. What do you hope to get from the experience, and what are your dreams for the future?

Thank you so much – I’m over the moon excited about the opportunity!!  It’s also really surreal – If you told me a year ago that I was going to be crowned Miss Plus Canada, start modeling and even be heading to New York City to hit the runway – I probably would have laughed at you.

As for the event itself, I’m planning on enjoying every aspect of the week – from being in the shows, to the different parties and networking events, etc.  I hope to represent #TeamCanada well on the runway and I’m hoping for this to open some more doors for the future and explore the possibility of working with an agency.

amazing-life-quote

I’ve started to dream bigger these days because what I thought was impossible has happened and I’m honestly in awe at how much God has blessed me and really turned my ashes into something beautiful.  I would really love to continue modeling and expand my portfolio but my heart’s desire is to spend my life building other women up, empowering them to walk into their full destiny and really learn to love and embrace who they are giving them the ability to live a whole life (mind, body, soul and spirit).  I’ve got a few things in the planning stages so keep your eye out for what’s to come. One day, I’d like to have kids but for now, I’m going to embrace life and enjoy it – I’m no longer waiting for the fairy tale ending to have an amazing life – I’m living it now.​

Stay beautiful!

SarahTaylor-Logo-Pink

Sarah modeling for SexyPlus Clothing (www.sexyplusclothing.com)

Sarah modeling for SexyPlus Clothing (www.sexyplusclothing.com)

LindenLacePeach Sarah 2

Sarah modeling for SexyPlus Clothing (www.sexyplusclothing.com)

Sarah modeling for SexyPlus Clothing (www.sexyplusclothing.com)

Sarah (left) and Tierra Sedgemore (right) modeling for SexyPlus Clothing (www.sexyplusclothing.com)

How to reach and follow Sarah: