Author Archives: Fabulous Thickie

About Fabulous Thickie

Big and Beautiful female. Eccentric at times. Has a tendency to be very random. Loves music, art, travelling and sometimes fashion

That Big Step

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Today I posed nude for a camera.Today I had to face my insecurities and look for the beauty that is within me. It was a hard journey but at the end of it all I am happy.

Who would have thought that in my trip to the bar a week previous that I would have met and engaging photographer who was so passionate about his craft, his talent and his project. When he mentioned that his project was to photograph normal and real women. I stepped up to the challenged. The first thing that came to my mouth was, ” Can I pose naked?” Maybe it was the 10 beers that I drank previously that gave me that ounce of courage. Maybe it gave truth to the old adage, “A drunk man’s words are a sober man’s thoughts.” Needless to say, a week later after text message exchanges and a date being set, the morning of the shoot I stood naked in front of my bedroom mirror and I had a nice little talk with myself.

I wondered if the world was ready for me. To me, my friends and my family, I am La Reine. But to the world I am Fat, Black and Dreaded. I always had the view that because I am Fat, I am not considered beautiful, and probably at the bottom of the beauty chain. My Blackness, which is a representation of my skin tone makes me feel as though I have to work twice as hard to prove that I don’t fit the mould of an uneducated person. My Dreadlocks really represent an easy going hairstyle, but some view it as rebellious.

I looked at all my imperfections; my cellulite which never seems to die no matter how many hills I climb or how many exercises I do on a morning, or how many damn extra firming creams I use. I look at my stomach.. or should I say, my stomachs. I glimpsed at my love handles and the scars on my legs from an active childhood, and I looked at the scars on my lower back which is an ever present reminder of the lower back piercing I once had, the piercing I did as a means of coping with the stress and pain I was going through. It was then I realized that I was ready…. or so I thought.

I came to the photo-shoot with a dress to cover up and my best friend in tow. But looking at the pictures of the ladies before me I felt so insecure. Their make up was impeccable,  their bodies were beautiful, no cellulite, no fat banging stomachs and no scars. What did I have? Just me, myself and I. No make-up to hide behind and pretend that I’m someone else. It was then I realized I had to do this for me, I had to face me, I had to love me.

I tried my best. Sometimes I posed, sometimes I smiled. Other times I laughed scandalously. But there were moments where I was overwhelmed by it all. Those were the times where my best friend would see a picture and say, “Wow, you look beautiful! Look at your skin!” but all I could see was belly and fat. At that point I realized that the problem was me. I am the one who created that mould for myself, the mould of where I’m Fat Black and Dreaded and it was that time I realized that the person to change it had to be me.

By the end of the photo shoot I felt overwhelmed and contented and somewhat nervous. Overwhelmed because I only intended to take one picture with my back facing the camera because I felt that was the best part of me. In reality, it wasn’t. Baring myself, full frontal to the camera made me realize how important it was to face things head on and not run from a challenge rather than turn my back to it. I’m contented that I completed this photo shoot yet at the same time nervous of what the world would have to say.

These pictures represent me. They represent my challenges, my insecurities. I hope that people would be able to understand that it was a means of me overcoming my fears and breaking the stereotypes that I’ve been placed in, or stereotypes that I put myself in. At the end of this shoot, I am still Fat, Black and Dreaded. Fat, but I’m working on being healthy but loving every single imperfection. Black. but I’m beautiful and intelligent. Dreaded, I may look like a rebel, but it works for me.

In time I’ll be able to post the pictures folks 🙂

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My 500 Words: The Non-Sensical Race War *sigh*

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I’m Black.

Unless if I decide to bleach my skin or I acquire vitiligo aka Michael Jackson’s disease, I doubt that would change. I live in the multi-cultural society of  Trinidad and Tobago- well that’s what it says officially. But why is it that in 2012 race is still an issue except on Carnival Monday and Tuesday? Why is it that in 2012, of a country of 1.4 million people, race is STILL an issue? Its something that I won’t understand and I REFUSE to accept it.

They say politics is a great divide, so is race. But a racially driven political divide is even larger than when Moses parted the Red Sea all those years ago. Why is it that when a certain party came in power its almost as though there’s an ethnic cleansing going on in the government ministries. Job positions that were given based on merit are given based on race. Why is it that walking into an office with people of another race feels so strange because basic common courtesies are not being observed. Good Mornings are ignored, please and thank you’s are ignored and the list continues.

When would we realize that we are too small of a country to deal with this racist bullshit. At the end of the day when we hit the US or the UK or any European country, it won’t be the Indian vs African divide- it will all boil down to- White and NOT White. Why it is that some of these self same “Indians” in T&T who pride themselves of being of a high caste, when they DO go back to India to find their roots they are so surprised that they belong to the 3rd and 4th caste (Vaishya and Shudra)? Newsflash, I highly doubt ANYONE from the Brahmin caste was jumping on a boat heading to Trinidad and Tobago in 1845 to be an INDENTURED LABOURER. Some of them when they came to Trinidad changed their names because more often than not, 1. the immigration officials couldn’t spell it, or 2. they wanted to start anew. And this is where the name Maraj or Maharaj came in. Maharaja is the indian word for King. If I were from a lower caste and knowing that I cannot climb into a higher caste in India, if I had a chance to change my situation I’m damn well gonna do it and call myself a KING. However, while I am enjoying my new life in a new place, I will be respectful and treat everyone with the respect that they deserve.

I know, T&T was a slave colony. Slavery was abolished in 1838, so most black folks at that time were either slaves or descendants of such, maybe if we had to put a caste to it, I guess we would fall under the 3rd or 4th caste as labourers or untouchables aka, the same as the folks that came from India in 1845 on the ship called the Fatal Razak to work as Indentured Labourers in the various plantations. Then why is it that we can’t get along? Seriously? Technically we do belong to the same caste when it all boils down to it.. but we’re not in India anymore, we’re in Trinidad and granted the caste system never allowed for upward mobility from caste to caste, we’re not in India. So if we can change our name and bend the rules of the caste then we CAN get along? The caste system was meant to divide and rule and keep people down.

Carnival Time comes, we jump together, dance together, fete together. When it comes to celebrating Eid Ul Fitr and Divali, Emancipation Day, we ALL don our clothes and we celebrate. It makes you feel as though you’re one nation, one people. And then politicians start to talk, and all the togetherness that was achieved——–> down the drains.

Divide and Rule yet again. Whatever happened to love your neighbour as yourself?

*sigh*

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DAY 1: 500+ Words before 9AM: Knowledge + Action = Power

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Knowledge + Action = Power.

Incorrect information/ Knowledge + Action = Misaligned Power…

My company is undergoing a restructuring process. I’m glad for it because it shows that they are really focused on improvement and also increasing productivity but on the other hand I have this feeling that the more things change the more they remain the same.

Last week Monday, was the restructuring exercise for my section. It was a blast, we saw what we had to do, we discussed how we were all going to achieve the sectional goals in an effective manner, however it was a question by the Senior HR Officer that got me quite upset- “Would you folks be amenable to a merger with the technical staff of the other department? I mean, all Geologists are the same, right? And well Engineers and Geophysicists all do the same thing across the board right?

*shocked silence*

Right? Ummm WRONG!

I don’t know what upset me more, having an HR Officer of an energy company ask that question in front of a group of technical staff, or knowing that HR has no idea of what a Geologist does in the organization. You see I try to tell people. Geology, like medicine is a field. In medicine you have General Practitioners- and then you have persons who specialise; cardiologists, OBGYN’s oncologists etc etc. Just like in Geology. We have stratigraphers, sedimentologists, geophysicists, petrologists you name it. However, HR didn’t want to hear it. Maybe in her mind, HR knows all, HR is always correct because they are so knowledgeable in the field of Human Resource and staff relations that they can read the minds of the staff which they oversee and give us what we want. Maybe HR needs a lessons in Mind Reading from Miss Cleo to gain some clarity. Sigh!!

I always tell people, knowledge is power. If you know what you are doing, you can act accordingly and affect positive change, likewise the opposite. How can you be an HR Officer of a company yet you don’t know the roles of each of the disciplines under your purview? What happens during the interviewing process when new staff is being hired? HR’s slip of the tongue made me realize that because of the HR Department’s lack of knowledge in the roles of their technical staff, influences the types of courses they send us on that are related to our daily duties… or in most cases.. NOT!

Business Writing Workshop, Technical Writing Workshop, Powerpoint Presentation Skills Workshop. Nice, But can we go to the Petro Skills Workshop? *DENIED* Can we get this training? Too expensive. It’s related to what we do on a daily basis, it will help us! *DENIED* What hurts most, knowing that you have to shell out your OWN money, to do the same courses that you have been vehemently denied, and the knowledge that you attained is going back to benefit the company that didn’t want you to do the course in the first place.

Seems as though nothing will change with this company restructuring unless certain folks gain some knowledge.of what goes on around them and they systems and persons that they manage.

They say the only thing constant in life is change, but I hope things change and DON’T remain the same.

*sigh*

Information Diet- 500 Words before 8AM

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http://www.informationdiet.com/blog/read/500-words-before-8am

 

Good day folks, its been a while since I’ve written and I’ve always blamed time for being the issue. Upon reading the article- Information Diet- 500 words before 8AM and I realized that hey, I check my FB, my Twitter, my Google+ and all other sundry sites and I complain that I never have time for myself to do my blog, to share my thoughts. So I’m making a change. I’m going to try to write at least 500 words a day about something…. and share it with you.

Lets see how it goes….

Jaspher Knowles- Plus Sized Designer, Interior Decorator, Entrepreneur

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Last year I got into Plus Sized Modelling (quite by accident). Now it has become a love of mine. So I decided that I needed to interview and feature one of my favourite plus size designers on my blog- Jaspher Knowles. Jaspher is a young designer, well experienced and his accomplishments rival those of other Caribbean designers. What I love about Jaspher is that he loves to put his own touch of beauty in everything that he does and isn’t afraid to be extra creative and step outside the design box. In his designs, Jaspher has shown and proven  us pleasantly plump fashionistas can wear mini skirts, high waisted pants and the wide belts. In essence, Jaspher changes everyone’s perception on plus sized design wear. His work proves that what we THINK plus sized girls CAN’T wear, we damn well could.Keep up the good work Jaspher. I hope to see more work from you in the future.

FT: Tell me about yourself, your background, your interests.
J Knowles: Well I am a 27 year old Entrepreneur who has a passion for fashion and its progressive movement. Born and raised in Nassau Bahamas I got all my training from My Grandmother.. I started off at The Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute, but I dropped out when I got an offer to work at Atlantis Hotel.
FT: What does fashion mean to you?
J Knowles: Fashion is my lifestyle. I get nervous when I am not doing anything involving fashion. It’s to the point where my dogs are fashion conscious lol.
FT: When did you realize that you wanted to become a fashion designer? 
J Knowles- Well I realized it from I was about 15 but I knew I was going to be somewhere in the industry because I was more interested in Interior design from 10 decorating weddings with my uncle.
FT: What was the first thing you ever designed?
J Knowles- The first thing I ever designed was my sisters’ prom dress and for my first try I got a great response.
FT:Most of your clothes seemed to be tailored for plus sized girls . Not many designers go down that route, what made you start designing clothes for the pleasantly plump?
J Knowles- Well I often tell the story, I started off with the thin models and designing for them and it was a challenge because they felt “they have arrived” so they were arrogant and it was a turn off. So I was offered a position as the Asst. Director for a Local Plus Pageant here in the Bahamas and the attitudes between the thin and the plus size were Polar Opposites
FT: As a designer what are some of your accomplishments?
J Knowles- Well I’ve been fortunate enough to be featured in Full Figured Fashion Week NY 2010 and from that it went up hill I have been in Manic Magazine, Our Local News Papers, I Launched my clothing Line DRAPERY PLUS SIZE CLOTHING and the list goes on.
FT:  What matters to you most as a fashion designer?
J Knowles- When persons wear one of my designs, they are comfortable enough to recommend to someone else.
FT- What are some of the challenges that you face as a designer?
Well being taken seriously as a young businessman and you have to push twice as hard to get noticed.
FT: You not only are a designer but you have also branched off into your own modelling agency, interior decorating and of recent, Miss Plus World, care to share more details on these ventures, especially Miss Plus World?
J Knowles- Well Vintage House is the umbrella for all of my sub companies. If you have questions you will be contact Vintage house then directed to you destination. But Couture Plus is another one of my companies we cater to Plus size woman who have an interest in model. My main goal is to have all of my models signed so that whenever drapery is having a show whether it is here locally or internationally they will always have work because I am always designing. Well My new born baby Miss Plus World. Since being involved in our local Plus pageant I have searched and searched and was unable to find a forum where Plus Queens can come together and compete with interacting and bring awareness to the challenges that the Plus Community face in their country. This Event is scheduled for January 2012. Visit our Facebook page for more info (MS. PLUS WORLD PAGEANT)
FT:Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
J Knowles-A business man offering other young persons an opportunity to work in my company which will be a world premiere Fashion House.
FT: Where can readers purchase your clothes? 
J Knowles- Well we are on the eve of launching our website. But for rite now you can follow us on Facebook under (Drapery Plus Size Clothing)
For all you fashion forward men look out for Jaspher’s Male collection J’RAS schedule to launch the end of the year. I hope you like his work as much as I do.
Love
Fabulous Thickie
:))))

Trials and Tribulations of a Nappy Haired Chic

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I have never straightened my hair. It’s not that I didn’t want to, but I had a HUGE obstacle in my way. That huge obstacle was my mother. Every Sunday my mother and I would sit down in front the television and she would cane row my hair for school that week. Sometimes the style would last for the entire week, other times by Wednesday the hair pulling torture would continue. Matter of fact, coming to think of it, my mother would comb my hair every week until I was about 18 years old.

I went to a “prestigious” high school. Most of the darker girls except for a few had their hair relaxed. I would often ask my mother.

“Mummy, why can’t I relax my hair?”
“Well daughter, your hair is so lovely and untouched and delicate, it’s best to leave it alone”
“But mummy, my head hard, it not soft like yours!”

For years the questions and the answers remained the same, however, for Form 5 graduation things changed, and boy oh boy wasn’t I excited. I said to my mother, that everyone saw me with natural hair throughout high school. I would like to straighten my hair, just for grad, just to look different. The answer my mother gave me was shocking.

“Daughter, how about you get your hair pressed for grad. If you like it, after grad we can straighten it.”

I was excited, I was happy. Mom and I went to the hairdresser on grad day to start the process. I was nervous. I didn’t know that pressing involved both the flat iron AND the flat comb. It was weird. The heat from the comb and the flat iron seemed to burn my scalp a bit, the smell of burning hair was a bit weird to me, but beauty is pain right? By the time the hairdresser was done and I looked in the mirror, I couldn’t believe my eyes. For the first time my hair was cascading down my back! Then the hairdresser took out the scissors and said “Hmm, you have split ends.”  By the time she was done, I had shoulder length hair- but it was still LONG! I could have a ponytail!

My hairdresser did this complicated up-do with lots of pins and I was shuttled off to grad. People were surprised, I was happy and I had a blast. Came home that night and I went to sleep in my grad clothes, but the hairpins were only sticking me so I woke up. I went to take them out and not only did hairpins come out, but chunks of my hair did. I cried hysterically! My mother rushed in the room, looks at the hair and says, but how did this happen? Maybe if you wash your hair, the pressing would come out.

So we thought, but that wasn’t so. We tried to wash the kinky back into my hair, however my roots were kinky, the strands of hair were wavy and the ends were DEAD STRAIGHT!  We chopped off the straight ends, went back to another hairdresser who recommended that I use Motions CPR- Critical Protection and Repair. For 2 years I was on Motions. My hair was never the same since that pressing incident. I started to braid my hair in afro kinky braids because I couldn’t deal with the combing. In 2008, I decided to take the big step and lock my hair. It’s been 3 years now. I have no complaints.

I love my natural hair. I love my locks. There are moments where I think I should get a wig and change up my look, however I haven’t reached that stage of hair adventures yet.

My next post i’ll give you some tips on natural hair care.
🙂

FT!!

All natural!!

Fat, Black and Dreaded

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▀  FAT- Obesity, unnecessary excess

I’m fat.  Shapely, but “fat.”  In my eyes I’m me, but society says that I am obese, over the average size. The question is, what is average size and WHO determines that?

 

▀ BLACK- Belonging to a racial group, especially one of African Origin that whose skin is very  dark or black in colour.   

▀ BLACK- Evil, wicked, deserving of, indicating, or incurring censure or dishonour.

My skin is dark brown in complexion, that puts me among the group of people classified by colour and not race or origin. Maybe due to historical reasons that the colour black has such a negative connotation.


▀  DREADED- To anticipate with alarm, distaste or reluctance. 

â–€  DREADED- The hairstyle that I currently have- dreadlocks, commonly known as “dreads”

I wear dreadlocks. Simply because it’s a hairstyle that is easy to maintain. However back in the days, a person having dreadlocks was perceived to a a rebel. At present that perception still is there, but to a lesser extent.

According to societal standards I have three strikes against me. I am Fat, Black and Dreaded. I never realized it as much until very recently. In my job I am constantly in contact with quite a few persons in power. They like the work that I do, but for the most part, contact was made through emails or their respective secretaries. One day I was alone in the office, the door opens, in comes powerful person #1 (PP1). So I greeted him by name and he was rather dismissive of me. So he asks,

“Where is Miss Solomon”
“You’re looking at her.”
“Young lady, I am not in the mood for fun and games, I would like to speak to Miss Solomon!”
“You’re looking at her! Since you don’t believe me I can show you my ID and business card.”

“So, you really are Miss Solomon? The person I’ve been conversing with for months? Wow, you’re rather intelligent, for a black girl. Not what I expected.”
” Well you know I’m all for changing stereotypes one day at a time.”

“Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean for it to come out that way, apologies.”
“I think you meant exactly what you said or else you wouldn’t have said it”

I was in utter shock. This was a man that  I respected highly for his business and worth ethic. What made it even worse is that I live in a multi-ethnic society where whites, africans, indians, creoles, syrians and chinese people coexist happily, except around election time because politics is skewed towards racial divison.  I guess this was my first experienced being judged on a professional level because of my appearance. However it set the stage for many other incidents to follow. What makes it even worse is that I am always judged by my size, colour and hairstyle in a professional setting.

I wondered, if I change the things that are offensive to people maybe I would fit in. Perhaps maybe I won’t have to deal with the “surprised” facial expressions or the comments. I toyed with the idea of changing to fit the “mould” I wondered that maybe if I get a wig, lose some weight I’d won’t be the “fat, dreadlocked girl” but I’d still be black. I realized that I can’t please everyone. The only person I can please is myself.  Then it struck me, why try to fit in? Standing out makes me unique, sets me apart from the crowd.

As hard as it was, in order for me to grow from the experience I had to look at the positive aspect of it. I’m educated, fat, black and dreaded, and damn good at what I do.

So when you call me FAT, I’ll smile because FAT means- The best or the richest part, abounding in desirable elements, prosperous.

I AM FAT

When you call me BLACK, I’ll smile because BLACK means- Operating at a profit or being out of debt. Black is also BEAUTIFUL.

I AM BLACK

When you call me DREADED. I’ll smile because DREADED means- To hold in awe or reverence

I AM DREADED 

Fat, Black and Dreaded—- That’s me 🙂

—–xoxo
FT:-)