My feature this week is the vivacious, Kat Marrero. When I reached out to Kat and asked her to tell me about herself, to no surprise, her bio was filled with positive affirmations and confidence. She mentioned she always seems to be the center of attention and isn’t really sure why…from the outside looking in, it’s a no-brainier…this girl is on FIRE!!!!!!
She has a fierce hustle. Working two jobs and doing her duties as a brand ambassador for CURVALICIOUSHER, not to mention the fashion shows she participates in from time to time and her commitment to health that puts her in the gym 3 days a week. All of this and she still finds time to be a positive light to those around her.
She credits her work ethic to the example her mother set for her and her sister from a young age. As for her confidence? Well, that too was something instilled in her at a young age. Having moved around a lot, she found herself in new and not always welcoming places. But her sharp wit and self-confidence always left those who were inclined to bully in awe of her.
The secret to her success? A pep talk with herself every day in the mirror…” Girl, you are sexy and you are beautiful! Let’s make shit happen!” I don’t know about you, but I can dig it! A big shout out to Kat as we conclude Women’s History Month!
**Kat Marrero is the Social Media and Special Event Coordinator for Curvy Ventures Plus Size Entertainment and Travel
In honor of Women's History Month, as you may (or maybe you don't) know, I have decided to feature a woman of true inspiration, strength and triumph in my blog for the duration of March. I asked for nominations from a peer group I belong to and one particular woman continued to inbox me with nominations. If you know me, you know I am a firm believer and supporter of empowerment and uplifting my sisters. So when Felice messaged me, I felt as though she were a kindred spirit, someone who is cut from the same cloth as me. I absolutely admire the way she uses her light to shine on others, so I decided to feature her this week! I am pretty sure you will see her beauty through her bio below. Shout out to Felice and EVERY single one of you reading this who understand that together, we shine brighter! Don't forget to share this article on your social media pages! Let's continue to spread love, acceptance and light!
"I grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan, moved a few times as a kid, and struggled being the new kid. This probably helped to create my social anxiety, I tend to freeze up in large social situations even if I know folks there. I’ve learned in the past 2 years to push through that initial feeling of anxiety and panic, and use my role as a group admin to help others feel more comfortable. I also lived in Chicago & the south suburbs for 14 years, while getting my Master's in Social Work & Master's in Educational Administration, and I was a School Social Worker & Special Education Administrator there before moving back to Michigan after my Dad passed away.
I’m a fierce protector of others against every ism and a resilient survivor of childhood sexual abuse. Now I’m a proud warrior of a woman for size acceptance and justice and equity for all. I’m extremely proud to be Irish & Mexican American and I’m currently beginning research on my genealogy. I guess I’m officially not a newbie to the BBW community anymore since I joined in the fall of 2016. I've been encouraged and supported by Renee Thunda, the owner of Toledo BBW & now I'm coming up on my one year anniversary as an admin. Being in the size acceptance community has helped me develop a greater love and acceptance for myself and others. It has also brought the love of my life to me & he provides me more love and acceptance than I ever imagined could exist. I truly believe in positivity and being grateful for all the blessings that life brings you, including the lessons.
Overall, I believe my ability to overcome trauma and low self-esteem has been rooted in my faith, and also my belief that inherently folks are good people. We all have cracks and scars that we are trying to fill and heal from, why not gain strength from helping each other do that?"
Want more info on the BBW/Plus Size Community? You can find size acceptance groups such as Toledo BBW and Curvy Ventures on Facebook and IG.
I joined her team several months ago and in that short period of time I’ve seen the grace and tact with which this woman has handled situations that would try the patience of Job (I just channeled my Grandma with that phrase). Her philosophy mirrors that of former First Lady, Michelle Obama. “When they go low, we go high”.
Maria takes GREAT strides to provide a venu, be it online, on the open seas or at a hotel in sunny SoFlo, that is SAFE, welcoming and free of judgement and ridicule. The events that she hosts through Curvy Ventures are not the biggest or most highly attended events in the plus size community (not yet anyway!) However, Maria realizes what many others have failed to, it isnt about the QUANTITY of people at an event, it is about the QUALITY of people! From staff, to attendees, to vendors, Maria makes it her personal mission to provide a safe haven laced with great people and incredible memories. And that’s the key difference! Because if this Curvy Ventures grows daily!
Hats off to you Ms. Giugno! You’re definitely a mover and a shaker in the PSC, and on a personal note, I’m INCREDIBLY proud to call you my friend! Thank you for all you do to make the opinions of society less demoralizing.
I’d love to hear about a woman who inspires you! Share your thoughts below...and THANK YOU for reading! 💋
Happy Hump Day!!! If you’re reading this, 2 things....1) THANK YOU!!!! When I see the “views” on my posts or better yet, when you guys actually comment on a post!!!!! I’m tellin’ ya, it makes my little heart soar!!!! and 2) I hope you had an amazing day and an even better tomorrow!! Now that was uplifting right? You kinda got that warm fuzzy feeling, no? EXACTLY! It seriously takes so little of an effort to bring joy to people.
So with that said, I want to address something that I’ve seen A LOT of lately and actually experienced myself today. The millennials call it “throwin’ shade”, others refer to it as “hatin”. Sadly, it’s becoming an epidemic that is plaguing women across the country! You‘ve probably seen it yourself. Often the symptoms manifest as cryptic social media posts, hushed conversations and critical side eyes are also common. TBH, it breaks my spirit to see women tearing each other down when societal pressures are already weighing so heavy on us. On one hand we preach self love, but on the other, we say, “no, not like that”. And God forbid we see a confident woman displaying her self worth in photos or public announcements of achievement. Immediately she is categorized as vain or braggadocios.
I absolutely deplore this way of thinking and have made it my personal mission in life to shed light where it is absent. I will love my sisters, celebrate them, encourage them, inspire them and elevate them because I know, together we shine brighter! I hope you will join me!!!! Let’s break the cycle and get back to loving and supporting one another! 💋
I would LOVE your feedback and thoughts on this! 👇🏽Leave them in the comments below👇🏽
The month designated for the celebration of love is upon us. I’m a hopeless romantic, so this month, this holiday, Valentines Day, has ALWAYS been my favorite. My love life is a bit lackluster as of late, so in this writing, I’ll be sharing (anonymously, of course), the fears and insecurities my peers feel as they enter, or contemplate entering, a relationship.
We’ve all heard the phrase, “it’s better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all”. I used to agree. But as I mature (code word for the phrase, “get older”), I question if that’s actually true. The more my heart is broken or my expectations aren’t met, the more I feel maybe it’s better to have never known love. After all, ignorance is bliss, right?
Recently, a friend of mine rekindled with a love interest from her past. Her beau claims to have had a change of heart. He sees that she is a quality woman and speaks in depth, of his love for her daily. This is what she’s wanted for quite some time. However, she finds herself being afraid to let go and fully trust her heart and his intentions . She’s afraid to feel the same hurt and disappointment she felt on their last go around. The two of them have been down this road before. Who’s to say he won’t bail on her again? The “what if’s“ are preventing her from fully enjoying the present. While she has a past with this man, it’s fair to say, at this stage in the game, we’ve all experienced the anxiety that goes with giving love a second chance.
Love is beautiful, in the way a storm is beautiful. Terrifying and destructive, yet cleansing and renewing at the same time. With storms come rain and with rain, growth. So maybe, the heart breaks of our pasts were an opportunity for growth, for rebirth?
I‘d love to hear your thoughts! Leave them in the comments below!
Miz Cook 💋
Miz Cok touches on some new information on the June 2019 Bash and other new happenings for Curvy Ventures. check out the new Vlog post below.
I am sure most all of you have heard the Queen of Soul, Ms. Aretha Franklin is at the end of her battle with cancer. I am just as sure most of you are familiar with her song, “Respect”. For those of you following us on Facebook, recently, a member posted a video entitled “The Fat Joke”. If you haven’t seen it, click here. It really is worth watching! The premise of this video is that everything that is “wrong” with an overweight person is directly correlated to their weight. You are probably asking yourself, “WTH does this have to do with Aretha Franklin?” Am I right? Stay with me, I am getting to it!
I 100% agree, society, specifically the medical community, is quick to blame absolutely EVERYTHING on obesity. We all know that being overweight is a risk factor for several diseases and ailments not excluding death. When I was 8 ½ months pregnant with my third son, I went to my OB for a checkup. The doctor I normally saw wasn’t in that day so one of his partners did my exam. Due to the fact I was in the final weeks of my pregnancy, my exam was pelvic. I knew immediately that this physician was not a fan of overweight people. He was incredibly rough during my exam, so much so, that it was painful. Clearly, in his estimation, my size prevented me from feeling pain. At the end of my exam, he took ahold of one of the rolls on my side, squeezed it and said, “I don’t think you are as far along as he (my doctor) thought. This is YOU, not baby.” Needless to say, I was humiliated. Four days later, I went into labor with my son and delivered him that afternoon. As the nurse wheeled me from labor and delivery to the recovery ward, we passed the nurses station. And there sat the physician from a few days earlier. He looked up from the chart he was working on and said, “Oh, you had the baby? I guess you were further along than I thought”. I literally just shook my head reliving that moment. My point is, I have seen, I have lived it and I feel your pain. Fat is a diagnosis. A “disease” more damning than any other in the eyes of many.
This is where we cross over….stay with me…
When Aretha croons to her man about wanting his respect, she is saying, I am giving you my all and all I want in return is for you to respect me. Seems simple enough, right? Here’s the thing about respect…you have to act in a respectable manner to receive that respect. Mmmmmhmmm, I said it and I will say it again for the folks in the back because I don’t think they heard me. You have to act in a RESPECTABLE manner to receive respect.
How does this relate to the video and the fat shaming that takes place in society? We as big men and women often hide our limitations or ailments in fear they will be judged and labeled a “fat thing”. I have literally climbed a flight of stairs and waited for a few minutes to catch my breath before rounding the corner to my destination or entering the room. My friends and I have joked that should we die, be sure that our obituary reads from what we perished so that those mourning our death don’t assume it was a “fat thing”. We are ashamed of ourselves…we are embarrassed by our size…we hide our shortcomings all because we too shame ourselves. This is the total opposite of self-respect. I have known men and women to tolerate scraps of attention from their significant other all because they feel that their size prevents them from being loved “normally”. I know men and women who have set their morals to the side all in an effort to secure love and devotion from someone who makes them feel as if all they have to offer is a fetish fantasy.
The respect you deserve, the respect you should DEMAND from others, starts with you! You teach others how to treat you by how you treat yourself and by what you tolerate. Stop putting your feelings, your morals and your needs to the side. Stop compromising yourself. The message is this, YOU ARE WORTHY!!!! Stop cowering and being victimized by the narrow-minded opinions of society and stand tall in the knowledge that your worth is not defined by your shirt, dress or pant size! You are big, and you are beautiful! You are fat and you are fierce!
Since this writing, the Queen of Soul has passed on. We will forever keep her music in our hearts.