Yes, you read that right.
Chrystal Bougon recognized a need. She saw that women bigger than a Victoria’s Secret model needed and wanted lingerie. So she opened a shop. In fact, her Curvy Girl Lingerie is the second brick and mortar plus-sized lingerie store in the United States, located in San Jose, California. She also sells on the internet. Chrystal also started a Curvy Girl Facebook page. When a customer asked to post a picture of herself, a real woman, wearing some of the lingerie she had purchased, Chrystal thought this sounded like a great idea.
I think any woman, no matter her size, knows what a big deal it is for a woman to post a picture of herself in lingerie. It takes a hell of a lot of moxie. Chrystal let women have a safe place. Because they looked good. They felt good. They’re beautiful and other women want to see them. They want to be inspired by women like themselves, maybe slip on a teddy at home. Maybe even have a few pictures taken of themselves.
It’s empowering for people to see people who look like themselves. Doesn’t matter who or what you are, you want to be normalized. And that’s what Chrystal did. That’s a good thing.
Until the Wicked Witch stepped in and decided that Chrystal was single-handedly contributing to the Ohmigoddeathfat Obesity Epidemic by letting this happen. On her business’ Facebook page. Where business customers sought her out to become fans. Where customers posted pictures. Where no one invited the Wicked Witch to visit, not even once.
I refuse to name the Wicked Witch (aka WW) or her nicknames. She has gotten more than enough publicity from her tantrums and childish behavior. The media fall all over themselves because she’s one of the pretty people that they love having before their cameras. Which doesn’t make what she says worth listening to.
WW went on her Facebook page and posted why obese people should not be allowed to exist. Sure, she sugar-coated it with words of health and fitness. But she makes such blanket claims that she has nothing to back them up. Bottom line: WW would like all obese people to hide away from her sight until they look like her. Or until they are only thirty or forty pounds overweight.
Someone reported WW’s post as hate speech and she was banned from Facebook for a few days. Apparently, Facebook is very very very very important to her because she fell apart. And called her publicist. Who called a few people. And then the WW started making the media merry-go-round.
One news show showed her bopping around her kitchen, perfectly coiffed, whipping up breakfast for her children. Then showed her exercising in the park with other fit mothers, each flinging a toddler about as exercise equipment. She kept repeating, “Anyone can do it! Like I do.”
Unless you work and can’t go to a mom and tot group in the middle of the day.
Unless you don’t have access to a safe outdoor workout space.
Unless you don’t have a healthy child.
Unless you are not healthy.
Unless you don’t want to work out with your child and prefer reading or drawing or looking at the clouds or…
According to WW, however, those are just excuses and you need to get over yourself.
CNN invited Chrystal Bougon and WW on for a sit-down. Which WW dominated with her non-facts. She managed to let everyone know they if they are ready to fix themselves she’s got a way to help them and they can contact her. Nice push for her business, right? And the hosts fell all over her. Chrystal was calm, cool, and collected, saying wise things when allowed. Somehow her video feed was lost, while we were all left with WW’s sneering duck-lip gasp, “you know, I saw women not just 30 or 40 pounds overweight but…obese…[grimace]…morbidly obese [shudder]…”
The hosts never once challenged one of WW’s “facts” or any of the things she was spouting as truths. In fact, the real issue shouldn’t have been the War on Fat at all, but the fact that Fat People Bother the WW and The Media Care. Because the WW can’t look at any of the women posting photos of themselves on the Curvy Girl Facebook page and know whether or not they work out. She cannot look at a photograph of a Victoria’s Secret model and know if she is metabolically healthy. Heck, are we even so sure WW is healthy?
Once again, shame on the media for being such a shoddy group of people. Why would someone even pick up this story? Surely people are getting kicked off of Facebook hourly. There wasn’t a better reason to cover? The good thing is I hope Curvy Girl Lingerie gets some great sales from WW’s tantrum.
All Chrystal wants to do is give a safe space for regular women to be seen. Women who have scars, stretch marks, sagging, excess skin, weight…whatever. There’s no airbrushing or photoshopping. There’s no body shaming or snarking. There’s nothing but camaraderie for women who have lived life and are still living life without the fear of eating a cookie or missing a workout. By the way, she never even calls them curvy…just regular…like you…like me…like my neighbor…like my best friend…
If Facebook was correct, Thanksgiving shopping was the line being drawn in the sand between the moral and the immoral this holiday season. Apparently, no true-blue, flag-loving, family-adoring, mother-respecting, apple pie-eating, Chevrolet-driving, baseball-playing, red-blooded American would be caught dead shopping on Thanksgiving. Retail establishments were completely, absolutely evil for even daring to make their employees work on this sacred of all family days.
I’ve written before about shopping on Thanksgiving in the olden days. So I’m not shocked by this shopping behavior. The rest of you are.
Meme after meme followed on Facebook. People posted rant after rant. There were calls to boycott. People were really angry.
But these same people stopped at the gas station on the way to Aunt Martha’s for dinner.
Aunt Martha sent Uncle Maury to the market for the forgotten rolls and the much-needed bottle of vodka (Aunt Becky decided to come after all).
Joey and Kendra popped by Starbucks for tall lattes and scones because Aunt Martha’s food isn’t the best.
Aunt Becky was coming to dinner after the big parade. Last year she missed the Underdog balloon and it isn’t ever happening again.
Uncle Rick is at the football game. He can’t stop telling anyone that the Detroit Lions have played over 70 games on Thanksgiving!
All of Martha and Maury’s guests had to stop at Walgreen’s for antacids on the way home.
Everyone seems to have forgotten that the world doesn’t shut down for holidays. Some people don’t celebrate Thanksgiving. Some people don’t have families. Some people eat Thanksgiving lunch. Some eat mid afternoon.
There are people cleaning toilets, sweeping streets, selling coffee and gas. There are football players and cheerleaders, bands, and floats. There are restaurants cooking for those who aren’t cooking for themselves.
It always amuses me when we pick such narrow battles. It’s easy to point our fingers at the people doing something we won’t, while ignoring our similar, yet slightly different behavior. However, getting coffee at Starbucks means someone is working just like if someone shops at KMart or Walmart. It’s just a different price point.
Possibly the worst parenting book ever written, To Train Up A Child by Michael and Debi Pearl, might also be the easiest way for unsuspecting Christian parents to find themselves facing prison time. That is what is happening in Washington state to Larry and Carri Williams who were sentenced to maximum sentences for murder after being found guilty of starving and beating their adopted daughter.
Ignore the happy child smiling and playing carefree on that cover of To Train Up A Child. Contained within the covers of that horrific tome are the following parenting tips like these (taken from the article quoted above):
- Using plastic tubing to beat children, since it is “too light to cause damage to the muscle or the bone”
- Wearing the plastic tubing around the parent’s neck as a constant reminder to obey
- “Swatting” babies as young as six months old with instruments such as “a 12-inch willowy branch,” thinner plastic tubing or a wooden spoon
- “Blanket training” babies by hitting them with an instrument if they try to crawl off a blanket on the floor
- Beating older children with rulers, paddles, belts and larger tree branches
- “Training” children with pain before they even disobey, in order to teach total obedience
- Giving cold water baths, putting children outside in cold weather and withholding meals as discipline
- Hosing off children who have potty training accidents
- Inflicting punishment until a child is “without breath to complain
I’m not going to tell you whether you should spank your child or not. But I am going to strongly suggest that sitting your six-month old baby on a blanket and smacking him if he moves off it is a big red sign of a sadistic and abusive personality. That is not normal parenting. That is abnormal control.
Parenting means we get our children to behave well at home and in public and come into adulthood as reasonably well-functioning adults. It is not to create meek and submissive creatures who respond to our every command and bidding. How would they exist? How would they leave? How would they function on their own?
Baths with cold water on purpose, withholding food, and putting kids outside in the cold are methods of torture, not parenting. If you find yourself doing any of these things, seek help immediately. There are people and places who will help you.
The sad thing is that the Pearls are making millions of dollars selling this “Christian” parenting book that advocates child abuse. If we’ve learned nothing of late, it is that “Christian” is often just another adjective meant to deceive us into believing that something bad is really good. Maybe true and good Christians should put an end to this book once and for all, just to save their good name.
What can you do right now? Sign this petition, asking Amazon to stop carrying books of this type, cutting out one source of income for the Pearls. Maybe other sales venues will follow!
With all the discussions of hazing in the news, it’s brought back memories of my freshman year of high school. That year I went to Marian High, an all-girl, Catholic high school. Each freshman student was assigned a senior student to be her big sister. Part of that involved “initiation.”
I can’t remember my big sister’s name. But she was beautiful. I was in awe of her.
My big sister and her friends gathered us freshmen up and took us about town before Homecoming. One of the other big sister’s was the daughter of an eye doctor. She had access to many pairs of old fashioned cat-eye glasses. Which we were made to wear while riding the mechanical horse at Mammel’s (sp?) grocery store.
I wonder if this is what has fueled my love for cat-eye glasses ever since? You’d think it would have scarred me instead!
One of the major weekend evening activities in Hays, Kansas, was “dragging Main street.” Cars drove up Main Street, turned around in the library parking lot, drove down Main Street, turned around in the Varsity parking lot, to repeat the loop. Again. And again. And again. If you were feeling adventurous you could pass the Varsity parking lot and head down into the park where it was dark, spooky, and there were buffalo in pens.
(I should also point out that the Varsity sold beer through a drive thru window. Kansas had an 18 year old age limit for 3.2 beer at the time. I don’t know why I feel compelled to share this…)
My group’s big sisters planted us on Main Street in front of the library with bags of Hershey Kisses and told us to sell them for a nickle apiece to the passing cars. That was the last piece of my
I know other girls did other things. Carrying books. Pushing vehicles. Washing vehicles. I have no idea what went on at the neighboring boys’ school, but there weren’t even rumors about hazings like are reported in the news these days.
It’s hard being a fat parent. Because people automatically assume you have no idea how to feed your kid a healthy diet. They assume you’re constantly getting dinner at the drive thrus of the local fast food restaurants and tossing candy bars into the back seat while driving for ice cream. Of course, the food at home is no better with chips and soda being the norm, natch. I know, it’s happened to me. More than once.
Which has turned me into The Good Fatty. The Good Fatty is the fat person who does her best to let everyone around her know that while she might be fat, she does her best to be healthy. Very few processed foods in my house! Chips and soda are rare treats! Vegetables at every meal! Nothing deep fried ever!
It’s exhausting. That’s why I was so relieved to read the Fat Nutritionist’s post about Real Food. We sure can be judgy about food. And we need to stop. Because there are very real reasons why people choose the foods they choose and it’s none of our business. It’s really not.
Every day I have a McDonald’s iced tea. I love their iced tea. Another confession: I love egg McMuffins too. But every day I carry that McDonald’s cup into my house, I imagine the neighbors are looking out their windows wondering why the fat lady is eating at McDonald’s so much. Even though, logically, I know they are worried about a million other things than me.
We’ve just gone a little crazy in this country about our food judgments. Friends, family, strangers, restaurant personnel…no one feels exempt from commenting on another person’s food choices. It’s got to stop. Food has become a moral barometer and it shouldn’t be.
Our lives are stressful enough. We don’t need to add another facet with food stress. Food should be enjoyed. It should be easy when we need it to be and complicated when we have the time. We should have what we want to eat when we want it. Yup, even McDonald’s.
Let’s all take a vow, especially with the holidays coming: we’ll worry about the things on our own plates and the plates of our kids without passing judgement on anyone else. And we won’t stress if we need to take a short cut. Frozen pizzas and boxed macaroni and cheese are just the antidote to life’s stress, right?!
I went to a baby shower for a soon-to-be-mother of twin girls this weekend. I oohed and aahed myself into a cute coma because she got some incredibly cute clothes. Seriously, girl children are way better dressed than boy children. There, I’ve said it. Now we can move on.
The parents-to-be also got some practical gifts. But I noticed that no one got them The One Gift That They Really Need For Their Entire Parental Career: A Tape Recorder.
While the babies are still babies they can record themselves making soothing sounds, maybe singing a few lullabies. This will help when they are to damn exhausted to speak a single word more. How convenient it would be to just press a button and let the tape recorder do the talking.
But the baby years are the easy years. When the terrible twos, threes, fours, sixes, tens, and twelves come into play, the parents can just create an endless loop of “no.” A ninety-minute recording of “no” should suffice, with a few rewinds morning, afternoon, and night.
“Can I go outside?” “No.”
“Can I cut my hair?” “No.”
“Can I cut my sister’s hair?” “No.”
“Can I get a tattoo?” “No.”
“Can I eat this bug?” “No.”
Of course, some children will repeat each question an infinite amount of times, making the “no” recordings even more appreciated!
Teenagers might require multiple recording devices. Perhaps one hidden in the car and activated by bad driving, texting while driving, or other dangerous activities. The parents can choose their own message, I suggest something like, “Get your damn hands back on the wheel!”
A hidden recording device in a purse or backpack for dates can keep amorous young men from getting…well, to amorous! “Get your hands off my daughter!” screamed in the father’s voice needs no further explanation!
I’m sure your heads are now swimming with ideas now also! Isn’t this a great idea! Babies R Us will be stocking these soon!
That’s the challenge Robin Bricker faces as her show The Holdout airs. To keep herself busy, she relishes the idea of being on a jury and losing herself in a trial of possibly faulty Greek yachts that may or may not have been improperly stored in Iowa.
Laurel Osterkamp brings us Robin’s story in the aptly titled The Holdout. Robin played the Survivor-like game the best she could. It isn’t her fault she also fell for fellow-castaway Grant. Too bad everyone in America, including her family and her fellow jury members, get to witness her humiliation as she sees exactly how Grant plays her and another female castaway. Creative camera editing doesn’t help maintain her dignity either.
Osterkamp weaves the tale, alternating chapters between the island contest and the television season. It’s nice to see how Robin evolves. The supporting characters are fun, with dramatic side stories that add to the overall drama of the book.
This is a quick, easy read. Definitely a nice way to spend a cold winter’s night!