Thursday, June 23, 2011

Real-Life Goddess - Jo-anne Domingo

In Anthropology 285 class, we discussed various standards of beauty among different cultures. We shook our heads at how lotus feet made ancient Chinese women radiant, ready for marriage, dependent on their spouses and possess tightened vaginal muscles for their husbands' pleasure. My heart still cries over the African girls who had neck braces and/or female genitalia mutilation at such a young age for dowry. And there's lip plates being done in Africa and Brazil, among others. Back then, I often exchanged gasps and concerned looks with my usual seatmate, Jo-anne Domingo. We were, and still, grateful we never had to endure any of those excruciating pain. However, we are aware that, with our body size, we are also in the battlefield in terms of self-acceptance and worldwide standards of beauty. We never really tackled our personal journeys about it until now.

Graduate school girls

Lornadahl: How would you describe your personal fashion style?
Jo-anne: I’m more of a simple casual but chic style. Sometimes I want to dress up if I’m up to it.

Lornadahl: Which celebrities serve as your style icons?
Jo-anne: Actually, I really don’t follow celebrities’ fashion sense. For me, in order to get that look, you have to spend a lot!

Lornadahl: Who are those celebrities?
Jo-anne: The big women of Glee such as Amber Riley as Mercedes Jones and Ashley Fink as Lauren Zizes. And of course, Queen Latifah.

Glee fan!

Lornadahl: How would you describe the role of Mercedes Jones?
Jo-anne: To describe Amber Riley's character, Mercedes, she's got the talent, yet she's too hesitant to grab the limelight. Which is kind of my attitude sometimes. For that, I look up to her. I would give up the limelight for someone who's already a star. I'd rather be in the background than be up front, or maybe failing in the end.

Lornadahl: Tell me more! I might be the only person on earth who hasn't watched Glee. Pathetic, no?
Jo-anne: Well, she was represented as the Diva, who has the highest voice and can belt out anything. There was this one episode where she had the chance to join the Cheerios (cheerleading team) where Sue, their head, forces her to lose weight. In the end, she surpassed it, and even sang the song, "Beautiful" by Christina Aguilera at their pep rally.

Men pursued her. One was with Puck, the womanizing bad boy in the group. She pursued her only because she's getting more popular than him, and he needs a way to get back in the limelight. Recently, there came Sam, the newbie-Justin Bieber-look-a-like who developed feelings for her after their prom and the finale.

Her relationships with other people involved her best friend, Kurt, the openly gay character in the group. Their relationship started as a crush, since Mercedes thought Kurt was straight. She even was jealous of Rachel, whom she taught was Kurt's love, but unfortunately, it was Finn pala, who turned out later to be his half-brother, since their parents got married. When Kurt admitted to Mercedes that he was gay, their friendship started.

While her relationship with Rachel, the star, wasn't really good at the start. They were really fighting over who's supposed to get the limelight. Sue even attempted to make them fight at a sing-off, but eventually, they had fun, and were laughing and praising each other in the end. So far, those were the only close relationships she had with other people in the group.

Lornadahl: Do you find her character realistic or well-written? Would you want her written in other way?
Jo-anne: Yeah, I find her character realistic naman. Syempre she has to be the "good" guy, although, no one in the club has given any comment on how she looked. It's only Rachel who got all those pangungutya from her club members.

Lornadahl: How hard is it to get clothes that fit you? Any particular body part that makes shopping extra challenging?
Jo-anne: I really have problems fitting into some shirts. Sometimes, the L for women’s sizes don’t fit me. And of course the jeans. Sometimes I get the right waist size, but it doesn’t fit my thighs.

Lornadahl: Where do you usually buy your jeans, then?
Jo-anne: Usually in stores or tiangge, but it takes me a long time to find the size that fits me.

Lornadahl: What's the best fashion accessory for big women?
Jo-anne: I prefer nice long necklaces with pendants and big chandelier earrings. And maybe couple it up with bangles and big rings as well.

Look at that necklace! Bongga!

More necklaces!

Chandelier earrings while in the beach? Ikaw na!

Hippie headband, too? Gaya gaya!

Lornadahl: If you were to endorse a local clothing for big women, what would it be and why?
Jo-anne: Maybe it could be a store wherein there’s all the latest styles of clothing, in their big sizes. Stores are only limited in L or XL only, specially in formal dresses.

Lornadahl: Stores or boutiques such as?
Jo-anne: Mostly department stores and tiangges.

Lornadahl: When you pick up a magazine or watch T.V., do you see bodies that look like yours that aren’t being desexualized, or used to signify laziness, ignorance, or lack of self-control?
Jo-anne: Yes, of course. I’m actually happy nga that there are celebrities who are bigger than me and they managed to make it through the big screen with no qualms.

Lornadahl: How do you deal with I'm-so-fat-and/or-ugly days?
Jo-anne: Sometimes I wear big blouses that can hide my bulges.

Lornadahl: Do you think a great number of Pinoy men appreciate big girls?
Jo-anne: Sad to say, there are only a handful of Pinoy men who are into big girls. It’s a pity, really.

Lornadahl: If you were to appear on a billboard or magazine cover, how would you look like?
Jo-anne: Model of a clothing line for bigger sizes, with air blowing in my curly hair. Winner!

Lornadahl: What's the secret behind your self-confidence and body acceptance?
Jo-anne: There’s no secret really. I’ve just accepted who I am, and the people around me accepted me as well.

Lornadahl: For most people, including myself, acceptance took a long while. Tell us how your journey went. Any defining moment, any influential person in your life that made it happen?
Jo-anne: None actually, I'm still in the process of accepting myself. I'm not sure if I like what i see in the mirror.
Lornadahl: It's a journey, mare. I sometimes have self-loathing episodes, too. What matters is that we rise above it and face the world with a huge smile. And you always manage to do that!

Even Marc Nelson himself took notice!

Lornadahl: What is beautiful about being big?
Jo-anne: Well, I can say that being big can give you curves, and somewhat strength. In our house, would you believe that I can lift and change a 5-gallon water in our dispenser by myself?

Lornadahl: Photos or it didn't happen!
Jo-anne: Naku, nakakahiya! Basta kaya ko sya!
Lornadahl: I'm still not convinced!

Lornadahl: How do you respond to the argument that obesity is unhealthy?
Jo-anne: Technically speaking, yes, I sometimes agree to that, because if you eat healthy food all along, then you cannot be obese.

Lornadahl: And sometimes you disagree. Why?
Jo-anne: Yup, kasi my notion of being unhealthy for obese people are those who are too lazy to walk. I have big friends who are energetic. They move a lot and love to eat!

Lornadahl: Do big people stink? Are you super conscious of how you smell?
Jo-anne: Actually they do. Fortunately for me, even if I don’t put on any perfume or cologne, I’m happy to say that I don’t stink.

Lornadahl: Do you worry that when you talk about feeling of sexual attraction people are repelled or disgusted by the size of your body?
Jo-anne: Sometimes.

Lornadahl: So you keep your sexual fantasies and anything sex-related stuff to yourself? How sad.
Jo-anne: Yes, sad to say. I don't have anyone to share it with no!
Lornadahl: You can share 'em with me!

Lornadahl: Given a chance, would you join reality shows like "The Biggest Loser" or "Thintervention with Jackie Wagner"? Why or why not?
Jo-anne: Yes! it would be a life changing opportunity for me.

Lornadahl: Who's your bet among The Biggest Loser Pinoy Edition contestants? Why?
Jo-anne: Now that I'm watching it, my bet is Eboy! Cute nya kasi and he's the biggest. He needs all the help that he could get.
Lornadahl: Me, too! Read this entry.

Lornadahl: What do you say to people who say you’re addicted to food?
Jo-anne: I just shrug them off. Sometimes I tell them, “Kasi ako, may pambili. Ikaw, wala!” Panalo di ba?


Lornadahl: How do you feel if people stare at you? yell degrading stuff at you? Do you ever experience that?
Jo-anne: Actually I don’t hear them to my face. I know they say things behind my back. Luckily, I have friends who defend me from people like those.

Lornadahl: Do you ever confront people? What happens when you do?
Jo-anne: So far, I haven’t. But I know I should be. It’s just a matter of time, I think.

Lornadahl: What do fat people want to be called?
Jo-anne: Voluptuous and curvy!

Voluptuous and...pang-FHM! Woot!

Lornadahl: Does a big woman's self-appreciation and self-love root from the culture/environment she's accustomed to? What can you say about Filipinas and their self-appreciation?
Jo-anne: Yes, it contributes a lot. But if Pinays have their own self acceptance and appreciation, then, I applaud them. Only a few really embraces their own bodies, may it be plus size or fit. They are blinded on what “perfection” is as shown by the media, and they always make some modifications. Sadly, they can never be contented.

Lornadahl: You mentioned media. As the chief librarian for Summit Media, do you see any possibility that Cosmopolitan and their other magazines will follow the example of Vogue Italia's June issue that showcased plus size women on their cover?
Jo-anne: Yes, actually, nung August 2009, may article entitled, Cosmo Chicks Love their Bods were 6 women were brave enough to pose naked, and one of them is Coni Tejada, who is a full-figured woman and she loved every bit of it. Maybe this could be a start. Malay mo naman, di ba?

Lornadahl: Some big girls are unaware that they're beautiful and sexy. What would you tell them?
Jo-anne: Actually, I’m one of them. But for the sake of the others, I can tell them to embrace what God has given you, and don’t let anyone put you down. As Christina Aguilera’s song goes, “We are beautiful in every single way, yes, words can’t bring us down”.

But I really don’t give a damn on what others may think of me. I wear clothes that fit me, and I refuse to try hard. I wear make-up that is just right. But most of all, I bask in the compliments I get from friends of my friends telling me that I’m beautiful.

Who says big girls can't do short hair?

Friday, June 17, 2011

WORLD PREMIERE: Build-a-Smarter-Planet Blue Dress

Being a one-year-old employee in IBM Global Process Services Philippines that I am, I somehow felt invited to partake in IBM's centennial anniversary celebration today. An email announcement stated that we will welcome IBM US's milestone with an ice cream party and asked us to wear something in blue. What a perfect excuse to wear a dress!

What I world premiered in the office that night...NOT!

Fortunately, I spotted a lonely blue dress from my mum's closet earlier this week. I liked how the low neckline allowed me to wear a black-and-blue necklace that I bought from ACAY in Bataan and the buttons below that remind me of a sexy double-breasted suit. It's about time for a lovely trip to the outer world! So I snatched it from its hiding place and initially refused to take heed to the owner's advise to wear leggings, too. My legs want to see and be seen!

With my teammates!

Mum's blue dress

Black leggings (thanks to that thing we call dress code)

Dress-down, deliberately dirty sneakers.

Last photo by Lady Dacanay, much to her horror.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Lipstick of the Day: Naturale Wonders's Burgundy

Thanks to the bed weather, I ended up in the dreamland instead of Shangri-La Cineplex to watch Adèle: Rise of the Mummy with my current office pals. I woke up around siesta time and decided to finally drop my sort-of neighbor/former officemate a visit to deliver my long overdue birthday gifts for her in March and her little Keisha's birthday in May. Sure, it would be logistically wise to show up with gifts during her husband's natal return in July instead, but, hey, I was too eager to share my organic stash. It can't wait another rainy day. For this cozy itinerary, I opted to leave my default puta red lipstick at home.

Putting on my Naturale Wonders burgundy lipstick

Read my lips!

As I have detailed here, I purchased this organic lipstick during last year's Philippine International Eco Show and was instantly drawn to the spellbinding smell of pili nut oil. Considering its great demand among internationally-renowned brands like Chanel, Gucci, Donna Karan, Ralph Lauren and Marc Jacobs, I now feel as if I have fine taste. It also made me wish I bought their 2-in-1 lipstick and blush.


It's funny how this camwhore inspired my work-from-home friend to bring out her red orange-y lipstick for a Saturday night trip to the cinemas. Way to go, Tin!

With Tin before they left for a movie date

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

WORLD PREMIERE: That Little White Groupie Dress!

What else could be the better time to world premiere this little white dress but during the exhibition match between United Football League (UFL) All-Star, Kaholeros, vs. the Azkals in the University of Makati? In spite of the fact that it was the third day of my period (sorry, too much info!), I really felt compelled to wear it last Sunday. Forget the potential all-fangirls-meet-up in a sports bar to support the Azkals on their matches against Sri Lanka on June 29th and July 3rd (the latter is already sold out), it had to be debuted right away! For someone who loathes white stuff (I'm one grown-up who needs a bib when I wear anything white), it's really something!

The humid weather the entire country had experienced for the past couple of days would have been the perfect excuse to leave anything that conceals my arms behind. However, I was to attend the service in the morning and go on a movie date with friends after the match. I had no intention to trade that itinerary with an unexpected crawl to the hospital anytime that eventful Sunday for pneumonia.

Besides, I needed an excuse why I wasn't using a bag that matches the color of my shoes. Sorry, judges! =P

Groupie mode! Insert crushie Neil Etheridge here.

Goalkeeper Neil Etheridge stayed here! *kilegs*

Stolen shot. Seriously!

The neckline is sooo me! Love, love, love!

XL white dress from American Boulevard

Mum's knitted bolero

Shoulder bag from Divisoria

Her Bench deliberately dirty-white slip-on sneakers

Photos by Chad Barreyro.

Monday, June 6, 2011


Slimtime from Slimtime on Vimeo.

Special thanks to SushiChef for posting this.

Who says French chicks don't get fat? Thanks to this animation, we're introduced to the small statistic of French plumpies and the facility that deals with their body image issues. Yeah, I take animated flicks seriously. =P


It melts my heart how Andre, the husband of the woman who underwent a series of cute weight-loss procedures, displayed love and acceptance in spite of how unsuccessful the procedure proved to be in the end. Where can I get one?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

A Big Hand for Vogue Italia

Thanks to Vogue Italia, we, extra seksi women, now have a major milestone to look back on June 2011. What else could possibly bring tears of joy to our eyes and make us exchange fist bumps than such an esteemed magazine immortalize not one, not two - but THREE voluptuous women on their cover? The black-and-white spread may be a reminder of the rubenesque past, but, hey, this is one statement that declares the body acceptance revolution is no mere trend. I'm thrilled to see moooore sensual depiction of big women - confident and comfortable in their curves - in the future.

Exhibit A: Belle vere (Truly Beautiful Women): Tara Lynn, Robin Lawley and Candice Huffine.

Exhibit B: Curves here, there and everywhere!

Exhibit C: How To Rock Lingerie!

To see more photos, go visit Vogue Italia.

In this blog entry, the editor sounded prepared for any rebuttals and disapprovals. She stated:

We've always been criticised because we publish pictures of super-skinny women only, so this time I'd like to be criticised because there are very curvy women on the cover of the magazine. And I'd also like to underline that sensuality is not related to size, it's quite the opposite. And that beauty doesn't follow preconceived standards. Everyone should be happy with his or her own body, without paying attention to trends and to what aesthetic prejudices impose as a rule.

Here are more inspiring and contagiously hopeful messages from Candice Huffine regarding this cover shoot.

Special thanks to Oh La La Curves! for sharing this link.

Call me overly optimistic, but this representation made me feel as if the body acceptance revolution is on the roll. And my beloved Filipinas will follow suit. How and when? I may not have concrete answers to offer, but I just can't wipe this childlike smile in my face.

Friday, June 3, 2011

We've Got Male - Todd LaFleur

Meet Todd LaFleur!

Sometimes it pays to talk to strangers...and add them on Facebook. Who would have thought this Facebook friend's wall served as my portal to communities of fashion-forward full-figured females and proud Fat Admirers? If it weren't enough, I get supportive and appreciative comments on my photos, too.

Lornadahl: So you like big women. What makes a big woman beautiful?
Todd: I love their beautiful curves, intelligence, beauty, humor and the way the flaunt their bodies.

Lornadahl: How would you describe your attraction to big women? Fetish? Preference?
Todd: I would say a fetish but mostly to their breasts and booty.

Lornadahl: How do you define "fetish"? Is it just an occasional attraction to big women? Or do you also date skinny women?
Todd: Yes, I prefer big women over skinny ones AND I easily get attracted to particular big women with big breasts and round booty.

Lornadahl: Which female celebrities could use extra pounds?
Todd: Angelina Jolie, Melanie Griffith, Alicia Keys.

Lornadahl: I love Alicia Keys's body! Her lower body rocks! Why would you want extra pounds on her?
Todd: I think she needs to be a little bigger up top. I do agree with her lower body being so sexy.

Lornadahl: Name your celebrity crushes.
Todd: Jennifer Coolidge, Sara Ramirez, Anne Nicole Smith, Queen Latifah, Niecy Nash, Barbara Brickner, Emme, Anne Burrell - American chef and host of the TV show "Secrets Of A Restaurant Chef" -, Camryn Manheim, Countess Vaughn, Jill Scott, Kim Coles, Kimberley Locke, Kirstie Alley, Kym Whitley and Mia Tyler.

Lornadahl: Oooh, I love Sara Ramirez, too! I remember my best friend telling me her character on Grey's Anatomy reminds her of me.
Todd: I do see you reminding me of her.

Grabbed this photo here.

Lornadahl: Based on her magazine interviews, I don't think Kirstie Alley would like to retain those extra pounds. What would you tell her?
Todd: I would tell Kirstie that as long as she kept her curvy body then she would be perfect for me.

Kirstie Alley's before and after photo from this photo gallery.

Lornadahl: Would you agree that guys only chase after skinny women? Does "chubby chase" really happen?
Todd: I don't believe so. They like more meat for the treat. I believe chubby chase happens.

Lornadahl: Where do you go find big women?
Todd: I find them online, in magazines, in the clubs, on the streets.

Lornadahl: Are you hoping to find someone potentially significant online?
Todd: I believe so.

Lornadahl: In the magazines? How's that?
Todd: I see them in articles and ads.

Lornadahl: Why should big women believe that the guy on the other end like you really appreciate them for who they are? Don’t men look for “easy” targets online?
Todd: Because we feel that big women need all the love they can get.

Lornadahl: Could you elaborate on that?
Todd: Big women make better choices and have great ways of getting through situations. Men look for certain areas in each conversation that show off big women's great intelligence.

Lornadahl: What made you say big women make better choices and able to surpass difficult situations?
Todd: Well, I figure they have a better intelligence and they show it through their great people skills.

Lornadahl: Do you believe that online dates are being honest about themselves?
Todd: I feel that they are.

Lornadahl: Are you honest yourself? Can you cite instances when you were and when you were not?
Todd: I'm always honest, especially when it comes to talking to big women.

Lornadahl: How would you tell if an online relationship should take it to the next level?
Todd: I feel that if we talk more personally and intimately then the relationship is working better and getting to where we would actually find out our love for each other.

Lornadahl: Is it possible to find your match and NOT pursue her? Why?
Todd: Yeah, I can see it because sometimes you're just wanting friendship and nothing else.

Lornadahl: Is it harder for obese women to achieve orgasm?
Todd: I don't think so. They want their men to really give it to them and find that G-spot. I know I have always made my big girls have orgasms...many multiples.

Lornadahl: Do you find big men sexy?
Todd: It just depends on how big they are.

Lornadahl: So how big is sexy and how big is far from sexy?
Todd: I think if a woman doesn't have meat on them to grab onto and curves to flaunt then they're too skinny. Big women are the sexiest human beings on this planet no matter what.

Lornadahl: How about men? How big would make you say he's already NOT sexy?
Todd: I'm thinking if he's just too overweight and can't keep up with the flow then I feel they're not sexy.

Lornadahl: Do your family and friends disapprove of your relationship with big women? If so, how do you deal with it?
Todd: No, my family doesn't. They know that I love my big girls.

Lornadahl: How do guys who like fat chicks want to be called?
Todd: Chubby Chaser, BBW Lover/Admirer, Plump Lover/Admirer.

Lornadahl: Some big girls are unaware that they're beautiful and sexy. What would you tell them?
Todd: I would tell them that they are the most beautiful human beings on the face of this planet and that no matter what they should love themselves for who they are...not for what they look like. I love my BBWs/plumpers because I feel they have the best sex, they know how to party and create fun times. They cuddle and snuggle better too.

***End of Interview***