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In the Spotlight Pg 23 Essay Contest Winners

The Sisterhood Pg. 6 Pics from Previous Events Pg. 10

pg

29

Breast Cancer Survival Story

History of Pink City Corp Pg. 36 Chapter Spotlight

Health & Beauty Pg. 29

About Curve Appeal Culture

Survival Story

Self Development Pg. 27 Ask Nicki Lynch Pg. 39 Return to the Dinner Table

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Published 3-4 times per year, Curve Appeal Culture Newsletter/Web Magazine is a publication which offers readers that include Curve Appeal Movement members, supporters and fans, valuable and exclusive information on the progress of the Movement, the Pink City Sisterhood, the associated events, sponsors, vendors, affiliates and related industry news. Topics include but are not limited to, events, fashion, beauty, modeling, health, entertainment and real life stories. Curve Appeal Culture is free to all readers. In 2012, there will be 4 digital issues and one mini print issue available at the National Sisterhood Conference September 21st-23rd in Miami.


Spring Issue Contributors

Clockwise from Top Left Nicki Lynch – Editor in Chief Tyesha Brown – Assistant Editor Alica Best – Columnist Bridgette Payne – Columnist Christi Byrd – Columnist Kim McCarter – Interview Coordinator Linda Johnson—Columnist Nicole White – Columnist

Contributors Wanted Experienced writers, editors, journalists, photographers, illustrators, graphic designers, Video editors & hostess, people with PR experience, those that have worked on a newsletter or magazine publication and those with magazine ad sales experience. Send us some background information and samples of your work. If you have an idea, send ideally, a pitch, to curveappealculture@gmail.com

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Recent Events

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Pink City Corp Explained

The History of

Toyl Events started in 1999 as a small event planning service based in Ann Arbor, MI. The service quickly grew and was later renamed Pink City Entertainment and is now officially known as Pink City Corporation. Since the company moved to Atlanta in 2006, we have been providing women of all ages and all sizes around the nation and world with avenues and events to unite, entertain, empower and educate them. Pink City Corp is most known for

starting the Project Curve Appeal Movement, the Pink City Sisterhood and producing hot events such as the national women's conference known as the Sisterhood Conference along with the Girls Night out event series called the Bachelorette Expo, Fashion Shows, Mega Photo Shoots called Glam Day, Model Development Events called the Model Me Experience and in-house training events known as Face Camp and the Leaders Summit.

Project Curve Appeal is the brain child to Pink City (formally Toyl Events). The original concept of Project Curve Appeal was born in the spring of 2008 when Pink City hosted a unique event in Atlanta, a fullfigured fashion show and expo called the Curve Appeal Beauty & Fashion Show on November 29, 2008 and then the Curve Appeal Beauty & Fashion Convention on May 9, 2009 that attracted 547 guest. During the planning of the first PCA event, Pink City encountered several issues when initially seeking support and recognition from the media, the industry, other similar organizations and retailers. We felt it was time to change the perception that all plus size women and groups that promote their empowerment, follow the same “big girl� stigma that several groups are known for. We also wanted to be that company to start a real movement that would reach and unite confident women all over the world. The official Mission of the Movement is to: Correct the distorted perception of curvier women around the world, while empowering and educating them to celebrate their beauty, embrace and enhance their curves but also to live a healthy lifestyle. For a full year (2008), Pink City Corp continued to promote Project Curve Appeal and cater to women sizes 1226 in the Atlanta area only. We quickly learned that we not only had supporters all over the world that were ready to join our cause, but we even had smaller women that wanted

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to be a part of the mission to “unite, empower, educate, and entertain”. They did not care about the size specifications. They saw the effect that Project Curve Appeal had on curvy women and simply wanted to be a part and receive the same empowerment and unity. Taking that into consideration, we started recruiting FOPC (Faces of Pink City) spokes-women. They were to be the Faces of the Pink City brand that would represent Pink City’s overall mission to cater to ALL women, ALL sizes. At that point, we had both, Faces of Curve Appeal and Faces of Pink City. Both groups of women worked closely while promoting the Movement and Mission of both Project

Curve Appeal and Pink City. They be- two years. gan to develop an effortless honest Pink City Corp continues to grow bond that we now call the “Pink City every day. Specifically, we have an Sisterhood”. overall company goal: To establish a The official mission for the Sisterway for us all to benefit and grow by hood is: Unite, Empower, Educate & creating an international power netEntertain positive women around the work of women supporting women world and continue to strengthen the and growing their personal brands. bond and the foundation so this Non- Also, to provide endless marketing Greek Sisterhood can last for years to and networking opportunities for come offering girls and women that businesses and professionals. Last, to need it, a family of non-judge mental be the go to company for fun events sisters they can confide in, have fun that promote and celebrate sisterwith and be empowered by. hood, edgy trendy themes and hot hard to find affordable fashion for In 2009, the Movement officially women of all shapes and sizes. went national. Spokes-Models from all over the country were recruited to represent the brand and spread the movement. We went from one chapter to over 20 chapters in less than

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APPLY AT WWW.PROJECTCURVEAPPEAL.COM/FOCAAPPLICATION

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ADVERTISEMENT

10 ways to ‌.

Read the tips below and put your curves to the test. 1.

Water:

6.

Water is the single most catalyst of staying

healthy and staying fit. Water suppresses the appetite naturally and helps the body metabolize stored fat. Additionally, water helps to maintain proper muscle tone by giving muscles their natural ability to contract. On the average, a person should drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day. 7. 2.

Body Magic:

Ardyss Body Magic system is a great

way to enhance your curve appeal. It provides several benefits to women, such as; reshaping ones figure, loose sizes instantly without surgery, stop aging through antioxidants, help posture, helps fight against degenerative terrible illnesses, reshape the buttocks, feel younger, protects the lumbar spine, stimulates 8. abdomen muscular tone, and reduces up to two waist sizes. 3.

Wearing The Right Size Bra:

The right

size bra will enhance your silhouette and provide comfort. It will make you look slimmer, more proportioned and allow you to feel more confident. 9. 4.

Walking:

Walking is a low-impact exercise that aids in

getting someone to their desired fitness level. Its benefits include: managing cholesterol levels, lowering blood pressure, reducing the risk or managing type 2 diabetes, managing your weight, improving your mood, and staying strong and fit. 10. 5.

Spanx:

Spanx is designed to help all women look their

smoothest in both casual and formal outfits . The undergarment line offers many designs for women of various sizes and shapes in its vast collection. It also differs in the areas that it targets, whether it be the buttocks, stomach and the thighs, It is comfortable while at the same time gives a unique sleekness. In fact, the stitching, the smoothness, and the fabric makes this a winning product for a lot of women. 22 | Curve Appeal Culture | Winter Issue 2011/12 | Part

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Yoga:

Yoga is a fun and peaceful exercise that will

aid in enhancing fitness or relaxation. Additionally, yoga can improve ones flexibility, strength, balance, breathing, heart benefits, concentration and medical conditions. Just choose the style and technique that is engaging and more beneficial to your needs.

Bike Riding:

Bike riding is also a low-impact

aerobic exercise. As well as a cardiovascular exercise. Additionally bike riding is beneficial to your health because it reduces stress, anxiety and depression; its easy on the joints legs and muscles; and it reduces blood pressure.

Sit-ups:

Sit-ups is a body resistance exercise that

you can do almost anywhere without any equipment at all. If done regularly, it builds strength, endurance, and enhances muscle growth.; as well as give you the slimmer, toned abdominal area you desire.

Dancing:

Besides being an amazing way to

have fun and let go, dancing aids in reducing stress, increasing energy, improving strength, muscle tone and coordination, managing your weight, and strengthening the bones of your legs and hips.

Pole Fitness:

Pole fitness is a fun , trendy

and challenging way to get women of all ages and sizes to get fit, increase flexibility, improve posture, tone up, burn calories and improve confidence.


Project Curve Appeal Inc has officially partnered with Ardyss International as an independent corporate distributor to share all the amazing health and wellness products available with this remarkable company. PCA not only distributes the featured revolutionary product called BODY MAGIC but we are also bringing awareness to all the other amazing products and opportunities with the company. In fact, Project Curve Appeal is currently searching B y Afor l i c i atwo B r uc e potential partners in every major city in the world. Learn more at www.projectcurveappeal.com/ardyss.

The main purpose of every garment is to lift, shape, and support. The technology behind the Body Magic garment is based on the original corset design, but with a little something extra. The garment is made of light weight Thermogenic fibers. All of Ardyss' garments are light weight and sturdy. Ardyss' line of products range from corset's and panty shapers to postpartum girdles and abdomen shapers for men. They don't stretch out or loose their form. They don't roll or bunch like traditional girdles. The garments are made to form your body, giving you proper posture and allowing you to lose weight. All the garments support the back and/or stomach in some way and defiantly help Enhance your Curve Appeal. See it to believe it!

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Essay Contest We asked our members to submit in their own words, why they joined this organization. Whether they are a Face of Pink City, Face of Curve Appeal, a Liaison or Manager, each of them joined for a specific reason or purpose! In the pages following, are the top stories our ladies submitted. They tell us how they learned about the organization, why they chose to become a part of it and what motivates them to support and be involved in this movement. Each of them presented their story at our last annual conference, and literally brought tears to our eyes! The stories were so gripping, we felt honored to share them in this publication.

The contest was based on the following: a. Honesty, sincerity and appropriateness of the essay b. Originality and interest of the story c. Passion and enthusiasm d. Personality, appearance and presentation Our top 3 winners are Shanta Bass of the Columbus, Ga. chapter, Nicole White and LaTanya Tatum, both of the Austin, TX chapter. They have won Airfare, Hotel Accommodations, & Paid conference registration for our upcoming 2012 Sisterhood Conference in Miami!

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Top Winner –

Shanta Bass Tubby. Slob. Lazy. Ugly. These are just a few of the adjectives that some people use to describe someone who may be larger than what is considered as “size acceptable”. Well, on September 18, 1976, there was a beautiful baby girl born weighing in at an even 9 pounds. That beautiful baby girl continued to grow and continued to blossom in both her beauty and her weight. That baby girl was me, Shanta Bass, and I have Curve Appeal, but it took me a while to realize it. On many occasions as I was growing up, I could see magnificent examples of gorgeous full-figured women in my family who had curves for days, yet were always fashionably dressed, wore dynamic accessories, had perfectly manicured nails and toes, strutted jazzy shoes, crowned with coifed hair, and were always enveloped in fine fragrances that followed them in the breeze. And, oh, to see them walk off...even I couldn’t help but stare! Fortunately, being able to see these ladies, and how they were able to cast a spell on every man in the room, boosted my self-esteem by leaps and bounds.

father and of course those fabulous aunts of mine, I never stayed down for too long.

I remember the first full-figured magazine that I bought called “Belle”. It focused on the being larger yet still being healthy and fashionable. There was a beautiful model on the front who donned a white swimsuit and perfect makeup. It also had want ads listed by men who adored full You see, each day when I went to school, I had to listen to figured women. I enjoyed this magazine so much! It only people talk about how I was larger than the other girls. I came out quarterly, so I read the articles over and over had to endure in middle and high school being liked by the again and tried all of the tips until it was time to get the boys…yet our relationships had to be secret because they newest issue. One day, someone at school saw the magadidn’t want their friends to know that they liked a “fat” zine and held it up high and said, “Hey look! She’s reading girl. There were a few occasions in my childhood and adoa magazine about herself! BELLY!” Everyone began to lescence that caused me pain and grief due to my weight. laugh and yell out “Belly!” My heart sank. However, I can honestly say that thanks to my mother and 30 | Curve Appeal Culture | Summer Issue | June/July 2011


That evening I went home, and Road Trip the movie was on. Starring in that movie was one of the most beautiful women who have ever walked this Earth, plus sized model and activist, Mia Amber Davis. I didn’t know it then, but my pursuit to later find pictures of her would lead me to this great organization, Project Curve Appeal. My weight has always been a background issue for me. I went through the stages where I wanted to lose weight, where I was depressed, and where I just didn’t care what I looked like. Whenever I got to a low point, there was always someone who unknowingly brought me back to reality, whether it was my own beautiful mother, one of those femme fatale aunts of mine, someone on television, or a handsome gentleman who was not afraid to tell me how beautiful he thought I was. One day, while feeling great about being full-figured and fabulous, I was Googling pictures of Mia Amber and other plus-sized models. During my search I stumbled upon the Project Curve Appeal Atlanta Facebook page. I was so happy! I hadn’t found anything this uplifting and so in tuned with my beliefs since I had found my beloved “Belle” magazines. Here was an organization that encouraged women to celebrate their beauty, to enhance their curves, and to live a healthy lifestyle! This is exactly where I was in my life! I loved me, I knew that I was beautiful and others did too, and I was working out regularly, even teaching aerobics in local dance camps. I immediately “liked” the Facebook page and regularly checked out the site. One day, a few months ago, I received a friend request from the Columbus, GA chapter and that’s when I got REALLY

excited! I would be able to join like-minded, beautiful, curvy ladies and have great adventures! Project Curve Appeal stands for everything that my more mature, sophisticated self has come to love and adore about plus-sized women who are living healthy lifestyles. It reminds us that we are beautiful, sexy, fashion-forward, business-minded, smart, men adore us, and yes, we CAN be healthy. Project Curve Appeal provides a platform to spread the news to others who need to know. As I have seen on an ad for PCA, they don’t have to like it, but they do have to respect it! Not everyone is fortunate enough to have a group of aunties like mine to be a daily visual reminder of all of these things. My aim with PCA is to become a role model for someone else, just as my mother, my aunts, Toccara, Monique, Dana Owens aka Queen Latifah, Oprah Winfrey, Mia Amber Davis-Yard, may she rest in peace, and Jill Scott –singing “He Loves Me” because my man surely does!- have been for me. I am ecstatic that Columbus, Georgia has a Chapter with PCA and I will strive to help our Chapter to grow and become a pillar that holds PCA up as we spread the wonderful movement that is Project Curve Appeal!

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2nd Place –

Nicole White My name is Nicole White, I'm 41 years old, have 2 daughters, and have been happily married to my best friend for 5 years. I'm a Level 5 Model Liaison on the Austin, Texas team. I learned about Curve Appeal through Crystall Scott (Level 4 Liaison, Austin, Texas team). Crystall was diligently promoting the organization on Facebook so I decided to ask her a few questions about the organization. I decided to research the organization and what it stood for. I found it matched a lot of the things that I stood for and represented one of my dreams...modeling, building myself up more and allowing women in my age group to see that it doesn't matter your age, you can be a role model on any platform. After my research, I decided to step out on faith and attend one of the Curve Appeal model calls held last year (2010). I had a lot of supporters saying that I would do well and that I should go for it. After having the doors closed in my face from other plus size model contest, I was ecstatic when given the news that I was chosen. After attending the Sisterhood Conference in Vegas and meeting so many different beautiful women from across the United States, I knew I did the right thing by joining up with such a wonderful organization. I joined Curve Appeal because as a child I was always compared to my younger sister. Adults would always make comments about how pretty she was and just give me the side glance. While growing up I felt like I was too dark, too overweight, wore glasses and had no confidence in myself. Those negative feelings carried over into my adulthood life which then led to depression. I suffered four (4) nervous breakdowns over my life time, in and out of mental hospitals as well as medication. I never thought I was good enough, tall enough, or even pretty for that matter. Dur32 | Curve Appeal Culture | Summer Issue | June/July 2011

ing my last Shoal Creek hospital visit, God revealed to me that I was good enough to do whatever I set my mind to. I asked God to take the need for medication and visits to the hospital away, and He delivered on His PROMISE! From there I grew into being more confident, and have higher self-esteem. I took PRIDE in the way I carried myself. I now have a reason to LIVE, and tell the world about it. I try to incorporate laughter each day because I have so much to smile and laugh about knowing where God has brought me from. I said if I ever had a chance to assist in encouraging and building up another woman/individual whether it be because of low self-esteem or mental health I would. I've always wanted to be a part of an organization that would build, and strengthen from the inside out. I was looking for a group that would focus on motivating women to be all that they can be, not tear them down. So far I have been successful in my endeavors and I will continue on this journey to self-improvement as well as extending myself in any way that I can to help the next person SHINE.


3rd Place

Latanya Tatum “Iwhat makes you sexy and beautiful is not the size of your body or the color of lipstick you have on. What really makes you sexy is what you project, your confidence, and your self-awareness, having a great sense of humor and being really smart.” ~Kate Dillon, Plus Size Model. The way that one looks and carries herself is the first introductory statement that you give to world. We live in an age where image is everything. Individuals are judged immediately by their appearance, and sometimes our appearance is the only selling point that we have time to make. I can remember being in a room with a powerful black woman by the name of Vicki Spriggs who is the Executive Director of the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission. When Ms. Spriggs walks into a room, she commands attention. When she speaks, she does it with such a passion and eloquence that each person in the room hangs on to her each word. When I first met Ms. Spriggs back in 2000, I said -one day, that’ll be me. I am LaTanya M. Tatum, a native Texan, currently residing in the Capitol City of Austin. As a young girl growing up in rural East Texas, my grandmother drilled into my head, these simple, but very powerful words, “Whenever you walk out of MY house, you need to look like you are going somewhere.” My granny did not care where that somewhere was, she was only interested in making sure that I was presentable to the world. “Walk straight, hold your head up high, speak clearly, and know that no one else is greater than you,” are some of the other nuggets that she often told me. These pearls of wisdom, along with the burning desire to succeed, are what have made me into the woman that I am today. Project Curve Appeal is an organization that we curvy ladies have indeed needed for a very long time. Of course, there are several similar organizations that exist, however what stands out about Project Curve Appeal is the high level of class and professionalism that is exhibited at all

times. As well, the dedication to continually providing necessary training to the members ensure that the organization’s mission and vision will always be carried out and never grow stagnant. By uniting women together for the common cause of eliminating stereotypes, achieving goals, and breaking down barriers, we can debunk the myth that women do not get along or cannot work well together, while at the same time, showing the world that our curves do not make us inferior. By educating women and teaching them to honor their self-worth and embrace their curves, we ensure that everyone else that woman comes into contact with benefits from her wholeness. By empowering women to know that they are not defined by their body type... but by their confidence, character, and gentle disposition, we began to bust down walls that were created to hinder our growth. By uplifting women, we encourage them to look beyond their circumstances to the greater picture beyond. Teaching them that thinking positively breeds continuous positivity. This is why I joined Project Curve Appeal. Curve Appeal Culture | Spring Issue 2012 | Part 2|

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Tiffany Williams I grew up in a house with a mentally and physically abusive father. “The Beast” is what I learn to accept him as. He abused my mother, my siblings and I. I remember being five and holding my baby brother in my arms and listening to my mother’s instruction to climb out the window and get help as blood ran down her eyebrows. The beast had struck again leaving his nasty marks all over my mom and my heart. I remember that day being extremely afraid as I watched my mother struck with fear and bleeding from her temple. As my mom clutched a knife in her hand to defend herself against the Beast, I panic with fear and froze. It was that day that I knew a Beast lived in my house and a piece of my innocence left. I begun to see the world in color. As I developed and matured into a young woman, the beast wrath became less physical and more mental. My father would proclaim that I was too big and no man would ever want me. I remember being called a “B**ch” by my father. This was the man who was supposed to protect and love me. I remember crying that day, and many days in my room, wondering why I couldn’t I have a nice daddy like other little girls. Why did I have to live with a Beast? Why didn’t I have a father who motivated me and proclaim that I was the prettiest little girl in the world? What was so different about my body that the beast thought I was so big and unattractive?

brace, empower, enhance, and educate where several words that carved their way into my heart that day. It was also the words that I knew defined me as a woman and taught me to love myself despite my childhood.

As I got older I realize that I was different, but beautifully different. Ironically my hips were a courtesy of my father side of the family along with my height. As I grew into young adulthood and developed my own self concept, I realize that different wasn’t bad, but it is what makes me unique.

The power to embrace what God has giving me is the core part of my being, and should be in every woman’s core despite shape or size. We all are so powerful and fearfully made. Empowerment is what we all should strive to do as women on a daily basis. Enhancement is the icing on an already beautiful cake, just a little dab make it sweeter. Educate is how we expand the knowledge we have in us to others. These 4 E’s is what drove me to Curve Appeal and why I sought to become a member. I look forward to sharing my love of myself and my body with other women and encouraging them to love the physique they are in.

While browsing Facebook I came across a post concerning Curve Appeal. After a visit to the website, I knew I wanted to be a part of such an empowering movement. Every word of the mission statement represented me to the core. It was very uplifting and to find and organization that supported curvy women such as myself. Em-

Curve appeal is what I have always stood for my whole life. It’s what I love so much about myself today. It’s what the Beast never told me about myself and what he couldn’t. Over the years I have learned to embrace my curves, love my differences and accept the beauty that God has bestowed upon me.

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Chrystal Jackson My name is Chrystal and I am the City Movement Manager for the Columbus Curve Appeal Chapter. My reason for joining Project Curve Appeal is very clear and simple. We are a sisterhood and a movement. I grew up with 3 sisters. So I understand what a sisterhood is all about. This organization would allow me to build more relationship with other sisters on a national level that I had things in common with. In addition to the sisterhood, we are a movement, one that is not to be reckoned with! I don’t think of FOCA as Faces of Curve Appeal, but more like Forces of Curve Appeal. This organization is blazing a new path for curvy, confident, sexy and independent women. Unlike other organizations out there, PCA also promotes healthy lifestyle and community service. These concepts together were clear and simple for me to identify with. I had been to a Pink City Entertainment event in the past and enjoyed myself. After returning to Georgia and realizing that Columbus didn’t have a chapter, I decided to join and share the mission and help eliminate the misperception of plus size women. Thus, the new Columbus chapter was born. Since childhood, I have struggled with my weight. I’m sure that the plus size women can relate to this issue. Depending on the situation or life’s events my weight would always be affected. Needless to say, when my father passed away at 53 after struggling with diabetes, being on dialysis and becoming a double amputee, I knew I had to make some major changes. I started to focus on me and accepting the body that God had given me. I started appreciating my body and accessing my worth. I was recently diagnosed with Pre-Diabetes. I now know that I have to get into action and make these changes

now. I know that this is attainable with the help of my sister and our monthly commitment to fitness. I felt that I needed to share this with other women and encourage them to embrace their body while living a healthy lifestyle. Plenty organizations claim to be supporters of plus size women but fail at truly supporting and empowering plus size women. At Project Curve Appeal, I witnessed a bond and accountability from the members across the board. We are here for each other as well as our youth and other women. I continue to seek others sisters that are willing to represent not only themselves but the organization as well. I personally feel that the best years are yet to come. I am proud to be a part of such an amazing sisterhood. I look forward to growing our sisterhood and making everyone take notice of the major force that is PROJECT CURVE APPEAL. So remember, not only are we managers, we are movements and not only are we faces we are forces.

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Nakeeya Jones I was never one to follow the crowd. If I was in the crowd I had to be the one leading the crowd. As I continue to get older, the crowds that I use to lead have faded. I find myself wanting to feel a part of something. At a certain point I began to feel like I was losing all of my close friends. Some of the relationships I have are starting to feel more and more like work. While I never had a large number of close friends, the few that I had were my sisters. They were there for me and vice versa. When one shed a tear we all reached for the tissue box. The girlfriends I speak about have all gotten older and have allowed other aspects of their life to consume them. Making new friends was not my initial reason for joining PCA although the friendships that have immerged from this sisterhood are more than I could’ve ever hoped for. My initial reason for joining PCA was threefold. First was to assist in my pursuit of a modeling career. Even though PCA is not a modeling agency I thought what better way to network in the plus size industry than to be a part of this sisterhood that is strictly for beautiful, sexy, confident, plus size women. The second reason was to teach and uplift my beautiful sisters. I am a women’s health nurse and want to educate women on how to prevent any unforeseen health problems. Third I joined for my 9 year old daughter. I try to instill the same values in her that were instilled in me. At the top of that list is always being a leader, never a follower. I try to be a role model for her and joining PCA was another way for me to lead by example. I am a single mother so my daughter is with me 95% of the time, except when I am at work. While I do go out and have my adult time, most of my time is spent with her. I try to choose activities and events where she can learn and have fun. Some of those activities and events are PCA events. Whether its passing out flyers and hearing me talk about the new organization that I am now a part of or assisting with our community service, my daughter is right there watching her mommy make a difference. She even helps out with our fundraisers and 36 | Curve Appeal Culture | Summer Issue | June/July 2011

cannot wait for the day when she can join PCA. I was a plus size child and can relate to the feelings my daughter deals with, as most of us probably can too. Society is recognizing it and the healthcare system is taking action. Obesity is very prevalent in children and even more so in African American children. My daughter fits into that category standing at 5ft and 120lbs and I am constantly reassuring her that she is beautiful just the way she is. Having my daughter witness the other FOCA and I living happily in the skin we are in, will help her see that size does not matter. She is a beautiful little girl with a colorful personality but she has her days when she is not feeling oh so fabulous, as I am sure we all do. I know I have my days as well, but when I come together with my Curve Appeal sisters can’t anybody tell me anything. Together we can conquer all things that try to tear us down. So to answer the question why did you join Project Curve Appeal, I joined to become a part of a sisterhood where I will make life long bonds with women who can relate to me on all levels and I am so happy I did.


Rashonda Martin I remember the moment when the thought entered my mind about being an active and successful sister of Pink City. It was doing the Meet and Greet at the Atlanta February Face Camp. I initially attended face camp because I was under the assumption that it was some type of modeling group. I'm blessed that the meeting took place, because I would not have any idea that Pink city or Curve Appeal exist. At the end of the meeting Ms Daphne invited me to Face Camp. She told me to go check the website and let her know when I had paid my fees. Well the only thing that registered in my mind was pay fees and trip to Atlanta with photo shoot. Of course that was my fault for not researching and learning more about what I was spending my money on. I carpooled with my loving FOCA sister Keisha. On the ride up she gave me some insight on the organization and things to expect for the upcoming weekend. Always wanting to be a part of a sisterhood I became more excited about learning more about the unknown things of this trip. During the Meet and Greet Ms. Bev spoke very highly of the organization and with such confidence that I was sure that this was where I belonged and what I wanted out of a sisterhood. I learned the mission of the sisterhood that evening. Our mission is to Educate (giving the sisters the knowledge on how to be positive remodel regardless of the circumstances) Motivate (inspire women to be the best woman they can be) Support (to be a supporter of yourself, sisters, and your community) Empower (strengthen one another with sisterly love and respect) for all women of all ages and backgrounds. That’s one of my favorite things about the sisterhood it does not discriminate against no ages or backgrounds. I love that. I shared a room with my diva sister Char. Char is FOCA and I'm FOPC. We were both finalist from Augusta. So we experienced the trip together for the first time. That evening after dinner we both shared an emotional moment on the bond of the sisterhood. We discuss how embracing, encouraging and how much love was given to us from

all the sisters that night. I've never had self esteem problems, except during an abusive relationship. I was healed through power of the Lord. But Char testimony that night was very touching to my heart. Her words was "she never felt like she belonged because of her size and she could never truly be herself. But now she was in a place that everyone was like her and she did not have to feel shame for who she truly was." Even though we had different reason on why we were truly happy to have come and be a part of the organization, we still bonded under the same love and beliefs. I'm truly honored to be a part of Pink City. The Augusta chapter has the BEST SISTERS on the map. Not once have my FOCA sisters left me out of any event or ever made me feel as if I didn't belong. All of my sisters is always a phone call away their schedule is always open to a sister in need. There is no Big I's and little U's in sisterhood. I'm truly blessed to have sisters that are mine and I'm theirs, because we truly believe in our mission to educate, motivate, support, and empower all women.

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Q.

Advice Column on Work, Wealth, & Relationships Email Your questions: nickilynch@pinkcitycorp.com

How do you separate a

personal relationship from a work/ business relationship when you are running a business like a sorority? How do you get to know the members on a personal level in order to bond and build a sisterhood? M. Richard This is a very common challenge not only in the Pink City Sisterhood, but also applies in other areas of your personal life. Whether in church or other social environments, it is often difficult to balance the line between friendship and leadership, when you have to assume a position of authority amongst your peers. It’s all in the way you carry yourself as a leader. Position yourself as someone that members can trust and confide in. At the same time, don’t allow them to get too friendly and come to you with gossip or drama. When the line gets crossed into an area of drama, you must be prepared to step back into your position of authority and deal with the situation. Typically in that environment a line is drawn that keeps your position in perspective. Be friendly, but not too friendly. Keep in mind that you are being watched at all times. Don’t let your conduct be ill spoken of, and you will maintain the love and respect of your chapter.

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How do you handle a relation- trying to maintain a full-time job ship where one party makes sig- and run a small business? How can nificantly more money than the you find a balance so that you are not worn out and drained after other party? L. Tatum one or the other?

Q.

To answer this question, I’m going to assume you are referring to a relationship between a man and a woman, where the woman makes more money than the man. I’m assuming this only because it is a very common question amongst strong women such as the ladies of the Pink City Sisterhood.

Ladies, if you are in a relationship where you make significantly more than the man, you must NOT… I repeat… NOT make this a factor in the amount of respect you have and display for that man! A person’s value does not consist in the abundance of possessions. If this man is a respectable man, then show him the respect he deserves! Let him be the man, and pursue you with the limited funds he has! This is a prime opportunity to see just how creatively romantic he can get. It takes a lot of thought and care into planning quality time/dates with a person when you have limited funds. However, if he is willing to do whatever he can with what he has, he may be worth holding on to! Besides, money comes and goes! He may not make as much as you do now, but those tables could turn in a heartbeat! At least then, he will know you are not with him for the money!

Q.

What are the best tips that

First and foremost, make sure that the small business is something you are PASSIONATE about. When you are passionate and absolutely love the business you are in, it won’t feel like work! When I was a web designer, I found I could literally work overnight on websites. Making websites was like creating art because it was an outlet for me to express myself. Second time management is EXTREMELY key. One thing I do now is plan my time in advance and write it in my calendar. You make time for whatever is important to you! This applies to every aspect of your life, including people. Plan time for work, play, exercise, and rest! When my husband was still working at a full time job, we would plan our schedules together. For example – His job required 10-7pm Mon-Friday. So we planned our days for prayer in the morning, then he would leave for work. About 1 hour before he would come home, I would make dinner and have it ready. We would exercise and have dinner until about 8:30 and then work on our business until 10. Afterwards we would watch tv from 10-11 and go to bed. With a schedule like this, you can have time to spend with your family, plus time to get work done on your business, and get proper rest

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A Breast Cancer Survival Story Ms. Latanya Tatum LaTanya Tatum, is a native Texan, currently residing in the Austin metropolitan area. She is 34 years old and in In her “short” time here on Earth she has had many accomplishments and achievements. One of her greatest accomplishments is that she is a breast cancer survivor. She tackled cancer head on. After her initial shock and pity party, she made a point to ensure that she would tell her story whenever she had the opportunity to do so. Today that audience is YOU. Please enjoy her story. It is her hope that you are able to take something away from it.

The Diagnosis

She remembered sitting at work and thinking “Who should I call? Should I call my doctor? Or should I call to have a mammogram exam?” She decided to go with the latter, but she was not prepared for the way the call went. When the receptionist answered she advised her that she needed to schedule a mammogram. She asked for basic information like name and date of birth and then staunchly stated, "We do not do mammograms on women over the age of 29 years of age." She went on to explain why she needed a mammogram and then the receptionist stated, "Well you will need to get a referral from your gynecologist first."

She then proceeded to make an appointment with her gynecologist. The few days leading up to her appointment were very emotional, because she started to panic. On the day of her examination, the doctor laid her down and to massage her breasts and then advised LaTanya that she could not feel what she had felt. So LaTanya then guided her hand to where she felt the lump. Then the doctor stated, "Oh this doesn't feel like it should be anything that would cause concern." One reason that it never occurred to her that she had cancer, However, the doctor must have saw the panicked look on was by that time in her life, she had no family history of any LaTanya’s face because she quickly followed with, "but I will type of cancer. send you for an ultrasound...if you would like me to." She Plus, she just had her annual checkup a few months earlier, agreed to the ultrasound, just to ease her mind. and her gynecologist did not feel anything. So she felt that The ultrasound was scheduled for the following week. she was safe. She was told that you should not feel your When she arrived at the imaging center, the technician had breasts during the time before your period. With those her to put stickers where the lump was so she would know thoughts in her mind she simply dismissed the lump for the where to look. During the ultrasound, LaTanya looked at her next two months. breast on the screen, and saw the lump. It was a huge black Around October of 2006 LaTanya finally told a good friend looking mass. She thought "Well that doesn't look harmful, that she was feeling a lump. He then encouraged her to go to Boy was she wrong!” The technician left out and came back the doctor to make sure it wasn't anything serious. Verbaliz- with the radiologist, who told her that they wanted to do a ing it to someone is what caused her to start to panic, and to biopsy on the mass just to make sure that it wasn't cancerous finally decide she wanted to know if something was really This is the first time it occurred to her that she could really wrong. have cancer. Curve Appeal Culture | Spring Issue 2012 | Part 2| 43 LaTanya did not have any previous symptoms that she can remember, but in August of 2006 she felt a lump and dismissed it. So many thoughts went through her mind but she never imagined that it was cancer. Cancer was a word that was just not in her vocabulary (except for once a year in October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month), and even then it was very minimal.


The next day came and all day long she remained calm. LaTanya says "It was the calm before the storm." She went through most of the business day without a phone call and she thought to herself, “this was nothing to be concerned about.” Then at 5:30 p.m. she finally received a call. It was the radiologist (not the one she had spoken to earlier in the week). He started the conversation off by telling her that he did not have good news. He then proceeded to say "You have stage 1 breast cancer, and I think it is something that should be taken care of rather quickly so… tomorrow, I have scheduled you to meet with the surgeon, Dr. Aravind Sankar." She was stunned and couldn't even say anything. Then at 5:30 p.m. she finally received a call. It was the radiologist (not the one she had spoken to earlier in the week). He started the conversation off by telling her that he did not have good news. He then proceeded to say "You have stage 1 breast cancer, and I think it is something that should be taken care of rather quickly so… tomorrow, I have scheduled you to meet with the surgeon, Dr. Aravind Sankar." She was stunned and couldn't even say anything After she got off the phone with the doctor, she called the 3 closest people in her life’ her friend, best friend, and her ex., Then just sat there at her desk taking it all in…She was very much in shock. “Me? LaTanya Michelle Tatum…Cancer? What the hell?? I don't have time for this!" were her first thoughts. At the time she was in school, working on a second Masters’ degree, heavily involved with her Sorority, and church. She went through a full range of emotions that day and into that night. After she left work she attempted to go to class, but only found herself sitting there wondering about the future. It was a three hour class, and at the break she told the instructor what happened. The instructor had a look of complete shock, but of course allowed her to leave. After she left class she went home and called her friends. The next day for her surgical appointment, the doctor gave her the options of a lumpectomy, a partial mastec44 | Curve Appeal Culture | Summer Issue | June/July 2011

tomy, or a double mastectomy. He actually drew pictures of how the procedures would be done. She then looked at him and candidly said, "Dr. Sankar, I need my breasts so whatever you have to do to save them, please do so." They both laughed, but from then on she decided to tackle cancer, positively and with a lot of laughter. The Reality Just think, what if she had listened to her gynecologist who misdiagnosed her? She probably wouldn't be here. As a matter of fact, every time the doctor saw her after chemo began, she would always apologize to LaTanya for the misdiagnoses. The doctor’s nurse later told LaTanya that the gynecologist was heavily affected by the mistake that she made. Her Inspiration The week after LaTanya’s diagnosis, she went to Jackson, Mississippi to attend the Capital City Classic. This was a getaway that was financed by one of her Sorority sisters. It was just what she needed to get out of Austin for the weekend so that she wouldn't wallow in self-pity. While sitting in the airport that Sunday morning, on her way back home and , and back to reality, an old gospel song came to her. She kept repeating it over and over again. It dawned on her then, that this would be her song. "We've come this far by faith...leaning on the Lord...trusting in His Holy Word, He's never failed me yet...Can't turn around, we've come this far by faith." That is the song that she has commissioned as "her song." She can remember a preacher once saying, "Get a song for when hard times come, so that you'll have something to remind you of just how good God Is." LaTanya passes this to anyone dealing with any adverse situations get a song…several songs, for encouragement and to get you through whatever your difficult situation may be.


Her Current Situation There are very few days where she worries that the cancer will come back. She is reminded that fear and faith cannot co-exist, and that she will be able to handle whatever she faces with true faith in God. She does have times where she gets a little nervous about the side effects of chemo. One possible major side effect is that it may take away her ability to conceive, and actually push her into an early menopause. But it didn’t! She continues to have a normal monthly menstrual cycle. Her doctor says as long as that continues to happen, they have something to work with! LaTanya prays that some day she will be able to give birth to at least one baby before she leaves this world.

Advice to Others Affected by Cancer Take it one day at a time. Know that in this day and age, a cancer diagnosis is not a death sentence. She has heard people say that cancer meds do more harm than good. LaTanya says, “Look at it this way, believe in God and believe that God gave physicians the knowledge and skills to possess His healing powers.” When she went through chemo she kept a positive attitude and never got sick. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

not to waiver from your regular routine too much, you too can make it. Also, be careful when asking people to pray for you. She only asked people to pray for her that she knew genuinely cared about her and her wellbeing. Most importantly, familiarize yourself with your body, ask questions when something does not feel right, and be persistent In Closing LaTanya would like to thank you for taking the time to read her story. She didn’t go specifically into the treatment regimen that she had, but if you have questions, please feel free to contact her via email. She will more than gladly answer any questions you may have. LMTatum77@gmail.com.

For more information on breast cancer symptoms, signs, prevention and awareness, and for information on how you can help the cause, please visit the Susan G. Komen for the Cure website at: ww5.komen.org

She dressed herself up to go to chemo and continued with daily life pattern. Her nurses and oncologist always complimented her about all she did to maintain her look during treatment. They told her that it brightened there day to know when she was coming for treatment, because she brightened the room each time. To this day, LaTanya still goes by to see the doctor’s and nurses when she has appointments in the building, because she likes to think that she can still bring them great satisfaction in knowing that they helped her to stay healthy. LaTanya realizes that her journey was very different from what others have and will experience, but she feels that if you try your best to stay positive and try

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In today’s society, we are so busy running here and there. Mothers are a big part of the work force, fathers are working two jobs just to make ends meet and the children have schedules that take a monthly planner just to keep with all of their activities from day to day. But what has happened to the family dinner time? What has happened to everyone sitting down at the dinner table discussing the activities of the day, sharing stories and being engaged in each other’s lives? In most of today’s house-holds, dinner consists of going to a drive through picking something up on the way to soccer practice, dance classes or little league football. In

some cases, pizza is ordered and everyone gets two or three slices, and goes to their various areas to eat. This might be in front of a television, computer, or lying across a bed talking on the phone or doing homework. Families are getting so disconnected with each other in this society. We don’t all need to be like the television shows from the sixties and early seventies but we need to take the time to get back in tune and engaged with each other. The family dynamics have changed tremendously. We had the single mothers, single fathers, children growing up in the house with grandparents and one parent and the dynamics go on and on. But this is still family. The dinner table serves as the heart of the family. At the dinner table, Christian families engage in family prayer, thanking God for the food that He has provided for the family and for the hands that prepared it for their nourishment. “A family that prays together stays together.” This is such a profound statement. We all can’t sit down every day and have dinner together, but we need to make every effort to eat together at least twice a week. Dinner should be appetizing and full of color. The desire to eat comes from our eyes first before we even taste it. The aroma of food cooking draws families to the table. Choose healthy but tasteful recipes for

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Many stores are trying to help the busy family by offering premade items, meal deals or deli specials. Take advantage of these things to help your family get back to the dinner table. If you feel kitchen challenged, restaurants are a good place to talk as well. You will be amazed by how much your family members will enjoy the conversation. Young children as well as teenagers will learn to express their thoughts and views freely. This can build a stronger bond with your children, and they will feel free to share when they are having troubles. Communication is a key to get into a person’s heart, mind and spirit. This builds trust, understanding and respect between the family units, no matter what the family dynamic. The holiday season is fast approaching and this is an awesome time to start incorporating your family dinners. Having your family and friends around is a great way to get started. Food can be the heart of any conversation. That is one thing everyone has in common, they enjoy good food. Good food and good company builds laughter and strong bonds. Thanksgiving is a great holiday. It’s a great time to enjoy cooking for your family and friends, sit back, and watch them eat until they fall out of the chair. Catch up on life

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changes, things to come and the accomplishments of your children. Give your children praises, as well as chastise them in love, so that they know the family is behind them one hundred percent. Slow down, enjoy life and build strong family units. This can start around the dinner table. Set a time when you like for your family to sit down and have dinner. Explain to them why you feel they should do this and what you want to accomplish. Turn off the television and get back to talking to each other. Texting and E-mailing are okay, but there is nothing like sitting face to face with the ones you love. So follow me on Facebook at “Cooking with BLP = Boldness, Love, & Passion”. I will be posting helpful hints, simple recipes, pictures and videos.


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CHAPTER SPOTLIGHT Introducing the amazing ladies of the Austin Curve Appeal Chapter! From the beautiful coordinating dresses during the 2011 Sisterhood VIP Dinner, to the support they showed each other, or the laughter and smiles they shared throughout the weekend, the ladies of the Austin Curve Appeal Chapter are truly beautiful inside and out. Meeting them will inspire you and make you proud to be a member of the organization and a part of the Pink City Corp family. Curve Appeal Culture contacted City Movement Manager Melanie Rhodes and asked her to share insights on this growing chapter.

For those who don’t know please tell me who are the leaders for Austin Curve Appeal? City Movement Manager: Melanie Rhodes L4 Liaison - LaTanya Tatum L5 Liaison—Nicole White

How many members do you currently have in your chapter?

   

Literary Curves Book Club April Face Camp and Bachelorette Expo Volunteering Fundraisers

The year of 2012 is here, what do you want to see for your chapter in the New Year? I want to see us grow, with committed and hardworking members in levels 5, 4, and 3.

What do you think women gain from joining your chapter? I think they will gain a true sense of what it means to have a sister from another mother. If anything I want them to know they always have someone in our chapter they can go to for support, encouragement and sincere love.

If you could describe the women of your chapter in three words, what would they be? Amazing, Beautiful and Passionate

Three active Level 5 FOCA, two active Level 4 FOCA, and If I was interested in joining the Austin Chapter of one pending Level 4 FOCA. We also have two makeup artCurve Appeal, Where do you currently meet? Is the ists.

around the same time each month?

What inspired you to be a part of Curve Appeal?

We have monthly meetings at the Dell Children's Hospital in central Austin on the 3rd Thursday of each month starting at 7pm.

I was inspired because of a new found confidence in myself after major weight loss. I was looking for a group of women who were able to embrace their curves and realize beauty comes in all sizes. What can potential members expect from attending

conference as a member of this organization? What are the types of events or activities can women in Austin can expect from joining your chap- They can expect to gain insight from members of this orter? ganization from all over the country. They will gain valu  

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able friendships and connections with women who share the same goal of loving everything about them, especially the curves they were blessed with. If it’s a new member, they can expect formal training to learn how to properly


If am interested in starting a chapter, what advice could you give a new City Movement Manager or Model Manager? Don't expect to always be favored. Yes this is a sisterhood, but it is also a business. Don't be afraid to assert your authority and make it known that the Pink City Corporation is about quality, not quantity.

How can potential members get in contact with your chapter for information on membership? You can visit our website at www.projectcurveappeal.com/Austin

What do you expect of new members when they join your chapter? Be ready to work!

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