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Curvy Girls

UNITE Can You Feel It? From the

Male POV

Tips on Plus Size Modeling Part I - The Mental Aspect

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» A Message from the Publisher


We did it! After many long hours, a few minor setbacks, and lots of excitement along the way, here we are… the 1st edition of Curvy Connect Magazine! I am working with an awesome team, and together we’ve produced something that we’re all very proud of. I was inspired to create Curvy Connect after my own recent experience as a new plus-size model. I’ve always loved fashion and beauty, but had not given much thought to how much work it entails from a professional standpoint. I’m sure that many models, photographers, make-up artists, and bloggers can attest that it is not for the faint of heart. You will be rejected, scrutinized, criticized, and there may be many people waiting for you to fail. We’re here to offer you hope! You can succeed. I invite you to join us as we LIVE OUR BRAND! Confident. Upbeat. Resilient. Vivacious. You! You must be resilient… able to bend without becoming broken to make your dreams a reality. We are dedicated to bringing you relevant information, beautiful photos, and expert advice as we navigate through this growing industry together. We strive to create a quality product, and our satisfaction comes from knowing that you, our loyal followers, appreciate the results of our perseverance. Lastly, I want to thank our advertisers. Our revenue from advertising is what allows us to continue producing Curvy Connect Magazine. It also allows us to continue to support our local communities and showcase so much talent. I hope you enjoy reading this issue as much as we have enjoyed putting it together. Our future is bright!

Publisher Follow us on twitter: @curvyconnectmag

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Message from the Publisher


Message from the Editor


Meet Our Team


Curvy Girls Unite


Editor Pick - Model Spotlight


Your Curves


Dear Damien


Curvy Inspiration


Don’t Let Toxic Food Define Your Shape


Baby It’s Cold Outside


Cover Story – GarnerStyle




Show Us What You’ve Got




Candidly Curvy


From the Male POV




Publisher Tamara Brown Editor-in-Chief/Staff Writer Jennifer Amoako Marketing Kim Tezeno Creative Director Photograher Barry Gatlin Contributing Writers Whitney Anekwe Steven Coleman Jacqueline Goodwater Regina Hatcher Samantha John Damien Thomas Ana Wade Aaron Watson Daniel Wilson Zemill

We Want


Are your positive, upbeat, and love all things CURVY? Awesome... Join the team. Curvy Connect Magazine is seeking motivated individuals from all over. Become a Curvy Connect Ambassador! Submit your contact information and 1-2 paragraphs on why you want to be on our team. Send your info to curvyconnectmag. com, subject line Ambassador.

Special Acknowledgments & Thank Yous Curvy Connect Followers & Advocates Chastity Garner Valentine of GarnerStyle Curvy Connect Team, Models, Photographers, & MUAs Mystro Photography Diva Amour Boutique Best Print Core Details Our Families and Friends

Curvy Connect Mag P.O. Box 112 Alief, TX 77411-112 832-819-4CCM (4226) Material may not be reproduced in whole or in part, in any form without prior written permission.

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» A Message from the Editor


Welcome to the premier edition of Curvy Connect Magazine! Our mission is to create a network of fashion industry professionals such as stylists, make-up artists, photographers, fullfigured models, both professional and aspiring, bloggers, and businesses that support the CURVY community and movement. We at Curvy Connect Magazine believe that being “curvy” goes far beyond being full-figured or plus-size. We encourage our readers to embrace being C.U.R.V.Y! as a way of life!

Confident. Upbeat. Resilient. Vivacious. You!

In this issue, you’ll meet our cover girl, Author and Fashion Blogger, Chastity Garner Valentine of “GarnerStyle, The Curvy Girl Guide.” Not only is she beautiful… have you seen those curves?! Chastity is authentic, savvy, fun, and of course, always fashionable. Follow her and see for yourself! It may still be summer, but it’s not too early to start planning for cooler weather. Check out what’s trending for the fall season. Regina will tell you how to stay warm and stay fabulous! You’ll also get some sound advice about health, fitness, and relationships. Who said that a curvy girl can’t be fit? And no worries, we have a little inspiration for your soul too. In a special feature, I will be spotlighting NishaSpeaks as my “Editor’s Pick” model for the August edition. She truly personifies the C.U.R.V.Y! lifestyle. She is a multi-talented, unique, and beautiful lady. Her name says it all! We appreciate all of your support and positivity. We welcome your feedback and ideas. If there is something you want to see in Curvy Connect Magazine, let us know! Stay C.U.R.V.Y!

Editor-in-Chief Photog: Daniel Nathan MUA: Shanee’ Danielle

Follow us on twitter: @curvyconnectmag

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Meet Our Team

Aaron Watson

Steven D. Coleman

Aaron Watson is a Health and fitness entrepreneur with a background in Tennis and Boot Camp Instructions, Organic Food Science, and Agricultural Economics. During his undergraduate studies, he completed a Bachelors degree in Business Administration(2006). Recently Aaron completed a thesis study entitled, An Examination Of Organic Product Availability And Price In Houston,TX(2013) and obtained his masters degree in Agricultural Economics from Prairie View A&M University. He currently works as an independent Health Food Consultant/Lifestyle Coach.

Steven D. Coleman is a distinctive and colorful artist who has established a reputation for himself by exhibiting an artistic aptitude for making people beautiful, not only in the natural realm, but also the avant-garde image. As the CEO/ Founder of “ColeColors-Art Defining Beauty,” his work has been displayed in magazines, videos and media productions. Steven is also the head makeup artist for Wal-Mart marketing commercials.

Daniel Wilson

Jacqueline Goodwater

Daniel Wilson is an author, fashion photographer, fitness buff and long time plus size women’s proponent. He can be found photographing nature, studying humanity and writing about whatever he pleases in his small Canadian home town.

Jacqueline Goodwater has a degree in Health and Wellness and owns JackieRed Fitness in Houston, TX. Inspired by her own personal journey to achieving a healthier lifestyle, JackieRed Fitness helps clients reach their goals with fitness coaching, nutritional and spiritual counseling, and beauty tips.

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Whitney Anekwe

Regina Hatcher

Damien Thomas, NCC, LPC

Whitney Anekwe is a writer and model born and raised in Houston, TX. This Nigerian girl began her journey in fine arts as a child going on to earn honors in Theater Arts from M.B. Lamar High School. While in college, she developed her writing skills and began syndicating her short stories and poetry. She received an Associate degree in Liberal Arts from Houston Community College. Whitney expanded her horizons, attending the Neal Hamil School of Modeling and Acting. She has modeled for Seed Organic Apparel and Confident Capricorn Boutique. Whitney currently works for NRG Reliant Energy and Telemundo Television Network.

Regina studied Broadcast Journalism at Texas Christian University and Economics at the University of Houston. She founded Effortless Fashions & Designs in 2005 to provide resale, personal shopping, consignment, and image consulting services after being mentored by local resale expert Pamela Tanner. Regina believes “fashion has no expiration date,” and would describe her own style as “eclectic.” Like her favorite style icon Diana Ross, she wants to leave a legacy on the fashion world.

Damien Thomas has over eleven years of experience. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology, Master of Science Degree in Psychology & Counseling, and is in the midst of 2nd year of doctoral work at Mississippi State College. He was named Most Distinguished Alumnus in the Psychology and Counseling Department in 2011. Damien is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Board Qualified Supervisor, a Nationally Certified Counselor, and an active member of the American Counseling Association. He has been married for eight years and is currently working in private practice Jackson, MS.

Ana Wade

Samantha John

Ana Wade is originally from the Dominican Republic. She is a mother of four, strong boys and the wife of a minister. Ana loves fashion, hair, shopping, work, and her Lord and savior Jesus.

Samantha John has been an avid Bazaar reader since 1997. She enjoys reading fashion blogs, and pinning amazing fashion finds on Pinterest. Her favorite design houses are Kate Spade, Alexander McQueen, and Balmain.

Kim Tezeno Model. Entrepreneur. Professor. These are just a few of the titles that define the impeccable Kim”Kim Kay”Tezeno. Whenever the fabulous diva isn’t gliding down the runway or giving a camera “the eye,” she’s giving back to the community. Kim Tezeno is especially interested in health, beauty and the fashion industry.

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Can you feel it?

The movement; the change; the progress.

Curvy Girls are taking ownership of their rights to be women. They own their bodies and their rights to be comfortable, and happy with who they are. They own their voices and are no longer quiet about the unacceptable beauty standards society tries to impose on women. They own their rights to be original and not simulated copies of anyone else. In whatever context is significant to you, do you feel the momentum of this movement? I do. And I am excited to see it happening during my lifetime. For too long we’ve been forced to justify why we don’t look like everyone else, as though we are standing trial for a crime committed. What crime is there in having more curve to your hips, or more fullness to your face? What crime is there in finding that beautiful, and wanting that for you? There is no crime. That’s why this movement is necessary. That’s why this movement makes me proud.

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Model: NishaSpeaks MUA: Deez Creativity Photog: Niguel Valley IG: nishaspeaks 14 Curvy Connect Mag :: August 2014 Premiere Edition ::

EDITORS Tonisha, affectionately known as “NISHA� by family and friends and later NishaSpeaks, has always had a flare for words and recently has found she has a flare for the runway and for being in front of the camera. This budding Full Figure advocate and model displays her playfulness and fierceness easily through her frames, speech and stride. She has a strong faith and is inspired to become one of the great models of the day. She has now fully embraced her gift and is moving forward toward her destiny and the future God promised.

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Model: Vanessa Mays MUA: Chanel Eve Wardrobe: Photog: OBP Photography IG: vnessadalnonlii

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our Curves There’s something about a sexy woman with curves, That summons invitingly naughty thoughts, Wrapped around passion served. Thick thighs, luscious lips, inner planetary waves from the switching of your hips. Breasts that make me wanna rest my head between those melons. Indulgence so deep, I’m buying whatever you’re selling. With all that you give, you never settle for less, Those special moves that preclude, Me setting my remote to auto reset. I wanna sop you up like biscuits and gravy, Cause ripples across sweetness like I’m the captain of your navy. Have you screaming in your dreams, “Can you come here baby? I need you right now to hurry up and save me”. Those curves that swerve, come in all sizes, shapes and colors, But a sexy full figured woman can bring it like no other. Your body is my playground, where endless pleasure is found. Confidence in who you are abounds, Because you and I both know you’re the queen of putting it down. Smart and sassy are just a few of your tag line words, but what defines you most, Is the power in Your Curves.


Copyright © 2014 Lyrics Unlimited Publishing Attention Required LLC

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Model: Francesca Jeanette MUA: Samantha Sands Photog: Doug Swaim of Never Forgotten Photography IG: 2Fancy4Ya

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Model: Daniela the Model MUA: Pretty Faces by Yuri Photog: Vision.1 Images IG: danielamodel

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Model: Courtney Williams MUA: Kesha Booker of Beautymark Photog: Kesha Booker IG: honeybeefree

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Model: Plus Size Model Sheen Hall Hair: Lolita Woods Wardrobe: E.G.O. Boutique Photog: DM Signature Photography IG: Sheena_Houston_Bbw

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Dear Damien...? Dear Damien, I am woman in my 50’s. My children are adults and no longer live with me. I work full-time and have a fairly active social life with my girlfriends, but I am still missing male companionship. I’m open to meeting someone, but I don’t know where to start. I even let one of my children convince me to try a popular dating website. I went on a couple of dates, but nothing came of it. I’m outgoing and can talk to anyone. I’m well-liked by most, but that doesn’t take the place of having a meaningful, romantic relationship and someone to spend the rest of my life with. Please help! Carolyn R. ~Washington, DC Dear Carolyn R., The type of social engagement is often times just as important than social engagement itself. Having “a fairly active social life” can involve many activities. I would focus more on the type of activities in which you are involved. By adjusting your activities (i. e. engaging in community service) you would be able to receive a higher level of attention. This will also assist you with identifying men of your type based on the specific type of activity. Don’t forget that patience is key! Mr. Right should not be thought of in the context of a microwaveable meal! Crock pots only please! The food tastes better! Damien Thomas, NCC, LPC

Dear Damien, My name is Michaela. Although I’m very proud to be curvy, I’ve recently taken my health more seriously and started eating healthy and walking in the evening. I’m definitely NOT trying to lose my curves, but I feel so much better without all the junk food and soda. I’d like to know how can I convince my best friend to try a healthier lifestyle too. She always has low energy and never feels 100%. I don’t want to offend her and it’s not about her losing weight, but I think she’ll feel more energized if she gave it a try. Michaela S. ~Doraville, GA Dear Michaela, Congratulations on taking an active role in making lifestyle changes for the betterment of your health! Although it may be difficult to see a friend or loved one not engaged in lifestyle changes that would ultimately benefit them, continue to lead by example. In other words, allow your lifestyle to become her motivation for change. Besides, you can’t make anyone do anything. Change only comes to the person that is ready to change! Continue living the Curvy Connect lifestyle! Damien Thomas, NCC, LPC

Do you have a question for Dear Damien?

We want to hear about it! Submit your question to

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281.417.8930 Curvy Sizes 10-26 9730 SW Freeway Suite# UB100 Houston, TX 77074

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Model: Sylissa Photog: JT IG: SylissaModels 24 Curvy Connect Mag :: August 2014 Premiere Edition ::

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Model: Terr Cacilia Wardrobe: Terr Cacilia & Alex Liguori Photog: Alex Liguori Photography IG: terrcacilia

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Providing Child, Adolescent, and Adult Counseling Treatment emphasis includes:

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Counseling for mental health disorders (i.e. mood; adjustment) Couples Counseling Family Counseling Parenting Support Loss & Grief Counseling

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Anger Management Work and Career issues Stress Management Addiction & Recovery Conflict Resolution

At Damien Thomas, NCC, LPC we work with a wide range of emotional and behavioral issues that range from counseling for depression and anxiety, to parenting support, couples counseling, and beyond.

To Nurture Your Potential Schedule Your Appointment Today! 3670 Lakeland Lane, Suite 30 Jackson, MS 39216

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Model: Tha Diva Hair: Shiree Prince of Hair International Photog: The Lennz Bennett IG: biggirlsrock2

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Model: Zyoness Photog: Size Matters Photography IG: zyoness

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By Whitney Anekwe

“It’s Not the Size,

It’s the Confidence”


he biggest misconception of plus-size beauties is that unless we are constantly displaying we have confidence, it is assumed that because of our size we must have self-esteem issues, right? Wrong! Plus is a symbol, not a characteristic. Confidence shouldn’t depend on visual perception, but inner awareness. We too frequently allow our eyes to eat for us what our hearts can’t digest. Recently I was asked by a coworker, who’d wanted to lose weight she gained during her pregnancy, “So are you really happy with yourself?” The question took me aback a little; I’d been asked if I were comfortable with my size or my weight but never asked the question of being comfortable with myself. She’d explained that since her weight gain she didn’t feel attractive or fun anymore. In my opinion you can be large as a barge or thinner than wheat thins, it’s all about the effort you put into yourself. Though I’m not into tons of glam and heels, and I’m no super model, I absolutely love primping and being a girl. Taking care of myself isn’t a chore or a sign to “look at me” but it is my way of showing my pride in myself. A major part of looking good and being secure is feeling good about yourself. The time and emotion you feed into feeling negative about your temple can be used to improve it. No matter the cost you have to place your moralistic beliefs and self at the top of your priorities. “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” – Maya Angelou

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Model: Lex Photog: A’Leila Jackson IG: Mz_Lexg Curvy Connect Mag :: August 2014 Premiere Edition :: 31

Model: Tori MUA: Loreal Jones Hair: Pure Virgin Mane Street Wardrobe: Natasha Langford of the Style Bar Boutique Photog: Dokk Savage Photography IG: thaboldn_beautifulsag

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Model: Sharita, Inc. Photog: Leia Smethurst IG: sharitainc

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Model: Miss Pinky Hair: Rae-Shell D. Fletcher Wardrobe: Shanda Freeman Photog: Modern Photographix IG: iammisspinky

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By Aaron Watson


ood has different meanings for different people. People who are starving see food as a means of survival. People who are proud of their culture consider traditional foods to be part of their heritage. Members of some faiths regard certain foods as religious symbols. People who entertain guests view foods as a sign of hospitality. Clearly, food does much more than meet a basic physiological need; it meets emotional, social, and psychological needs as well. As long as people have walked the earth they have searched for food and the means to produce it. As we look at health and wellness in today’s society, food plays a huge role. Diet is very important when living a healthy lifestyle. It is important to include several food groups in your diet because one single food group will not provide the proper nutrients needed to live a balanced and healthy lifestyle. You should have a balanced portion of meat, dairy, grains, fruits, and vegetables. This diet will give you the proper nutrients, micronutrients, vitamins and minerals to maintain daily routines. Eating a balanced diet from the major food groups also helps fight against major illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, excess body weight, and obesity. Many people assume they have to eat like a vegetarian to live a healthy lifestyle. However, the fact is, you can still eat the way you want to eat but there is a cleaner way of doing so. Eating Non-GMO or organically grown foods are a cleaner and better way of consuming foods. Non-GMO foods are food plants and animals that are grown without


the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides or any harmful chemicals. GMO’s or “genetically modified organisms,” are plants or animals created through the gene splicing techniques of biotechnology (also called genetic engineering, or GE). This experimental technology merges DNA from different species, creating unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacterial and viral genes that cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding. (THE NON-GMO PROJECT) 2014. Some studies have shown ‘GMO’ food products to cause allergy symptoms, negatively affect the digestive system, increase risk of infertility, create toxins, influence nutritional problems, and spawns antibiotic resistant diseases. A few ‘GMO’ food products to stay away from are Canola, Corn, Cotton, Papaya, Soy, and Sugar Beets. You can assure you are not consuming GMO food products by: n Making sure you read the food labels to see what food ingredients have been used. n Always looking for the “USDA ORGANIC” food label or the “NON-GMO” food label when purchasing food items. The Organic and Non-GMO food products digest easier and faster and are healthier for the body. Living a healthy lifestyle is not just conducive to exercising and thinking you are eating healthy; it’s about knowing what right and wrong food products to eat as well as staying fit. Remember, you can still eat what you want, but you should do so by consuming cleaner and healthier food products. Don’t let “Toxic” foods define your shape.

A genetically modified organism (GMO) is an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. Organisms that have been genetically modified include micro-organisms such as bacteria and yeast, insects, plants, fish, and mammals. GMOs are the source of genetically modified foods and are also widely used in scientific research and to produce goods other than food. Source:

Model: Karen M MUA: Miranda Olivier of Mira Michi Beauty Services Photog: John Weatherall IG: Msbonita123

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Model: Nikki Shante MUA: IKnowLeslie Photog: Jay Cummings IG: Model_Nikki_Shante

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Model: Shana LaTrice Photog: Bilal Alan IG: themodelformallyknownasshana

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Model: Mackenzie Barnes Photog: Osha Hall

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We specialize in the resale of new, contemporary, couture apparel, shoes, and accessories.

Effortless Fashions & Designs True Style Is Timeless; Make It Look Effortless!

We’re Just a Call or Email Away For questions regarding items currently listed in our online boutique, styling consultations, consignment appointments, or personal shopping requests. Contact us at:

832.713.8813 Curvy Connect Mag :: August 2014 Premiere Edition :: 41

BABY, IT’S Cold Outside!


By Regina Hatcher

efore we know it, the sweltering heat of summer will end, and the cool crisp temps of fall and frigid blasts of winter will be nipping at our sassy heels! What is a goddess to do? Layer up, and pull out her fierce coats, of course! The Fashion Gurus have made their declarations for the fashion trends of Fall and Winter 2014. From the pages of Vogue, the chants of bloggers, the runways of New York Fashion Week, to the echoes of social media, fashionistas around the globe have been charged to raise the heat as they brave the brisk runways of their lives.

According to Vogue, this season provides endless options for divas around the world to sport their favorite outerwear. However, the task to be fashionable without the frump can be quite challenging for the curvy girls. The trick is to choose the best fitting outerwear for your body type with versatility for your lifestyle. Take into consideration budget and utility when the “girl next door” has a cap on her fashion “ceilings.” Some of the best outerwear options mentioned for curvy girls are ponchos, funky furs, and capes. These are all timeless trends that can be worn year after year! You say, “Show you options?” I thought you’d never ask!


The flexibility of a poncho can be amazing. The right poncho can offer ease and comfort to relax your ensemble. Remember to pick a pattern or shape that will not add volume to your curves. Many goddess-sized divas stray away from ponchos for fear they may add too much bulk or hide those dangerous curves ahead. The pattern, material, and length are key. Don’t be afraid to experiment with new ideas. Here are a couple of options to think about:

The first was shown on Lane Bryant’s site in past seasons. It’s a knit poncho with a zippered front. This is a great option to pair with jeans, skirts, or leggings! The zippered front allows for a peek at your favorite turtleneck or lightweight sweater. You can also showcase an infinity scarf or other accessories. The length is nice, and the shape is flattering.

The next stunning piece is a Michael Kors Plaid Wool Blend Poncho as shown on What’s not to like? The length will elongate and slenderize, indeed. The pattern will pair well with leggings, various length skirts, and other cold weather ensembles.

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Darlings, if I may have a moment of your time to talk furs? Furs, whether they are faux or real, never bore! Furs aren’t just for the rich anymore. With the growth of resale, a gal can get the coat of her dreams for the fraction of the price! They can make a “lady” feel extra glamorous when she steps out to waltz with Old Man Winter. Whether you prefer faux or choose real pelts, the choices for our fuller-sized divas are numerous. Just remember to choose the best options for your height, and body type. If you are petite, be cautious not to choose a coat that will swallow you. If the thought of a full-length coat is too much for you, opt for a fur vest or stole. It seems we divas can never go wrong with a mink selection. Shearling and leopard print are two fur trends the fashion gurus pegged for the upcoming fall and winter seasons. Here are a few suggestions we spotted from the past and present:


If a girl is going to splurge… do it well! This short mink jacket is from Kaufman Furs of NYC. Any curvy girl could strut wearing this in her own Winter Wonderland! Our next mink gem is one, comedienne, Mo’nique wore a few years ago when she was curvier. How elegant a goddess-sized diva can look and feel in mink!


“Shearling is a sheepskin or lambskin pelt that has gone through a limited shearing process to obtain an uniform depth of the wool fibers for an uniform look and feel,” according to Wikipedia. Shearling repels moisture and is great for insulation. Those brutal cold days don’t stand a chance with a shearling outerwear option. To get the look of shearling you don’t have to spend a small fortune. There are plenty of faux options that will give you the look, but without the painful dent in your clutch bag. Many furriers are making more plus-size options for furs and shearling. So if you want to indulge, please by all means, do! Direct your attention to the sample selections we have featured: We LOVE this ¾ length faux shearling jacket that was listed on www.whereibuyit. com. Why wouldn’t you want that coat in all colors? It’s not bulky and is the right length to rock with leggings, or jeans.

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Hear me roar! Yes! Leopard print is one of the most versatile and sassy of all the fur choices! Faux or real, leopard accents can make an ensemble. A vest, coat, gloves, or shoes can add a bang to the most subtle of outfits. Don’t be afraid to experiment with leopard print. So many designers are making “purse-friendly” options for the lady on a budget. Check out one of our favorites: This jacket, featured on a few seasons back, is a classic piece. A great length to wear with jeans, midi skirts, and A-line dresses with tights! It’s just enough to keep you toasty while your entrance freezes the city in their tracks!


Last stop in our outerwear excursion is the cape. Drama paired with utility is how we view capes! Capes capture the silhouette of your shape while allowing you to move effortlessly throughout the day. Designers are presenting such a wide array of colors, textures, weights, and price points. Opt for the ease of a lightweight cardigan cape to compliment casual wear or splurge on a luxe cashmere wool blend to bring the story to a close! Whatever your budget, a cape is a great investment. The Jessica London Hooded Toggle Cape is a fun and flexible piece to add to your wardrobe. It comes in five colors with a hood to protect from the elements. Wear with midi or maxi skirts for a bit of drama. Pair with boots and leggings for a warmer option. It was a great deal for $110!

We saved the best for last! Every girl needs a bit of dramatic flair from time to time! Well, our final option delivers! From the British designer Roubie L’Roubie, the luxurious fur trimmed capes in teal and bone are nothing short of magnificent! They were featured as evening wear selections, but these can be worn anytime a goddess desires! They are a great length for any ensemble. These are not for the faint at heart! Be ready to turn heads. Wouldn’t you look? Ladies, you have your assignments! It’s time to get busy with raising the bar on your outerwear selections for the upcoming fall and winter seasons. Don’t be afraid to try something new! Step outside of your comfort zone this year and explore your options! The web is your friend. Try sites like Etsy for vintage and custom made pieces. Visit the goddess girls’ “go to” sites like Lane Bryant and One Stop Plus. Let your search engines be your guide. Have fun, be fierce, but never bore! Your catwalk awaits you!

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Model: Jetta Cruz Plus Size Model MUA: Misty Honsi Hair: Misty Honsi Photog: Crystal Blank Photography IG: jettacruzplussizemodel Curvy Connect Mag :: August 2014 Premiere Edition :: 45

Model: Dionne Reeves MUA: Trimeloni Frazier Photog: Ron Mayes Photography IG: fullfiguredfierce

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Model: Meahgan L. Dickerson, Esq. MUA: Jarad OneTouch Reed Hair: Jarad OneTouch Reed Photog: The Lennz Bennett IG: MLDESQ

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Interview by Ana Wade, Written by Jennifer Amoako

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started this blog to coincide with my image consulting business just so I could offer complimentary inspiration and advice to plus size women wanting to achieve style. I began not even knowing what blogging was or how it would impact social media. Who knew blogging could become a full time job? It did for me. I’ve chronicled my life, the clothes, my travels, my marriage, moving to a new city and many other adventures through this blog.”


hat was in 2008 when this bourgeoning stylist was simply keeping an “online fashion diary.” Fast forward to 2014 and Chastity Garner Valentine has become an authority on curvy girl fashion. She is a well-known and respected blogger not only among plus-size followers, but she has infiltrated mainstream media on as well

as in the New York Times. Describing herself as the “know-itall” of her family, Chastity Garner Valentine credits her happiness and success to being a free-spirit and remaining true to herself. “I don’t do anything that I don’t want to do.” She says. In addition to being the go-to source for plus-size fashion and beauty trends, GarnerStyle offers an inside look into the life of our cover girl. We get a healthy dose of humor, tag along on her travel adventures,

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and even get a peek at her pooch Shug’s shenanigans. What will Shug be up to next? However, with the success of GarnerStyle has come scrutiny and criticism. Chastity has been accused of promoting obesity as well as only featuring Black women on her site. To that, she answers, “I am not a doctor.” She does not offer medical advice to her readers; she is a style expert. Regarding being racially biased, Garner Valentine proudly acknowledges that she is equally African-American and Caucasian and admits that the curvy movement was primarily started by women of color trying to find stylish clothes to accentuate their curvaceous bodies. She writes for the benefit of all full-figured women and introduces her followers to other plus-size, body-positive advocates such as Tess Munster and Virgie Tovar that are not African-American.

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Furthermore, “Everyone has to wear clothes.” declares Chastity Garner Valentine. “I want everyone to feel good about themselves.” Chastity has always been a fan of Jennifer Lopez and admires the unique style of Solange Knowles. Now she doesn’t just read about the latest celebrity trends in magazines, she’s setting the trends and rubbing elbows with the likes of her favorite Kardashian, Khloe and designer and fellow blogger Tamera Beardsley at the BlogHer ’14 conference last month in Silicon Valley. And as for what we can look for this fall, Chastity notes she’ll be wearing leather, dark make-up, and oversized coats. But no matter what you’re wearing, you should pay attention to the overall fit and length according to our expert. “Don’t be afraid to get your clothes tailored.” Garner Valentine recommends. “You may have to spend a little more, but you’ll be much happier in the long run.” Clearly, Chastity and GarnerStyle have come a long way since beginning six years ago. Blogging didn’t become a steady source of income until recently. So, she advises any blogger, especially those just starting out to write for themselves first… Not for a paycheck or any of the perks. And stay consistent. Chastity says that “Even if I won the lottery tomorrow, I’d still blog because I love what I do!” Want more? Follow Chastity

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By Jacqueline Goodwater

With social media platforms on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to name a few; many people see the results from hard work and want to be fit and healthy. Seeing is believing and investing in proper fitness education is vital. Working with someone experienced that can mentor you increases the odds of you achieving your ultimate goal.


What are your fitness goals? Not sure where to start?

nvest in hiring a nutritionist and trainer. Take notes and learn as much as possible, along with researching on your own. The best success comes from those who have a mentor to motivate, guide, and keep them accountable.

1) Be honest and open-minded with yourself.

I suggest building a supportive buddy fitness circle, which consists of friends at different fitness levels and nutritional knowledge to keep your fitness journey exciting and fun!

4) Create or change your environment to support your journey.

Check out these Five Steps that will help you along your fitness journey to transformation and reaching your goals:

2) Be consistent and track your feelings, thoughts, and moods. 3) Create a visual Goal/Vision board.

5) Hire professionals to get and keep you on the right track. Hard work pays off, and what you put in is what you get out. Understand that you only get one body, so be good to it, and in return it will be good to you.

Follow JackieRed Fitness’ motivation and workout page on Facebook @Jackiered Fitness | Instagram @jackieredsfitness | Twitter @theejackiered | WordPress@jackieredfitnessblog JackieRed Fitness’ goal is to educate, inspire, and motivate one person at a time! Take one day at a time, JackieRed Fitness

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Langston Hughes, a pioneer in the fusion of Poetry and Jazz, inspired generations. Join me…

Indulge in

A Sizzling New & Different Groove Double CD : 30 Tracks : A Jazzy, Poetic R&B Vibe

ITunes Zune Amazon Mp3 Download Day 6/19/13 Order online at

Ladies prepare to be sensually romanced Fellas just get her to track 10 and you’re in It’s “In The Mix” the title cut, it will warm things up Look For Upcoming Events & Projects By following Me On: E. Arabis Zemill @Zemill Zemill Sign up for email updates at For Booking:Weddings & Other Special Events 877.359.9779 toll free / 469.464.9762 local / Curvy Connect Mag :: August 2014 Premiere Edition :: 57


n April I had the honor of attending a Curvy Girl fashion show in Houston, TX – LS 1426 Fashion Week. The event was organized by Linda Scott, entrepreneur, model, and instructor. Linda started her business, LS 1426, with the goal of helping women evoke a positive image and build their self-esteem. With that goal in mind, she has instructed up and coming plus size models to be the best and brightest in the industry. Some of these models were seen on the catwalk that evening, and they were phenomenal.

The show was comprised of local and national designers. For some this was their very first fashion show, and others were seasoned veterans. No matter their experience level they all did beautifully. Everyone showed lines that were varied and indicative of their personalities. It was inspiring to see the expressions of these creative minds.

Edward Dillard Edward Dillard

When asked about his inspiration for the show Edward remarked that it was a compilation of his greatest hits. It was an extension of his SS (Spring Summer) 2014 show which was inspired by dress trains. Edward is based in Atlanta, GA and his line has been around for 40 years. He has a Bachelor’s degree from AIU in fashion design, and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, with a minor in Textiles and Clothing from Western Kentucky University. He started out doing men’s wear, but now focuses on women’s wear. I asked him, if he could work with any designer who would it be? In response he answered, “Chanel because she was a pioneer in the industry, and because I love the tailoring. Versace because he knew how to be cutting edge and sexy but within a limit. Willy Smith because he was the first well known black fashion designer. I enjoy his life story and the work he did with pleats and lightweight fabrics.” I asked how his education in psychology influences his designs. He says he uses it to interview clients to really gather what they are looking for and to learn how to make sure they are a satisfied customer. He often asks, “Where are they going with the outfit? What are their expectations?” Edward’s line is available up to size 24, and he strives to make all dresses attractive no matter the size. He enjoys the challenge working with a picture as an inspiration. It allows him to be creative without being a copyist. 58 Curvy Connect Mag :: August 2014 Premiere Edition ::

By Samantha John

Wendy Striggles Big Girlz Inc.

Wendy is from South Florida but she is based in Atlanta. She started her line in 2007; she understands the struggles of not being able to find things at size 28/30 and she wanted to do something about it. Wendy is inspired by music, color, and the blend of cultures found in South Florida. She believes that everyone should look and feel like a diva. She loves Pink and Leopard anything! She used to watch Style with Elsa Klensch on CNN with her sister and mom, who has been a great influence on her. She says her mom was a little bourgeois so they often shopped at Neiman’s & Saks. But these early encounters with fashion lead to her being voted best dressed in high school for her unique style- she carried an attaché! Big Girlz Inc caters to sizes 12 thru 28 (sometimes 30) and she strives to keep things affordable with pricing between $50 and $120. One of her favorite designers of all time is Versace. For the last 2 or 3 years she has been creating her own prints inspired by Gianni Versace’s use of mixed animal prints. We saw an excellent example of this in the short wrap dress she sent down the runway.

Damon Redding

Guda Clothing Line; Black People Clothing Line Black People was founded in August 2013. Black People Clothing Line came about as an outcry against prevalent black on black violence. Damon’s goal is to use the clothing line as a call for blacks to come together for a unified movement to stop killing each other. The collection Damon showed at LS 1426 Fashion Week was styled by Shay Blache, a local up and coming stylist. Damon says if he could work with any designer, dead or alive it would be Sean Jean (Sean Combs) because he was a trailblazer. He would love the opportunity to work with both Tyson Beckford and Tyra Banks (if he could get her out of retirement).

The three were just a small sampling of the talented people featured in the LS 1426 Fashion Show. I couldn’t feature all the designers, but you can definitely see photos of their amazing work.

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Photos: Barry Gatlin | Mystro Photography

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trends/tips By Steven Coleman


all makeup trends of 2014 include but are not limited to radiant healthy skin, bold popping metallic eye shadows, and believe it or not frosty ombre lips are making a comeback. While you may not be strutting down the runway in a fashion show or on a photo shoot for Curvy Connect Magazine, healthy skin is always important. A great skin care regimen is necessary before any makeup products. A wash, toner, mask, and moisturizer often are enough to get the job done.

tip1 Know your skin and its problem areas. Incorporate a rest period for the skin. This consists of taking a week break once every two months so that your skin will not become immune to the active agents in the products.

Some key products to have in order to be in style with the trend are colorful metallic eye shadows, bottom lashes, and frosty (non-glitter) lipstick. These products do not necessarily have to be worn at the same time. However, if they are worn together it’s ok! Besides its makeup and when it is worn in moderation and with respect to your facial features, hairstyle, personality, and color and style of clothing why not! Metallic eye shadows can be worn on the tip2 entire lid, by the tear ducts, or smudged underneath they eye in the lashes. A wispy pair of bottom lashes is a great enhancement to the eyes. A spider lash (as referred to on the runway by Gucci, Prada, and YSL) which is a full lash that creates a dramatic, “After 5” look for a fun filled evening. Frosty lips can be worn at any time in almost any color. Adding a lip liner that is a shade or two darker than the lipstick is a way to vamp up the look. Try different hues and textures when wearing makeup. Remember makeup is an art to enhance beauty, so experiment and have fun.

Information and tips according to: Steven Coleman International Makeup Artist | coleCOLORS Art Defining Beauty | 62 Curvy Connect Mag :: August 2014 Premiere Edition ::

281 455 9266

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Model: JackieRED MUA: Allegra Legobloc Webb Photog: The Lennz Bennett IG: jackieredfitness

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Get the look!

This look showcased JackieRED’s beautiful facial structure and accentuated her bold brown eyes. I used a soft brown eyebrow pencil by MAC in the shade, “Spiked.” There are shades of gold and brown on her eyes including MAC Vanilla Pigment in the inner corners to make them pop! The finishing touch was MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Gold Deposit for an overall soft and golden glow.

Allegra “Legobloc” Webb of Salon Blow FB: Legoblock IG: legobloc email:

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From the

Male POV

Tips on Plus Size Modeling


Part I - The Mental Aspect by Daniel Wilson

t is great to welcome you to the pages of this ambitious, heartfelt and extremely relevant new magazine. You are here because you’re clever, determined, fearless and proud of who you are. That’s what Curvy Connect wants you to be, and that’s what I personally will encourage you to become in every issue. And to begin your journey into the modeling world, you have to have your head in the right place.

As a professional photographer of full figured models - and a prime motivator of people no matter who they are - the plus size modelling industry has a special place in my heart. I’ve never felt such a sense of accomplishment as when a curvy girl

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sees her photos and realizes how gorgeous she really is. I hope you all get to have that feeling someday. In this three part series, I am going to explore the most sure-fire (notice I did not say ‘easiest’!) ways for you to achieve all your goals. I’m going to start with the mental aspect of modelling. Clothes and shoes and makeup are important - but easy fixes compared to getting in the right frame of mind. To start, this is a great time to be a plus size model. Magazines that have never featured full-figured cover models in the past are doing it - and getting rave reviews. Clothing lines that have never produced plus size products are now incorporating them into their catalogues. Those that have had plus size lines in the past are expanding them and making them ‘front and center’ in their advertising campaigns. Big girls walk the runways with their heads held high. And those are all great reasons to be getting into modelling right now. But the best reason is that you are here, reading this article. You have decided in your mind that now is the time. And that means it is! It may sound like a cliche to say you have to ‘believe it to be it’ but it is never so true as with modelling - no matter what your dress size. You are what you portray yourself to be. The legendary boxer Muhammad Ali told the world ‘I am the greatest’ long before he ever won a title. David Bowie came to America telling the press ‘I’m a famous rock star’ before anyone on this continent knew who he was. They believed in what they were saying - and their depictions of themselves came to pass. You have to do the same thing! No one is going to believe you are a professional plus size model if you don’t regard it as truth yourself. When you look in a mirror, you’d better see a world class model looking back at you! I’m a huge believer in visualization. See it in your mind. Don’t be afraid to daydream. What is it you fantasize about? Do you fancy a hunka burnin’ love with shoulders big enough to block out the sun escorting you to your next movie premiere opening? Play that scenario over in your head. Would you like a second home? If so, would it be a condo in downtown Manhattan or a cottage in a little Maine port town? Do you want to travel? Great! Where to? Will you need sunscreen or ski boots?

Do you see yourself in the hottest new designer looks, sashaying down the runways of Paris or Milan? I hope so! Whatever your fantasy - let yourself go. See it all, let it envelop you, let your fantasy world take you away for a while. See yourself doing those things, having those luxuries and most importantly being that person. See yourself as someone who is worthy of having all those extravagances. Focus on it and buy into it. Visualization absolutely works. I will say something else too, and this may be scary to the wallflowers out there. You need to employ the personal touch in your dealings with the industry. Yes, you can email potential clients, you can send voice mail and tweet and Skype and direct people to your Facebook pages. You can advertise in a thousand electronic, distant, non-personal ways. And you should - those resources are there to be taken advantage of. But in the world of modelling there is nothing like meeting a potential client face to face and putting a portfolio in their hands. They want to see your face, hear your voice, see how you move. Technology can’t replace personal interaction, not in this business. Shake hands and say hi - over and over again. That can be hard - I know it can. Shyness, lethargy and lack of confidence inspire us to shrink back into ourselves, to pull the Hello Kitty covers up over our heads and hope the phone rings by itself. Insecurity will inspire you to send that portfolio through the mail instead of dropping it off in person. Conquer those fears, the quicker, the better. In wanting the very best for the people I work with, I know that sometimes I have a tendency to be a little, shall we say, ‘overly enthusiastic’ in my encouragement. I want you to succeed! And if I have to sound a little stern, a little ‘drill sergeanty’ at times, I won’t apolo-

gize. I will be that one voice in your ear that demands that you never EVER give up. You have a desire - you have the right to be all the things in life you aspire to. But it won’t happen by itself, no matter how long your eyelashes are. Believe me girls, modelling is hard work, some of the most challenging you can commit to. You won’t make it by getting up at noon or piddling with it a few days a week. If you want a career that requires long hours, late nights and massive dedication this is the one for you. I understand all about body acceptance issues. In my own family I have seen eating disorders of all kinds, all spurred on by the effects of negative self-image. You are not alone. What this magazine and this industry are saying is that you are beautiful just as you are. You know as well as I do the vast scope of what is considered plus size. Whether you are five foot nothing or six foot three, size 12 or size 24, you can be considered ‘plus size’ depending on your shape, weight and a thousand other factors. And that’s not bad! I encourage you to embrace your uniqueness, not try and hide it or push it away. The face you want people to see is one of confidence, poise, self-awareness and self-assurance. All people in your life, not just potential clients. If you aren’t all of those things - and sometimes it’s impossible to be - you have to at least make them all believe you are! You have to be comfortable being yourself. Some of the funniest, quirkiest, sassiest, smartest and most beautiful people (inside and out) I’ve ever met have been curvy fashion models. Being seen on the cover of a magazine or walking a high fashion catwalk has changed lives - and not just because of the money. I’ve seen lives changed with a simple blast of selfrealization. That’s of more value to a lot of people than money in the bank. We’ve looked at the model mindset, probably the most important part. Next time we’ll discuss some hands on topics: poses, expressions and body language. I love working in this field, and I hope you all continue to try your hardest, do your best, and most of all believe! Trust in yourself first, then trust in yourself as a fashion model. Show the world that a model is what you are - and that, my dear girl is what you will be. - 30 -

Curvy Connect Mag :: August 2014 Premiere Edition :: 69

Ever Been to Paris?


CURVtique With Paris Appeal! By Tamara Brown

inding unique and one-of-a kind fashion for a curvy girl is not easy. Sure you can shop at Macy’s… upstairs, 2nd level, in the BACK! Lane Bryant and Ashley Stewart may have plenty in your size, but nothing to help you express your true sense of fashion. Plus, no one wants to see a carbon copy of themselves when they are out on the town! We deserve to have a great shopping experience, clothes that hug our curves in all the right places, and to leave the store feeling great about ourselves…not depressed. Sip and shop at Diva Amour Boutique! Clothes are in limited quantities and even some one-of-a-kind designs that are fashion-forward, in YOUR size! Stand out in an exclusive piece that you’re unlikely to see on anyone else that really fits your body and your style. Diva Amour Boutique is built on years of celebrity styling experience, world influences, and is growing fast in the CURVY community. So, stop by and get the “Diva” treatment and tell her you saw her in Curvy Connect Magazine!


Curvy Sizes 10-26 9730 SW Freeway | Suite# UB100 | Houston, TX 77074 | facebook: DivaAmour Mour & Divaa Glam | instagram: divaamourboutique | twitter: divaamourboutique Photos: La Diiva Kreations |

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We all have legal issues at some point in life. It can leave us feeling Vulnerable and Exposed. You need an attorney that can Protect your rights and Aggressively Fight for you! You don’t need a hammer or a shark, you don’t need any gimmick. You need an Experienced Lawyer that treats you with dignity and respect while getting results. DOEZEMA & ASSOCIATES, PLLC will get you the Result that you Deserve.

H Personal Injury (Truck-Accidents, Auto-Accidents, Dog-Bites, Slip and Falls)

H Criminal Defense (All Felonies, All Misdemeanors, Expungements, Non-Disclosures)

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(LLC Filings, Obtaining Licenses and Permits)

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713.492.2460 We Accept Walk-Ins & Appointments

Sarah Doezema Attorney At Law

3607 Old Spanish Trail, Suite E H Houston, TX 77021

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