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Operations Chris Dixon Editors Bailey Rufer Elizabeth Adams Contributing Writers Conner Lee Carey Daniel Wilkens Ebony Jordan Krissy Mallard Kristin Gallina Lindsay Marie Lucia Metcalf Contributing Photographers Daniel Wilkens Neil Glover Design Chelsea Dixon Cover Model Taylor Irezumi Cover Photographer Cody Weber Special Thanks to Curvy Expo Prowess Models Publisher Arrogant Dreams, LLC. 1971 W Lumsden Road #215, Brandon, FL 33511 | contact@arrogantdreams.com

Taylor Irezumi | Photography by Cody Weber

Founding Editor Chelsea Dixon


Want to Write for Us? submissions@loveumag.com General Inquiries: contact@loveumag.com Advertising: ads@loveumag.com Š 2016 Love U Magazine. All Rights Reserved. All Trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Products or services mentioned within are referred to under the guidelines of the United States Fair Use Doctrine. We assume no ownership over third party trademarks. This publication provides authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. However, due to the ever-changing pace of the internet and the industry, we give no warranties with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the information given. This publication is to be used for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for ones own due diligence to obtain appropriate legal and/or professional advice. Some of the hyperlinks within this publication are referral links. The publisher may receive affiliate commission on purchases made through referral links.. (Credits Continued on Page 86) (Credits Continued on Page 00)


42 Our Time to Shine: Inside the Curvy Expo

14 Seven BodyPositive Swimwear Brands That Are Bringing The Heat


06 EDITOR'S LETTER A special edition of the Hot Issue!

12 WHAT'S HOT Our Hot Summer Product Picks

36 THE EVOLUTION OF PLUS-SIZE FASHION An Interview with Meghan Bradley

62 SUMMER STYLING Choosing The Right Outfit For Your Shape

72 WHY ARE YOU SO FAT AND BIG? My Delayed Response to a 5-Year Old and 5 Steps for Radical Self-Acceptance

82 TEN QUESTIONS Q&A with Addition Elle

09 Confidence IS Pictorial


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t's with great pleasure that I welcome you to this special preview edition of Love U Magazine! For those of you who are not familiar with our mission, Love U Magazine is a body-positive fashion and women's lifestyle magazine. We believe women should embrace their beauty, embrace each other, and stand together #UnitedUnderFashion! It's time we remove the labels because beauty lives in us all. In this issue, we are going to look into one of the hottest events over the past few months--the Curvy Expo! We are thankful that Director Meghan Bradley opened the doors of her event to our magazine. It was an honor to take part in this empowering event.

Meghan was also kind enough to talk to our Contributing Writer, Daniel Wilkens, for a perspective interview on the evolution of the modeling industry. We will also look at fun body-positive swimsuit brands, products we loved and Summer style (based on your body type). We also look deeper into body issues and provide you with a guide to radical selfacceptance! However, the best part of this issue couldn't have been done without our amazing social media followers (family). I am talking about our Confidence IS Pictorial, which starts on page nine and continues throughout the issue! We are honored and thrilled to feature confident women of all shapes, sizes and skin


shapes, sizes and skin tones--as a reminder to be confident in our own skin. Our team was not planning on putting out our first issue until the end of 2016. Therefore, our first Hot Issue wasn't scheduled for release until June of 2017, but we decided to join in on the Summer fun with this special edition, and I truly hope you enjoy it. If you want to know more about the magazine and be the first to know about upcoming issues and events, please join our email list. We would love for you to stay in contact, provide us feedback and help shape the magazine!

! y o j n E a e s l e h C

Contributing Writer, Daniel Wilkens, with Curvy Expo Director, Meghan Bradley


Kristin Gallina | Photography by Nikki Gomez


Beauty, Strength, Resilience, Loving Yourself!

Destiny Marie | Photography by Madelyn Cordova-Hamilton

Confidence feels amazing on your skin! We challenge you to make it the first thing you put on each morning. Throughout this issue, we are featuring beautiful fashion photography from Models and Bloggers in our Love U Magazine community. We hope this pictorial inspires you to embrace your inner confidence.

Love U!


Lela Luster | Photography by Majorla


Confidence IS Pictorial Continued on Page


COVER FX Custom Enhancer Drops Picked by Copy Editor, Bailey Rufer

Dr. Bronner's & All-One Organic Lotion for Hands & Body Picked by Contributing Writer, Conner Lee Carey

Mac Dazzleglass Lip Gloss, Fantabulous Picked by Fashion Editor, Elizabeth Adams

joeSCRUB Coffee Body & Face Scrub Picked by Contributing Writer, Lindsay Marie


blowpro Faux Dry Shampoo Picked by Contributing Writer, Kristin Gallina

Colourpop Ultra Matte Liquid Lipsticks Picked by Contributing Writer, Ebony Jordan

Original Source Mint and Tea Tree Shower Gel Picked by Contributing Photographer, Neil Glover

Maybelline New York Color Sensational Creamy Matte Lip Color

Wet-N-Wild Wild Shine Nail Color

Picked by Contributing Writer, Lucia Metcalf

Picked by Founding Editor, Chelsea Dixon


Sarah Taylor in Swimsuits For All | Photography by Robert Skuja


At “Love U Magazine,” we believe that you should love and embrace your body. Why should you hide and miss out on all the summer fun? Instead, go forth and find the perfect bathing suit that celebrates your unique curves. Nothing looks as good as confident and comfortable feels, and that is why it is so important to buy what you want to wear, as opposed to what traditional fashion rules dictate. In celebration of this et’s declare 2016 the year of special edition issue, here are five body-positive mainstream body positivity by brands that feature getting out and enjoying life! With Ashley Graham featured on swimsuits that are the cover of “Sports Illustrated” designed to accentuate your curves. These and more retailers adding plus size lines to their stores, it is the swimsuits are meant to make you look and feel perfect time to celebrate all body types, hit up the beach and like the hot babe that you already are. lounge by the pool.

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abi, a very popular plus size blogger, and now a designer, created a line of swimwear with Swimsuits For All. Swimsuits For All is one of the most well-known swimwear websites out there, especially in terms of offering diverse sizes and body positive vibes. Gabi’s new ad campaign with the brand featured her as the Queen of the Bikini, complete with regal imagery, expensive looking jewelry, and stoic poses.


We selected two gorgeous one-piece black bathing suits are from her 2016 line that launched earlier this year. There is one for those of us that like a bit more coverage and one for those of us that are all about showing off. The entire line is full of so many amazing sets that it was incredibly hard for us to narrow this list down to just two pieces. We could happily list them all here, but instead, we will let you head directly to their website to choose your favorites.

Sarah Taylor in Swimsuits For All | Photography by Robert Skuja


Laura Delarato and Ming Dunn in Smart Glamour

mart Glamour is an indie design line that launched their swimwear collection on May 16, 2016. Mallorie Dunn is not only the owner and designer of Smart Glamour, but she is also a feminist and a bodypositive activist. Her philosophy is to provide fashion for women of all sizes, and she puts that activism into action with her design work. A huge perk to shopping with an indie brand such as Smart Glamour is that you can always contact Dunn via e-mail if you have any questions or special requests for your order.

Emma Phipps in Smart Glamour

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Officially, the Smart Glamour website indicates it will make items from XXS – 6X. However, Smart Glamour is willing to customize any piece to fit you exactly, which means there is no real maximum or minimum size because your clothes can be made to order. The brand offers the options of shopping via the website or traveling to pop-up stores that are announced on social media. Smart Glamour offers so much more than swimwear, from convertible dresses and cardigans to gorgeous wrap tops and skirts. Their convertible suits can be worn at least six different ways, providing the owner with lots of variety.


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orrid has been a fan favorite brand among plus-size women for many years, especially since they’ve expanded their brand to Canada. Torrid has also expanded their size range, both up and down. They have attracted brand new fans by targeting Inbetweeners with their new size 00 (approximately a size 10 in standard US sizes) and curvier women with their size 6 (approximately size 30 in standard US sizes). These sizes are available in stores and online, but only in select styles. We trust they will expand that quickly, once their target market proves they love the line as much as we do. They also carry clothes, lingerie, and shoes. Jhanelle Rivera | Photography by Jahsaudi Perkins


If you like prints, try their floral print bikini top and high-waisted bikini bottoms. It is bright and a fun suit that’s perfect for the season. We also love their sexy, lace-up black onepiece, as it perfectly demonstrates that “sexy” does not have to mean “showing all of your skin.” Torrid can be found in most brick and mortar malls in major North American cities, so you can try on their bathing suits before you buy anything. Torrid is also available online if you aren’t able to get to a physical store.


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f you have ever felt like you would rather wear your bra swimming than try to find a bikini top that works to support your large cup size, Curvy Kate is there to help you. Curvy Kate also happens to be a lingerie company, so their swimwear is not only very supportive, but some of the suits can really turn up the heat. Their lingerie and swimwear lines are designed for curvy women of all sizes, not specifically or exclusively for plus size women. They offer several underwire bikini top options, and their bathing suits are always mix and match, so you can get exactly the style and size pairing that you want. One of our personal favorites, a bright orange bikini with yellow details, is

available in a balcony bikini top, a plunge bikini top and even a halter-neck tankini. The bottoms come in a standard brief or a skirted brief, for an extra flirty detail. This skirted bikini bottom is not about covering up or hiding, as many suits for plus-size women can end up feeling like, but this fun bikini bottom is all about showing off. The same options exist for their blue and white swimsuit, but they have replaced the skirt with a tie-side brief, and added the option of a high-waist brief, making for an even wider range of options. Curvy Kate is based out of the UK, but their bras are available in many high-end lingerie retail stores around the world and online.


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Georgi gan


Kia Billinger | Photography by Lesley Pedraza


to give them a chance to answer the call since hen Forever 21 Forever21+ has already recently faced some scrutiny regarding their shown signs of their commitment to new, plus-size changing for the better. Instagram page, they We are already responded swiftly and blown away their use of openly committed to bright patterns and showing more size sexy designs. We just diversity on their love their interpretation profile. Many of floral using a blend consumers had also of neutral colors and hoped for increased tropical greenery. diversity in their advertising campaigns These suits are bound to look amazing on and with their in-store every skin tone, and we mannequins, but we hope that this is a trend have faith that that sticks around for a Forever21+ will come while because of how through for all of us. Forever 21 is starting to gorgeous each swimsuit looks. The take steps towards green zipped bikini top diversity by using fan and cut-out bottoms photos to show off are very bold, plus the their newest items. Hopefully, they will also set is also available in gray if preferred. start seeking out new models and bloggers to Forever21+ is available in-store at many local show how committed malls and online on their brand is to both Forever21’s website. size and skin tone diversity. We are ready

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implyBe is an incredibly popular brand in Europe, and it is starting to gain a loyal following in the US since expanding. With their fairly wide size range going from a US size 8 to a US size 28, their line can appeal to a wide range of shoppers. When you click through to their swimsuit page, you will be greeted by one of their many body positive messages and a gorgeous collection of suits. SimplyBe agrees that a swimsuit is an essential summer item, regardless of what size you wear. Their black and white striped bikini includes sweet gold details and comes with an underwire halter top and high-waisted bottoms. Simply Be even offers a one-piece swimsuit in a very similar style, if that happens to be a better match for you. The same applies to our other favorites, their floral print bikini and one-piece swimsuit. The floral print comes in a high waisted bikini and a traditional, but oh-so-sexy, one-piece swimsuit. Providing women with options is a great way to appeal to a wide range of customers, and Simply Be is nailing it. You can shop their suits online, or you can call them to order a catalog.


Jeneva Williams-Trenado


Photos courtesy of RebDolls


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s announced at the Golden Confidence Pool Party in NYC back in June, hosts @EssieGolden and @EverythingCurvyandChic have teamed up with RebDolls to design a swimwear collection that ranges from a size small to a size 5X. This collection includes a range of swimsuits, both bikinis and one-pieces, that are just as bold as the minds behind the collection. The color palette and print choice throughout the collection is stunning, and there are many options to pick from. Not only that, but you have the opportunity to mix and match swimsuits, so you can create a look that’s just as unique as you are. If you’re not able to get your hands on your own swimsuit from this collection, these two suits from RebDolls are absolutely gorgeous and were designed to let you shine. Their black one piece is the furthest thing from boring, with its plunge neckline and cutout hip details. Their high waist swim bottoms and cut-out halter top bikini are both so comfy and so chic, you may never want to take it off. If you’re looking for something with a little more punch, have no fear, RebDolls offers many more options to satisfy your desires. RebDolls is available online only.


Grace | Photography by Marcus Bennett


Dionne Reeves | Photography by Joseph Merrell


Szu-Moys | Photography by Marleah Miller


Destiny Marie | Photography by Madelyn Cordova-Hamilton


Sasee Chic | Photography by Dre Todd


Confidence IS Pictorial Continued on Page


"I’ve always been a big girl, anywhere from a size 14 to size 18 as an adult,” she says. “But it never occurred to me that I was ‘plus,' I just went on with my life. It never was a stigma for me. I think that part of that is due to my mother because she was the same, she was a big woman, and that didn’t he Bradley family is well-known in stop her from Canada as being one of the most doing successful independent magazine anything.” publishers in existence. Much of that Nothing has success comes from the one and only stopped Bettie Bradley, host of the 80’s television Meghan from show ‘The New You,’ and a familiar face accomplishing in Canadian publishing circles. Daughter what she’s wanted to do, as her long Meghan, Director of Curvy Expo 2016 career in plus says her early years helped her form her

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Curvy Expo Director, Meghan Bradley, strikes a pose.


“.. it never occurred to me that I was ‘plus, ' I just went on with my life. It never was a stigma for me." modeling can attest. Entering the career in an era where plus models were ignored or apologized for, she has seen some enormous changes over that time. “When I started 25 years ago, just to explain that I was a plus size model took 20 minutes,” she laughs. “Sometimes it was easier just to say I did something else.” “Back then it was all about concealment, like ‘we need this long drapey piece’ or whatever,” she explains. “The idea there was, the more clothes we put on our plus models, the better. We’d be so layered up; it was like they added three different dress sizes. I

never understood it. There was a certain segregation in the beginning. There were makeup artists that didn’t want to work on us. For those of us that started 25 years ago, it really was a different world. It’s wonderful now to be respected.” The differences between those days and today are many, and Meghan is the first to embrace those changes in perspective. “The plus size model of today is celebrated, she’s on the cover of 'Sports Illustrated' and 'Maxim'; she’s viewed as a sexy woman to be sought after. We’ve gone from concealing to celebrating;


Curvy Expo Director , Meghan Bradley, took the stage to introduce the fashion show portion of the event.


it’s fantastic. Now it’s all about ‘let me put a belt on you and show off that waist’ and ‘ooh, your bum looks amazing in that, let’s put you in a smaller size so you can really see those curves.’ Wow, have things changed!” It’s those changing attitudes that have inspired the curvy movement in general and shows like Curvy Expo in particular. “Curvy Expo started last summer. I want to be in this industry and make a difference, and I really think events like this are so important.”

elaborate, she didn’t hesitate on praising social media for bringing people together and the changing times in general. “I think the bloggers have done an incredible job of promoting body positivity and showing lots of pictures of beautiful, curvy women in all kinds of fashions and styles. I think we need to take it one step up which allows everybody to be face to face.” Bradley says there is strength in the personal aspect of being at a show where everyone is When asked to accessible.

“There’s such an empowerment in meeting those bloggers in person,” she says. “There’s such energy about being at a fashion show and watching plus size models strut down the runway. These girls are in swimwear and lingerie and to sit in the audience and watch these models with such confidence coming down the runway in styles that, if you like them, they come up to 4x and 5x. You can wear what they are wearing. That’s not an experience that plus size women usually get to have.”


“The plus-size model of today is celebrated.. " The Expo had something going on every moment, whether it was vendor booths, guest speakers or entertainment. Bradley says the speakers were chosen for their different areas of expertise like beauty, fitness, health, self-love and empowerment. For fashion expertise, she couldn’t pass up the opportunity to bring Lynn Spence on board. “She really has seen fashion

evolve, she really gets it,” Bradley says. “I’ve been working with Lynn for years. She knows how to dress the plus figure and is really great at what she does, and it just seemed that she had to be the one to style the fashion show.” One of the most anticipated portions of the show is the vendor exhibits. National outlets like Penningtons, Addition Elle and Toni Plus were on hand, as well as

independent boutiques and shops like Sexy Plus Clothing, Thigh Love and Renegade. “There will be a lot of people exchanging cards, and there will be vendors they didn’t know existed,” Bradley assures. A good part of the appeal of a show like Curvy Expo is the sense of collective experience. Bradley says it was a main thrust (Continued on Page 53)


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he April day dawned cold and wet, but that didn’t dampen any spirits in Toronto, Ontario, as the first annual Curvy Expo took flight. If anything, the action inside the International Centre got hotter as the day went on. The show was expertly organized with rows of vendors, a main stage for the runway shows and an area behind the stage that was used for seminars, workshops and demonstrations. It was obvious that attendees were in for something magical.

Something for Everyone The smiling faces at the Curvy Expo information booth were a delight, helping everyone find their way and get the most out of

this experience. The red carpet area in front of the Curvy Expo logo was busy all day with show goers, bloggers and guests all posing for pictures. Those looking to buy had plenty to choose from as almost two dozen vendors displayed their wares. Some exhibitors chose to bring product to the show, giving their customers to purchase on the spot. Many who had brought stock quickly found themselves selling out early. Those that didn’t bring merchandise provided coupons, contests and other information for their clientele. In attendance was the one and only Bettie Bradley, magazine editor and host of the long-running 80’s makeover show ‘The New You’. Considered a pioneer in Canadian fashion sensibility, Bradley has been influential in the industry for decades, and


her groundbreaking work could be seen as being partially responsible for making trade shows like Curvy Expo possible. It was clear by her ever-present entourage that she is a much-loved figure by friends, family and the general public. Vendors ran the gamut from lingerie and sleepwear, to wedding dresses, sportswear, casual wear, jewelry, makeup, fancy food treats and more. A ‘virtual mirror’ was provided by Solus One that gave a great way to try on clothes without actually getting undressed. Workshops and seminars ran through the day, and numerous celebrities popped up throughout the course of the event. Tracy Peart, guest beauty expert on Cityline and exclusive makeup artist for Toronto’s Breakfast Television, demonstrated pointers for achieving a

flawless look. Highperformance lifestyle coach Audrey Hlembizky presented a personal and dynamic approach to being ‘Powerful in your Stilettos’. Hlembizky is a real firecracker, and her speech brought laughter, tears and nods of recognition from those attending. Body-positive lifestyle advocate Liis Windischmann talked about overcoming her health battles and how others can move beyond obstacles in their own lives. Celebrity fashion designer and blogger Jessica Biffi took everyone shopping with tips and tricks on how to find and procure the best deals on clothes and accessories. Insightful and entertaining, Biffi had everyone’s attention. By the afternoon some had already been at the show since it opened and might have found their energy lagging. FitZone


Guest speaker and body love champion, Liis Windishmann, with an interested customer at her booth.


Plus was there to take care of that as they presented a rousing Zumba session. When the music started, it drew a crowd from all over the building and soon had the floor was full of excited dancers. Music was everywhere at Curvy Expo, and that gave a party atmosphere that could be felt the whole day through. The feeling was contagious, and some remarked that it was the perfect ‘girls day out.'

Red Hot Runway The two fashion shows were electric, as well put together and engaging as any runway display in New York or Paris could hope to be. Director Meghan Bradley introduced the festivities and Toronto’s own pop/dance diva Simone Denny got everybody on their feet. Lynn Spence, a stylist and Curvy Expo guest

speaker, brought her knowledge and enthusiasm with her as she encouraged the audience to be aware of styles and their own bodies. Her positive message urged women to seek out the styles that make them feel good and look great. Those hoping to catch a glimpse of Canada’s hottest plus-size models were in luck as budding superstars like Ophilia Alleyne and Sarah Taylor took the stage to showcase the latest by Penningtons, Addition Elle, Toni Plus and Callista. The energy on stage was high, and the girls were having a great time showing off the newest fashions. “People love us so much! I almost broke out into tears when I started my walk!” was overheard backstage as the models compared notes. Spring and summer styles were the order of the day, and both Penningtons and Addition Elle had collections of jeans,


Canadian plus model, Ophilia Alleyne, tore up the runway sporting Pennington's latest looks.


collections of jeans, sundresses, activewear and swimwear on display. The Toni Plus presentation was feminine and flattering, and the collection looked great on stage. In April, of course, Callista was looking ahead to June’s wedding season, and they came prepared with a full line of breathtaking wedding dresses. Pure whites, creams, delicate lace and classic cuts were there for guests to view, and the audience was clearly wowed. Models were all shapes and sizes, and that meant those in the audience had a chance to see how different each piece looked on each body type. Several people remarked that they shop virtually by finding bloggers whose body types fit their own and following their lead. Director Meghan Bradley remarked in an earlier interview that she

too often shopped virtually by finding bloggers that closely matched her body shape and took different style cues from them.

Girl Talk One of the most interesting and wellreceived aspects of Curvy Expo was the blogger ‘meet and greet’. Several dozens of the most powerful and influential voices on social media were there to chat with their fans, interact with show goers and give their thoughts on what’s relevant in the industry. High profile bloggers like Annika Reid, Lisa Schoenberger, Stefanie Augusteijn, Pantea Aradatmandi, Thera Warren and many more were there, talking fashion and sharing insights with their readers. It’s easy to see why this particular group of fashion bloggers are so well respected. Not only are they writing internet columns,


Audrey Helmbizky and an admirer share a selfie.


writing internet columns, but most are also involved in the industry in some way. Stefanie Augusteijn is the owner of the boutique ‘Sexy Plus,’ Jessica Biffi is a worldrespected clothing designer and Catherine Field is a rising plus model. These people can be confident of their expertise because they are directly involved in the business. Bloggers were introduced separately by Meghan Bradley just before the actual meet and greet. It was an affirmation of the power of social media and proof that if enough voices speak, retailers and mainstream marketers will be forced to listen. Meeting the bloggers in person gave their fans a thrill. That closeness was a major component of the day, making everyone there feel like a part of the bigger picture.

The Time is Now There is nothing new about fashion events shows, but Curvy Expo was a cut above the norm. The most memorable aspect of the 2016 Curvy Expo was the feeling of community. Everyone - vendors, exhibitors, bloggers and guests were there as part of something bigger, and that’s what many people will take with them. At a time in history when we are celebrating diversity, celebrating inclusion and opening our eyes to the sizes, shapes and attitudes that make up the fabric of our world, Curvy Expo seems to be the right show at the right time. It was exhilarating to see the faces of those who seemed like they were ‘home.' It seemed obvious that the sense of community touched the hearts of many.


Director Meghan Bradley and Jennifer McReady of Lady Luck Pin-ups.


The 2016 Curvy Expo fashion show featured summer wear, lingerie, wedding apparel and swimsuits.


(Continued from page 41)

behind the creation of the event. “We don’t get to have a community where we are all together, cheering each other on. There’s a power in that. You walk into the Expo and see other people like you, and they’re having fun and shopping. That community involvement will be an added bonus. I think an event like this can’t help but let you leave better than you were before you came. That’s my dream.” If the reaction to Curvy Expo 2016 is any indication, it certainly seems dreams can come true. This is a show that’s destined to be making the headlines for many years to come.


Rae Martin | Photography by Ces White


Szu-Moys | Photography by Josie Walck


Alexandra Wolf | Photography by Nicole Le Bris


Eclectic Kurves | Photography by Vanessa Soto


Iveta Lapsa | Photography by Neil Glover


Grace | Photography by Julio Garza


Marissa | Photography by Alimond Photography


Alexandra Wolf | Photography by Nicole Le Bris

Confidence IS Pictorial Continued on Page 68


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hen it comes to choosing what to wear, it’s imperative to keep in mind the natural shape of our body. A lot of times we see something we love on the hanger, but when we try it on, it just doesn’t work out. Some pieces accentuate a curvy frame, and others allow you to create curves--depending on your personal style goals, you'll want to select items that will help you show off the parts of your body that you want to highlight the most. I hope this guide helps you to find clothes for the beautiful body you own. No shape is better than another; We’re all different, and we should all embrace and love the bodies we’re in.


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f you have a tiny waist and curves, you should highlight your waist area. Wear blouses that are taken in at the waist, and if your shirts are too big or loose, use a belt to cinch them in. Loose clothing is not ideal, as it will hide your curves, and why have them and hide them? When choosing bottoms to match your tops, look for a pencil skirt that hugs your body. If you have short legs and you want to rock a skirt, don’t forget to match the outfit with a cute pair of heels that will lengthen your calves. For pants, choose an open boot cut or open flare--they’re becoming really popular! Lastly, if you’re in the mood to wear a flirty dress, try to find one that breaks at the waist. Don’t forget about a good bra that supports you well, a proper bra can make all the difference! When choosing a swimsuit, don’t be afraid to go up a size, so the pieces don’t dig into your skin. Think about wearing a bottom piece with a higher cut that will elongate your frame.


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f you have a relatively average bust, but wide hips, your goal is to highlight your waist and your arms, add volume to your upper body and minimize your hips. Look out for Aline skirts that smooth the hips and wrap around your waist. You can match your outfits with ballerina flats or short boots. During the summer, some cute sandals would complete the look.To dress your outfit up for the night, you can opt for a pair of heels to enlongate your legs. If you have a little tummy and you don’t want to flaunt it, choose a retro-cut, one-piece swimsuit, or a two-piece with a tankini and a high-cut bottom.


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f you have wide shoulders, a voluptuous bust and thin legs, your goal would be to accentuate your legs and make your shoulders appear smaller. Tank tops with thin stripes or boat-neck shirts might make your top look bigger than it appears, so sticking with a v-neck shirt can help elongate your torso. For bottoms, wearing boot-cut or high-rise jeans can make your top appear smaller. Opting for any style of skirt can also help balance your shape. For swimsuits, try a halter top, and aim to avoid bandeau bras or tops that might make your shoulders and bust look too square. When picking pieces to wear, keep in mind that wearing a colorful pattern draws the eye to wherever that pattern is on your body, so wearing patterns or colors on your waist or legs can help draw the eye away from your shoulders or bust.


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f your legs and arms are your stronger attributes, use clothing to accentuate them! You can wear boat or heart shape necks to create desired curves on top. You can also experiment with blouses that have ruffles, lace or details that highlight your chest area. Test the waters with colors you might not usually wear, and try dresses that are cinched in at the waist. For swimsuits, you can create curves with colors and prints. Whether you go for a one or two piece, look for pieces like suits with embellishments near the neckline, zebra print suits, or a suit with a funky color.


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et’s flaunt those legs! The goal here is to elongate your torso, highlight your legs and create the illusion of a moredefined waist, which is very similar to the Pear Shape. Choose a monochromatic look; V-neck blouses, a bra that provides good support, belts on the smaller part of the waist and flowy dresses are key. Don’t forget about a great, open-cut jean, and short skirts that show off your legs. When it comes to swimsuits, try a retro cut with a skirt, side ruching, or ruffles. Having a flirty swimsuit bottom draws the eye to your legs, giving them the extra attention they deserve!


Yesenia Berrios | Photography by Frank Ojeda


O | Photography by Julio Garza


Confidence IS Pictorial Continued on Page 80


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Why are you so fat and big?” The five-year-old asks of me, innocently. Children are so objective and curious — a dangerous combination to the adult ego. “Well, I just am.” I calmly replied. She proceeded to get fussed at by another adult in the room. She was made aware of the offense I, as an adult, would take to such words, the feelings it would hurt, and the fact that it doesn’t matter, “who cares?” Her father scolded. The vast majority of society does. Hell, on bad days, so do I. The funny part is that I don’t mind being fat and big. It doesn’t hold me back. Yet, I would wave a magic wand and Photoshop it all away if it meant being free from the shame of simply having a body and taking up space. But it wouldn’t, now would it?

Because it’s not a fat problem, it’s a vision problem. The five-year-old was curious because, in the media she can’t help but consume, women don’t look like me. Their thighs don’t rub together; their tummies don’t show — why are you different? She wanted to know. I don’t know. I too grew up on that same media, and it is a great day when I can walk around fully comfortable in my body. Not because of the body itself, because I’ve been taught that being fat is not okay. I’ve been taught that being big is ugly. Minimize. Minimize. Minimize. It’s almost as if I were a page on a computer screen. I spent the entirety of my teenage years obsessing over minimizing myself in every bite and breath. If only I could get thin — I could get happy. More important to a teenage girl, if only I could get thin, a boy would love


get thin, a boy would love me. None of those things happened. At my lowest weight, I reached 152 pounds. My goal was 113 pounds. I wouldn’t allow myself happiness, love, sex or good food until I was 113 pounds. That seems absolutely insane to me now, but when I looked around it seemed like it was the only choice. In college, I found the book, “When Food is Love,” by Geneen Roth. That book told me that the first thing to do was fall off the wagon. Let go of the reins, let go of control — stop counting, stop weighing yourself and stop fasting. The very idea of it was terrifying to me. The last thing I wanted was to get even bigger. But I kept reading, and I read many other books along with it. I bought a cork bulletin board and wrote down prayers of self-love and acceptance. I pinned each of those prayers to the board so I

could see them before I left for class. I learned to talk to myself the same way that I would speak to a friend. If the thought about myself was something I would never say aloud to another, I rendered it invalid. That voice would not make my decisions; it would not speak for me. I did gain weight letting go of the controls, but a couple of years later I found myself the heaviest I’d ever been and the happiest I’d ever been. I was more confident around 200 pounds than I had ever been at 160. I learned a great lesson: insecurity isn’t on the outside. Our bodies are beautiful in all colors, shapes, sizes, missing a limb or in a wheelchair. If someone can’t see your beauty, it’s a fault in their vision. I guarantee that person can’t see their own beauty either. That’s the terrible irony of our cyclical pain.


T

he five-year old didn’t ask maliciously, and she didn’t associate “bad” with “fat and big.” But if you really want to know why I’m so fat and big, it is because I’ve chosen quality of life over societal expectations. My body is neutral; one can place judgments upon the “rightness” of that radical self-acceptance, but that doesn’t change my body, its innate beauty or my innate beauty. Their judgments don’t change their innate beauty either. But it certainly limits one’s ability to appreciate the world in its diversity. Once I realized that keeping up my appearance was vastly overrated, I began to inquire into all my motivations. Was I doing this (makeup, workout, cooking, shaving,


shopping, etc.) for me or to satisfy an insecurity? WHY DO I EVEN WEAR A BRA?! I do it for other people. I do it so my nipples don’t show and make someone else feel uncomfortable. That’s not to say that this is the case for all women, and I don’t speak for anyone but myself. But, I decided to let the C-cups fly — be free! When I was 20, I began wearing shorts for the first time since grade school. In the sixth grade, I was sent to the principal’s office for wearing shorts that were too short. But mine were no shorter than those worn by the thinner girls. It was okay for them to wear shorts, but not for me? I took this incident more personally than the teasing from bullies at school, because this issue stemmed from adults. I started wearing long skirts to school. When I was 16 and being homeschooled in Austin, TX, I wore hoodies and

sweatpants during the summer, doing my best to disappear, to minimize, minimize, minimize. Now, I wear whatever I want: rompers, short shorts, tank tops and crop tops. Sure, I notice the grocery store stares now and again, and I fear that the hoards of teenagers that are laughing are laughing at me. But, if I ever think about changing to make someone else feel comfortable, I remind myself that I’m the one who lives in this body. I’m the one who lives in this body, and it’s a good body. This body is flexible — like freak of nature flexible. This body has strong legs for waking up thunder clouds and a powerful back built for carrying a loaded wheelbarrow in tow. This body has an hourglass shape and callused feet from walking barefoot over gravel. More importantly, the person inside this body is kind, caring and creative.


I am a powerhouse built to climb mountains and scream and sing from the top. I’m a beast in the best of ways: joyous, wild, and free. Why would I ever minimize that to make someone else feel more comfortable? Accept yourself radically. Accept all your fault lines and crumbling bridges, all your rainforests and monsoons. In a world of ideals and expectations, the only sane thing to do is be radically you. However that may look, nothing is more beautiful than authenticity.

No one knows what they’re doing here, don’t let them fool you. Just keep on expanding like the mighty universe you are. I challenge you to practice radical self-acceptance for a week. It’s going to feel uncomfortable. It’ll probably look a little messy, and it will certainly feel strange, but go through with it anyway.


Respond to the degrading voice in your head with praise of your majesty. Don’t be afraid to have conversations with yourself. Call yourself out. Reason with yourself. Tell yourself to shut up. Change the internal conversation and reclaim it. I’m not saying it will come naturally or that it’s easy, but it’s a necessary habit.

Stand naked in the mirror and point out how you're gorgeously shaped, and how amazing your spaceship body is. This goes hand-in-hand with step one. Actively ignore the areas of insecurity and highlight the things you like and appreciate, all the way down to the involuntary responses (breathing, heartbeat, etc.) of your body.

Challenge and change your motivations. Do it for yourself. You don’t need to change what you do, but recognize the reason you’re doing it. Make that reason for your overall well-being and not so you please others. This is means putting yourself in check. For example, if you go to the gym to feel better about yourself in front of other people, don’t stop going to the gym, shift why you go. Go to the gym because you always feel better afterward, because it helps you relieve stress or clear your head, because it makes you feel fit and strong or because you enjoy it. Find a reason that honors you and your body.


Do what you want — even if it’s a little scary. A little fear is an indicator of growth. It’s like holding a flashlight in a dark room and realizing that you can make the room brighter, but you’re still afraid of what’s in the dark. I was terrified when I started wearing shorts again, but I began wearing them around close, trusted, bodypositive friends, and the courage built from there until it felt normal.

Make a list(s) of your positive aspects. Just begin writing, “I am strong because...” and write it over and over with a different ending. Fill as many pages as you can. Later in the week, write, “I am beautiful because...” Do the same as before. Flip consistently negative self-perceptions on their heads with a list of the opposite: if you feel lazy, write, “I am motivated when...” or, “I am productive when...” If you feel useless, write, “I am powerful because...” or, “I am valuable because...” It might seem cheesy or contrived at first, but keep with it. Use metaphors if you want, “I am strong because I am a midnight panther roaming through the palm fronds of a rainforest.” Use experiences or symbols and mantras that appeal to you. There is no wrong way to do it; the lists are simply love letters to yourself.


Abbey Willis | Photography by Neil Glover


Taylor Irezumi | Photography by Alex Kendall


Continued Credits: Cover & pg 2-3. Model: Taylor Irezumi, Model’s Website: http:// taylorirezumi.wix.com/ model, Photographer: by Cody Weber, Photographer’s Website: http:// codyweberphotography. tumblr.com / pg 4-5. Table of Contents credits listed under their respective feature pages. / pg 7. Top Right: Daniel Wilkens, Contributing Writer/ Photographer, Love U Magazine & Meghan Bradley, Director of the Curvy Expo (https:// curvyexpo.com), Bottom: Chelsea Dixon, Founding Editor, Love U Magazine / pg 8. Model: Kristin Gallina, Contributing Writer/ Photographer, Love U Magazine, Model’s Instagram: https://www. instagram.com/ kristingallina / pg 9. Model: Destiny Marie, Model’s Website: http:// www.destiny-marie.com, Model’s Facebook: https://www.facebook. com/destiny. marie.1253236, Photographer: Madelyn Cordova-Hamilton,

Photographer's Website: www. maddylensphotography. com, Hair: Sharece Young, Makeup: Petina Dennis, Location: Sunken Gardens / pg 10-11. Model: Lela Luster, Model's Instagram: https://www.instagram. com/lela_luster/, Photographer: Majorla, Photographer's Instagram: https://www. instagram.com/majorla / pg 12. (From top to bottom, Left to Right) COVER FX Custom Enhancer Drops (Sunset) by COVER FX (http:// amzn.to/29ZTUN5), Dr. Bronner's & All-One Organic Lotion for Hands & Body, Lavender Coconut, 8-Ounce Pump Bottle by Dr. Bronner (http://amzn. to/29N8JEG), Mac Dazzleglass Lip Gloss Fantabulous Unboxed by MAC (http://amzn. to/29F5NsC), joeSCRUB Coffee Body & Face Scrub (http://goo.gl/ cmssbU), Maybelline New York Color Sensational Creamy Matte Lip Color, Touch of Spice, 0.15 Ounce by Maybelline New York

(http://amzn. to/29MLDrA) / pg 13. (From top to bottom, Left to Right) blowpro Faux Dry Shampoo, 1.7 oz. by blowpro (http:// amzn.to/29ZTs1l), Colourpop Ultra Matte Liquid Lipstick (Clueless) by Colourpop (http://amzn. to/2a0IB65), Original Source Mint and Tea Tree Shower Gel 250 Ml by Original Source (http://amzn. to/29O97zP), Wet N Wild Wild Shine Nail Color - Grape Minds Think Alike by Wet N Wild (http://amzn. to/29Oam2f) / pg 14, 16-15. Model: Sarah Taylor, Model’s Website: http:// sarahtaylorsjourney. com, Photographer: Robert Skuja, Photographer’s Website: http://www. robertskuja.com/, Photographers Instagram: https://www. instagram.com/r. skuja_photographer, Featured swimsuit: GabiFresh for Swim Sexy The Sovereign E/F Swimsuit by Swimsuits For All (http://goo.gl/ Nx2khf) / pg 18. Models: Laura Delarato and


Laura Delarato and Ming Dunn, Photos Courtesy of Smart Glamour (http://www. smartglamour.com), Featured swimsuit: The Arianna Convertible One Piece Swimsuit by Smart Glamour (http://goo. gl/5ExqvP) / pg 19. Model: Emma Phipps, Photos Courtesy of Smart Glamour (http:// www.smartglamour. com), Featured swimsuit: The Bunny Wrap Swimsuit Top by Smart Glamour (http:// goo.gl/fayUPJ) / pg 20-21. Model: Jhanelle Rivera, Model’s Website: www.bodhilace.com, Photography by Jahsaudi Perkins, Featured swimsuit: Floral Print Lattice Front Bikini Top by Torrid (http://goo.gl/XTZ4PV) / pg 23. Model: Georgina Grogan, Model’s Website: http://www. shemightbeloved.com, Featured swimsuit: Atlantis Deep Sea Halterneck Plunge Bikini by Curvy Kate (http:// goo.gl/FtznFp) / pg 24-25. Model: Kia Billinger, Model’s Instagram: https://www. instagram.com/ kiabillinger Photography

by Lesley Pedraza, Featured swimsuit: Zipped Bikini Top by Forever 21+ (http://goo. gl/fN9EPX) / pg 26-27. Model: Jeneva WilliamsTrenado, Model’s Instagram: https://www. instagram.com/ j_nee_va, Model’s Facebook: https://www. facebook.com/jeneva. trenado, Model’s SnapChat: cocoalemania, Featured swimsuit: Simply Yours Underwired Bikini Top by SimplyBe (http:// goo.gl/ypKMzP) / pg 28. All photos courtesy of Rebdolls (https:// rebdolls.com) / pg 30. Model: Grace of Prowess Models (http:// www.prowessmodels. com), Photography by Marcus Bennett / pg 31. Model: Dionne Reeves, Model's Website: http:// fullfiguredfierce.wix. com/dionnereeves, Photography by Joseph Merrell, Photographer’s Instagram: https://www. instagram.com/ josephmerrellphotography / pg 32. Model: SzuMoys of Prowess Models (http://www. prowessmodels.com), Photography by Marleah Miller / pg 33.

Model: Destiny Marie, Model’s Website: http:// www.destiny-marie.com, Model’s Facebook: https://www.facebook. com/destiny. marie.1253236, Photographer: Madelyn Cordova-Hamilton, Photographer's Website: www. maddylensphotography. com, Hair: Sharece Young, Makeup: Petina Dennis, Location: Sunken Gardens / pg 34-35. Model: Sasee Chic, Model’s Website: http://www.saseechic. com, Photography by Dre Todd, Photographer's Instagram: https://www. instagram.com/ imean_war / pg 37 & 39. Model: Meghan Bradley, Director of the Curvy Expo (https://curvyexpo. com), Photography by Daniel Wilkens, Contributing Writer/ Photographer, Love U Magazine / pg 42. Various attendees of the 2016 Curvy Expo, Photography by Daniel Wilkens, Contributing Writer/Photographer, Love U Magazine / pg 45. (left-side): Liis Windishmann, Photography by Daniel


Photography by Daniel Wilkens, Contributing Writer/Photographer, Love U Magazine / pg 47. Ophilia Alleyne, Photography by Daniel Wilkens, Contributing Writer/Photographer, Love U Magazine / pg 49. (right-side): Audrey Helmbizky, Photography by Daniel Wilkens, Contributing Writer/ Photographer, Love U Magazine / pg 51. (left to right): Meghan Bradley and Jennifer McReady, Photography by Daniel Wilkens, Contributing Writer/Photographer, Love U Magazine / pg 52-53. Various 2016 Curvy Expo Models featuring looks by Penningtons (http:// www.penningtons.com), Addition Elle (http:// www.additionelle.com), Toni Plus (http:// toniplus.com), and Callista (http:// callistabride.com), Photography by Daniel Wilkens, Contributing Writer/Photographer, Love U Magazine / pg 54. Model: Rae Martin, Model’s Website: http:// www. fatshionablycorrect.com, Model’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.

com/theraemartin, Model’s Facebook: https://www.facebook. com/ FATshionablyCorrect, Model’s Twitter: https:// twitter.com/ FATshionablyRae, Photography by Ces White, Photographer’s Website: idexmediapro. com, Photographer’s Instagram: https://www. instagram.com/ ceswhite, Shoot Stylist: Londen Underwood (https://www.instagram. com/mslulu2u/), Hair Stylist: The Hair Whisperer Tendai (https://www.instagram. com/ thehairwhisperertendai), Makeup: Phyllis (https://www.instagram. com/ beautifullywhipped) Custom Clutch: Cameo de Bore` Clutches (http://cameodebore. com, https://www. instagram.com/ cameodeboreclutches) / pg 55. Model: Szu-Moys of Prowess Models (http://www. prowessmodels.com), Photography by Josie Walck / pg 56. Model: Alexandra Wolf, Model’s Instagram: https://www. instagram.com/

awolf_curvemodel, Photography by Nicole Le Bris, Photographer’s Instagram: https://www. instagram.com/ nicolelebriscreative / pg 57. Model: Eclectic Kurves, Model’s Website: http://www. eclectickurves.com, Model’s Instagram: https://www.instagram. com/eclectickurves, Model’s Facebook: http://www.facebook. com/eclectickurves, Photography by Vanessa Soto, Photographer’s Instagram: https://www. instagram.com/ vanessasotophotography / pg 58. Model: Iveta Lapsa, Model’s Instagram: https://www. instagram.com/ ivetalapsa, Photography by Neil Glover, Contributing Photographer of Love U Magazine, Photograper’s Website: http://www. neilgloverphotography. wordpress.com / pg 59. Model: Grace of Prowess Models (http://www. prowessmodels.com), Photography by Julio Garza / pg 60. Model: Marissa of Prowess Models (http://www.


m), Photography by Julio Garza / pg 60. Model: Marissa of Prowess Models (http://www. prowessmodels.com), Photography by Alimond Photography / pg 61. Model: Alexandra Wolf, Model’s Instagram: https://www.instagram. com/awolf_curvemodel, Photography by Nicole Le Bris, Photographer’s Instagram: https://www. instagram.com/ nicolelebriscreative / pg 63-67. Illustrations: Fiverr.com / pg 68-69. Model: Yesenia Berrios, Model’s Website: https://myxxfly.com, Model’s Instagram: https://www.instagram. com/myxxfly, Photography by Frank Ojeda / pg 70-71. Model: O of Prowess Models (http://www. prowessmodels.com), Photography by Julio Garza / pg 74, 78-79. Photos: http:// depositphotos.com / pg 80-81. Model: Abbey Willis, Model’s Instagram: https://www. instagram.com/ _absfitness_, Photography by Neil Glover / Photographer’s Website: http://www. neilgloverphotography.

wordpress.com / pg 84-85. Model: Taylor Irezumi, Model’s Webite: http://taylorirezumi. wixsite.com/port, Model’s Instagram: https://www.instagram. com/femmecrust, Photography by Alex Kendall, Photographer’s Website: http:// alexskendall.com, Photographer’s Instagram: https://www. instagram.com/ alexkendallphotography / Back Cover. Model: Taylor Irezumi, Model’s Website: http:// taylorirezumi.wix.com/ model, Photographer: by Cody Weber, Photographer’s Website: http:// codyweberphotography. tumblr.com

_____________________ Special Edition, 2016 Hot Issue--Published July 28, 2016. | © 2016 Arrogant Dreams, LLC. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in _____________________ critical reviews and Love U Magazine is a certain other quarterly, digital noncommercial uses publication. This special permitted by copyright edition was published law. outside of set publishing cycle. For Love U Magazine is information on our published by Arrogant quarterly publishing Dreams. 1971 W cycle, please contact us Lumsden Road #215, via http:// Brandon, FL 33511 LoveUMagazine.com.


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Love U Magazine | The Hot Issue, Summer 2016  

Welcome to our preview issue of Love U Magazine. This special premiere issue celebrates confident women of all sizes in our 'Confidence IS'...

Love U Magazine | The Hot Issue, Summer 2016  

Welcome to our preview issue of Love U Magazine. This special premiere issue celebrates confident women of all sizes in our 'Confidence IS'...