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EMBRACE AGING WEIGHT LOSS SURGERY

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PROTECT YOUR CROWN


CREDITS. FOUNDING EDITOR Chelsea Dixon

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OPERATIONS MANAGER Chris Dixon COPY EDITOR Avni Parekh BRAND Kristin Gallina AWARENESS MNGR SALES AND Elizabeth Adams PARTNERSHIPS Alexandra Wolf CONTRIBUTING WRITERS AND PHOTOGRAPHERS

Avni Parekh Daniel Wilkens Ebony Jordan Jennifer Gonzales Jonna Capone Kerry Carmody Krissy Mallard Kristin Gallina Marcus Harris Natasha Toffa Nikki Platt

COVER MODEL Christina Laxamana BACK COVER MODEL Racheal Tayag COVER PHOTOGRAPHER Marcus Harris

PUBLISHER

Arrogant Dreams, LLC. 1971 W Lumsden Road #215, Brandon, FL 33511 contact@arrogantdreams.com Advertise With Us | ads@loveumag.com Collaborate With Us | partners@loveumag.com © 2018 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 54)

Christina Laxamana | Photography by Marcus Harris


Thank you for reading our 3rd annual Butterfly Issue! Each year, we use this issue to celebrate growth, change, and transition. This year, we’re talking about aging -- turning the big 3-0 and embracing your body as you grow older. We look at a bodypositive advocate’s surgery journey and what role her changing body plays on her health. We also have a great Q&A with plus-size fashion Designer Anisha Ramakrishna and we take a look at Fall Fashions that transition perfectly to Winter, AND MORE! As always, we’re dedicated to bringing you fun and interesting articles that you will love. Help us continue this trend by giving us your feedback. Feel free to email us at hello@loveumag.com, anytime. Your feedback and support are invaluable to us. From our team to yours, take a moment to relax and enjoy this issue!

Chelsea

FOUNDING EDITOR

Racheal Tayag | Photography by Marcus Harris

Chelsea Dixon

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WELCOME TO THE BUTTERFLY ISSUE

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EDITOR’S LETTER.


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CONTENTS.

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PROTECT YOUR CROWN GUARDING YOUR GREATNE

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STAYING CURRENT WITH ANISHA RAMAKRISHNA

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WEIGHT LOSS SURGERY A PLUS-SIZE FASHION ADVOCATE’S JOURNEY


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THE EDITOR’S LETTER 03 HELLO BUTTERFLY ISSUE OF THE DAY 06 OUTFIT CASUAL COOL

EVOLUTION OF SELF-LOVE 10 BUTTERFLY ISSUE PICTORIAL 30 CHANGED ME 22 AHOW BIRTHDAY JOURNEY EMBRACING AGING 48 IN YOUR SKIN

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STUNNING FALL TRENDS THAT TRANSITION TO WINTER


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l a u S a C l o o &C

#OOTD

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ring on the plaid! You can easily add character to any look by adding a statement-making jacket or coat to an otherwise basic ensemble; whether you opt for a lumberjack jacket, a bomber jacket, the classic lines of a tea coat, or another silhouette. You can achieve your version of this look by opting for a black or white t-shirt with blue or colored jeans. Dress up the look with heels or grab a pair of slip-on Vans if you’re going for a casual feel. We can’t think of a more stylish way to look great while staying warm throughout the cooler months. Model: Madison St Ours (Courtesy of Wright Agency) | Photography by Marcus Harris


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Model: Madison St Ours (Courtesy of Wright Agency) | Photography by Marcus Harris


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La-Anna Douglas | Photography by Cynthia Herrick Photography

The Evolution of Self-Love Pictorial Throughtout this issue, we are celebraing women who have committed to loving and embracing themselves and support others to do the same.


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Crystal Renee | Photography by Gregory Florival

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Racheal Tayag | Photography by Marcus Harris

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8 by Nikki Platt

Stunning Fall Fashion Trends

THAT TRANSITION TO

WINTER


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Nikki Platt | Photography by Christina Jones Photo

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his is my favorite time of year. The leaves change colors, pumpkins are harvested, warm and comforting drinks like hot chocolate are served, and oh yeah, warm fashion is in full effect. Traditional fall fashion embodies layering different outerwear and pairing the outfit with fabulous accessories, such as gloves, boots, scarves and beanies. Well, this year’s trends are stepping up the game and will keep you cozy as the weather cools into winter. These trends are taking high-end streetwear and highend department stores by storm. From hot pink colors, to sparkles and animal print to ‘80s decadence and Blair Waldorf-approved accessories, here are eight seasonal trends you won’t want to miss:


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‘F’ is for Fuchsia

Balenciaga and Isabel Marant set the stage for this trend with their leopard print-clad ladies, and this trend continued with leopard-print shoes and coats. However, if leopard print is not your forte, then have no fear, there are a plethora of other striking Fuchsia is standing alone as the prints like python, cheetah, crocodile “it” color of the season, and it’s and zebra. You can see some of clearly evident seeing as the color these prints in classic neutral tones, populated collections of Alexander or in more wild and fabulous multiWang, Tory Burch, Claudia Li and colored versions that graced the Christian Siriano. We can all agree runways of esteemed designers like this bold pop of color on the runway Tom Ford, Jeremy Scott and Zadig was a breath of fresh air. It’s the & Voltaire. Whether it’s leopard, perfect hue to mix and match with zebra or snake print, grab your everything in your closet. Fuchsia animal print of choice and serve it is a statement color and best worn up with some attitude this season. by a bold woman who isn’t afraid to be noticed. Pair this striking trend with another fall trend by wearing ankle-height booties inspired by the ‘80s in white or a fun color like red, and yes, you can match fuchsia with red. That was another trending color combination observed on the runways this season too. Breathe new life into your look this fall by wearing statement tights. Bold and colorful tights may seem dated, but an injection of color is just what we need this season. Clashing colors like we saw with Adam Selman’s collection or Tom Ford’s silvery fashions translated into a The most dominant trend this beautiful pair of tights can take your fall was animal print. Animal print outfit to the next level. Don’t let your prowled over the runways this tights have all the fun, rock a pair of season from New York City to leopard or snake-print pumps with London, Milan and Paris. The your statement tights to complete the runways of Victoria Beckham, look.

Statement Tights

Animal Print


Nikki Platt | Photography by Christina Jones Photo

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Silver Lining Sparkle and shine were all over the runways this season and begging you to wear them before and during the holiday season. As seen on the runways of Prabal Gurung, Christian Cowan, Tibi and Creatures of Comfort, silver takes the form of many shades from bright silver to almost white to a sparkling pewter. The disco-ball look is on everything from cocktail dresses to handbags and even suits. You’ll even see sneakers covered with giant jewels and barrettes, liquidsilver dresses, suits with sequins, and sparkly fringe which are all sure to turn heads as the temperature begins to drop. There are no rules with this standout trend, so don’t be shy to go all out!

Western Round-Up Thanks to Raf Simmons at Calvin Klein, suede fringe is slowly gaining momentum. Suede fringe, westerninspired prints, patchwork, and cowboy boots were all spotted on the runways of Chloé, Isabel Marant,

and Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini. This “wild, wild west” trend is all about mixing prints and textures, and the statement accessory of this look is the cowboy boot. Try rocking some snake-print cowboy boots with a structured pant or fitted dress, you’ll definitely make a statement with this pairing.

Bold Plaids Editors and fashionistas alike all agree that plaid never really goes out of style, and this year there was an insurgence of it on the runways of Marc Jacobs, Lela Rose and Michael Kors. Plaid print came in every variation from colorful to oversized micro prints, in fact, there is a version out there for everyone. Personally, I loved that Michael Kors paired it with my favorite print–leopard. I even borrowed this idea for an inspired outfit. In my opinion, plaid is giving animal print a run for its money as the top fashion trend this season.


Nikki Platt | Photography by Jennifer Vecchio

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Nikki Platt | Photography by Christina Jones Photo

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‘80s Excess The most prominent trend of the Fall 2018 season is ‘80s-inspired fashion. Tom Ford kicked it off by showcasing his collection in a glitzy, New York fashion show

This season’s trends for fall came out of the gate swinging with sparkles, color, and ‘80s excess. Ladies, don’t be afraid to be daring, fierce and transition into winter boldly and stylishly. Put your best foot forward and let your vibrant personality shine through your outfit and into the new year!

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While fur coats have reigned supreme the past few seasons and are still going strong, this fall the focus shifted to fur accents. For example, Marc Jacobs, Sally LaPointe, Michael Kors, and Anna Sui made a big impact by incorporating fur cuffs and fur collars in their collections. However, if real fur isn’t your thing, then consider checking out Gucci and Givenchy, they no longer use real fur in their collections. Other brands offering luxurious faux-fur options include, Acne Studios, Dries Van Noten, and Stella McCartney. For a little more opulence, add to your ensemble a pair of ornamental heels, which are a huge trend this fall, and they pair perfectly with this decadent look.

that picked up steam when Marc Jacobs debuted ‘80s color-block patterns and bold shoulder pads. Acid washed jeans and soft leather jackets in ‘80s theme were seen at Miu Miu, as a matter of fact, they were impossible to ignore. Neon colors, iridescent foil-fabrics, and a glammed-up evening look also added to the overarching theme of ‘80s excess, noting that the decade’s fashions are back in full swing.

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Fur Accents


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how changed

30 me

by Ebony Jordan


developing a sense of pride There is something neat about reaching a milestone age, where you’re not quite considered old, but you are undoubtedly a full-grown adult. As I embrace my age, I’m overcome with a sense of pride. I’m now committed to ending the self-sabotaging habit of comparing myself to others. No longer will I

becoming more open to change

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grew up surrounded by drama and gossip, and often learned of information I did not quite understand at the time. This had a big impact on me, which is why I was shy and kept to myself. I carried those traits around with me throughout my teenage years and most of my 20s. However, by the time I reached 25, I started to work on becoming more open and focused on being more social and outgoing. I also started to become more adventurous and adopted a YOLO (you only live once) mentality. Now that I’m 30-years-old, I am more open to learning how I can enhance my life and I do not let fear of failure, fear of success or procrastination stop me. I am no longer opposed to growth, as a matter of fact, I now hunger for it and avidly pursue it. I am grateful

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feel ashamed or awkward when my interests don’t align with that of others. I take pride in my uniqueness and know that genuine people don’t frown upon that characteristic, instead, they find inspiration in uniqueness. I feel empowered and I want to encourage more women to take pride in themselves and to celebrate what makes them special on a daily basis.

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his past August I turned 30 and received a warm welcome into the club. Unlike most people, I had been looking forward to turning 30 since the age of 27. Prior to that, I didn’t really focus on getting older. However, I looked forward to this particular birthday with anticipation because I knew that a certain level of maturity would come with it. In preparation for this milestone birthday, I set a few goals in place. I committed to being responsible and consistent, and to take better care of my health. So from age 27 to age 30 that is exactly what I did, and when I turned 30, life gifted me with a sense of pride, I became more open to change and more resilient, I learned to embrace my beauty, and realized that the key to staying young is all about mindset.


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for the gift of change, because it brings about more opportunities, more lessons, and an abundance of wisdom.

nothing more sexier than a woman who embraces who she is, and at 30, I fully embrace my inner and outer beauty. Self care is important at any age but at age 30 it becomes a priority. Everyone I know in the 30plus club has a self-care routine. They are very popular amongst this age group and mostly consist of different ways to better yourself t this age, my physically as well as emotionally. bounce-back game is stronger than ever. For example, I like to stay hydrated I am far more resilient throughout the day by drinking ample water because it makes my skin at age 30 than I was glow, and I make time to walk during in my early-to-mid 20s. I’ve learned that bad things are my lunch break at work because it keeps me in good shape physically. going to happen to us from time to However, I especially enjoy taking time, that’s a part of life. However, how we respond to life when we are time on the weekend to visit local hot spots, it keeps me happy and there’s struggling, rejected, inconvenienced or defeated makes all the difference. nothing more beautiful than a smiling face. When you turn 30-years-old, you develop a new layer of thickness to your skin because you are no longer a fan of wasting time. If something doesn’t work out, you may wallow in it for a little bit, but it won’t be long before you get up, brush it off and urprise! You’re still make your next move. At this age, I young at 30. I’m not have enough life experience to know sure why there is so that what hasn’t killed me, has only much negativity and made me stronger. ageism against turning 30. Some people have an unhealthy attachment to their late 20s and it’s a struggle for them to let go. Sure, being 20 is cute and fun, but that is because adulthood is a new experience. To me, aging is Thirty is the age of grown and sexy. Nobody can deny that there is a beautiful process and a blessing.

becoming resilient

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remaining young

embracing my beauty

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If your 30th birthday is approaching and you’re not that thrilled about getting older, know that life is not over for you, in fact, it is just beginning. Let go of your 20s because they are in the past and embrace your 30s, they’ll be around for the next decade of your life. Embark on the next chapter of your life and live it well by making wiser choices, creating new opportunities, and making new and lasting memories.

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With age comes wisdom and maturity, and if you take good care of yourself, then the physical aging process can work to your benefit. Keep your spirit young and remain youthful by embracing your inner child. Being young in spirit is truly a mindset, and if you make time to play, laugh and always stay curious, you’ll always remain young.

thirty year glow


Model: Jennifer Gonzalez | Photographer: Shelly Delrosario

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Model: Bree Malzow | Photography by Marcus Harris

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g n i y a t S Current by Avni Parekh

AN INTERVIEW WITH PLUS-SIZE FASHION DESIGNER ANISHA RAMAKRISHNA

Q1. What year did you launch Currently and where did the inspiration for the brand come from? I had a soft launch for Currently in November of 2017 on Amazon. We sold out of our first production run and got a lot of feedback from our customers. We are constantly striving to improve our product. We are releasing a few special styles this fall. Our focus is on quality not quantity. I worked as a director for private label brands at Tahari ASL in NYC. Many of my colleagues and friends in the industry are fashion designers and

are “plus size.” Some of my closest friends design clothes for luxury brands and they can’t even purchase a garment they designed. A lot of luxury brands don’t go beyond a size 12. I had the vision in my mind to create beautiful dresses for plus size women for two years. In early 2017 I followed my intuition, it was time to quit my job and pursue my dream of starting a plus size clothing line, Currently.


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Fashion Designer Anisha Ramakrishna of Currently (ShopCurrently.com)


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Q2. What does plus-size fashion mean to you?

Q3. Why do you think it is so hard for plus size women to find clothes that fit?

The industry has labeled this category as “plus size.” Plus size fashion is still relatively new. There aren’t many brands delving into this niche market because of a fear of high costs and apathy. Plus size fashion to me is all about size inclusivity, making gorgeous clothes for all women.

Sizing varies across brands making it extremely difficult for all women to find the perfect fit. There are some stellar brands out there specializing in plus size clothing, however they don’t generate the press and awareness that straight size clothing brands garner. So many curvy girls haven’t even heard of the plus size brands that are out there. I’m all about supporting women and brands in this category, so I’d like to recommend some brands: Currently, of course, Eloquii, Premme and Asos Curve, to name a few.

Q4. What type of fabrics do you like and why? I like to use high quality novelty fabrics. I have a huge lace addiction, it’s ridiculous. Most companies use cheap fabrics for plus size clothing to cut costs and offer garments that are “one size fits all.” At Currently we run 10 sizes, 14-32 which is almost unheard of. We produce in small batches and we are moderately priced. I like to use similar fabrics to those that are used on styles you see on the runway, most brands stick to the usual stretch knits, I like to offer an elevated product and fabric is one of our product differentiators.

Q5. Which designers inspire you?

Christian Siriano and Prabal Gurung are really making an impression on me right now, they have included plus size models in their runway looks and their designs are very feminine. I love Tibi, Alberta Ferretti, Ulla Johnson and Victoria Beckham as well.

Q6. What do you enjoy most about designing plus-size clothes? At Tahari all our styles were straight size, so my background is in straight size clothing.

Currently dresses available at shopcurrently.com or via Amazon under “Currently Designer Clothing for Curvy Women.”


Q7. What are some of the challenges that you experience when designing? The number one question I get from people is how do you design plus-size clothing if you aren’t plus size? I reply with, how do men design women’s clothing? Does anyone ask Valentino why he makes women’s clothing? It’s design, it is a form of art and expression, does it matter who’s designing the clothing? The community has been so supportive of me, I think it’s irrelevant who is making the clothing, there is a need out there and we need more brands to size up. One of my biggest challenges is fashion sketching, I have a business background and I am familiar with the garment manufacturing progress, but I am not the best at drawing!

Q8. What makes Currently different from other plus-size clothing lines?

Currently dresses available at shopcurrently.com or via Amazon under “Currently Designer Clothing for Curvy Women.”

We are a minority women-owned small business. We are very tiny and we don’t have investors. It’s pretty much a mom and pop operation and we handle everything in house. We manufacture overseas but the designs, fit, technical specs, sampling, packaging and marketing is all done by a team of two people, me and my business partner. We want to grow the business organically and for now we only make dresses.

Q9. What do you predict for the future of plus-size fashion?

There is a huge demand from the community for brands like Zara to size up and enter the plus size market. Most American women cannot shop at the stores most of us are familiar with, they don’t carry plus sizes. I think slowly but surely more brands will come around and the plus size industry will continue to grow. The future of plus size fashion is very bright!

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Plus size clothing is new for me. Since I started Currently I have learned so much about plus size technical design, fit and garment construction. I love learning, so it has been an incredible experience. What I enjoy the most though is working with the plus-size community. It is the most incredible community I have ever been a part of. I have met the kindest women and have received a lot of support from them. They want to see my brand as well as other plus size brands succeed.


Kiesha Reneè | Photography by Kia Caldwell

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Rae Nicole Davis | Photography by Steve Bennett

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N O I H S A F S E E Z O I G S R E S D U N PL CATE U URGERY S O a f f V o S T AD T LOS by Natasha H G I WE


“As excited as I was to get my health back on track, I couldn’t help but feel scared and nervous.”

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school bathroom or at home each night. Fast forward to 2017, I finally learned how to embrace my body and love the skin I was in. This was a year of immense growth for me. I realized that I could be any size I wanted to be and still be beautiful. I learned how to let go of all the insecurities I was harboring most of my life, to not care about anyone’s opinions of how I dressed, how I looked, and I was happy and content with that because I found me. I was no longer allowing myself to be subjected to an unrealistic mold of what my body should look like, nor seeking others’ approval or validation. From then on out, I started promoting plus-size fashion and inspiring so many women around the world. I even got to walk an Australian runway and was the first Australian-Muslim female to do this. I was truly happy until the day came when I was faced with a few more medical issues apart from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which I was

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was, and still am, an advocate for plus-size fashion and bodypositivity. I still believe that all bodies are equally beautiful. Yet, this past August, I underwent gastric sleeve and vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG) surgery. Does that make me a hypocrite or my beliefs fake? Do you think my advocacy is fraudulent or that I was only pretending to support bodypositivity in order to gain followers and recognition? There have been numerous times throughout my life where my weight has fluctuated, and every time I wasn’t on the skinny or slim side of the spectrum, I was publicly ridiculed or bullied at school. I could never understand why people who were larger than me were never bullied or teased, or why the “plain Jane” skinny girls weren’t teased, but here I was, subject to it all. Maybe I was an easy target or maybe it was because I never retaliated or stood up for myself. Instead, I would just cry in the


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currently managing. I was advised by my doctor that I had a protein leak in my right kidney and type 2 diabetes, in addition to very low iron. I knew that developing diabetes was a possibility given my PCOS and because of this, I deal with high insulin levels. I have closely monitored my insulin levels, and my sugar and cholesterol have always been perfectly fine upon every blood test, which is why I never thought that I’d actually be diagnosed with it. Learning of all these health issues really became a wake-up call for me, not to mention an emotional burden, and I knew I had to do something drastic to benefit my health long term. In order to be medically healthy, I would need to lose at least 66 to 88 pounds (30 to 40 kilograms) and since exercising and eating right weren’t working, the best way to go about this was surgery. s excited as I was to get my health back on track, I couldn’t help but feel scared and nervous.This was a major surgery I was about to have, and all the worst-case scenarios were playing in my head. What if something went wrong? What if I woke up after surgery and realized I had made the wrong choice? Though, by this point, it was too late. The surgery was scheduled and paid for, and I had already spent my money on multiple pre-surgery

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appointments not to mention my time. efore I knew it, I was two weeks away from having my surgery. One of the pre-surgery requirements for gastric sleeve surgery patients is to consume a very strict, low-calorie diet. In that time, my diet consisted of eating vegetables, miso soup, meal replacement shakes and meal replacement bars and I honestly didn’t mind it. The struggle I faced during those two weeks wasn’t related to not being allowed to eat carbs or junk food, it was the fact that I wasn’t allowed to eat dairy or meat. However, it’s a sacrifice I was very willing to make. It has been six weeks since I had my surgery and I can proudly say it was the best decision of my life! I have a lot more energy now, and I can feel a difference in my body. My eating habits have drastically changed especially since I’m more restricted in my intake, and I’ve lost 43 pounds (19.5 kilograms). I am now back to working out at the gym and I’m committed to staying active even on days when I’m too tired to do anything so that this surgery is deemed a true success. It’s been a tough battle dealing with my health issues, all of which I’m still managing. As I reflect upon my decision to undergo this surgery, I still believe that all bodies are equally beautiful, regardless of my current

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I’m just more focused on living a healthier and better life, and I’m excited to see where this path takes me.

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weight post-surgery. Being thinner doesn’t make me any better than the old me. I am still just as confident and determined as before. I know I am beautiful at any weight, however,

Natasha Toffa


Model: Nisha Cannady | Photography by Marcus Harris

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Model: Bree Malzow | Photography by Marcus Harris

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by Chelsea Dixon

rotect Your Crown


Use these four simple, yet powerful, tactics to protect and defend your crown:

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n some cultures, a woman’s hair is her crown and glory. This belief may even be biblical in origin -- stemming from the belief that a woman’s head should be covered in a place of worship. Though these beliefs may ring true for many, I’d like to believe that every woman, regardless of her belief system or inherited bloodline, wears a crown on her head. This crown is not visible to an untrained eye, yet it is more powerful and precious than any jewelencrusted heirloom in existence. This crown is the ever-so-slightly weighted pressure on the top of your head that commands you to walk with your head up and shoulders back. This crown is not made from melted metal, but from self-confidence, self-love, self-awareness and internal worthiness. It is the most valuable possession that you will ever own and it must be protected.


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Model: Bree Malzow | Photography by Marcus Harris

1. Surround Yourself With Positive People

It’s important that you learn to recognize the people who support you and who are against you. Acknowledge those who lift you up and walk away from those who don’t.


Actively Engage in Positive Self-Talk

Your inner voice should be your biggest cheerleader. If you think and speak negativity over your life, you, in turn, attract negativity. Seek out and memorize a handful of positive affirmations. When you feel yourself drifting into a negative mindset, begin repeating the positive affirmations to help jolt yourself into a better state-ofmind.

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2.


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Stay Focused (aka Mind Your Own Business) When you mind the business of ‘you,’ you avoid the trap of comparing yourself to someone else’s journey or path. You also avoid the pitfalls of steering off course and stunting your own growth. You’re more likely to drop the ball when you take your eyes off it, so don’t allow yourself to become distracted by someone’s journey, instead, stay focused on your goals and aspirations.


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4.

Sometimes life is hard -- it just is, what it is. When life throws you a curveball, you must adapt and make adjustments. It’s okay to give yourself a moment for self-reflection or to mourn a loss, but if you dwell in that place too long, you run the risk of slipping into a negative, unproductive space. Instead, use ‘failure’ as feedback. Acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses so you can learn from hardships and triumphantly proceed ahead.

Model: Bree Malzow | Photography by Marcus Harris

Embrace Hardship


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EMBRACE Aging

Be Comfortable in Your Own Skin

by Avni Parekh


“Your body is a blueprint of your life expriences.”

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phase of its life cycle. As we get older, two things are certain to happen, our bodies change and so do our perceptions about life. There’s a saying, “with age comes wisdom.” By developing wisdom, one is able to focus on what is most important in life. With wisdom comes confidence, and this confidence is translated through a practical and positive outlook on life, an outlook that enables you to focus on your strengths rather than your weaknesses. In addition to the mental clarity that comes with age, we also have the ability to become more in tune with our body. Our body will evolve over time, that’s biology. However, we can slow down our own aging if we take care of our body by eating healthy foods, exercising regularly, staying away from cigarettes, keeping the skin moisturized and protected from UV rays and learning how to handle everyday stress. We humans have the capability to age with grace, on the inside as well as the outside. The key to embracing aging is to remain mindful of one very powerful word: mortality. When you keep in mind that no one lives forever, the world around you becomes more enjoyable. Each waking day is spent living life to the fullest instead of dwelling on physical insecurities. Being comfortable in your own skin is empowering and liberating. Your body is a blueprint of your life experiences. For instance, every scar on your body has a story, every wrinkle probably has a stressor associated to it and every crease on your face is tied to an emotion, so why not celebrate your body as it continues to transform and bloom.

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F

or centuries people have been searching for the Fountain of Youth and today, it is no different. We are living in a time where plastic surgery is popular, facial fillers are readily available and there are all sorts of anti-aging therapies. I always wonder why there is so much focus on aging. Embracing who you are, at any age, is one of the most powerful things you could do for yourself. If you’re happy on the inside then getting older becomes a pleasurable experience instead of a drag. When I think of aging, I am often reminded of a quote by Plato: “He who is of a calm and happy nature will hardly feel the pressure of age, but to him who is of an opposite disposition, youth and age are equally a burden.” As a child, I remember wishing I could be a “grown-up,” and as an adult, I hear so many people saying they wish they were younger. Personally, I became more aware of my age when I turned thirty. Interestingly enough, Nathan Yau of FlowingData, utilized statistics from the 2014 American Community Survey. Based on five-year estimates, people start getting old around ages thirty-seven and thirty-eight. However, other studies show that people don’t actually start feeling old until they are in their sixties. In my opinion, there’s something beautiful about growing older. I like to compare the aging process to the blossoming of a rose. At first, it’s tall and lanky then slowly you begin to see the color of the petals peeking out of the bud, and then day by day the rose emerges from its bud, bright and full of life. When the petals begin to slowly wilt, the rose is still just as beautiful the only difference is that


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Model: Antoria Hawkins | Photography by Marcus Harris


Christina Laxamana | Photography by Marcus Harris

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Gabriela Rye | Steven Harrison Brown

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Cover Model: Christina Laxamana (https://www.instagram.com/c.e.lax/) | Photography by Marcus Harris (https://www.instagram.com/mrmarcusharris/) / pg 2-3. Models (left to right): Christina Laxamana (https://www.instagram.com/c.e.lax/) & Racheal Tayag (https://www.instagram.com/Racheal_ann_/) | Photography by Marcus Harris (https://www.instagram.com/mrmarcusharris/) / pg 6-9. Model: Madison St Ours (https://www.instagram.com/madison.stours/), Courtesy of Wright Agency (https://www.instagram.com/wrightagencymt/) | Photography by Marcus Harris (https://www.instagram.com/mrmarcusharris/) / pg 10-11. Model: La-Anna Douglas (https://www.instagram.com/ Hopestillstands_llc/) | Photography by Cynthia Herrick Photography / pg 12. Model: Crystal Renee (https://www.instagram.com/1CrystalRenee/) | Photography by Gregory Florival (https://www.instagram.com/m76photo/) / pg 13. Racheal Tayag (https://www.instagram.com/Racheal_ann_/) | Photography by Marcus Harris (https://www.instagram.com/mrmarcusharris/) / pg 15, 17 / pg 19. Model: Nikki Platt (https://www.instagram.com/stylerehabdotcom/) | Photography by Jennifer Vecchio / pg 20. Model: Nikki Platt (https://www.instagram.com/stylerehabdotcom/) | Photography by Christina Jones Photo / pg 22, 25. Model: Ebony Jordan (https://www.instagram.com/ebonystories/) / pg 26. Model: Jennifer Gonzalez (https://www.instagram.com/jmgonzalesthewriter/) | Photographer: Shelly Delrosario (https://www.instagram.com/shellydelrosario_xo/) / pg 27. Model: Ashley Cook (https:// www.instagram.com/aecook88/), Courtesy of Wright Agency (https://www.instagram.com/wrightagencymt/) | Photography by Marcus Harris (https://www.instagram.com/mrmarcusharris/) / pg 28-29. Model: Bree Malzow (https://www.instagram.com/bree_malzow_acts/), Wardrobe: Fanny House Collection (https://www.instagram.com/fannyshousecollection/) | Photography by Marcus Harris (https:// www.instagram.com/mrmarcusharris/) / pg. 31. Fashion Designer Anisha Ramakrishna of Currently (ShopCurrently.com) / pg 34. Model: Kiesha Reneè (https://www.instagram.com/_kiesha_renee/) | Photography by Kia Caldwell / pg 35. Model: Rae Nicole Davis (https://www.instagram.com/RaeNicole.Davis/), MUA: Jeanette Dozier, Necklace: Aldo, Wardrobe: Macys | Photography by Steve Bennett / pg 36, 39. Model: Natasha Toffa (https://www.instagram.com/natashatoffa/) / pg 40-41. Model: Nisha Cannady (https://www.instagram.com/cann.nisha/) | Photography by Marcus Harris (https:// www.instagram.com/mrmarcusharris/) / pg 42-47. Model: Bree Malzow (https://www.instagram.com/ bree_malzow_acts/), Wardrobe: Fanny House Collection (https://www.instagram.com/fannyshousecollection/) | Photography by Marcus Harris (https://www.instagram.com/mrmarcusharris/) / pg 50-51. Model: Antoria Hawkins (https://www.instagram.com/antoria_hawkins/) | Photography by Marcus Harris (https://www.instagram.com/mrmarcusharris/) / pg 52. Christina Laxamana (https://www. instagram.com/c.e.lax/) | Photography by Marcus Harris (https://www.instagram.com/mrmarcusharris/) / pg 53. Gabriela Rye (https://www.instagram.com/mariamissdetonate/) | Steven Harrison Brown (https://www.instagram.com/stevenharrisonbrown/) / Back Cover. Model: Racheal Tayag (https:// www.instagram.com/Racheal_ann_/) | Photography by Marcus Harris (https://www.instagram.com/ mrmarcusharris/)


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w w w. Lo ve U M a g a z i n e . c o m Love U Magazine is a quarterly, digital publication. For information on our quarterly publishing cycle, please contact us via http://LoveUMagazine.com. 2018 Butterfly Issue--Published December 1, 2018. | © 2018 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 certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. EDITORIAL OFFICE Love U Magazine is published by Arrogant Dreams. 1971 W Lumsden Road #215, Brandon, FL 33511 contact@arrogantdreams.com Want to Write for Us? Email submissions@loveumag.com General Inquiries:  contact@loveumag.com  |  Advertising: ads@loveumag.com |  Collaborations: partners@loveumag.com


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Love U Magazine | The Butterfly Issue, Fall-Winter 2018  

Thank you for reading our 3rd Annual Butterfly Issue! Each year, we use this issue to celebrate growth, change, and transition. This year, w...

Love U Magazine | The Butterfly Issue, Fall-Winter 2018  

Thank you for reading our 3rd Annual Butterfly Issue! Each year, we use this issue to celebrate growth, change, and transition. This year, w...