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ALL BODIES ARE BEAUTIFUL

A first-hand look at the meaning and mission behind the body beautiful movement

SPICE UP LABOR DAY We've got spicy Labor Day drink recipes to help you kick-off your holiday right


CREDITS. FOUNDING EDITOR Chelsea Dixon

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OPERATIONS MANAGER Chris Dixon SENIOR EDITOR Bailey Rufer BLOG MANAGER Jade Owen BRAND Kristin Gallina AWARENESS MNGR SALES AND Elizabeth Adams PARTNERSHIPS Alexandra Wolf CONTRIBUTING Avni Parekh Wilkens WRITERS Daniel Ebony Jordan Jonna Capone Kerry Carmody Krissy Mallard Kristin Gallina Natasha Toffa Nikki Platt CONTRIBUTING Marcus Harris PHOTOGRAPHERS Daniel Wilkens Neil Glover COVER MODEL Jacqueline Francis 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)


Thank you for reading the latest issue of Love U Magazine (now also available on both the Apple App Store & the Google Play Store). In this issue, we are taking a closer look at Natasha Toffa’s Body Beautiful Movement and the motivation behind the mission. We’ll also look at hot topics like the evergrowing evolution of runway fashion, the hidden signs of depression, dating myths, AND MORE! If you are a long-time reader of Love U Magazine, you know that we pride ourselves on NOT being your typical fashion magazine. We strive to be a fashion and empowerment magazine worth reading. We’re dedicated to bringing you fun and interesting articles that you will love. We also support up and coming movers and shakers in the industry, as well as, passionate fashionistas and influencers. 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

Jacqueline Francis | Photography by Marcus Harris

Chelsea Dixon

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WELCOME TO THE HOT ISSUE

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EDITOR’S LETTER.


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CONTENTS.

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THE EVOLUTION OF RUNWAY HIGH-FASHION TRENDS

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#OOTD (OUTFIT OF THE DAY) A SPLASH OF COLOR

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ALL BODIES ARE EQUALLY B THE THIN, THE SLIM, THE PLU

ARE YOU OKAY? THE HIDDEN SIGNS


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BEAUTIFUL UMP

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SOME LIKE IT HOT SUMMERTIME PICTORIAL

THE EDITOR’S LETTER

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OUR NEW MAGAZINE APP

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KRISTIN’S BEAUTY BEAT

WATERPROOF MAKEUP FINDS

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4 SPICY-HOT COCKTAILS TO KICK OFF LABOR DAY

PLUS-SIZE RELATIONSHIPS 44 MYTHS & MISNOMERS MY SOCIAL MEDIA CLEANSE 48 LESSONS AND TAKEAWAYS

YOUR INNER CHILD 38 EMBRACE LET’S HAVE SOME FUN


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h s a l p S A r o l o of C

#OOTD

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enim. Color. Prints. Done. Summer will be winding down soon, but that doesn’t mean that your love for vibrant colors and funky prints needs to die. Soften up a colorful summer skirt with denim. It’s an easy and effortless way to transition from summer to fall. Achieve a similar look by pairing a jean jacket with a sundress or a body suit and cool yoga pants. Just a little pop of color goes a long way. Plus, it’s a great way to get more mileage out of your summer wear during the end-of-summer, beginning-of-fall transition. Models (left to right): Khari Johnson, Jacqueline Francis | Photography by Marcus Harris


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Models (left to right): Jacqueline Francis, Khari Johnson | Photography by Marcus Harris


Kristin’s Beauty Beat

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by Kristin Gallina

Beat the Heat: Waterproof Makeup Must-Haves

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Mineral Fusion Brush-On Sun Defense, Spf 30

Mineral Fusion Sun Defense is one of my favorite summertime makeup products. I absolutely cannot stand to have a greasy, oily face from all the sunblocks on the market, and more importantly, cannot stand how most sunblocks clog my pores. This product is gluten-free, paraben-free, crueltyfree, hypoallergenic, phthalate-free and artificial color-free. Not only will it protect your face from sunburn and absorb excess oil or sweat in the heat, it also adds a nice finish to your skin, providing a light foundation coverage.

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Estee Lauder Double Wear, Stay-In-Place Makeup Estee Lauder Double Wear is the holy grail of foundation for women who want medium-tofull coverage not only in the hotter months but all year-round. They mean business when they say “stay-in-place.” The foundation has super long wear (24 hours) and won’t run, rub off, or smudge. I personally love its lightweight feel and matte finish. It lasts during hot, humid, and muggy weather, and it’s also waterproof! This foundation is available in 40 shades, it won’t clog your pores, is oil-free and fragrancefree. This foundation also includes SPF in their formula, making it a fantastic grab.


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* Bobbi Brown NoSmudge Mascara Some waterproof mascaras say that they are waterproof, but when you take your lashes to a pool party, your mascara will likely disappoint. With this nosmudge mascara, it does exactly what it says -- NO SMUDGE! This formula definitely stays in place and you absolutely need makeup remover to remove it; this can be a little tedious but also a great benefit. This mascara will coat your lashes evenly and is perfect for long wear at the beach or a pool party.

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I love this gloss! Not only does the formula include SPF 20, it’s also made with chamomile and cucumber for extra hydration. It provides instant cooling relief and moisture with a high gloss shine. It comes in four different shades, so you get a pop of color, shine, moisture and protection from the sun in one product.

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Neutrogena Moistureshine Lip Soother


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The Hot Issue • Summer 2018

4 Spicy-Hot Cocktails to kick off your by Avni Parekh Labor Day Soiree Samurai Cocktail

Jalapeño Vodka Lemonade

Instructions 1. Muddle the pickled ginger and green wasabi in a mixing glass. 2. Add the other ingredients, including the ice. 3. Shake well and then strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Instructions 1. Add ice in a shaker, and then pour the lemonade, jalapeno juice, and lemon vodka. 2. Shake energetically for 30 seconds. 3. Add ice to a glass, and then strain the cocktail into it. Garnish with a lemon twist and jalapeno slices.

Ingredients • 1 ¾ ounce of vodka • ¾ ounce of lime juice • ½ ounce of rose syrup • 4 slices of pickled ginger • ½ bar spoon of green wasabi

Ingredients • 7 ½ ounces of freshly made lemonade • ¾ ounce of jalapeno juice from a jar • 3 ounces of lemon vodka • A few jalapeno slices from the jar or freshly cut • 1 lemon for twist garnish


Instructions 1. Muddle strawberries and sugar in a cocktail shaker. 2. Add vodka, pineapple juice, and adobo sauce, then fill the shaker with ice. 3. Shake for 30 seconds or until the outside of the shaker is frosty, and then strain into a rocks glass filled with ice and garnish with a pineapple slice.

Instructions 1. To salt the rim, take a lime wedge and coat the rim of a rocks glass. Dip the rim into margarita salt and rotate until fully coated. 2. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and stir until the honey fully dissolves. 3. Add a cup of ice and shake the mixture forcefully for 10 seconds. Pour straight into the old-fashioned glass and garnish with a lime wedge.

Ingredients • 2 ounces of vodka • 2 ounces of pineapple juice • 2 strawberries, hulled and halved • 2 teaspoons of sugar • ½ teaspoon of adobo sauce from canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce • Pineapple slice for garnish

Ingredients • 2 ounces of silver tequila • ¾ ounce of fresh lime juice • ½ ounce of elderflower liqueur • ¾ ounce of honey (or simple syrup) • 1 to 2 slices of jalapeño

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Spicy Jalapeño Margarita

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Strawberry Pineapple Hotness


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Throughtout this issue, we are celebraing hot fashion and body-confident women of different shapes and sizes.

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SUMMERTIME Pictorial

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Some Like it Hot


Kristin Gallina | Photography by Nikki Gomez

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Ericka Kaneee | Photography by Marcus Harris

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Fabiana Bergara | Photography by Dave Morrison


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ALL BODIES ARE EQUALLY BEAUTIFUL:


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The Thin, The Slim, The Plump BY NATASHA TOFFA


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“Never let another sabotage your Self Love, it’s YOURS and yours only to keep”

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elf-love.” We hear this term thrown around more and more these days. However, it’s not as easily achieved as it is to speak about. We ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ seeing our favorite singer ooze “perfection” in their new social media posts, consisting of “flawless” skin, a “perfect” body, luscious long hair, makeup on fleek -- not a pimple or blemish in sight. We compare our full-body blogger shots posted on Instagram to the likes of models and celebrities who walk the red carpet, wishing our bodies could look just as good as theirs when we get dressed up in our favorite outfits. We see women on social media constantly promoting the use of lip fillers, detox teas, hips and booty fat transfers, breast implants, hair weaves, and teeth whitening kits and veneers; these are all things

that not all everyday women can afford. Even if they were affordable, would those things truly satisfy us? Will they fill that inner void by enabling us to feel true happiness within ourselves? The answer to that is ‘no.’ You can try to convince yourself that these


Models from left to right: Kaiisa, Natasha, Gayathri, Maryem, Natasha, Janai, Shannon, Idalmy, Rocci | Photography by Mounira Elsamra

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I

know this because like many other women, this used to be me. I battled with myself until I made the decision to break this toxic cycle by investing in rebuilding myself. As the saying goes, “self-love is never selfish; you cannot truly love another without love for yourself.” To be content with yourself, you need to truly discover self-love. Once you have found selflove, you will finally believe and trust in your own self-worth. The day will finally come where you will be able to confidently go out in public with your head held high, no longer afraid or worried about who may be watching, showing the world how proud you are of your growth and of the person you have become. After having spent most of my twentyeight years being bullied and teased,

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purchases will give you happiness, but really, they won’t. You’ll find yourself continuously purchasing or wanting to purchase the next new skincare line a celebrity advocates for, the next new weight loss gummy bear product or diet pill, and so on, forever trying to fill that void. Your happiness will last moments and fade away once the product dies down, when you stop applying it, or in the worst case, you don’t see any satisfying results.


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Models from left to right: Kaiisa, Natasha, Gayathri, Maryem, Natasha, Janai, Shannon, Idalmy, Rocci | Photography by Mounira Elsamra

living up to other people’s expectations of how I should look, I discovered self-love. This discovery inspired me to help other women. It was the beginning of 2017 when I came up with the idea of a special international project entitled, “Body Beautiful.” Body Beautiful was featured in New York City and Los Angeles to begin with, and in time will globally feature an array of beautiful and uniquely diverse

women. The goal of Body Beautiful is to not only celebrate female empowerment and unity, but to strongly promote self-love and confidence by highlighting women of all shapes and sizes with varying skin tones and ethnicities. In other words, to break barriers by representing “real,” everyday women, as opposed to the beauty industry’s stereotypical perception of beauty.


Models from left to right: Kaiisa, Natasha, Gayathri, Maryem, Natasha, Janai, Shannon, Idalmy, Rocci | Photography by Mounira Elsamra

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ody Beautiful allows women all around the world to take a stand and have their voice heard, loud and proud, all while doing it with sheer confidence and finesse. It inspires and encourages women to discover themselves and embrace their beauty. It gives the younger generation more realistic role models to look up to, ones they can actually identify with. When you flaunt whatever you feel there is to love about you with humility, confidence and finesse, that is when you know you’ve discovered self-love.

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“Once you have found self-love, you will finally believe and trust in your own self-worth.”


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THE EVOLUTION OF RUNWAY FASHION

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s fast as fashion moves the average waist size of a woman and changes, it’s ironic increased by 2.6 inches. The fashion that the industry itself industry turned a blind eye to these would adapt so slowly facts. It’s only recently that they’ve to the evolving world started to pay attention and present around it. From plus-size models to a more realistic portrayal of what an front row seating at fashion shows ‘average body’ was on the runways. and the pivotal ‘fashion calendar,’ Probably one of the more big changes are happening in this controversial shifts in the fashion somewhat industry is the archaic industry. evolution of the We have coveted front progressed row. It is difficult so far, but it to pinpoint wasn’t until Fall when this shift 2017 that the first started, fashion industry but the front finally started to row was once catch up. This reserved strictly was the year for industry that 27 plus professionals. size models Rival reviewers walked down sat on opposite the runway for ends of the by Nikki Platt designers such aisle like caged as Michael lions waiting for Kors, Christian release. Where Siriano, Prabal Gurung, Tracy Reese, you sat mattered, and everyone J. Crew, Who What Wear and noticed. many more. There’s a common The movement of show seating misconception that the “average” began to break down in the 1990s. woman is a size 14. In fact, a study This started with designers like Marc published in the International Journal Jacobs, who welcomed students of Fashion Design, Technology and fans into their shows, and and Education, written by Deborah whose informal seating in the early A. Christel and Susan C.Dunn, days meant that everyone who reveals that the average woman stood in line for a seat would get falls between a size 16 to 18. It’s one. Then, as fashion merged with noted that over the last two decades, entertainment, celebrities replaced


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models on magazine covers and wore designer dresses on the red carpet, embracing a new form of brand marketing. They were also invited to runway shows, which forced brands and publicists to redraw their seating plans. Slowly, celebrities started to replace industry executives in the front row, offering more exposure for their garments. Additionally, the explosion of the internet and the rise of fashion bloggers and social media influencers, who can garner more buzz by simply attending shows and writing about them to their millions of faithful followers, also changed the dynamics of seating arrangements. At its peak, this digital era has played a significant role in how we view fashion shows. Traditionally, you would read a review in the newspaper, magazine, or trade publication and that was the only insight you got about a brand until the next clothing line hit the racks six months later. Now shows are an international, digital experience where anyone around the world can tune in, simply by viewing it from their phone or computer screen. Equally as controversial as who sits where at the show, is the talk of changing the fashion calendar. Consumers have wanted the change in the fashion calendar for years now, frustrated by seeing winter clothes in the middle of summer and bathing suits in the dead of winter.

Now, several designers and brands have started to take notice, like Burberry, Tommy Hilfiger, Rebecca Minkoff, Thakoon, and Michael Kors who are among the first designers to align runway with retail. Traditionally, manufacturers are brought into the process after a collection is shown and buyers express interest. With the new system, supply chains are brought in and become intimately involved with the design process. In theory, these changes make perfect sense to many. However, Francois-Henri Pinault, CEO of Gucci-owner Kering, said Gucci will not align their runway presentations with retail. Pinault believes the six months between a presentation and retail “creates desire” and instant availability “negates the dream” of luxury. Many consumers and fashion connoisseurs disagree with Pinault’s thoughts on the shift in the fashion calendar. After seeing the shows either online or in-person, we can’t help but want to snatch the clothes right off the runway and add them to our own wardrobe. Today, fashion is about instant gratification. It’s about putting on that amazing piece and feeling good about yourself. If we could have those moments immediately after a show instead of six months later, why wouldn’t we? This shift in the calendar isn’t a big hurdle to overcome. If everyone is a part of


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fashion begins to change, this could encourage a real overhaul of the fashion industry as we know it, and a good starting point would be making noteworthy changes to establish relevance within the industry.

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the conversation and share similar viewpoints, anything is possible. As brands face challenges such as declining foot traffic in stores, the rise of e-commerce, and the desire to be more socially conscious, their success is truly based on survival of the fittest. If the fabric of runway


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Models (left to right): Jessica Teixeira, Nikki Santa, Simone Stovall, Natalie J | Photography by Todd Youngblood


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SIGNS OF DEPRESSION

by Chelsea Dixon

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ARE YOU OKAY? THE HIDDEN


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epression is one of the most common mental health conditions in the United States. An estimated 16 million people in America will experience at least one major depressive episode in their lives. Depression is also one of the primary causes of disability in the United States. Although some symptoms of depression are noticeable, other signs can be subtle and easily overlooked. Recognizing these hidden symptoms of depression can help individuals receive professional care quicker so they can resume their normal activities with a higher quality of life. It’s well documented that some people experience signs of depression during the cooler or colder months of the year (known as S.A.D, Seasonal Affective Disorder), causing many to dismiss or overlook depressive indicators that arise at other times of the year. The fact is, depression disorders and symptoms can rear their head during any time of the year. It’s important to pay close attention to the signs so you can seek the help of a professional if necessary.


Hidden Symptoms in Teens The teen years can be a particularly emotional time in an individual’s life. It may be a time when one feels uncertain about their appearance and abilities. Sleeping late and eating voraciously are common for this age group. But when depression sets in, other symptoms may creep into a teen’s life. The teen may begin to isolate themselves from friends and social events. They may stop engaging in hobbies and sports they previously enjoyed. More common than we think, they may be prone to developing an eating disorder Ramia | Photography by Marcus Harris

Hidden Symptoms in Children Children may be the hardest group of all in which to detect signs of depression. Even in the best of circumstances, children can often exude unpredictable behavior and may be easily hurt. However, persistent signs of hopelessness, tearfulness, poor communication with others, lack of concentration and frequent physical illnesses, such as headaches and stomachaches, could be depression. If your child shows any of these signs, start recording their behavior in a diary to determine how frequently the symptoms occur. A visit to your pediatrician could help you determine whether a physical problem is at fault or if the child should see a professional to help them tackle such symptoms. Depression can rob a person of their happiness and prevent them from fully enjoying family life, participating in social activities and can affect their performance at work. If you are experiencing these symptoms, or know someone who is, talk to your doctor and/or seek help from a mental health professional. A variety of treatments for depression are available that could help you feel more balanced and connected to your life.

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Many people think they are immune to depression. They may feel they have a complete mastery over their emotions and their lives and couldn’t possibly be affected by the insidious biochemical effects of depression. But these same people may develop erratic eating habits that differ from their usual patterns. They may suddenly have the urge to sleep all day or can’t get to sleep at night. Instead of going out with friends or attending a social event, they may make excuses to avoid the activity. They may have feelings of intense anger or respond very irritably in conversation. These are signs that an individual might be struggling with depression and may not be aware of the impact it is having on their life and the lives of those around them.

-- either refusing to eat at all or binging and purging. Some of these behaviors are drastic, and while others may appear typical for teens, it’s important to pay close attention to these behaviors as they could prove to be indicators of a larger problem. w w w. Lo ve U M a g a z i n e . c o m

Hidden Symptoms in Adults


Krislynn Mallard | Photographer by Kristin Langlais

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Sherita Nicole | Photography by Jose Pagan


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f all the four seasons, I think Summer is highly-anticipated and mostly associated with fun. When I think of Summer, I imagine sipping on lemonade at the beach, overlooking beachgoers playing volleyball, and sunbathing. I picture myself relaxing in the sun without a worry in the world, forgetting about work and other real-life responsibilities while the sun’s rays touch my by Avni body as big smile stretches across my face. However, for those of us who aren’t daydreaming, summer isn’t all about spending time at the beach sipping on lemonade. For many of us, day-to-day responsibilities still top the chart. With so many distractions coming from every angle, it can be extremely difficult to live life as joyfully as a child does.

What happened to having fun? Everyone wants to have fun. Though, as we get older and responsibilities begin to pile on, having fun takes a backseat to priorities. Many of us limit or avoid having fun for a few reasons; we don’t think we deserve it, we feel guilty because others aren’t having fun, or because of a lack of time Parekh due to other commitments. However, a vitally important component of living is playing. As a matter of fact, academic research from an array of disciplines reveals the importance of play to the mind and body, indicating that having fun or playing is as fundamental to our health and functioning as rest. Scientific research even verifies that the human brain and body respond positively to

EMBRACING YOUR INNER CHILD


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Lauren Seals | Photography by Marcus Harris

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Learning to Embrace Your Inner Child It’s safe to say, each one of us wants to live a happy life, and in order to do so, it’s imperative to embrace your inner child. As we enter adulthood, we’re taught that our inner child— representing our childlike

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capacity for innocence, curiosity, excitement, joy, sensitivity, and playfulness—must be subdued and hidden from the world. In actuality, this isn’t how it should be. Don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements, once said: “Just imagine becoming the way you used to be as a very young child, before you understood the meaning of any word, before opinions took over your mind. The real you is loving, joyful and free. The real you is just like a flower, just like the wind, just like the ocean, just like the sun.” In order to embrace your inner child, there are three characteristics you must possess. The first is to be authentic, the second is to play around and the third is to spread joy. Live your life with these three characteristics and you’ll live happily. After all, a life full of happiness is more fulfilling than a life filled with money. So, if you’re stuck in your office this summer, working away and unable to enjoy summertime activities, don’t worry too much. By embracing your inner child, you’ll see the wonder each day brings and your smile will shine as bright as the sun.

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laughter by releasing endorphins, epinephrine, and dopamine, as well as an increase in oxygen production. In fact, we learn best when we are having fun. Apparently, playing fuels the healthy development of children and the continued healthy development of adults more than any other activity. Having fun doesn’t have to be expensive. Genuine sources of fun are what psychologists dub ‘renewable pleasures,’ meaning these sources are enjoyable no matter how many times you do them. For instance, maybe you find enjoyment watching your favorite movie for the hundredth time, or perhaps it’s going for a jog. Whatever your source for fun is, begin implementing it into your life more than sporadically.


Lauren Seals | Photography by Marcus Harris

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PLUS-SIZE RELATIONSHIP Myths & Misnomers by Jonna E. Capone

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e all know how crazy the world of dating and relationships can get, but as a full-figured woman, I’ve found that there’s a whole new category of challenges. We’re expected to explain ourselves on romantic dates and with friends and family, alike. The myths and misnomers about the life of a plus-size person, pour into dating life in ways that one could only imagine -- leading to terrible Tinder dates and even crazy questions from close friends. Let’s dive into a few of the most common misconceptions to see if we can set the record straight!

Plus-Size Women Are Limited by Their Bodies

FALSE!

I’ve certainly encountered this common misconception when dealing with romantic partners. The idea that plus-size women aren’t flexible or able to move really hinders a romantic relationship. It simply isn’t true for all full-figured women. There are many fullfigured women who are physically active and who are not held back romantically by their own bodies. This is also true in a non-romantic relationship. “Many of my straightsized friends rarely invite me out to outdoor activities like hiking. It is almost as though they assume


Plus-Size Women All Want to Lose Weight

FALSE!

Two friends are out together. The full-figured friend says, “These jeans better get over these hips.” The other friend replies, “Oh stop! You are beautiful!” The problem is that the full-figured friend never said that she wasn’t beautiful. Equating the two (size to beauty or confidence) is comparing apples to oranges. Addressing my shape doesn’t mean I have to be ashamed of it. Plus-size women are not always trying to lose weight or change their bodies! They are allowed to love and accept their bodies just like anyone else! You can be beautiful and be plus-size, these are not opposites and you shouldn’t be afraid to call your friends out on it!

FALSE!

At family gatherings, there’s always that one relative that asks everyone about their love-life; everyone except for me. I find that most of my relatives don’t bother to ask. Almost as if they don’t believe I’ll be able to find someone until I lose weight. Other times, it’s not even an outsider who is playing into the stereotypes, sometimes it’s the person who you are dating. I’ve experienced dates where the person who I was dating gave off a sense that I should even be grateful to have a date. FALSE! If you find yourself in this situation where the other person tries to make you feel as though they are doing you a favor, run! It simply isn’t true. There are tons full-figured women in happy and healthy romantic relationships with partners who appreciate them. There are other statements and scenarios that I am sure full-figure women have faced, but it’s time to BREAKUP with these myths, defy misconceptions and go after the love you deserve.

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Plus-Size Women Don’t Have Romantic Relationships

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because I’m plus-size that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy myself.” Jackie Traish, a full-figured colleague of mine, explained an experience with friends who simply assumed that her body limited her.


Lisa Phoung Le | Photography by Marcus Harris

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TAKEAWAYS FROM MY 5-DAY

SOCIAL

MEDIA CLEANSE by Ebony Jordan


What I Experienced

Day 1: A few things happened almost immediately after my brain registered that I was on a hiatus from social media. Right away, my mind became still and my thoughts became my own. My world became significantly smaller and my physical

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something was missing. After randomly watching a couple of my favorite YouTubers share their thoughts on social media cleanses, plus self-reflecting on my own views and concerns about how social media was impacting me, I decided to take a break from it. I hadn’t figured out how long I planned on disconnecting, I just posted a status update stating that I was taking a social media cleanse and that I’d be back soon. I logged off immediately after the announcement.

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ccording to a 2011 study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, approximately one-third of the study’s respondents reported spending at least 15 hours per week on the internet. The study surveyed 3,650 high school students, exploring the effects of PIU (problematic internet use). This study focused on teenagers; however, with the rise of conditions like social media anxiety disorder and endless FOMO (fear of missing out), we know that adverse side effects to excessive internet and social media use affects us all. This past spring, I got a front row seat to the baggage and overwhelm that social media can sometimes bring. I started to experience anxiety and it hit me hard. I felt feelings that I hadn’t felt in a very long time. I felt lost, and I felt like a pinball machine was stuck inside my head because my mind was bouncing all over the place. Fortunately, over the course of my self-love journey I have learned a few helpful ways to cope with feelings of anxiety, emptiness, boredom and inadequacy. For instance, going for relaxing walks, getting sufficient rest, and indulging in healthy, yet pleasurable activities, can make a world of difference. So I applied these coping mechanisms and though they were helping,


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presence felt stronger. I felt less drone-like and my surroundings became a lot more interesting. There were a few moments where my body jolted me toward my phone and I mindlessly made the attempt to access Instagram, only to be reminded by my login screen that I was on a social media cleanse. I was surprisingly able to remain disengaged for the rest of that day and upon reflection at the end of day one, I felt a sense of pride and stronger mental discipline.

Day 2:

Days 3 to 5: The next few days of the cleanse mirrored day one, with me abstaining from social media altogether. As a result, I was fully engaged in my conservations with people around me and felt in tune with each passing moment. I was having more face-to-face conversations with my children and I also discovered time to research my craft via YouTube and Google University. At the end of day five, I felt at peace mentally, more connected to my life purpose and an increased level of confidence in being able to achieve my goals.

On day two, I was reminded that social media is more than just a form of entertainment, it’s also a helpful tool for conducting research and generating business leads. So I logged on to do a little research. I was determined to be productive and I’m happy to report that I accomplished what I had set out to do. I reflected on breaking the rules I set in place for myself, especially since it was only day two, but I exercised self-control by focusing My five-day social media cleanse on researching and for that I am taught me that at times social proud. media can be a silent and deadly distraction. You won’t notice how big of a distraction social media really is until you detach yourself

What I Learned


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has the ability to make us feel less connected to our surroundings and loved ones. I advise everyone to take a break from social media from time to time. It’ll help you distinguish genuine interactions from unfulfilling or fake interactions. You may also feel your stress levels subside from being free of the sensory overload that social media can bring. Plus, the constant bombardment of having to check updates and the need to compare your life to the lives of others based on their postings to social media should cease altogether. Therefore, I encourage you to follow my lead and challenge yourself to embark on a brief cleanse. Your body, mind and relationships with friends and family will surely benefit from getting more one-on-one attention.

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from it. For example, I always thought that I was using social media responsibly and balancing my priorities without interference, however, that wasn’t the case at all. After my hiatus, I realized how much more productive I could actually be. I had crossed off so many tasks on my to-do list in just five days; tasks that seemed to be taking me forever to complete. I also decluttered my entire apartment and organized my closet. I wrote new goals down, developed a six-year plan and got much needed reading done. Best of all, my relationships with my loved ones improved. Because social media makes connecting with others appear simple, we’ve grown to take physical conversations for granted. However, after experiencing an increase of full and fluid face-to-face conversations during my cleanse, I’ve come to appreciate them again. Now, I won’t go as far as saying that social media is completely harmful to our lives. There are certain benefits to platforms like Facebook and Instagram. They are helpful tools for researching information, finding long lost friends, discovering small businesses and independent brands, and keeping up with current events in addition to being a great resource for getting in a dose of laughter. But make no mistake, used irresponsibly, social media


Christina Vanderhorst | Photography by Marcus Harris

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Continues on page 82 w w w. Lo ve U M a g a z i n e . c o m

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The Hot Issue • Summer 2018

Cover Model & pg 2-3. Model: Jacqueline Francis, Photography by Marcus Harris / pg 6-8. Models (left to right): Khari Johnson, Jacqueline Francis, Photography by Marcus Harris / pg 14-15. Model: Tiece King, Photography by Marcus Harris / pg 16. Model: Kristin Gallina, Photography by Nikki Gomez / pg 17. Model Ericka Kaneee, Photography by Marcus Harris / pg. 18-19. Model: Fabiana Bergara, Photography by Dave Morrison / pg. 20-21. Models (in random order): Kaiisa, Natasha, Gayathri, Natasha, Janai, Shannon, Idalmy, Rocci, Photography by Mounira Elsamra / pg 22-24. Models (in random order): Kaiisa, Natasha, Gayathri, Maryem, Natasha, Janai, Shannon, Idalmy, Rocci, Photography by Mounira Elsamra / pg 30-31. Models (left to right): Jessica Teixeira, Nikki Santa, Simone Stovall, Natalie J, Photography by Todd Youngblood, MUA: Key Hawkins / pg 32-35: Ramia, Photography by Marcus Harris / pg 36. Krislynn Mallard, Photographer by Kristin Langlais / pg 37. Model: Sherita Nicole, Photography by Jose Pagan / pg. 39-40 & 42-43. Model: Lauren Seals, Photography by Marcus Harris / pg 46-47. Model: Lisa Phoung Le, Photography by Marcus Harris / pg 52-53. Model: Christina Vanderhorst, Photography by Marcus Harris, MUA Tyler Savage / Back Cover. Model: Luci Lux, Photography by Marcus Harris / Model: Brianna Sawyer, Photography by Marcus Harris


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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 Hot Issue--Published August 25, 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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The Hot Issue • Summer 2018

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Love U Magazine | The Hot Issue, Summer 2018  

In this issue, we are taking a closer look at Natasha Toffa's Body Beautiful Movement and the motivation behind the mission. We'll also loo...

Love U Magazine | The Hot Issue, Summer 2018  

In this issue, we are taking a closer look at Natasha Toffa's Body Beautiful Movement and the motivation behind the mission. We'll also loo...