__MAIN_TEXT__

Page 1

ARTICLE TITLE | BY AUTHOR

1

WWW.QUEENSIZEMAGAZINE.COM| FEBRUARY 2021 ISSUE


2

FOLLOW US AND STAY IN THE KNOW facebook.com/queensizemag

instagram.com/queensizemagazine

twitter.com/queensizemagazine

linkedin.com/in/queensizemagazine

WWW.QUEENSIZEMAGAZINE.COM|MAY FEBRUARY 2018 2021 ISSUEISSUE


ARTICLE TITLE | BY AUTHOR MAKING QUEEN SIZE MOVES

3

FROM THE DESK OF Tawana Blassingame Founder & Editor in Chief

​ elcome to the February 2021 issue of Queen Size W Magazine. I hold this issue very dear to my heart; literally. I am dedicating this issue to women all across the globe. Plus size, straight size, young elderly, black, white, orange, etc. As we all know February is Valentine’s Day month; but more importantly it is Go Red for Women Month. This is the month when we raise awareness for Women’s Heart Disease; our number one killer. In 2020 we have all suffered heartbreaking losses. Whether they were COVID-19 related or not they were losses. Many of you are aware that my family loss my sister in November to Liver Cancer. My sister took very good care of herself health wise but it did give me a wakeup call regarding taking better care of myself. I started seeing a nutritionist which is something that I have put off doing for the last two years. I say all of this to say, the time has come for us to stop overusing the term “self-care” and actually begin practicing it. If you are experiencing any changes in your body that is out of the norm, I urge you to get it checked out. You owe it to yourselves to do that. It may not be anything but on the other hand it might be something. Don’t ignore the signs, continue to do your research and spread the word. I am my sister’s keeper. As with every issue, I truly thank each and every person that had a hand in making Queen Size Magazine possible. And on behalf of myself and Queen Size Magazine, I would like to thank all of our readers; without you we would not still be here. We would love to hear your feedback. Email us at queensizemagazine@gmail.com and let us know what you like, don’t like and/or want to see in future issues. We value your opinion. Be blessed and remember to be a blessing as well.

Photo by Philip Drew @pdrewphotography

WWW.QUEENSIZEMAGAZINE.COM| MAY FEBRUARY 2018 2021 ISSUEISSUE


4

MAKING QUEEN SIZE MOVES

MASTHEAD TAWANA BLASSINGAME CEO/Editor In Chief PHILIP DREW Executive Director & Director of Photography MEESHA ANN Executive Director SHEENA POSTELL Social Media Correspondant LAWANDA SANYANG Beauty Editor ASHLEY WALKER Fashion Editor Sharonda Grandberry Overseas Ambassador EYANI COUTURE House Designer Nathaniel Jaye Beauty Janelle Simmons Fashion Nyemade Boiwu Lifestyle ValaRae Partee 2020 Face of QSM

Photographer | Neal Richardson @nedoriphotos Model | LaQuinta Davis @iamdivabigg Makeup Team | Dianna Torres @mz_dilightfull_mua , Iris Perez @ iamirisperez, Ultraviolet glam @ultraviolet_glam92 Hair | Done by model Designer and Styling | LaQuinta Davis @iamdivabigg WWW.QUEENSIZEMAGAZINE.COM|FEBRUARY 2021 ISSUE


5

CONTENTS FEATURED STORY

16

LAQUINTA DAVIS |I AM DIVABIGG - HER TRUTH BEHIND THE MASK

HEALTH AND FITNESS

06

RESOLVE TO ACHIEVE HEALTHY SLEEP IN 2021

08

OVERCOMING THE MASK

By BRANDPOINT

By FAMILY FEATURES

BEAUTY&FASHION

10

HOW TO DEAL WITH YOUR HAIR DURING WINTER WEATHER By NATHANIEL JAYE

12

8 SIMPLE AND VERSATILE PIECES THAT ALL MEN SHOULD HAVE IN HIS WARDROBE By QSM

28

BEYOND THE FACE: HOW TO TAKE YOUR BODY CARE ROUTINE TO THE NEXT LEVEL

ENTREPRENEUR SPOTLIGHT

FEBRUARY 2021 ISSUE

10

By BRANDPOINT

30

WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT?

36

LOVE YOURSELF, DON’T LOSE YOURSELF

38

By ASHLEY WALKER

By LALA SANYANG

BUSINESS

ENTREPRENEUR SPOTLIGHT | SUZANNE VINNIK “BY VINNIK” By QSM

44

NO FILTER

46

CREATING A STABLE BACK-TO-SCHOOL ROUTINE FOR CHILDREN

By DR. JANELLE “THE CURVY DOC” SIMMONS

By FAMILY FEATURES

48

OVERCOMING WEIGHT INDUCED SOCIAL ANXIETY By NYEMADE BOIWU

38

WWW.QUEENSIZEMAGAZINE.COM| FEBRUARY 2019 2021 ISSUE


HEALTH AND FITNESS

6

RESOLVE TO ACHIEVE HEALTHY SLEEP IN 2021 WWW.QUEENSIZEMAGAZINE.COM|FEBRUARY 2021 ISSUE

According to a recent survey from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), 85% of U.S. adults do not get the recommended seven hours or more of sleep every night. After a challenging and stressful year, the New Year provides Americans with the opportunity to refocus on the importance of making healthy sleep a priority. “Our survey findings show a worrying trend of national sleep deprivation,” said AASM president Dr. Kannan Ramar. “Insufficient sleep contributes to the risk for several of today’s public health epidemics, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. As such, it is critical that we incorporate healthy sleep habits and routines into our daily lives to be our best in 2021.” Why should we make healthy sleep a priority? The AASM recommends that adults sleep at least seven hours each night to promote optimal health and well-being. In the same survey, slightly more than one-third (34%) of Americans said they sleep for seven or more hours only two nights - or fewer - each week, in line with findings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Regularly sleeping less than seven hours per day is associated with an increased risk of developing chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and frequent mental distress. Resolve to make 365 days of healthy sleep your goal for 2021 by keeping in mind its extensive benefits:


RESOLVE TO ACHIEVE HEALTHY SLEEP IN 2021 | BRANDPOINT

* Sleep makes you healthier - Without good sleep, both mental and physical health suffer greatly, putting Americans at an increased risk of chronic disease. * Sleep makes you happier - Sleep has a positive effect on mood and overall sense of well-being and can improve relationships with others. * Sleep makes you smarter - Getting the right amount of sleep is conducive to learning, memory recall, creativity and cognitive function. What is inhibiting us from achieving the recommended seven hours of sleep? Despite evidence showing the importance of adequate sleep, it often can take a back seat to other behaviors we find important. According to the AASM’s July 2020 survey, a vast majority (68%) of U.S. adults lose sleep due to drinking alcohol past bedtime. Americans also report staying up past their bedtime to binge-watch a TV show or stream a video series (88%), read a book (66%), watch a sporting event (58%) and play video games (50%). How has the pandemic impacted sleep? With a change in daily routines, the COVID-19 pandemic is also disrupting sleep for Americans. According to the AASM survey, one in five Americans (22%) are sleeping worse due to the pandemic, and 19% are getting less nightly sleep.

7

prepare for the day ahead. * Ensure the bedroom is a space for sleep - Limit noise and distractions by making your bedroom quiet, dark and a little bit cool - and only use the bed for sleeping, not watching TV or reading. * Set boundaries for blue light exposure - Consider setting a technology curfew by turning off your TV and other electronic devices 30 minutes to an hour before bedtime. Silence your notifications and charge your devices away from your bed so you are not tempted to look at social media or news alerts. * Limit alcohol, caffeine and large meals before bed - Avoid consuming caffeine after lunch and avoid alcohol near bedtime, as both can disrupt sleep. If hungry after dinner, keep snacks small, sugar-free and easily digestible so as to not disrupt sleep. For PDFs of the AASM’s 2019 and 2020 Sleep Prioritization Survey results, please visit https://aasm. org/about/newsroom/. For more information on the importance of healthy sleep, visit SleepEducation.org.

“Despite the fact that many Americans are no longer commuting to and from work, it is paramount to establish and maintain morning and bedtime rituals, such as getting up and going to bed at regular times to achieve adequate sleep,” added Ramar. What are some tips to kick off the New Year with healthy sleep? * Obtain adequate sleep - Set a bedtime that allows you to get enough sleep so you wake up feeling refreshed and alert. Identify an appropriate bedtime for your age and lifestyle using the AASM bedtime calculator. * Establish a bedtime and waketime routine Consider developing a nightly routine that evokes calm and relaxation, which may include reading, journaling or meditating. Even for those working remotely, allow ample time to wake, reflect and Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

WWW.QUEENSIZEMAGAZINE.COM| FEBRUARY 2021 ISSUE


HEALTH AND FITNESS

8

Overcoming the Mask Tips for communicating through COVID-19 It can be challenging to communicate through masks, 6-feet of social distance, physical barriers and other factors due to COVID-19 that have changed daily life. For people with hearing loss, this is an especially challenging time. In a telling sign of increased hearing difficulty, usage of online hearing tests increased 500% since the pandemic began. Photo courtesy of Getty Images

“With COVID-19 and masks, everyday tasks are a source of frustration, such as asking a question at the grocery store deli or talking to someone from behind a customer service desk,” said Bill Schiffmiller, a lifelong hearing aid user and founder and CEO of Akoio, a hearing wellness company. “It’s a triple threat because masks reduce the loudness of the voice, muffle pronunciation and eliminate visuals like facial expressions and lip reading.” Data shows people who can’t hear others begin to stay away from other people, and social isolation can lead to anxiety and depression. People who have trouble hearing also tend to have higher hospitalization rates and longer hospital stays, according to research published in “JAMA Otolaryngology.”

Photo by August de Richelieu from Pexels

WWW.QUEENSIZEMAGAZINE.COM|FEBRUARY 2021 ISSUE


OVERCOMING THE MASK | FAMILY FEATURES

Among those 55 and older who have hearing loss, 58% don’t use hearing aids. In the past, statistics have shown people waiting up to seven years before getting a hearing aid from the time of diagnosis. However, the communication challenges posed during COVID-19 are driving some to address their hearing sooner than they may have otherwise.

Help Someone Hear You Better · Consider the mask you’re wearing. Clear masks provide a visual difference, helping with lip reading and facial expressions. The plastic in clear masks, however, can muffle sound too much for some. According to audiologist Dr. Shivani Patel, highfrequency hearing loss is common, making female voices difficult to hear. In this situation, research has found standard medical masks tend to transfer sound best. Try different masks to see what works for you.

9

When You’re Having Trouble Hearing · Talk to your friends and family. Tell them what you’re experiencing and be clear and direct in expressing your thoughts and feelings. Ask whether they have noticed your hearing troubles and listen to their feedback. · Describe specific instances and circumstances when your hearing is affected most. Armed with this knowledge, friends and family can help you manage various situations. · Determine a plan of action. Set an appointment to have your hearing checked by an audiologist. If you wear a hearing aid, be sure to carry extra batteries. Notice ways to adjust your environment to reduce background noise. · Make hearing wellness a priority. Data shows hearing is important to a person’s mental and physical wellness, and untreated hearing loss can have multiple health consequences. Find more hearing resources, downloadable guides and an audiologist finder at akoio.com.

Photo courtesy of Akoio

· Minimize background noise. Music, construction, other conversations, heaters and fans can make it challenging to communicate when wearing a mask. · Avoid “cavernous” rooms. An environment with mostly hard surfaces, such as a large meeting room or gymnasium, offers minimal sound dampening and can make hearing comprehension more difficult. · Maintain eye contact. Look directly at the person you’re speaking to and speak clearly, helping him or her read some of your facial expressions. When using video conference services, look directly into the camera in a well-lit room and ensure you have clear picture quality to help with lip reading. · Be patient. Remember the increased challenges people with hearing loss are facing now. If communication becomes too challenging through a mask, have a backup plan such as pen and paper or a smartphone note-taking app.

WWW.QUEENSIZEMAGAZINE.COM| FEBRUARY 2021 ISSUE


10

BEAUTY AND FASHION

Haircare

with Nathaniel Jaye

How to Deal with your Hair During Winter Weather As many women know and even a lot of men; the winter weather is extremely drying to our skin and our hair. The cold dry air and everything that comes along with it can make hair dehydrated and more prone to breakage than the warmer months. We asked our readers to send their questions as it pertains to their hair during this time.

They say hair loss in Fall /Winter is common. Is this actually true? It is very true and common; However, it does not have to happen. There are many reasons as to why you are losing your hair; but as a process of elimination consider adding more moisture to your hair routine, turn the heat down on your hot tools, deep condition more often (NEVER skip conditioning your hair), and even though some natural girls like to do wash and go’s in the summer, wet hair in the winter is not ideal.

Are there any special conditioners or shampoos that I can use for Fall/ Winter weather rather than summer weather? I highly recommend using a shampoo and conditioner that is high in moisture. Moisture is always ideal for all seasons; but in the winter is highly recommended. I love using the “Wash Day Almond & Avocado mask” which can be WWW.QUEENSIZEMAGAZINE.COM|FEBRUARY 2021 ISSUE

used as a deep conditioner as well. For my relaxed ladies I love all things Kera Care; their hydrating detangling shampoo is AWESOME for relaxed hair, coupled with their Humecto conditioner; your hair will thank you.

My hair and scalp gets really dry in the winter even though I grease it. Why could that be? Let’s start with removing the grease and shift to using 100% essential oils; oils work best when the hair wet. Note Oil is not a moisturizer; however, oil and moisture do work together hand in hand. I suggest mixing your oil in with your favorite leave in conditioner before blow drying or natural styling. It is also ok to lightly oil your scalp in between. Too much oil has an adverse effect on the hair and scalp, so be mindful of how much you are using.


HOW TO DEAL WITH YOUR HAIR DURING WINTER WEATHER | NATHANIEL JAYE

What are some vitamins or foods I can eat to help strengthen my healthy hair? GREAT question! Eating healthy fats such Omega-3 fatty acids; which keeps the hair shiny and helps it grow, and the body can’t produce it alone. In addition, adding nuts, salmon and avocado to your diet is extremely healthy. Also, increasing your Vitamin c will aid in helping your hair. It has antioxidant properties in it that protects the hair from split ends, citrus fruits and dark leafy greens are excellent sources of Vitamin C.

For us women who like to wear wigs or units a lot, what are some tips that you can give to help us maintain our natural hair for months? Be sure to shampoo and deep condition weekly. Always wear a wig cap underneath; since the scalp is covered most of the time it’s best to allow it to breathe in between. You will find that without proper maintenance to your real hair; your real hair will tend to dry out and you could develop a very dry scalp. Also be sure that if you are gluing your lace down that you’re doing properly. The glue should only be applied to the skin only, not the actual hair

Is there a particular protective hairstyle(s) to use during the winter? I don’t have a particular one that is any better than another; I will say braids are not always ideal for everybody; and you must take breaks in between braids. And also as a tip; always cover your hair up at night with a sateen scarf no matter what protective style you may have. .

11

I can never seem to control my frizzy hair. What can I do? Frizzy hair could mean two things. 1. You have a lot of split ends 2. Or your hair very porous and dry. I suggest trying SheaMoisture High Porosity Moisture Correct Masque as a start.

Is there a particular protective hairstyle(s) to use during the winter? ITreat your wigs just like you would treat your real hair; especially if you have invested a lot of money into the unit. Always use a cleansing shampoo, then follow that up with a conditioning shampoo. Be sure to keep the hair flowing in one direction to avoid tangles. In addition, be sure that you’re getting high quality units; some of these wigs are blended with synthetic hair and they will not respond in an ideal way. Do your research on these wig makers and where they are sourcing their hair.

How do you safely go from bleach blond hair to dark hair? The best response for this is to seek a professional; going back to a darker color may seem simple however there are other factors that only a professional will consider.

GREAT questions; please Keep them coming ! as always following me on social media IG @Hairbynathaniel_jaye. Love connecting with my readers. Until then be BOLD, be unique and be Fabulous.

WWW.QUEENSIZEMAGAZINE.COM| FEBRUARY 2021 ISSUE


12

8

BEAUTY AND FASHION

SIMPLE AND VERSATILE PIECES THAT ALL MEN SHOULD HAVE IN THEIR WARDROBE

SWEATERS

A BLAZER

You can dress them up or tone them down a little. Sweaters are a versatile piece that can be worn with a nice pair of dress pants for work or paired with a pair of jeans for an evening date.

Blue or Black blazers are great when you need to dress up but not go full formal. You can pair it with a nice pair of dress slacks and dress shirt. Add a tie if you have an interview or court date.

DRESS SHIRTS

TIES

Much like a sweater, dress shirts can be dressed up and dress down. Don’t walk pass the white ones like many people do. The great thing about white dress shirts is that they will match up well with any color you wear so don’t fear them. Dress shirts a great ways the play around with color without the fear of going overboard.

Whether you are a tie man or not, you will eventually need one if you are interviewing for an important job, have a big meeting, need to attend a wedding, etc.

DENIM JEANS A timeless and yet another versatile item. Denim jeans never go out of style and can be worn with just about anything.

A DENIM JACKET If you need another reason other than everyone needs one in their closet, then here you go. Denim jackets are great for layering up on a cool day. Layer it with a t-shirt or even a hoodie and you are good to go.

WWW.QUEENSIZEMAGAZINE.COM|FEBRUARY 2021 ISSUE

FACE MASKS This is a must have in the days we are currently living in. The face masks are becoming a part of today’s fashion. A lot of clothing we buy are now coming with matching face masks. The blue surgical ones are cute and all, but if you are going for a fashionable look why not match your mask with your outfit. Simple solid colored masks are great so that you match them with different looks.

DRESS SHOES Dress shoes are a must have if you are a fashionable man. Much like women, men love to look their best. What better way to complete an outfit than with a nice pair of shoes? As you know, there are levels to the shoe game. Choose your level of comfort.


VERSATILE PIECES MEN SHOULD HAVE IN THEIR WARDROBE | QSM

13

WWW.QUEENSIZEMAGAZINE.COM| FEBRUARY 2021 ISSUE


BEAUTY AND FASHION

14

Professional Photography Services PORTRAIT HEADSHOT FASHION EDITORIAL SPORTS BOUDOIR MATERNITY + AND MORE

FOR BOOKINGS

PDREWPHOTOGRAPHY@GMAIL.COM

WWW.QUEENSIZEMAGAZINE.COM|FEBRUARY 2021 ISSUE


ARTICLE TITLE | BY AUTHOR

15

ADVERTISE YOUR BUSINESS HERE SEE PAGE 34 FOR MORE INFO FOLLOW US


16

FEATURED STORY

I am DivaBigg

Photographer | Neal Richardson @nedoriphotos Model | LaQuinta Davis @iamdivabigg Makeup Team | Dianna Torres @mz_dilightfull_mua , Iris Perez @iamirisperez, Ultraviolet glam @ultraviolet_glam92 Hair | Done by model Designer and Styling | LaQuinta Davis @iamdivabigg

WWW.QUEENSIZEMAGAZINE.COM|FEBRUARY 2021 ISSUE


LAQUINTA DAVIS: I AM DIVABIGG | QSM

17

DivaBigg

is a plus size clothing company with a unique mission and vision on body positivity. The design esthetic is bold and edgy and the message is very in your face and vocal. The purpose it to remove the negative connotation associated with the “FAT� and make it a badge of honor and a strong statement of self-love. If women are taught to love themselves no matter how different instead of being shamed for what they look like they can focus more on health and happiness! The Face Behind the Fashion, LaQuinta Davis, a newcomer to the fashion industry, is a 37 year old architect of curves and designer of plus size apparel. With her fierce arrival onto the fashion scene earlier 2017, her fashion career began years prior and Ms. DivaBigg has been making her mark on fashion and the plus size community ever since. DivaBigg has been featured during New York fashion week, Paris fashion week, London fashion week, Germany fashion days, cancan Curve Fest and many other places. The company has had invitations to Milan, Dubai, LA, Peru, Canada, and Amsterdam just to name a few.

Photographer | Neal Richardson @nedoriphotos Model | LaQuinta Davis @iamdivabigg Makeup Team | Dianna Torres @mz_dilightfull_mua , Iris Perez @ iamirisperez, Ultraviolet glam @ultraviolet_glam92 Hair | Done by model Designer and Styling | LaQuinta Davis @iamdivabigg

WWW.QUEENSIZEMAGAZINE.COM| FEBRUARY 2021 ISSUE


FEATURED STORY

18

Photographer | Neal Richardson @nedoriphotos Model | Iris Perez @iamirisperez Makeup Team | Dianna Torres @mz_dilightfull_mua , Iris Perez @iamirisperez, Ultraviolet glam @ultraviolet_glam92 Hair | Done by model Designer and Styling | LaQuinta Davis @iamdivabigg

WWW.QUEENSIZEMAGAZINE.COM|FEBRUARY 2021 ISSUE


LAQUINTA DAVIS: I AM DIVABIGG | QSM

19

Photographer | Neal Richardson @nedoriphotos Model | LaQuinta Davis @iamdivabigg Makeup Team | Dianna Torres @mz_dilightfull_mua , Iris Perez @iamirisperez, Ultraviolet glam @ultraviolet_glam92 Hair | Done by model Designer and Styling | LaQuinta Davis @iamdivabigg

WWW.QUEENSIZEMAGAZINE.COM| FEBRUARY 2021 ISSUE


20

WWW.QUEENSIZEMAGAZINE.COM|FEBRUARY 2021 ISSUE

FEATURED STORY

Photographer | Neal Richardson @nedoriphotos Models | (from left to right) Iris Perez @iamirisperez, Jayde Robinson @international_gyal, Nicci Phelps @niccimave Makeup Team | Dianna Torres @mz_dilightfull_mua , Iris Perez @iamirisperez, Ultraviolet glam @ultraviolet_glam9 Hair | Done by models Designer and Styling | LaQuinta Davis @iamdivabigg


LAQUINTA DAVIS: I AM DIVABIGG | QSM

21

Photographer | Neal Richardson @nedoriphotos Model | Kimisha Garcia @kimmy_so_exotic23 Makeup Team | Dianna Torres @mz_dilightfull_mua , Iris Perez @ iamirisperez, Ultraviolet glam @ultraviolet_glam92 Hair | Done by model Designer and Styling | LaQuinta Davis @iamdivabigg

WWW.QUEENSIZEMAGAZINE.COM| FEBRUARY 2021 ISSUE


FEATURED STORY

22

A Chat with the Diva QSM: Outside of fashion, who is LaQuinta Davis? LaQuinta: A complex person, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a thinker, a free spirit. I am many things. A person overall who just wants to make a difference and make my mark in the world in my own way. QSM: I am going to go on record and say you have to be one of THE dopest designers I have had the pleasure of meeting. Let’s talk about how you got into fashion to begin with. LaQuinta: Thank you, it was God’s give to me! I was at my lowest in life after losing my mother. I was very suicidal and struggling just to get through day to day life. I was in my bathroom crying uncontrollably, completely broken and a mess; my mom was gone and I was trying to figure out who God was and I remember saying to God, “if you can talk to me we won’t have a relationship, no more middlemen just me and you.” And I remember hearing a voice say I’ve been waiting for you. I was in my bathroom for 2 or 3 hours just listening to God tell me the things that were going to happen in my life and where I would go and the rest is really history. He’s bee guiding me ever since. QSM: One of the things that I love about your style is that it is truly made for the plus sized body. And what I mean by that is, when you look at each woman wearing a DivaBigg original, they look comfortable and happy. Where did you shop growing up and how did that influence your brand? LaQuinta: I shopped at departments, honestly any and everywhere that sold clothes and accessories. The men’s department or women’s department, it didn’t matter. I was always trying to create the vision in my head, a look that only I had seen and I rarely wore things the way they were designed to be worn. I would cut and repurpose clothes as I saw fit, I would by a set and separate the pieces to put with something else. I always want to rock my own look my way. I was never afraid to push the envelope to achieve the look I could see in my head.

WWW.QUEENSIZEMAGAZINE.COM|FEBRUARY 2021 ISSUE

Photographer | Neal Richardson @nedoriphotos Model | LaQuinta Davis @iamdivabigg Makeup Team | Dianna Torres @mz_dilightfull_mua , Iris Perez @iamirisperez, Ultraviolet glam @ultraviolet_glam92 Hair | Done by model Designer and Styling | LaQuinta Davis @iamdivabigg


LAQUINTA DAVIS: I AM DIVABIGG | QSM

23

QSM: I love your bold use of color. You even have a way of making black and white pop (lol). I have always gravitated to the neutral tones. It wasn’t until about the last five years that I began getting bolder with my colors. And even then I find myself often playing it safe. Have you always loved color? LaQuinta: I think colors evoke moods. I’ve always loved color because it can evoke the mood you’re in or push you toward the mood you want to be in. A lot of people see black as a color of depression but black to me is a color of strength and dominance. Color paired with the right silhouette, accompanied by the right music can set the mood of the day. QSM: You are very creative and imaginative. Is that something you learned and has that always been who you are? LaQuinta: I’ve always been creative and marched to my own beat. I’ve always been a leader and followed my own path. I’ve never been one to do what other people were doing I’ve always done what makes me happy and focused fully on whatever that was at the moment. QSM: Did you go to school for fashion or are you self-taught? LaQuinta: I went to school for architecture, I learned to sew from my mother who learned from her mother. QSM: What is something throughout your fashion career that you have had to learn through trial and error? LaQuinta: Models and marketing lol, I’m still learning! Dealing with difference personalities can be tricky. Marketing and the business of being a business can also be challenging. Most of the time I prefer to stay in the creative space but you have to get to the business. QSM: According to your bio you have had your designs shown in some prestigious shows in the fashion industry. Tell us more about how those opportunities presented themselves. LaQuinta: I have people reach out to me from all over the world all the time. I’m not sure where or how they see my work but they see it and I’m happy that they do! I’m always open to new opportunities and working with new people, traveling to new places and being on the runway. I love that I get to share with the world a great representation of the plus community and what we bring to fashion.

I love that I get to share with the world a great representation of the plus community and what we bring to fashion.”

Photographer | Neal Richardson @nedoriphotos Model | LaQuinta Davis @iamdivabigg Makeup Team | Dianna Torres @mz_dilightfull_mua , Iris Perez @iamirisperez, Ultraviolet glam @ultraviolet_glam92 Hair | Done by model Designer and Styling | LaQuinta Davis @iamdivabigg

WWW.QUEENSIZEMAGAZINE.COM| FEBRUARY 2021 ISSUE


FEATURED STORY

24

QSM: I want to talk a little with you about size, because I remember when we first met at Full Figured Fashion Week a few years ago, you shared with me about being body shamed about your size. Can you share a little of that story with us? LaQuinta: I’ve been fat and fat shamed my whole life. I was teased as a child for being overweight and it seems to be most people’s number one go to when they are angry with you. But for me my parents always made me feel loved and beautiful, so I have no shame I’m a Fat girl!! I truly love fat women because I am one and to know them is to know myself and to relate to the struggles and fears. QSM: I know myself as a writer; I tend get writer’s block sometimes. Does that happen to you as a designer? And how do you unblock that? LaQuinta: COVID, was a big form of writer’s block for me; I’ve been designing mask for years and have been known for my use of mask but for a different reason other than the pandemic. During the beginning of COVID, I took time to rest and meditate; I’ve also had to grieve from the many losses I’ve experienced due to COVID but when it was time to design again I began to design. I have shifted some of my focus to other areas of my business and you will see those things as they come about. I don’t necessarily move because the rest of the industry moves, I move when it’s necessary and I’m inspired.

are geared around my love for plus women, their curve and features, and my desire to make them look and feel their sexiest. I do follow a standard, I do what feels best. It’s an internal understanding. QSM: What is next from you? And where can people find you? LaQuinta: The sky is the limit. I am currently working on a documentary in titled “Fat girls can’t love Fashion scheduled for release in the spring of 2021. It is a documentary about the plus communities influence in fashion, my love letter to the plus community. I am also involved in an international designer competition, as well as working on cosmetics to accompany my latest collection. So I am quite busy.

QSM: This is one of the things I really KNOW you for; the masks. You have been creating them for a long time; far longer than it became a mandatory thing. How do you feel now seeing so many designers making them now? LaQuinta: I feel a mixture of things! I’m a trendsetter so for me the mask have real meaning. I created the mask to hide the models face so you can see her physical beauty, I wanted her body to shine so people could see that’s she’s more than just pretty face or pretty for a fat girl. Now that COVID exists, the “why do they wear mask,” question losses it relevance in the general public eye. I am sad to see masks become a common thing but happy to see the creativity and innovative designs. I’ve seen people do things with mask that I never thought of. QSM: In an industry saturated with designers, how do you make yourself stand out from the rest? LaQuinta: I think I stand out because my clothing

Photographer | Neal Richardson @nedoriphotos Model | LaQuinta Davis @iamdivabigg Makeup Team | Dianna Torres @mz_dilightfull_mua , Iris Perez @iamirisperez, Ultraviolet glam @ultraviolet_glam92 Hair | Done by model Designer and Styling | LaQuinta Davis @iamdivabigg

WWW.QUEENSIZEMAGAZINE.COM|FEBRUARY 2021 ISSUE


LAQUINTA DAVIS: I AM DIVABIGG | QSM

25

Photographer | Neal Richardson @nedoriphotos Model | Iris Perez @iamirisperez Makeup Team | Dianna Torres @mz_dilightfull_mua , Iris Perez @iamirisperez, Ultraviolet glam @ultraviolet_glam92 Hair | Done by model Designer and Styling | LaQuinta Davis @iamdivabigg

WWW.QUEENSIZEMAGAZINE.COM| FEBRUARY 2021 ISSUE


BEAUTY AND FASHION

26

BEYOND THE FACE:

pexels-antonius-ferret-5254664

How to take your body care routine to the next level Everyone has unique skincare needs, so why are so many people following similar routines? How you look and how you feel are closely tied together, so it’s important to create a body care routine that works for your specific needs so you can project your personal best.

Why follow a head-to-toe body care routine? Grossnickle says a body care routine is an opportunity for anyone to personalize their care for their specific skin type, plus, it’s a wonderful way to indulge the senses while blending elements of beauty, nature and science together harmoniously.

“Skin is the largest organ of the body with more than 3 million skin cells on every square centimeter, yet many people do not know how to properly care for your body’s skin or realize how prominently it can show signs of premature aging,” says Amway North America Beauty Manager Marisa Grossnickle. “We focus so much time and attention on our face, when our entire body should benefit from the same level of care.”

She suggests the Artistry Signature Select™ Body Collection, formulated to address different skin concerns all over the body. This new collection of five high-performance body products are infused with phytonutrients that support body wellness for skin that looks younger and healthier.

WWW.QUEENSIZEMAGAZINE.COM|FEBRUARY 2021 ISSUE

Ready to start a fresh body care routine or enhance your current one? Consider these smart steps, simple tips and insider tricks: image credits on page 29 (left to right) Photo by Polina Tankilevitch from Pexels Photo by Taryn Elliott from Pexels Photo by RF._.studio from Pexels


BEYOND THE FACE| BRANDPOINT CLEANSE TO ELIMINATE IMPURITIES Throughout the day your skin encounters a variety of microscopic dirt, dust and pollution in the air, even if you’re not leaving the house. These particles can sit on skin, dulling the surface and clogging pores, so it’s essential to cleanse regularly to support healthier looking skin. Strive to cleanse skin daily using a product designed to reduce impurities and balance skin throughout the body, such as Artistry Signature Select™ Purifying Body Cleanser that cleanses for a clean feel and youthful appearance. The formula, infused with Nutrilite™-sourced Citrus Extract, helps strengthen skin and defend against dryness and other common skincare concerns. Insider tip: Cleanse at least once daily, but more as needed, such as after a workout or because you’re simply feeling the need to refresh. EXFOLIATE TWICE A WEEK The skin is an amazing organ, naturally growing and renewing. You can encourage cell turnover on your body by adopting exfoliation into your body care routine two times a week. A gentle scrub removes dead skin cells and polishes the skin for increased radiance. Try Artistry Signature Select™ Polishing Body Scrub for a full-sensory

experience that smells and feels luxurious as it polishes dull, dry skin for a smoother, energized, healthier look. The secret? Tiny bamboo grains help reveal fresh, glowing, smooth skin. The formula is infused with Nutrilite™-sourced Black Currant extract and a soothing blend of Açai, plus Evening Primrose and Perilla Oils, to help maintain and enhance a soft, supple feeling on the entire body. Insider tip: Spend a little extra time exfoliating rough areas such as heels and elbows for an overall glow that you’ll instantly notice. HYDRATE IN MULTIPLE WAYS Keeping skin hydrated can be a challenge, especially during dry or chilly seasons. That’s why it’s important to hydrate skin in multiple ways. First, drink plenty of water throughout the day, which helps hydrate from the inside out. Second, use a hydrating gel that delivers deep

27

moisture to rejuvenate skin and support its healthy look. Artistry Signature Select™ Hydrating Body Gel revitalizes dry skin with self-adjusting hydration that delivers moisture where and when skin needs it most. The super-lightweight hydro-gel formula is infused with Nutrilite™-sourced Green Tea and Peach Flower Extracts, plus Perilla and Evening Primrose Oils, to help strengthen skin’s moisture barrier, protect against pollution and keep skin looking and feeling smoother and younger. Insider tip: Try gently blotting skin with a towel after bathing or showering and then applying gel on partially moist skin for an extra boost of hydration. ADD A BRIGHTENING CREAM IN THE A.M. Want to start your body care routine out the right way every day? Consider adding a step that incorporates a brightening cream that helps skin look more even and radiant. This will help reveal a glow and that will get noticed, whether it’s in person or on those video conferences online! Try Artistry Signature Select™ Brightening Body Cream with natural light diffusers and Nutrilite™-sourced Acerola Cherry and White Chia Seed Extracts. The gentle refinishers help smooth skin’s surface and support natural skin cell turnover for a more luminous and even-toned look.

Insider tip: A brightening cream is ideal after a body scrub so that the nutrients can easily be absorbed by skin and utilized by the body for an all-day glow. TIGHTEN AND TONE FOR FIRMER SKIN Beautiful skin is a goal at any age, so make sure to add products designed to nourish and firm your skin into your body care routine. Artistry Signature Select™ Firming Body Lotion is an excellent choice, helping skin look firm while reducing the appearance of cellulite, especially around the stomach, thighs and buttocks. The Skin Firming Complex provides an instant skin tightening feel, while Nutrilite™-sourced Pomegranate Extract helps neutralize damage from pollution and other sources. Insider tip: Massage firming products into damp or dry skin in a circular motion twice a day - ideally morning and evening - for best results. WWW.QUEENSIZEMAGAZINE.COM| FEBRUARY 2021 ISSUE


BEAUTY AND FASHION

28

What’s Love Got To Do With It? Photographer | Alfred Beverly @ charissolutionsphotography Model | Ashley Walker @msbeyoudoyou Black/White stripe dress @dubgeebywhoopi Stylist | @stylistjbolin

WWW.QUEENSIZEMAGAZINE.COM|FEBRUARY 2021 ISSUE

by Ashley Walker


WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT | ASHLEY WALKER

29

What’s love got to do with it? EVERYTHING!!!

Self-love that is. We all know that we cannot expect others to love us if we don’t love ourselves. Self-love and Body-positivity go together hand in hand, and it is so important for us to love ourselves at every point of this journey called life. Some make us feel like we don’t love ourselves if we are working to change some things, and that is just not true. Selflove and Body-positivity does not equate to a size, it is literally for every-BODY!! Fashion helps us express the love we have for ourselves at any size. Our Fashion makes a statement for our bodies and our voice.

Photographer | Alfred Beverly @ charissolutionsphotography Model | Ashley Walker @msbeyoudoyou #ivypark dress @weareivypark #BeyonceXAdidas

Fashion can be the vehicle to overcome many different issues such as, lack of self-love, self-esteem, lack of confidence, depression etc. Fashion helps us find that voice. Fashion is universal, and one thing we can always come together on, no matter sex, race, or creed. Fashion is so powerful that it can literally reach the masses and make an impact on an individual or group as a whole. Finding just the right garment for our bodies can change an entire mood, and that is powerful. We don’t have to ask permission to express ourselves through fashion, and we can make choices without regret to make our statements. When we have overcome tough times, found ourselves after searching, took that leap of faith, or can now finally see our beauty, fashion is always there making an impact. Thank you to all of the creatives that keep fashion universal, thank you to every hand that touches our industry aiding us in being able to express and love ourselves unapologetically.

WWW.QUEENSIZEMAGAZINE.COM| FEBRUARY 2021 ISSUE


BEAUTY AND FASHION

30

“My fashion is my skin and everything within it. I adorn my melanin in the finest, best fitting garments. My body styles ME.” Brittni, Konfident Life

Photographer | Alfred Beverly @charissolutionsphotography Model | Brittni, Konfident Life @Brittniocean Lingerie | @lovevera

WWW.QUEENSIZEMAGAZINE.COM|FEBRUARY 2021 ISSUE


WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT | ASHLEY WALKER

31

Photographer | Alfred Beverly @ charissolutionsphotography Model |Mary Simon @chasing_mary_ mary62sha Black Romper | @twochicsboutique

WWW.QUEENSIZEMAGAZINE.COM| FEBRUARY 2021 ISSUE


32

“

BEAUTY AND FASHION

Our Fashion makes a statement for our bodies and our voice.

Photographer | Alfred Beverly @ charissolutionsphotography Model | Ashley Walker @msbeyoudoyou #Crvy tee/skirt @kinbykristine

WWW.QUEENSIZEMAGAZINE.COM|FEBRUARY 2021 ISSUE


WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT | ASHLEY WALKER

33

Photographer | Alfred Beverly @ charissolutionsphotography Model |Nichelle Thibodeaux @forever_nichelle Magenta Fringe | @curverra

WWW.QUEENSIZEMAGAZINE.COM| FEBRUARY 2021 ISSUE


34

BEAUTY AND FASHION

ADVERTISING Rates & Sizes

Queen Size Magazine is an award-winning print and digital publication Founded in 2011, we are(QSM) a magazine dedicated to monthly Queen Size women. Queen Size is notdedicated only about to servicing the full-figured industry. We are a voice for today’s women and men; simply sending the the physical size, but also the mental. We are dedicated to highlighting women of all walks life. Ifon message that we exist, and we will be heard. Queen Size Magazine publishes articles thatof focus you are a fashion, woman and making Queen Size Our moves, then thisatis QSM, whereis you belong. We do not ourselves lifestyle, beauty topics. focus here to bring our readers thelimit latest news toand just women; this was the basis of why we created the magazine. We are to highlight and trends surrounding the fashion industry. From eye-catching images tolooking controversial articles; we capture all every month without missing aboth beat.men Additionally, we pride ourselves on providing promote smallitbusinesses owners/entrepreneurs, and women. Queen Size Magazine puts a platform for every both established up &articles coming professionals in our industry. At Queen Size we out a new issue month withand realistic written by real life people. We have writers that believe and promote that women and men of all shape, size, height, and color are equal. cover health and fitness, true life situations and experiences, fashion, recipes and more.

Ad Rates Full Page ½ Page ¼ Page Cover Story Inside Cover Back Cover Inside Back Cover ISSUE December/January February/March April/May June/July August/September October/November

1x $100 $60 $45 $300 $240 $200 $140

6x $570 $330 $240 ////// $1,410 $1,170 $810

12x $1,080 $600 $480 ////// $2,760 $2,280 $1,560

Ad Due Date November. 10th January. 10th March 10th May 10th July 10th September 10th

SUBMIT FILES TO QUEENSIZEMAGAZINE@GMAIL.COM WWW.QUEENSIZEMAGAZINE.COM|FEBRUARY 2021 ISSUE


ARTICLE TITLE | BY AUTHOR

35

KELLY'S KLOSET #1 ONLINE WOMAN OWNED LINGERIE STORE! www.kellyskloset.net WWW.QUEENSIZEMAGAZINE.COM| FEBRUARY 2021 ISSUE


BEAUTY AND FASHION

36

Love yourself, don’t lose yourself! By Lala Sanyang

Hello Queens, When clients book me for makeup services they are hiring me because they want a flawless, blemish-free application. Most believe this is something that they cannot accomplish on their own. My number one job as a Makeup Artist is to create the feeling Beauty. Most people think once the makeup is applied the person looks and feels beautiful. Actually that is not the case. The challenge with this concept is, if the person does not love themselves with the existing imperfections and flaws, no amount of makeup can create the feeling of Beauty. Makeup can become a crutch and not an enhancement without self-love. Society has dictated what the essence of Beauty should look like or appear. But I recommend, love yourself don’t lose yourself to someone else’s standards. I challenge you to love the skin that you’re in with all the flaws and imperfections because that is true essence of Beauty. Smooches, LaLa Sanyang

Photo by Amir SeilSepour from Pexels

WWW.QUEENSIZEMAGAZINE.COM|FEBRUARY 2021 ISSUE


37

www.lalafaces.com

WWW.QUEENSIZEMAGAZINE.COM| FEBRUARY 2021 ISSUE


S ENTREPRENEUR SPOTLIGHT

38

Suzanne’s international career has taken her to Pittsburgh Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Dallas Opera, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and on concert stages as a soloist throughout Italy, Norway (Her Majesty Queen Sonja in the audience) and Russia. Her parallel pursuit of entrepreneurial endeavors led her to first start Shoperatic, the largest specialized social media network and marketplace for womxn in classical music. She is a published photographer, guest columnist, stylist and hosted “Diva Who Hustles” an online web-series for The Dallas Opera Network. Her love of fashion and desire to create her dream job on her own terms inspired the launch of “by VINNIK” an ethically manufactured womxnswear line made in Downtown Los Angeles with clientele all over the world including some of the biggest names in Classical Music, Broadway and TV.

Suzanne holds a B.M. in Vocal Performance from Texas Christian University with additional studies at Mannes College of Music and Otis College of Design. She is an alumnus of the Opera Studio di Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, Italy where she studied and performed under the tutelage of Renata Scotto and The Dallas Opera’s Hart Institute for Women Conductors where she was an Administration Fellow in 2019. In her spare time, she enjoys co-producing events as a volunteer artist throughout New York City and Los Angeles with her favorite charity, Sing For Hope and guest speaking at universities and on panels for female entrepreneurs.

WWW.QUEENSIZEMAGAZINE.COM|FEBRUARY 2021 ISSUE

Suzanne Vinnik


S

SUZANNE VINNIK “BY VINNIK” | QSM

39

Photographer | Rimi Sakamoto @rimisakamoto Location: Urban Jungle Studios Model: Suzanne Vinnik @divawhohustles Makeup and hair | Suzanne Vinnik

WWW.QUEENSIZEMAGAZINE.COM| FEBRUARY 2021 ISSUE


ENTREPRENEUR SPOTLIGHT

40

Photographer | Rimi Sakamoto @rimisakamoto Location: Urban Jungle Studios Model: Suzanne Vinnik @divawhohustles Makeup and hair | Suzanne Vinnik

WWW.QUEENSIZEMAGAZINE.COM|FEBRUARY 2021 ISSUE


SUZANNE VINNIK “BY VINNIK” | QSM QSM: I am not going to start with the cliché question of what DON’T you do. (at least not yet). So let’s start with telling QSM a little bit about who Suzanne is. Tell us something that we can’t find out on the internet. Suzanne: I do a little bit of everything, you’re right! From opera diva to photography to clothing design... everything I’ve done has been based around playing dress up for a living. It’s always been my first love. QSM: Your voice is absolutely amazing. How long have you been singing and why opera? Suzanne: Thank you! I caught the stage bug early, and I have been performing since I was a child. I grew up in Las Vegas, so I had the opportunity to appear in many high-profile shows on the strip at a young age. I performed in my first opera when I was eight years old and fell in love with the art form. The rest is history. Since my brand has been largely word of mouth, I love that many of my newer clientele are learning about opera through my designs. I make sure to name every piece after a womxn or musical work of art that has inspired me. I love sending videos of J’Nai Bridges, Melissa Citro, Jennifer Rowley, Eve Gigliotti, Monica Yunas, Camille Zamora, Elizabeth Caballero, Amy ShoremountObra and even legends like Flicka (Frederica Von Stade) to people asking about the names of the pieces. I’m able to raise the profile of other artists and show my love for what they do through this new medium. While I made the decision to be VERY selective with future musical and photography endeavors in order to focus on byVINNIK, these other facets of my creativity live within me. QSM: You have been on many respected stages. Do you ever get stage fright? Suzanne: Of course. I’ve found that the more prepared I am, the less the nerves play a role in anything I’m doing.

QSM: What was your very first major performance? Suzanne: I did a talent competition where I forgot the words to the song but still went and claimed the trophy because I knew I was the best singer onstage. It was a very awkward moment when they were like, “NO. THIS IS NOT FOR YOU.” One of my first MAJOR performances was in Las Vegas at MGM Grand Garden Arena, which is an enormous venue Photographer | Rimi Sakamoto @rimisakamoto Location: Urban Jungle Studios Model: Suzanne Vinnik @divawhohustles Makeup and hair | Suzanne Vinnik

41

with 17,000 seats. This particular performance was also simulcast throughout the world, so it definitely was one of my biggest audience to date! QSM: Your bio stated that you are also a photographer? I have to ask! When do you have the time for photography? Suzanne: I wouldn’t say I have the time, but I do try to make time! I’m a pretty notorious workaholic, but Beyonce and I have the same number of hours in the day, so I try to make sure I’m using all my hours effectively. I do a lot of the photography for byVINNIK, so I’m always trying to use all of my hustles for a common purpose. I love being behind the camera! Showcasing the beauty of every person and garment is actually stress relieving. I tend not to shoot commercial work anymore because I don’t have time but— i love shooting my own campaigns! QSM: Your list of skills are quite impressive. Let’s start from the beginning. What came first for you? Suzanne: Oh wow, that’s a tough question! I think creative interests tend to develop side by side, if that makes sense. I started as a child performer, but I was also a tiny fashionista at that time. I loved Betsey Johnson before I fit into the clothes. I’ve always loved putting an outfit together and using fashion as another way to express myself. I’ve essentially made a career out of playing dress up! QSM: I can’t help but to ask the burning question. How do you find the time? Not to mention the energy! Suzanne: I confess that I don’t sleep as much as I should, but the answer is that you simply commit to doing it. By nature, I am a diva who hustles. I built my own business after leaving an abusive marriage and moving across the country. I was truly living on the edge financially. Luckily, being an opera singer prepared me for anything and everything! Nothing is guaranteed and there is absolutely no job security. If you get sick and cannot perform (even if you’ve rehearsed for weeks and spent years learning the music), the show must go on with or without you. I bring this mentality into everything that I do. While I’m not trying to say launching a successful clothing line is easy… there have definitely been things I’ve faced in both my career and personal life that have been exceedingly more difficult. I believe that if you want to do something, you do it the right way, and sometimes that means more work, but I’ve never regretted working harder for something I loved. I’m fixated on goals and if it means I spend a few extra hours making it happen for myself, I’m going to put in the time!

WWW.QUEENSIZEMAGAZINE.COM| FEBRUARY 2021 ISSUE


photo credits - Photographer | Rimi Sakamoto @rimisakamoto, Location: Urban Jungle Studios, Models: Suzanne Vinnik @divawhohustles & J’Nai Bridges @jnaibmezzo, Makeup and hair | Suzanne Vinnik

42

ENTREPRENEUR SPOTLIGHT

WWW.QUEENSIZEMAGAZINE.COM|FEBRUARY 2021 ISSUE


SUZANNE VINNIK “BY VINNIK” | QSM

43

QSM: Where did the love for fashion come in? Suzanne: I’ve always loved fashion, and when I was performing on the Las Vegas Strip, I definitely carved out my own unique style. When I decided to launch my brand, I wanted to incorporate my love of haute couture, avant-garde fashion, and styles from all eras, but make it wearable, comfortable, ethical, and sustainable. I wanted to create something that could go from the red carpet to the aisles of the grocery store! When my clients purchase something from byVINNIK, they are getting a piece of me with it!

of opera singers with overstuffed closets full of gowns to trade, buy, sell and rent gowns from each other on a connected platform. As co-owner/CEO, I had many opportunities to collaborate with other singers who are multi-faceted artists. I’ve always encouraged womxn in opera to be a community rather than treating one another as competition. I’m so proud of the major changes that occurred in the classical music industry championed by Shoperatic. While I am now focused on byVINNIK, I never would be where I am without the evolution and lessons learned from Shoperatic.

QSM: I checked out your website. You have some very diverse pieces; I love them. Especially the vast array of colors. What inspires your designs? Suzanne: Inspiration for me is looking inward and reflecting on everything I’ve seen in my day to day life whether it’s a photograph, painting, a piece of music and especially my clientele who are creative. I find a lot of inspiration in the fabrics I’m able to find (we use many deadstock and available prints), so every byVINNIK piece is unique and truly one of a kind. Ultimately my goal is to make all my clients feel both comfortable AND fabulous. In the time of this pandemic, I’ve done a lot of soul searching. I’ve been more creative than ever finding ways to make the mundane over the top.

QSM: Can you tell us more about Sing For Hope? Suzanne: Sing For Hope’s mission is to bring arts advocacy and healing arts programming to cities across the United States and internationally. They bring the arts into healthcare centers, schools, and public gatherings to make it accessible to everyone. After years of producing concerts and events throughout NYC bringing my friends and Shoperatic community together, I was selected as a piano artist to design, fundraise and donate a piano as part of their first National pilot program. I’m so excited to get started on my piano’s transformation and bring the magic of this wonderful diva led organization to my local community. I’m so excited to share the #artforall mission to my new city after a decade in NYC!

QSM: I also appreciate the fact that you design to many different body types. Why was that important to you? Suzanne: With byVINNIK I want to make sure that everyone who wants to look fabulous and feel comfortable has a clothing line that embraces them. I’m a curvy woman myself, and I know that fashion often isn’t inclusive. When I created byVINNIK, being size-inclusive was non-negotiable. byVINNIK clients are very diverse. Womxn of all ages, shapes, and sizes wear byVINNIK, and that’s the idea. While many different womxn wear byVINNIK, they have a lot in common. Our clients are creative, vibrant, and daring. They strive to express themselves and their individuality through what they wear. byVINNIK allows everyone to stand out and be part of a community of fashionable divas! QSM: Tell us about Shoperatic. Suzanne: Shoperatic started as an online community

QSM: What’s your favorite quote? Suzanne: You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try. —Beverly Sills QSM: As if you have time for anything else lol; what is next from you? Suzanne: I’m really excited to begin working on my Sing For Hope piano now that I’ve exceeded the fundraising goal! I have some other goals in mind to expand byVINNIK, but if I’ve learned anything from 2020, FOCUS ONE DAY AT A TIME. Follow Suzanne on IG @divawhohustles and @ byvinnik. To shop her line visite https://www.byvinnik. com or to learn more about Suzanne as a vocalist and photographer visit http://www.suzannevinnik.com.

WWW.QUEENSIZEMAGAZINE.COM| FEBRUARY 2021 ISSUE


BUSINESS

44

#NOFILTER ER

T L

I F O

#N #N

IL

L I F

O N # #NO

FIL

#NOFILTER

OF

TE

R

#N

OF

R E T L

by Dr. Janelle “The Curvy Doc” Simmons WWW.QUEENSIZEMAGAZINE.COM|FEBRUARY 2021 ISSUE

TER

#NOFILTER

OFI

#N

R E T

ILT

ER


NO FILTER | DR. JANELLE “THE CURVY DOC” SIMMONS

The holidays have ended, and hopefully COVID-19 restrictions will soon be reduced. After missing our loved ones for so long hopefully we soon be able to do family visits! When that time comes, many will hear the following questions and/or comments from at least one family member, mostly from an elder. However, it seems nowadays everyone wants to suffer from the “no filter syndrome”. Do any of these sound familiar? 1. When are you getting married? 2. When are you having kids? 3. How is school coming along? 4. Did you find a new job yet? 5. You sure got bigger from when I last saw you! Look at that/those (insert body part here). PAUSE. Comment #5?!?!? This grinds my gears. You know what is also bad? When family members talk about your size behind your back, and it gets back to you. You know family can never keep things to themselves. 2020 was a tough time for everyone. If you do not have any words of encouragement, I kindly ask that you just smile, give lots of

45

hugs and kisses (if it is safe to do so) and say nothing else. Even if your intentions are good and you might be saying it in jest, it’s annoying and downright rude. Family will justify the comment by saying things like “oh he’s/she’s old and he/she does that with everybody” or, “you know how (insert culture here) families are”. So? That doesn’t mean folks want to hear about their “buffalo butt” or “thunder thighs”. Weight gain was real due to the “quarantine 15”. So was low self-esteem. My advice to you: don’t dignify the comment with a response. Of course, be respectful, but take control of the conversation. If you’re that family member with no filter: One thing I’ve learned is if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. No one knows the impact a comment (even if it was meant to be funny) can make so please, please, PLEASE think before you speak. You never know what someone is going through, so be kind always. Despite what 2020 has brought, I hope you have a better 2021. Spread love, because we have quickly learned, life is too short.

WWW.QUEENSIZEMAGAZINE.COM| FEBRUARY 2021 ISSUE


BUSINESS

46

CREATING A STABLE BACK-TO-SCHOOL ROUTINE FOR CHILDREN

Photo by olia danilevich from Pexels

If there’s one thing parents know, its children thrive on routines. When it seems like everything is changing, routines can create stability. “When children know what to expect, they don’t feel powerless and out of control,” said Rashelle Chase from KinderCare Learning Centers’ education team. “Children like to plan just as much as adults do. When they know what will happen next, they can set their expectations.” Routines can also help children regulate their emotions – and avoid meltdowns or outbursts – because their days follow a pattern and are predictable. There’s typically a sense of comfort in knowing what comes next. Whether your child’s back-to-school routine includes actually going to school or distance learning, consider these tips to help create a sense of stability.

article from Family Features WWW.QUEENSIZEMAGAZINE.COM|FEBRUARY 2021 ISSUE


BACK-TO-SCHOOL ROUTINE | FAMILY FEATURES

47

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

SET A SCHEDULE Talk with your child about his or her school day and how it will be different. Work together to come up with ways you can both ease into the new routine, whether your child is attending school part time, learning at home or going to a childcare center or program. Remember, little things can help create a sense of routine and stability. Even if your child is learning at home and could stay in pajamas all day, something as small as getting dressed in school clothes and brushing teeth before sitting down for lessons can signal it’s time to study.

BE FLEXIBLE The things that make school fun – whatever that may be for your child – aren’t at home. However, there are some things you can do at home, like eat a snack while studying or play with toys, that you cannot do at school that make learning more enjoyable. Be sure to build breaks into your child’s day. Knowing there will be something fun after the next lesson can give your child something to look forward to and help him or her settle down to complete the task at hand. Plus, those breaks can be an opportunity for parents to get some work done, too. Talk with your child and with his or her teachers: Perhaps those 30 minutes of reading don’t have to be done midmorning when your child is restless. Instead, maybe

your family could do 30 minutes of reading before bed when your child is calmer.

TALK IT OUT Nearly everyone is experiencing strong emotions right now whether it’s in reaction to an abnormal start to the school year or other factors that impact daily life. The difference is adults can contextualize a situation and adjust their reactions. Children haven’t yet mastered those skills, so they react based on whatever nugget of information they have. Home is a safe place for most children, which means they know they can express their feelings freely. That may mean slamming laptops or books down in frustration, yelling or using hurtful words. Your child might be upset because he or she doesn’t understand the schoolwork or might be afraid for safety or the safety of loved ones during these uncertain times. Talk with your child about his or her feelings and work together to find healthy ways to express those emotions, like taking three deep breaths or using a physical activity to vent, instead of keeping those feelings pent-up inside. Difference and change don’t have to mean chaos and uncertainty. With a bit of thought and a stable routine, parents can help their children have an enjoyable, productive school year. Find more tips for creating stable routines for children at kindercare.com. WWW.QUEENSIZEMAGAZINE.COM| FEBRUARY 2021 ISSUE


BUSINESS

48

OVERCOMING WEIGHT INDUCED SOCIAL ANXIETY

Written by Nyemade Boiwu (African Butterfly)

Photo by RF._.studio from Pexels

It feels as though half of the country is still abiding by strict quarantine guidelines and the other half has returned to regular living. One of the benefits of things opening back up is that it gives us the opportunity to connect with family and friends we’ve missed. A downside is that as events and gatherings become in-person again it opens the door for social anxiety to return. This is especially true as we head into the New Year. Its great thinking about connecting with people but it also brings a certain level of stress. As someone who’s on the larger end of the plus size range, navigating social settings can be interesting to say the least. Most of the time I feel like I’m both the center of attention while being invisible at the same time. There’s something unnerving about feeling like all eyes are on you whenever you walk into a room. People think that we don’t see the elbow nudges or slight nods of their heads as they try to get whoever they’re with to

WWW.QUEENSIZEMAGAZINE.COM|FEBRUARY 2021 ISSUE

gawk at our size. It’s noticeable. Then, the initial wave of unwanted attention wears off, only to be replaced by a sense of invisibility. People tend to gravitate toward those they feel comfortable with, and often this does not include the largest person in the room. When they look around the room, their eyes slide right past us. It’s like people are afraid of “catching” fatness by association — one downside of treating fatness like it’s an epidemic. As Jeannine A. Gailey writes of this phenomenon in her book, The Hyper(in)visible Fat Woman: “If a community is dealing with an epidemic, it is expected and understood that members of that community will do everything in their power to prevent the spread of the disease. It becomes a public duty, as well as a personal responsibility. However, ‘obesity’ is not a communicable disease.”


OVERCOMING WEIGHT INDUCED SOCIAL ANXIETY | NYEMADE BOIWU

For the longest time, as much as I wanted to experience new things, I would let the stares and silence hold me back from going out. Staying home was more comfortable. It was my “safe space” free from judgmental eyes and stares. As you can imagine, the more I stayed in, the harder it became to go out at all. I felt myself changing from an active, on-the-go person to a complete homebody. It didn’t help that I was already living with depression and anxiety, both of which added an element of difficulty to being social, and now I found myself uninterested in socializing even when I did have the energy. Realizing that negative thoughts about my weight, rather than my depression and anxiety, more often what were stopped me from going out was the first inkling that I needed to change the way I saw myself. After hearing Cece Olisa’s advice: “Don’t wait on your weight to live the life you want,” I was inspired, and decided to start making changes. First, I was going to make a conscious effort to start living the life I wanted. Then and there I decided to stop caring what other people think and instead do what makes me happy. It was harder than it sounds, of course, but in a way it also was just that simple. I decided it. And I did it. Living this way has made me realize two interesting things: 1. People will talk anyway, whether I decide to care or not, and whether what they are talking about is negative or not. The thing that triggers them might be my size or it might be my fabulous outfit. When you’re fat, you’ve had enough negative experiences to justify assuming the worst, but I try to assume the best anyway. And even if it is the worst, and they really are talking about my size, I know that it’s their problem, and not mine.

49

2. People weren’t thinking about me nearly as much as I thought were. Of course, yes, some of the time they are thinking about me and my size, but my social anxiety had me convinced that every time I went anywhere everyone around me was talking about how big I am. I know I’m not alone in feeling caught between the extremes of being hypervisible and hyperinvisible at the same time. “Fat[ness] presents an apparent paradox because it is visible and dissected publicly; in this respect, it is hypervisible,” Gaily writes. “Fat is also marginalized and erased; in this respect, it is hyperinvisible.” I’ve managed my social anxiety in the face of marginalization and erasure by learning not to care if people talk or stare. It’s helped me unlearn those self-conscious thoughts and stop projecting my inner feelings onto others. That invisible feeling I mentioned wasn’t me being ignored as I interpreted it. Sometimes it was actually just people going back to their business. I’d become so self-conscious about my body that I was projecting my own inner feelings onto others before they ever had a chance to prove me wrong. As I mentioned earlier, I live with depression and general anxiety. While this can make being social difficult, there’s a difference between general anxiety and depression and social anxiety. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America social anxiety is “an intense anxiety or fear of being judged, negatively evaluated, or rejected in a social or performance situation.” My social anxiety developed out of an acute fear of how others viewed me because of my size. Not only that, I also worried about navigating my body in unknown spaces. Would all the chairs at the event have arms? Would the designated paths between tables or objects be too narrow?

WWW.QUEENSIZEMAGAZINE.COM| FEBRUARY 2021 ISSUE


BUSINESS

50

According to a survey conducted by AllGo, 95% of plus size people experience anxiety when going somewhere new. So, if you’re experiencing similar feelings you’re not alone. Overcoming the anxious, fearful thoughts that were holding me back from living my best life wasn’t easy, but I know if I can, you can too. When you feel the urge to stay home instead of joining family and friends as the world slowly returns to “normal” here are some things that I found helpful: 1. Take some deep calming breaths. I know it probably sounds cliché, but it really helps. When the negative thoughts start rushing in, stop and breathe deep and slow. This helps your nervous system calm down before the panic spirals out of control. 2. Challenge your negative thoughts. As you’re taking those deep breaths, fuel your inner voice with positive thoughts. Yes, people want you there. Yes, you’ll have a good time. Your outfit is cute and you know it! Because the truth is, even if other people ARE being rude and doing or thinking the things you’re worried about that doesn’t change the fact that you have just as much right to be there as they do! 3. Reduce the size of the commitment you’re making. I find if I tell myself that I’m going to stay exactly an hour then it doesn’t seem as daunting as if I planned to stay indefinitely. Sometimes I find

WWW.QUEENSIZEMAGAZINE.COM|FEBRUARY 2021 ISSUE

I’m enjoying myself so much that I stay longer, but when I don’t feel good in a social situation, knowing I already have an exit plan helps me feel better about my decision to go. It helps me remain in control of the situation, rather than having a new experience turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy ending with me throwing my hands up and saying, “I decided to go out of my comfort zone and now look at what’s happening.” 4. When you do go out, take a moment to feel proud of yourself. Going out might not be a big deal for some people but, for those of us with social anxiety, it is, especially in a world that often erases us for the size of our bodies. So, the fact that you did it is awesome. Congratulate yourself because you deserve it. 5. Remember: The more you do it, the easier it’ll get. I can’t say that it’s always easy, or that I don’t still have moments of self-doubt. I definitely do. However, incorporating the tips above helps me push through and come out the other side feeling proud of myself instead of stressed out and anxious. Your size doesn’t define who you are, so don’t let it control your life. You deserve to live life to the fullest. So, make sure you’re wearing your mask and practicing social distancing but don’t let your anxiety stop you from enjoying the world as things open back up!


OVERCOMING WEIGHT INDUCED SOCIAL ANXIETY| NYEMADE BOIWU

51

Photo by mikoto.raw from Pexels

WWW.QUEENSIZEMAGAZINE.COM| FEBRUARY 2021 ISSUE


52

WWW.QUEENSIZEMAGAZINE.COM|FEBRUARY 2021 ISSUE

Profile for Queen Size Magazine

February 2021  

Queen Size Magazine (QSM) is an award-winning monthly print and digital publication dedicated to servicing the full-figured industry. We are...

February 2021  

Queen Size Magazine (QSM) is an award-winning monthly print and digital publication dedicated to servicing the full-figured industry. We are...