I went to a Plus-Size Pool Party in LA and guess what happened?

Last weekend I attended the second stop of the Golden Confidence Pool Party tour in L.A. Created by blogger and model Essie Golden, the #goldenconfidence hashtag has taken social media by storm. Women around the world are posting pictures in two-piece swimwear, body-hugging dresses, and any fashion piece that was previously deemed off limits for plus-size women. It is certainly empowering women everywhere and here is proof of that.

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I started off low-key, sipping on my drink and eating some delicious tacos away from the large crowd. I had planned my outfit perfectly and couldn’t wait to show it off, but I was in that familiar place. Remember  your first party, the first school dance, or any social function where you have on the perfect beautiful dress, but you just can’t seem to summon up the courage to dance, talk to the boy you like, or be a social butterfly? Well, that familiar feeling crept in as my friend and I shied away on the top deck.

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But soon enough the fear started fading away as we took selfies. And, guess what? No one was looking at the two big girls taking selfies in their swimsuits.

Everyone was eating, laughing, dancing, taking selfies, and checking out each other’s outfits. Let me say this about the fashion at the party, #SLAY ! You can check out some of the amazing looks captured by Cosmopolitan.com here.

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Thanks to City Chic and Essie Golden, I was one of five best dressed at the event along with @bougie_chic , @jazzmynejay , & @cocoscurvycloset . Dare I say ultimate #squadgoals?

And, look who was featured in Cosmopolitan.com? Read the article here.

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Essie Golden’s pool party inspired me to form a community for body positive and plus-size women in Austin, TX. I told Cosmopolitan.com that women should feel like this anywhere they go. More importantly, I felt free. Free to wear what I want, wherever, dance, and just be me.

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Get the look at Artista Active Wear. I am wearing Halter Monokini in Amethyst Mermaid.

I AM SLINK

I’ve just entered into the running with Slink Jeans LOVE YOUR BODY MODEL SEARCH for a one year modeling contract. If you support me and the body positve movement, please go vote for my video submission. Thanks to Tommy Kim for the video he put together! And no matter what, I AM SLINK ( Sexy. Loveable. Intelligent. Noticeable. Kind.) & YOU can be too! 😉 ❤ Visit Slink to cast your vote for me! ONLY ONE DAY LEFT!!

XOXO Chica Rosita

To Photoshop or Not to Photoshop? That is the Question

I was recently on a hiatus from the blogging world since my life has become a bit chaotic juggling work and school. I found this break to be much needed, but I was getting anxious about my involvement in the positive body image movement.

I kept thinking I wasn’t contributing enough or bringing awareness at a level that I should be. This self-criticism allowed me to see that I am a work-in-progress. Everything from my modeling, blogging, school, and work isn’t perfect, and I have to consistently remind myself that it is okay to stand back and focus on other areas.

Before my hiatus, I did another photo-shoot with Solight Photography.With every photo shoot, I get stronger and more determined. It was the first pin-up themed shoot I modeled for, and it was good for me. It allowed me to gain experience, but also believe that I am a person whose beauty is just a radiant, just as cute, just as fun, and exciting as those shown throw classic pin-up photos.

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While Shellie, the photographer, and I have worked together, it never ceases to be a unique experience for us. We experiment, we improvise, we learn. We trade stories and feed off of each other’s positive energy. I think for me what is just as rewarding as the end result, or perhaps even better, is the connection you make with the person you are creating this work with. If you’re not comfortable, if you don’t wholly trust their vision, and allow them to expose you, it will show. I trust Shellie wholeheartedly. I know what her aim is to enhance the already natural beauty of a woman.

When Shellie uses any photo-editing it is always done judiciously. I have no shame in revealing my body without the glitz and glam as is evident in my #rockthecrop photo series from my previous blog. I feel that photo-editing can be used wisely and with clear intent and purpose to enhance lighting, remove a blemish, color correct, etc. However, it can be used for malicious and cruel intents masquerading as “health concerns” such as #projectharpoon or #thinnerbeauty. I decided only to include a link to Thinner Beauty’s page rather than include a photo they manipulated unjustly. I want to continue to bring awareness that their page is still up an running, but I do not want to give their work anymore attention because that’s what they want. They want these warped pictures to be spread. Let’s not give them that. Instead let’s work on other ways to contribute to the body image movement and spread a message of body acceptance.

The argument on what constitutes a just use of photo-editing versus a heinous one is up for debate, but it is clear that #projectharpoon and #thinnerbeauty creators and contributors were in it to spread hate and discrimination against fat people and the positive body image movement.

I want to end this piece with some photos from my pin-up series. My body’s shape has not been manipulated. I am a size 18/20, curvy, busty, and I have rolls and cellulite like many women. The distribution of fat in my body is different than yours, and you will be happy to know that I am healthy.

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XOXO Chica Rosita

Curvytend’s New Plus-Size Model Page

For all you followers out there, fellow bloggers, friends, and family, I have finally created a Facebook page for Plus-Size Model Sheila Lopez.

Please click here to like and don’t miss out on exclusive photo releases. I am very honored to grace plus-size magazines such as Curvy Connect Magazine. I will continue to work hard to break down beauty standards through my modeling, blog, and advocacy.

Join me in the positive body image movement. You don’t have to be a curvy, bbw, or plus-size person to support body image. You just have to be a decent human being. I hope I have your support.

I am currently working on my portfolio for a live casting with Torrid in Dallas this weekend! Wish me luck! ❤ 😉

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Image Credit: Solight Photography

XOXO Chica Rosita

The Belly: The New Erogenous Zone

As I recently watched Trainwreck by the brilliant, funny, and badass Amy Schumer, I was inspired to write about the belly. Actually, pretty much any other body part other than breasts, butt, and the vagina. As these are the most glorified erogenous zones of the female anatomy in our media, Inside Amy Schumer made this comedic music video in response to the hyper sexualized video vixen of our pop culture.

Check it out:

If this doesn’t make you think twice about the butt, I don’t know what will. Personally, I find that there is nothing wrong with glorifying the female body, but my version is inclusive. All female bodies are worthy of admiration and sex appeal. However, there is something to be said about the functional uses of these erogenous zones. You may like my butt and my boobs, but they serve more of a purpose than just sex.

I recently read this article from Men’s Health that shed some light on why men are fixated on these erogenous zones, specifically the rear end.  I’ve read similar articles with studies referenced about why men love curvier women and they conclude that procreation plays a big factor. I can see why the hourglass figure would be appealing to the male specimen in search to procreate. The full breasts and child-bearing hips indicate a female body in condition to give birth and provide childcare. But, the butt? What’s with that?

Growing up in a Mexican-American culture, a woman’s nalgas are something of praise and criticism. They can be too big (nalgona), too small (nalgitas), too lumpy (nalgas de queso), not proportioned, and the list goes on and on. While studies indicate that men love curvier women, culture and society’s beauty standards have a huge influence in the type of female physical features you should be attracted to. She can have an hourglass shape, but wait…she can’t be fat! The distribution of that fat has to be perfect, and that to me is ridiculous. It calls to mind the Barbie beauty standard: tiniest waist, huge boobs, full hips, but not too curvy. Not fat!

And, as I watching Trainwreck, laughing my ass off, I noticed Amy’s character was gorgeous and a lot like me. She ate what she wanted to eat, drank alcohol, and wasn’t a supermodel thin leading lady. To me, Amy is not fat. She has fat, but Amy is not fat. And even Amy, beautiful body and all, is fat-shamed.

For these reasons and so many more, I want to glorify the  belly. I want to glorify the chubby arms, the thick legs, the nalgonas.

With a quick internet search, I was able to find many websites and social media pages dedicated to lovers of bbws, curvy women, thick women, and the list goes on. There is, however, a stigma attached to these pages and its followers. The first thing that comes to mind is “it’s a fetish”; it’s something abnormal to be sexually attracted to a woman with a belly, something taboo. However, as referenced by Men’s Health article, The Science of Why You’re an Ass Man, there is something animalistic about having sex by mounting the rear end, almost forbidden, taboo.  Yet, we find it socially and culturally acceptable to glorify the ass, but not the belly.

As the positive body image movement is thriving, there is change. Plus-size bloggers, models, fashion industry leaders, magazine editors, and big women in general are taking a stand. They are channeling their voice, their power to advocate for bodies that have cellulite, rolls, stretchmark’s, big arms, thick thighs, and other attributes previously deemed undesirable for a woman’s body. In the wake of this  movement, men and women are finding a safe haven to love their bodies. And, while there is much change to society’s beauty standards to be made, it’s a step in the right direction.

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XOXO Chica Rosita

Stop Fat-Shaming! #RocktheCrop

If you support women, positive body image, or me as your friend, you will take a stand with me! If you are anti-bullying, anti-fat shaming, or just a decent human being, you will back me up. I posted this picture on instagram. Now, I am a grown woman; I can hold my own. But, this is not okay! Report this user on instagram. I am not asking you to fight hate with hate, but I am asking you to help me in taking down a useless, senseless, and hurtful account. This person came looking for me. They could have just left my page, but they felt the need to shame me. Well, it didn’t work!! I have faced some traumatic, crazy, and heartbreaking stuff in my life. This is not going to tear me down. I know my worth! I know I am beautiful in this body. Please share, tweet, and get the word out there!

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XOXO Chica Rosita

Day 30

Day 30: Are You Happy With Yourself?

I thought about what I could write to back up my answer, but I believe all my posts leading up to this are evident of my new found happiness.

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I started my morning taking pictures at the graffiti art wall on Baylor St. in Austin. In the wake of the crop-top backlash in response to O magazine’s fashion advice, I decided to end my 30 day self-esteem challenge with a new challenge. What happened when I took to the streets of ATX wearing a crop-top for the first time?

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It’s a beautiful sunny and naturally hot Sunday as I step out of the truck to take some pictures. I can see there is a rather large crowd at the graffiti art wall. I thought about running back to the truck, making an excuse that there were simply too many people to get good shots, but NO! Every step I have taken this year is to raise my confidence, build up my self-esteem, and ultimately live a life loving my body.

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Every inch of this massive outdoor wall speaks loudly with its vibrant colors and imaginative depictions: some political, some about love or music, and others were messages to the next wandering soul. I tried very hard not to look at peoples reactions and focus on myself, but it was difficult not to stare. I think it was part of the process. And, guess what happened?

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Nothing.

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I mean it…nothing. Sure, some people glanced quickly while passing by, but I didn’t draw a crowd out. Everyone was busy doing their thing, taking amazing pictures of their own, a memory of this spectacular place. See, I know there are times when I will face the ugly looks and stare-downs by nasty people, but today was not one of those days, and I am happy for that reason.

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Today, I enjoyed taking my pictures with my fabulous, cute belly out and proud. Today was a good day. Today I am happy. I cannot speak for tomorrow, but I am hopeful, always the eternal optimist, the dreamer.

love is

Hooded Textured Knit Pullover Shirt by Ashley Stewart

The Chuck Taylor All Star high top by Converse

Blue Jean Shorts by Melrose

Aviator Sunglasses by Betsey Johnson

XOXO Chica Rosita