Who gets to label me and my worth? I do!

by byanika on 17/01/2011 · 83 comments

in leopard,My Manifesto,self worth,spreading the love

 

 

 

Hi Sweethearts!  

Who gets to label me and my worth? I do!

When I joined the blogsphere a while back I wasn`t aware of the whole fatshion-movement, but was very happy to find that there were other people out there claiming their own self worth in a positive way, in terms of selfesteem, bodyimage and fashion.

It didn`t take long for me to become aware of the discussions raging in the sphere though: Who can claim to be a “real” woman? Is loosing weight a sign of self-hatred? Do you have to dress a certain way to be “celebrating your curves”? How big do you have to be to be a fatshionista?How should we all label our selves (curvy/fat/overweight/plus-size)? Here are my two cents.

I have been plus-sized most of my life, and have struggled with it very much, but I while I still have lots of insecurities about my self I have always also had a strong sense of who I am and a fiercly positive approach to life, despite lots of opportunities for bitterness shall we say. I am, and have always been, determined to prove those who bullied me wrong, to prove those who told me that I am more or less worthy because of how I look or feel or think wrong.  As my understanding of the dynamics of labeling has grown I also find that where as before I would cling to whatever compliments given me, I have come to understand that positive labeling is also just that, and that labeling in it self -positive or negative- can be very confining and limiting -if I let them be.

Growing up I would get comments like

“.. but at least you have a handsome face”
(comforting me that my body was under par I suppose)
 
” you know, Anika, you are kinda fat in a thin way”
(really? don`t even know where to start with that one)

Comments like these left me quite bewildered; was I fat or wasn`t I? Where did I fit in, and where did I want to fit in? Was it wrong of me to want to loose weight because my knees started to hurt a little? Was I beautiful with my chubby arms and all? Would I still be me if I lost weight? Would I still be funny without my fat-jokes on my own behalf? Did I make those jokes because I felt I had to or because they actually were funny, or did they expose my sometimes shaky self esteem? Was not being overly confident a good thing or a bad one? Could I live with out labelling?

Of course I can`t, we do seem to categorize the world we perceive, and this does not have to be a bad thing at all, categorizing helps us make sense of the world, but can also prevent us from redefining or developing our understanding of our selves and our surroundings. I love to give compliments and to receive them, but I try to be aware of how I let comments -good or bad- impact me. I am always interested in and supportive of how people define them selves, whether I am talking to one of the teenagers I work with or chatting with a blogger. I don`t for a moment want to try to impose on their right to define who they are for them selves. I simply want to get to know them, respectfully.

Am I to say to a person who looks male to me, but identifies as a woman, that they must be wrong because it doesn`t match my preconcieved notion? No.

Should I assume that every person that strips on the beach struggles with it just because I do? No.

If you define your self as fat, great! If you choose a different label, that`s fine too.

Let`s not exclude those who label them selves differently then we do our selves, let`s not put down those who aren`t included in your criteria for “real women” or what ever.

Let`s not pretend that plus sized women are the only people who have the right to body issues.

Let`s not dismiss those with views that differ from our own as “haters” without considering their point of view.

You also don`t have to agree with me. What I am trying to do is simply share how I view this subject.

I am a firm believer that action speaks louder than words, so last summer I got to work with spreading some serious love to the blogosphere, featuring bloggeristas of all sizes.
 
 
After a few months I received a comment from an anonomus reader about these features that I wanted to adress:
  
Let me start off by saying that I welcome and appreciate the input from you, my readers, be it positive, negative or constructive.
 
 
The comment said:
“She’s adorable, I love her style..! (About the featured blogger). I don’t want to sound like a whiner or a wet blanket… But I’m not really loving these Spreading the Love entries with smaller straight sized women…. They all have great style and are cute and pretty, but it’s not really something that interests me…

The comment included an excerpt from the interview that the reader went on to comment on:

“Could you share with us your thoughts on fashion vs fatshion?

Well, I am not aware of what that word means.. I am assuming it has to do with bigger women and fashion.. I hate the fact that a word has been coined. Everyone can participate in fashion no matter how they appear. Equal opportunity for all!”

This is insulting, doesn’t know what it means? hate it was coined? Fatshion was coined as a means of women owning their fat, and being fashionable about it. To hate that is to say that we should still be trying to conform to look the same as these girls… Pretty as they are, it’s not me. and it wont be me.

That is the sentiment of the reader who left this comment, fair enough. This is my answer, respectfully.

I have chosen to feature bloggers of all sizes, as I appreciate them all and always want to embrace diversity.

I did give this some thought, because I am curvy/plus size/fat/what ever my self, and I didn`t want to hurt or offend other fa(t)shionistas. However, I decided that I wanted to dare to be open to bloggeristas/readers of all sizes, focusing on them as people beoynd their size, as this is what I do in my life outside blogging.
 
I have tremendous respect for fatshionistas, and gladly accept that as one of many labels of me. I did feel brave taking the plunge by starting a fashion blog as a plus size-girl. At the same time, I did feel that I have something to offer, as a fashion-loving girl, as me, size included, but not because I am a stylish fat girl. Does that make sense?
 
So, does size matter? Yes, it absolutely does.
 
It IS hard to be a fat girl, at least in my experience. I`m not thin, never have been, and probalbly never will be. This has been the source of considerable heart ache for me, and sometimes still is. Only yesterday I was shopping for clothes and felt like shit because it was hard to find stuff that fit, and I found my selv struggeling to override the voice in my head telling me I was ugly and less worthy because of my weight. I have had a tough childhood that left me damaged in many ways, feeling that I hold no value as a person and that I was extremly ugly. My body was a big part of that. I also was fortunate to have a strong and loving mum, who has done everything in her power to take care of me and my self esteem and self respect.
 
My blog is absolutely about saying screw size-tyranny, I strongly want to advocate self respect and self expression through fashion, celebrating my size instead of letting it shame me. The thing is though, I want to support that in everyone, fat or thin. I absolutely get the empowering aspect of redefining and claiming a label such as fat, that is one expression of self respect. Some plus size bloggeristas identify as fatshionistas, others don`t. As it turns out even we fat girls are a diverse group.
  
 
As for the comment about how it felt hurtful for the reader that the blogger I featured was unaware of the concept of fatshion, well, she may be aware of it now. I don`t personally think she meant offence by her comment, all though how I can understand that it might feel hurtful for some. That being said, I didn`t know about the word fatshion before I started blogging either, but I absolutely understood the dynamic behind it.
 
I do recognize that being fat doesn`t make me an expert on all things size and self image. I have my own experiences that I relate through, but I am humble about my take, and always open to input, like I got from this reader. That is the reason why I have chosen to ask all the bloggers I feature the same questions, including their take on fashion and fatshion. Personally I find it interesting to hear the differing views on this subject. I want to thank all of the bloggers who are taking part in Spreading the love.
 
I am by no means perfect, and when I make mistakes I am the first to acknowlegde it and apologize. My intention with starting this feature-series was not to offend or take away from the empowerment of any women. Quite the opposite. That being said, I will not avoid taking a stand, in a respectful manner, for fear of negative feedback. I would always much rather invite sharing and discussion than not.
 
So, sweethearts, I would like to hear from you. What is your take on this? Do you want these features? Are they not interesting to you? Do you want to take part? Do you take offence? Does it seem meaningful to you that I continue to feature all of these ladies of all sizes who at least have one thing in common; their love of fashion?

Writing this honest post is something that was scary for me too do, but challenging my fears and doubts -redefining what I think I can and can not do is always such a good thing, be it daring to wear colour, taking full figure pics, connecting with you my wonderful readers, exposing my self to getting comments on my posts or to not getting comments, dealing with my hang-ups, laughing at my own jokes, thinking that I am pretty, opening my self up to my loved ones, learning to let go of the need to be what ever others need me to be, getting up again when I fall.

 

I am trying to live my life as authentically as possible,

 embracing and challenging my self,

learning from others,

and staying curious and humble when meeting new people and learning to know them and their worlds.

 

In short,

Hi, I`m Anika. I know who I am.
Lovely to meet you!
  
Who are you?
 
 
 
 
  
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{ 65 comments… read them below or add one }

1 KirstinNo Gravatar January 17, 2011 at 10:00 pm

This is such an incredibly thoughtful and beautiful post. I am so interested in your struggles and your childhood. I also am thankful that you choose to show all body types in your posts and do not just show "fatshion". I absolutely love that you are showcasing different body types no matter the insecurity. Every person struggles with something, weight, skin, features, etc. Thanks for teaching us how to embrace ourselves and be more confident. You are such a beatuiful girl and I could learn a lot from you! This is what personal style blogging is about!

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byanika 2 byanikaNo Gravatar
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January 19, 2011 at 10:23 pm

Thank you so much for your heartfelt comment Kirstin. I appreciate that you enjoy the diversity, I do feel strongly that everyone is welcome at my blog. You are right, every one of us has our own voyage of self acceptance. I am so glad to know you! <3

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3 @fresheima January 17, 2011 at 10:08 pm

I haven't read this before but I agree with what you say. And I can totally feel into it. I always had this labeling problem in my life. I felt so torn between being me, being a quite popular girl in school, trying to be the anti-punk-rock-emo-girl that I felt deep down inside, suffering with my body and my weight, even today sometimes I don't really know what I want? Do I want to loose weight? Do I really feel confident in my skin? Am I just the fat girls that is there to show that being fat and being fashionable?
But in the end it's not the label we put on other or on ourself it's this state in which we feel great & stunning. This one dress or this special make up, or also just that one special moment in which we know we are truly ourselves, not matter if it is what other expect from us or not.

The other thing…I must say that I am mostly interested in plus size blogs, cause I can identify with the writer, but there are also other fashion blogs I read and like. And I think it's one of the most important things to show diversity in shapes, sizes but also in style. So I would never mind if thinner girls are shown in specials like this. Just like I would never say: "OMG I can't read this or that blog anylonger, cause she lost weight." Just like I don't ready every plus size blog, because there is a fat girl. It depends on the style, on their interests and so on.

So keep on doing what you like and blogging about what you like. Being truly ourselves is always at what we are best.

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byanika 4 byanikaNo Gravatar
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January 19, 2011 at 10:22 pm

Thank you so much Katrin, vielen dank! :) I agree, it is about our state of mind and heart, not about the label. I find great inspiration from all the fab bloggers I have gotten to know, you included love!<3

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5 kristyNo Gravatar
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January 17, 2011 at 11:03 pm

this is such a well-written and honest post. first of all, i commend you on your ability to be this honest and say what you feel despite the fact that there might be negativity in response to it. negativity is something we bloggers have to deal with, unfortunately. not everyone is always in the right state of mind to hear what we have to say, but that says more about them than it does the blogger. you should be very proud of yourself that you don't let that stop you.

personally, i am not offended by anything you have written or said here, nor your desire to feature bloggers of various shapes and sizes. i am of the opinion that everyone can and should be involved in fashion if they care to be. i love what you said about how body image issues are not reserved only for women of bigger sizes. i am glad that you acknowledge body image can be a problem for anyone. one of the most serious cases of body image that i know of is from a girl who is both thin and beautiful by all "societal norms" and people often will say things like "what's wrong with her, she's just a whiny hot girl." it's so upsetting… she has a chemical imbalance. she literally sees herself as distorted in the mirror. and it is so upsetting when people can't understand that humans are all wired differently.

it is sad when people feel the need to put others down, be they fatshionistas or tall skinny models on the runway. it's unfair and it doesn't help the cause for the acceptance of body image. what i love about you and your blog is that i always get a general love of fashion and honest personal style perspective. as you pointed out, sure, size matters. but it isn't anyone's defining characteristic either. putting an interesting or beautiful outfit together is independent of size.

hope i've answered you question sufficiently! i adore you sweetheart. you're an amazing blogger with thoughtful honest opinions that will help expand the parameters of beauty within fashion.
My recent post Countdown to NYC – reflections &amp celebrations

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byanika 6 byanikaNo Gravatar
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January 19, 2011 at 10:21 pm

Thank you so much for your insightful comment. I so appreciate it love, and I agree with what you said, and I take your love to heart :) I am glad you like it here chez moi! I adore you too, you are so talented, and an inspiration. kiss kiss

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7 AlessiaNo Gravatar January 17, 2011 at 11:10 pm

This makes me cry.
I agree with every words and I can understand you because… well, how can I say it? Because I’m CURVY too.
I was thinking, until last year, I thought I was alone but then I discovered all these plus size blog where beautiful ladies are fashion and they’re not wearing, you know, cheap large stuff… and so know I feel better!!
Ewww, yea, shopping… sometimes it’s frustating because the XL doesn’t exist or an L is too too too small. WHY?

You told you have your mum, mine is fantastic too. She helped me in my endless diets and she was near me every time I was sad for my weight or whatever… now I have a boyfriend, he’s the love of my life. I was scared the first time, I thought “he’ll tell me I’m nice but…” it happened often because some guys had pain to stay with a not thin girl (fu*k :P ), instead he told me I was beautiful and that he loved my body. WOW :) now, sometimes, I scream “I LIKE MYSELF BUT SOMEONE NOT AGREE with these small stupid clothes” and he answered me “you’re beautiful… you’re not fat” “YES I AM” “NOOOO YOU’RE THE MOST BEAUTIFUL GIRL IN THE WORLD AND I LOVE YOU AND YOUR BODY” :)
ok… so… I mean we can make the most for ourselves but the love of our loves can be the rest… right?

and sorry for my english!!!i wanted participate to this post…
we rock! :)

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byanika 8 byanikaNo Gravatar
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January 19, 2011 at 10:19 pm

Dear Alessia, thank you so much for sharing! I was very moved reading your comment to me. I tried to comment on your blog several times but didn`t manage, so I hope you see this. You are beautiful, inside and out. I am so glad you have a lovely boyfriend who know that <3. Feeling that kind of love is life changing for sure. So happy for you! hugs, Anika

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9 AlessiaNo Gravatar January 20, 2011 at 3:47 pm

Yes. I had a problem with comments, thank you because I didn’t know and now it works :D

Thank you, lady! I’m so happy I can find people like you who can understand me :)

Hugs!
Alessia recently posted..CommentsMy ComLuv Profile

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10 VanessaNo Gravatar January 18, 2011 at 6:28 pm

Thanks for your kind comment on my blog. I agree that allowing constructive comments on a site is important because it inspires just this kind of discussion – which is healthy and productive.

My recent post Links a la mode- Reflections- Realizations- and Resolve

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byanika 11 byanikaNo Gravatar
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January 19, 2011 at 10:17 pm

Thank you for your lovely comment on mine:) I agree, discussion is productive. <3

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12 @citizenrosebudzNo Gravatar
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January 18, 2011 at 6:58 pm

Hello Anika, my name is Bella. Nice to "meet" you. Actually we "know" eachother. We follow eachother's blogs, are pals on facebook, tweet at eachother like birds in a tree. I like you. I like your style. I like your attitude. AND I LOVE YOUR FACE.

Your post brings up a ton of interesting points. one of which I'm going to delve into, and that is the catagory of "fatshion." From my understanding, it was coined as a word of empowerment for the larger girls out there who LOVE fashion, in spite of the added struggle to actually round-up well constructed and trendy garments that fit well. As a girl who is now "in the middle," being a size 12-14 somehow means it's hard to find stores that sell contemporary trends that are sized in the smaller misses. When I was even 20 lighter, and still officially skinny, I would walk out of shops not fitting a size L. And I knew I wasn't big. I remember thinking: this is why girls have body image problems. Some of my friends, several of them quite beautiufl, who were "plus sized" gave up on fashion all together. Too much hard work, and not enough pay off. Yeah, after a trip to the mall and trying on clothes that don't fit you for a couple of hours and walking out empty handed, I'd lose my interest in fashion too.

So yay the term fatshion. Perhaps a label would make the industry become aware that there's a tremendously large (no pun intended) market WAITING to spend its collective money on…fashion! But the one red flag is this: a new category means: fat fashion ghetto. Yeah, that's right I said it. GHETTO. It's where we now can put you isolated away from the other girls. YOU, big girl, over there.

And I don't like that. And I don't like being separated from my sisters of style, in any size. I like diversity, and think the dictates of the marketplace should accomodate ALL of our sizes. I think we should be able to shop together. Oh yeah, I get hard looks when I go shopping with my larger size friend at the big girls stores like Torrid, Lane Bryant. Like they've been locked out so long, they want to keep the skinny girls out. Maybe I don't blame them. But let me tell you, it's not helpful to "the cause." The cause being of course, equal access to quality contructed, stylish clothes!

I was so proud to be featured in your Spread the Love series. You were the first blogger EVER to want to interview me! To want to share me and my blog with your readers. THE FIRST. After a year of researching and interviewing bloggers, few have ever shown an interest in interviewing me,so it was an incredible honor. And when I saw you chose, not just skinny white girls, not just big girls, but all kinds of girls, all sizes, all colors, that I was so pleased to be included with the wonderful lot.

So that's where I at, and this is where I am. -Bella Q
the Citizen Rosebud
My recent post Red Carpet-baggers- Do Critics Hit the Miss

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byanika 13 byanikaNo Gravatar
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January 19, 2011 at 10:14 pm

Darling Bella, I was really moved reading your comment. I am so glad that we met, you have made such an impact on me. Thank you for that, and for your friendship, and for sharing. Featuring you was an honour, nothing less. <3 Let`s all come toghether, sisters in style! Love, Anika

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14 @citizenrosebudzNo Gravatar
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January 18, 2011 at 7:02 pm

so many typos in the statement above. I should have proof-read it before I hit the submit button. Ack.
My recent post Red Carpet-baggers- Do Critics Hit the Miss

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byanika 15 byanikaNo Gravatar
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January 19, 2011 at 10:12 pm

I got you. Loud and clear! And I love it :) <3

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16 AlissaNo Gravatar January 18, 2011 at 7:41 pm

What a beautiful post. You Rock!

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byanika 17 byanikaNo Gravatar
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January 19, 2011 at 10:12 pm

Thank you Alissa. The feeling is mutual :D

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18 ElleNo Gravatar January 18, 2011 at 7:51 pm

What I will say is that it is YOUR blog and you post what touches YOU and what goes with YOUR vision. It just happens that you have people like us who like to go along for the ride. Even if you only featured plus size girls, SOMEONE would have something to complain about. That’s just how we are as human beings. Just unsatisfied, never content, and impossible to please at all times.

So keep up the good work !

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byanika 19 byanikaNo Gravatar
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January 19, 2011 at 10:12 pm

Thank you so much for that Elle! Let`s be our selves and love it! :)

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20 ElleNo Gravatar January 18, 2011 at 7:52 pm

I think I might have removed myself from the list by mistake (when I tried to unsubscribe to the newsletter). Oops. I’ll fix that :)
Elle recently posted..When this fat girl has a bad dayMy ComLuv Profile

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21 alexandroNo Gravatar January 18, 2011 at 8:26 pm

Yah ,you rock , you are samrt , you are like rose in garden off Tulips,You are a drop off water in dry Sahara,you are truly great and beatyfull like sunset over the ocean , and me darling I AM BLOGG WIDOW :) , yours fatso

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byanika 22 byanikaNo Gravatar
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January 19, 2011 at 10:11 pm

Thank you so much my love, you are so cute! <3 I am sorry that I made you a blog widower :) Volim te ;D <3

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23 CharlieNo Gravatar
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January 18, 2011 at 9:11 pm

This was so lovely to read Anika! I agree with you on that nobody should be labeled by size, looks or anything really, and I love blogs who feature and talk about things other than “their own type” of girls. See, there’s labelling for you. Can’t live without it, and canät live with it either. Labelling is one of those things that make life hard for people, like me when I grew up. I’ve always had problems with my back, and I’ve got loads of insecurities I’m working on “fixing” now, and it’s a neverending process really. Happiness isn’t about size or being something else than you really are, happiness is being yourself among others who might be like you or might not. Sorry for the long rant darling, thank for this post!

xxx Charlie
Feminine Bravery
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byanika 24 byanikaNo Gravatar
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January 19, 2011 at 10:40 pm

Thank you so much for sharing Charlie, you lovely girl :) I agree, I love those blogs too, like yours! So true, “happiness is being your self”. Thanks for that. <3

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25 JeminaNo Gravatar January 20, 2011 at 10:27 am

Truly inspiring post Anika
To be honest with you, at the beginning of the year I also wrote on my blog post that I need to lose around 5 kg, and as of now the 20th of Jan, I haven’t lost them at all yet. But I recently realised that life is so much more than weight, I don’t want to let my weight to weigh me down. Thank you thank you once again for this beautiful post, you are beautiful Anika, and I am so honoured and pleased to have ‘met’ you

Heartfelt thank you
Jemina

PS: I am now following you dear, you’re FABULOUS!!!

Kisses
J

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byanika 26 byanikaNo Gravatar
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January 20, 2011 at 7:16 pm

Thank you again for sharing lovely Jemina. I so appreciate your warmth and honesty! I am so glad you are my latest friend! <3 big hugs to you beautiful. xxx

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27 JeminaNo Gravatar January 21, 2011 at 6:45 am

Darling, I remember reading this inspiring post here: http://barefootandvintage.wordpress.com/2010/11/15/i-dont-think-youre-ready-for-this-jelly/

The last paragraphs are the highlight of this post :)

Kisses
Jemina
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byanika 28 byanikaNo Gravatar
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January 21, 2011 at 6:28 pm

Thank you so much my lovely friend, how thoughtful of you! much love to you <3

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29 RiannaNo Gravatar January 20, 2011 at 7:18 pm

Great inspirational post,
Love your style and mood boards too
Rianna xxx
Rianna recently posted..Design Boards 2My ComLuv Profile

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byanika 30 byanikaNo Gravatar
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January 20, 2011 at 7:36 pm

Thank you very much Rianna! Am surfing over to yours now :) xx

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31 DC(k)No Gravatar January 20, 2011 at 8:04 pm

I do not know if you got the comment I sent you before, but let me tell you how proud I am to see this!
You new blog is perfect and I am really really happy for you! I LOVE YOU ANIKA, and when I love it’s for life!!!
DC
xx
http://dentelleetchocolat.blogspot.com/
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byanika 32 byanikaNo Gravatar
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January 20, 2011 at 8:18 pm

Sweetheart! my wonderful friend! thank you so much my love, I so appreciate your support!I really do. I love you lots too, sending you lots of warm hugs! <3

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33 vanessaNo Gravatar
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January 21, 2011 at 12:25 am

I’m so glad to see this in Links a la mode. Anika your the best!
My Heart Blogged
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byanika 34 byanikaNo Gravatar
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January 21, 2011 at 6:29 pm

oh, you are so kind! thank you so much for your support beautiful Vanessa <3

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35 SACRAMENTONo Gravatar January 21, 2011 at 10:16 am

Hi Anika, You have crossed my path once more, so I came to see your blog, this time to stay.
I am following you, and putting you straight in my blogroll.
Un abrazo from Spain.
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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byanika 36 byanikaNo Gravatar
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January 21, 2011 at 6:28 pm

I so appreciate your warmth, thank you so much! Will of course be updating my blogroll with yours to <3 warm hugs back!

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37 JudyNo Gravatar January 21, 2011 at 7:16 pm

This is an incredibly thoughtful post! You are absolutely correct- no one should have the right to define us how we are.

I believe every woman is a “real” woman if they breathe & live. There are so many combinations of interesting women in the world, so to categorize us into 2 groups: fat or skinny, well that’s ridiculous. A skinny girl can have body conscious issues too. I feel like the general attitude lately has been that skinnier women are somehow smug or arrogant towards their curvier sisters, and I don’t believe that is true at all. I also don’t believe self-esteem and happiness come from your waist size. Like you mentioned, it’s your attitude towards life that counts.

We are all beautiful! We must love one another simply because we all deserve the love!

xx.
Judy

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byanika 38 byanikaNo Gravatar
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January 21, 2011 at 7:25 pm

Thank you so very much for your wonderful and insightful comment Judy! I completely agree with you, we all have our own voyage of self acceptance. Big hugs! <3

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39 Katie, Interrobangs AnonymousNo Gravatar January 22, 2011 at 5:42 pm

I’m very impressed at the mature consideration you put into this post. As someone who deals with her own issues of body exploration and acceptatance, I appreciate your contribution to this larger discussion.
Katie, Interrobangs Anonymous recently posted..Katie Daily Style – Drapey DrapeyMy ComLuv Profile

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byanika 40 byanikaNo Gravatar
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January 22, 2011 at 8:53 pm

I appreciate your sincere feedbak Katie, this is an issue that I have pondered all of my life. I am very introspect as a person, and people often tell me I think too much, but it does bring me perspectives that I apply to my life, -body, mind and soul. Thanks again <3

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byanika 41 byanikaNo Gravatar
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January 23, 2011 at 4:16 pm

stina honey wrote:
I love this.I agree with so much of what you said.I used to really be into fat politics and even had a zine about it. I thought it was great, but I would get a lot of emails from girls saying “i appreciate your zine but your zine but youre not fat”so I gave up. Now I’m just me, and I’m okay with that. The way other people identify themselves and deal with things is their business and their right!If I spend my whole life worrying about and criticizing everyone on their choices, I’m going to live a very sad and angry life.If you want to exercise everyday, do it!If you dont want to, thats fine too!

[Reply]

Sunday, July 4, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Permalink | Edit
Anika wrote:
@Stina, thanks very much. Great to hear your point of view. ! <3

[Reply]

Sunday, July 4, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Permalink | Edit
Bombshell Beauty wrote:
I love this post, Anika! Thanks for sharing your point of view. I think I identify myself as being plus size or curvy, but I don't think there's that much difference between how I feel about my body and how slimmer girls do. At the end of the day, we're all women with a lot of the same feelings (good, bad and otherwise).

[Reply]

Sunday, July 4, 2010 at 2:29 pm | Permalink | Edit
LaCara wrote:
I couldn't agree with you more Anika! And I'm so glad you wrote this post…every woman is a "real" woman regardless of her size, and at the end of the day alot of people have insecurities, it's just how you deal with them…great post my love! And I love the new layout design =D<3

[Reply]

Sunday, July 4, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Permalink | Edit
Anika wrote:
@Bombshell Beauty, thank you very much, it felt quite daunting to write this post, but I felt so strongly that it was time. I tend to use the word curvy about my self, but I`m fine with fat as well, curvy is as much a reference to all the different proportions of my body as much as anything else LOL. I think you are right that we all probably share many thoughts and feelings, regardless of how we are perceived.@La Cara, glad to make you glad! embracing our selves and those around us is the way forward, I agree. Glad you like the layout, been toying around with it (a lot of swearing mind you LOL). Big kisses! <3

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Sunday, July 4, 2010 at 2:41 pm | Permalink | Edit
Jennifer aka. Jasife wrote:
I totally agree as well, Great post hun!!I'm so tired about being consious about my body. Every body is beautiful, you just need to work it Big or small.

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Sunday, July 4, 2010 at 6:40 pm | Permalink | Edit
cheeky curves wrote:
You are right there are plus and negatives to labelling, it is restrictive and stigmaties and yet it brings a cause to the world attentions. I grow more beautiful every day.

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Sunday, July 4, 2010 at 7:20 pm | Permalink | Edit
Anika wrote:
@Jennifer, thank you for that sweetie. I feel the same, and am working hard to be less self conscious, freeing up energy for all the good things in life. xx@cheeky curves, thanks! So true, it`s all about how we work it, be it labels or our shape. xx

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Sunday, July 4, 2010 at 8:10 pm | Permalink | Edit
Mz B wrote:
I agree with you totally, I have struggled with being heavy all my life also. It got worse when my family would say you look so pretty only if you would lose weight. What? So i'm not pretty cuz i'm fat? Also, health issues run in my family (heredity) so it doesn't matter if I lose weight or not, I will still develop those issues, maybe not….who knows. I'm ok with how I look. I love to dress nice. I love your blog by the way, and your style is similar to mines. Mz B http://www.goldnglitters.com

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Sunday, July 4, 2010 at 9:42 pm | Permalink | Edit
Anika wrote:
@Mz B, thank you very much for sharing! really appreciate it. All we really can do is make the best choises based on who we are now. surfing over to your blog!

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Sunday, July 4, 2010 at 10:43 pm | Permalink | Edit
… wrote:
I love this post so much Anika!!! labelling is evil but it’s better to choose your own label instead of letting others choose it for you

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Monday, July 5, 2010 at 2:40 am | Permalink | Edit
RETRO REVA wrote:
Thanks soooo much for this post!I too was scared to be “judged” as I am 46, and not a super model. I love people who have differences and opinions other than myself. It’s refreshing! I just lost a follower, and am feeling a bit sappy. I honor all of our differences and feel we all need a little support from each other This post re-affirms that I don’t need other’s to define me. I don’t need others to label me. I do enough of that already! Thanks sooo much. You made my day

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Monday, July 5, 2010 at 3:15 am | Permalink | Edit
Immer. wrote:
wow I’m identify with every word you wrote!

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Monday, July 5, 2010 at 8:33 am | Permalink | Edit
Anika wrote:
@LuAnne, thank you so much, we do have the right to define who we are and not compromize on our dignity! xx@Retro Reva, thank you so much for sharing! really means the world to me. You`ll be gaining a new follower in me! @Immer, so glad to hear it resonated with you. xx

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Monday, July 5, 2010 at 10:36 am | Permalink | Edit
kittehinfurs wrote:
AMEN to all of this.

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Monday, July 5, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Permalink | Edit
Anika wrote:
@kittehinfurs, amen back

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Tuesday, July 6, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Permalink | Edit
Grit and Glamour wrote:
Anika, thanks for sharing this post with me. It is a fantastic testament to you and your beliefs. I greatly admire your honesty and authenticity. It’s inspirational.? Vhttp://www.gritandglamour.com

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Sunday, August 1, 2010 at 1:32 am | Permalink | Edit
Tanvi wrote:
Thank You for directing me to this post of yours. I absolutely adore you. The honestly and introspection in this post is very touching! More power to you!

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Saturday, August 21, 2010 at 6:24 pm | Permalink | Edit
Anika Sweetfaced Sty wrote:
Thank you both Tanvi and Vahni, you beautiful ladies! I really appreciate your comments. sending you both big love! <3 <3

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Sunday, August 22, 2010 at 11:20 am | Permalink | Edit
Vibhuti wrote:
WOW Anika,Tanvii has directed me over to the best blog in ages..I just love your attitude towards life and ur self-esteem..I think I should be reading ur blog daily for my dose of pep to my self-worth!:) Anika you are a gorgeous lady and I am so very very happy to meet you..Please do visit my blog toohttp://kreativevibes.blogspot.com/And tell me what you think of my style..Will be obliged..:)TC

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Thursday, September 23, 2010 at 9:54 am | Permalink | Edit
GB wrote:
Hi Anika, I’m Gagan, hopping on over from Tanvi’s blog. That has to be the best -worded treatise to self-worth I have read in a while! Thanks for the inspiration!!!XO,Gagan

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Thursday, September 23, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Permalink | Edit

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42 CamilleANo Gravatar January 23, 2011 at 7:53 pm

Thank you for your honesty and thank you for such a fab post. I’ll definitely be back for more.

CamilleA (Karma-Style)

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byanika 43 byanikaNo Gravatar
Twitter:
January 23, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Thank you for your kind words! You are welcome chex moi anytime hun. <3

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44 JoNo Gravatar January 24, 2011 at 6:43 pm

What a delightfully honest post! truly inspiring, this sincerity.

as to the topic, I have to say, as a person that has struggled with herself (who hasn’t, ever, after all?) that I would be a tad offended to be called a fatshionista. are skinny fashion bloggers called skinny fashionistas? just because a rather good wordplay comes out of combining these two words, should we allow/embrace it?

I don’t really think so. it’s like putting (oh how I do dislike it!) fatshionistas in a different league because they can’t compete with the real fashionistas.

sorry, I don’t see it that way.
maybe it has to do with my (still) low self esteem, or my not accepting it yet, but I can’t see the concept of fatshionism as fair.
Jo recently posted..New girls on the blockMy ComLuv Profile

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byanika 45 byanikaNo Gravatar
Twitter:
January 24, 2011 at 10:01 pm

Hi thank you for your feedback, it is so interesting to explore our takes on this. While I don`t use the term for my self, I do see that it can feel empowering. I will say that I am very happy to be a part of a movement of showcasing personal style on a wide range of people, on all of us individuals. xx

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46 THE-LOUDMOUTHNo Gravatar
Twitter:
January 25, 2011 at 1:22 am

Amazing post with an adorable ending. I loved when you said “I strongly want to advocate self respect and self expression through fashion, celebrating my size instead of letting it shame me. The thing is though, I want to support that in everyone, fat or thin.” Amen!

The-Loudmouth.com
Style Blogger Contest
THE-LOUDMOUTH recently posted..Lions- Tigers &amp BearsMy ComLuv Profile

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47 JennNo Gravatar January 31, 2011 at 6:23 pm

I’m glad I happened by your blog! I’m doing my senior thesis on body issues and I’ve found a lot of information on Fat Acceptance (which is great because I’m a fat girl too!) but a lot of what I’m finding is thin-negative.
I don’t believe in skinny hate because it’s JUST as bad as fat hate. I think it’s subversive to body image and body acceptance to always point fingers and tell women they’re worthless. We have a hard enough time as it is without having to worry weather other women are condemning us.
I’m glad I found your blog, because it’s going to help me greatly! Thank you for being you!

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byanika 48 byanikaNo Gravatar
Twitter:
January 31, 2011 at 7:59 pm

Thank you so much for sharing! I really appreciate it! I would love to see your thesis, as this topic is very close to my heart both as a woman, a blogger and as a councelor. Sending you lots of warm thoughts sweetheart! xx

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49 JennNo Gravatar January 31, 2011 at 8:09 pm

I will definitely keep you updated. This is such a complex topic, but something I’m very passionate about as well! :)
Jenn recently posted..AlteringMy ComLuv Profile

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AnikaByAnika 50 AnikaByAnikaNo Gravatar February 20, 2011 at 5:56 pm

[New Post] Who gets to label me and my worth? I do! – via #twitoaster http://byanika.com/2011/01/17/who-gets-t

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byanika 51 byanikaNo Gravatar
Twitter:
March 27, 2011 at 1:11 pm

Deb Darling September 9, 2010 at 9:13 pm [edit]
I am more interested in being supportive of all women no matter their size, shape, colour, etc. and i have appreciated your highlighting all fashion bloggers. Fatshion speaks to me on a personal level and I consider myself a fatshionista – but did I even know this term last year? No. Can we expect others to know it unless it has some meaning on a personal leve? Maybe, but that might be unrealistic. I would far rather see a supportive network made up of the sisterhood of women…all sizes who appreciate each individual for what she brings to the table. Keep up your very good work, it’s appreciate, Anika, as are the lovely fashions you design and wear. You are beautiful on the inside and outside and that’s what all of us would like to be!!!

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jen September 9, 2010 at 10:10 pm [edit]
i just started blogging recently and i must admit i did not know of the fatshion until i read your spread the love piece. perhaps i did not know of the term because i did not blog or because i would be considered a ‘straight sized’ girl but now that i know what the term means i feel that it is very empowering. i believe that beauty is within, fashion must be lived out loud and who you are is only up to you! one of my favorite maya angelou quotes says it best: “i can be changed by what happens to me, but i refuse to be reduced by it.” i can understand that the featured blogger may have offended some, but i cannot believe it was her intention to do so. i think it is a term that not everyone is aware of but true women of all shapes and sizes would gladly back women/fashion empowerment in any form.continue doing these pieces..i enjoy them : )lifespelledjen.blogspot.com

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IcedGem September 9, 2010 at 10:42 pm [edit]
I love that you have a supportive Mum, everyone needs that! I agree totally with your sentiment that all sized bloggers should be included, I’ve seen some great blogs through the post that I wouldn’t have been aware of and I’m now inspired by them. I thank you anyway xx

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Jessica September 9, 2010 at 11:14 pm [edit]
I’ve recently experienced this too in my blogging. Its going to be hard to please everyone, but that’s not your job…your blog is YOUR space and I think its beautiful and honourable that you feature ALL sizes. Often in people’s beginning stages of acceptance, they first feel like its necessary to vilify different bodies to make them feel better about theirs. Its unfortunate and I don’t think it should be encouraged. I love what you’re doing here and can’t wait to see what else you have to offer!!! xoxo

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Mavy September 10, 2010 at 12:17 am [edit]
Let me start off by saying I adore you, Anika. I do. I like the way you think – it’s healthy on how you perceive the whole outlook.Fashion is fashion for all women so I wouldn’t take that comment to offense as that particular reader already has a particular niche in mind. Each to their own opinion, right? =)You’re a genuine person and it reflects throughout the blog. So keep doing what you’re doing. You’re on the right track, sugar.xo Mavy

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Tanvi September 10, 2010 at 3:13 am [edit]
I echo the sentiments of the ladies who have posted a comment before me. First I believe that every individual has the ‘right’ to post anything they want on their blog. Feedback is welcome but not necessary need to be considered. Having said that I too didn’t know this term till I came to your blog just last month. I enjoy seeing and hearing about everyone … The woman is beyond her size/shape/color. Everyone has thoughts, feelings, sentiments which are also showcased in your pieces besides their pictures. Had the pictures not been there no one would know if they were fat or skinny! But whether you should continue or not is completely up to you! Do you enjoy them? Would you wanna continue interacting with women across all borders? You are genuinely true to yourself and comfortable with who you are … and it can be seen via your post! ) Have a good weekend!!!

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Casee Marie September 10, 2010 at 5:32 am [edit]
You’re such an inspiration, Anika! I appreciate all that you do, lovey. I would love to see you continue on as you have been, celebrating bloggers of all shapes and sizes. It really means a lot to me to see plus-size girls and straight-size girls on the same level. I think focusing on one or the other can limit the possibilities and just doesn’t have that open-minded freedom that I feel whenever I come to your blog. (:I hope that made sense! haha.

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Its Black and White September 10, 2010 at 7:17 pm [edit]
I completely understand your hardships as a young girl who was a fattie. I was a fattie as a kid too.. always bigger and had to wear bigger clothes and its tough. It does make you question your self worth as a woman. but to embrace even the “skinnies” show’s your true worth as a person. I love the fact that you feature more than just chubs. Everyone’s style is influenced by other peoples no matter what size they are. Where would we be if the first skinny girl hadnt ever worn skinny jeans.. and some fattie saw it and wanted to make it a part of their fashion too? i applaud ANYONE who dares to be fashionable in this colorless world.

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Weesha September 10, 2010 at 11:07 pm [edit]
hopefully this anonymous commenter will realise that it’s important to accept, embrace and praise women of all sizes. I don’t think it’s offensive that she didn’t know the term fatshion, I love that you ask even the skinny bloggers this fatshion question because you’re making them aware of it and it shows that women support each other and don’t necessarily bitch about each others size.You’re doing a great job Anika!

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Jaimielee September 17, 2010 at 2:56 am [edit]
I’m really glad you wrote this and I love that you took a stand. You’re completely entitled to express yourself the way you see fit ON YOUR BLOG!! I think it’s so important to make it known that accepting your body and loving your body does not have to translate into hating anyone else’s! I love that you feature people large and small

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52 Mrs BossaNo Gravatar
Twitter:
March 28, 2011 at 11:36 pm

I got tears in my eyes reading this – this is a fantastic post, and thank you so much for linking it on Mrs Bossa Does the Do. I’m just sorry it’s taken me so long to respond.

You raise so many important points, and tackle so many thorny issues. The fashion/fatshion distinction is a significant one, and simply needs to be raised by inspiring bloggers like yourself. One of your key arguments for me is “Let`s not pretend that plus sized women are the only people who have the right to body issues”. It’s so damaging to assume not only that everyone should be a certain size or shape, but that everyone wants that for themselves. It’s actually very upsetting to think that so many women have these issues, but I’ve found it so uplifting to read your post – so honest, open…and true.
Mrs Bossa recently posted..Copyright Infringement – check your blog!My ComLuv Profile

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byanika 53 byanikaNo Gravatar
Twitter:
March 30, 2011 at 9:52 pm

Thank you so much for your comment, I really take it to heart sweetheart. I honestly cried writing that post, and I was nervous posting it, feeling aware that I might offend those identifying as fatshionistas, but I knew that I need to be honest and deal with what ever respons came my way. The sentence you highlighted here is basically the jist of the whole thing, because what I experienced with some plus size blogger was that they were doing exactely the same as the ones they felt put down by them selves. I want none of that, and I don`t want to be a part of that.

Thank you again for stopping by. Sending you warm hugs! xx

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54 KadyNo Gravatar
Twitter:
April 5, 2011 at 8:29 am

I have recently joined the blog-world and stumbled upon this post. I’m so happy I did! I identify myself as “fat”, leaving aside the social stigma against that particular word. I see me being “fat” as being no different than me being short, or me being a female, or me being a dog lover. It is a part of my human experience that does not define me, but at the same time is a part of me. I crack jokes and polk fun of my fatness, but I mean it not in a self-loathing way. This post perfectly paraphrases my ideas about body image and I’m very happy to see there are others out there who share this! It takes courage to identify yourself as fat/plus-sized/curvy on the internet. I’m proud to see I’m not alone in this idea! Thank you for your post.

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55 WendyBNo Gravatar
Twitter:
April 15, 2011 at 5:34 pm

This makes me laugh: “it felt hurtful for the reader that the blogger I featured was unaware of the concept of fatshion…”
I’ve been talking a lot lately IRL about how people are so narcissistic that they think anything in their mind should be known BY THE WORLD. It doesn’t matter if it’s a favorite band or a niche fashion concept: “If I know it, it must be FAMOUS.” Peeps need to get over themselves!

Anyway, excellent post. As you know, I couldn’t agree more about the “real women” concept.
WendyB recently posted..There’s Something About My PinkieMy ComLuv Profile

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byanika 56 byanikaNo Gravatar
Twitter:
April 15, 2011 at 6:19 pm

Amen Wendy, I totally agree with you. That is why I made a point of the fact that I didn`t know about fatshion either, which I suppose is shocking seing as how I am fat hahahahha. I am quite sure that I lost some plus sized readers over this, but I don`t care, I am not my weight. Damn right. Thanks for your comment, and thank you for being you. Mwuaah! xx

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57 KathrineNo Gravatar April 16, 2011 at 9:50 am

Hi Anika, thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving your sweet comment.

For the most part of my life, I have been overweight. I did not like it. I never liked it. I tried to loose my excess weight several times. It was only about 2 years ago when I managed to do so. I picked up running, stuck to a healthier diet and did it. Lost 20kg. Now, I kept that (lower) weight, and feel good about it. I gained a few pounds the last few weeks, since I could not exercise anymore due to my asthma, but I want o loose them again too. I would like to be a confident woman like yourself, feel good about my body. I am not there yet, to truly love my body. I find myself shopping and always picking up sizes too big for me. I haven’t realized that I wear S or M now. I still see me in the mirror as a L or XL girl. That’s sad, I know. I haven’t “outed” myself on the internet about this issue before, but after reading your post i
I found the courage, so thank you. Personally, I think that there are no sizes to beauty. Everyone should look they way they want too. Big, small, it doesn’t matter. I for myself did not want to stay overweight. Now, I lost most of the weight and still don’t feel beautiful. But, I am working on it. :)

P.S. I am so jealous of you living in Oslo. I back packed through Norway 5 years ago and fell.in.love. with the country and the people. If I could, I would live there. It’s paradise.
Kathrine recently posted..Being gratefulMy ComLuv Profile

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58 thecandiedmangoNo Gravatar May 28, 2011 at 6:06 am

I don’t do fashion-blogging of any sort, but I do like to wear clothing on a regular basis, so I can understand a few of the issues surrounding body image. One thing that has been a little tough for me is how strongly divided the fashion world is; we have the “thins” on one side, looking exactly how ‘style’ demands they look and wearing whatever they damn well please and looking good in it, and the “fats” on the other, who have created their own culture of body-acceptance and word appropriation. As a person who is neither fat nor thin, with a rather odd shape that can be difficult to dress, I find it very difficult to identify with a majority of bloggers on either side of the divide. I’m in ‘good’ physical shape but am not willowy enough to wear “thin people clothes”, and I have a large hip to waist ratio with big (sexy) thighs but lack the overall padding and bustiness necessary to be a ‘curvy’ girl. I understand that the point of this post is sort of anti-labeling, but how can I find people like me without any indication of what I am? It’s pretty darn hard finding a relateable blogger without distilling myself into some category, whether it’s my taste in movies and books or my favorite type of food.

I’m not entirely sure of what I’m trying to say with this comment, but I do want to say that I quite like your blog, and the way you’ve handled some potentially drama-starting comments is commendable. Fashion bloggers DO have brains.

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byanika 59 byanikaNo Gravatar
Twitter:
May 28, 2011 at 4:07 pm

Hi, thank you for your thoughtful comment.

For me it is not about avoiding labeling all together, it is more about not feeling limited by labels. Like you I am many things, there are many labels that apply to me, and many bloggers / people that I gravitate towards or have labels in common with.

What I was calling out with this post was the black and white approach to labeling that I found extremely limiting. I found that I did not fit in only with the plus sized community OR with intellectual bloggers etc, I fit in with lots of groups, because I am like them in some ways, and in other ways not. Some label me as a fatshionista, others don`t. That is fine. My point is that we should feel free to trancend labels, include and choose labels that we feel are right for us, but not let them dictate us.

There are lots of labels that apply to my blogging community, such as intentional, warm, fashionable, intellectual. For me it is about the connection, not the size or shape of the blogger. Thank you again for your input. Happy weekend!

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60 ClaireNo Gravatar July 5, 2011 at 7:17 pm

All I can say is…. this post makes me happy!
Claire recently posted..Me, My Clothes, and IMy ComLuv Profile

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61 cheat angry birds spaceNo Gravatar
Twitter:
May 1, 2012 at 2:10 am

Pretty great post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to say that I have really loved surfing around your blog posts. In any case I will be subscribing in your feed and I’m hoping you write again soon!

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62 JessicaNo Gravatar July 2, 2012 at 10:40 pm

I had similar problems… loved your post.

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63 OliviaNo Gravatar July 11, 2012 at 2:10 am

Dear Anika,

My name’s Olivia, I am 23 years old, even if at the same, and in two different ways, I feel much older and younger.

Reading this makes me feel a lot of things and I am effraid I’m not going to express it all correctly. (though, my first langage is french). I am thankful, surprised and touched. I want to thank you for this blog. For me, you are an example, of what I want to do : get the courage to express myself freely. Lately, I am full with questions about my identity and my apperance. I’m feeling like I am waking of a long coma that I spent far away from the world (you can bet that your text when you rescue your young self talked to me a lot). I was emprisoned somewhere far away, like an effraid animal, waiting for… somthing. And lately I begun to live, after some dark days, some events have forced me to confront myself and now it’s like I am a child, completely new to myself and I am asking myself questions like : “who am I?” “who I want to be?
Can I be this person? Am I someone good? Worthfull?” and “how do I choose to present (or introduce?) myself to the world and to others?” “Would they like me? if I do?” Those questions I have had since the beggining of my life, but have never dare to ear them. In case the answers would destroy me.

I am glad to see that other people feel something similar to me (althoug I don’t want to compare), and are committing to it. I just feel that what you do I would like to do myself. Not the fashion thing, just the beautiful act of affirmation, without self-despise, and in great love of self and the others. I’m beginning to do it, but I find in the way a lot of great anger and deep sadness. It’s like I have a lot to overcome in front of me before achieving the “peaceful-loving self thing”.

I congratulate you for the blog, the fashion and the affirmation. Like I said, it is pretty (in the two senses of the word) inspiring. And I have a great time reading you. : )

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64 www.natursom.esNo Gravatar
Twitter:
August 17, 2012 at 4:25 pm

Ah, presente ? stato un post veramente bello. Nel parere vorrei mettere con lo scopo di iscritto come questo in pi? – prendendo periodo ed lo

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65 Calisthenic ExercisesNo Gravatar March 19, 2014 at 7:37 pm

An outstanding share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a coworker who was conducting a little homework on
this. And he actually ordered me dinner because I stumbled upon it for him…
lol. So let me reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!!
But yeah, thanks for spending some time to talk about this issue
here on your website.

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