Playing in my art journal is such a great break from the more exacting work of illustration for the Princess Monsters from 1 to 10 book. I love how free and messy art journal play is.
I have lived most of my life with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). I only learned that I had PTSD this past year, as I was working on the #FacesOfPTSD campaign to raise awareness about how many women live with this. I knew that I have struggled throughout my life with periods of depression and anxiety, and that it had gotten especially bad during and after my pregnancy with my second child. But I hadn't realized the common link between all these episodes was that they were preceded by a PTSD trigger.Read More
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
A Big Dose of Confidence for the Curvy Woman
Supermodel Emme joins Chicken Soup for the Soul to deliver a healthy New Year’s resolution
COS COB, Conn. – There’s nothing like the first week of January to make a woman feel bad about her appearance. That’s when talk shows and magazines are filled with experts telling women to change—primarily how to lose weight. With the vast majority of women in the US and Canada wearing more than a size 12, this is disheartening to say the least.
Now, Chicken Soup for the Soul is presenting a groundbreaking approach to the New Year, New You news cycle, with 101 true, personal stories by women who are curvy but confident—women have learned that they are okay, and that they can wear pretty clothing and swimsuits, do all the things that skinnier women are doing, and live their lives with gusto.
Supermodel Emme, the first plus-size supermodel back in the 1990’s, and Natasha Stoynoff, the former People magazine writer who famously told her story about being assaulted by Donald Trump, and then lived through his public bashing of her appearance, are coauthors of this book, along with Chicken Soup for the Soul’s editor-in-chief and publisher, Amy Newmark.
Chicken Soup for the Soul: Curvy & Confident (Chicken Soup for the Soul, LLC; Amy Newmark, Supermodel Emme, and Natasha Stoynoff; December 27, 2016, 978-1-61159-965-7, $14.95) plays an important role in the current conversation about real women and society’s changing, more constructive view of body image and self-esteem. The book comes at the end of a year in which we saw great things happen—Mattel introducing a Curvy Barbie and Sports Illustrated featuring larger women in its swimsuit issue—and in which we saw shameful things happen—a presidential candidate publicly insulting women for their appearance.
This collection includes deeply personal stories from Supermodel Emme and Natasha Stoynoff, including Natasha’s story about why she decided to go public with her Trump story and what happened to her after she did so. Other prominent plus-size contributors of stories include Sherri Shepherd (actress, former host The View), several plus-size models, and other influencers in the plus-size community. As Emme says in her introduction to the book, “Each story is unique, but we learn this universal lesson from all of them: We are all perfectly imperfect. And to strive to attain someone’s narrow idea of perfection sets us up for failure and a lifetime of unhappiness. Life is too short and precious to waste time doing that. We need to be happy now, not in ten pounds or ten years.”
Port Moody author Joyelle Brandt is proud to be among the contributors to this anthology, sharing her experience as a body-positive speaker. Joyelle is an author/illustrator who writes books for parents and kids that teach kindness and radical self love. She is a strong advocate for body positivity and healing from abuse trauma.
To purchase Curvy & Confident from Amazon, click here.
Chicken Soup for the soul CONTACT: Shelby Janner (512) 206-0229 firstname.lastname@example.org
It was one of those holiday moments where things were not quite going according to plan. The whole house was grumpy, and all day long it seemed anything that could go wrong did. But I had made it through to that magical part of the day known as bed time, and I decided to curl up in bed and watch a Christmas movie to reward myself for getting through the day without having a giant mommy tantrum. I had recently asked my Facebook friends to list off some of their favourite holiday flicks, and chose Love, Actually from the list. It has been a few years since I last watched it, and I settled in for some nice, light romantic comedy. Unfortunately, I discovered that my experience of the movie has changed. What used to be just a sweet film has somehow morphed without me noticing it into a propaganda ad for fat shaming.
As the movie went on, I lost count of the number of times a character was referred to as chubby, plump, or just plain fat, in a negative and derogatory tone. Three separate characters in the movie are harassed about their weight by friends, family or co-workers. By the end of the movie I had to wonder: “Who the hell wrote this and what is their deal?” Well apparently Richard Curtis wrote and directed it, among other films like Notting Hill and Bean, both of which I remember enjoying, but I wonder if I still would now. In an interview he said that “Anything that is wrong with a film will come back to haunt you forever, so I take a long time writing, fix everything, underline bits that I thought were funny when I first thought of them because they won't be funny when I look at them later.” Well I guess even after he did his second look, he still found that in a two-hour film, more than six references to various characters’ fatness are totally ok.
Using fat characters as comedy punch lines is nothing new in film, I know that. There is such a long history of it in fact, that body positive activist Jes Baker recently commented on how pleasantly surprised she was when she watched Fantastical Beasts and found that Jacob Kowalski ‘s weight was not used as a punch line for a joke. When we spend a whole movie waiting for the fat character to be the butt of a joke, you know it’s happened a few times before (Pitch Perfect 2 anyone?). I’m just tired of finding that when I turn on a show to wind down at the end of a hard day, I wind up angry and frustrated. I know things are changing. Films today can’t get away with the rampant homophobia and racism that used to be common place. But fat shaming is still everywhere in our popular media, and I just can’t take it anymore. I can’t sit there and watch it and laugh at all the other beautiful moments in a film when they are marred by repeated moments of body shaming. I get enough of that crap every time I line up at the grocery store and have to look at those hideous magazine covers.
I don’t think it’s too much to ask of our entertainment that we find better ways to make a joke. More intelligent ways, and more compassionate ways. Because I love a good chick flick, and sometimes, I just want to lie in bed and have someone tell me a really good story.
P.S. I was recently published in the Chicken Soup for the Soul anthology, Curvy and Confident. I am super proud to be included in this collection of 101 stories about learning to love our bodies and our selves. The book comes out Dec 27, 2016 and you can purchase it wherever books are sold!