APEX Photography at the casting for Confessions of a PHAT Girl

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Last Saturday we held a casting for Confessions of a PHAT Girl.  What I thought would be just a regular run of the mill casting call turned about to be an enlightening spiritual gathering of women.  The panel consisted of a group of amazing God fearing business women who did not hesitate to share their knowledge and experiences.  IMG_4468

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I was very pleased and appreciative to have photographer Alfred Kitchens of APEX Photography come out and capture photos during the casting.  Alfred is a freelance photographer in the Atlanta area who is highly skilled, professional and affordable.

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Domestic Violence Awareness Month

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In the month of October, we work hard to raise awareness of breast cancer, which is very important.  However, there is another issue that requires just as much attention, domestic violence.  Domestic-Violence

Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner.  Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone.  While statistics show that women are more likely to become victims of domestic violence, it can happen to anyone regardless of race, age, sexual orientation, religion, or gender. Domestic violence affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels. Domestic violence occurs in both opposite-sex and same-sex relationships and can happen to intimate partners who are married, living together, or dating.stop-domestic-violence

Every nine seconds, a woman suffers from domestic violence in the United States. One in four women will be attacked during her lifetime. Millions of children witness domestic violence in their homes each year. For years, domestic violence has been a silent issue that was rarely ever spoke about outside of the home. It happened and once the moment has passed it no long exist.

While my mother is hardcore and I can’t recall her being victimized in any way, I was effected by other incidents.  I remember growing up and witnessing both my Nannie and my Bigmama being abused.  I was so bothered by it because the were two of the strongest women I knew and their abusers were like my grandfathers.  I have heard stories from my aunt, another strong woman about how her son’s father abused her until she had enough and decided to leave. Even as a teenager and beyond, I witnessed many of my peers being victims of violence.  All of these stories made me passionate about never allowing this to be apart of my reality.  As I begin to date, I was always on high alert for the instance when a fool even considered it okay to step out of line.

Rihanna's face after boyfriend Chris Brown attacked herWhile domestic violence is now a popular subject due to the unfolding of the Ray Rice incident. There have been many cases among celebrities that gave this issue a face and a voice. Who can forget watching “What’s Love Got To Do With It“; a movie that told the story of Ike and Tina Turner, and the abuse she experienced from her then husband.  Only few years ago, Rihanna and Chris Brown made headlines when Chris abused RiRi while headed to the Grammy’s.  These are not the only accounts, I could go on and one.

The truth about domestic violence is that it is fueled by hate, ignorance and insecurity, which can only be defeated by love.  You have to love and appreciate yourself enough to know that you deserve better.  You have to understand that despite what your abuser may say or do, abuse is not love and love doesn’t hurt.  Love is kind, it is warm, it is encouraging and most of all free; if you find yourself being held captive by at situation that is mean, painful and discouraging you are not being loved.  Domestic-Violence-500x323

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE FACTS:

  • 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence during her lifetime.
  • Women experience more than 4 million physical assaults and rapes because of their partners, and men are victims of nearly 3 million physical assaults.
  • Women are more likely to be killed by an intimate partner than men
  • Women ages 20 to 24 are at greatest risk of becoming victims of domestic violence.
  • Every year, 1 in 3 women who is a victim of homicide is murdered by her current or former partner.
  • Every year, more than 3 million children witness domestic violence in their homes.
  • Children who live in homes where there is domestic violence also suffer abuse or neglect at high rates (30% to 60%).
  • Domestic violence is most likely to occur between 6 pm and 6 am.
  • More than 60% of domestic violence incidents happen at home.
  • Survivors of domestic violence face high rates of depression, sleep disturbances, anxiety, flashbacks, and other emotional distress.
  • Among women brought to emergency rooms due to domestic violence, most were socially isolated and had fewer social and financial resources than other women not injured because of domestic violence.
  • Without help, girls who witness domestic violence are more vulnerable to abuse as teens and adults.
  • Without help, boys who witness domestic violence are far more likely to become abusers of their partners and/or children as adults, thus continuing the cycle of violence in the next generation.
  • Domestic violence costs more than $37 billion a year in law enforcement involvement, legal work, medical and mental health treatment, and lost productivity at companies.
  • According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, domestic violence is the third leading cause of homelessness among families.

Lance Goss turns his camera on Kelly Rowland for Elle Magazine

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Original member of Grammy winning girl group Destiny’s Child, Kelly Rowland was photographed for Elle Magazine by Actor turn photographer Lance Gross.  Between her love on top ( the baby she is expecting) and her recent marriage to  her manager Tim Weatherspoon, the beautiful brown girl is shining like a diamond.

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PLUS SIZE WOMAN ENLIGHTMENT by Grande Beauty

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This has been an amazing week for me personally and professionally, and we still have tomorrow.  I have been uplifted and enlightened by so many women and situations this week.  So much love and support for me and the Confessions of a PHAT Girl project.  So many applauds for my open letter in Plus Model Magazine  I changed the website a little and kicked off breast cancer awareness month with the “Pink Confessions.”  I have been working hard on the new PHAT GIRL GEAR and I released three of them today.

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Any time I am inspired, I want to share it with my sisters, so I had to share this performance by Grande Beauty at the Auburn Fest in Atlanta on May 10.  It really tied in with the entire love my body movement that the October issue of Plus Model Magazine covers as well as the Confessions of a PHAT Girl.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

BREAST CANCER AWARENESS PHAT GIRL GEAR

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There is new PHAT GIRL GEAR being added to the site as we speak.  Our newest are in honor of Breast Cancer awareness but there will be many more added in days to come.  There will also be a few deleted.  So, like I always say….. “Today is a great day to get your PHAT GIRL GEAR!!”

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PINK CONFESSIONS: Max Devereaux

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In honor of the; estimated 232,670 new cases, in 2014 of invasive breast cancer were expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 62,570 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer and the many survivors, warriors and angels of Breast Cancer.  PHAT Girl Fresh and Confessions of a PHAT Girl will be having “PINK CONFESSIONS” the entire month of October.  Our first “PINK CONFESSION: is from Max Devereaux.

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“Everything and everyone has a story to tell. I was told there’s no crying in breast cancer, so I dried my tears and began crying in the dark.”  Max Devereaux

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Every three minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer. In November 2010 Maxine Devereaux became one in eight, her number had been called and she was diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer, stage C3. While Max has had many family members pass away with various forms of cancer, she never thought in a million years that the disease would invade her body. Hpwever. it came like a thief in the night and invaded her breast like a squatter, refusing to be removed unless the foundation were condemned or torn down.

Yesterday Max and I spoke via Facebook, and she answered a few questions.  Her answers are an even greater indication that she is indeed the strong God fearing woman I know her to be.

QUESTION:   What is the greatest lesson you have learned throughout your battle?

ANSWER:  “My greatest lesson has been not to take anything personally and to invest in self care. During your battle people will show the fibers of which they are really made of. This can be devastating if you decide to take it personally. I’ve also learned not to allow others fears to become my reality.”


QUESTION; What message of encouragement do you have for other women who are affected by breast cancer?

ANSWER:  “I’d like to encourage every woman who may be affected by breast cancer to invest in self care. This is the time when it’s all about you, do what you feel not what’s excepted of you.”

 

QUESTION:  If you could chose your life, would you chose this one?

ANSWER:  “Some days I would say “heck” no, others I would say why not. As difficult as my life as been there are days when I feel like Dr. Maya Angelou, I wouldn’t take nothing for my journey now. I’ve come to realize that our journey isn’t about us it’s about those who we inspire along the way.”

 

 

QUESTION;The acronym for PHAT is passionate, happy, appreciative and true. What are are you Passionate about, happy with, appreciative for and true to?

ANSWER:

I am passionate about life and the gift of Gods promises.

I am happy about the possibilities of life.

I appreciate the gift of life.

I am true to living out loud and on purpose.

 

Max is chronicling her  experience in the first of a planned series of books which demonstrates what happens when cancer is the squatter in your body that you can’t seem to evict. The book is entitled “My Last Breast” and is written from the perspective of Max Devereaux personal journey with breast cancer. My Last Breast will capture the foibles, heartbreaks adventures of having breast cancer and having a double mastectomy. The stories will have their serious side, but will show a lighter side as well.

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POP UP PLUS + ESSIE GOLDEN = RICH LIFE

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It is no secret that I am a huge fan of Essie Golden, I like her style but most of all, I like her attitude.  I love women who are themselves in spite of the views of others.  Essie, is one of those type women who is not afraid to make a bold statement and go against the grain and I love it. EAP_19_medium

Essie recently loaned her curves to Pop Up Plus for the Fall 2014 look book for the new collection “Rich Life”.  When I tell you this is a collaboration was sent from the voluptuous goddesses, you better know it!!!  With a name like “Rich Life they had to deliver…… And so they did.


10417469_10152691727271054_1117966443197345782_nThe “Rich Life” collection as fabulous as it is, is affordable enough for the everyday woman.  I always tell people that being rich and wealthy is a state of mind that may not always be about money.  You can be rich and wealthy with an abundance of whatever you value most.  I think that this collection supports that notion along with the fact that looking good and feeling good go hand in hand. I know that we will be seeing many curvy cuties repping the “Rich Life this Fall.
Of course I have taken the liberty of sharing a few of my favorites with you.

 

 

 

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Susan G Komen x Timberland

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In an effort to raise Breast Cancer Awareness, Susan G Komen has teamed up with Timberland on a limited edition 6-Inch boot. This pair features a pink nubuck upper with a black leather collar and gum sole. The Susan G. Komen logo is found on the tongue and hang tag, as well as custom insoles. Timberland has pledged $5 per boot to Susan G. Komen with a minimum $25,000 donation. A limited release, they are currently available at select Timberland retailers in-store only in both men’s and grade school sizes on Saturday, September 27th.

 

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Keke’s Truth

1781882_719962348038630_1408311050_nInitially when I begin to brain storm about the Confessions Of A PHAT Girl, there were several individuals that came to mind; Keke Simpson was on of those women.  Since meeting her, she has continued to be the kind of woman that I love, respect and aspire to be.  She reminds me of three women whom I love and admire a great deal; My mother, my aunt Carloynn and Gwen Devoe.  All beautiful women with unwavering strength, an abundance of knowledge and love but take no shit!!!!   I knew that with her experience and her gifts, Keke would be a great asset to this project.  I always feel so blessed to be able to stand in the light of great women like Keke and to have them believe in my dreams.  The moment I reached out to Keke about the project was no different, she loved the idea and immediately said yes.   Keke is the Casting Director for the Confessions Of A PHAT Girl but you may have the pleasure of hearing her story as during the monologues if all goes well.  1044425_637545306280335_1834738516_n

KeKe Simpson, CEO,Owner, Face of  SHE BOSS which stands for Super Heroine Entrepreneur BOSS. KeKe Simpson  known to the world as the Wife of Hip Hop Legend Chubb Rock, who was addicted to ponytails on NBC’s Jerry Seinfeld The Marriage Ref.  KeKe guest starred on TBS Are We There Yet and is the Executive Producer /Creator of Legendary Hip Hop Wives.  When asked what drives her, KeKe said, “I am passionate about building self confidence and self worth in all women and mostly our young queens so that we all follow a path of greatness while pursuing our destiny”  .KeKe is a Wife, Mother,Chef, Mentor, Entrepreneur she is the epitome of her brand name; SHE BOSS.

10513449_805844142783783_7892310339581261763_nSHE BOSS isn’t just an apparel line it’s a Movement.  The mission for SHE BOSS is to form a sisterhood of female Entrepreneurs. “It is my mission to support, encourage and join forces all while building self assurance, confidence and promoting a Fearless lifestyle. Fear can be one of the biggest setbacks in accomplishing our goals”, Keke stated.

 

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Initially SHE BOSS only catered to plus size queens until many requests from smaller framed sisters that I felt it was only right that the movement reached ALL WOMEN.

 

 

 

 

In sharing her truth, Keke made two strong statements; ” if you have not accepted The TRUTH IN YOU, then you are living a lie, so how will you ever Trust you or expect anyone else to” and “when I realized other people’s perception of me had no weight , I lost friends but i gained one fierce, fearless queen.”

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NEW MUSIC FROM MARY J. BLIGE

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Finally!!!!! The queen is back at it!!  Mary J. Blige recently dropped two singles that I absolutely love.  One, “Whole Damn Year is funky classic M,J,B and the other “Therapy” is a little different but I will be bumping both.

 

The word is Mary is working with a whole new team of producers  in the UK.  This work is the product of spending a summer in London working with EDM music producers like Disclosure and British soul enthusiasts like Sam Smith, she has developed a whole new sound that she’s ready to share with the us.   Her next LP, The London Sessions, has no scheduled date but I am ready

 

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