Posts tagged ‘Body Image’

November 6, 2013

Thigh Gap Nonsense

by M Stagg | The Voluptua Project™


OK, I know I haven’t posted to the TVP blog in a while but this is something I just had to comment on. No offense to the naturally thin women out there but who the hell decided that possessing a #ThighGap (Pinterest has plenty of examples to go ’round if you don’t know what I’m talking about here). was something worth coveting?! To me, it seems like yet another attempt at the media (and some fitness industry professionals) to perpetuate fear and poor body image messages to women. Furthermore, it’s a way to brainwash men into thinking that women with a thigh gap are more desirable than women without.

I’m sorry folks – wait, not I’m not! – but I’d rather gaze upon a woman with soft, toned thighs that look healthy than someone with what resembles leftovers from a wingette eating contest!

But enough about how I feel. What do you think about this not so new trend in bad body imagery? Chat away in the comments below!

December 6, 2010

Developing an Authentic Relationship with Your Body

by M Stagg | The Voluptua Project™


Authenticate | © 2010 Michael Stagg

You can’t be something you’re not | No matter how hard you try.
You can’t keep grasping for the earth | Not if you hope to touch the sky
You can’t change where you’re from | You can’t deny who you are
You have to learn to love you | You have to shine your own star!

I had the pleasure of listening in on a conference call a few nights ago entitled The Fruit of the Womb: Unlocking the Hidden Secrets from Your Own Birth Canal. The host of the call was Azziza Jafari; her guest speaker was my good friend and mentor Mu Shemsu-t of the Master Force International Leadership Academy. While the call was undoubtedly geared toward women, I found myself very interested in this topic which focused on“the secrets we carry with us from the programming we received while in the warm confines of our mother’s womb”.

There was a lot of healing and transformation during this call. One of the key elements that kept coming up was the need to be authentic in our interactions with others as well as within our own internal dialogue. This was a huge thing for me as I have been contemplating my own relationships and what I was contributing – good or bad – to each of them. In the realm of health and wellness, I asked myself if I had been genuinely pursuing my goals or was I just “talking the talk”. The answer was a nonjudgmental yet firm no.

Here’s something to give a try: make space in your day for about 5-10 minutes of conscious introspection (If you would like suggestions on how to meditate send me a note for suggestions) and ask yourself the hard questions where your body image is concerned. “Am I being loving toward myself and my body?” or “Who and I really losing this weight for?” are two that come to mind. Grab a pen and pad and jot down your responses. Are they showing you that you’re being authentic or are you “faking” your way around the issue. If it’s the latter, consider re-evaluating the core reasons behind what’s bothering you and consciously (and honestly) decide to do something about it. You may want to consider bringing in a coach or a mentor to help. Joy Tanksley and Flossie Alexander are both great when it comes to resolving body image and lifestyle challenges for the curvier among us. I highly recommend them both.

Is it easy to live authentically? No, it’s not. I’m still working on be more authentic and I know it’s a trait to must be cultivated daily. What’s important is that we begin to take note of those times when we are not being genuine – with others and ourselves – and make an effort to change the way we do things. Just being mindful of our authenticity (or lack thereof) is a step in the right direction. Do you have any suggestions for living more authentically? Please share them in the comments below.

November 29, 2010

Skinny Does Not Equal Healthy

by M Stagg | The Voluptua Project™



Christina Hendricks: Classy & Curvy

Over the Thanksgiving weekend several interesting conversations were held by the women in my family regarding their current weight, wanting to loose weight and just a general disdain for being overweight. It was amazing to me because (1) I can relate to some of the things they were saying – yes, men have body image issues too – and (2) no one seemed focused on what really mattered: being healthy.

I know the media bombards you with images of super skinny women and men with abs that only Photoshop can give but the true measure of your beauty is not provided by the scale that most of society uses. I submit that there are probably more healthy “fat” people than there are “skinny” people in the world. I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that even at my current weight of 330 pounds I’m healthier than most of my friends because I don’t smoke, I exercise and I watch what I eat.

You do not have to be a size 0 to be healthy. Be happy with the body you have and treat it like the temple that it is and you will be doing a lot better than most. Even if there are some things about yourself you’d like to change, don’t do so because of what society says you should look like. Do it because you want to live a longer, healthier life and you want to look and feel better for your own sake.

Check out What Ellen had to say about body image and being healthy:

November 15, 2010

Weight Just a Doggone Minute!

by M Stagg | The Voluptua Project™
Surprised Woman

You're probably not the size you perceive yourself to be...

Hey TVP Fam!

I just watched an interesting video posted by fellow Twitterer @Alareya of a young British woman with a bit of a body image challenge. Watch the video and then come back and tell us what you think in the comments. I’d wager a lot of us have the same outlook about our bodies as the woman in the video.!/Alareya/status/3985335105101824


Video by: How to Look Good Naked

November 8, 2010

Your Body’s Calling

by M Stagg | The Voluptua Project™
365:279 Vulnerable

Image by seq via Flickr

Before anyone asks, no, I’m not referring to the R. Kelly song! So, what do I mean by your body’s calling? Read on to find out…

Look in the Mirror. What Do You See?

As a – ahem – man of substance, it’s not uncommon for me to look in the mirror and take a good long stare at myself. I’m not being narcissistic; in fact, I think it’s the opposite since most times I force myself to objectively survey the person staring back at me. What I’m doing is looking in the mirror for acceptance – self acceptance.

Learning to Love What You See

Like most people, I have my days when I love what I see in the mirror; some days, not so much. One the days when I feel like I’m having a poor body image day I:

  1. Breath
  2. Ask myself why I’m experiencing poor body image today
  3. Recall experiences when I’ve had a good body image day and see what made that day different
  4. No matter what, I affirm that I am a worthwhile human being regardless of my size and choose to be happy as I am.

Your Body’s Calling…Are You Listening?

Everyday, our bodies beckon us to accept the person we see in the mirror. It yearns for us to finally realize that we are more than our dress or pant size. It compels us to exercise our right to experience the love that no amount of fad dieting, surgery or “comfort food” can grant us – it’s called self love.

Do you hear your body calling? How do you heed the call? Feel free to share your experiences in the comments below.

October 25, 2010

Curvy + Profile: Teslyn Butler

by M Stagg | The Voluptua Project™

Teslyn Butler

Founder of Hippy & Healthy - Teslyn Butler

Curvy + Profiles feature women of the curvy community doing something to better the lives of others. Anyone is eligible for a feature. All that is required is a desire to uplift the community in which you live – and, of course, you have to be curvy! 🙂

Please provide the information below to be considered via the contact page:

Name | Business Name (if applicable) | Location (City/State/Province) | Contact # (Optional) | Primary Business Email Address | Your Background/Why You Started Your Business | Product/Service Offering (if applicable) | How are you/will you be of service to the community | A Brief Bio – Please Limit to 300 Words | 1 Full Body Image (3/4 images are also acceptable)

This week, TVP is proud to present Teslyn Butler!

Teslyn the Individual

I was first introduced to Teslyn during a model call I held back in 2008. I was impressed with her confidence and “Southern Belle” charm. Her level of energy and commitment – not to mention her incredible smile and proportioned curvy figure – made it a no brainer to sign her on. Teslyn also has a love of singing and is a superb vocalist!

Teslyn the Professional

Teslyn is a graduate of the University of Central Arkansas where she received her Bachelors in Psychology. She is currently pursuing her Masters and expects to complete her studies by December 2010 with a specialization in body image. Teslyn is also an accomplished model having appeared in numerous fashion productions such as Dangerous Curves Ahead and the Ebony Models Fashion Show. Just recently, Teslyn became the first plus model for Wet Seal, a young woman’s clothing retailer (Be sure to check out their cool iPod/iPhone app as well!)!

Teslyn and the Community

Community outreach is very important to Teslyn and she works with many youth groups as a motivational speaker. Additionally, she has served as an English and sex education teacher as well as assisted students prepare for college ACT tests and career development. Teslyn has also launched Hippy &, a site dedicated to inspire women to love their bodies.

For more information about Teslyn click the links below:

Official Teslyn Butler Site | Hippy and Healthy | Facebook | Twitter

October 25, 2010

New Contest for TVP Facebook & Twitter Members

by M Stagg | The Voluptua Project™

ContestGreetings TVP Fam!

As I mentioned on the TVP Facebook page, I’m hosting another awesome contest this week! This one is sponsored by Affluence PR & Marketing featuring products from her clients BE4 Apparel and BE Beverly Hills. The prize pack will be worth approximately $120, consisting of BE4 Apparel Tees as well as shine and hair repair serum and nettiescrub samples from BE Beverly Hills’ bath and body line. Celebs that have used these marvelous products include Christina Hendricks of Mad Men, Kelly Rowland and several of the female cast members from 90210!

So what’s the contest you ask? It’s very simple. It’s called Embrace Your Space. I will post a question on the TVP Facebook page and on our Twitter page (Hint: it will revolve around your body perception). We will select the best answer to that question; it;s author will receive the prize. It’s simple, right?! So be sure to visit – and join, if you haven’t already – our Facebook and Twitter pages and look out for the contest to start this Tuesday October 26, 2010. The winner of the contest will be announced Monday, November 1, 2010 on the TVP Facebook page. Contest rules will be listed on the Facebook page as well. Good Luck!

September 5, 2010

It’s not about SIZE. It’s about SUBSTANCE!

by M Stagg | The Voluptua Project™

Plus ModelsGreetings TVP Fam!

I wanted to connect with you today regarding the new TVP slogan: It’s not about SIZE. It’s about SUBSTANCE.

I’ve had a few people email me asking what size do we cater to. Truthfully, when I first started TVP I thought that listing certain sizes would lead to a better focus (at least for me) on what was considered curvaceous. What I’ve come to learn is it is not about your dress – or pant – size. Not in the least.

It’s Not About Size

TVP, I’ve discovered, was never really about if you are a size 6 or a size 16. It is about feeling comfortable about yourself and the shell you were given. More importantly, it is about finding that comfort zone if you aren’t already there. Part of the mission at The Voluptua Project is to showcase people of varied shapes and sizes, male and female, that don’t exactly fit in with what beautiful and successful people look like. It challenges the norms and offers its own view of what beauty is and what it should be: Universal. That has nothing to do with size or weight and everything to do with accepting yourself as you are in this very moment.

It’s About Substance

Regardless of your shape, the size on the label or what people say about you as you walk by what defines you, as Martin said, is the content of your character. In the final analysis what matters most will not be measured by the circumference around your waist. It will be the expansiveness of your contributions to the betterment of the lives of others. Each day when you look in the mirror remind yourself that your ample bottom, your beautiful belly and your thick thighs are all blessings. Affirm to yourself that your body is beautiful vessel of love and nurturing. Confirm your worth by telling yourself daily that “I am a Divinely crafted masterpiece, complete and whole in every way”. And when you observe someone saying otherwise about you, don’t sweat it. Just smile and take delight in your own awesomeness!

For the rest of this holiday weekend – and forever after – celebrate your own unique awesomeness and encourage your fellow curvy ladies and suave gents to do the same.

Much love,


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