IMG Signs First Plus-Size Male Model

plus sizeIt appears that the year 2016 is going to be earmarked as the year that plus size male models take over the modelling scene. First, it was Ashley Graham who became world-famous for being the first plus size clothing female model to be featured in the ‘sports illustrated’ magazine. Earlier this year, another plus sized female model Nadia Aboulhosn was also featured in another magazine, ‘Women’s Running’. Now to top it all off, there has been a very different change in the landscape with world renown model management company, IMG Models, has announced that a new division will be launching their new plus sized male division including mens boots.

Buzzfeed has been quoted as saying that IMG models have created a marketable term for the newly introduced plus sized male division: ‘Brawn’. They add that the new division encourages size diversity and positive body image, stressing the need for the conversation to extend to plus size men. Many stocky men find it very hard to find clothing that will fit them properly, so hopefully this new division for plus size men places pressure on other brands to produce more larger sizes for men.

Zach Miko is the very first plus sized male model signed up to the new division. Over the last few years, Zach has attracted a large amount of attention for being the only plus-sized male model for Target. The 26-year-old with a waist measurement of 40 inches and is over six feet tall, was quoted saying: “Being a man of size, I never imagined for a minute that this would be a possible career. Then Ivan told me about his dreams for the fashion industry: diversity, inclusion, evolution … The Brawn division is going to open up the fashion world to the everyman, showing off the new fashion in shoes online stores.”

“Women of all shapes and sizes are beautiful and confident and sexy. The conversation has changed from ‘This is what beautiful is’ to ‘What is beautiful?’ I am humbled to be able to raise that question for the men’s industry,” Miko added.

People are already talking about the brand new male plus sized clothes division The conversations online have exploded, with many males encouraging it and saying that it is about time something like this happened, and others saying that it is something that people have been hanging out for.

A Plus Size Woman was Refused to Try on XL Sweater by Walmart Employee

  • It was all caught on Camera

Recently, a Canadian women was in a state of shock when she was told that she was not allowed to try on any clothes or womens shoes at retail giant Walmart because the clothes were at risk of being stretched out of shape by her.

The plus size clothing blogger was Shiann Friesen who has a very successful Youtube channel called ShiCurves. Apparently she was taking part in something called vlogmas’ where vbloggers create a new video for every day in December. According to the Dailymail in the UK, she was carrying a handful of clothes to the change rooms when she was approached by an employee. All the clothing was in her size and not smaller. After being told she could not try on the clothes, as she would ruin them, she started recoding the conversation on her phone.

The conversation in part went:

‘Don’t try to put something on that’s obviously not going to fit, that’s all I’m asking,’ She then grabs the hangers out of Shiann’s hand.

‘Don’t stretch it. I’m not trying to be impertinent or anything,’ The Walmart employee then notices she is being recorded.

The older woman is seen in the resulting video stating: ‘Don’t try to push it.’

Shiann then puts her camera away so as to avoid being asked by the woman to delete the footage.

When she got back to her car under the street lighting, she recorded another clip where she explained how horrified she was at the woman’s behaviour. She said ‘I am honestly so taken aback right now, I am so shocked.’ She also claimed that the Walmart employee had also made some rude comments to her.

‘That was straight up discrimination!’ she went on to add.

Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 11.59.20 am

In a follow-up video which she posted last week, she said that she told the woman that she planned on buying the sweater and womens boots anyway. That’s why she wanted to take it into the fitting room with her. Once she tried it on and told the employee that it actually fit, she was told that it was too small for her.

She then asked the employee to repeat her instructions about ‘not stretching’ the clothes with the intent on others hearing it. She told the employee that she was being discriminated against to which the employee replied that she was following company policy. ‘I asked management and it is NOT company policy at all!’ Shiann says in her follow-up video.

When it was all over, Shiann claims she went to customer service to lodge a complaint. Allegedly she was met with little action from the manager on duty.

‘All she said to me was: “Oh, I apologize, I will talk to her,” She later added in the video she later called Walmart customer service because she didn’t want to just ‘let it go’.

The story continues no doubt for this plus sized blogger……….

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Autism Is Not Always A Gift

I was reading on a blog and I came across this very well written and insightful article written by Mandy Farmer, who is a beautiful mother of a lovely young boy with Autism. I found this very moving and I just had to share this with everyone, to help educate people just how hard it is for young ones growing up with autism. I hope you find it just as interesting as I do.

Please Don’t Tell Me Autism Is a Gift

Every time I sit down to write, I often already have a positive message to end on in mind. I don’t have that today. Today I am sad, I am angry and I am coming from a place that I don’t often go: a place with walls papered by self-pity and lighting dimmed by exhaustion. We’ve all been there, but of course, we try not to live there.

I read story after story that highlights the aspects of having a child with autism spectrum disorder that are content-or-discontent-1501375-639x528(1)positive and uplifting. I’ve written many posts that do the same. I think these stories are important; they help spread awareness and acceptance, they celebrate our children holistically, which is great because our children deserve to be celebrated.

I wonder, though, if sometimes we sugar-coat or put a positive spin on reality to make ourselves feel better or maybe to avoid coming off as a victim. After all, bloggers who have written more negatively about their children with autism are often scrutinized and demonized. Another reason I usually stay away from the negative: I don’t want my child (or others with autism) demonized or people to think any less of him.

As positive as I try to stay, there’s a reality with which we have to contend. That reality usually gets to make a short appearance in my blog in sentences like “Of course we have our challenges” or “And even though he struggles…” Anyone affected by autism knows those phrases are emotionally charged.

But I started thinking. People outside of our household, people outside of our community, must all be scratching their heads and wondering this: If our children and their autism are so great and so gifted, why are autism parents so vocal about needing help and advocating for their children? Why would a savant be labeled “disabled” or need to receive special services from a school district?

Autism is a spectrum disorder. No two people on the spectrum are the same. Many of our children are not savants. Many of our children are not even on target with their development for their age. Many of our children will live with us for the rest of their lives.

So, please, don’t tell me autism is a gift. When my child has been screaming every 30 minutes all day long when we stay at our favourite Lorne accommodation or romantic holiday, or we have to go to the store and he screams at the checkout, the cashier telling me he’ll be OK and will be great with numbers when he grows up is not what I want to hear.

When I look into my son’s eyes when he doesn’t understand his surroundings and his anxiety and fear are palpable, there’s nothing in this world I wouldn’t do to take that fear away. You cannot look into his panicking gaze as he’s shaking and cowering from everyday stimuli and tell me this is a gift or an enlightening experience, and trying to cheer them up by surprising them with kids shoes online only last momentarily..

Please don’t tell me his autism is a gift when I take his little sister to the hospital for a concussion resulting from an impulsive outburst he could not control.

When I see his older brother with tears in his eyes yet again because his little brother doesn’t want to play with him or has lashed out at him, I don’t accept that this is a gift. He’s hurting and his needs are put on the back burner every day; I see no positive in that other than I’m hopeful it will build character and instill compassion in him.

As I bang my head against a wall just trying to get my child an education like everyone else is entitled to, I wonder if outsiders know just how “challenging” it is. We are in a district in a state that won’t even provide classes for preschool children with special needs. So I found a private preschool with a small centre for autism that would take him, but he has so much anxiety about going every morning that he screams the whole way there and as his teachers carry him in. I have a laundry list of medically prescribed therapies that I have to work around the clock to access for our child. Once we finally have established providers, we drive and we schedule and usually have some type of appointment every day. These are not ground-breaking therapies that are going to have my child doing quantum physics or painting masterpieces; these are necessary to get my child to function high enough to dress himself and feed himself and to allow him to tolerate being in a room with everyday noises. They say that going away with your child to a pet friendly accommodation somewhere is good therapy, but sometimes it can really scare the lovely animals away.

And then there’s the loneliness. Please don’t tell me autism is a gift when my child and his siblings are no longer invited to birthday parties because parents don’t want one of my child’s meltdowns to ruin their kid’s special day. When I stop having friends outside of the autism community because other people don’t want to hear about autism and how it’s consuming your life, it doesn’t feel like a gift. Unfortunately as much as it consumes our lives, it consumes our conversations too. And that doesn’t make for great girls’-night-out conversation. I can’t say I blame former friends for throwing in the towel, but that doesn’t make it any less lonely. The gift that keeps giving.

I know this post will offend some, but just as my opinion is that autism is not a gift, you, of course, are entitled to a different one. For me, autism is exhausting, and I feel like every minute of every day is spent trying to break my child free from the anxiety that consumes him.

Please don’t tell me autism is a gift. My child is a gift; his autism is a disability.

How Healthy Really is Healthy?

how healthy really is healthyBreakfast biscuits

That’s right, they’re biscuits … but for breakfast? Like the bikkies you soak in a cup of tea, these brand-new ‘breakfast’ biscuit varieties are high in sugar and/or hydrogenated fat and don’t produce a wholesome start to the day, leaving you feeling hungry and disappointed. My biggest issue with these types of cereals is how good are they for or kids with conditions such as autism spectrum disorder  or cancers? The major consnsus on the subject from what I have been able to gather is that sugars are ok but in moderation. (Here is a list of foods that should be avoided for ASD kids)

‘Natural’ sweeteners such as agave syrup, rice malt syrup or coconut sugar

Sugar is sugar is sugar. Whether it’s from sugar cane or another crop, excessive sugar can lead to weight gain and tooth decay. Pay specific focus on packaged foods and drinks, and foods purchased from coffee shops, takeaway stores and restaurants – they frequently include more sugar than you realize. Make sure you also pay attention to the display furniture of the products for warnings and health information before purchasing.

Healthy hamburgers

With more kilo-joules than a Big Mac, a few of the ‘healthy’ or ‘low-carb’ hamburgers out there could be contributing to your waistline when you’re attempting to get back on the healthy bandwagon. In fact, the so-called ‘healthy’ buns offered at one popular chain burger outlet include two times as much saturated fat as the standard bun alternative! Request for kilo-joule details in store and compare on your own.

Vegie chips

Also known as ‘chips’, vegie chips are just deep fried carrot, beetroot or sweet potato. Just like routine potato chips, they are still extremely high in salt and fat.

Banana bread or fruit muffins

They taste warm and buttery due to the fact that they are warm and buttery. Although they include banana or a token blueberry, banana bread and fruit-flavored muffins are generally absolutely nothing more than glorified cakes. They frequently come in big part sizes, too. If you’re going to consume a muffin or some banana bread, go halves with a good friend, or better yet make your very own healthy variation utilizing among the many muffin recipes or banana and blueberry bread recipes at

‘Healthy’ flavored waters such as vitamin waters, mineral waters or nutrient waters or sports beverages

With approximately 7 teaspoons of sugar per 500ml bottle, these are essentially classy cordial. Skip the unneeded kilo-joules and choose water rather, or instill with fruit or mint for a refreshing twist. And unless you’re an elite professional athlete you would be much better drinking water rather than electrolyte replacement sports beverages, which are usually loaded with sugar.

‘Healthy’ beer

You know the saying, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is? Apply that theory to beer which declares to be sugar-free, low-carb, natural, organic or anything else that makes it sound great for you. While low-carb beers might be lower in carbohydrates than routine beers, they’re not always a healthier choice. The alcohol and kilo-joule content is commonly really similar to basic beer. Our advice? Think about light beer– the energy you’ll conserve by minimizing alcohol outweighs any benefit a ‘low-carb’ beverage can provide. ‘

Snack bars

They may appear healthy, but in reality most bars– be it muesli, cereal, fruit or nut– are comprised of about one-third sugar and pack in more energy than you ‘d anticipate from a ‘healthy’ snack.

Flavored or low-fat yogurts

Flavored yogurts and reduced-fat yogurts are frequently high in fat and sugar. Inspect the nutrition panel and ingredients list for added sugar and high fat material. Pick yogurts that contain no greater than 15g of sugar and 2g fat per 100g. Frozen yogurt can also be a sugar trap especially when fruit syrups, lollies and chocolate are contributed to the top.

‘Natural’ lollies

It’s all in the title. Notice that a lot of confectionery using the word ‘natural’ integrates it as part of the brand or tagline, so it’s not based on their nutritional content. ‘Natural’ lollies, whether made from fruit concentrate, honey or regular sugar are still high in sugar and do not offer other dietary value.

Can Clever Marketing Make You Sick?

too much food at xmas timeThe Christmas cheer has taken its toll. Your head hurts, your digestive tracts churn and your blood stream is 2 parts pudding, one-part honey-glazed ham and pavlova.

The only trousers that fit have actually an elasticated waistband.

As the New Year approaches you promise yourself that this will be the year of healthy living.

So you chuck out all the unhealthy food and enter search of healthy fare thinking that early intervention in your diet is better than leaving it till you hastily make a new years resolution that you never really stick to anyway.

However exactly what does that even include these days? Supermarket shelves are stacked with wholesome-sounding “breakfast biscuits, vitamin water and vegie chips”, while fast food joints are promoting “healthy burgers”.

How can you make certain that your “health food” isn’t really a fraud and your efforts to get into shape will not make you overdo the kgs?

As Australians get ready for the annual brand-new year health kick, Jane Martin, executive director of the Weight problems Policy Coalition, alerts to be careful of slick marketing dressing processed food up as healthy fare.

“Health sells and the food industry is very aware of this so a lot of foods are promoted in ways that make them look healthier than they are. When a company comes out and says a beer is sugar-free they’re capitalising on people’s concerns on sugar and it is really misleading,” she said.

“People shouldn’t have to have a degree in nutrition to be able to make good decisions about what they eat but the industry takes advantage of people and makes it very difficult for them to know what is actually healthy and what’s not.” However, it wouldn’t be a bad decision to see a Geelong physiotherapy specialist to get your body back into shape to begin your fitness regime.

Alison Ginn, dietitian and head of the Cancer Council Victoria’s Live Lighter Project, stated people should pay attention to nutrition labels.

“If you’re looking to eat more healthily the best products to include more of are ones that don’t actually come in packets. So try to have more fruit and vegetables, more wholegrain foods and things like legumes and lentils that are generally healthy and don’t have anything added so it’s a quick win,” she said.
Other techniques consist of requesting dressing to be left on the side when dining in a restaurant, or picking tomato-based sauces over creamy dishes.

When it pertains to “healthy” beer, she warns that if it sounds too great to be real it most likely is.

“The main thing with beer to watch out for is that it’s actually the alcohol that’s got most of the kilojoules in there so when they’re focusing on saying that it’s low-carb or low-sugar beer that may be true but that’s not really the point, it’s the alcohol to watch out for. Choosing a lower-alcohol beer would be a better option or limiting your alcohol intake altogether.”

Health groups including the general public Health Association of Australia, the Weight problems Policy Union, the Heart Foundation and the Cancer Council have long grumbled that the food market is purposely misleading consumers by marketing foods loaded with fat and sugar as healthy alternatives.

They say the present self-regulatory marketing system is not working and have actually required tighter limitations on health food claims. They also desire clearer nutritional info on product packaging, lobbying for a traffic signal labeling system.

However with fierce opposition from the food market such a plan might be a long way off.

In the meantime, when you’re browsing those grocery store racks and take away shops, how can you spot the worst pretenders when it pertains to “healthy” food?

Please read the following article.