The Full Story
Bringing The Full Figured Into Focus
Born Dana Owens, Queen Latifah took
the male-dominated rap game by
storm and gave women worldwide a
sense of pride and U-N-I-T-Y. The
Queen also stepped up her own game,
adding acting to her repertoire and
earned an Oscar nomination for her
performance in “Chicago.”
A Chocolate Siztas Publication See Page 4 to learn more about Your
Highness’ upcoming projects.
Plus Model To Give Industry Dose Of Reality
By Genoa Barrow
Full Story Editor which aired on May 14.
“You’re the first juicy booty
Whitney Thompson, a stu- to make it to the runway,”
dent from Florida has won joked Sutan, a makeup artist
Cycle 10 of “America’s Next on the show.
Top Model” the CW’s highly Thompson was not without
popular reality show. her detractors though. Judge
Created by former Paulina Porizkova said
Supermodel Tyra Banks, “Whitney’s the girl a guy
ANTM seeks to discover and would want in his bed, but the
shape the next baddest chick girl I’d buy the dress from is
to hit the runway. Anya,” in reference to the
Thompson’s win marks the other finalist, who was
first by a “plus” model. She’s favored to win.
also the first larger model to Other fuller figured models
make it to the show’s finale, have tried/See Big Win, Page 4
Chocolate Sizta Sac Poetess Puts Down Mic
Of The Month Say it aint so. One of the most battling some issues with my
recognizable names in the health, diabetes and all so it's just
Congratulations to RoLanda Allaha Wilkins, Sacramento poetry scene is calling come time for me to take care of
our Chocolate Sizta of the Month. Wilkins is it quits, laying down the mic! me.
the National Coordinator of Birthing Project, Flo-Real, aka Aisha George, the
which save babies’ lives worldwide. She is host of Vibe Sessions, is retiring to GB: Are you retiring from hosting
also a fierce champion for young girls, or all/ See Flo-Real, Page 6
deal with health issues and is tak-
directing Sacramento’s Judge Alice Lytle
ing some much needed
Academy of Dreams, which encourages
time for self. Full Story
young women to develop a plan for their
lives, and hosting an recently caught up with
annual education “Flo” to see where her
forum designed to head was at...
inspire them to reach GB: Why the retirement?
their goals. She is Vibe Sessions is one of the
also the founder of most consistent venues
Earth Mama Healing,
which hosts events these days.
and retreats for FR: Well basically...I can't
women. feed the people until I feed
myself. Lately I have been
Inside: Author Chamein Canton Tells Our Story (3) E-40 Concert (4) Youth Get Chance To Shine (5) .. .
2 Chocolate Siztas Poised to Make An Impact
Who We Are
Welcome to the latest issue of our newsletter! We wanted
to take a moment to introduce ourselves again, and
explain where we’re coming from...
There are so many adjectives for a full-figured woman.
Rubenesque. Plus-sized. Big Beautiful Woman (BBW).
Big. Curvaceous. Thick. Chubby. Chunky. The list goes on
and on. The stigma for these women is the same, howev-
er, no matter how they’re described: a big woman isn’t typi-
cally considered attractive.
The Chocolate Siztas consists of two full-figured women:
Genoa Barrow and Tandrea Madison. Their relationship
began as a professional one, both of them writers for The
Sacramento Observer, a Black-owned newspaper. Soon,
Writers Tandrea Madison, left, and Genoa Barrow,
the common ground between them became obvious. Both are founders of Chocolate Siztas, an organization
women were intelligent, creative, ambitious, full-figured, that caters to the full figured community.
divalicious, beautiful and chocolate.
not be an issue at the events.
Discussion about size acceptance became a common one
and both women realized there was a public unmet need— What began as a simple idea has since grown consider-
that a portion of the Sacramento community was being dis- ably. CS has plans for much more for the full-figured
serviced—and who better to tackle that than them? As including skate nights, bowling nights, full-figured cruises,
members of the full-figured community and as journalists, gospel brunches, movie nights—for singles and families,
they had unique perspectives into the problem and the self-esteem workshops for teens, poetry slams, exercise
resources and knowledge to make changes. Hence, classes, dance competitions and more. We’re also launch-
Chocolate Siztas was born. ing a youth component called Chocolate CHIPS (Changing
How I’m Perceived by Society) and a new web site
The aim of the organization is to provide the full-figured www.ChocolateSiztas.com.
community with activities and venues designed for them
and their admirers. The idea began with a simple desire to Through all that we do, and just being our wonderful
unite full-figured Sacramentans and provide them with a selves, Chocolate Siztas intends to show society that size
quarterly venue to meet one another, removing the usual has nothing to do with beauty, style, grace or depth of
societal pressures and judgments—size acceptance would heart.
WHAT FOLKS ARE SAYING
Gina Washington recently visited our new web site www. ChocolateSiztas.com
and had this to say...
“The site is tasteful and well done. The new feature Chocolate
“The Full Story” is the monthly
Chips is inspiring, and very much needed as a support group and a
newsletter of the Chocolate Siztas.
safe place for America's full-figured youth. Tandrea and Genoa, I
Are you a full figured person
with something to say? Know of a plus salute your extraordinary efforts, and I look forward to your next
friendly business that should be highlighted? events... Until then, be blessed and rock on!!! ”
We want to hear from you.
Email us at info@ChocolateSiztas.com
or visit us at www.ChcocolateSiztas.com
The Full Story
New York Based Author Takes ‘Our Story’ National
Asked by Genoa Barrow Luckily I found kindred spirits with but I pace myself very carefully. One closed to me for a while and I kept
Full Story Editor WindRiver Publishing. of the best things about writing and pressing on I didn’t let it get me
working for yourself is that you can down. I knew I had something of
From the pages of her books to
GB: The new book? set the pace, which means if I need value to say and there was an audi-
appearances on national television,
CC: It’s all about a take charge wed- a “time out” I can take it. Now that ence for me. I had to keep the faith
author Chamien Canton is represent-
ding planner who let her own love my sons are 21, it’s a little easier to and stay positive.
ing big girls to the “fullest.”
life fall to the wayside until she travel and work on outside projects.
Canton is the author of several
meets Mr. Right in an unusual way. I GB: What was being on the Today
romance novels with full figured
will be heading out on a book tour GB: You refer to yourself as a “long Show like?
heroines including “Not His Type”
this summer. time big girl.” What advice would you CC: I have to say I had a terrific
and “You’re Getting Married?” and as
give to others looking for the confi- experience with the show. I worked
a successful wedding planner, has
GB: “Down That Aisle In Style” dence to love who they are? with Cat Greenleaf and she was a
penned “Down That Aisle In Style: A
seems to be doing well. CC: Find a way to be happy in your doll. David’s Bridal, IGIGI and Alfred
Wedding Guide for the Full-Figured
CC: A friend of mine Susan Barone is own skin. Look in the mirror and find Angelo all provided fantastic gowns
the owner of Always For Me and she the things you like about yourself. I so my models looked wonderful. It
Full Story caught up with the busy
recently published some amazing have nice eyes, I like my shoulders felt good to have a chance to show
lady recently as she prepares for the
statistics about weddings in 2008. etc.. how beautiful full figured brides are.
June 3 release of her latest novel
According to her findings nearly 25 These are little affirmations you can All too often plus size brides-to-be
percent of the 2.4 million brides get- make to yourself everyday. It took a think they have no choice but to lose
ting married this year will be plus major illness for me to realize that I weight before they can shop and my
GB: Black women, including us
size. That translates into about was allowing what society viewed as goal was to show them they had
thicker ladies, read a lot of romance
600,000 women. Now I don’t know the perfect woman to bring me options.
novels, yet we’re not represented a
about anyone else but that figure down. I hated the word big, now I
lot within those pages,even from
gets my attention. I thought it was embrace it. GB: You were going to be doing a
writers who are plus themselves,
about time for people to realize that I’m not a witch or a leper, I’m just full figured reality show, what hap-
how important was it to you to
we do get married to. a big girl and if I let the world bring pened with that?
me down, there is only one person to CC: it fell through as things some-
CC: That was my main focus when I
GB: Is your wedding planning busi- blame and that’s the lady staring times do when it comes to television.
began writing. I wanted to see big
ness focused on the full-figured? back at me in the mirror. But no worries, whenever one door
girls represented as more than just
CC: Although I work with brides of all closes a window opens and I’m not
second bananas to the main, thinner
sizes, I have a special place in my GB: Have any doors been closed to afraid to climb in.
characters. I wanted to present the
heart for full figured brides. I want you because of your size?
character as a sexy confident
them to feel beautiful and special for CC: The door to publishing was
woman who like many other women
their big day and
(thin women included) has to deal
beyond. It gives me
with some self-esteem issues every
now and then, but she doesn’t let it
get her down or in the way of her
GB: You have eclec-
finding true love.
tic talents, how do
you make time for
GB: Was it hard finding a publisher
all you do?
who’d tell our stories?
CC: As a cancer
CC: I lucked out with the romance
survivor and some-
novel at Genesis because I found an
one who lives with
editor who read it and immediately
MS I’ve learned that
wanted to work with me. My wed-
time isn’t always on
ding book took a bit longer even with
your side. That’s
an agent in my corner. Publishers
why I grab life by
could see the market potential but it
the horns and press
was a case of being the first to pub-
forward. Believe me
lish a wedding guide book with the
I have my down
words “full figured women” on the
days with my illness
cover that seemed to stop them.
Author/wedding planner Chamein Canton, left,
recently appeared on the “Today Show” with her plus
sized models. For a sneak peek of her new book, “Bliss,
Inc.” visit www.ChocolateSiztas.com
4 E y e O n U s : Full Figured Folks In Entertainment
Rapper Refuses To Be Anything Other Than A ‘Lady’
SheRico Jones, aka, Lady many attractive male rap-
Twist, a plus size rapper from pers, can you? I challenge
Chicago, was recently booted you to name 10 right
from the VH1 show “Ego Trip’s now…. And a few of these
Miss Rap Supreme.” Airing on female rappers leave much
Monday nights, the show is trying to be desired in the looks
to find the dopest female MC. department.”
Lady Twist’s departure has a Miss Rap Supreme,
lot of folks talking as she was which highlights a great
one of the more talented and deal of arguing and overall
likeable contestants competing hating among the contest-
for the title. In the episode where ants, is hosted by fuller-fig-
she made her exit, much was ured rappers Yo Yo and Mc
made about her weight during a Serch, of 3rd Bass fame.
group competition where the Plus size rapper Khia, who
ladies came up with a number had a hit with the sexually
called “Sweep the Flo” and how charged song,“My Neck,
Lady Twist couldn’t do it because of “I personally don’t think that I was My Back” was disqualified earlier this
her size. sent home because I couldn’t dance,” season for using a rap she’d previous-
They could have found a way to she writes. “I don’t think that I was ly recorded during a competition
work her into it even if she couldn’t do sent home because my rhyme lacked where she and others were to write an
it, but didn’t and their routine ended substance; I was sent home because I original piece to stay to keep from
up looking disjointed. For the record, refused to argue and fight period. being eliminated.
big people can dance, look at Missy Although the crown of Miss Rap Lady Twist had already foreshad-
Elliot and hello, remember Heavy D! Supreme would have been a good owed her own departure, as she’s
Not all rappers dance, rather relying look, I openly/verbally refused to show seen during her last episode telling a
on talent alone to rock a show, like my ass and/or disgrace my character friend back home that she was ready
The Notorious BIG or Queen Latifah. and upbringing in the name of ratings. to leave and focus on her journalism
Lady Twist recently responded to her “Another thing that keeps resurfac- studies. She’s not giving up on the
time on the show on a blog site called ing is the whole weight vs. sex appeal music thing just yet though. Check her
issue. Truthfully, I can’t name too
FakeShoreDrive.com. out at www.cdbaby.com/cd/ladytwist.
Rocklin’s Gettin’ Hyphy
A Touch of Entertainment pres-
ents rapper and hood linguist E- Here’s the latest buzz on
40 in concert June 7 at Rocklin’s Queen Latifah. She’ll star
Harwood Palace Sports and opposite Oscar winner
Events Center. Jennifer Hudson and fellow
Bay Area artist E-40 has had artist Alicia Keys in the
hits with songs like “Tell Me upcoming film, “The Secret
When To Go,” “Things’ll Never Life of Bees.” The film, due
Change/Rapper’s Ball,” “U & out October 17, stars Dakota
E-40 Dat,” and “Sprinkle Me.” Fanning as a girl in 1964 dealing with the death of
Also performing will be Big
her mother. Her father hires a Black woman, Hudson,
Omeezy, Tha Outfit, DJ Pizo, DJ Iceman, DJ Flipside and Doey
to care for her. Latifah is one of three beekeeping sis-
Rock of E-40’s Sick Wid It Records. Hosted by Short-E of 103.5
The Bomb. Sponsors include LAKidd Entertainment, MaddPAdd ters who teach them some life lessons in rural South
Productions, Kalikwest Media Group and OLM Entertainment. Carolina.
Tickets are $35 in advance at Ticketmaster or $40 at the door. Latifah’s last movie “Mad Money” is out on DVD
The Harwood Palace is located at 1091 Tinker Road, Rocklin. May 13 and she’s in theaters now in “What Happens
For more information call (916) 508-7410 or to learn about ven- in Vegas” In 2009 she’ll reprise her voice over role of
dor opportunities, call (916) 308-5157. Ellie in “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs.”
The Full Story...
Chocolate Siztas Reaches Out To Youth
Check out these plus-
friendly web sites:
In an effort to reach out to image and most importantly,
full figured youth, Chocolate learn to love who they are as
Siztas is launching its youth they are! www.naafaonline.com
component, Chocolate Chocolate C.H.I.P.S. activi-
C.H.I.P.S. (Changing How I’m ties will include a full-figured www.hipsandcurves.com
Perceived by Society). youth summit, fashion shows,
Chocolate Siztas believes that work out sessions, college www.biggalslingerie.com
size does not determine one’s information, a mentor program,
self worth or potential and sup- field trips, movie nights and www.aboutcurves.com
ports young people in their more.
fight to be accepted for who For more information on how
they are. to participate or become a www.fullfigureentertain-
Aimed at full-figured youth sponsor for this effort, visit ment.com
ages 12-18, the Chocolate www.ChocolateSiztas.com, or email
C.H.I.P.S. will build self- chocolatechips@chocolatesiz- www.sizeappeal.com
esteem, share common experi- tas.com.
ences, encourage positive body www.lanebryant.com
The Sweet Spot
ENJOY A FUN NIGHT OUT OR
MIX AND MINGLE
WITH FULL FIGURED SINGLES
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Queen Sheba DJ Biggie C
1704 Broadway & DANCING
7- 11 p.m.
Tickets: $20 !
(Food & Drink Not Included)
Tickets available in advance at www.ChocolateSiztas.com.
6 the years, the constant vali- time you read on stage/in public?
The Full Story
Flo Real Cont... dation from family, friends as
well as lovers.
FR: Well I started writing short sto-
ries years ago late ’90s I actually
GB: When did you host your stepped on stage for the first time in
FR: I am retiring from hosting and
first Vibe Sessions? 2001 at this venue here called "The
performing all in a nutshell... at least
FR: Well the name Vibe Sessions is Po-Hop" at Cheers hosted by Cornel
only two years old. I first started West and when I performed I got a
GB: Talent can't be contained. Will
hosting a show called "The Po-Rotic standing ovation and from that
we see Flo-Real take the stage any- Lounge" at Cheers back in May of moment on...it was all she wrote!!!
where around Sac? 2002 GB: When/How did you become Flo-
FR: That statement is true! But I GB: What was your vision for the Real?
don’t plan to take the stage for venue and did you accomplish that FR: Well I was reciting as Just Aisha
awhile....I hope. goal? for a couple of months. People kept
GB: Vibe Sessions has been around FR: My vision was to create the telling me that my Flo was real and
for a minute, different locations... Flo-Real also performs with
most melodic, educational, sensual, down to earth plus around that time the African dance & drum
how important was it to you to build down to earth, funniest venue ever. I the music group Floetry came out troupe Jodama and has won
several awards including the
up a quality venue? just wanted to be "Out of the box" of and I had an afro and everyone was Sounds of Soul Black Music
FR: It was very important because Award for Best Female Poet in
normality sorta speak, and yes I feel saying that I looked like Marsha in 2005 and the Sac Cultural Hub
your venue reflects on you believe it like I have accomplished that Floetry so I put the flo and the real Choice Award in 2007.
or not and I knew that once it was GB: How would you rank/rate together from that even opening a center for rebellious
built to it's prime, the whole commu- Sacramento's poetry talent and GB: What does the future hold for teens to help them curb that nega-
nity will would benefit from it. poetry scene? Aisha George? tive energy, but all if it be the Lord’s
GB: What's been the highlight of FR: I would rate the talent at the top. FR: Hopefully my own magazine, will!
your time as host? there is so much talent here, and maybe even end up writing for other
FR: My highlight would be, the love people just don't know it! The poetry artists etc, Also I love kids so maybe
WHY WE LIKE HER
and respect from the community as scene has dwindled a lil bit but is
When asked on her
another young positive leader. slowing making its way back up! and
MySpace page what her
GB: You're one of the ones that we I only say that because when I go to
best physical feature was,
(Chocolate Siztas) point out as "rep- places like atlanta where they have 3
resenting well" for the big girls. venues goin every night of the weak, she answered, “My Twinz”
How'd you gain that self confidence i gotta question our dedication to this and when asked what she
that it takes to be a host and hold wanted to be when she
“grew up,” she replied, “a
spoken word movement.
your own as a performer?
mentor for the kids.”
GB: When did you start writing poet-
FR: It has come from many over ry/singing and when was the first
Big Win Continued...
‘On The Street, She’s Just A Hot Chick’
to break the ANTM barrier to no avail, “I got tough skin from that. That’s the
most famously Toccara Jones in Cycle 3. only way I could survive as a plus-size
Jones has gone on to become a television model in a house full of skinny toothpicks.”
personality, despite losing on ANTM. Thompson says she’s ready to serve as a
Banks acknowledged that the fashion role model.
industry has different standards when it “I want other girls to say ‘I don’t have to
comes to size. starve or have plastic surgery. I can be on
“Only in modeling is plus. On the street, that billboard too.’”
she’s just a hot chick,” she said during the As the winner of ANTM, Thompson will
finale show. receive representation from Elite Model
Thompson, who rocked a bright pink Management, a $100,000 contract with
Toccara Jones didn’t win Top
Versace gown to victory, says she’s used CoverGirl cosmetics and a six-page fash- Model, but the curvy beauty is still
to negativity about her body. ion spread in “Seventeen” magazine. setting runways on fire.