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Old 2nd June 2008   #1
HSG
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Default The Luscious Lady's Lexicon


This is, quite simply, the book that we've all been waiting for.

Click to order

Although we frequently discuss works of literature on this forum, we have had few opportunities to do contemporary reviews, since most modern books (like all organs of the mass media) are severely biased against the fuller female figure.

But The Luscious Lady's Lexicon isn't one of them. Quite the opposite. It is the perfect antidote to the thin-supremacist modern world, and is about as fine a statement of size-celebration as we ever hope to see in print.

This is, in many ways, a book of firsts. It is (as far as we know) the first book published on the topic of body image by one of our forum members, and it is also the very first book of any kind that mentions judgmentofparis.com itself.

Author Micki Chevalier lays out the need for her book--and for more works like it--in her splendid introduction. She writes:

The media has done an excellent job of making women feel in adequate if their bodies do not resemble underfed twelve-year-olds. The message is everywhere: Even if you are healthy and happy, you must constantly be obsessed with getting thin.

Even if you turn off the television and stop reading women's magazines, you still can't escape entirely. If you check the Internet for he latest news you will be inundated with ads of diets, as well as "lifestyle" and "healthy" articles about how you will die a painful death unless you join a gym and starve yourself.


She contrasts this artificial standard with the timeless ideal of full-figured beauty:

For most of history . . . women with curves were considered the most desirable. Painters up to the early twentieth century celebrated soft fleshy women.

Now, actresses and models compete to see who can most resemble a skeleton and if any of them gain an ounce, the tabloids scream that they have "let themselves go," as if having curves were a crime.

Curves are what make your body look feminine. They are the signals that nature has given us to let me know that we are healthy enough to survive childbirth and not die from starvation if food is scarce.


Her book is a veritable call to arms against media indoctrination, and an invitation to a better life for all women:

Stop listening to the bleating of the sheep in the media and women who refuse to think for themselves. You do not have to be thin to enjoy a sensual, fun, fulfilling life. What you need are self-esteem, self-exploration, and knowledge. That is why I want every curvy woman to stop calling herself "f**," "overweight," and every other hurtful name she has ever heard and start referring to herself as a Luscious Lady.


Her idea of the "Luscious Lady" closely mirrors (and even references) the goddess idea that we have been advocating on this site for years. But Ms. Chevalier has finally put the idea in print:

Luscious Ladies love and respect themselves and realize that it is their bodies, not those of skeletal models, which have been worshipped for thousands of years.

They wear the most beautiful clothes they can afford, they pamper themselves, and they don't apologize for who they are. They exude confidence, and sexiness oozes from every part of their being.

They are human goddesses.

It is time for Luscious Ladies to stop hating themselves and start loving themselves for who they are. If you are tired of the constant message that your life is not worth living if you are not a size zero, come with me to a new world, away from "fashion" magazines, away from television, away from diet books.


The author also writes a stirring defense of Beauty itself:

The desire for beauty is not frivolous or vain; it is what makes us human. All people long for beauty in their lives, whether they admit it or not.


Not only does she defend beauty in the abstract, but also in the particular--in clothing, hair, and makeup, noting how personal beauty can contribute to a happier life, and can even advance the cause of size celebration:

Why not just put more effort into enhancing your beauty, instead of starving?

There is no reason not to wear great clothes. The selection is better than ever, no matter what your shape, size, age, or budget. Despite the arrogance of certain designers who think that women will buy any overpriced, ugly creation that a bony models wears on a runway, women are getting smarter about clothes and buying what looks good on them, instead of what is "hot" this season.

I highly recommend Torrid (www.torrid.com), a retailer for plus-size young women, even if you are, like me, over thirty-five. Torrid has been the target of criticism because they sell clothes to girls and women who don't want to have to lose weight just to wear cool clothes. According to these self-appointed guardians of the public healthy and morals, young women do not deserve to ear anything nice. They should hide themselves . . . unless they are of an "acceptable" weight and never think of themselves as pretty or sexy. As if the teen years weren't hard enough.

Be proud of what you got. Wear clothing that flatters your body and fits well, not baggy, shapeless garments that hide it.

Stop wearing hideous clothes that you hate, just because you are not thin. Quit hiding in baggy clothes that make you look dumpy. Get some sexy clothes that show off your body.

[Say] No to ugly clothes, no matter how much they cost or which designer has put his or her name on them. Buy some clothes that fit and make you look like the Luscious Lady that you are!


On the same topic, she advises plus-size beauties how much better they would look with luxuriant tresses--in the Old World manner:

Most Luscious Ladies look better with medium to long hair. It is more trouble to maintain, but is worth it. If you have great hair, you could throw on a pair of jeans and a T-shirt and would get more positive attention than a woman in an expensive dress whose hair looked like a squirrel died on her head.


She takes issue with the absurd attempt by certain politically-minded activists to "reclaim" the word "f**"--an attempt that is inevitably doomed to failure, and does more harm than good, since the word is and will always be a slur--and is inaccurate besides.

What I didn't like [in certain "size-acceptance" groups] was the insistence on suing the loaded word "f**" and the negative attitude that many women in these groups had towards things that actually might improve their lives and their looks, such as attractive clothing and makeup.

Posting angry comments to websites will not change people's attitudes about Luscious Ladies. Seeing Luscious Ladies wearing beautiful clothes, socializing, and enjoying life, will.

The word "f**" is one that has been used against women, even those who are relatively tin. If you call yourself voluptuosu, curvy, or a Luscious Lady you will instantly raise your self-esteem and take away the power that stupid, mean people have to hurt you.


We would be remiss not to thank Micki for the wonderful things that she says about our site in her book. She advises her readers to do the following:

If you ave a computer and Internet access, please put down this book right now and log on to the Judgment of Paris website (www.judgmentofparis.com) to check out Heinrich Saint-Germain's fabulous collection of classic art and modern photography featuring Luscious Ladies past and present, including some gorgeous plus-size models. This website has saved my sanity more than once, and I highly recommend it. His philosophy is that Luscious Ladies have been the standard of beauty for countless generations and only in the late twentieth century was thinness seen as beautiful, thanks to the thin-centric media and fashion industries.

I have saved many of the images from this website on my computer and use them for my desktop. Every time I see once of these pictures I get an instant lift.


And on another page, she offers our site as further reading:

Recommended:
www.judgmentofparis.com
The best collection of articles and pictures of plus-size models I have seen. Also features classic art with Luscious ladies.


The congruence of the author's ideas with those of The Judgment of Paris is substantial. She encourages readers to put aside images of androgynous models, and instead to turn to examples of plus-size beauty from the past, to see that the full-figured body is the timeless feminine ideal:

I (along with most other women) am not interested in how clothes fit a human clothes hanger. I want to know how they will look on me and on other Luscious Ladies.

I also suggest that you turn off the television and limit your reading of fashion magazines that feature skeletal models and stop comparing yourself to them. Start looking at pictures of beautiful plus-size models, old movie actresses, and classic art, especially the artist Peter Paul Rubens.

Instead of watching television or reading fashion magazines that feature impossibly thin models, watch an old movie featuring Luscious Ladies like Mae West, Marilyn Monroe, or Elizabeth Taylor. Go to a museum or library and look at old paintings by artists such as Rubens, who featured women of generous proportions in his work.


Ms. Chevalier encourages her readers to emancipate themselves from thin-supremacist media brainwashing:

Stop buying diet pills, diet foods, and diet books, as well as clothes you think you can diet into.

I encourage everyone to look critically at "studies" that are reported in the news. Ask questions such as, Who sponsored the study, and what did it actually say? How many people were involved?

One advantage that Luscious Ladies have is that the time that we would have spent dieting can be spent pursuing our passions. This is so much more fulfilling than reading diet books, weighing yourself, and spending hours at the gym.

Get rid of all those old magazines, especially those that prominently feature diets, dysfunctional celebrities, thin models, and that go on and on about diseases for you to worry about. They are mostly advertising anyway, even the articles.


Once readers have unchained their minds, she opens the door for them to stop fighting their natural, womanly appetites, and to allow themselves to lead a more pleasurable life:

Food is a necessity and a joy. Good food makes your skin and hair look great and your brain function properly. Enjoy it.

[Say] no to feeling like you can't eat a real meal with real food. Stop obsessing about every calorie and enjoy eating some fresh, natural, great-tasting food!

Let foolish women starve themselves not only to fit into their designer clothes, but to be able to afford them. I would rather spend my money on a decent meal.

Say Yes to:
Beautiful clothes that fit and look wonderful on you.
Delicious food . . .


One of the author's most inviting ideas is her exhortation to full-figured women that they begin thinking of themselves as goddesses. She specifically cites the example of Venus, the Classical goddess of beauty, as an identity to absorb. In perhaps the finest chapter in the book, she sets out a program of relaxation and uninhibited indulgence that readers can adopt, to feel like Venus for a day. (You simply must perusde this chapter, which is a pleasure to read, let alone to experience.) Indeed, the goddess idea comes up frequently in Micki's book:

Many goddesses have been portrayed in art as Luscious Ladies, especially Venus and other love goddesses, who were often shown lounging on a couch or sitting at a mirror admiring themselves.

Would a goddess let anyone tell her she had to starve herself to be beautiful? Of course not. She would have laughed in their face.

Venus rules luxury, beauty, and admiration. She expects to be worshipped by men and for them to cater to her every whim. She loves to indulge in good food, beautiful clothes, jewelry, and beautiful surroundings. Sometimes she spends too much, but she always has a good time.

Try being Venus for a day.


These are just a few small snippets from the truly magnificent work that Ms. Chevalier has penned. It is empowering, fulfilling, liberating, and just plain fun. Run, don't walk, to your nearest bookstore--or better yet, just click on the Amazon.com link--to obtain a copy for yourself.

You'll be glad you did.

Kailee O'Sullivan, looking like a particularly Luscious Lady (David's Prom, 2008):

Click to view full image

- Click here for The Luscious Lady's Lexicon
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Old 3rd June 2008   #2
Maureen
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Default Re: The Luscious Lady's Lexicon

This is wonderful news! Thank you, Micki, for writing this book.
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Old 3rd June 2008   #3
Emily
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Default Re: The Luscious Lady's Lexicon

Quote:
Would a goddess let anyone tell her she had to starve herself to be beautiful? Of course not. She would have laughed in their face.

What a magnificent statement. If there were a course in size celebration, this would have to be one of the core texts. I hope it might come out in a deluxe edition, complete with illustrations.

Judging by those excerpts, I think the author employs just the right tone for a book like this. It sounds fun and positive, but at the same time, there's an extremely welcome touch of sarcasm about the absurdity of the modern anorexic standard. The author may be in her 30s, but she speaks in a way that will appeal to younger readers too (how fitting that she mentions Torrid) -- a generation that is growing up with more body-confidence, but is also rightly indignant about being systematically discriminated against by the media and fashion world. Fun and positive, but with an anti-modern "edge" -- that's size celebration in a nutshell. It's obviously a terrific book.

Oh, and how splendid to hear of someone promoting this Web site in print!
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Old 7th June 2008   #4
Micki
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Default Re: The Luscious Lady's Lexicon

I wrote The Luscious Lady’s Lexicon: An A-Z Guide for Curvy Goddesses for women who want to feel beautiful without having to starve themselves into a size that the media finds acceptable.

Instead of another “woe-is-me” book that begs the world to “accept” women who are larger than size 2, I take a new approach. I tell women that they need to see themselves as goddesses and refuse to accept shoddy treatment from men, employers, clothing designers and retailers, and anyone else who treats them disrespectfully. However, I believe that the path to others loving us to love ourselves, by enhancing our natural attractiveness and developing our minds and spirits. We need the world to see us wearing beautiful clothes and enjoying life to the fullest.

Judgment of Paris was one of my primary sources of inspiration. I hope that many women will find encouragement here and through my book. Thank you.
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Old 9th June 2008   #5
MelanieW
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Default Re: The Luscious Lady's Lexicon

Quote:
Originally Posted by Micki
Instead of another “woe-is-me” book that begs the world to “accept” women who are larger than size 2, I take a new approach. I tell women that they need to see themselves as goddesses

That is the first thing that struck me about the book, based on the excerpts - the thankfully upbeat attitude about curves. Many books in this genre are frankly whiney, and they emphasize all of the supposedly "bad" things about being full-figured.

This book, on the other hand, indicates how great it is to have curves, how beautiful it makes a woman to be full-figured, how terrific it is to be plus-size. Vixens, not victims. And thats the attitude that more writers should adopt, if they want to help women love their bodies.

I also want to mention, what a gorgeous picture of Kailee! She truly looks luscious and goddess-like. The dress looks as if it can barely contain her sumptuous curves, and she looks extremely pleased about her well-fed appearance. The image suits the book excerpts perfectly.
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