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Old 1st November 2009   #1
Join Date: July 2005
Posts: 1,784
Default ''Celebrate the body you've been given''

It is always interesting to receive updates about the current status of plus-size models who have put their fashion careers on hiatus.

Several months ago, we noted Courtney Hanneman's activities with the wonderful Big Sister organization.

Now we have even more interesting news to share--news that relates directly to size celebration.

For the past year, Courtney has authored a monthly column in All Around Hays, a widely distributed publication that serves a fast-growing district in the Austin area.

Penned under her married name, C.J. Legare, Courtney's "Functional Girl" column has addressed a remarkable variety of topics, from fashion to beauty to interior decorating to much, much more.

Courtney writes in an accessible, friendly voice, and frequently sprinkles her sage wisdom with wit and humour. Naturally, no one person can be expected to be knowledgeable in every field, so she often turns to experts in her local community to provide extra information about unconventional topics such as auto repair and wine selection. "Functional Girl" truly covers a bit of everything.

For the most significant portion of this month's column, however, Courtney didn't need any input from external sources, because her career as a plus-size model ably prepared her to answer this particular reader's question. And in this case, her response came straight from the heart. (Click for larger text.)

Click to enlarge

That is one of the most genuinely inspiring and size-positive articles we've come across in print. Courtney's clear declaration to "Broken Hearted" never to settle, but to hold out for someone who adores her precisely because she is curvaceous, not despite this fact, is highly empowering, and is sure to give the reader a much-needed shot of self-respect.

Her condemnation of the media for its hostile treatment of full-figured women is rightly stern. She denounces the naked profiteering behind the underweight standard, and decries pop culture's intolerance of any expression of feminine curves. Note in particular her lament for "actresses who have had every ounce of femininity stripped away" by exercise-torture and diet-starvation. Courtney's formulation pointedly asserts that by depriving actresses of their physical shape, the media erases their very womanhood.

Readers who enjoyed our previous post about Courtney's involvement with the Big Sister program will be delighted to see that this article features a particularly incisive quotation from Courtney's little sister, Samantha. By likening the media's attacks on womanly curves to physical assault--"It's like paying your boyfriend to beat you up"--Samantha not only establishes the magnitude of the crime that the media perpetrates against women, (for it is abuse, plain and simple,) but highlights the incomprehensible fact that women actually pay for this mistreatment. It's a comment worthy of the "Emperor's New Clothes," a devastating one-line indictment of modern culture. Astonishing wisdom from a 13 year old.

Courtney's final paragraphs are part motivational speech, part battle cry. She encourages the letter writer, and all readers, to stop being passively victimized by the media, to reject thin-supremacist propaganda and brainwashing, and to "celebrate the body you've been given." She proudly notes that at 270 pounds, her husband considered her "the most beautiful girl in the world." All women should feel that way. They should not just "accept," but love themselves, whether at 270 luscious pounds, or at any generous weight. And Courtney's inspiring advice in this column--and indeed, her little sister's Samantha's precocious wisdom--will surely help many other curvy girls develop much-deserved body love.

* * *

You can look up Courtney's past columns at the All About Hays hyperlink posted earlier, or read the three pages of Courtney's latest installment by clicking on the links below. For November, in addition to her size-celebratory counsel, she also provides tips on finding a delicious vintage (just in time for the holidays), and on creating a sexy, "smoky eye" look.

(Do you see what we mean about the extraordinary range of topics that the column covers?)

Here is a picture of Courtney from her modelling portfolio in which she exemplifies the "smoky eye" look that her column describes how to create:

Click to enlarge

- Click to read page 1 (.pdf)

- Click to read page 2 (.pdf)

- Click to read page 3 (.pdf)

Last edited by HSG : 4th August 2010 at 07:34.
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Old 1st November 2009   #2
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Join Date: September 2006
Posts: 120
Default Re: ''Celebrate the body you've been given''

This brought a tear to my eye. I wish Courtney's column appeared nationwide so that it could reach as many girls and women as possible. Assaults on our love for our bodies are just that: assaults. We need to stand up against this psychological violence, just as we do against physical violence. It is not acceptable. What will it take for women to say, "Enough!"
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