Frumpy Flakes Interviews MizLiz of BBWGeneration.com
I met MizLiz during the early days of starting Frumpy Flakes. After talking to her and reading her blog. I was amazed by her compassion, strength and her ability to persevere despite very long and steep odds. She is a great example of what it takes to keep getting up no matter how much you may be put down.
Please tell us a little about yourself?
I’m 41 year old petite Latina with two gorgeous little humans. I have a loud wicked laugh, a young spirit and a force to reckon with. Being adopted and growing up as an only child I’ve relied to my imagination, creativity and daily goal of helping others around me. Fashion is one of the forms of expression in the world I live in and dress up in many eras through out my week. My co-workers look forward to seeing what persona I am in each day.
Who inspires you? Are you inspired by others in the plus size community? If so who?
Inspiration is found from many sources: My children, the people that read my blog and follow me on social media to other amazing humans that do so much in this world. In the plus size community I have a slew of bloggers, designers and activists that empower me to help empower others. To name a few: Raqui from Large In Charge, SupersizeSpanishfly, Jen from Plus Size Birth, Militant Baker, Curvy Canadian, Curvy Fashionista, Garner Style, Toni Tails, Eva Duplan and a bazillion more than fill my news feeds and give me LIFE when i do get a chance to see/read them.
On your blog, www.bbwgeneration.com, your subtitle says that you’re an activist by need. What inspired you to become an activist for plus size women?
Activism became my call to duty. I push for acceptance of not only the plus size, but of ALL Humans. We’re in the 21st Century and still there are laws that hinder and castrate so many in this great country of ours. Changing the way of thinking of many and helping change laws with my words, images and being out on the streets gaining signatures, picking and informing is one of many forces we each have. It needs to be done for a better future for my children and my grandchildren.
Body shaming is an important issue in the plus size community. What are your thoughts? Do you believe the issue effects men as well? Do you believe that men need advocates?
There are much to change in the train of thoughts of many in the plus size community. My personal motto is “Acceptance without exception.” It is anti-productive when we fight to stop stereotypes, condescending views and fight for empowering acceptance and yet in the same breath give rules/regulations to these same wins. “We CAN wear what WE want… just as long as it’s not too short/tight/sexual etc…” So, CAN we wear what we want? Sadly, the answer is a resounding no. We still get ridiculed and measured just with a different ruler and held BY our plus size community. The same advocacy is direly needed for men. They are no exception to the rules that us women face. I have personal found a greater resistance in creating a movement for the male gender. How many male bloggers in ACCEPTANCE are there? From that group, how many are plus size advocates? I can think of two off the top of my head! Why? The need is there yet not filled as it is in the female gender.
Since you began being a plus size activist what was your most difficult moment? Your most proud moment?
My most difficult moment has been being blind sided by the cyber bullying I encountered 2 years ago by members of the same community I strive to help and protect. My proudest moment has been in harnessing that negativity to fire my work in my blog. I’ve always been one to run in to the flames instead of away. In doing so I have worked in many projects I may have otherwise not been offered.
As a plus size Latina, what unique cultural issues have u faced? What message would u like to pass on to other plus size Latinas/Latinos?
Culturally, Mexicana-Latina Americana, the rounder body is not celebrated. It took me 30+ years to go against what I was always told and finally say STOP… I AM BEAUTIFUL and that is THAT. The message that I make a point to state each day to all people is that WE (ALL of the WE – females/males) are beautiful. There is no one way to be that and to practice ACCEPTANCE not only to others but within us. We are our biggest critiques and we need to change that. Lets be our BIGGEST cheerleaders and make it a goal to BE Happy every second of each day!
What do you see as the future of BBWGeneration.com?
I would like to continue to bridge the Plus Size Fashion/Culture from USA to Latino America and beyond. World wide there are regions that are years behind and most especially in Latino America. I hope that BBWGeneration will be a resource of information and strength Internationally. Be it in fashion, humanitarian work and/or awareness. Right now I am an army of one and can easily see growing to so much more.
You talk about your experience with domestic violence on your blog. What is the most valuable lesson you learned from that experience? If there is only one piece of advice you could tell someone in that situation, what would it be?
What I’ve learned is that there are many silent victims and survivors. There is a lot of healing left to do out there and sadly not many know they are capable of reaching this. Then they meet me and are surprised by all that my children and I have survived as we don’t “look like” the stereo types. We live productive lives filled with laughter, peace and do so much good in this world despite it all. If you’re in a domestic violence situation I ask that you reach out for help. There are resources out there to help but you need to take that first step. You are worth it and no, it won’t be easy, but you have to take yourself away from that situation and find safety. There is ALWAYS better days ahead – as long as you have breath in your lungs and strength in your limbs.
Tell us about your community work?
No matter how difficult life is, I find it powerful to help others. It gives me purpose and helps me heal. I volunteer as a speaker for Domestic Violence projects in the city, as well as share my writings on my experience with various DV organizations to use on their site and pamphlets. Knowing first hand what it feels to be hungry and go without the bare necessities while being homeless and poor, it breaks my heart to see others suffer through it. My children and I collect recyclables and dedicated a portion of our budget to fill lunch bags with bread, fruit and a granola bar and/or juice. We pass it out at a local homeless camp in the city currently make 50-200 bags a week. Our goal is to reach 100 bags a day to give out each morning so that they will start their day with a filled tummy. There are many seniors that are homeless and it is difficult for them to get to food kitchens. When we visit the camp we make sure they receive the first bags we give out as well as try to collect new socks and gently used shoes, blankets and clothes to give out to them whenever possible. After cancer hitting home I had a first hand view of how devastating it is to the women that see the affects of this disease. I offer a day of beauty for cancer patients in the community that want to be pampered and have brows and makeup put on. I also help them fill out requests for wigs or find them hats that they can feel more confident in. Something so little always means the world to them. Seniors also hold a very soft spot for me. I’ve seen them struggle make ends meet and see how difficult it is for them to take public transportation to carry heavy grocery bags. I keep a sack of rice and beans that I distribute towards the end of the month – when cupboards are almost empty – as well as take any extra canned goods I may have found on sale. I don’t have much but there is ALWAYS something I can do to help. Keeping an eye out on sales or informing them of special community programs to help to offering a ride to go grocery shopping of the heavier items they can’t carry…
Liz Beth has been a friend of Frumpy Flakes almost from the very beginning. She is one of the most caring, hard working and loving people I have ever met. She a wonderful and beautiful advocate for the plus size acceptance movement and it is a pleasure to call her a friend.
You can find MizLiz wonderful blog here, BBWGENERATION