Why I’ll Never Be “Skinny” Again

This week, plus size diva Tess Holliday (Munster) made modeling history as being the largest model to be signed to a major modeling agency. Her beauty and talent as a model is what caught the attention of Milk Model Management, and how refreshing is it to see the fashion industry including a more diverse talent pool. Beauty is beauty, after all!

Go Tess!

Go Tess!

When I learned of Tess’ historic signing, I couldn’t help but think if only she and other models like her had been around when I was a struggling young professional actor/dancer, I would have not gone through the madness I did.

When I was a size 8/10 (pictured below), I kept getting small character parts and not being taken seriously as a dancer (I thought).

Size 8 10

As a result, I convinced myself I needed to be skinner to get better roles.  So over the course of a year, I upped my workouts, cut sugar and a lot of fat out of my diet, and got down to a size 4.

Size 3 4 2

Everyone noticed. Suddenly I started to be seen as a leading lady/sexpot type for casting. However, I constantly lived every day in fear that the weight would come back. If the weight came back, would all the attention and roles go away? Convinced that gaining weight would ruin everything, food became the enemy. So I decided if a size 4 was good, a 2 must be better. That’s what the leading ladies in Hollywood wear….

At the height of my madness.

At the height of my madness.

During this time, I was living on coffee, water, protein bars and plain veggies. I’d get up at 6 am and run for 45 minutes before starting the day, then come home and work out again (this time including hundreds of crunches). I’d then go out at night, dancing until the wee hours and drink a lot of booze. If I didn’t follow my food/exercise regimen EXACTLY, I was a failure and add “punishment exercises” the next day.  Little did I realize how miserable I was.

The tipping point came when I went on an audition for a musical. The part called for a lot of dancing, and I was ready. After rocking the dance combinations, those of us who “made the cut” stood in a line before the choreographer and director.

They looked at each of us, quietly whispering (not that quiet, mind you) comments as they took note.

“Good execution, pretty. Need to hear her sing again.”

“Not sure yet. Maybe.”

These kind of comments escaped their little bubble, making all of us anxious. Then, they glanced at me.

“Really good…a bit thick, though.”

I was stunned. After we were dismissed, I couldn’t get the words out of my ears.  I was a size 2, and losing my mind trying to stay that way.

Devastated, I threw out my scale.

Flash forward several years, my weight has fluctuated a bit. After my back injury, I became the heaviest I’ve ever been, but you know what? I don’t care.

I’ve been gradually become more active, focusing on getting my strength & flexibility back. I’ve cut out soda and drink more water. I try to watch the amount of sugar I eat. All I want is to feel healthy. I don’t give a shit what size that will be. No one will ever determine my self-worth again.

So here’s to you, Tess. Thank you for showing us all that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.

Fashion to Figure jacket,  H&M sweaterdress (as a top), Forever 21 Plus skirt.

Fashion to Figure jacket,
H&M sweaterdress (as a top),
Forever 21 Plus skirt.

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xx Melanie.

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I’ve Got 100 Posts and a Giveaway is One!

Hello all!

I can’t believe it, but this is my 100th post! I just got back from a wonderful time in London (more on that later) and I thought we should celebrate this milestone! So, this is my last giveaway before we leave Europe. Check out this adorable wallet I picked up – it’s the original beauty icon, Marilyn!

Marilyn wallet 1

The back view -so cute!

The back view -so cute!

I’m excited for one of you to win it! So just click on the giveaway banner to the right and GOOD LUCK!

And yes, LONDON was fantastic. Too many places to see and do within a few days, but we managed to pack in quite a few sights. Here’s a few highlights:

At Westminster Abbey – where the royal weddings take place!

Us at Westminster 1

Enjoying a cocktail before seeing The Book of Mormon (which is HILARIOUS!)

A tasty Vodka Collins!

A tasty Vodka Collins!

We originally wanted to walk across the Tower Bridge, but it was WINDY! Check out my “lovely” hair! However, the bridge is gorgeously lit at night.

Brrrr!

Brrrr!

Despite my limited luggage allowance, I did bring back some hot bargains from Primark! I’ll be modeling those very soon. I could’ve been very dangerous in that store…but I was good and set my budget!

Hope you are enjoying your 2015, and thanks so much for following! Good luck on the giveaway!

Love, laughter, and shoes-

xx Melanie.

 

Love necklaces? Enter my Origami Owl Giveaway!

Hello all! It’s been a week since I’ve posted, and I apologize for the delay. You wouldn’t BELIEVE how crazy busy and stressful it’s been, but there was a happy result (more on that later!). Anyway…here’s what I wanted to show you lovelies!

LOVE this necklace!

LOVE this necklace!

I just received my personalized necklace from Kelley Hurley of Origami Owl! I love the charms she included!

Origami me 2

Check out the shoe, music note, kitty paw, Eiffel Tower, theatre mask, lighting bolt, and USAF banner!

When you shop Origami Owl, you can design your own “Living Lockets,” bangles, and watches! That’s pretty amazing!

Just think of the cool gifts you can make for the holidays!

AND….you can win this super cute Living Locket with the shoe!!!

SO pretty!

SO pretty!

Don’t you love the container and the satin necklace holder?!!

Origami box

THIS GIVEAWAY ENDS OCT 31, and it’s INTERNATIONAL! Click on the “Rafflecopter” link on the left!

So…switching gears, I directed a play which was entered in the 2014 Army EUCOM One Act Play Festival, and we took home NINE awards, including this lovely trophy for 2nd Place Best Director! I was incredibly stressed out getting this show ready for competition, and we had a lot of problems popping up that threatened to shut the production down, but we all hung in there and performed our hearts out!

I am so proud, and relieved:)

Best Director Mel

Until next time!

Love, laughter, and shoes…

xoxo

Melanie.

Cross Fingers and Break a Leg!

Guten Morgen! Wie geht’s?

It’s another balmy German morning, and it’s an early day for me. A play I’ve directed, a one act called Interview,” is going to compete this weekend at the 2014 US Army Europe Festival of One Act Plays! Tonight is our last rehearsal for final “tweaking”  before performing on Saturday, and then Sunday we’ll see if we win some awards!

It’s been a very busy few weeks, to say the least. We opened our play last weekend, I taught a Musical Theatre workshop Tuesday night, I have my usual vocal teaching schedule, I’m ushering tomorrow for the Festival (plus loading in our set), plus all the festival events this weekend…whew! No rest for the wicked, as they say!

I’ve been so busy, that I forgot about these pics the Hubby took of me during our trip to Luxembourg a month back! It still blows my mind that it only took an hour and a half to drive to another country! Luxembourg is definitely tiny, but a very pretty area. The people speak French, German, and English, so communication was very easy. I definitely enjoyed seeing shops by Marina Rinaldi, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, and Versace!

Drool.

Drool.

Shiny things!

Shiny things!

But alas, my budget only allows for window shopping! However, I could still look fierce while drooling!

Lux outfit

Loving my new faux leather skater skirt from Forever 21 Plus! Love it? Buy it here.

With my lion friend!

Who says gray is boring? Toughen it with a moto jacket!

Lux selfie

With a little luck, the next time I write a post, I’ll be showing off some trophies! Hope you all have a wonderful weekend, and DON’T FORGET TO ENTER MY GIVEAWAY! One lucky winner is going to LOVE wearing a necklace from Origami Owl!

Just click on my giveaway banner to the left!

Until next time!

Love, laughter, and shoes-

xx Melanie.

 

 

 

A Reunion in Paris, 10 Years in the Making

Bonjour, my dear readers! Today I am feeling a bit under the weather, so I’m chilling out and looking through pics from last month’s Paris adventure, so I thought I’d share a favorite moment it with you.

I love the signs in Paris.

I love the signs in Paris.

I think I’ve already shared that I have a background as a professional actress (still do), and one of the best parts about acting is making many friends over the course of a production. About 10 years ago, I did a touring production of My Way, a Tribute to Frank Sinatra for The Springer Opera House in Columbus, Georgia. Working/living with the same dozen people for six months will either make you  great friends or sworn enemies, but happily I am still friends with all the cast to this day.

And who would’ve guessed that I would have a reunion with Jessie, my cast mate, in PARIS 10 years later?!!

Cue the song: “It’s a Small World After All….”

She and her husband moved to the City of Lights this past year, and with the magic of Facebook, we re-connected and had a wonderful double date night! Jessie and I traded touring tales with our hubbies, devoured delicious French cuisine, and made plans for our next get together.

They are a wonderful couple, and we can’t wait to hang out again.

Paris Jessica

The weather changes quickly in Paris, so I decided to keep it casual, comfortable, and chic!

Paris jacket 1

Paris jacket 2

NEWS!!! On another note, I just did my first GUEST BLOG! I want to thank Jasmine of FOR A REAL WOMAN for asking me to write, and I appreciate the opportunity so much. Check out my picks for affordable and stylish plus size wear here!

Until next time –

Love, laughter, and shoes!

xx Melanie.

WHAT I WORE:

Moto jacket: FASHION TO FIGURE

Gold necklace: FASHION TO FIGURE

Cranberry T shirt: H &M

Black shorts: TJ MAXX

Gold flats: AK ANNE KLEIN

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Going Retro for Date Night at the Theatre!

The hubby and I decided to celebrate our Valentine’s Day a day late by taking in some theatre! I’ve been active in theatre practically my whole life, and one of my favorite things to do (besides performing!) is to watch friends rocking it onstage!

We’re very lucky to have a great community theatre program in our military, and the Hilltop Theatre’s production of “The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940” (in Baumholder, Germany) was wonderfully silly! I love the 1940s fashion and music anyway, so it was a double treat for me.

I love this Charlotte Russe ring! Looks way more expensive than it is!

I love this Charlotte Russe ring! Looks way more expensive than it is!

This theatre knows how to treat the patrons right! They offered free mocktails (which hubby and I both enjoyed), plus a regular bar (for a price, of course!). During intermission, I toasted the show’s success with Betty Boop in the lobby:)

Enjoying my Limeaid mocktail and posing with Betty!  Dress, Forever 21 Plus.

Enjoying my Limeaid mocktail and posing with Betty!
Dress, Forever 21 Plus.

Check it out…I am wearing a short sleeved dress! As I promised myself earlier this year, I wasn’t going to hide under sweaters and jackets. My arms may be bigger, but they are strong.

Boop boop a doop!

Boop boop a doop!

The retro feel of this show brought out some great fashion looks! Check out Oscar, fellow thespian, in this very cool mix of black/yellow/white! I LOVE her jacket with the vest detail!

This is one sharp lady! Great haircut, too!

This is one sharp lady! Great haircut, too!

I’ve been in a “reworking my closet” mood and I almost forgot about these great buckle heels from Target I bought 6 years ago! Perfect for pairing with my new peplum dress from Forever21 Plus  (link has a slightly different style, but still hot!) and rhinestone headband from Claire’s Accessories.

Six year old shoes still looking good! Very comfortable, too!

Six year old shoes still looking good! Very comfortable, too!

blk sparkle headband

Need an idea for date night? Take your sweetie to the theatre! It gives you a chance to dress up and support the arts! Cheers.

My "gypsy" silver purse with silver and white beadwork I picked up in Paris last year.

My “gypsy” silver purse with silver and white beadwork I picked up in Paris last year.

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