Entertainment

How Dressing Up For The Gym Helped Me Start Loving My Plus-Size Body

The gym has never been synonymous with being my so called “happy place.” For the longest time, I associated the gym with insecurities of my personal body image. I carried these negative thoughts and words around for far too long that dates back to my early teenage years. So when I turned 25, I knew I had to change something. Deep down I knew the way I viewed and treated myself wasn’t healthy. My physical health was important to me, but also I had to face that my mental well-being suffered far more greatly than anything else.

Growing up I often allowed these negative thoughts to dictate my emotions and decisions. It often felt as if my thoughts controlled my life. My perception of the gym for many years had always been filled with anxiety and a whole lot doubt when in reality it was a safe space all this time. So I made a promise to myself that no matter where I took up space I would be 100% there in the moment without regret or self-doubt. I’m not saying it happened overnight, but learning how to take back this inner power and switch my outlook on places like the gym helped turn off all unsettling feelings about my physical appearance. My wall slowly came down when I started to view the gym no longer as a task, but instead as an act of self-care and love for myself. Along the way I found confidence in my gym routine and looking good for me and not anyone else.

A lot has changed with inclusivity in the fashion industry, that it even has inspired many brands to change their standards for other categories like activewear. Here are nine of my favorite plus-size brands that carry durable athleisure because you can’t spell fitness without fit and fit is everything when you’re a plus girl like me.

1. Girlfriend

If you care more than just about how you look at the gym, but actually where your clothes come from and how it’s made, look no further. Girlfriend Collective is more than just an activewear brand that has taken over social media — it is a clothing brand that does good and is made from recycled water bottles. Yes, recycled water bottles! The brand is 100% transparent on their process and where they source their recycled materials. Their classic compressive high-rise leggings and sports bras have almost become a uniform in my closet. From bright to classic color sets, there’s definitely an outfit or two for you.

2. Torrid

An OG in the plus game! If there’s one category to shop at Torrid it’s their activewear, it’s one I swear by. I may be biased because I use to work at their headquarters, but it’s only because I know how much time and dedication goes into their fit. It’s not just a mission they preach, they really do walk the walk when it comes down to sizing at Torrid. What I love most about this brand is their dedication to finding the right fit for all real plus size bodies.

Size Range: 10-30

3. Outdoor Voices

For the adventurer who is always #DoingThings from dog walks, morning hikes on Runyon Canyon, to grabbing fresh juice from JuiceLand — Outdoor Voices is the new activewear brand that’s not only cool, but seriously just gets it. Their recreational apparel was made for people like you and me to sweat, have fun with friends, but most importantly stay happy and healthy. While their sizing is limited, I do hope they expand soon! (But if you’re an inbetweenie like me you can probably get by with their XL!)

Size Range: XS-XL

4. Fabletics

I’ll be honest, I never understood the hype around this brand until a coworker dragged me into one of their store. I have to admit it was love at first fit. Fabletics has become one of my go-to brands for activewear. They have a great selection of stylish pieces you can pair and a killer VIP program. Where else can you buy two pairs of leggings for $24?

Size Range: XXS-3X

5. DAY/WON

It’s 2019 and being strong looks very different from what it did a few years ago thanks to women like Candince Huffine. She may be a model by day, but she’s also body positivity activist and designer to an inclusive activewear brand for every body. Inspired by a dare to run a marathon, Huffine embarked on a fitness journey that soon came to change her life of never backing down from any challenge.

Size Range: 0-32

6. Nike

Nike has always been at the forefront of activewear, but it wasn’t until recently did their marketing start showing up for their plus gals and community, too! I know I can alway rely on their fit from head to toe.

Size Range: 1X-3X

7. Target

For those days when I’m on a budget Target has always been my go-to. Two of my favorite athleisure brands Target carries are Joy Lab and C9. The styles and fits are always constantly changing and you can always find great deals in the clearance racks. Pro-tip: Download the Target app for those Cartwheel discounts!

8. Game by Universal Standard

For the minimalist looking for high-performance and technically-designed activewear Universal Standard is for you. They’re sweat-proof and antimicrobial leggings will become a staple in your gym bag. If you’re a simple girl who likes her basics you’ll find everything you’ll need from their Game collection.

Size Range: 00-4X

9. Beyond Yoga

This size-inclusive brand is not only female-founded, but community driven.  You can find them on social empowering people to live their best, most balanced lives daily. Their fit is one of the most supportive and soft material I’ve ever worn. This brand is 110% worth the splurge because sometimes you just have to treat yo’self!

Size Range: XXS-3X

ICE Is Taking Advantage Of Migrants Who Can’t Read Or Write In Their Court Proceedings

Things That Matter

ICE Is Taking Advantage Of Migrants Who Can’t Read Or Write In Their Court Proceedings

Sandy Huffaker / Sandy Huffaker

Last summer, images of undocumented immigrant children went viral. These images didn’t show them crying, or being taken away from their parents. These children were pictured alone in court. The nameless children had no one by their side, no one to represent them, and had no clue what was going on, despite the fact that they were there trying to seek asylum. In some cases, these children wore headphones as a means to translate what the judge was saying. However, given that they were just children, the translation was almost useless. Reports are now servicing that immigration officials are using the language barrier as a means to keep them out of the U.S. 

An op-ed, written by a volunteer at the border, states that asylum-seeking immigrants cannot read or write in English or in their native tongue and immigration officials are taking advantage of that.

Emily Reed, a recent grad student from Barnard University, wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post that stated she witnessed this manipulation from immigration officials against illiterate undocumented people. Reed was at the border in Texas volunteering with classmates at the South Texas Family Residential Center volunteering with the Dilley Pro Bono Project when she witnessed this manipulation. 

“U.S. Customs and Border Protection often conveniently exploit asylum seekers who cannot read. Along with an unfamiliarity with our deliberately complex immigration system, the illiteracy of Central American migrants, especially women, facilitates the deportation of parents and separation of families,” Reed wrote. She added, “By manipulating illiterate refugees who often unwittingly sign away their rights, the U.S. government is violating the basic tenets of the internationally recognized and protected right to seek asylum.” 

Reed added that her volunteer program with the legal center provided Spanish documents to the migrant families, but they couldn’t under that either.

“Simple translation is not enough,” she wrote. “The Dilley Pro Bono Project provides documents in Spanish, but even this paperwork was difficult for many migrant women to understand. Many women I helped to fill out paperwork struggled simply to write their children’s birth dates.”

The migrant families are being rushed within the court and legal process, which in turn, is causing deportation to happen a lot faster.

Last year, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) reported that the haste paperwork at the border made it possible for immigration officials to rush and deport undocumented immigrants. The ACLU stated this process should not be rushed because people need to take their time and understand what is going on and what it is that they’re signing. 

“This waiting period is crucial to ensure that parents have an opportunity to make an informed decision about whether to fight their own removal cases, leave their children (who may have their own asylum claims) behind in the United States, or make some other decision,” the ACLU stated lasted year. “In short, families will be making life-altering decisions after months of traumatic separation — and the fact that the government is trying to shortchange them a matter of days to do so is galling.”

A New York Times report showed that 58,000 asylum seekers are currently stuck in Mexico under Trump’s policy because they’re awaiting asylum hearings.

The backlog for these asylum hearings is up to six to eight months, and when they’re ready for their hearing the majority of them won’t understand what needs to be done. This is why they need proper representation, and a patient legal system so they comprehend what is being asked of them and what the next steps are. 

What makes this matter even worse is that there’s not enough legal representation for each family unit, or individual, at the border. 

Last year, it was very apparent that there were not enough lawyers or legal help for undocumented immigrants at the border, and this year there’s even more undocumented people awaiting help and attempting to seek asylum. There people like Reed who want to help asylum seekers, but it’s not as easy as they might think. 

“People see the crisis happening, and they want to do something right now, which is great. But when we explain that this is a long-term fight, and we need your long-term commitment. That’s when people sort of back off.” Zenén Jaimes Pérez, the communications director at the Texas Civil Rights Project, told Huffington Post last year. 

If, however, you are willing to put in the time, or you’re interested in learning more about how you can provide legal help, or assist legal teams at the border, please reach out to: the South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project (“ProBAR”); the Immigration Justice Project (“IJP”); the ACLU of Texas; and RAICES.

READ: Selena Gomez Announces New Netflix Series ‘Living Undocumented’

She Went Viral For Insulting The Food In A Mexican Migrant Shelther, Now Lady Frijoles Is A Celebrity Back In Honduras

Entertainment

She Went Viral For Insulting The Food In A Mexican Migrant Shelther, Now Lady Frijoles Is A Celebrity Back In Honduras

Qhubo TV / Facebook

On November 2018, Miriam Zelaya became a viral sensation after she criticized the food she was given while waiting for asylum in Mexico. Zelaya was nicknamed Lady Frijoles after making comments about the beans served to her, claiming that it was food for pigs. Embarrassed, she later apologized publicly to the Mexican public for the statements she made. 

The story of Lady Frijoles has taken an interesting turn. 

On March 2019, Zelaya was detained with her sister, Mirna Zelaya, for a violent altercation that occured between them and Alba Escobar, the woman they were living with. The fight took place after Escobar blamed Zelaya and Mirna for the loss of her job. The two sisters were accused of assaulting Escobar with a the butt of a knife and chair; they were detained that same night. 

After being held in jail for almost four months, Zelaya pleaded guilty to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in court. As a result, she received four years of probation and was deported to her home country of Honduras. 

While Zelaya was in jail, her daughters were cared for by close friends and family. 

This week, Lady Frijoles was welcomed back in Honduras like a celebrity.

With only three days of being back in Honduras, Zelaya has been greeted by the media with style; she was even invited to appear on television. 

On the Honduran channel, Q’huboTV, Zelaya gives her version of the night she and her sister got arrested. According to most American media outlets, the dispute was only between the Zelaya sisters and Escobar. However, Zelaya tells a very different story that involves Escobar’s husband Mirna’s son. 

In her interview, Zelaya states that the reason the argument became physical was because Escobar pushed Mirna’s son. She affirms that neither she or her sister grabbed a chair to hurt Escobar, as most news publications have reported, saying that “I can lie to you all, but I will never lie to God.” Instead, it was Escobar who threw the chair at Mirna, which bounced back when Mirna lifted her arms to shield herself, causing Escobar to begin to bleed due to the impact. 

Zelaya refutes every word said about her on other sources, saying that there wasn’t a knife involved in the argument. Rather, Escobar gave the police the knife from her cabinet and claimed that she was assaulted with it. Miriam also clarifies that she was not as involved in the physical fight as the media claims she was. The only reason she got wrapped up in the situation was because Escobar was jealous of Miriam.

“I declared myself guilty more so for my daughters. I was scared that the state was going to take them away and I was going to lose them.”

After being able to meet with a judge to discuss her deportation, the judge let Zelaya know that she was able to fight for her stay in the country, if she could provide herself with a lawyer and the money to post bail. Zelaya responded that she did not have the money to cover the costs because of her lack of resources. The judge then offered to waive the cost of bail, but she must still find a lawyer to defend her. In the end, Miriam accepted her deportation because of her insufficient funds. 

During the programming, Q’huboTV opened up the line for calls directed to Lady Frijoles. Miriam received a lot of mixed reactions. For instance, one caller asked why Miriam would put the lives of her daughters at risk during the long journey from Honduras to the United States. Others tried to debunk all the statements Miriam had said about her case against Escobar. However, many welcomed Miriam back to Honduras and wished her good luck on her journey moving forward. 

On Q’huboTV, Miriam received plenty of support from the network.

For example, the opportunity to provide her daughter with glasses at no cost. Moreover, on live television the general manager of QhuboTV, Mario “Chano” Rivera, officially announced Miriam as a new host of show called “Las Doñas.”

To end the show, Miriam expressed how her fame helped her, but also impacted her negatively, “I never expected to have a job or help for my daughter.”

During a later episode, many viewers were upset about the fact that Miriam received a job offer with Q’huboTV due to her lack of experience and education in the field of media and communications. Both Alicia and Alejandra, Q’huboTV announcers, came to the defense of Miriam and stated that people should not be envious of Miriam or try to not tear her down. They invited Miriam because she is a star due to her fame. 

Either way, Miriam is incredibly thankful for the opportunity to be part of the QhuboTV family.