Curvy double - Two-day conference dedicated to full-figured ladies
Radio host and entrepreneur Alisia Jarrett conceptualised the first Curvy Caribbean Conference, scheduled for April 8 - 9, 2017. It is designed to engage persons in discussions, provide networking opportunities and showcase lifestyle products designed specifically for curvy or plus-sized women.
Tuesday's launch of the two-day conference at the House of Neahlis, Ardenne Rd, St Andrew, drew support from media personality Dahlia Harris (who is an ambassador host and speaker at the event), cultural commentator and academic Professor Carolyn Cooper, and former Minister of Tourism, Ambassador Aloun Ndombet Assamba.
"Just hours before International Women's Day this is just inspired timing," Cooper remarked. "Because International Women's Day is an occasion for us as women to think about the way society conditions us to fit into certain neat little boxes, and we need to emancipate ourselves from these kinds of restrictions. Beauty comes in all sizes, all shapes, all looks. And as long as we become victims of the anorexic model of beauty, we are going to be constantly thinking 'something is wrong with me'," she said.
"I think Jamaican media still pushes the anorexic, light-skinned beauty model and I think we really need to contest that. Black women need to be more visible. Full-figured women need to be more visible and we just have to claim our beauty in a whole range of body types. We can't just keep pushing one as the ideal," Cooper told The Gleaner.
"Professionally, I've worked with management in the past who made it clear I was not fit for TV," Harris revealed. "Personally, I accept that you can't please everyone. I've lost weight and people loved it. Some hated it. I gain weight, it's the same."
The two-day conference will also feature as ambassadors Atlanta-based blogger Nikki Frenney-Wiggins (more popularly known as NikkiFree Style) and international plus-size models Tessenie Mowatt and Tricia Campbell. The conference will be hosted by owner of The Original Arm Candy and TV personality Gianna Fakhourie. Other presenters include dance and fitness instructor Yendi Phillipps, fitness specialists Patrice White and Natalie Murray, hairstylist Wayne Maxwell and fashion designers Courtney Washington, Simone Gordon and Donaldene Berwick.
"People just need to get to a point where we love ourselves for who we are. Jamaica's motto says 'Out of Many, One People, and everybody can't be the same. I can't be you, so love me for who I am." Harris told The Gleaner.