Aruba Curvy Weekend! by Kenty Lichtenberg
All photos are credited to Zoomaruba.com
“You need to find your erogenous body part and choose that specific part of your body to flaunt when you want to dress yourself in a sexy manner". Those were the words Aruban Fashion Designer Ronchi de Cuba spoke during the Curves in Conversation part of the Aruba Curvy Event that took place last weekend on the tropical island of Aruba.
Talking looks, this means the part of your body that you feel incites sexiness. Not necessarily in the beholder but in yourself, first and foremost. He wasn't solely talking about dressing sexy for any specific size or figure. It was actually his way of illustrating that no matter what, you must know your body and its assets in order to dress that body in a way that makes you feel confident and sexy.
As soon as I saw the announcement for the event on Facebook, I contacted the organization to see if I could attend for my Blog, Kerai Kreative Style. They promised an event where fashion, beauty and lifestyle would come together, focusing mainly on the curvy community while not excluding anyone who doesn't fit the curvy profile. I was excited to attend to see and meet Jennifer Barreto-Leyva, plus size model from Venezuela who graced the cover of Vogue Curvy. I was also longing to see Ronchi de Cuba again. A couple of years ago I had the pleasure of meeting him on one of my trips to Aruba. Psychologist and curvy model Giulitta Anthony's take on being plus sized and one's self-image had me intrigued as well as the fashion show with Aruban designer Javan Croes' collection especially made for the event. After a couple of e-mails to and from, Nicole de Cuba who organized the event gave me the green light to attend for my blog.
Before long the tables turned in ways that I would have never imagined, while packing my yellow suitcase (that arrived a day later than me on the island by the way), the organization found out last minute that Jennifer Barreto-Leyva would not be able to attend because of the closed borders between Venezuela and neighboring countries and asked me if I could be one of the speakers. Of course, I said yes! For a minute my excitement got the best of me, and made me forget to pack the gold shoes that I was planning to wear for the event. Nevertheless, I met some great ladies on the island who took me shopping on Saturday morning and I rocked a pair of patent coral shoes I found.
Psychologist Giulitta Anthony (beauty and brains, a gorgeous full head of natural curls, strong arms and legs and a booty to be revered) covered the self-care part of the conversation. It was amazing how well she could relate to a plus sized person, being so herself, besides being a mental care professional. What I found most interesting was her take on sensuality and sexuality.
"Plus sized women, also known as BBW, are often seen as sexual objects, as fetishes, not as sensual and sensible human beings who have wants and needs when it comes to intimacy." The only way to deal with issues like this one is the hardest way. Self-acceptance, which will lead to self-love and finally to assertiveness. "Get comfortable with your naked body. Get to know your naked body. Accept your naked body. Take off your clothes and do your things around the house naked and anytime you see your reflection look at it carefully. One you are comfortable with your body you will start loving your curves. Once you start loving your curves you will finally understand that you deserve to be treated the way you want to when it comes to intimacy. Only then will you be able to voice this to your sexual partner and you will have the most amazing orgasms!" This was Giulitta Anthony’s take on Intimacy.
Yours truly kept it simple and clear. I shared with the audience my journey to become Saint Maarten's first, and still only, plus size blogger with international recognition. An essential stepping stone during that journey, is finding my support group. This trip once more made me see how important having a support group is, and it was with great emotion and sincerity that I shared that with the crowd. My support group in Aruba was right there with me. I met this group of amazing ladies on Thursday upon my arrival during a social vent that I hosted. Even though I had never met them before, we connected on so many different levels and it was clear from the first handshake that we were all part of the same tribe. If it weren't for them, I would have been on that stage on my bare two feet!
Needless to say, Jennifer Barreto-Leyva was devastated that she could not be at the event. However, true to her resourceful self, she made a video and sent this to the organization to be shown during the evening. She shared a little bit of her story in becoming an internationally recognized Latin American plus size model. The first actually! It was very endearing to hear her say that she had a special connection to Aruba, especially with fashion designer Ronchi de Cuba who gave her very valuable advice at the beginning of her professional career as a plus size model. "Don't touch your eyebrows!" was one of them. If you know Jennifer Barreto-Leyva you will see that besides her curves, her eyebrows are one of her most amazing features.
The evening was finalized with a fashion show in which a wide array of models featured clothing from stores that cater to plus size consumers. These models were from all walks of life, different sizes, shapes, races and genders. Yes! You read that right. Allan Kock, MTF transgender model, wowed the crowd and rocked the catwalk in different outfits from casual to office, to evening to beach attire. Her overall look and poise was breathtaking.
It doesn't really matter how you look, or what size you are. Looking good in and out of clothes comes from feeling good. When you get to the point that you accept yourself, you are likely to feel good about yourself. This goes for every situation in life. To me, that was the main message that the Aruba Curvy Event aimed to send through different people and in different ways. I am ecstatic to have been part of that, and to be able to share it with you.