Tag Archives: Enchanted Zaftig

The Roundness of Things

charlie-and-the-chocolate-factory-violet-blueberry-564Every time I see a photo of myself, I am consistently reminded of how very ROUND I am. Like a giant beach ball with legs. Or Violet Blueberry from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

As though if I didn’t have legs, I would roll around or need to be tethered to something to keep me from floating away.

I am not discouraged by this, mind you. When I look at pictures of myself, I don’t cringe and think, “Oh God, I look so fat. I look so ugly. I look so horrible. I need to lose 10 pounds/20 pounds/50 pounds. I need to do something with my hair. I need to wear better makeup. I need to wear better clothes. I need to never go out. I need to never let someone take my picture.

No, when I look at pictures of myself, I simply think, “Wow. I’m round.”

Hips. Thighs. Belly. Breasts. Head.

All round.

Round and wide.

And when I’m standing next to someone, they look so very un-round compared to me.

Does that make me wish to be un-round, too?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the definition of round is:

: well filled out: plump, shapely : complete, full : direct in utterance: brought to completion or perfection : presented with life-like fullness or vividness :

Conversely, antonyms of round include: inadequate, small, low, weak, haggard, waspish.

It is true that I carry a lot of weight around. And it is true that my short legs don’t quite keep up with others. But neither of those aspects prevent me from being active or enjoying life. And I would much prefer to see photos of myself next to the un-rounds, than to be left with no visual documentation of my activities and achievements at all.

This is me:

AfA2.jpg

Vivid, full, direct, complete.

Round.

2 Comments

Filed under A Touch of Inspiration, Musings and Thoughts

Pillow Talk

“But there are things that happen between a man and a woman in the dark… that sort of make everything else seem… unimportant.”

– Stella Kowalski, A Streetcar Named Desire (Tennessee Williams)

What happens between a man and a woman in the dark makes everything else in the world seem unimportant…  Such truth in a phrase!

Shutting the blinds, pulling the curtains, locking the door, falling into your lover’s embrace.

What a liberating moment!

The stresses and demands of the world, of everyday life, diminish and wash away like dirt beneath a cleansing spout. Even in the darkness of a bedroom, there is emanating light and rejuvenation as two breathless souls intertwine in a choreographed dance of emotion and salaciousness.

It is intrinsic. It is instinctual. It is perfect harmony, untouched by outside influence.

What happens between a man and a woman in the dark makes everything else in the world seem unimportant…

Flesh.

Kisses.

Satiation.

Pillow talk.

When combined, the effect is magical; medicinal.

 

Never underestimate the restorative power of carnality.

 

1 Comment

Filed under A Touch of Inspiration, Musings and Thoughts, Sensual Servings

In the Depths of Autumn’s Decay

I have discovered many friends lately, some very close to me, who are experiencing a profound and often difficult transition in their lives. This poem was written for you ~ and for everyone going through a life transformation.

In the innermost depths of Autumn,

In the interminable upswirl of leaves and earth,

Comes transition, change, an inevitable onset of life’s temporary slumber.

Different from Spring, this season brings with it the aroma of mortality and decay;

It is pungent and evident and swirls purposefully through the crisp, cool air that we breathe.

Yet with this decay, with this impending introduction to winter’s death,

Appears an opportunity for reawakening –

For rebuilding, refocusing and reexamining;

Like the accumulation of fallen leaves, we gather past thoughts, emotions and memories

And toss them together in a flickering pyre of flames

Proffering them to the earth like an organic offering on the altar of transformation.

By purging them from our bodies, minds and souls, we henceforth allow sufficient space

For a tiny seed of rebirth to germinate within us,

Slowly cultivating in the fertile soul of our acceptance and determination,

Preparing itself for bloom in the restorative sunlight of Spring.

 

© 2012 Enchanted Zaftig

1 Comment

Filed under A Touch of Inspiration, Poetry and Prose

Adam’s Napkins

Do you know what I love? 

Surprises.

Do you know what I love even more?

When the surprise comes from a friend and involves creativity with a motif that is near-and-dear to my heart!

A few days ago, I received a very special package in the mail containing precious zaftig goods from sculptor and napkin-doodler extraordinaire, Adam Schultz. As many of you are aware, I have been a great admirer of Adam’s work for years. His astute ability to capture the essence and beauty of the abundant female form, in both sculpture and ink sketches, is enlightening and crucial to the body-acceptance movement.

I am pleased and proud to promote his work. As Adam himself states, he is changing the world, “one collector at a time.” I like to think that I am changing the world, one reader at a time. Together, we are making an impact towards ending body shame and changing social prejudice. 

Some time ago, Adam began to sketch abundant female forms on cocktail and dinner napkins while dining out in various restaurants across the country. Popularity over these paper creations grew, and he now offers these one-of-a-kind sketches to the general public. Visit adamsnapkins.com to view an array of his zaftig napkin illustrations, all of which are unique, hand-drawn, autographed and looking for collectors to love and appreciate them.  

I know I will love and appreciate mine!

Viva la zaftig!

SPECIAL OFFER: Now through October 1, 2013, be automatically entered to win a beautiful bronze  sculpture from Adam with every purchase of an Adam Napkin!

1 Comment

Filed under A Touch of Inspiration, Visual Delights

Perfectly Flawed

With cushions from our 1960’s red tapestry couch lined up along the carpet of the living room floor, I attempted to perfect a simple cartwheel. Arms high, legs apart, feet pointed and concentration focused, I twirled. And twirled. And twirled. Over and over again. Trying to perfect a simple cartwheel. 

Hundreds and hundreds of times, I tried.

But I could never get my legs straight. I could never twirl in the air like a windmill. Each time I attempted to perfect a  cartwheel, I landed sideways, off of the cushions, onto the floor. Every single time.

Completing a simple somersault was even difficult for me at times.

I never yearned to be an Olympic gymnast as a child. I never held dreams of winning gold medals and standing on a podium, representing my country while singing along to the National Anthem. Being on the cover of a Wheaties box or a ‘Sports Illustrated’ magazine held no relevance to me. All I wanted was to be able to flip through the yard on my hands and feet, feeling the cool grass between my fingers and toes as I brilliantly and cleverly defied gravity… just like other girls my age were doing. Friends made it appear so effortless and easy, I couldn’t grasp why my own body didn’t cooperate. Was I physically challenged? Had I been dropped as a child? What was my handicap? It was frustrating and disheartening.

As time passed, I slowly came to the realization that I simply did not possess any gymnastic coordination or aptitude (never for lack of trying, mind you, but for lack of capability.) Maturing from child to woman at a very young age, my hips, chest and mid-section grew at an alarmingly rapid rate. Physical coordination was nearly impossible for me during that time. In particular, I recall hiking frequently with my family during numerous childhood camping trips, and my hips and ankles would ache on an almost constant basis. I would tire easily and become light headed during most activities and would pray for a quick finish.

Experiencing ‘growing pains’ was not merely a metaphor, but rather a vivid reality.

Learning to dance The Hustle was perhaps my biggest achievement in P.E. class. I was incapable of bending into a backflip, I couldn’t climb a rope (most girls can’t, but it frustrated me anyway) I couldn’t run track, and I couldn’t balance for more than two seconds on a balancing beam. Free-throwing a basketball into a hoop was doable, and I was proud of my achievements in that category, but dribbling that same ball down the court was quite another story.

Now, this is not to say that I was inept at ALL physical activities. In fact, I quite excelled at roller skating, had been swimming since toddler-hood and could ride a bike all over the neighborhood and back again. But my overall physical aptitude was well below-par, in my perception. So, the rounder my body became, the less I tried to tackle gymnastics and sports and simply concentrated on other, more attainable goals: writing, painting, drawing, immersing myself in academics. I stayed active with roller skating and bike riding and running around with friends, but I pushed the need to perfect a simple cartwheel out of my mind. Eventually, I accepted the shortcoming and moved on.

To everyone, there are limitations; we all face them at one time or another, much to our chagrin. However, an honest attempt should still be made to overcome those limitations – because challenging ourselves is a crucial component to discovering our abilities. How else are we to know what we are truly capable of? Experience everything, at least once, but ultimately, don’t beat yourself up over an inability… because chances are high that you’ll succeed in many other areas, and those successes will reduce those shortcomings to mere dots on the grand scale of life.

Perfection is overrated. Why not try being perfectly flawed instead?

Leave a comment

Filed under A Touch of Inspiration, Musings and Thoughts

Embracing a Vision

The following is an article I authored for a women’s magazine. Unfortunately, the publication never quite got off the ground. I decided this piece needed to be shared, regardless. 

 

Have you ever viewed a painting or a sculpture, heard a poem or read a story that awakened your senses? Made you feel passionate about a subject and perhaps initiated a personal catharsis in you?

Art possesses the ability to capture awareness, stimulate thought and ignite emotion. Usually, one cannot view an artistic creation without feeling a reaction toward it, be it positive or negative, compelling or indifferent. Although some artists claim that interpretation is up to the individual, most probably desire a specific reaction; they want you to see what they see, feel what they feel, according to the passion and earnestness of their created work.

Prince Charming

With his sculptural series, “Goddess,” which showcases voluptuous, rotund women in enchanting poses, Adam Schultz hopes to inspire and influence a change in what qualifies as beautiful.

“Art is one of the most powerful ways to promote positive body image,” he states. “When people see these body types represented in a sensual way, rendered in the timeless medium of bronze, they are forced to reexamine their personal opinions of others – and of themselves.”

I first met Adam at a gallery in Evergreen, Colorado, where he was demonstrating part of his sculpting process using oil-based clay. Although we had been in correspondence prior to that evening, speaking with him in person and witnessing his work-in-process was pivotal for me. As an appreciator of the arts, I am constantly inspired by the creativity of others, and Adam’s works speak to me on a very personal level, because 1.) I have the body type he molds, and 2.) We share the same passion about changing the narrowing views on beauty.

Fibonacci’s Girl

Having sculpted a wide range of artifacts for over 25 years – including animals, portraits, memorials and monuments for both private and corporate collections – Adam decided within the last decade to begin creating the figures he loves personally but rarely sees sculpturally. “I find the sensual curves of full-figured women inherently beautiful,” he tells me, a point which is made evident by the delightfully abundant “Goddess Series.”

Adam did not begin his artistic journey as a sculptor, however. In college, he chose drawing as his major and had dreams of becoming an illustrator. It wasn’t until he learned to sculpt that he realized his true passion. For 20 years, he worked at a foundry in Northern Colorado, recreating the styles and textures of many different artists in order to cast their works in bronze. It was during this time that he became an expert in every phase of the “lost wax” process and discovered his own style. To this day, he continues to take sculpture workshops and apprentice with some of the finest figure sculptors of our time. As he says, “I never stop honing my skills.”

So why the focus on full-figured body types?

“I see people feeling ugly their whole lives,” Adam reveals. “I see them hurting and mutilating their bodies to try and emulate Barbie dolls, and I wonder why unique, lovely and curvaceous body types aren’t perceived as beautiful also.”

When his two daughters were around the ages of four or five, both complained to Adam that they needed to lose weight, which determined him even further to play a role in changing perceptions and reversing the low self-esteem crisis pervading our population, particularly in women.

Galatea on view

Although he realizes that not every person who views his sculptures will embrace his artistic intent, he remains committed to promoting positive body image. According to Adam, his biggest critics tend to be those individuals who have fallen into the “thin is in” rhetoric and who find the celebration of rotund bodies distasteful. Adam treats these negative moments as opportunities to educate and introduce a different opinion, as well as to perhaps change a misguided perception.

For the most part, the response to Adam’s “Goddess Series” has been overwhelmingly positive. And that is most pivotal.

“I’ve had women burst into tears after viewing my work,” he shares, “and thank me for helping them to see themselves – sometimes for the first time – as beautiful.”

Art can perform an integral role in drawing attention to a subject and affecting change. Although Adam Schultz realizes that not every person who views his sculptures will embrace his vision, he remains committed to promoting positive body image and making a difference through his abundant sculptural forms.

To view more of Adam’s work, visit www.adamsculpture.com

©2012 Enchanted Zaftig

Leave a comment

Filed under A Touch of Inspiration, Musings and Thoughts, Visual Delights

The Woman In The Dark

Sitting in the Dark With Red Hair ~ by Juan Alcantara

Sitting in the dark, in silence and solitude, tranquility and discernment,

A woman faces her fears,

Her bare flesh resplendent, encouraging her on,

Diminishing her shame and self-loathing.

She needs no mirror, no reflection, to assuage her hesitations

For the vivid truth speaks to her in a language she’s only just now begun to understand.

“I am wonderfully created.

Each and every fold and curve,

          hill and valley,

             rise and fall of my ample flesh

                gives proof to my unique existence.

My beauty shines from within and without and resonates to the world.

I am electric and noticeable, invaluable and admirable, worthy and unashamed.

I am me.

And I am content.”

The woman in the dark has a conversation with herself that alleviates even her most powerful doubts.

It cleanses and awakens her, offers a life-changing, uncharted path  of revelation and acceptance, love and respect, hope and fortitude.

“I am me,” she sings harmoniously to herself.

“And I am content…”

1 Comment

Filed under A Touch of Inspiration, Musings and Thoughts, Poetry and Prose, Visual Delights

The Skinny Within Us

“Help!There’s a skinny person inside of me trying to get out!”

A phrase, similar to the 1980’s Life Call commercial depicting an elderly woman exclaiming, “Help! I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up!”

Why do we cry out in agony, as though our curves are cloaks of doom, needing to be shed?

How sad to go through life convinced that our bodies are not our own. To feel shame and the desire to discard our physical vessels like unwanted clothing. At what point did our self-loathing begin? And at what point do we find our way back to self-love?

There are countless reasons why our “skinny” body may have disappeared (if she was ever even there!):

  • Physical maturity
  • Marriage
  • Childbirth
  • Divorce
  • Health
  • Various life circumstances that evolved and changed, therefore evolving and changing us

Perhaps the thinner bodies which once existed for us humbly and respectfully stepped aside in reverence to the greater, richer, well-rounded person we became through our life experiences. Rather than view our physical transformation as unacceptable, we should proudly display each curve as evidence of the milestones we have reached.  Like the rings of a tree, which grow and expand throughout its existence, so should our curves  represent our accomplishments, wisdom and grandeur.

Consider this: When walking through a forest, what type of tree captures your attention ~ the tiny sapling just emerging from the ground or the mighty oak, casting its lush shadow across the forest floor, proffering comfort, stability and shelter?

The skinny within you may be gone, but don’t fret over your curves, Beautiful One. Instead, spread your branches and revel in your  lusciousness!

Leave a comment

Filed under A Touch of Inspiration, Musings and Thoughts

A Woman Without Curves…

 

 

 

3 Comments

Filed under A Touch of Inspiration, Visual Delights

Tickling The Tassels

In a continuing quest to expand my horizons, and because I always appreciate the sensual things in life, I’ve now ventured into the intriguing world of burlesque. Yes, you read it right!

burlesque

“Neo-Burlesque”, to be precise.

Neo-Burlesque (or “New Burlesque”) is the revival and updating of the traditional burlesque performance. Though based on the traditional Burlesque art, the new form encompasses a wider range of performance styles; Neo-burlesque acts can be anything from classic striptease to modern dance to theatrical mini-dramas to comedic mayhem. As with the earlier burlesque, neo-burlesque is more focused on the “tease” in “striptease” than the “strip”. Audiences for neo-burlesque shows tend to be mixed gender, age, race, and class. ~ Wikipedia

Last summer, my girlfriend and I discussed partaking in either a burlesque or belly dance class ~ something provocative that would enliven our sense of femininity and nudge us from our comfort zones. As if on cue, a daily coupon special for Vivenne VaVoom’s School of Burlesque appeared in my friend’s email box. Coincidence? Perhaps. But lately, it seems that many of my experiences point in a common direction ~ one of living the Enchanted Zaftig life.

Despite our initial enthusiasm, for over 6 months the purchased coupon sat in our respective inboxes, collecting dust; for some reason, neither of us took the initiative to put it into action. I can’t attribute the hesitation to anything concrete, other than we are both single moms with full-time jobs and not a whole lot of breathing room to play. It wasn’t until the New Year rolled around that we mutually decided it was time to get our dance on.

(I should insert here that I am not a dancer. I do not possess the moves nor the skills to properly represent on the dance floor. However I AM a sensual person, so learning to burlesque is not quite as daunting as, say, hip hop might be.) 

My goal going into this project is to assume a fun and positive outlook and to glean something entertaining from the experience.  

Class #1: The fine art of using the feather boa as a seductive and playful tool.

Not as easy as it sounds, especially when twirling it around your leg like a snake while attempting to remain graceful. As the only students in the class that evening, my girlfriend and I stood in front of a wall of mirrors and witnessed our inadequacies while the lovely and talented Vivienne VaVoom demonstrated her technique with effortless agility. Not allowing myself any negative thoughts, I swirled and twirled and seduced that wall of mirrors with my feather boa like nobody’s business. All the while, a smile of giddiness played across my face, because, despite my lack of coordination and finesse, I was having fun with it (and, hey, burlesque performers smile and wink at their audience anyway!)

My girlfriend and I left that first class breathless from the workout and excited for the next one. I was sore for days afterwards in places I didn’t know could hurt.

Class #2: The fine art of using the chair as a performance platform.

Who knew a chair could be used in so many different ways during a burlesque performance? Not just for sitting on, but for kicking a leg up on, laying on, exposing the roundness of a thigh on, or giving the captive audience a peek at undergarments on. For this class, my girlfriend and I decided to “doll up” a bit in our appearance to make the experience more authentic (plus, it was easier on the eyes, viewing our reflections in that great wall of mirrors.) My friend even donned high heels, the brave soul, which served to accentuate her curves and give her a graceful height as she moved. It was during this time that I came to the conclusion that I do not have the body type for a proper burlesque performance ~ I am too short and stubby and round around the middle ~ but even so, I have great boobs and  the determination to work my body to the best of my ability. Enthusiasm can go a long way. 🙂

 

We practiced throwing a foot up on our chairs so many times that evening that my hips and thighs burned. But this is how I see it: if I’m going to partake in a rigorous workout, I much prefer it to be done with lipstick on and the tune of “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend” playing in the background than in a noisy, smelly gym!

 

 

Stay tuned for details of upcoming classes ~ it’s sure to become more and more interesting! (including the fine art of striptease and how to twirl those tassels!)

3 Comments

Filed under A Touch of Inspiration, Musings and Thoughts, Sensual Servings