Category Archives: Women En Large

Women En Large : Twenty Third Anniversary

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Laurie says:

It’s amazing that Debbie’s and my book, Women En Large: Images of Fat Nudes, is celebrating its 23rd anniversary this month. The work continues to be displayed internationally and the book continues to sell.

And unfortunately it is as relevant now as it was then.

Tracy Blackstone and Debbie Notkin

To look in the mirror and see yourself, all of yourself, and to be pleased and satisfied. Should it be an impossible dream? Or is it something we all, each and every one of deserve?
‑‑ Debbie Notkin

Chupoo Alafonte

When I think of what it means to be a fat black woman, I think of my ancestors, women at the lowest rung of society, who were forced to serve, nurture, and give birth to a nation that hates and fears people who look like me.
— Chupoo Alafonté

Queen T’hisha and Robyn Brooks

I decided that I was never again going to allow someone to victimize me because of my size. Furthermore, I decided to enjoy myself the way I was. I have a voluptuous body and a very sensual nature. I’m creative, intelligent, charming, and lush. What’s not to like?
‑‑ April Miller

 

Rhylorien n’a Rose

I am not what others think of me. I am what I think of me. My body may be fat and physically challenged, but I am strong and beautiful … Right now.
— Rhylorien n’a Rose

 

Edna Rivera

I didn’t grow up with the belief that fat women were to be despised. The women in my family were fat, smart, sexy, employed, wanted, married, and the rulers of their households.
‑‑ Queen T’hisha

 

Debbie Notkin, April Miller, Carol S, Queen T’hisha, and Robyn Brooks

After a lifetime of hiding, you can imagine how hard it is to come out and say, “Hey! Look at me,” in a way where no one can fail to really see me.
‑‑ Cynthia McQuillin

Sue Hodges: Powerful Disability Activist

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Laurie and Debbie say:

Sue Hodges (1942-2017) was a powerful disability activist. It was an honor to have her as one of the models for Women en Large. She died in March.

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The East Bay Times says:

As a child, she contracted polio and although she survived the initial paralyzing effects of the disease, later in life, that illness came back to inflict much pain and disability on her. Susan was active in the Berkeley Free Clinic and devoted much of her life to social causes. For 5 years, she worked as a classroom assistant at Language Associates, a school for special needs children. Her most notable contribution was in the field of disability rights — especially for people in wheelchairs. The effect of her childhood polio and a bad car accident forced her into a wheelchair when she was in her early 40’s. From that time on, Susan worked tirelessly for the cause of the disabled, with emphasis on securing adequate pay for their caregivers. Susan was a co-author of the 1990 Americans With Disabilities Act, for which she was personally honored by President Clinton at the White House in 1994. She earned Woman of the Year for the State of California in 1999 and also for the City of Oakland in 1999. Gradually, her physical condition declined to the point where she spent much of her time in a hospital bed at her home…

I remember vividly photographing her in her home.  She was one of the people whose thoughts really contributed to the book. (Many of the women in the book have made important contributions to groundbreaking social justice work.)

Her work helped give millions of people access that was desperately needed and deserved. And her work for decent pay for care givers was profoundly important to people who important service is usually ignored.