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A ‘Whole Lotta’ Woman.... by Lani Neilson

 In our ‘fat-phobic society, here is a woman who has the rare gift of “knowing her own beauty”…

I recently read an article about a woman in her late fifties. She was described in the article as being a heavy set, ‘motherly’ kind of woman however, as I read further, I felt she had been misrepresented by her interviewer. I sensed that there was something really different about this woman and for me she has an amazing gift to offer every man, every woman and every child. She really loves who she is, she loves her body and she is absolutely comfortable with herself, just the way she is.
As I kept reading I could hear a voice inside of me shouting…”You-go-girlfriend”…as my heart opened wide with surges of joy and excitement pulsing vibrantly through it. In our fat-phobic society, here is a woman who has the rare gift of “knowing her own beauty” and it shines and radiates from the inside out. She has been both heavy and thin and every weight in between and she has come to totally and absolutely love the way her body looks and feels with her weight on.
She loves the round shape of her tummy, she loves her full, soft, breasts and the way her cleavage looks in low cut tops and

dresses. She adores the way her hips announce the presence of her pelvic power and the way her booty looks in jeans. Most of all she loves the way her man grabs her and makes her feel like a ..”Whole lotta woman”..  

I must admit, that on my first read of the article I thought to myself, ’perhaps she has become numb and disconnected from her body. Perhaps it is too painful for her to feel the eyes of disapproval that look at her and judge her round, full, plumpness and she has become desensitized. Stick and stones can break our bones and being teased and called names, can definitely hurt us.
However, as I read it again, I remembered being a little girl, growing up with Italian and Greek neighbours. I would spend my days in their homes, in their kitchens and in their gardens. These women were never thin, they were always full bodied woman …in every kind of way !!.. Each one of them where my Thia’s and Tia’s, Ya-Ya’s and Ma-ma’s and they all glowed with a bright inner light that gave radiance to their passionate, feminine spirits. Even in grief and pain, these women seemed to be nourished from roots that where planted in a rich and deep inner soil that grounded their feminine spirits in a cultural container that honored their emotions, worshipped the round, curvaceous shape of their bodies and gave them permission to feed themselves with food, music, wine, sex, life, children, dreams and love.
They always reminded me of plump, juicy fruit….ripe, fragrant and lush with juicy flesh that is nourishing, delicious and full of sweet, succulent nectar that is “Oh so good for you“. I loved being around these women and looking back, I can see that I was totally drawn to their love, warmth and feminine radiance. Just like a moth is drawn to a flame. I innately knew back then, that this is the kind of soil in which the deep feminine grows in.
I also enjoyed being around the men that loved, supported and adored these women. My Theos, Tias, Papou’s and Babba’s. They knew of the goddess and they served and worshipped her in their women.
I watched as they stood in their masculine strength and never needed to undermine or take anything strength away from their women. My Papou..(greek grandfather) would sit me down and talk to me about women being the ‘Great Gateway’ through which all of life must pass. He would describe the greek goddesses and he would tell me their stories and it was clear to me that women were honoured as the keepers of life’s nourishing medicines. For him without women, there was no life.
Through my teenage years I wavered from their lessons about the full and juicy energies of women and I rejected my feminine essence in search of what I thought was love. I was thin, tom-boyish and lost. In my mind I was an empty vessel, not having anything to offer love or life. I became bulimic and for ten years I used food to fill my ‘not enough’ emptiness until I reconnected with an elder that reminded me of the Sacred Feminine energy. The goddess had found me and she was calling me back home into her presence.
It was then that I found myself returning to my memories of my full bodied Ya-Ya Sisterhood and fond memories of one special, beautiful greek babba who would always say to me……” kookala, you must eatta. want something to hold onto when they love you”…..then he would call to mamma……”Effie, feed this girl and fill her into a woman”…
Memories of my tribal grandmother, who was also a ‘full’ woman came flooding back. She would dig holes and sit me inside of mother earth’s body and she’d teach me to breathe and offer mother the core of my being. The big SHE has always been with me and SHE whispers to me still as SHE seeks to make every cell of my body her own. I am sure that the woman I was reading about is connected to the HER as well, and that her body and spirit move in unison with HER, just as my Thia’s, Tia, YaYa’s and Mamma’s did.
God Bless all of the full bodied voluptuous women that have graced my life with their presence, they all have every bit of the Goddess inside of them and each and every one of them is a ” whole lotta woman” !!….
By Lani Neilson
Copyright © 2005