Tag "Body Confidence"

Loving The Skin You’re In

Photography By Studio 52

It’s funny how some people think that they know all that there is to know about a person just from meeting them once or from the persona they portray. I often have people writing to me or telling me in person how confident I seem and they ask me what things they can do to let their guard down and just feel comfortable in their skin. To be totally honest with you I don’t think there is a magic formula or series of steps one can take to achieve a feeling of confidence. I always refer to my own confidence as a journey, I have my good and my bad days just like everyone else but in my case I think a combination of different things has all contributed to my being the way that I am.

My family is massive! I have tons of family members on both sides and a bunch of people who may not carry the same blood line as me but they are very much a part of the bunch also. Being around so many people who have large bold personalities can make it a challenge for some to find their own way and stand out in a positive light. Many of my friends have come from situations where they found it hard to find their voice in a sense. In my case my childhood was filled with my family, friends and of course many tumultuous times. As many of my readers know I was severely bullied in school from the age of 4-18 and always struggled with fitting in and being comfortable. My weight has always been with me despite countless diets, exercise regimes and emotional headaches. I always had a constant war going on in my head because I had the confidence of a raging bull when it came to taking the stage and entertaining people whether that be singing my heart out, acting, public speaking or otherwise. The thing is, knowing that your talent shines bright is one thing but it can easily be diminished when you’re not comfortable in your own skin…

For me I had to go through many situations and experiences with people all over to realise that I get my confidence from truly knowing who I am, what I stand for and having the courage to stand by whatever it is that I believe in. I have never been the quiet silent type unable to express myself and I know already that I’m not the sort of woman who will ever become a shrinking violet. I stand high on my morals, my faith and my relationships with the people who matter most to me in my life. All of these things have allowed me to feel confident. I guess it’s that fight of flight sort of thing; you can make a decision to panic which more often than not does nothing and can exacerbate a situation or you can stop, pull yourself together and do the best you can in a situation. I tend to be someone who takes the latter option and with this my self confidence when it comes to my self image has started to get the message.

When I was 25 years old I came to the realisation that I love who I am as a person and a woman. I figured although I had a lot to learn and a lot of growing up to do I couldn’t continue to spend another day hating the way that I looked. I had pretty much spent a quarter of a century beating myself up for not looking like other women and I eventually realised that I’m not meant to be like anyone else. I need to be the best Mayah that I can possibly be and that instead of looking at my glass as half empty I needed to look at it as half full, focus on all the things I love about myself and build on those; eventually overshadowing the doubts I had in my own mind.

Confidence isn’t something that I feel you can buy through any sort of beauty product or clothing item. These are things that can help enhance what may already be hiding beneath the surface. I think the key is learning to love parts of yourself that you previously may have hated. Take my hair for example, I have always had a constant war with my hair and when I finally realised that it is the way it is, I learned to find things about it that I enjoy and I build on those. I think the same can be said in other aspects of who you are. If you love to be creative then surround yourself around creative people who will uplift and inspire you to do the same for yourself. If you want to be more introspective then find ways to channel that energy in a positive light and the rest will follow. The old saying can also be true “fake it until you make it” it worked for me on many occasions. I think basically it’s a trial and error sort of thing and is a process that takes time. I have those days when I look in the mirror and think ewww I look hideous but I try and just take it for what it is, a bad day and I keep pushing on. What I’m saying is that when you’re having a down day try and focus on the aspects that you love about yourself and don’t feed into that negative energy. Eventually the paradigm of your thoughts will change.

Remember whatever you wear, feel fabulous in it and wear it with a smile!

With Flying Colours!

One thing I love, Colour! Colour to me can really impact on a persons sense of mood and it can definitely give a certain style or theme to your wardrobe! A trend that has been quite popular recently is paint! Splashed paint to be exact! It would seem that abstract swirls and patterns aren’t just limited to bright canvases that sit in art galleries, we can wear them right out there on our streets! I have seen a whole host of interesting colours splashed across women’s clothing everywhere and I have had my eye open for something of my own for quite some time!

Hanna and I went to a Boohoo press event at some time last year and they had loads of upcoming items with paint splattered patterns arriving in the upcoming collection (some of you may remember some of the pics I posted on my Instagram whilst at the event). Whilst having a browse on the website I came across a really fun and BOLD shift dress. The Taylor printed shift dress fits my frame like a bodycon but to be honest with you, that’s one of the things I love most about it! I’m wearing this is a size 24 and I have to say I really like how it looks on. I will admit when I first took this out of the packaging and tried it on I thought ‘Wow I look colourful!’ Not so long ago I would have been totally pushed out my comfort zone by this prospect but I actually love how this looks.

I should note I’m not wearing any shapewear in these pictures, the bright paint print I find actually looks quite flattering against my shape. In a viscose, elastane mix the fabric feels like a soft t-shirt on. As an item that’s really light to wear, this would be really comfortable in a bar or club atmosphere. The long sleeves are really comfortable with plenty of stretch and would be a really comfortable item to wear for ladies who don’t like to show the tops of their arms. Due to the fact that I have a large bust and big behind this dress hitches up a little on me I wear this with leggings as the length is slightly shortened because of this.


I thought I would work with the colours of the dress and so I thought my red patent ballerina pumps from Primark would work well for comfortable footwear. I think a pair of stiletto heels would work in any of the colours featured on the dress if you wanted to slightly glam this up a little. For accessories I kept it simple wearing this Feather necklace from Topshop and my classic hoop earrings.


Don’t be afraid of colour, have fun with it and enjoy being bold! We all need to have those fun items in our wardrobes that makes us want to be colourful and vibrant.

Remember whatever you wear, feel fabulous in it and wear it with a smile!

Skorting It Out!

 

When I push myself out of my comfort zone the aim is to push my ideas of what I can achieve image-wise and it’s also a way to test my confidence, and hopefully give myself an added boost. Not everyone feels comfortable doing this but it tends to work for me. We all have those areas that we don’t like so much, in my case it’s my upper arms and my thighs.During a day of blogger mayhem with Hanna and Lucie which included taking tons of pics, fashion talk and playing dress up, the girls and I were each suggesting looks and styles that would work on each other. I had mentioned to Hanna that I wanted to play around with some fun and fresh looks and asked her to style an outfit for me to try out. As I have recently developed a love of Duster jackets she thought I might like to try one which was blue, black and grey. 3 colours that I love, can work with and enjoy wearing.

 

Last summer my aim was to go out in the sun as much as possible without my arms covered. I know this may sound like a small thing but for me it was major! This year I want to play around with experimental styles and show a little more leg here and there. A recent item to hit the market is the skort, a cross between shorts and skirts. The great thing about this kind of an item is the fact that you can have the look and feel or a skirt that’s short in length without the worry of having to constantly prise your legs together to conceal your undergarments. I find that feeling more free in your clothes can make the experience of wearing them a little more enjoyable. I had never tried a skort before but seeing as so many of my friends and fellow bloggers have been raving about them I thought I’d give it a try for myself. I’m wearing a size 26 from New Look Inspire, the particular one I’m wearing is no longer available but you can get a similar one here from Pink Clove.

 

 

You all know my love of blue so I decided to pair the skort with a simple blue top and the Look Grid Jacket size 20 from Simplybe. Topped off with some black chunky heels from New Look and the main outfit was complete. Admittedly when I took these images I was experiencing a bad hair day so I pulled on one of my hair scarves. A bold and fun floral statement necklace from Daisy Eve was my only accessory and the look was complete.

Despite having my legs exposed to just above the knee I felt pretty good in this outfit. I think that wearing items I felt great in combined with one that I was trying out was definitely fun, not only do I quite like the overall look achieved, I feel that if I find a good balance between being in and out of my comfort zone I will continue to push myself and in turn build on my confidence.

 

Remember whatever you wear, feel fabulous in it and wear it with a smile!

No More Burn, Fighting Chub Rub – A Vevina Review

 

When it comes to the summer we are faced with many fun and exciting prospects such as amazing days out, fabulous nights on the town, holidays, warm sunshine and amazing music is usually there to set the scene. Having said all of that one thing that many of us worry about (especially anyone who’s thighs touch) is that dreaded chub rub!

I spent years avoiding skirts and dresses purely because the mere thought of the sore and awkward rash would be enough to stop me wearing some of the things I like. I was recently contacted by Vevina and asked if I would like to trial their anti chafe cream. Anything that could possibly soothe me during the warm weather or prevent any soreness when wearing skirts and dresses is something I would welcome trying. In all honesty I can wear skirts and things in the colder months without as much of a problem but I still prefer to use something for comfort as a preventative measure

When I first tried out the cream I was at home just milling around the house and I didn’t find it very effective. I assumed that perhaps it didn’t do much for me in working with my body type. I have to say I was wrong about this observation. When I went out the other day in one of my favourite vintage numbers I tried the cream again; this time using a fair amount of the lotion and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. Despite the hot temperatures and thick humid weather I was able to go about my day having done a lot of walking in the sunshine and I felt protected.

I have previously used a heavy amount of talcum powder and even roll on deodorant when wearing skirts to prevent chub rub. Whilst these measures have been effective they haven’t always been practical. The small 30ml tube is a perfect solution to slip into my make-up bag just in case a second application is required.

What can be annoying is the fact that what works for one person may not work for another. Often lotions and creams can be be successful depending on your skin type and how much friction you have in the relevant areas. Some people have a heavy amount of sweat and so would need to reapply creams and and some would be fine with a single application.

There are many different areas on our body where chaffing can prove to be a problem and so Vevina have come up with this clear guide on where those might be and where you application might sooth the burning and sore areas:

 

 

If you have tried various things and want to give this cream a try click here for information on how to order some for yourself.

Going Bare In The Sun!

Summer is here and despite the odd rain shower we’ve had, this one is set to be a mega hot one! With all that in mind it’s no surprise that we’re reaching for our shorts, dresses and maxi skirts…

This year I have decided that on my quest to push my confidence and embrace myself further, I would be brave and head out without any coverage of my arms. For those of you who are new to my blog; my arms are my problem area (lord knows we all have one) I have always felt more at ease without them on show. Having said that I’ve started to get to the point where I’m not sacrificing my comfort in order to cloak myself. I used to wear boleros, jackets and shrugs in the blazing hot sun and would put a brave face on the situation and pretend I was absolutely fine when in truth; I would be on a constant search for the nearest store to relieve myself in the heat by reaching for the nearest cold drink!

I won’t pretend that it’s easy for me to ditch my usual cover ups though, I still feel more comfortable with them but I am doing what I can to just face those little fears head on and not let my personal hang ups ruin my day. As I recently mentioned, pushing my limits is helping me to gain more self confidence.

It’s no secret that I really like animal prints in clothing and so I just had to have this amazing maxi shirt from Primark size 20. Unfortunately this is from a previous season but there may be something similar coming in stores soon. Keep you eyes peeled you never know what you can find in Primark.

I thought it would be cool to pair this with a simple black cami from New Look Inspire size 20. I think sometimes being comfortable can still make for a cool outfit. I didn’t want to go overboard with accessories either so I thought I’d pair this look with my twisted gold hoop earrings, lovely necklace and simple ballerina shoes. I’ll most definitely be wearing looks like this one over the next few weeks. Not only is it a seasonal style, it’d lend itself well to days out on the beach or relaxed walks in the summer sunshine.

Have a look through your wardrobe and see what you may have in there. You’ll be surprised what you have that might just be suited to this hot weather. Whatever you decide to wear have fun with it and play around I’m sure you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the results.

Keep smiling!

My Journey To Confidence

This image bellow represents me at my most confident. When I did my recent photoshoot with Chiara Aprea I was sceptical, nervous and felt pretty uncomfortable with my lack of dress. She not only pushed me to take the risk and have fun with the camera, reminding me that I could always delete any images I didn’t like.

I was able to see myself in a way I hadn’t previously when I saw the final images. I felt sexy, chic and most important…CONFIDENT!

 

Hair and MUA and photography by Aprea Chiara

Styling by Chiara and myself.

Please do not copy or edit any images without permission from model and photographer.

Many of you know how I feel about confidence and how important I think it is to have some. Looking back I honestly think that my passion for confidence stems from the fact that until quite recently I really lacked in that area. Those who know me personally may argue with that fact because I’m outspoken, I find it easy to talk to people and I make friends easily. Having said all of that I like many women (not just plus size women) would hide in my clothes and do my utmost to blend into the background and not been seen.

It was a little over a year ago that I got fed up with trying to be in the background like a sheet of wallpaper and so I decided to venture out and put myself through my paces and really work hard to be bold! I scoured the internet looking for bright and edgy clothes for plus size women and decided that as I was only 25 at the time I really needed to live a little and not be so scared to be seen.

I played around with my clothes, met loads of other amazing plus size women and really started to be able to look in the mirror and not only accept what was staring back at me…I actually liked what I saw! After meeting the lovely Anita Bellamy and hearing her tales of modelling as a plus woman and her passion about confidence; I not only realised that I had made a good friend, I had met someone who saw confidence just as I did. Being at the Definition Of Size Art Exhibition last October led me to open my eyes even further…

 

I would never have been seen in an outfit like this one before, now I have more bright and bold colours in my wardrobe than I do black items!

I believe that everyone has the right to feel amazing in their own skin, look good and should be able to walk with their held high regardless of what other people think. The most important opinion you can hold is that of yourself! The one person you will have to deal with every single day of your life is you! If you are able to find an element of confidence many things in your life will change for the better.

Since I have found an inner confidence I take more risks with my personal style, break the rules I had previously set myself and in turn I feel so much better for it! I have made some amazing friends this past year and I am still pushing myself to be even more confident within myself. I think that when your esteem is in the floor it’s all too easy to abuse yourself mentally, physically and emotionally. When you take pride in yourself you will want to better yourself in as many ways as possible and I believe that your luck will start to change. A positive outlook can only improve things, it has for me!

We need to build each other up and try to find the beauty in all of us. It might be the way you speak, the way you treat a person, the twinkle in your eye or your smile.

Beauty is everywhere it’s not that hard to look for it either! Just make the best of what you have and let it shine!

 

No matter what you do try and do it with a smile!

What confidence is to those of us involved with Plus Confidence:

CONFIDENCE

C – How CAPTIVATING we are
O – How OUTSTANDING we are
N – How NORMAL we are
F – How FABULOUS we are
I – How INSPIRATIONAL we are
D – How DIVINE we are
E – How EMPATHETIC we are
N – How NICE we are
C – How CALM we are
E – How EDUCATED we are

If you would like to get involed with Plus confidence check us out here

For more information on the Definition Of Size Exhibition click here