Tag "Confidence"

Out Of The Dark

I’ve been having a lot of fun lately playing around with looks that are casual with a sexy twist. Even though it’s late May, the weather in London is still pretty dismal and we’re still having to wrap up for those chilly or wet days. I like to keep it simple sometimes and wear clothes that would be suitable for the office but just as good to have an evening drink in. Lately I’m in a place in my life where I’m busy busy busy with 500 things to do all in one day so I have to find ways to simplify the wardrobe situation.

Now not everyone has a massive budget to play around with and sometimes you need to be aware of where some great bargains are. Every now and and again I’ll head into a Primark store and find something great be it a top, accessory or some other cool products. The only downside about having stores like this is that the items they get are usually only available once unless it’s socks or something. Hanna let me borrow this amazing jumper dress that she found in there! It was a great fit, really comfortable and the exact length I like for jumper dresses.

I thought I’d stick to dark colours as this would make accessorizing easy and would work for a day or night time look. I decided to pair the dress with a pair of wet look legggings that I’ve had for ages, low ankle boots, my black beret hat and a simple black clutch. A long black chain and my signature hoop earrings were added and I was finished with the look. I tend to wear a pop of colour if I’m playing around with a monochrome or dark look and so I decided that red lips were a must!

Have a look around in your wardrobe. You may find a simple sweater that you think is quite causal, play around with some leggings or a cool pair of jeans and you may end up with a comfortable look that is just right if you don’t have time to change looks before heading out after a busy day!

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

We Are The They, And We’re Not Going Away!

So the media has been going crazy the past few weeks with stories about body image, fashion and everything else surrounding us and how we are expected to look. This week there has been a huge focus on plus size fashion and the people involved in the industry. With talk about the term “Plus Size” what it means, how we feel about it and if we should keep it. The campaign #DropThePlus was first seen on Instagram and has been met with mixed responses from the public. Some feel that in order to embrace all women we should blur the lines and eradicate the categories we are put in due to our dress size. I personally like the term plus size. I feel that we are taking terms that were previously used to push insults at us and owning them. Fat people are no longer ashamed of the dreaded F word and have been able to form a worldwide community through the Plus Size label. Having said that I do think that Fashion and beauty is something that everyone should be entitled to regardless of their shape, size, age, race, and everything else in-between.

The recently aired documentary Plus Size Wars, focused on the evolution of fashion for people like myself and the changes the industry has faced. We saw a glimpse of how modelling agencies are now adopting a supply in demand approach in regards to who they have on their books. Men and women the world over have tapped into a new way of experiencing fashion and that in my opinion has been 100% down to the internet. Youtube videos, fashion blogs and Instagram pages have opened the eyes of people out there and are making them more aware of their choices in fashion and ways of buying it. People like the stunning Tess Holliday aka Tess Munster have really helped to changed the game, being that she is the polar opposite to what the agencies deemed acceptable for an aspiring model. Some of my friends and fellow bloggers were also involved in the channel 4 documentary and did an amazing job in representing us. The thoughts and feelings of plus size women were very well portrayed and the hour long programme did a good job in showing us all in a positive light.

As expected when a show like this airs there will be comments and criticism to follow. With the internet everyone has an open channel to voice their opinion to the world, and in doing the same we see articles reach the print and television media. Loose Women host Jamelia has recently put herself in hot water when she very rudely expressed her opinion about people like myself. She feels that people above and bellow a certain dress size should be ostracised and made to feel ashamed by having to buy our clothes in specialist stores. Now I know that these days we are being bombarded with news about health related issues and fitness information but in the mix of all of that we have also been brainwashed with a very rigid and narrow minded view of what is beautiful. We see celebrities getting nipped and tucked every day and are constantly shown images of women with the perfect bikini body. I won’t bang on about how I feel about that because I want to make it very clear that in this post I am speaking as a fat woman and for fat women.

I don’t think it’s right for people who perhaps have never had a weight problem to speak on issues relating to the subject. We are people and that alone should let people know that most things are not what they seem and are more complicated that what you can see on the surface. You can’t always see if someone suffers from a medical condition, mental illness is also something that isn’t always visible but because someone like me has a physical issue that you can see people feel as though they can do more than pass comments, they feel as though they can be rude and insulting!

Let me make this clear to Jamelia and anyone else who shares in her opinion, we are not a group of aliens to be described as “they” we are people and we have an opinion and feelings of our own! My being a confident fat woman who blogs about fashion and beauty in no way makes me an advocate for obesity. I hate the term “promoting obesity” as it’s not only stupid, it’s ludicrous! First of all, fat people are constantly shunned by people for our size, we are discriminated against, laughed at and have to deal with comments about our appearance from strangers 365 days a year! Why would we promote something that brings us headache and grief as if it’s a good thing? Whoever would think that is actually pretty thick if you ask me. I’ll be honest here we can’t win. If we work out and exercise people laugh at us for trying to be healthy and if we are seen eating anything at all even a salad people look at you as though you have just grown 5 heads! I, like many people out there have recently had a change in mind set. It took me more than 2 decades to come to the realisation that I had been hating myself and the way that I looked due to other people’s ignorance! Almost every over weight person has had to deal with people patronising and taking the mick out out of them at some point and with that 2 things can happen. Some people lose their self esteem and crumble under the pressure and others come up fighting with a stronger and more resilient attitude to things. I like many plus size people have heard all of the insults possible, have developed defence mechanisms and have reached a place where I simply don’t have the care to fight about something so unimportant, other people’s opinions of me.

Having nice clothing available as a fat person is amazing. I can honestly say that through the options that have become available to us we have been able to embrace sides of our personality that for some have previously been hidden. When all you have to wear is ill fitting clothes that are dowdy and often not age appropriate you don’t really have a way to express your sense of style and have to make adaptations where possible. Since being able to wear the fashions I had admired on other women my confidence has soared. I am now able to look in the mirror and actually like the reflection that looks back at me. When you feel confident the way you look at yourself changes, I now take more pride in my appearance, and that has extended to my making healthier lifestyle choices. People who over eat often do so as a coping mechanism the same way that others turn to drugs and alcohol. To constantly insult and break a person down who is like this, is literally handing them the tub of ice cream and the spoon to eat it with! The problem goes beyond not knowing how to control your portions or getting more excise in. In order to fix what you think is a problem you need to understand it better. Some people are fat because they over eat and some aren’t. Some large people want to lose weight and some are happy as they are, yes I said it, happy as they are! The thing is if we are trying to change something in ourselves or carry on as we are we should be able to look good whilst doing so. I know it may surprise some people out there but we have families, friends, partners, jobs and social lives too. We need to be able to wear clothes appropriate for the occasion just as you can. When you say “they” I am one of the people you are talking about!

Big people know all of the same health statistics as you so to bleat on about it isn’t telling us something we don’t already know. I hear all the time about how we are a drain on the resources and on taxes. Do you not think we have jobs or pay tax? We do all of the same things you do just in a larger body suit. I am not ashamed of how I look and if my being confident in myself helps at least 1 other fat person out there then I can carry on smiling and doing what I need to do for myself. News flash there has always been fat people in the world and there always will be. Someone will always be battling some sort of weight problem somewhere. While all of this is going on they have every right to make the best of what they have and enjoy their lives in the clothes they want to wear!

Last night the plus size community clubbed together to spread the message that “We Are The They” we look good, feel good and will do our thing as best we can! You may not like the way that we look but remember something, just like anything people will change if they want to and they won’t if they don’t. Many people already think we look bad so what would you rather we wear smart and stylish clothes or stuff ourselves into things that are ill fitting and make us look a complete mess? We are all going through things and we need to be more understanding of each other, after all the saying is true ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’.

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

Spring Time Fun With Zizzi And Yours

Finally after months of wet and cold weather we are starting to see some much wanted sunshine. With the change in the seasons we are starting to see people showing a little more skin and wearing the clothes that look great among the blossoming flowers and sunny days. I’m currently in a very casual mood these days and it’s only now that I’m wanting to dress up a little more. Last weekend we had some really nice weather and a lot of people were out and about in t-shirts, shorts, skirts and the other items we associate with summer.

I decided that I would follow suit but still keep in mind the elements of spring and then when those clouds are around there can be a slight chill in the air. At the moment I’m really into dark and stone coloured tones with a splash of colour somewhere. For this look I wanted to keep it simple, fun and casual. This striped knit pencil skirt from Zizzi is really comfortable and warm to wear. I love the length and the print makes this one that can be worn across any season. The ruffled detail in the hem adds a little extra flair to the overall look and helps the skirt to cling to your frame without hitching. This one is currently available at Navabi.


One of the great things about living where I live is having a close friend and fellow blogger within walking distance. Hanna and I take each other’s outfit pictures all the time and she let me borrow her slogan t-shirt from Zizzi. This one came out last year, what I love about it is the message on it. ‘There is no wrong way to be a woman’, this quote from the gorgeous and stunning Denise Bidot really speaks to me, and I’m sure other women out there will feel the same. We are constantly being told what to look like, what we should say about certain things, what we should think etc. sometimes it feels like we women have been set an impossible set of standards to which we are supposed to follow. The sad thing is that we have become our own worst critics and more often than not we forget that there is no rule book about how to be a woman, we just are women in every sense.

I like my t-shirts to be a little form fitting so that they don’t look tent-like against my frame. I tied a small knot in the bottom corner with the help of Hanna and the look I was after was quickly achieved. Check out how Hanna styled it previously here. I wanted to wear some wedge shoes and so these platform wedge sandals from Yours Clothing were a must. The silver heel embellishment really works against the silver in the clothes and on top of everything else, these are so comfortable! My long length cardigan has been a god send lately. I love how such a simple basic item can work with so many different styles of outfit!


For accessories I only wanted a few so my hoop earrings and black bandana were my only additions to the outfit. Sometimes you just want to get up and go, no muss no fuss. I often dress for comfort with a little added style. Even when wearing simple styles I still like to feel somewhat put together for a little extra confidence. I find that when I look a certain way it can affect my mood.

If like me you want to dress for the change in the season but want to feel prepared for that sudden chill that can hit the air then there are some fun things you can do. Wear the style of item you want but maybe select a thicker fabric, layer up with a cardigan or a jacket, something you can remove if you feel warm that can still tie into the look when the evening approaches. Have fun and play with your look!

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!

Sweet Darling – Embracing My Inner Girly Girl

 

One thing that I love to do is experiment. I guess you could say that because we plus size women have a plethora of clothing options to chose from nowadays our mind sets have somewhat been adjusted, at least in my case I have experienced the change. For years we had so little style options that the common thing for most of us was just finding clothes that fit and trying to find a way to make them work within our personal style…

As a child I wore skirts and things but I never had the experience of wearing a tutu. For me the closest I came was cute little party dresses, but I think my never taking ballet lessons may have had something to do with this sad fact. A little over 2 years ago things started to change for me. Ever so slowly I began to increase more colours and fabrics into my wardrobe and slowly I was ditching the black and dowdy items and bringing in the bright and fun options. Now I can’t lie and say I’ve always been a girly girl, as previously mentioned here on the blog I used to wear feminine items but I would steer clear of skirts and dresses. My recent change in mind set has let me to be more experimental and fun when choosing my outfits and I am really enjoying playing dress up and being really girly. Hanna, Lucie and I decided to have an afternoon of girl talk and styling which I have to say was so much fun! I had mentioned to Hanna that I had seen a really cute look on Instagram that a standard sized blogger was wearing that I’d love to replicate. In true “Hanna” style she took this as a challenge. I had seen a gorgeous blogger (who’s name I don’t know unfortunately) had shared her picture with a fashion look page that I follow and I just loved how she styled her look (She unfortunately wasn’t tagged into the picture, otherwise I would drop a link to her page for you to see her blog). A really cute grey sweater and coffee coloured tutu was paired with a cute pair of heels and I just loved how casual, girly and sweet the look was. Hanna instantly pulled the most amazing Navy tutu out of her wardrobe and a “darling” sweater for me to try on. The next thing I know the girls had selected a pair of shoes and a clutch for me to wear with the outfit and I absolutely fell in love with the end result!

I really like simplistic colours and tones in clothes because for me they act as a blank canvas. When you have blacks, greys, whites and blues the options you have for accessories is pretty much endless! Gold or silver items work with this kind of of colour combination and a sharp splash of colour would really make the look come to life. In these pictures we went with a simple pair of nude peep-toe heels from Matalan and an oversized clutch from Primark.

Unfortunately both the tutu and sweater are no longer available. However I will most definitely keep my eyes open for similar items and I’ll be sure to update you all of my findings. To give you more detail on the Tutu I am wearing this in a size 18 from the Asos main range and the sweater is a size 26 from Evans.

I don’t know what it is but every time I wear a big puffy skirt the childish playful side of my personality comes out. I love twirling, spinning and doing cute things in those sorts of clothes. I think perhaps this is why I gravitate to flared dresses and circle skirts when I buy my vintage inspired items. One thing I know for sure is that I need to get my hands on a tutu of my own! I have no idea when or where I would wear one but I don’t care! I felt so girly, cute and sweet in this outfit and I have every intention of wearing something similar again one of these days.

I think it’s fair to say that you can always try those things that you missed out on previously when it comes to fashion. The trends come back in style and the options for clothing are far from few. I am embracing my inner girly girl and having an amazing time doing it. Don’t be afraid to try new things, you may surprise yourself and love how you look!

 

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

Taking Control With Shapewear – A Taking Shape Review

*This item was gifted to me

P.S Sorry about the quality of the photo, lack of make up and the random plug socket on the floor.

With so many varying styles and shapes of clothes out there it can be hard to find something to fit perfectly. When it comes to designing and creating clothes I don’t underestimate how difficult of a task that is for any brand. As there are so many different body shapes we women come in; pear, apple, hour glass, goblet, triangular etc. and many of us are a combination of different shapes or something else in-between. With that in mind it’s no surprise that most brands will create an item that works with the majority or the most common silhouette. This is understandable though, can you imagine how much time and money it would cost to make each design available in all of these different cuts?! I’m of the opinion that if something is 90% there fit-wise then you can make adjustments to make the garment look and fit that bit better.

I really like to wear fitted dresses in bodycon and wiggle styles but as I have an ample behind, large bust and a bit of a belly I can sometimes have issues in one of those areas or all 3! This of course is dependant on the fabric, cut and size of the item. Often just upsizing can be the solution to the problem but if there is that outfit that fits perfectly with the exception of one area I like to wear shapewear to gently smooth out that area and make the outfit more presentable.

Traditionally the only undergarment that women could wear to achieve a smoother shape and narrower waist was a corset. For some women just the word corset is a descriptive for a torture device! I have worn a corset before and I have to say although an amazing shape can be achieved, for day to day wear I wouldn’t be inclined to take up wearing one on a regular basis. I think for fancy dress, a night here and there or for some nice photos they can be really good to wear. I personally prefer the more modern versions of shapewear that are available with my favourite being high waisted knickers and wear your own bra styles.

The traditional 1900s style of corset. This would require the help of another person or 2 to get on. 

 

This illustration is supposed to represent what your body looks like internally whilst wearing a corset.

Some think that wearing a corset on a regular basis can lead to lasting damage. Many people believe that no major damage will be caused from wearing a corset on a regular basis. There are many medical studies about this and from what I gather nothing concrete has been determined. It would seem that wearing a corset is fine providing it’s not laced too tightly to produce an extreme shape, it can cause your organs to be positioned differently which can present difficulties whilst breathing which would in turn prevent oxygen from travelling through your body at a sufficient pace. Wearing a corset as a form of shapewear is perfectly fine providing you can still function as normally as possible without severe tightness to the body.

Here in 2015 shapewear has come an extremely long way with cheaper, more comfortable and easier to wear items on the market. Whilst traditional corsets are still available everywhere to buy, even more modern varieties of the style have reached the market with really nice fabrics, patterns and different boning structures. The corset has somewhat been relinquished by many women who have hung up their laced garments in exchange for girdles, shorts, slips and bodyshaping knickers and other control garments. Many of these items are easy to put on and comfortable to wear. A lot of them are even built to allow for easy toilet access which is an added bonus!

Many women are wearing items to produce a more permanent body shape such as waist cinchers and waist trainers. These produce the same results as corsets but it’s a timely and gradual process. Women who are really pushing to have more prominent curves have been using these to re-shape their bodies.

The majority of women prefer to wear items that can be removed and leave their body in it’s original shape and it seems that these are some of the most common items on the market.

Waist Cincher 

I much prefer to wear control underwear and shapewear so when I was given the chance to review the new range from Taking Shape I jumped at the chance!

The new range from Taking Shape so far is the best shapewear I have ever owned! Not only is it really light on the skin and extremely comfortable, it still pulls you in and smooths you out in those target areas. Some of the shapewear that I have can be really tight and somewhat uncomfortable and having to go to the toilet can be problematic when trying to fight to get the garment back on! I’m sure those of us who have worn such garments know what I’m talking about there!

I got the Underbust Smooth Body Shaper to try out. The straps are adjustable and this item slips on like a glove and feels amazing on! I actually forget that I’m wearing it when it’s on! 86% Nylon and 14% Elastane makes this an easy wear. I cannot stress how comfortable it is and I really like the overall look achieved when I wear this under my clothes. For those who wear their shapewear as their underwear there is a built in slit for easy toilet access. I always wear knickers underneath my shapewear so unfortunately I can’t  feedback on how the item fares in that department. If you are looking for a piece that is comfortable, easy to put on and doesn’t show underneath your clothes then check out some of the new collection by Taking Shape.

Unfortunately this particular piece is currently out of stock on the Taking Shape website but there are some amazing pieces available at great prices so do take a look!

Here are just some of the new shapewear styles available from Taking Shape:

Thing I love about shapewear is how it makes you feel, that thin and amazingly enginerred piece of fabric can seriously lift your confidence when wearing your favourite items as well as help you to showcase your clothes to the fullest!

If you would like to try out one of these amazing items check out the new collection from Taking Shape!

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

A Run-down Of 2014

Hi everyone I hope all is well and I hope you all had an amazing time bringing in the new year! 2014 was an interesting and eventful year for me. I had a lot of interesting changes and developments on the career front, travelled a little and experimented loads with my wardrobe and style choices. Here’s a run down of some of my favourite looks throughout the year, to see the original outfit posts click on the title month:

January

February

March 

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

Selecting just one look for each month posed as a real challenge for me as there were so many looks I really liked. I figure that because I have raved so much about the houndstooth print I have to add in a bonus look. This was also taken in the month of November check out the post here.

2014 was also the year I took a major step to push my confidence and so I had 2 photoshoots with my friend and talented Photographer, MUA and model: Chiara Aprea. First was my boudoir shoot where I stripped down and posed for the camera in my lingerie and not much else! The second being a beauty and face shoot where I played around with 2 different themed looks. I was transformed into a modern day geisha and an angry dominatrix.

All in all it was a fun and exciting year and I look forward to seeing what 2015 has in store. I have some new developments happening with the blog and of course loads of new looks and tips to share with you so stay tuned.

I’d like to take the time out to thank you all for reading my blog this past year and I wish you all an amazing new year filled with fun, adventures, travel and many fun times with both old and new friends.

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

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

Bulling: The Pain, Experience And The Other Side!

I’m about to talk about something extremely personal to me and this is one post that I have been wanting to share for a while. After many recent events that have happened between my friends and I, now is the time for me to share a painful part of my past. So sit down with a cup of tea and a biscuit. There’s a fair amount for me to say and I don’t wanna leave anything out…
I have been thinking a lot about where I am now and how I got here. Recently I have been speaking with a number of my friends about confidence, body image struggles and the perceptions of those around us. We spend so much time thinking about what we can and can’t do, what’s acceptable to everyone around us and often it’s our own feelings that get crushed in the challenge we face just trying to look good…
Let me bring you back to a time in my life when I wasn’t so confident. During my primary school days I was a total outsider among my peers. Not only was I different to almost everyone around me by being mixed race; I had different hair and what seemed to be the worst trait to my physicality…I was fat! Being a young girl in a school filled with wealthy privileged kids with private tutors, au pairs and large houses in London is one thing; looking and acting different to them set me apart in many many ways. Very soon I was called out for being the bigger one in the class and what’s sad is that even at such a young age children can be very quick to exclude people from the group. I was taunted by the posh kids, pulled and prodded and never chosen to play jump rope or hop scotch. Despite all this being from the age of about 5 I remember it all so well! As the years progressed my time was even more lonely there and I was lucky enough to meet a friend, Christopher who was soon being picked on for the very same reasons, he too was a “fat” kid in the class. We stuck together and fast became a support network for each other. In hindsight I do not know what I would have done without him.
What was always hard for me was being the only fat person in my family. No one around me was able to understand the way the comments and taunting made me feel and as a result I felt totally isolated and alone. The only thing I had to bring me comfort and escapism was music. I would spend any spare time I had doing extra curricular activities around music. I joined the choir, played instruments and would lose myself in the music. Nothing seemed to make me feel better other than that and I hate to say it, food…
Growing up on the estate I used to live wasn’t much different, one other child in the area and my oldest friend Hannah was also a child to battle with weight problems and I guess we both understood how it felt. What was hard is that we never went to the same schools…
My teenage years were even worse, I moved on to secondary school and had to leave my only close friend behind, Chris. He went off to another school and I had to start that scary journey all on my own. I remember being in on my first day and seeing kids around 16-17 from sixth form there, compared to me they looked like giants and the whole experience was quite awkward. What I thought was hard in primary school was a trip to Disneyland compared to secondary school. I don’t know if the attitudes of kids were different because they felt they had something to prove trying to fit in or if being the class prick was a badge of honour. For me the worst years of my life were spent in school…
I had such a bad experience my first year at secondary school I was constantly picked on, taunted and made to feel small. Countless times I was reduced to tears in front of the class with teachers always missing the moment when something would happen. I would come home withdraw further and have to watch my mum kick off about the lack of support I was getting as a bullied pre-teen. I was advised to write journals with who was troubling me, what happened and the time and place of the incident. Each day I was asked to submit this to my form tutor who in the end had to do something about what was going on. Meetings were had and I soon changed form groups.
All was well for a short while and what made it hard for me was being in mixed groups with those who had troubled me before. Many classes would require us to mix and when others had seen people trouble me they thought that it was fun to do the same. I will never forget one morning when things were being said to me and I had to walk down the longest corridor in school to reach a language class, right in the mid section were the entryways to the outside quadrangle and social areas. At least 20 people were all shouting things at me, prodding me and I think one even attempted to throw something at me. Other times I had been made to trip and fall down stairs, have things thrown at me in class I just felt like there was something so disgustingly wrong with me. As far as I was aware there had to be for that many people to hate me and for me to have to go through the same torture every single day of my entire school career! I can honestly say that one of the best days in my life was finishing and being told I was done with that place and that I never had to return. The only happy memories I have being there were of me in the music and drama rooms or performing on stage…
The thing with bullying is that it’s all fun and games to the people doing the pushing and shoving or name calling. How we overcome it is different to each and everyone of us. In my case I developed a thick skin and a “don’t give a fuck” attitude. I know others who even now still have trouble facing some of their inner demons about it and it really upsets me. What’s so bad about it all is that there is so little help to those who go through it and I’m not just talking about people who go through it for being fat. Unless you have had the experience of being bullied about your image it’ll be very hard for you to understand how hard that battle is.
After many years of struggling I reached a place in my life when I thought ‘I have spent the majority of my life hating the way that I look’. I hid myself away in safe clothes. Did very little to enhance my femininity and in turn I was harming myself more than anything else. What I thought was doing my part to fit in and reduce the bitchy comments actually left me missing out on all the fun. I reached a point in my life when I thought to myself I need to learn to like myself! If I have an issue with someone around me I can leave the room, walk away and get on with my day. Unfortunately the one person you cannot get away from is yourself so you need to do whatever you can to enjoy your own company and to try and enjoy the way you look. It was then that I started hunting around on websites for bigger women who looked amazing in their clothes. I soon saw a stream of bloggers and fashionistas who were around my size and some even bigger than myself wearing all sorts of looks and it made me think ‘what the heck if they can do it, so can I!’
I guess what I am trying to say is that I understand the pain and the hurt that a person goes through when they literally hate the reflection that stares back at them in the mirror. I understand how traumatic it can be to pick up the largest item in the store and still not have it fit. I get what it feels like to think that there is no hope and that you may as well just reach for that cream cake or chocolate bar for comfort. One of my biggest issues is using sweets to comfort myself or to deal with stress and it’s something I still have to work on. I just want the message to be loud and clear that you can look good and that there is nothing stopping you from doing something that you want to do. In my experience I found that by my gaining some self confidence that alone made me happier. I was able to enjoy my image and want to make the most of myself because of it.
Give things a try, take some risks and if you fall you can always pick yourself up and dust yourself off again. I can honestly say that I feel fantastic these days I enjoy how I look and I can look in the mirror and actually think I look hot! Some may call it vanity or whatever for me I just feel proud to have come this far as I honestly didn’t think I ever would.
If anyone feels isolated and that they have no one that they can talk to about some of these issues there any many people you can speak to for advice and support such as: BullyingUK and the Samaritans
Speak out and don’t just take it! How you feel matters, remember that!