Tag: body confidence

Article for Wear Your Voice – 5 ways I became more body confident

I wrote this article for Wear Your Voice. The link to the article is below where you can also subscribe to their website –

http://wearyourvoicemag.com/body-politics/five-ways-started-implementing-body-confident

When I was 16, I was told by a nurse that I was creeping up on “overweight.” I was a UK size 8/10. I was stick thin. My hips stuck out and I was flat-chested. My peers asked if I was anorexic or bulimic. I was encouraged to eat more so that people would stop assuming I was anorexic.

So when this nurse gave me her opinion, I was left confused, upset and hurt. My confidence took another knock. These opinions were so conflicting. They were also dangerous.

I was an impressionable young girl who looked up to celebrities who were portrayed as having the most amazing figures. Magazines aimed at girls like me were all about fashion, looking great and having perfect hair, skin and teeth.

I spent 16 years of my life worrying about having the “perfect figure” because of other people and their opinions. Words hurt and they are very damaging. I would feel so miserable if I was a size bigger in one shop than another. I would deny myself treats, exercise too much and count calories. By doing this, I was preventing myself from living life and enjoying myself. I was forcing myself to be a prisoner, trapped in my own world of insecurities and low self-esteem. I would worry people would gossip or laugh at me if they either thought I was too skinny — or too fat.

Sixteen years is a long time to live your life this way. After 16 years, something finally made me become body confident — almost overnight. I decided to stop worrying about what others thought of me.

Here are five things I did to make that change sink in:

1. Accept that life is too short.

In 2010, I miscarried. It took me five years to get over it.

In those five years of grieving, I didn’t allow myself to laugh, live or love. I didn’t feel that I deserved to be happy. I just couldn’t let myself go. I was full of guilt and remorse. I wasn’t able to control my miscarriage, but I could control my life by continuing to punish myself. I also allowed myself to be defined by the various opinions and views of others.

I faced another potentially life-changing hurdle in 2015 after finding a lump in my breast. As I sat in the waiting room with other women waiting for the outcomes of our examinations, I realised how short life really is. I started to look back at missed opportunities. I had denied myself laughter, fun and the chance to make memories, all because I worried what others would think of me.

Luckily, my results were nothing to worry about. As I left the hospital with my husband, we decided we needed to grab life and not let go. We had experienced too much darkness, negativity and anxiety. We might not be able to control what happens in every aspect of our lives, but I wasn’t going to let people’s opinions of my weight affect me anymore.

2. Learn to accept compliments.

When someone compliments you, accept it! Embrace it and enjoy it. For too many years I would wonder if people were being sarcastic or if it was a joke at my expense.

I also felt I had to respond to compliments with negativity: “Your hair looks lovely!” “Ha, it needs a wash!” But my responses made people feel like their compliments weren’t valid.

Now, I accept compliments. I say thank you and I smile. If someone tells me my dress suits my figure, my mascara looks lovely or my shoes are really pretty, I take it. A compliment can easily boost your confidence and make your day.

3. Stop comparing yourself to others (or your former self).

We compare ourselves to how we used to look — not three months ago, but three years ago!

Life moves on and times change. Our diets and daily routines change. I recently looked at some photos of myself from five years ago. I have gone up three dress sizes. But a lot has happened in that time! I have quit smoking — not once, but three times. I have also had my gallbladder removed. I am now 33, not 28.

But one thing I notice that really stands out and resonates in these pictures is my smile. I might have been slimmer five years ago, but I wasn’t happy with who I was. I was sad, miserable and just existing. I was hunched over, arms wrapped around myself. How unhappy I was comes across through in my smile. The smile is sad. It is forced and my eyes look lifeless. In pictures now, my smile reaches my eyes. I am no longer existing, I am now living!

We also compare ourselves to celebrities, our friends, colleagues and peers. May may be doing this because we think they have the “ideal figure” — but you can be sure that they, too, are comparing themselves to people who look ideal in their eyes.

Instead of making comparisons, we need to appreciate ourselves for who we are and learn to love our true selves. Remember, the grass is never greener on the other side!

4. Accentuate the positives.

I am happy to go makeup free and I do so regularly. But there is nothing wrong with admitting that I also like to wear makeup. I love makeup! I have a drawer full of the stuff and I love to experiment.

I think my eyes are one of my best features and I like to accentuate them. My eyes are blue; contrasted against big mascaraed lashes, defined eyebrows and dark hair, they definitely stand out.

We all have something about our bodies that we like; we should embrace it and not be body shamed for doing so!

If you have “killer” legs, don’t cover them up! If you are proud of your bust, wear something that accentuates it. Don’t hide away and cover up what you are proud of!

5. Don’t be afraid of the label in your clothes.

I used to hate clothes shopping in case I had to get something a size bigger. I soon realised that it wasn’t me that had necessarily put on weight; it was the fluctuation of sizes in different stores! Once I realized this, I stopped feeling depressed about it.

There is no “standard” sizing for women’s clothing. What is a 12 in one shop might be a 14 in another. You might be a size 16 in jeans but have to get an 18 to be comfortable when wearing another brand because that particular brand’s size 16 runs small.

It’s the same with lingerie. I am several different bra sizes depending on where I purchase them from. I used to be bothered that I was bigger in one store than another. Now I just accept it. Wearing a bigger size doesn’t make me any less of a person.

I am much more comfortable in my skin wearing something that might be the next size up, rather than trying to convince myself I am still the same size I was ten years ago. By wearing something that is a size too small, I am not only uncomfortable, I am more self-conscious — and therefore less body confident.

Pin-Up’s Against Bullying

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I am excited and honoured to be a part of something amazing. I am going to be involved with Pin-up’s Against Bullying and I am “Global ambassador for Pin-up’s Against Bullying and England Chapter Advocate”.

Pin-up’s Against Bullying was founded by Mrs “T” Marie. The mission of Pin-up’s Against Bullying is simple – to help raise awareness, through a variety of social media connections, that bullying is wrong and will not be tolerated.

As you know, I am a firm believer of promoting body confidence and body positivity and encourage others to love their body and be proud of who they are. I do not agree with any form of body shaming whether that is #fatshaming or #skinnyshaming. Everyone deserves to feel loved and everyone deserves to feel beautiful!

Pin-Up’s Against Bullying educates, offers advice and support relating to all bullying, body shaming and other negative ideals society has enforced. They are a fabulous support network to those who need it.

Pin-Up’s Against Bullying firmly believe that together, through positive thoughts, words, actions and behaviours we can make a substantial impact against bullying.

You can find Pin-Up’s Against Bullying on Instagram by searching the hashtag #pinupsagainstbullying

http://www.pinupsagainstbullying.com/
https://www.facebook.com/PinupsAgainstBullying

Keeping up with the vintage whilst on vacation!

 

I have just got back from a fabulous vacation with my husband and whilst I was there I was able to keep up with the vintage hair, makeup and outfits by using a few simple tricks and tools which didn’t take up a lot of room in the suitcase!

Leopard print is something I am a fan of and has a real 1950s kinda vibe to it. For my “travel outfit” I wore a leopard print top with some cropped jeans and leopard print ballet pumps. I wore my hair in a simple 1950s quiff which only took five minutes to do which is great when you are up at 3am to get to the airport!

I took my Vivien of Holloway dress with me minus the petticoat as that would have really taken up room in the suitcase. I wore this dress with a pair of black peep toe ballet shoes. I put a side parting in my hair and twisted the sides and secured with bobby pins to create “quiffs” on each side of my parting.

For during the day, one look I easily achieved was faux Bettie Bangs where I used a donut ring that I had cut in half and rolled the front section of my hair around it, securing in place with standard size bobby pins and large bobby pins. I then tied my hair in a messy bun at the back and finished the look with my leopard print headscarf and my Marilyn Monroe style shades!

For the beach I wore a emerald green swimsuit which I bought online. I quiffed the front of my hair and tied it up at the back to keep the sea and sand out of my hair! I also bought a blue polka dot swimsuit from Amazon and it looks great when you team it with vintage hair and big shades. It has a great pinup look to it!

Scunci Foam Rollers are great to take in your suitcase as they as squishy and do not take up a lot of room. I also took my Lottabody Setting Lotion and one afternoon I put my hair in rollers and then secured with a headscarf.

After sleeping in the rollers, the next day I teased them with Murrays Pomade and finished the look with hairspray. Despite the heat and humidity this look lasted all day!

A simple black vest top and a patterned skirt teamed with ballet pumps and a wide belt is a classic vintage look that helps to keep you cool!

As you know, I am a firm believer of body confidence and body positivity and I was so happy to see that pretty much everyone of all shapes and sizes were rocking the body confidence on the beach. Nobody cared, stared or batted an eyelid at other people, they were all just happy to enjoy time with friends, family, soak up the sun, play in the waves and make memories!

My hair is very thick and heavy and I often have to have layers cut into it. To keep the thickness down, I have to straighten my hair which also manages to keep it looking smooth and tames the frizzyness and flyaways. I didn’t take my hair straighteners and only washed it once whilst I was away so by the end of the week, my hair was feeling a bit like “cotton wool”. But one easy way to combat this whilst managing to look classy was backcombing a front section into a big quiff, putting my hair in a messy bun and pinning into place, then finishing the look with a polka dot headscarf.

Red nails, red lips, big earrings and Marilyn Monroe shades are always a winner too and of course, these don’t take up any room in your case!

I bought a blue halterneck dress from a market stall in Portugal and I love it. The colours are gorgeous, the style and cut is flattering, it is great for the beach and keeps you cool whilst looking fabulous!

I had a fabulous time in Portugal, it is one of my favourite places and I was able to keep up with my vintage attire very easily by just using the tips and tricks above. I often mix and match my outfits (wearing them more than once) so that you don’t end up taking too many clothes!

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