Happy Saturday everyone! Today I wanted to talk about body confidence – which is something that I see very little of nowadays! As i’ve grown up, I have definitely felt aware of the way I looked in terms of my weight and appearance. This wasn’t just caused by the media where there would be a size 6 model on the front, but also adverts for weight loss programmes, conversations between the grown ups, and in films and music videos! It has been everywhere…and it really doesn’t seem to have changed. For quite a lot of my younger teenage years, I felt uncomfortable with my weight. No I wasn’t what I would call ‘fat’, but I also wasn’t whatever the idea of skinny is. I didn’t have a flat tummy, I didn’t have a thigh gap, and I didn’t have toned arms. Not to say that I do now, but my body shape has definitely changed in the last year. For years I told myself that this wasn’t okay to have these flaws, and that I needed to make a change to look like the women I was meant to aspire to be like. I look back now, and all I ask myself is why? Why can’t we be happy with the way we are? Why is it considered to be a bad thing when you have flaws in your body? Why is it okay to portray this idea of perfect body, especially to young people who are easily influenced? And most importantly. why are young people forced to feel this way? This to me is just so unacceptable, and I get so sick of hearing people complain about feeling overweight. My argument is, does it really matter? Okay yes, so if you are overweight to the point that it is a strain on your health then maybe that is when it is time for a change, but when it is just because you don’t look like someone with a ‘perfect’ figure that is so so wrong. We are a society that need to embrace ourselves, and not only compliment ourselves, but make others feel empowered for the people they are, whatever shape or size they are. We shouldn’t feel uncomfortable getting into a bikini this summer because we feel ‘fat’.
I absolutely hate dieting, and to be honest I don’t think it is necessary. In fact, as i’m writing this I am sat nibbling away at a Lindt bunny left over from Easter. I think everything can be eaten in balanced amounts. Personally I love food. Not only do I love eating, but I absolutely adore the whole process – right from the shopping to the cooking. I can make healthy delicious food, and I can also make the most calorific (is that even a word) meals and bakes you will ever encounter. Food is a huge part of our lives, not only to survive, but for it to be enjoyed. We should be grateful for the wonderful things on offer, and how it can actually bring us closer together. Throwing a dinner party has got to be something that I enjoy most in life, the celebration of the food produced and company with friends and family that you share. There a few things that I say to myself when I feel perhaps not so confident in my own body, especially when it comes to the summer season.
Never limit yourself with fashion, and learn what is right for your body shape
I have always felt uncomfortable wearing certain styles of clothes, and have learnt exactly what is right for my body shape over the past few years. This isn’t just which items, such as trousers, but also the right colours and the right style of each item. For example, I have come to terms with the fact that straight cut trousers really don’t do my legs any justice. However, I have learnt that bootcut and skinny shaped trousers do. It’s these small adjustments to my wardrobe that have enabled me to feel much more confident with my body shape. This isn’t to say that you can’t further experiment with new trends etc… but there will just always be things that don’t suit your body shape, where you’re a size 6 or size 20. This is also the case with colours. I always tend to go for darker coloured bottoms (skirts or trousers) with a brighter top. I hold a lot more weight around my legs and hips, so I like to use a darker colour to disguise this. The bright colour on the top then adds some warmth to an outfit, and shows off the part of my body that I am more comfortable with. There are a few other little tricks that I have learnt which include:
Wearing clothing with double stripes – I will link an example of this, but it is basically where you have vertical stripes, as well as horizontal on one item. This creates a much slimmer look in clothing.
Double Striped Dress – Oasis
Depending on wear you hold most of your weight, wear brighter colours where you are slimmer than somewhere else. I always wear dark trousers, and a bright top. I also look for this in items such as dress, preferably where they are light, and then get darker at the bottom.
Choosing the right shoes – I have learnt over the past few years, that some things only look right with certain clothes. For example, a lot of dresses I own, especially tighter fitted ones, need to be worn with a heel or wedge. This creates the illusion of longer legs, and a slimmer build. I have also found that with jeans, heels do not work. My legs go out quite a lot at my knees. So wearing skinny fit trousers, with a heel really doesn’t do them any justice.
Colour – some colours do not just suit certain people, and some colours do. For me I find that I look much better in darker colours, usually opting for blacks and greys. Colours like yellow and green wash me out as I have quite a pale complexion. I also find that if I am wearing something striking like a bright red dress, all other things need to be minimal – nude heels and simple accessories.
There are many different ways to explore what suits you and what doesn’t. Trying items on in the shops may be a pain, but having to take it back a week later is even worse. Always try on items with other things you know you could wear with them, so that you get a full understanding of what they look like, and to see if they are actually right for your body shape.
Embrace the flaws
I have flaws, like everyone else does. I hate my knees, as they come out in a bizarre shape, I hate the square shape of my hips, and I really want some defined abs! These are things that I simply cannot change, and seriously need to start to embrace. It is all about accepting the things that are not perfect, and understanding that it really doesn’t matter. I always got a lot of unrealistic expectations of what a female body could be like, from magazine covers with Towie stars on, to higher end features with size zero models. These people seriously should not influence my/ our attitude towards some idea of ‘healthy living’. I eat everything I want in moderation, I exercise at the gym, and I try to live an active lifestyle. We need to look to each other for inspiration, and accept that the size zero dream should never be a reality. It is simply unhealthy, and probably quite a boring way of living.
It is good to be different
Through my young teenage years, I wanted to be that skinny blemish free perfect girl, that everyone at school dreamed of looking like. What a ridiculous thing to want in life? Teenage years are about having endless amount of spots appearing everyday, saying embarrassing things, and most importantly not caring about how much you weigh. I look back now and I think how much everyone I went to school with has changed, and how much I love how everyone has grown up. I have also finally understood the concept of being different. I love being different – in terms of appearance and experiences in life. In this world you need to stand out, you need to have something different about you. Employers want to hear something interested that they have heard from no one else, universities want you to show how much of a well rounded person you are, and you need to stand out in social environments to make true friends and develop relationships. Why on earth does everyone want to look the same?!
Priorities in Life and being Grateful
A major thing I have learnt, especially in the last two years, is how insignificant the way you look really is. Yes I love to choose a nice outfit everyday, yes I enjoy putting makeup on, and yes I am a blogger that takes photos of myself, but I know how much more there is to life than the way I look and what dress size I am. I adore spending quality time with my boyfriend, family and friends, and I know how lost I would be without them all. In life my priority will always be the people who make me happy, and I am so so grateful to be surrounded by such supportive and loving individuals. I think unless some life changing event happens, we often forget how important these people are, and we forget to feel grateful for being given a life with them. My new years resolution was to put them first, and spend more time with the ones I love. So far, I feel like I am doing this pretty well.
Never be afraid to show yourself off. Many people probably think that the world of blogging is incredibly vain and artificial, but to be honest I couldn’t care less. I ahem my priorities straight, I know the direction I want to go with my life, and I love sharing my experiences via all my social platforms. I am far from vain, in fact I am quite an insecure person in terms of my appearance, but blogging has enabled me to get past this, and learn to love myself. I love how I can interest with people who enjoy what I share, and I love sharing my style and tips for life. I will never let anyone put me down for doing what I love, and I will never feel the need again to hate my body because it isn’t like the one on the front ok OK magazine. I love my perfect imperfections, and you should too.
– have a great weekend lovelies –
I have not been paid to talk about any brands mentioned, and all view and opinions are my own.