Posts tagged “Body Image”

 
Self- Image Demons 
 
Do you talk to yourself (maybe out loud or in your head) sometimes but not in a nice way? Does your inner critic say nasty things to you as you get ready for a night out? You’re trying a new top on that you really liked in the shop, it’s a bit more colourful than you’re used to or maybe it’s a different style that you’ve not tried before…you aren’t 100% sure and need a bit of reassurance that you look nice. 
Then those little voices start in your head. The self -image demons can be proper nasty little buggers with viper tongues, making vile and vicious comments. They’re evil, they know too well about all the things we’re not sure about, they play on our insecurities and affect our self-confidence. 
 
Whiney, Nasty Bitch 
 
I recently asked in my online community, the Let’s Chat Wardrobe Wobbles group on Facebook, about the kind of things SID* (Self Image Demons) might say. Most of the responses would be deemed horrid and offensive if we ever actually said them to anyone else…we’d be seen as a whiney, nasty bitch on the attack. 
In December 1999 I was very heavily pregnant. Waiting for a baby that should've been born in November. I thought someone was playing a joke on me and he wasn't ever going to come out. I'd gained almost 5 stone in weight and my boobs were like a couple of shiny watermelons. I was so uncomfortable. I'd had heartburn since the fourth month of pregnancy; it had started literally once the morning sickness passed. Liquid Gaviscon was my friend for the duration and I never went anywhere without it in my handbag. 
Reluctant to be born 
I ended up being induced 10 days after my due date. Even then he was reluctant to be born. Finally, with the intervention of forceps I delivered an 8lb 10oz baby boy with tufty blonde hair and beautiful big blue eyes. He was just perfect and I fell immediately in love with him. 
 
Life changer 
The reason I'm telling you about all this is because it was the ultimate life changing time. Having a baby changes everything about your life. If you are a parent you'll know from experience. Your priorities change and what was once important becomes less so. I had planned on going back to my college lecturing job just 3 days a week after maternity leave. That never happened, I couldn’t face leaving him with someone else looking after him while I commuted 140 miles a day to look after and teach other people’s kids. 
What size is PLUS Size? In Nov 2015 I put it out there in various social media groups that I belong to and asked ”at what size do you consider plus size to start?” 
My question was for market research purposes, not to be controversial or start a debate. Someone had suggested I ought to use the term in my marketing and was curious to see what people thought. I got quite a few responses and it seems to be a subject that ruffles feathers and divides opinion. Some people find the term offensive, mean and rude, others see it as an alternative term for unhealthy. 
 
Is it a classification or an insult? 
I personally don’t like it but it seems to be the recognised term within the fashion industry. If I’m looking for clothes online I Google ‘plus size’. The answers I got ranged from size 14 upwards but most people thought size 20 was the starting point. Is it just a term to describe a body shape? Like short, tall, athletic, curvy etc? Some of the people who responded were apologetic, as if they were worried about offending people. Others thought it might be better to use terms that seem less derogatory. 
 
Are you normal? 
I wonder why it is seen as a negative term? If you look for the dictionary definition of the word plus it has quite positive connotations… Advantage, asset, higher end of the scale, extra, a perk, prerequisite. It also says it can refer to larger than normal size in women’s clothing. What’s normal? Is it the same as average? Because the average woman in the UK is a size 16, 5ft 3″ and weighs 11 stone apparently. 
It’s hot, hot, hot and you want to stay cool.Long floaty maxi dresses are great, but for many of us (who don’t have a thigh gap) hot weather and dresses just don’t cut it because of the hell that is often referred to as ‘chub rub’, inner thigh chafing. 
If you suffer from this you know how uncomfortable it can be. 
Me and my trusted gang of researchers in the Let's Chat Wardrobe Wobbles group on Facebook have been on the interweb for you and found a few possible solutions that might help widen your wardrobe choices this summer and beyond. 
 
Talc/talc free alternatives 
A low cost, portable option that your nana might have used back in the day 
 
 
Longline pants/cycling shorts 
Not the sexiest thing in the world but neither is red raw skin 
 
 
Bandalettes 
The ‘sexy’ solution - make sure you order the right size though or they roll up or fall down 
 
 
As with clothing styles some shapes and styles of swimwear will help you feel more confident if there are parts of your body that you would prefer to disguise. Certain cuts and styles are going to enhance your assets too.This content will be shown in the summary on the main blog page. 
 
If you are looking for swimwear, the shops are starting to get stock in for the summer, buy early as they tend to sell out quickly especially online, in my experience. Here are a few tips for you… 
• Invest in bra sized swimwear if you are well endowed 
• Solid colour side panels give the illusion of a smaller middle 
• Mix and match tops and bottoms to suit your body shape 
• Shorts styles can make your legs look shorter/wider 
• Strapless and bandeau styles are best for smaller boobs and shoulders 
• Wide straps will make your shoulders look smaller 
• Heavily patterned tankini tops disguise spare tyres 
• Swim dresses are good for creating balance if your shoulders are wide 
• Triangle bikini tops and halter necks are good for column shapes 
• Brief skirts (all in one) are good if you are conscious of your hips/thighs 
 
Be your flawesome self. What's your biggest 'flaw'? Do you think other people are anywhere near as conscious of it as you are? 
Do you think they even notice? Perhaps they are so hung up on their own 'flaws' they have no interest or concerns with yours. 
 
My biggest 'flaw' in my eyes is my limp. I've had it since childhood, I've had lifelong problem with my hip and developed a limp after one of my surgeries despite my legs being the same length.  
 
My limp has even got a name, it's... called the 'Trendelenburg Gait'. it's a specific type of limp - not just a common or garden limp. 
 
Some days it's worse than others but it's always there. My big goal after my hip replacement a few years ago was to improve my gait - it didn't happen...I'm stuck with it. 
 
I'm not telling you this for sympathy or anything. I'm telling you in order to illustrate my point ...Just recently, twice within the space of a fortnight, I was asked why I was limping by people I'd known and mixed with in my networking circle for quite sometime, they thought I'd hurt myself. 
 
My biggest flaw had not even registered with them previously, something that I'm conscious about had not even been on their radar for whatever reason. 
 
Food for thought ladies...what are you focussing on that isn't really on anyone else's radar? 
'Be yourself, everyone else is taken.' Oscar Wilde Who are you? Do you feel like you really are showing up everyday and being yourself?  
 
Are you being kept prisoner by your clothes? Do you sometimes wish you looked different but feel scared to try anything new incase your friends or family think you look 'different'?  
Here's video 3 in a 5 part series where I talk about vertical and horizontal proportions. 
It’s February and our thoughts turn to Valentine’s Day and all things romantic. But my question to you this week is do you LOVE yourself enough? And how do you show it? How many of us love ourselves (and I don’t mean in an arrogant, show off type of way)? 
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