On the plus side
“I never wanted to look like models on the cover of magazines. I represent the majority of women and I am very proud of that.” Adele.
Well said Adele, I am sure there are lots of us that agree with you.
Research shows that nearly half of UK women are a dress size 16 or above.
So why are we still bombarded by the media with waif-like models and celebrities? More than one popular magazine each week can be criticizing celebrities because they have put on as many as 8 lbs!
I was inspired to write this blog having met the fabulous Natalie from @stylemesunday at a networking event. She is a real advocate for celebrating the body beautiful in whatever format it comes in. She, like me feels so concerned at the effect the media and society at large and what it deems as “the best way to look”, has on our teenagers. I am particularly sensitive to this as I have two girls. Ever since I have had them I have made a point of never criticising my body, always talking about their body a positive way- its strength, what it can do, the wonder of its’ form and abilities. I have never discussed my own hang ups in front of them.
I feel so strongly that the message the next generation of women get about how they look should not be built stero-typical, airbrushed, highly scrutinised and sometimes surgically changed bodies. They should love their bodies for what they can do as well as accepting that they will have things they don’t like about it and that’s fine- but lets keep it in perspective and learn how to dress ourselves the best we can, so that we know how to hide those bits we don’t like and highlight the wonderful bits.
My style advice for those of you who on the plus side is to find out what your body shape is. A lot of High Street retailers assume that if you are a size 16 and over, your body shape must be ‘oval/round’. The danger with being sucked into this is that you will wear baggy clothes that will make you look bigger, especially if your body shape is a full hourglass or rectangle.
Many of my clients have been eternally grateful to me for letting them know their correct body shape and what style clothes they should therefore wear enabling them to look their slimmest.
I have a client, Jenny, who is a plus size lady and has a fabulous full hourglass figure. She always follows her rules of wearing shaped clothes and looks amazing as she travels around the country to attend meetings for the UK’s largest training provider. Jenny is also a creature of habit- she has found what works for her and sticks to that; she teams her black trousers with outstanding jackets and tops in her best colours, without forgetting the benefit of a great accessory to finish off the outfit.
I think Jenny would agree with Dawn French’s quote:
“If I had been around when was painting, I would have been revered as a fabulous model. Kate Moss? Well, she would have been the paintbrush!”
Take these words to heart the next time you get frustrated with current concepts about what makes a beautiful body. What Dawn French is saying, is that concepts of beauty are entirely subjective and change over time. In the 16th century, when Peter Rubens was a painter, unnaturally thin women were considered both unhealthy and unattractive. So, what matters is that you are accepting of yourself and see yourself as beautiful, in your own way. xxx