A realistic love for your body shape

I am going to get straight to the point. The idea for this article spun from seeing too many women self-inflict poor style on themselves day to day. We aren’t going to look good in every item of clothing; it’s an unfortunate fact of life that you are going to fall in love with clothes that look fabulous on the models and mannequins in store, but will look horrendous on you. And it’s because, frankly, you are too curvaceous or have a flat chest or your shoulders are too broad.

I am probably going to be met with gasps of horror; readers in shock and disbelief at how someone could be so cruel regarding body shape. Love your body; be happy with your body.

But I believe that too. If you want to eat ‘till your heart’s content: do it. If you want to exercise three times a day, every day to burn off that Kit Kat you had at lunch: go for it. This article isn’t about picking on people for being ‘too fat’ or ‘too thin’; it is an attempt to get women to be realistic about their body shape.

I am not a perfectly-shaped woman sat behind the comfort of a keyboard, not at all. I have body issues, just like every other girl (and boy) on the planet. I have my days where I hate my hips for not allowing me to look as rock chick in a t-shirt dress as so many straight-shaped girls do. You can be as happy and comfortable as you like with your figure, but at some point in your life, something about your body will piss you off. This is normal. We are humans; humans who have ‘man shoulders’, cellulite and one boob bigger than the other. There is nothing wrong with having our individual-shaped bodies, it’s not a flaw. But it must be dealt with correctly.

I just revealed my curvy shape. I have boobs and a hell of a butt. I used to hate them. But now, with the right clothing, they are my assets. I used to get so angry (and sometimes still frustrated) that my top size is a 10 not an 8, simply because of my boobs. But I know now, that if I try to squeeze into that size 8, I’m not going to look good. Similarly, just as much as everyone doesn’t want camel toe, it’s not a good look to have your bum seeming as if it can’t breathe, just because you wanted a smaller size of jeans. I can now say that I have no anxieties about picking up a larger size for my trousers, shorts and skirts as I know that it’s going to look better. Forget the number written on the label: cut the label off, because it doesn’t matter what it reads, as long as you look good.

With a larger behind, you have to be careful with trousers and shorts as some of them will make you look like Beyoncé, whilst others will be your worst enemy. Your bum needs to held and accentuated, whereas a lot of cigarette and slouchy trousers end up making your bum look big, flat and saggy. Not what you want.

It’s the same with a flat chest. So God didn’t deal you the hand of a good cleavage. You’ve cried and wallowed and now it’s time to fix the problem. No, the answer isn’t a boob job. Unless you want to, of course. But there are cheaper and less painful options. You need the right tops. Firstly, a push-up bra is your new best friend. Half the girls whose figures you mournfully long for have a lot of help from good lingerie. Secondly, it’s out with baggy tops that will hide the little that you do have in a sea of creases. Ruffled and pussy-bow blouses are definitely for you, creating the illusion of more being there. For a night out, again, a dress that holds your breasts will always be flattering. On the other end of the spectrum, a friend of mine is very gifted in the chest department, but chooses to wear notoriously…trashy dresses; the type that are bandage Hervé Ledger-esque but leave nothing to the imagination. Being so tight, the boobs tend to ‘spill’ out and over. The worst look ever.

So you see: it isn’t about what your body shape is, it’s about how you dress for it. It’s a sad truth that you will never be able to get away with some trends and fashions, but there will be plenty that you will rock with such style and because it will fit your body shape better, it will make you feel better. Feeling more comfortable equals confidence and that is the secret ingredient to every good look. So go to your wardrobes and get rid of those items that you wish you could wear but you know aren’t the best choices for you. Then you can make room for everything that will flatter and enhance your body shape. Love your body; be happy with your body, but also give it a chance to look good by wearing the appropriate cut of clothes.

Amira

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Feministy Shit

Lack of Feministy Shit due to new job completely devouring my free time… I would complain, but I’m actually in love with what I do. I will be trying to bulk out Feministy Shit more now I’m settling in.
Have a great day!
Fia x

Part 9: #SafeSexLeggings

I’m part of an discussions community online (what can I say, I’m a sharkie), which I was casually scrolling through on a Sunday morning when a rather bright picture caught my eye… It was of multicoloured condoms. On fabric. The fabric was made into leggings.

So, facts first:

  • These leggings are made by a company called Poprageous. Poprageous print graphics and images onto shiny nylon material in the form of leggings, dresses, swimming costumes, etc.
  • Poprageous have some rather controversial pieces in the collections they release. This article will be treating the ‘condom leggings’ as an individual discussion.
  • Yeah, condom leggings.

So I had a look at Poprageous’ instagram where the photo had been taken from. People had some colourful opinions on the leggings. From an aesthetic point of view they were marmite, I guess, loved or hated. Then another side to the story emerged. Some people were disgusted by the leggings, not because of the colours (which, to be honest, are a little on the bright side for me), but instead because of the condoms.

#safesexleggings

People were of the impression that leggings with condoms on them are somewhat disgusting or, more specifically that they are inappropriate – particularly in environments where children are around. My take on the leggings? THEY ARE AWESOME. Why are they awesome? Let me explain…

1) Normalising.

“What’s that on your leggings?… Is that… Condoms?!”
“Yup.”
“Fair enough.”

Condoms should not be a taboo! For many people sex is a part of everyday life and, by extension, so are condoms. Condoms prevent the transmission of bodily fluids preventing unwanted pregnancies and the transmission of STIs. By making conversations about safe sex and the use of condoms normal we make the act of using condoms normal in itself.

Perhaps, if I were a mother, I’d question wearing these leggings to pick up my kids from school but more for the fear of being judged by other parents as opposed to offending children. At the end of the day, would a child understand what these were? Probably not. They’d probably think they were sweetie wrappers… And when they grow up that would make a rather hilarious anecdote at their wedding.

2) Raising awareness.

“Look at their leggings! They’ve got condoms printed on them!”
“I like that, safe sex is so important – pretty good way of getting a message around.”

And that’s just it. It is a great way of getting the message around. The leggings are colourful, bright, fun (and a little silly) making discussions of safe sex approachable. As opposed to approaching the use of condoms in an intimidating, Mean Girls kind of way (‘You WILL get pregnant and die.’), these leggings are a great icebreaker.

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So there you have it. Sure the leggings are a little kooky, but condom leggings are cool quite simply because condoms themselves are cool. Condoms allow us to have protected sex and sex is great, yes, but protected sex is even better. If you’re still in a dilemma about the leggings, and have mixed feelings about their appropriacy then I have a simple question to put to you: consider which has a more positive influence on society – avoiding conversations about sex, or promoting safer sex?

Feministy Shit

Casually finished a maths degree last week (well, excluding possible resits). I’ve also been applying for jobs. And my twenty-first birthday is next week. That’s too grown-up sounding for my liking. Someone want to take me to play on the swings later?
My favourite form of procrastination, as ever, is clicking on billions of links to feminist articles. While there have been many worthy of a ranty article from myself I have, for the sake of my own happiness/sanity, decided to go with something much more positive.
Fia x

Part 5: Monokini 2.0

‘Monokini 2.0 is a social art project that re-examines popular culture’s narrow view of a woman’s ideal appearance.’ I was already sold. Pretentious, art-loving Fia thought this was a great idea and wanted to read more about this fantastic overlap between her passions of feminism and ART.  I continued reading…

‘The artistic director of Monokini 2.0 is the [Finnish] art duo Nutty Tarts.’ Now they’re just teasing me. The artists behind this rather obvious ingenuity are called Nutty Tarts, could this get any better? Well yes, and it does.

‘We strive to expand what is accepted and considered beautiful by designing a swimwear collection for women who have gone through breast cancer. Swimwear is conventionally designed for women who haven’t suffered a mastectomy. The fact is that many women who have had one breast removed due to breast cancer don’t wish to have breast reconstruction surgery, they wish to continue their lives with one or no breasts at all.’ Now you appreciate the awesomeness.

The website features the images of breast cancer survivors  all of whom have undergone mastectomies whilst forgoing breast reconstruction surgery, all modelling various swimming costumes designed for said survivors.

The project was inspired by Elina Halttunen a survivor and passionate swimmer, Elina found herself struggling to find a swimming costume that was stylish and practical. Swimming costumes with prosthesis proved uncomfortable for Elina, and why should she have hide her scars? Elina then designed her own swimming costume to suit her and the inspiration continued.

Elina Halttunen: the muse.

Obviously one of their main aims was to give these women something super awesome to wear on the beach, but they also have another, feminist and all-kinds-of-awesome aim:  ‘Seeing an exposed breast is considered nakedness, but why is exposing no breast also considered nakedness?… It had to do with more than what to wear on the beach. It was about a changing culture throughout all society, about freedom and emancipation.’

At this point I’m going to include some pretty pictures (yay, pictures!) and a link to the website, because it really does speak for itself. All I have left to say is that I hope to see more projects like this in the future: after all, who says you need two?

CLICK ME TO GO TO THE MONOKINI 2.0 WEBSITE

 

 

That. Dress.

Today, I love fashion because CAMERON DIAZ.

At the London Premiere of ‘The Other Woman,’ Cameron Diaz (well, probably her stylist) did perfection, I tell you, PERFECTION. This outfit cured my hangover; I gave it a round of applause when I saw it. In my imagination, her stylist walked into her room handed her the dress said, ‘I’m a genius. Congratulations on hiring the best stylist in the world,’ and left.

Photo by PA Photos.
Photo by PA Photos.

And now, after all that hype, you’re a little disappointed aren’t you? Were you expecting a fountain of chiffon? Sparkles? At least a dash of colour? Well let me explain.

This is possibly the perfect little black dress. Or at least, the perfect little black dress for Cameron Diaz. It showcases her phenomenal legs, frames her petite figure, looks really smart, isn’t too fussy. It would be boring but, then, the leather. Oh the leather. I’m in a moral dilemma because I like cows, and the idea of wearing an animal’s skin on top of mine starts freaking me out if I over-think it, and ETHICS, and ANIMAL RIGHTS, and COW, but… That. Dress. I think I’m so obsessed with it because it is a taboo. I can’t help but feel like wearing leather is, on some level, definitely not okay. It’s not okay. Which is why I’ve fallen for it. It’s a beautifully made dress but, more than that,  it’s pushing at my boundaries, my buttons, I can’t stop thinking about it and that’s what fashion should be doing.

Regardless of the ethical issues surrounding the dress, you cannot fault the styling. It looks so effortless. Timeless. Her hair is simple. The shoes are fantastic without trying to steal the limelight. She didn’t wear any necklaces that would detract from the dress, there was no clutch, no crazy makeup. There was just a confident, talented woman wearing a freaking amazing dress basking in the glory of her own awesomeness. She owned it.

Thank you, Cameron Diaz, to you and your stylist for curing my hangover with your fabulousness. Thank you to The Row for creating a stunning dress that reminded me exactly why I love fashion.

Fia 

In style and out of fashion

Who is that one person you recognise when you walk around campus? You know the one I mean… You don’t know their name, you’ve never been introduced, yet you’ll happily point them out to your friends as that person whom you see everywhere. However, looking at this statistically, you are at a university with over 12,000 students – it’s pretty safe to say that you actually may have about ten ‘everywhere’ people and you only notice and recognise one of them. So ask yourself this: what sets that one person apart?

I’m not talking about fashion sense or good looks, your ‘everywhere’ person could be someone with a glorious beard, lots of piercings, or a penchant for hats. None of these people necessarily have perfect ‘fashion sense’ as such, so what sets them apart in the line up of those other people you walk past every day?

The best answer I can give is style.

Style is the confidence to grow that beard, get those piercings and wear those hats. This is, of course, to be taken with a pinch of salt… Not everyone can grow, let alone pull off, a magnificent beard, piercings are definitely not the way to go if you’re scared of needles and other people will suit baseball caps as opposed to trilbies. Style is not about staying on trend, following fashion magazines and only wearing designer clothes. It’s just a matter of finding that ‘thing’ which suits you and makes you feel more confident, and playing on it. If you can’t think of your ‘thing’, then experiment and try to find it.

For example, noise makes me feel more comfortable and confident and it is for this reason that I always seem to wear a pair of rather noisy Chelsea boots. They’re nothing special to look at – plain black with a small wooden heel, they are without buckles or pointed toes – but when I walk in them they have a certain clonk, a charisma, a charm. To me, those boots are my sound and they make me feel at ease with myself.

Fashion is following while style is developing it to make it your own, so don’t be afraid of the retro or mixing and matching different fashion genres. If you’re a fan of sweeping, lady-like skirts, why not try contrasting them with a pair of military boots or a band t-shirt?

Style is the bit that you have added to black top and jeans that you only wore because you haven’t had your chance to do your laundry yet, style is your signature on the piece. After all, in the words of Coco Chanel, “Fashion changes, style remains.”

Fia