F*CK THAT: A message to the creators of those ‘what to wear for your body type’ graphics

i hate nothing about you with red heart light
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I said I wasn’t going to post about wedding stuff, because it’s very personal to me and my fiance and I are very private about that kind of thing.

But in looking for inspo, especially in the realms of The Dress, we came across a lot of graphics. They go something like this:

“What to wear for your body type:

Pear shaped? Wear XXXXX sihlouette.

Apple? Wear XXXXX sihlouette…”

And so it goes…

 

woman in white bridal gown meditating
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

And it’s not just weddings. Magazines and online articles tell you the ‘best slimming outfits’ or how to ‘dress to flatter your body type’.

Why am I kicking up about this?

BECAUSE YOU SHOULD WEAR WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL GOOD.

WHAT IS ‘FLATTERING’ IS WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL GOOD. PERIOD.

PS. FUCK ‘SLIMMING’. Just… don’t even start.

The problem with these cookie-cutter guides is they’re basically assuming a normative beauty standard (let’s call this societal ideal the ‘norm’ for ease) and by saying ‘if you’re a pear, wear an A-line dress to emphasise your waist and cover up your big hips’, what they’re implying is you need to create the illusion of a different body because yours isn’t good enough as it is.

Yes, this is a subtlety. But it’s there. And it’s insidious.

If they’re talking about black clothing being slimming or horizontal stripes NOT being slimming, they’re preying on insecurities and pushing the societal ‘norm’ and obsession with losing weight and being slender down our throats… and by recommending ‘slimming’ clothing, they’re undermining curvy and fat bodies, and suggesting they too should be ‘fixed’.

And they’re doing this so subtly with helpful ‘advice’ and tips that even little girls can come across in magazines… (during my EDs I consumed massive amounts of this rubbish, and it definitely helped fuel me putting my fingers down my throat… how terribly sad and twisted is that? But I didn’t even realise because it’s the ‘norm’, right?!)

Darling… let’s get something fucking straight. Your body IS good enough, exactly how it is. 

If, like me, you’re technically a pear shape (you gain muscle and/or fat most easily on your legs and hips, and your skeleton likely has a slightly wider pelvis than shoulders – so take note, no amount of dieting is going to change this!) and you want to wear a fishtail/mermaid sihlouette for your damn wedding dress, but these graphics and articles imply you shouldn’t because you should be trying to ‘hide’ or ‘de-emphasise’ your lower body…

F*CK. THAT.

Now, hold on, you might be thinking… but I am self-conscious about *insert body-part here* and I do want to de-emphasise it…

A couple of things: firstly – that is TOTALLY NORMAL AND OKAY, we all have insecurities. This is about dressing in a way that YOU feel confident and at your best. My issue is with a cookie-cutter approach that ASSUMES you want to do certain things, as this implies that you should, to conform to the ‘norm’, and if you don’t, you look ‘wrong’ somehow.

However, I’d also  encourage as a side-note to explore WHY you feel negatively about that body part – chances are you’ve been affected by messaging we’re bombared with EVERYWHERE about what our bodies should look like. When we’re born, we don’t hate our thighs, or our stomachs, or our chest or arms. We get hungry, we get happy, we sleep, we live life. Our insecurities are LEARNED.

And if you work on it, you can UN-LEARN them too. Case in point: I used to long for skinny legs. I’d repeate the 90s Kate-Moss-heroin-chic mantra ‘Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels’ while I threw up the 1 apple I’d eaten that day. Because I felt like being skinny, like models, actresses and magazine imagery that I saw as a young girl, was what I should be.

Now? I have wide hips, and I have strong quads, and it’s still where I hold more fat and muscle, while my mid-section doesn’t gain so easily. And I am more than OK with that. I love my body now. In the words of Shakira, lucky I have strong legs like my mother / to run for cover when I need it…

(But I do appreciate that its tough to get to that place of self-love. I know you can’t flip a switch. It took many, many years, therapy, briefly medication, reading anything and everything, soul-searching, a supportive boyfriend and a LOT of effort plus a Harley Street Nutritionist and a million positive instagram influencers to help fix me! To get started on your journey to accepting your body the way it is, click here for some life-changing stuff with Mel Wells…)

You’re allowed to want to emphasise the parts of your body you like most.

You’re allowed to want to de-emphasise or downplay the parts that make you feel less confident.

The only thing you should be wearing is whatever you freaking want.

The wedding dress issue is neither here nor there – the same is true for ALL outfits at ALL times.

On your wedding day, though, not only again do you want to feel confident and happy in yourself (so you don’t need helpful ‘advice’ about what society considers most flattering for you because f*ck the norm, f*ck general opinion, YOU are the one wearing it!), but you’re marrying someone who loves you AS YOU. You don’t need to look like anyone but yourself, or to try to fit into some constructed ideal.

Just wear whichever damn dress you please.

And if it happens to align with the advice? It doesn’t matter at all, that’s totally cool, as long as the advice isn’t the driver. If it’s genuinely what you want, go for it.

And if, as in my case, you’re likely to be breaking all the rules? Well, I’ll leave you with this babes:

kat
Photo credit: Pinterest
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fitness & health: marketing myths busted

Fitness-Fashion

I think it’s fantastic that fitness is getting so much media and public attention, I really do. But there are important things to remember, too.

It ain’t about the money, honey.

the good

There are some great things about how fitness fashion has now become ‘a thing’. Gone are the days of  it people just grabbing old t-shirts and trackies – they’re dashing to brunch in lululemon after a long run! – and high end designer fitness gear has trickled down to awesome high street styles. This has brought fitness and health to a whole new market. People have started caring about their health en masseand not just because of the ‘government recommended plate’ or whatever outdated ‘5 a day’ food lines they feed us at school.

Teens and twenty-somethings see celebrities caring about health, not just weight loss, with the likes of Karlie Kloss, JLo and Kate Hudson instragramming their perfect little sports-socks off (the latter having launched her own range, Fabletics), showing girls the world over you can work out, look good doing it, and it’s a lifestyle bandwagon many have jumped on.

Fitness ‘fashion’ has popularised fitness, and brought it to the forefront of people’s minds, daily lives, and social feeds. Instagram is aflood with gym outfits #onfleek.

Eating clean has become a ‘big thing’, and peoples’ penchant for McDonalds has been replaced by avocado and poached egg brunches, splashed in beautiful Mayfair, Amaro or Clarendon tones on Instagram.

‘See you at the bar,’ for many, has become ‘see you at the barre’ (and then the juice bar!)

You get the picture. This is all great! It’s never been easier to find workout motivation, inspiration, or a community of people (albeit a virtual rather than in-person one!) for support, related banter, and accountability, on your journey to getting healthier. So what’s the problem?

the bad

quote-amazingMarketers, in every industry, make boatloads of money selling people ideas. Essentially, a product or a service is a product or a service. The money comes when you make people believe they need it, because of ideas. 

Suddenly, material things appeal because we think they represent parts of our identity, or, particularly in fitness, it makes us feel like they’ll get us where we want to be.

Like magazines, in many ways they sell us an image of what we want to be. We subconsciously hope that in paying up and purchasing, we’ll buy (and become) that image. It’s a great psychological tool.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s amazing fitness fashion becomes inspirational. But marketers plant these little magic mythical beans that grow into the idea that, somehow, to be fit you NEED the newest, most expensive workout equipment, the priciest gym membership, a smoothie-maker, a spiralizer, all of the unusual healthy snacks Wholefoods stock, and the latest Bodyism leggings and sports bra…  And the reality is, you don’t.

They won’t mean you have to train any less. They won’t strip the fat you hate on your abs, or slim down your waist or your face.

And you can workout and eat clean without them perfectly easily.

There is nothing wrong with buying things. Hell, I love a good sports bra as a motivational tool (trust me, I’m always mooning over Victoria’s Secret Sport gear), or a new pair of Nikes.

It’s just important to recognise that we can do without them. Don’t feel like you can’t get YOUGOTHIS-desktopstarted on your fitness journey because you don’t have these things.You can be whatever you want to be, and a purchase won’t make it happen. You will.

  • You can still workout in trackies and an old t-shirt!
  • You can buy fresh vegetables, fish, meat and legumes from a regular supermarket, and don’t have to spend a fortune at ‘health food stores’ (many of which stock scammy ‘fat loss’ pills and foods labelled healthy that actually aren’t).
  • You can use tins for weights, or heavy books. And pile them in a strong carrier bag for a mock-kettlebell.
  • You can skip without a rope.
  • You can grate zuchinni instead of spiralising.

And you can, actually, still follow fitness trends cheaply as the high street is pretty good (check out New Look, H&M and Primark). And hey, I’m not ashamed to admit it – I love a good Sports Direct sports bra haul as much as the next gym bunny! That’s MUCH cheaper than a Sweaty Betty raid… (who I also love, by the way! Major Christmas list feature!)

I love the luxe factor that has built up around sportswear. I do. People often don’t think twice about spending hundreds on cocktails, big nights out, handbags, and I agree that it’s actually probably a good decision to channel that towards fitness.

But don’t feel like money is a barrier. I promise you, it isn’t. Hustle trumps dollar. We promise. You’ve got this!

And finally, remember to make sure you stay sane. Your #yolomeal or #cheatmeal hashtags are ok too! The social media hype around clean living can make you feel like you should strive for perfection 100% of the time. Which is great, and I understand people aiming high with their ‘one perfect week’ challenges. But DON’T FOR ONE SECOND feel like you’ve failed if you have a biscuit. Or a slice of pizza. Or even a whole day derailed. Pick yourself up. Dust yourself off. Be glad and ENJOY your treats. Keep calm and carry on.

Balance may not be a cookie in each hand, but it isn’t just one cucumber slice in each either.

In the words of Gigi Hadid:

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eat clean to stay fit, have a burger to stay sane – gigi hadid

 

B xoxo