Showing posts with label body confidence. Show all posts
Showing posts with label body confidence. Show all posts

Thursday, 3 October 2013

The New Power Generation

Over the last few days I have seen a number of different discissions on Twitter and other social media platforms about the 'younger' generation and how we can teach them to love themselves.

I grew up very lucky that I can not remember ever really hating my body, but I know that isnt the case for everyone. I also know that body image issues and hatred don't just happen when they are seemingly justified. The truth is that from every direction we are told how to feel about how bodies, how they should look and what we should be doing to improve them  - so is it any wonder that young girls (and boys) are growing up not knowing how to love and respect their body.

One of the biggest discussions over the last few days is what the government and schools can do to help young people like their body, for me - it isn't rocket science!

The media is full of slim celebrities telling us about their bodies, even in subtle ways! But the likes of Blogger, Twitter, Tumblr and more are full of inspirational women of ALL sizes telling us to stick it to the man! 

Why not show children in schools the tweets, videos, words of wisdom from these people who survive every single day in this big, bad world!

Some of the inspirational people I would love to see shown to school children:

Mary Lambert




I love this poem by Mary Lambert. The I Know Girls (Body Love) poem might be a little hard-hitting but the sentences about body love are fantastic and something every girl should hear! 

And with words like "I am a big girl. A voluptuous, curvy, dress-wearing lesbian. I love my body; it’s the only one I’ll ever have. I eat a lot of greens and work out and drink gin martinis and put M&Ms in my froyo and sometimes I don’t do anything but watch Project Runway. I am allowed to look sexy, feel sexy, and be in love. I am worthy of all of those things, and so are you. Own your good and bad, and all the scary parts that you’ve been covering up because it is yours and no amount of judgement can tell you how to love your body. In the words of Sonya Renee, the body is not an apology. You are magic." which is posted on her Facebook recently she should be used more when it comes to teaching people to love their bodies!

Natasha Devon

I have mentioned Natasha Devon before and I will again! She already does so much for helping young people love their bodies - her company Body Gossip go into schools to talk about confidence and body love! It would be great if more was made of this.


Rachel Wiley

I have blogged about her poem before  - 10 thoughts on being loved by a skinny boy. I love stuff like this and find the words inspirational. I follow her on Twitter and she often tweets out words of wisdom, which young people would most definitely benefit from!

This is just a small, tiny, teeny handful of the women who put themselves out there everyday to help people love their bodies. Online campaigns such as Eff Your Beauty Standards and Honor My Curves are full of everyday women showing their own body love. People such as Tess Munster show that you can love your body and make a career out of it!

Even if schools can't promote these precise people, why not show young people a way of looking up inspirational people online? I am sure there are plenty of people I don't know about (I would love to read about them if you know any!)... but I read a lot of Tumblr and Twitter and everyday I am inspired by something that is posted!

Who are your main inspirations?

Debz xx


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Monday, 16 September 2013

Gemma Cruickshank Collexions: New Fashion Line Launch

If you follow any aspect of the 'plus size world' then the likelihood is that you will have heard of Gemma Cruickshank - Of course it's still a shame it's a separate world, but that is another blog post! 

Whether you saw her win the Miss BBW International Beauty Pageant in 2012, you discovered her many 'self love' rants on Facebook, you have seen her on Twitter or met her at an event there can be no denying that she will have made an impact. 

I won't talk about how at a size 22 it is a surprise she is so confident and I won't take about how she's pretty for a big girl because we all know being good looking and confident isn't linked to body size.




What I do want to talk about is the very exciting Gemma Cruickshank Collexions which are due to launch soon! I am very excited to see what Gemma has come up with and I know I won't be disappointed! Having someone who understands a bigger body design clothes for me is amazing and I can't wait for the line to be launched!

In a lead up to the launch I caught up with Gemma to talk about fashion and her new line - her is what she had to say!

For anyone who doesnt know you in the plus size world (or the 'normal world' for that matter) who are you?

My name is Gemma Cruickshank, I am 23 years old and I am an up and coming size inclusive fashion designer. I graduated last November and have had a whirl wind of a year; I am excited to be sharing the fantastic news that my brainchild ‘Gemma Cruickshank Clothing’ will be launching this October 2013.

Celebrating the curvaceous form and non commercial silhouette is my passion, I definitely consider myself to be a body confidence and self esteem activist. I believe that boosting self esteem enables us to achieve our goals and better our lives. I have done lots of work around size acceptance, body confidence and self esteem boosting in the run up to my business launch. 

Being tall and fuller figured myself, and knowing the struggle women of different shapes and sizes face when buying clothes. I initially went to University to study fashion & printed textiles which I knew would equip me with the knowledge I needed to build my dream and enable me to provide quality, size appropriate clothing. 

We're hearing rumours on Twitter and Facebook of you launching a clothing range, tell us more?

I am indeed launching a clothing range, it is something I am so excited and so passionate about. I am lucky enough to be the proud occupant of a BA Hons in fashion and printed textiles.  I am literally now turning my dreams into my reality. I am currently working with the Princes Trust to build my business, which I am launching on the evening of Tuesday 8th October 2013. This will be a fantastic opportunity for me to meet all the fabulous people who have been supporting me for the past year, release my first official collection and celebrate the launch of my awaited website.

Did you do all the designs yourself?

I do everything myself which I love, initially I am a digital printer which means I am able to design my fabric surfaces myself, which enables me to get the exact fabric design I want to use. I design all my own stuff, pattern cut, sew and finish all myself. Up until now I have been doing bespoke orders but the time is definitely here to unleash a small collection of my own little ‘Gems’. As my business is growing and the only way is up I will be on the look out to grow #TeamGemma, I am looking for skilled pattern cutters and seamstresses to join my team.
   
Who will your range be aimed at?

I would hate to limit my range and say it’s only made for one group of people or a specific person. I would never produce anything I wouldn’t wear myself, and it is open for everybody to enjoy. 

Although I am plus size myself, I feel it is very important for us to be included in the fashion industry this is why I am doing size inclusion which covers 12-30. I want to be the change I want to see, I would love for fuller figure ladies to be able to shop at the same places as their petite friends, and be able to buy something because they really like it not because they have to, because it’s their size. I am open to everyone who wants to enjoy my passion.




Where do you get your design inspiration from?

Being part of my own target market means I am continuously inspired, I am a very visual person, I love the feminine form, I love the feel of fabrics, I get excited by colour, and I love the endless opportunities. It never gets boring, I love what I do, I love the wave of fuller figured women who are all doing their own bit for our community and showing that just because you are bigger doesn’t mean you can’t be beautiful – that to me is one of the most inspiring things ever and something I am so grateful to be a part of.

 Where can I find out more?

I love a bit of social media, I can be found exclusively at www.GemmaCruickshank.com
I can be found on my official Facebook page www.facebook.com/IAmGemmaC
I can be followed and tweeted www.twitter.com/IAmGemmaC - @IAmGemmaC

I can be contacted directly through all of these, I am known as IAmGemmaC via social media, if it’s not IAmGemmaC it’s not me :D
  
Where, when and how will I be able to buy your clothes!?

Starting Small, My clothes will be available to buy via my own website under the Boutique heading – www.GemmaCruickshank.com & www.GemmaCruickshank.co.uk 

Got my fingers crossed and I would love to work with a bigger brand either expanding their own plus size range or introducing a new one!! I am always open to new ideas and love a challenge. 


So there you have it - a VERY exciting new business venture by a lovely lady who knows what she is talking about. By living and breathing the clothes she is designing you can feel sure that her passion, experience and qualifications will make sure that the clothes line is worth checking out!

I'm going to the launch on the 8th October so I'll bring you all the gossip and news from there ASAP!

What would you like to see as part of Gemmas new collection?

Debz xx

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Saturday, 17 August 2013

"Fat Girls In Bodycon Dresses Make Me Vom"

Ok... So they don't actually make me vom, but work with me on this...

I am proud of the mixture of friends that I have. I like to think that they're mostly open-minded and non-judgmental... And then every so often (and I mean very rarely) one of them says something that makes me sit back and think!

Today one of my friends had a Facebook status up that was something along the lines of "Big girls shouldn’t wear body con dresses, it makes me vom". The comments on the status went on to say that she thinks that they shouldn't even sell these dresses in that size and that because she is bigger she has a right to say it.

It will come as a surprise, but I am not one to keep my mouth shut. I absolutely disagree with her opinion and couldn’t sit back and say nothing. I wrote on there that I was a fat girl who wore these body con dresses and felt that her opinion was wrong. I understand completely if someone chooses not to wear any style of clothing, but condemning a whole group of people for wearing something just because you do not have the confidence to do so seems alien to me.

I told her that when I dressed in the morning (or the evening) I did not dress for her or anyone else. I explained to her that it was not my job to be visually pleasing to her or anyone else and that just because she didn't like that style of clothing tat doesn’t mean that others don't! And then the status got deleted.

Wear what you want and feel happy doing it!
I was all ready to come on here all guns blazing and rant about the status - but I put something on my Facebook status and 20 people liked it straight away. It made me realise that actually not everyone thinks this way and that most people are happy to let others get on with their own lives. 

I know that we all take a second glance when we see someone wearing something unique but I don't know of many people who would claim that something shouldn’t be sold to people just because they choose not to wear it themselves! It made me sad and angry, that someone would still think in this backwards way. We seem to be making leaps and bounds when it comes to plus size fashion and I absolutely feel that people should wear whatever they want to wear whatever their size. 


When you get dressed in the morning remember to wear what you want to wear. You do not dress to please other people. It is not your job to look good for other people. You were put on this planet to live your live and not be visually pleasing to people - especially strangers!

If you are someone who feels sick because of what other people wear... Ask yourself why what they have in their wardrobe or on their body affects you!

And then, like a beacon of hope I came across this video by the BEAUTIFUL Tess Munster this morning, which sums up perfectly what I wanted to say, in much less words! 


I love her and I feel that she is such an inspiration and quite frankly, if you can't see her beauty then you need your eyes testing.

Thankfully there are online campaigns such as 'Eff Your Beauty Standards' and 'Honor My Curves' which are helping to pave the way online for people to be happy in their own skin. Personally I love both of these campaigns and love reading peoples involvement in them! If you haven't come across them before, please check them out! 

How do you deal with peoples negatives comments?


Debz xx


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Tuesday, 6 August 2013

The Obligation We Have To A New Generation.

I am no stranger to the world of online dating - in fact many people would call me an expert in this particular pastime. I understand that the internet allows people to be braver and bolder than they would in real life, but the way that some people go about trying to get people’s attention will always baffle me.

When you get to my age (over the hill) I think you have to almost expect that potential partners will have a past/baggage/children. Dating someone with children has never been an issue to me, maybe because to extent I am a big kid myself :) I have dated people with children in the past and whilst the relationships haven't worked out (massive under statement) that has never been because of the children involved.

What I am not liking is the trend of men (I am not saying all, just speaking in general terms here) who have on their dating profile that they have a daughter who they adore/love/cherish/have made their world and message you to come to your house for casual sex within 15 minutes of exchanging your first message.

I had a conversation like this with a man a few weeks ago and I asked him how he would feel if his (when she is grown up) daughter met men she knew for all of 10 minutes on a dating site and invited them to his house. Understandably he said he wouldn’t be very happy with this and would want her to act differently - I told him, I imagined that my dad had the same wishes for me.

In the end I ended up ranting at him, I know it's unusual. I told him that whatever happened, he she teach his beautiful daughter that the world is a big, bad place full of men (like him!) who will want to use her for her body, come to her house and then never see her again. I told him that he needed to teach his daughter that she is WORTHY of her place in this world and that however bad things seemed, she never, ever needed to invite a stranger into her house in order to feel loved or wanted. I asked him to teach her that if she does meet a man it is because she WANTS to and not because some random man on a dating website has messaged her to invite himself round...

In the end, he agreed with me - but I can guarantee that he went on to send the same copy and paste message to another girl on the site. I can only assume this 'send as many messages as possible to meet a girl for sex today' approach works because guys don't seem to change their tactics.

I don't have children, I more than likely never will, but if I did I would tell them that they are beautiful and worthy and never need to compromise who they are in order to feel loved.

I read a piece on Tumblr this week about how to talk about your body in front of your children. As a weight obsesses generation we are talking more and more in hated about our bodies - but if your daughter hears that your thighs are too fat or your son hears your husband talking about how his muscles aren’t big enough, then your children will grow up thinking these same things about their bodies. I am not by any stretch of the imagination an expert on this subject, but if you have children, do you want them to have the same hatred and misconceptions about their body as you do yours? 

I found this on Tumblr, I do not own the copyright. Borrowed with thanks.
Let's create a generation of men and women who know what it means to love their body and to not have to message hundreds of girls online in order to meet just one of them for meaningless sex. I am sure that things like this have always happened in varying forms, but if we teach our daughters that they are worthy of love from a man who offers more than to come to their home, love them once and leave then we'll be half way there.

Happy Tuesday x

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Saturday, 3 August 2013

Gym'll Fix It! My Sisters Story From The Otherside Of The Coin.

Anyone who knows me personally will know that my little sister has lost quite a lot of weight over the past 2-3 years and fantastically well she has done at it too! But, after a conversation with her tonight (YAY for sister time) I realise that we all take for granted just what weight loss does (or doesn't do) for you.

I'm not going to get into facts and figures because we all know that I feel those aren’t important, being happy in your own skin is far more essential that wearing the jeans size that the media says you should. What is important is that she set herself a goal and stuck to it - as she does now!




Would You Ever Ask Someone What They Weigh?

I don't think I have ever asked someone what they weigh! I am not sure I would even ask someone their dress size (unless it was for practical reasons) let alone what the scales read when they take the (sometimes brave) step to step onto them.

My sister told me today that since she has lost weight, she has been asked how much she weighs more times than she cares to remember... She recalls that when she was 'fat' no one ever asked her this. It seems that people see the transformation she has gone through has given people a reason (excuse?) to ask her what she weighs... This isn’t just friends, but work colleagues and people she barely knows!



You Look So Much Better Now!

You would imagine that our media obsessed world would lead to compliments of "you look so much better now you are thin" which she says happens... But that isn’t where it ends. She gets comments such as "Oh, have you put on a bit of weight, you look so much better for it"... She hasn’t gained weight & to be honest, is that anyone else’s business? People telling her she looks better thin, others telling her she looks better (when they think she is) bigger... How is anyone supposed to win!?

I don't want to go into personal details of her life (and I have asked her if I can blog about this) but it made me realise (once again) that it isn’t just fat people that get comments on the way they look. She has worked hard at her body and yet people still tell her she looks good thin, or that she looks better a bit bigger. Not people whose opinion she has asked for or even someone who has entered into discussion with, but just people who feel it is their right/obligation/job to comment on whether she looks good at whatever weight they think she looks better at.

To me, she has always been beautiful and I would never comment on it and she's my sister - why other people think they should is baffling... I am sure she is not the only person who goes through this. In fact I know she isn't - many of us deal with peoples comments on OUR body every single day.

Let's all just remember we are not put on this earth to be visually pleasing to other people at all. We are put on this Earth to live our life exactly how we want & we do not and should not live our life in a way that just pleases others. If people do not like the way we look then they can simply choose to look the other way!
Be-You-Tiful

Debz xx

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Thursday, 18 July 2013

Where Can I Buy Confidence?

Some of you may have seen that I was quoted in The DailyTelegraphs Wonder Woman section last week...

“Debz, 30, is an internet marketer, who also runs a plus size fashion blog Wannabe Princess. She knows Miranda through Twitter (there’s definitely a scene) and loves Club Indulge, although she says her size doesn’t put her off going to mainstream nights.

“I’d go anywhere, I don’t really care, but we all come along to this together, so it’s a good opportunity to see people.” Although she admits: “If I can’t fit past someone here, I’ll tell them to move, whereas in a normal club I’d feel like I had to squeeze past or go the long way round.””

Apart from learning that I probably shouldn't talk to journalists when I am drunk, I was glad to have a link to my blog & some new visitors - Hiiii!

Anyway, I guess write-ups like this lead to 'normal' people discovering blogs and BBW websites etc. because it is something that they wouldn't usually Google to find.

I had a lovely email from a lady the day after the article and it made me realise that the blogs that we all write (And I don't mean this in a big myself up way - I mean it generically across the board) are doing some good!

" I stumbled accross your site through an article in a paper about BBW night clubs. I was so happy to see this, you look so confident and your clothes are fab.... I feel that in my life long quest to be thin I have wasted so much time on being unhappy being fat. I have so much more confidence now as I used to feel succesful when im thin and unsuccessful when im fat! I am learning to accept me as a big person, not easy though, any tips please, I love your style and confidence. xx"

I wrote back to the lovely lady (Hello if you are reading this) but it made me think, how exactly do you 'get' confidence?

This has been saved on my computer for years, I do not know the original source - sorry!


A few years back one of the biggest things for me was realising that many people suffer with the same body image issues - whether they're 'justified' or not. I started to post body positivity quotes that I liked on my Facebook and I was surprised at the number of friends that related to what I was saying. I always thought my thin, beautiful friends would never understand how I felt but actually in this image-conscious world we are all fighting the same battle.

What was also a big step for me was realising that if people wanted to pick on something about your image/look/style they will - they'll call you out for wearing glasses, or having the wrong haircut or having the wrong clothes.

This has been saved on my computer for years, I do not know the original source - sorry!


However the truth is that these people don't own me - they don't have any bearing on my life or the good memories I make with the people who do matter. Someone might make a comment in a nightclub or while I am out, but they are the ones who spend their night concentrating on others - I am usually so happy to be out with people I care about that I don't even register other people’s negativity.


I am not saying I am 100% confident - who is!! But what I am saying is that any issues I do have are just that - my own issues. I do not have to let any ill confidences I feel about my body have a negative effect on my life - or even my day. 

Whatever size clothes you wear, you deserve to be happy & have good people in your life, so never let the haters bring you down!

This has been saved on my computer for years, I do not know the original source - sorry!


I hope you're enjoying the sunshine

Debz xx



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