We’re All Beautiful People. My Body Image Journey…

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Hey Secrets of A Beauty Addict Readers,

Hope you’re well you beautiful people! So if you know me personally you will be aware that I’ve been virtually every size under the sacred Topshop sun. I was overweight as a teen, then became a dancer and went to a size UK 8. I plateaued at about a UK 12 for several years until I became disabled and have slowly risen to a UK size 16/18 . This has been due to a spate of 16 months bedbound, certain medications and undoubtedly eating the boxes of chocs people would bring me in hospital. But they were awesome – so thank you!

Yeah I guess I’ve been pretty bummed about my figure for a good while now and I’ve felt soooo self conscious… my three pair of spanx rule every time I’m going out of the house can attest to that! But you know what, I have to think back and remind myself that at one point I had a really serious condition that could have very easily resulted in dire consequences. And my body, God bless it, got me through! So each time I catch myself thinking negatively about this part or that part , I need to remind myself how lucky I am to be here, to have this incredibly magical body and even though I cant feel my legs, I am lucky to feel with my hands, to see through my eyes, to taste, and yes, to smell the roses.

So, yesterday on a trip to the supermarket I went past the magazines and saw the current Cosmopolitan cover with the beeeautiful Tess Holliday and I immediately asked my Mum to get it down to buy it. I think the premise is bloody fantastic. Gracing the cover with a model that is not a size 0 sends the message of acceptance loudly and proudly, and to the whole flipping world. It also makes people like me, who feel slightly apprehensive about going out of the house (because of their figure), challenge their thinking. Why should I feel like this? Tess Holiday is out there having fun and progressing in a field that is lucky to have her, and I think her body is beautiful, so why can’t I view my own in the same light?

A thing that has never changed no matter what size I am is my penchant for fashion. It’s a common belief that black is slimming, so for a while I adorned myself with black, on black. on black, hoping that no one would notice my gaining pounds. But this article and feature in Cosmo smashes that myth that curvy frames should be shrouded in darkness. In the magazine she wears all sorts of colours, and with aplomb. But it’s not only Tess Holiday that has become a beacon of hope, it turns out there are numerous trailblazing plus size models that kindly and proudly share their lives with us online. Looking at wonderful blogs from people like Callie Thorpe who creates interesting, beautiful and inspiring posts, that literally influences how I feel about my body, about fashion and about society as a whole. Thorpe’s latest post on Instagram is regarding a campaign she is involved in with Glamour Magazine and Antibullyingpro. It is so profound and I definitely recommend taking a look. The campaign is called #BlendOutBullying it suggests you write the worst thing anyone has ever said to you in highlight on your cheekbones (thereby owning the insult) and as you blend it into glittering perfection on your cheeks you move past it. I am certainly going to have a go at that! Follow me on Instagram to see mine! @secretsofabeautyaddict

For those stateside, a campaign that caught my attention was the #TeeUpChange. I first heard about the campaign today when I saw it on @Amypoehlersmartgirls (a must follow for any smart girls/women/boys/men). I immediately clicked on the link because I felt this campaign is exactly what I have wanted to see for so long. The Council of Fashion Designers of America and Dia&Co have come together to create five limited edition T-Shirts celebrating the plus size community. 100% of the proceeds go to inclusivity-focused projects at the CFDA’s Educational Initiatives School! Woop woop!

I have also downloaded Body Positive Power by Megan Jane Crabbe @bodyposipanda where she writes on her cover “How to stop dieting. Make your peace with your body and live.” Yep I’ll have me some of that!

So I honestly feel there is a slow but steady cultural shift around the topic of body image and I for one am hugely thankful to these trailblazers for being so open about this deeply important and deeply personal cause to so many of us! Thank you!

Until the next one,
love beauty

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