Friday, 31 July 2015

#OMCZ - Bare Arms

Its the weekend! And the time has come for me to rejoin the Outside My Comfort Zone challenge! 
For various health reasons over the past few weeks,  I've been a little bit rubbish on the blog front so hopefully this challenge will keep me focused and get me back on track.
This months challenge is Bare Arms.
This is something that I struggled with even as recently as last year. But this year I realised that the world won't stop and stare even if my upper arms are giant so I might as well just get on with it.
These are a selection of my most recent sleeveless faves.

How do you feel about having your arms on show?
See what the following bloggers thing by clicking their links below.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Bodyshaming Instagram has banned #curvy

Only a few months ago my account with Instagram was closed without warning. On the same day, I encountered a group of other users raising the same issue on the Instagram Facebook page. The only thing we had in common? The word curvy in our usernames. I kicked up a bit of a fuss and my account was reinstated with no official explanation. 

I thought that was the end of my experience with their unacceptable body shaming but Instagram has caused a storm once again with its shameful restricting of certain search terms. 

From today, if you search for the hashtag #curvy, you will be met with this page.

That's right folks. The curvy hashtag has been filtered out of Instagram searches to show no results. 

I was informed that this was also the case for #skinny and #thin but upon investigation I have found that you can search for these hashtags and after accepting a content warning popup, you can browse the results freely.

So... why the total ban on #curvy? Can they not think of an appropriate warning?

An update from Buzzfeed:
A spokesperson from Instagram said the hashtag #curvy is not searchable because, according to the company, it was being used to share images and videos that violated Instagram's community guidelines around nudity.

But of course searching for clitoris or cunts is still entirely okay.

I find it disgusting that this filter is in place yet you can find hundreds of fatshaming images with a few clicks.

So heres the deal: I don't want to miss out on all the beautiful curvesome photos that the users of Instagram have to offer so from now on I will be using #curvee on my IG photos instead.

Please feel free to do the same and spread the word. 

Friday, 10 July 2015

Date With A Prom Dress

Last month I spent a lot of time trying on clothes in Evans (as can be evidenced by my From The Changing Room post) but I was stuck with the dilemma of only being able to take home one item.

I tried on dress after dress, even a pair of trousers! And what did I choose?!

Scarlett and Jo, Scarlett & Jo,  evans, plus size fashion, plus size, curvy, fashion, blog, Blogger, review, prom, dress, prom dress, fat, fatty, chubby, alternative, curves, bbw, cleavage, sweetheart, boobs, arms, legs, thick, chunky, hourglass, waist, hips,

The mesh insert prom dress has flown off shelves and it's easy to see why. The quality and attention to detail in the Scarlett & Jo dresses make them many fatshionistas favourite brand and one of the main reasons to visit Evans.

This dress has a mesh panel which reveals a gorgeous sweetheart neckline and an elasticated waist which gives this dress the signature Scarlett & Jo Prom Dress look.
Lucky for me this dress is also lined with a net petticoat which helps it retain some shape even on the most blustery of days!

My biggest little was feeling a little left out and joined me for a photo. Check the hands on hips pose!

Sadly our photo session was cut short thanks to the wind and a shaky tripod. Perhaps he'll join me again soon, who knows!

Outtake anyone?
Unfortunately this dress is now sold out but Evans currently have a fantastic sale on and many gorgeous Scarlett & Jo pieces have been slashed in price.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

What Is Plus Size?

Humans exist in so many ways. Bodies are so varied. So how do we determine which category each body belongs to? What is plus size?

To me, plus size isn't a dress size, or a body shape.

To me it's in how you feel.

Trigger Warning: eating disorders and body dysmorphia

As someone who was once a size 12-14, at my lowest weight since my mid-teens, with an eating disorder and body dysmorphia, even back then I considered myself to be grossly overweight. I would eat under 250 calories a day and still dress as Princess Fiona for a fancy dress party because I wanted to make a joke out of myself before anyone could make a joke out of me.

Princess Fiona: Once Upon A Time... 2008 to be precise

When I went down a dress size and someone told me they were concerned at how fast it was happening, I thought I was being mocked. I felt out of place in my office of slim girls and would've been more at home among larger ladies because I felt I could relate to them more.

When I thought of myself, I thought of a girl with a big bum, tum and hips and refused to look for clothes in Topshop or River Island because I had convinced myself I'd never fit into their clothes and look good.
Emotionally I was a fat girl.

However if I had mentioned being plus size in the PS communities I see today, I would've faced backlash for not being plus size enough. I would've been accused of attention seeking and banned from Facebook groups, shamed for being too small.

I would've spiraled into a depression, feeling shunned and isolated and like I didn't belong anywhere.

So when I see people suggesting that Plus Size is above a size 18 because "smaller sizes don't have the issues we do," I beg to differ. A size 14 who feels that she is too big to be socially accepted or that shops don't cater for her specific shape or style preference will have the same insecurities and feel the same body shaming that larger sizes do (regardless of whether you believe she's correct or not, whether it's a disorder or not). The issues may be slightly different in nature but they are there, much in the same way a size 24 and a size 34 will have different issues.

We are not Club Plus Size. There is no membership and no criteria for getting past security. If you feel shamed, if you feel you don't fit in with the straight sized crowd, if you feel plus size.... who is anybody else to decide that you're wrong?

You are not shaming larger plus sizes by considering yourself to be above straight-size.

So please, plus size babes, before you react harshly to someone smaller than you calling themselves plus size... stop and think about how they might be feeling in themselves at that moment. Think about how it feels to be shunned because of your size. Remember that we should all support every body, every shape, every size.

Because if we start pushing away smaller sized individuals, we are no better than the individuals who push us away for being big.

Friday, 3 July 2015

Blog Every Day In June- Or Not!

When I started the Blog Every Day in June challenge I didn't take into account the fact that I may hit a slump in my depression cycle at some point in those 30 days.

That's the problem with depression isn't it?  It's as difficult to predict as it is to understand. Out of nowhere you stop taking care of yourself and you get weak and find yourself, in this case at least, struck down with a painful intestinal infection.

Suffice it to say June was not the one. But I did learn from it. I only managed around 9 days of solid blogging but within the first week I realised that pumping out daily posts, clutching at topics and finding quick workarounds doesn't work.
I want to love what I'm writing.  I want to feel something for my subject and feel like I'm doing it through choice, not obligation.

So whilst I'm not going to sit here and say No More Challenges, I will say this: I want a challenge I will enjoy. I need to be able to fit it around my life and children and as such I very much doubt I will take part in a frequency challenge beyond 7 days again.

So you can all breathe a sigh of relief!

Normal service is resumed.

Vintage Summer with BBW Couture*

The 50s style swing dress has always been a firm favourite of mine as I think they look beautiful on all shapes and sizes, so when BBW Couture arrived on the scene with a range of gorgeous vintage inspired dresses amongst their vast array of plus size clothing, I was desperate to find out more.

I am very grateful to have be sent a couple of these lovely dresses to try and it was perfectly timed as we are currently experiencing The Hottest Days In The World Ever.

This Pink Rose Dress* is a beautiful bright print on an off-white Base and shouts summer! The best thing about these dresses at this time of year is just how light and floaty they are. In the midst of this heatwave you won't find a more ideal dress.

The dress is long enough to have your legs out which is ideal in this weather. It's got coverage while also being very freeing in the arms and the chest. In fact due to the small amount of fabric in the wrap style top, my usual size was far too snug and I actually sized up twice for a better fit and popped a safety pin in for modesty. I would recommend sizing up in these beauts, twice if you are particularly generously proportioned on top!

The belt loops are quite wide allowing you to tie it at the back or the front of the dress. I chose to tie it at the front as for me that gave a better shape.

But the best thing about these dresses is the value. Ranging from £27.99 to £29.99, they are budget friendly and come in a wide range of prints to suit all tastes. I have another to show you next week so stay tuned!

If you simply cannot wait for the next installment, don't forget you can see the entire range at BBW Couture now.

*This item was gifted for review