#HealthyCurves – New Blog Section

 

Up till now my blog has centered mainly around fashion, body positivity and self love with the occasional beauty post sprinkled in, going forward I am going to add a new section to the blog: #HealthyCurves.

Lisa - Workout Wear

Invisible

From the runway to the Sports Illustrated Swimwear Issue, we plus size ladies have by now conquered so many domains.  The gym-scene however is still one of the main areas where we lack visibility.

The result of this is unfortunately quite often that plus-size individuals  are afraid of going to gym, scared of standing out, being stared at or maybe even being ridiculed. I myself have suffered from that in the past and still find myself once in a while looking around when I am at the gym.

 

Time For Us To Conquer The Gym

It is time for fat women exercising to be more visible making the sight of us in the gym a lot more normal – we need to conquer the gym and flaunt our curves  proudly, showing off that we are fat and fit or at least fat and working on it.

 

Body Positivity – Loving Yourself To Make Healthier Choices

But this is about more than being confident enough to wear a gym outfit and to conquer your fear of being stared at. This is about loving yourself enough, to make healthy choices for yourself.

The issue is that most of us, if and when we were going to the gym, focus most  of the time so much on weight that we end up failing so often, ending up in a never ending spiral, hating ourselves.Rather than focussing on weight, like I too used to do for so long,  we should be focussing on making healthy choices every day, being the healthiest self we can be that day, just a day at a time. If it means that we are losing weight or not.

If we are stubbornly chasing a weight that is difficult for us to reach, it will most likely lead to us being a lot less healthy, either by us following unhealthy fad diets which do not only lead to bad nutrition but in most cases also to yo-yoing, in the worst case it might lead to eating disorders or other mental illnesses and finally in most cases it will lead to simple plain unhappiness which is practically guaranteed by chasing an in many cases unattainable number, or at least unattainable in the short time we give us.

Torturing ourselves like that is often even unnecessary. While I am pretty sure no one will argue that weight does not have an influence on health. The idea of how thin we actually have to be to be healthier is also over-estimated. Not everybody is made to reach a size 8. To be healthy it is important to listen to our own bodies, however, to do this it is important that we are honest with ourselves.

 

My Story & Relationship With My Own Body And Fitness

I myself had to make theses experiences myself in a quite painful way. I have yo-yoed around most of my life going from crash diet to crash diet most of the time following a self-hating low till a few years back I decided that it was finally time to follow through and make the big chang, become a new person.

I was convinced this time I would make it and this time, I would make it to make the long-term change, a lifestyle change not a diet.  I  put all my effort in it for a very long time and over the time of more than 1.5 years I lost 30 kilos (ca 5 stone) slimmed down to a size 18 and even ran a half marathon.  I was so proud of myself.

FB_IMG_1437044711992   FB_IMG_1437044852101

Then I hit the wall, the weight did not want to budge further, but my BMI still called me obese, I still bought my clothes in plus size shops and society still called me fat?! What to do? I kept and kept trying, counted my calories, exercised obsessively, struck more and more foods out of my diet but still the weight did not budge. There it was again, that anger with myself…

At that time I did not have the confidence I have now, I still thought I was fat and ugly. I completely missed how great my body felt, that all tests said I was fit and healthy that I without issue was able to run 10kilometers. I look amazing now and looking back I now know I looked amazing then, but all I could see was that my clothes still said plus-size, that despite all blood and heart tests saying healthy the BMI chart still said obese. The official classification and the german society still called me fat. And so at some point, I gave up hope and the inevitable  happened and I ended up unhappy and annoyed with myself and ended up gaining everything backover time.

Self-hate is not a good motivator. I am very very happy that after coming to the uk I stumbled across the body positivity movement who taught me that my self-worth is not tied  to my weight. It took me a long time but now I love myself and my body and know that I am fucking beautiful.
Unfortunately however after I always used to be fairly fit more weight I have recently noticed that I am by far too quick out of breath and I have also picked up some lower back pain and the occassional early pain in my right knee – the typical weight issues. There is no way round it if I want to tackle that pain and make sure that knee stays healthy I need to tackle that gym and work on my health and this is a journey I would like to share with you and also want to use as an opportunity to as a fat woman be as visible as possible going to the gym and also beating my own residual phobias.

 

Love Yourself & Be Our Healthiest Self Every Single Day

The best we can do for ourselves is love ourselves and realise that we are beautiful and worthy as we are and do every day the best for ourselves and our body. Ultimately this will lead to our healthiesst self – should this in each individuals case mean losing weight or not.

This is ultimately what I am going to be working on and will  try to  convey via my new #HealthyCurves posts. I am by no means planning in turning this into a dietblog in any way shape or form, but from now on you can  look forward to hopefully being able to me on my way back to an even happier, healthier self.

 

Look Forward To #HealthyCurves

Over the next sees you will see the occassional post seing me  trying out an online training system, working with a personal trainer, testing out yoga, trying to make more health conscious food choices and, as this ultimately is and stays a fashion blog,  lots of plus-size gym wear and plus-size bikinis.

Girl Geek In A Dress & Bear SCP - Plus Size Fitness
If You Live in Manchester & Surrounding you should definitely check out Bear SCP – Darren is by far one of the most body positive personal trainers I have met in a long time!

 

What Is Your Philosophy On Fitness?

Where do you stand when it comes to fitness? Are you a fitness fan or do you go nowhere near a gym? What is your favourite sport or fitness routine? What is the one fitness/self worth tip you would like to give to your younger self? I would love to hear from you?

Signoff

 

What You Should Not Wear… – Fashion Rules

Are you as tired as me of stupid rules about what we are allowed to wear or not? We all have come across rules or even lists of what we apparently should and should not wear. These rules can present themselves in so many different ways:

  1. “Passed Down Wisdom”: that has been passed down from woman to woman like I have been told so many times, that I should not wear stripes or patterns or that I should avoid short skirts, bodycon dresses or generally tight tops.
  2. School’s Dres Codes: Weird rules imposed by schools about what girls (and also boys) are allowed to wear, most of the time claiming the girls would be too much of a distraction to the boys in their leggings or skirts revealing irresistible kneecaps. This goes to so crazy lengths that girls have been sent home from school for wearing leggings. (1, 2, 3)
  3. Social media comments: Maybe you came across the beautiful picture of “What Laura Loves”  in a stunning jumpsuit on the Simply Be Facebook Page which was taken apart by mean commenters claiming she should not wear a jumpsuit as it was unflattering
  4. The Press: one of the most recent examples was the Oprah magazine stating that you should only wear a crop top if(AND ONLY IF as they repeat) you have a flat stomach… I already had my rant about this specific article here

Oprah, Crfop Tops Only For Flat Stomach

Simply be has recently put together an eye-opening list of all the confusing rules they came across…

Completely Arbitrary Or Even Plain False

These rules are completely arbitrary and even the assumptions they are based on are sometimes even plain false.  The myth for example that horizontal stripes make you bigger has been debunked in multiple studies. A 2008 study even found that horizontal stripes make you appear 6% thinner than in vertical stripes. Who decided what is flattering?

What Is So Wrong With Clothes That Don’t Slim Us Down?

Even if horizontal stripes would make you look fatter, what is so inherently wrong with that? Why are we so obsessed with “flattering”? Are we plus-size ladies and body-positivity lovers still so deeply convinced that  being big is such an awful thing that it needs to be concealed, hidden?

If we want to move plus size fashion to the next level we have to learn to step away from our obsession with “flattering” and “slimming”. I personally believe that one thing we have to learn is, that flattering is not a synonym to slimming.

Dress Codes – Often Demeaning For Both Genders

It is obvious that for school or the workplace we should all follow some common sense dress codes. Ultimately you just should not wear you clubbing clothes to your school or workplace.

However, a dress code that go so far as to ban leggings, the visibility of bra straps (tank tops/strappy tops) or similar are demeaning for both genders. These rules assume that boys would be unable of controlling themselves in the view of some ankles or a bra strap shame the girls for completely innocent clothes choices

What Can We Do?

When thinking about what we can do about those stupid rules and misconceptions there is one simple answer.  Break the rules, break them at every occasion you get, and be visible doing it. That way we can break down the expectations of us trying to stay invisible and to hide our rolls and extra pounds at all costs. Show your glorious body in whatever you like to wear!

Simply Be Project – Break The Rules

So when Simply Be shared with me their asked me if I wanted to participate in their recent project aiming to break those rules down following  their recent blog post about those rules, I was immediately in. They were so nice to supply me with some pieces from their line to go and break some rules. A project right after my liking.

Breaking the rules!

So here is a selection of outfits breaking all the rules I could think of featuring past outfits and the lovely dresses that i was supplied by Simply Be

Fat Girls Should Not Wear Maxi Dresses

Halloween Backdrops for photographyLace Trim Jersey Maxi Dress – Simply Be*

barefoot collage with shadowFatPhRocks  – Dress Eddie Dress In Purple*
Belt: 
Accessorize – Old Season
Original Post

 

Fat Girls Should Not Wear Short Dresses!

Asos Curve Black Peplum Dress

Club L Plus Size Lace Panel Peplum Dress – Asos Curve
Shoes – Deichmann
Original Post

Lisa in missguidedDress – Missguided
Original Post

Fat Girls Should Not Wear Tight Clothing

Boohoo Nadia Zip Front Dress & Embossed HoodieNadia Blue Front Zip Dress – Boohoo*
Plus Nadia Embossed Sleeeve Hoodie – Boohoo
Mid Heel Pumps Electric Blue – Ebay
Original Post

Fat Girls Should Not Wear Bikinis/Expose Their Stomachs

6zmbUZ5 (1)Elomi Swim Bra – Simply Be
Mary Of Sweden High Waisted Bikini Brief – JD Williams

Magisculpt Tropical Print Plus Size BikiniMagisculpt Tropical Bikini – Simply Be

Fat Girls Should Not Wear Busy Patterns

Anna Scholz - Print Peplum Dress2

Anna Scholz Print Peplum Dress – Simply Be
Gold Pumps – Deichmann
Original Post


340

338Dress – Simply Be*
Leggings – Simply Be

Fat Girls Should Not Wear Skinny Jeans


DSC04240-2Extreme Dip Back TopBoohoo
Body – Boohoo
Skinny Jeans –  very old season George at Asda
Stiletto Plateau Heels – Deichmann
Grey Clubmaster Glasses* – Specspost
Original Post

 

CpLV3jRKimono: Fringed Multi Tropical Print Sheer Kimono – Yours Clothing
Top: Black Ribbed Cotton VestYours Clothing
Denim Leggings: Simply Be sale item
Shoes: Deichmann sale item
 Original Post

 

 

Fat Girls Should Not Wear Jumpsuits

DSC00711-MOTIONJumpsuit With Cold Shoulder – Asos Curve
Original Post

AaEU5jGlJumpsuit: New Look Inspire – Asos £16 (was £22.99)
Shoes: Missguided £24.99
Belt: Accessorize (Old Season)
Original Post

 

 

 Fat Girls Should Not Expose Their Upper Arms

B1peGasVintage Dress – Lady Vintage
Original Post



MEpcWD3

Vintage Dress – Lady Vintage
Original Post

Fat Girls Should Not Wear Crop Tops

stairs-plus-size-crop-top-asos-missguided2Scuba Crop Top Asos Curve
Skater Skirt –
Missguided (similar)
High Heels –
Missguided
Watch
Moto 360 – Motorola (Amazon)
GlassesSpecspost
Original Post

 

 

Final Words

What Do You Think?

Which “rule” is your personal pet hate? Do you have a favourite rule-breaking outfit? I would love to see it! Why do you think we are so obsessed with “flattering”? I would love to hear from you!

 

Lots of love

Signoff

 

I am Ms Manchester Curve 2016

20160213_155658 (1)

Ms British Beauty Curve

I am happy to announce that I have been named Ms Manchester Curve 2016 and that through that I will be representing Manchester this year in the annual Miss British Beauty Curve body positivity pageant.

 

I am proud to be representing Manchester and very flattered by the honour to have been selected for this title and I would like to thank my sponsors Nothing But Epic and Florentyna Dawn for believing in me and sponsoring me.

Trying On The Ms British Beauty Curve Crown For Size :)
Trying On The Ms British Beauty Curve Crown For Size 🙂

A Big Step For Me

As a woman who has struggled so many years with my own appearance this is a very important step for me and I am more than happy to be representing self love and the fact that beauty has no size.

In my life I have gone through dozens of diets always thinking that happiness might be around that corner only as soon as the scale would show that magical number that would put my BMI in the normal range.

Even when I  had lost more than 30 kilos (close to 5 stone, for my British friends), was fit enough to run a half-marathon and had more than healthy test results at the doctor,I still hated myself. Why? That is something I will describe in a little more detail in a future post.

Lisa Runs Halfmarathon In 2009

Don’t Put Your Life On Hold

The bottom line is that it took me a long time to understand that whatever the label in my clothes says and whatever my scales says is irrelevant. The idea that everything will suddenly be great once you reach a magic number in your clothes or your scale is wrong. By following this idea you will put your live on hold forever.

Be The Best Version Of Yourself

What matters personally for me, is striving every day to be the best version of myself, that I can be today; may that be in be in health, professionally or following my hobbies. And I am definately looking fabulous doing that!

Reaching More Women With This Message

I am very happy that the Miss British Beauty Curve will give me a platform to communicate this message to other women who might still be in the position of putting themselves down and waiting for their lives to start, that I was in before I realised I was worthy of self-love and to live my life.

And so are you beautiful girl! Go out there and have a killer day!

Signoff

 

Instagram Bans The Hashtag Curvy

Ok girls it is time for another rant. I know I am ranting quite a lot here recently but there is just every other day some thoughtless body shaming or other stupidity going on. So recently I just really have to vent… a lot.

 

Its Instagram, Again

So what has happened this time? This time it’s Instagram, again. After banning the female nipple, pubic hair peeking our of a bathing suit, women on their period and not to forget being one of the breastfeeding nazis (read more here). Not to forget to time and again take down bra selfies of women above a size 10 while those of skinny women are fine. It is now shame to get shame people based on their bodies once again, as they have now put the word #curvy on their blacklist, which will not allow you to search for this hashtag anymore.

So when you as a larger lady post your next cute outfit on Instagram you might need to reconsider what hashtag you want to use if you would like to enable people to find you… Words you can choose now I guess are:

  • fat
  • chubby
  • chunky
  • corpulent
  • rotund
  • overweight

By the way #fatf*** also still works, in case you would like to use thatLovely isn’t it?

 

Why #Curvy Matters For Plus Positivity

But let’s be honest most terms have very negative connotations. The word curvy is a word that finally was a positive word, a word that enabled someone that will have struggled with a very negative body image for a long time finally to start looking at themselves in a more positive light

The debate of what to call your body type when you have a few more kilos on you has been going on for quite a while. And admittedly some #curvy women might be a little more round or boxy and some people really get weirdly angry about people that do not sport a traditional hourglass shape and call themselves curvy.

Does this really matter so much to the rest of the world that the word curvy is getting a second definition if it helps a fair amount of people gain a better and more loving self image. While I personally have made my peace with the word fat and have no problem calling myself a fatty at times, it is still hurtful for many. I am sure the word curvy will have contributed to  giving a lot of women out there a positive self image, they can identify with.

 

Official Reason For Ban – Nudity

So why have they banned it. A spokesperson from Instagram apparently stated that a lot of the images tagged with the hashtag #curvy contained a lot of nudity.

Just the fact that a lot of the images that contained this hashtag apparently also contained a lot of nudity to blanket ban it, while a lot insulting and bullying terms can still readily be used by the trolls out there to put people down, that is just not a jhourglassshapeustification and a completely wrong approach.

 

This Is What Instagram Still Allows

So let’s have a look at what Instagram in it’s endevour to reduce nudity still allows: like #dildo, #sextoys, #asses, #pornos, #bigfatass, #titsandass and #pornstargay, these are fine but #curvy clearly has to go.

 

#dildo, #bigchest, #pornos, #pronostar, #asses, #boobshadmelike, #bigfatass, #titsandass
#dildo, #bigchest, #pornos, #pronostar, #asses, #boobshadmelike, #bigfatass, #titsandass

Next to these sexual terms Instagram also allows you to search for an array of negative and insulting terms regarding overweight that are not only containing a lot of  nudity (depending on the specific term in question) but also are used to bully people some examples are #obese, #fatf***, #fatbitch and #fatpig. Yay for Instagrams priorities.

#obese
#obese

So now let’s have a look at what happens on the other side of the weight range, ins specific: what happens when you search for keywords like skinny or thin. Shouldn’t those attract pretty much the same type of pictures and shouldn’t Instagram react in the exact same way here? Well yes to question 1 (some nudity here as well) but a big fat no to question 2.

#Skinn

 

Instagram obviously is aware that that these pictures are containing an amount of nudity as they warn you when you when you click on the hashtag that the results contain graphic content, so they are aware of the nudity here. However these terms along with other searchable terms like #ana and #mia are known trigger terms  for eating disorders, which Instagram also seems to be aware off and solves with a link to an eating disorder site, but you can still go through and admire the thigh gaps and see all the images of self harm, diet tips and food diaries.

Screenshot_2015-07-15-19-27-35

So bottom line is  they do allow sexual terms, derogatory terms all aspects of the other side of the weight range, despite being aware with all the issues connected with those terms, while a term that has had body positive  effects for so many people gets straight away banned? Wait can somebody please explain that for me? I am not sure I understand their logic.

 

Why Not The Same Type Of Warning?

For some clarification. I am not asking to ban keywords like skinny, but rather ask for same treatment for the word curvy. Couldn’t they have slapped another one of those content warnings on it? If you like even with a link to a nutrition page for help with weight issues if someone at Instagram is worried about the health of the posters.

 

Not sure about their agendy

The bottom line is, I am not quite sure what their agenda is here. I can’t believe that the ultimate goal was to decrease nude pictures and their accessibility. Firstly because of all the offensive terms out there that I can’t believe they have not approached before this one but mainly because there is a very simple and targeted solution if they really wanted to target nude pictures.

 

If It Is About Nudity Why Not Use Nudity Detection Software?

Monitor the keyword with a program scanning for images containing nudity would be the perfect solution… Captain Obvious. Yes these programs do exist, they were made to speed up checking computers of suspects for illegal pornography and the way they work is scanning images for flesh tones (a little more complicated but that is the bottom line). These programs are so good, they can do this even for black and white pictures.

Apply this, with a few employees who check the pictures that it spits out as blocked. If you want to go with even less effort directly block the images or warn the users that their image is going to be blocked within a few hours if they don’t submit it for a review and boom only those are are submitted for being falsely detected need to be reviewd even more time saved. There you go, a fairly non complicated and targeted solution found.

 

An Alternative Movement Is Already There

Luckily the body positive movement is alive and well and there is already a protest movement forming within Instagram that have come up with an alternative term. So you don’t need to use the words from the list above, use the tag #curvee. There are already more than 500 images with this tag and they are getting more by the minute.

Screenshot_2015-07-15-18-47-53

 

What Do You Think

So what do you think about the #curvy search ban? What do you think about Instagrams approach and will you miss the term or do you think it won’t make a big difference? I would love to hear from you.

Lots of love

Signoff

 

O-Magazine Has Spoken: No Crop Top For You Fatty!

The Fashion Authority Has Spoken – No Crop Tops!

Warning: contains sarcasm.

Ok everyone it is time to get your fashion rule book out again. The all encompassing fashion authority has spoken again. I mean I don’t really know who that is but the Oprah magazine sure does. How otherwise could they have given such definitive and clear fashion “advice”.

I guess you are  now most likely sitting at the edge of your chair, with a sharpened pencil ready to add rule number 5,387 to your “Fashion For Fatties” rule book, right after the rule “Touching thighs are not acceptable”. So here it is:

You fatty should never, ever, ever so far as to consider wearing a crop top.

What The Magazine Really Said – But It Is Not Much Better

The Oprah Magazine (O Magazine), you remember Oprah – that woman that is usually all about empowerment, has published some fashion advice that is so negative it still baffles me hours later and that even though I have come across my fair share of outrageous fashion rules & tips in my time blogging.

The advice that is outraging the internet and me was an answer to the question “can I pull off a crop top?” Brace yourself for the actual “fashion rule” that was given as answer. “If (and only if!) you have a flat stomach feel free to try one.” Seriously? I almost fell of my chair.

Oprah, Crfop Tops Only For Flat Stomach

The message is bad enough body shaming. We do see this sort of thing every day, what is particularly baffling about this one is not only in what magazine it was found but even worse how it was written. I am still not over the text in brackets and the exclamation mark.

This Is How Much I Care

Well thank you Oprah for this well meant advice. I will consider it, keep it in mind and do with it what I do with a lot of the before mentioned 5,387 rules in the “Fashion Rules For Fatties” Rule book, happily ignore it and to celebrate the day by getting my everything but flat size 24 stomach out.

path plus size crop top - missguided & asos2

 

Scuba Crop Top Asos Curve
Skater Skirt – Missguided (similar)
High Heels – Missguided
Watch Moto 360 – Motorola (Amazon)
GlassesSpecspost

I have to admit that despite all the body confidence progress that I have made since I have started blogging, thanks to trying so many things, daring to wear crop tops was still a pretty big thing for me.

You might think now, hey she recently raved about how much she loves bikinis, you are showing loads more skin when wearing a bikini, why is should this now be a problem. Well this is the thing with confidence, it is not always logical. And not only that, when wearing a bikini you usually go swimming, not to town or in a bar, people expect to see some sort of larger degree of bare skin which makes it a bit simpler. Crop tops are still partially one of the taboos for plus size ladies.

I did even leave the house wearing a crop top

Well ultimately I did dare to go outside in this crop top. And once again not dissimilar to when I wore the bikini, the world still turned and no-one was pointing with fingers at me. I wore this outfit (with less ankle braking heels) out to a work do and ended up getting so many compliments. Initially I left the house with a simple black kimono over this, so that I did not feel quite so naked and could cover up if I felt uncomfortable, but no need for that. 20 minutes into the work party that cardigan lay somewhere in a corner and me and my non flat belly were rocking the dance floor in my crop top.

 

stairs plus size crop top - asos & missguided2

 

for instagram5

Plus Size Crop Top, Plus Size Skater Skirt, High Heels

 

 

Internet Do Your Thing – #Rockthecrop

Other than that, the internet has done what it does and exploded with outrage. Lots of amazing women of varying degrees of not flat stomach have shared fabulous pictures of themselves online. It is definately worth checking out the the hashtag #rockthecrop. Here is a selection of a few, but check it out yourself. 🙂

Inexcusable Body Shaming (Or A Ploy)

So either that was now a big ploy of the O Magazine to kick us all into “Hell No”-Mode and make us all wear crop tops in defiance or they are just the idiots they appear to be and they just gave a lot of women out there another set of body issues they should not have to worry about. Go get yourself a crop top!

 

I would love to see your  favourite crop tops: Tweet a picture @GirlGeek85. #rockthecrop Lots of love Signoff  

Body Shaming 2.0 – France Bans “Too Skinny” Models

France Bans Ultra-Skinny Models - Image Source: Yahoo
France Bans Ultra-Skinny Models – Image Source: Yahoo

A few weeks ago France has made uber-skinny models illegal. Yes you have heard right. As a part of a clamp down on anorexia France decided to outlaw super-skinny models and so any designer sending a model down the runway that the government deems too skinny risks a hefty fine or maybe even prison time.

The french fashion scene is in uproar and everything else but happy about this and to be honest, neither am I. You all know I am all but happy with the current “standard of beauty” in the mainstream fashion industry, portraying being super-skinny as the only desirable body type. But outlawing a body type? Seriously?

To me this is perfectly describing all that is wrong with the fashion industry - One Sided
The “The Perfect Body ” Campaign by Victorias Secret. – One Sided. But outlawing super-skinny models is not the solution.

The Law

The moment you think we are actually making steps forward concerning body positivity and size equality and then somebody does something like this in the name of fighting anorexia and unhealthy body image. The French have, in the name of the good cause come to the following legislation:

“The activity of model is banned for any person whose Body Mass Index (BMI) is lower than levels proposed by health authorities and decreed by the ministers of health and labor.”

These levels proposed are apparantly a BMI of 18.5 In practice this means that the model will need to present some sort of certificate that her BMI lies at 18 or above if she wants to work somewhere.

BMI Seriously?

BMI? Are you serious? So not only are they taking body shaming to a whole new level by actually outlawing a body type, they are also using the worst and most unreliable measurement for this, that was never intended to be used as indication for an individual persons health.

BMI was never designed as a tool for judging any individual person’s weight—either by physicians or the general public, says Timothy Church, a professor of health at Pennington Biomedical Research Center […] but because of its straightforward math and distinctive categories [..] it soon took off.

To Keys’ [the inventor of the BMI] credit, he never intended for physicians or insurance companies to use this equation—but BMI was just too perfect. Because it was simply a math equation, it was quicker, easier, and cheaper to use than more direct and accurate measures—like the underwater weighing test […] and the skin fold measurements […]. – Mens Health “The Truth About BMI”

Further info: “BMI: The good, the bad and the horrid”

The BMI neither takes into account the difference of Muscle vs Fat weight nor how different ‘frames’ and builds can influence a persons health/look at a certain BMI.Obviously, the larger the BMI is the larger are the chances that this person is fat and the smaller the BMI is the larger the chances are that the person is unhealthily skinny, but that is literally all that it is.

  • Looking at extremes an athlete could for example have the same BMI as a severely obese person.

bmi-comparison

  • Looking at not so extreme cases, someone could fight overweight all their lives at a BMI of let’s say 27, when in reality they are perfectly healthy…

If you are one of those weight trolls who now wants to start in a rant that I want to believe that I am an athlete, you can put the keyboard down. I am under no illusion that I am a secret athlete. I know that my personal BMI is in the unhealthy range and yes, that I am fat.

But let’s get back to the actual topic. Where the inaccuracy matters most is in the less extreme areas, where it will make someone over- or underweight by only a few points. This simply can not be accurate. Not using this form of measurement. So setting exact ranges at the 0.5 level of what is ‘acceptable” or even ‘ILLEGAL’, well that is not just wrong but crazy.

Where I Agree With The French

I do agree with the French in one way though. We do need to do something against the wrong body image in fashion, fight anorexia but this is, in my opinion, really (really) not the way. This is just body shaming 2.o.

And while might be one subgroup in the plus-size community that might applaud this, the “Us Against Them”-crowd, that type that might have pulled or enjoyed the stupid “Skinny Bird Watching” stunt or that might post pseudo inspiring messages online that are nothing else but body shaming repackaged like for example:  “real women have curves” or something similarly stupid.

A real woman is whatever the hell she wants to be

However, things would not end there. Anyone who thinks only a little further knows who or what would be  next after a law like this. After the skinny models have been banned from the catwalks, Jamelia will get her wish and anyone on either side of the ‘extreme’ is now not allowed to shop on the high street anymore and any TV program showing women with a BMI over 25 will also be fined or the director thrown in prison, as noone should believe that people like this exist, let alone could be happy.

Diversity Instead Of Shaming

I believe if we want to fight anorexia and in my opinion also obesity we should not upgrade to body shaming 2.0 but rather support true body diversity. (Check out Models of Diversity). Making people feel like they have to strive after some crazy number, may it be a BMI label or a size 0 to be attractive, for many women ends up in one of either two extremes. Anorexia/Bulimia destroying themselves striving for that goal or on the other side extreme unhappiness & low self-worth which in many cases results in loss of the desire/strength of taking care of oneself and leads to comfort eating and additional weight gain.

So as said above instead of upgrading our body shaming, we should promote body diversity as much as we can and this should not only concern weight, but also disabilities and colour. You can look however the fuck you want and that is no-ones concerns but yours. Your body is a dictatorship, no democracy. There is no vote on how you are “allowed” to look.

Other Ideas For A Law?

If France HAD to pass a law like this following their goal to battle anorexia an idea might have been maybe to stipulate a minimum difference between the models on the runway. I am spitballing here. I know the idea is not perfect.

In my suggestion the basic idea would be to request a difference of BMI points smaller when only using few models, increasing with the number of models up to a certain point. So for example 5 BMI points when using 2 models, 7 points difference when using 3 models and 10 points difference when using 5 or more models for a show.

There are a few issues that would come with this, it would complicate things, making it more difficult to find the right models and secondly using a standard clothing size for fashion shows would not be possible anymore. Ultimately I did not expect to come up with the perfect solution. However any solution that would be effective would make life in the fashion world rather more complicated than easier but I do believe we should probably value diversity more than convenience.

What do you think?

Lots Of Love

Signoff