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

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Lusting Over Jumper Dresses – What I would have bought

Jumper Dresses: A Godsend For The Colder Season

The winter has come and is in full swing. Temperatures have fallen into the single digit range. Time to dress a bit more cosily. While many people change over to trousers I love to wear dresses all year round.

Like a godsend there is a great trend out there right now: Jumper Dresses. Imagine your favourite winter jumper & now turn it into a stylish dress. An absolute win-win, right?

 

Once Again Forgotten About Plus-Size

Well it really could be, if only the fashion industry would not have completely forgotten about us plus-size girls, once again. I particularly love the dresses available at Esprit, who in my eyes have mastered the jumper dress this season and there are also a ton of amazing styles available at Asos. However, neither of them offers jumper dresses larger than a size 18…

 

Esprit: Simple Timeless Chic (But Not For Fat Chicks)

I have always loved the classic but simple Esprit chic and very much regretted they never offered any sizes I could fit in. I recently had lost my much loved esprit watch and considered treating myself for Christmas to a new one. And this is where I  came across the jumper dress and ultimately ended up torturing myself: “And this is what you could have worn if you were a size which we, the retailer, arbitrarily deem “normal””

 

Has This Trend Made It To The Plus-Size Space Yet?

The plus-size industry has become much better in reacting to current trends, but unfortunately this is not true for all trends. Additionally there is still quite a bit of a delay till most trends hit the plus-size community

In this case, like usually I checked the usual suspects if I could find this trend beyond a size 18 somewhere online.Asos, Yours Clothing & Simply Be are generally the first ones in my experience to deliver a trend to the plus size community.

However the jumper dress seems to have been overlooked by all three of them. Particularly disappointing is that Asos has a sizeable range of jumper dresses but appears to have completely forgotten to include their curve range (except for this ONE in my eyes somewhat questionable number).

 

This Is What I Would Have Bought:

 

ASOS Cable Knit Dress With Off Shoulder

I am absolutely in love with the combination between the cosy looking jumper style with it lovely cable knit pattern and the bardot neckline. A great compromise between style and warmth. I guess on the colder days it would even look amazing when combining it with a layer underneath to cover the shoulders.

I do believe it would be a true stunner on a plus-size girl, particularly when combined with a belt, some opaque tights or leggings and a lovely pair of ankle boots.

ASOS Cable Knit Dress With Off Shoulder – £45.00
Available up to Size 18

Asos Midi Dress In Rib Knit

This jumper dress is channelling the 90s, the “good part” of the 90s… Yes please.

Image 1 of ASOS Midi Dress In Rib Knit
ASOS Midi Dress In Rib Knit  – £35
Available up to Size 18

Esprit Lambs Wool Knitted Dress

This is a lovely simple dress for every day and is absolutely amazing in showing off the female silhouette, sporting an almost skater dress like shape when combined with a belt. If it has that lovely shape on a skinny woman try to imagine it on a more curvy woman (boom!). This really is an awesome every day look for a cold winter day.

lambs wool knitted dress

 Lambs Wool Knitted Dress – £ 45.00
Available up to Size 18

 

Esprit Knit Dress Containing Cashmere

This knit dress is absolutely stunning and was the first one that grabbed my attention. I love the simple sophisticated chic. The embellishment in combination with the simple design is just stunning and I would very much love as much to wear it to the office as I would for a night out.

embelished cashmere knit dress Esprit

 Esprit Knit Dress Containing Cashmere – £75
Available up to Size 18

 

Blended Wool Fine-Knit Dress

This dress, sporting a jacquard pattern and a low drawstring waist, is an absolutely lovely casual dress, perfect for a pre-christmas family get together, the day on the christmas market or maybe just coffee with friends. Once again this dress would be lovely with a opaque pair of tights and some lovely boots, maybe even some grey uggs if I could afford them. However, once again WOULD that is, if you made it in my size… Unfortunately this dress is even only available up to size 16, compared to 18 in the other Esprit dresses…

blended wool fine-knit dress

blended wool fine-knit dress – £ 45.00
Available up to Size 16

 

Dear fashion industry:

Can you please give me these dresses in a size 24 for Christmas? That would be amazing. Oh and while you are at it, make it a 32. You’d be surprised how much business there is in these sizes.

There are many stunning & fashionable girls being larger than a size 20 or even 30 looking for equally stunning clothes and there are very few retailers catering for us. The desire to dress in fashionable clothes does not end at a certain size, and this is a lesson all fashion retailers should learn, fast!

Lots of Love

Signoff

PS:

More About The Topic

There is big demand for more trends being available in larger sizes. And there is a giant gap in the market particularly when going beyond a size 26.

In case you are interested in what us plus-size ladies would love to be able to buy or if you are a retailer interested in finding out where you might be losing money I do have a reading tip for you:

Blogger Challenge: #HeresWhatIWouldHaveSpent

Debz from “The Not So Secret Diaries of A Wannabe Princess” recently started a blogging challenge called “Here Is What I Would Have Spent” looking each time at a different retailer with a lot of amazing bloggers taking part. Below I have added a list of them. Check them out, they are definitely worth a read:

Skinny Models For Plus-Size – Why?

I have voiced in the past numerous times that I have absolutely no idea why the Plus-Size Industry keeps using models hardly ever larger than a size 12 and if we are lucky maybe a 14 and today this been highlighted once again.

Rebel Wilson In A Stunning Sequins Dress

Asos Curve shared yesterday on their Facebook page this lovely picture of Rebel Wilson in an absolutely stunning sequins dress out of their collection that she wore yesterday for a film premiere.

How Could I Overlook this?

I absolutely love this dress and was wondering how I could have overlooked this stunner when I was on the look out for a sequins dress for the Christmas season. However, clicking through to the website I realise why.

But see yourself:

 

sequin

 

ASOS CURVE Exclusive V-Neck Dress With Sequin Skirt – £35

Nothing against the model, she is a very beautiful girl and even the poses are not even the problem. The issue here is, her figure might be very beautiful but it is just not suitable to give me or any other woman on the other side of a size 20 an idea of how this dress might look on us.

I Would Have Bought It In A Heartbeat

PicMonkey Collage

I absolutely love how the piece looks on Rebel it really hugs her “lady lumps” in all the right places. Based on her picture, I would buy it in a heartbeat.

Although now I can’t justify it any more, as I have already bought 3 sequins dresses in the meantime, and there are only so many Christmas and New Years Eve parties you can go to…

Why doesn’t the Plus-Size Industry Fix This?

Weirdly enough the plus size industry does not appear to try to fix this by using larger models but rather by padding the skinny models with fat suits, erm what?

 Two Models A Possible Solution?

What I would love to see in the plus size industry is what the lovely little independent label Silly Old Sea Dog is doing for some of it’s products, it is very simple and will not cost too much more: Simply using two models.

PicMonkey Collage3
Image source

Silly Old Sea Dog Cartoon Dress 50s Style – £95 (Handmade)

If retailers are affraid we might not click on the item if we don’t see on a skinny woman then this might be the solution. And it gives the retailers a soft way to test the use of larger models without increasing risk or costs by too much.

Thinking about how much overhead goes into a piece of clothing simply a second model for the plus-size items, giving us ladies on both sides of the spectrum a better idea how it might look on us, is not going to add that much of a cost to it. I am sure it would be at least something that would be worth trialing for the big retailers. Why it has not been done yet I really don’t know

Lot’s of love

Signoff

 

 

Breaking News: Victory Over The Victory Rolls

My First Victory Rolls

I am a huge fan of vintage fashion and hair, particularly of the pin-up and 50s flavour of vintage. I have seen so many amazing pictures and videos of vintage style bloggers showing off victory rolls off in all shapes and forms and unfortunately as often have I tried to recreate this kind of look  I failed miserably, up till now…

Conquered But Not Yet Mastered

This post unfortunately is neither a tutorial nor a detailed hair look post but it marks an important moment in my personal make-up and hair career. I conquered the victory roll.

This weekend, on the night of our office Christmas do I conquered the coveted vintage roll finally for the very first time!

You can bet that over the next weeks I will make a few more tries not to only conquer but master the victory roll (at least to a point where I succeed more often than I fail) and then I will look into sharing my new learned “wisdom”  in how to achieve victory rolls as a complete hair dummy in a tutorial post or maybe even a youtube video.

My Little Helpers

One thing that I can tell you though already though, is that my new roller set and my forming water that I brought back from Germany were an integral part of me achieving this hair style.

BaByliss 30 Piece Heated Ceramic Roller SetBaByliss 30 Piece Heated Ceramic Roller Set: Image 11

I have my new Babyliss set of heated rollers now for I only a few weeks now but it is already much loved. With it’s 30 rollers it finally is enough for my amount of hair and I like the final result due to the different roller sizes. I guess it gives it a more lively look due to the different curl sizes.

Balea Forming Water

I absolutely love the forming water from Balea. So far I have unfortunately not found anything comparable in the UK so I always bring it back from Germany when I am visiting. This forming water, when sprayed wet hair & blow dryed it gives great volume and when sprayed on before curling, they help to form the curl but also very much to make them last the whole night and longer

Now On To Conquer Heidi Rolls?

The next steps, next to mastering this hairstyle will by to try some different combinations ans placing of vicory rolls as well as seeing if I can maybe attempt a heidi roll. I would also love to achieve a Dita Van Teese Curl Set, but I will have to try one step after the other.

Do you have any tips for easy vintage hair, ready for a beginner or do you maybe yourself have a hairstyle you would love to master?

Lots of Love

Signoff

#LightsCameraCurrys

A Much Loved But Unfortunately Neglected Hobby

As a blogger photography is a crucial skill. Without pictures you lovelies would have no idea what I would be talking about. The old cliché just holds true. A picture says more than a 1000 words.

I used to do a lot of photography and absolutely loved it. You can have a look at my old fotocummunity.de account here. However, then life kicked in and I was busy with uni and work. The endresult was: I have not properly been using my beloved EOS 400D as much as I would like and for far to long it has been stuck on automatic. Unfortunatelly I have lost so much of my knowledge about how to take the best pictures making use of all the settings…

So I was dead excited when I was invited to take part in the #LightCameraCurrys Workshop, which was organised by Currys  and the Joe Blogs Network to help bloggers take control of their cameras and get off the auto setting.

The Workshop

The Workshop took place in the The Manchester Photographic School. And I actually have had my eye on some of their courses. So this was an absolute win.

Christian our host lead us through all common questions. Firstly how to get your camera off auto mode. Addressing things like how to make use of ISO to make best use of the available lighting. Leading on how to choose the right shutter speed depending on the speed the object you want to photograph is moving at and which effect you want and also aperture which helps you achieve great depth of you can use it to achieve great depth of field effects.

Shutterspeed

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Exposure – 1/200


Exposure – 1 Second.

A short exposure time enables you to take sharp pictures of a moving opject avoiding blurred lines. A longer exposure allows you to capture more light but can also lead to movement blurring. This is an effect that can also be used to artistically capture movement. Here is an example of this in a picture I took a few years ago.

lichter-in-der-dunkelheit-54f3702f-f5bb-4d6c-bf99-ad725bad130e

Aperture

While the camera can only focus on one point, aperture influences the size of the area in front and behind the area of this point that appears in focus. A small aperture will result in a small range while a larger one will result in a larger range.
Here is an example from during the course playing around with a short range:

 

Time For Practicing What We Have Learnt

No photography course it complete without a practice part. The perfect place for this was th  Food & Drink Festival that was happening in Manchester at the time. After being separated into groups each of us got a task, from capturing the food preparation, to groups or individuals.

I was in the food group, our task was it to capture the food itself and particularly the process of it being made. One of the tips was to go in close and to experiment with the depth of field that I mentioned above.

As usual I obsessed a little bit over a few subjects trying to get the perfect picture. So the time flew by and I obsessed bit about a few objects like for example the pizza  that you will see in the images below. But I think I still got a few nice images in the end of the day.

IMG_8428

IMG_8429

 

IMG_8438

 

IMG_8538

 

IMG_8443

IMG_8489

Thanks to Joe Blogs, Currys and The Manchester Photographic School for this great day and all the tips.

Follow Up Post: Digitally Enhancing The Images

I used to also spend ages on digitally working on the images, ending up with some great effects. However, this is where I will have to stop for now. With a lot of overtime recently a trip to Germany and a lot of other big things happening recently I had to admit to myself that the day does not have enough hours at the moment to pick image editing back up.

So I decided to let you have a first look at these pictures as they are and to be honest, I actually do like them as they are and I did not want to make you wait any longer.

I guess soon there will be a follow up post in which I will pick out one or two of the above pictures to see what I can do with them. So look forward to another slightly off topic post and some more photo tips soon.

I Would Love To Hear From You

Like always I would love to hear from you. Do you have any favourite photographs that you have taken? Share them with me! Or do you have maybe any great photo tips to share? Let me know.

Lots of love

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