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

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My very first British Hen Do – Wearing Lady Vintage

PicMonkey Collage

In June I am invited to another lovely English wedding. In fact actually to the wedding of my lovely friend who is and was important in so many little introductions to proper British culture and cultural experiences.

Like she pointed out in her comment she left on my About Me Page, she is responsible for my deep love of Doctor Who and she also worked with me in one of my first proper jobs in the UK, helping me navigate through the very peculiar British office politics she also invited me to my very first English Hen Do.

Recently there has been another big one of those big cultural experiences she invited me to her hen do. I have to admit, initially I was a bit afraid it would involve plastic penises or similarly cringe worthy things but a classy lady as Jess is this was not the case. We all were given our obligatory hen do sashes and obviously Jess was wearing her “learning bride” L together with a veil, but that just is a most.

Her hen do took us first to the Hard Rock Cafe, where we had some really nice burgers and the main party then took place here in Manchester in the Birdcage. This was also my very first drag show, so ultimately I had two firsts in a day. The show was great and it was fun to watch in the dancing breaks between the show pieces how many girl in the audience tried out their best on the stripper pole that was provided, getting bolder the further the night had progressed.

Although I have to admit that the night was not 100% plastic genital free. As the audience was full of hen dos that either wore suggestive costumes or had straws in a design you can imagine. For some reason there was also a guy dressed up as a traffic light wearing a traffic cone on his head… but I guess that is the normal audience in the birdcage and it actually really adds to the atmosphere.

So ultimately it was  a truly special night with some lovely ladies and some great memories.

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For this I wore one of my lovely Lady Vintage Dresses. To be honest I have had this dress for a while as it has been slightly too tight when I bought it, but I loved it just too much to send it back. Now that I have lost a (very) few pounds as I was unfortunately struck by a very uncomfortable lower back pain (every pound my back does not need to carry helps.), the dress fits a lot better and so has seen it’s very first night out.

Lady Vintage Plus Size Vintage Dress Blue With Bow

 

Like usually on this kind of occassions I have forgotten to take a proper picture but I might take a quick one at a later point and might either post a little addition to this post or just let you see it on my facebook page.

The dress is unfortunately not available on the Lady Vintage site anymore but especially now that they have launched “Lady Voluptuous” they always have a great range of plus-size vintage dresses and it always worth checking them out.

So now the big next step is choosing an outfit for the upcoming wedding and I really do not do well in deciding what to wear. So I guess very soon I will provide you with  few options and maybe you can help me by letting you know which ones you like most. I am actually even playing with running a Facebook vote or similar.

Lots of love

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Missguided+ On A Girl In Size 24

The Missguided Lace Peplum Dress

I am more than excited that I was provided with a lovely peplum dress out of the new Missguided+ Plus-Size range that only launched yesterday, which I will be wearing to the Simply Be Spring /Summer Collection 2015 preview tonight. Check out the hashtag #SimplyBeSS15 if you want to watch live what will be happening.

Missguided Plus Size Lace Peplum Dress Ecom Picture

I am very much looking forward to wearing this Missguided+ beauty. The dress comes in a lace look but also in a leopard print. This might not be as extensive as a usual review but I just wanted to give you a first idea how this dress looks on a girl that is on the larger side of curvy, namely a size 24-26.

 

True To Size – Slightly Larger

The dress feels lovely and appears to be true to size. If anything, it is a bit on the larger side, as it fits me well while I am usually somewhere between a size 24-26 with a relatively large bust. Although I would say despite that, there is no need to size down.

 

More “Missguided On A Size 24”-Pictures To Come

I will be posting quite a few of these looks. So keep checking back here on the blog or make sure to follow me on Instagram. Obviously I won’t be modelling the whole 70 pieces, Unfortunately I can’t quite afford that, but I am sure I there will be quite a few interesting pieces and that there will enough to give you a good idea :). Let me know which pieces you would like to see.

Some of the things of which I can tell you that you will definitely be able to see them here soon are: the leopard print midi skirt and the beautiful cobalt blue wrap dress, in fact I  will be wearing the latter one to the British Plus Size Awards.

Complaints About Sizing Range A Little Unfair

I have seen quite a few people complaining about the sizing range ending at a size 24. I personally hope as well that the sizing range that I hope will be extended in future. However, complaining about the sizing range is unfair.

You do have to think about this from a business point of view. Missguided is a retailer that so far has only catered for women up to a size 14 (and the occasional 16). Immediately moving from this to a range which is upwardly open would be an incredibly risky move. As there is no guarantee as to how the collection performs.

Therefore this collection should be seen as a first entry into the plus-size business. Missguided are basically dipping their toe into the plus-size market. Trying to work out what works for them and what does not. I am sure there will be one or the other amazing piece and some great surprises in the future.

What Do You Think?

There are so many things I would love to her from you about. What you think about the dress and the range in general? Which of the items would you like to see on the blog?

Lots of love

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Challenge Your Body Shape Beliefs- The Jumpsuit

Amazing On Others – But On Me?

The jumpsuit used to be for me one of those pieces of clothing that you see and admire on other people but are convinced/sure that it just would not work for your body shape.

Where It All Changed

This all changed when this summer I ordered this lovely & light printed jumpsuit in a spur of the moment situation. To my surprise it did neither look “off” on me, nor did it highlight all the wrong areas of my body. In fact I actually loved it, despite me having to bare my arms and it was one of my favourite pieces of the summer.

 

If you want to find out more about this jumpsuit just take a look at this blog post about stepping outside of your comfort zone.

Bye Bye Summer – Hello Autumn Wardrobe

Unfortunately Summer has come and gone and so I was clearing out my wardrobe to switch over from summer to autumn selection. One thing was clear, I needed more pieces suiting the weather and my new style.

“Socially Acceptable Onesies”

Jumpsuits are just amazing, they are basically socially acceptable onesies, incredibly comfortable but also very stylish. Although you will have to make sure to choose the right one for you. If you are like me particularly bigger in the belly section you should definitely make sure not too choose too tight cuts. I would recommend you have a look around, order a selection trying to find out which one is for you.

In My Wardrobe

These are the lovely plus-size jumpsuits that have made it into my autumn wardrobe:

From left to right:

  1. Pink Clove Wrap Front Jumpsuit (In Sale: Was £28, Now: £18)
  2. Club L Plus Size Mesh Insert Jumpsuit (In Sale: Was £49, Now: £22)
  3. ASOS CURVE Jumpsuit With Cold Shoulder

Oh and don’t forget you can currently get an extra 10% off sale items till Thursday 30th October 8am, using the code 10MORE

One of my favourite pieces between those is definitely this beauty:

Our Trip To The Reeperbahn

I was wearing this beauty to our visit on the Reeperbahn when we on our Germany trip for the Plus Size Fashion Days. Jumpsuits are the perfect outfit for sightseeing.

 

Especially with a cardigan jumpsuits are giving you just the right flexibility for a sightseeing day when you might feel warm from all the walking or in public transport or slightly cold outside during one of those windy transitional autumn days.

Not to forget they are also very comfortable for a long day on your feet, perfect style for having a coffee during the day and with a little make-up update also perfect for a drink in a hip bar in the evening.

My Favourite Cardigan

This cardigan, which I wore on this day out has made it on to my top list of favourite cardigans. I do very much like the star design on it, it has a great feel and for once isn’t a grey black or white cardigan. This lovely star patten cardigan is also part of the sale and currently reduced frrom £32 to £16 in the current (up to 70%) Asos Sale. Although you will need to be quick, most sizes are already sold out

Challenge Your View Yourself

If there is one thing I have learned that is really important for us plus-size ladies over the last few months of blogging then it it is to challenge style rules, not only societal rules on what large women should or should not wear, but mostly your own view of yourself.

You might have tried a piece on ages ago and that particular one might not have sat right, or one of the numerous style experts online will once again have given great style advice on what larger ladies stay away from. Don’t let this make you miss out.

Try it on!

It is so worth it to occasionally try a piece you think you might look ridiculous in. The worst thing that can happen is that you will either send it back or in the store put it back on the hanger. Generally the rule is, if in doubt, try it on! And if there is something out there you have never tried on (like me a while ago with my very first bikini) get out there and try it on!

The best thing that can happen is that you open up a whole new world of styles looks for yourself. And on top of that it feels amazing. This can open up a whole new confidence or a completely different way you see yourself

Obligatory Touristy Pictures

And to finish the post off, here a some touristy pictures four your pleasure. Unless you would like to see the slide show… 😉

 

What Do You Think?

Have you been suprised by a piece of clothing before, of which you thought it would be so wrong for your body type and love now? What do you think about Jumpsuits? What is your favourite autumn wardrobe piece? I would love to hear from you.

ship discount bridesmaid dresses 2017 at groupdress.com

 

 

OOTD: A relaxed shopping day in Germany – And a little bit of a rant…

My last weekend was rather eventful. We had been invited to a wedding in Germany. So I took Friday and Monday off and we spent an long weekend in Germany.

Arriving in Germany after a very early 4am wake up and a somewhat delayed flight , I realised that I had forgotten an important part of my wedding guest outfit. There was no way round it – I had to go shopping. Although to be honest I guess I would have done that anyway.

On that day it was not exactly very hot, but warmer than here in the UK. Tired as I was I needed to wear something simple and comfortable, so I ditched a few insecurities & body complexes for the sake of comfort.

I ended up wearing one of my favourite dresses, a Lady Vintage tea dress. It is a shame that they don’t offer this type of dress any more in  the larger sizes, otherwise I would probably own one in every pattern by now…

I combined the dress with some no frills accessories, my trekking sandals from Aldi, which was once again a comfort rather than a fashion choice and my very favourite oversized handbag which I picked up at a sample sale at work for very little money.

For a change I went completely sleeveless, showing one of my non favourite body areas, my upper arms. After I bound my hair in a pony tail, I also bound my fringe back, which I usually never do as I feel it makes my face look too round.

Despite all that I actually felt quite confident in this look. It was also the single most comfortable outfit to wear on a hot day to walk around a new city trying to find a shop that sells what I had forgotten at home. In hindsight I actually quite like what I was wearing.

I would love to say that I showed my upper arm fat, most of my legs etc. and nothing happened. However, unfortunately this was not quite the case.

Within the last minutes of walking back to the hotel, a couple drove past, weirdly pointing at me. They must then have parked round the corner and while they were walking past they were looking at me, in this typical obvious way of trying to look non obvious,  they were clearly giggling about me. There was a time when that would have hit me hard. Nowadays I just don’t understand that behaviour any more.

Over the years I have learned that I can wear whatever I want and my happiness is definitely not dependent on what 1 or 2 random idiots on the street think is funny or not.

I  have absolutely no idea what was going on in their heads. Especially given that they are usally not the most beautiful or “on trend” people either…

The bottom line is, there are idiots out there. There might be some people who can’t fit it in their tiny minds, that there are people that are different. However, this will not keep me from wearing what I like or from what I think is comfortable to me.

It is you that counts. The chances are that for each idiot out there, there are most likely many that either like what you wear or could not care less what you wear as long as you feel comfortable in it.

So I will continue to wear what I like and be who I am, and if I feel like it, I will present my arm fat. If somebody could explain to me what the heck is going on in these people’s little minds, please let me know…

The Little Black Party Dress

Since I came over to the UK from Germany my night out wardrobe has significantly changed.

I still remember my very first night out in the UK. I had just moved to Cardiff to go to University. I had put on my smoky eye make-up and had decided to wear a very nice pair of skinny jeans combined with a grey shirt with a beautiful & colourful sequins detail and some nice high heels. Although when I say high heels, at the time I meant  about 2-3 inches high heels.

Little did I know about the fashion in the UK and particularly about Cardiff nights out. Because what expected me was this….

 

 

 

 

 

The above pictures are part of the Book “Cardiff after Dark” by Maciej Dakowicz, a book that is well worth checking out. You can have a look at its Flicker here or buy it on Amazon.

During my time in Cardiff I learned fast, that a skirt for a night out can never be too short, you can never wear too much hair spray, high heels never can be too high and that there is no shame in walking home barefoot.

Now I live in Manchester and in total I have lived almost 5 years in the UK and while I still have not adopted the British night out style completely and most likely never fully will, I have assimilated quite a bit.

Asos Curve Black Peplum Dress
Asos Curve Black Peplum Dress

While I lived in Germany I almost exclusively used to wear trousers on a night out. I now predominantly wear dresses and the dresses are much shorter than I ever would have dreamt wearing in Germany. However they are still much longer than many that I have seen here. But each to their own. I am still not so much a fan of massively high heels, particularly as I am 5’9 (1.75m) but occasionally I am daring to wear some 9 inch heels. However, in these cases I will always have some ballerinas in my handbag.

Club L Plus Size Lace Panel Peplum

One of my night out dresses is the Club L Plus Size Lace Panel Peplum Dress in the picture above from Asos Curve. This is another one of the little black dresses I recently bought from Asos after I realised that I had been overlooking that essential wardrobe piece by far too long.

 

At £9 it was a real bargain and so it is no surprise that it is unfortunatelly sold out. This dress has also become one of my favourite pieces of this mini haul. While it is quite short, it is still a decent length at which I am not flashing my knickers and the peplum details gives me a great hour glass like shape, in short: a great party dress.

little black party dress accessories collage

I am wearing the dress with a skinny embossed belt that I also got from Asos as well as with some Deichmann black and red plateau heels which also were a great bargain. I bought them a while back, when Deichmann had a sale on. As far as I remember they were reduced by 75% and I only paid about £5 for them, so like the dress they really were a great bargain.  They also are actually a lot more comfortable than they look. Although I would still never leave the house without some spare ballerinas when I am wearing them.

Deichmann  - Black Plateau Heels

Did you like me ever have a fashion culture shock on your first night out abroad? What do you think about this party outfit?  And lastly what is your favourite plus-size party outfit?

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