I am Ms Manchester Curve 2016

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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 ūüôā

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!

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Of How I Learned To Love Bikinis

You Are Too Young To Wear A Bikini

For quite a long time I was¬†mad with my mother, as to me she was the reason why I never got to wear a bikini…. What happened was, I had been given by someone a used bikini when I must have¬†been around 6 but my mum did not allow me to wear it. She thought¬†I was too young to wear one, as she believed a bikini is a piece of clothing sexualising the wearer and this would have been a bit too early for me.

 

You Are Too Fat To Wear A Bikini

Ultimately she was probably right with this. (I believe I was about 7 or so). Why I still ended up a little mad with her about this, was that once I was actually old enough to wear a bikini, I now felt myself that I was unable to wear a bikini.

Now it was¬†¬†society that had been successful ¬†in letting me believe that I was not allowed to wear a bikini, as I was by far too fat. What made it worse, ¬†the way it looked that was not going to change soon. Ultimately I had missed “my one chance” that I had.¬†So this is how I ended up¬†for a long time half jokingly blaming my¬†mother¬†for¬†never ever¬†going to be able¬†to wear a bikini.

I Am Not Too “Anything”! I Will Wear A Bikini!

This all changed last year. Now the plus-size¬†movement had come along,¬†by now I had become a plus-size blogger and¬†tried all sorts of “crazy things” like wearing a jumpsuit or¬†showing bare my shoulders (#shock, #horror) Gabi Fresh had started the #fatkini movement¬†and in a weird moment of “what the hell” I decided to order and try a bikini. And that is when everything changed.

I stumbled across a so called swim bra, which is what it says on the tin. A proper bra, holding everything in place and pushing it up made of swimwear fabric. Combine that with a nice high waist bikini bottom and you have the perfect beginners plus-size bikini. The first step to getting used to it. Bottom line: This was a lot more flattering than a lot of swimsuits or tankinis I had tried over the years I loved it as soon as I put it on.

Elomi Plus Size Bikini with High Waisted Bikini Bottom- Sold by Simply Be

Long live the #Fatkini

The underwired Elomi swimbra is really absolutely amazing and the best piece of swimwear I have ever owned. It gives amazing support, giving your bust the perfect support and the multistraps give you a bit of variability  It gives such great hold you can even take the straps off and wear it as a bandeau bikini top.

The super high waisted Mary of Sweden bikini bottom which are not only giving the whole set a nice vintage look, it is also a great way of easing your way into the world of bikinis without having to expose too much of your tummy all at once if you are not ready for that yet.

Plus Size Bikini - Elomi Swim Bra Black & Mary of Sweden High Waisted Bikini BottomElomi Swim Bra – Simply Be
Mary Of Sweden High Waisted Bikini Brief – JD Williams

So ultimately my very first bikini was still very plain, simply being black, nothing too flashy. But you have to ease your way into it somehow. So after I had hit the local pool a few times and nobody had run away screaming due to seeing my plus size bod in a bikini I got a bit bolder and decided I wanted to go for a bit more colour. Well it ended up a lot more colour as that was the time when also my rather drastic hair change happened.

Magisculpt Tropical Print Plus Size BikiniMagisculpt Tropical Print Bikini Top – JD Williams

This lovely specimen of a #Simplybekini sports an absolutely lovely tropical print and still gives your boobs a really great amount of hold, not as much as the Elomi swim bra, but costing only £12.50 it is way cheaper than the Elomi top. At the time I bought this lovely set at Simply Be, however they do not appear to offer it anymore so,while you can still buy the top at JD Williams, the bottoms appear not to be available anymore. But you can easily mix and match. I actually myself like to wear the top combined  with a black bottom and the other way round. I am a big fan of mix & match Bikinis.

A Lot More Choice Lead To A Massive Obsession

Well anyway, this is how the obsession started. Since then and particularly now that the Summer has come and we are in the middle of the Swimwear & Bikini Season, I find myself quite obsessively browsing plus-size bikinis.Since last year¬†the choice has grown massively.Last year it was pretty much Gabi Fresh’s original #Fatkinis at Swimsuitsforall which notoriously appeared to be sold out or Simply Be. Now¬†it is not¬†anymore only the usual plus-size retailers that might have 2 or 3 bikini sets if you are lucky, now¬†a lot¬†more regular retailers like Asos,¬†Boohoo, Missguided and Forever21 have entered the plus-size bikini scene.

Current Discount: there is currently a 30% discount on the Missguided Holiday Shop, including their plus size range, using the code SUMMER – Valid till 29th June 2015

The scene is going into the right direction I am loving my Bikinis, and nobody will tell me again I can’t wear one. I am loving the new availability of Plus-Size Bikinis, the only issue this is neither helping my issue with being really bad with choice (you won’t want to go to a restaurant with me if there is a too large menu…) nor is it helping my wallet… I guess though I can live with that.

Ultimately my message is and stays. Don’t let anyone tell you, you can’t wear a bikini because you are to fat. Go and get your Bikini!

Lot’s of love

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The Geek Side Of Me – Geeky Plus-Size Fashion #OOTD

As you all are well aware, my blog name is Girl Geek In A Dress and next to me loving fashion, being Girl Geek is a very important part of my identity. Particularly after I spent this Saturday at the Manchester Girl Geeks Mini Barcamp I realised that I have pretty much neglected this very important part of me, which is also an important part of my fashion choices next to all the dressy choices that I have been sharing with you here.

 

Plus Size Girl Geek Fashion - Doctor Who Minion Qwertee Selfie

The Geek in “Girl Geek In A Dress”

I decided that it was more than hight time to share with you my geekier fashion choices. I do believe this is a truly important section that I have neglected far too long, as while it is difficult to find nice plus-size fashion, it is even more difficult to find nice¬†geeky plus-size fashion…

 

Plus Size Girl Geek Clothing - Doctor Who Despicable Me T-Shirt Gif

Qwertee – A New Geek Shirt Each Day

One of my favourite places to go to for particularly creative and out of the ordinary shirts is Qwertee. Qwertee in the UK and Teefury in the US are shops that offer every day 1 (sometimes 2) new geeky designs often also featuring a mash up of two different films or comics from pac man, to breaking bad, the Big Bang Theory & Lord Of The Rings, etc. or simply things held dear by geeks like cats, coffee or astronomy.

Qwertee Geek T-Shirts
Happy Qwertee Customers In the Various Designs

Happy Qwertee Customers In the Various Designs

Only Up To UK Women’s Size 18

While Qwertee offers women’s cut t-shirts they unfortunately only offer them up to a size WXXL which corresponds to a width of 55cm across the chest, with a circumference of 110cm the corresponds with a UK size of ca 18, far too small. It appears as if Qwertee believes there are no plus-size geeks out there… really? It is not that difficult to find a t-shirt company that offers plus-size women’s shirts to print on.

So it is clearly something they need to change and the more people tell them the more likely it is that they are going to change it. So use your social media power and tell them on Twitter¬†or Facebook that you want plus-size womens’s Qwertees and tag or mention me (@GirlGeek85)¬†or my post if you are super lovely :).

Still Possible To Be Worn By The Plus-Size Girl Geek

That does not mean though that you won’t be able to wear those great designs if you are a plus size. I personally am somewhere between a size 24 and 26 and buy ther XXL men’s shirts and am quite happy with them.

What is important when buying men’s shirts is to check the width stated in their sizing chart and check it against your chest measurements, as this is most likely your widest part and the part that was not planned in, in a men’s shirt. I personally would recommend though not to go too big, otherwise it could look a¬†bit shapeless and too baggy, but that is totally up to you and how you prefer it.

 

Plus Size Girl Geek T-Shirt

Wearing a men’s shirt does not have to be masculine. I like to combine my geek shirts with a skirt, particularly skater skirts, as they really help to build that hourglass figure and a belt will help to really take your waist in, shaping your feminine silhouette further. Other than that I like to stay casual and practical combining the shirt and skirt with leggings and sneakers for comfort. Perfect for a long day of talks or any other tech or geek event.

 

What I am Wearing

Plus Size Girl Geek T-Shirt & Missguided Skirt

Geek Shirt – Qwertee
Plus Size Wet Look Skater SkirtMissguided
Only Sizes 16&18 left -> Similar here
Grey Leggings Simply Be
Grey Sneakers РPassed down to me by my stylish mum
Motorola Moto 360 Stainless Steel Smartwatch РAmazon

I am wearing my favourite Qwertee design depicting a mash up of Doctor Who and Despicable Me, showing the Minions stealing the Tardis and the Sonic Screwdriver of the Tenth Doctor. The skirt I combined this shirt with today was the Missguided Wet Look Skater Skirt which is a great skirt to be dressed up or dressed down. It is currently reduced to £12 at Missguided and soon I will be showing you the bolder side of it in my most daring outfit yet.

 

What Do You Think

What do you think of my more geeky side? I can’t believe I haven’t shown you more of that sort of thing yet, as it is an important thing of my style. I guess I was so busy stepping out of my comfort zone and sharing it with you that I completely overlooked to share my comfort zone self with you.

Would you like to see more geeky plus-size fashion? Do you have a favourite geek shirt or a great place to get geeky fashion? I’d love it if you would share it with me!

Lot’s 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

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‚ÄĒeither 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‚ÄĒbut 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‚ÄĒlike 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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Simply Be Spring/Summer 2015

A while back I was lucky enough to attend the Simply Be Spring/Summer Preview. This was an absolutely amazing event in an impressive London penthouse, involving some lovely wine, yummy canapés, a stunning new Spring & Summer collection and lots of lovely plus size blogger babes.

 

Simply Be SS15 UK Plus Size Blogger Event

 

If you follow my Instagram you will have most likely been able to follow the events on this day as it happened and will already have gotten a glimpse into the new Simply Be collection, if not, even the more of a reason to follow me on Instagram.

 

 

I so hope the bikini top will come up to a G-Cup. #SimplyBeSS15 #preview #plussizeswimwear #plussize

A photo posted by Lisa (@girlgeek85) on

 

 

Simply Be’s have by now even added a video of this preview day on their youtube channel so that you can get a first hand impression of the event in moving pictures if you pay enough attention you can even glimpse of me wearing one of my favourite Missguided dresses in this video.

 

 

 My Favourite Trends & Pieces

While then these styles were merely a preview, these lovely pieces are now, bit by bit, making their way into the Simply Be online shop. A good occasion to give you  a bit of  a closer look at the collection and my favourites.

SimplyBe1

While I am not really a fan of this years florals I am very much in love with the the clean bright colours in an almost candy colour range in combination with clean strong cuts as well as the simple monochrome styles with a hint of 60s. And lastly not to forget I like the denim. For some reason it has recently not been easy to find a nice plus size denim jacket.

 

Monochrome

monochrome products

 

From top left to bottom right:

Mono Blazer
Crepe Tennis Skirt
White Textured Skater Dress
Chunky White Necklace
Asymmetric Zip Skirt
Scuba Prom Skirt

Candy Colours

Candy Colours

 

From top left to bottom right:

Crepe Tapered Trousers
Brushed Mint Textured Coats
Denim Babydoll Dress
Pleat Midi Skirt
Purple Crochet Pencil Skirt
Yellow Ladder Trim Midi Dress
Colour Block Winged Bag

Denim

Denim

From top left to bottom right:

Denim Jacket
Patch Skinny Jeans
Denim shirt

Great Swimwear 2015

The one thing though that absolutely stood out to me is the Swimwear. This year simply be have really outdone themselves with their swimwear. Great colour combined with vintage lines.

swimwear

 

Colour Block Bikini
Polka Dot Bikini
Sports Swimsuit
Mesh Swimsuit

What is great about these swimsuits, at least some, is that Simply Be¬†also thought of us busty ladies when designing them. Wearing a G-Cup I am simply not able to wear a “normal” swimsuit without proper cups and/or under-wires. My mom always called it “pancakes” what swimsuits without proper cups would do to a large bust. No desirable shape… The black mesh swimsuit is one of those good examples, as it contains fixed foam cups supporting and keeping the bust in shape.

 

My absolute favourite piece is the monochrome one piece below which will instantly transform you into a plus size bond girl.

simplybe_1101469599544371

 

Retro Swimsuit

But also the Bikinis are not to be scoffed at. ¬†After I made a great step of confidence and bought my very first Bikini last year (read more about this here) I might be buying Bikini number 3 and 4 this year…

What Is Your Favourite?

Which one is your favourite piece? Did you get one of these lovelies already

 

Lots of love

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