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!

Signoff

 

Big Love For Purple Hair – Bleach London

Bleach London Bruised Violet & Out Of The Blue, La Riche Directions Violet & Atlantic Blue

Hello Internet, I have changed my hair colour again. This time it is purple & I am very much in love with it.

 

Many, Many Colours

Although it is probably not much of a surprise, anybody¬†who may follow me knows that I do have a thing for changing my hair colours often. . Not to forget that I do have a thing for colours that are not the most natural.If you don’t yet feel free to have a browse through my past posts and I am sure you will notice that over the last few months I have collected quite a wide range of different colours.

Hair Collage2

Dyeing Tips Series

I am planning to write a bit more about this soon, giving you the best tips I have, from the bleaching to the dying and how you can same money, as there seems to be quite a bit of interest for this topic, while this is more of just a little colour update.

 

 

What This Purple Is Made Of

Bleach London Bruised Violet & Out Of The Blue, La Riche Directions Violet & Atlantic BluePurple Hair - Portrait 1If you wonder where to get this purple, it does not come out of any bottle,as it is like almost all my hair colours  self mixed from multiple dyes. This colour was mixed from a large portion of Conditioner, Bruised Violet, with a largish portion of Out Of The Blue with a dash of Directions Lilac and Atlantic Blue.

I was going for something more blue but I am more than happy with the result. I actually prefer this over the colour I was going for. The very best thing of this colour is actually that it goes perfect with my favourite MAC Lipstick – Up The Amp Amplified.

Bleach London Bruised Violet & Out Of The Blue, La Riche Directions Violet & Atlantic Blue - Favourite MAC Lipstick  Up The Amp Amplified

 

Exciting

Every time I dye my¬†hair with a mix¬†it is quite¬†exciting to wait to find out how the colour is turning out, as the colour in the bowl never quite looks like the colour on your hair, but with experience you do get a good feel for it. The other advantage is that this colour is not permanent and always can be dyed over soon… ūüėČ

Bleach London Bruised Violet & Out Of The Blue, La Riche Directions Violet & Atlantic Blue

 

Using Up My Bleach London Stash

For this dying cycle I wanted to use some of my Bleach London Dyes¬† because I was¬†planning¬†to move over ¬†to La Riche Directions. Don’t get me wrong there is nothing which Bleach London, they are good dyes and I have made good experiences with them, I just personally prefered Directions and in particular their range of colours, but after how this colour has turned out I might stick withBruised Violet & ¬†Out Of The Blue For A While.

Unfortunately you can’t just pick Directions up at Boots, like you can with¬†Bleach London, you will need to get them online . But this is still simple enough as Amazon does offer the full range, many even over their prime service through which you get unlimited free next day delivery: here 30 days free prime – just don’t forget to cancel, if you do not want to sign up for a year.

A Few Tips

While I want to save how-to’s for a later post there are a¬†I essential tips I would like to give you, just in case you are considering to do something similar to your hair.

  • It is always best to leave the bleaching to a professional, if you decide to do it yourself, educate¬†yourself well about the process and substances before you do it.
  • Regarding the actual colour start simple and search online for example images of how it has turned out on the hair of others.
  • Maybe abstain from mixing for now, consider to go for the colour out of the box.
  • You can control the strength of the colour by how much conditioner you mix in.
  • You can always increase the experimenting with experience.

I had not many things go wrong, but it has happened to me. Reduce the chance of that happening to you, And as a last tip, that is something you do not want to have happen to you without some backup colour to dye.

What Do You Think?

Would you go for an unnatural colour? What colour would it be? And what colour would you like to see me wear?

 

Lots Of Love

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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

Signoff

 

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

Signoff

 



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  Р£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 Р£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: