FASHION | Is Boohoo Curve actually for curvy people?

The curvy fashion queen has returned for your pleasure.

Hello my lovelies and welcome back to a long awaited try on haul! If you have been following me since I had my Blogger platform then you will know I did try on hauls quite often. I really enjoy doing them, I think they’re so much fun just to try all your latest bits on and play dress up in your bedroom and you guys always really enjoyed them! So I thought it was time to bring this quality content back to my new platform. But today I am trying a brand that I have never bought anything from before – Boohoo. Most online brands such as Boohoo, I never normally branch out to just because stereo-typically they don’t often cater to my group of sizes, which is size 20 and over. For example, normally online retailers will have up to size 20 in their standard range if they do not have a curve or plus size section. But there is never much difference between one set of sizes in standard ranges [6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20] because they’re trying to fit those into an all inclusive sized box of “typical” sizes and “typical” fits which typically is all catered on the smaller size across the board. So you could have a size 20 in the standard range and it will still be too small because that range is being typically filtered to an overall smaller category. If that makes sense; this scale could work both ways. For example you might have someone who is actually a size 8 or 10 but because they might have wider set hips or more muscle on their legs, they may have to go for size 12 or 14 due to the fact the difference in standard size ranges is so slim, it’s barely an inch, between one or two sizes. You may also have that on the petite scale too, someone might actually be a size 12 or 14 but because they’re shorter in height standard ranged items might be too long but the amount of material is correct for whatever weight that individual might be. But in typical petite ranges the clothing is taken up a bit because of a shorter height but is also taken in a bit. Even though “petite” doesn’t always mean smaller in body type and shape. It’s also the same with tall ranges, just because someone is taller doesn’t necessarily mean they’re slimmer, they potentially might have a lot of curve. I hope you guys know what I mean, I am going to do a further investigation in terms of this when I get back into Born To Be – my series that is catered to fashion and body image etc. Click here to give that read after this post if you haven’t already.

But I was surprised to find out that Boohoo actually has a plus size/ curve range on their website. I don’t know how long they’ve had a curve range but I know they create many adverts now with all ranges of women in (I’m unsure about the male side) and they don’t edit out things like stretch marks, cellulite, veins, skin marks etc. Which is brilliant and it does show how far we have come in terms of fashion adverts and the industry and the body positivity movement. I think as we move forward we can definitely do even more and I’m excited to see more brands follow suit with things like that for both female and male.

Okay, I think I’ve kept you all waiting long enough! Let’s get on with the haul, give this post a like right now if you’re excited!

DISCLAIMER:

You will see tummy, stretch marks, cellulite, marks, veins, bumps, lumps and more that makes up my size 20 – 22 body. But that doesn’t define how I look in my clothes and it doesn’t define how you look in your clothes either.

Also just to note, all of these items are from the curve/ plus size range so I do not know if all of these items are in the other ranges they do. You’d have to double check when looking on the website. And I do not remember all of the prices because everything when I bought these was on sale for like up to 70% off and I had a discount code (read until the end if you wanna know where to get your discount code).

I saw these on the website and I fell in love with this style. I try to buy pieces these days that I don’t have any thing like, or in colours I don’t really own, and styles that I will most likely wear. When I was a bit younger I used to buy clothing sometimes just because I liked it, which of course you should like what you’re buying. But in reality they didn’t fit that well or there was something about them that I wasn’t too sure about in terms of fitting to my body and in the long run I barely ever wore them or not at all. So now I work a lot harder to really think am I comfortable in this, will I actually wear it, do I already own something like it, will they be put to good use etc.

So they’re ruffle shorts but when you wear them they really look like a ruffled skater skirt. They have this extra under layer of material as you can see in the above photos which gives it a bit more protection in terms of how thin this fabric is. However in contrast to that statement I do like that these are so thin because they’re much cooler to wear in this current July weather in April.

When these arrived I was a bit worried that these weren’t going to fit because of an undiscovered zip that I didn’t realise they’d had. Even though these are from the plus size range normally any skirt or shorts or trousers that have a zip even when they’re made for curvier hips and legs never usually fit me or they fit but feel too tight to do anything in which isn’t what you want. When you’re wearing clothes surely the main aim is to feel comfortable that you don’t even have any anxiety about a certain area or a certain fit on that area, to look good for yourself, and to have no worry in what you’re wearing because what you’re wearing shouldn’t limit your day and anything you do.

I was pleasantly surprised that these actually fit, even with the zip down the side, and I have enough room to breath, sit down, and even do a work out if I wanted! Basically the fit of these is great. One of my favourite things is if I tuck a top into it I still have enough room and even if I wear them as you normally would they don’t fall down or feel too big either. The ruffle really gives them something extra than a plain pair of khaki shorts. The only thing that is slightly irritating is because the zip is down the side I really have to reach round to do it up and inside they’ve got those annoying loop tag things to hang onto hangers even though you would put shorts on clippy hangers. So they’re a bit annoying but I will just have to cut those off. But if you’re looking for a new pair of shorts for the warmer weather, I would highly recommend these ones.

Unfortunately I am unable to find this exact item on the website, and there is not a play-suit at all similar to this one.

I decided to treat myself to a new play-suit. I really enjoy play-suits as they’re easy to throw on in the summer with a jacket or a cardigan if it’s a bit chilly with some slip ons or lace up shoes and your outfit is done. So when you want something easy to wear on a warm day these are one of my go to outfits. When this one arrived I was a bit unsure because the material is quite thick, it’s that scuba material. But it redeems itself by being an overall loose fit on my stomach and around my legs. However although this material is thick it is still very much see through. As you can see in the first picture, you can see the lace trim of my underwear. So for sure I’m gonna have to wear peachy and pink toned underwear when I decide to wear this out.

I am not a fan of play-suits that are too tight or are quite fitted. I do own a couple of them but I will only ever wear them when I am having a very body confident day. I much prefer the ones that have an elasticated centre or like this one that has that over-layered crop type of top that is loose and flowy. As of course you can still see the outline of my stomach but because I’ve got that extra layer slightly over the top it gives the outfit something more and it makes me feel more confident.

I also really like the sleeves as you just tie them into little bows and adjust them to how you want them to sit on your shoulders. It does come slightly low sometimes as well dependent on how well you tie the bows up. But one of the main reasons I was so unsure about this item when it arrived was because the colour is not completely the same as it was on the website. And of course sometimes the lighting and the way they edit the photos can cause a slight difference in the cool tones and the warm tones of a garment overall. You can see it above in both of my photos, the further away I was the more peachy the play-suit looks and the closer I was to the natural light, the more blush toned the garment looked which is what it was advertised as on the website.

Of course I still like it otherwise I wouldn’t have kept it but the half blush/ half peach tone kind of causes it to wash me out ever so slightly. So I think when I wear this out in the sunshine and my skin gets a slight tan/ glow it’ll be all good. I did try to pair it with a little white tshirt and long sleeve top underneath but it did not look right. I think it’s due to the colour of it and the thickness of the play-suit itself. But it’s definitely a nice piece for the warm summer days, it’s just a small shame that it’s not a pure blush shade like it was advertised as. But most importantly the fit is comfortable and ultimately that’s the deal breaker as to whether or not I will wear an outfit.

I do love a wrap skirt even though they are partial to falling down so it’s a good job I always wear cycling shorts with them. I am a massive fan of polka dots / dot type prints which is probably what drew me to this. I am such a big fan of wearing monochrome outfits that are slightly miss matched. So for example the other week I wore this skirt with a bat wing sleeved over sized top that was also black and white but the polka dots were small and uniform whereas this skirts dots are bigger and scattered. So it’s like similar but not the same and I adore wearing outfits like that.

This skirt itself, the quality of it is kind of average. I’m not gonna lie to you, it is very much just like a piece of material that has been cut into a shape in order for you to wrap it round your body. Like the majority of wrap skirts it has the extra thinner bits of material at the side in order for you to tie it at the side and it was meant to come with a button inside however the button was not inside but the thread was still in there where it must’ve been. So maybe it got ripped off when packaged or if it was sent back by someone else before which isn’t the greatest if that was the case. However where to button hole was the skirt would’ve been too big for me like that anyway and I’m sure I ordered this one in my actual size so god knows why it’s as wide as it is. Again the material is so thin and it’s light which does make it great for summer and I think because it’s darker and a pattern it not see through compared the previous block coloured item you’ve already seen.

Despite the overall quality I love the pattern, I like that the material is lightweight, the length at the back is really good for my height, and I love the slit. I do love slit in a skirt or dress as it makes me feel sexy to get a bit of your higher thigh out but not all of the way.

Continuing the skirt theme I saw this white embroidered style number. I really liked it on the website obviously otherwise I wouldn’t of ordered it but I didn’t think I was going to like it that much on, especially when I’d tried on previous items in darker and brighter colours that were slightly see through. So I thought for sure I wasn’t going to be able to wear this but I was actually pleasantly surprised. This isn’t see through at all really because it has two layers of skirt which gives it that lovely scalloped trim waterfall effect, similar to the ruffle shorts. Which you know I love because it gives the skirt a little something extra to go along with all of that gorgeous detailing.

. Again it looks really lovely at the back as well because the skirt isn’t too short. For me personally because I have curvy hips and I am tall I don’t like it when skirts and dresses are too too short because they should at least cover your booty. I’m actually very excited to wear this on a lovely summers day.

On the website they had a top to match this but usually with things like skirts and shorts the matching tops are always tiny little cropped ones. Which is fine but matching co-ord types of outfits never usually work for me so I decided just to go for the skirt only. So I need to find a really lovely top to go with this white skirt, if any of you lovelies have a suggestion then please let me know. Overall though, I am very impressed with quality and the fit of this piece.

Unfortunately this style of item in particular doesn’t appear to be on the website anymore, so the link provided is all of the other styles of ‘Organza’ clothing they have in the plus range.

I saw this top on the website and I was intrigued by it but I honestly thought this was gonna be the one I would for sure send back because I could already tell from the model on the website that this was gonna be pretty fitted which isn’t always my favourite thing. I only really like wearing fitted tops with certain skirts and trousers that have a tie bit at the front, like in the images above for example. There’s also been a big trend of massive sleeves and I’ve seen a few tops that have been quite nice but the part on the sleeve was too big for comfort. So when I saw this one I quite liked how the netting almost goes up and down like a flutter, like a butterfly.

When this arrived I was honestly shocked at how much I liked it, no loved it on! I felt like an absolute queen in this, I was strutting around my mum and dad’s bedroom feeling like a million bucks just from a top. It is madness how fashion and clothing has such an overall affect on our mental health and physical appearance. So the overall quality is actually really good, it’s a bit like the scuba material but not as smooth. It’s got a bit of texture to it. It is fitted as I expected but not to the point where I feel like I’m going to be unable to breathe or uncomfortable when I’m out and about. The neckline is lovely as it elongates the neck without being really baggy and low. The sleeves are as I expected, big enough to make an impact on the overall garment and whatever club I’m’a strut into, without feeling claustrophobic up to my ears.

I love that lift on the sleeve as it gets to the peak on my shoulder as it gives that lovely fluttered out effect and it cascades down to the back beautifully. This is probably one of the top items that has been made the best and I just love it. I adore what I’ve paired it with, you know me and my matched but mismatched outfits. Can’t wait to wear this out for an evening sipping cocktails with the girls when corona let’s us live our lives again.

I’ve really grown to fall back in love with dresses as well as skirts over the last few years. I think there was a time period, obviously before the body positivity movement, where someone decided it was probably unsuitable for curvy people to wear dresses, skirts, short shorts etc. Honestly whoever that was I say, shame on you for making thousands of people honestly think they were not worthy or valued of wearing something on their body because they weren’t the “accepted” body type. But I’m sure we’ve all moved past that now. It has been so wonderful to fall back in love with wearing whatever I want to over the last few years and knowing that anything that I feel good in was made for me and was made to fit my body.

Right before I get carried away back to this dress. As you can see it’s a beautiful peach number! I really do love this colour of peach more than the play-suit’s half peach toned thing it’s got going on. I already knew this was gonna fit as, A) it’s a skater dress and B) I ordered it 4 sizes bigger than I am. Not for the purposes of fit but literally just because they only had this size left and I liked it so much that I was like well regardless I’m gonna have to have it. The material is extremely soft but once again is quite see through, you can see my lace trim of my undies coming out to say hello again. It’s extremely comfy, not only because it’s a few sizes bigger than I am, but mainly because it’s that soft cosy material we all know and love.

I’m in that lighting again where the exposure near the window makes the dress look very light. Which ironically compared to the play-suit, isn’t this dress’ true colour at all – it’s a much more deep orange peach/ apricot. I adore the sleeves on this dress, anything 3/4 length always looks flattering on my arms and I find always looks flattering with skater dresses. I also love the soft pleated floot they have as well which ties in wonderfully with the pleated stitched around the natural waist line. Really enjoy that about this dress, it is quite long for a skater dress but that could partly be because of the size I ordered it in. Also in real life you can kind of tell that it is a tiny bit big just in general as I do have a lot of room in there still. But I’d rather have more room than not enough.

Despite the see through fabric yet again the quality is saved by how soft the material physically is which means it is more comfy to wear and also the extra pleating details give it a little something more to please the eye. Another easy throw on dress to wear with white little flats and a denim jacket for a spring/ summer day out. I’m definitely going to get lots of wear out of this one.

Continuing the dress theme we have another extremely see through number. Honestly so far I would say this is Boohoo’s main issue, the quality of their fabric. I have to say this was probably one of the poorest quality fabrics in terms of the opaqueness. Like not only can you see my under saying hello yet again, but you can actually see my bellybutton outline and I don’t think I’ve ever had a dress that has had that quality about it. But at the same time I don’t hate it. I really like details on the dress and despite having to order this one also one size bigger than I am I was shocked that the wrapped boob area wasn’t too big.

Even though the overall fabric quality isn’t great I still decided to keep it as I still like it and I’ll still wear it. I’m just gonna have to wear identical matching underwear. I think if it wasn’t for the sleeve, shoulder, and neck tails I don’t think this would be worth keeping. I want to get some white cycling shorts anyway for my lighter coloured dresses as I only have black pairs and one grey pair. So when I eventually get some I will probably end up wearing those underneath this. But the colour is lovely, really nice pastel for spring and summer. You could definitely dress this up or down, I might wear this on an summer evening date night in the future with either some nice sandals or heels. It fits comfortably but the overall quality of this item isn’t worth your coin.

You honestly haven’t seen see through until you’ve seen this lounge wear set. I mean you can see it already how much of my skin colour peaks through the black colour. So there is a bit of a story to this outfit, the reason I wanted this was because I have seen so many gals on my Instagram wearing such lovely comfies that I wanted a cute set too. When I ordered this on the website this was branded khaki and unless suddenly I have gone colour blind this is not khaki! My hypothesis is either they ran out of khaki and sent a black one instead however if that is the case they didn’t bother to email me to ask if I would be okay with a black one instead. Or their editing for their website is a massive lie as khaki and black and two completely different colours.

Even though it’s not the colour I asked for I still like the overall concept of the outfit. I like the look but I didn’t realise the top was quite as short as it actually is. I don’t like tops where I move my arms slightly above my shoulders and my whole bra is on show and that is exactly what this top does, so I’m not the biggest fan of that. But I’ve made the executive decision that when I wear this I’m just gonna have to wear either a black bodysuit underneath or a top that’s fitted and black that I can tuck in. So that is the major see through issue resolved and my bra constantly popping out whenever I move.

As you can see when my arms are slightly stretched the top automatically raises itself as clearly my boobs wanna say hello. I really like that it’s wide legged, it is the main style of trouser I buy now because I like the loose fit on my legs and it gives me a nice airy swish which I enjoy. Plus, major comfort which is always a win win. However I could never wear this out because it’s just too see through for comfort and the cut for the top is also too short for comfort. I think it would be better if the sleeves under armpit cut weren’t acting as the bottom of the crop top. You can see in the shot above where I’m on the side and lifting my arms up we have that triangle shape; I think it would be more practical if the crop top was slightly longer and if it didn’t connect all the way up to the armpit. I know it is still lounge wear but if you’re not comfy in lounge wear which is designed to be comfy then what is the point?

But honestly the main thing that lets this piece down is the see thoroughness and the fact that this is branded as a size 24-26 cannot be right because it’s honestly not very stretchy. It’s not uncomfortable around my waist but I can definitely feel that it’s clung to my waist very well. I think one of the reasons this outfit might be as see through as it is, is because it has to stretch over certain areas of my body. Such as over my hips, waist, bum, stomach etc. However it is still very comfy and I’m only wearing it in the house anyway. But if you’re gonna do a dark colour like black, please take extra care when formulating the colour on the fabric you’re gonna make it with.

So what are my overall thoughts? In answer to the main question of this post is Boohoo Curve actually for curvy people? I would have to say yes. Everything from this haul actually fits my body and isn’t uncomfortable to wear in terms of the fit of the item itself. So that is a major plus because I have bought a lot of clothing in the past from different clothing stores that have been classed as curve or plus size and my actual size doesn’t even fit nicely. So the fact that everything from Boohoo Curve actually fits comfortably bar a few design hinders is actually such an achievement. Boohoo have a great range of styles, sizes, body type representations, patterns, basics, etc. I honestly spent hours browsing on this website because they just stock so many items.

However I do think some of the items were not worth the original price they were retailed at before the sale and before the discount code I had applied. As the quality is quite hit and miss in terms of the texture and the standard of colour pigments in their fabrics of the majority of the items I ordered. With that said, most of the items were pretty cheap and cheerful but I will go as far to say if you want slightly higher quality for a similar range of prices you’re better off buying from New Look or Primark.

But will I shop on Boohoo again? More than likely yes and when I do I will do another one of these so we can compare my first impressions to round two.

Right lovelies, thank you ever so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this. If you’ve got this far and have seen some bits you like there is clickable links to the majority of the exact items on my photos. Now for the discount code that I know you have all been waiting for; one of my good blogging friends called Megan, she currently has a discount code for 25% off everything on the site because she is apart of the Queens on Campus scheme that they do and anyone can use this code! Even though everything on Boohoo is 25% off and more right now anyone, this code will still apply to all of those items that are already discounted! So firstly, you should head on over to Megan’s Instagram and drop her a follow as she’s all about body positivity for mid/ average size girls and she is honestly such a wonderful human being full of light – such a beautiful soul. Plus her feed is absolutely stun!

So if you want her exclusive code for 25% off everything, head on over right now to: themeganedit

I hope you’re having a wonderful day and I will chat to you all again soon!

SELF ISOLATION | Creation and Discoveries

[CREDIT: PINTEREST]

Hello my lovelies and welcome back to another post in these uncertain times, I hope you’re all having a productive or relaxed week. If you’ve read my last post then you will know I said I wanted to create a post where I share with you what I’ve been up to and my thoughts and discoveries during this time. As you’re reading this I have been in isolation for 3 weeks and I really feel like the time has just flown. Whatever I seem to do every day just flies by whether I’m being productive or I’m just relaxing. And this self isolation period seems to be no different.

I mentioned in my previous post that a list made up of all of the tasks and activities you need, want, and like to do is the best place to start. I think in this time it’s important to remember that things on your list they don’t have to be groundbreaking. I think a lot of people are feeling the pressure to make use of this time and are feeling guilty for not sorting their lives out or not doing something creative or career savvy or making groundbreaking discoveries. When really during this time your main priority should be you. We’re in extraordinary circumstances and whatever you feel is beneficial for your mental health and well-being just do that. As long as you’re happy and whatever you’re doing brings you joy that is all that matters.

One of the only things I can’t stress enough right now is learning to let go of things we can’t control. This situation is on a ginormous scale but if you’re stressing or worrying about it you’re probably infecting your mental state more by doing that, feeling scared, constantly checking the media and news channels for updates. It is a toxic vicious cycle and if you’re finding yourself caught up in it just simply stop. Close your eyes, take a breath, and relax all that tension in your brain and throughout your body which you feel is consuming you. And now say in your own head or out loud my own worry is not beneficial, my own stresses are not beneficial, my constant fear and anxiety is not helping. This ball of negative energy is causing me grief which has been/ is building pressure on my mental state. Taking another breath and as you exhale say to yourself I am ready to let go of what I cannot control. Hold that ball of negative energy, take another breath, and as you exhale, throw that ball away. Depending on how heavy what you’re carrying is you may find you need to repeat the task a couple more times. Or if you’re someone who carries a lot of anxiety and stress you might want to do this task or one similar to this every morning or every night to help you get through each day.

I completely understand that it’s really difficult to accept there’s nothing else we can physically do other than stay at home right now, especially if you’re someone who likes to be in control a lot. I’ve been watching Miranda Hart’s IGTV’s recently as she’s doing a series called Chatty Rambles related to the current situation we’re living in. And she’s doing research into our purposes as a race and our reasons for doing the things we do the way we do. It’s very open and really connects into our higher ways of thinking and it’s giving me a lot of clarity about life right now as well as reflecting on my life in general. I’d recommend giving them a watch as I’m finding them so interesting. I’m really into spirituality and higher vibrations of thinking when it comes to lives and purposes and why we’re here and what we’re here for etc. If you’re into all of that I would recommend giving Miranda a follow and a listen to her take on things. But in one of the first couple of videos she’s done she talks about how we have no control over anything in our life and this pandemic is evident of that. I’m very aware that for some of you the idea of not being control of anything in your life can be quite scary but it does make a lot of sense. I’ve always believed the universe knows where I’m meant to go and what I’m meant to do and who I am meant to be. Therefore on the grand scale of things it makes perfect sense to me how us as beings have no control over our life because we can’t control the outer universe: space, the stars, the planets. We are just one tiny speck of what makes up the universe. But the universe is going to do, what it’s going to do. We also can’t control our personal life outer universe: our family and friends’ intentions, the scale of our jobs beyond our control, the relationships we experience throughout our life. Miranda goes on to say when you step back from those elements and say it’s okay I’m not in control do you feel like a weight is lifted off of your shoulders?

[CREDIT: GOOGLE IMAGES]

I believe that you only have control over yourself in the moment that you’re living in. For example, when you’re caught in a situation with negative energies with an object, yourself or someone else. Only you can decide how you act and react in the situation at hand which will always be subject to change dependant on your relationship with the object or the person in front of you. I think often the memories we have with the object or the person does cause us to think that we have to stay to hold onto what we’ve got because if we let go it will be gone forever. But that right there is your answer. Let go of one sided relationships, one sided friendships, one sided effort, anything where you feel you’re doing the most to hold it together and on the other side that is not reciprocated. Let it go. It is not longer worth your time, no longer worth your anxiety, no longer worth your effort, no longer worth your love and your kindness. As myself I’ve always known those things but during this self isolation it has just been highlighted to me that the only activities worth my time are what bring me joy and the only people worth my time are the ones who invest in me as much as I invest in them. The phrase walk away from what and who no longer serves you couldn’t be more relevant right now. If you’re someone who feels like they’re caught in this cycle only you know what is best for you, but wouldn’t you rather value your time with the things you enjoy and the people who value you with their time.

It doesn’t mean you should stop being kind to people or stop spreading love or being a good person towards others. You don’t cure hate with further hate, simply let go of whatever in your life that is making you feel heavy. Whatever you decide to say goodbye to is for you. It’s not about the object or the person as everyone is at a different stage of their growing process. As the cliche says, if something or someone is really meant to orbit around your life then they will. The universe will put that into place for both parties. When we’re going through tough situations everyone always says it all works out in the end. Even when we don’t know what that end is but we know at some point it will come to a natural stop. Which again proves we aren’t in control of situations and people because we can never say how something is going to play out until it has and then it’s in the past. And the way things end, no matter how hard they can be, it is all for us as humans to understand each other, understand ourselves, and reflect, learn, grow, and to be better as we move forward. To then hopefully deal with it [thoughts, emotions, feelings, empathy, pain etc] – better in the next life situation we face.

[CREDIT: PINTEREST]

There’s no denying right now that the state of the world is a mess. But it was already a mess before Covid-19 even took shape, I think finally people are starting to wake up and realise that we need to make multiple changes after we’ve dealt with this pandemic. If the government’s and the huge companies and corporations don’t take this as one of the biggest signs we’ve ever had in our current lifetime that the world needs help then we are living in the most ignorant era of politicians and world leaders we’ve ever had. Ever since we all stopped living our “normal” lives as we know them to be, the world has healed. It is crazy how this small period of time when the world has near enough stopped it’s finally breathed and that brings me so much joy and happiness. But it also brings sadness to know that we as human beings have all caused that in some way or another when this planet accepted us for this to be our home and we’re treating it so awfully. Don’t get me wrong so many incredible companies and organisations have done a lot for global warming and the well-being of the Earth and people suffering and struggling. But this pandemic only highlights that we need to do more. The fact that there are multimillionaires and billionaires throughout the world and we still have massive global warming issues, massive debts across the board, third world countries, poverty, homelessness, tiny amounts of funding for the NHS which is undeniably the most important organisation in the UK, as well as the lack of funding for so many other important organisations that help so many peoples lives and families every single day. And yet we still have problem after problem because so many people still lack compassion and kindness for others. There are certain types of people who could do so much more for this world because they can afford to and they don’t. I believe everyone should do what they can to be a decent human being but if you can afford to do more and offer more out of the kindness of your heart I don’t see why you wouldn’t.

All of those points I’ve shared above are highly important and whilst I hope all of these things have the recognition and the push for change as move forward. Right now we all need to focus on staying at home, protecting the NHS and other health systems around the world, supporting all of our key workers, and of course coming together as a unit to stop the further spread of this virus. So the quote above ‘I am learning to find joy right here in the mess of things’ is very relevant to all of our lives right now. I think this time in isolation highlights to us all how much we truly take for granted every single day. There are some things that you know are luxuries, for example being able to go on a dream trip to Bali, or going on a world wide adventure for 6 months, being able to do your dream career and more, being able to afford your perfect house. All of those incredible things are lovely but we often forget that not everything is automatically given to us. A small example, having a shower and a bath – in my boyfriend’s house he only has a shower whereas in my house I only have a bath. I personally always prefer bath’s to shower’s but my boyfriend’s view is the other way round and imagine that’s because we’ve grown up with just one and not both. Whereas I feel like these days we’re given so much for doing so little because we expect to have the things that everyone else has just because they have it. It seems that 90% of the time people can’t just view other people’s successes or other people’s attributes without comparing it to their own. That needs to stop because it damages both parties involved; I’m not a saint when it comes to this, in the past I have been so hard on myself. Constantly comparing my worth and my success and my career and my look and my weight and my confidence and my followers and my likes and my views and my popularity and my value from someone else’s view and my talent and my importance to someone else’s life. I could go on, but I’m so tired of constantly never feeling enough for myself. I am just me and whatever I do should always be for me and whatever you do should always be for you. But we all need to remember that no one is who we are. No one else is you and no one else is me which is why us all as individuals we will always be important and enough and valued because we allow ourselves to accept ourselves. If you’re able to accept someone else for all they are, you can do that for yourself as well.

But I think as I’ve been growing up I’ve been letting go of so many things that don’t bring me joy and don’t bring me happiness and I’ve let go of people who don’t bring me joy and happiness. Like what I said earlier on, let go of elements and people that make you feel heavy. I think all of this time where we’re all spending most of the time on our own, it’s gonna be highlighted to a lot of people how much they’ve been holding onto that’s actually weighing them down. And if you let go of something or someone and you don’t feel sad or torn about it then you know you’re ready to let that go because your emotional attachment has gone. It doesn’t have to be a big drama or a big emotional thing, sometimes we just grow out of love with certain things and people and that’s okay. Zoe Sugg once said, elements or people are in your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime and it’s honestly so true. When you’re in a positive place mentally and physically you shine so much brighter and people notice it so much more. So finding the joy in the everyday and the little things that amount to the big things is so powerful. Your heart will be full of so much gratitude for the elements we usually take for granted, and if one thing this extraordinary event in our history will teach us is the power of gratitude, kindness, and love is far greater than anything money could buy you.

I’ve only been in isolation for 3 weeks and I already feel like I have done and discovered so much so I imagine it’ll be even more when I reach 4, 5, 6, 7 weeks – however long it takes. I have so much more joy and appreciation for the small things in my life.

I could’ve listed a lot more but those are some prominent ones right this moment. But I find more things to appreciate everyday. What are you appreciating today?

One of my favourite things has been having all this free time to do whatever I want to do. There is something incredibly liberating about engaging in activities just for the pure joy of doing it, with no expectations of yourself or from someone else. I think too often we’re all really hard on ourselves when we can’t do something to a “high” or “acceptable” standard – in the eyes of who though? Our own or someone else’s? – the first time we do it. Even though all the skills we currently carry we couldn’t do from the first moment we attempted it. I read a post once that said, when babies are learning to walk for the first time and they fall over, when they fall we don’t criticise why they fell. We clap and cheer because of what they achieved, so why don’t we do that for ourselves? I’m very bad on myself for this and I will happily admit it. As humans we’re really bad when it comes to any mistake we made or something we feel we didn’t do our best on. We think about it for days and wonder what everyone is thinking of it, when really those people you’re worried about are probably overthinking something in their own head and not even thinking about what you just did. Conclusion = it’s a cycle and we’ve all gotta stop it!

I think one reason I’m so judgemental on myself is because for a lot of my life I never felt good enough or talented enough to do anything I wanted to do. Partly because of the way I was treated in previous friendships and relationships and I think those kind of things fuck you up more than you realise. But at the same time, because I’ve been at such a low point of feeling worthless I’ve never wanted anyone in my life from that point on-wards to feel as low as I have. So when I see someone on my Instagram or Twitter or one of my friends isn’t feeling their best or feeling low I always want to step in and try to give clarity or a be someone who helps them think about the bigger picture. I’ve always wanted to be a positive force and someone who gives people something to benefit them and to make them feel empowered and make them inspired etc. I really feel like I’m doing that at the moment with everything going on in the world and it’s a special feeling. It fills me with that tingly feeling knowing that something you said, or something you posted, or something you offered has the power to change someone’s whole outlook and mood and confidence and way of life. I’d like to be able to do that for the rest of my life for other people. Because at the end of the day we all wont be remember for how many followers and likes we had on Instagram or how many sell out singles we had or how much money we had or how big or small our house was. We’ll be remembered for our kind hearts, our aura, our good nature, how caring we are, how thoughtful we are, how we made other people feel when they were around us. They’re the things that count in the long run, never forget that as it is so easy to let those points slip your mind.

In this decade I want to do more of that like I already am. But I also know I need to do more for me. I need to just go for opportunities and believe in myself and believe that I am enough to achieve whatever it is that comes my way. If the universe didn’t think I was capable then it wouldn’t throw these chances and challenges my way. Last year I lost a lot of passion and drive for the things I used to love and wanted to devote my life to. But without having that blip you guys probably wouldn’t be reading this blog post today. I’m grateful to the universe for steering me off course so that I could get back in that car and turn the wheel back around. Now I just need to keep driving down that road and going forward, enjoying the views and experiences that come my way.

During this time I have thoroughly enjoyed doing activities like colouring, organising, cleaning, blogging, creating fresh content, reading, having at home coffee dates, Facetiming friends, catching up on Netflix shows that I’ve been saying I want to watch for the last year, playing around with makeup again, getting back into nail art. I know it is a struggle right now for a lot of people, but I do think finding a new hobby or interest is really beneficial right now as it gives you an escape from the real world even for a minute. Another note is regardless of what’s going on in our lives and around our lives, time doesn’t stop. It still keeps going and it rolls on, so whatever you’re doing or not doing the concept of time is still happening. But whatever you are doing with your time right now, just live it and enjoy it and appreciate it.

[CREDIT: PINTEREST]

I hope you all enjoyed this post and can take something away from it as we move forward in this process. I know we’re all in different mindsets and at different points in the growing process of this unimaginable piece of history that we’re living in and experiencing. But just know that we will get through this and one day all of this will become a distant memory, so as hard as it may feel try to appreciate what this event is teaching us and hopefully all of the good outcomes that will come from this in the long run. Remember to be safe, stay at home as much as you can, wash your hands, stay positive, be mindful to others, and spread love and kindness. I am sending you all nothing but good wishes through this time and I will be back again very soon.

LIFESTYLE | Let’s Catch Up

Hello my lovelies, I hope you’re all well. Since my last post on my old blog a lot has changed in my life as well as the world itself so I figured it was time for us to properly catch up and for me to start regular posting again now that I have all of this free time.

First things first, Coronavirus. It’s a big elephant in the room right now isn’t it and regardless of all of our thoughts and opinions and conspiracy theories on the matter. Right now we should be focusing on preventing the spread by self isolating and working from home if possible. I started self isolating from Tuesday last week as my work finally decided to shut, which means as I’m writing this I’m on day 11. So far I have been coping very well and I think that’s partly because I’ve made a long list of things I need to do, want to do, would like to do more of, or start doing which has actually been really beneficial as it’s meant I’ve had activities to focus my mind on.

[CREDIT: PINTEREST]

For example so far this week I have been reading Breathe magazine, my mum and I have done some baking, I’ve started doing yoga and meditation more often, I’ve been posting so much more on Instagram, I have been developing my nail painting skills as I want to take a nail course to get qualified and potentially work in a salon or do some freelance work etc. I’ve also been watching shows on Netflix again, and as we move into the coming weeks hopefully I can create some great blog content to get us through isolation. If you’re feeling bored or a little bit lost right now then I would suggest making a to-do list of things you need or want to get done and also things you’d like to get into or do more. I think a lot of people during this period of time are going to realise how little they actually do. What do we do the most? Go out for lunch, go out for coffee, go out for dinner, go out for drinks. Despite how much you feel like you stay at home, humans are social creatures so we crave that interaction and emotional connection you get from those interactions. And now because we’re not allowed to go out unless necessary I think it definitely will/ is affecting people’s mental state. I’m a very social person and I enjoy going out, even on my days off for a coffee and a shop around etc. So surprisingly I’m actually okay at the moment which kind of highlights to me that most of the time when I go out I just go out because I can. But I would highly recommend making a list if you haven’t already.

However we’re going to look on the positive side of life and remember you can always find more positives in one negative compared to more negatives in one positive. Now before all this madness and chaos in the UK as it feels like it all sprung out of nowhere. At the start of the month we were all enjoying our days going out, going on holidays, getting our weekly shops with ease and now all of sudden it’s come crashing down and we’re sat at home on the 1,74938574 day of isolation thinking every day is a Sunday, but at least we’ve all got a constant supply of snacks. If you’ve stockpiled those, well, same. But before all of that, in the first couple of weeks of March I had a lovely start to the month. If you have all been keeping up to date with Instagram then you will know that I have a boyfriend! Jake and I have been together almost 9 months and we have almost known one another for 11 months and we met on Bumble. Again, if you’ve been keeping up with Instagram then you will have seen we went on holiday to Wales and something absolutely crazy happened.

We got engaged!

I am still in complete shock that this has happened, I never imagined I’d have a boyfriend at 22 let alone a fiance at 22 too. So as you can all imagine I’m very much still on cloud nine. However right now we can not afford a wedding in the slightest, so it’s not going to be happening for a long time coming and that’s okay. I think there is a lot of pressure when you get engaged; it seems expected that within the next year or two you’ll be married and from the minute you get engaged you should start planning there and then. But Jake and I both know that we want to live together first and sort our “careers” out first before we even think about actually getting married. I’m taking it as a promise for now and what I mean by that, it’s a promise that you’re the person I want to spend the rest of my life with. I use that term loosely as none of us know where we’re going to be in a year, let alone 10 years, 20 years, 30 years etc. Which is why I always say you have to live for what you’re doing right now, especially with everything going on in the world right now. So far this has been the biggest event of 2020 for me and I imagine it’ll be one of the main life events I remember about 2020. Let me know in the comments if any of you guys have had big life events happen so far this year. Whether that’s getting engaged, getting married, moving house, new careers, getting pregnant, having children etc. I’d love to have an update from all of your lives as it’s been ridiculously long since we last caught up.

Despite the drama and chaos of the Coronavirus at the start of the year I was feeling very positive about 2020 and the decade to come. And I still am feeling very positive as I think it’s going to be the decade when a lot of my generation (young to mid twenties or GEN Z as it’s better known now) actually make big moves. I don’t just mean in the sense of getting your dream job, your dream house, your dream car etc. I mean where we all step up mentally and physically and we start to really reflect on what we’ve done and where we’re at and what we’ve achieved for ourselves. To then take our next steps, whatever they are and wherever they lead, to be better and bigger. I’ve been really struggling with my “career” since leaving university partly because I still am unsure what path to start working towards. But also because you see so many young people that seem to have it all together or they’re doing their “dream job” or just a kind of job that could build them a career.

This is probably going to sound like I’m stating the obvious but I just want you all to know that you don’t have to put pressure on yourself. I think the pressure of having to do something with your course you did at uni is actually quite prominent because you finish uni, you graduate, and then unless you’re doing a follow on to your degree like a masters or internship or apprenticeship type of thing, more than likely you’re going to have to move home and find a job. Which is what I had to do when I finished uni as have a lot of my friends from uni and my friends from home who went to uni. So if that’s you or you think that’s probably going to be you, do not feel upset with yourself because you’re having to move home and get a job within your home town compared to some people who might be about to have an amazing opportunity to advance in the sector they’re wanting to work in. Every one of us will have our moment that will then lead onto bigger moments like a domino effect. Once you find your focus that you can then run wild with and really create something special with you will just know that this is what you’re meant to do or work towards. You’ll feel it in your gut and if you haven’t felt it yet don’t worry because I’m certain I haven’t either. I have things lightly sparkling in my brain but they have not yet grown and I’ve not made the connections in order to make those ideas work and develop. Someday in the not so distance future something will click in your brain and from then you’ll be away with passion and drive.

[CREDIT: PINTEREST]

As we move forward through the pandemic as well as general life regardless of beliefs, religions, sexuality, gender, your job, your status, how much money you make etc. None of that matters because all that matters is the kindness we give, the positivity and love that we spread, the goodness we share with others, and the pure joy we will feel from those three things will be magical. If we all show a little more appreciation for what we have and realise that we don’t need everything that we think we’re automatically entitled to then our world will be a nicer place to live. I truly believe this pandemic is to wake us all up and in this period whatever it makes you realise will be different for every person. I imagine as you’re reading this you might have already been woken up to something in your life that you didn’t even know you needed a reminder of or a push to open your eyes to. Don’t ignore that, it will more than likely mean you need to pursue it further, change your direction, or cut it off and start a fresh. But only you will know what the answer is. More than likely those realisations and subject matters will come at different rates depending on the individual. As I know some people have been in isolation for coming up to a month because of working from home as well. Whereas others of us have only been in isolation for the last week or two. So it’s subjective to every person. But then when you think about other countries such as China, America, Spain, Italy, France just to name a few, they’re coming up to like a month / matters of months in isolation and I imagine for them, they’re at a completely different stage in this growing process which is to come for us. If any of you reading live in any of the countries I’ve listed or others I haven’t mentioned, get in touch and let me know what life is currently like for you. I’d love to hear your side of things and how your journey through all of this has been going.

I’m pretty sure that’s mostly all I’ve got to say. As apart from my big life event and the big scale life event of Coronavirus there’s really not been any room for much else to take shape in my life at the moment. Of course I’ll be back again very soon now that I have all of this free time. But I think for my next post I’d like to share activities and thoughts and feelings during self isolation. I know a lot of other bloggers have been doing like their tips for self isolation but I don’t think I’m really gonna call them tips as each person is different and will vibe with different things. So I guess it will be more like sharing ideas for you to do that I’ve enjoyed exploring during the last week and a half.

I’ll be back with you all very soon. Keep distanced, stay safe, and radiate all that positivity I know you have.

BORN TO BE | Chasing “The Ideal” – But What is it?

Hello my lovelies and welcome to the launch of my brand new blog and the relaunch of my series Born To Be. If you know me from another little blogging site called Blogger then welcome to my brand new platform. If you guys have been following me for a while you will know in the last couple of years my blogging content has been quite sporadic (mostly 2019). Go and check out my final post on katielouisejohnson.blogspot.co.uk if you want to know why I’m switching platforms and everything, as well as a whole range of incredible posts from the past six years of my life, then go and have a look over there in the mean time whilst I work on getting this blog up and running.

Over one whole year ago I announced I’d be creating a new series that would tackle the concept of body positivity and body acceptance because at the time (as well as now) people of all shapes and sizes have been embracing the fashion industry. Breaking down the invisible barriers of what society decides we’re “supposed” to wear depending on our size. Then and now, people are wearing whatever the hell they want which is how it should be! My aim was and still is to create a series on my blog, this platform, to inspire people to feel good in their own skin as I’m still learning to feel good in mine. Also to remind people that as long as you feel good, that is all that matters.

The driving force for this project; I set myself the task of going into high street fashion retailers, try on a range of different outfits, and share my honest opinion: how it looks, fits, feels, how I’d style it etc. I realised early on that the whole premise of body positivity and acceptance is such a huge concept to tackle and just my opinion and I wasn’t going to work. No one is exactly the same size or has exactly the same body type. I decided to include the opinions of my dearest friends and fellow blogging friends to get the overall conses and outlook from real people, just like you and me. If you’re not the “idolised” body type (whatever that actually is) in our society it seems you’re not worthy or valued when it comes to the fashion industry. This is something I wanted to and still want to challenge throughout the relaunch of this series.

I chose Born To Be as the title of this series because it is open ended. It relates to the premise without being solely focused on the fashion industry because this isn’t just about the fashion industry. It’s the driving force for this series however it is not the subject that will shape the whole series. The phrase Born To Be will get you to think about what you are born to be. In my opinion you are born to be whatever you want to be. It will transform through your life as you change and you grow which is something I hope we all do through this series. Through the information shared, concepts presented, opinions expressed, and how all of that can relate to our own life and our own development.

As this is the relaunch of this series and the launch of my new platform, I figured a good place to start would be back at the beginning. The very first post this series ever had before I create any more of this series. To remind you guys where we’re at as well as remind myself and also to help me get back into focus with this subject area. I hope you enjoy re-immersing yourself in it or if you’re about to read for the first time, I hope it sparks a passion inside you to feel included and valued.

*DISCLAIMER*


Before we delve into this series I just want to make clear this is not to offend anyone or upset anyone. The reason this series is being made is to inspire you guys and to teach you about accepting yourself and why self love is important. I’m not a teacher or a professional on those two areas or any of the other subject areas I am going to be discussing for that matter. This series will discuss issues of mental health, body positivity, self love, acceptance, fashion and style, fashion and bodies, body positive movements, social media, self-esteem, confidence, and probably many more that I can’t think of right now. But I just need you all to know I am not an expert on any of these things. Everything I will share and be discussing has come from the research I have done, the opinions of the collaborators I have asked, and my own personal experiences.

I know a lot of people don’t like shopping and I understand the reason why because it can be a very traumatic experience. You go into a store looking for something specific, you find something gorgeous and it’s better than you imagined in your head, you’re literally pulling the rail out of the wall to find your size, and god forbid they don’t have it. You walk away sad and disappointed and think I’m never shopping in store again and end up buying things you didn’t even come in for. Such as more makeup, socks, or a handbag because in the words of Sarah Millican, ‘You’re never too fat for a handbag.’


Or your other scenario. You go in the store just for a browse and you find something you like that is actually in your size and you’re thinking it must be fate because this never happens. You decide to be sensible and try it on because the effort of coming back to return it is a real struggle. You get into the changing room to try it on, you’ve got the item on and you’re already shocked or even if you don’t get it on properly, you look in the mirror and you’re thinking ‘Oh my god, what the hell is this? Why is it riding up like that, why is it so tight there and why is it so loose round there? Is this actually my size? Should I try a bigger size or a smaller size? It doesn’t really suit me but I really like it, it’s not flattering at all, but the pattern is cute, but if I got it I know I’d never wear it, why does it look so good on the model and not on me?’, you hand back your item and leave the changing room even more sad than when you originally couldn’t find an item in your size. 


Let’s be honest, we’ve all been in that kind of situation regardless of what size, shape, or body type you are. Some how despite all of that I do still like to go shopping. The experience of shopping in store is very different to shopping online because in store you can look at an item and more than likely know if it will fit you or not. Whereas online something might look great in the image and then you get it and it’s not what you expected looks wise and then to top it all off it doesn’t fit right either. And regardless of what situation you’re in, you’re thinking ‘Am I too fat to wear that? Am I too thin to wear that? I’m not curvy enough to wear that, I’m not slim enough to wear that, I’m not tall enough to wear that, am I not good enough to wear that?’ 

And to be honest the whole experience leaves you feeling really downhearted and dejected. I’m not saying every shopping experience you have is that upsetting but I’m sure everyone reading this has experienced that feeling at some point. So we’re all not alone. I personally have experienced that quite often. There are a lot of items I wish I could wear but I physically can’t because they don’t fit right or they’re not made in my size (which we will discuss throughout this series) or they’re made for the unrealistic bodies of women regardless of your clothing size. 

Over the years and this year especially clothing brands have been bashed for not taking into consideration the sizes of real people, you know the people who are actually going to wear the clothes. I said this in my announcement post and I’ll say it again. If you’ve got a Victoria Secret model body for example or you’ve got the “idolised body” that is now in our society, i.e. slim-curvy with big boobs, a tiny waist, big hips, and slim legs. If you’re one of those body types I’m not stating that your body is not real. Your body type exists and we know it exists; your body is important and valued because people are important and valued. But for the majority of individuals, both women and men, if you’re not the idolised body type in our society it seems that you are not worthy or valued, especially when it comes to the fashion industry. Which is why I felt the shopping experience segment of this series would be an interesting way to truly test this theory out. 


Once again, I am aware I am only one individual and the opinions I will share with you will not be the way everyone feels about certain clothing items. Or if you’re the same size as me and a similar shape to me, if you feel good in a certain style of outfit that I don’t, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t feel good in that item because fashion is all about personal preferences. I’m also sorry that I can’t do very much for any of you who are males that read my blog hence because I’m not a man. But I hope to any of the men reading you can still take something positive from this. 


As this is the first post I thought we would start with a high street brand that we all know and love and we all shop in, whether that’s on the regular or every so often, and that is

I have shopped in Primark for so many things over the years and it is still one of my favourite brands to this day. I started these undercover shopper (okay, that’s officially what we’re gonna call this now) and try on sessions whilst I was still in Chester and I honestly couldn’t even tell you how many times I went into my local Primark at the time. The staff were probably thinking ‘God this girl is back again but is she gonna buy anything? Oh look no’ as I’m walking out the store. But if you’re an avid Primark shopper then you will know that every time you go in there’s always something new in the store. I don’t know how but there is and I think Primark is bigger now than it ever was when I was a teen. The fashion game has upgraded massively over the past couple of years so of course they were first on my list to try out and test. 


I tried on a lot of different styles of clothes in every retailer, some that fit my style and some that were items I’d never even think of trying on let alone wearing out in public. But in order to get a grasp on the clothing outlet as a whole I knew I needed to try out a whole range of clothes otherwise there’d be no point doing this element within this series. 
In Primark I usually fit comfortably in a size 20, I can’t really get away with size 18 in this store very often.

I own a lot of jumpers from Primark so to be honest I had a strong feeling this was going to fit and honestly one of the comfiest things I’ve ever put on my body. If you know me well then you’ll know that things like this are my casual everyday style to a T. I love the colour, it was comfy and soft, really well made, it was also comfortable because the hem around my hips/ stomach was a loose fit, it was soft inside which means it’ll keep you warm. I feel really good in this because it’s comfy, anything that is comfy is always an instant win. I think this jumper fits really well for my size and although it’s slouchy and oversized it still gives my figure some shape and makes me look nice without being too clingy and unflattering. Also the tie up front actually looks good on this as sometimes it can make tops and jumpers be too tight. This would be perfect to wear on those days when you just wanna feel comfortable in your own skin and throw something on and know you’re gonna look good. I would probably just wear this with a pair of jeans/jeggings like these ones here or a pair of leggings. Really simple, really easy, really comfortable, but still super cute. I’m actually really gutted I didn’t buy this at the time because I’d be down to wear something like this right now. 

Now on the other end of the spectrum we have this. I feel like this had potential to be really great but this honestly just let me down. This is another one of those that looks great on the hanger and then you try it on and you’re stood there like ‘What the hell is that?’ 
So this blouse had a long string on the outside that was attached round the back and then a smaller bit of string on the inner part of the top. Presumably you tie those together to get that wrap around effect. This has been quite a big thing from the summer, especially wrap around dresses and I think it’s appealing to the eye but honestly not the most practical. In the two pictures down the left side it might look like I’ve figured it out but honestly it just looked like a mess. I’m sorry but if any outfit is too hard to figure out how to get on, I am not going to bother with it because I don’t want to waste half my life trying to figure out how to get it on. I actually got so frustrated with this I decided to just let the strings drop which you can see in the image on the right and I honestly thought it looked better and 10x more flattering than the original design. But I have no idea where you’d even put the strings if you wore it like that. Also because it’s a wrap top it was all open at the front because it’s meant to wrap across your body, a part from a bit of stitching at the cleavage. I loved the sleeves and the neckline and I did like the pattern (it was actually green in real life) and if I were to wear it out it’d probably be with black jeans as a smart-casual outfit on a night out. However this did not fit. It didn’t sit nicely around my hips or stomach when it was wrapped around and tied together. It’s hard to tell on a wrap around item whether it’s true to size or not but I think the top half definitely was and the bottom half wasn’t. Overall though I did not feel my best in this piece therefore it’s a massive thumbs down.

Here we have another one that is a bit of a fail. Again I feel like this had potential but it just isn’t right. I like the pattern and I like how it goes in at the waist as it makes my waist look quite slim. But I’m not going to lie that’s about it. I know wrap tops and dresses have been really in this summer but honestly I’m over it. I’ve tried on so many items in this style and it’s just not for me. It doesn’t look good on my body personally, I don’t feel comfortable in it, I don’t like how there’s always that extra awkward bit of material that hangs down weirdly just like you can see here. To be honest there wasn’t anything wrong with the fit of this, it did actually fit my figure quite well but this style is just not for me and because of that I don’t feel good in it nor do I feel comfortable in it. But if I were to wear something like this out I’d probably wear it with jeans/ jeggings or potentially even some type of trousers. I think you could dress it up or dress it down to be honest. 

Okay now we all know trousers have been the hot topic this summer. Any type of wide leg trouser/ flare, you name it we’re having them and we’re obsessed with them. That trend is also carrying on into autumn and I’ve got a few funky wide leg trousers I’ve got my eye on. 


But I am in love with these trousers. Primark have a whole bunch of these in different colours but something I have learnt over the course of these weeks doing all these undercover shopper esk things is plain block coloured trousers (unless they’re black) do not look good on me. I personally don’t want to wear anything that accentuates how big my tummy is. It is not flat at all my stomach is round and it doesn’t have rolls when you sit down it is just one massive roll. But I’ve found that anything that is a block colour and not patterned just does not look good on my stomach. So I saw this style of trousers around a lot and I really struggle with Primark’s trousers because the majority of them don’t fit right around the crotch area properly. You always get that awkward flap of material that doesn’t know where it is supposed to go. But I tried these on and I fell in love with them. This is another item that I wish I could’ve bought at the time. That top left corner photo, I am living for how slim and flat these make my stomach look. You can’t tell in these trousers because they’re complimenting my figure so well but I assure you my stomach is not flat at all. I am honestly shook at how good these look on my body. I think the contrasting patterns and the tie up front really do me favours here because it gives the eyes something else to focus on other than a specific body part (my stomach). 


I love the pattern, these are honestly so comfy around my stomach and my waist, really airy light material, so freeing on my legs, super flattering on the legs as well – the extra tie bit of material really slims your legs down, these are more figure complimenting than figure hugging. I am obsessed with how much I love these and how good these make me feel. I feel confident, I feel happy, I feel powerful, I feel sexy. It’s crazy how much an item of clothing can do that to you. Styling these I honestly think you could wear these with anything because they’re black and grey/white and you could wear these on a night out, casual day out, if you’re just relaxing. I love love love these! 

I also ended up finding these in this really pretty pinky red tone with gorgeous pink flowers on. I remember when everyone said red and pink doesn’t go together well I’m telling you now you’re lying. Look how gorgeous these are together! And even though these are not contrasting like the first pair I still love these just as much. Again they’re super comfy, the pattern is really flattering for me, I feel like this pair kind of make my legs and hips look wider but not bigger but it could just be the way I’m standing. You can also see the detail better of how these tie at the front and how that extra bit of material sits and is attached onto the trousers. I’m so gutted I didn’t buy these ones either at the time. I love these – super comfy, super flattering, super fab quality, again light and airy material, comfy on hips and stomach, the cut is all exactly the same. Which actually proves that the cut of these are true to size because sometimes you buy one thing and it fits perfectly and then you get another pair the same or in a different colour and they don’t fit and you’re like ‘Sorry what?’ but these didn’t do that. Double thumbs up.

And now were back on the downward spiral. This again had potential but just doesn’t fit right. I think it’s pretty evident that it doesn’t fit on my boobs properly because the button is popping at the seams. It was also really tight around the whole bust, even around the sides of boobs so it wasn’t very breathable. That’s the only real problem in terms of fit. But I hated how much this dress highlighted my stomach, to some of you it might not even look that bad and when I look at these photos back I admit it doesn’t. But how you feel about yourself in an outfit, no matter how much someone tells you how great you look, if you look at yourself and don’t feel good then that opinion from whoever will honestly not stick in your head. It’s really sad but it’s true. But at the end of the day if you don’t feel good, happy, or comfortable then you shouldn’t try and force yourself to be. But I was disappointed because the length of this dress is great for me because I’m tall and the material of this dress was so soft and felt really nice against the skin. But overall this was still a miss for me it didn’t fit completely right, I wasn’t comfortable, it highlighted the areas I didn’t want highlighted. But if I were to style it and wear it would probably just be a casual summer dress with some white sandals or slip on shoes. Maybe a denim jacket if it was a little chilly. 

Finally we’re seeing the light because I love this skirt. I saw this on the hanger and the mannequin when I went into the store and really liked the look of it. Thought it was different to any other aline skirts I’ve seen mainly because it isn’t denim. I love the denim ones but I cant wear any of them because denim is not giving fabric, it doesn’t stretch, so if something is denim be that jeans, skirts, shorts etc. If it doesn’t fit my body (which is 9 times out of 10) then I just have to accept that it doesn’t fit. So because of that I steer clear of anything that is pure denim because I already know it is not gonna fit me.

 I’ve got big hips, big legs, a big stomach and usually with skirts like this in this material I have a big problem with them always coming up too short at the back and because these are so figure hugging you cant wear anything underneath aside from your underwear because it’s already sucked onto your curves. The way you see me wearing it now is how I comfortably like to wear trousers, shorts, leggings, skirts etc. For those of you who don’t know you have a natural waist and a lower waist. Your natural waist is just above your belly button and your lower waist sits under your stomach. A lot of things in fashion now are always high waisted and thank god because I don’t know how I’d’ve cope in the 2000s with everything being so low cut. I prefer to wear those items on my natural waist because it sits there comfortably but with being tall it does mean that shorts and skirts can sometimes come up very short at the back. So it’s not an issue for me but just something I have to watch. 

I was surprised at how much I liked this. It definitely is very fitted and I think you can tell that and you can see it highlight my stomach slightly but honestly I don’t even care because I really love the style of it. I’d would probably wear it with a top like this that you can tuck in or a crop top or some kind. I only wear crop tops with high waisted items. Also I feel like you’d have to with this because of the top where it ruffles and the tie up bit at the front. Honestly though I think if it didn’t have the tie up bit it might’ve been more of an issue, just like I said with the tie up on the trousers, it takes away that boldness of having a whole body part highlighted by a colour. I would say this was true to size as it did fit very well, the material was thick and good quality, I did feel comfy overall but if I bought it I know I’d have to watch how much it rides up through the day, I’d say I felt content. Like I’d be happy to go out in this if I was really feeling like I want to get my legs out and wear a skirt. As I say I’d style it just like this in the picture, maybe with some sandals or some slip on shoes. I think you could wear this casually or even on a summer night out. Overall, I’d give this one a thumbs up. 

Speaking of denim here we have probably one of the worst items in the whole selection of shops that I tried on. Now firstly let me just say I do not believe that this can be a size 20. I’m sorry but this is absolutely ridiculous. Now obviously this is denim and I literally just said that denim things don’t stretch which you can evidently see in these photos. So I did not have high hopes for these.

But you know what trying an item on in your size and it not completely being for you or not fitting exactly how you’d like is one thing. But trying an item on in what you believe to be your size and it barely even going over your thighs is actually awful. These I couldn’t even bring the material together to do the zip up let alone the button. 


I don’t even care how unflattering these pictures are. Yes you can see my stomach and my stretch marks and you can see how the line on the legs is literally cutting off my circulation. 


The fact that brands think this is okay is just so wrong. I don’t even think these would fit someone who is a size 14 or 16 because these were so ridiculously tight. Now with Primark I am on the cusp of things not fitting me as size 20 is the largest size they do which again is even more infuriating because it says to people who are above a size 20 that you are not allowed to wear our clothes because your size isn’t included in our store. And honestly that pisses me off so much the fact that most brands these days only stock to size 16 and that is without a plus size range which is even worse. Even if they do stock up past that it is still only to size 20. I understand the argument could be they only stock clothes when they look at the amount of the most popular clothing sizes sold across the whole store. But if you do not stock clothing past a certain size you are limiting all those other size ranges and all those other sales and most importantly limiting people to feel good about themselves because you decided to put a stamp on what size you’re “allowed” to be in order to be stylish and fashionable.
These shorts are a big fat no. No amount of cute embroidery could make me change my mind. They don’t fit, they make my weight look like it’s bursting at the seams, just a mess all over the shop.

Next on Primark’s agenda we have another one that again is a bit of a fail. Last year everyone was on the crop top hype and now this year everyone is on the bralette hype. The upper half of our bodies is being covered by less and less material every year. Next year we’ll all be going out in just nipple covers, you just wait. One thing I have learnt over the course of this whole series is bralettes in popular high street stores are not made for girls with bigger boobs. If you wear bralettes and have bigger boobs, where are you getting them from?! I have tried on so many and they all do not fit at all. The look of this bralette is deceiving because you might be looking at it and thinking ‘But Katie it looks great?’ I wont lie, my cleavage looks awesome in this. But this bralette is a tie front – no buttons, no poppers, no hooks. This all relies on your knotting skills and I’m sorry but that is too risky. In the two pictures with the green trousers if you look closely at my boobs you can see where the knot is and underneath you can see where my bra sits. So there’s no way you can wear a bra with this top but get this. I even tried this on without a bra and it still didn’t fit properly. It was still took tight around my boobs, what the hell? Honestly I am too self-conscious to go out without a bra on. I don’t like the feel of it, I don’t like how my boobs look under tops without a bra on (unless its pyjamas), and it’s just not for me. So even if this did fit without a bra I’d still have to give it a no because I’m just not comfortable not wearing a bra out.

Even though it is a no, I did really like the look of these outfits together. I think the top with the skirt is more flattering on me personally as I’m unsure on these trousers. I don’t know if I like them on me or not. These two styles of outfits are really popular at the moment and to be honest I actually do not hate them on me. But I know I wouldn’t be 100% confident wearing them. Perhaps if the top fitted me properly and the trousers were a bit more flattering then I would potentially say this is okay. The overall style is fab but I wasn’t 100% comfortable, it didn’t fit properly, and I just know I’d never have the confidence to wear it out. So this bralette is a thumbs down.

I’m in two minds about these. Ribbed trousers have been a massive trend over the course of the summer because they’re so easy to wear and they’re quite lightweight. I think Primark were one of the first stores on the high street to bring these out and then when they became really popular I saw a lot of other brands bring them out as well. I feel like ribbed material is really iffy on my body. On the item of clothing it gives a bit of texture like you can see on these trousers but I’m unsure whether or not if that is flattering or not. I do have a ribbed playsuit which I really do like but it is a tiny bit more fitted than I am used to but I loved the overall style so I let the ribbed style go for that one. But I just can’t click with ribbed material in trousers and I think it is because of the inner thighs. As a bigger girl my thighs rub together, it ain’t no secret. But due to that sometimes when there is extra material around the crotch area it sits weird on my legs. If you look at the crotch area it almost looks like they’re highlighting the shape of my vagina. Don’t get me wrong vaginas are great but it’s not really the vibe I’m after in a pair of trousers. We’ve already established I find block colours hard to work with but I feel like really light colours, white, baby pink, lilac, baby blue, pastel yellow – any colours like that don’t look good on my legs. I don’t have the slimmest legs and I just feel like lighter colours make them look massive which really doesn’t do the best for my confidence. The saddest thing about this item is this is the first item that I feel like I’m not able to wear whatsoever and not because it doesn’t fit. These do fit and they’re quite comfy but they just physically do not look right on my body. But I would say they are true to size and they’re very comfy, but for myself I don’t feel good in these because there’s just something off about this style for me. It just doesn’t feel right on my figure or my body therefore I’m not confident in these. The obvious way to style these is with a matching crop top in the same material and colour (co-ords have been a super popular style this year) or a t-shirt tucked in like I did with this one here. Or maybe just some kind of standard crop top or crop jumper. So I’m gonna have to give this a thumbs down. I would probably just wear these casually but you could definitely pair this with a pair of heels to dress it up. 

Okay, we’ve had a lot of thumbs down in this undercover shopper experience but I tried this on and my faith was restored. I am in love with this. I love playsuits, but I have to have soft cotton fabric ones with an elastic waist because otherwise they’re either gonna be too tight, not fit, and make me look like a whale trapped in a net. But I tried this on and I cannot get over how beautiful this is. When I tried this one on I was actually with my friend Tash and we both tried it on and loved it. She actually bought this she loved it that much. This is more crepe material so it’s a tad more textured but still extremely comfy and super flattering. You can see where that band is which brings in my waist and then goes out slightly underneath so my hips look nice and round. I love big blow out sleeves, especially belle sleeves. I just think they look so flattering on everyone and they’re much more freeing to wear. This pattern is gorgeous, I love this neckline, it shows a bit of cleavage but not too much. You know what, Primark you’re getting a clap for this one, well done. This has the perfect balance of classy but cute. This one was 100% true to size because it fit Tash perfectly as well and she is a couple of sizes smaller than me I think. I am 100% comfortable in this, I could go out in this at any point and I’d be happy and comfortable. I feel so good in this, this looks bomb on my figure to me. I think you could honestly wear this on any occasion. Out in the day time, a night out, an evening meal, even a wedding or a christening. Honestly I feel like this piece is so versatile. I would probably wear it casually and potentially as a night out outfit with some white sandals or slip on shoes. By far one of my favourite things out of the entire store that I tried on. Well done Primark. 

Now I know what you’re thinking. ‘Katie you were just complaining about ribbed material and now you’re showing us something else with ribbed material… you okay girl?’, I know it’s crazy but let me tell you guys let me tell you. Primark are bring their A game with this one. Okay so ribbed material on the legs for me, a big fat no. But over my boobs, hell to the yes. Anything to make the girls look good because I love my boobs. The difference with this ribbed material is because it is in a knit dress, the material is thicker and I think with ribbed clothing that looks a lot more flattering for me personally. But what I love about this dress is it’s ribbed at the top and then the skirt part is just plain material. I love the long sleeves because it makes it extra snug and cosy, the length on this is fantastic because I don’t wanna be flashing my arse to the world. I love the colour. Oh my god I just love it. This is obviously apart of their more autumn to winter range and I desperately want to go in and buy it. They have a bunch of different colours in these and you guessed it, I want them all. Also, can we take a minute to talk about this little mustard jacket. I was quite feeling it paired with this I wont lie. I really like this jacket because it’ so soft and it’s got silky/ satin material inside so it’ll keep you pretty warm. However I hate what this jacket looks like done up but open just like this looks fab. You could defo wear this jacket with pretty much anything I think. As for this dress I would most likely wear it with tights or leggings and boots of some kind with a jacket depending on how cold it was. 

Another thing to note, this dress was actually a part of Primark’s new and improved size range which I haven’t tried a whole lot from. They mainly brought out these dresses and a massive amount of jumpers in this range and I really want to try it out. I sadly didn’t try on anything else in that range for this section of the series but I might go in a some point and fully test it out to see if it really is new and improved. But overall love, love, love this. I feel so comfortable, so happy, massive thumbs up from me. 

Continuing the green theme here we have another one that is a bit of a fail. I feel like it doesn’t look as bad in the pictures but in real life it was horrible. The main reason I actually wanted to try this on was because I saw Zoella wearing it when she did her release of her Botanics range and we all know how big palm leaves and banana leaves have been this year. On Zoe it looked so good and when she said it was from Primark I was thinking as if and then I tried it on and I was like ‘Sorry what is this?’ 

Again this had potential but the fit is all wrong. The top part of the material is overly loose and you cant adjust the straps so it kept falling down. The middle part where the top overlaps the trousers is meant to be flattering but I feel like on me it’s just not. The trousers around my hips and stomach was too tight and it was a bit restricting on my legs. So I’m gonna go a head and say that this wasn’t true to size, I don’t know what size 20 body they’re making this for honestly. Despite that I didn’t feel bad in this but I didn’t feel good in this. It was just a bit of weird piece but then again jumpsuits are always a struggle for my body type and you’ll see that throughout this series. But if I were to style it as it’s an all in one the work is pretty much done for you. I’d probably just pair it with a jacket of some kind and some sandals. You’d could probably wear this casually in the day or on an evening out or night out etc. But overall, thumbs down. 

Primark sell a lot of trousers at the minute and as you can see I’ve been trying them all on. At the start of summer everyone went a bit obsessed with rainbow things and especially because of pride, people now love the pattern even more for what it is associated with. I love this pattern. I think it is so different and so cool, they also had this pattern in a jumpsuit and a dress which I would’ve loved to have found in my size and tried on. I loved the pattern and the material, it was very silky, but I’ll be honest that was about it. With these I had an idea of how I wanted to look and it just didn’t match up. Which is kinda sad but I can’t lie to myself or to you guys. I’d dislike these more without the tie front bow because you can see the shape of my stomach so clearly in these. And to make it worse it’s got that material sitting really weirdly around my crotch area. I think these are really cool and really extra but they’re just not going to work for me. So sadly these trousers are a thumbs down. But I’d probably wear these casually with slip on shoes. Not sure what specific top but definitely not this one. It’s worth noting this top is not a size 20, this was a 16 I think because I tried these trousers on when I was with Tash but I didn’t have a top to try as I was in a dress so Tash threw me this one to just throw on with them. I like the colour of it but I just really don’t like the style. It is the weirdest crop top ever because it’s got an elastic band around the bottom which just feels weird for how cropped it is. Honestly just a no. 

Our final item in testing Primark’s clothes is another bloody wrap top, my favourite thing ever (can you hear the sarcasm in the words?) 

I think you can see pretty evidently that this was an even bigger fail than the last one. I love the pattern on this, I don’t have many orange coloured clothes so I thought it’d be nice to try and mesh that into my current wardrobe but it is not happening with this item. Okay so on the hanger this look very nice. The sleeves are nice and large and this bit of material you see hanging down at the front was tied together to make a loose bow at the back I think. But to get it on you have to undo that piece of material. One part of that material is on the outside and the other is on the inside and some how your meant to tie those two bits around you and make a bow at the back. Judging by this photo you can tell this didn’t work out. I’m sorry but why have clothing brands got to make their items so complicated?

As if that wasn’t a massive fail alone this also didn’t fit properly. It even had a little loop at the bottom to put a button through but honestly I don’t think it would’ve made a difference. There was not enough material to fit this round my boobs. They are literally right out to say hello in this top, you would not be able to miss them. I love the pattern but hate the fit, hence because it didn’t even fit, as I said I’m so over this wrap top, wrap dress, wrap bloody everything trend. It’s not practical, the items never fit, it needs to go. Brands just stop. But if I were to wear this it would probably be with jeggings or shorts and with sandals or slip on shoes. Most likely casual but could potentially wear on a night out. 

That is it for the Primark shopping experience. Wow I never thought we’d make it. I did actually try on a few more things than this but I picked the top ones I had the most opinions about because we would’ve been here for centuries otherwise. So overall opinions on Primark. For me personally I feel like it’s really hit and miss and you have to take it with a pinch of salt. Weighing up the clothes there were 7 pieces that were thumbs up and 9 pieces that were thumbs down, which includes the ones I wasn’t 100% on. If you’re not 100% on an outfit you shouldn’t try and force yourself to be.  Primark is just one of those stores that makes an insane amount of clothes in all different styles, patterns, fits etc. Which is great as it gives you variety but I feel like particular styles are made for particular body types even though the majority of their clothes go up to size 20. So for example, the majority of their trousers – those green ones, the rainbow ones, the lilac ones etc. They fit but they don’t look good and the way they’re cut doesn’t look good on my body personally in my eyes. Whereas their jumpers are mostly oversized and have a bit more space so they actually fit and are a comfy fit. But because these trousers have the tie fronts and they’re wide leg styled and they have particular textures I feel like I can’t wear long loose fit tops with these because it just looks weird to me. I don’t know it just doesn’t look right. Which means I’d have to wear them with crop tops or tops you can tuck in. That’s fine but sometimes I’m not in the mood to have an item of clothing that accentuates my round stomach because it’s always been a bit of an insecurity of mine. So when I wear crop tops and jeggings or some kind of trousers and skirts or a playsuit that show off my stomach some what just know I’m having a really body confident day that day.

So overall is Primark true to size for my size I’m actually gonna go ahead and say no, it’s not. But am I going to carry on shopping here? Yes because Primark is one of those stores where you just have accept that not everything is going to fit you but you don’t know until you try it on. Which I think is pretty evident from the entire experience. The quality and the price in Primark these days is pretty much on par with New Look if I’m being honest. Not everything is as cheap as it used to be but it’s still not like over priced for what you’re paying for. I’d say the quality of Primark is average to good, again depends on what you’re buying. I’d say Primark is in the middle when you take everything into consideration but I will definitely still shop there in the future.

Carrie Pendle
Gina Ellis
Lauren Morton

During my research I discovered that your body image can change in just two minutes. Yes you read that right, two minutes is all it takes. 

Have you ever looked at yourself in a full-length mirror and wished you looked more like the beautiful people who grace the covers of glossy magazine? If so, you are by no means alone. (Brooks, K, 2016). Body dissatisfaction is more dominant in our society than ever and has now become more known as normative discontent. Which suggests that the majority of men and women, women in particular, accept that dissatisfaction with ones circumstances is “normal.” The majority of people affected by this actually think they are heavier than they are and is a phenomenon know as body size misperception. Which means your mind creates a misunderstanding or interpretation of the reality of what your body is. Too much exposure to this way of picturing yourself could potentially lead to body dysmorphia which is the abnormality in a shape or size related to a specific body type, again dominated by your mind. 

Lucy Densham

In a recent study participants were asked to view images of people that had been digitally manipulated to appear lighter or heavier than they really were. The participants were asked to decide whether these images looked fatter or thinner than “normal.” After just 120 seconds of exposure to these images, the original-sized bodies looked abnormally large compared to the digitally enhanced thinner images, which to the participants were rated as “normal.” The opposite was also true. Exposure to digitally enhanced heavier bodies made the original body sizes appear as skinny. This is where the statement of “chasing the thin idea” comes into play. 

It’s no secret that many individuals are affected by the thin, supposedly ideal images propagated by the media. The connection between social pressures to be thin dictated by images used in this study for example causes feelings of body dissatisfaction. This then increases the risk factor for developing eating disorders such as anorexia. This was first theorised by psychologist Hilde Bruch in the 1970s. Ten years later a study showed the measurements of Miss America contestants and Playboy centrefold models between 1959 and 1979 – these were decreasing due to the media’s movement of “thin is beautiful” rapidly spreading. Kate Moss, one of the worlds most well known English models once stated, ‘Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels’ which is one of the most damaging things I’ve personally ever heard. Not only is that damaging for individuals in general, but for anyone who is aspiring to be a model and looks up to Kate Moss, it clarifies from her line of work that to be a successful and worthy model you should be skinny and that to me is disgusting. If any of you reading this are aspiring to be a model, no matter what your size, do not let the closed mindedness of individuals diminish your dreams and your passions. Diversity in models is valued in today’s society so much more because were pushing for self-love and acceptance. And one of the best things to see in 2018 is brands not just sharing the unrealistic bodies of women and men in their advertising. 

Megan Owens

Despite developing research which confirms the link of social pressures from manipulated images in the media creates risk factors for certain disorders. There’s still very little understanding of the brain mechanisms underlying the perception of our own bodies in relation to what we see on the TV, in magazines, and most recently on social media. 

Since the time of Aristotle it has been known that prolonged viewing of certain stimuli can cause after-effects that alter the perception of subsequently viewed objects. The after-effect often produces an appearance that the neutral stimuli are in a sense of opposite to the original stimulus which the observer was overexposed to. 

In this clip you will experience movement in a particular direction, downwards the motion of a waterfall, this can cause the stationary rocks besides the waterfall to appear to move in the opposite direction that is upwards.

A similar motion of movement is experienced in this clip. The conflicting movement of the spinners forces your brain to refocus on the different movements at different points as you stare at the centre. Afterwards when you’re shown an image of a storm cloud your brain identifies that the image is moving because of the visual illusion you just experienced from the motion of the spinners.  

After-effects are accompanied by a reduction in responsiveness of neurons in the visual areas of the brain. Modern theories propose that the change in brain activity serves to tune our perceptual systems to the environmental conditions. Our perceptual systems are apart of the way we use our brains from when were children. In children, learning occurs from when they respond to a certain set of stimuli or information. In other words a child will always possess a particular perceptual thinking pattern which results in productive learning. This leads to learning through different formats and this develops throughout our lives. This benefits our perceptual memory by giving us the ability to interpret incoming information by reconsigning individuals, categorising them, and by noting the relationships between individuals and those categories. All of this gives our brains a frame of reference for what is normal or expected as determined by our visual diet through our lives. 

Early studies of these affects focused on simple stimuli like movement and colour but recent investigations have shown subjects such as body size and shape can cause similar after-effects. These after-effects could actually transfer others’ bodies to the perception of ones own. This is from viewing the abnormally thin versions of other people’s bodies which caused participants to see themselves as heavier than they were and vice versa. It is likely that these after-effects are the physiological basis of body-size misperception. However, whilst that observation fits nicely with the narrative connecting media exposure; in the real world it also suggests mechanisms mediating the perception of one’s own and other’s body size and shape are overlapping. 

One thing we do know is body image is a complex construct, but a better understanding of these mechanisms will open up a new avenue for a fuller understanding of body-size misperception. A piece of advice for us should be that whilst a healthy lifestyle brings many benefits, a strict diet will not correct the misperception of one’s own body size. Instead the person you see in the mirror may be more effectively beautified by changing your visual diet. Visual stimuli is food for your mind and in this case seeing the unrealistic bodies of men and women should be viewed in moderation, this is key. And of course variety in relation to shape and size is the spice of life. 

[Source: How Your Body Image Can Change in Two Minutes]

Over the weeks of research I asked 18 women to answers 10 questions I had pulled out from that research in relation body confidence, confidence when it comes to wearing clothes, their opinions on their own bodies, their opinions on social media, how they feel about the current self love and body positivity movements, their opinion on the way society views individuals when it comes to fashion and bodies, and how they’ve learned to accept their own bodies. 

In this instalment we’re going to discuss and analyse the questions: 

Firstly, what’s your body confidence out of 10? The answers I received create an average of 6/10 for generalised body confidence in the young women I asked. 

One thing that is interesting to me is all these women in my eyes seem so confident and have incredible figures. But it’s crazy how different someone’s own perspective compares to someone else’s. 

From doing my own research and reading through all my collaborator’s answers I’ve come to the conclusion that sometimes people confuse body confidence with the confidence to wear absolutely anything and get parts of your body out which I really don’t believe is the case. In my opinion I would say it’s about feeling confident in your own skin – physically and mentally. There are definitely things you can do to improve your body confidence over time such as spending time with yourself and your body by doing yoga, being naked in your own space, have a pamper session to treat your skin. Just really look after yourself from head to toe – you’ll feel better about yourself. Even if that feeling is only for a short period of time it will eventually rub off on the way you look at yourself. For myself, I’ve been doing a lot of pamper nights recently to treat my skin which has made me feel so much more confident about myself and has started to help me enjoy parts of my body more than I have in the past.

One thing this research does prove is it doesn’t matter whether you’re a size 8 or a size 20 (as all of the women I interviewed range from sizes 8-20) body confidence has nothing to do with weight. Melanie Murphy and Jessica Brennan are two YouTubers and are also sisters who are very real on their channels. They talk about sexuality, anxiety, depression, periods, sex, relationships, confidence, and many other different topics. They have a series they do together called Teenage Vs. Twenty Something where they discuss similar topics as said above but from two different perspectives because they’re quite a few years apart in age. In that series they did a whole video dedicated to body image and body confidence and one thing in particular they debate is how your body confidence does not latch on to your weight. 

Someone could be so thin and you could be thinking they must be so confident and that they’re so lucky and so healthy. People seem to think if you are over weight you must be so un-confident and you hate your body etc. Also, a lot of people want to change their shape in certain areas of their body and not their overall body weight but you can’t do that because that’s not how each individual body is made. Plus when you exercise or try and lose weight you lose that weight all over your body. You can’t focus it on one area no matter how much exercise you do. 

[Source: Body Image and Body Confidence – Melanie Murphy and Jessie B]

Secondly, does your body weight, type, shape etc make you less or more confident when it comes to wearing certain clothes? The overall consensus is less confident. 

In my opinion fashion is very subjective depending on the person. But there is an issue around this idea of ‘Am I too fat, too thin, too short, too tall, too curvy, too petite to wear that?’

Fashion items such as bralettes, crop tops, jumpsuits, playsuits, mini skirts, certain dresses etc spring to mind, just to name a few. Obviously not every single style in these categories of clothes is going to suit everyone and you wont feel good in every single one of them and that’s okay. You can’t force yourself to like a piece of clothing on yourself no matter how much you liked it on the model, hanger, or mannequin. This outlook of am I too this and that to wear certain clothes is definitely down to the brands themselves. The majority of high street brands still do not stock a wide variety of sizes, I cannot believe in 2018 there are still some stores that only stock up to size 14 or 16 and that is without a plus size range. Whilst that’s infuriating enough what’s more infuriating is some brands don’t show models who are above a size 8 wearing their clothes. But the most infuriating thing of all has got to be when brands use size 10 or size 12 models and claim they’re “plus size.” I’ve seen so many brands do this throughout this year and it makes me sick. It is not only damaging for all women in society, it’s damaging for the woman who is doing the modelling, being branded as plus size when she is clearly not. With behaviour like this being accepted in our society it is not a surprise that the majority of women feel so down about themselves, especially when it comes to their clothing size.

Emily Senatore

I mentioned fashion is subjective; I have items in my wardrobe that I love as a whole but I do have days where I look at my clothes and I think, ‘God no, I’m not wearing that today.’ Even if it’s usually an item I adore wearing. Some days I’ll be loving life wearing a crop top and skirt and then the next day I’ll hate it and want to wear nothing but leggings and an over sized t-shirt or jumper. Therefore confidence when it comes to wearing certain clothes definitely depends on how you feel on that specific day. 

On average I am 50/50 as the way I feel is always subject to change when it comes to wearing clothes. I even have days where I hate the look of a pair of jeggings and a t-shirt and that’s when you know it’s gonna be a bad day. With that said your overall personal style does not completely change. So for example 90% of the time I’d say my personal style is comfy, feminine, and pretty. You all know I’m really into floral patterns and lace detailing. That other 10% I would say is still similar but it’s a little bit edgier, bolder, and consists of more dark toned colours. That 10% is when I fully embrace the sassy queen I am when it comes to feeling good in what I wear and I love it when I’m in that frame of mind. 

It’s important that you shift your focus away from attaching the way you physically look onto your weight because once you distance those two concepts you’ll feel a lot better about yourself. It’s so sad to go through your whole life hating your body because your body is your home. Your body is where you can be at your most wholesome and it’s important to make peace with that because it’s what carries you throughout your whole life. Everything you experience, every triumph, every downward spiral, every good day, every bad day, every smile, every tear, every life changing moment your body experiences that with you. It does incredible things to keep us alive every single day so we can live the greatest life we all possibly can and I feel like we forget about that because of the way our brains tell us that we should value the opinions of other people over our own when it comes to our own bodies. I imagine we all fall victims to this, I know I have and I sometimes still do, but that concept of your body is made to do incredible things for you to the live the life you want to gives me great comfort. I’ve never been super skinny or slim but being the weight and shape I am has never affected my ability to do anything. The only thing that has ever affected me in that way is my mind because of people’s opinions about how you should be, and how you should look, and how you should act, and who you should be. When you’re exposed to all that for a long time eventually your mind believes what it’s being told. You go through this point of where you say to yourself ‘Well everyone is saying that about me so it must be true.’

We all need to stop being so judgemental of one another but more than ever we need to stop being so judgemental of ourselves. This whole idea of “an ideal” or the “thin ideal” isn’t actually real. The ideal for one person will not be the same ideal for another person because everyone is different which means we’re in a constant cycle of wanting what we can’t have. We all need to learn to appreciate each other’s beauty without devaluing our own self-worth and I know that’s hard. That is really hard to do when we’re constantly surrounded by images and opinions of people telling you who you should be, how you should be, what you should be, and what you can do. We always say that people should be allowed to do what they want and wear what they want but then we go and judge people when they do. I’m not going to sit here and say that I haven’t done that because I have. In the past I have judged people for their choices or the way they handled a situation or for an item of clothing they’ve worn, and I’m sure all you reading this have done that as well at some point in your life. But that is not a reflection on them. That’s a reflection on myself and yourself for the way we both view ourselves in relation to all those factors. This doesn’t make you a bad person because were all only human, we’re not built to be perfect. You just have to be aware that everyone is different and there is nothing wrong with that. 

The way we think and feel, our beliefs, our wishes, how we deal with situations, how we get along with other people, how we disagree with certain people, our views about ourselves etc. All of this counts to our mental well being and all of that can affect what we wear and how we feel when we wear it and how we feel about our physical appearance and how we feel in our bodies. Which is why we have to stop chasing an “ideal” whatever that ideal is. 

Have I ever “chased the thin ideal”? I think I have but when I really think about it I don’t think I was chasing the “thin ideal.” When I was younger, probably 14 – 17/18, I think I was chasing for anyone who wasn’t me. I’d always say ‘I wish I was skinner’ because all I’d ever see in magazines were tiny models and female celebrities were always thin. All of the good looking guys in school and college would date girls who were slimmer than me and I think all of that did some damage to my mental health and how I view myself. Obviously at the time I was pretty oblivious to all that because self love and body positivity wasn’t really a thing in my teenage years. And sometimes that way of thinking and those thoughts still creep back into my head which clarifies that whatever affects you mentally, doesn’t ever 100% leave you. But as your grown and you change the point is to acknowledge that those feelings are there but to not let that dominant your own perception of yourself. 

In the next chapter of BORN TO BE we’re going to be discussing, debating, and analysing Reality Vs. The Instagram Age with lots more research to discuss, we’re going to be delving into another beloved brand on the high street and this brand is by far one of my favourite places to shop – leave your guesses in the comments below. More outlooks and opinions from my collaborators, and of course lot’s more inspiring quotes against pretty backgrounds. 

Get ready as from this post on-wards this series is about to get a lot more intense. 

Thank you for reading and I’ll see you next time.