Category: Body Positivity

Spandex, Feathers and Glitter, Oh My!

Folks it is Labor Day, also known as the unofficial end of summer, and here in Brooklyn that can only mean one thing; West Indian Day Parade! While I am not normally a reveller of the Parkway madness that is playing mass I thought some of those who have never seen the parade, a look at this year’s costumes. I happen to be lucky enough to live on the “warm-up” route for the parade as the bands start pumping up the music and the crowd on their way to the official start line on the parkway.

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Now I tried to keep the images as PG as I possibly could, unfortunately that also meant the best photos could really be included, sucks I know but I tried.

One thing that is undeniable is that as dressed or as undressed as some of the women are, you have to admit seeing all these women of all color, shapes and sizes, strutting their stuff under the HOT sun (if you happen to be Jamaican -H for accurate translation, ha ha ha!) is inspiring, so take a lesson and ring out the summer with confidence!

Until next time,

Sabrina

 

 

 

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Trending: #StopTheBeautyMadness

Ladies, what would you give to finally reclaim your body, age, skin from the grasp of the clutches of the world we call fashion? Would that kind of power and confidence change you? Would you change yourself in order to gain it?

What if I told you that you didn’t have to change a single thing about yourself physically, and all you had to do was just put fingers to keys and look at how they world and others like yourself are trying to change its self?

Would you spread the word in order for others to have that same power?

Has your curiosity been peeked? Great read on!

For those of you who haven’t heard I would like to introduce you to the #StopTheBeautyMadness campaign made up of a series of advertisements illustrating a different “madness”. The project, gives a voice to all of us to finally say, ENOUGH with impossible beauty standards that we never feel we can measure up to and have been literally, killing ourselves to achieve.

And while there are some who might see this as just another group of “fat” women condoning obesity, or whatever other crap the nay-sayers are spewing this week. You would be well informed to know that NO Stop The Beauty Madness does not only expose the issue of the larger waistlines but also; those who are naturally thin, ageism, and racism. So get your facts straight and support an amazing note worthy cause.

Don’t forget to check out the campaigns website for more information on ways to get involved and sharing your voice with this amazing group and get connected socially!

This hopefully won’t be the last you read about this project here at The Un-Life, I’m hoping that I might get the chance to have a guest blog or interview with them myself, here is hoping that it works out!

*featured image sourced from #stopthebeautymadness home page*

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Better Late Than Never; ELOQUII & Redbook Event

Yes, I know that I am soooooo late with my account of the ELOQUII and Redbook’s private shopping event in celebration of Full Figured Fashion Week but it is as they say, Better late than never right? And granted there may be dozens of other posts about this on various sites you never got the chance to hear it from me now did you?

Speaking of late, I was late to the event, of course all because I had to go to work that day! (Damn you insufferable need of money!) Which caused some technically issues with wardrobe for the event (Another damn you to Companies Code of Conduct rules stifling my fashion expression!) After wracking my brain for what to wear to the of it and carry during the long day at work, I settled on the Alice & You Grid Print Shift Dress via SimplyBe that I got at the #ShopandSwapNYC event the week before. Talk about great timing.

The event was held in the penthouse suite of The London Hotel in the heart of the tourist central aka Midtown Manhattan and while that can be a nightmare at the best of times traversing the over crowded streets full of sky gazers in the summer heat with multiple bags in 4 inch sling back wedges was a whole new level of tiring. But thankfully I reached without causing permanent damage to myself or any tourists so I would count that as a successful journey!

Reaching the pent house level of the hotel I was pleasantly greeted by members of the event team and was directed to enjoy taking a look at the samples from the ELOQUII’s Line as well as the bar, tarot readings and manicure’s. After snagging myself a refreshing drink from the bar, and navigating through the crush of the fabulously dressed, I headed up to the second floor to see if my interests could be piqued by the line.

That’s where I found it, my fave piece from the entire collection available for viewing, the Studio Embellished Artisan Jacket which is available for purchase on the ELOQUII site. The jacket stuns with its funky print and edgy embellishments, I’m a sucker for metal hardware on anything! Who knew I was such a pro a pattern mixing the lightweight jacket is perfect for early summer in the city and took my outfit from school girl prep to artist chic! This piece is a must-have for my wardrobe!

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Artisan jacket/ Tunic Dress

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Necklace: Old H&M/ Lippy: Ted Gibson Beauty in OLAN

It was great getting to meet everyone from the brand and all my fellow bloggers and plus size models. It was definitely event not to be missed and if you did don’t worry there will be more to see! Of course don’t let that stop you from heading over to ELOQUII to check out all of the other awesome items.

featured image for this post c/o ELOQUII

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Keep Your Comments to Yourself; I’m Eating

We have all been there, especially just after New Years, with our weight-loss and/or fit goals with dreams of that firmed up summer body on the horizon; the countless reps at the gym and meals consisting of rabbit food and bird seed. Let’s be honest no matter if your just looking to tone up or working towards dropping some significant weight, it’s hard work and you are going to need all the support you can get in order to reach and maintain your goals. Or maybe your on the other side where you haven’t committed to loosing weight and are completely content with your body the way it is, which is your right. But sometimes family and friends (who I honestly hope intend well) can cause more harm than good with their comments and questions. Here are a few, comments and questions that I encountered (still do sometimes) that, we could possibly all live without:

1. Should you be eating that?: So you have made your decision to make healthy eating changes and are joining sitting down to eat with a group and decide to treat yourself to some thing and then WHAM! this question comes out of no where to blind side you right before you can even lift the spoon/fork to your mouth for that first bite.

I don’t know why but every time some has asked this particular question it is always accompanied with a look of deep concern. So when you respond with a look of irritation, they always respond with “I’m sorry, I was just asking just trying to help you out” I don’t need your help, thank YOU very much. I got this. I’m grown I know what I can eat and I know what I need to do. So just sit over there and mind your own damn lettuce! Another variation of this question to be weary of is Are you allowed to eat that? And the same response applies!

2. Why don’t we just share? My sisters and I might be the only people in the world who find this particular question not only insulting but irritating as well but still there is no need for it. As children when ever we went out to eat, no matter where it was, will looking at our menus my mother would ALWAYS ask us all what we were getting and then suggest that we split it with her. My mother has dealt with weight issues for as long as I can remember and for just as long she has been constantly monitoring her children eating habits, commenting on our weight and trying to put us on diets. Thanks for the body issues Mom!

No, how about we don’t share? How about we both get our own dishes and if we feel too full to finish them take them home with us (that’s why they have doggie bags, at least if you aren’t in France) I don’t want or need you shaming me about what I’m eating. The reason I am ordering this is because I intend to eat ALL of it, I may if I choose, offer you a bite but I’m not a kid and there is no reason for you to push your hang-ups onto me, thank you very much!

3. Wow you finished all that already? Really?
There is something just fundamentally wrong with this question for me. I mean if my plate is clean then it must have gone somewhere right? I don’t understand some people’s need for mentioning it. All it is a subtle jibe into the side of the person who probably just enjoyed a delicious meal. There is no need for the commentary, this isn’t the Olympics! It is the shock and awe or maybe slight disgust in their voice that really grates. Even if you are model thin or a plus sized people always have something to say about the quantity and speed by which you eat.

4. Is that all your eating? It is as though people can never be satisfied. I encountered this question a lot while I was going through my weight loss, when I had significantly cut my calories and was mainly eating veg and lean proteins. I have also heard people saying this to thin people as well so I figured we could level this one across the board.

Why are your eyes just all in my plate? I know my own body and this is all I want to eat, maybe I don’t like the food here, maybe I had a big lunch, or maybe I’m making some changes in the way that I eat. All you need to know is that this is all I’m willing to commit to for the moment and if I should decide to have more I will do so! Of course on the opposing side there is always the, I think you had enough which I couldn’t even begin to tell you about.

There is a saying in Korean that goes something to the tune of “You don’t disturb a dog while it’s eating” that has never run more true than in the instances where I have been barraged with comments and questions like these. Am I less worthy than that proverbial? Can I not eat in peace without commentary, notations and censure?

If so, then Let’s Just Not Talk While I’m Eating.

What if any questions have pissed you off during a meal? Share, Comment below and let’s start the discussion on Food Shaming!

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How to Look and Feel Confident in Clothes?

Here is another question I found on my new favorite site XoJane, this one from a young woman trying to figure out the basics of dressing to impress when your body type may be less than impressive:

I need help managing my image. Externally, I mean. Internally, I’m happy with how I “look,” so to speak, but externally, I feel like a total slob. It might sound a little arrogant, but I’d like if my appearance, fashion-wise, could be as cool as I think I am…
The problem is, I’m totally clueless about dressing myself. I know what looks good on other people, however when it comes to my own clothes, I always find myself unsatisfied. My body shape is kind of odd in that I’m a bit taller than average, slim, and very top heavy. I don’t feel comfortable in tops that show off my cleavage, nor in bottoms that reveal too much of my long legs. I also dislike baggy clothes, or clothes that cover up too much. No matter what I’m wearing, either I feel like I’m being unprofessional and revealing too much of my body or unfeminine because I’m completely covered up in something unflattering.
The clothes I’m most comfortable in are skinny jeans and men’s white undershirts: in that sort of outfit, my legs get accentuated a little, and the curves on my chest are neither completely invisible nor directly in anyone’s face. But I know I can’t wear those clothes out, and to be honest, I’m a little embarrassed of them. I want to look like a put-together, confident woman. My clothes don’t do me justice, and it’s completely my own fault.
I don’t really like accessories, make-up, or cute hairstyles. I’ve always been pretty tomboyish, in the sense that I don’t like to spend too much time getting ready; I’m definitely a throw-it-on-and-go kind of girl. I like dresses and skirts, but I feel like they show too much of my body, so I can’t really wear them. I also like to feel like I can run if I need to (what if there’s a spontaneous butterfly that needs chasing?), so skirts that are too long or too tight are no good for me.
To me, my body is a very private thing. I love showing myself off to my partner, but I don’t want the world staring at me and seeing too much. At the same time, I want to look the best that I can, and I know that at this point I just don’t. How can I dress myself better? Please give me some advice.

My Answer:

Despite you saying at first that you are “happy with the way you look” it doesn’t really come across as such in the rest of your statement, there is just a whole lot of negativity going on in there that I think you may want to re-evaluate. We all know that we are our own worst critic don’t be too hard at your reflection in the mirror.

Now remember that there are parts of everyone’s body that might not be “ideal” I mean come on not even the Human Barbie naturally has the perfect body and not everyone has the means or conviction to go under the knife. So how do people do it? How do they manage to put themselves together day after day as they go out to face the world? Fashion, which doesn’t mean that you need to stalk the runway or buy pricey duds but it does mean learning about what works for you and your body.

You say that you are top heavy with long slim legs, next you go out shopping try on the popular Peplum tops to pair with your favorite skinny jeans and a cute heels or flats. It is an easy grab-and-go addition to your wardrobe and what it also does is create balance and a feminine shape for your body.

Peplum Top from French Connection
Peplum Top from French Connection

Another item that you might want to explore is the A-Line midi skirt. It too with give you a fuller bottom half as well as give you some modesty while still being comfortable and easy to wear matched with a Graphic tee and a pair high-top All Stars or light loafers with a leather jacket.

Image c/o collegefashion.net- Outfit Inspired by Rachel
Image c/o collegefashion.net- Outfit Inspired by Rachel

The point is you can’t be afraid of trying new things. Each time you go shopping make it a point to try something that you wouldn’t normally go for. I mean what is the worst that can happen? You put it on and you don’t like it? Fine take it off and try something else, no biggie! Also if your shopping with a friend bring someone who is supportive of you, will give you an honest opinion and whose style you admire. So leave your man at home and work it out!

Your style should always say something about you, and why should it say anything but “I am fabulous, confident and I make this look easy!”

Don’t forget to check out xoJane for more questions like this and other fun and informative articles!

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Is Body Positivity Even Possible?

So in my search for inspiration for posts for The Un-Life, I ran across xoJane’s advice column, where they allow the readers to answer/advise, and thought that I would weigh in on the discussion.

The Question:
I’m 18 and three weeks ago I got a breast reduction. I was overjoyed going from a 32H to a 32D (or thereabouts), but after the initial shock of a lighter load and a higher rack wore off, I become increasingly disillusioned with my body. I was never an exceptionally chubby kid, but for whatever reason I was teased for my weight starting in preschool. This, coupled with a family who decidedly never complimented my appearance (I think they did it out of love. You know a pretty-is-not-everything kind of thing? They’ve always praised my intellect, creativity, etc) left me feeling unmentionably ugly and fat. I experimented with eating disorders in middle school, and eventually worked my way out of it, but was still left with the feeling that I was horribly unattractive. I’m only 5’3″ and weigh 135 pounds–which I realize is not overweight at all, but I carry most of my fat in my stomach, leaving me with a pooch that my mom sometimes says makes me look pregnant. In the beginning, it was only stomach I hated but as I’ve gotten older its spread to my pasty skin, my round baby face and lack of cheekbones, my smile in pictures, the blackheads on my nose, even my toes. I tried to buy new clothes post-reduction but they seemed to highlight every one of these features. The majority of my friends seem have grown into beautiful, womanly, confident, semi-adults. I on the other hand feel flabby with the insecurities of a preteen. I am wondering if body positivity is even possible or if I should stop deluding myself that I will ever be pretty (or moreover, feel pretty) and try to focus on other, more important parts of myself? When I asked my mom for advice she just told me to go on a diet and workout more.

My Answer:

The first thing to realize is that Body Positivity, is a journey, FOR EVERYONE! Not only for those who are on the heavier side but also for those “semi-adult” looking friends who you are comparing yourself to, and that is where you should start; by NOT comparing yourself! The human body is a varied and wonderful thing and should be honored as such!

I found myself in a similar place after losing a significant amount of weight and instead of enjoying the new body that I was in I was standing in front of the mirror pinching, poking and criticizing the areas that I felt just weren’t “good enough”. Which led me to burying the body I had worked so hard to achieve under layers of clothes and doing the best that I could to go unnoticed by others.

But what is good enough? The women on the cover of magazines? Hell, they don’t even look like that! With the amount of articles online about #photoshopfails in popular ads I think it is about time we stop fixating on those images for standards for own bodies. Be your own standard of beauty. You are uniquely and beautifully you!

Alright enough of my preaching. Here is what I suggest, start small: everyday find something that you Do like about your self. Maybe it is the color of your eyes or the shape of your mouth if so, slap a fierce lipstick on it! Start building confidence from there. Be kind to yourself, you don’t have to love everything but you have to start liking something!

Look for Inspiration! Use the internet as a tool to build yourself up start reading body positivity blogs (or start your own!) that detail loving the body your in and being unafraid to disregard societies rules for what can/can’t wear or should/shouldn’t look like! I feel talking to others as well as surrounding yourself with positive people who understand (sympathetic/empathetic) where you are coming from will definitely help also wither that is a professional or a friend. It doesn’t hurt, I promise!

If you still feel like you would like to make some changes with your start incorporating healthy habits into your daily routine; eat healthy, drinking more water and moderate exercise will not only having your looking “better” but feeling better as well.

All in all, you are not hopeless, Body Positivty is very real and obtainable but the road to getting there all starts with you!

To see the original post, the comments readers left in response, and other questions like this visit XOJane

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When Weight Stops Being the Issue

In today’s media there are countless images upholding the ideals of beauty. But for most of us around the world, those ideals portrayed in mass media do not reflect what we see around us nor what is in the mirror. But media has some options for us to “fix” what is “wrong” with us too; from quick-fix pills to fad diets and beyond. We have been led to believe that if only we comply with the ideals of beauty we too can be happy and successful.

You too! Can go from this:

To this:

WHAT A LOAD OF BULL!
The truth is, that only way your weight contributes to your happiness and success in life is if YOU let it! And you can take that to the bank.

And this is a lesson I had to learn myself, the hard way. At my heaviest and most “miserable”, I would find myself thinking, “that if only I was skinny then I would have a boyfriend or more friends, I would be beautiful, people would just like me etc.” and so one day I decided, that I was going to seriously commit to losing the weight and I did it! But I will tell you, after shedding almost 1/3 of my weight (about 70 lbs) no boyfriend magically appeared nor did any new friends. I was still the shy, awkward girl who preferred reading and Korean dramas to meeting people, that I was before I lost the weight. Same person just in a smaller package.

So that got me thinking, What if the Weight wasn’t the Issue? and what a scary thought that was because for so long my weight had been the great “enemy” standing in the way, to me frolicking in the sun with all my bffs. What the hell? does that mean there is something actually wrong with me? GASP

That isn’t what I had signed up for! I was just supposed to loose the weight and then be happy! Where did this self-examination step come from! Nuh-uh!

But all kidding aside, this is not to say that I regret losing the weight because by doing so I have gained so much from losing; I am more comfortable in my skin, my confidence grows everyday to try new things and see new places. I have had the chance to start learning more about myself; how people perceive me, how I perceive myself, and how want to be viewed by myself and by others.

The main take-away from all this is; if you want to lose the weight, that’s great! I applaud you!

But realize this:
1. You are beautiful/handsome, as you are!
2. You are not only worthy but DESERVING of love and all the things your heart desires, not matter what size jeans you are wearing!
3. There are no limits to where life can take you, as long as your get out of your own way!
4. It is not your duty to take on other people’s crap, misguided notions and/or prejudices BUT you can take on the duty of proving them all wrong!

When Weight Stops Being the Issue then we can start to figure out what really matters and start making ourselves the change we wish to see in the world around us.

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Fattitude: A Body Positive Documentary- Fighting Against the Haters

Recently, (as in the weeks leading to the creation of this blog) I have been introduced to wonderful world of Body Love and the Body Positive Movement. As someone who has struggled with her weight all her life, I can honestly say that this “movement” (some reason calling it a movement sounds wrong, why haven’t we women been loving our bodies, just as they are?) has been a long time coming and I wish I had known about it years ago. But have no fear I know about them now and I aim to join their fierce and fabulous ranks! That’s why when I saw one of my fave bloggers The Militant Baker posted on twitter today about Lindsey Avrill and Viridianna Lieberman’s project and the just plain ole nasty hate it had been receiving online I just had to spread the word too.

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What is this FATTITUDE project?
According to the documentary’s kickstarter, Fattitude is a feature-length independent documentary that exposes how fat hatred permeates our popular culture, spreading the message that fat is bad and in turn forwarding the idea that being cruel, unkind or downright unjust to a fat person is acceptable behavior. Since announcing the project Avrill and all those associated with the project have been bombarded with cyber bullies that have gone unnecessarily as far as harassing their families after being reported for abuse on Facebook and Twitter.

If you doubt for a minute that fat discrimination does indeed exist then read Avrill’s account on what has happened since announcing the project here and here If that isn’t enough just go to your favorite search engine and type in: “Fat people are/aren’t” and see what pops up in the search guide.

Ways to Help

1. Donate to the Kickstarter campaign. Every contribution counts to getting this project funded! If you can’t give, send the page along to others who might be able to!

2. Like their page on Facebook and invite your friends to do the same!

3. Spread the word through your own social media, Tweet it, Like it, Pin it and whatever else everyone out there is doing today!

Let’s stop the hate and support a good cause whether if it’s through donations or just by spreading the word. Everyone deserves the chance to love themselves!

FYI: I am in no ways connected to this project, just doing my part to support a good cause and spreading the word!

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