Beauty, size what are they to you?

I just want to start of saying thank you to all those who participated in my questionnaire, I really appreciate the honest and open responses that I received. It was really interesting to gather different peoples perspectives of beauty and size and what it means to them. In todays society we are bombarded with so many people telling us what we should look like or what we should aim to achieve and from the results it is clear to see that this has had a major influence on us.

The first question was ‘what do you think is the perfect size to be in clothing?’ The responses to this question both did and didn’t surprise me as the majority of people answered a size 10/12 which is what I used to aspire to be. But the most interesting answers were those that selected the ‘other’ option. The majority of people who answered ‘other’ explained that there is no perfect size as it depends on who you are. This made me smile when I read this as it really does depend on who you are. I’m a classic example of this as a few years ago if you’d have asked me this question I would have said a size 8/10 but now I would say exactly what was said here; it really depends on you as a person and what you feel comfortable with.

The second question was ‘are you happy with your current size?’ Now the responses to this one were slightly disheartening as the majority of people said no. Following on from this question was ‘if said no to the previous question what size would you want to be in clothing? and the majority of people selected a size 12. This supports the responses from the first question about what is the perfect size and reveals that the majority of people aspire to be  that  ‘perfect size’ themselves. I deliberately put ‘perfect size’ in quotations here because as participants mentioned before there’s no such thing, because A size is individual and B how can there be a ‘perfect size’ if shops aren’t consistently producing clothing to the same measurements. I know from my shopping experience I can be a size 12 in some shops and then a 16 in others! Also I’ve often wondered who decided that these specific measurements were going to be a size 12 or size 14. Why does having a 29 inch waist grant you a size 12?

Moving onto the questions about beauty where it was really eye opening. The first question was ‘what is beauty to you?’ The general answers I received were about feeling confident, comfortable and happy with yourself which I would strongly agree with. Confidence is key, everything from body confidence to studying for exams or even going for a job interview. I mean you would’t walk into a job interview with no confidence at all, act all shy and mutter when you’re asked questions, obviously you’ll be nervous, but how can you expect the employer to put their faith into employing you when you haven’t got the confidence to talk to them? This is the same with body confidence how can you expect society to embrace all shapes and sizes when you aren’t confident with the way you look. Everyone has the right to be confident in themselves and more importantly everyone has the right to love themselves.

The next question was ‘do you think you’re beautiful/handsome’ and as expected the majority of people answered no. This is understandable because not many people like to talk about themselves in a positive light. Many people are quick to highlight their negatives but when faced with flaunting their strengths, we kind of go all shy and modest because we don’t want to appear arrogant. My response to this is its okay to admit that you think you’re beautiful. We are ALL beautiful as beauty doesn’t take a specific form. I realise that you wouldn’t necessarily go up to someone and say ‘I’m beautiful by the way’ but maybe when you’re taking those selfies or looking at yourself in the mirror (as come on everyone does that every now and then even if its for squeezing those spots) try and point out the things that you like about yourself as this will not only boost yourself esteem but also boost your confidence.

And lastly the final two questions were ‘would you change anything about your body’ and ‘if said yes to the previous question what would you change?’ There was no surprise here as the majority by far said yes. The most common answer about what you would like to change was generally slimming down and toning up, especially round the stomach area. I myself have had these same thoughts… I need to be slim and have a flat stomach with wash board abs and my bingo wings need to firmer and not wobble like jelly every time I move them. Well my time thinking these thoughts are over as I’ve been slimmer and basically had a flat stomach but you know what it was so hard to maintain and I was so miserable and grumpy all the time because I hardly ate anything and would feel really guilty if I had even a small square of chocolate, that I choose my now size 14 self with a rather large bum and a little pouch on my belly for my food baby. So I may have rolls when I sit down and my thighs may splatter out onto every chair that I sit on but hey ho I get too much enjoyment out of food and more importantly I choose to lead a happy life. This is not to say that my way is the right way by any means as I am a strong believer that everyone is unique and it is just about finding whats right for you and you’re body. There’s no harm in having goals such as toning up or slimming down, but just remember that they have to be realistic and right for you. If you’re happy with the way you are but feel the need to change for others, PLEASE DON’T! Embrace who you are as there’s no one else like you out there  and remember to Be True Be You.

Proof that size means nothing

So the other day I ventured out in the hope of finding some jeans, oh yes I know what you’re thinking the dreaded jeans shop. This always proves a challenge for me due to my wide hips, fairly sized booty but smaller waist because retailers simply don’t cater for this type of shape and I can’t afford tailored prices as my student loan doesn’t stretch that far. I didn’t end up buying any jeans in the end because I just wanted to scope out what retailers had to offer, but I came to the conclusion that A you always have to try jeans on even if they look like they’re going to fit and B size means nothing and you should just buy what fits you and feels comfortable. I went into three mainstream high street stores, New Look, H&M and Topshop tried on 5 different pairs of jeans in different styles and sizes to see what actually suited my body shape and if there is such a thing as a consistent size.

My first stop was New Look and from my previous buying experience at New Look I thought I was in with a good shot… I was so very wrong. First jeans I tried on were just your ordinary skinny jeans in a size 14 and even though they may look like they fit because lets face it they’re on and the button is fastened, these are not the most flattering and definitely not the most comfortable of jeans. My main issue with these jeans was the sagging crotch which would definitely allow my mermaid thighs to rub and cause every girls worst nightmare, chaffage! Now they aren’t supposed to be high waisted so why the long crotch area New Look? They are girls jeans not boys jeans.

Even though the previous pair didn’t suit me at all I decided to try on the size 12 in exactly the same style because ahhh what the heck we all deserve a good laugh every now and then. Here are the results…

I couldn’t even get the damn things on properly (despite owning a pair of size 12 cropped trousers from New Look… mmmm something tells me theres something wrong with the sizing here). So its safe to say these were a no go in both sizes, what a surprise there.

Next pair I tried on were Mom jeans which I absolutely love but find it especially hard to get a pair that actually fit my body shape and feel comfortable. The one thing I find with Mom jeans is that the denim isn’t very stretchy at all and this just doesn’t mix well with my mermaid thighs who need a little extra stretch when sitting down and moving around if ya know what I mean. Despite successfully getting these jeans on the same problem occurred with the crotch area being too long and more importantly my booty felt like it was being strangled. So a no go once again.

On to another pair, these jeans are from the Hallie range at New look which are disco style but like the other pair of size 12 jeans I couldn’t get these done up. Now you’re probably thinking well thats because you need the next size up duhhh, but I just want to show the variant in sizes across shops. It will all make sense by the end I promise.

And lastly these high rise jeans ain’t no high rise jeans on me.

I think it’s safe to say that size 12 jeans in New Look are a definite no no for me and size 14 isn’t much better either. Despite the fact that I own size 12 cropped trousers from New Look which fit perfectly and are my go to trousers on a night out (picture below)…

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Next stop was H&M and it’s safe to say I was a little apprehensive with the way things would pan out in this shop as their sizing is weirdly arranged and written and is often not true to size either.

I was very intrigued to try the first pair on as they are the body shaping jeans that should hopefully smooth and accentuate my features. For me it was sort of a bitter sweet with these jeans as yes they were lovely and comfortable and did actually help to accentuate my body shape, but the waist was too big (you can’t tell in these photos but its the sort of thing when I sit down the trousers would be dragged down by my booty). These were a size 31 that I believe is a size 14 which explains the waist baggage (plus its a regular waist), but I just know that the size 30 would’ve been too tight around the junk in the trunk area and I can’t deal with taking off your trousers at the end of the day and being left with red marks where the stitching has dug in any longer.

Then I tried the next size up in the same style just to scope out H&M’s consistency with sizing, plus they didn’t have any size 30’s on the rack, and in the end I actually really liked this style of jeans but as suspected the waist was too big. I have to say that these body shaping jeans do actually work but my only drawback with them is the regular waist as I would prefer a higher waist to draw attention away from the largest part of my body, sorry booty it just ain’t your time to shine.

But hold on then I tried a size 16 in these super skinny high waisted jeans and I have to say I don’t know what H&M think is a size 16 but it sure ain’t no size 16 I’ve ever come across before. These weren’t a real size 16 or high waisted and if anything the long crotch problem made an appearance again.

Oh and then I decided to try on some jeggings, cross between leggings and jeans, which sounds like my kind of thang right there. I tried on a size 31 with my booty and mermaid thighs in mind but of course the waist was way too big despite claiming to be high waisted. Just because I got big hips doesn’t mean I got a big waist to match! 

And finally just for the fun of it I tried on a size 12 super skinny high waisted jeans and would you believe it I couldn’t get them past my mermaid thighs again… what a shocker!

 

Last and final stop was possibly the most mainstream, expensive but my guilty pleasure high street store… Topshop. Now from what I’ve been told and from my previous experience I believe Topshop have a fairly good reputation with their jeans, the only thing that stops you from buying them is their extortionate high street prices which seem to be ever increasing. Topshop I’m sorry to be a Debby downer but you ain’t no designer shop, your customers don’t have trust funds ya know. Anyway on to the first pair I tried on which were the Mom jeans from the Tall section. I mean you can’t really call it a Tall section, more like a Tall corner as Topshop along with many other high street stores don’t seem to offer many Tall clothing options… thank goodness ankle swingers have made a comeback! Back to the Mom jeans, I mean they fitted but I had the same problem again with the long crotch and strangling booty situation… it just ain’t on.

Next pair were my fav pair of jeans, the Jamie jeans from the Tall section (corner) again. Not only did these jeans actually fit my waist FINALLY but if I do say so myself they accentuated a certain main feature of mine… my booty. They were stretchy and comfortable and were actually long enough, definitely my kind of jeans. If I had enough money they would be in my wardrobe right now!

So after a high with the Jamie jeans I thought I was on to an even bigger win with the Joni/disco pant style jeans as I’ve seen and read loads of good reviews on these style of jeans especially for bootylicious mermaid thigh fashionistas like moi but as you can see below this excitement was short-lived. They’re hideous! They make my body look like a weird dumpling dough ball and trust me I have nothing against dough balls as I like eating them but would rather not look like one if I’m honest. Also ya know another thing I constantly find with high waisted jeans is that they’ll go further up in the front compared to the back so I’m constantly having to pull them up to feel equal, damn you large booty!

Now you might be thinking why are you trying on exactly the same Mom jeans… but I’m not exactly as there’s a slight difference because these ones are just from the standard range and not the Tall section (corner) this time. Why? Well I just wanted to see if there was any difference in sizing apart from the obvious length difference. And its safe to say that there was no difference in fit as once again I experienced saggy crotch and strangling booty syndrome. I think I’m gonna have to give up with Mom jeans at this point and hold onto my current ones that are the only ones that actually fit me.

And finally the last pair of jeans… if you’ve made it this far in the post then I thank you so much because I know this is a rather lengthy piece. Last pair I tried on were the Leigh jeans and oh my goodness what did they do to my booty?! It looks so squished and very uncomfortable, plus as soon as I sit down I just know my trousers would be creeping down with me.

So all in all I’ve learnt that New Look is not the place to shop for jeans and H&M and Topshop are a lil bit iffy but the Jamie jeans from Topshop were a definite winner, if you have £45 to spare anyway. Now I could say the lack of jeans that actually fitted me is just down to my body shape but why should I? Why should I be made to feel like I’m not ‘normal’ and what even is ‘normal’ anyway? Who decided that this is going to be a size 12, size 14 and so on? If we all stopped worrying so much about a silly little number that doesn’t mean anything and doesn’t define you in anyway way then we could all focus on wearing things that actually fit us and ultimately feel comfortable and confident inside and out. As you can see from this post just because I can get something on and button it up doesn’t mean it’s right for my body shape or more importantly doesn’t mean its automatically comfortable. Sizing means nothing nowadays as it varies so much from shop to shop, plus there are so many other factors  to consider like the material it’s made out of, the elasticity etc … You’ve just got to get to know you’re body and what works for you and remember to always Be True Be You.