4/29/13

PART 3: BODY IMAGE AND DRESSING FOR YOUR BODY TYPE

I’m back again for the last part of my body image series! Here are part 1 and part 2, just in case you missed them. A big problem, I feel, is that women don’t feel comfortable in their clothes because they are not dressing for their body type. I’m guilty of this too! I see something in the store that looks really cute on the rack, but then I get it home and it does not look good on me. It’s frustrating. Finding out what looks good on you is a process, it takes time to learn. Here are a few tips that I can give you  about dressing for your body type.

1) A good base. One of the most important things that a lot of women forget about when getting dressed is what undergarments they are putting on. Finding a good base, whether it’s a bra and panties or a slip, can eliminate a lot of problems in the end outfit, such as panty lines, extra straps showing, etc.

2) Fit is key. It is essential that you buy clothes that fit you! If something is too big or too small, it’s not going to look right. Just because something is on sale, doesn’t mean you need to buy it, especially if it is not your size! (I’ve been guilty of this in the past…)

3) Pay attention to proportion. A lot of putting together outfits involves getting the proportions right. Making your legs look longer by wearing high-waist bottoms is a rule that is universally flattering, for example.

4) Be comfortable. It does not matter what you wear if you are not comfortable in it. People can tell, believe me. If you’re not comfortable, it will show and your self confidence will suffer because of it…and self-confidence is essential to pulling off outfits!

5) Dress for yourself, not for others. I really believe that expressing yourself through your personal style is really important. If you’re dressing for someone else, then you’re not expressing yourself and you’re probably not comfortable either. Wear what you like, not what others like!

It’s really hard to tell others what to wear without seeing it on them. I have friends who come to me and ask me if they think a particular piece of clothing will look good on them and I usually tell them to try it on or send me a pic of them in it. So that’s one more piece of advice: Try anything and everything on! You will never know if it works or not unless you try it on. Over time, you’ll learn what looks good on you and what doesn’t and it’ll get a lot easier. I found a really helpful guide (posted below) that I believe will help. I know it’s hard to put everyone’s body type in a limited number of categories, but this is just something to help you start out.

WikiHow

So what do you guys think? Do you find the chart helpful or do you think it’s too broad? Do you have any advice on dressing for body types? Let me know!

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4/26/13

PART 2: BODY IMAGE AND BEING “HEALTHY”

I hope you read my first post in the 3-part series on body image, but if you didn’t, you can find it here. In this post, I want to talk about body image and being “healthy”. You see how I put those quotation marks around “healthy” and my reason why is because healthy can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Some think being healthy means being skinny and some people think they’re healthy even if they’re not skinny. I think it all depends on your diet and your habits. Everybody’s different. You are different and you should love yourself for those differences.

Chicago Now

Instead of focusing on weight and looks, we should be focusing on health. Women, especially young girls, are always focused on losing weight and being “skinny”. I think that adults don’t realize the effects that the media has on young girls relating to body image. Today, more than ever, girls are being pressured to keep this certain body image (you know which one I’m talking about…that Victoria’s Secret body that every girl aspires to have) in their mind and over time, it has been causing more havoc than ever before. Here are some statistics from Chicago Now that are a bit frightening:

80% of children who are 10+ years are afraid of being fat

more than 50% of 10-year old girls wish they were thinner

8 out of 10 women are not happy with their reflection

approximately 1 out of 100 women in the US binge and purge in order to lose weight

And the most important (though not shocking) statistic is: The current media ideal of thinness is achieved by less than 5% of the female population. I have a personal story about a family with whom my family are friends with. The mother, father and 3 daughters were decently active, but at very young ages, the mother would tell the daughters that they were starting to look big and that they needed to lose weight. However, she did not encourage them to exercise. The end result was that 2 out of the 3 girls became bulimic. Isn’t that sad? In my opinion, girls need to be taught at a young age that being healthy is the most important thing! Everyone, young and old, should be eating foods that are good for them and exercising! I recently started dieting and exercising regularly (due to major weight gain over my college career), and I have never been happier and the hard work is paying off. I really wish that my parents would have instilled healthy eating habits and exercising habits when I was younger because I would have been a lot better off…but hey, better late than never! Anyways, I’d like to share the things and some advice that have been helping me.

#1) It will NOT be easy, but the outcomes are totally worth it. Honestly, getting into a good routine of eating healthy and exercising has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but there have been so many upsides to doing it! Besides getting healthy, doing these things have really improved my mood and positivity. Bad food=bad mood and exercising helps you to blow off a lot of steam. The combo of the 2 will make you look like there are sun rays emanating from your face…ok, well that was an exaggeration, but it really does help. A lot.

#2) Plan, Plan, Plan. One of the most important things I started doing was planning things out more. I plan my exercise routine, complete with times and everything, because if I don’t, I won’t end up exercising. Also, planning out meals is really important. I sit down on Sunday and plan out meals and write a grocery list. If I don’t do this, I’ll end up going out to eat or eating food that I shouldn’t be eating.

#3) Save the good stuff for special occasions. I get some baaaad cravings for some baaaaad stuff sometimes. It’s inevitable, it’s going to happen. My rule of thumb is moderation. It’s totally ok to go out to eat or have that ice cream bar, but in moderation. Save that stuff for the special occasions, like when you’re visiting with family or an anniversary, things like that.

#4) Measure yourself. I hear of a lot of women getting discouraged because they are not losing the weight that they think they should. Weighing yourself alone is not always a good way to gauge how fit you’re getting. You really should measure yourself, around your bust, waist, hips, and legs especially. Even though you may not be losing weight, working out can make you gain muscle, which weighs more than fat. When that muscle replaces that fat, it may even out the weight or even make you gain a little weight, but you will be losing inches.

#5) Switch it up. Doing the same thing over and over again gets really boring and monotonous, in turn making me not want to work out. Switching up your exercise routine and doing different things will make it more fun and enjoyable. I personally, like to do weight training twice a week, run and do the glider. Every once in a while, I’ll go to a class at the gym. I really enjoy working out when I’m not doing the same things everyday.

These are just things that I’ve realized and have really helped me throughout this process of getting healthy. So, what do you guys do to get “healthy”? What do you do to keep your workout routing from getting monotonous?  What do you think about the media and body image? Do you agree with the statistics? I’d love to hear your advice and thoughts on it.

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4/19/13

FAVE LOOKS OF THE WEEK 04/12-04/18

H-m-jeans-oasap-sunglasses-ahaishopping-blouse

001: Borjana of Bees Wonderland

Shopruche-dress

002: Signe of Signe Roo

Chicwish-shorts-chicwish-blouse

003: Melanie of Le Blog de Mok

Zara-shoes-fashion-pills-pants-fashion-pills-top

004: Fadela of Fadela Mecheri

Sky-blue-urban-outfitters-shirt-heather-gray-h-m-sweatshirt

005: Her Chictopia Page

Louis-vuitton-dress-pollini-glasses

006: Eleonora of JouJou Villeroy

Tawny-etienne-aigner-boots-navy-polka-dot-bdg-jeans

007: Gabrielle of Look Sharp, Sconnie

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PART 1: BODY IMAGE IN THE FASHION INDUSTRY

Body image. It’s a controversial topic. It’s really important for us as human beings to have a good mental representation of ourselves. However, a lot of people believe that the fashion industry is leading them in the wrong direction. Instead of promoting good body image, they push being “skinny” and really thin models, which, everybody knows, is not how the world works for the average person, especially the average woman. Pushing these unrealistic standards makes women feel like their bodies are not good enough or skinny enough, which can be very unhealthy, mentally and physically.

Dr. Sharma

In an article by Fox News, they reveal the unhealthy and even dangerous methods that models use to lose weight. Fashion model, Kira Dikhtyar told Fox News that models use cigarettes, laxatives, diet pills, Adderal, and many other things to aid their weight loss. She has even heard stories about some modeling agencies that encourage their models to use drugs, such as cocaine or speed, to speed up metabolism and suppress hunger. When I read this article, I was shocked. Being a fashion merchandising major, you hear a lot of things about the fashion industry, some good and some bad. I knew about models eating cotton balls to fill their stomachs, but I did not know it went to this extent. It’s shocking. In another article on The Business of Fashion website, the editor Imran Amed brings up a really good point: if designers are trying to sell their clothing to women, who on average is 5’6” and curvy, why do they display their clothing on stick thin 6’ tall women? It just doesn’t make sense.

House of Troika

But alas, don’t write off the fashion industry yet. There have been advancements towards promoting positive body image. Women’s Wear Daily posted an article saying that Vogue publisher Conde Nast is taking measures by having the 19 editors of the international Vogues sign an agreement to promote healthy body image in their magazines and even in the fashion industry. Part of this agreement includes not working with models who are underage or models who appear to be unhealthy or who appear to have an eating disorder. Will it be abided by and to what extent? I guess you will have to decide for yourself next time you take a look through Vogue. 

Blossom Blog

Another important pusher of positive body image have been bloggers. I recently came across a plus-size blogger, Nadia Aboulhosn, whose blog I absolutely love. She is a great role model for real girls. She’s motivated and hard-working and you can see that it pays off. In the style section from the Huffington Post, she wrote an article about body image in the fashion industry and I believe it’s worth reading. She gives four pieces of advice to young people:

1) “Focus on what you like rather than what you don’t like.”

2) “Don’t compare yourself to others.”

3) “Don’t give other peoples opinions importance.”

4) “Disregard the media.”

So how do you guys feel about this issue? Do you agree that body image is a problem in the fashion industry? Do you think that Vogue will stick with their agreement of the promotion of  healthy body image? Do you agree with Nadia’s advice? Do you have any good advice yourselves? Let me know what you think!

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