Sunday, 27 April 2014

Review: New Look Maxi Dress

Image (left) © Big Fat Betty | Hi folks. I hope you are all enjoying the improving weather! Maxi dresses are a great choice for sunny days and when New Look contacted me about collaborating, I jumped at the opportunity to review their Inspire Red Floral Print Cut Out Shoulder Maxi Dress, which they kindly gifted to me. The dress retails for £22.99, which is a reasonable price, and it comes in sizes 18-28.

I was first drawn to the dress by the pretty floral print and cut out shoulders, having purchased items with this styling detail in the past and loved it. It also reminded me of many of the dresses that I've bought previously from New Look, which are 100% polyester and have an elasticated waist; I find this fabric to be lightweight and not needing ironing (I don't really iron anything anyway but, well, y'know) and the elasticated waist is great for both comfort and fit.

I opted for a size 22, which has been my usual dress size in New Look for a while although recently I have found that I've been able to size down to a 20. I decided to stick with a 22 on this occasion to ensure a comfortable and 'floaty' fit. The dress was a good fit and I'm glad that I got a 22, as I think a 20 would've been too small. Please do excuse my shoes (which are the Black Embroidered Floral Mesh Ballet Pumps, £15.99, sizes 3-8, also available in white and coral) and tights, I don't own any sandals (yet) and was photographing other things at the same time.

Anyway, I digress. The only downside to this dress is that it is far too long and drags on the floor; at 5'7" I wouldn't expect anything to be too long on me and I'd have to get this dress taken up to be able to wear it out. However, I suppose it is better for it to be too long than too short!

Images (below) © New Look | I've also compiled a complete look around this dress with other items from New Look...

#1 Inspire Red Floral Print Cut Out Shoulder Maxi Dress, £22.99 (sizes 18-28)
#2 Inspire Light Blue Faded Denim Jacket, £22.99 (sizes 18-26)
#3 Wide Fit Cream Laser Cut Two Part Sandals, £19.99 (sizes 4-9, also available in tan)

NB: Prices as displayed online on 27 April 2014

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Love EVERY Body #5

Hi folks. The fifth assignment for Love EVERY Body focuses on our stomach/waist: 'How do you feel about your stomach/tummy? Maybe it bears the marks of carrying a child. Maybe it looks different than it did years ago. Maybe an operation scar has changed the way you feel about it.' 

I have a love/hate relationship with my stomach. I kind of like the squishy softness of it, but then I sometimes dislike the way it looks in some clothes and wish it was more 'streamlined'. Somewhere among the flab I have a waist, and if you pull it all to the front (yes I actually do this sometimes) I'm actually quite curvy/hourglass-like. Sometimes I wish I was curvier/more defined, so that I can be the 'good'/acceptable fat that society wants me to be, but then I get annoyed with myself for thinking such things.

I've got a lot of stretch marks, but either they're not as visible as they used to be or I don't really notice them anymore. They don't really bother me. I've probably got a few little scars, too; I hit myself with an iron once (I don't even know how). I also have a little bit of hair that goes up to my belly button, which used to bother me but not so much now. I don't like my belly button being touched because it makes me feel like I need a wee!

I remember back when I finished school, in the Summer I wore a bikini. I was smaller than I am now, probably around a size 16-18, and was just starting to develop body confidence. Although I did look different back then, I've always really viewed myself as being the size that I am now. It's a difficult thing to explain. Would I wear a bikini now? A high waisted one probably, yeah. That is if I ever went on holiday! Or even to the beach. I don't have a passport and living in London now I rarely see the seaside; not enough to warrant buying a 'fatkini', anyway.

Most of my fat is situated around my stomach and the sides. I'm not a fan of the whole fruit shape thing, but it's the easiest thing to relate to and I still find myself using it; I think if it wasn't for my massive backside I would be an apple, although my shoulders aren't narrow. I don't have much else to say on the subject really...

I kinda like my stomach most of the time these days, maybe I even love it a little.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Fatty Got a Jobby, or Not

Image © Getty Images | Recently I asked on Twitter if anyone had any ideas of fat politics/issues I could write about on the blog. Leah (of Leah XL) sent me a Tweet, saying: "I heard someone genuinely say that they lost weight so they could be taken seriously as a Director! She went through three lots of surgery to get to a happy size. She is successful, but is that right?" Interesting topic, I thought, but I'd need some material to reference, so I started off with a quick Google search ('lose weight to get a job 2014')...

Queue jaw drop. The first result was 'Top diets review for 2014' on the NHS Choices website. Granted the list gives semi-useful pros and cons from the British Dietic Association (BDA), but what on earth is the NHS doing promoting diet/weight loss plans?!

I already know that the NHS practically endorses some plans as, for example, you can get a certain number of weeks and the membership fee for Slimming World via your GP...don't get me wrong, I'm not 'anti' (all of) these things and if it works for you then go for it, but I would expect the NHS to be promoting healthy eating/a healthy lifestyle, not (what are, in my opinion, mostly fad) diets.

Next on my reading list is an article that's making me think that next time someone makes a comment about my weight, I'm going to tell them it's because of my job and see what they say; the article I'm referring to is on the US version of Women's Health magazine's website and is entitled 'The Jobs That Make You Most Likely to be Overweight'. Because, of course, the worst possible thing you could be is overweight; ignoring the fact that you actually have a job in the current economic climate, when many people don't. What's worse is that the article claims that this information comes from a new study in Preventing Chronic Disease...err, pardon?! I am fat, obese, overweight, whatever you want to call it, but I do not have a disease. Obesity is not a disease. Weight is not 'a disorder or structure of function' (that is the Oxford Dictionary definition of disease). Oh wait, don't worry, exercise and diet play a part, too...no ****, Sherlock.

Anyway, I digress. I could go through a million links and pull them to pieces. At the end of the day it's not going to change the fact that society places a great deal of importance on aesthetics. I don't think that someone should have to change their appearance (with the exception of looking 'smart', obviously) to get a job, progress in their career or, well, basically for any other reason than that they want to. But, if I'm being honest, I'm not convinced that people's perceptions will change any time soon. Personally, on the job front, I think being fat is the least of my concerns; being young, female and having pink hair are more likely to go against me than the size of my backside (unless I can't fit in the chair).