People who know me well would unanimously agree that I am a super laidback person when it comes to personal style. I
used to still do end up choosing comfort over style and most of the time, dressing up would mean putting on a t-shirt, jeans and a pair of boring flats. I also used to play it safe by opting for all black, errrthing black as I was conditioned to think that I would look slimmer in dark clothings. Being bigger than a typical Malaysian girl also made me crazy insecure about dressing up because it was so effin hard to actually find something that fit and look fantastic on me at the same time!
On rare occasions when I did find something that fit perfectly and made me look good, I would have to bear the excruciating torture of being uncomfortable in that attire. I swear, I have had my share of sucking in my tummy the whole time and sitting down in a very awkward slant to avoid tearing the zipper apart! Due to the lack of confidence that stemmed from all the horrible experiences I have had, I managed to convince myself that I should just stick to my old & unshapely clothes.
It was only when I discovered the delightful world of curvy / plus size fashion that I realised how tough I was on myself for constantly being ashamed of my body! Watching beautiful curvy / plus size women doing all the things I had always wanted to do but was too ashamed to inspired me to make the change. I took baby steps to creep out of my comfort zone to try new styles, learnt tips and tricks to style my body shape and invested in clothes that made me look great.
Currently, I am trying to live a life of wholesomeness (is this even a word?), find happiness in little things that matter and to be more body confident. So i thought, why not share my tips to inspire someone today!
Without further ado, here are 5 steps I took to help me find my style and feel more confident at the same time:
1. COMFORT vs TREND
With Instagram being the ultimate platform for fashion inspiration and latest trends, it is important to always remember that comfort is key to confidence. Personally, I could never wear those Instagram cult crochet bikini tops that barely cover anything (although i do own one, thanks to Instagram) because we don’t want no Tatas falling out now, do we?
On the other hand, does anyone else feel the same kind of affection for culottes as I do? Culottes was an accidental purchase that changed the way I thought about flared bottoms, having always heard fashion advice to stay away from split skirts as they enhance the hips and butt! Boy, were they wrong! Culottes not only looks great on Curvies, the added advantage of air flowing between your legs is just wonderful, especially in this humid heat!
So yes, I am all for the latest trends and I encourage every person out there to experiment with new styles, get adventurous with colours and wear whatever the hell you want, just be comfortable in what you wear because there is nothing more awful than to see someone constantly tugging her mini skirt to keep it from riding up!
2. INSPIRE YOURSELF TO LOVE YOURSELF
This was a stepping stone for me to start loving myself and accepting my body. It was quite emotional for me as I realised that for years, I was doing so much harm to my personal wellbeing due to my weight issues. All the courageous interviews of curvy superstars like Ashley Graham allowed me to rethink the concept of beauty. Speaking of Ashley Graham, she is my numero uno in role models because she is not only a smokin’ hot size 16, she also exudes so much charisma that put other more popular models to shame!
For those of you who are struggling to find a way to love yourself unconditionally, go do some research. Find inspirational bloggers / influencers that you can relate to for their similarities and what you are looking for, follow them on social media, and enjoy getting inspired! Read on how they deal with their body / weight issues, how they dress their problem areas and most importantly, admire all the beautiful people that come in all shapes and sizes! I guarantee you will somehow feel better about yourself because personally, I began to feel like I was not alone anymore, dealing with all these big girl problems and that it was absolutely unnecessary for me to hate myself. Also, do yourself a huge favour and stop following social media pages and reading magazines that make you feel shit about yourself. Who has the time to flip through pages after pages of heavily airbrushed thin, vibrant, wrinkle and jiggle-free models anyway?!!
2. LOSE THE WEIGHT OR LOSE THE STYLE?
I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I have stupidly induced rapid weight loss for so many reasons. In my pursuit of “perfection”, I once lost 2 dress sizes for a wedding, only to pile on double the weight after the function. Why, you may ask? Well, I loved the dress and I wanted to buy it for the occasion but the largest came in a size 12. So i bought the dress, starved myself silly and fit it eventually!
Was it worth it? at that time, yes! I spent all my efforts trying to achieve a thinner frame but the harsh consequences of me starving and keeping away from food led me to balloon up due to post starvation binge-eating. For years, I avoided buying nice clothes because I convinced myself I would slim down and would not be able to wear them anymore, leading further to a series of dissapointments when I did not achieve the weight loss.
To avoid being such a drama-mama like I was, please be kind to yourself and do not self-negotiate. Instead, reward yourself to the things you like for the simplest reasons (a job promotion or a successful goal achievement), go shopping with good friends or family who will motivate you to look and feel good, get something in your current size and not a size smaller or bigger. Lastly, convince yourself that you deserve nice things no matter what the size charts tell you! Keep in mind that life is too short for self-negotiations and that the most powerful thing you can do for yourself is investing in YOU.
4 . REPEAT AND RECORD FAVOURITE OUTFITS
Everyone has their own special / favourite outfits. When I find a favourite outfit, I will “spam” on it until it loses its shape and colour! All I am saying is, it is not a fashion crime if you repeat a particular style or outfit that looks good on you. If you have found your go-to style, such as putting on dresses that help elongate your body frame or wearing crop tops that show off that curvy torso, then go ahead and rock that look!
As for me, I am obsessed with comfortable outfits like jumpsuits and summer dresses, and, if given a choice, I would wear them everywhere! I am still experimenting with new styles that work for me and have yet to find more trendy outfits that complement my body shape. Invest in a good full sized mirror, take outfit selfies and pictures to help you get a better view of how you look in them. This not only helps to give you the positive boost you need before walking out the door, it is also a great way to archive the looks that make you feel and look amazing for future references!
5. WHAT OTHERS THINK OF YOU IS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS
“Dwelling on the negative simply contributes to its power.”
This one here is no picnic, y’all! It is the hardest part of making changes for yourself. However, it is not unachievable. With so many nosy people out there who have a million things to say about you, it is only fair that you learn to give less f***s about what they say and focus on yourself, right?
I am sure everyone out there has had to deal with unexpected negative comments. Here’s how I manage when I am faced with these unavoidable situations: I “throw away” negative thoughts in my daily journal before I sleep at night. This helps me “detox” all the bad thoughts I develop throughout my day. Alternatively, when interacting with a Negative Nancy who knows more about me than I do, I try to protect the positive space around me. If this weirdo’s negativity is intense, I usually choose to flight the situation. Note: It takes a lot of effort to master this skill and I am still learning to control that positive/negative vibe thing.
To conclude, confidence is something we build throughout time. Some of us take more time to build it and some are quicker at developing this trait. My dear friends, life is just too short for us to worry about what others think of us. If you are confronted by someone who tells you something hurtful, flash them your prettiest smile, and walk away. Nothing makes them more uncomfortable than a positive response to their hateful comments. Oh, last but not least, give yourself a pat on your back for keeping it cool and rising above these lowlifes!
Happy Tuesday, lovelies!
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