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How To Pick The Perfect Dress

HOW TO PICK THE PERFECT DRESS

A dress is just a  plain simple dress until you bring it to life. A lot of women say there shopping for the perfect dress, But what does that mean?  Is there such a thing as the perfect dress just waiting on the hanger to be purchased? Absolutely not!  Any dress can be made into the perfect dress, by just adding your charisma, personal style & flare.

When getting into the mindset of looking for a dress start by asking yourself what are the things you love about your body, then find a dress that accentuates that particular part of you. Look at the type of event you are attending, ask yourself is it a casual formal, dressy occasion. Another question to ask is how do you plan on making your own unique statement.  Next, let’s consider what’s your personality like? Are you playful, adventurous, sexy,  or conservative etc?

Knowing your personality is very important,  this is how you will bring your dress to life, it is also how you will show how unique and beautiful you are. The final piece of finding the perfect dress is adding flare. This is how you will accessorize your dress and really add your personality to it, think about the color, style, type of shoe you will wear to make your outfit pop, the jewelry you will add, how eccentric or basic the jewellery piece will be.


lastly, Your hairstyle and makeup choices will complete the entire look making the perfect dress a hit & you simply outstanding.

 

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10 Things To Stop Doing If You Want To Love Your Body

I run my hands against the different fabrics in my closet. This is my ten-pounds ago blouse. I fit into it just last summer, but today it is snug and unflattering. And here is my 20-pounds ago dress. Even when I fit into this beautiful thing, I felt fat and unattractive. Up here are my jeans that span across six different sizes, including my 50-pounds-lighter-pants.

My closet is a reflection of my life-long battle with my weight. Reluctant to get rid of old sizes, I allow my guilt to set in because I can no longer fit into them. With a dedicated focus on my health, I hope that one day soon I will return to these smaller size clothes.

This was a journal entry from a year ago.

For the past 25 years, I’ve struggled with weight. But if we’re being honest, weight was never the issue. My real problem was lack of self-acceptance.

If we hate any part of ourselves, then nothing is ever good enough. No matter what number I was on the scale, whether my chest bones were poking out or whether I had so many rolls on my body I couldn’t fit into a public seat comfortably, the issue was never the weight.

But it was much easier to blame my body than to take responsibility for my own insecurities and examine my lack of self-worth. The weight roller-coaster was a reflection of my imbalanced thoughts. If I felt unworthy and unloved, my body would turn into my enemy.

No matter my weight, my doctor would always tell me I was healthy and fit. But in my mind, well,that was where the real battle was. When you hate any part of yourself, it doesn’t matter what others say about you. You won’t believe them until you feel it for yourself.

For decades, I used my body as a personal punching bag, abusing it with my thoughts. I’d say things like:

  • The reason you didn’t make the dance team is because of your size.
  • He didn’t call you back because of your thunder thighs.
  • You aren’t more successful because the size of your body.
  • You won’t get what you want because the way you look.

Self-shame, ridicule and humiliation were my everyday habits. I would put my happiness into achieving a certain body weight. And until that happened, I would be doomed to sit on the sidelines of life, not getting what the pretty, thin and beautiful did.

This was the old me. The one who thought all of the problems in her life were because of her body. Little did I know at the time that all of the problems in my life weren’t problems at all, but actually pathways.

Today, my life is much different. I look in the mirror and say compassionate, kind things to myself. I enjoy my food and no longer fear the calories, nor do I obsessively count them. I look forward to going shopping again, because I like the way my clothes fit. I no longer avoid mirrors or eye contact. The radical shift? Self-acceptance and self-love.

Several months ago, I made it my full-time mission to look at the areas of my life that weren’t going well. The one focus was my body and learning how to accept it.

Self-love is about acceptance and seeing yourself as the gift you are. Today, I am in love with myself because I respect my body. I see my body as a tool and teammate. My body helps me live my full potential. I listen to it and honor what it needs.

If you are struggling to love yourself or your body, you can let go of certain things in order to reach the love you desire. Here are 10 things to stop doing today if you want to truly accept and love your body (and, well, all of yourself).

1. Stop blaming your body for the bad things in your life.

It’s not your body’s fault. Instead say, “Thank you, body, for being with me on this journey.”

2. Stop letting a look or comment from someone else determine how you feel about yourself.

That person probably wasn’t judging you. You are judging yourself. Instead say, “Self, I forgive you. I send you love.”

3. Stop thinking you aren’t in the body you are supposed to have.

You are in the best body for you. Let your body be your teacher and guide you to more love.

4. Stop letting the number on the scale or your pant size define you.

You are more than any number. What matters most is how you feel, not how you look.

5. Stop judging yourself by what you can’t do and instead celebrate what you can.

Don’t be so hard on yourself. The limitation is in your mind. Start saying “I can” and watch how your life transforms.

6. Stop being mean to yourself when you look in the mirror.

You are more beautiful than you can truly see.

7. Stop joining in when your friends compare and trash their own bodies.

You hurt yourself when you bash yourself with others. Instead, celebrate your natural beauty and each other’s successes.

8. Stop thinking your looks are more important than how you feel.

Your health is not determined by your size. Focus on feeling good and everything returns to balance naturally.

9. Stop waiting to reach your goal to enjoy your body.

Your life is happening now. You can choose to hate yourself or love yourself. Choose love.

10. Stop thinking you don’t matter because of the size your body.

Life is far too hard as it is without you being at war with yourself. When we get the inside right, the outside will fall into place.

Enjoy the miracle that is you.

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13 Pro Secrets to Sweat-Proofing Your Summer Makeup

Summer is full of wonderful things — but melting makeup, smeared eyeliner, and super-sticky lipstick are not among them. We asked top makeup artists to spill their best tips for keeping makeup looking fresh and pretty, even when the weather is working against you.

1. Start with the proper base.

The way you care for your skin is just as important as the makeup you apply to it. “Use an oil-free moisturizer in the morning,” says celebrity makeup artist Fiona Stiles, adding that you should opt for an oil-free foundation formula to match. If you aren’t sure what type of moisturizer works best for your skin type, use our dermatologist-advised guide.

2. Invest in a primer.

You won’t regret the few seconds it takes to apply a primer, which goes on after moisturizer but before face makeup. “Primers are definitely the way to go in summer,” says New York City-based makeup artist Ashunta Sheriff. “They don’t feel at all like a heavy, additional layer, and they really help hold makeup in place.”

3. Bronze believably.

“Bronzer makes your eyes look brighter, your teeth whiter — everyone looks better with a little warmth added to their skin,” says New York City-based makeup artist Troy Surratt. To keep the results looking fresh and natural, he recommends applying bronzer just to the high points of your face, where the sun naturally hits you: forehead, cheekbones, chin, and nose. (Covering every nook and cranny is what gives you that fake, baked look.) Powder bronzers are the easiest to apply; look for one with varying shades — they’ll blend together for the most authentic-looking results. You can also sweep a little bronzer onto your neck and earlobes, especially if you have short hair or are wearing a pony­tail.

4. Keep things light.

If you want to keep your makeup from creasing and caking, say it with us: Less is more. “If you can, just use a tinted moisturizer and a concealer where you need it,” says Stiles. “Makeup likes to move around when it’s hot, so the best way to avoid that is to wear less of it.”

5. Skip the shimmer.

Everyone loves a nice, dewy glow, but there’s a big difference between a healthy radiance and an over-the-top shine. “Avoid cream foundations or anything too luminous, as the humidity will make you extra shiny and sweaty-looking if you have too much sparkle on your skin,” warns Stiles.

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6. Go sheer.

“Rich, deep colors have their place, but they can look heavy in summer,” says Surratt. To lighten up your look, switch to sheer versions of your go-to lip and eye colors. Use a lipliner pre-application if you need extra definition, but go for a nude shade to keep that carefree feeling, or try “invisible” lipliner, which deposits a clear, waxy film to stop color from bleeding. Bonus: Because sheer colors are subtler, you almost can’t go overboard.

7. Give your eye shadow staying power.

For longer-lasting shadow, avoid using eye cream on your lids (it can break down makeup), and smooth on an eye primer instead. “It will minimize creasing and create a base for the shadow to cling to so it lasts longer,” says Seattle-based makeup artist Sharona Schweitzer. For the ultimate in all-day wearability, layer a powder over a cream. Doubling up works for liner, too. “Apply your regular pencil or cream liner, then use a small angled brush to press dark shadow over the liner to set it for longer wear,” says Schweitzer.

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8. Ditch the powder blush.

Blush adds balance and healthiness to any look, but if you’re still using the same powdery formula, your flush might be getting cake-y faster than it takes to get to work in the morning. “Stains are great for longevity in hot weather,” says Stiles. “Use a gel or blush stain, then blend a touch of a cream blush on top of it.” Want to increase its wear? Dust a light, invisible setting powder overtop. Just be sure not to get too heavy-handed; you want to lock your look, not mattify it.

9. Play with vibrant colors.

Just as you’re probably more likely to wear a vivid top or carry a bright bag this season, now’s the perfect time to play up your makeup palette. Besides looking summery, “livelier colors brighten the face and bring a youthful glow to skin,” says Surratt. If you tend to stick with neutrals, experiment with just one area of your face. A punchy blush on the apples of the cheeks is a good place to start — you can follow our blush guide to find your perfect shade.

10. Stop shine and add glow.

A slick T-zone instantly telegraphs the message “I’m hot” — and we don’t mean sexy. To eliminate unsightly shine in seconds, nothing beats blotting papers. “They’re cheap and easy— you just press and go,” says Sheriff. If you need to perk up your makeup too, blot first, then follow up with a pressed powder with a hint of luminescence. “You want to eliminate shine, but you still want to look a little glow-y, especially in summer,” says Surratt.

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11. Swap out thick lipsticks.

Toss your heavy matte lipsticks for the summer and try the season’s simplest trend: stains. These long-lasting formulas offer sheer coverage that can be built up, making them super versatile. “Stains are lovely because you can always add a lip balm to add moisture without worrying about the color traveling,” notes Stiles. Try sweet pink or peach shades for a traditional summery look, or go bold with tangerine and grape colors for something more daring.

12. Wade into waterproof.

Love to swim? Don’t worry about getting raccoon eyes — there are lots of amazing long-wear beauty products out there these days. “Invest in a good waterproof mascara, or if you’re blonde, get your eyelashes tinted,” advises Stiles.

13. Keep prep items in your purse.

Never look oily in a photo again by staying prepared with purse-size products that are so perfect for travel. “Carrying blotting papers is a great way to whisk away the sweat and oil without piling on more product,” says Stiles.

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Plus Size Confidence: 4 Things That Men Find Attractive In Women

Many people would assume that fresh faced eighteen and nineteen year olds are viewed  as more attractive than women in their late 20’s and early 30’s but that’s false.  UK online website, The Daily Telegraph recently posted the results of a study revealing the average that women are viewed more attractive by men and other women.  The magic number is 31.   There are a number of reasons why women in this age group are viewed as beautiful but here are a few things that make plus size women attractive.

Your curves – Just about every man is either a breast man, a butt man or both. Pure and simple, it is just the animal in them that immediately draws their eyes to one or both of these areas. Don’t be afraid to flaunt your favorite body part. Whether you are wearing tight jeans that show off your figure or just making sure that he is watching when you go the bathroom and shake in that oh so special way, show it off.

Your lips – Men are also obsessed with lips. Look at the amount of Google hits for Angelina Jolie and you will quickly see what we are talking about. Sexy lips are just way too hard for a man to look away from or not notice. They are the epitome of defining sex for men as those lips are going to be kissing his lips and if he is lucky, a little bit more! Whatever you can do to enhance their appearance will have them coming out of the woodwork for you.

Your personality – Now that we have covered some of the physical aspects of what makes a woman attractive, how about the mental aspect of it. Once you get him sitting next to you, you have to keep him there.

The first thing you need to do is be yourself. Men can usually tell when you are faking it as you make some awkward comment thinking you know what you are talking about because it is of interest to him. If you don’t know about it, ask him about it and let him teach you before making a foolish statement that has him looking at you like you have 20 heads coming off of your neck.

Your intelligence – Regardless of what you are hearing, men love intelligent women. The girl that is as dumb as a box of hair is great for a one night stand, but hardly the type of woman that he wants to be around his friends and family. Don’t be a know it all, but don’t play stupid either. He will know pretty quickly if he plans on a one night stand or you have the possibility of something more.

Don’t ever change who you are for a man. You may be highlighting some of your characteristics, but they are still you. Any man that can’t appreciate you for what you are doesn’t deserve you in the first place!

THERE ARE SO MANY THINGS THAT MAKE YOU STAND OUT.  THESE ARE JUST A FEW. WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PHYSICAL ATTRIBUTE ABOUT YOURSELF?

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10 Places In Toronto You Should Take A First Date To During Summer

Going on first dates during the winter pretty much sucks. There are a lack of options when it comes to first date ideas. Dinner? Coffee? Anything that doesn’t involve standing out or walking around in the freezing cold?

Good thing it’s finally warm enough to have options, hurrah! If you’re into the whole dinner/drinks thing, at least now you can hit up a patio. If you’re feeling a more fun/adventurous date, we’ve got some first date ideas for you to try this summer. It’s time to come out of hibernation mode.

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1. Jays Game @ Rogers Centre

Whether your date is a sports fan or not, Jays games make for great first dates. Seats in the 500s are pretty affordable. Grab an overpriced beer and an overpriced hot dog and it’s basically a nice date!

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2. The EX

The CNE doesn’t open until later on in the summer and as always, it only lasts two short weeks (tear, tear). Be sure not to miss it – it’s a worthy experience! Just make sure not to spend all your cash trying to win prizes from games – they will eat your money.

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3. Canada’s Wonderland

A little more on the expensive side, unless you have season passes. If one of you has a season pass, you can even use the “bring-a-friend” discount. You can get to know each other in the never ending line-ups and break the ice by screaming in terror/excitement. Make sure your date’s a ride warrior, or it probably won’t be much fun for either of you. Wonderland opens May 3rd!

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4. Allan Gardens Conservatory

Allan Gardens is a gorgeous botanical garden and a major landmark in the city. It’s completely free to visit. You can enjoy the sights and smells of the exotic plants while getting to know your date and basking in the serenity. It’s open 10 A.M. to 5 P.M. daily, so you can grab some lunch or dinner afterwards.

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5. Distillery District

If you’re going to do the basic drinks date, you might as well take your date somewhere nice ‘n fancy – try the Mill St. Brewery. After that, you can take a walk around the district and take in the beautiful historical architecture. Don’t forget to check out the love lock installation.

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6. Picnic @ Toronto Islands

Take the ferry over to the Toronto Islands and have a cute ‘lil picnic. Either pack your own lunches or grab some takeout sandwiches from somewhere. Maybe you could even stay long enough to watch a romantic sunset over the skyline.

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7. Picnic @ High Park

If you don’t feel like venturing out that far, have a picnic at High Park instead. Take a walk around and bask in the beautiful cherry blossoms – it’s best to visit in late April or early May to see them in full bloom. Even if you don’t get to catch the cherry blossoms, High Park is still a worthy place to visit for a first date. There’s even a free zoo!

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8. The Beaches

The Beaches make for a really great first date place when it’s warm enough. If you’re looking for a place to eat or drink, grab some burgers at The Burger’s Priest or drinks at Breakwall BBQ. Hit up the beach afterwards and watch the incredible sunset.

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9. Summerlicious

Nothing says romance like delicious food. With the prix fixe menus, nice meals are a lot more affordable.

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10. The Docks Drive-In Movie Theatre

Regular movie dates are too basic – you can’t even talk to each other. Catch a flick under the stars at the drive-in and you can whisper all you want… Unless you’re the type of person who doesn’t like talking during movies. Either way, it’s an experience that’s different and unique. Try it!

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6 Fun Summer Activities to Stay Fit

The gym is great, but I’ve personally always loved experience-based exercise more. I just feel much more engaged. With summer coming, it’s time to take advantage of the good weather and stay fit while having fun! Here are 6 fun summer activities to stay fit:

  1. Go Swimming! 
    • Race your friends in the pool.
    • Swimming is a full body workout, exercising your arms, legs, and torso
    • “The water keeps you cool, even as your heart gets a great workout. You’ll probably be able to keep yourself going for a longer time than if you were running. That’s because it’s fun and gentle on your joints and muscles” (webmd)
  2. Take a Hike, literally.
    • Hiking is a great way to see beautiful things over the summer. Find the nearest spot near you!
    • It has also been found to:
      • Lower your risk of heart disease.
      • Improve your blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
      • Boost bone density, since walking is a weight-bearing exercise.
      • Build strength in your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and the muscles in your hips and lower legs.
      • Strengthen your core. (webmd)
  3. Play ultimate Frisbee
    • Not only is ultimate frisbee a fun way to compete with your friends, it is also a good way to:
      • increase sprinting and endurance
      • burn calories with interval training
      • increase resting metabolic rate
      • increase agility (healthfitnessrevolution)
  4. Jump Rope
    • It’s time to access your inner child! Bring out all your double dutch skills.
    • Jump rope is an awesome way to improve cardiovascular fitness while toning muscle (webmd)
  5. Take a Bike Ride!
    • Riding your bike can lead to
      • increased cardiovascular fitness.
      • increased muscle strength and flexibility.
      • improved joint mobility.
      • decreased stress levels.
      • improved posture and coordination.
      • strengthened bones.
      • decreased body fat levels.
      • prevention or management of disease. (webmd)
  6. Find your zen with outdoor yoga
    • Doing yoga outside is a perfect way to enjoy nature and relax.
    • Did I also mention that yoga can lead to:
      • Increased flexibility.
      • Increased muscle strength and tone.
      • Improved respiration, energy and vitality.
      • Maintaining a balanced metabolism.
      • Weight reduction.
      • Cardio and circulatory health.
      • Improved athletic performance.
      • Protection from injury (webmd)

 

What are you waiting for? Go have some fun!

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Why Dating in Your 30’s is Way Better Than Dating in Your 20’s

I recently got out of a serious relationship and was “not excited,” (strong understatement) to find myself back in the dating world. The thought of getting back out there made me want to climb into my bed and hide under my covers… FOREVER. But, I have been pleasantly surprised with what I have discovered and realized. In fact, I think dating in your 30s is actually pretty rad! Here’s why:

You know the power of focus.
A lot of us who are single now in our 30s spent our 20s focused on building careers, traveling, or figuring out who we are and what’s important to us. Now, perhaps we have decided we’d like to focus on building a life with someone, or on having a family. I find that whatever we put our focus on is what we draw in. So, we’re much more likely to draw in the type of relationship we are looking for because we’re a lot clearer on what we want.

You see the red flags sooner and get out.
Raise your hand if you ended up investing months or years of your life in a completely dead-end relationship because you either rationalized all the red flags away or completely ignored them. (My hand is raised. High. A few times.) These relationships usually do not leave you better than they found you. Personally, I have no time for this anymore. Now, when I see the red flags early on, I don’t move forward with the guy,

You recognize your worth and value.
The reason so many women ignore or rationalize away the red flags is because they feel desperate to be in a relationship. As women, we have been trained by the media, our parents, society, culture, to believe that our worth is based solely on whether or not we’re married (especially by a certain age) or have a boyfriend. So, in our 20s, we may have behaved with a lack of self-respect or self-esteem, and acted needy and desperate in order to validate ourselves through a man. But by our 30s, we have learned to see that our true value has nothing to do with a man or being a relationship.

You know that relationships do not make or break your life.
We know that relationships are a truly amazing addition to our lives, but they do notmake our lives. By our 30s, we have created happy, full lives for ourselves, and know that we don’t need a relationship to make us whole. Plus, we’ve been through breakups and found out that, surprise, our lives didn’t actually end!

You have better sex.
We have experienced what we like in bed by now, and aren’t afraid to ask for it. Also, when we were having sex in our 20s, we were constantly worrying if our stomach fat was hanging out, or how our butt looked. By our 30s, we care less about how we look and more about just straight up enjoying it.

You know what you like and what you believe in.
We believe in past lives, we yell VERY loudly when we get excited about something, we like Star Wars, going to bed by 10:00 p.m., and finding the perfect wine (to the point of sometimes being called a “wine snob”) and I — oops I mean, we — have no need to hide or change those aspects of ourselves. We don’t need to pretend that we are into things like camping, sports, or certain bands or food the way we we may have done in our 20s to try to get a guy to like us (it always come back to bite us in the ass anyways). We know our stance on politics, religion, and spirituality, and we don’t need to hide it or pretend otherwise. In fact, sharing certain beliefs and feelings in an open, non-judgmental way allows for a depth to develop between two people and makes for interesting and enlightening conversations.

By our 30s, we learn that we’d like to base and build a relationship on TRUTH, and if the guy doesn’t like who we are, then he’s not the right guy. As the wrongfully attributed Dr. Suess quote goes, “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” (actually, a dude named Bernard M. Baruch said it).

You know that relationships are meant to make both people better… and that, sometimes, you shouldn’t immediately jump ship.
I believe relationships are vehicles to help each person become the highest version of themselves. And sometimes, that means there is tension, disagreement, discomfort, anger, and ego. Nothing can trigger our deep-seated fears of abandonment, rejection, and loss of freedom like love. Too often, people jump ship as soon as they are triggered. But I have learned in my 30s that if both people involved care about each other and want the highest good for themselves and their partner, you don’t jump ship at first sign of it. There may be an amazing breakthrough on the other side of it.

You believe in LOVE.
Many of us have had great relationships, but have known that for one reason or another it wasn’t right. I know both men and women who have gotten married to someone they weren’t sure was right for them or if they were in love with simply because they felt like it was time for them to do it and that they were supposed to. Many of us in our 30s who are single have had the opportunity for that kind of marriage (or perhaps, even were married), but knew in our hearts that there was so much more. There is a part deep inside of us that believes in “real, ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can’t live without each other love,” to quote the famous Carrie Bradshaw. If we didn’t, we would have settled a long time ago.

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Plus-Size Models on What They’re Tired of Hearing and Where the Conversation Should Go

Are we talking about plus-size fashion in a productive way or are we stuck in a rut?

Before you think, “But plus-size fashion and its models have been getting lots of press lately,” consider this: Many of the industry’s top models insist that we have a long way to go to change the perception of what plus-size fashion is really about. Over and over, these models get asked the same tired questions. (Ahem: What do you think of the term plus-size?)

If we want to see the conversation surrounding plus-size fashion evolve and grow beyond a single facet, we have to stop asking its models the narrow questions. Model Felicity Hayward points out, “The more people keep asking those questions, the less we’re going to be able to be equal.”

So, we asked 12 top models about what they’re tired of being asked in interviews and how we can break out of the stunted cycle we’re in with regard to plus-size modeling and fashion. Take a look:

What are the challenges of perception that you face?

Denise Bidot: [I get asked if] I care if people call me plus-size…I don’t have any problem with you calling me plus-size, curvy, voluptuous, big—I don’t really give a damn. We represent plus-size women, whether or not some of the models are smaller or larger.

Amber Tolliver: The question of should a plus-size or curvy woman be wearing certain things is infuriating. When it comes to straight-size fashion, any and all styles are fair game. Clothing options shouldn’t be different for curvy women. They should be given options and not told they can’t wear something before it’s even designed.

Bree Warren: People will ask if it’s my full-time job. What a lot of people don’t understand is that there are a lot of working models that have done, and will continue to do, very well. They don’t really understand that plus-size models work a lot.

Georgina Burke: [I get asked] how I stay in shape. It’s almost like they’re asking, “Do you actually work out?” There’s a big thing right now with all the plus-size girls showing that they’re working out and I feel like all of the interviews are saying, “Oh you don’t just sit around and eat burgers, you actually exercise?”

Marquita Pring: [I get asked if] I ever considered being “skinny” or if I have wanted to go to the straight-size world. As if the way I am is unattractive or it’s not as good as being a skinny girl, therefore, shouldn’t I want to be just like them? Never once in my career was that an option for me—not even at 15-years-old when I started—and I have never been interested in being smaller.

Felicity Hayward: [People] asking if we’ve had any negativity regarding being plus-size. People assume that because I’m bigger, I have experienced people asking me to lose weight or if I’ve worked with people that are horrible to me because I’m bigger…. The more people keep asking those questions, the less we’re going to be able to be equal.

Now, hear what they say on where the conversation surrounding plus-size fashion and modeling needs to go:

Georgia Pratt: It’s great when we can be included in conversations and questions that go beyond positive body image. The conversation needs to start opening up and approaching people such as designers, editors, photographers and other creative decision makers and influencers of the fashion industry.

Jennie Runk: It’s really important to get a message out to young girls and kids. They need to know that not only do we have Photoshop working in our favor, we have a professional hairstylist, makeup artist, and photographer…. The picture that these kids end up seeing looks—in no way—what we actually look like.

Justine Legault:At this point, I’m trying to have people get to know me as a person— that’s where I’m at in my career. [For instance], what would I recommend or say to women or young girls?

Julie Henderson: We should be focusing on how people feel when they look at us. Not “She’s too skinny or she’s too big or she’s plus-size or she’s black or she’s white.” People should say, “This is a beautiful woman. I recognize myself in her.”

Gia Genevieve: Plus-size models should also be shown in a glamorous way. I don’t see a lot of plus-size models being shown in a very sexy way, and we are very sexy. [What] I’m pushing for is that there needs to be more glamour in plus-size modeling—and less toned-down, commercial [shots].

Emme: For 20 years I’ve been wondering, How do we get the department stores to get [contemporary clothes] to size 18? They could really make much more money if they would buy more fashionable things in the size category of 12’s, 14’s, and 16’s. [I work with] the junior class at Syracuse University’s Fashion Design program to create clothing on size 2, 4, 6 forms and in the same class on 16, 18, 22 forms. We’re teaching student designers to design for all!

What do you think is most important to discuss about plus-size fashion and modeling?

 

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8 plus-size fashion rules you should break this summer

Women often feel their bodies aren’t truly their own, constantly scrutinized with everyone from strangers to friends and family regulating how they should look.

For plus-size women, it’s especially difficult, as mass media tells them they aren’t as beautiful, healthy or vibrant as women with smaller statures. These assertions have very real implications on how this demographic feels about their own self-worth.

When it comes to fashion, plus-size women are often shamed the most.

The industry is intent on telling plus-size women what they should and should not wear. Many retailers subject these women to wear all black, or don’t carry plus-size clothes at all — as if saying the latest trends are not for them.

As a result, there’s an unspoken plus-size fashion rulebook that women have had to adhere to, minimizing their beautiful, full figures.

More than the obvious hate this perpetuates, notions that voluptuous women are anything less than sexy is just plain wrong.

We’ve compiled nine fashion rules plus-size women should completely break this summer. Practice body-positive activism through fashion — you can pull off these trends, too.

 

1. Wear shorts, no matter your thigh size.

Shorts are classic summer attire that fuller women are told to avoid. But you shouldn’t suffocate your legs in denim skinny jeans all summer long.

Bare your legs in a pretty pair of shorts, but do so with caution. “Chub rub,” or the unpleasant chafing caused by rubbing thighs, is a real problem for many women.

2. Exercise your right to bare arms.

Bare arms help make the sweltering summer somewhat bearable, but plus-size women are constantly told to keep their arms hidden to conceal any hint of fat.

Forget that rule and let your arms enjoy a bit of a breeze. In the heat of the summer, you definitely need it.

3. Don’t sweat your summer away in all-black everything.

The absence of color is supposed to have all plus-size girls captivated by its slimming properties. But dressing in all-black everything in the middle of August will have you keeling over with heatstroke if you aren’t careful.

Summer is all about bright colors that mimic the vibrancy of the season. You can give your wardrobe that extra pop, even if you are over a size 12.

4. The latest trends aren’t just for skinny ladies.

A bogus plus-size fashion rule is to always stick to the basics. Some people apparently believe your body is only safe with tried-and-true styles, meaning you should steer clear of any passing trends.

But trends aren’t only for runway models and the women who share their measurements. You can look flawless in sheer styles, gingham and even in all white this season.

5. Crop tops aren’t only made for thin women.

Having a flat stomach like Britney Spears circa her “I’m A Slave 4 U” days isn’t a requirement for wearing a crop top — you can show your belly, too. Ignore the summer fashion rule that says crop tops are off-limits.

6. Get loud with your prints.

Plus-size women are told to avoid patterns in order to appear slimmer, but banning patterns can make your wardrobe terribly bland. What’s summer (or any season) without a good pattern thrown in?

7. Don’t let clingy fabrics scare you.

Apparently, plus-size women should only wear ill-fitting black mumus 365 days a year.

If that sounds unappealing — and it probably should — don’t feel like you need to buy into this rule. If you’re into that form-fitting jersey dress, you should feel no shame in wearing it.

8. Rock that bikini on your ready-made beach bod.

Grab that bikini — or #Fatkini,  if hashtag activism is more your speed.

Bikinis have always been reserved for those with flat stomachs and high confidence. But there’s no reason a confident plus-size woman can’t slay in the sand while wearing a two-piece. Fashion rules were meant to be broken, and beach fashion is no exception.

TL;DR: Wear whatever you want, no matter your size.

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2016 Spring / Summer Makeup Trends

While winter is typically a great time to go bolder when it comes to the makeup world, spring is ideal for going a tad more natural. Lighter hues when it comes to lipstick and eyeshadow with light weight foundation being most women’s go to items for a flawless complexion. You can however break the mold and opt for trends spotted on the runway which tend to be more bold especially through the use of color. Each season is of course different but the trendy makeup maven always knows what’s hot. Look below to see this years hottest makeup looks for the girl who doesn’t like to shy away from top trends!

 

Extremely Bold Eyebrows

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Red Hued Lips

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Blue Eyeshadow

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Bold Eyeliner

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Matte Lipcolors

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Long Bold Eyelashes

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Dark Lipstick

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Underliner

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Intense Color On The Lid

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Glowing Complexions

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Glossy Lips

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Blush

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Body-Confidence Secrets From Plus-Size Model Crystal Renn

First, what inspired you to write Hungry?

I want women and the fashion industry to hear me and think, You know what—maybe there should be all different body types up on the runway, maybe that’s a really a great idea. I want women to be happy with who they are because I think that once they do that, all opportunities in their lives will get even bigger and better for them. Doors will be opened to them because they will be ready for it. Think about it: If you hate yourself, you don’t like your relationships, you don’t do as well at work, you don’t take all the chances that you want in your life. I would like to see women overcome that and take it to the next level.

I want women to be empowered, to be confident, to love life, and that’s why I chose the title Hungry for my book. Because it’s hungry for everything. And that’s what I want women to take away from it—to love themselves but also to accomplish your dreams.

Loving your body is one of those things that’s easier said than done. What advice do you have for women to put the thought into action?

Instead of focusing on all the bad things like, “Oh my gosh, I hate my thighs,” I say let’s look at the hair and say, “Oh wow, I’m having such a great hair day.” Or “Oh wow, my eyes are so clear today…I really like my lips….” And then eventually your mind will start to change and think of the positive things when you look in the mirror instead of focusing on the negative. It definitely takes time—it’s a habit—but just like anything else, over time, you can change the way your mind works.

So when you’re having a bad day and look in the mirror, what part of your body do you embrace to change your thought process?

There are a few things I look at on those days: I say, “Wow, I have full, great, healthy hair,” because now I eat healthy and I can see my health in my hair. That’s one thing. I also say, “Wow, I have great cheekbones. Let’s play them up, put some bronzer on them.” And then I might say, “Oh wow, I have a great waist; I’m going to show it off by belting my dress today.” Or I’ll put on some red lipstick and see how great I feel. I love wearing lipstick. It’s my feel-good-immediately move.

In your book, you talk a lot about being the size you’re supposed to be. How can women figure out what size they are supposed to be?

I refer to this as your body’s set point. Everyone is born with what they’re supposed to be. I think that you have to listen to your body, be very in tune and take the focus off the food. Eat a healthy, balanced diet, and when you crave something, have it. For instance, if you want red meat, have red meat—there’s a reason for it. If you want a cupcake, have a cupcake—and enjoy it. Start to listen to your body in that way, and I think that your body will even out to what it’s supposed to be, and you’ll be much happier for it. The second the obsession starts and the dieting starts, you’re immediately unhappy because you think you’re being starved. So when you do eat, you eat 10 times more than what you should, and you’re getting further and further away from recognizing what your body’s set point is.

What do you want people to think when they see your pictures—like the ones of you in a swimsuit or in the buff?

I want them to look at them and be like “Well, wow! She can wear a bikini, and she’s a size 12. I’m going to go wear a bikini. I’m OK. I’m OK and I’m an 8. Or I’m a 14, or a 16.” Whatever size they are, I want them to be inspired that a girl who they thought shouldn’t wear a bikini before is wearing one and looks great and healthy. I want them to feel inspired to do the same thing. I want women to be proud of their bodies, to be proud of who they are.

What is your goal for the fashion and media industries in terms of body types?

I don’t want to see only size 14’s, and I don’t want to see only size 2’s. I want to see all different women with all different shapes. I want to see all different races, all different hair colors, all different eye colors. I want to see a variety; I don’t want to be bored. And I think women will be inspired by being able to see themselves in these pictures. I understand that there’s a need for the fantasy, I completely do, but having images of girls who are so unattainable—that represent nobody—is not something that’s very positive. You can still have the fantasy, but I think the consumer wants to be able to touch it, if just a little bit.

Photos: Photo: Patrick Demarchelier

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10 Lessons in Self-Confidence From Plus-Size Models

Being heavier doesn’t mean you’re unhealthy and loving your body doesn’t mean you’re encouraging others to take up bad habits. These models are here to give our body-obsessed media a clue!

Despite all the amazing advancements in our society (the iPhone, Google glasses, stem cell research), our perception of beauty has, annoyingly not evolved with the times! In fact, it’s dwindled down to one ideal – skinny.

The widening gap between the female body seen on the street and the one seen in magazines is alarming. ​According to the National Center of Health Statistics, in 2013 the average American woman weighed 164 pounds. However, the average weight of today’s fashion models is between 108 and 125 pounds.

So there we have it – the proof is in the numbers. Curvy women ARE the norm and deserve to have positive representations in the media! Luckily, as plus-size models achieve more notoriety in fashion, they’ve showcased the many gorgeous shapes and sizes women come in (and psst – they’re healthy women too! Crazy, riiiiight?).

In an industry that privileges a specific idea of what a woman should look like, these ladies have to remain confident. Here are a few life lessons we could all learn from these models.

Lesson #1: Your character is what people fall in love with, not your hip size.

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Kate Dillon is a veteran of the modeling game and has been stomping runways for two decades now. However, behind the glamor of her early career as a 17-year-old model was an eating disorder that got so bad she had to take a break from the overly critical industry. During her hiatus, she learned to accept her healthy body, which was forty pounds heavier than her 120-pound days, and entered a new era of her modeling career.

 

Lesson #2: You have to be your biggest cheerleader

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Tiffany Bank turned heads and stereotypes when she posed with Atlanta Falcons player, Ray Edwards, in a stunning editorial for Plus Model Magazine in October 2013, but she’s got a lot more up her sleeve! Bank’s models, acts, writes, and gives lectures on positive body image. She’s absurdly gorgeous proof that women – no matter what their size – can accomplish their dreams.

 

Lesson #3: Healthy doesn’t exclusively mean skinny

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Toccara Jones didn’t win her cycle of America’s Next Top Model, but in the ten years since the third season ended, Toccara has been steadily working as an in-demand model. She received a FOURTEEN page spread in Vogue Italia in 2008, showed off her acting chops in 2011’s Think Like a Man, and was the face for the “I Will Not Lose” plus-size line campaign under Rocawear.

 

Lesson #4: Don’t surrender to disordered eating just to say you’re a size 2

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Barbara Brickner radiates elegance and confidence – qualities that won her the admiration of numerous plus-size designers and a lengthy career in fashion. She’s modeled for Eddie Bauer, Nordstrom, and Mode magazine. In 2001, the Italian clothing company, Elena Mirò, chose Brickner to model solo for that year’s calendar because the execs considered her a true representation of “twenty-first century womanhood.”

 

Lesson #5: All women deserve recognition and praise

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The upstate New York native, Marquita Pring, has been modeling with Ford Models since her early teens. She’s shot several Levi campaigns, walked the runway for Jean-Paul Gaultier, and was featured in Italian Vogue.

 

Lesson #6: There is beauty in our differences

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Whitney Thompson is a blonde bombshell and the first and only plus-sized winner of America’s Next Top Model. She earned the coveted title back in 2008 at 20-years-old and hit the ground running. Thompson has donned the cover of Plus Model Magazine, was the most recognizable face for Forever 21’s plus-size line, Faith 21, and shot a CoverGirl commercial with superstar Rihanna.

 

Lesson #7: You WILL learn to love your body

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Emme Aronson, real name Melissa, paved the way for plus-size models. She took her athletic rowing body into a groundbreaking career in modeling through the 90s. Since then she’s become an outspoken advocate for positive body image, penning a book True Beauty: Positive Attitudes and Practical Tips From the World’s Leading Plus-Size Model in 1998.

 

Lesson #8: Negative thinking will damage you more than fashion mags

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Christina Mendez has forged an inspirational career in TV and fashion. She’s posed for Glamour, Latina Magazine, and Source Magazine, as well as appearing on BET’s model search, Rip the Runway. In case you still aren’t impressed, Mendez is a mother to a son with autism and is a dedicated advocate for autism awareness. Also, she’s gorg!

 

Lesson #9: Ignore the haterz; don’t let them block your shine

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Tess Munster has endured harmful criticisms from Internet “trolls” since she started modeling professionally in 2010. She started Tweeting her hashtag “effyourbeautystandards” last year because of the “intense pressure I felt from everyone to be something/someone I’m not.” Tess has an enviable amount of talents; besides being beautiful, she’s also a make-up artist and blogger who only launches positivity into the world.

 

Lesson #10: Conformity is to lose all your power!

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Ali Tate is a newbie model; she used to play soccer and was then recently signed with Ford and Muse modeling agencies. We love her unwillingness to change herself. This woman has got a great head on her shoulders, and we can’t wait to see how far she goes!