10
Jan 13

Guilty January

Over the festive period, all I did that was different from normal was eat a big dinner, snaffled up party food at highly inappropriate times of the day, nicked half of the chocolates I bought my husband (sorry Andy), and drank a bit more alcohol than normal. I still went out for my daily walk and did housework (although maybe not quite as much as usual!).  I guzzle herbal tea by the gallon anyway and this Christmas was no different.

I love herbal tea, peppermint is a favourite

In short, I don’t think I’ve been especially unhealthy but instead just took it easy, and chilled out. I don’t believe I’m unique in that.

Us curvy women are more likely to put on weight than our slimmer sisters this is true. Even so, why then do we all feel so much guilt? Could it be connected with us being barracked and told we should feel awful, because if we don’t – well, there’s something wrong with us?  An unholy torrent of emails from slimming companies started appearing in my inbox just before Christmas, and right on time on 1st January. They suggested diets aplenty:

Eat what you want…just fast for two days each week.

Eat what you want…just from certain food groups.

Eat what you want…only between 9am and 5pm.

Eat what you want…as long as it’s eggs.

Our shakes are delicious – and you won’t feel hungry, we promise!

I’ve had a leaflet through the door from not one, not two but three local slimming groups, and one from the local gym. That’s quite an industry going on there.

It was my wedding anniversary this week so we went to celebrate in our favourite Italian restaurant, The Casa Italia on Stanley Street in Liverpool. We love it due to the food and atmosphere but because of the amazing sculpture of Eleanor Rigby (from The Beatles song) right across the road. Everyone says hello to Eleanor before they go in and tuck into their food with no self consciousness, but hey that’s Italian food for you!

On Saturday  I posted pictures of our dinners – and wine – on Twitter and Facebook. I had many tweets back, some telling me how ‘jealous’ people were because I was eating pasta in January. For a couple of minutes I felt like a big old greedy heifer, then I thought no – this is just silly. Eat your food, woman. It’s delicious!

The offending pasta dish – Tagliatelle Spinaci

I’m not saying people shouldn’t limit the amount of food they have if it’s calorific or liable to put the pounds on, but should there be a sense of shame at a bit of pasta?

What got to me was that people felt guilty, about the thought of having a hearty meal. A mere two weeks after the last one.

With women feeling more unhappy than ever about their bodies  – unjustifiably, in my view – than ever before, being told we have to diet or else isn’t good, is it?

 


30
Nov 12

Little Things, Big Message

First of all, can I say that I love pop music? Because I do. I adored it as a child and continue to have a lust for a great tune with proclamations of love in its lyrics. When the seven inch single, the ultimate sound carrier of the three minute pop song was eclipsed by CDs, a little piece of me died.

I still have those 7” singles from my teenage years, no one can ever accuse me of being a music snob.  You didn’t have boy bands in my day (1980s) but I  really don’t mind some that have emerged in recent years. Westlife and Boyzone are an absolute NO, but JLS I think are pretty cool.

I don’t get offended by X Factor winners, because I am not their target audience. Singers and groups who win the show are for younger people. I’m far too long in the tooth and I’m fine with that.

One Direction did well on X Factor I believe -I really don’t watch it, sorry. I can’t pretend I’m a huge fan but I don’t get distressed when one of their songs comes on the radio.

Until now, that is.

On Sunday night I was on Twitter, and read a tweet about the new One Direction single, Little Things. The tweet contained language I couldn’t possibly repeat here, but let’s just say it expressed some dissatisfaction at the song’s lyrical content.

I thought it was a case of the Tweeter being a musical snob, but I thought I’d check out the lyrics anyway before I commented back.

I searched online, and I couldn’t believe what I read.

‘You’ve never loved

Your stomach or your thighs

The dimples in your back at the bottom of your spine

…You never want to know how much you weigh

You still have to squeeze into your jeans’ (Syco (c) Ed Sheeran, Fiona Bevan)

I beg your pardon?

We hear much of the time, don’t we, about girls having a bad body image from a younger age these days. How primary school girls are worried about their weight and telling their parents they need to diet. That children these days are growing up too quickly.

So, why on earth is a boy band whose prime market is prepubescent and teenage girls, singing a song about girls feeling fat? Not loving themselves? Having ‘dimples’ in their back?

I have a friend whose seven year old daughter’s bedroom is wallpapered with posters of One Direction, the child sings along to their songs on the radio – and knows the lyrics by heart.  Normal and healthy enough behaviour for a seven year old, you may think. Absolutely. I’d agree with that.

But not if the lyrics she is singing are so appalling.

We live in a society ever obsessed with celebrity. Girls and young women shouldn’t be spoon fed such messages by their pop idols.

Little Things shot straight to number one in the charts on Sunday. Good for the One Direction. I’m very happy for them.

But it’s not good for the body image of thousands of seven year old girls across the UK who take such a negative message about body image on board.

 

 


06
Nov 12

Look to the stars

Mankind can send a rocket to Mars, produce vegan cheese (should you wish to buy some, though don’t – it’s grim stuff!), hoodwink millions into believing 50 Shades of Grey is a fine novel worth reading but somehow struggles to get its head around correct sizing for women.

Every woman knows it’s often a case of lucky dip when you try on dresses. A size ten might fit someone beautifully in one shop, whereas in another a size twelve won’t squeeze over their hips. Fashion designers “blah blah blah” on about different fabrics, cuts and so on (yawn)  but it doesn’t make the situation any less crackers.

Myself in the Curvissa star dress with City Talk 105.9′s Breakfast Show present Mick Coyle

For curvy women though, the sizing issue is more of a problem.  If your chest or hips are curvier than the rest of your body then sizing can be a nightmare. I always struggle with dresses, so when Curvissa offered to send me a dress that wasn’t wrap over, I wavered.

I’ve had such a rigmarole from other labels over sizing. I often order something and it doesn’t fit, unable to accommodate my bust. Or, it will cover that area well but leave the rest of me swimming in fabric. I have to accommodate the dress rather than it, me. So, I usually go for wrap over dresses and tops because they highlight my waist and cleavage – and a sash or belt pulled tight works wonders with an otherwise loose dress.

Often my dress size veers into plus size territory, and I’m not alone. I, and other curvy women, shouldn’t have to wear clothes are simply too big, but often there is no choice.

When the Curvissa dress arrived, I was very pleasantly surprised indeed. It has an scooped neckline – usually a major no-no for me as such necklines act as a ‘hammock’ across my breasts, making them into a shapeless mono-boob. Not this dress though, probably because of the star pattern and loose sleeves. It has a ruffled front too, which breaks the hammock-ish line up.

At the launch of the new Dodgy single

It’s such a cute design, with a flared skirt – and a pretty ruffled hem. I love this dress, it’s so adaptable.

I’ve been to live music gigs in in it, including the launch of band Dodgy’s new single (This Love Is) Bigger Than Both of Us  and I’ve also worn it for my regular spot on the breakfast show on Liverpool’s City Talk 105.9.

A winner!

 


02
Nov 12

Curvy women on the catwalk

A lot of my friends thought I was mad/joking/drunk (or all three) when I broke the news I was going to be a model. Don’t get me wrong, it came as a surprise to me too.

Over the summer, I read on Twitter about Liverpool Fashion Live, who were mad keen to have a wide variety of women modelling at their fashion event to raise money for Claire House  in October. Claire House is a Merseyside hospice which helps children and young people with terminal illnesses and life limiting conditions,  a truly great charity.

Liverpool Fashion Live stressed they were looking for people of all shapes and sizes to strut their stuff on the catwalk, including those who’d never modelled before. I wavered for just a few seconds, then fired off an application – and to my absolute delight they accepted me.

Curvy women celebrated at Liverpool Fashion Live - alongside firemen!

The models from Firemen Models pose with me at Liverpool Fashion Live, a celebration of different body types, including full figured women

The organisations behind Liverpool Fashion Live, Room 31  and The Style Factory, were both very passionate that every sector of society should be represented in the fashion show, including curvy women, so I knew I wouldn’t be a Billy No Mates on the day itself. True to their word, I found myself in the company of a surprising range of diverse models from the moment I got there.  Models ranged from aged 14 – 80 years of age, making sure everyone was represented – and gorgeously, at that.

Liverpool Fashion Live was held in the swanky surroundings of Pan Am in Liverpool’s Albert Dock, we were asked to attend from 2pm, not only for fittings but for hair and make-up too.

When I’ve done television appearances – The Wright Stuff and The Vanessa Show, both for Channel Five – yes I enjoyed the broadcasting aspect, but I love and adore getting my hair and make-up done professionally.  The experts can do the business in that department so much better than I ever could. Sure enough, Wigan & Leigh College’s make-up artists did a smashing job of pinning my hair up and putting on catwalk make up, the foundation was darker and thicker than I’d normally wear, to make sure if stands out under such bright lights.

I had my nails done as well, by Gemma Nails & Beauty, a really vampish red. The very colour nails should be!

Myself and Becky Hannon, two curvy ladies modelling at Liverpool Fashion Week

Everyone involved in Liverpool Fashion Live contributed their services for free, all to raise money for Claire House and worked flat out for a good twelve hours.

I must confess, before I took part in LFL I believed models to be snooty and spoilt madams. I’m not too proud to hold my hands up when I’m wrong; every single one of the women I spoke to were lovely and welcoming and supportive to me and the others who’d never modelled before. I had a long chat with Models of Diversity, a modelling agency who have women on their books not traditionally seen in the world of fashion. They use women with disabilities, and of plus size as well, such as the beautiful voluptuous Angelica Fenney, and really promote the notion that everyone can be beautiful.

Plus size model Angelica Fenney struts her stuff

I had three dresses to wear on the night, one a Simply Be wedding dress – if I wasn’t married already I’d have snaffled it into my handbag, it was that nice – and two other beautiful full length formal gowns, each owned by Becky Hannon,  star of this summer’s Big Brother.   Becky is a bit curvier than me so we had to make some amendments, but it’s amazing what you can do with a tight belt and sash!

I was honestly made up to be doing the cat walk, with all the press snapping away, that alone was enough to make me feel amazing, but I didn’t expect in a million years there’d be male models, escorting me. Fantastic! There were firemen as well, from the Firemen Models agency who only engage serving fire fighters. Such lovely boys! (As you may well have noticed by their picture…)

Liverpool Fashion Live really did confirm to Liverpool – and the world – that variety is a wonderful thing on the catwalk, that full figured women are just as valid in the world of fashion as our more slender contemporaries.

I’m hoping they run the event next year as well. One thing’s for sure, I’m putting my name down for it, if they are…

 

 

 


06
Sep 12

Colour confident

Everybody knows that black is slimming.

My mother told me black was slimming, fashion magazines continue to say the same and friends insist on it too.  And it is, some of the time. But not always.

There’s a cult-like belief that every woman simply must have a little black dress  (LBD) or else all manner of disasters will happen. Society’s very foundations will collapse and the sun will fall from the sky! Well maybe not, but you get my point.

The truth is, not everyone suits black. If you have very pale skin then black on its own with a string of pearls may well make you appear ill – and a little dress isn’t right for everyone’s figure.  It’s not a case of slipping on an LBD and hey ho, look who it is – Audrey Hepburn! The curvier woman often needs length to give a more elegant shape and may prefer coverage in problem areas, such as upper arms. ‘You must have an LBD – or else’ articles are just silly.

It’s so tempting to rely on the safety of black, it’s like a familiar friend who has always been there but the truth is that darker colours don’t always make you look slimmer. Simply because like brighter colours, black and brown have different shades.  And those different shades don’t suit everyone.

Laura Anderson, online merchandiser for French label La Redoute says, ‘The great thing about brown and black is that they are two colours that are versatile for both summer and autumn/winter holidays. A perfect option for brunettes is a rich walnut shade while a deep chocolate brown will lend itself nicely in contrast a lighter hair colour.’

Even though I’m as pale as chips, I do prefer black as it’s so classic. For important meetings and speeches I wear black but to prevent a sickly pallor because of the contrast with my skin, I accessorise with a scarf of another colour. It livens it up, and prevents my curves morphing into a mass of one dimensional black.

 

(L-R) Director Natasia Hodge, myself (in my Pepperberry black dress and animal print Primark scarf to add colour and layers), producer John Busow from Class Act Theatre UK - at the launch of my play Eleanor, Where Are You? last month in Liverpool (photograph: Helen Kerr)

 

According to top stylist and colour expert Amanda Bernstein from Personal Dressing, a common error women make is choosing colours that suit friends or celebrities in a magazine, but definitely not them! Like some perfumes smell lovely on someone else but not so much on you, different colours highlight good and bad aspects of different people so we must pick carefully.

”Some women try to alter their colour choices based on the company they keep. They see a friend wearing a more daring colour and think they should do the same,” says Bernstein.

I don’t try and con myself that pastel colours look good on me, they make me appear very washed out, instead I go for brighter patterned colours or dear old black. Fit is very much a thing for me; as I’ve mentioned on this blog before I need a deep v neck and a gathered in waist or else I just appear shapeless. Smocks don’t work for me, but a wrap around top does.

One of the fun things about more retail outlets on the high street accommodating the curvier figure now is, we can go into shops now, try clothes on and experiment. Before, many of us just ordered outfits from catalogues then more often than not cried in disappointment on their arrival because they looked great on the model on the catalogues pages but not us.

As more shops come around to the curvy way of thinking, I look forward to having even more fun with different colours!

 

 


20
Aug 12

Curvy doesn’t make you fat

I’m getting mixed messages again. Just before the Olympics, a ranking official observed heptathlete Jessica Ennis was, and I quote, ‘fat’.

Ennis’ coach quite rightly retorted the official in question spoke nonsense.  Many of my male friends volunteered to examine pictures of Jessica, in the name of sport and national interest you understand, to decide for themselves if she was up to the job of completing a heptathlon.

They’re selfless, my friends. True heroes.

The boys and pretty much everyone else quickly decided she wasn’t carrying too much weight at all, and what do you know, Jessica cleaned up in her sport this August. In fact, since so many UK women athletes won medals and were just generally ace during the Olympic fortnight, most have been declared desirable, beautiful, healthy, and indeed the female ideal by the public and media alike.
Huzzah!

I was chuffed as well to hear some of the more curvier women in the public eye at the moment have topped a survey by cosmetic surgery group MYA concerning desirability.  1,056 participants across the UK were asked which celebrity body parts they preferred. Kim Kardashian had the most desirable body in all and Beyonce, bottom  (with Kim second and Jennifer Lopez bringing up the rear, if you’ll excuse the pun) and legs. Both Kardashian and Beyonce have very curvy figures – and are the epitome of health.

The survey found that ‘…when it comes to women’s body parts, bigger is considered better. Respondents favoured full lips, wide eyes and filled-out bottoms. We’ve really seen a U-turn in attitude towards body shape. It’s great to see curvy women like Beyoncé and Kim Kardashian topping the list for best body. I imagine that if we repeated the study 20 years ago, or in the US, we’d have drastically different results.’

The MYA survey was compiled some weeks before the Olympics. Were those participants questioned now, I wonder how many of the healthy, fit women athletes  – Ennis,  boxer Nicola Adams, swimmer Rebecca Adlington, and cyclist Victoria Pendleton – would be included, having been celebrated by the media at the female ideal since they won medals and not before, tellingly.  It’s only right we hold up these amazing women as role models but curvy fit celebrities should be given their due also, the likes of Beyonce has always maintained her amazing body via exercise – and being healthy.

The singer, actress and model will never be thin, it simply isn’t her body shape.  Anyone who has ever seen a Beyonce concert knows that the sheer amount of dancing she does throughout  (she doesn’t stop!) means she must be physically fit. Were she not, the woman wouldn’t be able to keep up.

Swimmer Rebecca Adlington is broad shouldered – she has to be, to swim that fast – and if she didn’t have her amount of muscle and healthy body fat she wouldn’t be able to do her job. Fact.

Both women are ‘curvy’, the very word certain corners of our media use as a euphemism for being overweight.

Being curvy and full figured does not make you fat, anything but. The likes of Rebecca Adlington and Beyonce are testament to that.

I hope this new way of looking women continues, and very different body shapes continue to be celebrated.


10
Aug 12

Fine Things

I complain a lot on this blog about the time it’s taken for clothes designers to recognise us curvy women need nice flattering clothes in our size, a situation now creeping – slowly – towards being resolved. But I also have another problem with my appearance. I have very fine hair. It won’t grow past my shoulders without going into rats tails so I’m confined to having a bob.

It’s a genetic thing – my mother had the same fine mousy hair as did three out of her four sisters. But it didn’t look too bad on Mum as she was a very small petite lady. When my hair is at its flattest – I have flat then very flat days – I look decidedly odd.

As a full figured woman then my silhouette doesn’t look balanced if I have, how can I put it, a small head. Plus, a woman’s hair should be her crowning glory.

Of course a good cut and flattering shade (I have a basic red colour with purple and blonde highlights to make it look thicker and fuller) are important but I do struggle to find products to give my hair more body.

With most at-home treatments the shampoo, conditioner and mousse have the desired effect but very quickly my hair falls flat, not only in the glorious weather we’re having at the moment – please note it’s scorchio out there as I’m typing this – but also during the generic dampness we seem to have in the UK for the bulk of the year!

Typically, my hair gets pulled down very quickly.

So when I was asked to review some hair products from Look Fantastic for this blog, I automatically looked at what they had on offer for fine hair.

I was sent Philip Kingsley Body Building Shampoo, Philip Kingsley Body Building Conditioner and   Redken Body Full Instant Bodifier.

 

Shortly after the treatment

I didn’t need much shampoo, it foamed very easily. The conditioner again I didn’t need much of, but it felt a bit greasy and heavy to the touch. I whacked it on anyway and was pleased the greasiness washed out on rinsing.

The bodifier is a watery foam; when I first squirted it out I expected something firmer but it went on well and was easy to comb through.

Then I blow dried. I was really impressed with the ‘size’ of my hair afterwards, it was much fuller and thicker especially on the crown of my head which is my problem area. But I’ve had a great result with hair products before, they have made my hair look smashing when I’ve just blow dried but the body flattens soon afterwards.

I had climbed a steep hill and was standing under very hot studio lights at this point. (I wearing Pepperberry black dress and Evans denim jacket - both from this summer's range). The dog asleep at my feet is Rosey, owned the film's director

 

Happily, on the day I tried out the hair products I was being interviewed about a film I wrote last year so could put my hair to the test. I had to walk up a steep hill then stand in front of hot studio lights, guaranteed to make my hair as flat as the proverbial pancake.

But this didn’t happen with these products. My hair stayed full which I was really surprised about.

At the end of the day after I made the journey home, my hair still keep its volume

Then came the second test. I like a challenge! Volume boosting products always seem to not only be greasy but make my hair the same. I wash my hair more frequently than is healthy as a result. There must be some chemical reason for this – the thing that gives your hair that boost turns to bleugh over night.

But once again, with these products this didn’t happen. My hair stayed fresh and whilst not bouncy – I don’t have sufficient thickness for that – it kept its shape and didn’t need lots of work the next day which is typically the case.

The only downside to these three products is that they are pricey if you’re on a budget, but you don’t need that much to get a good foam and coverage. If you have fine hair then you don’t, do you?

So they get  a thumbs up from me.

 

 

 

 


10
Aug 12

What do you think of True?

When I attended the Plus North event last month in Leeds, I met not only lots of bloggers but also representatives from a large number of retail outlets and designers. It’s so inspiring to know more high street chains are recognising there is a very substantial market for curvy women. I get lots of comments on this blog from readers says how frustrating shopping can be, but it’s all change at the moment – in the right direction.

At Plus North, I met a lady from Clothing at Tesco who was very keen for me to write about their brand new True range. I was very impressed to hear from her they are anxious to get feedback not only from me but other women out there – in particular you, the readers of The Full Story – which will help form further collections.

They want to know what you and I think of the range in general, and which looks/items are our favourites.

I think the range shows potential, especial the fitted black dress with the lace sleeves. It shows off a curvy figure but covers the upper arm which is a problem area for many women, especially as we get a little older. When I buy clothes I always go for outfits which go in at the waist and offer a ‘v’ neck – it flatters my figure much more and this one ticks all the boxes. As someone who goes to a lot of meetings and need to look formal but not fuddy duddy, this would work really well for me. I would jazz it up a bit with accessories.

I’d like to see more cowl or v necks in the range, as these two details simply give me a better shape every time.

I also enjoy colour – I don’t walk around looking like a set of traffic lights but love bold shades. The tops in the True range are too muted for me, plus they aren’t fitted – they don’t nip in at the waist – but that could be remedied by a nice belt. As ever, accessories would brighten things up.

I loved the waterfall style cardigan, I have a number of these and am always looking for more. They truly cover up a multitude of sins, especially if you are busty, by elongating the body. I’d like more colour though.

My main bug bear with most ranges for curvy women is the size and shape of models used to show off the clothes. The woman used to show off True is gorgeous, but must be around size 14 and doesn’t seem to have much in the way of hips and breasts, although fair enough she is far curvier than the norm. For us to judge what these clothes would look like on us, we need to see a woman looking more like us wearing them!

Clothing at Tesco also want to know whether these pieces encourage you to look at Clothing at Tesco online or in store. For me of course the answer is big old yes. I am always looking for clothes!

They also wonder if this new collection is more fashionable and trendy than previous Clothing at Tesco ranges or other Plus Size collections.
For me, I go for more classic than trendy or cutting edge. Some of my favourite dresses I have worn regularly for at least two years. What I’m after is good quality, something which will last for a while. An outfit can always be brought ‘on trend’ by using accessories.

So, handing over to you – what do YOU think of the new True range at Tesco?

 

 


12
Jul 12

Plus North

I always love meeting people, so was delighted to hear about Plus North, an event for curvy women held in Leeds. Similar gatherings are usually in London but Toni and Becky, the organisers of Plus North were keen that women above the Watford Gap have an event of our very own!

I like Leeds, it’s such a bustling lively city, and as such it reminds me so much of my very own Liverpool.

Held last weekend, Plus North was at the Aspire venue in the city centre. Upon entering we were given a hearty welcome, a generous drinks voucher, plus a lanyard with our names and the ID of our blogs on them.

I was overwhelmed by the number of ‘plus size’ bloggers there are in the UK, and how many attended Plus North. Many I had ‘met’ on Twitter or Facebook beforehand, how nice it is to already know  people, it makes the whole business of making friends so much easier.

Before my makeover...

Plus North not only boasted lots of clothing retailers (Evans, Simply Be, Curvissa, Chesca, Excite Clothing, F&F, Ann Harvey) with special offers and sample sales for delegates, but the event had freebies as well – and who doesn’t adore a gift?

The makeup brand Benefit who I wasn’t familiar with were doing free make up makeovers so guess who was pretty early in the queue?

It was clearly all hands on deck as I was lucky enough to have Leanne, Benefit’s Area Manager for Yorkshire, do my makeup. I’m not sure about you but I find myself getting into a bit of a routine, pretty much doing the same thing for day time then of an evening slapping on a bit more eyeliner and lipstick, so it’s always helpful to get some tips from the experts on how to make the best of one’s face.

Leanne from Benefit does my make up...

 

There were also some lovely ladies – whose names I’m ashamed to say I have forgotten –  offering manicures in exchange for a donation if we could spare a few coins. They were raising money for a Cystic Fibrosis charity, and of course Plus North delegates were happy to donate in exchange for a pampering!

After my make up makeover, I get my nails done!

We were also treated to cupcakes and brownies (essential foodstuffs) and a fashion show, made all the more unique because the models were delegates and bloggers! Each looked absolutely gorgeous in such flattering styles.

The stalls and freebies were ace – but the best part of all was meeting fellow bloggers and curvy ladies; what a friendly, vibrant community to be a part of! The overwhelming enthusiasm for fashion really came across, but there was a sense of sadness too that much of the time women felt they couldn’t go shopping on the high street – one of life’s true  pleasures – due to a sheer lack of choice and instead were forced to rely on the internet.

Ordering something then waiting for even just a day or two for it to arrive simply isn’t the same as the buzz of trying something on in a shop, finding it fabulous and taking it home. I’m just sorry so many women don’t get to experience that.

By the end of event, Toni and Becky were saying they hope to make Plus North an annual event, and hold it in a different northern city each year.

Ladies, Liverpool would love to have you…


28
Jun 12

Marilyn Monroe, cleavage queen?

I love Marilyn Monroe. She was a great actor and fashion icon – I’m up for that old style glamour of perfectly coiffed hair,  beautiful gowns, cheekbones like wing mirrors and her trademark slash of lipstick to set the look off. Absolutely stunning.

In fact, I’m such a fan that I have a lovely photograph of her in my loo:

 

But please don’t tell me Marilyn waved the flag for full figured women.

She had breasts and hips, yes – giving her that figure of eight hourglass shape – but the reality was, Monroe shimmied about in very small dresses indeed, depending on how her weight fluctuated.

Folklore dictates she wore size 16, but it wasn’t the British size 16 of nowadays, but the one from the American 1950s which  instead was far smaller.  Any full figured woman who has ever tried on vintage clothing with a promising size label will be familiar with the crushing disappointment of simply being way too big for the dress or top in question.

I’m a size 16/18 depending on an outfit’s cut, and there’s no way I’d get anywhere near one of her figure hugging frocks, even with the help of the tightest Spanx! Not without cutting off a major blood supply, anyway.

Fans who go to exhibitions of Monroe’s clothing often express surprise at how tiny her clothes were, because she was indeed very slender.

Marilyn was this week voted queen of the fuller busts by British lingerie shoppers, who also named Kelly Brook and Holly Willoughby amongst their favourites. All very beautiful ladies, but it’s such a mistake of labelling women who have any noticeable curves at all as full figured.  

According to one of Marilyn’s dressmakers, she wore a 36D bra (although of course that’s variable – every woman knows different brands and styles of bras give different sizes for the same breasts!) which is a pretty average size.

The truth is, Marilyn was heavier than our current celebrities but she wasn’t viewed as unusual back in the mid 1950s to early 1960s.

Gorgeous, yes. An icon, most certainly.  A tremendous actress, very much so. But full figured? Hmm, you decide…

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