August, 2012

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.

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.

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.





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?



Featuring WPMU Bloglist Widget by YD WordPress Developer