Posts Tagged: curvy woman

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?


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…




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