What body shape are you?
Is ‘what body shape am I’ something you constantly find yourself asking while standing in front of the mirror?
It’s one of them things that as women we all think about – our bodies! Some of us love every part of it, some hate their arms, others their tummy’s but we all have to work with what we have got and that’s the big question how do you work with it?
Did you know that before 2002 the last body sizing survey to be carried out was in the 1950’s?
I know… Totally shocking given that we live in the 21st century and we all know how much our bodies have changed since then.
In 1950, body measurements were taken from women using manual equipment so basically a tape measure. This meant that only key measurements of bust, waist and hips were taken. In 2001, SizeUK, joined forces with the Department of Trade and Industry, leading British retailers and academics to take measurements from more than 11,000 people across the UK.
This survey was carried out using revolutionary 3D body scanners which were also used in other sizing surveys including SizeUSA in order to get accurate body measurements. The scanner projects light which becomes distorted when it comes into contact with a solid. When the light meets the body, 6 cameras captured 130 measurements, which are accurate to within 2 millimetres. Pretty cool yeah?
By carrying out this survey SizeUK were able to obtain measurements from volunteers throughout the UK that represented both genders and seven age groups from 16 to 95 years.This was a massive breakthrough the UK fashion industry as it allows British retailers to stock clothing that fits women, men and children much better.
So why am I sharing it with you I hear you asked, Well, because it’s something that you should be aware of as it first brought up the question about Body Image, due to the fact that women, were pressured into striving to be the size and shape of the 1950s counterparts.
Now this lead me nicely onto body image, body positivity and body confidence and before we find out what body shape you are, I want to take some time and discuss this with you. I really want you to think about how you really feel about your body.
The reason why I want to do this is because I believe with every woman is beautiful, no matter what body shape or size you are and it is my mission to make you believe this about yourself.
We sadly live in a society that is obsessed with the way we look and this is mainly driven by the fashion industry and media. That being said, there are people like myself out there, that are really challenging this by promoting body positivity.
A perfect example of this is model Ashley Graham, who has been featured on the covers of fashion magazines – Vogue and Cosmopolitan and continues to be a voice for women who do not conform to the fashion Industry mindset and promotes that’s curves are sexy!
It is not only bodies that are being discriminated against, ageism is too but this is another example where this perception is being challenged too. In February 2017, New York Fashion Week featured designers challenging the narrow mindedness of this industry, by casting more plus-size models to walk their Fall 2017 season collections than ever seen before.
Sadly this win, never made it over the pond, to London Fashion Week, despite a protest happening in 2016, that featured plus-size models demanding that more of them be featured at London Fashion Week. The only breakthrough that came was from fashion designer, Simone Rocha who cast models to highlight female strength at all ages.
Been happy and confidence with your body can really help your personal style as it allows you to express who you are, something that I believe we all should be doing.
I first started to be interested in Body Image and confidence during my final year at university. Every time I walked into a magazine shop, I saw headline after headline about the latest fad diet or celebrities that had gone from being a normal, comfortable and healthy weight to losing so much weight that you could see their bones. This was something that I did not like, I was a young woman living in London feeling under pressure from magazines and the industry I worked in, to look a particular way and be a certain size.
At the time, there was one brand that was really challenging everything that was out there and that was Dove. In 2004 they burst onto the scene with a campaign that allowed the public to be involved and voice their option. The campaign featured models who did not look like models that other fashion and beauty brands were using. Dove referred to this campaign ‘real beauty’ because these women looked just like you and me. They had flaws, I mean we all have them yet they were beautiful because they were been themselves. For me personally, this message was so empowering and I loved that they were speaking out and was saying ‘We are all beautiful.’
Even to this day the dove brand still challenges people’s thoughts and beliefs around Body Image. One of the projects, they currently are running is The Dove Self-Esteem Project which is targeted at girls aged between 8 and 16 years and is something that is so important, as young people are under even more pressure to look and be a certain way.
I know that as you are reading this, you fully understand what I’m saying. As women, we have been told and exposed to statements and cliches that tell us that blondes have more fun!, that we would look better if we lost weight, you are not a women because you are flat chested, you can’t be pretty and also have brains, you’re not dressing as a woman should!
This is totally wrong and I don’t want you to feel this way! I want you to be happy and feel confident all the time, knowing that what you have been given – be it a few extra pounds, grey hair, a small bust, that these are the things that make you “you”, this is what makes you unique and beautiful! Embrace it, own it and let’s be more body positive about ourselves and others.
For me, the above quote really captures what body confidence is. You can’t allow yourself to be obsessed with achieving the perfect body because and this is where I will be really honest with you, the perfect body does not exist!
Yes, you may pick up a magazine and see a celebrity, and think to yourself that she has the perfect body but let me tell you something, she is just like you and me, she can at times still be insecure about her style, she can still find flaws in herself. Why, because she is human! You really need to get into the mindset that your body is beautiful!
You may be thinking that it’s easy for me to sit here and say these things, that I don’t understand! Well, I do, although I work in the fashion industry, I don’t have a size 8 figure, I have lumps, bumps and a tummy! Yes, do feel that I could lose a few pounds but my body the way it looks today when I look in the mirror is what it is and I love it because it is me, it is who I am! I have had times when I have stood in front of the mirror in the changing room in my favourite shop trying on something I’m looking in the mirror thinking to myself ‘you look fat’. The thing is if you think this, this is what you see! As soon as you start looking at yourself in a different way that is when you feel more confident and see just how sexy your body is.
What can you do to give yourself more body confidence, well don’t worry, I’m here to help you!
So to start with I want to give you a task which will take 3 minutes of your time.
Are you ready?
Great, this is what you will need to do this task…
- A full length mirror
- A timer
- I want you to go stand in front of the mirror, set your timer for 1 minute.
- Now really look at the person staring back at you, look yourself straight into the eyes until the 1 minute is up.
- Set your timer again for 1 minute.
- This time I want you move your eyes up and down your body, What do you notice first? Take in the way that you are standing. Are you standing tall? Is your head held high? Keep doing this until the 1 minute is up
- Set your timer again for 1 minute.
- This time I want you to look yourself in the eyes and say that out loud the following and mean each word… repeat until the 1 minute is up.
YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL, YOU ARE UNIQUE, YOU ARE SEXY AND I LOVE YOU! I LOVE YOU FOR BEEN YOU!
How did that make you feel? Now say it again!
Every morning when you wake up, I want you to do this… do you pledge that you will do it?
In March 2017 Ashley Graham spoke Vogue magazine about body confidence and said the following
“This confidence is not something that happens overnight. I have been working on it for a long time. I look in the mirror and do affirmations: ‘You are bold. You are brilliant. You are beautiful.’ If my lower pooch is really popping out that day, I look at it and say, ‘Pooch, you are cute!’” she said at the Urban Arts Partnership 25th anniversary benefit, Page Six reports. “Words have power, and if you are going to use your words negatively, then that is exactly what is going to happen in your life. You can eat a whole bowl of pasta and then you can go and do a lingerie shoot the next day, and I say to myself, ‘What the hell was I thinking?’ I am just like any other woman and I think I am the ‘fattest woman alive’ – but it is really about how you handle your situation.”
I think what Ashley has said just goes to show that you are not alone, we all think the same things but in order to change this mindset you have to speak out and believe.
The reason why am I asking you to do this is because unless you say it out loud and hear yourself saying you, won’t believe it, it doesn’t make it real. I am here tell you that you are beautiful and you are sexy but unless you say it yourself and mean it you will never believe me.
Now I want you to do and another task for me but this time I am going to ask you a question and I want you to take some time and really think about it as I know just like I do, you may find it difficult to answer.
- I want you to go back and stand in front of the mirror, set your timer for 1 minute.
- Now really look at the person staring back at you, look yourself straight into the eyes, move your eyes up and down your body until the 1 minute is up.
- Now answer this question.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE THE MOST ABOUT YOUR BODY?
Now I want you to share this with me in the below comment box.
………….. IS THE THING THAT I LOVE MOST ABOUT MY BODY!
The last thing I want you to do is to write or print off some affirmations that are body positive, confident and inspirational. You can find these on my website or below if you need some inspiration!
If you know how to dress for your body shape, let me start by saying congratulations because you are the small percentage that do. That been said we all have days where we just can’t find something to wear in our wardrobes. I mean how many outfit changes have you been through before you rush out of the house and then realise you have reached for the same old thing?
I know this because I have been there, something that you maybe shocked to hear given my background but there have been times in my life where it has been a little too much standing in front of the wardrobe trying to figure out what to wear.
For me it is not that I don’t know how to dress my body shape it’s more that I am just a normal girl who sometimes just has one of them days where I just don’t like anything that I put on… for some women though it is because they just don’t know what to wear for their body shapes.
When thinking about your body shape, you need to remember that it’s all about proportion and how you make the best of what you have got. Try not to focus on height and weight as the same body shapes can apply to all women… for example a woman can be tall and have curves just like her petite friend. The most important thing is to know your body shape and how you use fashion to dress it in order to make the most out of it.
Always remember that everyone is unique, you are unique in personality, body shape and in style so don’t compare yourself to other people as we are all different but that is ok, this is what makes the world beautiful… remember that.
Why do I need to know what body shape I am?
Some women wake up and find themselves standing in front of their wardrobe, not knowing where to even start picking out their outfit for the day ahead, others may feel the pressure when going shopping as they don’t know if styles and shapes will suit them. Been armed with this knowledge helps you feel more confident in your outfit selections.
I now want you to visualise with me…
N.B. MUSIC CREDITS: Like Music (cdk Mix) by cdk featuring snowflake
Now I want you to visualise that you are in your bed and it is morning…
Your alarm goes off and you open your eyes.
You see the light of sunshine trying to get through your curtains.
This makes you smile as you know that today is going to be a beautiful day.
You get out of bed and walk to your wardrobe…
as you open your doors you feel this overwhelming confidence and as you open the doors further you have clarity because everything in your wardrobe is organised and is right with you and your body shape.
You confidently reach in and pick a red dress,
It’s your favourite as it shows off all your best assets.
You slip the dress on, it feels soft and smooth against your skin and as you begin to zip the dress up, you start to feel sexy.
You team this with a beautiful necklace, your favourite black shoes and bag.
Ready in your new outfit for the day ahead, you start to walk out of your bedroom door but suddenly you catch your reflection in the mirror and notice how amazing you look.
You walk out of your house with your head held high, walking confidently and that extra inch taller.
Is this how you want to feel? I’m confident that the answer to this question is yes because at the end of the day we all want to feel confident, sexy and beautiful. When you dress for your body shape it helps you feel this way which in turn allows you to achieve all your life goals as you feel that you can take on the world!
Having the right key items for your body shape in your wardrobe can make a world of difference when it comes to getting dressed in the morning. It can help you feel more confident making you stand that extra inch or 2 taller and can make you enjoy fashion more but to do this, you need to know what body shape you have to start with and this is where my guidance can really help you.
What body shape are out there
I like to use 5 main body shapes…
The hourglass is the most famous and iconic of all body shape due to the fashion industry, which saw fashion designer Christian Dior design clothes specifically for the female hourglass shape. During the SizeUK survey, it was found that less than 10% of women in the UK actually had an hourglass body shape.
Another famous body shape is the pear and this is the most common figure for women. If you are a pear shape you tend to have broader hips that taper up to a smaller upper body basically your body looks like a pear!
This is also known as the apple body shape and means that most of your weight is above your hips your back ribs and shoulders and a broader compared to your narrow hips.
The Top Heavy
The top heavy body shape also known as inverted triangle features a broader chest and wider shoulders whereas the lower half of your body is narrower.
The Slender body shape also known as rectangle means that your body is similar widths at the waist, hips and shoulders.
Today we are going to work together in finding out which one of these you are but going forward you should review your body shape every 6 to 12 month. This is because as women our body shapes may change as you may lose a few extra pounds or you may gain. This is nothing to worry about, this is just body changing with different life experience. I’m not saying that your body shape will 100% change but it is always useful to check as you need to make the best use of what you’ve got in order to dress your body and look stylishly amazing.
How to find out your Body Shape
Now for the fun bit, this is where we work out what body shape you are, to do this you will need to take my body shape quiz see I told you it was fun!
First start by completing the quiz to find out what shape you are.
How did it go? Were you the shape that you thought you were?
Now that we know what shape you are, now you need to know how to dress your shape! The reason for this is that you want to make best of your amazing features and hide your problem areas and they will be certain things and pieces of clothing that you will not be able to pull off in order to know this I have put together my Free body shape guide.
I created this guide because I want to arm you with the knowledge to make your life easier when it comes to dressing for body shape. I want you to go to your wardrobe every morning knowing that what you pick out is right for you and that you look amazing!
So what's inside the guide?
I will share with you, the characteristics of what makes you that body shape, knowing this will make you aware of what’s your best asset and how to make the most of them,
Because we know what body shape you are, you now need to know how to make the most out of it.In the guide, I will break this down with you in an easy to read format. I will give you my checklist of the things that you should wear that will really show off your assets, and of course, there are some things that you should stay away from wearing as they will not show your body shape off in the right way… something that we all want to avoid.