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It Ain't Easy Being Skinny Either.


Nov18

We here at Full On Style are under no illusions that being the skinny chick in Hollywood is any easier than fighting for acceptance as a curvier woman. Just in case you still were under that illusion, take a peak at this project done by the waify chanteuse Natalie Imbruglia. The phenomenal fashion photographer Rankin asked celebs and musicians to destroy a photo he's taken of them over the years in whatever way they wanted. Natalie's contribution is a particularly telling example of self-destruction. Here is her pretty before picture:

 

 

In her after photo the petite singer-actress takes the pose of the terrible tabloids and circles her original with little rings of red pen, indicating the exact spots that need to be changed, hidden, air-brushed, or generally made perfect.

 

Her quote along side the image is a perfect summation of how the perfected media images we see all day every day impact all of us, no matter what size we are.

God, media, let us breathe! No one's perfect. It doesn't exist.


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Sketch Me a Body. Make It Beautiful.


Nov16

The work of illustrator Samantha Hahn may normally be used to sell fashion to the masses, but her striking sketches of busty babes with pin-up bodies make my curves smile. She does a lot of work with Glamour Magazine, which if you don't already read, you totally should because they are the curvy girl's champion right now. Here's some eye candy courtesy of Ms. Hahn:

 

Beautiful, right? You can scope more of Samantha's work by clicking here.


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Big Ups!: Joan From Mad Men


Nov10

I'm a little late to the party, but I'm so glad I came! I just started watching the first season of Mad Men on DVD, and I can't even tell you how much I love it. Everything from the garter belts and nylons, to the perfectly coiffed up-dos, to the office furniture, and Don's dapper style; the show is breathtaking. But, above all else there is Joan. Ah, Joan. Sailing around that office with a tight grasp on the entire concept of sexy.

 

Her body is ah-ma-zing! She's got curves that melt into each other and fill out every great dress with a feminine roundness that is the epitome of womanly.

 

 

I swear, if she had been on television when I was a teen, I think I could have saved myself some serious cash in therapy bills. Her mix of bod-ah-boom and sass is seriously inspiring. She's the girl on the show with the body, but she's not the dopey best friend, she's the leader of the pack, the alpha female, and her entire presence makes me proud to sport a curvaceous form, with a brain to match. She's a bitch when she needs to be, but then she cries and you remember she's as soft in the center as she is around the edges.

 

 

I'm floored by her beauty and her complexity as a character. It's amazing to see everyone want this woman with a look that I kind of some days see in my own mirror. I was raised on a phalanx of tv shows that stuffed skinny actresses into padded fat suits to make them look normal, but this is the real normal deal. I feel like she's life affirming! Also, I like to imagine a modern day battle of the stars in which Joan snaps Dr. Meredith Grey in half in and flosses her teeth with her. Big Ups, Joan!


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Comparing Apples to Applebottoms


Nov05

Remember the days of P.E. where you were scared out of your wits to hit the showers because you didn’t want your perfect-bodied classmates to see your less-than-stellar attributes? Yeah, neither do I. But, I’ve seen enough episodes of The Wonder Years to understand the humiliation.

And the problem, I’ve learned, is that we never stop comparing ourselves even into adulthood.

Lately, this is my struggle. Comparing myself. I’m used to being curvy. I have been my whole life. But, lately, I’ve been pushing chunky territory. In all honesty, this is not something I’m used to. I know you’re thinking, Beka, embrace your body…extra love handles and all! Well, I just can’t. No matter how hard I try, I just feel like a big schlub.

I hate that my favorite dresses don’t fit, and that I outweigh my boyfriend by 30-pounds. I hate that I don’t feel petite, and when I walk into certain stores, I’m always paranoid that they’re wondering why I am even bothering to look…as if I’d never fit into any of the clothes sold there. (And sometimes, I can't!)

Why am I telling you this? Why am I airing my insecure, dirty laundry on the web? Quite simply, because I can for one thing. And for another, because somehow, sharing my most vulnerable moment helps me to realize how ridiculous I am being.

The other day I was at an event surrounded by college girls. And sure enough, there my brain went a-comparin’. She probably doesn’t even need to try on her clothes because everything looks wonderful on her. Or Look, her stomach doesn’t hang over her pants. And then there was the I could never wear that dress with my backrolls…and how does one counteract backrolls anyway?

I just wanted to run and hide. I felt enormous and unattractive. It didn't matter to me that I had worked my butt off in a cardio class the day before, or that I had on one hell of an amazing outfit!

So, how do I counteract my need to compare myself to other women? Well, lately, I've been trying to remind myself of a few things, that get me out of my woe-is-my-thunder thighs tailspin and into feeling a bit more body confident. And so far, these five little bits o' honey have been working just fine:

1) Some of these women are still young, and still have active metabolisms. Wait ‘til they turn 26! (OK, so maybe that isn’t so positive.) At any rate, my metabolism has slowed down, so I just need to work a bit harder than they do is all.
2) Everyone has a part of their body they don’t like. So, what if I have more than one less-than-desirable part?
3) My boyfriend still thinks I’m hot and my dog thinks I'm just perfect!
4) If the Hellenistic or Greco-Roman sculptors considered women with flabby stomachs and thicky-thick thighs to be worthy of art, than why should I feel badly?
5) I’m not chubby; I’m healthy. And if it really bothers me, then I should do something about it!

So, in short, if you're like me and you're tempted to put yourself down and to start comparing yourself to girls who, for all intents and purposes, have physical flaws too, even if they're invisible to you in your time of supersize syndrome, stop. You look great, I look great. Nobody's perfect, and it's as simple as that.


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Ah, Push It!: Week One


Nov05

Ok guys, I told you I was going to get to lovin' my arms via an action plan, and I'm going to depend on y'all to keep me honest. I just did my Initial Test of the One Hundred Pushup Challenge, where I was instructed to do as many push-ups as I could before I collapsed. I was told not to cheat and not to pass out. I didn't do either and I did 12 full, perfect form push-ups before my arms rubbered on me.


 

Here's photographic evidence:

Oh man, that's a pretty picture! lol. I'm tossing vanity to the wind. The fact that I did 12 push-ups means that I'll follow column three in this chart for my first day of the program, which will begin on Saturday.


 

I'm having trouble believing that I'll be able to do all of those, but I'm going to have faith and give it my best shot. My arms deserve it! I'll let you know how it goes....

Want to join me? Head over to OneHundresPushups.com and get started.

 

 


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BUTTon.


Nov04

We here at Full On Style are proud owners of bigger booties! We like to promote booty love and we think you should do the same. But, how do I do that, you might assk? Well, simple: Buy a Booty Button!


Get yours at the awesome site Little Paper Planes. Booty pride!


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Grab This!


Nov04

Check out the curve hugging details, especially the cinched waist detail in the back.

This Free People jacket is perfect for the stage of weather we are having here in New York, it's a woven cropped piece that can be layered with scarves and zipped to warm it up, or left undone for the mild days of sunshine we will still have before winter weather hits. The asymmetrical cut of the jacket is perfect for girls with a figure to flaunt. It hugs you just right when zipped and keeps things a bit drapier when left undone. It even makes this stick skinny blond model look like she's got a little more to love; that's saying something for its curve flattering status! It's also a perfectly trendy piece without overdoing it. The best part? The jacket is on sale for about a third of its original price: it's down from $148 to $49.95. Cha-ching, ba-da-bing! Grab it.

See? Drapey and cool.

You want one, don't you? If you do click this link to the Free People site and peruse.


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Pre-Shopping Prior to Shopping


Nov04

Having been a curvy girl since puberty, I've come to learn which silhouettes will flatter my shape and which make me look like a pregnant wolf in sheep's clothing. (I know that's harsh, but baby, it's just that simple.) Because we all know. Especially if you got hips, or a booty, or quite a rack. We can eye a piece of clothing and determine how it will fit us, because we have grown accustomed to trying on a lot of clothes a lot of the time.

And because I'm still not grown up enough to shop with the big girls, (i.e., I am still drawn to youthful simplicities at age 26), I've adopted a policy of Pre-Shopping. (I also call this Browser-Window Shopping.) This is when I will scour a store's website for clothes online, so I know exactly what sort of styles I'm looking for ahead of time.

Make sense? Possibly not, so here's an example:

Don't despair at a place like Urban Outfitters, for instance, since there are tons of looks we curvy gals can work. So, I head to the website to pick out a piece or two I know will flatter my figure. That way, when I head to the store itself, it's not so much a crapshoot. I can just snag the sort of pieces or looks (because you know they may not be available in-store) and head straight to the fitting room.


Why is this beneficial?

For starters, this has always worked wonders with keeping me from becoming severely depressed after post-try-on-trauma or from spending hours trying to find one semi-flattering piece. Plus, you'll already have a look in mind when you hit the stores...another time saver!
Additionally, it gets you thinking about your body and what really looks good on you! (There go your positive body image thoughts!)

So, before you hit the racks in store, try browsing the store's website to save yourself time and hassle! Happy Pre-Shopping!


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Happy Birthdy, Cookie!


Nov04

Today is the 40th anniversary of Sesame Street and it sparked so many old memories. I so remember being a little tot and feeling like the only one who really got me in the whole world was Cookie Monster. Yes, I know this sounds muy loco (thanks for teaching me Spanish, Sesame Street!), but he was the first person (monster?) that I knew who loved cookies as much as I did. His voracious zeal for those crumbly, messy, circles of goodness matched mine from the age of five. I was always so annoyed that he was so messy and got cookies all over the place. I was like, "Cookie, careful! You are missing your mouth! You're wasting them!!!". I think this could have been everyone's first clue that I was a burgeoning binger, but I'll forgive them for thinking that my affinity for the Blue Guy was innocent. I can laugh about this now, but I spent so many years feeling like a real life version of Cookie Monster, roaming any and everywhere for sweet stuff, having those googly, unfocused eyes around sugary snacks, and making all of those noises as I shoveled food down. Um, so this isn't exactly what I thought Sesame Street's anniversary was going to spur in my memory, but so be it.

I've since learned to manage my relationship to cookies with a grace and diligence that Cookie never knew, and I no longer feel like I identify with him (thank god!!). He's a spot-on version of my former self, but he's nothing like the healthy me now. Hopefully Beka and my work on this site will help anyone out there who feels like a monster around cookies, gain their dignity back too. You don't have to live for the cookie. Put it down....put it down! :)

 

 

 


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Call To Arms.


Nov02

I think my point in this post can best be presented in a quote from Janeane Garafalo's self-titled 1997 comedy special in which she devotes a few minutes to the discussion of a topic very close to my own heart then and now--the plight of women with bigger arms:

"I have matronly upper arms, y'know? I can't get intimate because I have matronly upper arms and there's two kinds of women in the world: those with matronly upper arms and those with visible biceps and never the twain shall meet, because the bicep gals don't get it and the matronly upper arms girls know about life and love and losing."

I know it sounds dramatic if you have visible biceps, but for those of you with the matronly upper arms, tell me how much you feel that! I cannot tell you how true that statement sounded to my 15 year-old ears when I first heard it, and still sounds to my now 27 year-old self.

Me in a rare attempt at playing "sports". This is one of the pictures from this summer that I cringed at when I saw my arms. I'm now on an anti-cringing mission!

I've come a long way in the acceptance of my curvy body; I try to focus on all the good things my body can do, feel, and show rather than bash myself for its imperfections. But, try as I might, I have a really hard time sending good thoughts to my arms. I've got what I not-so-lovingly refer to as "thigh arms" or "Bubbie arms". I know, that's mean, and I don't want to give anyone out there any ideas about how to talk about their arms! My goal is to learn to love them and here's how I'm going to do it:

1) I'm now going to exhaustively list all of the wonderful things my arms can do:

  • hug people
  • carry heavy moving boxes and luggage
  • rock a baby to sleep
  • raise up in excitement
  • fly (not really.)
  • squeeze me in a self-hug
  • keep my hands attached to my body and make them much more useful
  • elbow people
  • punch things
  • chair dance
  • wave hi
  • help me lift out of bed and chairs
  • pull up my body when I'm dangling off a ledge in an action film (they could...)
  • play tennis and volleyball, the only sports I was ever good at
  • support my head when I'm tired
  • hold puppies
  • paint things
  • bring food to my mouth (mmmm...)
  • fill out sleeves
  • make me feel strong like bull when I do warrior poses in yoga

 

    My arms holding a baby! Aw...

 

2) I'm going to come up with positive words for my arms to replace the matronly, thigh, and Bubbie sleights above:

  • strong
  • soft
  • supple
  • squeezable
  • womanly

This is harder than I thought... moving on:

3) I'm going to commit to all of you that I will begin  following a plan of action.

I've found that exercising my body and eating right is the best defense against negative thoughts about it. Although this hasn't worked for my seemingly shapeless-no-matter-how-many-bicep-curls-I-do upper arms before, I'm going to try again. This time I'm going to follow a plan that is distinctly designated for arm strength. It is a plan that requires a devotion to a long term goal. It's the 100 Push-Ups Challenge created by Steve Speirs.


If I can do 100 push ups, I'll be able to rest assured that my arms are in their top physical state and then I can stop thinking, "Well, if only I worked them a little harder, they'd look better," and start thinking, "Watch out Mofos! These guns may look matronly, but they kick (or punch?) a**!". The program will take six weeks in total as outlined on the site. It will be long and hard, I'm sure, but oh so worth it when I can beat people up.

4) I'm going to put this picture of Michelle Obama in the corner of my mirror:

 

5) And finally, I'm going to say one loving thing to my arms everyday.

Today? "Dear arms, I love you for your huggability."

If you want to join me on this path to arm acceptance, drop me a line and we'll start a matronly--ahem, I mean soft arms support group.

 


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