I feel emotional today.
But let me start with this: for the record, I am 32.
This week has been quite a great week for me in the blogging world. I attended two great events - the Eveden AW Lingerie Launch as well as a Charity Fashion Show put on by Carolyn De La Drapiere. I connected with the Curve side of AXParis and have an item in hand to review for you. I posted my interview with Harriet Coleman, as well as secured another couple of interviews with totally HOT Plus Models. I met up with some fellow bloggers and we talked about how we feel in our little fashion world and I also went out with a girl I met because she READS this blog.
All really good things.
Last night, while I was at the Fashion Show, I tweeted:
All I can say is THANK GOODNESS for blogs.
Thank goodness for the internet and the ability of like minded women to pull together and chat about fashion and shapes and bodies. I was watching last night and all I could think was that I WISHED there were more teenagers and young women and girls in attendance. The models on show were stunners across a variety of ages, heights, shapes and sizes. All of them were beautiful and unique. All I could think was - I needed this when I was in my teens.
Little me and my little sister.
Now truthfully ladies? I am lucky with my upbringing. I come from a big family in which we were taught never to pick on each other's physicality. We were taught not to be mean. We were all different, with different issues and certainly, I was the chubby one. I think I got called "Thunder Thighs" at least once, but to be honest, we almost never picked on each other's aesthetics. What I'm trying to say is that at home, I was never really made to feel bad about myself for being overweight (one of my best friends gave me a diet book when I was 15 for my birthday - but that's a whole other story). Inherently, in my upbringing we were taught that we were all "okay". On top of that, we were taught about health and being aware of ourselves and our bodies - but ALWAYS, right at the root of that, was that we were "okay". Beautiful, even. That doesn't mean I didn't have massive body issues or struggle with my image or size - I certainly did and I've written about some of that before... What it did mean though, is that I had a really good grounding with which to tackle my body issues, because at my core, my mum and dad taught me: I was okay. Not everyone is that lucky. I am well aware of that.
For me last night, even with my current day confidences, I still looked at those models and felt really emotional WISHING I had seen them when I was 14. We are all self critical in our own ways. As females, most of us grew up with images of very slender women surrounding us (in magazines and the like) and those images were sold and published as what we should be aspiring to... Thank goodness for the recent explosion of designers and bloggers and models and magazines aimed at focusing on a range of bodies and differences.
This week, out with fellow bloggers - Claire, Bets and Lauren, it was refreshing to talk so candidly about what we're seeing in Plus Fashion. At the Lingerie Launch we attended, there were three different models. All of them tall (and totally sexy), but there was one model, Alex, who was there specifically to showcase bras and pants for heavier curves. There were also curvier mannequins, wearing the lingerie that I'd buy. I wasn't told to look at a slim model or mannequin and then imagine the lingerie on my figure - I was given a curvy mannequin and a curvy model to boot. That actually moved me and was a really great showing by Elomi. To be honest, the Eveden group NAILED that Launch and I will post more on it soon.
Model, Alex, for Elomi at the Eveden Launch.
Georgina was at the Eveden Launch too. I'm kind of in awe of Georgina. I really like her as a person, but she's also someone I wish I could've known when I was a teenager: you know, when I was struggling with a pair of boobs BIGGER than everyone else I knew. What a role model she is. Georgina has embraced her figure and looks totally fierce while doing it. I wish I'd had a Georgina to look up to as I went through puberty - but honestly, I thank goodness I know her now! Totally inspiring. Thank goodness, to be honest, to all the bloggers (including Gabi, Hayley and Val) who inspired me to really get involved.
What an amazing time. Whether you're older than me or younger than me - if you're reading this, THANK YOU for being here. My blog has grown bigger than I ever thought it would be and I have many women from all over the world stopping by. I hope whoever you are and no matter your age, you know you're part of something that's making a huge difference. And not just to 14 year old girls. You make a difference to women and girls ALL OVER who are yet to find us online. You're also making a difference to the women and girls who are already here, but are still coming to grips with the concept of knowing, inherently, that they are "okay".