Money does not define people’s worth.

Honestly what is with this world and labels.

I’ve have just read someone spouting off about the amount of “so called” writers popping up. The intention of the article was that you can’t call yourself a writer unless you have been published.

Why the hell not? 

If I write a piece of poetry am I not a poet unless that piece is published?

If I dance a dance am I not a dancer?

Why does payment become part of a description.

Some of the greatest composers never made a penny off their compositions.

This is not the first time I have read this kind of opinion.

I’ve heard it from the modelling world as a model should again not call herself a model unless paid to do so.

Now I’m not trying to take away from the professionals but In life but do we need to be thinking this way?

Should I be describing myself as a published writer, a published poet.

Ermm NO

I was a writer when I was 7 years old when I handed my grandad book after book of my stories. When I made him sit through so many of my poems, when I danced around the house to songs I had written, I was a writer.

Seeing my name in print did not define me.

The act of allowing words out of my mind onto paper or through my keyboard did.

I am also a model, I wear clothes to show another.

I may not be earning the supermodel wages but heck that doesn’t take away from my description.

A lot of my friends are carers but I can promise you that they don’t see a penny from it. Does that devalue the hours of loving, supporting and bum changing they do.

When my daughter draw her first picture she was an artist. The fact that this picture was not going to hang in any gallery mattered nothing to me. To me that picture was priceless.

Please let’s not use money to define people’s worth. 

Let the world be full of singers, poets, composers, writers, dancers and so many more.

The definition of another should not define you.

If it does then I’m sorry because that says more about you than them.

Your definition should be whoever you want it to be.

You are the author of your own story.

The artist of your own design.

No rules, wear what you love..

My journey over the last two years of self discovery has birthed inside of me a new love for fashion and make up.

I’ve experimented and pushed myself out of my comfort zone. Tried colours and patterns that I would have never worn before.

I’ve had some great successes and some terrible failures but all have been a valuable part of growing.

So what have I learned?

Black is still my favourite colour but a little accent of colour can bring to life an outfit.

Pastels will cause everyone you meet to ask you if you are ill as you look a little off colour.

Wearing strong lipstick is great but make sure you drink from one side of a glass otherwise said lipstick ends up all over your forehead. Not good when schmoozing and trying to impress.

  

I can wear a dress and the sky won’t fall in.

  

Shape wear knickers sometimes roll down and cause quite a panic in the middle of an awards evening, no one noticed of course right. 😳

I love wearing hats and yes some do suit me.

  

Fake eyelashes are awesome but not stuck to your cheekbones.

I can wear heels now and again but I’m still on the search for the perfect black boots.

Heels look good but do not wear them for the first time at an event which requires you to stand for over four hours.

To be fair it’s been such an amazing time really discovering who I am and what I like .

Still I think the greatest lesson I have learned is that there are no rules. 

You wear what you want, be it a dress, a crop top ( yes Oprah that’s aimed at you) or ripped jeans. 

Never let anyone or society dictate your style. 

For years I’ve listened to others and not myself, not anymore. 

I’ve learned to love my body and in doing so I’m learning to live freely.

I’m loving fashion and make-up and the only limitation I have is my bank balance.  

This time next month, I will be modelling at Style XL .

Guess what this time next month I am heading to Birmingham to model at one of the best plus size fashion events in the UK, Style XL. The event is so awesome that after only one year it has been nominated for the “Best Event” at the British Plus Size Awards. Have you got your vote in yet??

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I am so excited to be again part of this event which is looking so fantastic, with brands like Simply Be, Yours, Bon Prix, Jacamo, Monroe Knows, Lady Voluptuous, Chubby Cartwheels, Curvy Kate, Topsy Curvy, Pinup Popup parlour, Claireabella’s Closet, Iridenscene, Nicky Rockets, and not forgetting Apples and Pears the one company I know I am modelling for woo hoo.

So with a line up like this its going to be amazing, but thats not all thats happening, add the MODEL XL final and some fantastic workshops it really is going to be a awesome couple of days.

As for the venue, wit woo take a look at the gorgeous Paragon Hotel, its been having a major facelift over the last months and it looks simply stunning. I cannot wait to boogie the night away here.

So have you got your ticket yet?

If not you better hurry up as tickets are going fast and we are down to the last few so get ordering now.

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Seriously I am so excited, it was at this event last year that I first walked a cat walk and yes whilst I may have bricking it the company of the beautiful ladies that surrounded me gave me a new found confidence that I am simply loving and embracing.

It really is going to be a great weekend, a fantastic event full of amazing plus fashion. Come check out what we all shall be wearing this autumn/winter.

Honestly I cannot wait and don’t forget if you do join us come over and say HI. I will be the one trying not to trip up over my own feet as I strut my stuff ha ha. Seriously though one of the best things about these kind of events is the new people I get to meet. As my Grandad  once told me “Strangers are the friends you have yet to meet” so lets get saying Hello.

 

 

we have style xl

 

 

 

 

Keeping one of my #plussizepromises

Last week following a challenge set by Debz from the The Not So Secret Diary of a Wannabe Princess  I blogged about some promises I was going to keep for myself.

One of those promises was I am going to get my legs out this summer.

Well the last few days have been simply gorgeous and a new beautiful dress from ASOS was the perfect time to keep this promise.

asosblack dress

My legs and guess what, the world didn’t break and I enjoyed the sunshine on my pins.

Honestly after years of hating my legs this is major for me. They are constantly swollen thanks to my illness, but guess what that’s life and I have to remind myself I am beautiful swollen legs and all.

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I am absolutely loving this dress from Asos the detail on the neck and sleeves are just stunning.

 

 

I promise

The beautiful Katt from The Curvy Cupcake  inspired the amazing  Debz at The Not So Secret Diary of a Wannabe Princess to set us all a challenge, the #PlusSizePromise.

The challenge is to blog five promises that we make to ourselves this summer.

Here’s mine.

 

1. Get my legs out, I’m tired of being hot and bothered every summer. This year I’m going to get my milky white legs out and let them breathe.

get my legs out

 

 

2. Take time out for myself. This is something I really need to work on, I need to say NO a little more and give myself some quality time, to read, to enjoy a meal with friends, a nights of dancing and copious amounts of alcohol

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3. To not back out.  I can list you a million reasons why I shouldn’t do something. This summer is the start of me doing less of this. I want to be positive and believe in myself. I CAN DO THIS.

Icando this

 

4. Its not always my fault.  I am so good at blaming myself that it could be considered an art form. I’m happy to blame myself from anything from a squashed spider to a natural disaster.  But guess what it’s not always my fault and this is something I need to learn.

Itsnotmyfault

5. More time for us. To spend some more quality time with my husband. After twenty years of being together we need to start carving time into our schedule for quality time. More romantic meals, walks, cuddles.

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So here are my five promises.

Why don’t you join in x

 

Sugar and Spice

The last few weeks have been crazy my wardrobe of daily choice has simply been what has been ironed. Still that hasn’t stopped me looking at some gorgeous outfits and new summer styles that have been coming out.

A few months back I was on the search for an evening dress for the Mayors Awards evening and I came across the website Curvety  a site full of some beautiful dresses. Fast forward a month I was offered the chance to review one of the dresses that I had been looking at. I wasn’t going to say no was I!

Curvety

 

This Sugar and Spice dress by Kiyonna really caught my eye, I just loved the fishnet neckline which gave me a chance to show of my body art.  I loved the fact that it had a mixture of style and elegance.

The sizing is very generous, the material is beautiful. The dress felt so well made and a pleasure to wear.

I think it would be just right for a romantic meal or a formal event.

 

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Curvety have some amazing clothes for plus size woman, don’t take my word for it go check them out. Maybe you will find that perfect outfit you have been searching for.

 

 

*I was gifted this dress for the purpose of a review but all opinions, views  are my own.

 

 

True beauty

If you have been on social media this week or have watched or read the news you would have heard about the remarks Loose women, ex pop star Jamelia as said regarding clothing brands and the availability  of clothes in sizes that she doesn’t believe to be healthy. How she believes that High street stores should not stock sizes below a 6 and over a 20 as ‘they’ should feel uncomfortable if ‘they’ are unhealthy.

So many wonderful bloggers have eloquently written about this and in a way that I couldn’t do it justice.

The reason I cannot find the words is simply because Jamelia’s statement stole from me. They took away a feeling of self confidence that I had finally found only after the last few years. She made me feel like

a) a burden on society

b) someone who should be ashamed

Thankfully the amazing Debz from The not so secret diary of a wannabe princess decided to do something about these remarks. In her words

 ” I feel that by saying ‘they’ should shop in specialist shops and ‘they’ should be made to feel uncomfortable it is all very anonymous. It is easy to say that a bunch of blank faces (and bodies) should be treated a certain way, but what Jamelia (and anyone who agrees with her) needs to realise is that WE are real people. We have REAL feelings, REAL jobs, friends and families. When you say that people should make ‘them’ feel uncomfortable you are encouraging them to treat US differently.. US as in real people.
So, Jamelia and anyone who feels that ‘they’ should be made to feel uncomfortable 
‘WE ARE THE ‘THEY’

Then Debz encouraged women of the sizes that ‘Dr Jamelia’ doesn’t believe are healthy to take to social media and share photos of themselves
Using the hashtag #wearethethey

I cannot tell you how this hashtag has moved me over the last two days. Beautiful women size 20 and over and equally as beautiful woman size 6 and under celebrating their bodies as they blooming well should.

My own journey with body acceptable has been hard, from a teenager full of self loathing and self harm I only finally loved my body once it started to grow a child. When I could throw away all the falsehoods and realise what an amazing thing my body truly was.

I  actually don’t remember a time when I didn’t think I was fat. When my body was the size that Jamelia  considers acceptable I hated it. Living on a diet of cigarettes and vodka scared to eat. Hating my body for what it was, punishing it daily left me with a body that was failing and my mind, well let’s not go there.

I actually dread to think where I would be now if I hadn’t met my husband and got pregnant with my first born when I did.  Knowing that a life was forming inside me changed me. I finally understood what true beauty was.

Now it would be wonderful if my mind set had stayed in this place but 4 children in 5 years left my body rather ragged, but thankfully being able to be active with the girls and teaching dance my body was in a place that I was happy with or I could accept.

Then to cut a long story short I was attacked and beaten and then due to complications was left with an immune system that was failing.

10 years later I am left with a health issue that effects every part of my life. I take numerous medicines and my ability to do physical things is sorely limited. I also live in constant pain.

Now this had changed my world from one were I was a fit dance teacher to one where for a while could barely walk.

I had to find a new kind of normal.  I also had to face a changing body and one I hated . The old self hatred rose it’s ugly head. I struggled, clothes became a non issue, a uniform of jeans and baggy clothes became my wardrobe. Never did I wake up excited about what I was going to wear. Photographs of me disappeared, I became the photographer never the photographed.

Then thankfully a few years ago I came across some plus size bloggers, women who were actively shouting I’m here and I want to look good. Women who advocate that fashion should come in all sizes.

Women who changed me.

Now I look in the mirror and like what I see, yes I’m overweight but my diet is good. It’s certainly a lot better than it was back In the days of cigarettes and vodka.

I’m swimming each week, raising 4 amazing children and working  full time as a foster carer to children with special needs.

I love life and I’m really living.

I guess what I’m trying to say is this Jamelia I am not ashamed of who I am.

How dare you suggest I should be made to feel uncomfortable anywhere.  I am a beautiful, incredible woman and I only hope that one day that you will realise that beauty is not found in the number on your label and that health is not always something you can see.

Please consider your position as well, consider all those women who you destroyed with your words. Opinions are like assholes we all have them, yet when in a position of privilege in this case being beamed into thousands of homes around the UK please think before you speak. The shit you spew can and I can assure you has damaged someone.

When the world stops judging people’s value on appearance then the world will finally see true beauty.