How-To: Be Body Confident
This week we asked some of our fave French bloggers to tell us more about how they feel and what they think about body confidence. Sincere and very honest, here’s all of their thoughts...
"It would be quite inappropriate of me to lecture anyone on self-confidence, I have a lot of issues with this term and what it defines. I embody confidence once in a blue moon and for the rest, I just want to hide under my own hair. However, days when I feel good about myself are more and more frequent and I now know how to embrace this body how it is. It’s not perfect but alive and healthy. It moves with me and represents who I am”
“Self-confidence is something that is quite complicated in itself. Some days are just bad and it’s the same for everyone, in front of the mirror, we just want to scream we are huuuuuuuge. Beauty is unique to everyone. Keep going, onwards and upwards, stop thinking about what other people think or say. Let’s just feel beautiful, run to the beach in our cutest swimsuit!”
“The society we live in is extremely superficial. But what is a perfect body? Is it a normal body? There is no definition for a perfect body. We are all beautiful! Shine on the beach, enjoy the sun, tan and more importantly have fun, love yourself and accept yourself!”
"I’m neither tall, nor short, nor big, nor petite, nor blonde, nor brunette… I am one of these that you can walk past in the street many times without remembering the face and honestly it’s fine by me ! It’s been a few years since I’ve stopped worrying about what other people think!”
"My dream: tanned with green eyes, not happening. But honestly, the most important is to feel good in your head, your body and be confident? (Right, I still have a long way to go…). And it’s important to have the right support. Friends who only complain and compare their tans are not really for me. We can’t measure our summer, holidays and life only based on your tan, no?”
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Babein' Body Confidence
Another week, another dose of how to feel fab with your body thanks to these kick-ass bloggers. We challenge you to not feel sunny after reading these stories... “I remember stepping onto the beach wrapped in a tummy-control swimsuit and a cover up, glancing nervously round at the people nearby and making any excuse not to take those tentative steps down across the sand and into the water for the fear of what other people would think of me. I was so self-conscious of removing my cover up that I wore it into the sea so that I didn’t have to uncover my non-conventional “beach body” that I felt wasn’t as “ready” as the toned bodies in the media. Fast forward 7 years, and I’ve added a lot of self-love, and surrounded myself with body positive, beautiful women of all shapes and sizes who love their bodies. I won’t pack swimsuits and cover ups now – it’s all about the two pieces! Let’s be honest, if someone is spending their holiday judging you on how much your thighs jiggle, they’re quite obviously not taking full advantage of fruity flavoured cocktails, midday snacks and sunshine, right? The truth is that those people that you think are eyeing up your cellulite probably aren’t even looking at you and if they are, perhaps they’re wondering where you got your bikini? When you’re second guessing yourself, it’s so easy to feel like others are too. Confidence comes down to not caring what others think, and realising that how you feel is much more important than the opinions of others, and I for one feel like a total beach babe.” “I've struggled a lot with my body. Putting on weight affected me so much; I hated how I looked so much until one day I just physically felt so sick and tired of hating myself. Social media is a massive influence to why young people, not just girls, don't feel confident in the skin they're in. Hands up, I used to be one of those people that thought every photo I posted had to be “OMG YOU LOOK SO BEAUT!”, or that my make-up always had to be “SO FLEEK.” I feel like there's a lot of pressure on how we look, which is exaggerated by social media. There’s an idea that you’ve got to look good for the ‘likes’, and this just isn’t true! You're so beautiful with or without the likes and followers. Don't ever feel like you're worth nothing or that there's something wrong with you because of Instagram. I've learnt to love myself and accept my flaws. I was ridiculously insecure about my thick thighs, stretch marks, not-so-flat stomach and my scars. But now I've just grown to love myself. No one is perfect. There’s more to life than worrying about how I look or what other people think of MY body.” “I’m a huge believer of to get a bikini body, you simply put a bikini on your body. No matter what size clothes you buy, or how much you weigh, if you have the flattest tummy or biggest of bums, we all have that one thing that we pick at. Even if you did work on it, that would just leave room for us to find something else about ourselves to complain about, right? From as young as I can remember, my biggest confidence issue was my tummy. I had small boobs but that never bothered me. I always embraced them. Even now, I love that I can wear no bra 80% of the time. Not having a super flat stomach was just always what I tried to fix – but I will never let a confidence issue stop me from putting a bikini on.There are always little things you can do to help you feel better about yourself. For me, once I get into my bikini, I’ll do an 8 minute abs workout, followed by some squats. It’s all about mind over matter. I know I could just give up crisps, or chips, or Pepsi. But I don’t want to – and I shouldn’t have to give up things I enjoy to make myself feel better when I’m in swimwear. Some of my favourite things to feel more confident are to stay hydrated, keep moisturised, accessorise with whatever makes me feel good, and to tan up!" “As cliché as it sounds, for me, body confidence comes from within. I like to do things which make me feel good about myself; work out so that I can enjoy the food I want to eat; dance, laugh, surround myself with people I love, and generally try and look after my body as best that I can. Over the last few years I have slowly come to the realisation that in order to feel good about yourself, you have to embrace your imperfections; they are what set you apart – which is a good thing!”
Friday Muse: Jorja Smith
You could say music is second nature to super cool, Jorja Smith. She penned her first play when she was just 8 years old (albeit performing the whole thing herself) and her dad-come-lead singer is in soul band, Second Nature. Cool, right? Hailing from Yorkshire with Jamaican roots, Jorja now lives in Walsall and has been writing songs ever since her solo performance. She’s pals with Maverick Sabre, Skrillex and Ed Thomas to name but a few and her influencers range from Dizzee Rascal to Henry Purcell. Eclectic? We think so! Get the look... Follow her @jorjasmith_
6 Ways To Be More Confident
By Gabriella Werre You know that part of the film where the popular, attractive female lead struts her stuff so hard it seems as if time has instantly slowed down and gravity has failed as people’s jaws drop to the floor? That’s how I feel when I walk through most doors, and you can too.Confidence isn’t limited to a select few; no one can gift or grant you the ability to be confident-you are in control from day one.1. Body Language, Body Language, Body Language!If there was a contest for the most important characteristics of a confident person I would certainly advocate for body language to make the shortlist. Even if you’re secretly not all the way there confidence wise in your mind, no one can tell because your head is held high and your hands aren’t conjoined as your eyes follow the pavement. Making eye contact shows that you are strong enough to face anything or anyone. It says that you are equal. You can say more with your eyes than with your mouth and they pack more punch than a fist. Confident women do not demand respect with their voice, but with their body language, after all actions speak louder than words.Walk down the street like you own the place and people will think you do. 2. Stop ApologizingNo, this doesn’t mean stop apologizing when you accidentally spill someone’s coffee or if you want to scoot pass someone on the tube, it means stop apologizing when your ‘friend’ says your laugh is too loud or your boss says you failed at a task. A confident person knows their laugh is loud (i.e. me my whole life) and laughs anyways. A confident person also takes on board their boss’ comments and works harder. Hard work and succeeding in the future is the best apology, and one your boss will respect more.In addition, how many of us have ever sent an email to someone saying: “Sorry to bother you, but I just wanted to …”. There are two keywords here that don’t belong, sorry and just. Eliminate those two words from your email terminology. Sure, apologize in an email if you were late for a meeting with your potential employer, but you don’t need to apologize for simply emailing people. One of the best pieces of advice I ever received was to stop saying just in emails! No, I don’t just want to speak with you, I want to speak with you. It exudes confidence, while ‘just’ implies that it’s not really that important…i.e. you’re not that important. Don’t sell yourself short.3. Self Love Is PriorityThere is absolutely NOTHING wrong with waking up, looking in the mirror and thinking to yourself (or even saying out loud!) “Damn girl, you look f*cking great!” You are great, I may not know who you are, but I can tell there is something about you. You rock, you’re beautiful and you probably kick ass. And, if you don’t realise that, you need to get to work on some serious self-loving! Of course, we all have things we can improve on or habits we need to kick or characteristics we see as flaws, but that’s life…let it be known that life is not a utopia. 4. Be A CheerleaderWhen our friends or siblings succeed, we clap and hoot and hollar. Our excitement for positive outcomes and successes isn’t limited or bound by who is succeeding. When my friends do well, I’m like a proud mother not a cynical step-sister. Jealousy is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die…you’re the only one who suffers.5. Call Out BSI cannot count how many times someone has called me intimidating because I’ve spoken up. These people have confused intimidation with confidence as most people who have insecurities do. If you have an opinion, it deserves as much attention as the counter argument. If you overhear a girl in the bathroom being a bully to someone it’s OK to say something. If you’re at the bar and a bartender is being an arse it’s not rude of you to interject and call him or her out. Speaking up and speaking out for what you believe in is not only more than okay but it also accredits your strength. Don’t let anyone take advantage of that. Call people out, hold people accountable and say what is on your mind. Have an idea in the boardroom? Say it and say it with grit, tenacity and boldness.6. REMEMBER….we don’t always feel confidentConfident people still look in the mirror sometimes and think, “sh*t” because what every confident person certainly does is remember that they are first human.Having moments of insecurity does not diminish, deplete or compromise your being a confident woman (or man!) overall.Image credit: Unsplash
How-To | Run A Fashion Blog
Wanna get into blogging? Or already blogging and simply want to up your game? We caught up with Susie Bubble and Shirley from Shirley's Wardrobe to get the ultimate low-down on their blogging journey and their advice on how to stand out from the crowd.How did you get into blogging?Shirley: It was proper geek mode at the beginning with HTML and coding and focusing on making my blog look really pretty. Do you remember when you used to have a MySpace page with our music players? So I used that to create my blog. I was posting about anything: my make-up, my fashion looks - and it all went side by side with my YouTube channel.How did you both find an audience?Susie: For me I think it was a timing thing. It was 2006 and within a few months of my blog first starting, I picked up press quite quickly in publications like Teen Vogue. I was also a part of these online fashion communities and reached out to 10 bloggers I really respected. Shirley: In the beginning it was a small community of bloggers and it was a very friendly environment, everyone shared ideas but as it's grown it's had to become more competitive - people want to create content to be the best versions of themselves. So that's how we got out there - through communicating and collaborating and keeping your favourites on your blog roll. Is there a magic formula in terms of how much you should post?Susie: I think it's changed a lot since the beginning as the platforms have changed - people want to get content through their mobiles, Snapchat, Insta stories - those platforms are much more immediate. My frequency's probably gone down purely because I want to create longer form, more detailed stories - not necessarily news bites that you'd get on Twitter but rich stories that's unique. Shirley: As bloggers, we're generating ideas constantly - is it more quality or quantity? You'll go through phases - at Christmas you'll have so much to talk about so that's when you'll get your more frequent content and then when it comes to summer time, it gets more challenging. I don't have a formula as such, I go with my feeling and what I'm passionate about at that time. How do you tell what's done well on your blog, and does that influence future content? Susie: I personally don't analyse it too deeply but I look at where the traffic's coming from, what's been read, what's been shared on social. Shirley: As bloggers, we're generating ideas constantly - is it more quality or quantity? You'll go through phases - at Christmas you'll have so much to talk about so that's when you'll get your more frequent content and then when it comes to summer time, it gets more challenging. I don't have a formula as such, I go with my feeling and what I'm passionate about at that time. Sometimes things don't do as well as I expect but then I do things off the rack and they'll take off so as long as you love what you're doing - whether that's one or two people reading - it's worth it. You never really know what'll do well, make sure it comes from a place passion and they analytics are an added bonus.What pieces of content have worked for you?Susie: Opinion pieces work really well, I don't tend to rant too much - to craft a good rant takes time and you need to make sure your argument is valid. My remit isn't to be a critic but I'll do it when I feel really strongly about it and when I care about the issue in hand. What does a typical day look like for you?Shirley: I wake up everyday at 5am and go straight to the gym to work out and once I'm back, I sit down and reply to emails and look at feedback from the audience. I make a plan from that, film any videos that need filming. I do all of my videos, meetings and photography myself - sometimes I rope my brother or my sister into it if I bribe them with a Starbucks. Any tips for start up blogging?Susie: Wordpress is good if you have a developer working with you or you have HTML knowledge. Go Daddy is a classic domain site to get your URL set up. Shirley: I'm biased because I use Wordpress and I also use a hosting provider to handle all of the background work. Look into getting a theme or a graphic and/or web designer. I love the 'Web Designer for dummies' - it has lots of practical tips. How do you turn your blog into a business? Susie: It is a numbers game unfortunately today where brands are looking at your followings, but what's really great is brands are looking to get their content created and use the skills of good photographers and illustrators to get you out there. Shirley: It's about building your personal brand and placing a value on the work that you do. A blog post will cost this much, a video or an Instagram will cost this much. You're not going to go to a designer store and expect high street prices, and you're not going to go to a high street store and expect designer prices. Open up negotiations with brands and start conversations and be proactive with working together. Follow the brands you like and follow the bloggers who inspire you and engage with their content. How do you balance sponsored posts?Susie: I try to set a loose ratio of around 5-10% of sponsored content or has a commercial focus, and then there's 90% of posts that I'd write about anyway. It puts me on a path where I'm creating content that I'm passionate about. Don't say yes to everything and make sure the collaboration is right for you and you're creating content that will be received well by your audience. Shirley: The organic stuff are the posts I always enjoy but sponsored posts require more planning to not only make sure you're pleasing yourself and your audience, but you're pleasing the brand too as you're getting paid. I try and do an equal balance of the two - in some seasons like Christmas there's lots of opportunity for sponsored posts but it's making sure it's as organic as possible so your audience still enjoy it. Why do you think there's still tension between traditional press and blogging?Susie: We're kind of all doing the same thing, so when the comments come out on those sorts of articles, I have a "I thought we'd got past this" moment. Traditional media have had to adjust to a lot of change but I don't want to set it up as a 'us vs them' as we work side by side, I worked for some of those publications all of my life at the end of the day. I'd like for it to move on - they're creating content, we're creating content, they're putting it out in beautiful magazines and we're doing it for the same purpose. Shirley: There's enough sunshine for everyone but we just have different narratives and perspectives.
Things I've Lost and Found
By Kammy Karginaite Image creditI've lost fitness fads“New year, new me”, is the most common New Year’s resolution. Like most people I want to lose the holiday weight, not only that I want to be healthier, fitter self. Therefore, I dumped my silly fitness regimes, like working out at the gym for 2 hours on an empty stomach, which is unhealthy for your body and mind, and found yoga. This has been an amazing revolution. It tones your body and at the same time lets your mind rest. I can honestly say that doing yoga every day for 20 minutes is already changing my life, so why not change yours? Namaste.I've lost unnecessary beauty regimes To retain my New Year’s resolution to be healthier and fitter, meant that my beauty regime needed to change. I binned all my fake tan products, (that was very tough, as a girl always wants to have that sun kissed glow). Nevertheless, I thought it’s time that I look after my skin. Fake tan doesn’t let your skin breathe, makes it dry and increases aging. I found that using more natural products and less make-up has definitely made a difference to my skin. I have less spots, my skin seems so much smoother and has started glowing by itself.I've found spending more time in the kitchen To become healthier this year also means we all need to invest our time to cook healthy and delicious meals at home. Abs are made 80% in the kitchen and 20% at the gym. I found that reading about how your body works can help you focus on your goals, as well as understand them more clearly.I've lost losing myself in social media I left behind sitting in bed in the evening reading pointless stuff on Facebook and switched to reading insightful books. There is just nothing better than sitting in bed in your PJs, reading a good book and having a cup of green tea.