Learning to LOVE your Body Shape

Do you love your body shape?. More often than not, we assume we are a certain size and certain shape, the reality is many women see something very different in the mirror to what others see. It’s sometime’s just an exaggeration of their size and perceived proportions. But on the extreme end of the scale according to the NICE guidelines, approximately 0.5-0.7% of the UK population suffer from a condition called Body Dysmorphia Disorder (BDD).

I know from first-hand experience how easy it is to exaggerate the size of a body part in our own minds because we are self-conscious – over time that becomes a distorted view of your own body and what we see in the mirror isn’t what others see when they look at us. This can be a self-destructive act and prevent us from appreciating how great our bodies are. what they can do, and how great, wonderful and unique we are. Instead of celebrating our curves we become conditioned to hide them.

Dr Veale a BDD expert, says “It is difficult to draw the line where body dissatisfaction stops and BDD starts”. That’s why I strongly believe that as women we need to learn to love what we’ve got – we should know every inch of ourselves and what body shape we are so we can embrace our uniqueness. Otherwise it can be quite a challenge to shop and get dressed!

Approximately 0.5-0.7% of the UK population suffer from a condition called Body Dysmorphia Disorder (BDD).

NICE guidelines

Accepting our bodies are unique

For many of my clients before working with me, they would encounter moments of depression and body anxiety after an unsuccessful clothes shopping trip. There is nothing worse that finding something you like, only to try it on in the changing room and realise the item doesn’t fit (and won’t fit your body shape) – and the immediate reaction is that there is something wrong with your body.

The fault actually falls with ‘clothes’. Cheaply produced, generic sized clothing doesn’t look great on anyone, it can’t – there are over 12 different body types (and even more variations of those).

What we have done is adjusted our expectations – we now accept an OK fit rather than a perfect fit. We have almost 2-generations now that have only ever purchased clothing from a hanger from a shop rather than experiencing having an outfit made to measure and to properly fit. OK has become the new standard.

It’s a shame, because if you’ve ever had your clothes made for you or taken them to a tailor to be fitted properly, you’ll know what I mean.
When I take measurements of my clients I want them to be of their SURE and how that translates into what body type(s) they are – then it’s much easier to find the right clothes to suit their unique and beautiful body shape.

Our body shape can change

For many women our weight can fluctuate and this can mean our body shape can change. For example, I can move between an hourglass body shape when I am at a healthy weight and exercising regularly, but when I gain excess weight my body typically stores itself on my lower body – meaning in the winter months, I am more of a pear shape.

Measuring tips:

  • Ask someone to help, if not try and be as accurate as you can by looking in a mirror whilst you measure yourself.
  • Using a non-stretchable measuring tape
  • Make sure the tape is level around your body and parallel to the floor when taking measurements
  • Keep the tape close to your skin, but don’t pull it too tight.

Once you know your body measurements you can have an more accurate understanding of what body shape(s) you may fall under.

How find out your body shape

  • Generally speaking the measurements we look at are:
  • Shoulders and bust
  • Waist and
  • Hips / bottom / thighs

You can find out how to measure your body here.

When you work with a stylist, it’s easier to have discussions about where your weight goes and what we can do to balance out your proportions, show off what you love and help disguise any bits that your feel self-conscious of. When you KNOW your body shape you can learn to love it and appreciate it fully. Every inch of it. It’s incredibly empowering to accept your shape and feel good in your clothes.

Check out my upcoming blogs to discover the 5-main body types, on my online course I delve into all the variations and how to dress for them to create a balanced silhouette.

Let me know in the comments what body shape type you think you are!

For more information about in-person (Personal Styling services (virtual or London) here.

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