Can You Fake Body Confidence?

One of the things that I want to write in this blog about is body confidence and empowering women. I find joy in being able to help people to achieve their best, to feel better and really take charge of their life. I study the subject and I converse it with others, but then I feel a pinch of guilt. Can I really be talking and promoting body positivity and self-empowerment if I don’t feel like it myself? Is it lying if I don’t feel confident myself? Is it misrepresenting the message that I am trying to present? Is it being an imposter?

Can You Fake Body Confidence? - byLiiL

Throughout my childhood, I was doing a lot of sports. All of my evenings were filled with some sports or musical hobbies and you can imagine that I was skinny. This image of myself got so ingrained in my self-image, that when I stopped the competitive sports and exercising every single day and my body started to change I got very self-conscious. I had always been known as the skinny girl and now suddenly I had curves and I had gained weight. Not only did I not feel like myself, but I didn’t want anybody to see me because it was like failing their image of me. I am lucky to have friends who don’t care what I look like and a boyfriend who adores me, it helps a lot with the body image that I have of myself. However, I still can’t help looking into the mirror occasionally and not seeing what I feel like.

The one thing that I have noticed has a big influence on why the change in body image is so slow is the lack of examples out there. I used to love browsing through fashion magazines and watching 90s and early 00s tv shows, which are filled with super skinny models and actresses and that is the body type that we think as “normal”. I didn’t see a person who had been skinny and then gained weight, without the following judging comment of how that person had gained weight. It is seen as a failure to be a woman in the society.

Can You Fake Body Confidence? - byLiiL

I know today there are a lot more positive body image examples and I am trying to focus on them. Partly the reason why I want to write about it is to help myself as well. I find it so inspiring to see women of all sizes and different histories who are making something out of themselves, who are being brave, who are being gracious and who are confident! Why wouldn’t I share that with others? I know what the staples for a positive body-image are. My mother used to make me go in front of a mirror and tell the mirror how beautiful I was, that helped the teenager who apparently had some problem with the body image when her body was changing. I still talk to myself in front of the mirror, but I do cringe. I try to tell myself what I find beautiful about myself and I still cringe. At yoga when we are told that we should cherish our beautiful bodies, I have to force myself to think of all the things my body does. And you know, it really does. I can tell with confidence that I love my body, but still I find it stopping me from so many things, such as wanting to buy clothes or even trying on clothes, going to public spaces to do any kind of sports, I try to hide when I am at a public gathering and make myself as small as I can. And I know I shouldn’t do any of it. It is like my body-image has affected my self-image and it is hard to build back, but I am doing it, although most days it feels like I am faking it till I make it.

I am no longer trying to get back to my teenage weight and body style, there is no point it that, I am a woman now and I want to look like a woman. Now I just want to keep myself healthy and feel good in my body. Most days I do!

 

Do you feel body confident?

With love,

Lii

Uncovering The Secrets Behind Fashion Sizing

Ready-to-made fashion sizes seem to baffle us all. We are frustrated when shopping for fashion and no wonder as we have to juggle between different sizes, as one doesn’t always seem to be the perfect one for us. We wonder whether we have gained weight or whether the company made a mistake when they made the garment. It seems to be impossible to find the perfect jeans and nothing fits perfectly. I’ve heard this all many times from friends and acquaintances, as well as reading from people’s blogs. People questioning why all of the brands don’t just use the same sizing so that it would be easier to shop for fashion. Unfortunately, I am not here to tell you how to find that right size, but rather explain why it is difficult to find your size and why you shouldn’t feel self-conscious about it.

Uncovering The Secrets Behind Fashion Sizing - byLiiL

The current method of providing clothes with a size so that people would more easily recognise what garment is most suitable to them is quite new. It was during the industrialisation and the big boom of companies making ready-to-wear garments when they required a standardised size, before that women’s clothing was made as a made-to-measure by a seamstress or a couturier, or women sew their own garments themselves.

Making garments made-to-measure, although makes the garment to fit the wearer perfectly, is a slow process and is not suitable for the fast-fashion market (this might be changing now, but more about it later), which is why there is a size chart (or many) that groups certain measurement under one size.

Uncovering The Secrets Behind Fashion Sizing - byLiiL

Women are obsessed with their clothing size and especially how small of a size they wear. I read an article where a stylist explained how her customers would refuse to take a bigger size that would fit them because they wanted to have the size small label. The fashion companies have recognised this and adapted accordingly with vanity sizing. You’ve probably heard that in her own time Marilyn Monroe was a size 12, but in today’s sizing, she would be a size 6. It’s because fashion companies want to make women feel better about themselves, but when each company decides the sizing on their own (and might have more than one chart within the range of garments they sell) it can be difficult to find one size that fits you.

 

The main reason, in my opinion, is that all of us are different shapes. It is rare that anybody can fit into a company’s size standard so that everything fits them perfectly, and if you are one of them then good for you! But the number of times I have been in the dressing room wondering why a garment fits perfectly on the butt but not on my waist and going smaller would be too tight. Or when I try a top which is perfect around my shoulders and arms but is bulging around my bust, but going a size bigger will look like a sack on me. This is why you can be the same size with your friend and not fit into same garments and look absolutely different in the same garments.

With standardised sizing garments are produced with specific measurements in mind, which is for a specific body type most often slim hourglass or rectangle. In which case, if you are any other body shape it might be difficult to find garments that will suit you well and enhance your appearance.

Uncovering The Secrets Behind Fashion Sizing - byLiiL

In the end, size is just a number that doesn’t really matter. It is for the fashion brands to help sell their clothes and for you to possibly have a clue of what size of a garment you should be looking for. It has changed through the ages because of cultural pressure and norm. Fortunately, there is now technology that can help you find garments that fit you from the existing ones or even order made-to-measure garments. The technology is still in its infancy, but I am sure will make a big difference to the fashion industry in just a few years. For now, I’ve found Post-Couture Collective to have a great start on this idea and TrueFit, which finds you garments from many top brands that will fit your measurements.

I don’t think a size label will ever be out of our lives, but I hope the innovations in technology in fashion will allow better fitting garments for us in the near future with less headache over finding them.

 

Do you have problems finding the perfectly fitting garment? What do you think would be a solution to this?

With love,

Lii

5 Articles for Sustainability, Charity and Body Confidence

The Trouble With Charity – This post pointing out the trouble with companies using charity as a bandage on all the problems they are causing in a world is on point and a very interesting and intelligent read which will provide you with a new viewpoint.

5 Articles for Sustainabiltiy, Charity and Body Confidence - byLiiL

How To Have The Confidence To Wear Whatever You Flipping Want – Cynical Duchess writes about her experience of body positivity, self-confidence and how to feel better about yourself in a beauty controlling society.

How To Overcome Your Fear Of Sharing Your Blog With Friends And Family – A post that not only provides you with tips for telling about your blog to friends and family but empowers you to speak and be proud of what you want and like.

Happy Favourites of the Week - Entertainment - byLiiL

The Myth of Size Small – An article empowering women to think outside the size box and rather dress to look great, whilst explaining one theory why women want to dress in a size small.

Is Ethical Fashion Elitist – Questioning whether it is fair to expect everybody to afford ethical fashion.

 

Do you have any articles to share write them in the comment box below?

With love,

Lii

Use Your Power of ‘Choice’ When Buying

When I was young I often thought that what I do or my choices don’t matter. I am just one person and in the scale of the Earth’s population, or even just my own country’s population my choices don’t make a difference. Since I started looking at the world from a different perspective I learned how wrong I was and the longer I live the more I feel empowered with my own choice. I know there are still many people who think their choice doesn’t matter and I often hear them saying it as if it is a fact. Funnily enough, when I see these people after a period of time they suddenly have changed their minds. It could be the political climate that we are in that makes people find out and be more active, or it could be something else. I am just happy that they have found their voice and they are using their ‘choice’. If you don’t believe that your choice matters then keep reading and I will demonstrate how it actually does and why it is important to use it. Take a comfy seat and maybe some tea, as this is going to be a long post.

Use Your Power of 'Choice' When Buying - byLiiL

Our choice affects us as well as other people. Often the talk about choice regards how we can make smarter decisions when shopping, so that we save our environment and so that people are treated fairly. I absolutely think we should choose wisely for this reason as well, but the other reason is for yourself. It wasn’t that long ago when I wrote about the problems with commercial cleaning products, about how you don’t know what you are buying when you are shopping from big multinational companies. We often trust that these companies bring the best to the market and forget to question whether it really is safe for us to use. Although companies want to sell us products, their ultimate goal is to earn money to their stakeholders’ pockets. To earn more money they make decisions that will reduce costs in their production, which can affect in toxic ingredients. For example in the mid-1900s lead was added to gasoline, which was polluting the air that people breathe. Adding lead was bringing money to the ingredients patent holder and while it did help with some engine related performance, it is a neurotoxin that is easily inhaled by people.

Recently I started reading the book ‘Cradle to Cradle’ and already in the first chapter, it discussed how plastic products made in developing countries add a small number of toxic chemicals to the plastic, to make it more economic to produce. You have probably seen water bottles sold with a tag of “BPA free” so that you can make sure it is safe for you to drink from, as it can leak into the food or water that you are drinking and eating. And why have they been added into the products in the first place?

In my two examples, you can see that awareness of the problems has made a difference already. People have pressured these companies enough that they would make a change. The gasoline does not have lead anymore and many companies are making BPA-free products. This is because even though the business wants to make money, they also need to be able to sell their products. If people don’t buy their products they can’t sell them and they will need to make a change. Businesses need to provide products that are demanded of them to succeed. That is why we have healthy foods on the market and that is why originally fast-fashion emerged.

Use Your Power of 'Choice' When Buying - byLiiL

So you don’t want to consume toxic products, that is for sure. And in the best case scenario, nothing you consume should hurt the planet or people. But how can just your own voice make any difference? We, people, are funny creatures. We are quite self-absorb, even if we didn’t’ think we are. We feel insecure about our looks or we are annoyed at a certain thing, and we think we are the only ones thinking in this way. But since the internet has connected us we find out that so many other people think alike. Chances are that if you stop buying a certain product because you don’t agree with how it was produced, somebody else has already stopped buying it and a third person will stop buying it. You might not know that it is happening, but the company sure does when they are not selling that item as well as they used to. Then you might think that ‘if so many other people do it then why should I have to’. My only answer to that is ‘if everybody thought this way no change would happen.’ So what you choose really does matter and when you choose to do something in a certain way you can think of how you are contributing to this cause, whether it is buying healthier options for yourself or buying ethically made garments.

So what you choose really does matter and when you choose to do something in a certain way you can think of how you are contributing to this cause, whether it is buying healthier options for yourself or buying ethically made garments.

Use Your Power of 'Choice' When Buying - byLiiL

Some ways in which you can make a choice:

  • Buying products after acknowledging what is in them and how they are made.
  • Sending the company a query of how they produce their products.
  • Sending the company a message of how you disapprove of the way they produce their products or how you disapprove of their products.
  • Inform others of why you stop buying certain products or from a certain company.
  • Let others know of the better choices you are making when shopping, such as a new brand or a new great product.
  • You choose yourself what fights are worth fighting for.

Use Your Power of 'Choice' When Buying - byLiiL

The choices that I make in my everyday life are various. I prefer buying food that is fresh and if possible organic. I prefer making my clothes instead of buying, although I am looking into ethically and sustainably made fashion. I shop for items rarely and I try every time to find out more about the product and the brand I am buying from. I do not buy any products from Nestle, for numerous reasons. I prefer buying from small and possibly local companies to improve the local economy and help the small business grow. In addition, I feel empowered when I know how the products I buy are produced. I educate myself on how to live more sustainably and make more sustainable choices and try to share the information with others through this blog.

 

How do you make your choices?

With love,

Lii

No Words

Some days you don’t know what to say. Or you have too much to say, but nothing really feels right. You write and you write and then smudge the whole thing. I had another post wall written for this day, but after Monday I didn’t feel like posting it here. It wasn’t inappropriate it just didn’t reflect they way I felt. I could have just posted pictures to take people’s mind off or make them feel that there is hope. And there is hope, it can just, at times, be difficult to see. Instead, I will leave you with this.

I Don't Have Words - byLiiL

I look out the window feeling sad for the humanity. What happened on Monday in Manchester was horrible, but horrible things happen every day; some closer to us and some further away, some touch us and some don’t. I feel sad for the ignorance, for the greed, for the unfairness, for the bigotry, for the inequality. But now that I look out the window I see children playing in the schoolyard. There is a boy with a red coat on carrying a bag in his hand who runs around with no care in the world. He stops are whirls around with his arms stretched out and stairs at the sky enjoying every moment. These children are happy. They don’t yet know what the world is like. These children make me smile and make me feel that there is hope in this world. They make me want to change it so that they wouldn’t have to know the current grimness of the world, but just the beauty of it.

I Don't Have Words - byLiiL

With all that is happening, I hope we don’t lock ourselves away from the world and become more ignorant. I hope the people will join together, forget the greed and the strive for power and think of the future in the long run. What will make it better in five or ten years, not just right now?

 

Do you have anything to say that you don’t know where to say it? Share it in the comment box.

With love,

Lii

Inspiration of the Month – OneSqin

There are times when the inspiration comes from the weirdest places. This time I was scrolling through the Kickstarter page looking if there is anything interesting there. And in the midst of all the other projects, I found the OneSqin project which moved me and made me really want to backup their project. Let me tell you a little bit about it!

Inspiration of the Month - OneSqin - byLiiL

OneSqin is not a charity, but as they say, rather “a business that channels purchasing power towards social change”.

“The first health and beauty brand donating 100% of profits to provide life changing education for girls in need”

This project, or rather a business, is about empowering girls who live in poverty. The company sells organic tampons, organic t-shirts and 100% natural al purpose skin cream, and with the profits they help the girls. All their products are sustainably produced, carefully researched and cruelty-free.

Buying from OneSqin you provide the girls in poverty with a chance to stay in school, access health services and delay marriage and childbirth. This will assist the girls to grow up into independent women, who can support their families and their local community and build a future away from poverty.

Inspiration of the Month - OneSqin - byLiiL

As you probably realised this is a Kickstarter project that can be backed up until 8th of June. So plenty of time to put your money into something great! There are a lot of options to choose from, which can reward you as well as the company and the girls. The Kickstarter is to help the business launch and to see what else they have in mind. So go back them up, I sure will!

Pics are from the OneSqin Kickstarter page.

 

What is inspiring you this month?

With love,

Lii

First 12 books of 2017

How To Be A WomanCaitlin Moran

This is a kind of CaiMoran’sorans autobiography of how she sees she is a woman. It is funny and witty and has many forward thinking ideas, but I would not agree with her on all her points. She goes through many important stages in a woman’s life; getting the period, getting married, boy crushes, boobs etc. And the thing I was thinking throughout the book is “I wish I had this as a teenager”. It would have made me feel that what I am going through is normal, although she didn’t make these things sound normal.  3/5

Shadows of the WorkhouseJennifer Worth

Small glimpses of life in the middle 20th century London. It is a portrayal of lives of people who were struggling during that time. The workhouse, the living conditions in that time in London and how people treated each other. I laughed reading this book, I cried, I smiled and I wanted to hear more. It is excellently written and I would recommend this to everybody! 4/5

First 12 books of 2017 - byLiiL

The Three Musketeers Alexandre Dumas

I can’t believe it took me this long to read this classic. It followed the story of D’Artagnan and his musketeer friends. Their blind trust and courageousness. It is an adventure, chivalry and comradery. Quite unexpected. It is not the fastest book to read, but very intriguing and I really wanted to finish the story. I was so excited to learn, as well, that the book is based on real-life events and people, among them D’Artagnans memoir. 3/5

PersepolisMarjane Satrapi

This is actually a two piece graphic novel, which I finished so quickly! Based partly in Iran where the main character Marjane is growing up during the recent Islamic revolution and partly in Europe where she moves as a teenager. It explains what is is like living in this type of a country and what people do to keep their sanity. And later on, it explores Marjane’s feelings of superficial and ignorant Europeans. I recommend everybody to read this one as it opens your eyes to a new culture and the world. The story is so current and I think everybody should read it! 5/5

Me before YouJojo Moyes

If somebody doesn’t know what this book is about I am surprised. It is about a girl who is kind of lost in her life and finds excitement and drive to her life while working as a career to a quadriplegic man. It is a sweet, but also a very sad story. It does keep you reading to find out what happens in the end, although it is quite expected. 3/5

UtopiaSir Thomas More

A story about a world that some might find a dream, other too constrictive. It is a world of the perfect piece, community and one goal. It is an interesting read and it certainly woke my imagination and I instantly wanted to comment on what I was reading. It was a slow book to read, because of it’s monotonous tone. A philosophical read that will make you think. 2/5

The Buried GiantKazuo Ishiguro

One of my favourite books of all time. This book was mystical fantasy. The whole story was a dreamlike tale of a couple’s adventure. The elderly couple struggle upon many challenges, which are directly related to the problems in the real world. Would you like to remember everything or something better to leave unsaid? This story will make you think and it will make you cry, but it is so beautifully written it made me instantly want to read all of the author’s books! Absolutely beautiful book! 5/5

First 12 books of 2017 - byLiiL

My Life On The RoadGloria Steinem

Gloria Steinem’s biography of her travels and experiences when she was travelling to India or around the USA. It is at a time when the women’s movement was firing up and the USA elected their first African American president. This book is a wonderful group of tales about people, how empowering they can be and how when they unite they can make things happen. It was inspiring and at parts very depressing. This book was very concentrated on political and women’s movements, but it provided me with a good insight into the late 90’s of the USA. So Interesting! 4/5

Career of EvilRobert Galbraith

The third book in the Cormoran Strike series and still keeping it strong. I love a good detective book and J.K. Rowlings rich and surprising writing. In this book, Cormoran and his assistant Robin are faced with a serial killer who is threatening them. It is written from both of the heroes view as well as the villains. There are unexpected turns in the love life, there is the deepening relationship in the workplace and the disgusting mind of a serial killer. If you like a detective novel, read this book! 4/5

Animal FarmGeorge Orwell

This book tells a story about farm animals that fight off the human’s of the farm and revolutionise how the farm is kept. At the core, it is about freeing the animals from the human bondage and seeing how new power makes the animals behave. It is interesting to see how these animals start to seem more human the more you read it and how easy it is to manipulate people’s minds through slow propaganda. Interesting but quite depressing! 4/5

1984George Orwell

Very much like the Animal Farm, 1984 follows what seems like a ubiquitous place. A very communist world where people are not allowed to think for themselves, where even though it is supposed to be communist there is a small group of people who are in command and everybody is perfectly manipulated into the same mould. Where love is forbidden, children are coached to spy on their parents and nobody is your friend. Everything is for the good of the republic. It tells about an older man who wakes up to different views and hopes that there is resistance among the people in this country, that it wouldn’t always be like this. This story made me think of North Korea. I don’t know if North Korea is like this, but this is the closest to what I can imagine and it is very horrifying! This book will make you thankful of being in the world that you are in and in the wrong hands good give ideas of how to make it worse. 3/5

The Underground RailroadColson Whitehead

A recent Pulitzer prize winner, this book tells a story about a girl who escapes slavery with the help of the underground railroad. It tells a story of the time when slavery was ending, but people didn’t know what to do with the African Americans. In the south they were a property, in some states they were banned, in the north some became free. In each case, there were difficulties with the people around them. White people were afraid of them and thought of ways of how to minimise their threat, how to elevate themselves. It was an interesting and a quick read, which thought me a lot about the horrible way people were treated at that time. Although, I am not sure if I like that the underground railroad was portrayed in such a literal way, as it made me very confused. 3/5

 

What books have you read in 2017?

With love,

Lii