Monday, June 19, 2017

Body Talk: Ways To Boost Your Body Confidence This Summer



Body image for me is a very personal and important topic. The longer I've had this blog the more and more people have reached out with their own personal stories of how their lives and bodies have changed over the years and many finding shopping for swimwear to be an impossible and oftentimes emotional task. So when tanning brand St.Tropez approached me to write on the topic of body image this summer I was only too pleased to accept. Today I want to talk through some body positive tips that I’ve learned over the years which may be of help to some of you when battling with body and self esteem issues this summer and all year round.



Rule Number One: There Are NO Rules!




There are no rules when it comes to bikini or beach body season or at least there shouldn’t be!! You should never have to conform to other people’s standards of what they deem to be a beach body or what you can and can't wear on a beach. I used to think too deeply into everything - "What happens if I'm the only one my size wearing a swimsuit? What if people are looking at me? What if…”  and the list went on and on. These were all things I built up and up in my head when the stark reality of it was - no one batted an eyelid. People were too concerned about their own “beach bodies” and enjoying the sunshine to take notice. And yet we still beat ourselves up about it time and time again. So let me put it to you this way - what if tomorrow, god forbid, something happened and you never had the opportunity to wear a swimsuit or bikini or go on a holiday again, wouldn't you feel regret for not just going for it? When I was away on holidays recently the key question by many of you - of all ages might I add - was “how can I be confident in a swimsuit?” - Well that's your starting point - putting things into perspective and throwing that invisible rule book out the window.






Stop The Negative Talk



One consistent thing I notice when it comes to low body confidence is the amount of opportunities and possibilities people talk themselves out of, whether its participating in events, holidays, fun days out, or getting to the point of buying a bikini or swimsuit. A vital part to helping your body confidence and self-esteem is cutting out the negative talk where possible. The first part starts with stopping the negative talk with yourself. Staring in the mirror for long periods of time picking out flaws will never lead to positive thoughts. Limit negative mirror time and start focusing on what you do like about yourself is so important.  Similarly not accepting a compliment from a person such as “ you look gorgeous” and deflecting it to “ oh no I’ve put on weight, it’s just the dress” or “ Stop! Me? Oh no not at all, but look at you, you look incredible!” lowers your self-confidence slowly but surely. Take the compliment and store it! Just say thank you no matter how hard you try to reject it, it will help you in this process.

There are also some people who might have a family member or friend who constantly bring up negative body talk conversation every time you meet. This can be difficult when you are constantly surrounded by someone who use lines like  "I can never wear a bikini just look at my cellulite"  or “ I’ll never go to the beach” at the tip of their tongue regularly because it acts as a mirror effect for yourself also and can drag you down whether you realise it or not.  Instead try your best to address the issue delicately and mentioning how good you feel looking to a more body positive outlook and turn it into a more positive conversation as best as you can.



Surround Yourself With Positive Social Media Accounts



This is the one beauty about today’s digital age, while there is without a doubt negativity online, when it comes to your own social media accounts YOU are in the driving seat. Following photo shopped accounts or looking at unrealistic body shapes in mainstream media can take a serious toll on your self-esteem and body image. Instead look to social media such as Instagram or Facebook and follow individuals that you feel you can relate to;  people with similar body types and style. There are so many inspiring body positive bloggers out there now for every kind of size. It's something I find most people have told me works for them - surrounding yourself with media that lifts you up is so incredibly important especially when you consider how often most of us spend on our phones!



Pamper Yourself


Taking some time to pamper yourself will surprisingly help boost your feel-good factor before holidays or even on a weekly basis. Whether it’s getting your nails and hair done or having 30 minutes to yourself to have that fresh feel, it makes all the difference. A big thing for me has always been glowing skin because my skin is naturally dry and dehydrated. I just find there’s a subtle confidence that brings with a sunkissed glow that boosts your mood too! Even for work I wear a light layer of false tan which is why collabourating with St.Tropez was perfect for me because I'm the type of person to use fake tan before I go on holidays or before the weekend as I'm not keen on putting my body out in the sun for hours either! Together though I find all these little pamper moments that leave feel good results do make a difference, and we're lucky that nowadays there are so many salon quality products you can buy in store or online for at home where you don't have to spend a fortune either!




Sizing: Getting Out Of That “It Must Be Me” Mindset



This is something I constantly speak about and it’s important to remember this when shopping for clothing. When clothing designs are created in manufacturing companies many brands choose different parts of the world to have their clothing made.  As a result some regions have a tendency to run up sizes slightly smaller while others could be on the more generous side – so it can be one reason behind why you are one size in one store and a totally different size in another. If mistakes are made with fit, which can easily happen for multinational fashion companies, people can go between three different sizes sometimes even in the one store. Or perhaps you were always a certain size in X store for years but this year you've gone up a size - this again could be to do with a change in production and whereby the brand has changed its manufacturer to a different country to make their clothing.   I know this from years of modelling in various companies. Some brands may not ever release certain stock if they are not happy with the supply overall.  Due to supply and demand, international brands are having to make huge volumes of clothing- this means size issues are a common thing nowadays. So instead of taking it out on yourself and saying "it must be me" - take a step back, breath and just try on a different size or put it back and move onto another style - DON'T take it personally!


Stop Living In The Past With Your Wardrobe


A lot of people tend to hold on to pieces in their wardrobe that no longer fit but keep them just in case "one day" it might fit again. Of course we are all human and weight might fluctuate up and down so keeping some items that are one size smaller  here and there is totally fine.  Then there are those that will buy an item of clothing in a few sizes smaller in the hope they will fit into it for that special event. I know some people use this as motivation for weight loss but this doesn't always have to be the case.  It’s when you overload your wardrobe with differences sizes  ( mainly smaller) – you place a huge amount of pressure on yourself particularly as it becomes a daily reminded when you see them in your wardrobe.  This is something which in fact takes a huge knock to your outlook on things whether you realise it or not.

Start by decluttering your wardrobe focusing on sizes you can wear now, not then. It will help to avoid moment of "remember when that use to fit me” leading to negative thoughts very quickly. If you have something that was expensive look to selling it on like a Depop or a designer exchange store and buy yourself new fabulous pieces with your old items.

Photography: Anita Sadowska 

I hope you found this post helpful, be sure to message me some of your own body positive tips for summer too!



Lou. xx


*Todays tan products are in collabouration with St.Tropez using -  St.Tropez’s Self Tan Express Bronzing Mousse on my body and the St.Tropez Gradual Tan Plus Luminous Veil Face Lotion - available on Cloud10 Beauty and St.Tropez stockists nationwide. 


Swimsuit details: 

" No Rules" here - today wearing size 18 

White polkadot swimsuit here  - also wearing size 18
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7 comments

  1. This is a really empowering read - although I am in reasonable shape I never feel swimsuit ready - the curse of overthinking xo https://champagneinateacup.wordpress.com/

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  2. First time to read your blog and omg Louise you have me to a T and I'm sure I'm not the only lady out there who feels like this.
    Thanks for posting how very powerful of you to raise such a topic in which we all do have in our minds.
    Thank Louise

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  3. Nice pose and swim wear collection...you look gorgeous!

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  4. Lovely post! :)

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