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Watch Body Affirming TV Like "How to Look Good Naked" – Tip 14 – Be Curvy and Confident at Any Size
For a plus size woman, it’s not easy living in our fast fix, thin is in media driven, pluck and tuck, chop and drop, diet obsessed society. Most women struggling with excess weight find themselves stuck in a private body war, playing body comparison games with every gal they see. Almost certain that they’ve drawn the shorter stick, they feel miserable about themselves. This plays out in food and weight obsession, “not being in the mood”, feeling overwhelmed by mental and/or physical clutter, “doormat syndrome”, avoiding social activities, fear of intimacy, low sex drive, trust issues, risk avoidance, and a general lack of confidence, not to mention how it undermines the very foundation of the entire family.
With their body image in tatters and self image worn to a frazzle, many accomplished and powerful women suffer silently resenting their mirrors, fearing their scales and hating their bodies, wishing they were thinner. Research shows that nearly 4 out 5 American American women today say they hate their bodies. That’s 80% of the female population in the entire United States. Are you one of them? If you are, I have a great body image booster blast for you!
60 Minute Self Image Makeover – Lifetime Reality TV’s, “How to Look Good Naked”
Good News, America! Lifetime television has a fabulous hit reality TV series, called “How to Look Good Naked” (HTLGN) Originally created in the UK, it became a whirlwind hit, and came to the U.S. Enter Carson Kressley, an openly gay man, who is a professional stylist and fashion designer to the stars. He is a former co-host of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and an actor whose delightfully playful attitude and approach to empowering women and coaching them to love their bodies makes him the perfect host of Lifetime’s new show Take it from me, girl. This is a 60 minute self image makeover guaranteed to leave you feeling all tingly inside, because it will make you question all the irrational beliefs that you have about your body.
It focuses on creating an internal transformation by guiding women to see themselves differently, and enabling them to shed their old negative fat and ugly self images. When I saw the show I was moved to tears. Feeling inspired to share the women’s stories with my readers, I contacted several of the show contributors (nominees) and asked to interview them.
The plan for the show is that over the course of 5 days, each woman learns how to dress to flatter her body type, find the right foundation undergarments to give her a great shape, and gets her makeup and hair done for maximum impact. Each episode celebrates the transformation with a glamorous Hollywood style photo shoot in which the women not only accept what they see in the mirror, but flaunt it, naked.
In my opinion, these women are real role models and incredibly brave to be willing to go on national television and share so much of themselves, opening up and exposing their vulnerabilities, letting other women know they are not alone. To inspire and encourage my readers, I’ve included their interviews in my upcoming book, “Lovin’ the Skin You’re In.” The following is an excerpt of Shannon’s story:
So Many Sighs Over Her Big, Fat Thighs -“I was so embarrassed to be seen in a bathing suit.” – Shannon
Shannon Flores is 29 years old. She’s a beautiful, curvaceous plus size woman who lives in sunny California with her husband, Jeremy and four children, Ryan, Samantha, Kaitlyn and Kyra. Although she has a pool in her back yard, prior to being on HTLGN, she never used to enjoy it because she was embarrassed to be seen by her husband or the neighbors in her bathing suit. After having four children, back to back, she says, “my chest just drooped. My hips got bigger. My thighs got larger. My butt got bigger. It seemed like every part of my body just fell apart, and it’s not fun what babies do to your body.”
Keeping Herself Tightly Closed in a Box
Like so many other women, as a busy wife and mom, Shannon put everyone else before her. Hiding behind oversized, drab and dull mommy clothes, she refused to spend money on anything new, hoping to one day get thinner. Taunted by her own negative self talk for years, Shannon tortured herself by focusing on her imperfections. Avoiding mirrors, bathing suits and anything revealing her curvy body, Shannon admits to not being as physical with her husband as she’d like to be, saying, “It definitely put a damper on our relationship. And with lights off, I still felt uncomfortable.” Keeping herself tightly closed in a box. She knew that she wasn’t really living and admitted to being ashamed and disgusted with her body, not wanting her husband to really see her naked. So she nominated herself to be on the show.
In our interview Shannon candidly shared with me, “when they stuck that picture of my body on that truck and they asked everybody, “What do you see? What do you see? Not one of them said, “You know she’s perfect. She’s got a model’s body. Because I don’t. But they pointed out the good things. Look at her eyes. Look at her skin color. Look at this. Look at that. And I started realizing, I’m not half bad. My body is more than my thighs. That’s not the point that everyone is looking at. ” So I started realizing that I need to start looking at life that way too. I need to start looking at all the positive things, even if they’re little. I just need to point out those and start focusing more on those.”
Now Shannon enjoys her pool at least twice a week, either to swim or sunbathe, saying, “I don’t care. I walk around in my front yard with my bathing suit. Life is way too short to be concerned about what other people think about me. After gaining back 30 of the 60 pounds that she lost on Weight Watchers, following the birth of her last child, she says, “I’m pretty good. I feel great. I look good and I’m not going to put anymore effort into trying to lose weight. When I asked her what her special advice to women who are in the spot now where she was before, she said, “Just feel good with who you are in the moment, right now.”
Here are a few fashion tips that Shannon shared with me and some extras from the How to Look Good Naked website. Follow these tips if you want to be more curvy and confident at any size:
Be Daring – Try on everything. If you see something that you like, take a chance and try it on. You’ll never know what you’re missing if you just stay stuck in the same rut.
Educate yourself – Look for clothes on women shaped like you that you admire. Watch shows like How to Look Good Naked and What Not to Wear to get ideas for how to buy clothes to accent and highlight your body type.
Piece by Piece Build a wardrobe of separates. Similar to renovating a house, shopping is a process. It’s always a work in progress.
Accentuate the positive Carson suggested to highlight a small waist and large hips, by wearing fitted jackets that tie around the waist, and and for short women like Shannon, to aim for jackets to just cover the hips or cropped shorter.
For hourglass figures – Wear a wrap dress to accentuate your curves, knee-high boots with jeans will give your body more length and balance your curvy hips. To define a small waist, choose tailored shirts with V-necks
For plus size women – Choose monochromatic outfits to create a long, slenderizing effect. Wear skirts that taper in, then flare at the hem to balance you. Draw attention to the center of your body by wearing bright tops under jackets. Try on clothes that are different shapes and colors.
For a Bust with Bam! – To compliment your curves and create balance use scoop necks to draw focus away from the bust, high armholes on jackets to create a more balanced, slimmer silhouette, and wear delicate necklaces that end just at the top of the cleavage
For Big Arms – Wear open-neck wrap tops to flatter the cleavage and waist area. Three-quarter-length sleeves show only the thinnest part of the arm. Jackets with puffed shoulders ease armholes for a roomier fit.
For Full Fannied Gals – Buy fitted jackets that end just above the widest part of your leg. Wear tops in bright colors with beautiful detailing to draw the eye upwards, Avoid jeans with small back pockets that’ll make your butt appear bigger, Wear belts low to create an illusion of a smaller butt, Choose A-line skirts with natural waists to flatter your figure.
For more information on this fabulous, and fun self image makeover in 60 minutes, I encourage you to watch the show. If you can’t find it in your local listings, run, don’t walk, and go directly to http://www.carsonkressley.com You can download entire episodes on iTunes. There are also some that you can watch for free.
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