Well, I’ve been working up the courage to actually get out there and do a photo shoot in swimwear, and believe me, the struggle has been real! So real, that this amazing Sexy Lips midkini from swimsuitsforall.com has been sitting in a drawer since I purchased it at the beginning of the summer.
But I’ve been so inspired by bloggers like Garner Style, who rocked the hell out of a black and white bikini (and made me fall in love with round sunglasses & body chains and was totally the inspiration for my look today), as well as my amazing followers who are so confident and gorgeous, that it was about time that I face my fat girl fears, and do a photo shoot in my very own fatkini!!!
I’ve paired it with two separate, but matching, black, sheer coverup pieces, which I love the idea of, because this way you can cover up less or more depending on the heat of the sun, or how cool the breeze is too. Also, it allows for a more modest option without sacrificing style, if, as was my experience at a beach resort in Haiti, you are required to cover up on top to go into a beachfront restaurant.
No swimwear look would be complete without the right accessories, so I went with my favourite gold, metallic flip flops, big gold hoops, my bangles, (no surprise there) and this fantastic body chain from Forever 21 (note, this is not a plus size piece, so I removed the chain link that connected the two shoulder pieces in the back and replaced it with a longer chain for a better fit).
It really took a lot for me to share these photos with all of you; and I only hope that I can inspire someone who, like me, felt that she wasn’t “perfect” enough to be seen this way. I hope to show that regardless of stretch marks, cellulite, and fat rolls, we can still be beautiful, confident, and enjoy a day at the beach, or an afternoon, poolside like me, in our own backyards, just as any other woman would.
I’m truly am feeling fabulous and empowered in my fatkini and this definitely won’t be my last one!!!
Share your looks with me by tagging #flightofthefatgirl on your Instagram pics or email them to me at: [email protected]
Wearing color has long been a somewhat terrifying experience for me… I usually tend to stick mainly to neutrals and very dark shades, which are lovely, timeless and classic but have a certain safety about them that I am often afraid to venture beyond.
So, with 2014 fast approaching, and ideas of resolutions on the tips of everyone’s tongues, I’ve decided on a new years resolution I know I can keep; I WILL CONFRONT MY FEAR OF COLOR!!!
As a matter of fact, why wait till the new year? Why not get started early? And what better way to jump right in than by wearing the whole rainbow all at once? I’ve always said, go big or go home and this gorgeous multi-colored, curve hugging, head turning, envy inducing, covetable piece of wardrobe magic is absolutely the best physical embodiment of the expression!
I have never received so many compliments in my life! My husband (who is Haitian and speaks Creole and French) described the dress as “mal élevé” which directly translates to “rude” or “ill-mannered”, but In the good way; and I couldn’t agree more! This maverick of a cocktail dress, from Monif C, does what it pleases, shows no mercy and the result is epic!
In this fearless frock, paired with a peep-toe, sling back, black patent leather heel (I RARELY wear heels but this dress deserved them) and some simple gold jewelry, I turned heads all night and showed myself that I should be as fearless of color as this dress is of everything in its glorious, rainbow path!
(A shout out to the hubby for looking spiffy, as usual, too!)
Dress – Monif C
Shoes – Nine West
What are we teaching our children when we call ourselves ugly? What are we showing them when we look in the mirror and criticize our imperfections? I had never given it much thought until I started noticing one of my own children putting herself down.
This is my daughter. She is almost 11 years old, gorgeous, a little bit chubby, and is already showing signs of low self esteem. She’s already starting to call herself fat; and not the “I am fat girl, hear me roar” kind of fat… But the “I am worthless because I have a pudgy belly and round hips” fat. I’ve always told her she was beautiful, told her she had value, told her not to listen to those who tried to bring her down; but what had I missed? The answer is, that I had overlooked probably the most important factor of all; myself.
My daughter LOVES clothes, just like me. She loves makeup, just like me. She loves shopping… I think you get the point. It’s obvious that I’ve influenced my daughter greatly. So why weren’t my words of encouragement working? Why was she using the word fat as an insult to her own body? The answer: Because that is what I had taught her.
All those times that I criticized myself in the mirror, sucked in my tummy, called myself disgusting; she was there. All those times that I refused to wear sleeveless tops because I said my arms were too flabby; she was there. All those times that I was depressed because I thought other women looked better than me; she was there… A silent observer, taking in every bit of what she saw.
When I finally realized the answer to my question, it was so simple. I felt like such a failure for having exposed my beautiful girl to all of the things I had tried so hard to save her from. I felt guilty. Through all of my efforts to boost her confidence, she had watched me destroying my own. Not only had I taught her the behavior, but I had also ruined any credibility my words of encouragement to her had had; for how could she take me seriously when I was being such a hypocrite?
The day I realized what I had been doing to her was the day I decided that I would stop letting my flaws define how I talked about myself. I would stop obsessing about what I wanted to change and start focusing on what I liked about my body.
I had already learned to love my face (oh, how many headshots my Facebook friends had been exposed to over the years; smiles, intense stares, and yes, even a few duckfaces). But more recently, because of my reality check, I learned to accept my body for what it was. I stopped wishing I had a flat tummy; I stopped saying ‘if only my ______ wasn’t so fat’. I started truly appreciating my curvy hips, my defined waist and my great legs, among other things. And it was funny, because oddly enough, I ended up liking more things about my body, than not. Through it all. my daughter continued to observe me; and she still does.
She now watches me as I look in the mirror admiring my curves instead of trying to cover them up. She sees me taking pictures of myself and she reads my blog (she is super proud of me, by the way). I have explained to her that I will never let the word FAT insult me or use it to insult myself again and that instead, I will use it with pride. Most of all, I have promised her that I will be a positive example from now on.
My hope is that the damage can be undone; that she learns to love her body the way I have. I pray that she realizes that she is beautiful; that she trusts me when I tell her so and that she never has to spend another moment believing that being fat means being worthless.
Baby girl, this one is for you!!! XOXO
Photo taken in 2008
From a very young age, I started hating myself in pictures. I couldn’t stand how huge I looked next to everyone else, how their flared, low-rise trousers looked so effortlessly cool and my men’s straight leg jeans just didn’t compare. I felt awkward, ugly and embarrassed and made every effort to destroy any copies of said pictures before my mum would have the chance to say ‘What are you talking about, honey? You look fine!’, which was, as anyone who remembers being young, THE single, most annoying thing your mother could say to you, whether she was right or not.
As a teen throughout the 90’s, the nightmare, that was clothes shopping (this topic deserves an entire post all to itself), became a little easier when I was finally mature enough to accept that I could no longer fit into an XL pair of black, stretch pants from a “regular” store and I discovered that there were a handful of boutiques carrying plus size clothing, albeit, geared to a much more mature market than me. But it was a start, and it was definitely better than muffin tops over too tight pants, or only being able to fit into men’s Levi’s, which didn’t have a cute term, like they do today with the “boyfriend jean”. So, while shopping became less frustrating, I still hadn’t found my groove and when I look through old photographs from high school (the ones which somehow managed to escape my clutches back in the day), I would describe my style as a mish-mash of poorly fitting jeans, tear-away track pants, too tight & too short baby T’s, matronly silhouettes of navy blue, brown lipstick and of course, chunky heels with stripper-esque platforms. It was an awkward look, to say the least.
As the years passed, the plus size market evolved. By the year 2000, It became less and less unheard of for a fat girl to sport a trendy look, and less difficult to find the components to put one together. Things were looking up! I was probably at my heaviest weight at that point, having just given birth to my first son, but remember going shopping and finding more clothes I loved, than I could afford to buy! This was a first! I remember thinking ‘this must be what skinny people feel like when they go shopping!’. This time, at least, it wasn’t that I couldn’t have it because it wasn’t made for me. For once, I was faced with the same dilemma that normal girls my age faced – Too much choice! I still looked awful in pictures, though. Most of them being taken by my 5’1″ mother who was just short enough to take pictures from the perfect vantage point to really capture all the aspects of my double chin. I remember thinking ‘do I really look like this?’… Little did I know how drastically the way viewed myself would change.
By 2003, I had really started taking an interest in fashion and between then and 2006 I had yo-yoed in size and had lost a dramatic amount of weight in a very unhealthy manner, and gained it all back within that 3 year span. I had a second child and another on the way, and I struggled quite a bit at that point with self confidence. Some days I felt great, sexy even. Most days I just felt like I could never be as beautiful or desirable as a thin girl. But I still always made the effort. I always left the house looking good, even if I didn’t believe it at the time. I would soon buy myself a digital camera. How amazing was it, getting your first digital camera, right?!?! I had used one before, but I had never had my own. Once I got it open and figured out what I was doing, I took a picture. A selfie, which I don’t think was even a term anyone really used much back then. It was just of my face. Nothing major. It was summertime and I was on my way out to get groceries with my kids. Anyway, I remember looking at it, and realizing ‘HEY! I look good!’. I really couldn’t believe that I, ME, the girl who always thought she looked terrible in photographs, the girl who most days, felt too fat to be loved actually looked like a pretty, sophisticated and stylish young woman in a picture, nonetheless! Well… Needles to say, I went on a selfie rampage! Never before was it so easy to weed out the unattractive shots and fine tune the angles at which I took my pictures so that my beauty could actually be appreciated in a picture. I started to believe that maybe, just maybe, I was attractive! YES! Through taking selfies and seeing concrete evidence that was indeed a pretty, even sexy young lady, I began to truly embrace the way I looked!
I never stopped taking selfies. I am sure some view me as conceited or self-absorbed, but that is so far from the reality of why I take them. I take pictures of myself because they prove to me that I am beautiful. I’m not talking inner beauty here, I have all kinds of that, and that was never in question. I’m talking straight-up physical attractiveness. For some, that comes easily, but for a fat girl, who spent her life not being able to shop in the same places as her friends, who was teased from an early age and who struggled through a series of personal hardships, if they help me to feel good about myself, then I say, why not!?!? My selfies remind me, even on those days where I truly have a hard time seeing it (which are more frequent than I’d like to admit) that I should never feel like I am not worth being desired just because I wear a size 22. They remind me that I have style, that I am beautiful and that, yeah – You know what?!?! I AM HOT!