The love affair between a girl and her puffer jacket

I like to make a point of having clothes that can transition from summer to winter. When it comes to winter I also really value comfort. I am not the kind of person who can really cope with being uncomfortable for fashion. This is why I’m not great at wearing high heels as day shoes. I think I’ve found some good alternatives for this outfit (not exact replicas) and it’s a pretty versatile one. It just happened that I went for a spontaneous trip to London at the weekend and it was so much hotter than where I came from! Therefore, I haven’t paired this with black tights like I normally would have for winter. (Click on the photos for website links to products)

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I must also express my newfound love for puffer jackets. I really love the sporty styles from Superdry because I always like to have a sporty element to my outfits. Obviously they are not the cheapest on the market but I have found a bunch that I really love for different prices. I also got this particular one I’m wearing from TKMAX for around £30 so always a good place to look:

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I think I often steered clear of warm winter clothes when I was younger because I thought they would make me look fat. This was obviously me when I was in an anorexic headspace and I am so happy I now allow myself to be free with what I decide to wear. We need to remember not to confine ourselves to what we think society thinks we should wear. I always loves sporty chic but in my head I thought “They will laugh at me because I am a fat girl wearing sports clothes.” I never understood that fitness was so varied and even if I was not fit, I deserved to respect my body enough to wear the clothes I loved.

On my last note, I do urge you all the buy something silver. I feel like I’m in Star Trek or something, it is certainly a confidence booster. I am having a slow building feeling that I need to keep pushing myself fashion wise and It is so empowering.

Tips for staying body/self confident

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So I decided on this post today because I am EXHAUSTED. Utterly exhausted. Tiredness just sometimes brings out my worst thoughts, therefore I decided it would be a perfect day to tell you all how I go about staying body/self confident. Some of them are simple, some of them require a level of habit breaking. I would say its taken about two years to get to the point I am now. It is not always easy but it is 100% possible.

1. Checking yourself

It’s very easy when you catch yourself naked in the mirror or try on clothes to think “ugh I hate that”. I think it has become a natural reaction we have after years of being told we must always aspire to some twisted beauty ideal. Checking myself has been my biggest tool in helping me feel better about my body. If I notice myself thinking even a minor negative thought about myself I immediately dispel it. I don’t even let it cross my mind anymore. I have come to realise how useless negativity is. It doesn’t promote any kind of healthy lifestyle. Changing your way of thinking is a major step. So when I see my body now and think “oh no I don’t like that,” I immediately count that with “actually, I look amazing, what was I thinking?” Don’t be made to feel like you’re somehow arrogant for deciding you like yourself.

2. Making sure you social media is YOU friendly

This is one thing I’ve only just realised has had such a positive effect on my self-esteem. Making your social media YOU friendly means only following accounts that make you feel positive. When I was younger the only body shape I ever saw in media was tall, white and skinny. I had no way of searching for role models who looked anything like myself. The beauty of social media is that you can decide what kinds of stuff you want to see when you wake up in the morning. For me, people like Ashley Graham and Iskra Lawrence give me a huge boost because I am looking at people with similar bodies to me, who are being praised. I follow body positive pages, poetry pages, (about 15 different Game of Thrones pages, don’t judge), gaming pages and models who look like me. That way, I can scroll through my IG looking through my interests and seeing a bunch of beautiful women with similar bodies to me. That doesn’t mean to say you have to unfollow a bunch of people because they don’t look like you, but it does mean be mindful of how body positive your social media feed is.

3. Wearing clothes that you love.

How many times have you heard (or said) the phrase “I will wear that when I am thinnner.”? I can think of five instances off the top of my head. I cannot express to you all how much better my life became when I just bought clothes I loved, and stopped thinking about whether “curvy girls can wear that” or if I could “pull off a skirt” because of my legs. If you are wearing something you love then you will feel so much better in yourself. Your size does not define what you can or cannot wear. I’m just speaking from personal experience as being someone who has been told she cannot wear things because she is curvy. I am sure it has happened to a bunch of body types because there is always someone out there thinking you shouldn’t wear what you want. Trust me, do not wait until you believe you have the perfect body to wear the clothes you like. You already have the perfect body. Once you start wearing clothes you love, you will instantly become more confident.

4. Remembering you are unique.

This may seem vague but bear with me friends. If I sit in my room, staring at myself in the mirror and looking at supermodels on twitter, I will go insane. This is something I have done and it just makes you feel like crap. However, when I started university I started to notice something: everyone around me was so utterly different from me. We came from different places, we had different ethnic backgrounds, we had different hopes and dreams. I realised I had met a really inspiring group of people who probably did not even realise they were inspiring. I have not once in the last 2 years, written a person off because of how they look. I never even thought about it. Ultimately, I found that having a bit of extra fat or not being the prettiest girl in class became entirely irrelevant. It can sometimes be tough, but we have to remember how much we can offer the world. We are NOT one dimensional. You do not have to conform to any stereotype to love yourself. We are sometimes taught we do not deserve respect because we ate too many doughnuts or because we didn’t go to the gym today. Pff, fuck that. You have so many other amazing qualities, so why would you write yourself off for that? You would never do that to a friend, so don’t do it to yourself.

I hope this has been somewhat helpful for you guys (sorry for getting all the deep at the end). These are just four main things I do to stay positive. If you guys have any particular things you do to stay body confident then please let me know! I am still on this journey with you!

All the love,

Ess xx

Neon Moon Interview

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Photo by Yasmin Benamar

1. What made you want to be involved with Neon Moon?
I love my job as a model but I get quite a few sexually charged shoots to do. With plus size modeling that can be the case. I really wanted to do something that was making a stand against that and Neon Moon do some really lovely Photoshop free, desexualized shoots. The underwear is really comfortable even for someone like me who often needs a lot of support under my boobs. It is refreshing to be allowed to be feminine without being sexual.

2. Who has influenced you most throughout your life?
In lots of ways I think I would call myself a loner in the sense that I don’t ever consciously remember being heavily influenced. However, I think my mum and her side of the family probably influenced me the most without me realising it. My whole family is so political; therefore while I was growing up I absorbed political and social awareness from them. I grew up as an only child with a single mum so in that sense I think a parent just influences you by sticking around until you grow up.

3. What has been your hardest struggle to overcome?
That’s a hard one because I often think struggles seem so much bigger in retrospect. I had problems with bullies at school over how I looked or my family background. When you are young it isn’t easy to have that self-confidence where you are confident enough in yourself to know the horrid things they say about you aren’t true. I’ve forgiven all the bullies when I was a child because you change so much as you grow up that I think it wouldn’t be fair to still judge them on that. When I was fifteen/sixteen however, I think it speaks much more to their character than mine. Sixteen isn’t an easy age but I would say the major struggle I overcame was walking away from some argument I had with one of those girls knowing what they said about me wasn’t who I was. Believing enough in myself to know it didn’t matter what they said or thought anymore.

I would also like anyone who is battling an eating disorder to know first that I am still battling too. It takes a lot of dedication to get out of disordered eating habits and change yourself. I developed disordered eating as a child and never really accepted it until my late teens. It’s a culmination of many things for me but of course these things are different for different people. Control issues, emotion eating and an obsession with being thin. Most of those women on the catwalks are naturally thin women but some people like me aren’t built like that. I didn’t understand that as a young girl because I never really saw my own body type in the media. It took a long time to realise it was okay not to be built like that and there are so many different ways to be healthy. Nowadays I try to focus on eating a similar amount every day (as I tended to fast for a week then binge for a few days) and I make sure I’m eating food I enjoy eating. You think being thin will make you happy but truthfully you’re just miserably thinking about food 24/7, you’re tired, your breath smells, you get stomach cramps and in my case my mood was low. I think as a society we have a very deep, emotional relationship with food and it’s not always healthy. I know how hard it is in this day and age and I understand the pressure to be so many things at once. My body has “recovered” somewhat but I wouldn’t say my mind has yet. There are people who have recovered though and I think sometimes we need to remember it’s a fight people have won.

4. When have you been the most proud of yourself?
This could be really boring of me but even now it’s still my A-Levels. I had some gaps in my education and only really took a year or so of GCSE’s. I managed to pass those with average grades but when A-Levels came about I really wanted to prove myself. Academia means so much to me and I just remember that time as a time in my life where I didn’t cut corners or try and get out of something boring. I was so proud at what came out of that.

5. If you could give one piece of advice to women all over the world, what would it be?
Take your education seriously. There are so many girls in this world who cannot get an education and I believe it is one of the most important things you can possibly fight for. We are constantly scrutinized over our appearance for aesthetic and sexual reasons but education gives you the tools to be the best version of yourself in life. It doesn’t mean you have to become a professor or even go to university; it just means that when you decide what path you want to take you can choose based on what you are really passionate about. You don’t ever have to feel trapped.

6. What does Neon Moon’s campaign #NeonMoonCelebrateYou mean to you?
I think a campaign celebrating women’s bodies rather than degrading them is just what we need right now. We are coming into a new age of plus size modelling and body confidence. I think it is the perfect time for it! There is definitely a debate going on now about how we see women’s bodies in the media, so we need to be reminded that nobody is worth more or less as a person because of what their body looks like.

Link to main article: https://www.neonmoon.co/blogs/blog/90686081-q-a-with-neonmooncelebrateyou-model-essie

NEW! Clarins Make-up Review

Hey Guys!

I’m so excited to do my first post for you all. I’ve been waiting to get my website set up so I can do my first post and I have had this one of the backburner for a while. Clarins sent me and bunch of their new beauty products to test out so I’m excited to share with you what I thought about them. I will be honest with you guys I liked most of the products but there were a couple I really did not like. I’ll start with the products I didn’t like as much.

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My least favourite product was the Be Long mascara. It was clumpy from the first moment I used it and to be honest, it felt like they focused more on the packaging than the product. I think for £20 odd you could get a much better mascara.

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The Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil in Honey I was also a little on the fence on. For me it was quite dense and I prefer a lighter product on my lips but I think if you have dry, chapped lips it would actually be very soothing. It certainly puts a coating over your lips rather than instantly being absorbed.

Those were the only products I felt a bit iffy about. I think it is because this is not exactly budget makeup and I simply wouldn’t pay the prices for those.

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The next product they sent was the 4-Colour Eye Palette in Nude and although I was not in love with it at first, it has definitely grown on me. Firstly, I love love love the colours. Particularly the second pinkish colour. I use that quite frequently if nothing else. I think the reason I was on the fence at first is because the eyeshadows do not deposit a concentrated colour. It is quite a subtle palette but its stays on throughout the day. I would also say that the particular palette I have would suit someone with a lighter skin tone but they have a range of 4 different palettes.

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Getting into some of my favourite products now; the Instant Light Natural Lip Balm Perfector. This is genuinely just a lovely lip balm. Its smells like candyfloss (I quite honestly only go to fairgrounds for the candyfloss because I love it so much) and it just feels so nice on your lips. I keep it in my bag at all times now for a lip freshen.

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I am a very passionate eyebrow lady. One of my friends once said dark eyebrows make me look like a “sassy crow” which I decided to take as a compliment. The Perfect Eyes & Brows Palette has every little element you want: I particularly like the wax and the highlighter. My eyebrows naturally go down and the wax manages to keep them pretty. The only thing I would say is that for people who like less natural, more striking eyebrows, this may not be for you. This gives my brows a lovely soft, naturally full look. If that is how you like your brows then I think this should be your next palette.

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This product was a weird surprise for me because I’m not normally a blush gal. The Blush Prodige Illuminating Cheek Colour  has now become a staple of my daily routine. I was sent the colour “soft peach” which I would normally assume would not show up on my skin so well but it actually looks really lovely. I’m a fan of shimmery face makeup and this has the right amount of shimmer for me. Also, for all these products the packaging is bang on. I love it.

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My ultimate favourite however, was the Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch cream primer. I have always bought Clarins skincare, I think they are one of the number one brands for creams and lotions. This is the product I will be buying again once I have finished the pot. It makes your skin so smooth and it has replaced my tinted moisturiser. I genuinely think it is something that, if you have the money, you should invest in.

Now, I am by no means a makeup expert but this is just my honest opinion on the products. I really do like to stay low-maintenance with my skincare and makeup because as a model my face will just be CAKED with the stuff. Therefore, my daily routine tends to be minimal. I think most of these products work for the “minimalist” makeup girl so I think that is why they work for me.

If you have any questions on the products then of course drop me a comment.

Love,

Essie xxx