Body Confidence Canada Awards 2014

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September 9th is known as the International Day of Beauty  — it was created by the International Committee of Aesthetics and Cosmetology (CIDESCO) and was adopted by the World Congress in 1995. What better day to celebrate body confidence, education, health and community empowerment!

I was fortunate enough to be invited to the 2nd annual Body Confidence Canada Awards – A Toast To Curves  held at Panorama.  The BCCAs created and run by the amazing Aisha Fairclough and Jill Andrew, of Fat In The City, to celebrate “champions of body confidence, positivity and body diversity in Canada”.Body-Confidence-Canada-AwardsBody Confidence Canada acknowledges Canadian based recipients who actively fight against stereotypes that attempt to label marginalized bodies (i.e., fat, radicalized, dis/abled, etc.) as unhealthy, uninspired, and underachieving.  Looking around the room that night, there was something incredibly refreshing and empowering being among so many beautiful, confident women of all shapes and sizes. 🙂

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The Hosts: Aisha Fairclough and Jill Andrew, of Fat In The City

The evening began with cocktails and  incredible views of the city …followed by inspiring speeches from guest speakers and the winning nominees.

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The 2014 BCCAward winners included: Ophilia Alleyne, Jewel Kats (absent from photo below), Stefanie Augusteijn of SexyPlus Clothing and Cindy Baker.  A honourary award was also given to Dr. Carla Rice, one of the esteemed guest speakers .  Each recipient shared a touching experience, who’s words were not only uplifting but resonated with nearly  every woman in the room.

For a sample of one of the speeches click here by Miss Stefanie Augusteijn …and her message and spirit of collaboration in the plus community 🙂

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The Winners of The 2014 BCCAwards

A huge congratulations to all the winners from Petite Plus, Meow!

And now… a few fun snaps of all the fun had by me and the other lovelies in the room…

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IMG_4521 Me with THE sensational, inspiring, well-spoken Jill Andrews. If you haven’t seen her in action…click here for her TEDx Talk: Fat Shaming and the Thin Epidemic
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What I wore: Captain’s Bodycon dress from SexyPlus Clothing with peep toed platform heels from Diesel

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Events like this help support the body positive movement.  If you want to help build this event, please nominate someone that embodies what the BCCAs are all about by heading to the website and nominating someone for 2015.

EveryBODY has a story” – let’s  celebrate them!

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BIG Tune!

 

I Absolutely Love Meghan Trainor’s voice!  Her 4-track album is terrific.  But, my heart belongs to this catching tune “All About That Bass“.

 

If you’re looking to add this BIG Tune to your karaoke repertoire, like I am 😉 ….here are the lyrics:

Because you know
I’m all about that bass
‘Bout that bass, no treble
I’m all about that bass
‘Bout that bass, no treble
I’m all about that bass
‘Bout that bass, no treble
I’m all about that bass
‘Bout that bass

Yeah, it’s pretty clear, I ain’t no size two
But I can shake it, shake it
Like I’m supposed to do
‘Cause I got that boom boom that all the boys chase
And all the right junk in all the right places

I see the magazine workin’ that Photoshop
We know that shit ain’t real
C’mon now, make it stop
If you got beauty building, just raise ’em up
‘Cause every inch of you is perfect
From the bottom to the top

Yeah, my mama she told me don’t worry about your size
She says, “Boys like a little more booty to hold tonight.”
You know I won’t be no stick figure silicone Barbie doll
So if that’s what you’re into then go ahead and move along

Because you know I’m
All about that bass
‘Bout that bass, no treble
I’m all about that bass
‘Bout that bass, no treble
I’m all about that bass
‘Bout that bass, no treble
I’m all about that bass
‘Bout that bass
Hey!

I’m bringing booty back
Go ahead and tell them skinny bitches that
No I’m just playing. I know you think you’re fat
But I’m here to tell ya
Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top

Yeah my mama she told me don’t worry about your size
She says, “Boys like a little more booty to hold tonight.”
You know I won’t be no stick figure silicone Barbie doll
So if that’s what you’re into then go ahead and move along

Because you know I’m
All about that bass
‘Bout that bass, no treble
I’m all about that bass
‘Bout that bass, no treble
I’m all about that bass
‘Bout that bass, no treble
I’m all about that bass
‘Bout that bass

Because you know I’m
All about that bass
‘Bout that bass, no treble
I’m all about that bass
‘Bout that bass, no treble
I’m all about that bass
‘Bout that bass, no treble
I’m all about that bass
‘Bout that bass

Because you know I’m
All about that bass
‘Bout that bass, no treble
I’m all about that bass
‘Bout that bass, no treble
I’m all about that bass
‘Bout that bass, no treble
I’m all about that bass
‘Bout that bass
‘Bout that bass, ’bout that bass
Hey, hey, ooh
You know you like this bass

Do You Know Your Measurements?

I’ve recently been shopping with a couple of slender, vintage loving ladies in my life – both of whom have mad sewing abilities, who come armed with tape measure whenever they are hunting for fabulous vintage finds.  Both of these lovelies are avid online clothing shoppers as well.  The key thing I noticed with both of them is that they knew exactly what their measurements were.  Plus, they had a keen eye for what materials and fabrics … knowing what could be taken in/let out easily for possible adjustments to make these new-to-them-pieces work perfectly for their bods (mad skills I tell you).

So let me ask you……Do you know your measurements?

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The majority of women don’t.  I certainly didn’t.  Perhaps I was too scared to know what they are.  Aside from us all getting over the bad habit of comparing ourselves to other women, society has taught us that only thin can be beautiful.   With most ads showcasing perfectly airbrushed tall and skinny women to promote impossible standards of beauty, it’s no wonder we struggle with self-acceptance.  Sigh…  But we – people – come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

You can be the healthiest version of yourself and never come close to a size 4. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.  The#MeasureMeBeautiful campaign encourages women to know their bodies and their measurements, because KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!

And your measurements are just that – facts, information. In order to be an informed shopper – you have to know your size.  Become educated and empowered.  Show the world that your measurements are just that: numbers, facts, statistics. And that they do not measure your worth, greatness, or beauty.

Knowing your measurements will help you look at size charts and know what size you should be trying on in that store, rather than taking what you think is your “usual size” into the dressing room, having it not fit, getting discouraged, depressed and then telling yourself that you must lose weight immediately.

That’s just ridiculous.  Fashion should empower women with confidence rather than riddle them with guilt and sadness in retailer’s change rooms.  Every woman has the ability to be a fashionista, regardless of their size (or income level, for that matter).

Sizes vary from store to store, and every brand uses a different “fit” model for their line. So let’s throw away sizes all together and simply know yourself!  When you know your measurements, you are in control – not the clothing or their designer.

Right? Right!

Here’s mine (and with this knowledge I’ve been in online shopping frenzy mode folks! It’s nuts!!!  Stay tuned for blogposts on my haul soon) 😉 ….

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The #MeasureMeBeautiful campaign also seeks to reinforce that YOUR SIZE DOES NOT DEFINE WHO YOU ARE as a person!  These measurements, my size, the number on the scale do not determine my worth as a person.  And I will not let them determine my happiness.

I am many things besides a Size 14, 16, or 18 (at any given store). I am also  striving to be a body positivity activist. I am a writer & blogger. I’m a fashionista. I’m a friend,  a sister, a daughter. A Learning Designer.  An off-key karaoke singer. A lindy-hopper. A homeowner.  A grieving mother to a recently departed fur baby (R.I.P. Berto).   Why should we continue letting the fashion industry tell us we all must fit into their ‘sample size’ in order to be beautiful or fashionable?

Mallorie Carrington of SmartGlamour came up with this fantastic campaign. She’s challenged me.  Now I’m challenging you PPMeow readers, to get involved!

Measure yourself!

Not sure how? SmartGlamour has tutorial videos up here.   And for those Petite divas out there who’s not quite sure if they fall under this “Petite” term…here’s a vid just for you:

Visit the #MeasureMeBeautiful website to see what the movement is all about. Take a photo of you measuring yourself and share it along with your measurements on InstagramFacebook and Twitter with the hashtag #MeasureMeBeautiful.  Let’s show the world that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.

Help us spread the word that your size does not define you. Measure yourself beautiful! 🙂

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Curious about my outfit in this pic? Click here for outfit deets 🙂

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Weekend OOTD: Flirty Hi-Lo Dress

 

It finally happened — I got to enjoy a weekend in Toronto without wearing a jacket!!!

Yup! I’ve been working like a dog lately…..but this weekend I was determined to enjoy at least one of the amazingly sunny days  out & about the city!  This past Saturday I barred my arms, legs and toes!  HAZZA!  Even busted out my summer fedora!

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As y’all know I’m not a big wearer of make up….especially daytime during the weekend.  I also hate doing my hair.  Sooooo wearing a cute little summer fedora (or any woven hat) is my solution to looking like I know what I’m doing…outfit-wise 😉

I’m not a big wearer of jeans …but I think a woven hat like this one, would also good pair of worn-in jeans and a simple white blouse – perfect weekend look.

But since I work from home, leaving the house is an EVENT to be celebrated…. so instead I decided to wear this light and airy dress:

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I picked up this great flowy Aztec patterned dress from Forever21 during the fall…and never officially worn it out.  I had to get it altered (shortened) so that the hi-lo would really be notable and above my knees.  Pairing this dress with a simple sandal kept this look daytime casual… for last-minute plans of Saturday Flea Market shopping and lunching with a girlfriend.

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What did you wear this weekend to take advantage of the sunshine friends?

How I Got The Look:

White & Gold sandals from Le Chateau

Hi-lo Aztec print dress from Forever21+

Wicker fedora from H&M

Gold & brown Michael Kors bracelet watch

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Gussied Up & Tess Munster!

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Gussied Up, a plus size clothing boutique owned by the lovely Victoria McGroarty, celebrated the store’s 3rd anniversary this weekend – with a Meet & Greet with Miss Tess Munster!

 

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This delightful Bathurst boutique has classic pieces and Canadian designs in sizes X-3X.  With versatile pieces like day-to-evening dresses, casual blazers, leggings and cute but practical undergarments.

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This past visit I had my eye on the vintage-inspired bathing suits — any era with fashions that celebrates hips & tits wins my heart every time!  The feminine details for belts and bling is what I go weak in the knees for (ended up buying a sweetie-pie one I’ve had my eye on since seeing it on Instagram).

MINE!  The Black Bow Belt!
MINE! The Black Bow Belt!

 

With the weather oh-so gorgeous, I walked up from West Queen West (a significant distance) – so I decided to dress down cozy and comfy with my navy faux Toms (Airwalk from Payless), pink stripped maxi (from AdditionElle), cat-eye sunnies (from The Public Butter), pink moustache scarf (from Winners), faded denim-hoodie jacket (Jessica Simpson from HBC) and my MK grey cross body bag to make my Saturday afternoon stroll to meet Miss Tess Munster!

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The line up to meet Tess nearly wrapped the corner of Dupont!  Lucky for me….Rebecca (of Rebecca Northcott Photography) and I had a “tag-team approach”… and who ever got there first would save a spot for the other, regardless of the dirty looks to come our way by fellow-in-line fans! 😉

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Tess is a Plus-Size Model, Make Up Artist, Body Positive Activist and Blogger based in L.A., who turned her hobbies into a successful career.  She is a petite woman with an amazing smile that truly does light up a room!

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She recently founded the #effyourbeautystandards movement which has over 65,000 shares on Instagram alone, that changed her life. She receives letters and emails from different women every day thanking her for empowering them to love their bodies, and to not be ashamed of being short, pale/dark, or dare I say…Fat.

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The features that Tess was bullied about in her youth, that she now embraces, that has led to her success.  She really is an inspiration, encouraging other women to embrace and accept who they are, as they are.

Tess hopes that girls who are bullied, and women who lack confidence will begin to see their inner and outer beauty at whatever size.

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For everyone that says we can’t show our tummies, wear a pencil/form-fitting skirt, wear a bikini, wear sleeveless tops… YOU can!

That’s the main message of the #effyourbeautystandards campaign   — Tess wants YOU to join her in wearing “daring” fashions & stop hiding your body because society tells you to.

BE a total babe regardless of our size..big OR small we all deserve to feel beautiful.

 

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Take a look at some of the beautiful shots Rebecca captured at the Meet & Greet with Miss Tess Munster at Gussied Up:

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Tess was a delight to meet!  A genuinely nice person — happy to give hugs, pose for pictures …even TAKING SELFIES with her adoring fans!

I’ve got a massive #girlcrush on this woman – even more now that I’ve met her!

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Tess with Rebecca, of Rebecca Northcott Photography

Tess is proof that determination, relentlessness, and positivity can look beautiful on anyone, and that there is a wonderful life past a size 20.

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Gussied Up located at 1090 Bathurst St (at Dupot) in Toronto, Ontario.  You should def make a visit to see what fabulous fashions finds need to be yours!

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Here are a few shots taken by my iPhone camera too:

Me with Gussied Up owner, Victoria
Me with Victoria, Owner of Gussied Up!

 

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Shots taken with my iPhone: Me + Victoria and Me + Tess Munster

 

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SexyPlus Clothing Grand Reopening!

I was fortunate to have met Stefanie Augusteijn a few years ago B.B.B. (Before Becoming a Blogger).  When I moved to midtown Toronto, her boutique SexyPlusClothing was walking distance for me when it was located just south of Rosedale subway station on Yonge St. 

I’ve picked up a few coveted pieces from her shop in the past, including my beloved high-waisted leopard pencil skirt,  my black lace wrap top and the highly complimented Cherry Bomb dress.

 

Plus Size Clothing Canada USA, Plus Size Dresses - Sexy Plus ClothingShe’s recently relocated this fab shop.  This past weekend a friend of mine and I took a Saturday morning road trip out to Mississauga to be a part of Stefanie’s Grand Reopening & 5-Year Store Anniversary Party!

There were promises of Fresh New Spring Arrivals + Buy One Get One 50% offers along with Fashion and Beauty Prizes…and best of all Gourmet Cake and Refreshments! 

Don’t let the outside fool you – the store is beautiful!  And Stefanie designed it all herself!!!  The fresh, bright off-white of the entire space and hardwood floors with pops of that SexyPlus signature pinks all over the place, along with the familiar alphabet artwork of Lime Green Squid just make you feel all smiley. 🙂

Lime Green Squid's plus size art
Lime Green Squid’s artwork
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Closer Look of Lime Green Squid’s artwork. A few of these framed pieces were given away to a few lucky customers of SexyPlus Clothing.

“Dress for the weather you want, not the weather you have!”

Decided on wearing this green & black maxi dress w/skinny black belt  ($17 Forever21+) with a cropped cardi ($10 Old Navy) combo with my grey moto leather jacket (Winners) and Rocker-girl boots (Aldo) … regardless of the snow flurries that followed us from Toronto to Mississauga that morning.  My hair was uncooperative this morning as you can see.  Sigh…

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Here’s a few snaps of all the shopping fun that was had at this beautifully renovated boutique for plus sized babes:

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Me with Stefanie, owner of SexyPlus Clothing

 

Special shoutouts to go the lovely shop-girls, Dream Taylor and Sabrina who were uber attentive and helpful, providing honest opinions and encouragement once you’re ready to emerge from the change rooms.  I tried on several pieces, including this lovely ‘Hello Yellow’ dress, this Black n’ White stripped number and this Tiki inspired beach-ready dress:

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I even became the SexyPlus “Guinea pig” for trying on the new Convertible Maxi dress, as Stefanie transformed this lovely navy chevron patterned fabulousness whilst on my body for all to see the many different looks this one piece was capable of.   Please ignore the giant bra straps that are taking away from the loveliness of this dress – clearly I was not prepared to be apart of this impromptu fashion show 🙂

Check out the pics below to see what this Marie Convertible dress in navy chevron can do:20140405-152501.jpg 20140405-152510.jpg 20140405-152518.jpg

It was a delightful afternoon….but as you can see from my face in the above pic, I was clearly torn as to which pieces I wanted to take home with me.   I limited myself to only ONE new purchase of all the items above – I’ve got myself on a strict budget as my closet is bursting at the seams these days with all my recent mini-hauls.

Finally, I decided to buy the Captain’s Bodycon dress – it’s made in Canada!

Waddya think?  Did I make the right decision? (Oh…ignore the moustache socks also…lol!)

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SexyPlus Clothing’s new location: 5100 Maingate Drive, Unit 14  Mississauga, ON  —- with lots of FREE parking friends.  If you get a chance, you should def make the trip out to see what pretty fashions need to be yours!

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From SexyPlus Clothing: The Captain’s Bodycon dress – it’s made in Canada!

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#BoPo Art Installation

20140209-151746.jpgEarlier this month I blogged about my friend Karen and her hubs, Peter’s store anniversary party.  Their store, Your Big Sister’s Closet turned 1 this month and I was asked to be a window model for their Body Positivity Art Installation.  The concept was to make plus sized women more visible and to address what is not usually addressed.

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I have to admit, putting myself out there in the “real world” was harder than in the virtual one I’ve created via this blog, but it was a great opportunity to make a statement.  Me, along with a few others, were asked to wear  whatever fabulous clothes we looked and felt great in, and were to stand in their store-front window holding up a sign that has either displayed our weight or measurements or some other indication that we were a curvy, bodacious lady, and an adjective that describes ourselves.  So for instance,  Karen’s sign read: Size 20 & Fabulous!

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Originally when Karen reached out to me as “one of the most #bopo ladies in the city she knows.”..  I have to say, I didn’t know if that was a good thing or bad thing.  And upon researching ‘bopo’ via Urban Dictionary, I was very alarmed at its definition. But Google said #bopo stood for Body Positivity, which relieved my initial concerns – once I stopped laughing hysterically.  (Wanna know what was so funny? Check out Urban Dictionary’s def here … Ahem! No doubt that would certainly draw a crowd and make the news! But for all the wrong reasons, haha!)
Karen lined up a designer who came from NYC for a trunk show called Curvy Couture – showcasing bras right up to H cup – Hooray!  Along with a full candy bar, coffee and complimentary hair touch-ups and nail care all day from event sponsor Donato Salon + Spa.  Check out my “before” and “after” shots – big thank you to Michelle & Tracy for making and keeping me pretty all day!
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Yesterday, I had the opportunity to meet amazing, positive and beautiful women!
Even networked with other plus fashion bloggers and hob-knobbed with Toronto celebs like Sheena Snively from MTV and the Full Figured Model, Ophilia Alleyne.
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Together we brought awareness to the public promoting a simple message: ALL BODIES ARE GOOD BODIES!  My sign read: Curvy & Confident! 

Sizeism is widely considered to be the last socially acceptable form of prejudice. Body shaming happens every day, all over the city.  This Art Installation entitled “There’s No Right Way to Have a Body” was meant to bring awareness surrounding our society’s obsession with size and size shaming.

Overall, it was a Saturday well spent being ogled as a full-figured beauty in the window of Your Big Sister’s Closet! 🙂

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How I got The Look:
Mint & black lace sheer hi-lo top from Carpe Diem, Your Big Sister’s Closet (Dundas W/Clendenan Sts.)
Black crop top from Forever21+, Toronto Eaton Center
Solid black leggings from Old Navy, Toronto Eaton Center
Grey tall boots from Payless
Silver Medina bib necklace from Stella & Dot
Silver sparkle drop earrings from Bitter Sweet
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