Is it just me or is it even harder lately to feel good in your body?
I guess it’s a normal phenomenon for this time of year: the days are getting cooler and unpredictable weather makes it harder to get outside and keep active. We feel more inclined to warm, hearty meals than a salad at lunch. It’s getting easier and easier to opt for a Netflix and chill session, than to head to the beach for a swim. The result: feeling more lethargic (and slightly lumpier!) than we did in summer.
What’s more, we’ve had a global pandemic to deal with. Days spent baking and mooching around the house, discussing the merits of sourdough versus banana bread. Although between Billy J and running my business, I kept pretty busy during lockdown, this change to our daily life still meant my regular exercise and eating habits were interrupted. And this had an impact on how I felt in myself; how I felt in my own skin. I had to remind myself that it’s okay to have days where you feel sluggish and need comfort – and not to get frustrated about it. Whether your body has physically changed over the last few months, or you just feel lumpier and frumpier than usual – the effect is there. After all, the mind is just as powerful as the matter!
And then comes the media. Or, social media, more to the point. We receive social updates straight to our device which, particularly during lockdown, experienced an increase in usage (for many of us, the time spent on platforms like Instagram increased significantly). And, as we know, there is a difference between the content on social media streams and what’s happening in reality. In fact, the phrase ‘Instagram vs reality’ has become a running joke, highlighting the use of extensive filtering and staged photographs on peoples’ social feed. The problem, however, is currently two-fold: we’ve spent more time than ever consuming the ‘Instagram’ (aka fake!) content, and with less exposure to our friends, family and outside world – this may also have had an impact on our experience of ‘reality’.
After hours of scrolling through images of women with sculpted abs and perfectly round derrières, it's likely you’re left feeling less confident in your own body, with its quirks and real curves. I’ve spent twenty years in and around the industry of women’s health and wellness, and even I can feel the tolerance and appreciation I have for my own, imperfectly perfect body, starting to decline during this perfect storm. Which is why now is a good time for a bit of a reality check.
Our bodies get a bad rap. They get judged. Pinched, twisted, tucked, sucked in, and scowled at. They get compared to unattainable ‘Instagram’ offerings, whilst being ridiculed in reality. We’re so accustomed to their functioning that we forget how much they actually do for us. We take being able to breathe, run, sit, jump, swim, digest, regenerate and fight off illness – for granted. At any one time our bodies are hard at work, trying to ensure we are happy and healthy - yet we so often met them with disdain. Instead of praising their efforts, we wish they looked and felt different.
Now, I’m all for having body goals – but these cannot be at the expense of maintaining a healthy mindset and lifestyle. I’m an advocate for eating nutritious meals and exercising in a way that both strengthens and restores your body, but I also appreciate the beauty in each and every one of us. Whether you’re a size 6 or size 16, your body is doing its best to support you. And we should be acknowledging and rejoicing in its efforts, not cramping its style – so to speak.
It’s with this appreciation for what our bodies undertake daily, as well as the awareness that social media means we are constantly exposed to unrealistic, and often downright healthy ideals of the female body, that I’ve worked to create two new activewear collections that embrace every curve, roll, lump and cellulite spot that we all have. A perfect storm may have formed thanks to seasonal changes, the pressures of a global pandemic and social media influence, however this doesn’t mean we need to resort to further stress-inducing measures to feel good about ourselves.
I’m dedicated to providing women with tools that enable you to step confidently into your daily lives. To not only feel good about yourselves and your bodies, but to love them. Every body deserves to be a happy, healthy body – and that’s where my motivation for my new collections has come from.
Our new Body Shaping range is much like our beloved Nearly Nude collection – but with a key difference: its thicker eco polyamide fabric offers a more supportive, shaping fit – whilst also keeping you warm through winter. This range is designed to gently smooth those silhouettes and reduce any cellulite appearance – while maintaining its supple, second skin fit. No skimping on comfort here, ladies.
For those of you feeling like you need a little more help embracing your natural swerve, the new Body Contour range will ensure you feel confident and sassy, no matter your size or shape. Made from a compression fabric this range sculpts, lifts, and supports like no other - these babies will be your favourite 'go-to' tights. No more pinching, squeezing or sucking in. No turning to filters or photoshop to try and bring out your inner Kardashian.
Instead, everybody can be a Carra-dashian (yes, I went there 😉), because every body is sexy, every body is beautiful and every body deserves to be celebrated – not scorned.
So, join me this month in shedding the self judgement, stepping away from the ideals of social media, and embracing the beauty that is YOU!