I attended an Athena networking meeting this morning and had my 1 minute all planned taking about Cardigan shapes but as I put on the TV, I listened to breakfast telly about it being Mental Health day today.
I then went on to read an article on Body Image minutes later.
It quoted that over 2000 young girls and boys called Childline last year regarding Body Image and Body Confidence.
Now I actually think that's only the tip of the iceberg as imagine how many don't call.
So I changed my 1 minute today to talk about this as it is something I'm so passionate about it.
I remember writing my dissertation on my degree about Body Image. I remember the tutors groaning -'oh not another body image dissertation to read' I found this strange seeing that we were studying Fashion!
I decided on a part practical task (the thought of writing a full dissertation scared me). I took 20 women of all shapes and sizes and asked them to do the following:
-Draw a picture of what they think they look like
-Draw another of how they would like to look
-I took a photo of there body shape and created a silhouette of them
I overlaid the drawings / photos and gathered results.
When we overlaid the 'what I want to look like' and 'actual body shape' 60% of the women's body shapes were almost what they wanted to look like - They just couldn't see it for themselves. They saw their body shapes as something different.
This echo's so much in the customers I see now.
I love working with a customer to find out their body shape and showing them how to wear clothes with confidence. The right shaped clothes for their body shape.
Get the colours right as well and this creates the whole package.
Shopping in the right shops for your body shape can also help greatly. For example:
H&M - A size 14 labelled jeans rarely fits a size 10 body
Boden - great for women with curved hips and thighs but long legs.
Mint Velvet - Cut for women with shape but colour wise only Winters and Summers can shop in here. They rarely offer warm colours.
I would love to get to a point that we (kids and adults) realise that having a different body shape to their best friend is normal.
If you have any PTA, parents, school, clubs willing to discuss Body Image and Confidence then I would love to talk more.