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Finding Unusual Fashion Inspiration with Nienke Tatiana Zweers

Posted by on December 24, 2013

Nienke Tatiana Zweers, 20, is a full time industrial design student in her second year at the Technical University of Delft in the Netherlands. Nienke describes herself as a dreamer who gets lost just a little too often, but luckily, those are most often the times where Nienke finds inspiration through new people and places she gets to discover.

Fashion has a very important place in Nienke’s life and she is a firm believer in the power of a really great outfit. Finding the perfect thing to wear can change your entire mood and outlook on life. She shows off her rocking, mood-changing ensembles on her blog, Lace and Lovehandles, and on her Facebook page.

Nienke took to the time to talk with IGIGI and discuss her unique fashion aesthetic, and her fearless devotion to dressing outside the box.

Nienke cites Lola (Lindsay Lohan) in "Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen" as her biggest fashion inspiration.Credit: Nienke Tatiana Zweers

Nienke cites Lola (Lindsay Lohan) in “Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen” as her biggest fashion inspiration.
Credit: Nienke Tatiana Zweers

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Plus-size Model Robyn Lawley Doesn’t Have A Thigh Gap Either, And She’s Cool With It

Posted by on November 13, 2013

Robyn Lawley is really blowing up right now. Her own swimsuit line, a Ralph Lauren campaign, and a Vogue Italia cover are just some of the credentials that the 24-year-old now has on her resume.

The gorgeous, Australian plus-size model wrote an awesome October editorial, titled “Why The Dangerous ‘Thigh Gap’ Trend Makes Me Mad,” for the Daily Beast after a photo of her in a corset appeared in a Facebook group for proponents of thigh gaps. But, GASP! Lawley does not have a thigh gap (like most women), and so the trim US size 12 model was called “pig,” “hefty,” and “too fat,” among other more unpleasant comments by responders.

Robin Lawley

This is the picture of Lawley that appeared on the pro-thigh gap Facebook page. Credit: Robyn Lawley via the Daily Beast

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Learning How To Become Your Own Plus-size Role Model

Posted by on October 24, 2013

As a plus-size woman who is completely comfortable with her size – I tend to attract a lot of haters. Body image issues are ingrained in our collective psyche at a very young age and as a result, people generally tend to have very opinionated views on what an ideal form should look like. My figure is not praised by the mainstream to be ideal, so I have to fight for the respect and courtesy that straight-size women can take for granted. Now, I’m not saying that every thin women has it easy. That is certainly not the case. Women are criticized for their heights, for their noses, for their posture, for their hair color, and for so much more. However, it is so important for thin women to recognize that they have a certain privilege for being thin.

Plus-size women are far too often made the butt of jokes or treated like novelty items in the media. While there are a few plus-size women in the public eye who are successful and popular, it is important to remember that there are only a few and for every fat Hollywood actress there are at least 50 thin starlets. Melissa McCarthy, Gabourey Sidibe, Rebel Wilson, and Adele can only do so much.

So, as a plus-size woman, it really falls on you to be your own role model, since there are so few celebrity models to aspire to, which is no easy feat since we are all prone to self-doubt. In order to combat feelings of inadequacy or insecurity, it’s important to practice radical self-love. Here is my personal list for taking care of my mental health by loving my body.

1. Take Some Selfies


Taking selfies is a form of self-care. It really is. Credit: @Jane_czko

As I’ve said before, taking selfies is one of the best forms of therapy. It makes you feel good about yourself, you get to control the image of yourself that you are projecting, and you get to enjoy positive feedback from friends and family about the results. What’s not to love? A little vanity is good sometimes.

2. Put Together Your Ideal Outfit

On Polyvore you can curate everything from your favorite outfit to your favorite bedroom decor. Credit: fashionduchess

On Polyvore you can curate everything from your favorite outfit to your favorite bedroom decor. Credit: fashionduchess

Now, not everyone can necessarily afford their “dream outfit,” but that doesn’t mean that you can’t get close! Spend some time online window shopping and search for your perfect ensemble. If you can’t afford it right away, put it on the back-burner and spend a few months saving up for it (that’s what I do). It’s important to spend both time and money on yourself every now and then. Because you absolutely deserve it. I recommend trying out Lookbook or Polyvore for outfit inspo.

3. Spend The Day Doing Beauty Treatments

Home manicure

I call these my Pepsi Cola nails. Credit: @Jane_czko

Personally, I prefer an at home spa day to one at the salon so I treat myself to clay facemasks, Moroccanoil treatments for my hair, moisturizing every inch of my skin, and attempting really detailed manicures, all from the comfort of my own bathroom so I can binge watch episodes of 30 Rock on my laptop while I beautify myself.

4. Get A Haircut


I always try to make my good hair days from my blowouts last as long as possible by dousing my locks with anti-humidity hairspray in the morning. Credit: @Jane_czko

There really isn’t a bigger ego-boost than a good, new haircut. It basically is a tailor-made excuse to take car selfies. Plus, for some reason I can never blow out my hair as well as my hairdresser can. Not only do you get to feel incredibly confident, but it’s nice to be pampered.

5. Take Some Time Away From Media


I LOVE my laptop, but that doesn’t mean that I need to be on it 24/7. Credit: @Jane_czko

And by media, I mean both social media and the actual media. As much as I love Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and the Internet in general, I never regret turning off my phone for a few hours so I can just enjoy interacting with the physical people who are around me. There’s really never anything so important that you need to check Facebook while you’re out to dinner with a friend, nor will anyone care if you’re a little late responding to a text message. Unplug, relax, and unwind.

6. Go To Lunch or Dinner With Your Besties And Refuse To Count Calories

Break your diet

Like these scallops with cheese grits and pesto aioli. Credit: @Jane_czko

There’s nothing more freeing or satisfying than going out with your friends and having a good time with no strings attached. Your diet will still be there tomorrow. Try something new and delicious, and don’t let anything stop you from enjoying time with people you love.

7. Send Someone You Love A Card

Send a card

This card made me laugh out loud. Credit: @Jane_czko

Everyone loves getting mail. So pay it forward and drop a card in the mail for a friend or family member that you haven’t spoken to in a while. Worst case scenario – you’ll be out $0.46.

8. Read Some Body-Positive Prose

Body positive

Darling Magazine is always a great option. Credit: @Jane_czko

Again, as I have said before, reading magazines that are put together without photoshop and seek to empower women can be such a wonderful outlet. Surround yourself with love and positivity.

What do you do when you’re feeling down? How do make yourself feel beautiful and valued? Let me know in the comments.

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The Launch of the Body Positive Magazine VERILY and Other Female-Centric Indie Publications

Posted by on October 16, 2013

It’s not always easy being unapologetically proud of your body, especially when that body is not the ideal. However, my body is and always will be secondary to my self-esteem because I am not reliant on a small waist-line or jiggle-free thighs to feel good about myself.

There are so many outlets that tell women that they’re not good enough, not smart enough, not funny enough, or even worse, that they’re too smart, too funny, too confident. You have to perfectly straddle the fence between slut and saint, brainiac and bimbo, to be appreciated as the ideal, and that’s just where our personalities are concerned.

The battle against a woman’s appearance is even more alarming and unattainable, especially when you add in the overwhelming prevalence of photoshop.

Photoshopped image

Congratulations, not even Jessica Alba looks like Jessica Alba. FYI, this would be rated as an ‘under 30 percent’ alteration job. Via: The Collective

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“We Live in the Golden Age for Fat Fashion” – Talking with Plus-size Fashion Blogger Beck Poppins

Posted by on September 26, 2013

Every time you step up to the checkout line at the grocery store, your eyes are assailed with dozens of images and taglines from various magazines advertising how to dress your body type in the most flattering light, how to get better abs, how to achieve those enviable Michelle Obama upper arms, or maybe there is even a way to get a total head transplant ,because why not? Who cares how you feel if you look great? Women are told early on that they should find fault with their bodies. Young girls are told that they are too fat, too skinny, too freckly, too pale, and the list goes on.

Luckily, some people find fault with that line of thinking, and instead of just trying to ignore it they confront and combat it with a torrent of body positivity. Beck Poppins, a 25-year-old baker from Cleveland, Ohio, and a for-fun pop culture and fashion blogger, describes her personal fashion as “widowed fairytale princess.”

Lace, tasteful rhinestones and unusual accessories like fans, wigs and unique vintage pieces are the standout details in her wardrobe. She only owns one pair of jeans and that is a fact of which she is extremely proud. “I’ve fully embraced semiformal dresses as a life choice. My closet is split between black and pastels, with a few pops of color here or there. I always want to display myself as completely feminine and completely whimsical,” says Beck.

When looking for icons to inspire her fashion, Beck gravitates towards fashion risk takers like Debbie Harry, Dita Von Teese, and the Japanese artist Minori. Credit: Beck Poppins

When looking for icons to inspire her fashion, Beck gravitates towards fashion risk takers like Debbie Harry, Dita Von Teese, and the Japanese artist Minori. Credit: Beck Poppins

The most impressive and inspiring aspect of Beck’s style is its variability. Beck does not allow words like “flattering” to dictate what she wants to wear and as a result, her outfits are supremely successful and incredibly creative.

Beck talked with IGIGI about her style and the effects that the media can have on women’s confidence.

Jane: What advice would you give to plus-size women who are struggling to find clothes that inspire them?

Beck: As a plus-size person, these media outlets and concepts are not aimed at making you feel your best or dress in a way that makes you feel special. Look at the art and films you already love and find your personal style. Once you know what you want to look like and how you want to dress, then you can start looking for clothing. Shop with a mission: ‘I have always wanted a teal sequin dress, I shall have a teal sequin dress.’ We live in the golden age for fat fashion, believe it or not.

Jane: Do you find that there is more support or options for plus-size women online?

Beck: Online stores have opened up so many doors, and better yet, the Internet has given us sites like Etsy where you can find great artists who can custom-make things for your size.

Jane: Are you ever discouraged when you’re trying on clothes that just don’t seem to work?

Beck: Never forget clothing can change – if you find a dress and its just a bit too long, it can be hemmed, or the sleeves can be let out, or buttons replaced. Don’t let fashion boss you around or make you feel like your body should conform to it

Jane: Have you ever felt unwelcome or unsupported while shopping at a brick-and-mortar store?

Beck: I can remember one nasty sales woman at a department store. I was trying on a stack of dresses because they were having a sale on formal wear and she followed me back to the dressing room. As I was trying things on, she was yelling through the door, ‘Don’t force any zippers if it doesn’t fit! Don’t stretch anything out! If it’s too small just leave it on the hanger!’ Just all this weird, misplaced negativity that she would have never yelled at a thin costumer. I don’t let that stuff get me down anymore. Now I shop exclusively at stores that treat me with complete dignity and I would suggest to anyone who has suffered discrimination at a store, never go back, never give them a penny, and always write to the store’s owners. Never let that nasty rude behavior slide.

Beck unapologetically loves her body at all times, even in "gross sweatpants," because as important and fun as fashion can be, self-love is important always, even when you look your worst. Credit: Beck Poppins

Beck unapologetically loves her body at all times, even in “gross sweatpants,” because as important and fun as fashion can be, self-love is important always, even when you look your worst. Credit: Beck Poppins

Stores and designers that specifically cater to plus-size women, like IGIGI, provide a more supportive and helpful customer service experience overall, with absolutely no body-shaming allowed. Beck recommends the beaded IGIGI Keira dress for those who are looking to copy her fabulous look. “It has two of my favorite things, a deep square neckline and three-quarter sleeves! The beading looks amazing,” says Beck. “It’s also so hard for tall women to find evening dresses in a length that goes past the knee. I feel like it would be a beautiful dress to go to the theater in. I personally would love to see it with a little brass tiara or gold laurel inspired headband, long black evening gloves, black tights and some gold trimmed heels, really play up the wicked queen fantasy that the beading on the skirt inspires.”

Thank you Beck for taking the time to talk with IGIGI and to keep up with Beck or talk to her yourself, make sure to follow her on Tumblr and Twitter.

Have you ever been dissatisfied with your experience in a store? Tell IGIGI and Beck in the comments.

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