Sophie Griffiths

sophierymer

Lifestyle and home education blogger at Wildling Wishes, main contributor and editor for She Might Be, draws pictures for money at Rymermade on Etsy.

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Christmas Jewels Gift Guide

There almost definitely won’t be snow this Christmas, but there is always room for ice underneath the tree. I’m always an absolute nightmare to buy for at Christmas time (seriously, ask my husband!) so when F.Hinds asked me to have a little gander at their beautiful jewels I knew I need to throw away my entire Christmas list and just send my husband the link. Here are some of my top picks from their website, and some of the amazing discounts that they are currently running.

jewels

I hardly ever wear earrings, because I tend to buy cheap ones that make my ears itch after a day. But when I look at these gorgeous white gold and diamond cluster studs I want to start wearing earrings again pronto. They are so dinky and elegant, I absolutely love them – and I love the price too, as they’re currently offering £150.00 off of the recommended retail price.

jewels

Okay, how cute is this idea?! A diamond… Made of diamond! I really love jewellery that shows a cute graphic, and the fact that it is covered in jewels is definitely an added bonus. I can imagine rocking this with every single party outfit I could choose this Christmas, and it is simple enough to add a classy touch to your daywear, too. Definitely worth the £59.95 that it has been discounted to. jewels My wedding ring is gold with a band of white jewels, so I’m always on the look out for gorgeous piece of jewellery that will really compliment and highlight what I’ve already got. I would love to twinkle this Christmas in this gorgeous 9ct gold heart necklace. Even the chain is pretty, and its another piece that is completely versatile – and all for under £100! jewels

Am I the only person who loves the simple elegance of a tennis bracelet? I am such a clumsy person that I’m not sure I would even trust myself to wear this many jewels, but I’d definitely be up for giving it a shot. This beautiful bracelet is at the higher end of this gift guide in terms of price, at £750.00, but it would definitely make for a breathtaking Christmas morning.
jewels Okay lets get a ‘Sophie checklist’ going here. Rose gold? Check. Hearts? Check. Geometric looking pattern? Check. These earrings are just begging to be worn by me – and I am so happy to oblige that I’m considering just buying them myself! Who needs to wait until Christmas, right?!
jewels I don’t often wear bracelets, but I love this sweet rose gold number so much that I’d definitely make an exception. I love the cute smaller hearts placed at each side of the bracelet, and at under £100.00 it’d definitely make the perfect present for somebody you love this Christmas. jewels

The final piece I chose is a complete cheat choice, because it’s actually three items in one. I love these round solitaire diamonds, because I just think they look really classic and elegant. This set contains 1/4 carat diamonds, which would definitely sprinkle some joy into Christmas morning. It’s another high-end price point, but definitely one that I would consider worthwhile if you’re looking to buy somebody something extra special this Christmas.

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The She Might Be Winter Skincare Guide

winter

I love the Winter. Christmas is wonderful, the snow is glorious and twinkles under the Winter sun and I love nothing better than cosy coats and hot chocolates. If you see me bundled up under a fluffy hat with rosy cheeks, you know I am happy. But as much as I love Winter, it really does not love my skin.

My skin type is very much ‘dry/sensitive’. Not only do I have to be super careful with which products I am trying, but even a change in the temperature can cause a flare up of my skin. I would much rather put on two pairs of socks and a dressing gown than turn the heating on, for example, because artificial heat immediately dries my skin out and what my husband affectionately nicknames “map face” is never far away. Over the years I have had to adapt to the festive season by taking steps to make sure my skin is as happy and healthy as it can be before I face the coldest of days. I grew up in the north of Scotland, so I am definitely used to cold Winters! Here are some of my favourite tips for keeping your skin looking brighter than the Winter sun this season.

winter

Water is just the best way to look after everything, isn’t it? I’m really lucky in that I actually love the taste of water, but I know for some people it can become a real chore to drink the recommended amount of water every single day. I don’t tend to stick to a target as such, but I do have a glass of water each time I eat and I tend to stop off in the kitchen for a glass of water on my way back from the bathroom, just to ensure I am as hydrated as I can be. I might pee like Seabiscuit, but at least my skin is glowing, right?

winter

Using sunscreen in the Winter seems totally counter-intuitive, right? But the Summer sunshine doesn’t hold the sole blame for harmful UV rays which can hurt your lovely skin. This is particularly true if it is snowing, as snow actually reflects the sun’s rays and amplifies the effect of UV damage. A tinted moisturiser with a level of SPF can really help protect your face – a minimum of SPF 30 is best for my fellow freckled friends.

winter

On the subject of moisturiser, I really try to limit my make-up usage in the Winter. I’m not somebody who wears make-up a great deal anyway, but when my skin is feeling dry and painful, the last thing I want to do is throw on a layer of foundation. I look for light, hydrating make-up options like moisturising primers or tinted moisturisers and I use micellar water to remove any product that I have applied during the day.

winter

Even though my skin can feel really dry in the Winter, I find it especially important to steer clear of oil-based moisturisers wherever I can. When my face is on the brink of a flare-up, the last thing I need to be doing is giving myself acne and blackheads. I often notice them creeping up at the crease where my nose meets my face, and as soon as I see that I immediately know I need to visit Chemist4U and find something that is really going to unclog my pores and give me a deep cleanse. I make sure to only use this on affected areas to ensure that my skin does not begin to dry out.

winter

This is a bit of a weird one, but I try to make my baths and showers shorter in the Winter. As tempting as it is to sink in to a steaming hot bath after a chilly day, the change of temperature can really confuse my skin and cause it to become dry and irritated. I swear, my skin needs therapy sessions or something because it is ridiculously temperamental and flares up at the slightest sign of trouble. I go for a warm shower rather than a piping hot one, and I am sure not to hang around any longer than I need to. As soon as I am out of the shower, before even getting dressed, I apply some moisturising products to my face and hair. That way I feel like my skin is ready to fight off any encroaching dry patches that decided to invade while I was distracted in the shower, and it just makes my skin feel really clean and happy.

What skincare tips do you try to follow every Winter? Do you find that your Winter and Summer skincare habits are totally different? Let us know in the comments!

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Roadschooling 101

*Sponsored post*

Those of you who know me outside of She Might Be might know that I also have a home education blog. It’s pretty new, but I mostly talk about the benefits of home education, and some of the things we get up to. As with anything, though, once you get a taste for something you want more: and as much as I am probably never going to get to experience it, I keep dreaming about a life of roadschooling.

cars

I guess it makes sense when you think about it: if homeschooling (which we tend to refer to as home education within the UK home ed community) is schooling your children at home, then logically roadschooling is educating your family on the road. I even love the idea of keeping our flat as our ‘home base’ and travelling for three or four days at a time to places all across the country. The freedom and the multitude of new experiences we would be exposed to every single day is so exciting to me – we don’t even have a garden at the moment, so the idea of the whole of the UK being our garden if we want it to be is just fantastic!

Of course, on top of work and shared custody, there is also the fact that we do not have a budget that allows us to look at the kinds of cars you need to successfully live on the road. In an ideal world I would be lounging in a Winnebago (scratch that – I would be in Priscilla) but realistically that is something that is way way in the future, if ever. I also love the idea of getting a people carrier or a minivan and doing a complete DIY makeover on it ourselves. I have spent so many nights poring over websites that sell cars and vans, wishing we could just bite the bullet and go ahead with it. I definitely feel like getting a pickup truck could be realistic for us one day, and maybe just packing a tent and a couple of spare pairs of underwear, and seeing where the road takes us.

cars

I’ve always been a bit of a free-spirit. As a child I lived in the countryside, and would spend entire days on my own just exploring. I liked to act out adventures, make daisy chains, climb my way over any terrain – I just felt free. I would love that for my children. When you take it back to its root, I suppose it doesn’t matter about where you’re going, what cars you’re travelling in or how long you’re gone: I want my children to experience life, and learn through experiences that they could never have if they were sitting in a classroom, and I would love to be able to enjoy that magic with them and be part of their happiest memories when they grow up.

roadschooling

Well first of all, you can make room in your bag for me! But in all seriousness – research. Research research research. This is not going to be something you can start next week. You need to look into the right kind of vehicle for your family – which I will get in to in the next paragraph! You need to start a nest egg that is just to be used while roadschooling. You need to study maps, look at efficient routes to take, talk to locals in the areas you want to visit via local Facebook pages and think about the right kind of times to go to certain places. Your children can be involved in the planning stage, learning about the places you want to explore and helping you plot imaginary routes as part of their home education experience.

roadschooling

Choosing the right car – or van, or whatever you decide on – is at the crux of roadschooling. Before anything else, you need to look at the needs of your family. Does it have enough space? Is it big enough to accommodate you all comfortably, as well as the belongings you’re bringing with you? You need to look at the miles per gallon (MPG) that you can get from a vehicle before you buy it. Normally websites will give you the ‘combined MPG’, which is the average MPG when you take into account city driving and country driving. City driving tends to offer much lower miles per gallon because there is a lot of stopping and starting, so try to look at the countryside MPG if it is available to you, and try to go for something in the late 30s at least. You also want to look at the suspension in your car, because it is going to need to be able to stand some bumpy roads and some long adventures! It might be cheaper to buy a second hand vehicle, but it is so so important to do a full check of things like tyres and brakes so that you don’t end up paying much more in the long-run than if you had just bought a new car. Personally, I’d look for pockets in the back of the seats so that the kids could store activities such as journals, art supplies and cameras, but of course those things are all just added extras, and can even be customised once you own the vehicle.

Who knows? Maybe, like me, you will find that it is all just wanderlust and probably won’t ever come to anything. But maybe this post is about to spark an entire change of lifestyle for you. And how exciting if it does!

Have you ever thought about getting out on the open road? Does the idea terrify you or, like me, does it make you want to drop everything and hop in the car right now? 

 

 

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The Lindy Bop Size Increase

lindy bop

When I was newly getting in to the plus size blogging world, Lindy Bop was everything. Their prints were bright and bold and plus size people were actually able to wear exciting, vintage-looking, fashionable clothing that didn’t cost a ridiculous amount. As time went on, though, I made a conscious effort to only shop with brands who had inclusive sizing. Lindy Bop stopped at a size 26, so I had to say goodbye to my favourite brand of the time. I still wore (and still wear!) the dresses I already owned because the money had been spent, but LB started bringing out really exciting prints right after I boycotted them and honestly, my heart was sad about it. I have tweeted and emailed Lindy Bop multiple times asking them to increase their sizing, and I’m sure many others have done the same.

And then I spoke to our lovely Kitty and she mentioned a size increase from Lindy Bop. My ears immediately pricked up. I read a bit more about it on her blog, and was very excited to discover that Lindy Bop really had listened to their many supporters and taken a positive step to increase their sizing. I’m thrilled!

Of course there are negatives in the situation. They have only extended to a 28 right now, which is a one size increase – putting them level with River Island Plus in terms of inclusivity – but its such a positive step that I don’t even care. I suspect that they are rolling out each size incrementally so that they can get a feel for the market, so if they see a trend of increased sales every time they release a new size the situation is only going to get better much faster. This is a good time to shop, right?!

The other downside is that the prints are nowhere near as good as they are in the rest of the range. Considering LB have such a huge size range already (6 to 26) I’m unclear as to why they didn’t just extend the entire range that one size larger. Don’t get me wrong: the five dresses that reach a size 28 are nice, they’re just not what I love about Lindy Bop. I’m looking for space unicorns, damnit.

So, am I going to start buying from Lindy Bop? Yes, I think I will. I’m not thrilled with the larger selection but I definitely want to show them that I appreciate the effort, and express that I would love for them to do even more. I encourage others who feel the same as I do to tweet them your shared support, and let them know that you can’t wait to see what size they extend to next!

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A Candy Gore Christmas Gift Guide

Having an 11 year old daughter makes me feel like a dinosaur. From BATIM to FNAF to being told about Markiplier and everything in between, I find myself smiling and nodding on pretty much a daily basis. But when she mentioned Candy Gore, my interest was piqued.

Y’all know I am obsessed with pastel goth, so the idea of Candy Gore was pretty adorable to me. At its essence, Candy Gore takes the theme of horror and makes it a little bit cutesy, by adding pastel or bright colours (often candy) to enhance the design or replace the gore. My daughter is in love with drawing and spends a lot of her time coming up with super cute-yet-creepy designs, and it got me thinking about what sickeningly sweet merchandise I would come across if I searched for it on Etsy – and since Christmas is coming up and you might also have a weirdo in your life, I decided to put together this gift guide so things can get a little bit creepy under all of our Christmas trees.

Note: I chose to feature Etsy because I prefer to support independent sellers where I can,
and I encourage you to do this as much as possible when you are Christmas shopping! 

candy gore

Are you ready to be amazed? This adorable ‘SLICE ME a pizza‘ listing is actually for a bath bomb! Though the bath bomb itself is only a fiver, unfortunately the postage costs are pretty hefty so this one won’t be making its way into my life. But I couldn’t talk about gore without mentioning this!

candy gore

I am new to Coey and Shy, but they are quickly becoming one of my favourite brands on Etsy with their bold prints and, frankly, even bolder ideas. My daughter is an artist, so this pencil case would come in super handy for her – it could also be used as a toiletries bag for holidays or festivals, or even to carry your make-up essentials. For £15 including postage, it’s good to know that this bag is very versatile, because the print is too cute to pass up.

candy gore

Mum points! This is from FNAF! My son is pretty scared of Springtrap, but maybe Candytrap would be more bearable?! From the candy canes to the red vines to the pastel colours and the pizza, this poster is candy gore through and through, and it is ridiculously cute. It does come in just over £20 when you include postage, but if you know a Five Nights at Freddy’s fan this might just be the perfect present.

candy gorecandy gore

Tasty, gummy, chewy entrails! These t-shirts – Chest Cavity and Gummy Guts – are both by seller PandyApparrel, and are stupidly twee in the best possible way. I love a good pun, and the ‘chest cavity’ one in particular is something I would live to wear with a brightly coloured skirt. They do go up to a men’s 2XL so the sizing is better than many, but there is still room for improvement. One downside to Etsy is that its rare to find clothing in proper inclusive sizing, so I tend to use it to buy gifts rather than clothing.

candy gore

Maybe it’s just me, but I am obsessed with these vinyl stickers. I mean, the seller called it ‘Drippy Eye Cutie Pie‘ for goodness sake! It is delightfully pastel and perfectly gory, and I definitely want one to stick to my laptop right now. Each sticker works out being just under £4.00 with postage, which I think is a great price for a high quality vinyl which features somebody’s adorable artwork.

candy gore

These necklaces kind of look like bath bombs, but they’re actually made of polymer clay designed to look like candy sweets with not-so-sweet messages. I think I would go for a ‘hate’ necklace on a cutesy day, and ‘gore’ when I’m feeling morbid – and at a tenner a necklace, you could totally get somebody a couple to chop and change. Or… Stab and swap?

candy gore

More from Coey & Shy here – and these pins and keyrings aren’t even on sale yet. This is definitely a girl gang that I want to be part of. I love that these are promoting being a badass female and challenging the idea that ladies need to be dainty. These would make great stocking fillers for your best friends, your radical friends, your friends who are all about being cute and strong.

candy gore

Um. HOLO THERE. This is another vinyl that would be more than welcome on my laptop, and even the name of it is gruesome and wonderful: ‘Mushy Hand sticker‘. There is a non-holo version too, but this one is perfect for keeping your holosexual friends happy and honestly its just too cute not to get. The postage is about a fiver, but the sticker itself is only £2 and its coming from the USA and honestly, its worth it for the sparkle.

candy gore

LOOK AT THOSE COLOURS! These pastel severed hands come in all of my favourite colours, and I can’t get over how cute they are. I honestly can’t think of anywhere in my house that I would need these, but if I got them I would find a space. If you know somebody who has a gorgeously creepy aesthetic, first tell me where they live and how to be friends with them, and then get them this immediately because it is just perfect.

candy gore

The final stickers in my gift guide come from BatBrieIllustration, whose adorable illustrative style and use of gorgeous pastel colours has won me over in a heartbeat. The postage is super high if you’re outside of the USA but the stickers themselves are cheap, cheerful, horrific and wonderful. That skull reminds me of Murray from Monkey Island, so I feel like it would be worth it for that alone.

candy gore

And to round off this gift guide is the sweetest slice of cake I have ever seen. The sponge actually looks spongy, it is so cool! I’m tempted to actually make this zombie brain cake in real life because it just looks delicious. This is a made to order item and with postage included it only costs about £10 to come from the USA, so I think it is incredible value for an adorable necklace.

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CBT and Me – Third Time Lucky

Today, I am going to talk about something really difficult. I am a very guarded person, and I do not like to lay my cards on the table for everybody to see. However, I am also a ‘helper’, and I have seen a lot of people either feeling let down by CBT, or terrified because they are about to start. So I am going to say some things that are going to make me feel very vulnerable, and I hope people are kind.

cbt

I have been in therapy, on and off, since I was 16. I won’t go into details about the ‘why’, just the ‘what’. My first dalliance with mental health ‘professionals’ came in the form of art therapy. My GP thought it would be useful for me, after I refused psychotropic medication to handle this depression and nothingness that I couldn’t remember not feeling, and couldn’t verbalise the visible anxiety that the thought of medication had induced. You guys, I went to one session. It was 11 years ago now, but all I remember was a middle class lady who I would never identify with, getting nothing out of me for an hour and telling me to ‘scribble my feelings’. I was 16, not ready to talk about the stuff in my brain and I felt like I was being mocked.

Next came ‘family mediation’, which was doomed from the start. I was in a room with two women, one of whom I knew in my personal life. I grew up on a tiny island in remote Scotland, so of course this was going to happen. I was asked if I was comfortable seeing her, ‘given our situation’, but try asking an anxiety ridden people-pleaser to speak up about what she really feels. I said yes, refused to talk, literally had to colour in smiley faces to communicate my mood – then my dad died, I clammed up even more, in my last session they told me they had decided I was silent because I was in danger and they had involved the police. As an adult I now understand why they did it, but as a grieving 17 year old who was drowning her feelings in booze and couldn’t get her mind straight, I felt pretty blindsided and incredibly betrayed. I developed a deep distrust of counsellors and I vowed never to see one again.

And then I had a baby. Not immediately – it was five years later, actually. The birth was terrible. We both nearly died, but I won’t go in to all of that. After his first birthday had come and gone and I was still crying over not having the birth I wanted and having nightmares about the whole experience, I approached my GP and was finally put on medication. You will remember I had previously been very against it; the idea of medication altering my mind made me feel incredibly uneasy. In fact, during my a-bit-more-than-booze days, I had convinced myself that there were people living inside my laptop and phone who were trying to control my brain (lol seriously. Fear not, I do now have a diagnosis and am on some good meds!) and the idea of taking mind-altering medication was causing me flashbacks. After a year of increasing meds and a diagnosis of Low Mood changing to Depression changing to Mixed Anxiety and Depression, I began CBT.

My first counsellor, C, was lovely. Such a sweet lady. We got on super well, and she was the first professional (including my GP) who I felt was taking me seriously. I received the diagnoses of PTSD and PND and we also covered some of the basics of my social anxiety. Ironically, now that I am on my third round of CBT I am able to identify that I was having panic attacks that I wasn’t telling her about because I didn’t realise they were an issue. We did a lot of those worksheets that CBT gets a bad rap for, but generally I was quite closed off with her and felt like I was handing her issues to deal with so that I could stall long enough to avoid getting in to anything serious. Round One of CBT failed for me, but it wasn’t C’s fault: I just wasn’t ready to let it help me.

Round Two was Couples Behavioural Therapy, so CBT of a different kind. It instilled the principles of CBT but was an experimental treatment that was being trialled under the supervision of a university in America, in which couples where one or both of you have issues with depression learn to better support each other. It was there that I met R. I felt at ease with him immediately, and he was wonderful with my husband and I. I shared things that I had never shared with a counsellor before – perhaps because I had my husband there for moral support – and it was like he heard what I was saying but also knew what I was too afraid to say and helped me say it. It had been better than the first time. We had homework as a couple, and were able to work on some individual issues but the majority of the work was on interpersonal skills, understanding eachothers triggers and communication. Though CBT had helped me this time, I still felt I needed more. Two months after our couples CBT finished, I had applied for another round. This time, when I had my telephone consultation, it was decided that I needed to attend the highest intensity CBT. It took around 5-6 months for my name to reach the top of the list, but once it did I was over the moon – I had been assigned to R for the second time.

I don’t know if it was chance or if it was because he knew my history and what I needed help with. But I can’t express how glad I am that I have finally opened up and been honest about my thoughts and feelings because it is so refreshing to have somebody understand what I am saying and why I am saying it on a much deeper level. My most recent diagnosis has been panic disorder with agoraphobia and secondary depression, but that might change again – who knows? High intensity CBT so far has involved plenty of homework (I have to go outside EIGHT SEPERATE TIMES this week alone!!) and I have even had a session where we artificially induced panic just to explore the physical sensations and acknowledge that panic can do literally nothing to harm me. I am treated like a valid person, not just the name at the top of the list, and I am so glad I went for round three.

If you are struggling with your CBT, please give it time. Identify what your issue is. I have seen complaints that the worksheets are too reductive, or that your therapist isn’t suitable. These are things that can be discussed and ultimately changed if necessary! For those about to start, take your time and be as honest as you can. It hurts at times, but you won’t change unless you are ready.

If anybody would like to talk more about CBT, please comment and I will do my best to share specific elements of my experience. Please be respectful of the fact that this was very difficult to write and I do not want to discuss personal triggers or reasons for visiting a counsellor. I am not a therapist and cannot offer any mental health advice in lieu of attending CBT.

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Swimwear Bargains for 2018

It might seem like the Summer sunshine is a hundred years away right now, but I feel like this is the best time to pick out your swimwear for 2018. It’s freezing cold outside, holidays are distant dreams at this point and – you guessed it – those Summery prints are just begging to be bought for a fraction of the cost. Sure, you will be wearing ‘last season’, but to me it is worth it for some of these deals. We’re looking at anything from 20% to 90% reductions! Here are some of my favourite picks.

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Yours Clothing are a brand that consistently have great deals when it comes to end of range sales. A couple of their items even reached a 90% discount, but due to limited sizing I decided not to include them. The great thing about Yours is they are always keeping their eye on current trends, and looking for ways to make them more affordable. I swear, you could buy all of your swimwear and book a break through holidaygems.co.uk for your whole family and still have change from a grand, which is just perfect in my eyes.

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SimplyBe do some gorgeous swimwear, and of course have a great range of sizes, but they tend to sell their seperates… Well, seperately. This is awesome if you’re somebody who wears a different sized top and bottom, or just love to mix and match. But the downside is that you do end up paying a little bit more overall, and it may be that you can only find half of a set in your size. Still, the discounts here are pretty good – an average of around 30% off on their website, which means that you can buy three times as much swimwear as you were going to before your holiday! That’s how it works, right?!

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We have talked about Evans and their awesome range of swimwear on the past here at SMB, but there’s nothing wrong with looking back and seeing if we can grab any of those key pieces at a discount. Some of them are super pricey – you are looking at £100 even with discount for a couple of these – but they are still quite heavily discounted, so if you were somebody who was going to spend the money in the first place then a third off is definitely worth checking out! I will say, though, that the discounts seem to be doing quite well, as the cheaper swimwear is sold out in a lot of sizes on Evans.

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Curvy Kate have a really great range of bra sizes, and a lot of plus size bloggers absolutely love them. While their bikinis are beautiful, however, the bottoms are not sized inclusively. I have decided to include the top halves because they’re great discounts, they’re beautiful bikini tops, the back sizes go up to a 44 and there’s no reason that these can’t be paired with a plain pair of bottoms from SimplyBe or Yours. But realistically, it does suck that yet again plus size people are having to ‘make do’.

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And now for their She Might Be debut: Bonprix. Seriously. While I’m not super thrilled that the majority of their plus size swimwear range is a selection of oversized kaftans, I do understand that I am not their target market. As standalone pieces, these are pretty good swimwear staples, they all have around a 20% discount and the sizing is inclusive. That baroque print tankini is exciting the historian within me if nothing else.

Have you got a holiday booked for 2018? I am craving warmer climes, so do let me lust after your holiday destinations – and let me know if you grab any swimwear bargains!

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Is Cellulite Scary?

A note from the author, before you read this article. While She Might Be is a body positive resource and you can always count on us to give you a safe space, unfortunately we cannot guarantee the same for every other website. There are sources used in this article which are not body positive. I felt that it was important to show that I was well-researched and show my sources, but unfortunately we are still living in a world in which ‘get rid of cellulite’ is going to sell a lot more books than ‘this is just something people have’. I implore you to check my sources if you feel that you are doubting anything I have said, yet similarly encourage you to ignore my sources if you visit She Might Be because you want a safe space that does not body shame.

We can’t control the rest of the internet, and we can only keep you safe here. – SG x

 

cellulite

Apparently we’ve moved right back to the 1990s, because on a trip to a supermarket recently I actually saw a magazine with these three words emblazoned across the front of it: THE DREADED CELLULITE. I mean, realistically this is hilarious. We all know that cellulite isn’t “dreaded” – right? And then I got to thinking. Maybe some people do genuinely fear the appearance of cellulite. Maybe they go much deeper than just photoshopping it out of pictures a la Kim Kardashian, and have developed an actual phobia of the presence of cellulite and all that it entails. I decided to do a little bit of exploration, and see if we can bust some myths and get to the root of everybody’s problem with cellulite.

Now before I start, I’m not talking about cellulitis or any form of skin condition which causes you physical pain. I wouldn’t blame anybody for hating something which causes them pain! Interestingly, when I tried to do some research into the science behind cellulite I was bombarded with articles which asked ‘what is it – and how can I get rid of it?’. I think its really important to look at the cultural roots behind belief systems. I do this as a historian, and I do it as a body positive activist. Cellulite is something that people who are born biologically female are structurally designed to have – it is literally in our DNA. Fat cells respond different to estrogen than they do to testosterone, and cellulite is not caused by the presence of fat, but rather the structure of the fibres of our connective tissue. People who born biologically male have more testosterone, giving them tougher, inflexible connective tissue. Females have flexible connective tissue, allowing some of their adipose fat to be visible under the skin. And in case you’re wondering, this fat is essential in shielding your organs, encouraging hormone production and regulating insulin, inflammation and even cancer. It’s kind of a big deal.

So why do we hate cellulite? My first note to take from this research is that cellulite is a gender issue. It is impossible to deny this: cellulite has a 9:1 female to male ratio, and as we have just read this is because of basic structural differences in males and females caused by the presence or absence of estrogen. To have cellulite is to have estrogen, and that’s just the way it is. Yet media which represents itself as being exclusively for women is the leading source of all of the venom. Counter-intuitive, right? Perhaps not, when we look at the companies who are paying for adverts within said media. Essentially, female-specific media is aimed at telling women what to hate about themselves, selling them the remedies and then shaming them if the remedy doesn’t work. And at some point in the last forty years, ‘fat’ became the moral panic of women everywhere. This was an advertiser’s dream: fat is always going to be present on women, in flux at all times, so there is always going to be somebody who believes you when you tell them they’re defective and buys your new, expensive, exclusive remedy. And given that 90% of women have cellulite, it’s a pretty safe bet that if you throw out ‘cellulite looks bad, you must get rid of it’, you are going to make some money.

I took to my Twitter to ask my followers if they hated cellulite. Twitter is an echo chamber, and let’s be honest: if you’re the kind of person who is following my feed, you’re probably not going to be the kind of person who hates body fat. Not surprisingly, 87% of my followers had no problem whatsoever with cellulite. I asked if the 13% of ‘yes’ voters could share the reason for the cellulite-phobia, but unfortunately nobody was able to offer me an explanation. I think it is so deep-rooted in Western culture that a hatred of cellulite just ‘is’. But the tide is turning: we are seeing an increasing number of thin celebrities taking to their social media to announce that they have cellulite and they love it. While I’m not thrilled that these have qualifiers attached to them (“I just had a baby” “I can always lose it, but right now I have a busy lifestyle so I am happy” are some examples), I am thrilled that people in mainstream media are using their thin privilege and coming forward to normalise cellulite, to relate to other women and simply to speak out. As Hermione Granger would say, fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself. Which is why the body positive community is so vocal: we can only normalise that which is repeatedly present in mainstream media. While some of the qualifiers may be problematic, it is awesome for somebody with privilege to step up and say ‘actually, they are right’.

So now that we’ve had the science lesson and the gender studies lesson, I finished we would wrap up by showing you a whole load of beautiful women who have cellulite and are not afraid to share it – and maybe even love it. Enjoy this feast for your eyes!

Happy #cellulitesaturday 😀👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏 _________ from @sheakendall – Bodi Posi © Shea Kendall Photography If you want to see ALL the beautiful photos of these amazing women then you can go to my website (link in bio) and go to the tab "Projects." I've struggled with body image issues since elementary school, and I know what it's like to look in the mirror and feel so many emotions- have so many horrible thoughts go through my head. I've always struggled with the question of do I hate my body or is it just society who does? Because if I actually love myself then maybe what I'm not seeking is a better body, but love and acceptance for who I am. I think that's a lot of people's problem. We just want to be loved for being who we are body and soul. So I wanted this shoot to be just that. Just a warm welcome to women of absolutely every kind. So a huge THANK YOU to all of the women in this shoot- behind the scenes and in the photos. I couldn't have been more fortunate to meet and work with such amazing women. I can't stress that enough. It'll be a memory I'll always cherish.

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🐞🐞🐞 📸: @zeetakesnicepictures

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Comfortable and happy with ME ! #santorini

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Cocoa butter kisses 🐞

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Stop the shaming of women's bodies. #BraveBodyLove . . . – "Almost the exact same pose. Just different lighting. I've had several people tell me how brave I am to wear something or even post a picture of my legs looking like this… – What I'm confused about, is why it takes an act of bravery to be comfortable in your own skin? Why does it take guts to just be myself!?! – Here's why: Because people continue to perpetuate the idea that cellulite should be something to hide. – Saying I'm "brave" for wearing shorts (or anything revealing my legs for that matter) is just continuing to support the negative stereotypes about something that is so NORMAL and SO natural. Why hide?? – Why care about what someone else may think of you?? Just. Do. YOU." Thank you, @damnitkmac for pointing that out to me 👍🏼 via @tk_line09 #cellulitesaturday #embracethesquish #effyourbeautystandards #LoseHateNotWeight #nobodyshame

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🥀 GO AWAY 🥀 @witchworldwide tee shirt dress ✨

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This weekend has been super warm, so no way was I spending it covered up! I love, love, love the sunshine so I didn't want to avoid it either! So here I am, in the middle of very busy Folkestone.. legs out, arms out and soaking up a few rays! I hear so many stories of people who wear cardigans in warm weather because they want to hide their fat parts. I'll share a secret with you…. if you're fat, you're going to look fat and that's ok! You are the only person who has to live in your body, so you are the only one who gets a say. If people dont like it, they don't have to look! If you want to go outside and get some sunshine on your flabby, pale, big, stretchmark filled arms then do it! I did and it felt glorious being out in the sunshine…. and thanks to factor 50 suncream I didn't burn. Yay! I wish it was sunny all the time! 🌝🌝🌝🌝🌝 Dress from @interrobangart in collaboration with @lollylikes

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