Health and Wellness – Blasting the Winter Blues

11 Feb Seasonal Affective Disorder

It’s often said that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. However, the last weeks of winter can often be the hardest for women, who are much more likely than men to suffer from SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Seasonal Affective Disorder occurs during the winter months when gray, short days lead to a drop in serotonin production. These deficits increase irritability, anxiety, depression, and also increase hunger and sleepiness.

So how do you combat the winter blues while waiting for Spring?  Here are a few tips to increase serotonin and boost your mood.

1) Light therapy – Since SAD is triggered by a lack of light, increasing your indoor light to around 300 watts for at least 30 minutes is a sure fire way to get the serotonin flowing. Special lights are relatively inexpensive, so save the candlelight dinners for the warmer months and crank up the lights!

2) Exercise – SAD is an energy sapper, but if you can fight through the lethargy and put an exercise plan in place and stick to it, the increase in serotonin that results will make it easier to keep moving. Since SAD increases the appetite, it’s especially important to combat emotional eating with a good calorie burn.

3) Get intimate – Studies show that regular sex increases mood due to the release of oxytocin at orgasm and also boosts your immune system. What better reason to get romantic and slip into your latest plus size lingerie order? Warm up the cold winter nights with a sexy little babydoll, naughty corset, or lacy underwear and reap the rewards!

4) Schedule time to socialize – Lingerie and sexy times aren’t the only way to boost your mood. Positive interaction with friends and family are also a great way to increase feel good chemicals and combat the winter blues.

So here’s to happy winter days and even hotter winter nights!

Victoria’s Secret in Plus Sizes?

4 Feb

Free to Be You and Me?

Recently a petition has surfaced asking Victoria’s Secret, lingerie giant, to expand their product lines to include plus sizes. The petition, started by a plus size woman, has garnered attention online and across the air waves, but the questions that beg to be answered are:

1.  Does Victoria’s Secret have an obligation to sell plus size lingerie and clothing?

2 – Are they being discriminatory – one of the petition’s main points – or missing a business opportunity – the petition’s seemingly second main point by only selling standard sized merchandise? 

Let’s examine Victoria’s Secret obligation to market and sell a plus size line.

As long as free enterprise exists in North America, businesses have every right to control their product lines as they see fit.  Victoria’s Secret already dominates a majority of lingerie sales – with sales reaching 6.6 billion last year alone. Based on these numbers and the current price of Victoria Secret’s stock, it would seem that Victoria’s Secret is quite happily reaching and meeting the needs of millions of happy customers and shareholders.

So, back to the questions:

Are they obligated to sell to plus size women?
Are they being cruel and exclusionary if they don’t?

No, and here’s why.

As a business, they are meeting and possibly exceeding their current business goals, which only includes standard sizes. It isn’t personal, it’s business.   

Are they hurting their bottom line by not expanding and marketing larger sizes?

The free market is dominated by a set of economic rules. The first being there’s a cost to every benefit. A cost-benefit analysis is pretty standard when a company is determining whether to expand or redirect merchandise. I’m sure that Victoria’s Secret – a chain owned by the same company that used to own Lane Bryant – has examined the costs and benefits of offering plus sizes and has so far decided it’s not in their best interest….at this time.

At the end of the day, criticizing Victoria’s Secrets’ business decision not to offer larger sizes makes just as much sense as standard size women criticizing Lane Bryant in the USA for not offering styles in size 0 or size 1.

Businesses fill niches.  A business cannot and should not be expected to be everything to everyone. Plus size women have a myriad of fashion options such as clothing for fuller figures and plus size lingerie today that did not exist even 15 years ago thanks to specialty stores and the Internet.  

While there is still a long long way to go in terms of society’s acceptance of alternate beauty standards, taking issue with Victoria’s Secret for only offering standard sizes really isn’t one of them is it?   Their “Perfect Body” campaign – now that’s another thing!

Plus Size Model Tess Holliday Lands Major Modelling Contract!

30 Jan

Because Tess Holiday said no to fat-shaming, cookie cutter standards of beauty using the hashtag #EffYourBeautyStandards, she was able to say yes to a major modeling contract with MiLK Model Management in the UK becoming the largest model at a size 22 to ever land a major modeling contract.

Tess Munster - Plus Size Model

Tess Holiday refused to give up her dream of becoming an international model despite being told continuously she was too fat and too short to make it in a physically demanding and cutthroat industry where even plus size models averaged between a size 8-18. 

Tess Munster

Tess made a name for herself on social media sites by posting the hashtag #EffYourBeautyStandards, while posing in a variety of plus size lingerie and fashion-forward attire that showcased her size 22 curves and sexy personality.

The world took notice of this unabashed celebration of individual beauty and confidence, and in 2013 (the same year as her Instagram and Twitter campaign launched) she was named as one of the top 20 plus size models by Italian Vogue.  

Tess Holliday

The fact that she was only 5’5″ which is considered short by model standards and a size 22 was completely irrelevant!

Tess Holliday, formerly Tess MunsterRefusing to apologize for her voluptuous size and embracing fashion and sexy lingerie, Tess has inspired millions of other plus size women who have struggled to accept themselves in lieu of often painful and harsh social criticism.

tess-munster-babydoll-lingerie

Posing in sexy underwear and lingerie or sometimes something as simple as a girly, A-line sleeveless sundress, Tess’s fans also post photos of themselves modeling formerly “forbidden” items of clothing for plus size women, proudly stating #EffYourBeautyStandards and showing as much skin as they want.

So lovely ladies of all shapes and sizes, big and small – break out the sweet and sassy babydoll you have stashed in your top drawer or order that jaw-dropping red lace corset you’ve been eyeing online, and let’s celebrate our inherent sexiness and femininity as powerful, real women.

Congratulations, Tess Holliday! 

tess-munster-swimswuittess-munster-swimswuit2

Photo Credits:  All photos courtesy of:  http://www.tessmunster.com/

Winter Fashion: Keeping Warm this Winter

21 Jan Plus Size Lingerie

Brrrr! It’s the coldest time of the year, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice fashion for the sake of staying warm. This is a great time to start hitting winter sales and pick up new, plus size friendly outerwear. There are so many great choices for curvy beauties that there’s no excuse to stick with a tired out puff coat from three years ago. Besides, what’s more fun and frisky than a classic trench over nothing but your newest set of plus size lingerie? Here are some great winter outwear trends for plus size beauties, guaranteed to fight off the winter blues.

Go Bright and Bold or Stay Home!
It’s easy to play it safe and stick to blacks and grays during the winter, but when the weather outside is frightful a little bright color is so delightful! I love the longer, calf-length swing coats in bold color choices like red, cobalt blue, and green from top plus size retailers. Paired with a neutral outfit and boots or heels, the pop of color is fun and eye catching and sure to make your feel like a million bucks walking down the street.
Plus Size Swing Coat

Photo Credit: Woman Within

Tartan and Plaid
The latest trend in outwear is possibly taking its inspiration from the romantic book and now television series, Outlander. The Scottish plaids and tartans are sophisticated enough for the office but still snazzy enough to wear out for the evening over a black mini and knee high boots. If you choose a tartan or plaid coat, make sure there is some detail that breaks up the pattern to prevent transforming your beautiful curves into a block of lines and squares. I prefer any coat in plaid to be cinched at the waist for optimal curve appeal, but large buttons down the front and a tapered cut can also streamline your silhouette. And since we’re not going full-Scott, don’t forget to slip into the sassy, new plus size underwear you purchased to warm up cold winter nights!
Plus Size Plaid Coat

Photo Credit: Land’s End – Women’s Plus Size Quilted PrimaLoft Parka

Tweed
At the end of the day you can’t go wrong with a classic tweed trench coat. It’s so Breakfast at Tiffany’s that you’ll be dying to pile your hair on top of your head, put on a sexy corset to enhance your curves in all the right places, and sashay down the street in search of diamonds, champagne, and rich men.

Plus Size Tweed Coat

Photo Credit: Deb Shops

With the right underwear AND outwear, winter is definitely a wonderland!

What Women Want

23 Dec

Curvissa catering to sizes 14 + surveyed 600 women to find out who inspired them…. although this is UK store, I thought it would be a nice share because regardless of where we live, some of us face the same issues.

What Women Want from Curvissa

Taking Care of You – Women’s Preventative Health

19 Dec

womens-healthAs the end of 2014 draws near, we tend to take stock of our daily lives and hopefully after a holiday season of indulgence, our health, too.

When it comes to health awareness, women have a specific set of issues we can’t afford to ignore. Just as we need to nurture our romantic lives with a little dash of sexy plus size lingerie in the bedroom, we also need to nurture our general wellness.

So, after opening your presents this year – I’m totally sure they’ll include a sexy corset and a pair or two of skimpy underwear to add to your curvy girl collection – consider making the following wellness appointments to start the New Year on the right foot.

Blood Pressure

We all walk by the arm cuffs at the drug store, but we should be getting our blood pressure checked at least every two years from the age of 18 onward. An ideal blood pressure for women is anything less than 120/80, but the 120s are still considered a safe number.

Don’t freak out if you have one high blood pressure reading. If this occurs, a nurse should re-take your blood pressure using a manual cuff, and it should be monitored at different times of the day before making an official high blood pressure diagnosis.

Pap Smears and Pelvic Exams

We ALL dread the annual pap smear, but the good news is medical experts say that if these exams result in finding anything, the likelihood of treatment and positive results is always high once there is early detection.

Pap smears and pelvic exams are essential checks for reproductive health and cancer prevention. It’s over quickly, and you can reward yourself with a fun lingerie shopping spree to celebrate your proactive approach to women’s health.

Mammograms and Breast Exams

Luckily you can usually knock out the breast exam when you get your pap smear. A breast exam, too, should happen every two years after the age of 20. You can conduct regular breast exams at home in between official medical screenings.

After the age of 40, the Cancer Society recommends annual/bi-annual mammograms depending on your level of risk and family history of breast cancer.

Our health is important, and we deserve to feel our best. Here’s to wishing you and happy and healthy New Year!

Beauty Comes in all Sizes – Plus Size 2015 Calendar

14 Dec

Curvalicious Canada is a company in the Greater Toronto area where plus size people can connect with like-minded people at various events and conferences.

Tracey Crosson is the mind behind Curvalicious Canada and she is currently working on a conference that she says will ‘inspire, teach and rejuvenate the plus size community’.

She along with Photographer Laurie Marshall also worked on a Plus Size Calendar featuring several ladies from the community.

curvalicious-canada-calendarTracy advised that the proceeds from the calendar will benefit two plus size charities:

  • The BCCA Body Confidence Canada Awards and
  • NAAFA the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance Toronto Chapter.

To purchase the calendar or find out more about Curvalicious Canada, visit the link below:

Curvalicious Canada