Guest Author - April Alisa Marquette
As Ethnic Beauties, sometimes we are bombarded with messages. Some are subliminal, others are not, but many tell us that we should be a different size, really, a smaller size. However, after almost starving ourselves and working out until we drop we find that we are yet curvaceous. Often in ethnic communities this is the case, women do not appear like the paper thin waifs in print and media ads. Our hips are curvaceous, our legs are shapely, our bosoms full, our bottoms protrude, and our bellies may be rounded. Sometimes we may even have what my aunties call wings, on our upper arms. Yet we too should feel good about ourselves.
How to do so you may ask... Well, one might start by following the premise of my favorite style show. Airing on TLC 'What Not To Wear' is hosted by Stacey London and the ever adorable Clinton Kelly. The show follows one premise. Dress the body that you have, not the one that you desire to have. By following this simple rule an Ethnic Beauty can boost self-esteem as well as celebrate her, or his, own unique style. Why not wear clothing that accentuates the body parts that one adores? One may also camouflage or even play up areas that she or he may not be so crazy about. Woo-hoo!
To try this out, go 'shopping' in your closet. Pull out those pieces that make you feel glamorous. Do not even think about that billowy thing that resembles a tent. I know. In times past it was believed that one was hiding certain areas while wearing a mu-mu. However, items of that sort, although sometimes comfortable, only serve to make one look bigger. Then when worn out of doors these types of clothing can also aid one to feel...well, frumpy.
According to style gurus, one should look for items that fit great, not so tightly that breathing is impeded, but not so big as to be baggy. Say the experts, a structured jacket, perhaps with princess seaming or a little peplum, can appear most flattering. Then if one was not blessed with an hourglass shape to begin with, they have just created one.
Trousers or pants that fit the widest part of one and extend straight down from there, can also work wonders. Need to hide a tummy? Try an empire waist dress or blouse. It will fit the smallest part of a lovely lady, just beneath her 'gurlz.' It will then lightly float a bit out from the body, drawing the eye away from a paunch. With this article of clothing, one gets movement, non-restriction, and most likely a few compliments.
If a beauty desires to create the illusion of a swan-like longer neck, then a v-neck top can be a great way to do so. Also, if one would like to accentuate her lovely cleavage, then the v-neck or even a cross-over look will accomplish that. There actually is no harm in playing up one's curves. Remember to do so tastefully though, if you are going to the workplace because who needs a warning because her inner vamp was seen one time too many, at the job? If you have feet that you feel are large, search for online retailers. Often
they cater to those who need larger or wider sizes. (They even have great offerings for those of us who may be smaller.) Then go for the gusto, pick a pair of shoes that will wow.
While reading an interview with the afore-mentioned show's dress consultant Clinton Kelly, something he said stuck with me. Lovable and quirky, he stressed being careful when carrying a bag/purse, wearing jewelry, or choosing accessories for an outfit. He said these items should not be too small, if one is rounder or curvier. If too little, the items just may cause one to appear larger. Therefore, pay attention to proportion he advised.
We will discuss dressing our curves more as time progresses. However, for now remember, my lovelies, one can aptly dress a curvaceous bod by learning to love and dress the form that she, or he, has now. Another highly important way to do so is to put health first. Then if it pleases you...shake what your mama gave you!