Tess Holliday – Big, Bold, Beautiful. Plus Size Is On the Rise!

Hey Hey Guys!!

Tess Holliday

Tess Holliday

Big things are happening in the fashion industry. Tess Holliday is one of them.

The bootilicious beauty from Mississippi is making history as being the first size 22 model to be picked up by a major label, UK based company, Milk Model Management.

Tattooed, pierced and rocking a little more junk in the trunk than your bog standard clothes horse, Holliday is breaking all the rules and breaking onto the scene in a big way.

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“Bigger is better…”

This is certainly true for the humble, 29 year old mother of one from Mississippi. Not only is Holliday stunning, but the alternative model is making waves as a campaigner for change in the fashion industry and for beauty standards in general.

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In 2003 she created #effyourbeautystandards encouraging women of all shapes and sizes to love their bodies and feel empowered by their individuality. It has gathered her an impressive 455,000 admirers on Instagram and almost 28,000 Twitter followers, where she posts behind the scenes shots of her on shoots, as well daily fashion snaps.

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Suicide Girls are an alternative models website and founder Selena Mooney rates Holliday’s future. “I’ve been following the #effyourbeautystandards movement for a while now, and I think it’s fantastic. Women have been put into boxes and made to feel ashamed if they don’t meet this specific cookie-cutter look that society dictates. Everyone is beautiful in their own way.  I’m just glad there are strong, intelligent, and gorgeous women like Ms. Holliday to influence and encourage society to break the mould and get people talking about female empowerment.”

After so long pandering to the obscene and regimented standards of most fashion houses, Holliday is presenting an alternative – a realistic, alternative.

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Critics have suggested that, far from being a positive representation of the female form, she is encouraging an unhealthy lifestyle with her size. But this is far from the truth, as Holliday works out with a trainer three times a week to maintain her glamorous curves.

With her flowing auburn hair, she looks reminiscent of a model from the Romantic period. Though her body confidence is something that has grown with time, much like the booty that is making her so worshipped now.

She told Look magazine, “I had to leave school at 17 because of bullying. I understand not everyone understands what I’m about. But to me it’s such a simple concept. It’s all about loving your body regardless of your size and chasing your dreams.”

Speaking to the Daily New York News she spoke of the struggles of her childhood. “I feel like I’m breaking ground. I never could have imagined that I could be here. It took a really long time to get over things that had happened to me during the vital years of my life. My mom always encouraged me, I’m always still that 13-year-old girl in Mississippi who people told I wasn’t good enough. I never could have imagined that I could be here.”

Tess is not only a great addition to the fashion industry as a model, but an inspiration as a role model. Real-world body types are grossly misrepresented in high fashion, television, advertising… Where is the variety? There is an increasing level of discourse between the pictures seen in magazines and the reality of life. An average UK woman is a size 16, yet models are generally an 8-10.

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It is becoming more and more difficult for females to accept themselves when being constantly told they are not “right”. For this reason, we need more pioneers, more strong minded, self-respecting role models to look up to.

The 5 foot 5″ babe is several inches smaller than the average plus size model, who generally stand at 5 foot 8″, making her yet more unique. Milk have been keeping quiet about what their plans are for their new star, but we can certainly expect to see those ruby locks a lot more in the near future.

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We aren’t all Victoria’s Secret models. Few of us can even afford to shop there and their gym bill must be more than rent in halls! But we can aspire to the mind-set of Holliday; live to make you happy. Screw what other people think and if they give you crap for it – show them one of Tess Hollidays’ super sexy, uber confident Instagram pics, with their sassy tags and F**k the haters mantras.

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SSDD

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Lazylinepainterbelle Nail Transfers Have Arrived!!

A few weeks ago I went to the Little Birds Market (follow the link to find out more!!) It’s a vintage market filled with boutique stores and enchanting hand-crafted items.

One such creative lady is Lazylinepainterbelle. I got in touch with her to express my admiration for her work and she replied… with Nail Transfers!

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Lazylinepainterbelle is a Dundee based Scottish Fine Arts graduate names Michelle who creates jewellery in the image for her favourite things; dolls, Belle and Sebastion, nautical themes and sailor sexyness, tattoo’s and Frida Kahlo. It’s all based on a logo of her own creation and the sailor style appeals to the vintage era she so adores, emulating a modern take on the current zombie fad. My fave products from her line are the statement cocktail rings.

So don skater dress, quiff and a swish of red lippy and bang, you’re ready to paint the town in platform heels and custom nail decals 😀

So here’s a wee how-to on how the nail transfers work and why they’re awesome 🙂

So before you apply the transfer make sure you remove all the crap you have on your nails already. If you’re like me, then chances are you might already have them painted (all the time…) so making sure you prep them properly is important.

Scratched up nails from another day...

Scratched up nails from another day…

Once all the nail varnish from your previous exploits, if you can be bothered (and I think that you should be) buffer them, to make the nail surface smooth and easier to apply a flawless new layer of paint. I use a 4-in-1 and leaves my nails looking shiny and completely flat. Believe it or not, it actually strengthens the nail too, making them less likely to break, even under a layer of polish.

Most tutorials would have you put on a base coat, but I have to be honest, I can rarely be bothered. If you use a cheaper nail varnish I would say yes, definitely use one because they are far more likely to leave a stain that can be a nightmare to remove, even with nail varnish remover.

Caite Nail Varnish Collection

Caite Nail Varnish Collection

I have many budget brand nail varnishes (ok, so I have so many I could start my own store and be heartily stocked for 100 years!) but at Christmas I was given a collection of Caite nail varnishes. They are a little higher quality and are FANTASTIC! Two coats and they leave a flawless finish, apply smoothly, dry within just a couple of minutes (so you can even use them on a quick bus/train/car journey in a pinch!) and are difficult to chip. Despite all that, they are not impossible to remove AND don’t stain your nails. They are the best varnishes I’ve come across. Even better than the Black Channel one. Which is saying something considering that went on like water over glass.

For this tutorial I used 2 coats of Caite, Cookies and Cream so that the gorgeous design really pops on the plain background.

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Caite – Cookies and Cream

Application is super simple, though it can be a bit fiddly so chillax, take your time.

To apply:

1. Ensure nail is clean and coloured/ has a layer of clear gloss.

This will held the sticker adhere to the nail.

2. Cut the transfer as close to the image as possible and peel off the top plastic layer.

(do not do what I did with some transfers I was using the other day when I wasn’t paying attention and dull off the backing card instead… HINT HINT it won’t stick…)

3. Pop into water for 10-20 seconds and press against a damp nail. Mop up excess water and either breathe on or blast gently with a hairdryer for a few seconds.

4. Apply a couple of layers of your favourite top coat (clear varnish) to make sure it stays put.

(wouldn’t want to lose these gorgeous designs, right??)

AND THAT’S IT!! All done! Simple 😀

So check her out on Facebook and get in touch. She takes custom orders and will ship to wherever you may be (because she’s a lovely lady like that 🙂 )

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Expect more posts about this lovely lady in the future, I like to write about things I deem pretty cool 😀

Lazylinepainterbelle

 

SSDD

Super Junior are Still Super Seniors

The Sm Entertainment manband are topping charts only two weeks into their comeback.

I had orginally planned a different entry to come nexy but after reading a couple of articles today I couldn’t resist -I have to congratulate Super Junior on their comeback so far.

Despite an unspoken doubt hanging over whether they would be able to compete with the increasingly youthful competition, Super Junior have pulled it oput the bag in record time. Returning just two weeks ago with smooth dance-electronic track Sexy, Free & Single, they have beaten off big dog girl group T-ara‘s Day by Day to win on KBS ‘Music Bank’.

Making a comeback today on the show was soloist NS Yoon Ji, girl group GLAMc-clown and B.A.P.

B.A.P are an interesting one who I’ve supported since their INCREDIBLE debut with Warrior. Not only was it one of the best debut songs I’ve ever heard, and certainly one of the most impressive I’ve heard recently, I was dumbstruck to discover that (at the time of their first appearance on the scene) was of them was only 15 years old! Not only that, but he was one of the co-choreographers and wrote some of the rap lyrics! The kid has mad rapping skills and a really unique voice; keep an eye on him, as well as the other members. I’ll do a full entry on them for you guys later, I’m getting w bit side-tracked here 😀

So. Super Junior. Yes, excellent. … Where was I again…

So despite some heavy hitters being in the running, these boys are proving that they are more than with their salt and deserve their esteemed place in the SM trophy cabinet.

With the recent successes of SHINee’s Sherlock and F(x)’s Electic Shock, as well as BoA‘s imminent comeback (yeah you heard me, haven’t you been listening to the web whispers??), all ontop of the countess awards SM‘s artists have already accumulated, I’m betting that cabinet is more of a spacious room by now! Or perhaps a small shed… maybe not even that small a shed… with a seperate wing, just for Girls Generation

The interesting thing now will be to see if they can fend of the feisty ladies of 2NE1, who have already begun promotions for dance ballad I Love You and have already topped all the charts SJ haven’t managed to cling onto.

Even moreinteresting, will be seeing how they fair against – wait for it… the mighty G-Dragon!! Ohhhhh yeah, GD himself is making a reappearance soon promoting solo material, following the success of album Alive, with BIGBANG.

All in all, it’s an interesting time to be caught in a chart battle. You’ve got the sweetness of T-ara, the rockin’ indiviuals of 2NE1, suave Super Junior, and to top it off, the promise of returning big hitters. Add some shockingly talented newbies and I would say we have a very exciting few weeks in store.

(Yo! I got a full list of performances at KBS ‘Music Bank’ performances for ya, right HERE)

SSDD

… And here are some music vids. Now, don’t say I’m not good to you… 😛

To Ink Or Not to Ink… (2)

a very dedicated maths teacher…

Tattoos often get a bad rep: they used to be the body modification of choice for soldiers, sailors, bikers, criminals and mobsters. Dangerous people, or folk with dangerous jobs. But that is no longer the case. Yes, some nasty people have tats. But so do celebrities, teachers, doctors, even politicians.

So this poses the question: with so many of us now getting tattoos, should society as a whole be changing its prejudices against them?

Finding up to date statistics on public opinion on tattoos has been a little difficult, apologies for that, but…

In a survey conducted by the ask Jeeves website in 2010, an estimated 30% of UK adults between the ages of 23-35 have been inked and there are an estimated 1700-plus tattoo parlours – up from around 300 a decade ago. However this figure may seem miniscule considering that in the late 1800s, 90% of the British navy alone was inked up. Figures are higher in younger people now than ever before with the number falling to just 16% in people in their 50s and above.

Being a tattooist is now a level of artistry on par with a painter or sculptor in terms of creative skill and imagination. There are celebrities within the community, such as Ed Hardy, Cat Von Dee, Ami James, Jason Zube, Alex Binnie and Joey Pang. An entry-level artist is likely to be a fine arts graduate meaning that it is not at all a go-to job for the lazy-yet-creatively-gifted-wild child.

The study conducted in 2010 found that 26% of UK adults (out of 1000 participants) are said to regret their tattoos within a decade of getting them (between the ages of 18-10) but I’m sceptical of this figure. If that were the case, then almost all adults would regret their decision and I find that quite hard to believe – if the opinion were really so wide-spread, then surely people would cotton on that it is a bad idea and, I don’t know, stop getting them maybe?? But this has clearly not been the case as tattoos see a year on year rise in popularity, with many studios insisting that patrons book their appointments well in advance. Books are often full for weeks at a time with very few unfilled slots.

A survey conducted in September 2010 by Uxbridge High School revealed that over half their students had plans to get a tattoo, but that up to 50% of those students parents were not happy with them to do so. A third of these students felt that tattoos were a good creative outlet, one even siting that they “want to use their body as a canvas for art”.

We hear it all the time; if you are going for a job interview, be sure to cover your tattoos; of you are at work, cover your tattoos; if you are meeting the new partners parents for the first time; if you are going to be near children; if you are in any environment that is not related to your personal life, it seems – the consensus seems to be that tattoos should be covered.

Granted that does not apply to all professions, but the vast majority of professional environments would prefer all ink to be hidden away. Some have argued that it is a breach of human rights. Some have argued that it is unfair that body art and even piercings must often be removed/hidden while Muslim women are allowed to wear burkas. It may seem that this is double standards considering a headscarf can be easily removed, even if it is for religious reasons that it be kept on, whereas a tattoo cannot be removed at will.

In this age where freedom and liberation of character are arguably at their most potent for decades, one must wonder why such an inconsequential thing is such a big deal to employers. They do not make you unclean or mean that you can do a job better or worse than anybody else, yet the sight of a tattoo can often instil feelings of anxiety or doubt in someone’s mind. They are seen as being unprofessional.

For example, say a police chief were to confidently handle a suspect and work a case. They lead their team with authority and good judgement. Now, say it is summer time and that same police chief walks into the room wearing a short-sleeved shirt – revealing heavily tattooed arms beneath them. What would be the reaction? Would opinion change? Would it mean they were unable to lead their team any less competently? Of course it wouldn’t. But it would mean that their team, and anyone else they encounter in their work, might view them in a different light. An air of suspicion – no, curiosity – might then hang over them.

It is this attitude that I do not think is fair. To think any less of a person, even limit their job prospects, purely based on their tattoos is unfair and while it has, I believe, improved in recent times, that stigma is still attached and needs to be shaken off.

And it will, because at the rate we seem to be going at, most of the world will be inked up to their eyeballs within a few years.

SSDD

To Ink Or Not to Ink (1)

Arty. Dangerous. Creative. Cheap. Meaningful. Unprofessional. Individual.

Everyone has an opinion on tattoos, whether they are something to be admired or abhorred or even if we should have them at all.

But admit it – you want one too.

my friend’s gorgeous tattoo on her ribs 🙂

I’ve been contemplating getting a tattoo for some time but there have been a couple of things stopping me. For one – that shit is expensive! Like, they can cost a small fortune! I was shocked that my friends rose tat on her wrist cost as much as it did at £55 and I almost had a heart attack when I was quoted £85 for one word with some “swirlies” (genuine tattoo artist’s term for what I described as “a design”) placed on my foot.

 

Considering the fact that you are placing a huge amount of trust in someone who may well be a complete stranger to decorate you,  this might seem a small price to pay. Also not to be forgotten is that you are the one who will be the one stuck with the result if they get it wrong (good luck getting out of that one; they can cost £3000, six sittings and an entire year to have removed) With this in mind, I don’t mind paying quite a lot for one considering it’s going to be on my skin forever, so long as it’s done well. But it was a surprise to me that it would be quite that much.

Other than the money issue there is the fact that my parents are among those who do not like tattoos (so their actual words were “if we ever found out you had a tattoo, we’d kick you out.” Seem harsh? Think I’m joking? Unfortunately, I know for a fact they are not, that threat has been brought out for less than a little ink…)

I admire people with body art as I think it is a very unapologetic way of showing your artistic side. Even if a tattoo is hidden from view the majority of the time, I don’t feel that matters. You have still had the courage to pick a design and have it permanently imprinted onto your skin. You are making a commitment as well as a proclamation. It is independence and power over oneself.

ethnic style feathers behind the ear

To have a tattoo of any kind is bold and brave, no matter what size it is. There is no-one else in the world who will have that same mark, in that same place, because it is impossible to create the same piece twice, especially on someone’s skin. You are marking yourself as an individual – literally!

From something as modest as a tiny butterfly covered by layers of clothing, to a full body suit on show for the world to judge, a tattoo is something purely yours. From a sentimental heart or miniscule star to a steam punk sleeve or bushido back piece, it is your choice, your style, your decision. There is nothing that can take it away from you.

large, intricate back design. must have been painful but I think worth it

little butterflies

pin-up style tattoo

As a resolute supported of freedom and emancipation of all kinds, you might be able to see the attraction of an inked reminder of the only true aim I have in life: to achieve a mental state of complete freedom, whatever that might be.

Stay tuned for more on this decision and I will post if/when I finally pull the trigger…

I should mention that I have set myself a date of 12th August and by that time I wish to have a tattoo. There is not particular reason other than I told myself many years ago when I decided to get one that I would while I was still 18. It only just occurred to me that I am very soon going to be 19. Bugger.