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Style icons: the Kardashians and the new cult of figure, with thoughts on waist trainers, custom jeans, and the rise of the fuller-figured woman

Female body image in the media and mainstream culture has always been problematic. From the constant obsession with slimming to the recent cult of the thigh gap, girls and some are presented with impossible or improbable conceptions of what their bodies are supposed to look like.


The problem of slimness is probably the most problematic of all, though. It’s to blame for bulimia, anorexia and other eating disorders.


Recently, though, we’ve been intrigued to see a growing number of full-figured women becoming prominent icons for body image. Stars like Beyonce and the Kardashians display rather more curvaceous figures than women like Britney Spears or Rihanna, for instance.



That’s helpful in a number of ways. Whether women are athletic or not, most female bodies do naturally accumulate some extra weight around the hips and at the bust line. So, any style icons who fit more of that natural body profile are giving most women a more realistic perception about what their “ideal” body might look like.


One other sign of progress is an increasing variety of clothing options for larger women, with custom lines from Kim Kardashian that complement wider hips, and many major brands offering extended sizing that fits a wider audience.


The most interesting sign of the times is the fact that there aren’t just options for women with wider hips: there’s an increasing trend of women trying to acquire a more curvaceous, full body silhouette.


Waist trainers, made popular by the Kardashians, are a new, non traditional kind of shapewear and you’ll learn more about them on WaistTrainers.Reviews. The best cheap waist training corsets are on the website, too! You used to be sold slimming tubes that would “tame” your curves, while these new pieces are supposed to make your curves pop even more.



Of course, in an ideal world, we wouldn’t need to worry about how popularized body images were changing, because we’d be helping our young women embrace their own body shapes and lifestyle choices. But while we’re still trapped in a celebrity culture with body image as an important shaping force in society, it’s much better to have a full-figured fad than even more unrealistic portrayals of slim women who most of us don’t actually look like.

There’s never been a better time to be a woman, even a man in fashion, thanks to these increasingly open fashion trends and more realistic mainstream perceptions of both the female and male bodies.


Girl talk: Talking truths of body image and lifestyle

We’ve talked before about how body image in pop culture has changed recently, with more of an emphasis on curvy, bodacious women over impossibly slim ladies. That started a great conversation in our collaborative about what it all might mean for feminism, and for female body issues in general.



We wanted to write another piece on body image and lifestyle choices, because we’ve gotten a lot of feedback from readers about that first article.


Let’s talk some basic truths.


-Most mainstream body images aren’t healthy for most women. You’re better off focusing on how to attain the fittest, healthiest version of the body you’ve been given, rather than trying to work against your biology. If you want to be a bit slimmer, or a bit stronger, that’s perfectly alright, and it’s great to have goals to work toward. On the other hand, some things aren’t going to change, like your height or your bone structure. You should work with a trainer to talk about how you’d like to build on your natural figure to achieve your own ideal image!

-No matter what you want your body to look like, you’re never going to get perfect results relying on the latest shapewear, or specialty clothes. Fad diets and workout videos might be fun for a week or so, but they’re not long-term solutions. If you’re in search of an ideal figure, you should approach everything from the perspective of health and wellness. Start eating consciously, with a focus on a healthier diet that includes more fresh produce and whole grains. You’ll also want to start some sort of regular fitness routine, whether it’s jogging, running, yoga or kickboxing. The key in both departments is to be consistent, so you maintain a steady weight and a constant figure, which you can use to buy complementary clothing. Remember, ladies, the biggest cause of dissatisfaction with body image comes from poorly fitted clothes, or bad fashion decisions! You can change nearly everything about your appearance by suiting clothes to your body.

Always remember, ladies: clothes aren’t your only weapon. Regardless of your own body shape, weight is your most variable feature!

So, when you’re trying to attain your ideal body, keep these things in mind:

-to get anywhere, you’ll have to focus on diet consistently. If you want your clothes to fit right, you have to eat right. Extra weight or muscle loss is always going to shoot you in the foot, so whether you’re trying to stay slim or stay strong, the important thing is to eat a consistent healthy diet that doesn’t result in big fluctuations.

-you should always be realistic about what you want your body to look like. If you’ve been born with wide hips, there’s only so much slimming you’ll be able to do. Hit the gym to make sure there’s no flab dragging you down, but you might want to think about doing squats to emphasize your powerful booty rather than constantly jogging to try to make your basic build change. Don’t try to contradict biology! Work with it to achieve the best possible version of you!

-shapewear is a great way to give yourself some encouragement along the way to your fitness goals, but it’s no substitute for commitment at the gym and on the dinner plate! Whether you’re using a waist trainer to emphasize your hips, or cinching to look your best for that big gala, it’s far more important to work on your actual body rather than to try to just squeeze it into shape! Bring your waist trainer along, but don’t let it be a crutch to skip out on your fitness regimen!


We think having long and short term fitness and body goals is a great way to get motivated and see real change in your self esteem, especially if you’ve struggled with weight, or fashion faux pas. Just make sure you’re being safe and healthy as you strive for your best possible self!


#bitchplease Movie heroines and the current state of self-righteous sexism

In the past few years, we’ve seen a big push to diversify Hollywood. It’s taken a number of guises, from African American directors receiving big awards to a growing number of studios emphasizing movies with female leads.


In 2015 and 2016, the slate of blockbuster movies was no exception to that trend. Films from The Force Awakens to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them featured prominent female lead characters. We also saw female-directed flicks from Jodie Foster and others receive funding that’s generally reserved for men.



It’s great to see all the female leads, don’t get us wrong. It’s great to start seeing women cast in traditionally male roles in action movies. It’s even better to see strong women reshaping the mold for what a lead looks like in a film. However…


Have you noticed this year that nearly every female lead somehow manages to fall in love? No matter how ridiculous? We did. Whether it’s the sudden, forced emotion at the end of Rogue One, where Felicity Jones’ character finds herself apocalyptically smitten with Diego Luna, or the way J.K. Rowling feels obliged to make not one but both of her female leads pair off with the male leads by the end of a single film in Fantastic Beasts, Hollywood just doesn’t seem to get it.



There’s another issue, and it’s especially present with the action-y movies, especially from the Star Wars franchise. All those female leads look suspiciously like men. It’s not the hair or the outfits, per se, after all, we know that femininity can look all sorts of different ways. It’s the characterization. Female leads are the same brash, impulsive warrior figures as the male leads we’ve been shown all these years, only with a ponytail. They’re a commodified version of themselves. And that’s not solving the problem.


We appreciate the presence, sure. But it’s time to start portraying women in a less simplistic way. A female lead in a blockbuster doesn’t need to be made to act like Harrison Ford but with a “vulnerable” side. The funny thing is, Leia was a stronger female character than Rey, and she’s from more than 30 years ago. Why? She’s diplomatic, eloquent, compassionate: existing in a male-centric action flick without being constrained by it.


We’re glad that we’ve been seeing so many female faces on the screen, in less traditional roles. But when they’re all reduced to falling in love, and when they reject femininity in order to imitate a male role without replacing it or complementing it, it’s a male version of strength, no matter who’s playing it.
Here’s hoping 2017 is even better for female-driven film. We’re watching.