The silent majority

Instagram, Uncategorized

In the past few years brands have become more aware of the fact that women come in different shapes and sizes. This proves a huge shift from the previous emphasis on ‘size zero’ models as the ideal body shape and shows more realistic sizes to consumers. Furthermore, many brands have released plus size ranges in a bid to create a more inclusive feel to the industry. However, in saying this there is still a long way to come as proved by the lack of any form of body type diversity in this year’s Victoria’s Secret fashion show. Regardless of this, I am delighted to see more and more representation of plus sized models alongside straight sizes within the fashion industry today as it shows a huge leap in the right direction to representing more body types.

Although what I really want to address is the ‘inbetweenie’ sized women that do not fit within the straight size or plus size category. The phrase ‘inbetweenie’ was coined to describe this group of women. The average dress size for women in the UK is believed by numerous studies to be between the UK sizes 10-16. If the majority of women in this country fall into this ‘inbetweenie’ category, why is it not as well represented in the media? With more media representation focusing on petite and plus sizes, what does this mean for the ‘inbetweenie’ sized women?

A huge realisation of the lack of media coverage of women between these sizes for me came from an article I came across the other day which criticised the reality TV show Love Island for its lack of body diversity. The show has been slated for only portraying very skinny girls as the epitome of attraction. But what I found most shocking was that Alexandra, who was praised for being the only plus sized girl in the villa, is actually a UK size 8 which highlights the issue regarding the lack of different body types presented in the media even further. She even stated, “bigger sizes clearly weren’t accepted, for me as a size eight to go into the villa and be the biggest girl that is quite shocking to me.”

This made me think about the focus on standard sized girls and plus sized girls and made me realise that I, at a size 10/12, don’t actually fit into the plus size category -which typically starts from size 16. And yet petite sized ranges are not usually made with my body size or shape in mind. So where does this leave me?

I have always known that I haven’t been able to fit into lots of petite/straight sized clothing and as a teenager this used to really upset me, resulting in really hating how I looked and everything about my body shape. I tried countless fad diets that left me feeling even more miserable but was never able to achieve this ‘ideal’ skinny figure.

Fast forward five years and I have since learnt to accept my body type, embrace my curves and become more body positive. This has come with more of an understanding of health and the realisation that comparing yourself to other people can be very harmful. It is physically impossible for me to obtain the exact same body as someone else, so I think accepting that and going to the gym for enjoyment rather than because I feel I have to lose weight is really what has helped me.

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It has been so refreshing for me to discover Instagram pages of bloggers who voice life as an in-between sized female and even pages such as @midsizecollective who celebrate girls of sizes 10-18 by sharing their photos on their page in order to celebrate these sizes. I hope with the world of social media shedding more light on the importance of plus sized bloggers and clothing ranges, in future this will result in also focus on ‘in-between’ sized clothing too.

Grace X

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How to become ‘insta famous’

Instagram, Uncategorized

In the last year I have fallen into what has been described by some as ‘instagram fame’, with my account acquiring around 35,000 followers in 12 months. But how is this possible and why are we so fascinated by other people’s lives?

First of all, I’d like to make it clear that I do not view 30k followers as fame. I simply post pictures of myself in different places as I go about my daily life, and this is in no way my job. I do not make money from Instagram and in my opinion, it is only when someone does make money through their Instagram account that can really be considered as ‘insta famous.’

With all that being said, there are ways of achieving ‘instafame’; providing that you are eighteen or above, and you realise the effects and backlash that can result from attracting widespread attention to your pictures, there is nothing wrong with taking advantage of the social media led society that we live in. This is, after all, the very thing I engage in with my account.

If you really want to build a well received and interacted with page here are some tips I would suggest*:

1.Tag your location – so many people ignore the option to tag the picture they’re posting with its location, but this is such a good way to draw more attention to your page. By tagging a picture with its location your post will appear alongside others from the location and when people search for the location they may come across your post.

2.Tag pages relevant to the post in the picture- This is my top tip as it has been the main thing that has worked for me (as explained in my About page). I have red hair, this is something that is ‘special’ and apparently fan page worthy. In each of my posts I tag these red hair fan pages and usually they will repost my picture. Often these pages have thousands of followers, giving my account greater exposure.

3.Follow your passions- People often take to social media for inspiration so if you have a hobby- such as beauty or fitness- why not post about it? This will attract likeminded people to your account, and hopefully cause a gain in followers.

4.Variety- people are demanding, get bored easily, and like to see pictures taken in different places and of different things. I used to get comments about all my pictures looking the same so I made an effort to take pictures in other places and I have definitely seen a positive increase in follower engagement by doing so.

5.Use hashtags– Whilst this isn’t the most important feature of a growing Instagram account, it does help to attract attention to your page. For example, you can search for any popular hashtags that relate to your picture and include these in the caption.

These 5 tips are just a small guideline based on my own account and, I really do believe that the most important thing in gaining ‘instafame’ is not seeking followers but having fun; we must remind ourselves not to get too caught up in the world of social media. It’s fine to take a picture of your dinner plate or the sunset, just don’t forget to enjoy and live in the moment too.

All in all, the online world can have many negative effects, but it is undeniable that as a society we do enjoy following others’ lives and look to them for inspiration. So surely there are some benefits to social media, and if you are in a position to make money from this then why not take advantage of that?

Finally, and most importantly, it cannot be overstated how crucial it is to remember that the life people portray on social media is not an accurate view of their life. People only post their best pictures, taken from their best angles, and using the best lighting, edits and filters. I guess who can blame them after all thousands of people are going to be looking at their images? But we need to remind ourselves that this is not real life. Do not compare yourself to anyone else. This is so important for your mental health and I’m positive the people you and I follow on social media don’t always look as flawless as they do on their accounts!

   The amount of followers your Instagram may have does not equate to your worth.      Grace X

*These tips are based solely on personal opinions and experiences from my own Instagram growth, they may not work for everyone.