I don’t need to “become” – I already AM.

I don’t pretend to know everything about being body positive or correctly using the “politically correct” terminology to avoid offending or triggering others, I’m human, I don’t always get it right. I know sometimes we go off on a tangent and mean well, but don’t get it right. Perhaps this is one of those times. But I don’t think so.

At almost 46 years old I’ve learned a lot about myself and my body – lots of it things I wished I had learnt much earlier in my life –  for example; that listening to fad diet advice is not healthy, that years ago I was convinced by the powers that be to not eat eggs every day because they would higher my cholesterol; or that I should eat low-fat everything – the list could go on for pages.  Flash forward a number of years and low- fat suddenly equals too much added sugar and now it’s no sugar I should be touting – but now it’s ok for me to eat eggs everyday. Oh lord give me strength – who do you believe? Let’s face it whatever makes money for those that can benefit drives the media cycles and the marketing of all things.

These days I ignore the fads, eat in moderation, do my best to exercise regularly and know instinctively what is right for me. I don’t get caught up in the hype, I am head down, bum up working on my dream, raising my family and living my life.

Why? Because I listen to me – what makes me happy, what feels right.

Because I don’t need to BECOME, I already am.

Humans are driven by fear.

What would happen if we just stopped listening to the scare mongering when it comes to our bodies and just did what felt right for us?

My personal answer is – acceptance and love. I know, I did it.

Don’t think for a second that I feel perfectly happy with everything 100% of every second of every day, I don’t. Life is a journey, we are an ever changing being.  I’m human. Fear lives within me. But these days, and for at least the last 8 years I’ve happily managed to feel happy, content and love myself and what I stand for and how I look with next to no effort.

So when two nights ago I saw the advertisement for Michelle bridges 12wbt challenge I sat bolt right off my seat and glared at the tv. I was appalled. My 13 year old son was watching with me, and he just looked at me and said “Wow”. Enough said.

The ad aired on prime time channel 9, and I’ve since seen it everywhere. It’s a collection of women living their “dream”, stereotyped of course because what’s depicted is not necessarily everyone’s dream.

The ad includes a voiceover spoken by Michelle Bridges. This is exactly what is said by Michelle in the ad:

“Become Inspired, Fulfilled, Motivated, Energised, Strong Body & Mind

Become your Dream

Become Proud

Become Real

Become Yourself

Become a Team

Become Fun!

Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Training

Become You!”

WHAT???????????????????? Seriously????????  This dialogue is wrong on so many levels.

Immediately I start thinking to myself, hang on, I AM all those things and so much more!

Janine Mison I AM Me

Michelle, PLEASE stop insinuating that our bodies define who we are and I couldn’t possibly be any of these things without being part of your program. Or that there is something wrong with me.

There’s not enough space to write all the things I feel when faced with irresponsible advertising like this. Simply put, if someone chooses to join a program to lose weight, gain weight, exercise, learn, find a friend, create something new in their life – whatever it is, that’s absolutely fine. BUT NEVER should it be insinuated that there is something wrong if you don’t, that’s it’s not possible to be all of these things without joining.

Is it really so inconceivable to others that someone such as me (obviously the type of body that the ad is appealing to) who is a size 20-22, 46 years old with an apple shape and considered obese could be perfectly happy in their own skin, can be successful, liked, loved, happy, inspiring, inspired, fun and living her dream? I challenge you to give me a call and spend some time with me, I’d be more than happy to share some of my time with you and let you see that it is indeed possible, maybe even inspire you to let go of these unrealistic insinuations and images.

It IS possible for women of all ages and sizes to be all of these things – regardless of their size. Being a perfect size 10 (not my ideal, but the ideal portrayed in such advertising these days) and projected as medically fit and healthy does NOT ensure that you are happy, fun, fulfilled or any of the other things. It simply does not. That is a myth and it’s high time that it was understood as such.

Time to rethink the marketing campaign Michelle.

I don’t need to “become” – I already AM.

I’m off to continue living my dream.

Love your shape!

Janine x 

4 Key Items to pack when travelling

Happy New Year! Wow, what happened to 2016? I recently looked back at my blog and discovered I’d last posted in July!  How did that go so fast? 2016 was super hectic and a wonderful experience of developing the wholesale agent side of my business at United Curves. The year just flew by as I was head down, bum up fielding the enquiries and developing the reach of our amazing Australian Plus-size Designers.  Thank you to all my readers for all your loyal support, and incredible input that adds such significant value to the work that I so love – expanding the boundaries of plus-size fashion here in Australia. I am so excited for this new year and all it promises to be.

Goodbye Sunny Abu Dhabi

In early December 2016, it was time to switch off and take a well deserved break.  So together with my hubby and son, we jumped on a plane and headed to Europe to spend Christmas with our family in The Netherlands. We’ve been planning and saving for this trip for so long we couldn’t believe it had finally arrived! We had the most amazing trip, stopping over in Abu

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Hello Foggy, Cold Holland & France

Dhabi, somewhere I’d never visited before. On past trips I’d always flown straight through on long haul flights, but I have to say that I’m converted to stop-overs now, not only did it make the most amazing difference to minimising jet lag, but it gave us an opportunity to explore another region of the world I hadn’t been to yet. When we left Melbourne it was a balmy 25 degrees, when we arrived in Abu Dhabi it was around 18 degrees each day (it’s their winter there) so the impact of the weather wasn’t too much of an issue, however landing in Holland four days later, we were welcomed with 2 degrees, fog, cold winds and rain – oh boy was that a shock!  It was time to start layering and I have to say given that I’m a real winter girl it was heaven wearing boots and tights and layers.  We had everything from winter sun, hail, rain and beautiful snow. So grateful.

You already know that I’m a huge supporter of Sonsee, but seriously they are AMAZING!  I took 3 pairs of Sonsee 100 denier hosiery with me, as well as a long sleeve body suit, my long sleeve layering slip and seamless bra. I lived in these items and have never been more grateful for well fitting, good quality garments. The hosiery fits like a glove, no rolling or sagging, just fits.  You can hand wash all the items and the next morning (even in the cold climate) they are dry again – ready to go! Simple.  I have never owned a pair of hosiery that I have been able to wear more than twice, we were away for 34 days and I wore all of those garments daily and they are all in the same condition they were when I took them out of the packet – now that’s quality!

4 Key Items Sonsee Europe Trip

I find when flying that wearing an underwire bra is uncomfortable when sitting for such long periods of time so I always wear my Sonsee seamless bra – it’s just so damn comfortable and although it is low support, it feels great and feels like I’m not wearing a bra. Bonus.

The seamless long sleeve slip and bodysuits are so versatile. Slips for layering under dresses or tunics/tops, and bodysuit for skirts and pants – easy. With the challenge of only having a 20kgs baggage allowance – especially during the winter months when you require so many more clothes it’s hard to pack well – not when you have Sonsee!  The four items weighed next to nothing and yet apart from my winter boots, jacket & scarf were the most important items. When it’s cold out – the shops, museums & restaurants tend to overcompensate by warming the buildings too high that you need to peel off so many layers – so this worked beautifully for me and allowed me to be fashionable and functional all at the same time!

We had the most amazing trip and I feel refreshed and tanked up with family time – so important to the work/life balance.  I did do some work whilst I was away and had the opportunity to meet up with a wonderful plus-size advocate and influencer in Holland during my stay and do a little shopping.  More on that in the next post.

It’s time to get to work and plough head first into 2017.

Love your shape!

Janine x

Australia – Plus-size Customer Survey 2016

It’s that time again – I’d really appreciate your voice by completing this important survey which I run annually to compile data and stats which helps me add value to the plus-size offerings here in Australia. The survey is 55 questions long, and you will likely need a cuppa and at least 20 minutes to complete it, but PLEASE do take the time to have your say. PLEASE also share far and wide, the more responses the more significant the data.

Create your own user feedback survey

THANK YOU.

Love your shape!

Janine x

Buxom Envy – Personalised Bra Fittings

Many moons ago I hosted a nationwide event for curvy women where we hosted VIP in-store events in every major city across the country, simultaneously. It was awesome. Sue Bowman who then managed a family business called Cheeky Curves in Adelaide hosted my event with a gorgeous Curvy Ambassador of mine, Natasha.  The event was a huge success. Unfortunately the family shut the doors to Cheeky Curves about 2 years ago and Adelaide curvy ladies lost an important resource with regards to accurate bra fittings.

Flash Forward to June 2016 and Sue has opened what can only be described as THE most incredible luxe personalised bra-fitting service I’ve ever seen – Buxom Envy.

BuxomEnvyLogo

I was working in Adelaide recently and decided to book an appointment with Sue and invite along a couple of friends Kelly and Lisa, a local, who I know will benefit from this service too.

From the moment we opened the door to be greeted by the ever smiling Sue, we felt like a million dollars – that was before we’d been fitted!  The service is located in a leafy suburb of Adelaide at 45E Sussex Terrace, Hawthorn SA, there is ample parking and the signage is beautiful.

As you open the door you step into a light filled room with luxe furnishings including the most amazing ceiling to floor length black & gold curtains surrounding the most ROOMY change-room ever!  With comfortable padded seats, a beautiful display of bras & knickers and lovely attention to details  like a beautiful window that appears that you can see the outside world and makes you feel like the outside world is looking in – but it isn’t!  It is one-way tinted so that you have beautiful natural light without flashing your curvy bits to the world!!

Open Door at Buxom Envy

Change Room 1 Change Room 3

Our session (a group booking) included coffee, tea and bubbles, macaroons and a personal consultation and expert fitting service. (To make a group booking with 3-4 maximum, email Sue at info@buxomenvy.com)

Lisa Lisa with a cuppa Kelly

 

 

 

 

Lisa volunteered to go first and as she disappeared behind the lush curtains, Kelly and I relaxed in the plush chairs and chatted. It wasn’t long before Lisa glided gracefully out of the change-room with her first option of bra on – amazing! We dissolved into giggles as we discussed the “incredible impact that bra has on the girls” LOL. Sue has so many options to choose from, but what I loved is that you are not bamboozled by bras everywhere, you literally are provided with a selection of bras to try that are expertly selected by Sue. I was astounded at how accurate she was in selecting the correct options each time for all of us.

Kelly was next, always bubbly with a wicked sense of humour she had us in stitches, but equally, she was seriously astounded at the difference the bras Sue selected for her were accurate and flattering.

KellyFunnyYES – she does realise it’s upside down! Kelly was thrilled when the sports bra she chose came in her favourite colour 🙂

Then it was my turn. I’ve been professionally fitted for bras consistently during my lifetime, and when at home in Melbourne I favour Brava Lingerie as my go-to store.  The service and expertise there is second to none and they always have what I’m after. However, there is just something over and above in having your own personalised time to relax, enjoy and really talk to an expert about your options. The opportunity to share it with some good friends and make an occasion out of it is too good to pass up.

Sue & Janine

Sue specialises in sizes 8-34 (30-56) F-K cups and 18-34 (42-56) B-E cups and stocks the following brands, Elomi, Goddess, Freya, Tutti Rouge, Today’s Woman, Panache, Sculptresse, Elila, Hotmilk, Oh La La Cherie, Sonsee Woman seamless intimates & hosiery,and many more.

Sue, congratulations on your new store and fitting service Buxom Envy, the Adelaide ladies are so lucky to have you! I highly recommend you book yourself in to experience this service for yourself.

Don’t you think “my girls” look amazing in this post-fitting/wearing my new bra photo?!

Please tell Sue I sent you.

Love your shape!

Janine x

 

Need some inspiration?

$50 Off Winter Special

I can delve into your wardrobe and help put some order into it – imagine if you just opened your wardrobe door and KNEW what to wear – bliss!  (It IS possible), or I can tailor a shop & style package just for you!

Wardrobe Revamp & Style

Personal Style & Shop

Phone or Skype Webcam Consultations

I’m reasonably priced and lots of fun… and I have LOTS of experience…

The $50 discount will be applied at the time of booking.

P: 0405-319-691 or email janine@janinemison.com.au

A WIN for Australian plus-size Designers

Finally I can spill the beans, I’ve been working hard and holding onto a secret for so long. But today I can share with you that three deserving Australian plus-size designer brands are available online at Autograph!

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H&H on Autograph ADD on Autograph

You may be asking yourself why is this such major news? Let me tell you.

In March 2015 I began a Wholesale Agency, United Curves specialising in Labels that cater to the size 12-26+ market.  My passion has always been in supporting the Australian plus-size designer Labels, and what better way to do that than to work with them on expanding the opportunities in our local market here in Australia, and beyond. Word spread quickly about United Curves, and before I could blink the telephone was ringing and enquiries were coming in thick and fast. It was such a surprise to receive an enquiry via the Hope & Harvest Website from Autograph who were enquiring about the H&H range for an upcoming project they were working on.  I picked up the phone and called Justine, who is managing the project.  She explained that she had been tasked with launching a “Brand Store” on the Autograph website to offer more choice for the Autograph customer.  Justine invited me to visit with her in Sydney and bring some samples of the Hope & Harvest collection with me.  Justine asked if I could recommend any other brands, and when I explained that I also represented other plus-size Australian designers, she encouraged me to bring samples from all the Labels.

There was a great effort from the brands to provide me with the sales tools I needed for this important meeting. I boarded a flight to Sydney with two suitcases of samples and landed on the doorstep of Specialty Fashion Group.

Our meeting began at 10am on a sunny Sydney day, and I was greeted by Justine – a gorgeous woman with an amazing smile. I was ushered into the meeting room where it was immediately clear that a lot of work and research had gone into this moment. Justine was so passionate about plus-size clothing and so very excited to be leading the Brand Store Project.

During my years of working in the plus-size Industry I’ve had the pleasure of sitting in a lot of offices and boardrooms talking with major retailers about what’s missing for the curvy consumer. I’ve often felt that my well researched and qualified opinions and suggestions have fallen on deaf ears, and that there is always an excuse for why something can’t change or can’t be done. I’ve felt that there is a disconnect with major retailers and the customers, not understanding their wants and needs.  With you, my loyal readers help, I’ve collected data, comments and images to back up my opinions and suggestions – this has helped immensely – thank you! I am so familiar with the same old responses that I was taken aback when I discovered the meeting room I was sitting in was covered in survey data and comments from a very well thought out survey that was sent to all Autograph customers a few months before.

Out of the data that they collected,  one of the key points was that the Autograph customer was looking for more choice and styles than sits within the usual offering from Autograph. The data also gave the team a broader understanding of their customer and her needs and wants.  The survey is a credit to the Marketing team who compiled the questions, I read through the survey when it landed in my inbox and remember being impressed that finally here was a survey that was serious about understanding the customer.

The meeting that day went until 5pm! I had the pleasure of meeting the team of people behind the scenes that make things tick, from the buyers to the marketing team, brand manager and so much more.  The work we all did that day was historical as it opened up an opportunity that has previously been out of reach for the smaller independent labels.

(L-R) Justine, Vanessa (Sonsee), Alexa, Lisa Lunch with the Autograph Team during one of our visits to Sydney

The initial opportunity to stock Sonsee Woman in Autograph happened quickly. First with the Hosiery range, and shortly thereafter with the incredible Seamless Intimates Range.  The Autograph customer was thrilled with the Sonsee range and we will shortly be launching a premium active wear range by Sonsee Active available with the accurate Sonsee fit for sizes 14-28.

Sonsee on Autograph

The opportunity for the other brands has taken a little longer to negotiate. In fact it’s taken just on 12 months of negotiating & planning the deal. It’s been a rollercoaster of ups and downs and a huge learning curve for myself and brands to position ourselves to meet the needs of a large retailer.

I’m so proud and thrilled to share that today the amazing Australian plus-size designer brands Hope & Harvest and Alison Dominy Designs also went live on the Autograph Brand Store. We are all so proud and happy to be part of this opportunity and want to thank the team at Autograph who made it possible sincerely for their efforts.  I want to thank Justine who has worked tirelessly and passionately to smooth the path to this point, bravo!

It’s time to crack open the champagne. It’s now over to you – YOU the curvy customer who is deserving of great designer fashion.  We’ve worked hard to make it more accessible and it’s important that you support these initiatives to ensure their longevity and success.  This is just the beginning.

HAPPY SHOPPING!

Love your shape!

Janine x