Curves Become Her meets Moxi Blu: Intergalactic Indian Mermaid

Heya!

I am typing this post out on Deepavali so to my friends around the world celebrating, Have a beautiful and illuminating festival of lights!

Thank you for giving so much love for the previous swimsuit post! This swimsuit is another gem from Moxi Blu and I loved creating the concept here as well!

Alright let’s jump right in 🙂 This is what I wore to the pool before getting started on the shoot proper.

 

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Mid-October and it is still hot as heck out here people! But, its a good opportunity to lounge by the pool. I can never complain about extra pool time.

 

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Strappy Halter One Piece in size 1X, Moxi Blu

Erm the wooden floorboards here were way too scorching hot for me to stand beyond this picture so I adjourned to the jacuzzi.

 

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My eyes are always instantaneously attracted to anything vibrant and I knew I had to get this swimsuit – especially for those pretty straps!

Then it was time to cool off for a while ..

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Followed by a few pictures at the lush greenery around the condo my folks live in

 

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The pool was substantially more crowded today since tomorrow is a public holiday, there were some pesky judgmental onlookers – you know, those who stare at you from head to toe and regard you with a grimace – but after 2 years of shooting for swimsuits, I really couldn’t care less.

My existence as a fat woman of colour will always ruffle feathers and thats fine! Make a boa feather thingy while you’re at it 😉

 

I do not have outfits for Diwali this year and I have plenty of catching up to do with other posts so I know its weird to time this with Diwali but what the heck! Let a girl have some pool time.

My verdict for this swimsuit? Once again, this is roomy for my friends who are busty and the straps are not troublesome to wear, again there was no wrestles with this one piece. This is swimming lap approved as well for my water babies out there! Overall, this is a winner. Whether you choose to lounge in it, wade lazily, or get in a few laps.

 

Onwards to the Little Details

 

For makeup, I wore my Fenty Beauty foundation in shade 310 for the first time for the blog! I think I found the right match for my skin tone, and coverage is mild-medium. I personally love it, it works well on my combination skin. I didn’t highlight or contour, simply colour corrected and concealed my eye circles and the darkened areas around my face.

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I found this bindi set in ASOS, and i chuckled “If the Westerners can wear these for their music festivals, why can’t I wear it for a swimsuit shoot?” I like the mermaid vibe it gives off and with the purple glitter on the eyes, It looked kinda Intergalactic to me for some reason and of course it gave off mermaid vibes hence the title!

 

 

Okay folks! My series for Moxi Blu swimwear is done and I hope you enjoy this post! Take care of yourselves and I will see you soon!

Love, Aarti xxxo

 

The Luminary White Bikini

I know, I know I was supposed to get a write-up done last week but I was low on spoons and decided to resume it this week or next. In the meantime, here is my Last bikini shoot for 2016! I am happy with the swimsuit stash I have and it is time to gradually ease into the next season. I have saved the best for last! Its simple, classy and it makes me feel like a plus size bond girl haha!

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MAYDAY MAYDAY! FAT GIRL IN A WHITE SWIMSUIT!!! Feelin Herself and like a plus size Ursula Andress!

Since I have broken pretty much all rules in my previously bashful fashion rulebook –

I Had to finish off with a bang.

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Swim Sexy The Luminary White Bikini in size 18, Swimsuits For All 

Body Chain, Ready to Stare 

Faux septum ring, Lovisa 

Sunglasses, a convenience store in Phuket (yeap)

Luminary IS the right description for this swimsuit. It is light to wear, soft to touch, beautiful to behold against my tanned skin, sophisticated and it is Swim proof – it passed my lap test. While I love all kinds of swimwear, I am partial to the ones I can actually swim in since this is what swimsuits were essentially they were made for. Feel free to disagree, my opinion is not written in stone!

As always, this water baby was in her element once her toes dipped into the soothing waters. How gorgeous is that body chain by the way? My friend Ratna of the blog Sapphire Splendour gave this to me and I am SO happy because I think body chains are so sexy. The South Asians have been wearing body chains or some derivative of it for eons, so having my own is pretty cool.

 

Little Details

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As is obvious from these images, the bikini top has a cute wrap twist and the bottom has ruching at the sides which adds to, as RuPaul says it Eleganza Extravaganza! (I have been on a roll with the show for the past few weeks catching up on missed seasons)

I kept makeup very light, with concealer for the dark eye circles and a nude lipstick from Lakme (Indian makeup brand).

Here’s some extra piccies that are my favourite shots from this evening: 

 

Pic 1 – Before the swimsuit shoot, in my comfy Forever 21 Plus striped pants

Pic 2 – During the shoot, basking in beautiful crystalline waters

Pic 3 – After the shoot, washing my makeup off (somewhat) and ready to chill in the jacuzzi for a spell.

Aaaaaand Its done! Dunzo! Finit! Khattam! Habis! The swimsuit shoots this year have set a high bar for 2017 and I look forward to doing this next year. For now, Its time to fashion it up with some Autumn trends Minus the clothes meant for sweater weather because, I reside on an island close to the equator so… not unless I travel to places with cooler climate but I have no such plans as yet. Oh yes I am thinking about Paris. and Madrid. and New Zealand, but its all tentative for now.

Until my next post – I wish you love and power xx

 

SWAK Designs:Crystal Halter Dress

Hey fam!

A feverish old me is reporting in the midst of dinner and copious amount of water consumption. But blogging beckons, and I love blogging so here I am. I hope you’re in much better health than I am this weekend!

This is the second outfit from my mini-haul from SWAK Designs, and just like the previous look it isn’t something You will typically see me wear and its a print I have always  wanted to try!

THE LOOK

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Crystal Halter Dress, SWAK Designs in size 1X

statement necklace, Lovisa 

As a lover of all things prints, I’d never worn a houndstooth print before. Its a much coveted print for me and I was wondering when the right outfit would come along. Jumped at the chance to nab this wrap dress.

Wrap dresses are a personal favourite. I have a number of sleeved wrap dresses that I wear for casual nights out, really simple and without prints, very comfortable. I don’t wear halter neck tops or dresses much though, I think I’m still self-conscious about how I look in them. But then I thought to myself, really Aarti? you wear swimsuits and bandeau tops. This is just an old insecurity talking. So I made that leap, and I am glad I did.

LITTLE DETAILS

Since this dress seems a lot like a classy evening number, I glitzed and glamoured it up with some silver eyeshadow and a silver necklace.

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For some reason I felt a glossy purple lipstick would complement the look, I’m still discovering makeup so I could be wrong but ah well!

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The ruching on this skirt is so pretty! Its a nice touch.

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Thats me for now, I will be putting up a post in a day or two to elaborate on the blog carnival (see previous post) I was a part of. For now, I send you my love and remind you that style can be had at any size. So no matter your age, size, height – have fun with fashion! xx

Swimsuit Season 2016! 


Hello Hello! 
This is going to be a fun fashion post detailing All the swimsuits I’ve worn thus far along with the one I shot for this blog. 

First off, I’ll start with the ones I didn’t shoot for the blog but that I’ve worn to the pool! First off is this beauty from Swimsuits For All – it’s stylish And comfy to swim in. 


Then comes this bohemian number from boohoo.com. Love the playful knot at the top and the prints. 


I then acquired this pretty retro one piece from Forever 21 Plus! Super comfy to swim in as well. 


This pink number is The most comfy swimsuit. It doesn’t have a brand but who cares? I love it. 


Then comes the controversial swimsuit of course, the one that garnered so much attention Instagram removed it ‘accidentally’ .. this beauty is from Swimsuits For All


And now, we come to probably the most daring I have gone with a bikini…

*drumroll* …. 


Tadaa! A metallic shade swimsuit from Forever 21 Plus. You can obtain the top and bottom from the stores, it’s still in stocks last time I checked. 

This makes me feel like some female Superhero for some reason hahaha. I really like metallic shades and was instantly drawn to it although I was self conscious about the top being a halter neck. They’re not very forgiving on us folks with flabby arms but then again, I dislike the term flattering..this isn’t worn to please anyone but myself so what the hell right? 🙂 


I must say…I absolutely love how the photos turned out. It’s been an unseasonably rainy year in sunny Singapore and this was one of those lucky days the sun was shining for a blog shoot! I remember the previous one I shot while it drizzled, of course I still enjoyed myself but brrrr I caught a chill after! 


I look at these images and think about how it was only a year ago that I dared to venture into scary territory with a two piece. Before that I was too shy to even be out and about in a one piece suit! So I feel really proud of how far I have come. I don’t have as many bad fashion blogging days as I used in the beginning – the irony being I was a size 14/16 then and now I’m a size 20. It goes to show that it is Not the size that dictates how you carry an outfit and appraise yourself. Because I’m a whole lot more confident and at ease with my body than I used to be. 


If I’m not wrong, I purchased that hair thingie (for the want of a better descriptor) at Lovisa. Oh you know, that store you only ever read I buy accessories from! ;p 

Truth be told, I was apprehensive about this shoot. I’ve had so much on my plate of late and I didn’t know if I could carry this suit off. But once I got into my posing and smize-ing, my shoulders relaxed and it felt less unnerving. And taking a look at the finished product with these images made me really happy. 


This swimsuit is a lounge suit more than a functional “Swimming laps” suit but that’s okay, it’s definitely going to be packed for when I go for my annual holiday! 


I traced some neon lime eye shadow over the upper lash line and finished with my Benefit mascara and LA Splash matte liquid lipstick. Speaking of lipsticks, I am SO in the mood for metallic lipsticks so watch this space for a makeup haul! 

Here’s some selfie silliness after the shoot : 


I’m pretty exhausted from being hard at work this week, which I will tell you more about in another post. There is Nothing like starting and ending a week by doing  something you enjoy – It’s a good habit I hope to always hold on to. 

In light of the darkness and tragedies around the world, I hope my post added some sparkle and a smile to your face. And please do remember to be kind to yourself 💛 

Chat Soon

Unconditional Body Beautiful: Part 4: My Belly and I 

  
Still playing catch up with the backlog on these posts!! If you’re not aware of what this series is, it is a blogger collaboration started by my blogger friend Rebequita Rose to work through our ongoing struggles  and triumphs with how we view our bodies. 

So. About the belly. 

 When I gained weight thanks to those appetite inducers as a 10 year old, my face bloated up and my thighs became flabbier but the belly was not that bad. 

In fact, until today, my belly is less wobbly than my arms or legs regardless of its size! Also I think I’m one of those who carries the weight in her thighs instead of the belly. 

Oh but I have had quite the tumultuous relationship with my belly. Hands up who hasn’t? You can be skinny, in-betweenie, muscular or fat and You will still fuss about that damn belly! 

Last year when I did a similar body positive series for my blogger friend Leah, I hit a speedbump at the post about the belly. 

I just had not ever spoken in detail about my thoughts regarding it. I did not feel I was ready. It upset me a great deal because here I was trying to be body positive but I did Not feel that way about my belly. I have learnt from then that a time of turmoil is a time for a change of perspective. 

So I worked through it. Staring at my midsection, scrutinising it. Wanting to scream at it. Because of the unwanted attention it has garnered me over the years. 

I basically stopped taking buses and trains from 2009 because I was very self conscious of sitting down and having my belly and thighs stared at like they came from another galaxy. I’d hide behind a big bag at times, but when I didn’t, I squirmed. That was also when my panic attacks in public began to manifest. I would have to stagger across to the door and hurl myself out, crying and shaking. 

Once in a while, a kind soul would place a hand on my shoulder to ask if I was okay. That really helped to be honest. To be seen in public struggling and then having a comforting hand to jolt me out of my anxiety. 

I still do not travel by buses and trains. The social anxiety since then has intensified. But I will leave that for another post to talk about. 

My tummy troubles actually started young with intense gastritis and stomach aches. I now know that I owe that to anxiety from living in an unpredictable abusive household and from Pcos. So I was a size 6, working my ass off in the gym but my tummy made me look like I was in my first trimester. It infuriated me. 

Since then, the tummy troubles have only gotten worse. I am unable to eat foods that I love like pasta, pizza, noodles, cereal, spicy Indian food, just spicy food in general. If I happen to have anything remotely glazed with too much icing or butter, I become nauseous. I absolutely cannot have deep fried or oily foods. 

I mean… 

  
I remember a scene from the bad sequel of Miss Congeniality where Regina King’s character confides to Sandy (yeah we’re on a nickname basis Sandra and I) of the amount of things she is allergic to. Sandra said “No wonder you’re so angry all the time”. 

That made so much sense. It made me realise that my stomach was also constantly knotted up because I felt such hostility towards my “Bubble Girl” way of life. 

 

I’m so Fancy

The fat acceptance and body positive movement has Really opened my mind up to how to view my perceived flaws. So many women wearing bikinis, fatkinis, crop tops, bodycon dresses, bodysuits and loving it. 
Last year was when learnt of the term VBO – Visible Belly Outline. 

Also, I went super scientific and checked out just how many women of the world actually have flawless bellies. Then I checked out just how many women had bellies like mine. The consensus was, 90% of the bellies were not perfect and most of these women had issues with their bellies. 

Which is ridiculous given that You are the majority, therefore the idea of how a belly Should look like should not even come up as an issue! But it does. 

If we were in another era, Botticelli would love us. The roundness of a woman’s belly, her womb, the curvature. 

 

Aha! Venus has a VBO
 
But no. Today, a belly like mine is used as a fat shaming meme or worse still as one of those anonymous headless shots for articles talking about the rise of obesity. Then my skinny or slim friends tug at their bellies after a meal and complain about their food baby. Women who are Pregnant are called FAT. Women who do not lose weight quickly enough post-pregnancy are FAT and failures. 

My distended belly with God knows what cooking in there is hated on. I did not ask for Pcos just as much as I did not ask for anxiety. I did not ask for a stomach prone to allergies. 

And EVEN if I had no health issues surrounding the belly and was bellylicious, Would that really be a calamity? Do we really need the concern trolls to keep policing our body parts as they deem fit? 

  
Forget concern trolls, I want the Hell No police! 

So after 2 months of really mulling over the belly post for Leah’s body positive workshop, I decided I was ready. So I bared my belly on Instagram for all to see. 

  
This is what I captioned it with: 

This is my belly. 

It is a part of me that I have hidden for years beneath layers of clothing, shape wear and mad exercise routines. I have seen my fellow plus size sisters show their beautiful bellies off this summer in bikinis/fatkinis. I have friends who proudly declare “This is my belly. So What” 

This makes me really vulnerable because I have cried and run home when people stared at my tummy, when I was heading out to meet friends. 

I have wanted to stab the belly. I have punched it numerous times in anger. I worked my butt off trying to flatten it. 

Listen, you can unfollow me if this is too much for you. I am Done caring about what others think. I am so done with hiding. This is my round, tiger-striped imperfect belly. My waist is hidden here but I love it’s imperfection. 

I have been training myself to look into the mirror at the belly instead of averting my gaze. 

I will not let your discomfort at seeing my fat body make me feel bad about myself anymore. 

I ACCEPT MY BODY.” 

Surprisingly, people reached out to me and instead of unfollowing me, they applauded. I did not see that coming. 

Aside from my own soul searching, I would not have reached that important milestone had it not been for body positive heroes in my life. I have a small circle of loved ones in a body positive circle and they are of all sizes. They really make a hell of a difference. I love you guys. You know who you are 💛 

From a spiritual standpoint, the belly symbolises fertility. 

 

Gaia, the Greek Mother Goddess; creator and giver of birth to Earth and all of the universe.

Set aside the shaming and problematic ways of looking at a belly, and just think of how miraculous it is that We are capable of creating life. 
I had a short video on my Facebook page saying All Women are Wonder Women because we shed every month, bleed for days and regenerate again. We can carry a child within us for 9 months. For those who want to be with child of course. 

When I went to the gynae last week, I saw all these new mothers and mothers to be. Stroking their infants faces, stroking their pregnant bellies. I looked down at my distended belly and stroked it, thinking of how much I would love to be in their place, despite the difficulties I will face because of Pcos and endometriosis and other coexisting health complications. 

I have come a long way from when I stressed over writing that post last year. 

 

first crop top and first catwalk

 
VBO darling and first fatkini

I did a series of pictures for this post as well (Pssst I know this is a long post, bear with me!). 

Thanks to the belly flip flopping unhappily, I have been unable to swim this show off this beauty of a fatkini. Although you did see a peek of it in my Matrix inspired post 😉

So here goes.

  

Bikini top and bottom: Forever 21 Plus 

 

Bellies are Badass

My Belly is not flat. 

  

It is round, It is striped and It is visible. 

Oppa Derpy Style

And I am learning to be cool with that! Because life is too short to be spent upset and obsessing. 
  
Someday, I will hopefully carry a bundle of joy that came from this belly 🙂 

In the meantime, I’m going to rock a VBO, crop tops, bikinis because I Want To. 

  

Do not call me brave. I am not brave for wearing these outfits. I’ve just always wanted to dress to impress myself so that’s how I am living it up now. 

I dress for Me. I accept my body for Me. It is a hard work in progress I tell you. But it is worth it. 

 

because Im worth it!

So to all my bellylicious brothers and sisters out there, drop the hate. You might not love your body but you can sure learn to be cool with it. I mean, have you seen how beautiful bellies look in belly dancing costumes regardless of size? Why do you think it’s considered so sensual? 

Bellies.

  
Have you seen how gorgeous women look in their Carnival costumes? Why is it so damn sexy? 

Bellies.

  
Why do people find Southasian clothing so sexy? 

Bellies. 

  
I find it strange that while bellies are seen in so many different ways, we are obsessed with the bad words people use for bellies – Muffin top, cupcake belly. 

I like muffins and muffin tops are the tastiest are they not? Cupcakes are delicious too. 

  
As If those terms are not enough, we get called out as animals like land whales (huh?) 

 

so where is this landwhale on this chart?
 
This is not okay. Because girls are starving themselves to death to get a slimmer tummy. Girls are taking excessive amounts of laxatives that will kill their stomach lining. Girls are purging food and hurting their vital organs (MOST of which are based in the belly – kidneys, pancreas, liver, intestines). 

So you tell me. Why are we allowing society to tell us how to look when clearly, they have a distorted image of how a woman’s body should look like? 

I like Nicki Minaj. But no we are not going to look like her just because it’s convenient to have ample breasts and a sizeable derrière to objectify. Her body is NOT an aspiration I want you to have. 

Real women have Real bodies and we cannot be apologetic about the fact that we have bellies. If that’s the case then men should apologise for having the 5pm stubble. 

I did something beautiful last year. I made a cast out of my belly for International Women’s Day. Women of all shapes did the same. A lot of women enjoy doing this when they are pregnant to commemorate the pregnancy. But my friend and fellow activist Dana Lam whom I met through the local women’s organisation AWARE came up with a beautiful project called When Bellies Speak in 2014 and continued the tradition this year for IWD. 

I wish I had taken a picture of my own cast but it totally slipped my mind! I participated in the 2014 IWD. This year, my health has really set me back with sitting out so many events. Anyway, xheck out how we celebrated our belly casts 

   
    
 
Beautiful isn’t it? I love how Dana describes the art installation  on When Bellies Speak’s Facebook page: 

“It seeks to share in the joy of making and invites you to re-evaluate the part of the body that is mostly disdained. Your fleshy belly is transformed into an aesthetic object in a matter of minutes. The  belly speaks as a metaphor for your life and riches. The casts are used for an installation on 8 March in honour of each of our lives and the lives of women.”

I leave you here with what has been an extremely lengthy post (Sorry!!) and I hope that you look down at the bellylicious-ness you possess with more wonder and awe than shame or disdain. 

Do check out my fellow Unconditional Body Beautiful‘s posts on their blogs: 

Unconditional body beautiful bloggers : 

Rebequita Rose 
Leah 
Olga Gonzales Ramos
 Nefferth Bernadina 

 Gaelle-Valencia Prudencio 

 Maui Bigelow

Parker Simmons
Miz Liz 

 Irene Medin

Shalon Dozier 
Kim McCarter 
Katie G 

Pepper Martin 
Natty Nikki 

Hollie B 

Marie Legette 

Josephine Josofabulous Lee 
Cassandra Westfall 

 Zadry Ferrer Geddess

Lei-loni 
Curvy Chrisandra

 

Sending you all my love, 

xxxo Aarti Olivia