Unconditional Body Beautiful – Part 3: My journey with my Legs 

This part of a collective blogger body positive series of posts was due in March, but if you’ve been around you know I’ve been less active on the blogging front. 

I was an outdoor sports lover. I lived to bask in the sun and run as fast as my legs could take me. Even as my body changed from gangly 7 year old to chubby 11 year old, I was constantly on the move. I kicked up a storm in the pool and even today, when I lie in bed, I kick my feet like as if I’m free styling in the pool. It’s a force of habit!

My feet are able and that is an achievement for me everyday. Many of you will be familiar with the mishap back in 2004 that rendered me wheelchair bound, with minimum chances of physical mobility. As you can see I challenged that diagnosis and live to tell the tale. It was one of the most intense experiences of my life. 


post surgery lookalike photo

I actually found that picture above online lol because I didn’t take pictures post-surgery (wasn’t a priority) but my foot was actually double the size of this foot, darkened to a purple hue and the surgery scar was not simply at the Achilles’ tendon but all around my foot. 
Gaining a new lease of life with my newfound mobility comes with a unique set of daily challenges. Outdoor sports, running, dancing are out of the question. Vigorous gym exercises are too much of a strain. Even yoga has to be gentler because my feet cannot take all of those poses. It is a whole new way of life. I have had to learn to be more considerate to my feet else I may have a few days of bed rest to ease the pain. Some days the pain and swelling flare up out of the blue and there is nothing that I can do except for take care of it and be patient. Yes my days are complicated by swollen feet, restless leg syndrome and pain but I do my best to take good care of them and that is why I stand on my own two feet with pride everyday. 


water baby
Thankfully not all of my favourite activities have been banned, swimming is very therapeutic and walks around my neighbourhood keep them active. I have to make a point Not to be sedentary as it hurts the blood circulation and actually makes the feet more susceptible to sprains or swelling. Some days with the pain and tension on the feet I would rather not move around much but I remind myself of the repercussions of not moving for an extended period of time. So that’s the story of my feet! 

I love how defined my calves are over the years thanks to the years of being a dancer and gym rat. I have a strong set of calves and knees that I have learnt to take better care of since the foot mishap. It is even more important now to keep them strong. 

My shoulders are proportionate to my hips, which makes me one of those plus size bodies people love to hate. Well they’re still plus sized thighs folks! Shopping for bottoms with these thighs in mind is never easy. They became thick in my teenage years as my curves came in and have remained so. No amount of working out and dieting can slim these thighs. This is how I am built! 

These thick thighs are drizzled in cellulite and odd pigmentation. Which is why I am not in the habit of wearing short shorts or mini skirts; not even when I was an in-betweenie. With serious leg injuries the last thing that came to my mind was how my legs looked. 

Of course to a complete stranger they picture a whole other story in their heads and some of these idiots make it a point to let it be known to you. After a few months of swimming post-injury, I stopped for a few years because it became very upsetting to be made fun of in the public pools. I remember how tough it was to get my feet to grip the wet tiles in order to keep me from slipping and how much of an effort that was. These people managed to take away the one sport I was still able to enjoy. 

Imagine my joy when my folks moved 5 mins away from me this year and I had pool access without having to concern myself with idiots like the ones in the public pool. Or so I thought. 

Do you recall my Gabi Fresh Swim Sexy post with that one piece swimsuit? Last week I chanced upon a local Singaporean Indian fellow’s blog who copied my post onto his website word for word and turned it into a fat shaming spectacular. It was filled with fat shaming gifs, memes, ‘fat people Health statistics’ and his personal demeaning comments on me and how I looked and what he thought about me. I was shaking after I read his post. I felt violated. I felt disgusted by his blind hatred. 

This wasn’t the first time someone saw nothing but a body to hate and ridicule. It brought me back to how small I was made to feel despite my well meaning efforts to keep myself active by swimming. The clear message I got was : I hate everything about you. Get out of my sight. You freak me out. You anger me. You disgust me. 

The biggest difference between the Aarti back then who stopped going to the pool and the Aarti now who was shamed for being in a swimsuit is this: 

I move on. Within a day of that asshole’s blog post, I strode to my folks place..dropped my towel with no shame and had myself a languid swim.  Wanna stare at them thighs? Go right ahead. Wanna disapprove? Fine. Just do not expect me to ruin my happiness over your preconceived notions. You don’t know me. I don’t know you. So excuse me for not giving a shit. 

Not everyone has the luxury of physical mobility. There are amputees, conditions that cause paralysis, people born without a leg, people who experience constant pain and instability with osteoarthritis and children with cerebral palsy. Those are just a few examples of how mobility can be taken away. In the larger scheme of things if I give such fools permission to affect my wellbeing then shame on me. I know how I live my life and take care of myself. That is all that matters. I look up to people who inspire and empower in the hopes of doing the same for others. THESE are the people that matter. 

Jackie Hagan is someone I stumbled upon after reading this post on BUSTLE. She is a ‘lemonade’ girl, a term I use for people who turn life’s sour lemony experiences into delicious well worth your buck lemonade lessons. She performs her show “Some people have too many legs” to theatregoers and it speaks of facing your fears. She also runs workshops, has a book published and well basically is a chick I would very much like to meet and give a big hug someday for the message behind her work. You can visit her website here

Stacey Baker,  a photo editor at the New York Times has a gorgeous Tumblr site called Citi Legs. What started out as self scrutiny of her legs metamorphosed into a project that celebrates size and style diversity through taking photographs of women from the waist down. Check out her interview by Refinery 29 here
And of course, there is no lack of inspiration from the body positive community. I am not sure how many of you are aware of the ban of the hashtag curvy on Instagram. It was done with no warning and to say the body positive community was enraged is putting it mildly. To be surrounded by people who understand the stigma of being a certain size or colour and to remain empowered through the sense of community is a very powerful thing. 

Last year, I was still afraid of wearing a two piece swimsuit. I hadn’t even done a proper one piece swimsuit shoot. I worked hard at that insecurity last year and asked myself pertinent questions. I asked myself : were the words I used to criticise my thighs my own? Wasn’t there anything I liked about them? Why was I being so unfairly harsh on myself? Who did this benefit? 


what people see
I felt wistful when I watched my friends posting pictures of themselves having a good time splashing in the pool. Mostly because I was denying myself the incredible amount of joy and serenity felt when I was in a pool. 


what I see

I cannot run. I cannot dance. I cannot play tennis or trek mountains or hike up a hill. But I Can swim. I needed to stop hiding and having a hand at stealing my own happiness. 

So I gradually began to stop hiding. I took these pictures of myself and learnt to see the good instead of the ugly. 

I reminded myself of what I was capable of overcoming. 

and it’s still a work in progress ..

but then again,

A work of art was once a work in progress 😉 

On the lighter side of leggy issues, how many of us know the many joys that come with this heat and humidity and our legs? Chub rub, sweaty car seats, sweat stains on your skirt Eeeek! There’s this really funny (although kind of problematic) post by Cosmopolitan magazine I relate to and I’m sure a few of you will as well! I’ve got a few of my own chub rub solutions, but the sweaty thighs oh my that’s just uncomfortable. 

Allow me to share a personal anecdote. I adore boyfriend jeans especially those that are slightly ripped. They’re comfortable, roomy and I never worry about my thighs rubbing with them. BUT be careful how you slide in and out of a car because your blogger friend here did her usual tomboy jump into the cab and girl, those jeans became obscene lol. I mean, there was way too big a hole and I didn’t want my lady parts out there for the whole world to see. Lesson learnt! 

At the end of the day, this picture sums it up for me :

 We have such beautiful, varied forms waiting to be dressed and adorned. As an Indian woman, henna and anklets are a beautiful touch to my feet. Thigh highs are so hot. Shoes are such statements. Skirts are all kinds of sexy on us while shorts keep us comfortable. Pants make us look sharp and stylish. 

Our legs should be busy trying to take on the world and stamping our presence. While I appreciate them, I am so done obsessing over them. 


 check out my fellow Unconditional body beautiful bloggers : 
Rebequita Rose 

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 

 Mele Falala 

 Marie Legette 

Josephine Josofabulous Lee 
 Cassandra Westfall

 Zadry Ferrer Geddess

Curvy Chrisandra


Tangerine Tango

Orange is a handy colour if you know the right shades of it that go with your skin. I’ve always been a fan of tangerine orange, it adds a glow to my naturally sun kissed skin tone.

Tangerine Tango was the official Pantone colour for the year 2012. I hadn’t found a pretty outfit in that shade then and the same goes for last year’s Radiant Orchid. So I was overjoyed when I found this dress! I didn’t even mull over it like I normally do. My heart was set on it, so I got it. I had a feeling it was going to look even better in person.

The Look


Photo 16-5-15 5 54 15 pm

strapless bodycon dress – Asos Curve – uk 18

choker necklace – Lovisa 

strappy sandals – Charles & Keith 

Naturally, I first cringed when I thought – oh god Aarti, your arms and upper back. Right after I did that however, I marvelled at how very pretty this dress was and how it hugged my silhouette. So, out went that niggling voice!

The dress is SO soft and plush. Despite it being strapless, I didn’t worry about having the dress slide down because its got a really good hold at the bust without being stifling. Having said that, I am not As busty so I would advise caution if my busty girlfriends would like to wear this!

I’ve realised that I don’t care for VBO (visible belly outline) anymore. Sure, people will remind you of its existence but the important thing is, I am no longer worried about sucking my tummy in. My once monthly PCOS tummy bloat is bound to happen, I do have a very fussy stomach when it comes to spicy food so it does tend to look like an overdue food baby. SO WHAT. Honestly, I love this dress so much..it is THE nicest one I have gotten myself this year.

Photo 16-5-15 5 55 57 pm

Photo 16-5-15 5 56 26 pm

Photo 16-5-15 5 54 43 pm

Little Details 

Photo 17-5-15 2 14 11 pm

I’ve been having some trouble with my left eye, do you recall that swelling on my right eye that required surgery? Yes well there is a little growth on the left eye so I hardly apply makeup, it took some effort to do it up here because the eye was stinging but not to worry, its getting plenty of TLC.

Chokers are in and I cannot be happier because it means I get to indulge in 90’s styled accessories! In fact, this look is pretty 90s inspired. Dark purple lippie, choker, strapless dress and all..

Photo 16-5-15 6 00 03 pm

How GORGEOUS are the colours and prints on this dress??

Photo 16-5-15 5 59 32 pm

The perfect pair of footwear to go with the dress.

Photo 17-5-15 11 24 41 am

By far, I would deem this my favourite fashion post to shoot. The Gabi Fresh Swim Sexy one piece being a close second.

I have so much to say, so much more to share with you, but that can wait in the upcoming post. I hope you’re having a fantabulous week! My lesson to you for this post: Do not shy away from bright colours, find the right shade for you and it is Your perception of your appearance that matters.

In the words of Bey and Nikki, I’m feeling myself ❤

maxi season


Sharing the latest fashion post I’ve done as contributor on blog Already Pretty

It’s about a dress style that seems to inhabit my wardrobe a lot more of late – the maxi dress. 


Maxi dress in the shade of Rust – Forever 21 Plus

Choker necklace – Lovisa 

Metal cuff bangle – Diva

What I love about the maxi skirt/dress since trying them 2 years ago is that they are surprisingly comfortable and hot climate-friendly (the latter is So important because of where I reside). As someone of a shorter stature, I was hesitant to try on a much longer skirt thinking that it would make me appear shorter but that myth is So Untrue. If anything it lends an air of chic. 


I seem to veer towards outfits in bold colours instead of prints this season and you’ll see that preference in the fashion posts to come. I love All colours but there does seem to be an affinity for deeper hues at the moment. This shade of orange is not a common outfit colour for me and I really, really like how it sets off the natural tan of my skin. Which is why I decided to go semi-formal with the accessories, to lend a Roman/Grecian style with this ensemble. 


I was having a really god awful migraine and it took every ounce of my will to prep my hair and makeup, so it was left relatively simple but still done decently..phew! The unpredictable weather changes here are seriously messing with my allergies. 

I have a few body positive posts coming up – 2 Unconditional Body Beautiful posts, 1 Curves Around the World post. But I will pepper in a fashion post in between 🙂 

What’s your dress style for this season? Are there particular prints that catch your eye right now that you’d like to try? 

I know it’s been a while and I thank you for being patient! I hope you’ve been well, sending you lots and lots of love. 

Remember: Be Kind to yourself. Speak kindly about your body. 

xxxo Aarti Olivia 


Plaid, Tulle and more Plaid 

Hello my dear ones! 

At the later half of last year, I received an email from Sally McGraw of blog Already Pretty to join her team of blogger contributors. I accepted the offer after some dancing around the hallway (I’ve been following her blog for quite sometime!). I did my first post for AP in mid March. It was a fashion post and I’m sharing that post today. Did another one for AP yesterday so rest assured, that will be up on the blog as well. 
Running along a similar theme to the red tartan dress I wore in March, I try on another tartan style, plaid. 


Plaid blouse – Asos Curve , sz uk 18 

Black Tutu dress with a spaghetti strap top – Asos Curve (from last December’s festive collection), sz uk 18 

chunky necklace – Cotton On

black pumps – Rubi

The dress by itself, is gorgeous as well and yes I will feature it for another post on its own..what I did here was tuck the top portion in before tucking the plaid blouse in. This only works for tops that are not thick and short enough to be tucked underneath! I’ve done something like this before last year when I tried on my first romper

The plaid blouse is so very comfortable and soft..I’ve worn it out on sweltering hot days and I Never wear long sleeved let alone sleeved clothing when it’s crazy warm. It’s not the sort of material that clings for dear life to perspiration and makes you wish you could tear the top off (please fight the urge) or change into another top. 

The skirt is not overly voluminous for a tulle one but I still love it! I think I am officially Obsessed with tutu skirts :p If you follow other plus size fashion blogger you have definitely seen sinew gorgeous styles out there! I am in Love with the tulle skirt posts my friend Margot Meanie has done of late! 

My girlie Rebequita Rose had a very sweet tulle moment in this post ❤ 

Now tulle skirts you might assume make someone of a petite stature like me appear shorter but Nope, not true at all! 

Well here’s a complimentary booty shot 😉  

Close Up of the skirt 

Restyling the Plaid blouse 
I considered making a shirt dress out of this top but I found it a little too short for my liking – I’ll go strapless, sleeveless, backless, plunging neckline but Not short hemmed..it’s a personal preference- so I opted for the look below instead: 


I switched it up from the tulle dress to these PU leggings from Cotton On (sz XL) for a more casual chic look. Belted it up with a black skinny belt, tossed the mane into a bun and there you are .. An entirely different style. 


I got these leggings on impulse on my latest trip back to my home away from home, Melbourne. I think the sizes are a little better in the Aussie stores and this does not make me itch or feel uncomfortable despite being out on a warm day. 

Here’s a cute shot of Schatzi interrupting my shoot  

Signing off for now, 

chat soon!  

It’s Always Sunny In Singapore

No really. 

Except for 2 rainy months at the end of each year, it is Hot, Humid and drives a lot us indoors. 

But my salvation in this heat is the pool. Since my folks moved 5 minutes away from me in their new condo that has a pool (among other facilities), this is my once or twice weekly zen spot. Plus it always seems to be a lot windier at their place because it’s on a low level and unobstructed by tall buildings. 

So! Everyone knows about blogger Gabi Fresh‘s swim sexy collection for Swimsuits for All. I fell in love with a few pieces and ventured to get a one piece. A two piece is coming up in a month or so. I don’t think I’ll shoot that one at my parents’ condo though..lets just say there were a number of inquisitive onlookers who didn’t look too kindly at my fat body. Because fat bodies shouldn’t be visible, that makes people cringe in Asia! 

Whatever. Who knows, I might get the gumption to do it there again and this time just have my “fuck em” attitude with me. 

So without further delay! Here goes: 



I got the D/DD cup Underwire One Piece in a tropical pattern, size US 16 (UK 18). 

It’s gorgeous isn’t it?!?!! When I got it in the mail I was so nervous about the fit because it was my first time purchasing from swimsuitsforall but once I put it on I was so happy!! 


Naturally I don’t usually wear heels or earrings or makeup when I am about to swim but I wanted to make the effort for the photo shoot 🙂 

My Review

The beautiful tropical print aside, the swimsuit fit me perfectly. I don’t have a long torso and I am a busty girl, plus I have a lot of booty. I was afraid that the suit would be cut too high or the cups would be too tight but I had no such problem. I always prefer underwire bras because my breasts are not perky so the support with this suit made me feel safe. 

The suit is fully line with tummy control and it isn’t a thin fabric, thank goodness. In fact I had to double check that I wasn’t wearing my underwear by mistake under the suit because it’s much thicker than my other swimsuits. The straps are detachable but I’d rather keep them on for safety purposes! :p 

It has a good amount of stretch, which always helps. The padding of the cups is firm. 

Overall, I really really like my Swim Sexy one piece! Previously my swimsuits were functional – for swimming laps basically – but hey I love having fun with fashion now so I am absolutely going to get a stash of gorgeous swimsuits for a jaunt to the jacuzzi. 

By the way, you can definitely swim in this suit without worrying about a wardrobe malfunction – If you are not too chesty. I consider myself moderately chesty so it wasn’t a problem for me. But, I do think suits like these need more TLC when washing them so it won’t be used as often as my more functional swimsuits are. 



Little Details



Serious props to the hubster for the picture above! Not like he minded.. 

Have you bought yourself some swimwear lately? I would love to know the kind of swimsuits you own and what you’d like to buy! This year is Hella Fierce swimsuit season in the plus size world, so many companies coming up with Gorgeous designs! 

I have to give a shoutout to ModCloth for the swimsuit shoot with their own staff. You can read all about it here.It was really nice to see women of all shapes and heights try on the same suits for comparison. All size inclusivity FTW! 

Before I sign off, I’d just like to extend tight hugs and so many thank yous for the sweet, encouraging and heartfelt comments that have come my way since my last post. It was very difficult to write and I was so afraid of putting out there but you guys made me feel at ease and gave me comfort. I love you all so so much. 

Have a lovely weekend my loves, let’s be kind with what we say to ourselves and of others. 


Love, Aarti Olivia xxxo