Sunday, 13 January 2013

Love The Skin You're In

It is really difficult to write this post without coming across as a complete sickophant. I'm just so excited to feature an interview with my favourite blogger.  It was roughly this time last year that I discovered the fabulous Betty Bee. I purchased my first copy of Vintage Life magazine and read a wonderful craft article she had written and decided to check out her blog. It was one of those wonderful lazy Sundays when all you want to do is curl up and read so after reading a couple of posts I was hooked and read practically all of the archived posts too. Yes I read for a long time (who needs books??) I was cocooned in Betty's world checking out her gorgeous outfits, getting vital make-up tips, finding out what it's like to be self employed running Vintage inspired businesses (yes that is in the plural) and hearing what this sassy lady had to say about the world.
Introducing the fabulous Betty Bee
Betty describes herself as a plus size hottie, writer and make-up artist . She's written her first book "The Handmade Wedding" and co designed a cool Invasion of the Killer Curves t shirt with her husband Mr Bee (yes I do own one they're awesome). She also runs the Vintage Pamper Box collaborating with her photographer husband and best mate Lilly Von Pink  providing Vintage makeovers photo shoots. The VPP also did my lovely pics featured on my blog last year. She has many other talents so have a look at her blog to find out more.
Betty's Killer Curves tee
Since that lazy Sunday  I've followed Betty's blog religiously and look forward to each new post. I love discovering women who inspire me and live life on their own terms and Betty does both and then some. I have particularly found her views on body shape the most inspiring for me personally. She's probably the first woman I've encountered over a size 14 who works it to the max style wise and doesn't feel the need to lose 2 stone. She's a real advocate for encouraging women to look good whatever size they may be and to give wearing all black the middle finger, embrace colour and glamour and celebrate your curves.

As my blog is food related I've also touched on issues such as health and weight given that they're so strongly connected and wanted to hear more on Betty's views on this. This lady talks a lot of sense so enjoy.

Hi Betty! Thanks for popping over and allow me to hand you a piece of virtual Vivi cake and cuppa while we chat. Milk and sugar?

VV: In one blog you mention that you spent “many years of being worryingly obsessed with your shape and size” which I’m sure many women can relate to. Could you tell us more about that and what was it that made you decide to ditch the diets?

BB: As a fairly slim child and teen I found it very hard to accept as my body became curvier in my mid to late twenties. I have tried every diet known to woman and yo-yoed from a size 14 to a size 26 over the years. For a long time I believed my life would be better and I would be more successful/happy/popular if I were slimmer and was very embarrassed by my size. Sudenly in my early thirties something clicked and I became angry at how horrible I was being to myself.
I hate people who are judgemental to others based on appearance and there I was doing the exact same thing to myself. I decided to afford the acceptance and kindness I gave to others to myself and I have honestly never looked back. I’m now a size 16/18 and have never been happier.

I'd be happy too if I looked this hot!
VV: I’m high fiving you girl! I love your body confidence and that you embrace your fabulous curves. I know many a woman (including myself in the past) who struggle to love their bodies and achieve body acceptance. How did you get there?

BB:  I realised that despite being  a big fatty (although albeit a rather glamorous one) I have landed a handsome husband, a successful career and had a problem free pregnancy (resulting in a beautiful child)  so realised maybe I should stop swallowing all the media bullshit and give myself a break. I’ve never looked back and actually like what I see in the mirror. Turning off the negative running  commentary which had become almost like a toxic friend did take some doing. I’m glad that bitch has gone now!

VV: Me too thank heavens you kicked her to the curb! You say that self acceptance doesn’t mean you’re an advocate for poor health and that people are surprised that you exercise. Do you think that people feel that plus size equates to a lack of interest in health?

BB: Yes and sometimes that true. I’m not going to sit here and tell you I’m a one woman training machine but I do exercise, I don’t feast on chips every night and I’m fairly active. I know myself when I need to get off my arse and get the Davina DVD out.

If I’m out of breath running up the  stairs or my clothes are getting too tight I chill out on the more calorific stuff and get my exercise thang on but the difference is I don’t do this to be "slim" ( that ship sailed a very long time ago) I do it so I live a long healthy life. I’m rarely ill, my blood pressure is fine and I look ten years younger than I am and if you believe the position taken by the medical profession and media alike I’m a freak, but I don’t believe that’s so. I think for every large person out there who is in danger of stroking out there are people like me who seem to live normal healthy lives with none of the problems we are told we absolutely will have. Newsflash not all fatties are created the same.
I WANT this dress
VV: Go Betty! You’ve mentioned that being self employed means that you ensure that you look after your health – no sick pay for starters! What do you to keep yourself healthy?

BB: I go to the gym to do cardio and also do a Davina DVD (she is a mean mama)  I also walk to get my daughter to and from school so I make sure my pudgy little heart gets pumping for at least 20-30 minutes a day. Sometimes I just lie on the sofa and watch Greys anatomy-keeping it real here I’m not Gwyneth Paltrow.

VV:Thank God! You always look hot lady. How did you discover your style?

BB: It’s evolved over the years. I always loved the 1920's styling of Louise Brooks a 1920's silent movie actress and the full on glamour of 1950's icons like Liz Taylor and Vivien Leigh. I found the styles and cut of 1950's clothes flattered my figure far more than current fashions  and just found my groove. I Iove clothes and am a bit of a retro tart with a dash of 50's, 60's and even 80's influences all being part of my style.

VV: You’ve done a bit of modelling too, how fantastic! How did that come about and were you nervous or embrace with it open arms?

BB: The modelling came about by accident and was a result of my blog. I was asked to review clothes by companies who when they saw pictures of me in their clothes decided they would like me to do more for them. As a five foot nothing size 16/18 forty something the idea of anyone using me to model still tickles my pickle but as long as I’ve got my big hair and lashes on I’m happy to pout on camera and wave the flag for other women who are perhaps not the norm in terms of shape. I wasn’t nervous as the first set of pictures were done by my husband who is  a very well known photographer so I knew I was in good hands.

She's a model and she's looking good
VV: Now let’s get down to it food wise. Who whips up the meals in Betty Bee Towers?

BB: It's split entirely fifty/fifty between me and Mr Bee

VV: Do you both have a signature dish?

BB: Ooh let me think. I do a mean red beans and rice but Mr Bee's fajhitas take some beating.

VV: My mouth is watering now Ms Bee! God forbid you were on death row, what would your last meal be?

BB: Mushroom risotto from Jamie’s Italian-its just delicious.

VV: I’m crass I love his burgers. Fantasy dinner party – who would you invite (dead or alive?)

Elizabeth Taylor
Barbra Streisand
Russell Brand
Motly Crue

Mozza and Babs could duet whilst the Crue played backing band and peed in the plant pots. Russell would make us laugh and Liz would let me wear her diamonds. Yes I have thought about this before.

VV: You so have! Loving the fusion of punk rock, high glamour and comedy – a prefect mix. So what’s the best piece of advice anyone has given you?

BB: My dad told me never to leave my records on the  floor. Wise words indeed.

VV: Wise words indeed! Lastly, what’s in the pipeline for you in 2013?

BB: More blogging, hopefully lots more make up artist work with the Vintage pamperbox and I'm starting  a new book which is very exciting. I also want to decorate my kitchen bright pink.

Isn't she awesome? Now take her advice; make your hair big, pout and go out there and work it like a screen goddess whatever size you are. And if you're still not convinced then check out Betty Bee's Big Fat Mantra and you will be.


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