Body Image

KERRY PR cleavage
This blog is the result of a dare from Stephanie and refers to her post To Cleave or not, that is the question. It is a hilarious but thoughtful post about how we feel about displaying our body. Read the comments, it is very revealing. I dared to show how much cleavage I bare and the evidence is above. I said an inch but methinks it might be two or three…

In general, my feeling is if you’ve got it, flaunt it but then you have to do it with confidence and ignore the inevitable comments. One of my male colleagues quite often makes hilarious but demeaning comments about women wearing what HE thinks is inappropriate clothing. He will say things like, “she is too old to be wearing a pleather mini-skirt” while I am wearing a black mini-skirt as part of my uniform, along with sexy lacy tights? I guess it makes a difference if you desire/fancy the person. My husband is exactly the same and loves it when I wear something provocative.

I spent the majority of my adult life fighting obesity and missed out on many opportunities to wear clothing that was perhaps a bit more appropriate in my 20s or 30s. It was incredibly hard work to get my mental health better which was the root cause of my obesity. Stress loves carbohydrates. I was over 50 when I suddenly looked amazing after a lifetime of nasty sideways glances or doctor’s notes referring to my weight. My cousin refers to me as Benjamin Button and there is a strange element of that. The two photographs below demonstrate this. One was taken a couple of months ago when I was modelling clothes while researching my boutique article, the other one was when I was in my 20s. Even with an element of body dysmorphia I can see that the slim, confident 55 year old looks much better than the sad, fat Kerry.

mainstream kerry3 fatkerry2

For the most part, I think you should whatever you want to as long as it doesn’t break any laws or truly offend anyone. You should dress with respect when entering a house of worship or a country with a different culture. I had to wear very different clothes when living in Egypt or face the consequences (usually unpleasant remarks, looks or a quick feel). We live in a democratic country and, in theory, women are equal. By the same token, I have no problem with you wearing a hijab, turtleneck or ninja outfit. πŸ™‚

PS Buy the Ebook! Letters from Cairo by Kerry Duncan. It is free to subscribers and very inexpensive for everyone else.


60 thoughts on “Body Image

  1. You are right, I’ve just read the post and it is brilliant. As mother to four daughters of varying different shapes from beanpole to tiny and often slightly chubby hourglass, I have to say that it is uber important to tell girls that they are beautiful in whatever skin they are given and for the hourglass, she is not at all shy of bearing a bit of boobage. Which having been brought up in the world I was brought up in is a hallelujah moment for me. I believe a woman should show precisely what she wants to. I do not believe that we should offend but if you have legs and you want to show them off, do! If you have cleave, cleave. Often for those of us who have some rack it’s unfeasible to wear coverage chicly. And bearing it is not asking for it. It isn’t an invitation for inappropriate male attention but if it draws some appreciative glances that is fine too. Body image is a minefield and I do not think that the whatever the hell police they think they are should add fuel to the fire by dictating what is decent. Queen Victoria died in 1901 after all! By the way – you look bluddy fabulous and comfortable and happy in the recent shot and that is your right to be flaunted!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you so much, Osyth. I remember looking at dismay, with a friend, at a woman at our local bar who was my age, spray-tanned and showing her cellulite. Since then I have felt ashamed that I could feel that but the reason why I noticed her was that she wasn’t confident in her glamour (she was still a great looking woman) and looked uncomfortable. Rock your tats, tits, cellulite or anything else! You know, I looked at that recent shot and couldn’t believe it was me. I feel a bit frumpy and sad right now but that will improve with some more medication and exercise.

      Liked by 2 people

      • If she was uncomfortable then my heart goes out to her. One should only EVER do what feels good and never for any other reason than to please oneself. Now to you …. oh lovely – it’s hardly surprising that you are a little out of sorts with your reflection just now. There’s been a sweeping swathe of sadness and uncertainty cutting through your life recently and that is bound to take it’s toll on your vulnerable bits. Reach for the happy pills and bolster them with self-induced endorphins from exercise which will have the added bonus of attacking the floppy bits. But most of all remember that unfortunately body-dismorphia lurks waiting to pounce when we feel down. My poor husband who is a natural spaghetti rather than ravioli body-type will testify to this truth …. in fact he has learned to guage my mental health by the language I am using about my body.

        Liked by 3 people

      • Thank you for such a thoughtful response. I am trying very hard to get through this unfortunate series of events and keep myself intact. Perspective is the key and so hard to attain when a little vulnerable. As for the lady at the bar, I think she was trying to keep up with the herd. Our little city is full of plastic ‘sturgeons’ and Botox. Rich, unhappy women fall prey to this.

        Liked by 3 people

  2. In the late 1970s, I sat in a fancy restaurant in New York City and watched a woman wrestle with her extremely low-cut party dress. She looked great, the dress looked great, but the combo didn’t work because she was trying to prevent a ‘clothing malfunction’. I vowed then never to wear an outfit that had the upper hand, otherwise I don’t care what I wear.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. At least in my life experience, I’m tempted to believe its not the frame of the body but the frame of mind.. I was a hottie in my 20s, at least that’s how I was treated, but I never felt like I was. hot.. I still get compliments on my eyes but I’ve let trucking mould my body with more lbs than I should be.. .. Yet I’m happier and much more confident than in my early 20s.. Mid 20s I became proficient at 2 trades, in my early 30s I learned a 3rd and have been doing this ever since..
    I think self esteem and self worth are our best armor and Achilles heel..

    Liked by 2 people

    • You are so right and sometimes I rocked my fatter body depending on the mood. I have no problem with some love handles – it’s that special something that makes us mate (for want of a better word!). I only noticed I was hot when I was 19 (late developer) and then after 50. It’s a funny world.
      PS. As you know, I am an earthy girl and I am convinced that attraction is more to do with a specific smell or pheromone (neither good nor bad just right).

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Kerry, thank you for flaunting. I would not be able to find anything for that challenge but I’m happy someone thought of it. I have always wondered how women felt about being complimented on their cleavage. There’s a difference between appreciating and being creepy and its up to the individual, I think. Before I forget, you are stunning in EVERY shape.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Great post. I never had cleavage until I was in my 40s. I was 80 lbs well into my 30s, then started gaining weight. I got cleavage just in time to meet my husband-to-be. πŸ™‚ I’d gained too much, but he loved it. That was almost 19 years ago. Since then we’ve lost our overweight aspects, and Oddly, I still have cleavage! I’d always heard that was the first place that loses weight. But I’ve never been comfortable when we’re out and about wearing anything remotely ‘sexy.’ I’m a t-shirt/jeans gal, and in winter, a sweatshirt kinda person. I can’t recall (other than wearing this one dress to make breakfast in for the pockets to put my mp3 player in) the last time I wore a dress.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Like you I’ve traveled in Europe (see my response to Stephanie). Personally I like cleavage but would never pressure anyone to display more than they are comfortable showing. You, by the way, have beautiful cleavage. πŸ˜‡

    Liked by 1 person

  7. great and daring post, may I say πŸ˜‰ I love cleavage, my own and other women’s!
    I bet that morose colleague of your’s is just jealous cause he would love to wear pleated mini-skirts himself, ha! let’s hope he allows himself in the next life πŸ˜‰
    You look just as loveable and sweet with a few pounds more as in the current glamorous version of yourself. I very much like the idea of growing into your true body as you get older, you are a shining and inspiring example of that!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are so lovely, Dagmar. I can see from your Gravatar that you are already gorgeous so no improvement needed! My colleague was just trying to chat me up, as usual, and (to be honest) he did make me laugh. Houston is the main human smuggling route into the States and we do see some interesting people that may or may not be in the ‘business’. On a more serious note, we are always looking for vulnerable people who may be entrapped.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Unfortunately these are evil traffickers of desperate people in poor countries who think they are going to be cleaners or housekeepers until the awful truth is revealed. There would be much less of this if prostitution was regulated like it is in Australia and everyone is safer. Not all the smuggled victims go into prostitution, however, some are slaves.

        Liked by 2 people

      • It’s truly awful! In our case it is most likely people from Latin America and perhaps the Far East but I know Europe is reeling from Syria and Iraq. It is not helped by the recent attacks on women in Germany and Sweden from young refugee men. I don’t think there is any clear answer to the problem.

        Liked by 4 people

  8. Gosh Kerry I never would have thought the girl with the long dark hair was you, not because of her size, but because she looks nothing like you. I am glad you are comfortable with yourself these days. Too much emphasis is placed on outside appearance and first impressions. I hate that. I am approaching fifty now, and struggling with size, body image and aging. I hope I come out the other end as gorgeous and confident as you!

    Liked by 1 person

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