Earlier this month, we joined hands with WearOhWhere to host a different kind of styling workshop. Together with Founder and Editor-in-chief, Karman Tse, we decided to open the floor to a brutally honest, authentically vulnerable conversation about women, and the relationship we share with our bodies.
The theme of the night: “Every Body Has a Story”, included a stellar cast of panelists who brought with them their raw and unfiltered stories of past struggles with body image issues, and how they’re still actively working on it. Sitting on the panel was the venerable Anita Kapoor, presenter; Hanli Hoeffer, MTV VJ, host; Linda Tang, Co-founder of WeBarre, and our very own Rachel Lim, Co-founder of Love, Bonito.
“How do your clothes make you feel?”
We opened with a styling workshop that taught attendees how to find pieces that they will feel comfortable in — from the colors to the fabric, and most importantly the fit. The philosophy behind the workshop was that every body is shaped differently. Likewise, your clothes should celebrate all that makes you special, rather than have you force the clothes to work for you.
Karman then segued into the conversation by inviting the panel to share candidly about their own insecurities and breakthroughs. Here’s the Cliffnotes summary on what these lovely ladies had to say about body, beauty, and health.
On struggling with their body image:
“All of a sudden I was 30 and I wasn’t the same size anymore. That was hard, at first, until I realised the curves that I was developing, the extra bits of me, they were my body’s way of protecting me, keeping me safe for the next phase of life – so I’m at peace.” – Anita Kapoor
“When I started modeling I was that size 0, that high fashion sample size – but even then I had body issues… I’ve also struggled with height, I’m 178cm in a society that’s quite petite and it made me feel large. What helped me with that was positive affirmations, learning to accept my body and teaching myself to love and embrace my height.” – Hanli Hoefer
“People think I’m confident but I grew up very insecure, I always wanted a perkier butt and I always felt my butt would just be lost in jeans. But the biggest demon is not the people around you, but you, yourself.” – Linda Tang
“In the fashion industry, you’re exposed to a lot of beautiful women. I used to want to dress like them thinking I’d therefore look as good as them. Until I learnt that there’s something for all of us, it just takes knowing and understanding your body.” – Rachel Lim
On practical handles that they’ve used to overcome:
“My best advice? Don’t get addicted to other people’s narcissism. Your life isn’t shit, you just think it is. Number two, drink water and hydrate yourself, dehydration often leads to a state of feeling imbalanced, which leads to anxiety. And lastly: sleep. don’t get addicted to being busy. Do we really need to push ourselves to the edge before we feel happy and satisfied?” – Anita Kapoor
“Who are you if not for those imperfections? Find courage through friends and positive people. Turn your flaws and struggles into something beautiful.” – Karman Tse
“Something that really helps me is mindful eating – I use the 10% Happier: Meditation app. We eat because we are bored or stressed. Ask yourself in this moment, is this something I want to nurture my body with? Is this what I need right now? Tune into how you feel versus just doing something without thinking, even if it is eating. This is a small step to integrate into your life.” – Linda Tang
“How we look has an immense psychological effect on our confidence and how we feel about ourselves. The key is dressing for yourself and embracing what we’re already born with (and we are all created differently!). Get honest advice from a friend or our LB style ambassadors as to what your body shape is – get recommendations on what suits you best! You’ll be surprised at how dressing well for ourselves can do so much for us.” – Rachel Lim
On their perception of beauty:
“Beauty is a feeling more than it is an image. It’s a feeling we give to others.
What I find most beautiful about me is my big heart, it can feel a lot, and it can also take a lot.” – Anita Kapoor
“Beauty is when people are genuinely kind and their kindness radiates through them. That’s beauty to me.” – Hanli Hoefer
“Beauty is when someone values themselves and owns who they are because when you’re around someone who is confident in who they are, they also make you feel beautiful and confident.” – Linda Tang
“Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” Discovering who you are, accepting and embracing all of you, and staying true to yourself – that’s what beauty looks like to me.” – Rachel Lim