Curvy inspiration from the red carpet

When in doubt, wear black.

While this might be the safe, comfortable option, let’s face it, it can also be pretty boring.

And there are some moments when you don’t want to fade into the background. You deserve to shine, not to hide.

After looking at all the stunning red carpet creations at the recent Screen Actors Guild Awards 2015, I decided to look back at how some of my favourite plus-size stars have rocked the red carpet without having to resort to black.

Let me know – which do you love, and which do you loathe?


Danielle Brooks from series Orange is the New Black looking radiant at the 2015 Screen Actors Guild awards.

Singer Kelly Price sparkles in more ways than one at the Grammys in 2013.


Queen Latifah looks amazing in this ombre number at the 2011 People’s Choice Awards (similar to the one I wore here. No?)

Melissa McCarthy Plus size fashion

Melissa McCarthy ain’t no wallflower at Variety’s Creative Impact Awards And 10 Directors to Watch Brunch.


Gabourey Sidibe of Precious and American Horror Story looks divine at the 2010 Golden Globe Awards.


Funny gal Rebel Wilson looking curvy and chic at a 2014 Park Hyatt event.


Grey’s Anatomy’s Sara Ramirez looking classic at Fall Fashion Week 2008.


If there’s one lady who really knows how to dress herself, it’s Oprah Winfrey. Here she is at the 2014 Screen Actors Guild Awards looking superb.

Can you think of any examples that I left out? Please send them to me!

Funky viral video encourages women’s confidence with sport

I’m absolutely loving this video from British fitness organization Sport England, which was created to encourage more women to do more physical activity. The ‘#ThisGirlCan’ campaign, which has seen over 3.5 million video impressions in just a few days, is one with a difference. Rather than using the gorgeous, svelte glamazons we have come to associate sports videos with, they’ve used subjects that the average woman can identify with – women that jiggle when they work out, lose their breath and sweat like pigs.

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The organization found that 2 million fewer women between the ages of 14 and 40 play sports or exercise than men. The reason for this – a “fear of judgment – on appearance, ability or how they choose to spend time on themselves.”

Have to be honest, I can identify – nothing deflates my self confidence quite so much as hefting myself onto a treadmill at the gym next to a girl whose thighs are the girth of my calves, or feeling like I’m holding the whole group back on a hike.

Which is why, the message in this video is such a powerful one – we’re all in the same boat. Exercise is for you, because your body is a wonderful thing that needs to be looked after, and it doesn’t matter what anybody else thinks.

#thisgirlcan screenshot

Check out the video and let me know what you think. Hopefully you’ll feel a little more inspired to do something healthy for your body – I know I do!


Pure Romance Body Dew Moisturizer review – and a giveaway worth R1000!

Pure Romance’s Body Dew first caught my attention as an option of body moisturizer for tattooed skin. As I have a few little artworks sprinkled over my body, I liked the idea that not only did it leave your skin feeling silky soft and supple, but it makes the colours in your ink really pop too.

Now, I know it’s not a good idea to judge books by their covers, but who said anything about cosmetics? When I saw the pink polkadot bottle, I knew this product was going to be a great fit for me.



It’s recommended for use after a bath or shower, and I found that my skin absorbs the carnation oil-infused moisturizer quickly – leaving me with scrumptious, glowing skin, and a delightful fragrance (I’m not sure if this is just from the scent I chose – Sweet Fantasie – or from the added pheromones in the product.) Body Dew is also recommended after excessive sun exposure, so I will be put to benefit from that as I’ve been doing laps at the local pool and am developing quite the tan.

Body Dew is made by the US-based company Pure Romance which, along with bathroom and beauty goodies, also manufactures ‘relationship enhancement’ products (or, for the layman, sex toys.) This fact took me a bit by surprise – talking cosmetics in one breath and vibrators in the next – but I have to admit that the website and catalogue are both beautiful and classy – not a skeezy Adult Word connotation for miles!

I also think that sexual health and body positivity go hand in hand so closely, so was delighted to find a company out there helping ladies to both look and feel good about themselves.

Pure Romance South Africa Director Nadine Tsemach organises parties for ladies in their homes, where they are able to see the products up close and personal – and also ask any questions they might have.

She has also generously sponsored a delicious prize hamper worth R1000 – just in time for Christmas too!

The hamper includes:

  • A bottle of Body Dew
  • Coochy rash-free shaving cream
  • Body Bling shimmering body powder
  • And, for a last bit of fun, Just Like Me lubricant

Please enter using the Rafflecopter entry mechanism below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

OOTD: The Goddess Dress

I’ve written about Jacoba before, and about how everything just fits perfectly.
This dress is a fine example of that. As soon as I had slipped it on, I felt like the star of a period-piece romance novel. Soft and feminine and lovely.

I didn’t want to get too carried away with the gushy girliness though, so I added the quirky ‘I love you like bacon’ necklace from Kin. It’s all about balance yo!

Now I’m just dying for an occasion to come up so that I have an excuse to break this bad boy out!

P.S. Don’t you love how those sleeves hide the tops of the arm?

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Dress: Jacoba Clothing
Necklace: Kin
Nails: ‘Metallic Purple’ from Gosh at Edgars
Make-up: Qaanita Abrahams from Onq Makeup
Photographer: Alison Westwood

OOTD: Teeter-tottering in leopard print

Today’s OOTD is from a shoot I did at the Cape Town Castle. What a great place to explore and lap up the history, never mind all the photo op’s it presents.

Loved how comfortable this frock by Linx available through Zando was – albeit a little shorter than I’m usually comfortable with (My legs are probably the bit of me I have to work hardest to love.)  Dem sexy heels did help though – now, if only I could learn to walk in them 😉

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Plus size fashion
Too gorgeous for words – just need to learn to walk in them!

Dress: Linx available from Zando
Shoes: Miss Black Peron heels available from Zando
Necklace: Papillon Belle at Kin
Nails: ‘Spot on! Pink’ from Gosh at Edgars
Lips: Mango Lip Butter by Korres
Make-up: Qaanita Abrahams from Onq Makeup
Photographer: Alison Westwood

Win a R300 voucher from Kin Shop!

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while now, you maaaay have noticed what a huge fan of Kin Shop I am. Every visit to either their Kloof Street or Waterfront stores is like exploring a little room of treasures, with wonderful and delightful surprises hidden in every corner. Just when you think you’ve seen everything there is to see, another amazing find pops out from some hidden nook or cranny. They’re always my first stop to find something special to go with a new outfit, or a really unique gift for someone special.

You can see some of my favourite finds here:

Sterling silver and enamel rings by the Story of Long Jean Silver at Kin  A gorgeous stone necklace from Inge Marais at Kin Shop. Leather earrings from Story of White Rabbit Days at Kin Shop
Resin flower earrings by Chasteau de Balyon at Kin Necklace by A Bird Named Frank at Kin ShopIMG_4819_Snapseed

The lovely ladies at Kin have also been a constant source of support and encouragement for Mind the Curves since itty-bitty day one. And now they’ve kindly offered to reward you for your support and encouragement too, with a R300 gift voucher up for grabs for one lucky reader. To get in line for this awesome prize, please enter via the Rafflecopter entry form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Get the Swingstar look

My crush on all things vintage doesn’t just extend to fashion. The trill of trumpets, the infectious rolls of drums and sultry vocals of swing music are one of the few sounds that will actually get these uncoordinated toes tapping and jazz fingers fluttering. So, when I saw the Swingstar Mansion event invite pop into my Facebook inbox for this coming Saturday 25 October, it was an instant ‘yes’. Centered around the album launch of Cape Town-based band The Swingsetters, the event looks like it’s going to be quite the spectacle, with live bands, burlesque, fire breathers, swing dancers and more. With such an awesome event on the cards, there’s just no way I go without looking the part. So I enlisted the help of makeup artist extraordinaire Quaanita Abrahams of Onq Makeup, to create the effect I was after. While there are a few different styles that one can associate with Swing culture (which was at its height in the 1930s), obviously I went with the pin-up iteration (obviously). So, without further ado:

How to get the pin-up makeup look:

There are four basic characteristics of the pin-up look that make it rock. 1. Flawless skin 2. Winged eyeliner 3. Arched eyebrows 4. Red lips

What you need:

IMG_1962.JPG Qaanita is like the Mary Poppins of makeup. She just keeps pulling new goodies out of her bag. Included in my look were:

  • Gosh CC Cream Illuminating Foundation – lightweight, oil-free formulation and is packed with pigment to even out the complexion which adds a luminosity to the complexion that lifts and perfects your skin.
  • MAC Mineralize skin finish in light – To set the foundation and also to give skin a light porcelain glow
  • MAC Prep+Prime – soothes the skin, blots away excess oil, and evens out skin redness. Improves application of foundation or powder.
  • Smashbox Iconic Photo Finish Foundation Primer – preps skin to create a perfect canvas for flawless foundation application which is used to give you beautiful mattefinish complexion.
  • Clicks full set lashes – elongates your lashes and gives that desired flirt & prominent effect.
  • Inglot Gel liner paste in jet black – to create winged eye which is critical for this look.
  • MAC liquid liner fine tip – makes eyes more dramatic which is used to create a perfect cat eye.
  • MAC Mascara Haute Naught Lash –  few coats gives an intense dramatic feel
  • Estee Lauder Brow powder in dark brown – to shape eyebrows
  • MAC Blush peach – defines your cheekbones and used to bring out and give a precision cheekbone structure with blush effect.
  • NYX lipliner – ensures that the product lasts and does not go outside the lines which makes it for a long lasting stay.
  • NYX Red Matt Lipstick – is  statement for this look which gives your lips fuller & desirable effect.
  • MAC Mineralize Charged Water Hydrating Mist Finishing spray  – sets the entire look and makes the  makeup last longer.


 1. Prepare the skin

Key to this look is flawless skin. Start by applying moisturizer. Prepared skin for makeup with moisturizer, then add a primer (e.g. the Photofinish Primer by Inglot and/or Prep and Prime powder MAC that we used). Use a brush to apply foundation all over and blend along the neck. Set with a natural satin finish powder. Apply a light, natural looking blush to the apple of the cheeks, sweeping back to the temple.

2. Add winged liner

Prepare the eye with concealer and setting powder. Apply a eyeshadow in a natural shade across the lid. Use a gel liner with brush to create your winged line, sharpening it up with a liquid liner pen. Follow the natural curve of your eye, as seen below. Add a coating of mascara. IMG_1963.JPG

3. Arch dem eyebrows

Using an eyebrow powder and angle brush, fill in the brows and darken them. Give your brows that je nais se arch with an eye pencil in a matching colour. 

4. Paint your lips red

Using the lipliner, outline the lips, then colour them in slightly. This will help the colour to last longer and prevent smudging or bleeding. Fill in with a matt lipstick for ruby red lips to delight in. IMG_1965.JPG

5. Finishing touches

You’re almost ready to go! Just add that fluttertastic falsies and a spritz of finishing spray and you’re good to go. Badda-bing, badda-boom! IMG_1951-0.JPG

Haters gonna hate

Curvy is used here as a euphemism for fat.”

Got your attention? It got mine too.
Long before I posted my first post on Mind the Curves (Mind the Fat doesn’t have quite the same ring to it), I grappled with the thought of what I’d do if I suffered the wrath of the more critical Internet populous.

Until now, for the most part, I’ve received nothing but positive feedback, ranging from chummy ‘You go girl!’s to heartfelt messages about how I am an inspiration, which have almost brought me to tears.

And then today I spotted a string of comments on a post of mine that ran on Women24.

The comments ranged from concern for my health, to calling me lazy and fat.

And, just like that, with one little drop of acid, the entire glass is bitter.

I understand that by writing this blog and putting myself out there I am, in a sense, inviting this criticism. That doesn’t mean that I’m any better prepared or less affected when someone criticizes me. I’m such a fragile little hatchling on this body positivity journey myself.

But, it occurs to me, maybe in this situation lies a golden opportunity to confront those who are so ready to criticise another’s body and perpetuate the trend of body shaming.

I believe that there’s a lesson that we can all learn together here.

Confrontation, of any sort, is not my strong point. So I’d like your help to put together a list of how to respond when someone criticizes your body. Please drop me a line on the blog, via email or on social media to tell me, in your words, why is the body positivity movement important to you? How would you respond to someone who criticises your body?

Hopefully we can help prepare each other for this sort of criticism, and maybe open the eyes of a few people along the way.

Red lipstick kisses to you all,
The Girl in the Pearls

Sky blue love

When you have an *unconventional, or *troublesome figure (*I find all of these terms problematic), it’s very seldom that you put on a dress and think, ‘HOT DAMN that looks good on me!’. Yet, somehow, every outfit from designer Anna Geldenhuys’s brand Jacoba Clothing fit like it was made for me.

The sizes were easy and comfortable, the fabric both luxurious and flattering, and the cuts a variety of classic, sexy, stylish and fun.

And when something doesn’t fit like a glove, Anna is quick to say that she’ll alter it to fit you. Of course, the approach that you make clothes to fit your body, and not change your body to fit clothes, is one that resonates with me deeply.

Traditionally dealing in bridal party-wear, Jacoba Clothing is now expanding to all occasion-wear. You can see one of my favourite of her frocks below, with more to come in the next few weeks.


I did this shoot on Heritage Day. This picture just kind of… happened. 🙂



Dress: Jacoba Clothing
Earrings: at Kin
Nails: ‘Metallic Purple’ from Gosh at Edgars
Make-up: Qaanita Abrahams from Onq Makeup
Photographer: Alison Westwood

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