Jumping into Fall with Joe Fresh

Joe Fresh is a household name here in Canada. This brand, which started in Toronto in 2006, has been the go-to for wardrobe basics, lifestyle collections and affordable fashion for families cross the nation. I have pieces from the Joe Fresh straight-size line, which runs up to an XL, that I swear by which made me absolutely ecstatic when I heard they launched a plus size collection. Joe Fresh has made the very welcome decision to bring these same wardrobe building block essentials to plus size consumers, making the brand even more accessible. I put together 3 different looks with styles from the new collection to show you how I'm bringing Joe Fresh into my fall closet. 

Look 1 - Flirty Fall Vibes

Cold-Shoulder Dress | Just because the weather is getting cooler doesn't mean we have to abandon the fun, flirty looks we loved in summer. Bringing cold shoulders, bold prints and flirty dresses into your fall wardrobe will make sure vibrancy is added to your looks this season. I love the lightweight versatility of this dress and look forward to adding stockings and a turtleneck as the weather gets cooler. Paired with my new fav Michael Kors cross body bag and colourful sandals, this look makes me feel like it can be summer all year long.

Look 2 - The Casual Moto

Moto Jacket + Pintuck Print Sleeveless Blouse in Navy | A moto jacket is a must in every fall wardrobe. They are the perfect layering piece and add the finishing touch to even the most casual look. I paired this vibrant, lightweight moto with the pin tuck sleeveless blouse to create a casual look perfect for transitioning into fall. Sizing note - this line definitely fits big. I am a size 18/20 and decided to size up to a 3X so I would be able to wear this over a chunky knit sweater. I could have easily done so with a 2X and a 1X would have been the correct fit for this look - so I would size down for sure!

Look 3 - Cozy Work Wear

Open Short Sleeve Cardi in JF Jag Green & Print Wrap Dress in Jade | I am a huge proponent of being as cozy as possible for work. I work 12 hour shifts so even the cutest look can get very old very fast if it isn't comfortable. This show sleeve cardi is both warm and stylish, making it the perfect pairing for a wrap dress to add an air of professionalism. With a belt to create a cinched waste and scrappy kitten heels, this look is an awesome way to stay warm at work this season. 

This is a sponsored post; however, all thoughts and ideas are my own.

Rihanna Teases Fenty Beauty With New Visuals

Hold the presses, call your aunties and brew your tea because Rihanna has just dropped new visuals for her Fenty Beauty campaign dropping September 8th!

In less than 7 days, the world will be attending the #FentyBeautyTeaPoorty and I, for one, will be first in line. Without utilizing mainstream buzzwords such as diversity and inclusion, Fenty Beauty shook the Internet to its core by unveiling a video dripping with uniqueness and overall swag. With shade names like Chili Mango, Trophy Wife and Confetti, Rihanna fans and make-up lovers alike are left wondering what products to expect. 

Starring familiar faces like Duckie Thot, Halima Aden and Paloma Elsesser in what appears to be Fenty Beauty nude coloured ultra-glossy gloss, this video screams girl power. Ending off with a coy appearance by Rihanna herself, this sneak peak into her first foray into the world of beauty has us all asking “Kylie Jenner who?” 

FENTYBEAUTY.comstarts shipping globally on SEPT 8 at MIDNIGHT and you can pick up these products in-store at your local Sephora and Harvey Nichols when stores open Friday!

The Truth Is

I’m going to be real with you all right now – my outfit posts have been seriously lacking this season. I was chucking it up to the big move and getting settled into a new shiftwork role; however, after some soul searching, I no longer believe that that is the case. To me, summer is a season that brings up a lot of body image issues that I have been trying my best to overcome in the last little while. Summer is the season of skin, “sun’s out, guns out” pretty much summing up this mentality. I am not one to ever shy away from showing my skin, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that each crop top or body con dress I style doesn’t pull me completely outside of my comfort zone. There are parts of my body, especially my arms, which I still, to this day, feel uncomfortable showing. Every time I wear a short skirt or sleeveless blouse, I am inundated with memories of my peers ridiculing me, throwing out insults and psychologically bullying me into submission. The woman I am today, the woman that throws up both middle fingers to body shamers and intentionally gets into fights with online trolls, owes nothing to those depraved kids who made me feel uncomfortable in a body I did not choose but learned to love. I am mentally strong enough to take on critiques of my body but that doesn’t mean that I have overcome 100% of my own issues.

Summer is a season in which I am forced to face my insecurities but I refuse to hide them anymore. I used to think that being strong all the time was a brand I wanted to associate myself with but that wouldn’t be a fair representation of my mental state each day. This false advertising is a real life issue associated with bloggers, vloggers and anyone brave enough to share their journeys with the world.  We feel that we must put up this false, ever-happy façade in order to keep you, our readers and subscribers, interested for fear of loosing likes or exposure. Luckily for me, likes or the number of followers I have mean nothing to me. I consider myself lucky to have you all read my words and share my journey, but that doesn’t mean I will belittle my feelings, thoughts or inhibitions in order to keep you around. Pure honesty about my journey, including the dark, ugly, sad sides, is what I truly believe in and is my way of helping build up the next generation of Black, fat boys and girls that look like me and have been faced with the same awful treatment as me.

I’m only human. I am still plagued by the ugly names I was called growing up. I still look at the bodies society deem as “ok” and wish that my abs were flatter or my hips smaller or my boobs less saggy. There are days where my level of frustration at not feeling great in my skin brings me to tears, alone, on the floor of my closet. The only difference now is that I no longer let these feelings of insecurity define me. I let myself succumb to these feelings of anger towards my own body but then I dust myself off, throw on a bold lipstick and wear the one sundress that always makes me feel great. Loving your body is more than the convoluted fad that it has become lately – it is a lifelong journey to be taken day-by-day. It is not all sunshine, expertly posed pictures and great angles but it is a journey that I am so happy and willing to share with anyone that will listen.

Love & light always. 

Outfit details: LA Graphic Tee - Forever 21 Plus | L&L Destroyed Boyfriend Jean - Addition Elle 

Single Strap Block Heels (Wide Width) - Torrid

Body Diversity Day!

Happy #BodyDiversityDay lovelies! Huge thanks to one of my favourite brands Penningtons for bringing us all together today to celebrate our bodies and what makes us unique! Here are all the images from our YYC Body Diversity Day Shoot, shot by the ever talented Ayo B! I hope you all take the time today to appreciate your bodies and empower those around you to do the same!

Love & light xx

Checking My Privilege

My intention when starting to write this post was to share my skin glow secret (it is Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops which can enhance your foundation routine – I highly recommend getting yours here) but this weighed so heavy on my heart that I had to write about it. If you have any questions regarding the skin glow, please feel free to drop me a line and I will go into more detail for you!

I am always one to encourage those around me to check their privilege – to acknowledge the lenses through which they view the world and understanding how that can (consciously or subconsciously) skew their opinion on things. This past week, however, I had to take that advice myself. I have never been quiet about my growing disdain with the body positivity movement and what it has evolved into in recent years; however, I wholeheartedly get the need for this movement right now. Aside from there not being a counter, more productive movement yet, the body positivity movement is prevalent enough to allow a safe enough space for us who are othered based on our bodies. I have always been plus, thought of myself as outside of the ideal standards of beauty and have navigated most of my teenage and adult life with that in mind. 

Last week, though, my point of view was skewed a bit during an encounter while shopping. 

I was in the change room and required a smaller size of a skirt, so I politely asked for a size 1 (this is equivalent to an 1XL at this store). Another shopper who was in the change room next to mine yelled out a very dry and sarcastic “I wish I could wear a 1” to which a chorus of laughter followed in agreement. Look – I am not one to ever be shamed or take to heart any negative comments (comes with thick Nigerian skin) but the moment I received my new size, I ran back into the change room and locked the door behind me. I was rattled because I was body shamed for being too small, something that has never nce happened to me.

I brought this moment to a trusted friend and confidant in order to make some sense of it and he told me that I had to reevaluate my privilege; to understand that although I do not fit society’s unreal and unattainable standards of beauty by any means, I do not represent the other extreme. I can still pass through certain holes in these beauty standards, find clothing in most places now, my height, skin tone, accent all “acceptable” without fitting the ultimate mold. I had to search deep, setting aside my own feelings of inadequacy, thoughts and feelings surrounding me letting down my readers and rethink how I’m fighting for body love and equal representation in fashion.

I have to respect the fact that I am not hit the hardest in the media or walking through society day-to-day and my personal privilege needs to be acknowledged and acted upon when going out there and representing us. My body is constantly changing and I fluctuate in terms of size yearly; but my passion for ensuring women across the board are fairly represented in media and fashion and trying to build body love from within the walls of elementary school classrooms remains steadfast. I will keep fighting but will now check my own privilege and look to others who have a different point of view on this to help me through.