March 04, 2022

The Beauty of Body Image

The Beauty of Body Image

Today is International Women’s Day, so Nichelle and I are talking about body image. This is something that everyone deals with no matter what size you are, and I encourage you to think about yourself in a positive way. Women’s bodies are absolutely incredible, so give yourself grace in every aspect when you look in the mirror. 

In this episode you’ll hear:

• The four aspects of body image

• About how your thoughts of your body image are portrayed to others

• Encouragement to try something new 

• Why I share sizing on Loverly Grey

• What you can do each day to create a positive body image 

Grab your iced coffee and let’s continue the chat over on Instagram @lifewithloverly


This podcast was transcribed using Descript. Please forgive any typos or errors.

Brittany: Hi friends. Welcome to Life with Loverly. I'm your host, Brittany Sjogren. I'm excited to share my heart with you beyond the 15 seconds we get on Instagram, grab an iced coffee and let's do life together.

Hi friends. How are you? Welcome back to Life with Loverly. Today is international women's day. 

Nichelle: Yay!

Brittany: Yeah, Nichelle is on the podcast with me today. We thought it would be a great time to discuss body image as we're celebrating this month of women. Women are just amazing. And our bodies are amazing and coming from two different sized people, you know, Nichelle and I are not the same size and that is absolutely fine.

We thought it would be great to have just a discussion around the topic. I see messages and comments and questions all the time around size, and I never want to harp on site. One thing when I started Loverly Grey, I just wanted to encourage women to feel good in the clothes that they're wearing and give style options and put outfits together that people can try to hopefully gain a confidence.

I never wanted it to be you need to be a size this to fit into this because that's for sure not the case. Over the last year that Nichelle's been working with me, we've had the opportunity to share like the same piece styled on our different body types. And it's been so fun. I think that's really encouraged some people to try different outfits so they can see.

So we just wanted to dive in to encourage you and just open up your mindset to, if you are thinking one way about body image, maybe this episode will give you a new thought around your body and being a woman and just being beautiful. 

Nichelle: Exactly. One of the things that whenever I started with you. People started requesting, oh, I want to see that on Nichelle. And I was like, oh, that's not what I came here for. 

Brittany: We treaded lightly because that is not a reason that I brought you on.

Nichelle: It was to be behind the scenes. 

Brittany: Exactly. And then it was like, okay, maybe this could be helpful, and I think you also started to see. Okay. Wow. As you were naturally wearing outfits that I had shared, yeah. It was like, oh my gosh this looks so good on you. Let's show the people.

Nichelle: Because that's a lot of the feedback that is given, whenever you go on and you show something. There's so many people that go, oh that wouldn't look good on me, and I think that was what encouraged me, honestly, to just go, if this is going to help other people see that they don't have to hold their body hostage because they think they can't wear the certain thing because they're a certain size. I'm like girls I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum. And I am going to try this for them and show them that we all are going to be able to wear this. That was one thing that I know that encouraged me to get in front of the camera a few times. No guys, this is not a normal thing. This is not what I'm here for, but if it's to help everyone see that you don't have to be restricted in what you can purchase and feel good. 

Brittany: I feel like some of the times you've shared maybe a dress or we've done a side by side and maybe we can't share every single piece together, but people can go back to some of those older posts and be like, okay, I really like this dress, Nichelle did try it on or encouraging you to find influencers or wherever you get style inspiration from, finding other influencers that are your body shape and getting inspiration, because there are truly somebody for every single size and body fit out there sharing and doing this, which is something I love about this industry is I think it's really encouraged people to show their true size and true self on the internet. So there's definitely other influencers out there you might look like, so I would just encourage you to search for those. If you relate to them, they could definitely give you style inspiration. If you are somebody who is very visual and is wanting to see like a specific outfit on the same body type.

Nichelle: Okay. Absolutely. It's so crazy to think about body type and when the thoughts behind it start. I have a ten and sixteen-year-old and it's something that we've been talking about in our house for a long time. It starts at a very young age and with social media being so prevalent, it's so big.

That's where everybody goes now, younger and younger as time passes. It's talked about so much more in what is right what's wrong, what's perfect, what's not. It starts honestly, when you are younger, the mindset behind it, if you don't have somebody there saying, you're beautiful, the way that you are, be happy with the body that you're in.

It's going to do so much for you. It's unbelievable. I have a ten-year-old that has her brain wrapped around somebody called her fat.

Brittany: 10 years old. That's not even middle school yet, but one of her friends at school or not friend obviously said to her, and now that's been something Nichelle and I will talk about during the day is just what's going on at home? How is she feeling? And it's crazy, but who knows what that person's parents are telling to that girl? 

Absolutely. So it does start, I think as a mom, the way that we look at ourselves and talk about ourselves in front of our kids is also so important because then they're seeing that and then they're thinking, oh that's what I need to be thinking too.

Or I'm this way. And I wish I wasn't this way. And it's hard.

Nichelle: It makes you so aware of. It's made me so aware in this situation, how I talk to myself. I've not always had a healthy relationship with my mindset or my body. I think it's so natural as a human. But more, a woman to look at yourself in the mirror and say, I wish I could change this and this.

Brittany: Women's bodies change so often. Think about you have a baby and then your body is different. You go from expanding as you're growing a human and then you have the baby and then society is telling you, you need to like bounce back. Yeah. I think if there is a one term that I absolutely hate around pregnancy, it's bounced back.

What did you do to bounce back? And I'm like, I have not bounced back. It's not like a quick oh, baby's out time to bounce back. But our bodies changed from after pregnancy. Then postpartum hormones changes all that growth that happens in it's just so crazy. So I think at the end of the day, giving grace.

It's so important to yourself to change your mindset and realize it is okay to be where you are. If you want to make a change, make that for you, but don't let any outside factor s factor into that decision for yourself. 

Nichelle: Absolutely. You said the word grace. Two years ago that was my word because of the whole body image issues that I was hearing in my own house, starting with my oldest.

And then they're on two totally opposite sides of the spectrum. I have one that doesn't want to eat because she wants to lose weight. We're having to explain that being healthy is what's important. Not eating, that's not healthy. And then I have another one who gets poked at for being too skinny.

 It hurts her. It bothers her. 

Brittany: It's crazy because I think body shaming happens on both sides of the spectrum. Absolutely. You're like, it's almost damned if you're skinny, damned if you're not. It's crazy. Some of the comments, even that I've received and yes, I am smaller.

Yup. I think so much plays into that. Genetics is a huge factor. We were just talking before we started recording about just looking at our two parents and it's okay, your parents are probably a foot taller than mine. Where are they from? Oh, different area. 

Nichelle: Yes. My family they're built like linebackers. Okay. I didn't stand a chance. There's nothing wrong. There's so much history that is involved in who you are. It's a lot of genetics so much, and it can be hurtful for you to hear, oh, wow. You are, your family is so big or wow. How are you so tiny. Both can be so hurtful and triggering. 

Brittany: I think influencers sometimes catch the brunt of these type of comments, because while we are sharing outfits in our life and people feel like they want to have this connection, they sometimes feel like they can say things, but they have no idea what we're dealing with on the inside.

I remember after I had Hazel, I was so much more emotional postpartum was going through my head and a stranger's comment to me about something I was insecure about that they didn't even know would set me off. And then I couldn't show up the next day, and so I guess I say it like that to say you don't know what the other person is dealing with when some of these comments happening, same thing with like your daughter going through this.

The other ten-year-old probably was just trying to poke fun at her, but now that's turned into a bigger issue in your house, and that is unfortunately incredibly common. 

Nichelle: Yeah. Piggybacking off of fertility and things like that. Personally. That's what I struggled with for many years, miscarriage. Some of the second trimester, gaining weight, losing weight, gaining weight, losing weight, hormonal imbalances. So much of that happening over the years. And me being so hard on myself. When you have body image issues, whether it be your larger, smaller, you are in the middle, no matter what it is, they can lead to destructive behavior and it can be triggered by a single comment one moment in time. That can be your trauma. That's something that I know personally I had to come to terms with was my body has been through so much and I should be so proud that I'm actually still standing here and able to tell the story mentally capable of telling the story without breaking.

So have a little grace for yourself. 

Brittany: It really is changing your mindset and working on yourself, but you have to be in a place to accept it. We've got a great guest coming on the podcast next week, and she's going to be talking all about mindset work and just some struggles and things.

It's going to be so good. So definitely listen to next week's episode as well cause I think some of these issues that you, as a listener might be battling, our guest next week is going to give you some tips on how to overcome some of those things and start to shift your mindset around body image.

So in this episode, we just wanted to really encourage you guys. There's four different aspects of the body. The first one is how you see yourself. So that's going back into the mindset, that's where it starts, how you view yourself, and then that's going to relate to how you see other people.

Nichelle: The next one is the way that you feel about the way you look that internal feeling when you look in the mirror and you see yourself and you can feel good about yourself, because again you're telling yourself these things, I've done this, my body strong and so on and so forth.

Brittany: The next is the thoughts and beliefs you feel about your body. So making up your mind to think a certain way about your body. While these are true of the different aspects of body image, let's not forget about all the things that are coming at our brains and what society is telling us and what you're scrolling on Instagram and seeing. It's hard to almost get the confidence to get these, some of these aspects down.

Nichelle: Oh yeah. 

Brittany: And I think one thing. If you need to unfollow somebody on Instagram, because every time you scroll past their picture, you are immediately put into a negative place. Then that's what you need to do for your mental health, and that doesn't mean you don't like the person as a person. It doesn't mean you don't like what they're doing, but maybe until you get in a better place for yourself, it's just a good idea to remove that.

 Mental health is so important and I know body image can really apply to issues that people have with their mental health.

Nichelle: The things that you do in relation to the way that you behave can turn into an unhealthy mindset. So it's all of those behaviors every single thing you do in a day that can lead up to a negative response or a positive response. So if you know the lounging on the couch every single night after you get home from work and turning on Netflix and eating dinner and not doing anything, that's not good for you. And that's, what's putting you in that space, rewire yourself lane. And I actually decided to do 40 minutes every day for 40 days, just because we realized that.

We have the time to do that every single day, and it just puts us in a better mental place where we're like, okay, we're doing something positive now. And we feel good about that now. But again, if you're struggling with body image, it is going to be a process. It's not something that does happen overnight, but if you choose to make that change and you choose to want to have a positive outlook on your body or everyone else's because it comes from the other angle.

It's how you are looking at everybody else. Not just how you're looking at yourself. If you're looking at everybody else and then you're feeling the way you are, you're projecting that on others too. And that's just the way, that's just how it is, right? So you've got to change the way that you look at body image outwards in order to change the way you're looking at it inwards.

So one of the things that is a huge reality in this space is comments, DMS. Spring has sprung. It is getting warmer and this swimsuits are coming out, enter comments. 

Brittany: And it's funny because I think every year around this time, I have to mentally prep myself. Every year I'm like, I'm not going to share bathing suits or anything this year. It's because I don't want people to comment on what are you eating? How do you say so skinny? 

Nichelle: Tell me your exact workout. 

Brittany: Yeah. And it hits from all angles.

Nichelle: I do feel 98% sure that most of it comes from a really good place. They just started help me, what do I do? But again, it's that outward look, if you're looking at somebody and going, oh my gosh, why can't I look like that? And that's a negative thought immediately. So if that's a negative thought coming at you. You're gonna that negatively. 

Brittany: If I'm not in a place to be able to absorb that, then it definitely stings. It's interesting too, because while I have no problem, answering those questions or giving people my workout routine or telling people what I do, it's not a one solution for everybody the same, what I'm doing for what other people are doing. I think that's another issue with society today. It's okay, where's my like five step program to get to look exactly like that. Or I want to do this, how do I do it? But we want it to be like served on a platter and like easy to do. And that's just. The case because of just different body types.

Nichelle: That would be like me asking you, okay, what exactly do you eat in the day? And I'm going to mimic that. Okay. What do you do to your workout? And then me expecting a result that is physically impossible, so that is definitely going to bring me to something else, but I know we definitely wanted to cover during this episode when somebody does comment something like, oh, you're an extra small and zero. I wish I was too. I'd post it all over the internet as well. I think that there just needs to maybe be a little clarity about why sizes are shared in this fashion industry. 

Brittany: Because I would consider myself, Loverly Grey is a shopping platform where you can, my main goal is to provide outfits, give you style inspiration, share links so that you can easily make a purchase. With that, I want you to make the best purchase possible, and I don't want you to have to return this item because that's going to be annoying for you to have to go through the return process. So when I first started out, I was like, what is unique? So that people who are making a purchase, can they expect to get from me here so that when they do order the piece, it comes in based off my sizing recommendations, it's going to be the perfect fit for them. They don't have to worry about a return. They have an outfit they love and they can get dressed and go about their day. So that's when I decided to start sharing my size, and in relation to help you find the best fit for your body.

So at one point I was saying, this is true to size. Go with your true size. Then I would get tons of messages being like, okay what is your true size? Because I look like you, or people started to be like, okay your true size is small, and my true size is a large. Whenever you say size down, then I know I'm going to order the medium for this cause it's going to be a little bit. I get people all the time that, thank me for doing that. And give me an example of oh, I changed the size based because you said size down and that was super helpful and it fit. That was great, but I'll never forget when I first started doing this back. This was probably in 2016 and into 2017 is when video and stories were really becoming a thing. I was sharing my try ons and saying I'm wearing an extra small on this.

 It's true to size, here's the material, here's the cut, and I remember this day I got several messages and it was from a mom being like, I just can't believe that you're sharing your size, you're what's wrong with the teenagers now, because now they think they have to be a size extra small to wear this dress.

 They're completely missing the point of why I'm sharing it, is to help other people determine what is their best size. Because FYI, I don't want to share my size on the internet. That's not something I wake up being like, can't wait to tell everyone I'm an extra small today. That's something that prior to doing this was not really something that we discussed

I'm hoping it will help. I The same reason that if you go to a brand's website, it gives the model stats. So you can relate to that and okay, perfect. She's 130 pounds. I'm 1 25. I'm going to grab the same size and it should fit. 

Nichelle: Same thing with the height you think about, you're looking for that connection to say okay, I'm usually between a long and a regular. Let me see how tall the model is. Okay. She's five, nine. Okay. Definitely going to be too long on me. It's the same thought process that goes behind that to be helpful at the end of the day, it's not meant to be hurtful to that person. Their headspace is honestly the one that's not in the right place because they should be teaching their children, values and the things that they need to think about themselves and not worry about what other people are putting out there. 

Brittany: It's also crazy cause sometimes I feel like the meanest comments come from people whose Instagram bio says mom of three. And I'm like, I feel so bad for your kids. If you're treating a stranger like this that's a whole different topic for another day. It's just, it's crazy. I think another thing too, is people while this is a shopping platform and I'm here to give style advice I also feel like I've made a really great connection with a lot of my followers.

So it does feel like a friendship. So then I think some people feel comfortable enough to come to me and say certain things that maybe you wouldn't say to a stranger, but because watching or consuming what's going on in my life, people feel like they really know me and it's because they do.

But then when they send a mean comment, my ,way I don't know you the same way. 

Nichelle: Exactly. 

Brittany: So that's another thing that it's a very like fine line to be relatable. I want to create this space where all feel welcome. My main goal is sharing outfit, inspiration, and style, and that's what I've just always loved to do.

And I've loved bonding with people in the meantime, there's such a fine line, which is fine, and I welcome conversation. I have conversation with people all the time who maybe have a question about something and then we discuss it and then they see, oh, that's why she does that, makes sense?

I miss the stories where she talked about that before. I think this kind of also goes into not necessarily worrying about the sizing and doing what feels best on your body. 

Nichelle: Oh yes. 

Brittany: So many times I wish. We can just cut out tags, so people wouldn't even see cause the number or letter on that size really doesn't matter. As long as you feel good. What it is that you have on? Absolutely. 

Nichelle: It was like the Amazon blazer the other day. I'm like, I'm buying this blazer. And I really don't know what the sizing looks like, and the things said like extra large to extra large would be your fit, and I was like I'm just going to go up because I'd rather it be a little too big than too small.

And normally Brittany, I would have never bought it if I had to buy a size up, but I'm like I want that white blazer. I'm going to get the dang white blazer, and I was so happy with it. 

Brittany: This happened to me a few years ago, I was buying like a bathing suit on Amazon, and instead of it being like small, medium, large, it was like small was a size four.

Medium was an eight to 10, and large was like 12 to 14 or something. So a little bit off of what you would think a normal medium or a large would be and what fit my body best was the medium. Typically in swimsuits, especially when I was nursing and my boobs were bigger, I always wear a medium, sometimes a large depending on the swimsuit, but, so I got the medium and there were a few comments that came in being like, oh, I can't like no way are you eight, 10. And I was like, I'm showing you, this is just what fits my body the best. And don't even worry about the number, because you're the only one that's going to see it. You're not going to the pool. And everybody's looking around and saying, oh, that's a size 10. Ooh. There's no little number above your head.

 That's only in your head but buy what makes you feel best? Don't try to squeeze into jeans that don't fit. If they're not comfortable.

Nichelle: You'll be miserable. 

Brittany: And then you lose that confidence and you lose that air of loving the outfit because. Now it doesn't fit the right way. I got a few messages after that and people were just like, thank you so much for saying it that way. I went ahead and ordered based off your recommendation and while the number is different than what I'd normally would, this suit fits great. It looks awesome on me and I'm going to rock it the summer and be the best version of myself at the beach with my kids, because it doesn't matter.

 That's what I love like too, is encouraging people to have that different mindset and to think differently around clothes. Then for them to come back and be like, you encourage me to do this. And it worked and you're right. The size doesn't matter. That's. I just want to send a virtual hug. My work here is done.

Nichelle: I know so many people hate clothes shopping. That's not the way it should be. It should be so fun and experimental. One of the things that remember Kalen when she was on, she had said whenever people come in they always want to point out what's wrong and she said I immediately stop them and tell me the three things that you love about yourself. Yes ma'am.

Do that with yourself in the mirror every single morning. What do you love about yourself? Tell yourself three things. Say it out loud. So you will believe it.

Brittany: It gives you like a confidence. I remember sitting in Kalen's chair before she was going to do my Botox or maybe it was my lip filler for the first time, and she was like, okay, before we do any of this, What are you loving about your face? She genuinely was like, tell me what you love. I see what I like on your face, but and then that allows you to be like I really like my eyes. I really like my skin right now, and then you get this confidence. I feel really good. I don't know. I just, I hope that people leave this episode feeling encouraged and it is hard. We're not turning down the fact that society is still going to be there telling you, you need to be this size, or if you aren't this size, you're not enough.

 That's absolutely not the case. It takes a little bit of a shift personally and in your mind to control those feelings. 

Nichelle: It's hard, but we can do hard things. 

Brittany: We, women can do hard things. And this month of March, we're going to be talking to some amazing women. We've got some awesome other podcasts planned.

So thank you so much for being here and we can't wait to talk to you next week on Life with Loverly. Thanks for listening to today's episode. I can't wait to continue these conversations with you over on Instagram at Life with Loverly. Until next time.

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