Well peeps, what can I say…. I had an AMAZING weekend!!
I headed to Birmingham to Style XL, the plus size event which was organised by the ever talented Leah XL. My good friend of 24yrs+, Louise, came with me and it was her first plus size event, but I am sure this will not be her last. As usual I spent more time catching up with my fellow plus size blogger babes, and shopping of course, that I took very few photos of the daytime events, but to me these events are so much more, and it’s all about these guys…
I am sure you follow many of these lovelies, so hopefully you have managed to see other pics of the day as they were far better than me when it came to the photo stakes!
I didn’t manage to get to this event last year, but I am so glad I did this year as Leah did an amazing job, she really puts her heart and soul into anything she does, and this was no exception! Unfortunately she won’t be putting it on next year, she is doing something far more exciting like getting married, but she has turned Style XL into a community website and blog, so make sure you drop by and keep tuned!
The event carried on into the evening, and this also included Model XL, a beauty pageant with a difference, and you may remember yours truly had managed to bag herself a place in the final…. For two days leading up to Saturday I felt completely sick with nerves, I am not sure I can actually remember the last time I’ve felt this anxious about anything. I’m sure to have lost some weight during this time, of which I must remember to put right now I’m feeling better…. Cake…. But I really shouldn’t have worried myself so much.
Leah put us all at ease, and my fellow contestants were all amazing, and we all supported each other. I have managed to get a few more pics of the evening by way of “borrowing” mainly from the lovely Lolly and others (credits have been applied where applicable)!
The pageant consisted of 3 rounds, the first being the ECO round where we needed to put an outfit together by recycling something, it could just be an old dress, but it also needed to try and show something about you….
This dress is made out of bags donated by Taking Shape UK, and with the help of a friend, underskirt is a tulle skirt I already had. You can also see I am wearing a pillbox hat, made my official sponsor, Off With Her Head Millinery, by Lisa Jones, also using one of the bags….. Well, I am a shopaholic after all!!!!
Next up Leah gave us all the same T-shirt and we had to style it how we wanted, we then stood up and gave a speech about body positivity…. nerve racking or what?!?!?!
And finally it was the Feel Good round, where you just had to wear something you felt good in, could be a posh frock, jeans or even your undies!
I never expected to win anything, the whole experience for me was so much more than that, so I was absolutely speechless (yes, a first I know) when I firstly won the Model XL Charity award for raising the most money for Mind, but also to win the Model XL Personality award for the best body positive speech…. I was so pleased, and I would never have done this if I hadn’t found the plus size blogging community! Here I am with my awards and wearing my Feel Good Outfit for the final round.
Doing this has boosted my confidence even more, and although two days prior to the event I vowed I would never do anything like this again, I have only gone and signed up for it again next year, of which you can too, just drop Leah an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Here I am with all my fellow winners and some of the judges – these people are all amazing role models and truly inspirational:
The event also continued on the Sunday, with workshops and more hanging out with awesome babes, so again, I was a bit pants with the piccys….. sorry 🙁
Before I go, I want to say some thank yous….
Thank you to Leah for putting together the whole event.
Thank you to my Official sponsor, Lisa from OWHH Millinery, who without I wouldn’t have been able to enter.
Thank you to Taking Shape for donating their bags.
Thank you to my friend Jennie-Ann for helping me with the ECO dress.
And finally, but by no means least, thank you to the amazing Plus Size Community, who if I had not found I would never have done any of this!
I love you all.