Fashion + Beauty + Body Confidence

MAG gets an unadulterated insight into the becoming power of body image, health, fashion and fitness. And how these facets, when channeled together, empower a woman to the brim.

How to achieve fashion, beauty and body confidence

Most women believe, 'I'm not good enough because I'm not a certain size", which is a conception we need to bust. One way to attain a positive body image and self confidence is to stop ignoring your body. Observe it and its flaws, in a manner that shouldn’t be self-degrading. Most overweight women confess that they avoid looking at themselves in the mirror which is signaled out as ditching the reality. Try indulging in activities that you would normally avoid: go to the beach, do yoga, go shopping, go belly dancing! The more you get in contact with and accept your body the way it is, the more you are likely to develop better body image. Another bane which trumps the development of body confidence is comparing yourself to others. Once it becomes a habit, it gets

challenging to stop negatively comparing yourself to others, but it’s time to finally put your foot down. Make a note of the conversation you have in your mind when you make the comparison. Is it fair? Is it realistic? What effect does it have on how you feel about yourself? What can you say that may be more helpful? It is imperative to examine your assumptions about yourself; women often interpret normal, everyday things as evidence of their “being fat”. For instance, many women believe if their thighs or stomachs wobble, this means they are fat. In actual fact, wobbliness is a normal physiological characteristic. It is time to stop treating assumptions as evidences of being fat, and get your facts correct.

Having a negative body image is much like having critic in your head; a harsh, derogatory narrative which conjures nasty comments. You may have caught yourself thinking, "I look fat in this outfit" or "I can't believe how fat I am". This critic makes you feel awful because you believe it. The only way to kill the negative body image is to kill the critic, and practice self-acceptance.

Remember, your body reflects what your mind thinks and what you think, seeps into your beauty. Attaining body confidence is imperative for mental well-being. It acts as a shield which guards you from antagonist elements beyond your personal sphere. Like the wise and the sage would tell you, beauty is not skin deep, beauty is the laughter in one eyes; it is the confidence that emanates.

Feeling beautiful and sense of self

How far does fashion go in making you look like a living embodiment of grace and beauty? A good fashion sense is often inborn, but it is also something you absorb, learn and inculcate from your surroundings. Beauty, positive body image and unflagging confidence are prerequisites and stepping stones to your personality, but it’s further enhanced by an impeccable sense of fashion. When we say ‘fashion’, it doesn’t always have to be a cover of a glossy magazine with a model clad in high-end attire, nor does it necessarily insists on being the glitz and glamour from the runway. The burgeoning fashion industry has thoroughly degenerated our interpretation of the word. Fashion isn’t uncomfortable stilettos, it is not a promiscuous blouse, it is not about fitting into a size-zero bodice, and it is certainly not a dress that costs half your paycheck. Fashion is channeling your inner self, understanding your style inclination and fabricating it into apparel and carrying it with confidence. When it comes to having great style, knowing what types of colours, silhouettes and pieces you love and how they all fit together, is only part of the equation. The other part is having the confidence to actually wear such attires.

There's no denying, we no longer need a flashy outfit to relay confidence, but anyone with a love for fashion will tell you it can help boost the spirit, talent and skills within. Of course, there's no one-size-fits-all formula when it comes to finding your perfect power outfit, so dress your best right now! Whether it’s losing weight, graduating or something else: Your life is not on hold just because you haven't achieved all of your goals yet! Never wait until some arbitrary point in the future to embrace your style, and dress exactly how you want to. Don’t allow body hang-ups to keep you from embracing your personal style because regardless of whether they are valid (probably not), they are beside the point. Being beautiful is not a pre-requisite to having great style, plus dressing in tune with your own personal style will improve your overall confidence and thereby, also how you feel about your appearance. If something is your style, you should wear it regardless of whether it supposedly flatters your body shape, makes you look two pounds thinner or draws attention away from your flaws. Because it’s not your job to look as close as possible to what’s considered ideal. It is fine to get inspired by others. But women are already way too often encouraged to emulate other "prettier, more successful" women rather than think for themselves and make their own decisions about what to wear and what to look like. Enjoy the clothing, enjoy the flow of creativity it will bring, and enjoy the looks you receive. You might spark conversations with people more often. And to be frank, once people get used to seeing you, they learn to expect you to dress well forever and be cautious before approaching you. And best of all – they remember you for your style. It’s likely that you have already internalised many of your self-imposed fashion-rules (like “don’t wear skinny jeans”) and automatically ignored certain things while looking for style inspiration. To get a more accurate picture of your personal style, imagine your fairy godmother gave you total confidence. That would be a dream come true right? Next time you need to choose a new outfit, remember to decide with confidence. Do not worry what anyone else might think of you. Dress selfishly. Dress knowing what you wear has a direct impact on how you carry yourself and your self-confidence. Don’t let the small opinions of those around you dictate how you should look and what’s deemed appropriate. Fashion is more than just a designer handbag. It is a movement that empowers the everyday person! 

In a one-to-one with MAG, Hira Mani, the TV's it girl gets real about fitness, health and her idea of beauty.

What comes to your mind when you hear the word beauty?

Beauty is simplicity.

Were you always health conscious and into fitness, or is it something that you picked later on?

I’ve always been health and fitness conscious. In school’ I used to take part in sports and extracurricular activities. It is important to realise that your body structure changes with time, especially after you have babies. As a child, I grew up seeing my mother doing yoga and maintaining a balanced diet. I’ve picked up most lessons from my mother. One should always put their health first; if you plan on going a long way, you’d need your body to catch up. They talk about this so extensively in morning shows and it’s for the better; women should be educated about their health. I even talk to my maids about how they should keep themselves fit. In my opinion, just by working on your fitness you can counter issues like depression and radiate positivity of your own.

What is an average day for Hira Mani like?

I start my mornings with yoga and a healthy breakfast. I have a bowl full of cornflakes seasoned with nuts, fruits and yogurt. This is a habit I picked from Aijazz Aslam. I make sure I also eat a spoonful of desi ghee. An apple a day is must, too.

What’s your opinion of women who favour cosmetic surgery, Botox and more, to appear more youthful?

I am not against women who resort to cosmetic surgery, but I really never have been a fan of fillers, injections or Botox. I am positive I’d never go that way. I believe, if you eat healthy, you won’t be needing such measures. In my opinion, 90% of your fitness rests on your diet intake and 10% is exercise.

Hair & make-up: Usman @ Angie Mashall
Designer: Rahila Fashion
Photography: Zeeshan Ahmed
Coordination & styling: Thomas Fernandes
Model: Hira Mani