Birdsnet and the Body Image Movement

Birdsnest and the Body Image Movement Birdsnest and the Body Image Movement

When I was a whipper-snapper I was painfully thin – I could not gain weight for love-nor-money.

My Mumma was a cook by trade, so I was fed extremely well.

One of my favourite meals was homemade steak and kidney pie with chunky chips (deep-fried of course) covered in the gravy she made from the pie filling.


Mumma made the best short-crust pastry.

Luckily for me, I had the appetite of a horse and devoured everything she made.

I’m guessing from about the age of about 10 years old, I probably ate the biggest portions in our house – not even kidding.

My Mumma always said I had hollow legs.

Our family house in the UK had an old-fashioned pantry  – I loved sitting in there on my own (with my bottom refusing to budge from the cold stone step) eating all the food.

I simply LOVED being in there – it was my food den.

I remember one night I snuck in to steal a pickled onion from the jar…as soon as the (very large) pickled onion was in my mouth, I heard someone coming and promptly panicked by inhaling before I had the chance to bite into the onion – within seconds, fear of capture disappeared and I flew through the pantry door unable to breathe. My Dad swiftly responded with a quick whack on my back, and the onion catapulted across the lounge room floor 😉

I think my parents always knew I was in pantry, even though I believed they hadn’t got a clue.

No matter how much food I devoured though, I was still the tall boney girl at school with the big feet – yep, that was me. My nickname was lamp post.

I was loved, fit and healthy but I remember wishing I looked different. I wished for CURVES simply because I wanted to fit in, I hated being the abnormally tall and lanky one.

Guess what? My wish came true.

One day, when I was just doing life my hormones kicked in and my pear-shaped body started to form.

Looking back, 21-year-old me never truly appreciated how great my figure was – instead, like most, I continually picked fault with it.

In my twenties I quickly realised, the days where I could eat man-sized portions were well and truly over.

I became a Mumma to my beautiful girl at 29. Then within 18 months I was a gym-junky, until I injured myself and needed knee surgery.

The surgery was not successful.

From that point I started to struggle with how I saw myself. I tried desperately  to cling onto something a body image that was no longer achievable.

We all need to acknowledge and appreciate how precious are bodies truly are and how they change as we grow older – youth is not eternal, but that doesn’t mean to say we can’t embrace these changes with positive and accepting approach.

53-year-old me, is more than ok with who I am now.

I could not even tell you my weight – I just don’t know it.

Last time I weighed myself was about 10 months ago.

Without jumping on the scales though, I would guess I am the heaviest I have ever been (and that includes pregnancy people – NO JOKE).

But I’m ok with that.

I know how to dress my body to make it look the best it can.

Which is why when the Birdsnest team contacted me to talk about their collaboration with Tarym Brumfitt  from the Body Image Movement – I paid attention.

This movement is right up my street.

Birdsnest and the Body Image Movement


Bird Keepers Shoulder Splice Maxi Dress in Splash* $99.95 | Rare Rabbit Earrings* $22.95 | Rare Rabbits Square Nuggets Bracelet* $34.95 | Rare Rabbit Long Orbit Necklace* $39.95 All Birdsnest Heels: Trix $59.99 Spendless Shoes

Sizing: I’m wearing a Medium which fits well all over and POCKETS – this dress is super versatile and could take you easily from ‘beach to bar’ or would make a fabulous Christmas Day dress, comfortable and striking.

What I love the most about the Bird’s over at the Nest (see what I did there 😉 and yes there are some boys there too ) is they are taking a stand and using models of different sizes to show us their range.

  • No airbrushing/photoshopping of images.
  • All items can be viewed on models size: 8-10, 12-14, 16+ THIS ALONE IS INCREDIBLE
  • 100% of proceeds from their Embrace range goes directly to the Body Image Movement.

How is your Body Image?

  • Do you constantly worry about what other people think of you?
  • How often do you say, you are too fat, too thin, too short, too tall?

One of the sole reasons I started Iris May Style was because I believe you can still be stylish even as you are ageing and no matter what body shape you are.

You can also love the skin your are in.

Birdsnet and the Body Image Movement

My blog and the ethos behind IMS is simple. Women of any age, size or style personality deserve the right to look and feel fabulous, without fear of judgement or ridicule.
Unfortunately this is a hard nut to crack – but I intend to try in whatever small way I can.
Being part of this huge online community of women aged 35+ from all over the world, women that support and encourage each other on social media, simply melts my heart though.
I enjoy surrounding myself with people who believe they can influence and inspire others to achieve a positive outcome.
Be rest assured I am not being idealistic here, there will always be negative Nellies, that prefer to bring you down and not boost you up.
My advice is simple; distance yourself from these people. 
But the biggest impact of this community for me is the SUPPORT and CARE factor. The genuine kindness blows my mind.
Yes there are groups you can join, but for me personally scrolling through my Instagram or Facebook feed is enough to feel and show the love.
So if you have a friend or family member that has somehow lost their mojo and suffers from body loathing, try helping them by igniting a desire to embrace their body just the way it is TODAY – encourage them to anchor the negative thoughts.
Of course I’m not suggesting we all stop caring about fitness and eating healthily – in fact, if you embrace and love your body enough – you will make the right choices for your body – the two simply go hand in hand.
But to make the above happen we first have to acknowledge truthfully how we see ourselves and our bodies.
On a daily basis I’m open and honest about how I see myself – some days I focus on the negatives that I see in my body – this is ok as long as it’s just the odd day here an there. The same applies when I collaborate with brands I’m always up front and honest about the size I wear ( I can fluctuate between a S/10 – L/14 depending on what’s happening in my life, YES I am an emotional (happy/sad) eater.
Birdsnest and the Body Image Movement
Sizing: As you know I am a true size 12, I’m wearing a Small (the Birdsnest team suggested I size down in this dress as it can run big) – I would have preferred the Medium as it sits snuggly over my D cup bust, I also think the Medium would have given me a touch more length, which I prefer.
This dress comes in many colour options and is super easy to wear either with a small heel or with your favourite sneakers or slides.
If you struggle to put outfits together then jump online to Birdsnest and take a look. You can ‘shop the complete outfit’ or shop by item, but the very best bit is being able to see the item you love on different sized models.
Birdsnest are doing amazing things in my eyes.

We all need to encourage and inspire women to see themselves as fabulous, irrelevant of the size tag inside their clothes or the digital display on the bathroom scales – because let’s face it who cares?
If you look in the mirror and like what you see, that deserves a huge fist pump in my book!
This post features items sent to me for editorial consideration in accordance with my disclosure policy




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  • I love your blog and the ethos (and amazing woman) behind it, and I definitely think you are doing amazing work towards showing women how to empowered and fabulous no matter their age or shape. I know many of my friends look up to you for style advice and ideas, and they’re in their 20s & 30s! Keep doing what you’re doing xx

  • Deb Brady

    Thank you Bev? I know you know how important this is to me – our worth as a human being cannot possibly be measured by a number – any number , whether that’s our OP score, our bank balance or the number on the scales/dress size. We come in different shapes/sizes & we all can & SHOULD feel comfortable & confident in what we wear & our daily life. ??

  • merilyn

    a great post bev! … you always look lovely!
    birds nest is great!
    as a child I was never skinny! … medium size!
    I thought I looked fat for a while, then I became slim in my twenties and have been mainly like that!
    I always work with my body type … short waist! always looking to elongate!
    I feel ok about my body! as long as it’s working ok i’m a happy chappy!
    much love m:)X

  • Karina Kayes

    This is a great post. Thank you for writing it. I have always hated how I look. I’m fairly tall at 5’8″, I have a big bust, broad shoulders and a broad back. I’m almost 49, and still look in the mirror with disgust. Every day. I look at photos of myself when I was younger, and I actually looked OK. Now, with the onset of menopause and huge stress, I’m the heaviest I have ever been, I’m 8kgs over my ideal weight. And I HATE it. I feel like a friggin giant. I got told at the age of 18 that I looked like a potato on toothpicks (I have very skinny legs and no butt), and that comment has never left me. I have also been told by a nutritionist that she had never met a woman with such a broad back – she commented I look like a man from behind. WTF. She was supposed to help me, not make heartless comments like that. I hope one day to be comfortable in my own skin.

  • Sunny Side

    Carrying extra pounds around in middle age isn’t healthy, my doctor told me, so I lost some weight. My “numbers” (blood pressure, cholesterol) went down, not just those on the scale. I see my body as the place where I will live until I die, so I want to be good to it.

    • So glad that you are in a good place with your body now, because when we value ourselves we tend to do the right thing anyway. Everything in moderation is the way forward.
      Such a wonderful way to see your body too, as the place where you live xxx

  • A great post Bev, and a great effort from Birdsnest. I love seeing companies show us their garments on women of all shapes and sizes, it helps us visualise what works for our own body shape. Love the instagram community, everyone is so supportive and encouraging of each other. Keep it up xx

    • Birdsnest have really impressed me. I love that they are making changes and not just using words.
      I also think we have a responsibility as parents to promote positive body image to our children. I remember my Mumma not being happy with her shape (I have her thighs and Beckie has mine), which in turn made me question how I looked when I was younger. I tell Beckie how gorgeous she is all of the time, but I’m still going to have the ‘love your body’ conversation with her too. xxx

  • Suzie

    Fantastic post Bev! You’re truly an inspiration and totally gorgeous. Away with negative talk about our shapes. We are bloody wonderful as we are. Love you!!

    • Suzie thank YOU so so much – you’ve just made my day. So glad you enjoyed reading the post.
      Yes I couldn’t agree more negative talk is so yesterday, positive thoughts and self love all the way. We are all bloody wonderful – you are right!
      Mwah and big love right back at ya xxx

  • Jacqueline Mitrovits

    Thank you for your wonderful & thought provoking post. I too look back to my 20s (I’m 49 on 29/12- ouch!) and realised how thin I was but still I wasn’t happy. Then in my early 30s (after kids) when I thought I was big when I actually wasn’t !!! To me lesson is be happy with yourself so long as you’re healthy!! Take time to exercise & eat well but don’t let it consume you – life is too short! Also I have the Shoulder Splice maxi in blue (guess what size 10!! who knew !!) liked it so much I’ve bought in black .. early bday present to me!!!

    • It’s a pleasure Jacqueline. It was also time to remind myself what is important and how amazing this body of mine is too! Like you, I can look back to times when I thought I was overweight, if anything I was the complete opposite – total waste of time! We all need to love and appreciate who we are right now.
      On a lighter note, now fabulous is the dress – so glad you have the black too, its so super stylish xxx

  • Lisa Mckenzie

    Great post Bev ,when I was young I was what I thought was chubby but looking back wasn’t being short you have to be mindful but that doesn’t mean no treats I eat chocolate daily and a nice cake now and then,the only reason I have to watch my weight is beacause of my knee,having had 4 major operations on it and a total knee replacement with extra bits! I used to hate my leg but now I’ve come to terms with what I can and can’t do and I’m happy with the skin I’m in and that’s a lovely point to be at!
    Bev you always look amazing and I’m glad you’re happy with yourself,I haven’t seen Embrace yet but will soon,every young girl should learn to love their body for what it can do Xx

    • You’ve hit the nail on the head there Lisa – we need to encourage EVERY single young girl to love themselves just as they are. When we love ourselves we naturally do the right thing for our body, we learn to make the right choices, we find balance. The body image movement is about loving the skin we are in by accepting our body today, we can’t wait to make peace with our bodies instead we need to do it now. In return we will all realise just how amazing we are!
      So glad you have come to terms with your knee as well, it’s part of you Lisa and I think you are totally gorgeous xxx

  • Such a great post Bev! I totally agree that we all need to love the body we’re in today! Yay for BirdsNest for using models of different sizes and supporting the Body Image Movement! I’m now off to check out their Embrace range!


    • Thanks so much Ingrid! I love what Birdsnest are doing in the fashion industry, other brands seem to be following suit which is amazing. The Embrace clothing initiative just melts my heart xx