Read Surveys (By Author)
1. When do you feel at your most attractive?
When I have anything high waisted on from my wardrobe, or when I have no make up on, my hair scraped back and I'm lazing around in my 4 day-old PJ's and my boyfriend looks at me like I'm a goddess.
2. Do you notice women on the street? If so, what sort of women do you tend to notice or admire?
Anyone who can stand out in a black outfit on a rainy day, or wearing something I wish I suited. Also - women who can walk properly in heels on an uneven road.
3. What are some things you admire about how other women present themselves?
Women who walk with their head high and their hair back, again, especially while wearing heels.
4. Was there a moment in your life when something “clicked” for you about fashion or dressing or make-up or hair? What? Why did it happen then, do you think?
As a teenager, I went through a goth-phase. My father wasn't that happy about it and once I'd passed that stage and began to wear colour again, I attended my cousin's wedding where I choose a bright orange, floral evening dress and gold heels. Still stuck in his 'she's a teenager, she knows nothing' days, he told me that it wasn't an appropriate dress and that I had to buy something more demure. I did as he said and looked great - but during the reception, I changed into the dress I'd wanted to wear initially. I had an abundance of compliments from family and friends and at least three of my family members 'told my dad off' for not letting me wear it in the first place. This was the night I decided that what I say goes, and it's been that way (successfully) ever since. Side note: My father is a wonderful man, who just got a bit confused by the quick transition from extreme goth to bright florals. Men.
5. What are some shopping rules you wouldn’t necessarily recommend to others but which you follow?
I wouldn't 'not' recommend this to others, however I believe it's a bit of an immature way of looking at things. I still buy everything a size bigger than I actually am, as I know it will look better and feel better on that me having to tug at a tight top all the time. I am not overweight, but I am what I like to call curvy and now a size 14 hour-glass. I am self-concious on occassions and refuse to wear anything tight-fitting.
6. What are some rules about dressing you follow, but you wouldn't necessarily recommend to others?
Never wear anything that could easily lift on a windy day. Though this is good advice for any woman, it has limited my outfits on a number of occassions.
7. What is the most transformative conversation you have ever had on the subject of fashion or style?
Just a week ago, I had lunch with my mother after a long day in work and a very early start. I was having some trouble dealing with my work load and felt ill on top of everything, so after my shift I popped to the shops and ended up buying myself a whole new outfit. This outfit wasn't something i'd bought before, but was something I knew I'd feel good in and knew I'd love the look of. I changed as soon as we got to the café and though it wasn't my mothers idea of fashion, she said "I think you look incredible, because you think you look incredible." This reassured me that I'd made the right decision in taking a risk with my outfit, because yes, I did feel absolutely incredible after a really awful day. This has led to me throwing out half of my old wardrobe and hunting down outfits that make me feel more like 'me' on a really good day.
8. Do you have a unified way of approaching your life, work, relationships, finances, chores, etc.? Please explain.
I am a worrier. I suffer with paranoia and worry about the silliest things. So unforntunately, my unified way of looking at life is through a mist of paranoia and anxiety. Though, things always seem to work out. I am so aware of what is going on at all times that I usually know how to solve a problem within moments. I do not reccommend a wary lifestyle, but so far it's worked out well for me.
9. Are there any clothing (or related) items that you have in multiple? Why do you think you keep buying this thing?
I have over two dozen spaghetti strap camisole tops in every colour you can imagine. They are great for high waisted outfits and are great in general with jeans and blazers. I am obsessed with the things. Beside this - I think I own around 6 pairs of black, chunky boots. They are the most comfortable shoes that always look great with any outfit I wear.
10. Have you ever successfully given someone a present of jewelry or clothing that you continue to feel good about?
I have never purchased clothing for any of my friends as I don't want to offend in terms of size. If i got it wrong, I'd be horrified. Jewellry is always a great present purchase, and I usually go for earrings. I have myself received some really thoughtful and lovely clothing from friends over the years however, which has made me realise that they can be a great gift to give.
11. Is there any fashion trend you’ve refused to participate in and why?
None that I can think of - the only fashion related thing that I refused to take part in was the no make up selfie that went around Facebook and Twitter. This was simply because I look scary without makeup.
12. Can you say a bit about how your mother’s body and style has been passed down to you, or not?
My mother also has a curvy, hour-glass figure. We are becoming more and more alike in body shape as I grow older. She lost a lot of wegith recently and I put some on, so we're currently both a size 14. She tends to borrow kimonos and tops from me, and I tend to borrow her fancy clothing for weddings/nights out. I'm more of a casual dresser while she dresses up for all and any occassion. She doesn't need an excuse to dress up to the nines, which I envy and love about her.
13. Have you stolen, borrowed or adapted any dressing ideas or actual items from friends or family?
I bought my first kimono once I'd seen a friend of mine wearing hers on a night out. She looked beautiful and I realised that I could get the looseness I needed out of a jacket, without looking frumpy and covered up!
14. Was there a point in your life when your style changed dramatically? What happened?
Between the ages of 13 and 16 I was what some people call a 'goth'. I dressed in a lot of black anf white and wore heaps of black eyeliner and jewellry. I suddenly changed this to a more natural, casual look when I was 16 and left school for college. My look has changed quite significantly now, as I am 23, however the eyeliner and remnants of my goth days still remain in my black boots, leather jacket and dark lipstick looks.
15. Is there anything political about the way you dress?
I do not purposely dress to make a statement, no. However, I am a feminist and I highly believe that women should be able to wear what they want, where they want. I am vastly opinionated and knowledgable of the 'women dressed as sluts are inviting rape' crisis that the UK and the world is facing. I have protested, however have not dressed in any way to do so.
16. Please describe your body.
I am a white, 23 year old British female. I have pale skin that I try and fake tan as much as often, though not too much. I am 5 ft 7 and have an hour-glass figure. I have a 38C chest and sometimes I'm a size 12 in trousers, but often I'm a size 16. I am technically a size 14, but wish there was such a thing as a size 13. I have hazel eyes and dyed-auburn hair that's very long. I have chubby arms which really annoy me and a bump in my nose that I've learnt to love. I have full lips and great skin, most of the time. I have a belly button piercing that I love and three tattoos - one on my top back, one on my right foot and one on my right wrist. I have size 7 feet that are flat and I have to wear orthotics in my shoes, which means I hardly ever wear strappy heels. I love my body, but almost every day wish I didn't love food so much.
17. Please describe your mind.
I am a highly creative and ambitious person. I am a writer and a music fanatic. I do many unpaid writing jobs, specifically music and festival reviews. I am a worrier. I give great advice, but never take it myself. I overthink things and become paranoid very easily. I can often be lazy and lack will-power, particularly in work. Though, I am driven and very skilled with people. My mind is filled with ideas and dreams that one day I will pursue.
18. Please describe your emotions.
I have a very sarcastic sense of humour and laugh easily at people, things and general life. I do not like to cry in front of people, though over the last year I have become much more sensitive and emotionally vulnerable - I believe this has something to do with my family dog passing away last year, which broke my heart. I have been in love twice and the second one has stuck for 4 years. This has made me a much kinder, happier person. I am generally happy, but get easily frustrated and very easily breakdown into a burst of panic in a given situation. I overthink everything, however I have enough calm, clarity in my mind at all times to maintain my friendships, my family, my relationship and myself.
19. What are you wearing on your body and face, and how is your hair done, right at this moment?
I am wearing black skinny jeans, a emerald blue peplum top and black/white converse trainers. I am in work, and have a black blazer hanging on the chair behind me. I have my hair scraped into a very high bobble and it's falling around my shoulders. I am wearing dark orange coloured glasses and have black/bronze eyeliner on. My skin is bad because of stress in work, so I have quite a lot of foundation on, but not enough to make a difference. I have two rings and a silver necklace.
20. In what way is this stuff important, if at all?
I am a lazy person, and though it often is to do with my lack of confidence and my need to not gain attention from people, it is my laziness that lets my fashion and style down. I have many nice items of clothing that I do not wear because i'm keeping them for a 'nicer occassion', I don't wear very smart clothes to work because I want to make sure I keep them for when there are important meetings and the rest of the staff are quite casual, I don't often get very dressed up to go out because I live on the same road we tend to go out on and can be found much more often in a pub than in a club. I've realised that when I'm dressed well and my hair/make up is done beautifully, I feel powerful. I still don't like eyes being on me, but I hope this feeling will dissappear as I grow through my twenties. Clothes can make you feel strong and beautiful even when you're not feeling that way on the inside, and that to me is a great start.
What’s your birth date? Where were you born and where do you live now?
28/07/1991, I was born in Swansea, South Wales and I now still live in Swansea, South Wales.
Say anything you like about your cultural/ethnic/economic background.
I am a Welsh woman who unfortunately doesn't speak Welsh at all. I have a deep love for music and literature and live in a 1 bed flat above a hairdressers on what I believe is the best road in Wales. I am technicially lower-middle class and a child of divorce, though this gave me no hard feelings and I've never been affected by it in a terrible way. I am not religious, though I do believe in spirits.
What kind of work do you do?
I work in renewable energy on the world's first ever tidal lagoon in Swansea Bay. Though, my true calling in life is to be a music journalist and business owner. I am currently in the process of gaining funding to start my own business in music promotion and social media.
Are you single, married, do you have kids, etc.?
I have been in a relationship with my boyfriend for 4 years. We have lived together for 11 months. We do not have children, but would like a child one day in the future.
Please say anything you like about yourself that might put this survey into some sort of context.
I am a quirky, cheerful person who seriously loves food. I am concerned about my weight at all times, but not enough to put down the pizza. I drink quite often, but not enough to get me drunk. I love to come home to my boyfriend and dance like idiots to shake off the day. I like that I am myself, and after many years of not knowing exantly who that was, I now know and couldn't be happier than to live in the knowledge that I am living true to myself.
How do you feel after filling out this survey?
I feel like I've reminded myself of my age. I am 23 years old and still very naive when it comes to fashion and the attention it can gain you. I don't think of myself as body concious, but have realised that I have a few body-hurdles to overcome before I can really, truly go out with my friends and not worry about how I look to others.
Beki Kidwell is a 23 year old music writer from South Wales, UK. She has a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing and will soon be launching her own company. She is creative, loves to laugh and finds pleasure in the small things in life.