Did you know that every 62 minutes at least one person dies as a result of an eating disorder?
5% of people diagnosed with anorexia will die. 1 in 5 of those deaths will be suicide. Just under 2% of people diagnosed with bulimia will die. 1 in 10 of bulimics will have a comorbid substance abuse disorder.
Research is inconclusive as to what degree societal expectations really have on the prevalence of eating disorders, but there is no doubt that there are particular pressures put on women to conform to a specific body type.
As a woman who has always been on the curvy side, battling the perception that I needed to be smaller was a constant. In high school, I got into the habit of hunching my shoulders inwards to make my breasts appear smaller and insisted on wearing boot cut or flared jeans to compensate for my wider hips. I was most comfortable in jeans and a t-shirt or sweatshirt that hid the discrepancy between my waist and curves. I had one thought constantly running through my mind: take up less space.
It took me years to find any kind of style that I could be comfortable in or reliably find clothes that were cut for someone other than a broadly built woman or an underdeveloped teenager — when I was right in between. Now, as a mom of two, my body has changed even further and I have the added pressure of getting my pre-baby body back. Going clothes shopping can feel like a nightmare. Often I grab a piece I think will look good on, only to be caught off guard by how poorly it fits. Then of course, there’s the models in various styles that they make look amazing, styles that I’m too scared to even try out when I’m 5 inches shorter and 50lbs heavier than your average super model.
Recently, the Trendage company approached me to review their new app Styled. Their mission for this app is for it to be a way for women to see what popular styles would look like on them in real life. They want to contribute to the body positivity campaign by allowing women to feel good about how they look in current trends and styles. You start by taking a selfie, which is then pasted onto an avatar where you select a hairstyle from the presets they have loaded. The third step is to select a body, either one from the presets or by setting your own measurements and selecting your proportions
After your avatar is created, you’re presented with a slideshow of different outfits. From here you can save your favorites to a section on the app, you can also write/draw on the images, and send them via the app.
As you swipe, you’re awarded coupon codes to use at actual retailers like Lands End. After a certain time period or number of swipes (I’m not sure which), you’re locked out for the day unless you invite friends to join the app. By swiping in each direction, you get to look at new dresses.
What I Loved:
1. Getting to see some new styles on my body type was great! I chose to put in my measurements and proportions and felt as though it was a very accurate representation of myself. There were a few cuts of dresses I never would have tried on that I really liked.
2. The promo codes were a brilliant way of getting people involved in the app. Even though I’m not sure if I will use them, it’s a nice perk.
3. The app is easy to use. The only issue I’ve had is with changing my selfie (hence the goofy face in all the pictures 🙄). I do wish there was a tutorial (or maybe I missed one?) that explains what to expect as far as the app goes, but that’s just cause I like everything laid out for me. It isn’t difficult by any means to figure it out.
What I Wish Was Different:
1. The selection of clothes wasn’t what I was expecting. Granted, it’s a start-up and I know there will be changes over time. But I would have loved to see more shirts and pants mixed in with the formal dresses — since most of us won’t be wearing formal dresses regularly.
2. I felt like the promo was a bit misleading. They say that these clothes are from top merchandisers like Nordstrom, which is where I do most of my shopping. But there is no indication of where the clothes come from in the app itself. I would LOVE this app and rave about it everywhere if it allowed me to see what clothes I could buy looked like on me without the dressing room hustle. Let’s be honest, online shopping is a mom’s best friend. Essentially: I was envisioning a virtual dressing room and it’s more fashion Tinder.
3. The proportion of selfie to head is a little bit off. This is probably silly to even include. But it was distracting to me to see this giant face framed by small hair. Give those lock some volume, Trendage!
It’s worth the download to check out. The idea behind the app is fantastic and I love that they’re tackling body positivity in such an easily accessible way. I do believe that an app like this could help teenagers who are at risk for developing eating disorders and change the ways we look at ourselves (2D me is looking good!). I would love to see it be a bit more realistic though. Most women want to look great in the clothes they grab off the hanger when they’re running late — not the formal gowns to wear to an event they will prepare for. Having access to the retailers who sell the clothes they’re promoting and being able to fine tune the selection a bit would go far in making the app more versatile. Thanks for your efforts to contribute to a more woman-friendly society, Trendage! I’m looking forward to seeing where Styled goes.
What do you think? Can apps like these help us battle unrealistic beauty standards? Have you struggled with an eating disorder? Download Styled By Trendage and let me know in the comments!xoxo, B