While spending a few days in the UK for meetings, I couldn't help but notice the latest controversy on body shaming. Many know my feelings regarding these issues but for those who don't, I always tend to stand on the side of the curvy girl, considering I am one myself. What might be interesting for some to see is where I stand on the 'Beach Body' advert. The minute they went up, people began shouting, 'Body Shaming!" from the rooftops. I on the other hand have a different opinion. I feel that we plus size, curvy girls, or whatever we want to call ourselves, must be careful. It seems that now those who are thin or in incredible shape are being shamed. Told they are not "real women". How does that move us forward in the fight for size equality?

Jessica Clemmons
Jessica Clemmons

This advert was done by a fitness company, specialising in protein. What else would you expect? Why do we get so offended when we see a picture of a woman in amazing physical shape? This is what the company is selling. They are selling health and fitness to appeal to prospective buyers for swimsuit season. A plus size clothing line can do the exact same thing. In fact, they have. We must be careful to not let this fight for body acceptance for plus sizes turn into something that discriminates against those who aren't.

Let's take the #ImNoAngel campaign from American clothing brand Lane Bryant. This is something I'm all for. They took a job at Victoria's Secret because VS is far from size inclusive when it comes to women. This isn't a secret or something unexpected from them. Lane Bryant took it upon themselves to create a campaign that includes the other half of women who are not represented by the majority of fashion designers and shops.

This Beach Body campaign is slightly different because they are not excluding anyone. They are selling fitness and health. I wouldn't have expected to see anything different. If the advert was a picture of a fit man would we even be having this conversation? Probably not.

At the end of the day, if you don't have a fitness model body but are still "beach body ready", get on that bikini and work what you've got! You don't have to buy the products from them if you're content with who you are. The key is to love yourself at each size and strive for health. We can't lose sight of becoming healthier. For some that will mean losing weight or even gaining weight for others, but love the skin you're in at each size. Let us support each other as women. We can be our biggest critics.

It's time to cheer for the woman that spends hours in the gym, eating unbelievably healthy and sporting a physique that even men wish they had, and that amazingly confident size 22 rocking her curves in a bikini! We're all incredible, be you and focus on that. Not negativity.

Recipe Of The Month

Like most women, I am always on the go, so I'm constantly looking for ideas to eath healthy that aren't time consuming. This is one of my favourites! These are my BBQ chicken wraps and they only take a few easy steps.

  1. Take as many chicken breasts as you prefer and place them in a slow cooker. Perfect to do while you're away from home for the day.
  2. Pour your favourite BBQ sauce (pay attention to nutritional facts) in the slow cooker with the raw chicken until it covers the chicken breasts. Let it cook on high or low (four or eight hours respectively).
  3. Once finished, shred the chicken in the pot then allow it to soak up the sauce as you prepare a few Romain lettuce leaves.
  4. Take the chicken and put as much as you like in each lettuce wrap.
  5. Garnish with tortilla strips for added crunch - simply cut corn tortillas into strips and bake in the over until crispy.
  6. Add red cabbage and drizzle with fresh BBQ sauce.

Workout Tip

The TRX Band Rows uses your own body weight as resistance to conduct the exercise. This exercise helps strengthen your core and middle/upper back muscles. This is an excellent excercise for strengthening and toning the arms. The further you walk forward, the harder the exercise is. Do 3 sets of 15.

(Workout from Houston based personal trainer Eric Bartee)

Check out an album sampler from Jess & The Bandits' record 'Here We Go Again' below. Out now.

Keep up to date with Jessica at http://jessandthebandits.com/ and on Twitter @JessTheBandits

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