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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Could you spot your real shape? Using computer wizardry, a photo test that’ll fascinate every woman who worries she’s fat


My older sister always nags me about being too thin, so my first instinct was that photo A was the real me. But I would have been disappointed if I’d been right. I look scrawny in A. I’ve always longed to be more curvaceous like my mum and sister, so I think I look best in photo C. But the fuller figure in D is too curvy for my build.

Thinner thighs, toned upper arms and a tighter tummy — we all have our wish list of self-improvements. But do our bodies actually look better than we think? We photographed four women and airbrushed three of their pictures to make them appear slimmer or fatter. In each case the untouched image is photo  B. So could each woman pick out their real shape?

Maggie Treweek, 32, is a primary school teacher from Frodsham, Cheshire, and lives with husband Dave, who owns a building surveying company, and daughters Gracie, four, and Maiya, three.

Dress size: 8, Height: 5ft 4in, Guessed photo A — WRONG

People assume I must be in the gym all the time or living on rabbit food, but while I swim and do the odd yoga class, I’ve never been on a diet and eat whatever I like, albeit mainly healthy foods. The biggest I’ve ever been is a size 10 when I was at university, drinking beer most nights with my friends. I’m most critical of my cleavage — a small A-cup. My boobs went up to a 34DD after having each of my daughters and made me feel more womanly. I would have a boob job if I could afford it.

Thankfully, my husband has always been complimentary about my figure. Surprisingly, this experiment has made me feel more attractive, because I’m glad I’m photo B. And I realise there are things I should feel grateful for, like my long slim legs.

Alix Jones, 49, is a freelance event manager and lives in Newmarket, Suffolk, with husband Richard, 48, an IT consultant, and their children Rebecca, 21, and Charlie, 11.

Dress size: 12, Height: 5ft 6in, Guessed photo C — WRONG

I think I look best in photo A, but I assumed photo C was the real me, as it shows a chunkier waist. Of course, I’m glad that’s not the case. I’ve never really had confidence in my body. From my 20s to my 40s, I led an unhealthy lifestyle — smoking, drinking and avoiding exercise. At my heaviest, I was 11st and I dressed in loose clothing, avoiding anything that would cling to my bum or muffin top.

It wasn’t my mid-40s that I started to address my appearance properly. Five years ago, I stopped smoking and did a charity run with my husband, which I actually enjoyed. Then, 18 months ago, I stopped drinking.

I was 10st when I started my health kick and I’ve lost 9lb. But I wouldn’t force myself to exercise just to be slimmer — thankfully I enjoy it. I’d always thought of myself as flabby, but now I’m positively toned. I’ve always been proud of my voluptuous 34F cleavage, but now I get compliments on my skinny legs, too. As for my husband, he’s never particularly commented on my body, but he does tell me now that he thinks I look like a healthier person all round — and that’s the most important thing.

Julie Sherwood, 40, is a publicist and lives in Gravesend, Kent, with husband Rob, 32, an IT consultant, and their children Emily, six, and Katie, four.

Dress size: 14, Height: 5ft 7in, Guessed photo C — WRONG

Last week, I turned 40, so my appearance has been on my mind a lot lately. I’m really noticing the onset of bingo wings and the fact I’m becoming thicker around the middle. When I looked at these photographs, I immediately eliminated photo D, as the legs were too big, and A, as there’s no way I’m that slim. I chose C because the awful ‘muffin top’ is exactly how I picture it in my mind.

So I’m stunned that B is me and that I’m not as thick round the middle as I’d thought. It’s made me realise I must stop giving myself such a hard time.

My main criticism is my chubby face. Even if I lose weight, it remains on the round side. These days I do yoga, walk the kids to school and go power-walking — but still my face looks the same.

I’d say the best thing about me is my height, but I’m what you’d call an apple shape with a bit of a tummy. Since having children, my dress size has increased from a 12 to a 14. In my 20s, I was a size 10. When I look back at photos of me then, I wish I’d realised how slender I was, and enjoyed it. Instead, I constantly beat myself up about not being thin enough.

As my waistline has disappeared with age, I have had to learn to adjust my wardrobe to include longer tops. The clothes for this photoshoot forced me out of my comfort zone. Since then I’ve been out and bought three pairs of skinny jeans and I feel so unexpectedly good — and slim — in them.

My husband likes me as I am, but he’s long been trying to encourage me to embrace my figure in more fashionable clothes, so he’s thrilled.

Barbara Berg-Jackson, 58, lives in London and works in customer services management. She is separated and has a 33-year-old son.

Dress size: 12, Height: 5ft 5in, Guessed photo B — CORRECT

I hoped I was B because that’s the photo I look best in. Although I’ve succumbed to social pressure to be slimmer, I’ve always had a fairly positive overall body image. I’m in proportion and have a nice nipped-in waist. My thighs, however, are too chunky. When I was in my 20s and 30s, I watched my weight, as there’s much more pressure on women at that age — when you’re socialising, dating and carving out a career. As I’ve got older, it’s not such a priority, and in the past three years I’ve gained 10lb and a dress size.

Sport isn’t my thing, but I try to keep active. I started ballet lessons when I was 50, having always wished I’d learnt as a child. It’s been wonderful for flexibility and posture. Good posture helps hide a multitude of sins — just by standing straight and pulling yourself in you can disguise a tummy.

I walk an hour to work and an hour home each day. I keep saying I should go to the gym or swimming, because I’d love slimmer thighs. I’ve always tried to hide them under baggy jeans and trousers, but since this photoshoot, I’ve discovered that wearing skinny jeans makes them look slimmer.

source: dailymail


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