Here at Panache, we love a blog. The support we receive from bloggers around the world is phenomenal, and every week there is a new blogger emerging with her own story, her own style and her own passions, so we decided it was time we all got to know the women behind the blogs!
We spoke to American born, Scotland residing Amanda Critchon, the woman behind Amanda Apparel.
First things first, please could you introduce yourself to the Panache readers?
I’m a plus size American girl chasing my dream in Edinburgh! I’m currently studying events management to pursue my dream of owning & operating my own gig venue. I’m passionate about body positivity, feminism, and mental health awareness. I’m still rocking that newlywed glow and love every single day with my beardy Scotsman.
What made you start a blog?
When I was young I had ZERO self confidence. I’ve always been a big girl, and I learned from a young age that I should be ashamed of my body. The first time I remember being bullied for my weight I was only 7-8 years old. All of my friends were very small, so I didn’t realise there were other girls out there who felt the way I did. Now that it’s the internet age, I want to let other big girls know that it’s okay to feel confident! It’s okay to love yourself! You’re so worthy of love and happiness, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! I started my blog so that other girls like me could hopefully learn how to love themselves sooner than I did. It’s taken 25 years, but I’m SO happy to be where I am now.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned since you started blogging?
The more open and honest you are, the more people will open up and adore you. I’ve recently been very forthcoming about my experience with mental health, and I’ve never felt so supportive by both friends and total strangers. It’s unreal! I’m so grateful for the blogging community as well. They’re a constant encouragement.
Another wee lesson, don’t let negative comments get to you! I could get 99 lovely comments and I end up focusing on the 1 hateful one. That’s crazy! Just shake it off, girl!
What’s your favourite destination?
Edinburgh is my favourite place in the world. If I’m not here I’m in my hometown, Kansas City. I’ve got a lot of KC pride, and I do miss the food from back home. As much as I miss it, my heart belongs to Edinburgh.
How have you found the transition to life in the UK?
I feel like I’m fully acclimated to life in the UK, or at least in Scotland. A few accents were hard to wrap my head around, but I absolutely love it here! I love how I can fully rely on public transportation because in America I had to drive everywhere. The uni system is VERY different to my experience in the U.S. so that took a lot of getting used to. The best part is trying to explain British (especially Scottish) slang to my American friends. Remember when the cheeky Nando’s meme was blowing up the internet? My American friends were SO confused! I’m coming up on my 4 year anniversary of moving here, and I hope to make it a permanent situation soon!
Where do you get your style inspiration from?
Most of my inspiration comes from plus size bloggers and models. Lottie L’amour is a big influence and one of my blogging BFFs. Georgina Horne of Fuller Figure Fuller Bust is so stunning, I always check to see what she’s wearing. Katana Fatale is an American plus size model who I try to channel on my more edgy days. She’s so stunning and cutting edge and I just adore her!
What is your favourite AW15 lingerie set?
I’m a big fan of Panache, but I have just discovered Sculptresse too! There are some really gorgeous styles available. My favourite set has got to be the Flirtini. Kitty and Chi-Chi are both gorgeous as well. I’m just loving all of the designs.
What is your one ‘can’t live without’ item?
Is it cliche if I say my iPhone? That’s such a typical “millennial” answer, but whatever. I’m a blogger! I love social media! Instagram is definitely my favourite (you can find me at instagram.com/amandaapparel, shameless plug!) but I just love feeling connected. My iPhone allows me to keep in touch with friends and family back home, and keep up with the news as well as my favourite blogs.
Who is your role model and why?
Because my interests are constantly changing and developing, I’ve never had a constant role model. At the moment I’m massively inspired by Charlize Theron’s character Imperator Furiosa from Mad Max: Fury Road. I know that may seem a bit silly listing a fictional character as my role model, but she is so strong! She is a fierce warrior, but is full of compassion and is driven by justice. Those are totally role model qualities in my book.
What are your four words to live by?
“Lux, pulchritudo, and amor.” Which translates from Latin to “light, beauty, and love.” These are the three things I want to bring to every situation and relationship.
If you could give one piece of advice what would it be?
Be good to yourself. Learn to love yourself. Speak kindly to yourself. There will always be people trying to tear you down. Make sure you’re not one of them.
What lovely words, thanks for making us smile Amanda!
See what Amanda is up to via her blog www.amandaapparel.co.uk