IGGY AZALEA / JENNIFER LOPEZ / NICKI MINAJ / BEYONCÉ / KIM KARDASHIAN
Has 2014 been 'the year of the booty'? Iggy's 'The New Classic' became the highest-selling female rap album, J-Lo featured in the official song for the World Cup, Nicki released the controversial 'Anaconda' which broke the Vevo record for the amount of views it received within 24 hours, Beyoncé performed in the sell-out 'On the Run' tour and Kim Kardashian tried to break the internet with her notorious 'Paper' magazine cover.
It's easy to say that it's been a pretty amazing year for these women - and their influence and popularity have spanned the entire world. Sure, some of them have received hate for the emphasis and exaggeration they place on their own figures, and I'd be the first to say that I wouldn't want all eyes on my behind, but if it empowers them then why not?
So why am I featuring these women in particular? What is it about their figures that resonates so much with me?
Well, I've always been hugely self-conscious about my pear-shaped figure, so much so that I've always tried to cover up my hips and thighs with long t-shirts, smock dresses and oversized cardigans. I hated standing in front of full-length mirrors, and there was no way I could wear a bikini without a sarong around my waist.
As a teenager I was always jealous of my friends' slim frames, and I couldn't help but wonder where I was going wrong. I began exercising obsessively, racking up miles on the treadmill and even doing squats while brushing my teeth. My friends always joked about how they ate junk food and got away without doing exercise, but I felt like I'd just get bigger and bigger if I did the same.
It took me years of exercising, and not really getting anywhere, to realise that no amount of squats, push-ups, lunges, skipping, hula-hooping or running would make me look as slim as Kendall Jenner or Taylor Swift. And so I began to embrace my curvaceous hips, and with the inspirational style of the women mentioned above, dressed to compliment, rather than to cover up. Jeans, an item of clothing I never thought I could pull off, became an everyday staple, and pencil skirts were my workwear saviour.
I'll continue to exercise and eat well, but this time I'll look in the mirror and love what I see. Self-improvement is always a lingering aim in life, and we SHOULD improve ourselves, but only if it brings happiness and confidence, whether pear-shaped, apple, strawberry, hourglass or column!