TODAY   |  April 23, 2013

Bobbie and friends strip down to talk body image

In her new book, “The Power of Style,” TODAY style editor Bobbie Thomas explores issues of body image. So she and four women strip down to their Spanx to talk about how women really feel.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> is that wham?

>> yes, it is wham.

>> exactly.

>> i remember that one, i could not get it out of my head.

>> now it's the theme song for "wake up with al."

>> "the a team."

>>> women 's fashion and body image "the power of style" recently bobby thomas talked to four women brave enough to speak out in bras and shapewear for a wau look at how they feel about the way they look.

>> i'm a 12 model, and i'm a ballroom dancer .

>> i'm in a beauty and style for

>> i'm a photographer and burlesque dancer.

>> i work as a hostess, i have two children and four grandchildren.

>> well, ladies, let's rip the bikini wax . how many people have said i feel fat. i know almost every said that this today.

>> just when i was shopping.

>> growing up, i felt, now he the pressure to even be super skinny or be a specific type of curvy. you want to own your curves but don't want to feel oversexualized.

>> you feel the same way?

>> yes.

>> having curves makes you feel sexualized?

>> and it feels totally nothing happens around you but you feel it in your head. men love curves.

>> i feel sometimes i'm happy to be fairly fit but i don't have the curves. i have a boyish figure and i'd like to feel more fem minute ainine and curvy.

>> i'm interested in what is under the dress especially coming from the fashion and beauty industry and it goes hand in hand . you cannot separate style from body image because you look at fashion and it's impossible to not think of your figure.

>> there's so much focus on you being a size zero or plus size and women are all different sizes in between and have our own specific issues with our body. i don't think there are many of us who feel like our body is perfect.

>> i won't turn sideways to look in the mirror.

>> looking at your own self?

>> yes, standing and looking sideways, no.

>> are we afraid to look at ourselves in the mirror?

>> i'm tired of being insecure. i got to that point.

>> we are all guilty of having bad days which is completely normal, and sometimes we don't like what we see in the mirror, but the one thing i do think that the women sitting here do that i wish more women would do is that you all value who you are, whether you like it or not, and that is my wish for everyone is like what's under the dress because what you put on will have so much more meaning.

>> bobby, good morning, congratulations.

>> good morning.

>> if anybody wants to know how lovely amazing and kind you got women to sat around in their bras and spanx.

>> the checks are in the mail. in all honesty this was special to me. i don't think a lot of people know my background wasn't in fashion classroom. i was a psychology major and a rape crisis counselor and so this is really the full circle connection for style. it's really still how you express yourself .

>> we've talked about this as you put the book together over the months and it's a first of its kind. it's about style, sort of a self-help but links body image and style are so important.

>> they absolutely are and i had a tough time believe it or not selling this. i talked to publishers, we love part two, let's do part two the fashion. i said i can't really honestly write a book about fashion with of course in this book will you find your best colors, your best cuts and how to edit your closet but none of that matters unless you love what's under the dress and that is something that my dad was not very happy about the fact that i'm going to sit down in my spanx but these women , gosh, online i have been taken aback by, the book isn't even out and the connection that women relate to, it's almost like we hate looking at ourselves naked in the mirror. we're afraid of mirrors and this was really important to start part one in the book to shift the conversation from the runway and the fashion magazines we see that are great and inspire us, but the truth that what we see inside matters to shift the conversation first.

>> all about acceptance. the book is "the power of style" bobby thomas, thank you.

>>> coming up, a lesson in manners but first your local news.