#AskAmanda: Suspicious Minds & Loving Yourself

Hello internet! My name is Amanda Valentine. I’m a fashion designer, wardrobe stylist and amateur astrologist. For as long as I can remember, I have also been a giver of advice. When I was in elementary school, I stood by a specific tree during recess and would dole out my view on pressing preadolescent issues: boys, fashion, what to get for lunch, who knows… (what were our problems back then?!). People knew where to find me each day and I reveled in providing a logical impartial view. I’m also a classic Gemini, which means I always see both sides to an issue and I love to communicate.

From that tree at recess to the pages here on Listen! It’s Vetrano, I’m still here to help. I hope you enjoy this column –think of it as the tree, where you can come and ask me anything! You can submit your inquiries, questions and daily woes here or on Twitter using hashtag #AskAmanda.

Now let’s break down this month’s inquiries from Georgia, Trish and Zac and see what I can do.

From: Georgia
Star Sign: Virgo
Message: I have had to take large amounts of steroids for my health issues over the last two years. This comes with weight gain. I exercise within the limits of my physical issues at the moment (pending knee surgery). I feel like I do not look decent in anything I wear. I have a great bust line a large waist and my hips are unfortunately larger than I prefer. What type of clothes can I wear to flatter my figure? Mostly casual wear or jeans. Thanks for your advice.

Georgia, how frustrating! You are doing everything you can to improve your health (did you know that Virgos are VERY health conscious?) and the side effects are driving you nuts. Well, here’s the other thing that may apply to your situation: Virgos tend to be VERY critical and err on the side of perfectionism more than any other sign. And they are hardest on themselves. So, first things first, go easy on yourself. You’re taking care of your health as best you can, but I understand it is still an annoying situation. Here are a few tips:

-I’m obsessed with shape wear. I feel confident and have better posture immediately.
-If you’re struggling with fit, go up a size and then have items tailored to fit you perfectly.
-Your instinct is to go baggy- FIGHT IT! Tailored shapes will make you feel put together.
-Focus on accessories to draw the eye upward. A statement necklace instantly makes you look longer and leaner.
-Monochromatic looks will ALWAYS make you look a mile tall.
-Watch where things “cut you off”. Ankle straps or booties with a skirt make you look shorter instantly.

From: Trish
Star Sign: Cancer
Message: I recently found out that my boyfriend has been communicating with his ex on Facebook in private messages. The messages I read have been fairly flirtatious and it’s really bugging me. The only problem is that I stole his phone and looked at it while he wasn’t around, so he doesn’t know I saw any of these messages. How would you approach the situation? I don’t think he’d act on anything, but I feel it should be addressed. Thanks!

Oh girl. This is a tough one. And being a Cancer isn’t making it any easier. You are VERY tender hearted, VERY fearful of rejection and once you are betrayed, it’s VERY difficult to get back in your good graces. And add to that your dislike for direct confrontation? Sheesh. It’s just not in your nature to come right out and say it, and that may not be the best way to go about it anyway. Do you think these flirty emails are a symptom of something bigger? Do you think there’s something else you can address that might get him to… get the hint? At the end of the day, you’ve got to know your deal breakers. Is the messaging the REAL problem? Would that bother you as much if everything else was great?
I personally would probably say something, but I’ve become much more confrontational in my old age. I once ended a 4 year relationship because I read an email I shouldn’t have. And he never knew why I dumped him. Now I figure- why not let him know exactly what’s going on?

From: Zac
Star Sign: Gemini
Message: I was asked to be a part of an upcoming reality TV series for a major cable network, which sounds like a lot of fun. The only problem is that I come from a VERY conservative family in the South who doesn’t know about my not so innocent lifestyle in LA. Being on reality TV yourself, how did you handle dealing with the way you were portrayed? How would you suggest preparing my family for what they might see?

Zac, Zac, Zac… of COURSE you are a Gemini- there are 2 sides to you and you like it that way. No, you LOVE it! I totally get it- as a yin and yang loving Gemini myself. I remember the first time I went on reality TV a friend asked, “So what’s your character going to be?” I had never looked at it that way… but maybe she’s right, I thought. I ended up so in my head the entire time we were filming I didn’t really convey ANY personality. I was trying so hard to please the judges, not piss off the other designers and not embarrass my family that I had no energy left to be myself. SO, my second go at reality TV had to be different. I decided I didn’t want to be a miserable people pleaser anymore and I was just going to BE MYSELF. What a novel idea! And a very liberating experience. People (viewers, executive producers, cast mates, etc.) really respond to AUTHENTICITY. It’s VERY clear when someone is just trying to be themselves and it’s MAGNETIC.

So, this is a very personal decision, but here’s my final thought, What’s the point in having an inauthentic experience?

Have a question for Amanda Valentine? Submit your inquiries and personal woes to the ‘Project Runway’ star here and check back next month for an another edition of #AskAmanda!