Archive for April, 2012

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Body Image – Perfection is Overrated

April 25, 2012

One of the many things that I try to achieve here on my blog, is to remind women that it doesn’t matter what size you are, so long as your are comfortable with what you’ve got. Now while of course when I review underwear, I can only give my own personal opinions from how it fits and suits me –  someone of my shape and size – that doesn’t stop it being a useful starting point for others to lead on from.

Dove Campaign

In light of this, I’ll tell you a little bit about me. So whether you are similar or not, you know where I’m coming from, and hopefully you can relate, even if you are the other end of the spectrum.

I fluctuate between being a bra size 30GG and 32G, and currently 32G is the closest fit this month. My bone structure indicates my shape is possibly hourglass, but I have a big bottom and big thighs, so to me I have always felt slightly pear-shaped. I can fit into clothing anywhere between a size 10 and a size 16, so I have no real clothing size that I stick to, it varies too much between brands. I have only really started to have confidence in my body in the last few years which has been a very trying process, but worth it.
I would say that the majority of the time I am quite comfortable just the way I am. You’re always going to have the occasional body insecurity, but that’s just life, and we are only human. When I see others striving so hard to look like something or someone they’re not, I no longer get irritated, I just feel really sad that they can’t love themselves enough for who they are. All I want to do is say “look in the mirror, you are great, you don’t need to be anything other than you”.

That may sound cheesy and obvious, but when I was younger, no one ever said that to me. I never had anyone tell me I was great the way I was, or that I didn’t need to change, and without that, you can end up developing some fairly damaging body issues.
My grandmother, much as I love her, wasn’t so great with the words. She used to tell me “hold you bottom in, it’s sticking out, you know you didn’t get that big bottom from me!” which is actually the same thing she told my mother, who also consequentially developed her own body issues. Once this sort of thinking is passed down through generations, it’s really quite difficult to get rid of. You have to try quite hard to accept what you were born with, which, when faced with a parental figure giving their contradictory opinion, is not at all easy. We live in an age where the media subjects us to an enormous amount of scrutiny, and it becomes a serious challenge to say “no, I wouldn’t change a thing about myself”.

Oh the media has it so good don’t they? I like to think of the media the same way I think about Big Brother from 1984. It’s as if there’s an evil person hiding back there controlling it all, a person no one has ever seen, brainwashing an entire nation.
Why is it that we shouldn’t have spots? stretch marks? scars? cellulite? be a little overweight? a little underweight? have big breasts? or small breasts? have big bottoms? or small bottoms? have porcelain skin? or very tanned skin? or be ourselves AT ALL? Why are companies trashed for using slim models, then trashed for using ‘plus size’ models, then most likely trashed for daring to use models in the first place?
Oh what a world it could be if we all embraced every shape and every size. I once had a discussion with some of my fellow bloggers about what should really be embraced, and we decided upon health and happiness; a great combination.

Ultimo Campaign

I’m baring my inner most thoughts to your girls (and possibly guys) right now, because that is the point of my blog – discussing underwear actually plays a fundamental role in helping women feel better about themselves.
I want you realise you are not the only ones out there to question the media or the word ‘perfect’, and why such a word should ever matter to us. That word should not even be used in conjunction with human beings! We are the least perfect creatures, whoever made that word acceptable in relation to body types needs a good slap in the face.

May I just say, perfection is BORING!

Yes, you heard me, I said it’s boring. Too many people strive for this unattainable thing, and the reality is, humans would be incredibly boring if they actually were perfect.

So from one woman to another, I ask you, please, don’t try to change the way you look; just love yourself the way you are.

Love

Sophia xxx


Images from
Dove and Ultimo real beauty campaigns.

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Star in a Bra 2012 – TOP TEN!

April 19, 2012

Finally we get to see the fantastic photoshoot pictures of the Top 10 Star in a Bra girls, and don’t they all look absolutely gorgeous?! Check out the pictures here.

I am at a complete loss of who to vote for. During the top 30 with 3 votes it took me quite a while to decide, and now that I only get one vote, it’s even more difficult!

Here are some great behind the scenes pictures of the girls.

In alphabetical order from left to right: Hattie Bland, Jade Emery, Madeleine Havell, Victoria Holmden, Rachael Holmes, Jesse James, Sophie Morgan, Alice Rose Rayman, Abby Russel, and Charlotte Upton

Curvy Kate have posted a video here full of interviews with the girls, as they have done in previous years. I had my eye on a couple of girls in particular, but after seeing that video I’m even more stuck than ever. I’m unlikely to pick whichever girl is right in the middle of the limelight – I know from experience that they can often overshadow the shy girls, and lingerie modelling doesn’t necessarily require that in-your-face loud confidence that can sometimes be seen in girls that make it to the top. However, they all seem especially friendly in the video. A really great bunch this year.

To me, Curvy Kate is a girl-next-door type of brand that caters to women of all different shapes and sizes. All of the girls this year are lovely, and they are exactly that; all different. I think whoever wins will be a fantastic model for the brand, but my own personal choice will reflect the girl that I feel will benefit the most from becoming a role model for us all, and not let it go to her head.

Please please VOTE HERE for your favourite girl, every vote counts, so don’t waste yours.

Love

Sophia xxx

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The Bra Band Project – 30 Bands and Below

April 10, 2012

In the US recently it was stated that women who wore a 30 bra band or below are not catered for in the lingerie industry because they are juniors…

Following this, the Bra Band project came about. Here is the aim of the project:

“Recently at the Curve Expos in both New York and Las Vegas, brands that cater to large-busted women suggested that 30 bands and under were either for juniors, or that there was no market for them.  However, that is simply not the case. There are many women out there who need 30 bands and under, and we are not all juniors.  While we come in all different shapes and sizes, we all have a small back size in common.
To prove that we are not all juniors and that we exist as a market, we have decided to create the Bra Band Project where we are looking for photos of women who wear 30 bands or under. We will make a flickr album and eventually a collage with our photos to show that we are not just juniors, but women of all shapes and sizes that need small bands.
 
We’d love your help, so please submit your own photo and band size using the form below or email it to brabandproject@gmail.com.  Note we need both your bra size and your photo. We cannot include a submission without both of those. If you are a blogger who would like to help out with this project email us at brabandproject@gmail.com.”
 
While big-busted women struggle to find bras that fit in the cup, smaller backed women also struggle to find a band that fits their back. You don’t even necessarily have to be a slim woman to have a small band, and you can be any cup size from A all the way through to K.
I’ve got UK size 14 hips, and I still wear a 30 bra band. I am not a junior, and most definitely not close to being underweight. You can be any size or any shape, and still may need a 30 bra band or below. Perhaps if more women could really see what these band sizes look like, they would be much more open-minded about trying alternative sizes. There are women out there with 26 inch backs that cannot find a bra that really fits unless it is custom-made. We need the industry to wake up and see the giant gap in the market.
 
There are many other bloggers joining in on the Bra Band Project: Boosaurus, StackDD, Braless in Brasil, Bras I hate, and By Baby’s Rules.
 
We all want to join the fight to prove that 30 bands and below ARE NEEDED. Ladies we need your pictures ASAP. Please fill in the form below or email brabandproject@gmail.com with a photo and your bra size.
 
 
If you’re unsure of your size, you may find this bra calculator helpful: Curves and Corsets Bra Calculator
 
Love
 
Sophia xxx
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The Bra that Changed my Life: Flirtelle Sublime

April 3, 2012

As some of you may know, the lovely Kitty from Undercover Lingerista is holding a competition for the one year anniversary of her lingerie blog, and what a competition it is too. To enter, you need to write a blog post about the bra that changed you life. As soon as I heard about the competition, I thought about which bra really had changed my life.

It didn’t come to me straight away. I sat for a little while with a cup of tea and pondered the many bras I own. I sifted through my underwear drawer considering what each bra had done for me, what it had meant. My first thoughts were of my fabulous trusty deco bras, useful and brilliant for pretty much any occasion, but useful wasn’t quite what I was looking for.

The Sublime Bra

I thought back to the girl I was before I entered Star in a Bra last year, before I started writing this blog, before I knew what a well-fitting bra even looked like. There was only one bra that stood out in my mind like a beacon. Only one that despite not being my size anymore, I have still kept; the one I cannot bring myself to give away. As soon as I realised this I raced to go and dig it out…but alas, it was nowhere to be found. My heart absolutely sank, I couldn’t believe that I could not find it. My little moment of grief over the lost bra really showed me how important it was.

I did eventually find it; the Flirtelle Sublime bra – oh how I love you.
Of course I do have this bra in two other colours and sizes, because it is a staple in my wardrobe, and I would be lost without a version of it that didn’t fit.

Now let me tell you my story of the Sublime.

Flirtelle Sublime – Brastop

After joining a wonderful and private women’s group on facebook (about bras and clothes for a bigger bust), it was quickly pointed out by some very insightful women that I was wearing the wrong sized bra. I listened to everything these women told me, their suggestions of sizes and styles, of colours and brands – they convinced me to take a leap out of my comfort zone, and try a completely different size.
Being nervous of fitters and usually overwhelmed by lingerie shops, I decided to buy online, and bought three different sizes in the hopes that at least one would fit.

When they arrived, two of them were a bit hit-and-miss, but the one that fitted perfectly was the trusty and beautiful Sublime bra. Up until this point, I had never ever owned an unpadded bra before. Those of you who know about bras will understand that if you don’t know your correct size, it’s almost impossible to squeeze yourself into an ill-fitting unpadded, but very easy to squeeze into a padded bra, no matter what the terrible sizing.

I could not believe my eyes when I saw how well a bra could fit. The shape, the style, the COMFORT! The size was a 32FF and I had been wearing mainly 34 DD’s and E’s. I was so overwhelmed, that I didn’t take it off for the whole day. From then on, it was my go to bra. It’s a great everyday bra for work, it’s very comfy to lounge around the house it, and it looks cute too.

The first picture I took of the Flirtelle Sublime bra

After a quick rummage through my old photos, I stumbled upon the first picture I took of it; taken about 5 minutes after trying it on. I look at this picture, and still remember that elated feeling of happiness and relief at finally feeling like there were bras out there to fit me. I knew very little about bra sizes before this, especially when it came to my own body. I am still ever so grateful to the women of PAC (you know who you are) for pointing me in the right direction.

I don’t think any woman should feel daunted by the prospect of a bra fitting, but so many do, and I remember that feeling well. It has taken me a long time to get over that fear, but now that I’m on the otherside, I can see how important a proper fitting is, which in fact, was why I started this blog in the first place.

From wearing badly fitting bras and clothes, and feeling hopeless, to great fitting bras and feeling confident! Here are a few pictures to illustrate my bra-fitting journey.

Bra disaster – Uncomfortable – Perfect Fit – Comfortable

About 10 months or so after I discovered the Sublime, I wore it again to take some photos of the whole set. I realised that this bra I had worn and loved so much was getting really small for me, and it was probably time buy it in a new size.

Flirtelle Sublime Set – Chocolate

Just for fun I tried it on today when I finally found it…well I guess now it makes a good example of what a too-small bra looks like! 😛

Sublime – Chocolate – 32FF

I have a black version in a 30GG, which is my current size, and fits perfectly. It is a really sturdy supportive bra, and I highly recommend it (in addition to the fact that I love it regardless).

Sublime – Black – 30GG

I also have a white Sublime in a 30H from when I got a little bit bigger. It’s too big for me now as you can tell, but I keep it just in case.

Sublime – White – 30H

I will probably love this bra forever, for helping me become the woman I am today. The Sublime bra not only showed me the way forward, but has been with me through everything since. I know some people will say “it’s just a bra” but it’s more than just a bra to me; it’s a symbol of how far I’ve come. It was the making of the ‘me’ I am now.
I think that also means it’s time for me to give it away, to a better home than I can give it, and who knows, maybe it will help someone else as much as it has helped me.

If you have any bras you want to give away, remember you can donate them to one of Against Breast Cancer’s Bra Banks.

I really look forward to hearing about the other bras that have changed people’s lives! 🙂

Love

Sophia xxx