Monday, October 21, 2013

Don't Tell Me I Should Hate my Breasts!

Last week there was an article in The Hufffington Post (originally posted on Literally, Darling) that really irritated me. The two authors were bemoaning the problems and effects of growing and having larger breasts. This is a subject that is very real and many women with large breasts will feel some empathy with what the writers have to say. What bugs me is that the article (and many others like it) assume that ALL large breasted women are unhappy, in pain and lack confidence. What a load of rubbish! Besides being a happy, large busted woman I also know many women who are very happy and comfortable in their large breasts. The article in the Huffington Post implied that women like me are almost deluded because happiness, confidence and comfort simply don't apply to busty women.

There are a few stereotypes that get trotted out in articles about large breasts and I think we need to start taking them with a huge pinch of salt because they undermine the goal of stomping out big boob stereotypes. I want to address a few things written in the article:

"They (big boobs) dominate your whole life"
When you understand which sizes and styles of bras are right for your breasts many women can get on with their busy and varied lives without thinking about their breasts. My 32GG bust does not weigh on my mind when I'm working out in my Enell sports bra, they don't bug me when I'm out for dinner in my Idina plunge, and they behave themselves all day in my array of full coverage and balconette bras. They don't dominate my life because I have learned how to support and dress them in a way that makes me comfortable and happy.

"...and attempting to get guys to look above our chin when they talked to us."
There is a social assumption that every male is looking at big boobs with lecherous intent. Not only is this not true it also doesn't apply solely to big boobs. Those males who are only capable of looking at a woman's chest will do so whether you've got a little or a lot of boob, the problem lies with the man and not the cup size. This generalization also does a disservice to all the men who respect women, are interested in their thoughts and actions just as much (if not more) than how they look. This point is a whole other post but sufficed to say many people, men and women, are looking us in the face and we shouldn't dismiss them along with the stereotype.

"the giant girls sag from the sheer weight and flip-flop about in pretty much the least sexy way possible. Not a great visual, right?"
So much about this bothers me. Who the hell decides what's sexy? My breasts don't stay up by themselves, they haven't for years, they move about when not supported and not only do I feel sexy in my body I happen to love the natural shape and movement of my breasts so how dare you tell me it's not a great visual!

"Remember that we are just as insecure with ourselves as women who only need a camisole. We carry our own (very heavy) insecurities every day, too. Like everyone else, we learn how to cope with our own body image issues. You either hide behind giant clothing and pretend your breasts aren't the first thing anyone sees, or you learn to break the ice, make the first joke and just acknowledge the elephant(s) in the room. Because if you don't, someone else will."

Aghghghghgghgh!!!! Firstly, not every woman feels daily insecurities about her body and they're not delusional narcissists, they are women who have other priorities, have a self-confidence they can rely on and women who have dispensed with being told to feel insecure.

You absolutely have more options than wearing baggy clothing or self-deprecating humour. Your breasts are not 'elephants' that need to be belittled in order to make other people feel better. You are the sum of many parts and your breasts are only one part and to the people in this world who truly care for you, you will never have to justify or hide this part of you.

I know that for a long time to come we will continue to see articles like this which only serve to keep busty women in a vicious cycle of self-loathing and fear. As you know a huge part of what we do at Butterfly Collection is build knowledge and confidence as well as your bra drawer so please don't feel like you should feel embarrassed or ashamed about your bust simply because you're busty, it's a load of nonsense!! xx

Monday, October 14, 2013

Bras Good for Short Torsos

Bra wires are a crucial part of keeping heavy breasts close to your body so that they don't bounce. The length of a bra's wire makes a big difference to a woman's comfort. If you have tall breasts then you might find that your breast tissue hangs over a short wire which is uncomfortable. Alternatively, if you don't have a lot of breast tissue near the armpit then a long wire can poke uncomfortably into your armpit.

It's a fine line for bra manufacturers to create wire lengths and shapes that are long enough to give coverage and support, but short enough to accommodate different torso lengths. In reality, not every bra will fit you and if you have a short torso (or high set breasts) it's important to find out which bras have shorter wires and side wings so that they don't poke you. Here are some of our top picks for short torso friendly bras:

1. Claudette Dessous
This modern-day classic has a semi-teardrop shaped cup and shallow wing that makes it ideal for women with short torsos. I have always adored the deep V neckline and of course the apologetically bold colour-ways.

2. Elomi Eva
This is a new addition to our store which we chose because of its short torso friendliness. The wires are deliberately shorter than other Elomi styles so that they don't come up too high into the armpit. I love that the cups are smooth like a molded cup but have the side wing and seaming of a 4 part bra to give more lift and shape. The straps are closer together too which is a feature lots of petite women need.

3. Freya Gem
Whether you're short or tall, heavy busted or not you can have a short torso. This is why Gem is such a great option. Ranging from 28-38 bands up to a K cup this style gives lots of women a balconette option with a shorter wing.

4. Panache Envy
This latest basic from Panache is in response to a request for shorter wires. I love the shape and support of 4-part cups, especially for heavy busts. This bra gives a good balance between support for weight and volume and a shorter wing for comfort.


If you have your size right (the band is firm and the cups aren't gaping or spilling) but still find that your bra is poking you in the armpit then I highly recommend trying styles that are shorter in the wing xx

Monday, October 7, 2013

Loving Your Body is a Journey

Every day I see a social media message that encourages women to feel good about themselves. That's great, of course it is, but is it perhaps a bit one dimensional? Increasingly I have felt that 'self love' is being held over women as a must-have accessory and those without a flawless relationship with themselves are found wanting. In my job I witness how complex and far ranging people's self confidence is and being told that you've failed if you don't love yourself, doesn't help.
Memes like this aren't always helping women feel better about themselves.
Bra fitting is a personal relationship that succeeds on trust, humour and some fabulous, well-fitting bras. When I first fit someone they are often at the beginning of their bra awakening and ending a lifetime of wearing bras that are too big for them in the band. Years of wearing bad bras takes a toll on you physically and emotionally and it's hard to love your body when you're in pain or feel awkward or unsupported in your clothes. By the time I've fit someone for the third of fourth time I see a shift in their posture and confidence. This gradual change is a chain reaction of one 'self love' act (getting a good bra) bolstering your confidence to make another one and another one. Each step towards a positive relationship with your body is something we don't talk about enough and I think should be emphasized more than 'Love your body NOW!' Now is intimidating. Now doesn't allow for uncertainty. Now isn't an solid as building up your self esteem gradually and authentically.

Loving your body is a journey that involves understanding yourself, focusing on what truly matters to you and liking how you live your life. I believe that, especially for busty women, well-fitting bras are part of that journey. However, as I've mentioned before, you can only embrace better bra fit when you're mentally prepared. Being hurried through the process of feeling better about yourself is not going to stick. It takes time to sift through the messages that have built up between your brain and your body and when you're ready to change something, you'll know.

If you know that you spend part of every day wishing something about you was different then the best first step you can make it to decide to change that. If you are conscious that you would like to live a life where you don't worry constantly about what other people think of your breast size, or how big your nose is or the size of your bum then you have taken the hardest step towards a more peaceful and happy relationship with yourself.

I have been fortunate to witness many women's body love journey which is why I wanted to share with you that it is a journey and not an overnight 'Facebook Meme' sensation. So take your time, breathe deeply and take steady steps towards feeling better about you, inside and out xx