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Self-Critical Thoughts

Simply put: you do not get to build a magazine around making women feel inadequate and then express astonishment and pity when they comply. This is the culture that Glamour and its ilk have helped to build — a culture that is relentlessly critical of women’s bodies, a culture that considers women’s bodies public property open to debate, a culture that trains women to turn this criticism on themselves, and to accept and internalize every comment, opinion, observation and judgment on their bodies no matter who it comes from, be it a parent, a friend, a boss, a significant other, or a stranger on the street, because they think they deserve it.

Exert from ‘Real Quick: Glamour is shocked. I mean eviscerated. I mean shocked.’ - By Lesley Kinzel @ Two Whole Cakes Blogspot

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I was considering self-critical thoughts and my bank of negative expressions / phrases during my depression, then again more closely during therapy and continue to do so on a regular basis. I’m baffled by the notion that I can remember, hundreds, nay, thousands of negative biased comments about my appearance, my abilities, etc. and yet I can hardly remember a handful of compliments - Sure, I appreciate compliments, I do but what is it that makes them hard to take? why does evil triumph over good when it comes to compliment versus comment?

I suppose a part of me still feels as if I owe something in return for such kindness, I usually think it says something amazing about the person reaching out like that. Rather than fully taking the compliment or positive comment as truth/opinion/observation, I see it as a good deed done by the person giving it, that they’re able to see past my negatives, my failures and bad bits, even for a moment, and are willing to say something that makes me feel pretty, worthwhile, intelligent, interesting… then it becomes their compliment, not mine. 

Filed under Note Quote Thoughts Body Positive Article Fat Acceptance Link

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The Over-Shoulder-Boulder-Holder Debacle

**Warning: This contains blogging of a ranty nature**

Inspired by and related to the following post: 'We Must, We Must, We Must Increase Our Bust-Supporting Options; Emergency Bra Shopping and Issues of Access' as blogged by the fabulous Marianne Kirby on TheRotund.com

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The wire in my bra just went…*huffs* It should be no big deal but sadly that’s not the case, here is my predicament:

I own four bras at the moment, well I should say three now; another one bites the dust I suppose. Also, in retrospect, I shouldn’t really have counted two of them as they don’t actually fit properly so I don’t wear them unless I’m in private and when I’m in private, I (like many other women) prefer to remove my bra and enjoy the freedom of movement bralessness provides :p                                                                                                     
See, I’m a 40DD - At least I think I am, it took me a while to figure it out as I had to experiment a bit, simple explanation (I’m not great at those, I like to elaborate) is that I’m around an E cup but my breasts aren’t really full, they protrude more from my ribcage than they spread horizontally across it and I’ve got quite a large cleavage, so I decided I prefer the hold of a DD cup - Basically, I settled.

Now, I’m aware that doesn’t seem like an awkward size, but speaking from experience, it is. It’s right in that gap between high street and specialist - yeah, if you’re over a 38 Band and want to remain and/or become sexually active, you’re fucked and not in the way you’d like - you’re restricted to the old lady bra *shudders* Sure, you can be a small band size with a big cup size, fake or real, no problem; that’s acceptable! but  if you’re a big band size and an average to large cup too, you’re not important enough to merit much consumer consideration :/

To be honest, in between emergency / absolutely necessary bra purchases, I always hold out in the vague hope that I’ll stumble upon some shop or online retailer that has plus-size lingerie/underwear I actually want to wear; bearing in mind I live in the UK so very limited, at least it seems that way, and to order from US or Aussie stores can be a shipping related nightmare, not to mention a long wait and an overall bloody expensive endeavour!

I love cute or sexy undies or at least I used to, now it’s an effing minefield; when I was a 38D these preferences were acceptable but now I’ve crossed that line, that invisible and yet very-obviously-there line *shakes head in despair*. So now, practicality and fit seems to be the clincher, supposedly that’s meant to outweigh attractiveness in my priorities as a twenty-something plus-sized girl in search of a bra… But that’s just bollocks!

Needless to say, last time around I’d held out too long, until my two bras were well-worn and virtually destroyed, they’d stretched so much they didn’t fit correctly anymore; if they ever really fitted at all to begin with. So I replaced those in September, I popped into Debenhams one afternoon, very self-consciously might I add; because I always feel like everyone is judging me in clothing stores, as if they’re staring at me and saying, ‘pfft, yeah, there’s nothing here for YOU’, which says a lot about my experiences to date and my impression of shop assistants as a whole (I wish this wasn’t the case but I’m working on it). So I threw caution to the wind and I got ‘measured’; (please note I say ‘measured’) as she awkwardly chucked the measuring tape around me then declared shamefacedly that I was wearing the entirely wrong size and was now a 42D.

She then informed me, they didn’t stock much in that size, so she’d go and see what she could find, she may as well have tutted or dramatically rolled her eyes. So she scuttled off, only to return with a ‘selection’, which included: a 2-pack of soft cup white Playtex cross-your-heart bras *gags* and a beige soft cup Triumph monstrosity… yeah *withers* some selection. So feeling dejected and desperate, I bought the Playtex numbers in a 42D for thirty-quid. I wore them for a few months, they rode up at the back even on the tightest fastening; meaning the band size was too big and the weight of my breasts was pulling the cups down and the back strap up, the cup also fitted terribly. I’m pretty sure it was obvious as I usually wear printed band/logo tees, which draw attention to my bust - it really brought my confidence down.

I’ve spent so much time compromising and just settling but I’m so fed up! I mean, I’ve always preferred a moulded or lightly padded cup; for comfort, the added support and shape, plus in Scotland it’s fairly reasonable as there’s a tendency towards colder weather… *whispers* stiff nips :S When I’d almost completely given up hope of an alternative to the meagre offerings of Debenhams, my parents arranged a wee impromptu family trip to Stirling, specifically Primark at the Thistle Shopping Centre - where I’d previously bought my two-bra quota before the pointless department store measuring and all that ensued. Gratefully, I found a wee selection of white and black 40DD moulded/lightly padded cup bras in Primark for a fiver each! I bought one lacey black one and one plain black cotton one *nods* thinking that’d do it…. that was about three-four months ago and now here I am down to one wearable bra.

I’m feeling resigned that on my current budget, I’m back to the basics at Primark; where they have a huge variety of bras and stock loads in a 32E and an abundance of other items in a size 12-14 for my nineteen year old sister but barely anything for me. Even if I should somehow come into money (doubtful, verrrry doubtful) I’d be limited to: Evans fairly unattractive offerings or those of, La Senza - who recently began stocking a small selection of forty band bras, neither cheap or great quality, plus I’m still not convinced by how true their sizing is *shrugs* but I’ll still go check them out sometime. Alternatively there’s Simply Be, who are a home-shopping-catalogue type retailer - they have some awesome stuff (including cheap multi-pack everyday knickers) but having ordered and tried their bras on in the past, I am aware that their own brand bra sizings just aren’t right for me. I also think, on recent inspection, Victoria’s Secret will ship from the US, but it’d only be worth my while if I was buying in bulk and could more than afford the postage and shipping (sometimes when items arrive there’s a sneaky additional handling charge added once it arrives in the country). On another note, I’ve always fancied maybe trying Torrid.com, though they hardly have any bras on offer they still have cute wee bustiers and lots of gorgeous knickers *wrings hands uncomfortably*

So, I feel I’m now at a bit of a crossroads. I’m only just starting to accept myself after struggling through years of crippling low self-esteem, battling my insecurities during months of depression related therapy and continuing to work hard to beat down my own negative self-perceptions and those of the people around me. Should I now give in and pointedly lose weight so I don’t have to struggle so much to find underwear and clothes that fit? Sure, I want to tone up and to concentrate a little more on my health in the sense that I don’t do much exercise or get out much but that’s something I want to do for myself aside and apart from any potential weight concerns. I want to work on becoming happy as I am, I don’t think I’d necessarily be any happier if I was smaller, it just seems like the easier option sometimes, to add to the slough of people dieting and weight-watching, to become one of those people who is supposedly below expectations of the media-ideal, so I can use the ‘I’m fat but I’m doing something about it’ get-out clause and endlessly struggle to pass muster, whilst simultaneously accepting and in some ways advocating the ridiculous notion of ‘the perfect body’.

Filed under Article Body Positive Fat Acceptance Journal Link Rant Shopping Fat Girl Underwear Lingerie Bras Size Outsized