Archive for the ‘Boobs & Body’ Category

Soft Breast Tissue: The Myths and the Masterpiece of Breasts That Are Not Perky

March 8th, 2018 @ Amber

Art by: Ellie Beanz Art via Etsy

My breasts have never been perky. Never. Not once. Not during puberty, and not even as a teenager and into my early 20s when breasts are known to be at their most HG. So all of the people who like to use  photos of black women in National Geographic as “evidence” for a lack of bras being to blame for their breast sagging, I have news for you. Take a seat. My breasts have always had a slight form of ptosis (the medical term for sagging) from the very beginning. Full on top breasts, with soft breast tissue. I have heavy breasts, I mean, they aren’t cantaloupe heavy or anything, but they’re weighty in the hand for sure. They’re decently large (currently I wear a 32FF/G in UK sizing), and I am now nearing my mid-30s in age. Add in fluctuating weight over the years, and that completes the entire one woman show that is my boobs. I now have breasts with moderate sagging, soft tissue and a lack of fullness due to weight ups and downs throughout my adult life. It’s hard to look at my breasts naked and not feel a little let down by mother nature, at least a little bit. I’m glad to have them, all breasts are good breasts. It’s taken me a long time to try and un-brainwash myself from society’s misogynistic beauty ideals for women, and I’ve gotten to the point where my breasts and I are on okay terms. We might never be best friends, but we’re pretty tight. We’ve been through a lot together. I was a late bloomer, and didn’t have much bust until I turned 15 though even then I was definitely wearing the wrong bra size, squeezing into a 36C, which offered no support due to a way too large band and a too small cup. However, this was the late 90s, and if bra fittings and bra sizing are still a thing of mystery now, then they were legend and folklore back then. I remember some of my friends in high school being jealous of my breast size, often saying how lucky I was, but honestly, I was jealous that they could go braless, and that their boobs were reaching frantically upward for the sky, not like a pair of squashy birds flying south for the winter. I never had those perky boobs that they show in magazine ads, with dense tissue that keeps its shape no matter what position you’re lying down in. When I lie down in bed, my breasts are like, Girl Bye! And thats okay. I’m not complaining to you about it. They’ve always been that way.

They are also smooth and pillowy, and they are bouncy and fun to grab when I’m feeling sick or am trying to fall asleep. They are comforting. They are mine. They are sexy and look nice when I’m feeling myself and checking them out in a mirror, too. I’ve also never had any complaints from any partners. I just find that we don’t hear much about my type of breasts in the media. Let alone see them. Soft boobies, not dense ones. Saggy boobs, not the perky ones that stand up on their own. Boobs that can melt into whatever shape bra cup you give them. If breasts be “cones”, well then, mine are surely melting on a hot July day. I don’t say these things as negativity, just facts. My boobs are my boobs, and I’m fine with them. The problem is, by not seeing saggy or soft tissue breasts in the mainstream, it clouds both men and womens views of them and thus stigmatizes them.

You know what I’m talking about. A billion meme’s joking about “saggy tits”, women sharing their results of “passing” the pencil test, men talking about a natural breasted model and saying her breasts are “saggy” when they are not even close to falling below the inframammary fold. We’ve been brainwashed to think that any boobs that are not small and perky are therefore saggy and undesirable. And I’m over here like some soft breasted Inigo Montoya thinking, “Saggy. You keep using that word, I don’t think it means what you think it means”. And that is where the problem lies, in the body negativity of breasts that don’t fit the ideal. Which means we have a whole untapped part of body positivity to talk about. Not just breast size, but breast condition and shape. I don’t care what anyone thinks about my boobs. Lovers, friends, strangers on the internet, etc. If you don’t like my boobs, well then, you don’t deserve to see them or touch them or even talk about them. My body wasn’t designed by me, and I’m not going to tear apart the art that is who I am. Whatever you think of boobs like mine, you’re never going to convince me that my boobs aren’t sexy, or are somehow “less than” their perky firm counterparts. I didn’t choose the soft boob life, the soft boob life chose me.

Soft breast tissue is normal. Not all breasts are dense. Soft breast tissue is all good, and just as amazing as firmer breast tissue. What determines if breasts are soft or dense, anyway? Who knows for sure really. Well, half of it is genetics. If your mom or grandmother had soft tissue, chances are, you probably do too.  The other half could be a variety of things, including breast shape, weight gain or weight loss, hormones, breast size or even skin elasticity, or chest muscle wall strength. Who cares why though? You’ve got those soft boobies, and you should rock them without shame or fear. All boobs are normal. All boobs are good boobs. All boobs are beautiful. Boobs can do all sorts of amazing things besides looking awesome too, like feed human babies and make milk. Best part is, there is no prerequisite for boobs to do all of the magical things that they were made to do. You don’t have to have perky breasts to breastfeed, you don’t have to have firm breast tissue to pump milk and nourish a child. That is extra AF. Boobs can also make for great hand warmers, and they can make a wonderful pillow for someone you love. They can provide padding if you get hit in the chest by a rogue basketball, they can also create some gorgeous cleavage and make a little black dress pop and sizzle!

PrimaDonna Bag Bang Bra almost offers a minimizing effect and pulls breasts front and center, encasing the tissue.

But the matter of the fact is, in the media and in society, not all breasts are treated equal. Usually, and especially in the fashion and advertising world, models with firm (usually small) perky breasts are the end all be all. It’s all we get to see. Or we see the alternative, which is overtly surgically enhanced breasts in mainstream porn, aimed to appease the male gaze. Which is why I am so thankful for small indie and handmade brands like Uye Surana, Playful Promises and Scantilly that share customer photos or lookbook photos of women wearing their designs that might not fit the typical “breast fit model” ideal. It is a great start, but really, we probably won’t ever get to see lingerie models with soft breast tissue modeling for ad campaigns for big companies. Because of this, women with soft breast tissue/sagging breasts might not know how a bra will look on them, or how it will fit on their bust. I know I often see some of the sexiest bras and fun designs, only to wonder if it will look okay on softer breasts. It makes buying bras online an even more daunting task when your breasts have more jiggly and wiggly than most bras can handle. I don’t think they’re ready for this jelly, and really, they should be.

Which is why I am thankful for brands like Ewa Michalak, which specifically makes bra designs for soft breasts, asymmetrical breasts, etc. While I love rocking a bra from Scantilly or Adina Reay, I know for certain that Ewa Michalak is a safe buying option for me. While it doesn’t stop me from making lingerie purchases that I really like, a bra’s shape and construction does cause me to pause before purchasing. Like, open cup bras? I love them so much. I have maybe three of them. I would probably have at least 10 of them, but, basically my boobs just fall right out of them. Breast waterfall. Boobage everywhere. Nary any support in sight, and therefore, since my breasts don’t just hold themselves up magically like some awesome boobs do, that stops me from buying certain bras I would normally love to buy. I find ways around this of course, finding pieces like the awesome Playful Promises Peek a Boo Miranda Bra, which offers an open nipple area for an erotic and sensual look, while still working for soft breast tissue due to the mesh cups. Work with what you have!

Tutti Rouge Jessica Bra, the “tutti booster” cookies inside offer added lift, and the stretch material of the bra helps ensure no overspill.

So whats a soft tissue boobied gal to do? First off, forget the rules. Wear what you want. However, if you would like a few tips for how to support boobs that are softer, then I have a few tips for you. I often do whatever I can to make sure my bust is extra supported. I usually do not wear bralettes. Underwires are my best friends. I stick with a handful of brands that I know work well with my breasts and make me feel good, and often usually buy bras from those brands only. It’s like a fanclub for my boobs and these bra brands are my biggest fans, cause they keep coming out with designs that seem to be made for my boobs. So I’ve put together a small list of brands and tips and tricks to try if you too, like me, are the owner of a set of squishy boobs.

  1. If you can’t shop in person and try a bra on, consider a bra’s cut and design, consider the materials used. Does the bra have stretch lace? Good. Thats a great option for soft tissue breasts. Does a bra have a super plunge design? This may or may not create some serious spillage. Does a bra have a strappy detail? Prepare for your strappy design to press into your breast tissue perhaps even creating quad-boob. But hey, that doesn’t stop me from buying them! So go with what you like, but remember to pay attention to the detail of bra construction and materials used.
  2. You could also consider bra inserts like Cupcakes from Commando, which can add fullness, sometimes offering a firmer look to breasts. You slip them into your bra, like the old school “chicken cutlets”, but better. The added oomph they give to your bust can boost your breasts up a bit, make cleavage and give breast tissue a firmer appearance, and even help adjust asymmetry.
  3. Try many different brands. Test different brands out (remember you might not be the same bra size in every bra brand, since every brand uses a different fit model, so your size will vary from brand to brand). Find the brands that you feel work best with your bust. Remember those brands and buy from them often, this will take the guess-work out of knowing which bra brands work with your bust and which ones end up not offering you enough support or offer shapes that you don’t like. It will save a lot of time and tears if you pay attention to the brands that work best for you, and go to those brands first when bra shopping. Also, make sure you’re wearing your proper bra size in that brand, the right bra size will do wonders for your breasts and might stop you from having to deal with cups that runneth over.
  4. Wear whatever the fuck you want. These are not rules, simply a few guiding ideas. If you want a open cup bra regardless of the lack of support? Get it. If you want a bralette despite there being no underwire? Go on, girl. Braless? Go ahead then! Let’s normalize saggy breasts in public! Go rock your low cut bodysuit sans bra, or rock a cute vintage dress, letting your boobs hang as low as the sunset. Why not? You look good, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. We’ve become accustomed to judging breasts, even commenting when we notice a woman going braless, let alone a woman with soft saggy breasts going braless. Be the change. Go forth and sag, my love. You can wear anything you want, no matter if your boobs are dense or not. Just remember that certain bras will look different on different breast tissue, and just because a bra doesn’t look on you like it does on the model, doesn’t mean a thing! No ones boobs are the same, regardless of breast tissue type, so try not to compare how a bra looks like on your breast tissue than it does on the model. Different is okay. It’s all about what makes you feel good!

A few brands that I find myself wearing often are: Curvy Kate, Tutti Rouge, Ewa Michalak, Playful Promises, Claudette (even though the brand is defunct, you can try and find some of their bras on Ebay or at a few online lingerie shops!), Empreinte, and Comexim. There are a few others that I wear a lot, but not necessarily because they work especially well with softer breast tissue, but I buy them because I like them, such as Mimi Holliday, AP, Freya, etc.

Ewa Michalak SM Tattoo Bra, notice how there is no over spill, and the top of the bra cups are sitting flush against my breasts.

If you have softer breast tissue I can’t recommend Ewa Michalak enough. This Polish brand is among the best for soft breast tissue, asymmetrical breasts and breasts lacking fullness. Ewa is the OG. Ewa Michalak bras are the HG of bras for soft breast tissue. I know I know, you have to order overseas, but some shops in the US, UK and Canada carry the brand in store or online, such as the boutique Zathiya Lingerie. I have always found the customer service with the Ewa Michalak’s official online shop to be good and haven’t had any problems. If you try one brand on this list, make it this one! I cannot stress this enough. No, I’m not being paid by the brand, this is not a sponsored post, the bras are just magic for soft breast tissue. Some styles more than others, including the S, SM, and a few other shapes from the brand.

Comexim Dotty Bra, notice that the lightly padded cups offer support while also encasing my tissue without overspill.

I have also found great support in Tutti Rouge, especially their Jessica bra. Curvy Kate, check out the Ellace bra. Playful Promises, many of their bras have worked well for me. Claudette Dessous mesh bras. Most of the unlined bras from Empreinte, and even the French brand PrimaDonna. Comexim is a fellow Polish brand like Ewa Michalak, and their bras are great too.

The bottom line is, soft breast tissue can be hard to fit, but it’s not impossible. Just remember to love those boobs, girl – regardless of whether they’re firm or squishy.

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Do you have soft breast tissue or sagging? What bras work best for you? Share your experiences in the comments below!

Why It’s Good to Get a Bra Fitting (Again)

May 23rd, 2016 @ Amber

Let’s talk about bra sizing. No, this isn’t going to be a long drawn out bra size post, thats not what this blog is about. I was just thinking about bra fittings and how often a woman should get fitted. Our breasts fluctuate form all sorts of things, from changes in weight, to pregnancy, during our periods, etc. Also, since bras are not one size fits all in every brand, your sizes can vary from brand to brand. When I frst began lingerie blogging, I was wearing the wrong size bra, and only after a fitting did I realize that I was wearing a band size 3 sizes too big and a cup size 4 sizes too small! Crazy, right? Even as I’ve been blogging the past 3+ years, I’ve had changes in bust size. For example, I’m fitting into a lot of 32FF bras right now, instead of my usual 34F. So it’s time for a new fitting! Just to make sure I’m wearing a bra that will fit and support my bust best. You can either get a fitting in person at a bra boutique, and if thats not possible you could try a Nordstrom. You can also give yourself a fitting at home if you have a soft tape measure. I’ve been doing the at home measuring, but I want to make sure I get a in-store fitting soon.

How often do you get a bra fitting? Where are your favorite places to get fitted for a bra?

If you haven’t had a bra fitting or are unsure of your bra size, you can check out this great tutorial about home bra fittings. You can also Google in your area to find what lingerie specialty stores and boutiques offer bra fittings (most do). You’ll get a better fitting from a boutique or small shop rather than a chain, which tends to care more about fitting you into sizes they already have in stock.

Bra sizing can be confusing. We get a size and think it’s our forever size. Which is why fittings can be important. I know a lot of women who think “a DD cup” is HUGE. It’s really not. It’s just the media and society’s misunderstanding and lack of knowledge about bra sizes. So it’s skewed and can often make women think that the alphabet stops at a D cup. Knowing your bra size, also helps you find your sister size, so you’ll know how to find a bra that will fit if a brand runs large in the cup, or small in the band, etc. Bra fitting isn’t the end all be all of bras, but it’s a great starting place. The more you know!

Yoni Oil Review

February 13th, 2016 @ Amber

I recently heard of this amazing product called Yoni Oil. It’s from a brand called Goddess Body. The brand was created by an amazing woman named Angela Elizabeth who specializes in holistic sciences and is an herbalist. I’ve been a been fan of holistic medicines, and use and create a lot of my own home remedies. Yoni, from the Sanskrit word meaning vagina, is a body part that needs extra care and attention. Besides having good hygiene and eating a balanced diet, Yoni Oil offers moisturizing and healing properties. Yoni Oil is a natural product made from various oils, apple cider vinegar, herbs and more. All ingredients are used to help restore and keep the vagina’s natural pH levels on track. It can be used daily, it can be used as a personal lubricant, and offers microbial properties to rid the vagina of infection and help to restore good flora. Unlike most products for the vagina, Yoni Oil can be used on the vulva and also inserted if you so wish. This is a great alternative to a lot of “feminine” products on the market that are full of glycerin, parabens, and chemicals which can work against your vagina health rather than with it.

This stuff is awesome! Not only will it make your skin very soft and smooth, it can be massaged on you the vulva after shaving, to help reduce razor burn. It’s moisturizing, and has a very mild natural fragrance from the ingredients, no added colors or chemicals or fragrances. This stuff is the bomb dot com. It’s an all purpose oil for a woman, and it works great to neutralize odors, cleanse, and protect and fight vaginal infection. A little goes a long way because of the concentration and formula, so you can get a bottle for $19 at Goddess Works. They also offer tea cleanses, and other natural products like soap. I’m a fan!

 

Feminist Lingerie

February 12th, 2016 @ Amber

Photo: Forever Yours Lingerie

Want to wear feminist lingerie? Be a feminist, and put on lingerie. There you go. Simple. I hear a lot of talk about feminist lingerie brands, but to me: there is no definition of feminist lingerie. What makes a bra, or even say a chemise, feminist? The woman wearing it, of course. Because she’s a strong beautiful woman who takes control of what she wants, she wears what she desires without worrying about what others think. She wears what feels right, what feels good to her. She rolls her eyes at fashion rules and words like “flattering”, because she’s a woman and everything she enjoys flatters her. There are great brands run by women, there are brands that use ethical manufacturing and earth friendly fabrics, and I love to support those brands. There are brands that have diverse lookbooks or don’t use photoshop on their models, and thats great! However, whether you’re a consumer or a business, judging others based on what lingerie they wear, whether you find it “classy” or not (don’t get me started on this), and imposing your ideals about size and fit and lingerie style does not a feminist make. Feminism isn’t a tag that you throw on a corset or babydoll, it’s deeper than that. Not to mention, there are so many brands that give lip service to body acceptance and confidence, but then they get it twisted and pick and choose, policing bodies as they see fit.

I would view intersectional feminism as a lifestyle. Lingerie too, is part of my lifestyle. I’m a feminist, and I love lingerie.

Lingerie Lovers Self-Care

February 11th, 2016 @ Amber

If you love wearing lingerie, which you probably do if you’re reading this right now, you probably know how to care for your lingerie to make sure it stays in tip top shape. But did you know that you should practice self care for your body when you wear lingerie often? It’s not essential of course, but these tips can help you to enjoy healthy self care that will only enhance your lingerie wearing experience. Did you know that detergents can mess with your body’s natural pH levels? Did you know that wearing too tight panties can cause not only irritation but infection? You’ll find some of my favorite tried and true tips on helping to keep your bikini area as healthy as can be, so you can put the focus where you want it to be: your pretty panties! I’m about to get real here for a second, and talk about optimal vaginal health. Obviously I’m not a doctor, but these are some practices that I include into my body care routine.

  1. Use unscented body wash on your genitals, try something natural like Sliquid Splash. Fragrances can disrupt pH balance and take away from your body’s natural scent.
  2. Towel dry off fully, and instead of putting on underwear right away, let your genitals breathe and air dry completely for an hour or so before putting on panties.
  3. If you have sensitive skin, try panties that are 100% cotton or soft bamboo. Make sure your panties have a cotton gusset.
  4. Wash your lingerie in an unscented detergent. Scented detergents can disrupt your vagina’s pH levels as it sits against your skin, especially when you sweat. Try a unscented detergent like Soak Delicates Wash.
  5. Don’t use body sprays or spritz perfume on your underwear or vaginal area. It can cause irritation and can be drying if it has alcohol in it. Instead use a dusting powder such as LUSH Silky Underwear.
  6. After shaving your bikini area, moisturize your skin with coconut oil, it will help protect from irritation from shaving. Be sure to wear a breathable panty after shaving, tight panties can rub against your skin and make you feel raw.
  7. To refresh and balance your vaginal health and pH, try Yoni Oil. It’s a natural oil and lubricant that can be massaged onto and into the vagina for added softness, pH balancing, and is a natural antimicrobial.
  8. Keep sugar away from the vagina. This means checking ingredients on bathbombs…and the dreaded “candy” or “edible” underwear. Sugar, which comes in many forms, such as glucose, corn syrup, etc, disrupts the healthy vaginal flora and can cause infection.
  9. Keep natural unscented wipes on hand, for on the go if you need to freshen up. Try Swipes Unscented Biodegradable Wipes. They’re flushable! Good for your vag and the environment.
  10. Plain yogurt (my favorite is greek) is great to add to your diet! It can also be inserted into the vagina if you have an infection (Use caution. Not everyone will want to do this, but I’ve done this over the years without a problem). Soak a tampon in plain yogurt (plain, not vanilla, make sure it’s unsweetened) and insert it, replacing it throughout the day. Alternatively, you can insert some using an empty medicine dropper or syringe. The lactobacillus in yogurt creates health micro-flora in the vagina, helping to stop bad bacteria from growing. Alternatively, you can take it in capsule form such as Jarrow’s Fem-Dophilus.
  11. If you want to help your vagina get back to a healthy pH, soak in a warm bath with a little organic unfiltered apple cider vinegar in the bath. Vagina helps to balance the vagina try Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar.
  12. The vagina is self-cleaning. Theres no need to douche, this outdated practice can actually force bacteria up into the vaginal canal and cervix. Trust your vag, it’s a pretty magical body part.

If you have any other tips, feel free to leave them in a comment below!

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: I’m Okay, You’re Okay…Really

May 26th, 2015 @ Amber

Comic by Natalie Dee

We talk about body acceptance a lot in the lingerie community, which is so important to me. We also talk about equality of gender, race, age, sexuality, and disability. These are all things that I believe in strongly, and try to showcase as often on the blog as I can (though I’m hoping to do better in the future and showcase even more). One thing I haven’t brought up on the blog, though, is mental health. It’s taken me a long time to write this post, so I type this with an open heart, mind, and hope that you will read it as such. Mental health isn’t something we talk about as often as we should. There is a stigma, or a taboo, that’s it’s something to sweep beneath the rug or shroud in shame. Yet, so much of the population at one time in their life, will suffer with, or know and love someone who suffers with, a mental illness. So this is my official mental health “coming out”, and I’ll explain to you why I decided to do so, on a lingerie blog of all places.

I was on Twitter, and saw this being retweeted, and it really made me nearly cry:

Tweeted on Twitter

I almost cried because, I suffer from anxiety disorder and often feel weak and ashamed. And this small little blurb that some kind hearted person wrote just really made me feel compassion for myself for once in my life, instead of anger towards myself. Whoever wrote this…thank you. You inspired me to write this blog post.

OCD. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I’ve suffered from this internal mental war since I was 3 years old. Back then, in the 80’s, things like mental health were even more so less talked about, and not many people knew what OCD was. So I grew up thinking I was very wrong, or crazy. My life consisted of a lot of playing by myself and being a loner, because it felt safe and I didn’t worry so much. First off; let’s have a quick OCD lesson, shall we? You can’t “be so OCD” about something. You can’t be “OCD when it comes to organization”. The term itself makes no sense. Obessive Compulsive Disorder is something you have or you don’t, it’s not something you are. These types of sayings undermine the mental health issues that people who truly suffer with OCD have. Not to mention, it perpetuates rumors and stereotypes about the disorder. Can people who suffer from OCD be very neat and like organization? Sure! But that is only a very small part of it. Somehow it’s become cute and quirky (OCD is Not a Quirk article by The Atlantic) to say you “are OCD”, which diminishes sufferers as a people. OCD consists of two things: obsessions and compulsions.

An obsession is something, that I like to explain as a thought or fear that gets stuck in your head, like a broken record. For example, “I’m afraid my family will die”, or “What if I have a stroke?”. It’s a thought that you know is irrational, but your mind obsesses over it. OCD feeds on what scares you and what is important to you. Generally, for most people, their health and family, are two things they wouldn’t want messed with, and so those some of the things that OCD can use against you. It’s a bastard of a thing. It’s the boogie man. So that thought begins to make you anxious, it makes you uncomfortable, it could make you cry, or make you hyperventilate, or make you very depressed and scared. It can even give you a panic attack (i.e. one of the worst things I’ve ever experienced in 32 years of life). So to combat that fear, we do a compulsion, something that will temporarily relieve that fear, even if only for a moment. A compulsion could consist of washing your hands several times in a row, tapping a steering wheel, walking up the stairs a certain way, checking the lock on the door over and over again. It’s exhausting and never ending, the world and everything in it becomes a danger; your worst enemy. A eager bully always waiting to pounce. The hardest part is, this bully that is ruining your life, lives in your head…it’s your brain.

You can’t truly comprehend how wonderful peace of mind is, unless you’ve never had to live your life without it. I am so jealous of you, and you don’t even realize it. I’m jealous that you don’t have to question your own thoughts. Or, maybe you do? Have you been diagnosed with OCD? If so, I’m also writing this post for you. You’re not alone, even though this illness is a very lonely one.

OCD also consists of “intrusive thoughts”, oh boy, those are fun. Note the sarcasm. They can consist of violent thoughts, deviant sexual thoughts, scary thoughts, etc. Basically anything you wouldn’t want to think about. These thoughts will pop into your head and torture you slowly. “Why am I thinking this? Am I crazy?” For example, you could have an intrusive thought about going into the kitchen and cutting your wrist. Or, a horrible sexual thought about a family member that you love very much. It is torture. It makes you want to die. It makes you question yourself. “Why would I think that? I must secretly want it.” No, you don’t. It’s upsetting you. That is the difference. The thoughts are causing you distress, not pleasure. That is why it’s an intrusive thought. It is actual hell on earth, and it’s never talked about. No, instead, it’s mocked. OCD is the butt of a joke, or the plot of a silly tv comedy, or on hundreds of quirky meme’s that don’t understand the illness at all, but instead perpetuate the stereotype.

Stereotypes are damaging and hurtful

Please please read this article and this article to give you the true facts on OCD, no stereotypes needed.

OCD is an anxiety disorder, it’s based in fear, it’s based in the part of the mind where you’ll also find our “fight or flight” mode. So a lot of people with OCD, have some form of anxiety disorder too. Usually generalized anxiety. Anxiety is like a watchdog in your head that barks incessantly, and without need. “Did I turn the stove off? Did I unplug my curling iron? Why is everyone staring at me, are they judging me? My arm hurts, am I having a heart attack?? Oh god, now I can’t breathe..I’m going to die.” Then comes the panic attack. If you’ve never had a panic attack, I don’t think I could ever fully explain to you how scary they are. Your mind becomes so afraid, that is tricks your body into thinking you’re in a “fight or flight” situation, that you’re in real danger, so your body pumps extra adrenaline to help you “fight” or “escape”. But, the problem is, it’s just a panic attack, you’re not really in danger! You’re okay. You’re just scared. But now your body is convinced that you’re in real danger, so the symptoms of that rush of adrenaline kick in: trouble breathing, numb limbs, sometimes my lips or part of my face go numb, jelly legs, heart palpitations, mania, hot/cold flashes, having to go to pee a lot, not to mention your body and mind believe you’re going to die, that the end is near, that this is fatal. And even though deep down, in your mind, you logically KNOW that you’re fine, you’re just afraid, your anxiety just won’t listen. Reason does not apply.

If you have many panic attacks a month, or the fear of panic attacks causes you to have panic attacks, then you have panic disorder. Which is what I have too. I’m so afraid of fear and having a panic attack, that the fear sometimes causes me to have one! If I was in Harry Potter, my boggart would be a dementor. I often wonder if JK Rowling knew a little something about anxiety/OCD when she wrote the dementor and boggart characters. As Lupin said to Harry, when his boggart was a dementor…

“That suggests that what you fear most of all is fear. Very wise, Harry.”

One of the only accurate OCD memes I could find

So, how does this all effect my life? In every way possible. I’m very loving, I am empathic, caring, intelligent, funny, and a bit nerdy too. Does my OCD and anxiety make me any less of that? No, but it is a part of my life. It’s just as constant in my life as breathing or eating. I’ve dealt with it for almost 30 years (wow!) and truly, I never thought I’d make it this long. As a child, before I knew what my OCD was, I wanted to die a lot, and tried to kill myself a few times when I was a teenager because I just couldn’t take the mess inside of my head. If you’ve seen the great movie/book The Green Mile, when the amazing John Coffey says…

“I’m tired, boss. It’s like pieces of glass in my head, all the time. Can you understand?”

There are claims that point to genetics, that OCD and anxiety are often passed on down the line, like most mental health issues. If you suffer from mental illness, go down your family line if you can, and track it. I also suggest reading this great book on doing just that, called A Lethal Inheritance: A Mother Uncovers the Science Behind Three Generations of Mental Illness by Victoria Costello.

OCD/Anxiety lives in the Amygdala part of the brain

If you suffer from OCD or anxiety, I can recommend you some breathing exercises (Email me if you want! Even if you just need someone to listen), and I also suggest therapy (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) and there is also medication if you need it, which you can get if you seek help from a psychologist who will refer you to a psychiatrist (who dispenses mental health prescriptions). Look, OCD and anxiety are a bitch, and they can rule your life, I know it’s stolen many years from me that I’ll never get back, so please, don’t let it do the same to you. Even though there isn’t a “cure” for these disorders, the best course of action is to seek the help so you can learn to cope with the disorder. Please trust me. As a 32 year old woman who doesn’t even remember a life without OCD, ignoring it will only hurt you, and I don’t want that for you. I want you to have an easier life than I’ve had. I hope my sacrifice and pain I’ve gone through my whole life, and all of the research I’ve done and learned about these disorders can help you, in that I too might feel some solace in knowing my experience had helped you.

Yassss

One last note. I don’t want to preach, but  if you use terms like “I’m so OCD”,  because you like your desk to be neat or color coded, etc, Please stop. Right now. Please be the change. It belittles our illness and makes a joke of it. I wish OCD was only organizing my desk! I’d gladly have that instead. Unfortunately that’s not it. Washing your hands 50 times just to “do it right” so that “your parent won’t die of cancer” and having raw chapped bloody hands? That is more of the reality. OCD isn’t “wanting” things to be “neat”. OCD is needing things to be a certain way or else you’ll have very high levels of anxiety, so much so that it stops your day/life right in it’s tracks and abuses your mind until whatever ritual you are doing gives you a nod of approval, you know, for like 30 seconds or so. It’s a vicious cycle. This also goes for other mental health issues. Please don’t add to the stigma. Don’t call someone “bipolar” because they have quick changing moods sometimes, don’t call someone “psychotic” because you think they’re acting “crazy”. Not only are these things horrible to say, but they’re just not true. Use Google, read a book, educate yourself, and if you can, educate others in turn, so maybe someday I won’t have to feel sad or feel my cheeks get red when I see a Facebook MEME being shared that says something like this…

No. Just….no.

I often think my OCD/anxiety is a very big part of why I often don’t showcase photos of myself wearing lingerie on my blog posts/reviews and choose to do lay-flat photos instead. I feel like a shitty lingerie blogger, and I’m sorry, but I have to do what I can…

I also hope that if you’re reading this blog post right now and you’re a reader or fellow blogger that liked me before, this won’t change your mind about me. I’m still me 🙂

So…Thank you for reading this blog post even if you don’t have mental health issues. Your attention and understanding means a lot 🙂

If you’re reading this and you do have OCD/anxiety…You’re okay (even if you feel like you aren’t). You’re not alone (there are more of us than you think!). And please get help (it’s hard at first, but it’s so essential to coping!). Also, check out this great video that Mara Wilson did recently (she suffers from OCD/anxiety too). Please don’t give up. I won’t if you won’t.

Love,
Amber

Broad City: Lingerie, Boobs, Laughs, and Body Acceptance

April 18th, 2015 @ Amber

Broad City. Yassss Queens. Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer are the coolest and baddest bitches on your TV screen right now, and you need to know why. Not only are they insanely funny and genuine, they’re total babes both inside and out. As much as I love the show for the comedy and the funny story lines and insanely great quotes, theres a lot more waffles stacked on the plate. This show is totes easy to relate to, and even when it’s not you can’t help but nod your head like “fer sure babe, I get that, I get YOU”. Broad City, my favorite TV show, and my Comedy Central fav, tackles body positivity and acceptance, sexuality, boobs, butts, lingerie, and they’re doing some freaky deeky bombass shit to uplift and inspire women in their very own Ilana and Abbi kind of way. They write and star in the show, and they’re total girl bosses. They have great chemistry and make such a fun duo, playing off of each other’s personalities really well. They’ve talked about sex, about their nude bodies, talked about body hair, celebrated different body shapes and sizes, they tackle privilege, shared same sex marriage, bra sizing and more. These ladies are the shit! I’ve been hooked since season 1, and I even got my mom hooked on the show. It transcends age, and it touts feminism without creating a checklist of do’s and don’ts. If you’re not watching this show, you should be.

1. Body Positivity – These girls are always being positive about each other’s looks. Ilana is more busty, while Abbi is more pear shaped, and it’s great to see the two body shapes together, not always something you see on TV often. The girl’s don’t compete, instead they lift each other up in compliments. Yas Queens, thats how it should be. In one scene Ilana’s character even says that she likes having sex with people of “different shapes, different sizes”. There is no fat-shaming, no thin-shaming, no body policing, just bodies as they are. There is also a scene of Ilana’s character tweezing her pubic area, and Comedy Central was going to blur it pink, and Ilana insisted that it be blurred flesh colored and brown, because has pubes, duh, and thats totally okay and awesome!

2. Lingerie – Mismatched lingerie! Yes! So, a lot of us like matching sets, but sometimes we just don’t, especially when going out and wanting comfort. I love how Ilana is mixing a lacy full bust bra, with a relaxed pair of androgynous style boy briefs, and Abbi is wearing a lacy hipster with a plunge black and bronze bra. Mixing colors and lingerie genres to keep things real. Ilana is usually in a strappy bralette, which you’ll often see under a cropped top in many episodes too. They do show their lingerie on this show, be it in a simple pair of panties, a bra, or loungewear. Ilana even wore this bombass bodysuit in the Coat Check episode from Season 2. Underwear is real, we wear it, and as a lingerie lover, it’s so awesome to see girls in lingerie other than for the some male gaze reasoning. We usually see women on screen wearing lingerie to seduce, not as an extension of fashion and necessity, and I think it’s awesome that the show is cool with getting down in it’s skivvies.

3. Bra Sizing – It’s really refreshing to hear any actress, or TV character for that matter, admit to being over a D cup. It seems all busty females are thought to be or toted as a DD cup at the very biggest, no matter how big the breasts. Broad City got it right though! In the scene above (notice guest star Alia Shawkat wearing that Freya Ignite bra??) Ilana’s character says “28HH?” referring to them both wearing the same size bra. Small back large cup, ya’ll! They did it…they talked about bra sizing…on TV! They actually talked about a size other an a core bra size, and showed that not every busty girl is indeed a 36D cup, the alphabet may start at A but it certainly doesn’t stop at D, and it was so cool to hear a female character on tv say that she wears a 28HH bra! I think it’s a great way to break the all cups sizes are A-D myth, and might even inspire some ladies to get a bra fitting to see what size they are. Not to mention, mentioning a small band size, on like actual tv? Yasssss.

Queens, thank you for creating the show that I think we all needed.

Confessions of a Lingerie Addict That Prefers Fashion Over Fit

January 26th, 2015 @ Amber

Chromat Chromed Mesh Bodysuit

So, I’m not a fit expert. Like, seriously, I only learned how to properly get bra fittings and how to do my own fittings two years ago, so the concept of what makes a great “fit” isn’t my lingerie specialty. Nor do I want it to be. First and foremost, I am a fashion lingerie lover. My favorite kind of a bra is how it looks, rather than attaining a perfect fit. I’m more of a wear lingerie because it’s fun and I like it, wear it around the house and in the bedroom kind of girl. I love exploring different colors, fabrics, textures, and finishes. So if a bra is  a little too small for me, but I love the design? It’s game on! I’ll still buy it, I’ll still wear it. Center gore not tacking, but it’s giving me bodacious cleavage? Yes please! I feel like in lingerie blogging we hear about fit a lot, which is great, it’s good to know your proper bra size. Life changing even. However, it’s not the end all be all of lingerie for me. If fashion is the main course, then fit is definitely my side dish. While it’s yummy and I’ll take several bites, I’ll gladly push the plate to the side to focus on my steak. (This said from a girl who rarely eats meat, go figure. Steak just sounded juicy and delicious, like pretty lingerie).

Honey Birdette Libertine Set

I like what I like. So a little cup spillage isn’t going to stop me from wearing what I want to wear. The whole point of lingerie is to make yourself feel beautiful, empowered, happy, all of the above. So if I fall in love with a bra or bodysuit thats a cup size too small for me, it’s not going to be a deal breaker. I love the artistry of lingerie. I love the photo shoots and glamour behind lingerie. I love the lookbooks, the new modern shapes and patterns, the look of really really awesome cleavage. It doesn’t matter why you like lingerie, it only matters that you do like it. Every woman has different tastes, some prefer basics, some love vintage inspired pieces, some swoon for luxury designs and all things silk. As for me, I’m an all of the above girl. I know to some that an ill fitting bra is like one of the seven deadly lingerie sins, but I very much consider lingerie an extension of my fashion sense. Much like I get ready for a day out with my favorite red lipstick, I love dressing up in a lingerie set that makes me feel great, and that doesn’t always mean the bra is a perfect fit, but it’s a perfect choice for me. My blog will never be a fit blog, how the bra fits won’t ever be my main objective here. I’ll always try to include notes about fit when I review sets for my readers, but I hope more than anything you’ll take the time to really look at the pieces, and notice their design, their workmanship. Quality lingerie makers are artists in their own rights, be it with beading by hand, embroidery, or a sewing machine and serger. I like my lingerie like I like my bread, artisan. So if the bra fits (or doesn’t and you like it anyway) …wear it!

Agent Provocateur Gloria Set

Especially as someone who is a bit full busted, but has a smaller lower body, fit can be tricky, often I’ll need an XS or S bottom and a 34FF top. It’s especially hard with pieces like bodysuits or chemises, because if I fit the top, it’s too loose on the bottom, and vice versa. So I go with what works, and I work it how I want to. Whether it be a bodysuit thats a bit tight on the bust, or a chemise with a little spillage. I’m no lingerie model by any means, but even they are often put into vanity sizes when doing photo shoots, many fit models are wearing a size that may not be their “proper” bra fit, but it still sells. Because the lingerie is beautiful, the women are beautiful, and they’re rocking those pieces like nobody’s business. Not to say I don’t like a well fitting bra during my day when I’m out and about, I like comfy t-shirt bras as much as the next girl, and definitely appreciate a comfortable and properly fitting bra during the day wear, for but when it comes to my love for all things underwear, I’ll always be a fashion over fit lingerie addict.

Guilty as Charged (but really, not that guilty),
Amber

Getting Even: Making the Most of Your Asymmetrical Breasts

January 17th, 2015 @ Amber

Having breasts that are two different sizes is pretty common, however it’s a little less common to have a difference of 1 or more cup sizes. I’ve been graced with asymmetrical boobs for my entire life, even through puberty as an adolescent. I had been told things like “oh don’t worry, things will even out eventually”. Guess what? They didn’t. But what no one told me, was that was perfectly okay! Things, including breasts, might not always even out, but thats perfectly normal and fine too. I wish someone had told me that. The false sense of “things will get better” or “your boobs will catch up by the time you’re done with puberty” were not exceptionally helpful or useful tools for me. If anything, all they did was leave me disappointed and feeling awkward, when it became clear that no, my boobs, would NOT be “evening out”. The only evening out these babies get is when I go out without a bra! Treat them to dinner, or a movie and a show, you know? It took me awhile to accept my boobs, uneven bits of flesh as they are, but it’s finally gotten to the point where I’m okay with it. When life hands you two different sized boobs, make lemonade!

What I really mean is emotional lemonade. I mean, if you want real lemonade, go right ahead, enjoy! Squeeze those lemons, girl! But what I’m referring to is a nice tall refreshing glass of self acceptance for yourself, your boobs, and your sanity. Boobs are boobs. Small, big, perky, uneven, totally symmetrical, augmented, reduced, removed, etc. They’re yours, and you should be rocking them in the most comfortable and most confident way that you can. So take hold of all of those crappy comments you heard about your uneven-ness (even if you’re one of the ones who said them!) and put them in a tumbler and juice it. Give yourself a nice emotional cleanse. No, not the Master Cleanse. I know I’m talking about lemons, but I promise I won’t ask you to add hot pepper and maple syrup. When life gives us what is does, and mother nature gives us what she’s going to, and our genes have had their say, how we choose to deal with it is all up to us. So when you feel those insecurities about your body creep up, make yourself some sassy I-Love-Me refreshment. Good for the soul, and the boobs. This rule applies to all body insecurities by the way, I’m just talking about one of the insecurities thats plagued me for awhile now. My boobs are about a full cup size difference between them.

Accepting your boobs is the first step. Then comes fitting them properly. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried on a bra that I loved, only to have it fit my large breast perfectly, but end up too loose on my smaller boob. Drats. What a feeling. Totally deflates (literally) my confidence sometimes. With a few simple rules (I say rules, but they’re really just tips) you can dress those babies like queens and create your own customized fit for your size difference.

1. Always fit your bra to the larger boob. Seriously. You need at least one breast to be fully supported and fit well, otherwise you’ll have one cup possibly spilling over, and could even cause tissue migration of the breast tissue. Kind of like when you’re making soup, you can always add extra spices, but you can’t take them out. So start with fitting that larger boob properly, making sure it fits well in the cup, that the gore is sitting at your sternum and that the band is snug yet comfy. You can always change things up/add extra spice if you need to later.

2. Adjust those straps! If you have two different sized boobs, it only makes sense that you’ll need to adjust the bra straps in different lengths to help support each boob. I tend to tighten the strap on my smaller breast, which can give the boob in the smaller cup a more lifted and fitted look. It might take some practice to get the right bra strap ratio, but you’re a smart girl, and you’ll be a pro in no time!

3. Whether you have big or small boobs, an underwire can help with asymmetry as underwire cups offer more support than bralettes or soft cup bras. The added lift and support from an underwire can make things look a bit more even.

4. You can also buy inserts. Chicken cutlets basically, or bra pads. As a teen, I used to use bunched up kleenex or a shoulder pad. (I was a teen product of the 90’s – early 00’s, so give me a break) Today there are all sorts of good inserts! You can insert one into the cup of the smaller breast, fit under your boob, to help give a more even appearance in your bra and cleavage. This is totally optional. But it’s definitely something to consider if you want the option. I would suggest Commando Cleavage Cupcakes or Takeouts, which are silicone inserts. There are also foam and poly pads. Just Google search “bra inserts” and you’ll find a variety of choices.

5. Makeup. Not just for contouring those cheekbones! You can airbrush or use a darker concealer or bronzer powder on your cleavage and décolletage to give a shadowed appearance, especially helpful in low cut tops or when strutting around in your bra in front of a mirror singing to your favorite song. There are plenty of makeup tutorials on YouTube that can show you what I mean.

See, what I mean? Total lemonade. Your boobs are awesome. They’re part of you. They’re uneven, but who cares? Certainly not JLaw! Nor I. So join the lemonade club and squeeze that sour self-deprecating boob situation into a delish one. To all those broken promises of even breasts that we would someday grow into, for all of those pitying “your boobs could still grow” pats on the back…stop the madness. We’re fine the way we are, different sized breasts and all. Quit acting as if our boobs worth are dependent on their size, or shape, density or symmetry. We don’t need to get even. We just need to get juicing.

*No lemons were harmed in the making of this post.

Back to School: Bra Shopping for Busty Teens

August 15th, 2014 @ Amber

Cleo by Panache Juna in Black

Back to school shopping means clothes and shoes and backpacks and accessories, but underwear and bras are a big part of it as well. If you’re a busty teen, it can be daunting trying to find bras that fit your style and your growing bust, but the lingerie market has grown a lot within the past decade, and that means that full bust young woman do have options, and even better, options they will enjoy wearing!

Affinitas Parfait Sophia Padded T-Shirt Bra

Bra Fitting

Finding your correct bra size, especially as your body is continuing to grow in your teens, can be confusing, however it doesn’t need to be difficult. If you’re bra shopping for bra to school, I suggest asking a parent, or a friend to go for a bra fitting at a local bra boutique or if you don’t have one around, you could try Nordstrom. Alternatively, you can use a bra size calculator online and try to find a range of what sizes that may work for you, and then take that list to the store, and try on bras in those sizes and sister sizes. It may take some time, but it’s worth knowing what size you are so that you’re wearing the right fit for your bust, which will give you better posture and make your bust look lifted and supported. An important rule to remember is that the Alphabet does not stop at D, so while you may be wearing a 36DD cup bra, you may find that you fit better in a 32F cup! (they’re sister sizes)

Growing up, we’re not often shown good examples of proper bra fit, most stores carry up to a D cup or DD at most, which means some full bust teens (and women!) end up squeezing into a D cup when in reality they’re more like a G cup. If you find out that you do indeed have a new larger cup size, don’t worry, all breast sizes are normal! Having a large bust doesn’t mean you have to wear old fashioned bras, sport bras, or colors options only in beige and white. This day in age, there are all sorts of great options for teen girls! Lingerie can set our mood for the whole day and make us feel good about ourselves. A few good bra and panty sets should be added to your back to school shopping list, and here are a few options and helpful tips to remember when you’re a busty teen looking for a bra!

Tutti Rouge Olivia Padded Plunge Bra

Bra Styles

There are many different bra styles, from demi cups, to push up, to balconnet to t-shirt bras. It’s helpful to know which fit that works well with your body and breast shape. The best way to figure that out, is to try on different styles, and to also figure out your own breast shape. When you know your breast shape, it can work in tandem with your bra size, to help you choose the best bras for you. You opinion is important too! Do you want a padded bra, an unlined bra, a lightly padded or molded bra? Bra shopping doesn’t have to be worrisome or boring, find a happy medium with finding shapes that you like that fit your bust shape.

Cleo by Panache Nyla Balconnet Bra

Colors and Prints

Not all lingerie is lacy or black or white or beige. There are plenty of colorful prints and modern colors that are on trend and are suitable for teenagers with a full bust. Cleo by Panache creates really fun and youthful designs, as does Tutti Rouge, Freya, and Parfait. If some of these brands are out of your budget, try checking out a store like Nordstrom Rack, where they have discounted prices on big brand names. You can also find some great deals online, including free shipping or discount codes. So if you know your bra size, online shopping may be a viable option for you.

Bristols 6 Nippies Skin Nipple Covers

 Nipple Covers

If you’re wearing a padded bra, you shouldn’t have to worry about this, but if you’re wearing unlined bras and want added nipple coverage so that your nipples won’t show through your tops or t-shirts if they get hard in a cold classroom, Bristols 6 makes great Nippies Skin adhesive silicone nipple covers, that will offer you coverage throughout the school day. They’re available in three skintone colors and are reusable!