CurvyHK

Asian-chested is not an oxymoron

Archive for the tag “bras”

Discovery: Spokesperson

I’ve written about George Takei before, and he’s back again with a less jokey bit of outreach. Recently, he’s reposted a video highlighting the struggles that large-busted women face. His page reaches a really big audience, so I’m hopeful that it will inspire more people to check out bra-fitting and having empathy for those of us who have to wear bras!

Being Active (Panache Sports Review)

I keep saying to myself, to my friends, and to my family: Korea has changed me! Korea is changing me!

Who is this person I’ve become, and what kind of life is this that I’m living now?

And it’s not at all bad. I’m LOVING the drastically different direction that my life has taken.

I’m much more social than I’ve ever been. I’m more direct. I’m trying to become more knowledgeable about beauty and fashion, working on my appearance and prettying up for work and hanging out.

320_1390884069336

No, that’s not me. I do have this lip product though and have enough of an opinion about it to review it later.

Another thing is that I’ve become much more active.

I don’t want to say that I was necessarily inactive before. I spend a lot of time sitting around but through my life, I’ve usually been involved in some kind of sport a few hours a week.

Right now, though, I’m practicing martial arts every weeknight, and I play a somewhat rough game of Ultimate Frisbee (which I’ve fallen completely and utterly in love with) every weekend.

It’s not much considering many people do the equivalent of my weekly exertions on a daily basis, but it’s a lot more, and a lot more consistent, than what I’ve done before. And I love it! I don’t put every ounce of strength into it because I do need to keep an able body with workable muscles and joints for work but I go at these things hard enough to feel it really good. And does it feel good! Plus, I’ve met, and I keep meeting, really great people.

But, you know. Bras.

The normal underwired ones (say, Cleo Lucy, CK Romance, CK Emily) actually work totally fine. I do regularly use these for exercise. However, when I foresee a tougher workout, and for Ultimate Frisbee when I’m sprinting and leaping and crashing into people, I definitely prefer my sports bra.

I prefer it so much that I have several of the same one.

And that same one would be… the Panache Sport!

Yes, it’s a bra review. It’s been a while, hasn’t it?

I really like the Panache Sport (clearly) but one thing I didn’t know when I first tried it is that it seems to run large in the cups. The 28GG that I started out with was pretty uncomfortable. Once I sized down to 28G, though, we were best friends!

It’s quite pricey, and I don’t imagine that people are super comfortable with selling/buying used sports bras, but I definitely recommend it! I’ve bought mine from a few sources: ebay, zulily, and largecuplingerie.

0008133_panache-sports-bra-raspberry

It’s very durable and very comfortable. The material is sturdy and the cups are thick. The bra tacks all around each breast, so you have encapsulation preventing bounce rather than compression (+10 for comfort). In order to provide the encapsulation, though, the bra comes up rather high, so if your workout top is a normal tank or tee, there’s a good chance it’ll show. For martial arts, I usually have a higher-neck tee over the bra and then my uniform. But, since it comes in fun colors (I actually don’t have a black one… if I decide I need another, I guess I’m going for black!) showing really doesn’t matter in any other situation.

As for washing–I do wash it after every wear. Since I wear it for more hardcore sessions, it’s usually soaked in sweat (it and my first top), so there’s no way I’d put it back on later. Same method as other bras, though. Handwash, soak and scrub the wires especially, press water out, let out to dry.

There is a J-hook to connect the straps in the back but I’ve been happy with the standard formation.

da074359-7428-473a-b3fe-792fa3dd5bbf

I went hiking and outdoor climbing yesterday (for the first time, and I had an absolute blast!!) and decided to try the J-hook but I had to undo it and go back to standard straps before I even left the house. Even with the straps lengthened all the way, it was simply much too tight for me.

54

Breast Reduction

Many months ago, a reader contacted me through email. She’s a fantastic woman and we’ve talked about a variety of things, but one thing that I wanted to bring to more peoples’ attention (with her permission) was her successful breast reduction! So, first of all, congratulations to fettucine_alfredo to taking that amazing step! I told her that it was braver than anything I’ve ever done but the woman is not taking her due credit so please back me up here!

She didn’t stop at the surgery, though. She decided to create a resource for others making the same decision (especially for large busts on a small frame, as there’s not much information for that surgery on that body type now) and wrote a review about her experience. Read it here:

http://www.realself.com/review/san-francisco-ca-breast-reduction-my-breast-intentions-complete-boob-titles   (It’s NSFW, btw; you probably don’t want to click on that in the library)

The review covers a bit of her personal history, her decision process, a little bit about insurance, and then the surgery itself and updates of her condition at various points afterwards.

If you are considering the surgery, have a friend or family member thinking about it, are curious about the process, or if you’re even just looking for something good to read, I highly recommend it.

Life Changes

I’m very, very, terribly sorry for dropping off the face of the earth. And while I’m at it, for very possible future droppings off the face of the earth. The past few months and the upcoming two, maybe three, maybe four months have been and will be packed with excitement in my personal life. I’m gearing up for some major changes and as such CurvyHK kind of got lost in the crowd.

Major changes, you say?

The angst-ridden post lamenting interview troubles was written regarding a position to work overseas. Unfortunately, my performance did not land me the job. However, I had the chance to interview for another position, in a different country.

People… I’m moving to Korea!!

I can’t wait. I’m trying so hard to not abuse emotionally-charged punctuation here, which I think is working, but if it dampens your perception of my excitement, let it now be known that I AM SO EXCITED.

I’ve immersed myself in both Korean popular and traditional culture for so long, I’ve studied and cried and laughed and suffered and celebrated in the Korean language, and I’ve worked (somewhat) hard to qualify myself to do the work I’ll be doing there. I know there’ll be unexpected issues, and I’ll know I’ll run into plenty of problems, but at this moment I feel like this step is one I’ve been ready and hovering to take for a long, long time.

What does that mean for CurvyHK?

To be honest, I think this will be a positive change. I’ll be busy with my first non-summer full-time job, which means I will have less time to spend here. However, I’ll be an outsider looking into Korean society, which means lots of social commentary and cultural comparisons.

I guess there’s another big topic I’ll begin to attack, which is work-appropriate attire. This is a pretty essential concept that lots of other bloggers have written about. I’ve learned a lot from them, and I plan to learn more (so keep them coming, my friends!). I’ll try to address, specifically, how I’ll need to stay conscious of the more uber-conservative work culture of Korea (or larger East Asia), but I might also work up the courage to start taking pictures of myself for this blog.

I do have a backlog of posts to get out, including those sock posts I promised oh so long ago!

But to give this post just a bit more content, give this a little thought:

Japan is notorious for popping out the occasional unconventional vending machines. The latest to hit the Internet is a bra vending machine. What think you?

(I think it’s a cute gimmick, but probably not at all useful or popular.)

How to Sell a Bra on Bratabase

There are a bunch of very good places to buy bras (go to Resources to see some of my recommendations); some are official retailers, like Amazon and A Sophisticated Pair, and others are more consumer-sourced, such as Ebay and Bratabase. What about selling your bras? Maybe your recent purchase doesn’t fit, or you have some bras that you’re simply not going to use but are still in great condition and could serve someone else well.

I’ve recently completed a smooth transaction through Bratabase and wanted to outline the process for anyone else who wants to post a listing on this site.

1. Have/create a Bratabase account.

In order to add to the database and contact members of the site, you must have a Bratabase account. (Simply browsing the site and its listings is not restricted to account holders.) So if you want to make a listing to sell your bra, message a member about buying her bra, or write a review, you’ll have to register with the site first.

2. Add the bra you’d like to sell.

By “add[ing] a bra” to your profile, you’re informing the site that this bra is, or once was, in your possession. The site already has a wealth of information about common and uncommon bra brands and their lines, so you’ll very likely be able to select your bra out of pre-existing categories.

3. Add detailed information about the bra.

If you plan to sell the bra through a Bratabase listing, you must have at least one picture and you must take measurements of the bra itself. You’ll want to take pictures of the item you’re selling anyway, so that shouldn’t be anything too new or shocking. Bratabase filters uploaded pictures, so it may take a small while before they appear.

As for measurements, you simply need to take a tape measure (or a piece of string and a ruler) and describe each of the dimensions that the site asks for. There are very straightforward diagrams for each dimension they want measurements for, so don’t worry about things like where on the wing they want you to measure; they’ll show you.

4. Create a listing.

Once the site sees that your bra has both pictures and measurements, a button “List this bra” will appear on the page about the bra. (To reach that page, if you’ve left, go to “My Bras” on the top bar, and then click on the bra you’re selling from the list of bras you’ve added.) Click on that “List this bra” button to go to the listing page.

The information that you need to provide is simple. What condition is the bra in? How much are you charging? You can also add any other comments or information. Take a look at current listings for ideas on how much to charge or what kind of language you can use in your listing.

After you publish your listing, you can go back to edit any of this information at any time.

Note: Once upon a time, Bratabase covered shipping costs for bra sales. This is no longer the case. They do, however, currently cover shipping costs for exchanges and giveaways (transactions that do not involve the transfer of currency).

5. Wait for prospective buyers to contact you.

People who are interested in your listing will be able to message you about it. You may have to be patient; some listings sit for months. I was lucky and received two inquiries the day I listed.

6. Make arrangements and/or negotiations with your buyer.

Answer any questions they may have about the bra or about buying from you. Arrange payment details (you can either give them your Paypal address to send money to, or take their Paypal address to send an invoice). They’ll be able to provide their shipping address through Paypal, but just to be safe, I also asked my final buyer to message it to me.

7. Close the listing and ship out your bra.

Go back to your listing and close it so that other people know that it’s no longer up for sale. (You probably want to do this step after you receive the payment.)

Package your bra in a box or envelope. You can use any shipping service or company that’s convenient for you, but I highly recommend either using a service that includes tracking or buying a tracking number. On Paypal, you’ll be able to mark your transaction as shipped and put the tracking number right on the Paypal site. I also messaged my buyer the tracking number and estimated date of delivery.

8. Follow up on your transaction.

Just to be a nice person, stay updated on the package getting to its intended destination, but, technically, your transaction is now over. Congratulations!

Mini-review: Cleo Marcie

I actually tried this and sent it back already, so I’m writing this a bit from memory. Basically, it didn’t fit. (But still less that $30 on Amazon!)

From Amazon.com

Since I love the Lucy (so much that I picked up another one somewhere; now I have both the navy and the pink, and it sounds like there are two new colors coming out soon!) and not so much the Marcie, it sounds like I’m a basic full-on-bottom shape. There are ways of distinguishing shape such as, for example, actually looking at the shape of your breast, but I’m shape-challenged and don’t figure those things out easily. This “full-on-tops often prefer Marcie and Lucy is a similar bra for full-on-bottoms” system is a safe one for me.

I had a lot of loose cup material floating around; essentially the top third of the cup was not being filled. It didn’t feel like the kind of fit that could have been improved by going down a cup, though. It was nowhere near as bad a fit as the Meg from once upon a time, though. The Meg was terrible for me, but the Marcie was just a little bad. Bad enough to not want to keep at this point, since I have enough well-fitting bras to do laundry at a reasonable pace, but not more than just a little bad.

Here are some other reviews from Undiegamer, Bras I Hate & Love, Two Cakes on a Plate, Invest in Your Chest, and here is its Bratabase page.

Bloggy update: I’ve made some changes to the About page and plumped up the Resources page. Yay!

Perspectives: Bra-fitting in Schools

Last week, this article came out. According to the piece, there’s a school that’s trying to integrate bra-fitting/buying into its curriculum.

Considering the source (Daily Mail)… well, take the actual article with the same mindset you’d have towards this publication in general, whatever that mindset may be. (Can you feel me trying to be both diplomatic and evangelically skeptical here?)

However, the article does address a valid concern. Is it “appropriate”, or ideal, or useful, or effective to start teaching about bras, how they fit, how to buy them, etc, in schools? Who would do the teaching? How would it work? Would it be offensive to conservative, religious, or disadvantaged families? (And just to make the discussion more complicated: should it be tied to gender identity education, which I have no background in and thusly have no knowledge of whether or not schools typically tackle it?)

Lots of comments have been posted, many of which are your typical spammy substanceless word salad. Some of the commenters actually provide support for their opinions (whether it’s valid or not is not a call I’ll make for you) but here’s a breakdown of a few of the more notable comments.

Objection, basis: Students today don’t have enough time to learn to read, write and do simple math as it is.

Objection, basis: Parents can/should just get them fitted at a department store.
(Me: Because that’ll help! /sarcasm)

Assent, basis: Families/parents are clueless in the first place and cannot be depended on to educate their children about bras.

Assent, basis: Schools are safe places to learn life skills, not simply academics. It would be a good addition to physical education (gym) classes.

Assent, basis: It’s just like that lesson on tying shoelaces when [commenter] was four. In 1974.
(Me: I must have missed school that day. I rocked Velcro sneakers for a long, long time. Also, I wasn’t born then.)

Objection, basis: The state is eroding the fun out of motherhood.
(Me: I swear I didn’t make this up.)

Unclear: Boys should be taught how to use condoms.
(Me: Aren’t they already? And why only boys? And why is teen pregnancy being discussed here? Well, I understand why but I disagree that this train of thought should be connected here.)

Objection, basis: Psychologically unhealthy for late bloomers.

Objection, basis: It’s an embarrassing topic. Furthermore, it’s the job of the school nurse to “catch” anyone who needs help in this regard.
(Me: Wow, so much to say on these two points. First: embarrassing? Yeah, only because society’s an immature bitch. [See what I did there? Being mature? =P] Really, though, one of the things to be taught, wherever this teaching is being done, is that it’s NOT embarrassing! It’s not a discussion that has to be whispered in code behind double-locked doors. Now, the school nurse? As far as I can recall, the school nurse is a single person who addresses the minor physical injuries of the entire student body, and who cooperates with outside professional medical departments when handling major physical injuries of, again, the entire student body. How do you expect a single school nurse to educate every girl on a one-on-one basis? How do you know for sure they’re qualified to do so? Are you comfortable with a male nurse going up to your school-age daughter and saying, “I noticed you have breasts. Do you need help getting fitted for a bra? I can help you with that.”? Furthermore, they’re not out on campus wandering around looking for people with broken wrists; they’re stationed at their office so that people who break their wrist or skin their elbow know where they’ll be able to find medical attention. How are they going to “catch” girls with developing breasts? Are the girls who get nosebleeds and fall from the monkey bars and intercept footballs with their spine the only girls to receive this education? Gah. Supernurse… only too much more super than usual. Count me out.)

And now, me. I get a special section because I’m the ruler and dictator and center of this blog =D I don’t know this school, or their faculty, or if this is even a true story, and I don’t have much background in education or curriculum development. All I have behind me is personal experience in a great public education system.

Not to equate bras and sexuality, but the latter is something that my public school(s) addressed somewhat adequately. In fifth grade, we had a special module called Human Growth and Development. Classes were gender-segregated, and we learned about reproductive organs. The girls got the basic 411 about menstruation and body hair. I think that was it.

In middle school, there was a very short special unit on sex that focused mainly on STDs. I’m very sure we also covered something in high school too, but I don’t remember much about either of these.

My point isn’t what was retained (because then it would be really short and not much in the way of evidence) but that my (admittedly more-liberal-than-most) public schools were able to realistically address these sensitive topics. We were always given the opportunity to opt out (well, our families/guardians were always given the opportunity to opt us out) and the education itself was very straightforward, true to fact and clinically carried out. If breast health, bras and bra culture were to be seriously introduced to schools, I think that it could be done really appropriately. Effective, honest, helpful? That depends on the teacher, the school and their resources. But it’s possible to do well.

Should it be done in schools? I think so. Where in schools? Certainly not the school nurse’s office! It could be a special module, like sexual health units. However, I definitely think that it should be distinguished from sex education, and that this distinction should be explicitly pointed out. There is enough unnecessary mental affiliation between breasts and sex in current generations. I don’t think it should be promoted in the next, much less in schools.

I see a few possible places to do this. One is in whatever class sex ed is being taught. I know that I just said that they shouldn’t be connected but it is definitely a convenient set-up. Another place is, as suggested by a commenter in the article, PE. It would certainly be immediately relevant as developing girls start to need support when they run (like I would have appreciated…) but my PE classes certainly had regular physical health/well-being components, and general outward breast health would fit right in.

Who would teach? One comment suggested bringing in retailers or other experts. Our (collective bloggership’s) problem with this is that retailers often get their shit wrong too. Teachers? Potentially even more disastrous. I can’t think of an absolute population that would be sure to help students the most, so my vote simply goes to whoever’s most qualified.

What about gender? I see upsides and downsides to both co-ed-ing and segregating gender for these units. Keeping classes whole is ideal for trickle-down/up/out education. If we have everyone in the class educated, then they can (potentially) spread what they learn in school to their family and friends. I personally don’t see the problem with boys learning about bras, but I know there would be plenty of people objecting to that. (I can’t give an objective two-sided debate on this topic, so if anyone wants to write that up, consider this an engraved invitation.) However, I would definitely disagree with segregating gender in addressing breasts and bras in a cultural, or societal context. Maybe this is critical-thinking approach more appropriate in high school, but I think it would be a valuable experience to discuss, with teachers and peers in school, the social perspectives of bras in their and other generations. When is it appropriate, for example, for a bra, or a bra strap, or the cups of a bra, to show, and why do they think so? When and where are conversations about bras and breasts appropriate, or necessary, and why do they think so? How does what they’ve just learned work with the dress code, and what they think of their school’s dress code? Insert here also discussions about slut-shaming, body-shaming, and connect these to topics like eating disorders (bulimia, anorexia, etc). I definitely had education about eating disorders and I think it would be a great way to demonstrate relevance and importance.

I don’t think being offensive towards late developers or small busted girls is a problem. It should be a part of this unit to teach that small busts also need the support of a good bra, and that breasts of any size shouldn’t be shamed by others (or themselves). When it comes to disadvantaged families, the education is still valuable. I don’t know how to address these situations in particular, or if they should be addressed in detail at all, but it might be a point to make about bra-recycling and alternative resources. I can’t say for sure. As for conservative and religious families… well, I have to say that bras technically have nothing to do with that, but as with sexual health units, families could be given the opportunity to opt out. If they really have to. I guess.

Sadly, with the teach-to-the-test trends going way up, I don’t see any of this, whether done poorly or done well, happening at all.

What do you think about bras in school? Is it something you think should or shouldn’t be done? Is it possible? Something that will definitely happen, or that definitely won’t?

(I forgot to tackle the complication of gender identity! All I would have had to say is that my high school had an LGBTQ panel. I think it was an assembly, but the panel spoke in the auditorium, which would fit only a very small fraction of our student population. I guess we went in groups? Or maybe it was a club thing rather than a school thing. Anyways, bras! Wouldn’t hurt with this.)

Well, Sometimes Things Show When You Wear Them

Thanks to George Takei. I love this guy; he’s witty and adorable and passionate about awesome things. Also, he shares lots of funnies on his Facebook page.

Your strap is showing.

Back before I learned about bra sizing, my straps were constantly falling over, so if I wore T-shirts or other short sleeves, they’d fall right out. One time, my friend commented, “Your bra strap is showing. How sassy!” It was just a fun “hey just so you know” with a “let’s make this less awkward with a joke” comment, but it is memorable. Bypassing bra-fitting issues–so my bra strap is showing. So what?

Not that I mind(ed, then and now) him mentioning it. It’s absolutely appreciated, just as I appreciate “hey your shirt’s ripped in the back”, “your kitchen’s on fire”, “there’s food in your hair”, and “there’s a monkey on top of your head”. But society-wise, culture-wise, (and a nod to the Modesty Panel: modesty-wise) what’s the big deal about a bra strap peeking out, intentional or not?

Just to avoid throwing these questions out to the Internet!wind and leaving them hanging, I’ll contribute an attempt to address it. It’s a big deal in Chinese culture for any type of undergarment to show. (In TV shows and movies depicting historical China, they’ll imply intimacy between characters by showing them waking up in their undergarments, which are pretty much the same things as normal clothes except undyed/white. How scandalous!) My female relatives in Hong Kong would definitely not hesitate to point out a wandering bra strap with “you need to put that away”.

(Funny anecdote unrelated to bras: Remember the VS shirts I raved about once upon a time? My cousin-in-law called it a “deep V”, and I can’t help chuckling every time I think of this shirt being categorized as deep anything.

Well, yes, it’s more revealing on me than on other possible wearers due to my bust, but if I had to define “deep V”, I’d first be thinking about the shape of the letter V which personally has to at least be an acute angle. This shirt? Maybe a hyper-shallow V if you want to call it a V at all. Seriously. The neckline is practically a flat line. [I just very nerdily measured the image against a protractor and it’s 135°. Nowhere near acute!])

(Still laughing.)

Anyway, to conservative members of the Chinese population, and to more “radical” ones (the “deep V” cousin-in-law is considered extremely modern, radical and hip), visible bra straps are an absolute no-go. I’m not sure what it would indicate to them, though. Laziness? Promiscuity? Lack of self-respect, or respect for others? Probably all of the above.

 

Edit: An interesting thought occurred to me. The people who object to visible bra straps are, logically, very likely to be the same people who object to visible/apparent nipples, for the same reason. How counter-intuitive, that these two oppositely related situations provoke the same social reaction!

Spoke Too Soon

Either that or I jinxed myself last time by saying that the eczema hadn’t come back since the first time. That’s right, she’s made a second appearance! Far from full-blown; it’s a mild outbreak (for now. *knocks on wood*). But it’s itchy and uncomfortable and not very pretty and more than enough to send me into a flying panic.

I have to say, though, I think that blogging here has done wonders for my self-perception and confidence. Yay, right?

In other news: I have been spending way too much time and money on ebay lately, but I’ll justify my splurges this year with the facts that I’ve gotten good quality stuff (upgrading my clothing with nicer blouses) that should last me relatively forever (yay awesome CDs and comic books, and for not having to pay rent yet).

Also, I finally scored a Deco! I’m really excited, although I feel really bad for the person I outbid.

Discovery: Japanese Culture on Men in Lingerie Stores

I came across this really fun video on Youtube about Japanese social norms regarding lingerie shopping. Take a look!

This video is from a channel geared towards Japanese language and culture learners, and my favorite videos are when Tomoko and Victor work together to analyze and teach Japanese culture and news. The topic for the video above, if you haven’t watched it, is an incident that Tomoko saw while she was shopping with her daughter for lingerie.

What basically happened was, there was a guy/girl couple shopping together, and a woman shopping alone. The single woman was really uncomfortable shopping with the guy around, so she complained to the clerk. She was complaining really loudly, so the guy overheard and got angry too, and the two of them started to argue. The clerk had to call security on them. The guard came in and Tazed everyone.

A few takeaways and comparisons:

How men avoid lingerie stores completely: It makes complete sense for men to be uncomfortable around women’s undergarments in public, and all the men I see hanging around Victoria’s Secrets and lingerie departments of larger stores do look extremely uncomfortable and even slightly panicky, but hell, so was I until a few years ago. The fact that they’re there is not uncommon, though, and I can’t really find a sense that it’s culturally taboo for them to be around.

The sense that the woman’s looking like an “upstanding citizen” and the fact that she brought up a complaint and started arguing are contrasting: This is more a social/cultural issue, I think. “A women looks like a nice person, but she’s speaking up about being uncomfortable.” Would this sentence still be using a “but” conjunction in other places? (Also, HAHA at the “women don’t usually get that angry”.)

Cute but really inconvenient that the Japanese rendition of lingerie (ranjerii, /rɑndʒɜri:/) is so similar to laundry (in English, approximately /rɑndʒri:/).

What do you think of the video?

Post Navigation