You see, I am aware of my behavior, that is why I decided to write you this letter. I was not a good girl, and as a matter of fact, I am not a good girl. I knew what it took to be a nice lady and I just failed it on purpose.
Santa, being a good girl meant that I should have cleaned my room. I should have washed the dishes, maybe, and I should have dressed as a lady. I should have stood quiet when facing controversial situations, I should have agreed when everybody said that revenge porn is a girl’s fault, because real ladies never them themselves be filmed or photographed during intimate situations. I should have called them sluts because they made clear that they have sex, but obviously I should not have watched any of those films – and not because I think they are a crime or unfair, but because ladies don’t watch porn, not at all!
I should not have said bad words, I should have tried to keep thin – and should have made fun of those who are fat, because if a woman is fat, she clearly is not trying hard enough. She is lazy and real ladies are not lazy, they must put their beauty in the first place, otherwise how can they please men? I should have pleased men, every men.
But I didn’t.
This year, Santa, I stood up for myself and for other women who needed help. This year I sent motivation to a friend that had her article denied at college because it’s subject was about how illegal it was when women got raped while drunk (most women don’t even know it counts as rape, because society tell them “they deserved it”). This year I learnt what real sorority means, opening my heart to someone I used to hate when she asked for help in a situation of psychological and sexual abuse (and made a great, great friend, because of it). This year I have stood up when they told me I should be quiet facing cat calls, when they told me that “if I dressed well, it’s because I wanted to be admired”, because I don’t think admiration has nothing to do with sexual assault. This year I have spend a lot of time studying human body, habits and emotions anthropologies, so that I could understand more of the definitions of feminine and masculine in today’s society.
But wait – I have cleaned my room (although my mother thinks it was still a mess). I washed the dishes, I helped people in need, I was polite. Not because being a girl requires me to do such things, but because these are things that make good human beings. I have decided to face sexist/homophobic/prejudicial situations with kindness, trying to explain why the person should not say something like that, because fighting this way brought me peace and good results. I have not questioned the way my sisters fight for their rights and inner peace, too.
Dear Santa, this year I have not been a good girl, I admit. I haven’t stood the way a sexist society think I should have stood, but I did fight for a better world for everyone around me. I did the best I could not to hurt anyone and to help every single person I could, expecting nothing but their happiness. I became my own hero, I became comfortable in my body, I loved being a woman and a feminist. I know that good ladies should not write about underpinnings, let alone get photographed wearing them, but I know that I have helped a lot of women this year with my writing, because they came to tell me this.
I understand, Santa, if you decide not to come to my house this christmas, if you think I don’t deserve a present. I did the best I could, but I understand that I haven’t met society’s standards. However, I would really appreciate if you read this letter and considering giving me at least a little something for being nice to the planet I live on. I understand if you don’t think I deserve it.
More than anything, Under the Unders is a way to celebrate being a woman myself and the existence of all the other women in the world. Being a woman may be hard sometimes, but by feeling good with ourselves is an important step to achieving place in this society ruled by men. Some ladies, through history, became icons because they were brave and talented enough to break these social barriers of gender, and ended up being famous for it.
Blackbird Underpinnings is launching their debut line. The aim of it is to “celebrate the unique beauty in every woman by promoting self‐expression and authenticity.”, according to designer and co‐founder Marin Camille Hood. When I found out about it, I got so excited! The world definitely need more pieces celebrating the beauty in our bodies, the vintage-inspired ones made by Blackbird were a great contribution.
The MAVEN collection is inspired by five iconic women: Édit Piaf, Anaïs Nin, Josephine Baker, Marlene Dietrich and Coco Chanel. Just like those women, the undergarments represent confidence, creativity, and authenticity as key elements, and are very, very beautiful!
However, the collection may not be completed without our help. As many other small lingerie brands, Blackbird Underpinnings have to struggle with huge costs of production and other things related to designing and selling. So, for the collection to be released, they have started a Kickstarter campaign, offering lots of rewards for the ones who are willing to contribute. Some of those are pieces from the new collection: the Édit crushed velvet knickers, the Anaïs silk charmeuse bralette, the Josephine silk charmeuse bloomers, the Marlene silk charmeuse camisole and my favorite: the Coco silk charmeuse romper. All in classic colors and luxurious fabrics, as you can see in the pictures.
In addition to all of this, I got very happy to see the pictures because they feature such beautiful and diverse models! It’s really a celebration to the women’s body, with great photography and #diversityinlingerie. I am really hoping to see more of Blackbird from now on, waiting for them to fill me with even more joy. Their debut collection is already one of the best things in the lingerie world now -in my humble opinion, of course!- because of the reasons stated above.
I bet you all heard of it, at least all my friends did. The first time I saw half of the videoclip, I got caught by some words I’ve read about how women were portrayed and ended up searching for bad things to talk about. I was, in fact, pretty sleepy and sad that a huge production like this one would be full of disrespect to women and oversexualized pictures.
However, I ended up reading something else, in which I was told that it was all about bdsm and the images were just sexual, not exactly disrespectful, and I could look at it in a different bias. I liked the idea of looking at it twice, and I actually kinda like the song… I got caught up by the rhythm… ok, ok, I can say I like it.
Pop culture is full of sexualization, specially when it comes to women. No wonder the “Work Bitch” video would have this kind of image, plus some whips, chains and even a radio used as a gag (I find it quite a surprising but amazing way for advertisement). Since the release -and the success- of 50 Shades of Grey, we’ve been aware of the popularization of sadomasochism, and although I could spot a lot of bad points of the book (I actually haven’t read it, but heard lots of friends talking about it and read tons of texts about it), I see no reason why this would be negative. In my opinion, the more we are aware that people have fetishes and it’s ok, as long as it’s consensual, of course, the more we get close to a naturalization of sexual aspects. Not to banalize them, but to stop thinking about them as harmful and dirty.
Instead of looking at the dominated side, now, I’m looking into the dominative – which is Britney’s role. She is a woman, she is strong and she wears more great lingerie than I would ever dream to have in my wardrobe. She just strolls around in dance clubs in Bordelle, she have slaves which wear Zana Bayne products. She is so powerful that she can explode Hopeless garments and not even feel sorry about it! Oh, I envy you, Britney.
Using the word Bitch can be considered to be a bad thing. It really is, sometimes, but when I am on my better days, it means, when I feel like we must keep fighting to be able to express our sexuality in a free way, I think this word can be a way of empowerment, in a “Slut Walk” way. If I could change one thing, it would be the way society thinks of women and sex, not the images on the videoclip. Some may not want to be so exposed when it comes to their intimate desires or imagination, and that’s completely understandable. But diversity is what moves our world, it’s what makes it colorful, and it’s fine if one wants to state it’s sexuality. It’s ok to feel powerful by liking fetish-styled images and clothing, it’s ok not to like this aesthetic. That is exactly what sexually free means!
And if being a powerful woman who is not afraid to show that she likes sex and has no problem when her image is related to it is being a bitch… I better work, bitch.
Last week, I was reading an old article I published called “(Don’t) Sex it up”, in which I tried to distance lingerie from sex to show that it was not the only relation, that lingerie can be related to beauty and empowerment. Then, I decided that I wanted to do the opposite. Because although I think is important to defend a movement for lingerie being seen as something other than pleasing someone else, is important to relate this to sex as well. Sex is important.
Since my early teenager years, sex was seen as a bad thing. Something I should not allow just any guy to have access too, something prohibited, dirty, wrong. And this is not because I was raised into a very conservative family -because they were not that extreme. Is just because media, friends and all the things we hear when we are growing up pass this message to us. It’s ironic, even, to see how women are sexualized on the media and how this passes the same message to girls: sex is wrong. Lindsay, from the blog that je ne sais quoi, put together some of her thoughts and great pictures about how she feels about sex, bondage and lingerie.
When I was in 6th grade (I was 12), we had one trimester of reproduction and sex studies in science class. On the first day of the subject, the teacher asked us to write anonymous questions on papers and she would answer. One -or some, probably, I don’t remember exactly- asked if women could masturbate or discover their bodies as much as man. When I was 12, I actually never thought about it, and on the event of the class I was probably ashamed to be thinking about it, but now I look at it with sorrow. Basically, while 12-years-old boys were encouraged to have a penis, 12-years-old girls were encouraged to hide the fact that they were starting to grow breasts. Just take a look at how ridiculous this is.
Now that I’ve set the scene, we should talk about lingerie.
Underwear, as much as any fashion segment, has different brands with different views and objectives. Most of them (I’d say all, but let’s not generalize that much, I may not know everything about the market) focus on making women feel good, considering aspects such as comfort and aesthetic. And sexiness. Either this so called sexiness is portrayed in the usual please-your-cis-hetero-boyfriend way or in a please-yourself-first way, is an important aspect. Because when it comes to intimacy, to being close to your body and your private parts, it’s natural to be related to sex.
Before I continue, I’d like to state my opinion about the point above. I think it’s important, considering women’s self-esteem and view of themselves on today’s society, to focus on their pleasure before her partner’s. You see, by today we should have all realized that women are not only made to give pleasure but to feel good on relationships and sexual intercourse as well. Fair enough to remember that when lingerie shopping, right? Let’s forget the “Your boyfriend are going to love it” (oh, the heteronormativity.) and focus on the “You look so good! If you feel this confident and have a partner, i’m sure he/she are going to love your posture and your lingerie!”.
There are, however, different types of focus that can be found on lingerie, when talking to sex. Some prefer the classics, some prefer something more playful, some prefer vintage patterns and garments. And some prefer erotic clothing. Myself, as an admirer of good fashion and wearer of nice pieces (when I afford them), really like erotic-styled lingerie. The feeling of the prohibited, of the boundaries crossed, fills me with astonishment. And that’s why I find amazing when I see some brand -or store, like Coco de Mer– taking sexuality and erotica in such a natural and graceful way.
Of course, some people don’t relate to this particular style because it seems a little too explicit, or even rough. This is very personal, and I respect every opinion and taste regarding to lingerie, fetish and sex. As long as it’s legal and consensual, of course. However, I must admit I feel great to see pieces, themes, campaigns, brands, pieces and etc. with such sexual freedom, specially if they are not focused, as I said, on the men/partner pleasure, but on the pleasure a woman can take from pleasing her partner.
Darkest Star, as the image above stated, is one brand I admire very much, although I don’t have any pieces by them. They make beautiful art focused on only one thing: bondage. This is interesting and I must say their belts are so beautiful that I wish I had one to use as outerwear. And underwear, when I feel like a bad girl.
Making fine, or luxury pieces with sexual themes -some of them being fetish related- is a good way to make sex distant from the “dirty, wrong” thing seen in our adolescence. Some cheap (and I don’t mean the price, here, but the quality and aspect) pieces, in my opinion, contribute to the shame women historically have of talking about their intimacy.
That’s why some lingerie stores choose not to expose their fetish garments and sex toys together with their usual lingerie pieces. This caught my attention in Etham, when I was in France. They had a little place really nice for women who wanted to buy this kind of items. It’s a nice idea, I reckon, because as I stated, is still complicated for some women to take sex as a natural and beautiful thing, some of them even get offended by it.
So, this idea seems pretty strange to some, but even if you consider yourself a submissive in sexual therms, there is empowerment on getting your Dominant/Master to deal with your submission. And that is sex, pure sex. Lingerie that follows this idea makes me happy, as much as any form of art that takes sex as a beautiful part of life.
Lingerie, as I said before and will continue to say every time, must make you feel good. It will give you power if you want that, it will give you gracefulness if you want that. It will turn you into whatever kind of woman you feel like being – and any kind is ok, I swear, you don’t have to be like anyone says you should, you should just feel good in your skin.
Let’s celebrate our sexual freedom by wearing beautiful things and giving pleasure to ourselves, our partners or anyone else we feel like giving – because we have that right. Shall we?
What’s your opinion on this subject and these garments?
Disclaimer: this is my first post in portuguese. It is for the brazilian girls, so I wrote it in the best way for them to understand. Later, I plan to translate it to english, but basically it is a post explaining bra sizing to girls who don’t know how it works, comparing brazilian sizes to the proper size fitting and helping them find a bra that fits.
Muitas mulheres no Brasil sofrem com um mesmo problema: o sutiã do tamanho errado. Embora a maioria delas nem saiba disso, estima-se que cerca de 80% das mulheres do mundo usem um tamanho que não é o seu. Porém, tenho meu foco nos sutiãs brasileiros agora por um simples motivo: é incrivelmente difícil encontrar seu tamanho ideal comprando sutiãs por aqui (a não ser as poucas lojas que são exceção, aquelas que alegam vender o “sutiã perfeito”, como a Hope e a Loungerie, por exemplo).
No Brasil, compra-se sutiã como quem compra uma blusa: 40, 42, 44… o tamanho das costas aumenta e o tamanho do busto aumenta proporcionalmente. Parece simples, até, mas a verdade é que esse sistema não é nada efetivo. Existem mulheres de todas as formas e tamanhos, portanto nada mais justo que sutiãs que caibam nelas, já que poucos milímeros na construção de um alteram perceptivelmente a forma da peça no corpo de quem a usa.
É errado e extremamente triste fazer com que mulheres acreditem que estão erradas por não caberem no molde de um sutiã que é feito para caber somente em uma minoria. Qualquer mulher é dona de um corpo lindo e que deve ser celebrado. Para isso, nada melhor do que roupas que caibam perfeitamente em suas curvas.
O mundo dos sutiãs é cheio de termos, medidas e curvas (claro!), então tentarei explicar mais ou menos como funciona a numeração correta, usada na maioria dos países, e como funciona a numeração normalmente usada aqui. E, claro, como saber se você está usando um sutiã adequado para o seu corpo.
Essa é a caixa toráxica de uma mulher. Para fazer um sutiã, ou vesti-lo, devemos considerar principalmente duas medidas:
1- O tamanho das costas (exatamente abaixo dos seios)
2- O tamanho do busto (na parte mais volumosa dos seios)
As medidas das costas são representadas em números (no Brasil: 38, 40, 42, 44…) e as do busto são representadas por letras (A, B, C, D…)
Existe toda uma tabela complicada relacionando a proporcionalidade de cada uma das várias medidas de um molde de sutiã e seu crescimento de um número para o outro, que não faz sentido explicar agora, mas esta informação é importante que você saiba: o tamanho do busto depende do tamanho das costas. Uma taça B não é igual em costas 40 e em costas 44, por exemplo, por causa de uma série de dimensões.
E sim, alguém alguma hora vai te dizer “Pode levar o tamanho 42B ou 44A (por exemplo), eles são iguais!”. Não acredite nessa pessoa. Como você pode notar, são dois tamanhos completamente diferentes, por que essa pessoa pode estar dizendo isso? Acontece que essa tabela de proporcionalidade diz que o aro de metal usado nesses dois tamanhos é o mesmo. Isso não quer dizer que o tamanho das costas seja igual ou que eles tenham as mesmas medidas, de forma alguma. Você deve sempre comprar o tamanho certo, que é o tamanho que te trará conforto e não deformará as linhas naturais do seu corpo (um sutiã errado, a longo prazo, pode levar o tecido dos seus seios para o lugar errado e trazer mais complicações). Esse tamanho pode ser qualquer variação de número e letra.
Os tamanhos mais comuns comercialmente vão do 40 ao 46 ou 48, e as letras de A a D. Isso não quer dizer que você deva estar em um desses tamanhos! Muitas mulheres, mesmo aquelas que são bem magras, se incluem na categoria chamada “Full Bust” (ou, se tiverem as costas largas também, “Plus Size”), que são os sutiãs com taças de tamanhos maiores. Essas categorias geralmente são vendidas separadamente somente por uma questão de construção, já que devem ser feitas de maneira diferenciada dos sutiãs de tamanhos regulares, considerando que quanto maior o tamanho dos seios, mais peso eles têm e mais suporte o sutiã precisa.
Como funciona a numeração brasileira?
Para evitar mais gastos, os fornecedores e lojistas assumiram, há muito tempo atrás, que poderiam pegar o tamanho “padrão” dos seios usado internacionalmente (padrão esse que era uma medida dos anos 60, que já mudou significativamente por conta de hormônios presentes na alimentação) e vender para todas as brasileiras. O tal “tamanho padrão”, que é usado para o desenvolvimento de moldes que depois terão seu tamanho adaptado, é o 42, que tem seu tamanho de busto como a letra B. Assim, aumentam o tamanho das costas mas mantém o tamanho do busto como a letra B.
Isso é uma das causas de inúmeros problemas que vão desde o desconforto e a falta de aceitação do próprio corpo por não caber nesse molde até problemas de coluna. Isso por conta de um princípio básico da gravidade, vejam só:
Quando você experimenta um sutiã que aperta seus seios, logo procura um tamanho maior. Mas, no Brasil, isso significa que o tamanho das costas também será maior. Assim, ele sobe nas suas costas quando você ajusta as alças e faz com que você perca boa parte do suporte original do modelo.
Ou, resumindo: ele não cabe em você.
Mas oras, se todos que estudam isso e todos que fazem e compram lá fora sabem disso, porque não é aplicado no Brasil?
Vamos imaginar que a confecção de um sutiã custe 10 reais. Ao produzir um modelo de cada tamanho comercial usado hoje (40 a 48), a empresa gasta 50 reais. Se cada um desses tamanhos for produzido com a variação de busto comercial (A a D), são mais 4 de cada modelo, ou seja, 200 reais. Para quem produz, são mais produtos para se vender, porém mais custos de produção. Para os lojistas, é um risco que deve ser tomado ao se investir na compra inicial dos modelos, que pode significar uma perda de dinheiro. Ou seja é mais caro para todo mundo.
Claro que também será mais caro para você, compradora. Não porque a loja quer “te explorar”, mas porque todos assumem riscos, desenvolvem mais moldes, a produção sai mais cara e os impostos cobrados são enormes. Mas acredite em mim, vale a pena investir para comprar um sutiã que é do seu tamanho.
E, afinal, como saber qual sutiã é do meu tamanho?
Você inicalmente deve ser medida com fita métrica, nas costas e no busto, para que se tenha uma ideia, segundo a tabela, qual seu tamanho. Então experimente esse e experimente outros: um acima, um abaixo… o suficiente para ter certeza. Vale mais a pena experimentar vários e sair com o tamanho certo do que continuar incomodada
Essa parte deve estar bem grudada no corpo, exatamente entre os seios e junto às costelas.
As costas do sutiã devem estar retas e bem justas. Nada de sutiã subindo!
O metal do sutiã não deve ficar no tecido do seu seio, e sim abaixo dele, fazendo exatamente o caminho natural que seu seio faz. Não deixe que te “cutuque” ou incomode de forma alguma!
Ao seguir esses passos, vai conseguir descobrir seu número exato. Anote-o e sempre que for comprar outra peça, experimente outra vez. Além de cada modelo ser diferente do outro, podendo ter diferença de tamanho, mudamos de número rapidamente ao longo da vida – e até mesmo ao longo do mês, por questões hormonais. Considere isso quando for experimentar seu sutiã.
Lembre-se sempre que você é uma pessoa linda que merece se sentir bem dentro do corpo que tem. O mundo precisa de mulheres que se amam e se aceitam, já que esse é o primeiro passo para a sua independência. Usar roupas que parecem ter sido feitas para seu corpo (lindo, por sinal) só te ajudará a amar ainda mais suas curvas, quaisquer que elas sejam. Uma pessoa única merece um sutiã único, e o mais próximo disso é o tamanho ideal.
I clearly showed my position last week when writing about how we should have fun and how this relates to luxury lingerie, without sexualizing them. How we should wear beautiful pieces on an everyday basis ans stop saving them to “special moments with someone else”. I didn’t realize how I contradicted myself until the day before yesterday.
At class, we were talking about clothes and the material used in every piece… eventually the conversation grew to undergarments (it’s amazing how my friends find a way to talk about undergarments when I’m around!) and the whole french study about bra and sagging. My friend 1 started saying how my friend 2 never wore any bras and 2 said that she wore, but she prefers sports bras, that she liked to wear beautiful lingerie only in special occasions with her boyfriend.
Oooh, my friend 1 looked at me, knowing how I was about to say that we shouldn’t sexualize lingerie and how we had the right to wear beautiful clothing everyday, etc etc. That’s exactly what I did, it’s kind of my modus operandi, but she looked at me and I suddenly shut up because I knew I was wrong.
I sit here by the computer talking to myself, reminding what my fight stands for. It stands for every woman being ok with herself, it stands for our right to choose whatever we want for ourselves. It stands for waxing (or shaving) if you want to or letting yourself natural if that’s your thing, it stands for wearing tons of makeup if that’s how you like yourself to look, for wearing clothes originally designed for men because they enjoy. I stand for anyone choosing whatever they want to choose and nobody having the right to say bad things about it just because their opinion is opposite. Of course this goes to pretty serious issues as well, such as religion, gay marriage, abortion… everything.
So, back to my friend 2 who wore sports bra to college and lingerie to her intimate moments, she was completely right. Right because she has the beautiful clothing, she knows her option to wear it or not… and she chooses not to. she feel good with what she chose and she is happy with herself. And plus, she really thinks her sports bras are very cute, which I must agree in some way!
Underwear can empower a woman. It can shape you, it can amaze someone else, it can work for your happiness. Either is by having your breasts free by the coice of not wearing it, either is by giving you the thrill to have something naughty or beautiful as a secret. And I feel it is my duty to remember everyone how they should be having fun underneath. Whatever this means to you.
For me, it means that I’m about to choose some beautiful lace garments to go out with my friends tonight, for her and for many other women it means not caring about what they are using on their everyday basis. For some, it’s g-strings, for many other, it’s boyshorts. And as long as I notice that people around me are happy enough to admit that they wear what they want when they want, I can assume that my only job is to provide them beautiful images and words, so they keep thinking I’m the nice lingerie blogger!
Oh, and as mentioned above, my opinion on the french study -that suggests that bra won’t make your breasts firm, in fact it helps with sagging- is the following: Women, please accept your breasts will sag. Ok? Ok. Now, you have all these options on bras and it’s time to choose if you are about to wear luxury ones, sports ones, t-shit ones or no bra at all. Decide for yourself and be fine with it!