Corporate Curves Report: Part of Me

I was chatting with my fellow columnist Mia about a dilemma that I have: we are a bust-focused blog, but I sometimes struggle to  find a busty angle for my posts. I told her, “It’s just harder for me to be analytic over boobs as I never saw them as a problem even when it was harder to find clothes. I just became super happy over well-fitting clothes because I looked slimmer. So it’s hard to focus on anything specifically related to my bust size–it’s just a part of me, but I don’t really think about it that much. If I write about myself, it is busty because that’s how I physically am. That’s my take on it.”

I never really saw this as a blog topic, but Mia made me realize that it might actually make a good one! I’ve just been feeling a little guilty over the fact that I must struggle to make bust size a focal point in everything I write.

So why do so many women I know seem preoccupied with their bust size? I really had to think about it. I’m a person who just is; I’m generally not bothered about much, and even though I like analytic discussions about just about anything and love a great constructive discussion, I still don’t feel that strongly about a lot of things. The way I grew up, my self image and esteem just happened to be built around who I am and what I do over what I look like. I won’t go into specifics, but I’m one of the many in this world who has had a very winding path on my way to adulthood, so looks were not high on the priority list a lot of the time.

In a sense I do pay attention to my bust size, but most often in a joking way–as in when someone asks me to do something and I can’t do it in the same way because of my bust, I’ll just say, “Well, not with my boobs!” or something along those lines. A British co-worker asked me this week why I bought from a UK online store when the pound is so strong at the moment. I just said to him, “Well, if I want a trench coat that buttons all the way up, I have to order from a specialist retailer in the UK.” I’ve also told some co-workers that I write this column because it’s harder to find clothes when you are big-busted. Most people haven’t really thought of that actually! They often get an Aha! moment when they realize that it’s actually true.

My surroundings are definitely another factor in my attitude. Here men don’t catcall women or holler on the streets. Generally we are taught from childhood not to stare at people, not to point at people, and to give people their privacy. So while it is noticeable that I am above-average-busted, people usually don’t show in any way that they notice. Well, also I’m quite blind. Even if they do, I hardly ever notice if someone’s looking at me anyway! It has to be such blatant bust staring that even I notice. In those rare cases, it’s usually just something I can crack a joke about if it happens at work since I’m not bothered if it clearly is just innocent and not on purpose.

But I do wonder sometimes how I’m described to someone who is looking for me at the office and doesn’t know who I am!!! If I say that he’s the dark bearded, deep voiced bold guy in a hoodie–well, am I then the dark-haired, big-busted woman with the black specs who always wears dresses or something? 😀 I’d rather not know, but I know that I might be, and it’s ok. I am that way.

It might seem like a contradiction that I write for a busty blog, but I am big busted and love clothes, so why not? I just don’t always make a focal point over that as it just doesn’t come naturally to me. To me the topics I feel most deeply about apply to womanhood in general and from that perspective, accepting your body is not specific to any particular body type but to anyone in general.

My personal trainer Maria asked me yesterday at the gym when we were–again–fixing my posture during an exercise, “Have you ever considered a reduction?” I was a little stunned at first as the thought had never entered my head. I replied, “No, why would I have?” I understood her point after my initial reply, but then I continued, “If I hadn’t found my correct bra size when I did, I don’t know, I might think differently.” But I’m blessed with not having any pain because of the weight of my bust so that is essentially why. It’s also most likely why my bust is just one part of me just like the rest of my body. If there were any pain, I’d probably think about it a lot more.

Corporate Curves Report: How Trinny & Susannah Changed My Mind About Grey

I’ve never really cared that much about the tv shows that give style advice but do sometimes watch them. Yesterday there wasn’t much on, so I happened to catch a glimpse of Trinny & Susannah in Denmark. A lovely blonde, green-grey-eyed female law student was stuck in a rut wearing hoodies and jeans but said that there was a peacock inside her that she wanted that to show. So she thought that the only way to stand out would be by using bold colors. I personally am inclined to think so, too, although the colors reflect my mood as well.

But Susannah actually put her in this golden dress first. The student said it looked too bland, but Susannah said that pale can be beautiful and glowing.

[image to come]

To prove her point she wanted them to take a photo of her in a bright red dress.

[image to come]

I still was with this woman’s thinking that color looks amazing. I suppose it’s something when you are very pale and have such icy colored eyes as well that you don’t think that anything pale looks nice. But when they compared these two shots of her on Susannah’s phone I did start to get her point.

How they ended up styling her was grey, but interesting grey.

[image to come]

Susannah made a point “Now YOU are the most interesting part of this outfit and it makes your eyes really pop out.” When she had her hair and makeup done, I finally agreed!

[image to come]

This all then ties into a what to wear situation on the same day. I wore a white knitted Calvin Klein dress with black tights and did not want to add a navy trench coat on the outfit, especially since I was wearing leopard print ballerinas.

[image to come]

Then I thought of the Pepperberry full skirt trench that I’ve sort of been eyeing for a long time. I knew it was on sale, but only now after realizing how grey can really accentuate my icy eyes and pale skin in a complimentary way did I finally buy it. I’ve just thought that grey = boring.

 

Full Skirt Coat Now. Was

Now I’m just a little unsure of the fit as I’ve usually had to take 16RC in coats because of shoulder room, but there was none left. I took a risk with 14SC then, as I am smaller now the last time I shopped with them so fingers crossed. Here’s to hoping it fits. Then I’ll have a black wool coat and navy and grey trench coats, so I should be all set for this autumn.

Corporate Curves Report: Dress for success? Maybe there’s truth to it.

Seminars, I don’t know how I feel about them. If they are free, they often are too much sales pitch, too little real tangible interesting content. Great for networking for sure. But I suppose it’s mandatory to at least attend a few per year just for networking purposes.

The autumn seminar season has begun, and my first pick was a HYPE 2014 The Digital Revolution seminar by Gartner and a few other partners. It was pitched as the “Event for REAL future leaders” for ICT and business management.

Sea of dark suits, the lady in front of me became one of my new connections.

Sea of dark suits, the lady in front of me became one of my new connections.

This was not purely an ICT seminar and it also wasn’t free of charge, so I had to take it quite seriously. So the major problem “what am I going to wear” hit me. I hadn’t figured it out even the night before the seminar! I woke up really early before the alarm went off and just thought about it.

  • I wanted to feel comfortable
  • It was going to be a warm and sunny day
  • I could not wear heels because of a sore ankle
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Ivanka Trump jacket from Macys, Milano jumsuit from Marshalls, Ecco loafers, Nine West watch.

I quickly decided on the black jumpsuit (the one I wore at the Big Bust Clothing Swap last month) because it’s super comfortable, goes well with flat shoes, and with its leather detailing and simple look it’s professional enough – but only with a formal jacket. So black jacket? White jacket? I was worried that I’d not feel comfortable in a white one and I could wear my colorful Marimekko accessories with the black to make it less dull. BUT I’d still be wearing all black in a sea of dark suits. So white it had to be. Black and white is always a classic! And I LOVE how Kerry Washington’s character Olivia in Scandal wears white jackets and coats all the time and looks so chic.

It was a chilly morning so added a Luhta snood. Bag is by Brooklyn Industries.

It was a chilly morning so added a Luhta snood. Bag is by Brooklyn Industries.

This was actually a replication of the look so my hair is messier and had time to play with my dog.

This was actually a replication of the look so my hair is messier and had time to play with my dog.

I’m glad I did! The seminar was a huge success and partly because of what I wore. I got complimented on my outfit by other professional ICT leader women and got to know people through that. I’ve always been a bit doubtful over the phrase “dress for success”, but hmm, maybe there is something to it after all. I made some pretty impressive new contacts there which I hadn’t even dreamed of and it was a busy and fun networking day full of great ideas.

Corporate Curves Report: Womanly Change Curve?

Note from Darlene: We all have days when we don’t give our big boobs a second thought, and sometimes Tina’s corporate report will reflect this. Today, Tina reflects on one aspect of what it means to be a woman in her field, regardless of bra size.

I had an interesting discussion with my work team’s senior project manager where he and I discussed how being a woman can actually work for you in change management. This topic was raised at a lunch discussion when we noticed that the people on our project who most successfully handle management level change resistance are pretty much all women, myself included.

This is also a cultural thing and doesn’t work in the same way in all countries (possibly not in many Asian cultures where losing face is a huge deal), but in many western cultures it does.

Change resistance is a natural phenomenon when there are big changes at ones workplace and even the top management can get very difficult over accepting the change. In Finland we do not have much hierarchy in workplaces, but there’s still some good old fashioned shouting culture present among the management–older men, that is–plus the ones who learned from them.
Emotional change adaptation curve.

Emotional change adaptation curve.

But all of those men have wives and daughters (okay, maybe not all, but as a generalization). On top of that, it’s common these days that women work in high positions even in male-dominated fields like Supply Chain or IT, at least in my home country. So there’s no Mad Men type of thinking present in workplaces anymore, nor has there been for a few decades.
Even the leaders are all just normal people with families, and I suppose many men have learned that sometimes it’s just better to give in and agree with the women in their lives. In deep change resistance where they have dug their heels in and refuse to budge, a smiling woman who just sighs at shouting and asks whether you are done with shouting and could we move on with the agenda as we’re not making progress here can be . . . disarming.
The majority will always adapt new anything late so early stages are always challenging.

The majority will always adapt to anything late, so early stages are always challenging.

She calmly explains the change over and over again as many times as is required, but if all else fails she will flash the HQ card saying that, well, we’re not really asking you to approve this, but it would go more smoothly if we’d get you on board. All with firm calmness and a smile.

Perhaps it’s less face-losing to change one’s mind and give in when it’s not to a career hungry man but instead a tough but soft woman. They won’t change their minds quietly or easily, but it seems that surrendering to a woman in the face of defeat might be a little easier to swallow than it would be to a male.
Of course there are sometimes those people who just shout and don’t listen to, well, anyone.