Demi Coverage Reading Roundup


It’s been three weeks since I attended a screening for the documentary Embrace, and I thought I’d share my impressions here. First, if you get a chance to see it for $15 or less (some upcoming screenings in Manhattan are $35!), it’s worth it, but only if you think you can engage in conversation with the women around you and enjoy their camaraderie. Otherwise, wait for it on Netflix.

The original screening that I was helping to promote was going to have a panel discussion afterwards. It’s too bad it didn’t sell enough tickets because there was a lot to talk about. Often “body positive” has a one-dimensional feel to it, full of breathless clichés, and I like it when people dig deeper. For instance, as I walked out of the theater on September 19, I heard one woman say, “But I lost 110 pounds.” The movie only focused on the negative aspects of diet, and a Q&A session could have made room for this woman’s experience.


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Daughters in the Dressing Room

As you can guess, I (Darlene) love to talk bras and full bust issues anytime I visit a lingerie store. Sometimes the fitter is simply polite, and other times she turns out to be a recent journalism graduate who is just as passionate about the subject as I am. That’s who I met at Suzette’s Lingerie in 2014, and two years later, Shannon Thomas is finally writing a guest post for us. Shannon describes herself as a “New York City-based writer and bra specialist aiming to change lives one byline and bra strap at a time”.  (Leah will return with another great post for Off the Rack next week.)untitled-102

As a little girl, September was always one of my favorite months. The air was cooling, I could begin wearing my cute cardigans again, and I loved going back-to-school shopping with my mother. You know the usual list: perfectly sharpened Crayola colored pencils, fresh notebooks, and of course crisp clothes for the upcoming semesters. As a bra fitter, I see mothers come into my store with their daughters during back-to-school shopping as well, and I smile from the sweet nostalgia.  About half of the young ladies are in their early to mid teens getting what is their first–but certainly not last–fitting. The other half are young and still waiting for their turn. [Read more…]

Positive Selfies for Big Busts & Brands

You know how after you’ve shopped for something, it shows up everywhere you go online? Well, the same thing happens when you write about a body positive subject like the Embrace documentary (that is opening in the United States today and inspired this heartfelt post from Shari Deutsch at The Strap Saver). That’s how I discovered a workshop called “Body Positive Selfies” given by Embodied State of Mind on September 3.


Me with Natasha Overton and Kira Munoz, the Body Positive Selfies team from Embodied State of Mind.

Last week I wrote about Campbell & Kate’s recent photo shoot. We worked hard to show my shirts to their best advantage with actual models, hair and makeup artist, stylist, professional photographer and great lighting. As a blogger who wants to portray all bust-friendly clothing that I wear to its best advantage, however, it’s just me and my cell phone or camera. When I’m at home with my tripod and a lot of time, I’m happy with the outcome, but when I’m on the road and just want to give a shoutout that I’m wearing a certain brand, I’m rarely satisfied.

Most recently this happened with my amazing Riley dress from Bitter Lollipop (which is planning to have new styles available in 2017, by the way). I rediscovered it in my closet and have been wearing it weekly ever since. I didn’t want to write a complete new post about it; I just wanted to remind readers how much I love it with a tweet like, “I’m in the muggy train station feeling sharp in my Riley dress from @bitterlolli.” But every selfie was a dud that did NOT show the dress to its best advantage.

So of course I signed up for the selfie workshop.

Like you, I wondered, “What makes a selfie ‘body positive’ instead of just a selfie?” Workshop leader Natasha Overton didn’t give me a cut-and-dried answer, but she gave a ton of tips for taking good selfies that I won’t want to delete . . . and that’s an answer right there. Here are some of her tips: [Read more…]

Getting Message #1 Out: Let’s Embrace Our Bodies

If you started watching Crazy Ex-Girlfriend after my survey of Rebecca Bunch’s bust-friendly wardrobe last week, then you know all about Valencia, the epitome of every unrealistic beauty standard we’ve ever tried to meet. I was completely surprised, therefore, to find her singing “Women Gotta Stick Together” with the kind of women we see in our own mirrors and around us every day–women of a variety of ages, heights, weights, ethnic origins, orientations, bust size, and hair styles.

It seemed like mainstream TV was finally sending us a body-positive message! Then I listened to Valencia’s lyrics:

Women have the power—
The power to make a change.
Like this girl should pluck her eyebrows,
And those jeans should be exchanged.
You really need a size up.

Instead of sending just one message, this video juxtaposes two:

  1. acceptance and representation of all body shapes and sizes
  2. unforgiving perfectionism.

I’d like to say that #1 wins, but if so, why do the women that Valencia hurts stay with her to the end of the song? On the other hand, #2 doesn’t win either because it is impossible to see Valencia in a positive light. If you watch the video, I’d love to hear your perspective.

This topic is on my mind a lot because I’m helping promote a new documentary called Embrace that CLEARLY sends a body-positive message.

embrace documentary poster

Embrace is part of Taryn Brumfitt’s Body Image Movement that began when she posted a “before” photo of herself as skinny and healthy next to an “after” photo of herself as larger and healthy. You may remember when these photos went viral a few years ago.


Screenings begin around the United States on September 19, and you can click this link to find a screening near you. If you are in or near New York City, I would LOVE to see you at the September 22 screening at Loews 19th Street. Sixty more reservations are needed so that it can happen. Would you share the link with your friends? Brooklyn screening on the 19th.


Here is a recent review of the documentary, another review, and a recent interview with Taryn Brumfitt. At one point the interviewer asks about Taryn’s interaction with a plastic surgeon: “How the hell did you not sock him in the face when he was talking about your boobs?” Don’t you want to see what she’s talking about?