If you follow me on Twitter, you know that last week was pretty crazy. Wednesday was a family holiday to celebrate my husband’s 50th birthday. On Thursday I took my 14.5 year old calico cat Cleo to a specialist vet for a biopsy of the spot that had showed up on her liver during a recent ultrasound. (If you’re a fellow cat lover, you can read more about this at the bottom of today’s post.) In between these two events, my 22-year-old niece moved in with us from Florida! This is very exciting to me because she is my only niece who wears a D+ bra, so I have a LOT of blog post ideas to try out with her.
Now that I’ve given you a roundup of my life, let me give you a roundup of a few big bust items ofÂ interest that have caught my eye this past week.
1. Are fashion magazines finally getting that “big bust” does not automatically mean “fat”? February’s issue of InStyle covers reader shape issues, and two of them focus on boobs!
A few pages later, they use Katy Perry as an example of “curvy” and recommend her “go-to” designer, Roland Mouret.
Since Katy Perry is often spilling out of her dresses, I’m not sure Mouret is actually giving her enough room for her famous curves, but some of his styles are definitely meant to flatter an hourglass shape.
2. Octavia Spencer
First, isn’t Octavia Spencer an hourglass?
Next to the photos of Katy Perry, InStyle uses Octavia Spencer as an example of plus size and recommends her “go-to” designer, Tadashi Shoji. I agree with the Tadashi Shoji recommendation, but not only for plus-size women. Tadashi Shoji makes enough room for curves and uses fabric and styles that flatter them.
In the advice below her photo, plus-size women are told that “cinching a shirt, cardigan or dress can accentuate the waist and help give the illusion of an hourglass shape.” I may be blind, but from what I see, Octavia doesn’t need to create an illusion of an hourglass shape because she already has one. So maybe it’s one step forward but another one back–there’s acknowledgment that all busty women aren’t plus-size (or augmented); now we need acknowledgment that plus-size women can be hourglassy.
Second, is Octavia Spencer even plus size?
I’m not entirely persuaded. My theory is that it only appears as a possibility because of all the actresses who wear sizes 0-4 around her. Regardless of the label, she impressed me with this Facebook quote about her weight: “I am NOT WORRYING ABOUT MY WEIGHT! I AM NOT TRYING TO CONFORM TO an unrealistic model of beauty. I AM however being proactive in being the healthiest I can be.”
Third, did Octavia Spencer get the breast lift she was talking about after last year’s Oscars?
She’s only 42, so it’s hard to believe she even “needed” one, but if she seriously tried to get a better bra and it let her down, then I can understand the temptation. Below, the photo on the left is from October 2012 and the photo on the right is from this January.
Â 3. Empreinte
If you’ve ever wondered if a $100+ bra is worth it, check out the Empreinte review by the sister of the Bras I Hate and Love blogger. I didn’t have the same experience, but I’m hoping to give the brand another try someday soon–either when I can fit into their G cups or when I try their H cups.
Ali Cudby was even able to go to the Empreinte L’Atelier Lingerie in Paris this month! It would take a lot of courage for me to venture into their museum-like space, but it would be worth it to be sized there and then have “a rack containing every bra they stock in [my]Â size . . . wheeled into the room”!
More about my cat . . .
The liver spot is likely benign, but a chest x-ray revealed that fluid had filled up Cleo’s chest cavity, decreasing the room for her lungs so that she could barely breathe. When they removed the fluid and gave her an echocardiogram (my cat has seen a cardiologist!), they found another mass somewhere in the chest area, and we’re waiting to see what the lab will be able to discern about it from the fluids sent to them. In the meantime, I’m trying to coax Cleo to eat as much as possible, and anytime she snuggles onto my chest and blocks my view of the computer or newspaper I’m trying to read, I drop everything and just enjoy the vibrations of her purr.
Sorry about your cat.
That might be cultural, but I’ve never heard this big boobs = fat thing, before I discovered the bra-blogosphere. I come across the phrase “skinny girls with big boobs” (usually with some nasty comment) often enough! On another cultural note, Octavia Spencer would be considered plus-size in France. I often find that the notion is not the same in different countries. She looks like she could be an hourglass, but then again maybe not: her hips and legs look slimmer than her upper body. In any case, she looks good in those red carpet dresses!
The same about plus-size in exUSSR. But it’s kind of ok to be plus-size here if you had children unless you are morbidly obese (in this case people suggest that something should be wrong with you, either serious psychological or medical problems).
And yes, Octavia really looks great in those dresses!
Astrid, I became aware of the big boobs = fat thing as I began to describe my clothing company to people. They would automatically suggest plus size markets to me.
Interesting! I have the feeling that people are well aware that slim women can have big boobs (and then, they get described as “trashy”, “tarty” or some other nice thing), but I do believe that there is an assumption that fat women will have big boobs. Large band bras don’t seem to come in smaller cups and plus-size clothes tend to be more generous in the bust than straight size clothes.
Yes! I was reading a complaint about that recently on Already Pretty (I think)–a larger woman was frustrated that clothing that fit her everywhere else was too large in the chest. We could only dream, right?
Hope Cleo will be ok. I think that if she comes to purr it’s a good sign.
Thanks, Malica! Sadly, the vet just called to tell me that there are enough atypical cells in the fluid to strongly suggest malignant carcinoma. Now I’ll be spending all my spare time googling other cat owners’ stories.
I’m very sorry for poor Cleo and deeply sympathize with you. Wish you both a lot of strength and endurance.
I can’t add anything to what Malica said except that I’ve been there. My Max even tried to comfort me … what a bond we develop with our critters.
Thanks, Sarah. It turned out to be carcinoma in the lungs. Yesterday her chest filled up with fluid again. After having it removed and making her comfortable, we learned that this would happen again and more frequently. She hated trips to the vets so much, and I knew she would hate me for the pills I was going to have to give her to try to control the fluid buildup. Carcinoma doesn’t respond well to chemotherapy, and my husband’s research found that there’s an 80% mortality rate for cats who undergo surgery. So we decided to have her put to sleep. I loved that cat so much. I’m just so thankful that the vet left us alone with her until I was able to get her entirely relaxed and happy. She wasn’t even stressed when the vet came back and gave her the injections. My husband was the most supportive and patient he could possibly be through all of this. While I was parking the car when we got home last night, he came in and removed her photo from my screen saver without even saying anything. I was so relieved not to have to do that. She had the cutest face in the world. This morning the vet left a message to assure me we had done the most humane thing–she had spoken to the oncologist, and he said that even if she survived the surgery, she would only have 2 months more. So this has been a very sad day and your comment came at just the right time for me. Thanks again.
I’m really glad to hear about this article in InStyle also! It does give me hope that the mass market of fashion if finally coming around to a better understanding of different body types and better bra fitting.
Just from looking at her pictures I don’t *think* Octavaia got a breast lift. I think the gowns just show off her shape significantly better (the other two outfits hide her waist completely) and my guess is that the gowns could even be combined with some sort of corset or shapewear that is also giving her more lift.
I’m so sorry about your cat! Give her all the cuddles she needs, and hopefully she’ll eat a bit more.
Is she Plus Sized? Probably, but “Plus Size” is arbitrary. Many lines begin their Plus Size range at US size 12, while some conventional sized lines top out around a US size 16 or 18. Most American women are in that range between 12 and 16. Calling it Average or Medium would make more sense because Octavia, like me and like most of us are somewhere in the middle, however it seems “Plus” is the widely used term for 12 and up size range.
I think we get hang ups about labels, size numbers (and cup letters) the way we do about age. We have an idea about when one becomes old, or even middle aged, and that will always be older than the age I am right now. When life expectancy is 72, few who are 36 consider themselves to be in mid-life, it’s always later. Or we resist saying we are Plus Sized if we can slip into the uppermost ranges at The Gap or Ann Taylor. Even my subjective definition of “rich” is “more money than I have today” totally discounting that owning my 900 sq ft home and 2 ten-year old cars makes me wealthy by most of the world’s standards. So much depends on the yardstick.
I’d propose calling my size (and Octavia’s) something like Blue-Green/Teal/Aqua on a ROYGBIV scale. With a perfectly attractive color range to suit my dimensions, as they are now, I don’t need to fret about working my way down to Orange or Yellow, or judge Red as superior to Indigo because it is smaller.
Hoping for the best for your beloved cat.
Catherine, your ROYGBIV scale is brilliant. Also, if you haven’t already seen this You Look Fab post about plus-size shopping, I think you’ll find it interesting: http://youlookfab.com/2013/01/22/when-to-shop-in-the-plus-size-department/
Thanks for that link!
I’ve known I’m far from being alone in my in-between-ness from a lifetime of shopping. Nice to see it acknowledged. I think one day we’ll look at designers who shun this range and the notion of dressing “plus” sized women as being as foolish as a shoe manufacturer who won’t make any shoe larger than a size 7. In the meantime, I’m loving my Tadashi dresses, my pink suede trench from Anna Sholz and anything I can get my hands on from Lisa Dolan’s fantasic botique in Brooklyn.