Not Worth Reading

JarethIsAnnoyed

You may have noticed I’ve been a bit quiet here lately. I’ve taken some time to decide what to do with this blog and how best to proceed with it.

I’m writing this ongoing work for curvy women who have endured various forms of attention and abuse based on their figures, have difficulty locating clothing like I do, or have difficulty sourcing bras that fit. I am writing this for those attempting understand what it’s like to be one of us. I am writing this for clothing companies who need to know what to make to serve this portion of the population. I am writing this for those who want to grow, discuss, and learn.

There’s a contingent of ‘readers’ who are not in my intended audience. They come here and post on other sites about me (along with thousands of other women). They come here, apparently, for the photos. That’s cool, and it happens. Not fussed about that. Whatever floats your boat. But I do see those sites, and I do see what is said.

When a recent poster who shared my photos declared my blog ‘not worth reading‘, I felt a mixture of both rage and pride: Rage that a woman is still not thought of as a whole person, but is reduced to an image from which all that is truly interesting about her is subtracted; Pride that I, with my outspokenness, had induced this response, and that someone is disturbed enough by my words that they want desperately for me to shut up.

That particular thread, and others like it, are intriguing from a sociological perspective and will definitely be discussed in my book. This happens to women often, and I’d like to analyze it here as well.

You know what goes into analysis posts? Words. Not photos. Yep! More stuff that’s not worth reading! Huzzah!

This still begs the question of why readers like that come here at all, which has already been answered: photographs which they find interesting for whatever reason. This brings me to my response: No more photos of my person, at least not ones which are not heavily edited. Yay for severe cropping and blurring of cleavage! Full skirts all the way! Lingerie which is photographed flat! The more revealing dresses treated the same! Reviews will be fewer as well! BONUS! Most of the reviews I had on deck will not be posted and instead different content will be generated!

In short, I look forward to writing many more posts that are not worth reading. I may wax poetic about the corset I saw this weekend in TARDIS and Circular Gallifreyan fabric, go on a feminist rant, call out companies for unethical practices, epically nerd about Star Trek vs. Star Wars vs. Battlestar Galactica, talk about how men are left out of the body positivity movement, or discuss why fat loss is not for everyone. If that’s the sort of thing you like, please feel free to stay.

 

For this post only, I am allowing comments so that the ladies who read me may make their opinions on this subject known. I may, at my discretion, disable comments again if things get ugly.

This Must Be Thursday. A Public Wishlist – Episode 2.

I never could get the hang of Thursdays.

That being said, I have decided to no longer try to get the hang of Thursdays, rather take Thursdays as a day to mention what I’d like to hang in my closet. That way, I make the hang of Thursdays.

Which totally makes sense, right?

Just go with me here. Welcome to This Must Be Thursday.

In my travels through tweets, I bumped into a user who joined me in Extolling The Virtues Of A Certain English Actor Who Is In The New Star Trek Film, and I couldn’t help but like her. Turns out, I was tweeting with Fiona England, she was using her account for the Get Cutie Co., and her company makes lovely vintage-style dresses!

emily-peacock-lrg

They proudly proclaim on their site that

If we haven’t got it in your size or fabric then we’ll make it.

Now that’s a wonderful attitude!

Their designs and sizing have cup sizes taken into account! (up to a UK G-cup, which is a US I-cup; Doesn’t help me much as a UK K-cup, but it’s a damn sight better than most companies!)

They have designs inspired by every era rom the 40’s to the 70’s, and they have fun prints I’ve never seen before! Browse their fabric gallery to have a look, but here are some finished dresses in unusual patterns:

In modest necklines as well!

Modest necklines? You might think that’s no fun, but if you’re trying to rock a vintage look and have certain hurdles, appropriate wear can be difficult to come by. What if you work in an office setting where showing three inches of cleavage is no good? What if you are uncomfortable with showing your cleavage altogether? What if you are pre-op transgendered and dressing as such? Low-cut items are incompatible with the fashion constructions required to have that work properly. Same for women who are post-op breast cancer survivors with masectomies, who must wear special bras with a padded cup to balance out the removed tissues. What about ladies with skin conditions such as psoriasis, which perhaps they want to hide. No one ever seems to think of these things!

The vintage style revolution often seems to only reproduce outfits worn by Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield, or burlesque gear like Bettie Page might have worn. Most of the higher necklines seem to be made by companies which tend to run smaller in size, and that doesn’t help ladies like me one single bit. One could do the sweater girl look, but come on, I live in the Southeastern United States. “Hot As Balls” doesn’t even begin to cover describing the summer temperatures here. Sweaters in July are a no-go. However, I live in a very conservative town, and I need compatible clothes.

So, modest necklines located; Yay! Options for Epic Proportions; More yay! Brilliant women designing vintage style dresses, and they also love Benedict Cumberbatch?!?! Ultra yay!!! How can you go wrong?? (Pro tip: You cannot.)

I like the look of the Slouch Dress best, and that is the only dress that comes in a stretch fabric. However, that one appears to run too small for me. Their sizing page indicates that we should most likely order a size larger than we usually do, probably due to the tailoring on these items. I’ll have to chat with them to see what would work best for me.

They have skirts also!

A little more digging on the site gives me more reasons to like them; their dresses cover sizes UK 8 to 26, and in cup sizes A through G. Their site reflects this range of sizes more than many other clothing lines I’ve seen who make the same claim; there is a some size diversity to the models wearing the dresses. Everything is made without sweatshop labor on the South Coast in the United Kingdom, and they are committed to ethical trading standards. Even better! The only flaw I see is that they are not based within a twenty-mile radius of me! Of course, that could be my fault; England is lovely. Why don’t I live there, again? (sips Earl Grey, hot. decaf.)

The Get Cutie Co. suggests that you start here at this page on How To Shop The Get Cutie Way. Their sizing and fabric selection means a bit of a different order process than you may be used to.

What are you waiting for? Go shopping! Don’t forget to sign up to the newsletter! Definitely don’t forget to send in photographs of you in your purchases to my twitter or Facebook page!

Make it so!

(Pardon me as I cringe for mixing my fandom references.

At least they’re both English.

Ok, English people are involved in both.

Ok, they all speak English.

Ok, I’m lame.

Just go buy dresses and feel pretty, and we’ll all forget this ever happened.

See you next Thursday, since I still won’t have the hang of them.)

-MG-0842-2

I am not your property. Photos of me are not either.

I am not your property. Photos of me are not either.

I continue to learn about humanity, and I am continually appalled at what humans will do when no one is looking, when they think they won’t get caught, or when they get congratulations for their actions from their peers.

I’m not stupid. I know people look at me. I know people can see my boobs. They’re fucking huge. They have their own gravitational pull. There’s a singularity of vision-suck, and it’s located in my sternum between two huge mammary glands. I. Get. It.

Yes, I catch people staring. Yes, people make comments. Yes, people look at photos of me, and some folks even LIKE to look at photos of me instead of poking fun. Yes, I already knew that some people handle their physical persons in a sexual fashion while looking at photos of me, there’s no need to inform me if you have, or that people do.  Masturbate away, ye underfucked ginormaboob-lovers everywhere. That doesn’t bother me. I could not give fewer fucks that you think of me during the act of self-pleasure. We all do that thinking of someone, and that someone is often unaware that we find them attractive. This does not bother me.

That said, there is a recurring issue which must be addressed.

My body is not your property. Neither are photos of my body or body parts.

My body is mine. I sublet ownership to one other person, and that’s my husband’s name you’d read on the lease. I have ultimate say, but he has a voice, too.

You, however, have no say. You have no ownership. So when you take my photos, label them with your name in a declaration of possession, and post them elsewhere out of my reach, I get really fucking pissed.

I am mine. I am not yours. No, putting myself out there reviewing clothing does not mean that I have made myself fair game. No, putting photos on the web does not mean they are yours to take. No, seeing myself among hundreds of other girls you’ve done the same to does not make me feel better, it makes me feel worse. No, it is not respectful, and the fact you think it is respectful is repellent. To curate a collection of females and expect them to be pleased about it is an action which is beyond vile.

Do you understand what you do when you do this? Do you understand the nausea, especially for anyone who is a survivor of sexual assault?

Do you understand that it might make a woman rush to eat a bag of cookies to rebuild fat content in the hope that if she were just a bit fatter, no one would look at her any more?

Do you understand that it might make a woman starve herself so that she becomes what she assumes is a more pleasing way to look, because now she feels under scrutiny?

Do you understand that you might make a woman might do both in the same day?

Do you understand that a woman might go through all of your albums in response, and count the women prettier than her so that she can feel less stared at? Obviously, those women would be looked at first! Can you fathom how a woman might be then disgusted with herself for shoving other targets in front of herself?

Do you understand that, if you already have willing participants sending you photos that you have plenty, and taking more without permission is unnecessary?

Do you understand the quandary that woman is put in when she sees someone she knows in that list of photos? To tell the other victim or not to tell? How do you even begin to compose that conversation?

Do you have any comprehension that “Hey, I made a photo album of you, you’re hot!” is only going to make a woman frantic wondering what other albums she doesn’t know about?

Do you know how sick it might make a woman seeing your label across her photo like some kind of brand on a cow?

Do you fathom that this woman might be climbing up a steep slope towards body positive self-image, and you just knocked her back down again?

Did it ever occur to you that it might be more respectful to just link to the goddamn page she’s on with a caption of “Hey, I think this woman is really beautiful!”

Did you ever think of asking first?

Did you ever, and I know this is a mindblowing thought, perhaps think that the woman you’re looking at is so much more than just a set of boobs? And no, I’m not talking about other body parts, either.

I’m talking about things the woman has actually worked on to develop, her accomplishments, her achievements, and her personality. For fuck’s sake, I wonder what it would be like to be ogled for my vocabulary? Or to dance without being thought of as a semen target? For someone to appreciate my singing voice without drooling into my bosom as my lungs contract and expand with extended breath support? For fuck’s sake, I long to be seen as the soul who owns this body and not a body entrapping a soul, both to be exploited. It’s happened a very few times – those are people whom I call friends.

Don’t tell me I should be pleased with the attention. Don’t tell me to stop whining about someone thinking I’m beautiful. If someone whom you felt uncomfortable with did this to you, then you would be upset, too.

For the last fucking time, I am not an object. I am not your object. I am not an item to be possessed. If you don’t like that, that’s too fucking bad. I guarantee that you gave me more grief than you got pleasure, and at least you gave yourself a choice. You didn’t give me one. For that, you are not forgiven.

You could still at least apologize.

Definitely don’t fucking do it again, to me or to anyone else.

EDITED TO ADD:

Wow, this post got popular quickly! Can’t help but feel I’ve struck a chord here. I had another thought about this, which ended up on my FB page:

Depriving me of my voice and identity really is just another insult in addition to the many I’ve already endured.

That’s really where the issue lies. I would like to reiterate that I do not mind my photos being shared, preferably via retweet, reblog, or ‘share’ button, and I need to know where they’re being shared. Someone adding their own watermarks is too much.

Edited to fix typo (argh!)

Why I Believe Bra-Fitting is a Feminist Issue

Jenna:

Perfect post is perfect

Originally posted on Bras and Body Image:

As most of my readers will know, I consider my blog to be primarily a lingerie and feminism blog. However, at least on my wordpress, feminism posts have been far and few between – my blog focus is usually on bra fitting and reviews. What I haven’t mentioned is that I consider bra fitting itself to be a feminist issue, and today I thought I’d take a minute to give a few reasons why.

Starting with the simple, the most obvious function of a bra is to support. This is particularly important, of course, for sports. In the words of Beckie from Busts4Justice, a well-fitting bra is “the difference between a sedentary life filled with self-consciousness and discomfort and an active one filled with trampolines”. For exercise, a well-fitting bra is absolutely crucial for many people, and yet most of them go without. Unsupportive bras mean bouncing and ligament pain, which discourages women from…

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This must be Thursday. A Public Wishlist – Episode 1

This must be Thursday. A Public Wishlist – Episode 1

I never could get the hang of Thursdays.

That being said, I have decided to no longer try to get the hang of Thursdays, rather take Thursdays as a day to mention what I’d like to hang in my closet. That way, I make the hang of Thursdays.

Which totally makes sense, right?

Just go with me here. Welcome to This Must Be Thursday.

Here’s what’s up first: The Havana Nights swing dress from Pinup Girl Clothing

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I mean, how cute is this?!?

Havana Nights Warm Cabana Stripes Front

IT HAS POCKETS!!! How can you go wrong with pockets??? POCKETSES!

Havana Nights Warm Cabana Stripes Back

It currently comes in the warm cabana stripes above, and the cool cabana stripes below…

Havana Nights Cool Cabana Stripes Front

…and in black cotton sateen, too!

Havana Nights Black Front

I had just been lamenting my lack of casual vintage style dresses, especially those which would be wearable in a conservative town like the one I’m in. I have cleavage in a turtleneck, so I can’t hide everything, but I do like that this seems to have a bit higher neckline. The pockets (POCKETSES!!!) make it useful for everyday wear. With a toddler to wrangle, I carry as little as possible, but still managed to leave my keys at the coffee shop yesterday morning; I was wearing a skirt with no pockets, and I typically clip my keys to a belt loop on my jeans or slip them in a pocket. No dice with yesterday’s outfit. Because. No. Pockets.

Havana Nights Cool Cabana Stripes Front Cropped

However, these? They has POCKETSES, PRECIOUS! The self belt is just an extra, delightful touch.

These are newly released, and I cannot vouch for the fit. Yet. If they’re anything like the rest of the Pinup Girl Clothing items I’ve bought, the quality is out of this world, and made domestically in Los Angeles for the win! I have some reviews of items coming, including some PUG items, but these are not yet among them, since I have not yet purchased one. This will be my next purchase, I assure you. When I get one in my hot little hands, the review for that dress will jump the queue. I can honestly say that if these fit like I hope they will, I will wear them every single week.

Best part? A little sneak peek released a few weeks ago says that this will be available in green, and with sleeves. I so cannot wait for that! However, I am willing to bet that will be an AW13 thing…

Meanwhile, Click Here To Go Buy The Havana Nights Dresses from Pinup Girl Clothing!

Watermarking, copyright, and the new intellectual property paradigm

 

 

Blaming myself for not watermarking my photos before they were nicked and posted all over the place is blaming the victim for the crime happening, which is wrong. I shouldn’t have to be liable for the behavior of a thief.

I should rumble with those who post unlabeled images without, god forbid, doing a reverse image lookup or a request for information in tandem, but that’s a whole separate issue.

I’m told by the lovely Jessica M of Pin Up Persuasion that she had to start watermarking her photos because online retailers of the dresses she was reviewing were reposting her images without credit… to sell the dresses she was modeling. Dresses which she had bought with her own funds, and took her own time and equipment to photograph, and effort to review.

What the hell?? I know that theft on the internet is rampant, but I’m seeing some ballsy things happening out there.

Artistically speaking, I’m fairly liberal, and I’m not obsessive about who posts my photos. I’m all about sharing and spreading creative labor. I’m not fussed where my images are used. But for the love of the Internet, just credit where the image came from!

Yes, I know there are a lot of idiots out there who do things like comment on a photo WITH THE MODEL’S NAME ON IT and still ask “Hey, who’s the model?” It doesn’t change that you should still credit the original poster, blogger, or the copyright owner.

Or, just click the ‘Share’ button, which means that all the photo’s info goes with it.

Or ‘Reblog’ if you’re on tumblr.

Or, link to the image instead of taking it, or in addition to taking it.

Really, it’s not that difficult. If my hard work generating content makes your life easier, credit me. If you find an uncredited image, attempt to locate the owner.

From now on out, all my images will be watermarked or have a credit listed on them. I’ll be testing various permutations of this over the next few weeks. I will most likely have to generate separate watermarks for the various sites on which I have an online presence. As I am going to be working with some photographers other than myself, I’ll have a few different copyright notices pop up. I’ll also be retroactively watermarking wherever I can. This may generate some duplicate content if you are a follower on FB or tumblr, and for that, I apologize. There is no way around it, unfortunately.

I do this for free for my readers. There is a definite time, mental, and emotional cost that I must pay to do this. It is not free for me to do this in any sense of the word free. It could certainly be argued that I would buy these things which I review anyway, so there is no specific financial cost to this blog, but that’s not entirely true. I’m going to have to move to unlimited file hosting pretty soon, which means money annually. I’m not obliged to get business cards printed, but having them handy sure beats all the data entry I have to do each week after a day’s work being asked “Oh, gaaaawwd, does your back huuuuurt? Where do you get your braaaaaaas?” while I’m just trying to deliver beer to the table so I can get that round of Jagermeister delivered to the next one. Certainly I enjoy helping women feel good about themselves by assisting them towards better bra and clothing options, but when my boobs start interfering with me getting tips and paying my bills, we have a problem. Rudeness isn’t the answer, but a printed card is a damned good one.

I will continue doing this for free. I will continue to work on my book, and maybe when it is released, some of you will even buy it. I may take some freebies for review’s sake just to defray some tiny bit of the costs incurred. What I will not do is support other people’s content machines or files of personal spank-o-vision just so they can repay the favor by pretending that my work is not important enough to merit the simple courtesy of a credit and a link.

So, watermarking it is.

Yay.

I get to join all the porn girls who label their vaginas in order to build notoriety and make a buck, but I’m not making a buck. No disrespect intended to porn girls, who are lovely enterprising ladies in a legit business, but I am not one of them, nor am I ever likely to be. I simply do not have that level of confidence.

There’s a feminist rant in there just raging to come out, but I’m too tired to unlock the cage. I’ll come back and find the key after I’ve had some sleep. Meanwhile, this has been a housekeeping post. Back to your regularly scheduled skirts.

Here, have an annoyed Jareth. From Labyrinth. As played by David Bowie in the Jim Henson film.

Yeesh.

JarethIsAnnoyed

 

 

 

Jenna:

Skirt. Green. Flocked Art Deco fans print. Pockets. Consider this added to the MUST BUY list…

Originally posted on Chanel's Sick&Pretty Parlour:

Green-BannerFrom the moment I saw this skirt online, I knew that it had to be mine.  This is the Fanny skirt by Bettie Page Clothing.  You could say I’m a big fan. It’s a deep emerald green with black flocked velvet fans printed on it.  I love the mix of the classic 50’s swing skirt with the Art Deco style fan print.  The skirt fits at the natural waist and you will want to follow the size chart exactly.  If you’re between sizes, size up.  The skirt has no stretch at the waist.  It zips up the back and has a button closure (which is why there isn’t too much stretch).  I went with the medium.  My waist is 28″ which is the max measurement for the Medium and it fits snugly but not too tight.

Green-2I paired it with an off-shoulder jersey top from Pinup Girl Clothing

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