Product review: the BreastNest

two pictures of woman wearing a tank top with built in bra

Left: with bra underneath, right: without bra

I recently got sent two more free things to review, wheee! When it rains, it pours. :D This is one, and the other is a gorgeous velvet dress from eShakti that I’ll be posting about soon.

I’d had my eye on the BreastNest, which is a tank top with a built-in bra, ever since Marianne reviewed it a while back. So when its designer, Susan, offered me one, I jumped at the opportunity.

plus size woman wearing breastnest- bra alternative

The BreastNest is marketed as a bra alternative, but at least for my particular body, I’d say it’s more like an alternative to wearing a t-shirt and tucking it under my boobs (which is what I usually do when I’m sitting around at home!). It doesn’t have enough support that I’d feel comfortable wearing it outside the house, except for maybe walking a block to drop something in the nearest mailbox.

But it is made out of a super-soft material, and it has a comfortable elastic band that keeps your breasts separate from both your under-boob area and each other–which makes it perfect for wearing around the house or sleeping in. I also tried it on with a bra underneath, which turns it into a great workout top.

The BreastNest comes in sizes Medium – XXX-Large, based on the ribcage (underbust) measurement, and I am wearing it in an XX-Large. It also comes in orchid and white in every size except XXX-Large. I definitely recommend it for around-the-house wear, and depending on how much support you need to feel comfortable, you might also be able to wear it for running errands.

Note #1: I guess I should start putting a disclaimer on all my review posts that I was given this product for free, but all opinions are my own. I only review products that I like and would have considered buying anyway, so don’t worry, you won’t see me trying to sell you any random ugly things.

Note #2: The glitter hair bow is, of course, from Crown & Glory!

Sunday links, 12/21/14

chocolate cupcake with peppermint frosting

#BlackLivesMatter
-Why #BlackLivesMatter actions aren’t stopping.
-“We are connected online and in the streets. We are decentralized, but coordinated. Most importantly, we are organized. Yet, we are likely not respectable negroes. We stand beside each other, not in front of one another. We do not cast any one of ours to the side in order to gain proximity to perceived power.”
-Powerful pictures from #ChanukahActions around the country, including the one I attended in Brookline.
-26 ways to be in the struggle beyond the streets.
-“Some of the worst racist tragedies in history have been perfectly legal”: Kimberlé Crenshaw on Eric Garner, Broken Windows and police impunity.
-When we talk about police shootings, we need to talk about gender.
-This makes my heart happy: two women who met at the protests in Ferguson are getting married.

One of the pictures I took at the Brookline Chanukah Action

One of the pictures I took at the Brookline Chanukah Action

-Angela Davis: “There is an unbroken line of police violence in the US that takes us all the way back to the days of slavery.”
-It is beyond disturbing to learn about how the Cleveland police treated the family members of both Eric Crawford and Tamir Rice after they were killed.
-Policing is a dirty job, but nobody’s gotta do it: 6 ideas for a cop-free world.  In the meantime, Richmond, CA is an example of how a police department can do better.
-Being a cop showed me just how violent and racist the police are. There’s only one fix.
-From Michael Brown to Assata Shakur, the racist state of America persists. You can read more about Assata’s situation here and here, and sign a petition asking Obama to pardon her.
-This is great: Product Review: The Invisible Backpack of White Privilege from L.L. Bean.

Fa(t)shion
-Glitterinthedirt interviews Tracy of Domino Dollhouse and Shawna of Chubby Cartwheels about the small business side of plus size fashion–very relevant to what I was talking about in this post.
-Fashion and feminism: Taja Lindley of Colored Girls Hustle.
-The new issue of Skorch is awesome as always.
-33 plus size dresses for New Year’s Eve–because what better night to channel Beyoncé?
-17 bizarre Nicki Minaj outfits, because she knows how to make costume-wear look incredibly cool.
-The Fab Fatty Wonderland clothing swap looks amazing!
-The next big plus model is also a master’s grad, philanthropist, and all-around bad-ass.
-I’m drooling over the Marchesa gowns that Nicolette got to see up close in NYC.
-11 inspiring holiday outfits from our favorite plus-size bloggers. Continue reading

OOTD: Too much is never enough

plus size outfit hot pink skater dress and rainbow leggings

So you know that craft fair I went to, where I found I’m Your Present and fell in love? Well, I got a few things there, and decided I had to wear them ALL AT ONCE for my recent holiday party.

And then I thought, why stop with multiple pieces of large mirrored jewelry? Why not add a sparkly star crown and iridescent boots, just for good measure?

plus size outfit with laser cute kawaii jewelry

Dress: ASOS Curve, leggings: Domino Dollhouse, headband: Crown & Glory (from last month’s Glitterati box), necklace, earrings, and hair bow: I’m Your Present, boots: Dr. Martens, bangles: eBay, beaded bracelet: gift shop at DisneyWorld, rose ring: old, rhinestone ring: So Good Continue reading

Unpopular opinion: I really hate the phrase “male tears”

Not my cup of tea. (source)

Not my cup of tea. (source)

The concept of “male tears” is ubiquitous in the online feminist circles where I hang out, especially on Tumblr. I’ve seen at least one mug or teapot featuring it in nearly every feminist holiday gift guide that I’ve read this month (and I’ve read a lot of them). I know it’s meant as a critique of guys who whine about being called out on their sexist behavior, not ones who are genuinely in emotional distress. But it still makes me deeply uncomfortable.

On one hand, I don’t want to tell other women how to respond to the shittiness of dealing with sexism and misogyny; we all cope in our own ways. But at the same time, I can’t separate out anything that makes fun of the idea of men crying from the toxic culture–which is very much a part of the patriarchy–that tells men to stuff down their emotions, be stoic, don’t cry. This culture not only harms men by denying them a part of their humanity, but more importantly, harms women: because it encourages men to act with unthinking aggression and violence rather than empathy. To appear tough at all costs, no matter who gets hurt–and “who gets hurt” is nearly always a woman and/or a member of another marginalized group.

I know that the women who ironically revel in drinking male tears don’t mean to use the phrase that way. If you asked them, they’d say they’re just as opposed to that toxic construction of masculinity as I am. They’d say they’re all for men genuinely expressing their emotions. They’d say that their ironic jokes have nothing to do with the kind of people who actually think men shouldn’t cry.

But it’s axiomatic in social justice spaces that intent isn’t magic. If you say or do something harmful, it doesn’t matter that you meant well–the harm is still done, and you still need to apologize and work on doing better the next time. Likewise, it doesn’t matter whether the women who proudly drink from “male tears” mugs mean to reinforce the idea that men who cry are pathetic and deserving of mockery. We still live in a culture in which most men are expected to bottle up their emotions, and that still has harmful, even deadly consequences. I can’t get behind anything that reinforces it–no matter how unintentionally, no matter how ironically.

There has to be some other way to say, “Up yours, whiny sexist dudes.”

Sunday links, 12/14/14

I realized I haven't posted any food pictures in a while. So here is some delicious Indonesian fried rice.

I realized I haven’t posted any food pictures in a while. So here is some delicious Indonesian fried rice.

#BlackLivesMatter
-Absolutely gut-wrenching: Eric Garner’s daughter staged a “die-in” at the same spot where her father was killed.
-Eric Garner said “I can’t breathe” 11 times–now activists are making 11 demands in his name.
-The civil rights movement came out of a moment like this one.
-Must-read profiles of DeRay McKesson, one of the organizers behind the Ferguson protests, and Frankie, a protester.
-Today in solidarity: incredible women and girls of Ferguson.
-Police violence happens to black women, too.
-Whose lives matter? Trans women of color and police violence.
-“We live in a country full of racism, but no racists; rape, but no rapists. And the common denominator is power.”
-Black poverty is state violence, too: why struggles for criminal justice and living wage are uniting.
-“I’ve been attending and observing protests for thirty years, and I’ve never seen anything quite like what I’ve experienced in New York City over the last week.”
-These pictures document the unprecedented scale of the protests. You can also see powerful pictures from a few of Boston’s actions here, here, herehere, and here.
-A list of concrete ways that white people can act accountably within the movement.

An important sign I saw at a recent protest.

An important sign I saw at a recent protest.

Continue reading