Girl Thing

Girl Thing

eating ice cream

a perfect replica of erotica

her bubblegum hair is puffed and pouffed

her breasts perky and plump with night drowsies

maraschino lips and a soft unfolding

stardust on her eyelashes

glitter in her sheets

a pastel pin-up

primed for cake and candy

sugary sweet tooth

and the mint chocolate chip drips

sticky fingers, melty daydreams

a baby doll anime-eyed darling

with a perfect pussy

sculpted from the glamour mags

porcelain and pretty

a soft and sultry

sexed up Girl Thing

Why I Stopped Shopping at Victoria's Secret

It’s that day of the year again.

The day where a bunch of women strut down a diamond runway in their skivvies with giant wings attached to their backs.

That’s right – it’s time for The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.

I’m writing this Tuesday night (while the show is airing, though I’m not watching it), but I’ll be posting this tomorrow morning (or, if you're reading this, today).

Anyway!

If you don’t know what The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is, then I’m not sure whether to applaud you or ask whether you live under a rock.  It’s basically one of the biggest and most anticipated runway shows, and it airs on television to showcase all things Victoria’s Secret (AKA bras, panties, and very stereotypically sexy ladies).

Let me begin by saying that I actually worked at Victoria’s Secret for several years in high school and college (as a sales associate and Bra Expert – yes, Bra Expert is a real title).  I also use to watch the VS Fashion Show – I looked forward to it.  I loved the extravagant wings and I’d always loved Vicky’s lingerie (I spent every paycheck I ever made in that store while employed there).  I own every color of PINK (a section of Victoria's Secret that's caters to younger women/girls) sweatpants and my underwear drawer is full of VS goodies (I literally have over 200 pairs of skivvies…TMI?  Sorry, not sorry.).

But the longer I worked there, and the older I got, the more I realized that Victoria’s Secret has some serious issues.

First and foremost, they cater only to the most generic sizes.  AA to DD – nothing bigger in cup sizes, and nothing bigger than a 40 (which is NOT big – this is the measurement under the bust).  As far as panties go, XS to XL…that’s it.  And in terms of fancy lingerie – the bustiers and corsets and sexy little ensembles – there are even fewer size options.  As a 34A, I could never find a sexy lingerie set that fit my itty bitty boobies.  They started at 34B.  This always bothered me – why shouldn’t gals with little breasts have lingerie options too?

And I can’t tell you how many times I had to tell women – very normal sized women – that we didn’t have a bra big enough for them.  Or that we didn’t carry pajamas in an XXL (or even an XL most of the time).  The size limitations frustrated me – I hated having to turn women away.  I know what an amazing difference a good bra or cute panties can make in a woman’s life.  I also know that sounds silly, but I’m being 100% serious.  I watched women light up when they finally found a bra that fit – that felt good and made them feel confident.   It was so amazing to help give women that little boost of happiness.  But it absolutely sucked having to deny other women that joy.

Several years later and much more of a feminist, I look back on my time at Vicky’s and am even more upset.  I haven’t been in a Victoria’s Secret in about half a year, but last time I stepped inside I took notice of all the pictures.  Images of long, lean, busty but skinny models with flowing hair and flat stomachs (no different than when I'd worked there several years prior).  I checked on the sizes in stock.  Same lack of diversity.  And I looked at the women wandering around and realized that most of them would not find their size in this store.

Then I consider the VS Fashion Show, a tribute to society’s “perfect” woman.  That tanned, toned beauty who fits into everything flawlessly.  Every single model has long, flowing hair.  Each has a perfect, glistening white smile.  Each is at least 5’8 and has a tiny waist, but still somehow manages to have voluptuous boobs.  These are the Angels, and they’re a physical representation of the ideal VS woman (and, for many people, the ideal woman in general).

I get it, they're all very pretty.  But they all look EXACTLY the same!  There is such an extreme lack of diversity, and that's problematic. 

I get it, they're all very pretty.  But they all look EXACTLY the same!  There is such an extreme lack of diversity, and that's problematic. 

This is absurd (obviously).  We all know that beauty and sexiness is so much more than any specific physical attributes.  But Victoria’s Secret seems loath to accept that.  And that’s depressing.  Because here is a retail behemoth that could make some serious change in the worlds of fashion and sex.  Why in the hell doesn’t Vicky’s diversify their fashion show?  Why don’t they sell larger (and smaller) sizes? 

I get so peeved every time I see the line up of VS models.  NONE of them have short hair.  In fact, the one year that Karlie Kloss rocked the runway with an adorable bob, people (read: men) freaked out and complained that she didn’t look as “sexy.”  She immediately got extensions.  There are also no women larger than a size 2 (I’m guessing here, but they all look teeny).  Underwear is not just for slender, long-haired ladies.  It’s for everyone for goodness sakes.  We all have bits and pieces to put in undergarments and we all deserve to feel sexy doing so (and not feel ashamed when we don’t fit into one store’s idea of beauty).

Yes, I do still own a lot of VS merchandise.  And I understand why people shop there - their stuff is cute and some of it is really well made.  However, I'm doing my best to limit my shopping at Victoria's Secret, and I certainly don’t watch the runway show.  I don’t want to encourage or contribute to a brand that is so blatantly exclusive and so predicable in promoting ridiculous, unhealthy stereotypes.

I also don't want to support a brand that blatantly supports (though I don’t think intentionally…at least I hope not) rape culture.  Vicky’s constantly has panties with messages like, ‘sure thing,’ and ‘ready for anything’ in their PINK line.  Um, okay.  Cool message VS.  Especially when this particular section of Victoria’s Secret (the PINK section) caters to adolescent/teenage girls. 

Such an inappropriate message to put on underwear marketed to young girls.

Such an inappropriate message to put on underwear marketed to young girls.

Look, I appreciate sexy underthings as much as the next girl.  I really, really love them actually.  I’m all about expressing one’s sexuality and being sexual and all that good, sexual stuff (that's a lot of 'sexuals').  But I don’t want to wear a g-string that says “sure thing,” on it.  And I certainly don’t want my 13-year-old cousin buying those.  It may seem overly dramatic to some that I’m upset over a pair of underwear with a ‘flirty’ message scrawled across the crotch.  But rape and rape culture is not something to take lightly, nor is it something I want to support – no matter how small or seemingly silly the perpetrator is.

Besides, there are so many awesome lingerie/underwear brands to buy from whose products are made for women of all shapes, sizes, and styles.  And they support feminism/consent/self-love.

Check out one or all of these awesome/feminist/inclusive brands:

Naja – This amazing brand of gorgeous, super soft, wonderfully made bras and panties is sure to make you feel comfy and pretty.  Naja has certain sizes listed, but if you don’t see your size they will absolutely make it happen!  Plus, this woman empowering brand “helps educate single mothers so that they can learn marketable skills.”  They go on to employ these ladies – awesome right?  Their undergarments are totally affordable, and they have an adorable line of ‘Cheeky Knickers,’ which have all sorts of fun and funny graphics (I want the sundae panties).  http://instagram.com/najagal

So super cute!

So super cute!

Feminist Style – These panties are all about feminism.  With grrrl-power statements like ‘let’s talk about sex,’ and ‘only yes means yes,’ these skivvies are a welcome change.  Plus they have a wide range of sizes and the underwear are super duper cute.  Their message is“Let’s shift our culture from sexually objectifying women to encouraging communication and consent!”  Amen!    https://www.facebook.com/FeministStyle

Sexy and empowering!

Sexy and empowering!

Dear Kate – Dear Kate is another incredible underwear brand.  These undergarments are extra special in that they have a “silky-soft, patent-pending fabric,” and each pair is “wicking, stain releasing, and leak-resistant,” meaning you can toss out your old period panties and have stylish undies all month long.  And their newest line is called the “League of Ladies,” and each pair of panties features a badass gal (like Harriet Tubman, Frida Kahlo, or Amelia Earhart).  The women behind this brand are adamant about providing comfort and style to ladies of all styles and shapes.   http://instagram.com/dearkates

This picture was a response from the ladies of Dear Kate to an add from Victoria's Secret.  The VS add showed an array of tall, skinny, boobalicious, long haired, predominantly white models in their underwear, with the words 'The Perfect Body' written across them.  The Dear Kate team decided to create this gorgeous and amazing photo in response.

This picture was a response from the ladies of Dear Kate to an add from Victoria's Secret.  The VS add showed an array of tall, skinny, boobalicious, long haired, predominantly white models in their underwear, with the words 'The Perfect Body' written across them.  The Dear Kate team decided to create this gorgeous and amazing photo in response.

So ladies (and men), I urge you to turn off the VS fashion show.  I encourage you to buy your lingerie from brands who really, truly support women and women’s rights.  Put your boobs and bum in products that empower women of every kind and support grrrl power!

XOXO!

#freethenipple!

Ask anyone who knows me, and they'll tell you I'm not very conservative when it comes to my ta-tas.  I like sheer tops, I like side-boob, and I never wear a bra (unless I absolutely have to).  I have no qualms being topless, and would do so in public if it wouldn't land me in jail.  But alas, my nips are not allowed the freedom I feel they deserve.

As a woman, the exposure of my breasts is deemed inappropriate, whether I'm skinny dipping, feeding a baby, or just letting the girls out because I'm tired of the inequality they face on a daily basis.  Even as a kid I remember feeling confused why, when at the beach, boys could walk around without a shirt but I had to cope with chafing from a bathing suit top.  These days I'm still sort of confused, but mostly frustrated.  I realize that women's boobs have been sexualized, but why should we (ladies) be penalized for that?  It's not my fault if, at the beach, the exposure of my boobs causes a guy to get distracted and trip on a sand castle.  Sure, sure guys like breasts for scientific, natural reasons, it's "animalistic" or something.  So?  Women are attracted to men's pectorals and abs, but you don't see us freaking out when a guy takes off his tee at the pool.  

So why - in fucking 2014 - are women denied the right to go topless?  I'm looking at you Instagram.  

In case you live under a rock and haven't heard about the semi-recent Chelsea Handler boobalicious instagram scandal, I'll recap.  About two weeks ago, Handler posted a photo on insta of her riding a horse topless.  The photo poked fun at a similar picture taken by Vladmir Puton (yes, shirtless), and she captioned her photo with the words, "Taking this down is sexist.  I have every right to prove I have a better body than Putin."  Surprise, surprise, Instagram immediately removed the photo.  Handler retaliated and reposted it, this time with the caption, "If a man posts photos of his nipples, it's okay, but not a woman?  Are we in 1825?"  Again, Instagram removed the photo.  After a third posting, in which Handler wrote, "If Instagram takes this down again, you're saying Vladimir Putin has more 1st amendment rights than me.  Talk to your bosses."  They removed the photo.

This whole debacle outraged me.  Let me clarify, it's not like I want to post naked photos of myself all over the internet or plaster my boobs to every social media outlet.  But I sure as hell want the right to do so should I please.  As a body-positive feminist who's come a long way in learning to love her body, I've embraced my shape, my boobs, and all of the things I used to consider flaws.  I don't need the world telling me to keep it covered - it's my body, my rights.  

My death stare in regards to Instagram's anti-nipple policy

My death stare in regards to Instagram's anti-nipple policy

People argue that social media sites like Instagram don't allow nudity because children use the app.  Okay, I agree that there shouldn't be porn on insta.  I shouldn't have to worry about my little cousin accidentally stumbling onto a picture of some sweaty sexual act.  Men's privates aren't allowed on Instgram, and neither are vag-jay-jays.  That's fine, because at least there's equality and I suppose the line has to be drawn somewhere.  It's the breasts and nipples that I take issue with.  Are people really worried about their kids seeing boobs on instagram?  Because, honestly, that's indicative of a culture that still objectifies and fears the female form.  Why not teach our children that women's bodies aren't something to cover up or something to be sexualized?  Let's teach our kids that breasts are beautiful, and that they're part of the human body, one that shouldn't elicit shame.  If a man can have his nipples out - in public and on social media - women should be able to too.  I long for the day when I can have my breasts out and not have to worry about eliciting catcalls, outrage, or any sort of reaction.  They're just boobs for goodness sakes!

I'm not sure whether Instagram will ever change their stance on breasts, but I fully support and utilize the hashtag #freethenipple in the hopes that, maybe, it's eliciting even a little bit of change!

I also realize that not everyone is as passionate about this titssue (haha boob joke!), and to some, my ardor for freeing the nip might seem a little weird.  But, ultimately, it's not just about nipples.  It's about women having rights to their own bodies, it's about the ridiculous portrayal of women's bodies in the media, and it's about freedom of choice.  Whether you want to keep your boobs under cover or let em out into the world should be completely up to you.  By no means should you unleash your nips if you don't want to!  I just ask that my nipples be afforded the same rights as everyone else's, and that they stop being regarded as sexual/inappropriate/disgusting/shameful.  Nipples and boobs are magical, they really are, but ultimately they're just one part of a body, which is just one part of an amazing woman who should be able to do with her body as she pleases.

XOXO!