Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Frustrations with the Polish Brafitting Community

About two years ago, I ran across a thread on the Polish brafitting forum Balkoneta, talking about me. Although I don't speak Polish, I was able to tell enough from Google Translate to feel shocked and hurt. (** Edit: I did check with a native Polish speaker for translations on each item mentioned in this post, and received confirmation that the ladies mentioned were, in fact, being rude.) The ladies on the forum were suggesting that I was lying/measuring wrong and that I couldn't possible be a 26 band- that it was just my ego convincing me that I needed one. They also decided that I was wearing my bras "at the waist," although how that would work, I honestly have no idea. I didn't address it at the time, although I did perhaps write an over-enthusiastically positive review of Ewa Michalak in reaction- the truth is, they're not the best company for my shape in other ways, they were just my only option, and it was nice to have bands that fit me. Eventually, a girl from the forum emailed me in English, and we had a discussion about bra fitting in which we were able to come to an agreement.

Honestly, the incident really discouraged me from blogging. People sometimes forget that bloggers have feelings, too. I can handle random trolls, but I was really saddened to see myself attacked, and my body analyzed like a piece of meat, by women on a forum I had respected.

I was also dismayed by an incident with Ewa Michalak herself a while ago, commonly referred to as "strapgate," in which Ewa asked for feedback on the smaller band sizes, and received many, many replies (including myself) saying the straps were too widely placed. Then she proceeded to attack her loyal customers, saying they were *all* wearing the wrong size, and threatened to discontinue smaller band sizes.

She also wrote a blog post supposedly debunking my fitting method. In it, she shows a woman with a 97cm (38") underbust, and she suggests that the "UK sizing method" would fit this woman into a 70KK, or 32KK. The problem is, she's completely wrong! I can't imagine how she managed to shove this poor woman into such a tight band, but that is certainly not how I measure. If I were fitting this woman, I would use a 38 band as a starting place. Because EM bands are not very stretchy, they run tight in larger band sizes, so I would probably suggest that she go up a size, based on her personal comfort. That means there's a good chance I would have fit her into a 90F/40F, exactly the same size as Ewa! And yet she ridicules the "British fitting method" without having any idea how it works.

She also ignored that women in the larger band sizes are perfectly happy with the fit of Ewa bras. It's specifically the smallest band sizes and biggest cup sizes that have this construction error. The straps were bad for me in a 26HH, but when I grew a few cup sizes and landed in a 26JJ, the straps were truly intolerable, making arm movement difficult, sliding off my shoulders, and causing me a lot of pain. Ewa Michalak bras are no longer wearable for me. And honestly, this whole experience left me with no interest in supporting Ewa's business any longer.

Today, I saw yet another thread on Balkoneta attacking myself, as well as several other bloggers. I don't understand why these women assume that we won't see the nasty things they're saying (since I discovered Biubiu and Ewa Michalak, it's a decent bet I'm good at deciphering Google Translate!) and I don't understand why all this nastiness is necessary. I know that I would be more than happy to hear suggestions for how I could find better bras. I've definitely struggled a lot to find things for myself. I would be overjoyed to be able to wear a wider selection of bras- as far as my vanity is concerned, I would far rather be able to wear a wide variety of pretty bras, than be able to say I'm a 26 band. Also, most Americans still think a 32 band is absolutely teeny tiny, so saying I was a 28 or 30 would sound unbelievable to most people I know.

Anyway, I wanted to share this photo, as sort of a counter to Ewa's ridiculous "UK measuring method" post, and as proof that a larger band size would not, in fact, work for me. The bra in question is a 30DD, and as you can see, my breasts are literally spilling out underneath it. At the time, this was the size that many +4 calculators gave me (my breasts have grown since this photo was taken.) The fact is, as my breasts have grown larger and heavier over time, the base has spread out over my ribcage. I have breast tissue extending from just under my collarbones to a few inches above my waist. I do wish the base could be higher up- you could see my waist better in clothes, I'd look slimmer, and I'd probably be able to wear a larger band size, as my back gets wider higher up. But this is the body I have, and it seems awfully nasty and petty to suggest that I'm some sort of freak for having it.

72 comments:

  1. Hey Brittany! I'm so sorry that you were attacked on Polish forum! I, being Polish myself, am sincerely apologising for that. In Poland brafitting is still a fairly new thing and women get confused. Don't get me wrong, I am not justifying them, because nothing gives them premission to offend you! Please, don't let the bad words get you. As for Ewa Michalak, maybe she's becoming the next brand that ignores customers needs.

    ReplyDelete
  2. God that is a horrible thread, I cannot understand why they are so bothered by what other women are wearing. Someone commented that when they wore bras that were too tight they hurt them and they didn't understand why so many US or UK (well they say England but I assume they mean the whole of the UK) women are wearing bras that are are too tight. Everyone is different, someone with a 30" bust may find a 30 or 65 band too tight, it may be just right for someone else, that thread really is the definition of bigoted intolerance.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The Polish fitting methods seem to work better for me. After I got out of the too tight band too big cup mindset, I started seeing my previous issues everywhere. I can see why they would see you wearing your band at your waist (your breasts seem to start fairly low). I have a question though, do you scoop and swoop or jiggle and swoop? I do the latter because otherwise I end up overscooping, because I have fat on my sides that isn't my breasts (I can tell because the lovely birth control I'm on has made me PMS for a month and I can feel where my breast tissue ends as a result). I think the issue with Polish bra fitting is that it works better on smaller breasts people, up until a little larger than my size (32FF). After that, it seems to work on people who's breasts are proportionally similar to smaller breasts, but I rarely ever see people who I would look at on Balkonetka and say that they're small ribcage big bust. I think part of the problem lies with that, that there's not much diversity in the sizes and shapes of the ladies at balkonetka, at least in comparison to some other communities. Some fitting methods work better for some than others. Polish worked for me, German work for my friend with hypoplastic breasts.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Brittany!
    Thanks so much for your post!
    I've not been very active in the boobosphere over the last year (since working as a part time bra fitter was kind enough occupation with the topic) - but I realised that the tone seems to have become rather rough. Or maybe it just hasn't got any better. Anyhow, I think the least one can do in a discussion is to stay calm and polite and rational. Taking arguments to a personal level is just not the way to do it.

    To be honest - judging from my experience - I also suspect newly fitted women to show a tendency towards dogmatism, to put way too much faith into numbers and not know enough about bras to decide whether the occuring problems are due to the size or the style of the bra. I've seen this in myself and countless others users of Busenfreundinnen.net. Sometimes it's hard to realise you're wrong and even harder to admit it.

    But this goes two ways of course; you can also be superdogmatic if you've been in the business for - like - forever. Who hasn't encountered a sales person in a lingerie store telling you absolute bullsh** about how a bra's supposed to fit.

    Concerning the discussion in Poland, I've also heard there's a tendency to claim a monopoly on proper online fitting whereas changes and discussions in other countries do not seem to be appropriately observed. Not to say that that's their job or something but once you critise someone you have to be properly informed.

    Basically it's coming down to platitudes: Self-reflection is absolutely neccessary; bra fitting is not an exact science and you can never fully comprehend how another woman feels in a bra, what she likes and what she needs. You can give her advice to the best of your knowledge but that's it.

    I just want to stress the absolute importance of paying enough attention to the issue of wire width and how the wires fit your breast root. And last but not least: what band size you need also depends a lot on the brand. While the tighter Panache bras are even a little uncomfortable for me in a 32 band (I've got them on my trusted bra extender when they're new), I need a 30 (!) in a Freya Faye to get the needed support. (I'm a 32J)

    I would love to see a more productive and respectful discussion about the issues of the perfect fit and I really appreciate the information that can be found on 'thin and curvy' and other amazing blogs of the English-speaking boobosphere. I always enjoy my visits and it would be very sad if you stopped blogging because of negative feedback.

    (I hope this wasn't all too confused - it's rather late here already. ;-))

    ReplyDelete
  5. Although I understand what you are trying to show with the image, I don't think it is a very good example. The bra looks like that because the cups are many, many sizes too small. Although I believe you that a 30 band is too big for you, it's not the issue that is visible in the photo.

    Otherwise, though, yes. Regardless of band size preference, people should not be assholes, especially about people's bodies.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Brittany wasn't just demonstrating the poor band size; she was demonstrating, in this photo, how the +4 method commonly used in the United States doesn't work for her at all. Using a method that requires her to add 4 inches to her underbust meant that she was "supposed" to be wearing a 30DD, which clearly doesn't work here.

      Delete
  6. I'm really sorry that you were a target of such suggestions. Sadly it's quite common for Eastern Europe to create hate posts/threads and they are always popular. It follows almost all popular bloggers, celebrities, anybody who stands out. It may sound lame, but you in a realy-realy great company.

    ReplyDelete
  7. That's horrible!
    It's one things to be skeptical about your size (even though it's not really their business anyway), but attacking you is quite another thing. They do not know your body and what you are comfortable in! And it is true, some women's roots are higher than others'!
    I am sorry that this has discouraged you from blogging- I certainly hope you continue! I love reading your blog! I'm not as curvy as you, but I still have similar issue in terms of fit of clothes and things like that. I hope you continue to do what you feel comfortable with and do not let others get you down!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I am sorry to hear about this experience. I use Balkoneta a lot for reference pictures that I can't find on Bratabase. I also see the comments at the bottom, but I can not actually read them and part of me is thankful that Google Translate doesn't kick in on that section. Girls put each other down; women empower each other. I haven't heard of strapgate but I've backed off already from Ewa Michalak for other reasons.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I saw this thread posted from FussyBusty's post and I was disgusted. There was one girl defending everyone though and they tried to justify themselves posting up people's blog posts and ridiculing them.I'm glad you posted about this.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I heard of that thread and only translated one comment which mentioned your blog and was like....I've had enough.Women can be very snarky at times,sadly.
    Personally I think you have a gorgeous figure and can see why you would need a 26 band.Have you looked into ordering from Comexim,perhaps?I thought maybe I was off their size chart but emailed back and forth with Anna and we are going to try.

    ReplyDelete
  11. How awful that you've been attacked for your bra size! I'm pretty sure when I tell most people that I wear a 30HH they think I'm making it up, but I've never been so insulted. I'm really sorry that those people were so rude. I know that I appreciate your posts and your efforts, and I'm surely not the only one.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I thought those were your boobs falling out underneath so thanks for clarifying that. The bra is pretty though but as you said, just doesn't fit you.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I detest when people suggest that someone "cannot possibly be THAT size", no matter what it is. Different brands, and especially different styles in each brand fit differently. Bras are like shoes, but with many more fiddly bits that have to fit right. Like shoes, if you are the slightest bit outside of "normal", then your choices are close to nil. People are very open to hearing that someone has hard-to-fit feet and that sizes can be hard to find, but for some reason people feel that you need to shove yourself Cinderella-sister-style into a bra that doesn't fit and pretend that it does!

    <.< >.> '.' oh. I found a rant. Sorry about that.

    In less ranting topics, please accept my heartfelt thanks for standing up for people that don't fit a particular mold and attempting to educate people who perpetuate the myth of those molds. While I am currently of a size that I can find bras (read: heavier than my body is happy with, but that makes my back wider), I constantly am searching for that perfect fit--and a good place to give my money to in search of that fit--and am frustrated when the very companies that I would expect compassion from are causing more problems! Anyway, thanks for standing up for different molds and I hope that the good comments can help heal the hurt of the bad ones.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So true! Aside from wearing poorly fitting bras for years (using the "but that's what the tape measure said... so it must be my size!" method) I have narrow feet, and can never get shoes to fit. One day when I went to the doctor's for an injury to my toe nail (I will spare you the details) the doctor and her assistent looked at my feet and said "Hasn't she got weird feet?" "Yes." As if I wasn't there to hear it! I guess some people just won't believe that your body can be certain shapes, but hopefully they will learn that isn't true and perhaps take a chance on exploring other ways to size bras. (And I hope one day - shoes!)

      Delete
  14. Great post! Sorry ot hear about the forum saying rude comments about your posts. I've noticed this the longer I blog about bras, people have their "rules" that they think apply for everyone. What works for one, does not work for all, hence the many different bra sizing methods. Everyone should use what works for them, and quite criticizing the sizing/fit choices of others. I've noticed that some women get very passionate about sizing guidelines and can be very rude to others who disagree or differ from their view. Your boobs, your choice. It would be nice if some people would keep their opinions about others womens bodies to themselves! This is a great post, and I've love to see you blogging more. Don't let the naysayers or rude comments deter you from posting. This is YOUR blog, not theirs. Your bust, not theirs. I can understand your frustratin, but don't let them get to you. As long as there is the anonymity of the internet, there will always be gossips. :)

    xoxo
    Amber

    ReplyDelete
  15. It's a hard discussion. I feel sad for all those bad words and assumptions that have been said on British/Polish fitting and bloggers.
    I can't say anything worth attention on EM bras, as I do not have any nor I have fitted anyone in it, so I will focus on a way of expressing thoughts. (but I agree she missed the point with bands)
    I visited balkonetka's thread, and as I am Polish, I can say there are different statements - close to half of them are positive or forgiving (eg. bloggers may have really difficult shape to fit into what we have in the market). But yes, there are terrific, offensive comments too. I feel sorry for that.
    May be you have looked on the links they have shared there - those are examples of wires being too low on the body frame and wires too far from breast (even when the blogger says that the bra didn't fit at all). I can only say - when we (all the people in the world) argue, we use examples of what is consistent with our way of thinking. I know there is scientific name for it, but kill me, I don't remember :)
    Ultimately, we all want best fitting for everyone. Bloggers just share their experience and their applications based on the experience. Balkonetka's users share good (on other threads) and bad examples of fitting, also meant by applications based on the experience. We (English and Polish brafitting community) want to help all those other women who may not have been able to find a well educated brafitter. We love to help others by what we have found working best. And that is the place where differences show up.
    I am jealous of yours, english-speaking, rules on blogs. No offending, rudeness etc. It's so simple, but also so important in achieving comprehension. Hates are still prevalent (I hope i used propoer word for that) on Polish forums, blogs. Eg. when there is posted a picture of a fitness transformation or just a photo of a fit women on Polish fitness blog, there is large (70%?) amount of comments on how awful this person looks. That is sad, and I wish we could move on with that.
    But for now, sadly, when a Polish girl want to say she sees some errors in fitting, she would say it in a way not acceptable by you, but 'normal' and frank for us.
    I hope we will find a way to communicate sooner or later.

    Best regards
    Paulina Angelika

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Paulina! Laura here. I don't think frankness is an issue, but rather, word choice. I've seen some pretty honest comments on blogs, from one blogger to another, about fit. They're worded as polite questions: "am I seeing it wrong, or does the gore seem to have trouble tacking?" Also, the rules are in place for us English-speaking bloggers because there are a lot of English-speaking people who simply ARE nasty about body types. I've had to read through some tough comments relating to my size (wait, why does SHE write for Thin and Curvy? She doesn't meet my definition of "thin"!) and, quite frankly, it gets exhausting after a while. We just want to set a tone of respect, friendliness, and candor. I think everyone can agree that would be a good thing, right?

      Delete
    2. Of course. I agree with you with all my heart. I'm the type of a person who do not like to say nasty things, but I get used to it in comments on the internet. Or I had some friends who were using bad word choice. But that people often use an explanation of frankness for their words. That's why I wrote it that way.

      This week there was a big blogger event in Poland, and one speaker had prepared a speech on evolution of vlogs and blogs that everyone has to pass. And one of the first stops is getting lots of rude comments, and as a blogger "you should manage with that, just do not think about it as the next step is worshiping". The best way is to skip those rude comments and keep them on distance from you (like do not answer when someone is being rude and forget about the comment). I hope if they will see you are not worrying about them, they will stop offending you, at least here. You know you do something great, and that is the most important :)
      You know what celebrities do with rude comments? Do not search or read them. At least you won't be depressed or sad because of those comments.

      Thank you for your response
      Paulina Angelika

      Delete
    3. Dear Laura, word choice you're writing about results from differences between English and Polish languages. English speakers express politeness through grammatical structures as well as through tone and manner of speaking. In Polish grammar is not that important in expressing politeness. We'd rather use appropriate tone and manner of speaking to communicate it. To us saying "pass me the salt" could be perfectly polite when said in a polite way, while to an English speaker it would probably sound a little rough. Unfortunately, tone cannot be conveyed in writing, so Polish speakers might sound unintentionally rude at times (I am referring here to the most of regular comments on fitting, not defending the insulting and ridiculing ones, which, sadly, also exist and it's shameful).
      Best regards,
      Ola

      Delete
    4. And please, if you read the threat on balkonetka, look on the next pages. There is a discussion on how we differ.

      Delete
    5. In conclusion, phrasing criticism or advice as a polite question would be completely unnatural for a Pole out of purely linguistic and cultural reasons. Yet, I agree with you completely that nasty comments about other people's bodies are simply unacceptable.

      Delete
  16. *profanities!* You have helped me soo much with my self confidence and educated me on proper fit and bras that actually fit.. Pre prego i was a coming out of a 32DDD i was only 125 pounds, it was seriously unreal. After having my daughter and my milk came in i technically was a 36HH but i was fitted into a 38HH which wasn't to terribly bad the bra was a nice nursing bra. I needed a real bra and they put me into a 38DDD. and it was like a granny that was there smallest band.It did not flatter. i left crying because i thought that was going to be my only option. I didn't loose anything on my breast or around but that was before i found your blog. Fast forward post breast feeding and found out how to measure my self and i ordered from a few companies and after exchanging a few times i found the right bras that work and fit and brands that are perfect for me! I want to thank you. keep blogging please, i used to be really depressed shopping for myself because i couldnt wear anything either my huge bra was hanging out or they just didnt have my size. but finding the right bras and fits have changed my life. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANKYOU. don't get discouraged!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I'm so sorry that those women attacked you like that. It's really horrible. A lot of people play down the strapgate incident, but it really was one of the most unprofessional displays I've ever witnessed.

    They do not know you. They have no right to judge you. Your blog has helped so many women- please don't give up on blogging. Remember that for every one of those snarky cows there are ten women who are very grateful to you.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Oh I can understand exactly how you feel. Recently in my life several people have been doing the same thing... talking very badly about and working against me thinking I will not know or openly. When I spoke to them about it, they attacked me directly, confronting me with weird accusations.
    It took me a while to understand that they're just bored with their own life and have nothing better to do than to let someone else feel their frustration. The less I responded to their accusations and ignored them the more they lost their interest in doing things in such an aggressive way. I just hope you do not get as angry and sad as I was - it's not worth it, they are NOT able to really hurt you in your private life and I think comments above show that a lot of people support your fitting technique - and finally other people use the same and are very happy with it. Maybe it would be about time to compare fitting techniques between bra bloggers (did anyone do it already?). Such a survey would actually strengthen your position and show to the corresponding lady who wrote to you that you are dealing with the topic on a broader base and not just insisting on your point of view.
    In my opinion often the same method is used for choosing a band size - measure underbust, go down a size (e.g. measure 71cm - try with a 30/65cm band), adjust according to how the brand's sizes run and personal comfort. I am not talking about weird Victoria's S. techniques here but about the logical approach that a flexible band needs to run tighter than your actual measurement shows because it will adjust and is supposed to hold onto your body.
    I can only speak for myself (bottom heavy, shallow breasts) and so far only Ewa Michalak's HP/CHP fits me (in 70C), PLs are acceptable, but I won't buy another one (65DD, the wires are a bit narrow), the strapless bra is the best I found (acceptable) and my usual "british" bra size is 30DD (I measure ca. 71cm underbust). Size 32 underbands do mostly not hold the bra on its place, Size 28 could be an option for very flexible bands.
    I hope you will feel more motivated again, I love reading your blog.

    ReplyDelete
  19. The main difference between the Polish and English-speaking communities is that when a Polish bra-blogger posts a picture of a bra on her, it's sort of an invitation for others to give their oppinion on the fit. And a comment "I don't really like the fit. I think you might try this, this and this - it could work better for you." is considered a polite advice while in the English-speaking community it's most likely to be considered smug, out of place and even aggressive (don't deny it - I've learned it the hard way ;)).

    In the mentioned thread on Balkonetka, there are some impolite comments, but most of them are reather about the girls feeling sad that very ofted an ill-fitted (in their oppinion, also in my oppinion usually) is being shown as an example of perfectly fitted one and any comment with an actual fitting advice is being considered a personal attack and meets with aggression from other commenters (also some situations like that are mentioned in the thread).
    Also, it's acknowledged that your, Thin and Curvy, body type is for us somehow "atypical" - with your very tiny UB and low-based boobs (sorry, don't know the proper term in English) which makes it harder for you to get the *perfect* bra.
    Aaand the most important thing - cultural differences (which I already mentioned) are also acknowledged in the thread. For us, in Poland, it's normal that when a blogger post something, you can give your oppinion on it. Not in a rude way, but being direct is NOT considered being aggressive or smug. In the reviews on Balkonetka, it's normal to tell someone "You should try to size up/down" or "I see some spilling in the front and also, could you try to pull the wires higher? They seem way too low." - we think of it as of advices, we don't take offense.
    At the meantime, in English-speaking community the same comment should be like:
    "Oooh, I love your hair! Where did you get the lovely drapes? And your shoes? Girl, amazing! Oh, and the bra is lovely, but I have similar measurements and I would think that it might be a tiny tad too snug in the band."

    And I'm NOT ridiculing anyone anywhere - I'm just trying to point out some differences and explain how it works in our, Polish community ;)

    And BTW - google translate is never a good way to translate something from Polish. The language is very, very hard, has so many idioms that even "Alice has a lovely cat" translated from Polish to English might come up as something rude, inappropriate etc. ;)

    xxx
    Kasia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kasia, I'm not really sure which US/UK blog's comments you've read where the comments talk about everything except the fit or the subject of the review. From what I've seen, many commenters on English-speaking blogs DO talk exclusively about the fit or the garment/piece being reviewed. "Looks great!" isn't a bad or insubstantial comment if the commenter believes that the garment looks great on the blogger. Advice is great to receive, but at the same time, fit advice doesn't have to come with nasty comments about one's figure. I believe somewhere there was a comment about how a woman looked like a pig wrapped in twine, and that's really just uncalled for. Another blogger had a friend in Poland translate the thread for her, and there were still some pretty nasty comments that were targeted at the bloggers, rather than the fit of each bra. I just hope that, moving forward, everyone can continue to speak honestly. That's never been the issue. If we can say our honest opinions without insults attached, that'd be pretty fantastic.

      Delete
    2. No one is complaining about people being "direct". Honestly, there are several comments from Polish people here asserting that, and the very assertion is rude.

      I am totally cool with someone asking me questions about the fit of my bras or disagreeing with me about fit.

      What I, and others, are offended by are comments like "Someone give me a gun" or calling women "lazy fatasses." I am offended by people making comments evaluating bloggers like us on the basis of how sexually attractive they think we are. That is NOT directness, it is misogyny and it is ill-mannered wherever you live.

      Delete
  20. I just wanted to suggest Comexim as an option if you haven't tried them. They will do custom orders in small back sizes and the strap placement is excellent. They are absolutely my favourite bras. A 26JJ would be a 55N in their sizing.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi, I normally use victoria08 nickname on polish forums and what I can say, as a polish woman,
    is that I am sorry that any words of polish fellows made you upset.
    I own a brafitting studio since spring 2013 and since 5 years or more am involved in brafitting for my friends and family.
    What I do is brafitting for woman that I can see in person. I can hardly judge if the bra is bad for that person
    if I haven't see this person in my life, but only on photos.
    I have seen many diffrent women coming to me, some I thought - wow she may have a bra to low.
    And while fitting I realized that she has such a body and breast type.
    I would really say - that it's not good to judge the size based on photos as sometimes you can misjudge.

    What I would also suggest - not to use google translator to read such forums.
    I analyzed what was written there and not all was nice in fact, I agree.
    Some Polish, both men and women, believe in "constructive criticism" and some say it very direct. I personally try to avoid it but cannot say I always succeed. I try to find always something nice in a person. That's my strategy that I strive to use in everyday life.
    At the same time there is a lot of irony and self-irony in words of polish people and it's really not easy to translate that even knowing the meaning of the worlds ourselves (not translated via google translator) without seeing this persons facial expression.
    And in internet - especially with google translator - it's almost impossible.
    What I may say - that there are a few woman, even on this forum that say what you explained here - that you have diffrent body & breast type.
    I'd not bother in reading nasty things, especially translating it with a tool, that can even good words make ununderstandable.

    I hope it clarified some points,
    best regard:)

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hi, I'm a polish reader of your blog and also of balkonetka, and would like to share my mind with you.

    If you had read the posts following the one with the link to your site you would have seen that the girls came to a consensus that you have an unusual build and not an ill-fitted bra.

    Concerning the other bloggers I believe it comes down to the fact that lot of them (the small band big cup) look in bras that are designed to have small/medium coverage like in a fullcup. If there was more band and less bra on the side of the body I speculate that the bra would look better and the fit problem could be improved.
    /That's also what I think Ewa Michalak wanted to show in her blog post on 'strapgate'/
    Because come on, I don't believe that anyone has breast under your armpit.


    A few words on the bands.
    Personally I don't like the way the conversion goes - that for ex. a 30 inch band is the equivalent to a 65 cm band. 30" is normally converted to 76.2 cm. That's a difference especially that now polish brands are sewing more true to (polish) size, so that one does not need to size down.

    I have 66cm tight underbust, not squishy (a 65G in Ewa Michalak). It's exactly 26 inches, but it would be hard for me to breathe normally even in a 28" band from EM (tried one), not talking about a 26" band, which could cut me in half :D
    Though usually in the british brands I usually take a 28" band, sometimes a 30".

    I hope you will change the way you look at the discussion you read on balkonetka (google translate can really be stupid and change the meaning of sentences often - and in shuch a discussion even a slight change in meaning can change the tone/expression of the whole post) and I would love to see more of your clothing posts - they're fabulous :)

    Agata

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Because come on, I don't believe that anyone has breast under your armpit.

      You have clearly never met me. ;)

      I do not feel comfortable posting my naked (without a bra) breasts online, but I have taken the pics for my local hard drive. The crease of my wide root is crystal clear.

      Delete
    2. Hi Agata!
      While what you say might be true for your size range 1/3 of my 28/60 banded bras in 60JJ stretched to over 30.5 inches! That is big, even for a UK 28-band. I don't know why, but for some reason Ewa Michalak bras seems to run much tighter in smaller cup sizes and in larger band sizes. For someone quite close to Brittany in size all I can say is that some runs small, some runs big. But in general, the average is very close to how my UK branded bras in the same size fit and run.

      I think this is a part of the issue. Most people are not in this size segment, and they expect Ewa Michalak bras to run tight, because that is what they do in their size range. But in our, they don't! Really. So, we cannot size for that.

      Nesoa

      Delete
  23. Wow
    I just read the discussion under Ewa's blog post and I must admit I'm shocked - mainly because her example is not well chosen and she is clearly telling her customers that they're wrong and should stop ordering these wrongly fitted and too small band sizes.
    Although I find it correct that she wants to give a fitting advice and obviously with this text responds to some fitting issues she saw on someone's pictures before I find her critics of her customers with fitting problems and/or very tight bands not ok. Finally, she still wants to sell her bras and she intentionally chose to offer custom sizes, so I don't see the point in complaining about these orders.
    It is a personal choice of how tight you want your bra to be and how tight it needs to be to support you on the right places.
    I do not see the point in generally saying bad things about the uk bra fitting methods because clearly the recommended band size is smaller than your underbust measurement but will be adjusted according to personal preferences. Finding a cup that fits is completely another story and will not be solved by choosing a larger band.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Dear Thin and Curvy,

    Bare with me, this will be a longer post.

    As I am polish, and a balkonetka member I would like to point out a couple of things:
    - you find the thread offensive. Some of the posts were not very carefully written, but remember, this is a forum with thousands of users. Anyone can write anything, and although balkonetka has moderators, not everything is scrutinized as you do it on your own blog
    - some of the posts were understanding and positive, please don't forget this
    - some of the posts ask questions, or pointed out that they asked bloggers about why they choose this size or that instead of another (mostly bigger bands). These questions are either ignored or rebuked as criticism, with a wave of blog followers accusing the poor soul that asked a legitimate question of all matter of sins.

    As some of the comments pointed out, the polish (I will not say east European, as I am not expert), have a more direct way of speaking their mind. This is a source of many communication problems (another issue is Ewa Michalak, which has a very direct was of speaking her mind even in the polish community). I prefer to keep my mouth shut when I see a fit I don't like, but many times on English speaking blogs I was amazed by people commenting on a "perfect fit" adding how wonderful and beautiful the person looks. It's nice and it's lovely, but it isn't the subject. We call this in Poland a ring of admiration - people complementing each other even if they don't really mean it. Not to mention that sometimes the "perfect" fit is questionable.

    By no means this means that I don't find you lovely and beautiful, it just isn't the topic in a bra review. I would rather ask where the wires end, if the gore fits between the breast, and if the band doesn't feel too snug just under the breast. We see pictures, and to judge only based on pictures is pretty hard. Your opinion as the user is in the end the most important.

    I hope I made clear what I mean.

    On a different note, I hate, I really hate the animosity, that threads like the one on balkonetka, and offended blogger's replay cause. We are all women, we all seek to find bras that fit, that look nice and make us feel wonderful. We should help and support each other, not create hate against the "UK/US" method, the "polish" method or the "German" method.

    Balkonetka was a great help to many women seeking a better fitting bra. I hope that your readers will not think now that balkonetka is the evil of bra fitting, where a group of hateful polish women sit around and criticise everybody and anybody. We do, but we also praise, we judge, we post pictures of ourselves, we question, we experiment, we support each other, we help each other out... We are a forum, we are a community. A bra loving community. And as such we belong with other bra blogers in the bra loving family :)

    Peace and love to everybody :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very well put. I agree with you. I think it would be better to avoid flame wars over petty things. So a few people were mean, a few posts got mistranslated (for example posts about non-typical built were taking side of the bloggers), I'd rather see an international bra-fitting community than war between followers of 'Polish way' vs 'American way'. Especially that in fact it doesn't look like that, there is no such division.

      Delete
  25. Yet another reason why I am happy to have left Poland, where I had always felt like an outsider (I feel far more at home in my beloved Denmark and England). I am Polish, but I have lived in the UK for 10 years now. I used to participate in some forums and I don't regret it, as I made some lovely friends there (most of them are Polish women, who, like me, left Poland), but I no longer do, as there is far too much hostility and trolling. I am very sorry you have had such bad experiences, but please, do not be put off blogging, don't let them get to you. x, Anna

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hey there

    sorry to her about this. People and so called professionals can be so horrible. I think it's jealousy. I'm a similar size to you and was so stressed last night trying to find wedding lingerie I had a panic attack so I no it's not our egos. I wish was like at least a 32 band. I sometimes get in tears over it as I get severe backache that sometimes makes me incapable of doing anything for hours at a time. Only way I can control it is with Vitamin C in high does and a correct back band (good fitting bra ie 26-28) No-one can accept that slim woman can be busty I think that's what it is. I was going to turn to Ewa Michalak but now I've totally changed my mind! Incidentally I don't think it's just the Polish mindset. I've had people from the US having a go at me on forums just because of my size. I've actually had personal attacks. Also as the above poster: your lingerie blog was the first I ever came across and has really helped me a lot. Don't ever give up please! I know it;s hard with people like that out there but the world of lingerie needs people like you!

    ReplyDelete
  27. One of the things I like about the English-speaking bra-fitting community is that it is often linked to body positivity. That won't necessarily be the case with other groups, as I discovered when someone talked about the negative Polish-language comments on BiuBiu's newest model Caroline. I, and I suppose many of us in the English-language community like the fact that body-shaming language is avoided. However, I don't think that we can demand it of other communities in other cultures; we certainly haven't managed to make it part of the mainstream English-language press.

    There may be things that we can learn from the Polish bra-fitting community, and that would be the reason I would seek to translate the material. I guess I'd rather not know the rest, and instead think of some of the generous Polish women who created a translation guide for ordering bras from Poland, the nice saleswoman at the Brafitteria in Krakow who was happy to fit me in a Polish bra to both our satisfaction, the friendly Polish women who've volunteered to contact Comexim to sort out orders, and so on.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I also do expect that there is more diversity in body shape in the English-language bra-fitting community as we draw from countries which have been heavily shaped by immigration (US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand) as well as attracting non-native speakers from countries which don't have strong bra-fitting communities, and of course also non-native speakers from countries which do have bra-fitting communities but who want another perspective. Of course we are not representative of the world, but we probably do have more different variables than the Polish market. Wire width can perhaps be seen as a gauge of that. So it is quite possible that people with a different experience have difficulty accepting that certain shapes can exist, when they haven't seen them regularly. (This is not to say that there aren't nicer ways to express disbelief, only to note that this isn't an uncommon reaction when beliefs are challenged. Who among us hasn't had the experience of trying to explain bra sizes to someone only to have them reject out-of-hand that they could possibly be bigger than a D, because "only a porn-star with implants could be that size!"?)

    ReplyDelete
  29. I'm sorry you feel that way. I just want to say it's usually a minority of forum users who act like that. Maybe you haven't noticed that for two or three unpleasant posts about you or your blog there were multiple positive ones. But that's how life is that a few nasty comments are the fly in the ointment. And in the internet unpleasant opinions often make more noise.

    Another thing is that our forums are usually moderated in different way than English-speaking ones and what may look like a hate thread is in fact just a small part of the community posting without double-check.

    Please don't feel discouraged. You have much so much more fans than haters, also in Poland, besides you know you're doing a good job.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I feel bad because you had bad experiences with a bra fitting forum, and being Polish I feel somewhat ashamed of some of my Polish colleagues for being aggressive that way. If I understand clearly, you were body shamed, and this is not something should ever happen, especially on a bra fitting forum, which by default should acknowledge the fact that all women are different and have different shapes and sizes; choosing a right bra is tricky as it is, without additional problems like body shaming. Also, even if something requires criticism, it can be done the right way, without aggression, sarcasm and putting people down - we all have more than enough body image issues as it is.

    I suppose they think they have a mission of correcting everyone's size choice. They tried to "correct" me on my own blog too (when I described a certain bra as uncomfortable), saying that I was surely wearing a wrong size (although it was obvious from the photos that I wasn't - the bloody bra was just uncomfortable and that was it). I wasn't angry though, because they don't know me, they don't know how pointy wires feel on my skin, they only know how it would feel on their skin, and if they don't understand it, I just have to ignore them, because it's my discomfort and I'm not faking it.

    Please don't think, in spite of your bad experience, that all women from Poland are aggressive and judgemental. because if you translate the rest of the thread, you'll it's just a fraction of them that behave that way, and some are even scolding them for their attitude.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Well, I think the time has come to take a part in this discussion, as a member of balkonetka and one of those who criticized english bra bloggers (or their bra fit).

    First, I'm sorry for all the words that could have hurt or offensed you. Even if we take in consideration the differences in the way of expressing our opinions here in Poland, I have to agree that some kind of ctriticism is hurtfull, useless and completely contradictory to the brafitting idea. And it's always easier to criticize someone if the person is not in front of you.

    The subject of this discussion were ill fitting bras. As we do not use the same fitting methods in Poland, some of linked images represent a bad fit in our opinion. So I think it's not offensive for anyone to state that a bra is just not well fitted, but the way of saying this was unacceptable, I agree. Personnaly, and I think it's also valable for the other who took part in this discussion, we didn't aim to criticize your body! As someone said, we are all women and I just can't imagine a woman saying to another one that her body is freaky, abnormal. I said there that your particular ribcage and low set breast explain your small band size, I didn't want to hurt you, that was to explain your bra size choices;-) And if your body is different of mine, it doesn't mean it's abnormal, what is normal anyway? I think you have a very interesting and beautiful body by the way:-)

    In conclusion, we are sorry for all these rude words, we didn't want to offense you by criticizing your body, as women we know how hurtfull it can be and we should have think twice before. We are concious that saying it in another way would be more helpful for your (if you think that our opinion can be interesting). But globally, the members defended you, I hope you'll not omit that;-)

    ReplyDelete
  32. *** them! Flaming hurts, and especially when people make it personal. I can only imagine your hurt, because it sounds as if the Polish online climate sucks. But please don't be discouraged in your blogging. I - with surly countless others around the world - appreciate your blogs and appreciate you are willing to share your experiences.

    It was your blog that opened my eyes and told me that I wasn't condemned to the only brand of the only shop in the Netherlands that sold >60DD. Before your blog I didn't even know of the existence of other brands that produced >60DD bra's.

    Your blog helped me find other brands, and I wasn't condemned to Freya anymore. Therefore, your blog effectively stopped the wires that poked me in my shoulder blades, the scrapes and blisters of the straps, and the bra's that would (even with a 28 band) loosely hang around my torso. Basically, it was you who helped me avoid a whole lot of pain. And I sincerely thank you for that.

    As for Ewa's sizing, I too am rather miffed. When I finally convinced a friend of mine to let me help her find the right bra (some shop attendants let her believe she had 70D and sold her ill fitting, painful >$100 bras) she was ecstatic to hear that she could order her size at Ewa Michalak. When she truly fitted an older smaller cup Ewa bra of mine and felt the support a bra was supposed to give, she actually cried. Her self esteem needed the confirmation that her body wasn't that weird at all.

    Indirectly you helped to convey that, and for that you have my gratitude. Without you I would still be doubting the overpriced torture devices that Freya call's bra's - not necessarily a fitting experience you want to share with a friend who has trauma's of shop attendants telling her there are no bra's for her kind of body.

    Imagine my surprise when she told me that they sent her special band size 60 order containing bra's of different band length's and cup sizes! We compared, I actually had a Ewa 65 band laying around that had a smaller band! In fact, I even bought one of those strangely sized '60G' bra's because it had the right band size, but was a whole cup too large.

    One or two weeks later she read something about them stopping with <65 bandsizes. I understood that they didn't go through with that because of the unhappy reactions, but I was shocked.

    On a different notice, I am glad you wrote about the Ewa straps. When I went from 55/60 GG/G to 55/60 H/GG I began to wonder if I might be delusional for thinking that the straps suddenly didn't fit any more - you'd think that it'd be measured to band/cup size...? I'm glad to know it isn't a figment of my imagination.

    Out of curiosity, what kind of brands do you rely on, if not Ewa Michalak?

    ReplyDelete
  33. Ladies, as a regular Polish Balkonetka user, I must say just one thing. If in Poland someone asks you "How are you?", we expect real answears. The same in Russia, Slovakia or Czech Republic. That's the part of Slavonic culture.

    We post our photos and expect truthful comments, not necessarily ornamented with little pleasantries:). We are rather straightfoward. And Google translator is a poor tool to get the intricacies of Slavonic languages.

    I can assure you, that Balkonetka users like and trust each other:).



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Straightforwardness isn't what Brittany finds troubling; it's the direct insults toward blogger's bodies that we both have a problem with. Honesty was not something Brittany criticized at all in this post.

      Delete
    2. My mistake, I should have posted that as a reply to one of the comments of the girls, who claimed that girls at Balkonetka are hostile to each other.

      And, oh dear, why does anyone think that bodies are offended? Maybe it's the poor GT translation mixed with some unnecessary insecurites.

      Delete
    3. Laura, as I explained in my previous post, we didn't aim to insult blogger's bodies, we talked about the fit. We did it in a very rude way and using very disputable metaphors, I agree.
      Concerning Brittany, all the comments concerned her bras and her bra size (some of our users having doubts about the fit) but at any moment we criticized her body. I already explained what I meant when talking about her ribcage and I think that google translator didn't make it very clear for you, I'm sorry that she feels insulted :-( And I must say that we tend to defend her bra size choices, personnally I think that her fit is very nice and that's not only my opinion ;-)

      Delete
    4. There seems to be a cultural misunderstanding here. What an American considers a direct insult is not seen as such in Eastern Europe. Brittany, you are inarguably lovely and anyone can see that. You have likely experienced little in the way of insults about you looks or figure, and this may be why you are especially sensitive. There's little reason to develop a thick skin if you're beautiful!

      As some others have pointed out, Eastern Europeans give little in the way of false compliments just for the sake of it. I have seen many American and British bloggers post photos of themselves that are embarrassing to look at, yet comments such as "You look great!" abound. Those comments are clearly disingenuous and even condescending. I'm willing to bet that if some of the Polish comments were said to your face, you would take them differently and might even laugh. Never underestimate a cultural difference (on a side note, Scandinavian men often flirt in a vaguely insulting way--it takes a while to understand that but once you do it's charming and funny).

      Delete
    5. Anon, you may want to read this post Brittany wrote awhile back:

      http://www.thinandcurvy.com/2013/05/the-modesty-panel.html

      Just because you (and many of our readers, and her fiance, and I, etc.) think she is lovely doesn't mean that she hasn't had her fair share of nastiness. Brittany has written about the bullying she experienced when she was younger, and I think that it's a little unfair to tell someone that their feelings are invalid or that they're overreacting over a "cultural difference." She is allowed to be offended by some of the comments on the page, as you are allowed to feel like they aren't so bad.

      Delete
    6. I agree with vesela_krava. The Polish commenters from Balkonetka (mind the spelling - not "Balkoneta") didn't intend to criticize bodies. Some of the comments were harsh and hurtful because of graphic metaphors and mocking tone, but in all cases the central issue was the fit. Once again I'd like to say that I'm ashamed and deeply sorry about the form of those comments. We can translate them for you if you wish, though I lingering on this topic is rather counterproductive.

      There's one thing I have to point to. Namely, your answer to Ewa Michalak's note. It seems to suggests that Polish brafitters would fit you in this bra, which is not true. We're not dogmatic believers in size charts. No one would say that this bra fits you because this is the right size for your measurements. It is quite obvious that this bra has cups way too small for you (which anyway renders assessment of the band impossible) and no one in Polish community would tell you anything different. I understand that this experiment is exaggerated because Ewa Michalak's experiment was such, yet I think that it sends a wrong message which is unfair to Polish brafitters.

      Delete
    7. Hi Laura,
      First of all, I agree that nasty comments concerning sb's body are unacceptable, that't obvious.
      I also agree Brittany can feel bad and offended. I don't doubt her feelings are real.

      But pls consider that:
      -Brittany read comments posted on Polish forum. 99% of users are Polish, they react and comment according to 'Polish way'. I've read whole Balkonetka thread (as I'm fluent in Polish) and some comments are nasty but almost all of them concern fit. EVEN NASTY COMMENTS CONCERN FIT. You cannot blame Polish users of Polish brafitting website that they comment fit in 'Polish way'. And Polish way means straightforward and honest to me, not nasty. Maybe 5% of comments are nasty, I'm sorry for these, but it happens, that's real life, not the fairytale. World is not perfect. I wish it would but it's not.

      My friend who is proffesional psychologist and therapist says:" If you post your picture in internet you have to be prepared "for the 5%". If you are not ready for this - just don't do this for your own comfort. If you really want to post - be prepared, that's the price". We are grown up and this is the choice we have.
      An adult can accept it and choose.

      Brittany is a lovely and probably very fragile girl but it's her who 1. entered Polish forum without basic knowledge about Polish culture and cultural differencies 2.used GT probably without knowledge that it's really poor tool (btw - it's good tool for German, Spanish or Italian but poor or sometimes even useless for Slavonic languages or Chinese. I can confirm that as I speak mentioned languages and work in multicultural environment).
      And finally she felt offended. I'm not surprised at all (especially, as I mentioned before, I work for multicultural company). But you (or she) cannot blame for this Polish girls who commented fit in polish way on Polish forum. Some cultural awareness always helps. Otherwise Polish people will always seem rude and nasty for you and American will seem fake and superficial for Poles:) Which I know is not true as I work with American colleagues:D

      I wish you and Brittany all the best.

      J.

      If you or Brittany or sb else will need Pol-Eng translation I suggest ask Balkonetka users for help. I'm sure girls will help you, explain irony, play on words etc. It will contribute to mutual understanding.

      Delete
    8. "some comments are nasty but almost all of them concern fit. EVEN NASTY COMMENTS CONCERN FIT."

      So, calling a woman a "lazy fatass", or discussing how sexually attractive she is, concerns bra fit? I think not. Neither of those are even remotely relevant to bra fit.

      Delete
    9. 00goddess, that's exactly the mistake we're talking about. There were some posts about certain bloggers in that thread, and several of those posts were rude. But there were only a few posts about Brittany's fit. The rest of the thread is about other things. That's why you shouldn't rely on Google Translate.

      BTW I don't think discussing fit justifies being mean or rude. And I don't think cultural differences are as huge as some people here suggest. It's just an internet thing, I bet most of those users would never dare to tell anything like that irl.

      Delete
    10. Vampierz, we are in agreement to an extent. Only a few posts were about Brittany's fit, but quite a few were insults and attacks on individual women. Comments like "get me a gun" and "lazy fatass" and opinions on how sexually attractive a woman is are not about bra fit. They are just mean, misogynist insults.

      The fact that none of those women would have the courage to say such things to a person's face doesn't excuse that behavior. It does not make it a cultural difference. The people who are commenting to say that it's all about fit, or that Brittany just has a thin skin, or that non-Poles just don't understand directness and honesty are being dishonest and dismissive.

      Delete
  34. OT
    I wanted to point out that Google translate may not be the best option for deciphering very different languages as the syntax of the language can be very very different.

    I do not know much about Polish and I have no idea what they have written there. Maybe they really are attacking you. In that case, this is absolutely stupid as you clearly know what you are talking about and you should know your body best...

    But I speak Estonian, another very different language from English and I can honestly say, quite often GT changes the meaning completely, sometimes to the opposite. Not to mention the cases when the meaning comes out as something completely different (e.g. me talking about breakfast, GT translating it as me talking about aerodynamics or smth). Just keep that in mind. Maybe it's not as bad in that forum?

    ReplyDelete
  35. I've read this blog for over a year and it's one of the first blogs I started to read when I found out my correct bra size (30F now a 28G/GG) and felt out of place as being slim but busty but your blog was one of the first moments I realised I am not the odd one most people don't wear the correct bra sizes! Please don't ever give up your blog is fantastic! As a young person growing into their body we need more blogs like this. More body positive and informative blogs on bras and clothes that at least show girls and women the options they have out there whether they big breasted or small breasted. Please don't stop! Also your body is banging some people just chat the worst crap when they're just insecure and unhappy with themselves.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Hello! It's so nice to see you posting again, Brittany (albeit a not so nice topic), as I was genuinely getting worried about you! I guess all you can do is remember why you started the blog, remember what you love about lingerie and the majority of the community, and continue being your lovely self. I look forward to reading more from you, hopefully, in the coming months :)

    ReplyDelete
  37. OH, and I forgot to mention, it looks like Ewa Michalak's website shows that she has discontinued all their bands below a 30 on the larger cup bras (but you can still custom order 28B-F on the 3D styles)... :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rachel, you can still order 60-bands in larger cups but only as custom orders. She did first remove the 60s from the "custom order" list, but then has added them back on the newer models. Still not above a 60L though and I don't know if she'll make any 55s in larger cup sizes at all. :(

      Delete
  38. Wow! Yeah, no way does the bra in that photo even come close to fitting you. You look like a woman trying to wear the clothes of a little girl! (The fact that the "little girl" bra in question is actually a DD cup is just a testament to your impressive figure!) To some extent, I wonder if her attacks on you aren't somewhat rooted in jealousy. That may be a problem that girls with small backs and large cup sizes face generally though, I suppose.

    ReplyDelete
  39. That makes me so sad! You're gorgeous and should be proud of your body. I'm glad you are! We all have our insecurities, but we shouldn't let them overshadow the things we find beautiful. Thank you for your wonderful bra advice! After reading your blog and a few others, I've finally determined the approximate bra size I should wear and am currently awaiting a few try-ons in the mail. I'm super excited! Thank you! =]

    ReplyDelete
  40. I wish I could say that I haven't seen this kind of thing in the English-using bra blog community, but I have. Before Bratabase made the rule against commenting on people's bodies, I saw several posts there insulting women based on appearance. I've distanced myself from other blogs- some very popular ones!- because the author would make comments judging other women's bodies (such as the appearance or lack of cellulite.) I don't want to endorse that stuff or even be involved with it, period.

    It is sad to see that these women have so little to do with their lives, that they spend their time insulting other people. Their comments indicate a lack of introspection and a great deal of internalized misogyny.

    And I am really sorry that you were a target. I have always enjoyed your blog and found you to be kind, so I hope that you won't let this discourage you from blogging altogether. *hugs*

    ReplyDelete
  41. Just checking in with you to find out how you are, if you're feeling any better. Do let us know.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Hi,
    I'm Polish and I agree to some extend that could be cultural differences. On the other hands I remember that discussions and I think there was few rude and impolite comments not about just your bra size, but also about your body. In my personal opinion that is unacceptable in any way, some girls in Poland also think that flattering comments about someone's body are completely not neccesary and I fully agree with them. But this is not true that all my buddies were rude, becouse there was also many girls which didn't like such nasty comments and had another point of view. And I also have noticed some unpleasant remarks from British and American bra-fitting society.
    I leave at this moment a question of your bra size, whether you wear right or not. But I think in general our advise could be helpful. Our bra community exists for couple of years and we have some experience. We used to have similar point of view in the past.
    I also want to touch a very fregile question... who doesn't want to be thin and curvy? I'm sorry, but for some girls a band size is a determinant of slimness and they are afraid of trying a larger band size. We had also this problem "I am slim, so how can I wear 34?". Please, be careful with that comparison.
    I disscused technical issues of our bra-fitting way with with Obssesionofbreast under that post http://obsessedwithbreasts.wordpress.com/2013/06/24/some-thoughts-on-strapgate/
    so maybe I will not copy that here (my nick name is PinUpGirl).
    I'm sorry about my English and wish you a good day and happy New Year :).

    ReplyDelete
  43. I'm sorry to comment on what essentially be an old wound now, but while most of the comments in this thread make me feel better in general, many frustrate me. There seems to be this prevailing opinion that English speakers or Americans need to say something positive when they have a criticism. No, not is not necessary nor does it even happen all that much. It is the way some people choose to give constructive criticism because either a) they really feel that way and they know the person would want to hear it or b) they feel uncomfortable with giving criticism, which is dependent upon personality, not culture. The reason you'll often hear such compliments in a positive environment is because, at least in our culture, there is an overwhelming pressure to be thin and perfect without any flaws and to fit in with the Hollywood and model standard of beauty which is an impossible standard usually attained only with Photoshop. So we know how hard it is to put up your picture when so many are just waiting to criticize about your imperfections. So we like to be encouraging and try to find something positive about the person OR we only focus on the fit issues. Sometimes we see no fit issue and simply wish to encourage the poster to continue posting because we know how hard it is to put your picture up and possibly be judged in a way that has nothing to do with the information we are looking for. There is no doubt in my mind that Eastern Europeans tend to be a harsher people. But a lot of us believe in honesty and constructive criticism in a respectful manner.

    But the real issue is this: to take one person and focus on her every aspect - even if you say only things about her fit - would make mostly anyone feel analyzed and picked on when they did not ask for this kind of focus. Would you like to see an entire thread about yourself without your asking? How about in a language you don't understand? Analyzing and examining your body like you're a subject for study? I believe that unless someone asks for this kind of scrutiny, then you should expect it might be unwelcome, regardless of what is said.

    Brittany started this blog for her own reasons but most assuredly that included helping people and getting help and suggestions for herself through her blog, which she can control the environment of. You may say, well she put herself out there, therefore we can do what we want and judge her in whatever way we deem necessary . Yes, you may do what you want, but you and your actions will also be judged. But consider this: Brittany didn't ask for this, and to systematically take someone apart verbally is a form of violation, no matter if it is a thread talking about how perfect every part of her is or criticizing her fit or saying cruel things.

    The point is that the users performed a form of analysis of her body. And it doesn't matter what language you speak or what you say or how you say it, because it was without her consent. And to try to rationalize away feelings is always meaningless, pointless and even more offensive.

    I hope that was clear and that everyone of every culture can understand it.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Brittany, I hope that by now you have been able to put all of the negative comments behind you in as much as I can imagine how hurtful they were. I just wanted to express my gratitude to you for all the great information you put on your blog, I loved reading it and am eagerly awaiting your return whenever you are ready. Sending you lots of love and hugs, those of us who actually read your reviews: we think it is fantastic that you bring your point of view into a discussion about something so personal. Body image and confidence is such a sensitive issue for most women that putting pictures of yourself out there is a brave action that deserves the utmost respect. You have helped me tremendously in my quest for well fitting bras and clothes. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Ugh, that is awful! Not okay at all. I would feel demeaned and belittled and discouraged.
    I'm sorry that happened. This blog has been quite helpful to me over the years. You've been generous with your time already and that's more than I (or anyone) have any right to ask.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Brittany, please don't let this discourage you from blogging! I just found your blog, and it's been the lifeline that I've needed! I grew up wearing a 32DDD, but in the last few years, with weight gain that has gone mainly to my bust, I've gone up to a G. And now I've just discovered through your site that I should really be wearing a 30H. This kind of news in the past would have devastated me. Women in lingerie stores have treated me like a freak of nature. Heck, even my OBGYN made some weird comments about it a couple of weeks ago. I've really internalized this stuff over the years, even though in many ways, I actually like my body. This love/hate relationship is a strange space to occupy, and it's great to find others who understand.

    To anyone suggesting that you're "thin-skinned" because you're beautiful, I feel the need to clarify that you're obviously just sensitive about your measurements being scrutinized...because they've been scrutinized many times in your life, especially when you were younger and didn't yet know how to respond appropriately. I still remember shopping for my first nice bra with my mom when I was 14. When my mom complained about how quickly I was going up in bra sizes, the clerk said to me, "So I assume you're pregnant." Neither my mom nor I actually spoke up about it. In fact, I think that my mom tried to make the clerk feel better about her mistake, saying she understood why she might assume that, given my breast size. That really stuck with me, and I'm sure those moments stick with you too. You're not an overly sensitive person; this is just a sensitive issue for you, as it is for many of us and rightfully so. We've heard a lot of inconsiderate things over the years, and we're aware that we stand out, which is sometimes nice but also sometimes quite frustrating. Anyway, I'm so glad to have found this space, and I hope you'll continue writing and reveling in the more positive side of this community.

    ReplyDelete
  47. OK, now I'm back to report that, since I've discovered that I'm a smaller band size, I'm noticing this "too widely placed strap" issue on other bras. I got a Panache bra that's a 30H, and at first, it looked to me like the cups were too big because the ruffles on top were sticking out...but then the underwires were stabbing me, like the cups were too small. Plus, despite there being extra room in the cup, I have a slight quadraboob thing going on. I realize that it's because of where the straps hit the cup. It's practically in my armpit. I also ordered a sportsbra from Panache that was supposed to fit a 30H, but I'm hanging out of it. It says that it reduces bounce by 83%, but I'm bouncing all over the place!

    I've realized that I need to go down to a 28 (because my ribcage measures 28, and I have these bras on their tightest hooks), but I'm scared to run into even weirder designs...because people just aren't designing for us. I'm also completely confused by size charts because no one's are the same. Am I a 28HH? A K? It's so frustrating! I wish that I could just go into a store and try these things, but stores don't carry this stuff. I guess I just need to get used to sending stuff that I order online back.

    I swear, the one thing that's keeping me from feeling awful about this is this page. I'd be so much happier with my body if dressing it weren't such an ordeal. I think that fewer women would opt for reduction surgery if they had more options for supportive, attractive bras. You start to feel like a freak of nature when your only clothing options make you look like one, and that's a shame!

    ReplyDelete
  48. This is exactly why I have never ordered from EM, and still never plan to. I contacted Ewa a few years ago because her calculator suggested around a 30DD for me. At the time I was wearing UK 28F and struggling with the band always sliding around. Weight gain and working out a bit more has made 28's less loose, but 26 would be a no go with FMS. When I had asked her about the calculator and whether or not it was accurate she was really rude. Not only that, but hearing about the shipping prices and nightmares as well as the drastic inconsistancies within the brand has put me off more than enough to make do with what I can in Freya's 28's. I just don't understand the hype with EM, other than nice designs and colorways. Size range does not compare to curtousy in my book!!

    ReplyDelete
  49. I, for one, am overjoyed that I found your bra-fitting page today on the internet, Brittany! I discovered the method myself a few years ago when I found Goddess-brand bras, which have an extended range of sizes, and they gave the directions for bra-fitting that were a revelation to me. Before that, I had to wear ludicrous-fitting bras in "standard" sizes that formed sort of a bowl to hold my breasts, rather than individual cups. It's almost miraculous, the difference that the right bra makes in how we look. So soldier on, Sweet Brittany! You are doing a wonderful thing!

    ReplyDelete

I always love to hear your thoughts! Please remember to be respectful. I may not publish comments that are rude, hateful, personal attacks, racist, sexist, or otherwise inappropriate. Dissenting opinions are fine, as long as they are respectful. Thanks!