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The Official Miss Underpinnings Manifesto

1. I want to bring awareness to the American public about the range of bra sizes available to full busted women. When I was first fit into my correct size, my reaction was completely typical: "A 30G?! Since when do they make G cups?!". Little did I know "they" also make 28 bands, 48 bands, and J cups. Sure, these sizes aren't widely available, but these sizes aren't "strange" or "gigantic" either...they're just rare. Harder to find. Occasionally more expensive. Which brings me to my next point...

2. I want to empower lingerie consumers. I strive to be a better consumer myself and I think that has a lot to do with independent feedback. A few days before I began dating my boyfriend, I met his father. My boyfriend's father is an intelligent consumer who has since changed my retail perspective. He regularly reads Consumer Reports, he comparison shops for the best price before he makes a major purchase, and he buys in bulk. He reads reviews of merchandise and makes informed retail decisions. Unfortunately, Consumer Reports doesn't run an annual "Guide to Full Busted Lingerie" section (although that would be a dream-come-true!), so here I am.

3. I want to bring attention to local and independent businesses. Luckily, I grew up in a town that has always had a plethora of interesting boutiques, funky restaurants, and cozy entertainment venues. It's forced me to realize that when you spend locally, you're not only investing in yourself, but in your community. This principle extends to bra shopping; it's a luxury in the United States to try on a sub-32 band or a DD+ cup in a welcoming, friendly atmosphere. I will always be open to promoting small businesses that accommodate or cater to a full bust, plus size, or small band shopper.

4. However, I realize that for some bra shoppers there are no local or independent options within a reasonable driving radius from where they live or work. If you must shop online or from a mall-based lingerie retailer that stock the sizes I've mentioned, I will provide reviews of the sites/chains that are available and why you might like to shop with one over the other.

5. Like curvy girls worldwide, I have been told what to wear to minimize a larger bust line a dozen times. Dark colors on top. No double breasted coats. Slight v-neck t-shirts. These are all accurate and useful tips, but I'm more interested in what works for real women. What specific items happen to be tailored for an hourglass or bustier profile? What garments can be ordered that are cut exclusively for larger breasted women?

6. No bra blog would be complete without some discussion of body issues and physical self-perception. When I was younger, if anyone mentioned my breasts, I would groan inwardly. I hated discussing the size of my chest, drawing attention to it, looking at it in photos, and getting dressed in the morning. During that time, I was extremely vocal with medical professionals about how badly I wanted a breast reduction. I lived in baggy, formless t-shirts. My boobs, for me, weren't just another part of my body; they were a trigger point for a whole web of other issues.

Some days, I wake up and this is all still true. I'll catch sight of myself in the mirror and feel swelled, ache-y, or clownish. When I catch strangers looking at my chest, I feel ashamed! I'll see a photo of myself on Facebook and think, "Whoa, who's that stripper that looks vaguely like me?!".

But you know what, slowly and surely, I'd like to embrace myself and my shape and help others do the same. I think it starts with just owning it: My breasts are all mine and pretty lingerie is one of the biggest perks (pun intended!). And to all the creepy strangers out there, you're being rude. If this blog helps just one person have a more positive self-image about their chest, I'd be a very, very happy lady!

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