A letter to our minds...
I sent her into the change room with some of our swimwear and as she emerged from the change room she looked glorious. Her feminine form being hugged, supported and lifted by my swimwear. I was thrilled! My swimwear has been designed specifically for fuller busted women, to work with our forms instead of requiring our forms to change to fit - they look good on everyone (just ask me. haha). I couldn't wait for her to look in the mirror and see what I see: a strong woman absolutely rocking our swimwear! But as she approached the mirror and before she could even see herself in our swimwear her eyes darted to her legs. Then her arms. Then her stomach. Her face. Her hair. Her stretch-marks. Her bottom. Eyes darting everywhere except how she looked as a whole. I just wanted her to see how amazing she is. But she didn't get the chance. She didn't even see the swimwear. My heart sank. I've seen this before.
She has a size 14 bottom and 12H breasts. She has a size 8 bottom and 8G breasts. She has a size 18 bottom and a size 16E breasts. She is all of us.
Before she even opens her mouth to speak I immediately wander over to stop the pervasive thoughts being spoken out aloud. Hush now. I know what she's thinking. I do it to myself. Instead I speak about about my swimwear. I ask her how she feels in the product. I check the fit and either suggest a size which will feel more comfortable (or be a better fit) or we high-five it because we nailed the size straight up (dream scenario). By immediately distracting my customers from the insidious thoughts their brains have, they've given a few minutes of respite from the critique of their minds and are able to appreciate how they feel in the product. How they actually look in the swimwear, not how they think they look. And does it look good, you wonder? Yes, it is made for her. Does she feel supported? Yes, or sometimes no. And when it's a no, you wonder? I ask what she likes or doesn't like about the pieces and we try a new style or size. And does she like that? More often than not, yes, she absolutely loves it!
And do you know why?
When women are given a moment to appreciate themselves, to see themselves and not their mind's perception of their physical self, they are provided with clarity. When women are properly fitted in a product which is designed to work with the feminine form, they are shown that their body is not the "problem". They see their curves and busts are embraced and enhanced as opposed to being squished into products which have been made to flatter a size 6 figure without the same kind of curves. They're shown that their bodies are strong, fit and powerful (regardless of size) and not an amalgamation of perceived "flaws".
The scenario I described above is a daily occurrence in my change rooms. I'm sure in all change rooms across Australia, actually. Clothing. Lingerie. Swimwear. Women's brains programmed to criticise, despise and look for individual "faults" as opposed to appreciating our physicality, our ability, our power and our body as a whole.
I want to change that with Marvell Lane and I strive for all women to have a good, positive and empowering experience with their swimwear as opposed their usual traumatic experience. But we have to work on ourselves (and our minds) before this will happen. I know this especially for myself because although I preach about changing our mindset, I look at the videos my husband takes of me for Instagram and all I can see are my "faults". I don't even see how I look in my swimwear. Sometimes I don't even notice the swimwear at all. I stare at my stomach. I stare at my arms. I stare at the dimples on my thighs. Until he reminds me that I'm crazy. And I realise I have to also continually work on myself as well. This piece is as much for me as it is for you.
And so I want to leave you with (and remind you of) the powerful words of my favourite poet, Rupi Kaur:
"we are all born
the greatest tragedy is
being convinced we are not"
Much love and light,
Do you want to be fitted? Well the good news is that we're stocked in all Brava Lingerie stores in Sydney and Melbourne, Byron Bay an Mudgee. Check out a list of our stockists here and treat yourself (and your girlfriends) to a proper fitting.
If you live in regional or rural Australia (other than Mudgee and surrounds) then I'm sorry I haven't found a stockist for you yet! You can always do an e-Fitting with us by completing this form here.
Marvell Lane Musings is the blog space I, Rachael Calvert, started for my swimwear label, Marvell Lane. I created Marvell Lane as a swimwear label designed fashion-conscious women with large busts. My dream is that Marvell Lane will become the go-to swimwear label for fuller busted women with designs from supportive underwire bikinis to wire-free bikinis and amazing one pieces you'd love to wear all day.
My current fuller bust swimwear size range goes from 8D, 8DD, 8E, 8F, 8G, 8H, 10D, 10DD, 10E, 10F, 10G, 10H, 12D, 12DD, 12E, 12F, 12G, 12H, 14D, 14DD, 14E, 14F, 14G, 14H, 16D, 16DD, 16E, 16F, 16G, 16H. So I hope that you find your cup size in our swimwear range and if you don't then get in touch so I know which other sizes people are looking for!