Self(ie)-Sabotage

Everyone is beautiful.
This phrase, although utilized in most body image campaigns around the world, doesn’t quite convey the positive “love yourself” message originally intended. Beauty, by definition, is “the quality of being physically attractive”, and by saying EVERYONE possesses this quality, it loses it’s value.
I recently came across this hilariously candid article called “Not Everyone Is Beautiful“, and completely agreed with the writer’s thoughts on this topic.  wrote, 
beautiful-life-quote-life-quotes-quote-quotes-you-are-beautiful-Favim.com-65671“Everyone is not beautiful. Some of us have tumors the size of a second head growing out of our ears. Some of us have skin like the Michelin man. Some of us lose fingers, legs, or eyes in horrific factory accidents. We have warts and blemishes and hair loss and dead teeth and lazy eyes and cleft palates and third nipples and unibrows.” Urban Dictionary‘s description of this phrase is right in line with Biberdorf’s statement: “A very naive, cliche and opinionated phrase, that is overused in modern society. This phrase is only an opinion because everyone has a different idea of beauty and not everyone is going to be considered attractive by everyone”.
If it’s true that beauty is merely an opinion, then why is this word and/or phrase being used as encouragement to help people establish self love and acceptance in the first place? In reality, beauty is one of the least significant parts of being a human. It doesn’t bring us success in our careers or happiness in our relationships. It doesn’t bring us passion, dedication, love, or motivation… and it certainly doesn’t affect our spirituality or inspire us to change the world. So what does beauty REALLY matter??? What does it DO?
Well, it makes people unhappy. It makes people feel inadequate.
Because really, not everyone is “beautiful”.

Society loves to point fingers when it comes to issues like these. Let’s blame low self-esteem on Photoshop, the media, ad campaigns, and runway models, instead of looking at the real cause of our body shame – US.
Glamour Magazine recently conducted a survey to find out how women really feel about their bodies. Among the results, the most shocking was that 64% of the women surveyed said that looking at photos of their peers on social media makes them feel bad about themselves. One of these women, Bethany Everett, 27, said, “with actresses, I know they have a personal chef and trainer and it’s their job to have the bodies they do—I don’t have any real expectations of looking like them.”.
It’s rare, these days, to see photos & images that have not been altered in some way. And we’re not just talking about the stuff you see on television or in magazines anymore… This applies to your children, your friends, your co-workers, and maybe even yourself.
With free photo-editing apps and programs available that claim to help you “put your best face forward”, we are now able to smooth wrinkles & blemishes, add make-up, remove cellulite, change the color of our eyes, slim our waists, and more – all with a swipe of a finger. It’s one thing to erase a pimple or remove red eyes, but now people have the power to completely alter the way they look (at least in the virtual world). Glamour also revealed (in the same survey) that up to 60% of women use photo-editors to crop, filter, and re-touch their photos. SIXTY PERCENT!!! It’s no wonder bodyIMG_8103 image issues are so rampant these days. WE are the ones intensifying the Hollywood photoshop epidemic by setting our own unattainable beauty standards. How are we supposed to distinguish what’s real and what’s not?
To prove my point, here is a selfie I took yesterday while sitting at my desk. I used the popular FaceTune app to smooth my skin, and then layered two different filters over it to produce the finished image on the right. In the original photo, my dark circles, wrinkles and uneven skin tone are very obvious. I look tired, blotchy and pasty. In the image on the right, however, my skin is flawless and glowing, and my eyes, make-up & hair color are further enhanced with richer colors (thanks to the filters).
With this ability to virtually upgrade/perfect our physical appearances, we are only setting ourselves up to feel worse, not better, about our bodies (by the way, does this make anyone else think of that Bruce Willis movie, Surrogates??? Well, minus the whole robot thing…). And for what?!

Beauty has no real power…but guess what.

YOU DO.

Biberdorf  says, “Let go of ‘beautiful’. Not everyone can be beautiful, just like not everyone can climb Everest or play the saxophone or be a good kisser.”.
Good point… we are all given gifts and talents, whether we’re born with them or develop them over time. The unfortunate thing is that many of us are so preoccupied with appearances, and so afraid of failure & rejection that we never discover what those unique abilities are. “What’s so toxic about all of this,” says Jesse Fox, Ph.D, “is that for many women, weight and body shape are tethered to who they fundamentally are as a person—tied to their success at work, in relationships, everything. Which means, if you feel bad about your body, you feel bad about who you are at the core.”
Loving yourself isn’t just a feeling or a state of mind. It’s not looking in the mirror and thinking “I look good today”. It’s an action. It requires effort. It’s about creating a healthy and happy body & mind. It’s about doing things to better yourself and others. It’s about becoming a person you LIKE, and accomplishing things you’re proud of.
Once people begin to realize that each and every one of us has a purpose (and it’s NOT to “be beautiful”), we can begin to establish our own worth and value. Stop letting your appearance hold you back. If you are unhappy with the body you were given, you have two options – plain and simple:
1. If you can’t improve the things you don’t like, you must accept them as-is. Period. You’re not going to be given a new body, so make the most of what you’ve got. Own it. Love it.
2. If you can improve the things you don’t like, DO IT! And QUIT making excuses to start.
Pick an option, and move on. Let go. This life is yours to live, and no one else is going to live it for you. 

10 Simple Ways To Be Lovely (Even When You’re Lazy)

When the cold weather sets in, it seems like all I want to do is curl up with a cozy blanket, watch seasonal movies on the Hallmark channel, and stuff my face with pumpkin, eggnog, and gingerbread everything.
Like most people though, I work. I run a business, work 6 days a week (sometimes 7), and on my “day off” it’s a rare occurrence if I even get to sit down before 8pm. Needless to say, I’m not super motivated most days to give myself a blowout or wear stilettos and lipstick.
I mean, isn’t that why dry shampoo and flats were invented?

Below are some tips to help you be your loveliest self- even when you’re stressed out, distracted, or running late!

1. Be Mindful. Be Present. Be Aware.164462540
Many of us are so wrapped up in our daily activities that we often don’t notice life happening around us. If we don’t slow down and take a moment here and there to breathe, we end up getting anxious and stressed out. We miss important events. We disappoint loved ones. We become irritable and unhappy. By learning to be fully present and aware of our surroundings, we can re-gain control of most situations and really enjoy the beauty in the things and people around us.
Becoming a mindful & aware person takes serious commitment and practice. When you discipline yourself to be truly “present” in every situation, you learn that when certain things cannot be altered, you must accept them and change your attitude/reaction towards them to create a positive outcome. You become more aware of the people around you, and their feelings. Your senses intensify. You’re able to alleviate uncomfortable situations by being attentive and understanding how people feel. You become more conscious of your environment and your health. Needless to say, this is a SERIOUS confidence booster as well!

2. Meditate.
Quiet meditation is one of the best ways to relieve stress and achieve calmness throughout your day. Try carving out at least 5 minutes in the morning, afternoon, and evening to sit quietly, distraction-free (I find sitting in the dark works best!), in complete silence. Close your eyes. Clear your mind. Let go of your worries. Be in the moment. Focus on your breathing. Just breathe.

3. Drink Lemon Water When You Wake.
A little random, maybe, but this little trick will do wonders for your mind & body! Upon waking, add the juice of 1/2 a fresh lemon to 8 ounces of lukewarm water. Studies show that consuming this beverage first thing in the morning boosts your immune system, aids in digestion, detoxifies your organs, repairs your skin, and SO much more! Be sure to wait at least 15-30 minutes before eating breakfast to give your body enough time to benefit from all of the nutrients!

4. Be Assertive.
Even if you’re not very outgoing, demonstrating confidence and boldness can be achieved in simple things like smiling often, making eye contact, asking questions, and offering a strong handshake. Don’t be afraid to leave a bold (unforgettable) impression!

andorra-5675-full-cup-bra_5674-short-lagoon5. Wear A Bra.
I’m not just talking to the ladies out there who go braless in public… I’m talking to those of you currently wearing a worn-out bra that hasn’t been washed in months, and is being held together by a safety pin. Getting a bra that fits and feels good is truly an INSTANT mood lifter and confidence booster. And not just one that fits well, but one that looks nice, too!
So put on that gorgeous bra you’ve had stored away for a special occasion, and rock your stuff any day of the week!

6. Brush Those Teeth And Wash That Face.
No matter how late you are! The worry of having bad breath can really bring down your confidence… especially around other people. Those who are self-conscious about their breath tend to smile, talk, and interact with others less. It’s re-assuring to know you won’t be THAT person in the room, so keep your mouth clean!
If you’re tempted to skip your usual face wash routine in the morning, a facial cleansing wipe will suffice in a pinch. I especially like the Yes to Cucumbers wipes… they remove dead skin & yesterday’s make-up, while the cucumbers help to reduce puffiness. Splashing your face with cool water after wiping can wake up your senses and refresh your skin! And obviously, don’t forget to moisturize!

8. Spritz Yourself.
Because smelling good can make you FEEL good! Keep in mind that fragrances last longer on clean, moist skin. If you’re in a hurry and have to skip your shower & lotion application, try washing your arms with soap and water, and applying a bit of moisturizer before spritzing your wrists. And be sure to let it air-dry… rubbing your wrists together can alter the chemicals and fragrance!

rebecca-1-wide9. Fresh-Faced Make-Up
No time to do contouring and a smokey eye (I mean, really, who actually does)? Stick to the fresh-faced basics: mascara, blush, highlighter (on the inside corners of your eyes & upper cheekbones), and lip gloss. You’ll look awake and refreshed in under 5 minutes!

10. Be Genuine. Be YOU.
You cannot achieve loveliness if you are not genuinely yourself. Pretending to be something you’re not is extremely unattractive and never draws in other people. Be different. Let your freak flag fly and don’t be afraid of what other’s might think. In the words of Dr. Seuss: “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”

Winterizing Your Under-Wardrobe

As the air gets colder, the days get shorter, and we begin to unpack the sweaters and jackets we’ve had stored away all summer, let’s not forget to assess our under-things too!

BRAS.1000x1000
Gone are the days of breezy t-shirts and tanks – unless you’re wearing them under a cozy knit top, that is. Those smooth t-shirt bras you wore every day during the summer can finally get a break, while you rock those pretty lacy and 3-part cup bras you love! When wearing layers and thicker/textured tops, you’re able to get away with quite a bit when it comes to bras. A winter favorite at Lola’s is the Prima Donna Madison 3-Part Cup. Although most of our clients wear this bra year-round (it lays so smooth and fits like a dream!), this one always seems to get extra attention during the colder months.
If you’re like me, however, and prefer to wear t-shirt bras ALL year long, try expanding your selection by adding some fun colors or prints. I like to wear my funky leopard/floral prints and bright colors under sweaters and knits in the winter. It helps keep my summer spunk alive despite the chilly weather!

SHAPEWEAR & SPECIAL OCCASION.
Wacoal-805171-3‘Tis the season for holiday celebrations, family gatherings, and office parties. Whether you’re wearing a business suit, cocktail dress, or a knockout gown, it’s important to make sure you’re prepared with the right foundations!
As with bras, shapewear has the power to make or break an outfit. The best way to determine what you might need under a certain ensemble, is to check yourself out in different lighting scenarios. Even better – have someone take a picture of you (with the flash on), so you can see what you’re working with.
One basic piece that (I think) every woman should own, is a high-waist slimming short. This style is so diverse… it can be worn under your every day clothing, as well as party and formal attire. My favorite is the Wacoal iPant (image on the left), which features seamless edges and firm paneling for a smooth, slimming look! vabien-the-minus-touch-strapless-keyhole-bodysuit-516
If you’re in the market for something a bit more heavy duty and/or multi-functional, you might want to opt for a bodysuit. Our current best seller is the VaBien Seamless Molded Bodysuit (image on the right), which can be strapless, and has additional boning throughout the mid-section!

Whatever you wear this winter, ladies, wear it with confidence! Remember – everyone struggles with body-image issues (yes, even celebrities and runway models), but don’t let that hold you back. Be that girl on fire whose beauty radiates from the inside out!

Your Daughter’s First Bra

I sat down today to write this entry, inspired by several recent “first bra” fittings at the shop, and realized… I don’t even remember my first bra. For an emotional experience so obviously significant to many of the girls (and grown women) I see in my fitting rooms, I couldn’t believe that I had no recollection of my own experience.

Curious, I called my mom.

I was eleven, and apparently more emotionally ready than physically ready for a bra. My sisters and friends were all wearing them, and I felt self conscious and left out.
My mom took me – WITHOUT my sisters (which was very rare and quite special) – to a local department store, where I was convinced nothing would fit me. After all, I hadn’t really even started developing yet (c’mon boobs, where are you?!), but I desperately wanted to fit in and wear a bra. I tried on a few bralettes, and was SO excited to find some that fit, I immediately put one on when we got into the car. Afterwards, she took me for ice cream, and I know I must have felt like a million bucks!

mother-daughter1

For all you moms (and dads) out there who want to make your daughter’s “first bra” experience a positive one, here are some tips on how to achieve that.

WHEN to go.
There really is no “standard” age in which to expect breast development to begin. For some, it can be as young as seven years old, while for others, development may not begin until they’re sixteen or even older!
Many parents feel it’s unnecessary to begin bra shopping until there are obvious physical signs. The truth is, when your daughter expresses an emotional need or desire for a bra, she’s ready. The physical indicators include soreness or sensitivity around the nipple area, and little “buds” or bumps showing through clothing. If you notice her covering up or hunching over, it likely means she is aware that her breasts are beginning to develop, and/or someone has already commented on her showing through her shirts.
My first experience, like many young girls, was initiated by emotions. It’s important to remember that emotional indicators can be just as significant as the physical ones. When she begins talking about her friends wearing bras and saying she wants one, it’s imperative to acknowledge this. Even if you don’t feel she is physically ready (or maybe YOU’RE just not ready?), this is an opportunity to strengthen your relationship with her, AND help boost her confidence early on.

Tip for Moms: Plan a special “girl’s only” outing, and include yourself in the bra fitting/trying on process. It’s important to show her that you understand what she’s going through, and by experiencing these activities together, it creates common ground. The more interactive you are, the more likely her first bra shopping experience will be a memorable one!

WHERE to go.
Although I personally recommend taking her to a professional, you can easily find training bras, camis, and bralettes at local department stores – even Target or Wal-Mart. This is a great option if you have a limited budget or schedule, or if  your daughter isn’t developing yet. But, if you’d prefer that she get a more accurate fitting and personalized service, try finding a local small business that specializes in bra fittings.

Tip for Moms: I actually host an annual Mother/Daughter Fit Event at my shop, specifically designed for these special “first” fittings, and it’s so much fun! Check your local bra boutiques for happenings like this.

WHAT to buy.
Your daughter will likely choose the bra she wants herself, but it wouldn’t hurt to help guide her in the process. Knowing what’s best for her wardrobe, and educating her on all of the different options can help her make the right decision.
She may opt for the hot pinks, cobalt blues, and lime greens, but be sure she gets a neutral color that she can wear under lighter colored clothing.41Y459ZO9GL._SY200_

For girls who have not begun to develop yet, try starting with a camisole or longer bralette. At this point, a single layer of fabric will be enough!

For girls who are beginning to “bud”, try something with a bit more coverage like a double layered cami or bralette with subtle lining/thin layer of padding or fabric. This will help to conceal her growing tissue.

For girls who have surpassed the early stages of development and require more support and concealment, now is the time to make sure she gets fit into the proper size. This will ensure maximum comfort and support throughout her development. There are TONS of wire-free and under-wire bra options that offer support and lining without a ton of padding that are perfect for teens & pre-teens!

Good luck, moms and dads!

 

Lola’s Fitting Room, Co. specializes in bra fittings for women ages 7-100, and offers a variety of styles and sizes at affordable price points. If you live the in the Chicagoland or Kenosha area, and you’re interested in bringing your daughter in for her first bra fitting, please visit our website for more information!

 

What’s Your Bra Fitter REALLY thinking?

While it’s a known fact that we women are generally overly critical of ourselves, self-slander is habit that can and MUST be broken.

Upon entering my shop, you’ll notice a sign that says “Absolutely NO Body Shaming Allowed”. This is not a suggestion. This is a rule that we reinforce for the emotional well-being of all present individuals. Speaking poorly of yourself breeds a negative vibe, and not only does it make you feel worse, it makes others (within earshot) begin to question their own appearance. Some women are so numb to the habit, they don’t even know they’re doing it, while others do it as a way to avoid negative reactions from other people. Without realizing it, they’ve put those “imperfections” on center stage under a big fat spotlight of negativity.

We understand that exposing parts of your body to another person can stir up certain insecurities, however, the things we observe in the fitting room aren’t what you’d think:

1. We don’t see what you see.
It may be hard to believe, but the majority of your so-called “flaws” generally go unnoticed by others, until you verbally call attention to them. People don’t notice that you might have one breast smaller than the other, or that you have a little pooch on your belly. Women CONSTANTLY make the mistake of pointing these things out to their friends, family, and significant others, but once they’ve been brought to attention, they can no longer go unnoticed. It’s SO true that you are your own worst critic, but  people will see what you want them to see. If you want them to see a confident, beautiful woman, then BE that confident, beautiful woman!!!

 

2. We are laser focused on our goal.
Our main goal during a bra fitting is to make you feel AMAZING in a bra, and we do this by focusing all of our attention on the fit process. We honestly don’t notice other parts of your body (unless you point them out to us, as mentioned above), as we are super-concentrated on finding you the best, most comfortable and supportive bra possible.

3. You have unlimited potential.
When you enter the fitting room, we don’t see wrinkles and rolls, dimples and bumps, small or big boobs. We see beauty. Uniqueness. Vulnerability. When you enter the fitting room, you do so with a clean slate… a blank canvas. To us, you are whatever and whoever you want to be, and it’s up to you to embrace this opportunity to re-create yourself! With a little practice, you can change your focus from the things you don’t like about yourself, to the things you love about yourself!

3. You are gorgeous, darling.
Don’t worry… I won’t give you the “everyone is beautiful” speech here. To me, that just lumps women together, creating the notion that we’re all the same on the outside. But we’re NOT! We all have different stories, unique features and little imperfections that should also be embraced and celebrated. Beauty and attractiveness isn’t ALL about physical appearance. It’s about the little things that make you unique – your laugh, your thoughtfulness, your confidence. These are just a few of the things that should truly define “beauty” instead of the physical standards set for us by the media. These are the things we see and appreciate the most!!!