If any of you are fans on the Curvy Kate Facebook page you will have noticed a flurry of activity around a certain competition…Star In a Bra!
I partook in the competition last year and I was lucky enough to come third!
And I would like to share my experiences and tips with you in case you are considering entering…
For now Curvy Kate are just putting the word out and letting women know that the competition is approaching. Curvy Kate cater for fuller busted women: 28-40 backed D-K bras. I know that there is some confusion with the word ‘curvy’ as it has been hijacked by the plus size world, but in Curvy Kate’s case they mean women who are a little more voluptuous. So if you can wear their bras and you are a women then this competition is for you! You have to be based in the UK as the photo shoot takes place there.
I think it’s best to use this time before the competition to consider a few things:
*You may not get selected. I know it sounds silly but you should prepare for the possibility. SO many women enter and Curvy Kate have a really hard job choosing their favourites.
*Is your other half happy with the possibility of you being in your smalls all over the internet, in papers, of his friends seeing?
*How do you think your family will react?
*How will your colleagues react?
*Your name could forever throw up images of you in your undies. Is that something you think you can deal with forever?
I know I sound like a right killjoy and I apologise, but these are definitely points that you need to be aware of. I had friends who entered the contest and did not get through and they were devastated. I had friends who made the top 30 and got no further. You have to prepare yourself for the possibility that this may not be your year – and it is in no way a reflection on yourself!
I think I was lucky that my boyfriend was 100% behind me when I entered. He was nothing but supportive, helpful and encouraging and I could not have done so well without him. My family just did not get it. As I told my Mum “I’m doing it to make a point” and she replied “Well I think you made two.” It hasn’t changed our relationship and she knows I am now very passionate in my love of undercrackers and I think she and my Dad just accept that.
My colleagues at the time loved it! I always seemed to be at work when I got the emails saying I had got through to the top 30, then to the top 10, then claimed the third place victory. They all voted for me, supported me and made me feel amazing! As I work as a waitress it has not yet impacted on my life but I am prepared for the fact that it may one day rear it’s ugly head, especially as one quick google image search of my name, well…
Of course starting my blog has pretty much sealed my fate, but my “hobby” has become my world and I would not change it for love nor money, without it I would not have had so many amazing experiences and opportunities and for that I have to thank Star In A Bra!
Taking the photos was pretty fun! I did it before the competition opened on one lazy Sunday afternoon as my boyfriend sat in the bath, wolf whistling as I rush past him in different sets of underwear and bikinis! I tried to make my photos fun and happy as that is what Curvy Kate is all about! I had my special ‘poses’ which flattered my shape and as I was using my camera on timer I didn’t have to feel self-conscious.
Curvy Kate specify that you should submit three underwear or bikini photos and two face photos so they can get a good idea of how your gorgeous shape and pretty face look. It is essentially a modelling contest and when you apply to a modelling agency you would submit the same kind of shots. The photos should be non professional and only include you. Just have fun!!! Show yourself off in the best light and be fabulous! Wearing Curvy Kate underwear is not essential but it is what you will be modelling should you progress further so if you own some stick it on, if not you will not get marked down or rejected so don’t feel you have to rush out and buy some sets especially for your photos.
Then there’s the waiting…the watching the page…the checking out the girls who say they have entered so you can scrutinise them (in my case anyway!) and that nervous excitement as you eagerly await for the results to be announced…
If you are lucky enough to get through then celebrate, revel in it – but this is where the hard work starts! You need votes in order to get through to the next round. And in order to get votes you need people. Your friends list is a good place to start so make an event, a group, something to invite people too and something they can invite friends too. Spread the word on Twitter, ring the local paper, just put yourself out there! You may want to change your Facebook settings so that people cannot message or add you as men (for some strange reason…) seem to go crazy for women in their smalls! If you are comfortable with being friends with these men then that’s fine, but be warned, Facebook will notice if you are suddenly adding a lot of people and you could get your account closed down! So yes, promote yourself but be cautious. I used to post my photos on group walls to try to ask for votes and sometimes they got reported and removed, sometimes they encouraged horrible comments, lustful comments, bitchy comments – just focus on the positives, the amazing comments and support that you will get from friends, your mission to model underwear and relate to women. It is draining, it is exhausting but it is so much fun! I made friends with several of the girls involved and that was an unexpected side effect which I am still enjoying now.
After a few weeks the voting closed and we were all on tenterhooks to find out who had gotten through to the next round… there were some disappointments for some girls as with any competition. But I was elated to find that not only had I gotten through, but the girls who I had become close too and who I had campaigned with had also made it! Happy happy days!
The next stage was…the photo shoot!
I freaked out a little bit when it got to this stage. Granted my whole campaign was based around the fact that I was (and am) a bigger girl but I still started to worry. Sheer nerves and weight worries stopped me finishing meals and had me overly criticising myself for several days before the shoot. I tried to be sensible as I didn’t want to bloat up like a balloon and when it got to the day I felt ok with my shape and excited for what lay ahead. I had prepared myself for the shoot by having a relevant wax, getting my eyebrows threaded, washing my hair the day before, moisturising, trying to tackle my cellulite and stretch marks and although I didn’t feel ready I doubted I ever would!
When I arrived at the gorgeous house with Sophia Jenner we immediately felt at ease and welcomed. We were offered tea, given a tour and told to take off our bras…well, undo them to lessen marks! Haha! There was sushi, cake, lots of bras, fruit juices…heaven! The hair and make up artists got to work on us and it felt like a fantasy girly sleepover. Then we were shown the delicious piles of undies and had the girls check the fit on us to make sure we were in the correct size and it looked good. Then…the photographs! I had had one photo shoot prior to Star In A Bra so I had a vague idea of what to expect and I had been given a few tips from Carrie Hunter with regards to moving and making each frame different. I felt a bit self conscious and my smile started to wobble at several points, but all in all it was fun and I liked that Alison, the photographer showed me the photos as she went. I didn’t have to get into any funny or uncomfortable positions, the only things that pained me were the huge heels I wore for some shoots! I tried to follow Alison and Hannah’s directions as best I could as well as sucking in my tummy and squishing my thighs together! It was fun to see the rest of the girls have their turn as well and everyone encouraged each other.
And then there was the waiting game…and yet again I was at work when the photos came out! I must confess I hated most of them! For example:
Some made me happy:
And I learnt that no one else seemed to see quite as many flaws as I did – see here for some of the amazing comments! You may need google translate!
And so I campaigned once more and received even more gorgeous comments and appreciation and I realised that I was just not used to seeing myself in photos that I had no control over! It is important to remember that if you win you will not be able to select the images and the photo shoot is a great preparation for that. Curvy Kate will be selecting the images that show their brand off and would not use anything that doesn’t look good so don’t fret like I did! Just enjoy every moment and never lose faith in yourself! Campaigning again was stressful, it did annoy and confuse a few friends who were baffled as to why they had to vote again but it was easy to get back into. I also ended up acquiring a Twitter account in a bid to help me gain votes and I tried to market myself as best as I could.
When I found out I had come third I was initially disappointed as last year the second place lady as well as the first got to go to the photoshoot and I was so close yet so far! But Lizzie and Emma were such darlings and such worthy winners and I could only be happy for them! It had been a rollercoaster, something I could not do again but something I try to encourage every busty woman to try out!
It is a lot to think about and go through but if you are prepared and clued up it can be a little less scary and actually be rather enjoyable! I would recommend that if you are entering you prepare yourself for every outcome, all sorts of backlash and comments and one hell of a ride! It is a fantastic campaign that really raises awareness as to what different bra and back sizes look like, it shows how the average girl next door looks in her smalls, how women have bizarre insecurities even when they look perfect to us outsiders! I do not regret one single moment if the competition, the highs and the lows, it has shaped what I have become today and how I view myself, other women and many other things.
It changed my life.