It’s been a long, passion-fuelled and inspiring journey, but we finally have our Star in a Bra winner. The gorgeous Krista Cousins from Brooklyn, New York has been chosen by the you as the ‘Queen of Curves’.
Whilst we loved all of our top 10 finalists since they each had their own different look, reasons for entering and bubbly personalities, we think Krista has got the goods to – in her own words – ‘own it’. She’s drop dead gorgeous and that smile is just infectious!
In the words of Krista Cousins, Star in a Bra USA winner, 2012: “The time for a beautiful, busty, body revolution is now and I am very prepared to lead us all to victory.”
In light of our Curvy Kate star in a Bra competition – the final voting ends today, eeek! – we’ve seen a fair bit of Curvy Kate love on American TV shows. We’ve featured twice on the Today Show, once as part of Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb’s famous ‘Favourite Things’! We’re so pleased to see that they have good taste…
They showcased some of our gorgeous continuity and fashion styles, including the best-selling Emily in black and this season’s beautiful ‘coral’ colour-way, as well as the new addition to continuity Lottie in black.
Right to left: The Emily in Black, the Lottie (here pictured in white) and the Emily in Spring’s hot fashion shade ‘Coral’.
We were also lucky enough to be feautured on The Today Show with top stylist Bobbie Thomas. Bobbie’s Style Buzz gave a shout out ‘to girls with girlfriends’, showcasing the dreamy Entice collection which will be available in just a few short weeks!
Entice, modelled by the lovely Lauren!
To see a clip, click here!
Did you spot up on either of the two appearances? We’re set for World domination, and now all we need is our Star in a Bra USA winner to complete our American Dream. Just a few days left to wait! Who will you be voting for?
Can you believe it, we’re onto our final interview of this years competition?!
I won’t leave you waiting…to see us off, I spoke to the beautiful Tiffany Schmidt!
Hi, I am a spunky 21 year old, soon to be 22 in August. I live in Corvallis, Oregon which is where I am in school as a pre-nursing student. When I’m not studying you will most likely find me at a local swing dance. For the past four years I have been dancing West Coast Swing and Lindy Hop, both competitively and socially. I love how dancing allows me to confidently express who I am, no matter what I look like.
Wow, that sounds amazing! I have two left feet, so I’m very jealous! What sizes do you normally wear when it comes to lingerie?
I am a size 8 dress, wearing medium sized underwear and a 32F Bra.
Were you refitted at the shoot?
I was, before I thought I was a 34DD and at the shoot we found that I went up a cup size and down a band size. So now I’m a 32F.
Not TOO bad a change then, nothing too drastic! Do you have a favourite Curvy Kate set?
I LOVED both the Emily and the Princess. They both have beautiful lace accents and, like me, they are also fun and flirty.
Good choices, I love those two bras and have them in SO many colours. Were you a Curvy Kate fan before the competition?
I had never heard about Curvy Kate before this competition and am so thrilled to find such a wonderful brand. It’s hard finding larger bras that not only fit correctly but are also beautiful to wear.
Well at least we have another convert! How did you find out about the competition?
My friend, Danielle (who also made the top 10), called me for a girl’s night and told me about the contest. When I heard about why Curvy Kate was looking for D+ models and how they promote a positive body image, I felt like it was something that I could passionately support.
That’s great, I didn’t know you two were friends first! So why did you decide to enter?
I entered because I wanted to prove that being curvy is beautiful. I have always been short and curvy, which is normally not what people look for in a model. You can be healthy and still have a uniquely different body shape. I want to break the stereotypical model mold. I think that if other women see a company promoting women with their same body type, they are more likely to develop a positive body image about themselves.
Good for you. How have your loved ones reacted to you getting through?
At first I was a little concerned as to what they might think. Knowing that my mom always finds out everything, I decided to call her right away after entering the contest. She was actually thrilled to find out about what I was doing and that I was standing up for something that is so important to me. Everyone has been supportive and encouraging.
It sounds like you have a really supportive set of friends and family around you. How does it feel to be a part of the first ever American competition?
I feel so loved. It’s been such a whirlwind, from entering the contest, to making the top 30, and now making the top 10. Through all of it, I have gotten an array of feedback, both positive and negative. All of my friends and family have supported me through everything and stood up for what I am doing.
So the shoot has been and gone, how did you feel before and after?
I had to keep telling myself that I wasn’t dreaming. It felt so surreal to get on a plane to New York for a photo shoot. Once we arrived in New York and I was able to meet the other girls, I became more relaxed and was able to truly enjoy the experience. It’s hard to believe that the shoot is over, it was so much fun! I wish I could do it all over again.
Well that’s nice to hear. What were the best and worst parts of the shoot?
It’s hard to choose what was the best, it was all so much fun! One of my favorite things was getting to meet everyone that works for Curvy Kate, as well as all of the other girls. Everyone was so friendly and comfortable to work with. The shoot itself was also a blast! I loved getting to be my happy go lucky self in front of the camera. The worst part was leaving the shoot and having to get on a 6 hour plane ride to go back home.
Are you proud of your shape and size?
Of Course! I am more than proud of who I am. Everyone is born differently. I believe that it is important to love what you have been given because that is what makes you unique. I embrace being short and curvy. It goes hand in hand with my quirky personality.
I struggle a lot less than I used to. Over time I have figured out what types of clothing best suits my body shape. It also helps that I am a shopaholic. Lingerie is still a bit of a challenge since larger bust sizes aren’t always carried in your average store. Not to mention finding anything cute is a bit of a challenge, which is why I was so excited to find Curvy Kate.
For you, what’s the definition of a Curvy Kate girl?
A Curvy Kate girl is a confident poised woman who isn’t afraid to tell the world that being curvy is beautiful.
Very true! What would be the best part about winning?
Proving that a curvy girl like myself can become a model and helping encourage women to love whatever shape they were given would be the best part about winning.
What’s the fitting situation like in America?
There aren’t very many options for larger busted women. Unless you are shopping at a specialty lingerie store, it’s not likely to find anything past a D cup. I found that when I was fitted in a department store I would only get fitted to what ever the largest size they carried was, so in my case that was usually a D or DD.
That sounds horrible…and painful! How would it feel to be the first ever American Star In A Bra?
I would feel honored that I was chosen to not only represent the USA and Curvy Kate but to also represent being a curvy woman.
Do you have any advice for someone thinking of entering next year? Your words of wisdom!
No matter what kind of feedback you get, never let what people say get to you. Be true to yourself and never waiver in your stance. Entering this competition takes a great deal of courage. It’s something to be proud of.
Just one last question Tiffany, and I’m afraid it’s the nasty one! Why do you think people should vote for you?
Everything that this company stands for and supports I see in myself. I am a short, curvy, confident, well-rounded and poised woman who isn’t afraid to tell the world that being curvy is beautiful. Not only would I add a unique look to the Curvy Kate team but I would also be breaking the barrier of what a model should look like. I am Curvy Kate.
Good luck Tiffany!
To vote for Tiffany, head to her page on the Curvy Kate USA Facebook application for Star In A Bra. Whilst you’re at it, why not become a fan of the Curvy Kate USA Facebook page to keep up to date with the competition and the brand?
And that was that!
So, all ten interviews with all ten beautiful contestants are no up, there’s nothing to stop you from voting! Remember, you only have one vote this time around, and voting will end on the 27th of June at midday (EST), so don’t leave it too long!
I want to wish all the top ten luck – to me, they’re all deserving winners and I think you’ll agree that they look phenomenal in their pictures.
Good luck girls!
Somehow we’re already on our penultimate interview, how did that happen?!
With the end in sight, lets keep these interview rolling! This time we speak to the gorgeous Rhiannon Mariani!
I am a freelance hair and make-up artist, I live and work on the island of Oahu, Hawaii and I will be turing 25 next month. I’m a hard worker with big dreams, a big mouth and big hair.
I won’t lie, I found it way too exciting you’re from Hawaii! What sizes do you usually wear when it comes to lingerie? And were you refitted at the shoot?
I was refitted at the shoot. I came in a 34F and left a 32GG, and I wear a large on the bottom. I have some serious shopping to do now!
Hopefully a lot of it will be Curvy Kate! Do you have any Curvy Kate favourites?
I totally fell in love with the Emily in Coral. I really didn’t want to take it off.
The Emily is one of my favourite bras, ever. And I love that new colour way, it’s SO pretty. Were you a Curvy Kate fan before the competition?
I knew of the brand and loved them but wasn’t able to purchase them.
Hopefully the competition will raise awareness and mean they’re more readily available. How did you find out about the competition?
I saw a post about it on a tumblr blog I follow.
Good old Tumblr. What made you decide to enter?
My mom passed away when I was 16 and at various times in my life I feel like she has sent me opportunities that seemed to just fall in my lap. I know this was one of those things and I just had to do it.
I’m sure she’d be so proud of you. So, how does it feel to be a part of the first ever American Star In A Bra?
It feels amazing, I never imagined I would make it this far.
How have your loved ones reacted to you getting through?
I have had an overwhelming amount of support. I’ve always known I had a great support system but this has shown me just how amazing my loved ones are and how much they care.
That’s so nice to hear! So the photo shoot has been and gone now, how did you feel before and after the shoot?
It was just a whirlwind, so exciting from the minute I got on the plane to New York until I got home. It was such an amazing experience, I feel so incredibly lucky to have had the chance to be in the Top 10.
What were the best and worst partys of the shoot?
The best part for me was sitting in the hair and make-up chair, so much fun to be on the other side of that for once and I loved talking to the girls. I honestly cant think of a worst part…I spilled me juice at once point, does that count?
Well if that’s the worst thing to happen, we’re doing something right! And I bet it was lovely to be on the other side though, getting pampered. Are you proud of your shape and size?
Absolutely! It hasn’t been easy being a bigger girl my whole life, but it has made me who I am as a person and I wouldnt change that for the world. Besides, being a beauty on the inside is the most important thing.
I can’t even tell you how much more I prefer window shopping as opposed to actually having to try things on. I love my boobs, but they do not love the clothes I would like to put them in to.
It can be hellish, can’t it? That’s why I buy the same things in various different colours! So to you, what do you think makes a Curvy Kate girl?
A beauty inside and out, who loves her curves and has a passion for helping other girls love their curves too.
I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. What would be the best part about winning?
Other than knowing how proud my mom would be of me…getting to represent Curvy Kate would be such an honor.
I’ll say it again, she would be SO proud of you. What’s the fitting situation like in America?
If you can’t fit into Victoria Secret..not good. If you’re abouve a DD you have to shop almost exclusivly online and that is very frustrating.
The UK has its first Victoria Secret opens here soon, definitely won’t be paying them a visit! So how do you think it’d feel to win the first ever American Star In A Bra?
The best feeling I could possibly imagine.
And do you have any advice for anyone considering entering next time? Or even our next Australian and UK competitions?
Don’t over think it, just do it! No matter how far you make it, every step of the process is fun and totally worth it.
Some wise words! Just one last question Rhiannon…don’t hate me for it! It is the meanest one yet! Why do you think people should vote for you?
I think I would be a great represetative of the brand and as cliche as it sounds, I never wanted anything more than I want this in my whole life.
Good luck Rhiannon!
To vote for Rhiannon, head to her page on the Curvy Kate USA Facebook application for Star In A Bra. Whilst you’re at it, why not become a fan of the Curvy Kate USA Facebook page to keep up to date with the competition and the brand?
Next up we hear from Tiffany Schmidt!
Not many interviews left now, we’ve had a quick tea break and we’re right back on it, and this time we speak to the wonderful Michaela Duerson!
Well, my name is Kayla, and I am 23 years old. I am from the north suburbs of Chicago, Il. I currently work full-time in marketing for DirectBuy, America’s #1 way to buy direct for your home. In my spare time I go to church, and hang out with friends. I love old school music, sarcastic humor, and the color orange.
Maybe we can convince Curvy Kate to bring out a bright orange bra?! What lingerie sizes do you usually wear?
When asked what sizes do I wear, my honest answer is, anything that will S T R E T C H! The bra that I currently have on is an unfortunate 36DD and my undies are a size 6.
I have a feeling 36DD isn’t your bra size! Were you refitted at the shoot?
At the shoot I was fitted, which I knew I would be. Laura was absolutely amazing and helped me find that I am a 32GG. Before, the fitting with Laura, I was told that I was a 36H at my local lingerie store, Victoria Secret in Gurnee, ill. Which actually isn’t too far off, because I’m inbetween a GG and a H.
Well at least you’re finally in the right size! Do you have a favourite Curvy Kate set?
Yes! I absolutely love the ‘Tease Me’ it is amazing because the style is 100% sexy and the fit is 100% comfortable. I had the pleasure of wearing the blissful blue set for my shoot and when I put it on I felt like ‘Bow Chicka Wow Wow’. It’s literally the most comfortable bra I have EVER worn and by far the cutest. Cheers to Curvy Kate for that one! I felt more like a happy customer than a model, honestly.
I love that bra, I have it in so many colours! Were you a Curvy Kate fan before the competition?
I hadn’t even heard of Curvy Kate before the competition. Thank God I did though. I needed to find bras that fit, and thanks to the model search, I have.
Another convert! How did you find out about the competition?
A stranger on twitter sent me the link to the competition about a month prior to its US launch. Come to find out, he is a UK native that truly believes that big is beautiful. He’s a photographer himself and everyone should follow him, his twitter name is @TrendyTweeters.
Fantastic, a big thank you to him! Why did you decide to enter?
My aunt Wee Wee died last year. It was completely unexpected and changed the lives of my entire family. She was bold, and beautiful. She was curvy and courageous. Most importantly, she loved me inside and out and when I was at my biggest, 185 lbs, she thought I was just as beautiful as I was at 130 lbs. I know that if she were alive today she’d be just as proud and happy for me at the weight I am now, and lovely 160 lbs. I was her Barbie, and I know that had she lived, she would have been the first one ready with her digital camera to take pictures of me in my bra and send them into Curvy Kate. So, entering this competition was fate, my guardian angel wanted me to show off my curves and here I am, showin’ em’ off to everyone!
I’m sure she’d be very proud of you. How does it feel to be a part of the first ever US competition?
It is a prayer answered. It’s a blessing received. It’s a dream come true. Im so grateful and thankful and I love and appreciate every single person that has helped me get this far! Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you!
How have your loved ones reacted to the good news?
My friends, and family have been so encouraging throughout this entire journey. My mom and dad have been right behind me every step of the way. My sister and brother have been out getting votes left and right. My aunt, Grandfather and God Mother made sure I made it to New York. My best friends have answered on the nights when fear tried to creep in and replace my faith, but most importantly God, has been here every step of the way. To say the least, it’s been a team effort.
It sounds like you have a really supportive team around you. So the shoot is over and done with, how did you feel before and after?
Before the shoot I was ready for action! After the shoot, I was still ready for action! I love being in front of the camera. I have been wanting to model since I was 5. The shoot was everything I could ever hope for.
And what were the best and worst parts of the shoot?
The best part of the shoot was finally having the opportunity to look everyone in the eye and shake hands. I couldn’t wait to meet the other girls, the Curvy Kate team, the wonderful people from Lippie Taylor, the awesome team from bare necessities, and the team from Better. The worst part of the shoot, was saying bye.
Is that even a question?! I LOVE my shape and size. Everyone should love and appreciate their size. Think of it this way, who’s going to love you if you don’t?
A very valid point! Do you struggle to find lingerie and clothes to fit your clothes?
I have always had trouble finding a bra that fits. Underwear are easy to find. But bras, now that’s a struggle. I usually buy the biggest cup with the smallest back a store carries. Then I have to figure out a way to eliminate the ‘muffin top’ affect from the spill over portion of my breast. So, I wear my bra so that the excess ‘boobage’ lies beneath the wire. This creates the illusion that my bra fits. But at night when it’s time to take it off, I have an equator-like line dividing my boobs in half from the wire. Trust me, it is as bad as it sounds.
Ouch! What do you think of the fitting situation in America?
The U.S fitting situation needs to adopt the U.K fitting technique. In the U.S, you will be fitted with a tape measure. And if, you are like me, bigger than a DDD, you will get the shameful, head to the side and frown “ I’m sorry you’re a 36H, we can’t help you here… you will have to go online and search” Bra shopping is dreaded in the U.S you can ask any American woman, I guarantee she feels the same.
That sounds awful! To you, what is a Curvy Kate girl?
A Curvy Kate girl is a girl that realizes that fitting in is under-rated, unless you are talking about your proper bra-size. She knows who she is and she knows that changing who she is to ‘fit in’ is the ugliest thing she could ever do. A Curvy Kate girl loves her curves, and always smiles because she knows no matter what, having big boobs is great and they look better when paired with a nice smile in a cute, Curvy Kate set.
And what would be the best part about winning?
No longer having to wear this terrible, painful, little bra!!! I want to win the ‘Tease Me’ in a 32GG as apart of my years worth of lingerie!
That would be a pretty good prize! Do you have any advice for women considering entering the next competition?
Short and sweet! Just one last question Michaela, and I’m afraid it’s the one everyone hates! Why do you think people should vote for you?
People should vote for me because throughout this entire competition I have truly been myself. I really am always this excited. I really do love my boobs this much. I really am proud of who I am. And I really have been praying for this for a long time. I also believe it’d be nice for Curvy Kate’s consumers to see someone with a dark skin tone in the catalogues. I know that there is a large population of tan, brown, mocha skinned women out there with DD-K sized chests that wonder “If I order this, will it look right on me?” Let me be the first to say, I had the amazing opportunity to wear them and the answer is, “GIRL YES!” These sets look great on dark skin, I hope that you vote for me, so I can be the one you identify with when you make your next trip to Bare Necessities. If you think Curvy Kate looks good on me, that means it looks good on you too, because we are just alike. Buy it and show it off!
Good luck Michaela!
To vote for Michaela, head to her page on the Curvy Kate USA Facebook application for Star In A Bra. Whilst you’re at it, why not become a fan of the Curvy Kate USA Facebook page to keep up to date with the competition and the brand?
Next up we hear from Rhiannon Mariani!
We’re onto our sixth interview now – we’re speeding through! So without further ado, lets hear what the gorgeous Krista Cousins has to say…
I’m Krista, I’m a 24 year old nanny and plan to study and obtain a M.S in Speech-Language Pathology in the near future to help those with communication disorders. Although I was born in NYC, I grew up in the south, Georgia specifically but returned to NYC because I am truly a big city girl at heart with even bigger dreams! I am also a bit of an oxymoron! I am super silly and love to let my inner kid out often yet I still am very serious about many issues and representation of women is one of them.
You can take the girl out of the city but not the other way around then? I bet you felt right at home at the shoot. What sizes do you normally wear when it comes to lingerie?
I wish I could give a definite answer so I’ll say I’m in between a medium and large bottom size. For my bra size, I thought I was a 36/34F but apparently not!
Sounds like someone got refitted at the photo shoot..!
Yes I was refitted! I was wearing a 34/36 F before the shoot and unfortunately in all the glamorous confusion I didn’t have time to set my new size to memory, I guess I have to email Curvy Kate and ask them myself so I get to shopping ASAP.
I believe they refitted you as a 32G, which is quite a jump! Is fitting in America generally a bit dire then?
It’s not accepting at all! Most stores are department stores that don’t carry my size and then there are specialty stores that do carry my size but they are few and far between. Why is it that my bra size has to be made a “ speciality”? I dream of the day I can just walk into a store, find a cute bra that FITS without having to make an appointment or offer up my first born as payment.
Sounds ruthless! I’m going to stop complaining about the British high street! Do you have any favourite Curvy Kate sets?
Entice, Entice, Entice! I love the showgirl collection and the Entice set is beyond gorgeous, it’s so very classic “Come hither to my boudoir” and I bet when wearing it, it would be impossible to feel unsexy.
Isn’t it just so stunning? I can’t wait to finally own it, it feels like I’ve been waiting forever! Were you a Curvy Kate fan before the competition?
Honestly, being in the U.S I did not even know Curvy Kate existed! However, once I was given the opportunity to read up on the brand and what they stood for it was impossible for me NOT to be a fan. Beyond their gorgeous lingerie, I have seen them only say positive messages about women’s bodies and encourage women to be themselves and love themselves no matter what. It’s not often that I find such a positive message from a business which is why, no matter what happens in the contest I am still a Curvy Kate fan!
That’s nice to hear! So how did you find out about the contest?
A friend of mine posted about the contest to an online community that I’m a part of and encouraged everyone to enter and I simply cannot thank her enough for it!
Give her a huge thanks from me as well! What made you decide to enter?
I entered the competition without even thinking, I read about the contest and was very impressed after looking at the past winners and I thought to myself “maybe that could be me. Maybe this is my chance to get my voice heard” My boyfriend helped me take my pictures, even though I was very nervous submitting bikini pictures of myself to the world wide web!
Trust me, those nerves don’t ever go away completely! How does it feel now you’re a part of the first ever US competition?
LIKE WINNING A MILLION DOLLARS! Actually it feels incredible. Before this contest I was still self conscious but trying to really get to the point of confidence where I can really set a good example for others. I’ll always remember that the night that the top 30 voting ending I wrote myself a tiny note on a yellow post it that said “Krista, even if you don’t make the top ten you made the top 30, you received tons of votes from strangers and friends who thought you had the guts. Please don’t forget this after. You are so beautiful” Incredibly cheesy I know but it really stuck with me that yes I am beautiful. There is no longer any doubt because there are brands like Cuvry Kate who are not only acknowledging but praising us girls with the big ol’ curves!
That’s not cheesy, that’s brilliant – more women need to have that confidence and self belief. How have your loved ones reacted?
At first very hesitant. Some of my relatives felt the contest was not legitimate, some of my relatives did not feel comfortable with me exposing myself literally and emotionally to the public but in the end they have been very supportive in fact it helped me get closer to many of my loved ones as they have been proud of my and helping my every step of the way, I would not be here without them.
That’s great to hear, although I completely understand why they’d be a little bit dubious. How did you feel before and after the shoot?
Before the shoot I was very nervous, being that I was the last girl of both days of shooting. I was worried that by then everyone would have been tired and just wanting to get it over with, but that couldn’t have been further from the truth. After the shoot I was on cloud nine. I looked and felt beautiful and actually sat on a bench awhile just appreciating my life and what it had to offer because it was definitely one of the best days of my life.
With Laura and Hannah there, there would be no chance of it being quiet! What were the best and worst parts? Hopefully nothing too bad…
Well the worst part was the time crunch! Since I was the last girl on the last day, I unfortunately did not meet any of the six girls who shot the day before and even then I wasn’t able to properly meet the other three girls on my own day. I wish we all could have had a big party and talk about how the contest changed our lives for the better. The best part, aside from the delicious cookies, was the fan blowing wind in my hair. I know that is an odd aspect to focus on but I’ve spent my whole life growing up seeing beautiful women on tv with wind gusting through their hair like they’re goddesses and well I guess I’m a goddess now!
I always wish we could fit everyone in one day and just hang out afterwards but there are quite literally not enough hours in the day! Are you proud of your shape and size?
A thousand times yes! I wish it had always been this way but the past few years, especially with supportive friends and family nay saying anything negative I had to say about myself, I have come to accept and be proud of my shape, it is very womanly and after all I’m a grown woman!
I struggle so much that it is stressful. Once my boobs grew past a DD it was definitely impossible to find anything in my size in real department stores, while specialty stores would have my size, they also would have only a handful which also would have cost me what felt like an arm and a leg. I ended having to scour the internet and simply spend an eternity wondering if the lingerie or clothing would fit me and even then had poor results. It is truly a burden and I wish there were more stores that catered to bodies shaped like mine.
Here’s hoping this will change soon enough. For you, what makes a Curvy Kate girl?
A Curvy Kate girl is someone who is beautiful inside and out. She is proud of herself and her shape and knows that she isn’t just a person anymore but a symbol of a positive body image and awareness.
What would be the best part about winning?
It would be thrilling to join the ranks of Lizzie Haines, Sophia Morgan and Julia McLean and the other Curvy Kate models who are all very beautiful women who represent being curvy and loving it. Here I go being cheesy again but it would be very emotional if I could end up being the first Star in the Bra winner of color, American media is so very monochromatic when it comes to representation and it is rare to see both a women with curves and of color and if I win I could be both and hopefully help just by having people who are self conscious see how far I came and that they are just as beautiful.
Do you have any advice for anyone who’s considering entering? Maybe some words of wisdom?
Don’t hesitate, don’t think, just do it! Even the women who did not make the top 30 were still proud of themselves. Although this is technically a contest and competition it is ultimately much more than that, all the entrants have been so positive and supportive of one another. Many women felt beautiful and proud just having their picture taken knowing that for once they would not be scrutinized for their shape but rather loved, appreciated, and praised for it.
You’ve all been great contestants, and so positive about one another. Just one last question and don’t hate me for it – it’s the mean one! Why do you think people should vote for you?
All the women in the top 10 are gorgeous and quite lovely but I think people should vote for me because I’m loud and proud! As a representative of Curvy Kate I would make it a top priority not to just be a model that is forgotten the next year but I would use my year as the first U.S. winner to try to reach out to American women who are ashamed of their bodies. As I said in my last interview “The time for a beautiful, busty, body revolution is now and I am very prepared to lead us all to victory.”
Good luck Krista!
To vote for Krista, head to her page on the Curvy Kate USA Facebook application for Star In A Bra. Whilst you’re at it, why not become a fan of the Curvy Kate USA Facebook page to keep up to date with the competition and the brand?
Next up we hear from Michaela Duerson!
With only five interviews with our beautiful top ten left, it seems crazy that the competition is almost over! Time to get on with the last of our interviews, starting with Katie Simpson.
Well, I’m Katie, I’m a newly minted 29 years old living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I grew up in small town Virginia but now I’ve really grown to love living in the city. I’m not sure I could live in the country again though I’ll always have a nostalgia for it a nd the South. I have a Masters degree in 20th century European History and have been working at an educational non-profit for the past few years. I’m at a really good spot in my life right now beginning to further pursue the things I’m passionate about including writing, literature, web design for artist sites, and exploring how women can find confidence through fashion. It’s been an exciting couple of months and I’m really looking forward to the future & hope it includes Curvy Kate!
Here’s hoping! So what lingerie sizes do you usually wear?
I wear a 32H braand a 10 or 12 on the bottom depending on the brand.
Were you refitted at the shoot? I know some of our top ten were…
I was! I thought I was a 34F coming into the shoot (and I had just bumped myself up from a DDD) and found out I’m actually a 32H! We still had difficulty with the bridge though, so I think I’m always going to have to play around with sizing a little.
That’s quite a change in a short space of time, and sounds quite painful! Do you have any favourite Curvy Kate sets?
I didn’t get to wear the Tempt Me but I love the little buttons on the front. I really love menswear inspired clothing so why not bring that into my lingerie! I wore the Gia & it fit like a dream – even with my hard-to-fit chest – so that was great. I also really loved the pink color on the Princess set and the bra was really comfortable while being flirty!
I cannot wait to try the Gia, and it looked amazing on you. Well, they all did! Were you a Curvy Kate fan before the competition?
I hadn’t heard of them before I saw an advertisement for the competition but before I even decided or really thought about entering even I checked out the website and fell in love with all their cute styles! I would say I was an insta-fan and resolved to have some for my own!
Hooray, we’ve won another person over! So how did you find out about the competition then?
Actually through the contest partner – Bare Necessities. I purchase a lot of my lingerie from their site.
A great place to shop! Why did you decide to enter?
I honestly decided on a whim. But, when I thought more about it I realized that really for the first time in my life I feel confident about my body and the curves that I have. For example, I never would have let someone take pictures of me in my underwear 5 years ago. Also, I’ve been discussing healthy body image and self-confidence with my friend Nikki B. at Women Are From Mars independently and Curvy Kate’s message and philosophy behind the competition really resonated with me.
That’s awesome, and I think we have a new blog to read! So how does it feel to be a part of the first ever American competition?
Totally rad! It’s really been an honor.
And how have your loved ones reacted?
The support from my friends and family has been overwhelming and heartwarming. At first, I was a little skeptical to tell EVERYONE I knew (including my parents) but reactions have only been extremely positive. My Mom told all of her book club friends! And, my friends. Well, I have no words for how awesome they’ve all been. Love you guys!
There is something quite daunting about telling people there are pictures of you on the internet in your underwear! How did you feel before and after the shoot?
I think it all still feels surreal. I was really excited to go hang out in New York for a couple of days and see what a real photo shoot feels like. The actual day exceeded all my expectations. Everyone was so cool and chill. We had a great day. I left feeling more engaged with Curvy Kate’s mission and really believing that the philosophy they espouse is something they try to live every day with their brand. It was super encouraging!
The best part was meeting all of the other gorgeous girls in the competition and the staff of Curvy Kate and getting to know everyone. I definitely made some new friends! The worst part was having to leave! Haha, no but honestly, probably the worst part of my day was magically losing all my vocabulary during an interview with a local TV station. I used the word “fun” approximately 20 times in a 30 second spot.
Oh no! I’m sure no one else noticed though. So are you proud of your shape and size?
Yes! It took me a long time to get here but really it’s more about being healthy and taking care of the shape and skin you’re in.
Do you struggle to find lingerie and clothing to fit your curves? That age old problem!
Absolutely! I’m sure it will get a little bit better now that I know my proper fit in bras. Previously, however, I was forever buying loads of bras online, waiting for them to get to me, and growing increasingly frustrated as I tried them all on with no proper fits & sent them all back again. I’m glad more stores are carrying brands for larger-chested ladies; it’s so much less hassle to be able to walk into a store & know right away if something fits!
As far as clothing goes – shirts have always been difficult. I usually stick to stretchy tops or have to insert extra snaps for button downs. Dresses can be difficult, too. My friend, Amber, and I always discuss how the worst is in the summer when it’s scalding hot and the last thing we want is to put on a bra! We get so jealous of those girls who can get away without it in the nice tissue tops you want to wear. It’s also frustrating that mostly I have to self-modify my bra straps to wear racerback. And, you can forget backless or strapless! I really am glad that more companies like Curvy Kate are catering to larger-chested women…the variety keeps growing and we’re grateful!
I’m still on the look out for a perfect strapless bra, hint hint Curvy Kate! To you, what’s the definition of a Curvy Kate girl?
I think a Curvy Kate girl is someone who is confident and happy in her own shape and life, whatever that may be. Additionally, a Curvy Kate girl has empathy and sympathy toward the journey that every woman (and man!) has to take to be comfortable with her (or him!) self. It’s a difficult road with a lot of societal pressures working against us. I think Curvy Kate not only celebrates a fabulous arrival but also the voyage we take to get there.
Well said! What would be the best part of winning?
It would be such an honor to represent all the curvy ladies out there! Oh, and if Curvy Kate let me go to London (my favorite city in the world! After Philly, of course) that wouldn’t be terrible either!
Here’s hoping the weather would cheer up by then! So what’s the fitting situation like in America then?
Really the only place that I can feel guaranteed to find a bra in my size and get fitted properly are the higher end department stores. These are costly but provide me with an opportunity to find bras and try them on before purchasing. I can then find those brands or styles online. However, my options are still few and far between especially in US brands and sizes. For example, I’ve never seen a K cup size (my US size) in any store. Mostly, I shop online.
And there I was thinking the UK was bad! What do you think it would feel like to be the first American Star In A Bra?
I think I would be really humbled that people saw me as an appropriate representative for them and Curvy Kate! It would be really surreal. That would quickly give way to being super stoked, though! My friends and I would surely have a celebratory libation.
A celebration would definitely be in order! Do you have any advice for any women considering entering next year? Or even our next Australian and UK competitions!
Do it! My advice would be to a) get someone you’re really comfortable with to take your photos. That way they come out really natural and showing your personality; b) Smile, smile, smile! c) Remember that this is fun! Take that with you through the whole thing & try to remember in the stressful moments to be grateful for all the people you meet and opportunities presented to you. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the “competition” or feel overwhelmed because you’re vulnerable in the public eye. Just stick with your friends and don’t make them sass you.
That’s some great advice. Just one last question, the nasty one! Why do you think people should vote for you?
I really believe in Curvy Kate’s message & love helping other people discover and feel comfortable with themselves. And, maybe more importantly, if you feel like I could represent you or something I said resonates with you. All of the ladies are wonderful people; it’s a hard choice!
Good luck Katie!
To vote for Katie, head to her page on the Curvy Kate USA Facebook application for Star In A Bra. Whilst you’re at it, why not become a fan of the Curvy Kate USA Facebook page to keep up to date with the competition and the brand?
Next up we hear from Krista Cousins!
Well we are officially half way through our interviews and I hope you’re still enjoying them! If you’re still undecided about who to vote for, why not wait until all the interviews are up? Although saying that, it might make the decision even more difficult!
Our next interview comes courtesy of the gorgeous Jackie Flores!
My name is Jackie Flores, I am 24 years old and I study Psychology and Child Development.
Wow, clever girl! What sizes do you usually wear when it comes to lingerie? Were you refitted at the shoot? Unfortunately we have a terrible habit of sending people with a brand new bra size…oops!
I am a size 12 and I found out at the Top 10 photoshoot that I am a 34GG, so I was refitted at the shoot. I went in wearing a 34DD and there I learned I was a 34GG. A part of me knew I was wearing the wrong size, I just didnt think I’d be off by so much.
That’s quite a difference…and sounds quite painful! Glad to hear you’re in the right size now though, time for some new lingerie! Speaking of which, do you have any Curvy Kate favourites?
I actually have 2 favorites. One of them would have to be the Princess, that was the first bra that I was photographed in and it felt amazing, supportive and stylish. Tease Me was another I knew I would love and was so excited when I was told to try it on for the photoshoot, I love Balcony bras and Tease Me is a pretty sexy bra. I would have love to have been photographed in the Tempt Me set, but they didnt have my size at that time, however, it hasnt stopped me from ordering one in the future.
It sounds like you and I have very similar tastes in bras Jackie! Were you a Curvy Kate fan before the competition?
I had heard about Curvy Kate, I just never really followed it since it was just easier for me to drive to a store and buy bras there.
It can be tricky when a company is still quite young, but here’s hoping this competition will change that! How did you find out about the competition then?
I began following a blog – Fuller Figure Fuller Bust – andthere I saw she came in 3rd place last year and that the competition was coming to the US. I was pretty excited.
Our very own George! She’ll love to hear that. So what made you decide to enter?
I decided to enter because nothing like this has been done in the US and I wanted to be part of such a great idea. Im not going to lie though, it was pretty difficult to hit the submit button at the time of entry. But the days following my entry, my confidence began to soar.
I bet you’re glad you entered now? I know we are! How does it feel to be a part of the first ever US competition then?
It feels amazing. Never in my life would I have thought I’d have an opportunity to be part of something so great.
How have your loved ones reacted to you getting through?
Great. They’ve been so supportive. My grandmother even learned how to use facebook so that she could vote for me. I have amazing friends and cousins that have reached out to their friends for votes. My parents have been in the loop all along.
Bless your Grandma! That’s so sweet! So how did you feel before and after the shoot?
Before the shoot, someone pointed out to me that I had the biggest dress size out of the 10 girls. My thoughts went crazy for a while with that comment. As soon as I got to set I felt so comfortable and all of my nerves calmed down. It was such a great experience, I would definitely do it again in a heartbeat if given the chance.
Finding out my correct bra size was by far the best part. Meeting everyone of the Curvy Kate team and all the other girls from the Top 10 was really nice too. I dont think there was any “bad part” of the shoot.
Well that’s god to hear! Are you proud of your shape and size, despite that mean and totally unnecessary comment? I hope that person feels awful!
Yes. I mean, I do have those bad days, but who doesnt right? But I do feel very comfortable in my skin, from my height to my size, even if it was the biggest size in this competition.
Good for you, and everyone should feel that way. Do you struggle to find clothing and lingerie to fit your curves?
I definitely struggle with lingerie and clothes. With clothes, since Im 5’9″ some mini dresses are too mini, all my jeans are stretch denim because it they weren’t, they’d fit my waist but I’d struggle to get them up my thighs and if they go up my thighs easily they’re to big for my waist. Now that I’ve known my correct bra size, I dont struggle at all with lingerie. Its become easier for me to shop online for something that fits good.
I think unfortunately we all get stuck shopping online just because it’s easier, and I have the exact same problem with jeans so I always opt for a skirt or a dress! So what do you think defines a Curvy Kate girl?
To me, a Curvy Kate girl is someone who appreciates and accepts her body the way it is. Its not about being a certain size, its about having the confidence to flaunt yourself no matter what others think.
I get the impression that fitting in America is pretty terrible…
Not as good as it should be. I have friends that didnt know bras existed beyond a Double D cup. Curvy Kate is just what the US needs to help bring awareness of supportive yet sexy lingerie.
Here’s hoping we can make a difference! What would be the best part about winning?
Well the lingerie part of the prize is nice. But being part of something so new to the US and being an advocate for something that promotes body acceptance would be such a great prize.
Everyone loves free lingerie! But I love that you all seem to really want to be this advocate and role model for body confidence, it’s great. How do you think it would feel to be the first ever American Star In A Bra?
It felt great to be chosen as a top 30 and even better when I made the Top 10. I can’t begin to imagine how it would feel to become the first American Star in a Bra winner. I bet it would be amazing!
Do you have any advice for anyone who’s considering entering the next competition?
Do it! I kept my photos locked in my phone for about 2 weeks before I decided to enter. I would read about how some past participants’ self esteem soared as soon as entering and would think to myself “that can’t really happen” but it really did! Its a whole new level of acceptance. The support you get from relatives is amazing and not to mention people you dont even know can say the nicest things about you. Enter!
The lady has spoken! Just one last question Jackie, but it’s the horrible one, sorry! Why do you think people should vote for you?
I might not have amazing blogs and great followers like some of these girls do, and believe me the blogs are amazing, I even follow them, but I believe I can make a difference. One lady commented on my voting page, “I just voted for you! You are the curviest one and made me feel good about showing mine! Hope u win!” Even if I only helped one person throughout this competition, It makes this journey even better. And if I become USA’s first Curvy Kate Im confident that I can reach out to more curvy women.
Good luck Jackie!
To vote for Jackie, head to her page on the Curvy Kate USA Facebook application for Star In A Bra. Whilst you’re at it, why not become a fan of the Curvy Kate USA Facebook page to keep up to date with the competition and the brand? Come back tomorrow for even more interviews with our stunning top ten!
Next up we hear from Katie Simpson!
Slightly later than scheduled, and we’re on to our second interview of the day and our fourth Star In A Bra interview!
So, without further ado, lets hear what the gorgeous Danielle White has to say.
My name is Danielle White and I am 24 years old. I love to read, write, dance and, as of recently, to bake and decorate cakes. While at Oregon State University I studied Wood Science & Technology, French, and Business Administration. Shortly after school I started my first job in sales but one day I hope to travel and write fiction novels for a living. When I am not at work I dance competitive west coast swing, make bad puns, and try to learn new skills, such as billiards, painting, and yoga.
Wow, it sounds like you keep busy, and a fellow cake fanatic! What sizes do you normally wear when it comes to lingerie?
Underwear sizes change so much between companies that I run from a small to a large. During the photoshoot, though, I was generally fitted in a small. But that is what I love about bra sizes! They are generally very consistent! I am a 32FF for most brands.
I think everyone kind of has a size that they can then deviate on because as we all know, sizes fluctuate so much with brand and style. So were you refitted at the shoot?
I stayed a 32FF! I regularly get fitted for bra sizes because I view bras as an investment.
That’s what we like to hear! Do you have a favourite Curvy Kate set?
I really loved the Tempt Me Black/Coral from the Spring/Summer 2012 line and the Emily Midnight/Blush from the Autumn/Winter 2012 line. Buttons and lace are some of my favorite touches to bras. It is a great way to secretly have fun with your lingerie under your clothes!
Ah you and Chandler fell in love with the same Tempt Me! And I LOVE that Emily, it’s one of my all time favourite bras and I cannot wait for that blue. Were you a Curvy Kate competition before then competition?
There are no Curvy Kate retailers in the Pacific Northwest so I had never heard of Curvy Kate! I do shop for bras online, though, so it would have only been a matter of time before I found the brand.
Well we’re glad you’re now a convert! How did you find out about the contest?
My sister, Courtney, spoke to me about the contest but didn’t enter herself! She has been amazingly supportive of my entry, including driving me to and from the airport to get to New York. I’m looking forward to her entry next year.
That’s amazing, we can’t wait to see that! What a lovely sister you have. So why did you decide to enter?
I think I went through different stages of how I felt during this contest but I entered primarily as a direct result of my family’s relationship with their curves and the bras that support them. My grandmother always hid herself because of her shape. She was never a demure woman (she was perhaps the loudest and brightest of us all) but her curves did make her self-conscience. Maybe if there had been a better bra and she had been fitted my grandmother may not have felt the same, but I am more than happy to show off the curves that she helped give me. I am certain that she would have been proud of me.
We’re sure she’d be proud of you too, good on you. How does it feel then, to be part of the first ever US contest?
Unbelievable! When I read the Top 10 e-mail at work I literally jumped out of my chair and screamed. Even though we have already gone for our shoot it still feels like a dream. I am so excited to have gotten into the top 10 and especially with Tiffany Schmidt, as well!
That’s so nice to hear. I take it your loved ones have reacted well to you taking part…
My entire family has been so supportive! They may think I am a little bit crazy but they are supportive of me all the same. And because my sister is the person who told me about the contest, I can only say that they are the ones responsible for my entry!
Just the kind of family you want! Well the shoot has been and gone now, how did you feel before and after?
Before the shoot I felt completely unprepared and couldn’t sleep the night before. But having Hannah, Laura, and the rest of the amazing staff there made things run so smoothly that it felt like it passed too quickly! I wish that I could go back! I guess that after the shoot I feel that I regret that it ended!
You’re not the first person to say that! What were the best and worst parts of the shoot?
The best part of the shoot was the preparation! The hair, make-up, fittings and instructions were so relaxing and fun. And doing them all with the other girls made it a great girls day. The worst part of the shoot was that we couldn’t wear our Curvy Kate robes enough! They are perfect for Oregon while it has been cold but New York was so warm and humid that we could only wear them for a few minutes at a time.
Coming to terms with who I am and what I look like is a daily battle. But even though I can be critical of myself I am also proud of my shape and size! It is always important to remember that the most important opinion of all is the one you have of yourself. It is important to never let it be negative at the end of the day!
That’s a good life motto, I’ll be borrowing that one. Do you struggle to find clothes and lingerie for your lovely curves?
I think every woman struggles with finding lingerie and clothes that they love and that fit. Once I find a brand or a store that I love I become very loyal to it! And I am always fast to suggest them to my other curvy friends. I visit my favorite lingerie shop with guests so often they may think I work there!
I think as curvy girls we do become fiercely loyal to a shop that works for us, for fear of never being able to go shopping again! So to you, what’s the definition of a Curvy Kate girl?
Every girl can be a Curvy Kate girl, regardless of their cup size. Even though the other Top 10 finalists have such a variety of shapes and sizes, we are all Curvy Kate girls! I think to be a Curvy Kate girl you need to have pride in your body shape and to be able to celebrate other women’s body shapes as well.
I couldn’t agree more! Do you have any advice for anyone thinking of entering next year?
This opportunity is so amazing that you shouldn’t listen to outside criticism! Putting yourself out there can be difficult but have confident in yourself and don’t let anyone bring you down! The only opinion that matters is your own! And smile!
We do love a good smile! What would be the best part about winning?
For me, winning the Star in a Bra contest would be an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I love to travel and meet people, and I would get to do both. But I also think that everyone will win, regardless of which girl wins this contest. Anyone who wins this contest will be helping the modeling industry begin to show that every body shape can be an ideal.
I love the attitude you girls have, you’re all so positive about the other contestants. So it sounds like the American fitting industry isn’t so great…
One word: inaccurate. I think that is because women don’t realize they should be sized and sized often! Shopping would be much more enjoyable for everyone if the shopping day began with a fitting. And probably much less painful, literally! Years of an ill-fitting bra can cause physical and psychological damage.
Here’s hoping Star In A Bra and our winner can change those attitudes. How would it feel to be a part of that and be the first ever American Star In A Bra?
Being the first American Star in a Bra would be intimidating but worth it! Although other companies have moved in the direction of using customer-sized models, it still is so new! I would feel so proud that I am helping further this new standard.
Just one last question Danielle, and I’m afraid it’s the horrible one – don’t hate me! Why do you think people should vote for you?
People should vote for me because I believe what Curvy Kate stands for: celebrating life, women and their curves. I love helping the women in my life find positive body acceptance, and being the next Star in a Bra would help me reach other women, too! The only trouble is, I don’t know if I would ever stop dancing from happiness!
Good luck Danielle!
To vote for Danielle, head to her page on the Curvy Kate USA Facebook application for Star In A Bra. Whilst you’re at it, why not become a fan of the Curvy Kate USA Facebook page to keep up to date with the competition and the brand? Come back tomorrow for even more interviews with our stunning top ten!
Next up we hear from Jackie Flores!
Good morning readers!
We’re onto our second day of interviews and it’s set to be a busy one – to keep things as fair as possible we’re trying to get all of our interviews with the beautiful top ten live as close to each other as possible. Because of this, there will be a whopping FOUR interviews today, and the same tomorrow.
So, lets get the day started with the adorable Cristyen Fowler.
Hello! I’m Cristyen (or Criss) Fowler, I’m 25, and from Sulphur, Louisiana. I currently deal cards in a casino for a living, but after this entire competition, I’ve decided I want to pursue a job in public relations and move to New York. No, I’m serious! I’m a big geeky girl who spends most of her time online, reading, playing video games, and whining to the internet about Firefly being cancelled. And while I’m not new to blogging, I recently have delved into body image and beauty blogging, and write for a blog called Red Hair & Girly Flair. Now that I’ve put myself out there already, I intend on exploring bra blogging with it as well!
I can’t wait to see some of these blog posts! So what size lingerie do you usually wear?
Based on the brand and fit, as well as what time of the month it is, I jump between a 28FF and a 28G in my bra size. I usually wear a US 6 or 8 on my bottom half.
Ah yes, that frustrating, monthly cup size jump! Did you get refitted at the shoot? You sound pretty clued up about bra sizing…
I was briefly refitted at the shoot, but through a few painstakingly tedious months of trial and error, I had already concluded my size was a 28FF, so it was just a quick confirmation. Before resizing myself, though, I was originally wearing a 34D, and then a 30F, until I gradually made my way down to a firmer, more supportive band size.
Well that’s good, at least you won’t have to replace all your bras! Do you have a favourite Curvy Kate set? Maybe the photo shoot made you fall in love?
Before the competition, I fell in love with the Tempt Me set! I love the plunge style cups, and the detailing with the buttons on the gore delights my inner girlishness. From the competition, I LOVE the red and leopard print set they put me in. I’m normally not an animal print girl, but it was a very classy combination and made me feel rather sassy.
I was! I knew of Curvy Kate before the competition because I was a big fan of the bra blogging niche I stumbled on while trying to learn my proper bra size. I remember seeing last year’s contest and thinking, “I love this idea! I want to do that too!” And then, months later, color me surprised when I realized I could!
It’s great when the competition wins us new fans, but I do love it when people are already hooked on Curvy Kate! How exactly did you come across the contest?
The Sophisticated Pair blog was what had alerted me that the US would get their chance at this competition.
A big shout out to them! Why did you decide to enter?
I decided to enter for a multitude of reasons. The first being that I love the company’s message, and what the contest is about! I’ve fluctuated up and down a hundred pounds since I was a teenager, and so I know what it’s like to feel awful about my body at any size I am, and to look at models and feel unattractive because the pictures show glossy, airbrushed women free of lumps, bumps, and flaws. I love that this company takes normal women with no experience just to prove that models are real, and that we’re all beautiful in our diversity and flaws.
The other major reason for entering is, because my weight has fluctuated so vastly all of my life, I suffer from a lot of self-esteem and body image problems. Even entering this contest was difficult for me, because I was plagued by all of these fears of not being good enough. I didn’t feel curvy enough, busty enough, big enough, and even skinny enough! I thought I was too skinny to be curvy, yet too curvy and normal-sized to be skinny, and too short and small-busted to even fall into some happy medium between the two. When I realized that’s what was holding me up from entering, I knew that was exactly why I owed it to myself to enter. By embracing myself and showing my insecurities who’s boss, I’m setting a good example for other women out there. If they see me getting up there in my underwear in a crowded room full of strangers, even with my insecurities, maybe it’ll help them realize that they too can tackle these fears and learn to love themselves.
Wow, you’re doing this for all the right reasons then, and here’s hoping you can inspire others. Well done you. So, how does it feel to be a part of the first ever US contest?
Surreal! I keep thinking about it and wondering how this actually happened to me.
Well you’ve certainly earned your place here! How have your loved ones reacted to you getting through?
I was apprehensive about it at first, but I was pleasantly surprised at the support rallied for me! My friends, co-workers, and family not only supported me and my cause, but are the reason I even made it to the top ten. They’re all very excited for me, and very proud of what I’m doing here. Even if I don’t win, they all consider me a winner just for putting myself out there.
That must be amazing for you, to have that much support. How did you feel before and after the shoot?
Before, I was very, very nervous. I’m actually not really photogenic, and after meeting all of the other beautiful ladies, I started to compare myself to their beautiful curves and felt I just couldn’t compare. After the shoot, I felt much better about it! Getting to know all of the girls, and actually getting up there and experiencing everything, really changed my perspective. I was nervous during the first part of the shoot, but then grew more and more comfortable as I did the rest of my pictures. The photoshoot was definitive a confidence boost!
Well after seeing your photos I’m finding it very hard to believe that you’re not photogenic! It’s great to hear you all enjoyed the shoot, so what was the best part?
The best parts? I think the absolute best part for me, surprisingly, was meeting all of the other girls. I actually ended up making some very good friends during this trip, and there’s even talk of meeting up again later on. I especially formed a great bond with Brittany, and we were pretty much inseparable. I loved also meeting Hannah and Laura, as well as talking with the Bare Necessities people at the shoot. I loved connecting with people over the things about which I am passionate!
And the worst?
The worst part was the heels, hands down. I probably shouldn’t admit this, but there’s definitely a picture of me almost falling down in my heels while swapping poses! I’m a simple flats sort of girl, and heels are overwhelmingly difficult to do, haha.
I’m with you there – I love feeling glamorous in heels but I’m like a new born deer, so unsteady! Are you proud of your shape and size? It sounds like you’ve been through a lot when it comes to your body and confidence…
I don’t know if I’d say I’m proud of my shape and size, because my weight fluctuates so much, which means I’ve learned that hinging my self-worth on body size can be harmful to how I see myself. I am proud of myself, though, and I’ve been in the process of getting to a point where I can look into a mirror and love my body as it is, regardless of my size (for better or worse!).
Really that’s what it’s all about! Do you struggle to find lingerie and clothes to fit your curves?
I do, definitely. Lingerie is the hardest, because I have to buy it online. Clothes aren’t as impossible, but because my waist is so much smaller than my hips, thighs, and bust, I have a difficult time just walking into a store and buying things off a rack. And even if it fits, it doesn’t always work very well for my shape!
Tell me about it – I can’t remember the last time I went shopping and didn’t end up disappointed. It’s not good! To you, what is the definition of a Curvy Kate girl?
I think all women are curvy in some form or fashion, and this competition has really shown me how true this is! Some girls are taller, shorter, larger of bust, larger of hip, larger of tummy, but what’s best about our top ten girls is the diversity represented, which really goes to show that curvy cannot be defined. We are all curvy; rejoice!
So to answer, I think a Curvy Kate girl is not really about what she looks like, but what she feels like. To me, this company and contest represents all of the girls and women who have ever felt bad about their bodies because they weren’t skinny or even curvy enough. It represents all of the struggles we have finding things to fit us correctly, dealing with our own insecurities, or even confronting society for making us feel bad about who we are. Curvy Kate celebrates being natural and normal, something that we are all.
Well said! Every woman is curvy, one way or another and we should all be proud of our bodies, regardless of shape or size. What would be the best part about winning?
If I say the free cookies at the photoshoots, would it be taken amiss?
Never! One of the highlights is the catering!
Honestly, the best part would be the excitement of knowing I was chosen not only by my peers and family, but a large amount of strangers as well, and knowing that I now have this opportunity to be a part of something bigger than myself. Winning would lend me a larger, more credible voice to help me better fight our country’s poor knowledge of bras, and to help redefine beauty.
I take it the fitting issue in America isn’t great…
Abysmal! In fact, it’s not only bad, but it’s even worse because we’ve just no idea how bad it is unless we’ve looked online for other options. The only store I’ve seen to carry a bit more variety in sizes is Nordstrom’s, which is still very limited on its band sizes and cup sizes. When I last went, I found only two bras in a 30F, and they didn’t carry any 28 band sizes. When I ask department stores if they carry 30 or 28 band sizes, I’m met with scorn and mockery, and told, with a roll of the eyes, that I’m sure I can check the kids’ departments. Once, when harassed by a (non-local) Victoria’s Secret attendant to be fitted, I declined the offer and told her I didn’t carry my size, and was looked up and down skeptically and told that they do in fact carry my size. Everyone uses outdated and poor methods of calculating bra size, and our knowledge of bra sizes are laughably inaccurate. We think cup size refers to breast size, and that the squished, pushed-together cleavage achieved by a poorly fitting bra is the pinnacle of sexy. How can we know any better when this is all that we know in America?
And there I was thinking it was bad in the UK! How would it feel to be the first American Star In A Bra?
I would feel privileged, first of all, for being chosen as the first girl to help make this first and very important step in spreading awareness to our country. I would also feel an overwhelming sense of duty to make the most of the opportunity awarded to me, and would do my best to help fight the battle against poor bra knowledge and low self-esteem. And last of all, I would feel good about myself, because really, I’m your geeky girl-next-door, and never in a thousand years would I ever think I could have the courage to put myself out there like this.
Well we’re very glad you did! Do you have any advice for anyone in your position next year, if they’re considering entering?
Do it! Don’t even hesitate. If you think you’re too small, too big, too small-busted, not pretty enough, etc, you owe to yourself even more to enter! Do it for yourself and the confidence boost, but also because there are women out there who look just like you, who are feeling the same as you do, and will appreciate someone with whom they can identify putting themselves out there. Even if you don’t make it through, you might surprise yourself with how much you learn about yourself from the experience! It’s a good self-esteem boost just standing in your underwear with a camera pointed in the mirror.
Wise words! Just one last question, the horrid one – sorry! Why do you think you should win?
Especially after meeting all of the other girls, I find it difficult to say that I should be the winner. Every girl is beautiful and unique, and will bring something positive and different to the Curvy Kate team. However, I think I would be a fantastic ambassador for the company. I’m sincere about spreading bra awareness and helping women feel better about their bodies, and I’m a very passionate and driven individual. I’ve got a bubbly, enthusiastic voice that I exercise in every medium possible, and I know that if I won, I could use that to help Curvy Kate make a larger impact in my country. We’re on the brink of a movement the United States very much needs, and I want to be at forefront of this, fighting the misinformation and media’s definition of beauty. If I won this competition, it wouldn’t be about the free underwear, being famous, or getting flown to cool places for photoshoots (although, who can say no?); it’d be about something larger than myself. Vote for me, and I’ll do my absolute best to help make a bigger, more positive difference.
Good luck Cristyen!
To vote for Cristyen, head to her page on the Curvy Kate USA Facebook application for Star In A Bra. Whilst you’re at it, why not become a fan of the Curvy Kate USA Facebook page to keep up to date with the competition and the brand? Come back tomorrow for even more interviews with our stunning top ten!
It wouldn’t be Star In A Bra without our top ten interviews and even though I didn’t quite manage to fit myself into one of the Curvy Kate teams suitcases and do the interviews in person, nothing would stop me from chatting to our gorgeous top ten!
So the girls kindly obliged to do the interviews via email and finally they’re ready to go up! Want to get to know more about our contestants and find out how the photo shoot really was? Here’s your chance!
And without further ado, we start the interviews in alphabetical order, so first up is the beautiful Brittany Jencks!
My name is Brittany, I live in Asheville, NC, and I’m 22. Other than bra fitting and body image, my interests include art, computer science, psychology, and sociology. Basically I am a big nerd! I also write the bra fitting and body image blog Thin and Curvy.
I’m a huge fan of Thin and Curvy, and hopefully the competition will highlight the issues with being smaller but still having killer curves. What size do you normally wear when it comes to lingerie?
I wear roughly a 28H/HH bra size, although I could do with a 26 band, as I have quite a small ribcage! I wear a UK 10-12 on the bottom.
Who knows, maybe the competition will bring to light the need for sub-28 back bands? There’s certainly a market for it! Now even though you’re a bit of an expert when it comes to bras, were you refitted at the shoot? A lot of people end up going home with a new bra size…
At the shoot, they thought I would be a 28H, but there was a mix-up and there weren’t any! So I had to wear 30GG’s.
Oh no! Although sadly it’s an occupational hazard of only being able to bring a restricted amount of stock to the shoots, if only we could bring all of it! I happen to know you’re a bit of a Curvy Kate fan, but do you have any particular sets or styles?
I actually think that just about all Curvy Kate sets are utterly gorgeous – that’s one of the things I love about the brand! At the shoot, I found that I especially loved the padded styles, such as the Tease Me/Thrill me. I also really liked the Princess bra, especially in nude, because it doesn’t show under white tops, but it’s still a really pretty and sexy design.
You can’t go wrong with the Princess, although I absolutely love the pictures of you in the blue Tease Me from the shoot, it’s really flattering on you and looks gorgeous!
I have always thought that Curvy Kate’s designs were beautiful, but I had never had a chance to try any on until the shoot! Having tried them on, now, though, I can honestly say that they were just as beautiful as I thought in person, and they gave me a really nice shape, as well.
That’s so lovely to hear! So, how did you find out about the competition?
I have watched and voted in the UK competition for several years now. I always wished I could enter, so you can imagine how excited I was when I found out that Star in a Bra was coming to the US!
I bet you were thrilled when we finally announced it! So why did you decide to enter?
I have really struggled in the past to accept my curves. My mother always hated her chest and I used to hope and pray I wouldn’t inherit it! After becoming busty, I decided I wouldn’t stand for feeling ugly and frumpy in badly fitting clothes and bras. I want to celebrate my body for what it is, not what I wish it were or what society thinks it should be. I also think this contest is a really great chance to bring awareness to America about bra fitting, and the fact that curvy women can be beautiful, too. I knew that I wanted to be a part of that!
I can’t think of a better reason to enter! You obviously have followed the competition and know what it’s all about, so how does it feel to be a part of our first EVER USA competition?
It’s so exciting- I feel like this contest is history in the making! It’s also been a bit scary, because Americans are a bit more prudish than Brits in terms of things like underwear, so there’s this major fear of being judged harshly for participating.
I think anyone entering a competition like this – regardless of country – is going to find it a little terrifying but it’s great that everyone who entered rose above and beyond that in the name of all things curvy. How have your loved ones reacted to it all?
My fiance has been really excited and encouraging. He says I am his sexy lingerie model, whether I win or not. My immediate family have also been positive. I’ve had a few assorted people accuse me of doing it “just for attention,” and a few people have expressed concerns that doing this will hurt future job prospects. But I’ve also had a lot of friends be supportive and vote for me, even people who I wouldn’t have expected to care that much. I was really afraid of a negative reaction, but instead I’ve been really touched and grateful for the support I have received.
It’s strange how those closest to you have been SO lovely about it all, yet there are some people who view it in a negative way, such a shame. But it seems like most people are really supportive, just as they should be. OK, so the shoot has been and gone, how did you feel beforehand, and after?
Before the shoot, I won’t lie, I was super nervous! It really hit me that I only had one chance to get some great photos! As the day went on, I relaxed more, though, and I felt happy with my photos. Afterwards, I was tired, but happy, and excited to see how it all turns out!
That’s great! I admire all of you, I’m not sure I could do it! And what were the best and worst parts? Hopefully nothing too horrendous!
The best part was getting to hang out with some amazing and gorgeous girls… the worst part was having to leave them! I especially hit it off with Cristyen – people kept asking us where we knew each other from, because right away we were acting like old friends.
That’s amazing! I love how every year some of the contestants leave with some really close, new friends and it gives off such a positive message that women can be so supportive of one another, even when technically they’re competing against each other. Are you proud of your size and shape?
This is a hard question for me to answer. I am working on feeling good about my curves, and I know that I’ve made a lot of progress in that area. However in some ways I feel like saying that I’m “proud” of my shape would imply that I think my body shape is more attractive than other people’s, and I would never want to say that. I truly believe that there are different kind of beautiful and that my type is only one way of being beautiful! I do feel pretty comfortable in my skin, though, and I like to focus on what I like about myself, and I try not to compare myself to anyone else.
That’s a really good way of looking at it. I think people misinterpret the word curvy all too often – you can be whatever shape and size but we’re all women and we’re ALL curvy, and as long as we’re healthy and happy, nothing else really matters. Now I know it’s one of the focuses of your blog, but for those who haven’t read it, do you struggle to dress for your curves?
Definitely! That’s what my blog is all about – my struggles to find clothes and lingerie that fit me. Some people tell me it must be nice to be so curvy, but they have no idea how hard it is to find things that fit! I dream of one day being able to just walk into a store and find clothing and lingerie that fits me.
Tell me about it, I’m still waiting for that day to happen! What do you think a Curvy Kate girl is all about? Like, what do you think makes someone a Curvy Kate kind of girl?
Obviously, a Curvy Kate girl should be curvy, but I think it’s more than appearances. I think that it’s also about being a role model and being confident in your curves! I also feel like a Curvy Kate girl should be intelligent and passionate, care deeply about the brand and about bra fitting, and that she should believe that any woman can be beautiful.
I think you’ve hit the nail on the head there! There’s so much more to just looking great; Curvy Kate girls are representing body confidence and a brand so focused on that. So, what would be the best part about winning?
Winning would be an absolute dream come true! There’s a lot about it that would be wonderful – getting to go to London and be photographed, being able to wear such gorgeous lingerie for the photos, and being able to meet and play around with the Curvy Kate team. But I think that the very best part would be being able to play such a major role in bringing awareness about larger cup bras and bra fitting! I have been doing by best on that front for several years now with my blog, and I think that winning would allow me to do so in a whole new way.
It’s great that the competition to you isn’t just about taking part and being model, but about body confidence and the fitting issues and highlighting them! Speaking of fitting issues, what’s the situation like in America?
Oh goodness, it’s terrible! There are very, very few women here wearing anything close to the right size. Very few stores sell anything larger than a DD cup if you’re lucky, and the pitiful selection of D and DD cup bras are all horrible, hideous minimizer bras. All of the most popular lingerie chains do a horrible job with fittings, and will just shove women into the closest thing they have to their size, whether it actually fits or not. A lot of ladies think that that counted as a “bra fitting” and so if you suggest that they could use a better fitting bra, they will say they already tried getting fitted and it didn’t work. Women here are also in denial about bra fitting, so even if they happen into one of the rare shops that does a good job, they often will refuse to believe they could be bigger than a DD cup. There’s a big stigma, and women assume that they are freaks or that bras are just painful, and that there’s nothing that they can do about it. And it’s hard to even talk about, because Americans get really embarrassed or offended. They think that lingerie is all about being sexy for men, and don’t understand that it can be about feeling comfortable and pretty, for yourself.
There’s also a major misconception that curvy means you are overweight, which is another reason women here don’t want to accept larger cup sizes- they think that, say, a G cup must mean that the bra fitter is calling you fat! The inspiration behind my blog’s name was this- to try to show that curvy is a shape, not a size. I do, however, believe that all different shapes and sizes are beautiful.
And I thought we had it bad in the UK! Taking that into account, how would it feel to be the first ever American Star In A Bra?
It would be so exciting! I seriously think that I would cry. I really want to make a difference with bras in this country. The first ever winner will be in a very important position to educate women that bras can fit, be pretty, and that curves are OK!
It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it! Do you have any advice for women considering entering next year, or the UK and Australian competitions?
My advice is just to go for it – so many women don’t enter because they are too scared. Even if you think that you are too short, too old, have too many tattoos, etc; to be a model, this contest is all about diversity! Who knows, maybe you can be the one to inspire somebody else to feel okay with their body. So grab a willing and supportive friend to take photos, maybe a bottle of wine, and just do it!
Very sound advice – especially the win! OK, one last question, and the one everyone hates me for! Why do you think people should vote for you?
All of the girls in the top 10 are beautiful, and I know that winning would be such a big deal, for any of us. I wish we could all win! What’s unique about me, though, is that I’ve been advocating for better bra fitting and bigger cup size availability, for years now. I’ve helped hundreds of girls find better fitting bras. I have a good understanding of what a difference the right bra can make in somebody’s life. I think that I have shown that I can be a passionate and capable advocate.
Good luck Brittany!
To vote for Brittany, head to her page on the Curvy Kate USA Facebook application for Star In A Bra. Whilst you’re at it, why not become a fan of the Curvy Kate USA Facebook page to keep up to date with the competition and the brand?
Next up, we hear from Chandler Jade!
Good morning America!
It may be the afternoon over here in the (for once) sunny UK, but over in America it’s just about 8am. Today marks the start of the interviews with our top ten Star In A Bra USA contestants, and what better way to start the day than seeing our behind the scenes video of their recent photo shoot!
Check out our Behind the Scenes post for images of the girls at the shoot.
Remember, you only have ONE vote for the top ten, and voting closes on the 27th of June at midday (EST). Go and support your favourite contestant before time runs out!
Whilst we all love a good pampering and having our hair and make up done, the most important part of the Star in a Bra ‘makeovers’ is without a doubt the professional bra fitting. Whilst the girl’s submission photos all look incredible and got them picked for the top 30, as mentioned in our last post, some of them were indeed wearing the wrong bra size.
In a culture where a bra is seen as a fashion garment instead of a tool to support and hold you in place, it is so important to remember exactly what a bra is supposed to do and look like. We don’t see why the two should be mutually exclusive, and aim to seamlessly intertwine fit and fashion into our ranges. We want our fans to be fit aware, and believe the best place to start is by showing them – through our models – how a bra should look.
So which of our curvy champions was wearing the right size bra? Take a look at our before and afters… we’re sure you’ll see a difference!
We may be a little off the widely-reported statistic that 85% of women are wearing the wrong size bra, but with 70% of these lovelies now in their ‘correct’ size, let this be a warning to those of you who are still yet to get fitted by a reputable fitter! Just look how a perfect fit can change the way your boobs look, and trust me that’s not anything on how much better it feels!
Here they are with their new sizes and new photos! Have you seen our top 10 finalists yet? Who gets your vote?
Star in a Bra is our favourite time of year, so it’s no wonder we took the competition to the USA – that means three competitions worldwide! We can’t get enough of spreading the body confidence and embracing those who already want to share their own.
Our first ever USA Star in a Bra comp was no different to its predecessors. I mean, sure it was held in a swanky location in New York City, but nonetheless the concept remained the same. Gorgeous curves in front of the camera, showing the world how amazing they look in great fitting lingerie.
The bods, the smiles… that’s one gorgeous group of ladies!
It’s always a very serious affair at our shoots as you can see…
Brittany and Cristyen in-between shoots
Curvy girl bonding time
The girls from day 2 show us how it’s done!
Laura Butler on hand to get the girls in the right set at the right time and show her support!
Some of our readers and Facebook ‘fans’ have commented on how some of our top 10 beauties were wearing the wrong bra size, and after a Curvy Kate professional fitting (perhaps the most important part of their ‘makeover’), we can now announce that some of you were right! We’ll hear more about their bra fittings in their upcoming individual interviews, but we had our fair share of dramatic size changes, with girls going from D to F, 36 to 32, the list could go on.
Brittany looks incredible in the blue Tease Me set
Hello gorgeous! Krista wow in Tempt Me
Look at that flawless fit in Princess… Doesnt Jackie look gorge?
Brittany looks ‘Enticing’
Michaela is all smiles in her new size, 32GG, in the Gia in black!
From the looks of the behind the scenes images alone, we’re sure you’ll agree that these girls looked incredible in their lingerie, and their curves looked ven better in the right size bra. Sure, their hair and make up looks great, but we can vouch for the fact that these girls are all stunning without it and gorgeous inside and out!
The girls get into the Curvy Kate spirit!
Resident model Laura with beautiful contestent Kayla
Greeted by a very familiar face
That’s our girls!
Stay turned for video interviews with lingerie guru Jene Luciani
The fitting process is a very serious and meticulous affair.
Results go live tomorrow midday (EST), so keep your eyes peeled for the announcement on the USA Facebook page.
Who’s your favourite girl?