Weirdly Shaped and Well Photographed

… a blog about clothing for curves, bras for giant boobs (and tiny backs!), and escaping the scourge of the dreaded BoobLoaf and ButtChest.

Getting Down With the Panache Sports Bra


Trigger Warning!  While the theme of the post is body positivity, I used some very negative Thinspo and Fitspo pics as examples of what I think we should be fighting against, and they could definitely be triggering to some people.  For the most part, these have an image that I found that seemed problematic to me in one way or another accompanied by an alternative that I find to be more positive.  For the most part, the originals are in smaller boxes attached to the larger pictures that I took as alternatives.  Apologies again to anyone who might have been triggered before I posted this.  Love yourselves!

TastesBetterThanSkinnyQuick note upfront: this post originally was interspersed within a review of the sports bra I am wearing in almost all of these pictures, which is the utterly fabulous comfortable-as-all-get-out Panache Sport Sports Bra, of which I currently have three and have two more on the way.  Ultimately, the two aspects of the post didn’t come together and the memes I posted were getting all the focus, and the review wasn’t really as in depth as I would have liked in the first place.  With that in mind, I took the review info out and am planning an upcoming rather extravagant and detailed review that will be entirely on the bra itself.  In the meantime, I highly, highly recommend it to any larger-cupped lasses that want incredible comfort and support.  Note the picture further down in the post in which I am upside down! No boobs hitting me in the face!  In my size, this runs large (which is great, as it only goes up to an H cup), so I am wearing a 30H in all of these photos.  Thanks, and please keep an eye out for the full review!

thighgapSo recently I was given the opportunity to participate in Panache Lingerie’s campaign Support Every Move, and while I wasn’t able to be as active as I would have liked (I have been sick, as has MY WHOLE CITY OH GOD IT’S THE SICKPOCALYPSE), I followed along with the activities with interest.  You can check out their Pinterest board for the campaign here or do a search for #supporteverymove to see what everyone has been up to.  I was browsing the Pinterest board and some other places when I started to notice that not everyone was pinning such supportive material.  Since individual users were allowed to pin to the boards, this wasn’t a reflection of Panache at all, and they took down the most snark-tastic pins when alerted to them.  Still, it made me sad to see that when people were looking for motivation to get to a more healthy lifestyle, they were just as likely to come across images that shamed them and pressured them to go to extreme measures with diet and exercise as they were to find posts cheering them on.  The sadness I was feeling (and the memories of having relied on just such imagery myself once upon a time, along with the self-loathing that they caused me to feel) inspired me to do what many others have done before me: create an alternative.  I don’t think we could ever have too many alternatives to Thinspo and Pro-Ana memes that shame people into starving themselves to try to attain an unrealistic and unhealthy beauty aesthetic.  I will happily post any reader submissions along these lines to the Facebrog and Tumbrog, and if I get enough, I’ll make a whole post about them here on The Brog.  Let’s work towards body positivity and physical, mental, and emotional wellness together, Gentle Readers!


Only you can know what is the healthiest way for you to get to your fitness, weight, or wellness goals. Don’t let anyone bully you out of enjoying your life at the same time. How about some exercise AND a cookie? Or if cookies aren’t your thing, some other little treat? No single cookie is going to put you on the path to hell. Ignore the haters.


Half the time the people telling others that they don’t deserve something or haven’t worked hard enough didn’t even work for whatever it is themselves. Eff that noise. I’m not saying we shouldn’t work towards our goals, just that we shouldn’t judge other people’s amount of work or lack thereof by our own standards or by what we see when we look at them.

AssumptionsAll the people who think that giving up diet soda and doing moderate exercise a few times a week will cause anyone to lose weight can go take a long walk on a short plank. Calories in < calories out is a great simplistic formula to hang on to when you want to bully someone, but the reality is that some people burn calories a lot more efficiently than others, and all sorts of factors cause this to fluctuate. Not to mention that your weight is NOBODY’S DAMN BUSINESS and all bodies are wonderful and beauty is both in the eye of the beholder and not the only measure of our worth. GAH. I get so ranty about this. Love All The Bodies!

PinThisSidenote to readers: for any of you who are new here, body snark and shaming are not allowed on the brog at any time. If you try to say anything of that nature (and I will determine what constitutes “of that nature”) your comment will be deleted, and if you make another one, you will be banned. Do not try to pull that crap up in here. Not in my house.


Do what you want to do for you. You don’t have to prove anything to anyone. Seek your bliss, and spit in the eye of anyone who would have you do otherwise.

creepI am super well aware that this is probably so completely lacking in good form that it is painful to look at for actual yoga practitioners. Sorry guys. I couldn’t help myself.

P.S. There is no such thing as perfection, but you *are* so very special.


DedicationIt is definitely one picture of what dedication looks like, and I applaud the subject’s clear devotion to maintaining her desired body type.  However, there are only so many hours in the day, and while to some people devoting a great many of those to diet- and exercise-related activities is the choice that works best, to many of us, other activities are more meaningful or important or enjoyable or whatever else, and we dedicate ourselves to those things, all of which are beautiful. Even if it were just a matter of buckling down a bit to get everyone to society’s super narrow vision of what is attractive or acceptable, it would still be okay that some people just prefer to do otherwise.  The diversity of human interests is one of my favorite things.  What’s not so okay, to me at least, is how hyper-sexualized this picture is. It’s supposed to be of strength, but her muscles aren’t the focus of attention, and apparently only her body is of any worth; her head, and presumably who she is as a person, is disposable. Bleh.




Something I wanted to cover but didn’t get to was that there isn’t only one version of what is healthy, or beautiful, or strong.  I hope to do some more of that in a future post.

cupcakesPushing through the pain can be good if it’s just the kind of pain that means you’re getting a good workout in, but ignoring pain entirely, as many fitspo posts espouse, can be really dangerous. Think of it this way: are you going to reach your goals if you have to stop working out for six months to heal and go through physical therapy? Listen to your body and take care of yourself.


And dang it, sometimes you just need a damn nap!  Consistency is great when working towards goals, but you still get to have a life! There is always tomorrow; if you miss a day, just move on forwards and you’ll still be on track towards success.

*Note!  I am a blogger writing about body positivity, not a doctor!  None of this is intended to be medical advice, or even workout advice.  The idea is just to provide an alternative attitude to what is out there already.  Your body and specific health issues might necessitate something different (for example, if you are gluten intolerant, don’t just eat the cookie – check the ingredients first!), so please know yourself and ask a doctor about any and all specific exercise and dietary concerns.  Thanks!


Photography by David Eckert

Incredibly gracious help with making all the picture thingees into the wee hours of the morning by The Contrary Kiwi.


  • I can’t say how many times I love this – seriously I LOVE THIS!! I am planning to pin all of these later, but for now have just pinned the one about things that taste better than skinny feels – it has a lot of resonance with me as a statement I heard many a time when I was a teenager, and it’s true that chocolate, cupcakes, ice cream, chips, lamb chops, so many things taste waaayy better than skinny feels. So, thank you for this! And it looks like great fit on you too by the way, weird that they run so big, but good for you!
    Big Cup Little Cup

  • MissShapen

    Thank you so much, Sian! I’m really glad it resonated with you – I am a hedonist, and could not live without the pleasures of good food and leisurely naps and other such things. I try to lead a healthy lifestyle as well, but *I* am the one who decides what that means for me, and I really hope more and more people start to do the same. So… party at my house with a lamb chops and leisure theme???

    And yes, the fit is great. I’d say it’s a teeny bit on the small side, but in a sports bra I actually like that. I just tuck in a bit and everything stays put. :) I can not even tell you how happy I am that it runs large!

  • amberlicious

    This is why I adore you. I love this post so much! Oh my gosh, YES. Your graphics and photos were amazing too!


  • MissShapen

    So, so happy you liked it. I adore you too, as it happens. :)

    Miss Shapen

  • Christine Boosaurus

    I love this post (and you)! :D And I totally agree, the Panache Sport is all sorts of amazing. Should we start a campaign for them to make HH+ cups? :B

  • MissShapen

    Love very much returned and thanks given! We should totally start it. Oh, if it were to come in 28J (assuming it would run just as large in the cups)… *swoons*

  • Connie Wilson

    This is seriously an amazing post, Miss Shapen! I love what you did with the fitspo imagines. Now, YOU have a healthy image on body image and life. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this!!!

  • MissShapen

    Thank you so much, Connie! It was a lot of fun to put them together; whenever I see images like those, it just makes me so furious. Nice to fight back for once! I’m so glad you enjoyed it so much. :)

  • @lly

    I really loved your pictures and your take against those postings. Bravo.

  • Quirky Jones

    You’re so awesome! :D

  • Jennifer Vance

    Haha,you are so cute and amazing!I really loved the deserving and assumption ones for personal reasons.Everyone has a different life and some people don’t have access to certain things.And the assumption one,as a plus size since I was around 10 (though not as big as I thought,I was shocked when I looked at the photos that I was so much smaller,lol),even with not eating much and ended up with anemia.Because of some emotional things and people’s comments and assumptions I went down an eating disorder path,luckily didn’t stay there long,but still struggle with it from time to time.

    Been working on taking care of myself more and hope to get more exercise as I do.Been having a ton of family stress so I often can’t as much as I’d like to,but I think once I move out that will change.And seriously,Panache bras are so supportive.I got an Andorra in the plunge style and while the wires are very firm and rather uncomfortable (someone online said Panache has crazy wires,I agree),it’s very supportive and my sports bra for now.Your review has convinced me to try to find a deal on the sports bra online somewhere,though,I think it’d work much better for running.

  • Tracey McCartney

    Awesome post!!!!!!! I have the same bra… I love it! Love it & it has been soo hard for me to find a bra that I can wear during crossfit workouts. I too feel like I have a freakish figure with these big huge boobs & teeny tiny shoulders & frame & real thighs that have some cellulite. Real deal. Love becoming stronger every day, love being able to eat real, clean food. Love how you posted your pics with the disturbing memes floating around out there! You are amazing!!! Strong! Awesome post, thanks for sharing & for reminding me to order another Panache bra!! 34F

  • Heather Pedoto

    This almost brought me to tears. And I’m not a very teary person! I’ve got to level with you and say that I hate my body. And I’m familiar with body positivity, and I know I shouldn’t feel that way, but I do. I’ve gained weight and I don’t fit into most of my pants. Shirts are tight. I feel like I take up too much room on couches and benches and it’s hard for me to love myself. (The real kicker is that I’d never judge other people the way I judge myself! I love people no matter what size they are.) And to see the love that shines through this post, for any body type, is enough to make me feel less fat and more human.

  • Sweetnugget

    I love this!!

  • Sophisticated Pair

    Fantastic post! I get so tried of seeing a lot of these workout posters that encourage unhealthy behavior. What’s wrong with promoting some body positivity? The only way I was ever able to start living healthier (and ultimately lose weight) was to stop beating myself up about how I looked and start developing a healthy relationship with food and exercise. Thanks again for this amazing post, Miss Shapen!

  • Love this. Shall I share a revelation I had recently? Ok. My boobs are huge, but my body is small. That’s just the way I am. I am getting SICK AND TIRED of trying to find clothes that downplay my boobs. Yesterday I bought a wrap dress that looks awesome except that my boobs look massive. I got it anyway, and I’m going to wear it. To a gathering where there will be many religious types. The thing is,…. if I had no boobs and wore this very dress, nobody would notice. I’m not trying to push my boobs on the world, but I’m also sick of spending so much time checking myself in the mirror, wondering if this outfit de-emphasises my boobs enough to be socially acceptable. From now on, I’m not going to care if things make my boobs look big, because, they are. So there. My boobs are big, deal with it. It’s not my fault if the world has boob issues. Rant over.

  • Silly girl, you are gorgeous! weight comes and goes, gorgeousness goes on and on.

  • Raina Singh

    “My boobs are big, deal with it. It’s not my fault if the world has boob issues.” <– Love this!

  • Michelle J.

    I love this post! I have owned 4 of these (Black, White, Pink, Turquoise), and yes they are extremely comfortable! Suffice it to say, it is the only bra I wear now. The 3 hooks in the back make it the most supporting bra I have ever worn. And even though it does not allow for much cleavage, I wear them day after day. I also love your photos and their message. Every time I see condescending pictures like those, I want to smack the screen. WE ARE NOT ALL THE SAME, and simply jogging and changing our diet will not yield the same results for everyone! -_- Go MissShapen!

  • Pingback: Link Love :: January | Lace and Buckles()

  • Robot Amazon

    I have gotten shit from girls my whole life for my boobs… well ok not WHOLE life but since I was probably 11. I love you, I wish every girl who made me feel like it was my fault could read all your posts. Or that you could say it in their face since I don’t have the guts. Clothes don’t look the same on small waist/large chested gals. I have had so many mean comments to my face and behind my back and SADLY more as an adult. I am 30 and still feel like I have to hide them most of the time. You remind me I’m neither alone, or at fault.

  • GetItGirl2103

    This woman is so beautiful.

  • sabrina

    These are awesome!!! I really hate all the thinspiration things out there that are just costumes for fat shaming. Sure, I’d love to be skinny like them but not everyone has the time, the genes, or the desire to look like that! And I think you’re adorable….great body and it’s so nice to see some positive, non-sexual attention given to the ta-tas! (I have big ones and it’s SUCH a struggle finding clothes and bras and sports bras!)

  • sabrina

    OMG I HATE that!! And I hate that people feel like because you have big boobs, it’s ok to talk about them. People would never go up to a girl with small boobs and say, “Hey, you have really small boobs!” or think they’re “trying to get attention” because they wore a shirt that shows cleavage….how about I have 6 inches of cleavage, there’s no hiding it!

  • Jennifer Vance

    I used to get so many looks when I wore someone a little low cut (still decent by modern standards),and went to church.The girls at youth group almost shunned me.And my boobs are medium sized for my frame.LOL.The best place to learn how to not care is at a place like that,in fact,how they act so silly over boobs can become amusing. :D

  • MissShapen

    Thank you so much! Yay!

  • Emily McCabe

    OMG, I love this! You are awesome!

  • Kat Washburn

    I love you. One of my best friends linked us to your article because we’re always trying to talk super body positive and I just love you. Thank you.

    I’m so glad I’m not the only person who wants to rip all those memes to shreds. We actually put a pin board up by our fridge with a load of that crap on it before we came full circle and realized that shaming ourselves only made us give up sooner.

    Letting ourselves eat chocolate and home cooked healthy meals and take out time to make sure that we stick with each healthy habit we’re trying to build has worked out SO much better. <3

  • Loved this post! My fibromyalgia makes exercising a pain in the butt and near impossible, so I’m down to hula hooping now!

    I agree the Panache sports bra is definitely the best one around. I reviewed it last year (or maybe the year before).

    Anyway, you look awesome, and great message. :-)

    Becky x

  • Pingback: You can’t see fit! | IT'S A HARD BLOCK LIFE()

  • jordi

    i really enjoyed reading this article :) can I be honest? as a teenager I always struggled with anorexia..i was on the larger size and I felt id never have worth till I could lose the weight. spent a lot of time trying on clothing that would hide me as best as possible. was never satisfied… then I got sick. I miraculously (I thought) lost all the extra weight and then some. I was really skinny all of a sudden, and I was horrified to find I didnt suddnly become happy, it wasnt the dream id been working for most of my life. it was a sham… the exact opposite evil. always trying to gain weight, waking up three or four times in the night to eat, always panic, and still trying to hide in my cloths… and people seem to judge u just the same, instead of being fat, they laugh at u for being boney, or being weak, for being sick.. I felt just as ugly. only physically horrible and in pain as well.
    I have since found that a lot of my illness was due to food intolerance, and have been able to physically get healthy again. Im in counseling and a feeling a lot better as of late. I just wanted to share my story to hopefully point out that u dont know what is going on in someone elses life, dont judge them too hashly whether you see them as’fat’ ‘skinny’ or ‘beautiful’. dont judge them at all, u dont know where they have been or what their life is all about..u don’t know about their struggles. .alright im done now. soorry for the long post.

  • Amy Walker Miller

    You are absolutely adorable!!! My husband turned me on to your blog. So liberating!!

  • Julia Adams Bauer

    not weird at all but damn hot! good job and i love this page!

  • MissShapen

    I understand everything you’re saying – I don’t know if you followed all the blog posts that went around during The Modesty Panel last year, but in mine, my central points were that:
    1) Having/garnering attention doesn’t mean you want it; and
    2) the policing of clothing often has more to do with the policing of bodies than it does the clothing itself.

    I refuse to second guess myself all the time. I am shaped the way I am shaped, and that’s that. You’re absolutely correct: it is not your fault (or any of ours) that the world has boob issues! Hear hear.

  • MissShapen

    I tend to answer, “Yes, I DO really have big boobs,” which seems to totally weird people out and get them to go away. Not sure whether it’s a good approach, but it’s mine, heh.

  • MissShapen

    That is hilarious. Thank you.

  • MissShapen

    Thank YOU for reading and taking the time to comment! And I’m so glad that you’ve been able to get to a place where you’re not beating yourself up. That kind of thing is hard to overcome. Congratulations!

  • MissShapen

    This is a really great comment to read – thank you so much. I wish I could say something to all the girls who made you feel bad too; my guess is that they were experiencing their own body image issues and were projecting some of that self-hatred on to you, which isn’t rare but in no less sucky for being commonplace. It would be so nice to at least try to show them (kindly) that there are better ways to relate to themselves and to everyone else, and that it would be much better for them as well as for us.

    You ARE neither alone nor at fault, and please don’t forget it! I’m glad you come to read, and please feel free to write in any time to chat or vent or whatever. We’re all in this together!

  • MissShapen

    Oh Heather, I am so sorry to hear that you are experiencing feelings like that. I know more than you might guess how you feel; there were times in my life where I would look in the mirror and sob because I hated the way I looked, and I felt self-loathing all the time. I know the feeling of nothing fitting anymore, too, and how demoralizing it can be if you are wanting to be a certain size and just aren’t for a time. It’s easy to be body positive about other people while having internalized a lot of shame about yourself, and I really feel for you. You certainly look lovely in your picture, but I know that it’s your own view of yourself that can be hard to change. I will say, though, that I am so happy that this post makes you feel more human – you couldn’t have said anything that would have made me happier – and if there is anything I can ever do to help you feel that way and move towards a place of self-love, don’t hesitate to write to me. It can be a long journey, but it’s so, so worth it. Sending all kinds of warm and healthy vibes your way. Thank you so much for writing.

  • MissShapen

    Thanks, Sabrina! I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. Woo for positive, non-sexual ta-ta attention!

  • MissShapen

    Thanks, Michelle! And yes, I think “WE ARE NOT ALL THE SAME” is a core message that really needs to be drummed into society’s collective head so we can all stop harassing eachother and just start to have a good time!

  • MissShapen

    Hi Jordi – please don’t apologize for the long post! I appreciate you sharing your story, and I’m sure other readers will, too. Congratulations on figuring out how to be healthy again and going to counseling; it sounds like you are on a very healthy path. Awesome stuff. I wish you all the best in your recovery!

  • MissShapen

    Thanks, Becky! I’m planning to re-do a more extensive Panache Sports Bra review soon, and I’ll make sure to look for your link when I do!

    So glad you liked the post – you hula hooping is a great example of finding what works in your specific circumstances. And it sounds so fun! I have a hula hoop; should really get into that. :)


  • MissShapen

    Thanks, Sweetnugget! I’m so glad!

  • MissShapen

    Thank you very much, @Geektastically:disqus. :) I appreciate it.

  • MissShapen

    Thanks! I’m about to write a post about the blog’s name – I don’t mean it in a bad way! But thank you so much. :) Glad you love the page – come back soon!

  • MissShapen

    Thank you (and your husband)! :) Liberating – what a wonderful word to have applied to my blog. Thanks again.

  • MissShapen

    Hi Kat. What a great comment – I love you too, and your lovely sounding friend. Good on you both for taking down all that stuff. It sounds like you are doing everything the right way and that it’s going swimmingly, which makes me very happy to hear. YES to chocolate, and YES to home cooked healthy meals. I am all about them. I wish we could all have a dinner party! Nomnom.

    Thanks so much for the lovely comment, my best to your best friend, and good luck with everything!

  • MissShapen

    I’m so glad! Yay! You are awesome too!

  • MissShapen

    This woman thanks you. :)

  • MissShapen

    So glad you liked it, Tracey! And yes – this bra is the love of my life (she says, wearing one even though she isn’t working out at all). I say weird, you say freakish – as long as we agree that they are awesome, I’m with you. Sounds like you’re doing healthy things, and that is super rad. Thanks so much for the kind words!

  • MissShapen

    Hi Jennifer! Thanks so much. I’m glad that some of these resonated so much with you. The assumptions and deserving ones are actually the ones that resonate with me the most, too (if only by a little bit). I really feel passionately about it.

    So glad you have at least mostly battled off the eating disorder – that’s so hard to do, and while it is not surprising that you have to struggle with it still from time to time, it sounds like your recovery is in a good place, and I congratulate you so much on that. We all have times where things are harder to deal with, but it sounds like you are in it for the long haul, and that is really awesome.

    Thanks again! <3

  • Cool, you’ll have to give me a shout when you do!

    I did a review for one of Freya’s sports bras too, I was on the air walker and played badminton – in the house. lol I should do a hooping one next (once I’ve mastered how to look like a pro! ha ha)

    Becky xx

  • Katy Hearne

    I think…I’m in love with your blog

  • Christian Fredrickson

    Not much to say but this is awesome. Well thought out and worded. I appreciate the anti-“abuse yourself for female testosterone” messaging.

  • Pingback: The 6 breast bloggers you’ve GOT to check out! | Breast Friends Forever()

  • MissShapen

    Thanks so much! I’m never a fan of abuse, self-inflicted or otherwise. Yay for healthiness!

  • MissShapen

    It loves you back, Katy. :)

  • MissShapen

    Aw, Amber, I adore you too! So glad you love the post. Always happy when someone whose blog I love loves mine right back!

    Miss Shapen

  • Pingback: 'Weirdly Shaped' Blogger Zoë Ley Hilariously Combats Fitspiration | Brians Big Deals()

  • Pingback: The Blow Magazine | ‘Weirdly Shaped’ Blogger Zoë Ley Hilariously Combats Fitspiration()

  • Abigail Davis

    Girl you are made of awesome.

  • Pingback: 'Weirdly Shaped' Blogger Zoë Ley Hilariously Combats Fitspiration | EguidEz()

  • I think your blog is awesome! Please continue, your inspiring!

  • Mandy Hancock

    So much love for all of this. So much.

  • zbean26

    Sorry you have to deal with social ignorance. But just so you know, I have little boobs and many times in my life people have said “hey you have little boobs”. Once, while it middle school I punched a boy in the face for saying it. He never said it to me or the other small boobed girl in the class again. :-)

  • Pingback: 2014 Swimwear: Torrid Skirted One-Piece | Fussy Busty()

  • Adam Neeves

    I want you to know you have allies on both sides of the camp. (I’m not even going to get into the misconception of there actually BEING two sides!) I’m a straight male and I’ve always been in love with women! My partner is one of the best and strongest people I’ve ever known, and she still, now, in her mid 30s, suffers the same body image issues that are far more common in teenaged girls. I want to tell her, you, and all women that you’re beautiful just like you are. No disclaimers, no “for a big girl”, no qualifiers. We have, here in Australia, a disgrace of a reality TV show called The Biggest Loser. It’s all about dramatic weight loss and if the public were honest with themselves, it’s about shaming fatties until they break down and conform. The public cheers them on as they are humiliated and harrassed by fitter, better looking quasi-celebrities. It’s shameful that it exists, more shameful still that it’s a commercial success. Anyway, I apologise for getting slightly off topic, but I want you to know I appreciate what you’ve done and I applaud you releasing yourself from the bonds of what you’re “supposed to look like”. It doesn’t matter! You’re beautiful because you’re strong, because you’re articulate, because you’re considerate and compassionate. The skin you’re in is lovely as well, but that’s just decoration for your true loveliness.

  • Fudgesicles

    This is an amazing post. You have such a great attitude and an awesome sense of humour. I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s bothered by some of the more extreme fitness related posts that seem to be everywhere these days. Even the ones that aren’t completely superficial and somewhat disturbing (thigh gap) are often just too unforgiving for my taste. Yes, I want to be fit and strong and capable and look good in my jeans, but I also want to have time for my art. I also want to sleep in on a Sunday. I also want to enjoy some chocolate or a burger now and then. And I don’t like the suggestion that my efforts are somehow not good enough because of that. So thanks for putting a little good sense and moderation out there! It’s really good to see.

  • Pingback: The Bravengers Assemble | Weirdly Shaped and Well Photographed()

  • I officially love you! great work.

  • Yes! This! Okay, I suffer from headaches and/or migraines on a daily basis. My stress level is sky-high right now, due to only being able to find part-time work (and getting another job isn’t an option, since I teach, my hours vary, and I can’t be on my feet all day, which pretty much sums up all of the alternatives, barring phone work, and with a hearing impairment… well… ), so it doesn’t take much to trigger a full-blown migraine. My schedule is weird and changes every few months, and I get sick. A lot. So my metabolism sucks ass. So, too, does my ability to exercise on a regular basis. Generally, every attempt to do any notable working out gets followed up by a multi-week migraine at full level. I’d love to work out more. I’d love to be able to afford more healthy foods that also keep me from utter hunger between meals. It’s just not realistic for me, at least not right now. So it really irks me when someone implies that my extra 20ish pounds are due to laziness. Dammit, I teach college courses, take college courses, do freelance artwork and editing… I’m NOT lazy (often). I simply don’t have the time nor the energy to do it all, and right now, paying my mortgage and feeding myself and my dog come before getting into a size eight pair of jeans (if I even could… even at my thinnest, my hips have kept me at a size 10 at least).

    (So many ranty thoughts… can’t process… *boom*)


  • Pingback: Now here’s some “Fitspiration!” | Learning to Love Me()

  • Pingback: Product Review – Panache Sports Bra | Hiking Northern Virginia()

  • Zuzanna Zofia

    Your versions rock! I always hated that awful ‘motivations’, frankly they always remind me of fascist ideology – seriously, all that triumph of will and survival of the fittest.

  • Pingback: LGN 91: Big Boobs | Why We Blog()

  • Sarah Ochocki

    I think there is something to be said for not stopping just because you “want to stop.” Sometimes in life, we all have to do things we aren’t super excited to do. That being said, seriously, fuck Pinterest thinspo. So sick of seeing it all over the place. I think I will pin some of your awesome inspiration instead! Thank you for this wonderful positivity!

  • MissShapen

    Thanks Abigail. *highfive* You too. Awesome.

  • MissShapen

    Thank you, Sonja! I intend to! Mostly reviews, but this post has made me want to do a lot more body positivity stuff as well, and I appreciate the encouragement!

  • MissShapen

    So much love for your love! Thank you.

  • MissShapen

    You sound pretty great – maybe in another universe we have a club that involves sleeping in late on Sundays, then getting up to make art and have a burger and a milkshake for lunch? I would definitely be for that.

    In any case thanks for the kind words! I’m so glad you like the post. I hope you’ll come by the brog again sometime!

  • MissShapen

    Thanks, Michelle! <3 <3 <3

  • MissShapen

    Totally true, Sarah – I am not for just giving up on difficult things willy-nilly all the time. Sadly, infographics and such don’t often leave room for nuance. :/ I suppose at some point I should write a post clarifying my thoughts on that sort of thing. The main idea is to be good to yourself, and that for me, that includes knowing when keeping going will do more harm than good. Thanks for calling my attention to the lack of clarity on that issue!

    And YAY! I’m glad you like the positivity and such! I hope it makes you smile again on a day when things are seeming like a bit of a struggle.

  • MissShapen

    Hi Zuzanna – what an interesting comment! Thank you. I hadn’t really put that together, but it’s something I’d like to think about further… Maybe fodder for a future post? The whole survival of the fittest thing has always bothered me on so many levels – as though one of the best things about humanity isn’t how we all have different skills and strengths that can work together to make things better. We all have stuff to contribute, eh?

    Anyway, thanks again. I’m definitely writing this down for further reflection. And I’m really glad you like my post!

  • MissShapen

    Hi Adam! Thanks so much for the lovely comment. I want to join you in telling your fabulous-sounding partner that she is beautiful just as she is! It’s so easy to get drawn in to having those negative thoughts, and I’m really glad that there are people out there to help combat them, as it sounds like you do.

    We have The Biggest Loser here, too, but I’ve never watched it – even the previews make me wince. I’ll have to post about my version of group fitness sometime – I wish we could make a TV show about THAT! It’s called eccentric fit club, and it involves dressing up in silly outfits and finding ways to exercise that are as fun as they are effective. We take pictures, too, but not before-and-afters; they’re just to have evidence of all the fun we have. It’s a blast.

    I appreciate the kind words a great deal. Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

  • Pingback: Måndagstips: Modetidningar, fitspo, addicted to likes + en text om bröst som fick mig att gråta | Johanna Arogén()

  • plywood

    MY wife’m a D and the best zip sports bra for me is yvette. You can get them for a great price at Amazon. It really keeps “the girls” in place, even during a marathon.

  • Fudgesicles

    :) Sounds awesome!

  • I have never read this blog before, but I saw you listed as a Body Hero at the Huffington Post. I must agree: you are a body hero! And your photographer also did a magnificent work, bra pictures of a 3H woman which are beautiful but not sexualized. I love them!
    I swim for an hour a day and rides her bike everywhere but I feel kind-of guilty for eating dessert after that hard work, and I love dessert! I shouldn’t feel guilty. Thanks for those images, I’ll print them and keep you as my model… Your abs and mine are alike and they are awesome, I don’t need to be Kate Upton or whoever is hot for the Sports Illustrated new issue.
    Thank you.

  • I feel about my butt the same way you feel about your boobs. Let the world deal with it.

  • Jocelyn Viernes

    I love you! You are awesome. Thank you! Now I know that I need a cupcake in front of me when I do planking to motivate me.

  • Brandy Sims

    I love this post…i pin multiple photos from pinterest onto my “Fitness Motivation” board…and quite frankly, they don’t motivate me…they shame me. But now that i’ve read this post (and found your amazing blog) I’m not pinning that crap anymore. I’m going to pin stuff that makes me feel awesome, proud, and makes me laugh. Laughing after all has done more for my abs than any sit up or crunch. Love your blog!!!!!!

  • Just found you via Huffington Post. Thank you so much. My only trouble is why isn’t there more inspirational stuff like this. Lets hope you started a revolution!

  • Mimi Daugherty

    This is the best thing I’ve read all fucking day. Brav-fucking-o!!!!

  • Martin Conterez

    I love it. All of these are great.

  • Haley Michelle Shimko

    WOW just found your blog and can I say I LOVE YOU! Also love the Panache sports bra! It changed my life! Literally was able to train for a 5k after finding it! I am currently a 36HH and do wish it came larger than the H but I can still comfortably fit in to my H that I got before getting pregnant. Is it possible to have a list for bra shopping. I only know of Bravissimo and always on the look out for new places.

  • Alex Norman

    Dear Miss Shapen-

    I stumbled on this blog totally randomly from Huffington Post, and I found it really thought provoking and wanted to write. As a hetero white male, my (typical, I’m sure) first response was, why would a petite girl with a teeny waist and big boobs feel anything but great about her body? Especially one who’s cute and smart (and Jewish!).

    But reading this post, and especially reading the heartfelt responses here from other women, is a powerful reminder of how women feel so constantly judged and evaluated about their bodies. The extent to which, we white males are either unaware of, desensitized to, are actively participating in. And even those of us (myself included) who truly respect women and believe female beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, still can’t really KNOW what is like to feel constantly scrutinized and criticized for not being a “perfect” shape or size. Well duhhh! Right? I mean, how many average straight guys when they buy an article of clothing ever think about how it makes their body look? How many guys have to find specialized sources to buy underwear? Its ridiculous if you think about it. I’m not letting us off the hook, on the contrary, even the nicest, most “enlightened” guys in the world need to read blogs like this to really get it!


  • Kate Longthorne

    this made my day!thank you.Xxx

  • Janesaw

    The “dedication” one hits home hard. I am a full time graduate student and trying to be a better athlete and improve my eating/exercise habits, but the whole “no excuses/at all costs” mentality that a lot of my similarly-minded teammates and friends have means that I feel extremely guilty when I skip a workout in order to do homework, or miss practice due to an academic commitment. There are certain changes that I can’t make right now, and I have to be OK with that for at least a few more months. So when I miss a workout or a practice, I post progress photos of my latest project. Those are results of my dedication that I can proudly show off, and posting those up next to my friends’ fitness posts shows that just because I don’t have the spare time to spend at the gym doesn’t mean I lack the ability to achieve my goals – I just have different goals right now. Thank you for this.

  • Pingback: Saturday Snapshot - March 29, 2014 - Slightly Off Kilter()

  • @enidrosalyn

    Thanks for shining this bright, funny and much-needed ridiculousness spotlight on the illogical fit-memes that have become so widespread they’re just accepted. Just because they’re all over doesn’t make them true, right? Keep loving what you do :)

  • Pingback: Piloting Paper Airplanes | Say no shame and pressure - Piloting Paper Airplanes()

  • Darrell

    You are awesome.

  • I have pointy boobs and lots of people say “hey you have pointy boobs” and I normally say “yep they could poke your eye out if you come too close – so i wouldn’t recommend it.” Though most people do want me to wear a padded bra to hide it because normal bras don’t. Everyone constantly thinks I’m cold or excited. I have been told “it isn’t professional.”
    People notice what is different esp on parts of the body that are objectified and sexualized. It’s annoying and people often run on the default setting of stupid. I like to say things that pop them out of their stupor and realize I’m real.

  • Pingback: Don’t Buy into the Propaganda | The Running Thriver()

  • Arashi

    Dear Janesaw, I feel the same. I like to exercise – I was an athlete at school, I love sports – but I work full time and am finishing my degree (my second, isn’t that enough for dedication, for heaven’s sake?). Every semester, I try to plan my college schedule in order to leave some time for pilates classes, but in the past year I have not been able to do so. My classes start at 7am and I work until 8 or 9 pm. By the time I get home, I wanna have dinner and sleep! I’m finishing school next semester (please, please, please), so I need to focus on that now. I can’t change that part of my life right now (and I certainly can’t quit to have time to work out, no matter how much I would like to), yet every time I have a family meeting/birthday thing there is someone (usually a retired or with-a-lot-of-free-time someone) who says I’m fatter than ever. Yes, I am. But that is going to be my reality for some time, and the body is mine and no one pays my bills thank you. But it’s hard. I feel like I have to justify myself all the time and I wish I could just send all of those people to hell.

  • Arashi

    Thank you so much for this. Those fitspo/thinspo things are usually more toxic than some of my relatives, and that’s saying something.

    I am so tired of being judged for laziness, as if I’m fat due to irresponsibility or something equally preposterous. First of all, I have never been skinny. Not ever. Not even as a child. And I was compared to a cousin of the same age for practically all of my childhood (it was a glorious moment when puberty hit her and she suddenly wasn’t skinny anymore, yay!). But I was an athlete at school, I exercised regularly… today this is not an option to me, simply because I am way too tired to even do a sun salutation most of the time. I work full time and go to college, I am finishing my degree this year, so stress and extra work have been a constant. I leave home early in the morning for class, then I go to work and don’t return home before 9 or even 10 pm. By then, I’m so tired I can do nothing but sleep. But people never look at that. I’m fat because I’m lazy and eat like a hippo, period. But it’s not their damn business if I’m fat! I’m a person, not a blob of fat, and I would like to be seen as a person, a human being.

  • As a big fat lesbo there is nothing I find sexier than a skinny chick. Click for thigh gaps. Every woman can and should have a thigh gap and jealous fat girls need to STFU!

    Thigh gaps are very sexy! I want one. I plan on sucking all the blubber out of my thighs with a ShopVac!

  • And here we have a perfect illustration of why I moderate my blog’s comments before allowing them to be published. Sigh. I don’t even have the words.

  • MissShapen

    Sent from Mailbox

  • MissShapen

    Sent from Mailbox

  • MissShapen

    So sorry you had to see that, and I hope you missed the equally unpleasant response to you. I have attempted to ban the person in question, but it’s hard to make sure through my phone. :/ Will double check when I get home. Thank you for the support!

  • Thanks, sweetie. I did see it, thanks to the magic of instant comment notifications via email (whee!!!), but I pretty much saw it coming and was less concerned about my own feelings as someone for whom this topic is a real trigger. I’m a little self-conscious about my weight, since my PCOS and migraines make it tough for me to get enough exercise and keep my metabolism high enough, but I’m not as focused on it as I was in the past. My skills as an artist and a writer, on the other hand… ;)

  • Ms. Pris

    I love this post. Body-positivity for the win!

  • Rachel Jones

    My favorite is always: Random dude: “Hey, are those real?” Me:”yes.” Random dude: “Really? Can I touch them to prove it?”

    Yeeeeahhhhhhh……I completely agree with you on this, I just mentioned it the other day-if you’re busty, especially with a small frame, it’s really hard to find clothes that look cute without showing a little cleavage! And I discovered, sometimes wearing tops that cover up to my neck just make them look even bigger anyway. It is what it is, c’est la vie!

  • Rachel Jones

    I have a question, and maybe it’s weird, not sure- can you think of any good exercises to do for someone who has a permanent hip injury? I cannot do anything that moves the hip joint too much, because it will hurt like nobody’s business and continue hurting with every step afterwards all day. I walk with a cane. I used to be able to walk 15 miles a day and usually did so, before my accident, and now I feel like I’ve lost a lot of tone, which for my personal preference and overall healthy-ness feeling, is a little depressing. I can’t climb stairs very easily anymore, because the action upsets my hip joint. Surgery last year helped a little, but the pain is still present and they damaged my lymphatic system, so I have lymphedema now. If you can think of any good workouts that I could do, I’d love to hear them! Thank you again, as always, for a wonderful Brog! (Autocorrect wants to change that word to Borg…lol!)

  • So great article! So cool photos, so funny faces, i like it!

    Panache Sports is great too.

  • April

    Have you discussed workout options with your doctor? I’m sure they would have suggestions for you.

  • lrhhhh

    Wish I would have had that self esteem in 4th grade when my boobs started growing and growing and growing. Punk ass kids tormented me because of it as a result I cannot stand up straight as I was always trying to hunch over to hide them. Hate my back, hate the way it makes me look. :-) and yes my boobs are still huge. But my body is little as well.

  • Pingback: ~*Delicious for Christmas & New Year 2014*~ - Page 15 - 3 Fat Chicks on a Diet Weight Loss Community 20-Somethings()

  • Simon
  • kakaka

    http://www.bolapanas.commust say that overall I am really impressed with this blog. It is easy to see that you are passionate about your writing. If only I had your writing ability I look forward to more updates and will be returning.

  • kakaka

    http://www.kisahnyata.bizThis is a nice and informative, containing all information and also has a great impact on the new technology. Thanks for sharing it

  • kakaka

    http://www.kelasdunia.netThank you for another fantastic posting. Where else could anyone get that kind of information in such a perfect way of writing? I have a speech next week, and I was looking for more info ;)

  • kakaka

    dewapokerYou should write about the model/version on the blog. You can expose it’s perfect. Your blog examination should widen your readership.I am really grateful for your blog post. I find a lot of approaches after visiting your post. Great work..looking for affordable and trusted hosting?come and visit

  • Serena Beckett

    Thank you for this wonderful post! Personal favourites were your “thigh gap” and “this is what dedication looks like” pictures.
    I generally eat relatively healthy but I’m just beginning to get into exercising and I’m still trying to figure out what healthy looks like on my body. I wear a 30GG and am the only person I know with my proportions. People (people being women who got right back down to a 32B after giving birth and obviously have a different body type) tell me if I exercise more, I’ll have smaller boobs, but I’ve been exercising and lost fat everywhere (even my feet are skinnier!) but in my boobs, so it clearly doesn’t work that way for me. I don’t know a lot of stuff like “Am I even supposed to have a thigh gap?” “What about having abs? Will working out give me abs or would I only get those by cutting a lot of food out of my diet, which would be unhealthy for me?”. And I’ve been hunting for information on exercise, but rarely ever come across other busty women who exercise. And I read this article saying that if I should have less than an inch of fat of my arms, then I’m too fat. I’m not even sure what advice applies to me. So it’s really nice to see someone with my body type looking healthy and utterly fabulous! And giving logical, healthy advice and encouragement!
    Also, I think another thing about health that people don’t understand is that it’s about more than eating and exercising. It’s about making sure that your body’s needs are met. Your body also needs rest and relaxation and sleep or else it can’t work (and I’m pretty sure that work includes burning off fat) efficiently. It needs to be hydrated. And if you are under constant stress, as many people are, you can gain weight just from being so stressed out. And the body-shaming only stresses people out more, which isn’t helping anyone.
    I have the Panache sports bra and it makes exercising much more fun. That, and the fact that my high school PE teacher isn’t making me run laps and telling me if I get less than a B in her class, I’m terribly out of shape and there’s something wrong with me (I got a C-. But I discovered I had a multiple anxiety disorders at the time, making it difficult to exercise because of the constant fatigue.) I’ve mostly accepted my body now, though, and am doing exercise mostly for health reasons (stress management, want to prolong my life and not end up with health issues like my aunts and uncles…) and am pretty excited to be fit and fabulous!
    I know that was a long post but I feel like the only way to express how thankful I am for this post is to tell you a bit of my story so you know where I’m coming from. Thank you again for combatting our society stupid, obsessive, unhealthy standards. You are made of pure awesome sauce!