Hello everyone. I haven’t posted a single thing on this blog since March 8th. 4 months ago. A third of a year ago. I wish I had a simple explanation of what’s been going on and a positive conclusion with happy thoughts, but unfortunately it’s not that simple. As difficult as last year was for me, this year is already shaping up to be worse in so many ways that it’s been difficult to maintain a blog. Because it’s been so long, I figured I owed it to everyone who may still look out for my content. As all my posts are, this will be long so grab a snack and tuck in for a lot of reading.
Reason One: My Health
If you’re a reader of this blog you’ll know I suffer from endometriosis and an yet-to-be-diagnosed condition. It started to peak pretty much as soon as I started this blog, and has at times left me completely bedridden and in so much pain all I could do was cry and scream. After dealing with 7 years of it, I finally found a doctor who listened to me. On January 10th I had my first surgery, a laparoscopy for endometriosis. They found a cyst larger than my ovaries, adhesions, and spots of endo that were too deep to be removed. I recovered surprisingly quickly, although it wasn’t easy.
A few weeks later I went back for my checkup and told my doctor I still had a lot of symptoms left over, although I felt a little better than I did before surgery. He suggested I get a Nexplanon birth control implant inserted. He said it would stop my periods and I should feel a lot better because it would level out my hormones. I got it put in a few days later, and he was right. I did start to feel better. I haven’t had a period since. When I went for my yearly pap smear with a different doctor a month later, I told her I was still having other symptoms. That’s when she told me she thought it was something like lupus, multiple sclerosis, or fibromyalgia. She also wanted me to get a colonoscopy.
Unfortunately, she couldn’t write me a referral and my primary care doctor was pretty much useless. Even before surgery, she told me all my issues were due to my weight and if I just walked 30 minutes a day I wouldn’t have food allergies, allergies, depression, and all my other symptoms. Despite the fact that I was working retail and was regularly logging 4-6 miles in my phone’s built in pedometer. I had to find a new doctor before I could get anywhere. My insurance company fought me hard. I did eventually find a new doctor just a few weeks ago. She’s also a fat woman and from what I hear from people who have seen her, she’s non judgemental and has no problem writing out referrals.
I have an appointment with her on July 11th, and hopefully then I’ll finally start to get answers.
Reason Two: My Job
Before my surgery I had been working at the same place for just under a year. I actually liked my job and was doing really well there. I was always receiving commendations on my performance, and there was talks of promoting me to a full time supervisor position. I was told the job was mine once I came back from my medical leave. It was strongly implied that if I came back and wasn’t 100% better, I would lose my job. During my 2 month leave, I didn’t job hunt at all because I thought I had a full time position waiting for me. The promotion would have doubled my income and allowed my boyfriend and I to find our own apartment and move out of his mom’s house. He was doing well at his job, and we thought things were finally going our way.
I returned to work earlier than I would have liked because his family kept pestering me about it. They assumed that since I recovered quickly, I must not have been sick at all. They tried to say I didn’t have endo because the doctors didn’t remove any, even though my doctor told me that I did in fact have it. As a result, I wasn’t as prepared as I would have liked. I literally called my job and told them I was coming back, and within 3 days I was already on the schedule. It was way too soon for me to return. I worked for a month with little issues, but wasn’t talked to once about my promotion. I was at work one day and had a stomach bug. I vomited 3 times and had diarrhea twice in the 2 hours I’d been there, so I went home. It wasn’t related to my previous health issues at all and they even agreed I couldn’t stay that day if I was that sick.
I kept asking the store manager about my promotion, and one day he told me they couldn’t give it to me because of my “ongoing attendance problems.” Leaving a few hours early once in the month I’d been there because I couldn’t leave the toilet was an issue for them. Denying a promotion due to health issues is considered discrimination in the United States, but I didn’t have the resources to pursue it. I told my manager straight up that I would look for another job. That day during my lunch break I called the closest competitor store and asked if they were hiring. Within 2 weeks I had the new job and quit my old one on the spot, telling them why I left.
My new job is a lot better, but I’m not making as much money as I did at my previous job. I also work the same amount of hours, but my shifts are shorter so I end up working more days per week. I used to work 3 or 4 days a week, I’m now working 5 days a week. I don’t have much free time or money to spend to write blog posts. If I buy one bra, it makes up a substantial chunk of my paycheck that I could have used on bills.
Reason Three: Disillusioned with the Industry
I know this one is controversial because people want to only talk about the positive things in the blogging community, but in the two years I’ve been blogging, I noticed a clear shift in how brands were reacting to the content produced by bloggers. When I first started, it was easy to get samples from brands because they were eager to get feedback from real people. Nowadays, it’s like brands only want to work with extremely well known people who will always give them a positive review and not delve too deeply into the construction and fit of the bra. This is great for the brands because they get a ton of positive promotion in exchange for a bra and pair of panties, but as a consumer it’s disingenuous and misleading.
Despite being a blogger, I still buy the vast majority of my own lingerie. I’m not making enough money to buy bras all the time and write reviews on them. I study bras before purchasing them. 2 years ago, you could look up reviews and find a nice balance of criticism and praise. They were packed full of information of what breast shape would fit the bra, and other useful things. The majority of my bra purchases worked out for me at the time. Now, reviews seem to focus on the aesthetic of a bra instead of the details that matter. The construction, the fit, the materials, the way the brand treats customers, and things like that are ignored in favor of a easily digestible ad that brands can use to get more traffic from a popular public figure. I’ve also noticed a reduction in the amount of text based reviews, and an increase in photo heavy reviews and Instagram posts with minimal text. So now when I read reviews, it tells me little to nothing about how the bra will actually fit my body. It’s not just the lingerie community that suffers from this, it happens in almost any community that involves reviewing a product.
My problem is not with people doing sponsored posts or receiving free product. My problem is with people outright lying in a review or concealing important details because they’re being paid to. I’d rather see a sponsored post that could be summarized as: “I received this bra from (insert brand.) It’s beautiful and I love the appearance, but due to the construction I think this bra would be more suited for someone with wide roots and shallow tissue.” It’s a balanced review that tells the consumer what to expect from the bra, while also telling the brand you appreciate their gift and love certain things about it. It can help the brand improve and can help average everyday women compare bras before spending their money on them.
To compare it to the beauty community, it would be like if someone reviewed a lipstick and talked about the packaging and shade of the product, but didn’t say a word about the quality of the product, how long it wore, how it felt on the lips, and related things.
The reason I decided to write this part of the post was because I read a review by Karolina from The Lingerie Addict (and her own lingerie line, Karolina Laskowska), and was shocked to see a negative, scathing comment from the brand itself. I was even more shocked to see people defending the brand! I’ve definitely noticed that there’s a handful of brands you can’t criticize without people hopping on the bandwagon to make you look like a bad person for not liking them. As a blogger and consumer, no brand should be above criticism. I’ve been deciding whether or not to quit while I was ahead and stop blogging, or keep plowing along until the trend of excusing brands for poor construction dies down.
Reason Four: Body Image Issues, Bra Availability, Money Issues, and Mental Health Issues
Though the Nexplanon keeps me from being in intense pain, it made me put on weight and gain even more breast volume. Before getting it I was firmly in the 36L/LL range. I’m now measuring in the 38LL/36M range depending on fluctuations. It might not seem like a huge difference, but it means the 40Ks I usually tried from a lot of brands are no longer in reach. Impimi Lingerie also shut down abruptly. The only brand that makes a 38LL is Ewa Michalak. So I can either try a 40K anyway and hope it runs large, or I’m left to a brand that I can’t afford that has long shipping times. It severely limits the amount of products I can try and review on my blog, because unfortunately reviewing things I know will not fit over my body is not fair on the brand.
This is extremely blasphemous for a blogger to say, but my recent size changes are making me consider wearing bras that don’t fit on purpose just so I have bras to wear. My 36L Impimi Adell’s wire completely snapped, leaving me with zero bras that fit me. Every bra I own is uncomfortable and gives me body image issues because of all the spillage and squishing.If I do go back to bras that don’t fit, I will officially have to retire as a lingerie blogger and focus my attention on other things.
As I mentioned above, I work 5 days a week and don’t make a lot of money. Though I work retail, I spend my time there lifting furniture and stocking shelves. On my days off, the last thing I want to do is spend all my time in front of my computer instead of focusing on self care, spending time with my family, and doing things I enjoy. My boyfriend has been working full time, and he doesn’t have the energy to take blog photos with me like he used to when he was either unemployed or working part time. My time is money to me right now. I’d like to continue blogging as a hobby and not a job, but that is not going to be the reality of the situation due to my finances.
I’ve decided I will continue blogging, but I will be finding ways to monetize my blog. I will be opening it up to a multitude of subjects to make up for the fact that I won’t be able to do bra reviews all the time. I know I started beauty reviews and only got one product reviewed, but I will be continuing my beauty reviews because makeup is also something I really enjoy. I will still review bras or report on bra news when I can, but I will also focus more on other types of underwear, plus size clothing, more body positive and feminist pieces, and whatever else pops into my head.
The first thing I will do is implement a donation button and an Amazon Wishlist page. Donating is completely optional. All the money I receive will go right back into my blog until I say otherwise. I will then look into ways to add advertising to my blog page, and the last step will be pursuing sponsored content. Just because I decide to make money on my blog does not mean I will start lying in reviews. I will always be as honest as I’ve been from the beginning.
Coincidentally, I have accrued a few bras in the 4 months I’ve been away so I will try as hard as I can to get some more reviews posted in the next few weeks.