Hey there. It’s Kimmay 🙂 I’m the creator of the More Than My Numbers project. This project has been on my heart for years. And with the help of an all-female production team, brave participants, amazing sponsors, and a lot of determination, it’s finally here. Hurray!
I could have easily skipped doing this project. I have my hands full running marketing for lingerie brands, writing articles for lingerie industry publications and for the Hurray Kimmay blog, fitting women for bras, traveling on Hurray Vacays, and more. But I couldn’t keep this project in anymore. I started sharing the idea with friends and colleagues, and they started getting excited with me. I told them how I wanted to create a photo and video campaign that would encourage women to find their bra size starting points, and not let the number – or any other – define them. They loved it!
Then I started drumming up the basics of the project. And adding up costs and the hours it would take to coordinate and produce a campaign like this. And boy, those numbers got to me. In fact, I let them stop me from pursuing this project all together for quite a bit. If it weren’t for the encouragement of my friends, support of some of our sponsors, and flexibility and understanding of the production team and participants, this campaign would still just be an idea.
There are a few reasons why I pushed through the fears and trials associated with creating a project like this. And most of them involve you. You, person reading this article, are the big WHY behind this campaign. YOU are the reason that I spent hours and hours, bringing this to life, and am working hard to build and grow this project. You, and women all over the world are what the More Than My Numbers campaign is all about. Below are my reasons for creating this for you.
Because numbers are information, not a definition.
If you put your numbers up next to you (age, weight, etc) no one would even know what they meant. Take a look at a few of my numbers above: 32, 1985, 140, -4.25, 1. They’re just numbers, and I am so much more than a number. And even if someone could guess what those numbers may correlate to, they’re not getting the whole picture. The same goes for you and your relationship with your numbers. When you look up, research, or collect your numbers, know that they are informative, and sometimes very helpful, but they are not definitive. Not even close.
- The number on the scale does not determine if you are healthy or unhealthy
- The number on the inside of your dress or pants does not define your beauty
- The number on your birthday cake does not tell us who you are and who you’re going to be
- The number of partners you’ve had does not reveal your ability to love or be loved
- The number of divorces you’ve had does not say you’re a failure
- The number of dollars you earn does not show us your true worth
The list goes on. And it certainly includes bra size.
Bra sizing is a complicated topic for many reasons. As a bra fitter since 2005, I have had the pleasure of helping thousands of women find their confidence and comfort in their undergarments. And one of the biggest hurdles I face in helping a woman say hurray is that size on the tag.
When I measure a woman to find her bra size, I can feel her stiffen with fear. If her inner dialogue spoke out loud (which many women have shared with me), they’d say “Oh goodness, what does that tape measure say? Is it a high number or a low number? Is my number normal? Am I good? Am I skinny? What does that number mean for my band size? What does that number mean about me? Oh my God what will that mean about my cup size? I’ve avoided looking at that number for years. What does she think of me when she’s measuring me? This is agony.” All within the very few seconds it takes to wrap the measuring tape around her torso.
I work very hard to help each woman lovingly lift the fear around that number. If she asks “What does it say? What is the number?” I may tell them the bust measurement, or the band size(s) we’ll start with. Or I may say “Let’s try on a few first, and see how they’re fitting. Then we’ll talk sizes.” I say this with a big smile and a big dose of don’t-worry-you’re-in-good-and-very-loving-and-understanding-hands-I-got-you-girl. Once she tries on a bra that fits well and feels great, she can look into the mirror to see the woman that she really is. Often, what she sees is: confident, standing tall, open hearted, beautiful inside and out, happy and joyous, and ready to conquer the world. Once she sees her real self, then we talk numbers. Because now, suddenly, the number on the tag is just information to help her shop for a bra that feels great, NOT a definition of who she is.
I want to help YOU lift the fear around your numbers, too.
To End Assumptions
We make assumptions all the time about ourselves and each other. For sure, women assume things about bra sizes and themselves all the time. I often share my numbers and tell people my own bra size to help show them just how off their assumptions can be. When I tell people I wear a 32DD, they often say things like “You’re kidding! I assumed you wear a B or C cup.” And when I tell them that a 32DD is just one of nine bra sizes I can wear, they often say something like “I assumed when you got fit for a bra, that was your size! I didn’t know you could wear more than one. Especially that many different sizes.”
And for sure when I fit women and we try on bra sizes together, she will say something like, “An F cup? ME?! I thought for sure I was a D cup at the most. I would never have picked this size off of the rack to try on.” These assumptions on band and cup size also stem from a story she may be telling herself about who she is based on that cup size. From being “boring” to “a slut”, women have shared their stories with me over the years. I go into depth about this in my Why 9 Bra Sizes All Fit blog post. Those negative or positive assumptions will stop her from trying a bra size because of what the number and letter on the tag will mean about her. So she’ll choose the size that she feels is most like her. Even if it doesn’t actually fit.
See what happens when you assume? You may miss out on a great fit, and the confidence, comfort, and life changing effect that comes with it. Trust me, I have seen a well fitting bra, and the loving action of wearing what fits, change a woman’s life. Many times. That’s why I want to encourage women to stop assuming what their or anyone else’s bra size is. I want women to actually take their measurements and calculate their bra size starting points, and then go and try on bras to see what really fits and feels good. Put an end to assumptions about bra sizes and what they mean about us. Say hurray!
Beyond bra sizes, we make assumptions about each other, too. The women in the More Than My Numbers project are each different (sneak peek in the photo above at some of the women of our first stories!) They may look, think, or act differently than you. And if you just passed them on the street, you may have made an assumption about who they are based on what you can see. We’ve all done it and we all do it. What I hope this project will do is lift the veil of assumptions and let you see who someone really is. Look past their numbers, what they look like, and even how they talk, and take in each woman for who she truly is. What common ground do you have? Where do you differ? It’s been my experience that when we stop assuming and get curious and actually listen, there is so much more to learn, understand, and appreciate. And when you practice doing this with one person, it helps you to more easily do this with others. And yourself.
We make assumptions all the time about ourselves – especially when it comes to numbers. Maybe you assume you’re fat and other people think you’re fat, because of the number on the scale. Maybe you assume you’re not doing a good job because of the number of tasks still left on your to-do list. Maybe you assume you are poor or not valuable because of the number in your bank statement or credit card. Those assumptions are just as incorrect as if you assumed that the woman walking past you on the street is a certain way because of the color of her skin. What’s possible when you look past the numbers and see someone for who she really is, and stop assuming? Understanding. Connection. Love. And we need that. My goodness, do we need that.
To educate and inspire
I wish I could fit every woman in the world for a bra. Truly! And while I do offer one-on-one fittings in person and virtually, I know it won’t be possible to get to everyone. As part of my fittings with women, I make sure they understand a few things. That’s because I believe that knowledge is power. Knowing how to find your bra measurements and bra size starting points is a step toward getting to know your body, what fits your body, and what you prefer. I think it’s important for women to have the basic knowledge of these three things:
- How to calculate your bra size starting points
- How to tell if your bra fits well
- How bra sizing works
I say “basic knowledge”, and yet, there’s actually quite a bit to each of these three aspects of bras and undergarments. As someone who has been fitting women for bras for well over a decade, I understand the ins and outs of different bra styles, variances in fit from brand to brand, and the complicated tactics to find a great size across different nations and sizing methods. Having this experience and knowledge helps me say hurray! But you do not need to know all of this to say hurray. I promise. You do not need to spend hours and hours fitting other women and trying on bras and studying different bra brands to feel great in your bras. You do not need to become a bra fitter to find bras that fit well.
What you do need is to take a step toward getting to know your body, your numbers, and how bras fit you. Every little bit of learning will help you feel supported and comfortable – even sexy! – in your bras. It’s my hope that the basic understanding of the above three things will help you say hurray whether you’re shopping alone for bras, with a bra fitter, or even online! I’ve dedicated my entire Hurray Kimmay site and career toward creating resources to help you do this, and this campaign is a big, big, big step toward making it that much easier for you to get the information, share it with others, and inspire every woman of the world to say “I am #MoreThanMyNumbers”.
Because I’m On This Journey, Too
We’re in this together. You, me, and every woman in the world. We’ve all let numbers define us in some manner at some point in our lives. Here are a few ways that I’ve let numbers define me in the past:
I let the number on the scale inform me if I was pretty, attractive, and desirable. I compared my number to my friends’ numbers. I saw them as small, petite, beautiful, and good. I went to great lengths to get that number as low as possible. I sacrificed my health, I stopped listening to my body, I encouraged other women to do the same, horrible things to their bodies. I actually stopped weighing myself for years because I was so obsessed with the number. It was a necessary step for me to take to break away from its defining power over me. Now, I own a scale again, and I don’t cringe when I step on it. Because I know that it’s important to know my numbers – they can be very helpful when it comes to knowing your body, your health, etc. – but they do not define me. As a result, I am in the healthiest relationship I’ve ever had with my body. We’re still learning together, but so far, hurray!
I let the numbers of tasks I got done dictate my worth. This caused me to live in “doing” instead of “being” mode. It created a terrible cycle of perfectionism and constant need to prove myself. As a result, I took birth control that stopped my period so that I could be more productive. I let my to-do list consume my thoughts. I was having panic attacks from living in a constant state of “not enoughness”. I’m on a journey to let go of “doing” as a marker of my worth. Doing more and more and more will never be the answer. Doing good things is important, sure. But it does not determine if I am a good or bad person. We are each worthy and valuable human beings, regardless of how much we do or do not do.
I let the number of followers I have on social media determine if I was popular and if my voice even mattered. I compared my numbers to my colleagues and contemporaries. Theirs were so much higher than mine. And to me, that meant that they’re voices mattered more than mine, that they were making a bigger impact, that people only cared about what they have to say. I told myself that what I’m doing doesn’t matter. I told myself I shouldn’t bother writing, sharing, or educating. This stopped me, for a long time, from writing useful or inspiring articles. It made me play small, it made me avoid trying at all, it made me feel like I was a nobody. As a result, the message that a lot of people needed to hear, from me, was not shared. I often get reminded that big numbers don’t matter quite so much. I get emails and notes quite regularly from people thanking me for what I wrote, or telling me that I made a difference in their lives. If I had not shared my thoughts, that one person would be worse off for it. And that number “1” matters. That person matters. You matter. We each matter.
I hope that giving you a taste of my stories, and sharing the stories of other women, will inspire you to share yours. The more we share our numbers and our stories, the more we can release their hold on us, and the more we can connect and understand.
I’m so excited that the More Than My Numbers project and campaign are finally here! Visit www.MoreThanMyNumbers.com to find your bra size starting point, read the stories of other women participating, and to learn how you can participate and tell the world “I am #MoreThanMyNumbers”, too.
PS: As always on my site, the images above are airbrush and photoshop free. I believe that a woman’s body, just as it is, deserves to be loved, seen, and supported. Photos by Laura Boyd of Own Your Sexy.