This week I’m celebrating and supporting women for International Women’s Day! Bournemouth BraLady aims to support women (of all shapes and sizes!) to find the perfect fit, working with a range of bra styles in sizes 28-48 band, A-L cup. One of the most rewarding parts of my job is being able to help women, all at different stages of their lives, to feel comfortable, confident and well supported. Over the past couple of years I’ve seen more boobs than you can shake a stick at! It’s been a real honour to meet so many women, all of whom have very different relationships with their breasts, to hear their stories and reflections on body image.
As a bra fitter specialising in maternity and nursing bras I see the difference a decent nursing bra can make to a woman’s breastfeeding journey and how they feel about their body. Breastfeeding is an important women’s issue and empowers women in so many ways, not least by challenging the view that breasts are merely sex objects and confirming a woman’s unique ability to care for her infant in the best way possible.
My work with women affected by breast cancer has shown me how women who experience breast cancer are often expected to hide their physical and emotional scars by wearing wigs or fake breasts to conform to society and feel better about their appearance at a time when they are often still reeling from their diagnosis and mourning the loss of one, or both, of their breasts following a mastectomy. As I gain more experience and knowledge in this field I can increasingly see a need to create a safe, nurturing ‘holding space’ for women undergoing breast cancer treatment, where they are given time to process what is happening to them, information about the options available and the opportunity to retain body autonomy. This is an area of work I hope to develop in the future as I continue to work in partnership with local breast cancer charity, Going for Bust at their fabulous new Support Centre in Wimborne, Dorset.
So, to mark International Women’s Day 2019 I’m sharing some of artist, Nia Beynon’s beautiful illustrations to represent and celebrate women of ALL shapes and sizes! Recognise one of the pieces below? I have to say a huge THANK YOU to Nia for giving her consent for me to use her boob print on this website. I fell in love with her work after spotting one of her pieces on display at the Tu Boob Pop Up in Covent Garden in February 2019 and it’s been a real pleasure working with Nia over the past couple of weeks to pull this all together.
Here Nia describes her drawings and what influences and drives her work as a freelance artist.
“My artwork endeavours to explore the intersections of fashion and art through the lens of cultural and social issues. Using my personal experience work as an anchor, my work explores body image, the self and being. I tend to complete each pieces digitally, but use a variety of materials on first approach. I love empowering women and using my pieces of artwork to do that. I hope my pieces support, empower and educate.
To me – fashion is creative; seductive; capricious; true art in its most applied form. Each creative project is fastened to the idea of self-expression as it is only through fashion we can create the person we would like to be and express that through dress. I have completed a formal study of fashion at University but truly studied and absorbed it my entire life. I take inspiration mostly from my surroundings, bodies, and feminism. Through every single piece I create, I seek to explore, emphasise and reproduce body image and to articulate the philosophy of educating and empowering women through positivity. I love my creations and what they represent and I will never stop creating.”
Find Nia’s work at Instagram – Niabeynonillustrations or shop at Niabeynon.com