If you’re getting medical advice from Gwyneth Paltrow, you’re doing it wrong.

Once again, absolutely ridiculous, unscientific, and just plain wrong advice on bras is sweeping across the internet. Thankfully, this time medical professionals are stepping in to nip it in the bud.

It’s the myth that just won’t quit.

A recent post on Goop, the lifestyle blog of actress Gwyneth Paltrow, has resurrected the long-discredited claim that breast cancer may be caused by wearing bras — just in time for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Click for article at Huff Post

That French Bra “Research” (myth) is Making the Rounds AGAIN.

I love George Takei, and it isn’t his fault that this story keeps popping up everywhere. To his credit, when he shared the link on his facebook page this evening, he did express some skepticism:

Bra Myth That Won't Die

This myth has been circulating for over 2 years, and it just won’t die.

If you haven’t read this blog before, you might be asking what the fuss is about. There is quite a bit to make any science-loving, bra-wearing, skeptic to start pounding her head on the desk. Where to begin?

Well, most importantly, there is no completed study, it has not been published, and has thus not been peer-reviewed. Soon after this story first blew up 2 years ago, the main researcher, Professor Jean-Denis Rouillon, backpedaled quickly, saying it was all “very preliminary”, and it couldn’t be applied to huge swaths of the female population of the planet. So please, for the love of boobs everywhere, when you see this story rear it’s lying, ugly, science-hating head, pass on this link so that at least those who care about things like truth and science and breasts can relax: Don’t Burn Your Bra for Science Just Yet

With any viral story, my skeptic sense begins tingling almost immediately, but the point at which I began to really get suspicious was when I discussed it with my fellow Skepchick contributors, Mary Brock and Will Robertson, and we noticed that we each had a different idea of how many subjects were involved in this study….This is usually easily solved by getting ahold of the actual published study, but unfortunately none of the articles mentioned what it was called or what journal it was in.

A search of the literature turned up nothing, and there were no press releases from the University that mentioned it….This was odd, especially considering that CBS News reported that there was a study and further that it was published on Wednesday.

Mary Brock found what appeared to be the oldest source: an interview 00000 participated in with a student radio station. So it appears that by “published a study,” CBS News and other outlets actually meant, “spoke on the radio.” A fine distinction, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Again, without a paper to look at, we don’t know. We only have the opinion of Rouillon and the intercontinental game of telephone that media outlets like CBS News play, resulting in misinformation reported as fact simply because no journalist bothered to take a few minutes to look for an actual published study at the source of the soundbite.

If you’re still not sure what this all means, and why I’m staggered by the willingness of the media to believe this enough to keep spouting it as absolute fact, let me put it in perspective.  It is the equivalent of me saying I’ve done years of research that shows that light-colored cats definitely prefer dark things to lay down on, and dark-colored cats prefer light things to lay on (which I have done, and those are my findings), and pronouncing that this proves that it is so for all felines everywhere. Do you want to know my sample size? My methodology? Anything else before you tell the world about my groundbreaking research? Not if you’re most media outlets, including such trustworthy sources as CBS News, and even alternate media sources that pride themselves as being truthier than corporate media, such as The Young Turks. 

In that case, let me tell you that I have some preliminary research that proves cats can count as well. Since my 8-month-old kitten, Stiles, lost weight in the wake of a neuter gone wrong and the resulting infections, I’ve been giving him extra treats when he comes to visit me in my room. He sits on my desk or in my lap while he noms his treats. I’ve been giving him a crazy amount to gain his weight back, and so he drops some as he’s eating them out of my hand. He knows exactly how many he dropped, and will go look on the floor for them. If he dropped 6, he will not settle for finding 5. He’ll fuss at me until I produce the 6th. If he drops 2 and I only give him 1, he won’t leave. He can definitely count. Thus, using the media’s logic, I have proven that all cats can count! I’m the world leader in groundbreaking cat research! Throw research grants at me!

This is just the tip of the science journalism crapberg that we’re fed almost daily. The media sensationalizes, exaggerates, and twists scientific findings. And in some cases, like this one, they take an offhand comment by a researcher on a local radio program and report that it is suddenly fact, with absolutely no evidence at all. Science journalism, not science itself, is responsible for a great deal of the mistrust many people have when it comes to science. If you believe all the stories the media hypes, you’d think scientists really have no idea what they’re doing because of the way it’s reported being wildly conflicted with something they said just weeks earlier. If you see a headline that promises that science has just proven something that sounds too crazy to be true, follow your instinct, look at the source if available. Though, as this case proves, there isn’t always source material because it simply doesn’t exist. But if that is the case, you can be fairly certain it’s absolute hogwash.

Yes, Your Nipples Are Normal

Most of us have wondered, at one time or another, if our nipples are a little weird. Cristen Conger from Stuff Mom Never Told You recently addressed the most common concerns people have about their nipples.

Even stuff that seems really out there is usually within the realm of the expected. Supernumerary nipples (having more than two nipples with or without related tissues), polythelia areolaris (an extra areola), and polythelia pilosa (extra patches of hair consistent with those surrounding the nipple)  are also fairly normal. They are diagnosed in 1 in 18 males, as well as 1 in 50 females. They are often mistaken for moles, so they’re likely much more common than that.

A quick tip for winter hair woes

L'Oreal Total Repair 5 Damage Erasing Balm 8.5 FL OZ

L’Oreal Total Repair 5 Damage Erasing Balm 8.5 FL OZ for $9.29 (eligible for Amazon Prime)

I picked this up because I needed something to stave off the horrors of winter hair and to try to repair the damage I’ve already got. It was cheap, and I really wasn’t expecting much. I’ve been using this for a few weeks now, and it’s really improved the texture and glossiness of my hair, as well as mending/preventing split ends. My hair gets kind of crazy in the winter, and this balm has not only exceeded my expectations, but is by far the best hair repair treatment I’ve tried (and believe me, there have been many). And it’s available at a great price.

I use it on the ends of my hair  (my hair comes down past the middle of my back, and I generally use it on the hair below my shoulders) every time I shower, and on all my hair 1-2 times a week.

Winter Wardrobe Roundup Part III

Starting with my favorite sweater of all time:

A Kiss of Cashmere

Reversible Top

Overall Rating
5 out of 5
Fit Rating:  True To Size
True To Size
 A Kiss of Cashmere Reversible Top

A kiss of cashmere adds a luxurious touch to this reversible top. Wear as a boatneck with the twist in back, or over a tank with the twist in front. From our collection of luxe feather-soft sweaters, dreamy to wear day to night.


I love the rich new colors for this year (I’ve already got the Black Orchid and Pale Plum, and they’re stunning). Whether you’re dressing up or chilling out, the Reversible Top has plenty of elegant drape in a lightweight sweater that you’ll find yourself going back to again and again. These versatile sweaters are perfect for late summer nights, air conditioned buildings, and everywhere in the fall and layered in the winter.

I currently own black, charcoal, heather grey, snow heather, ivory, pale plum, and black orchid. I get tons of compliments on these every time I wear them.

Dream Angels Open-front Cardi

Overall Rating

3 out of 5

Fit Rating:  Slightly Small

Slightly Small

Dream Angels Open-front Cardi

38” from shoulder; hits above the knee Long-sleeve Drop shoulder with an open front Imported polyester/acrylic/nylon/mohair SEQUINS EVERYWHERE!

I was excited about this cardigan. It looks beautiful in the picture, all dramatically drapey and elegant. The reality was a serious let down. First, nowhere in the description does it mention the sequins that dot this cardigan from top to bottom. Some people love sequins and bling, but I find it generally looks trashy. That’s a personal taste thing, but one they should mention in the description.
Second, it looks cheap. This is a big distinction because the materials it’s made of aren’t cheap. It’s just something about the finish on the yarn that makes it look like something you’d buy at WalMart. It’s a bit glossy, and not at all as soft (color-wise) as it looks in the picture.

The length was fine for me, it comes down to my knees (I’m 5’5″), but–perhaps because I’m a DDD–the sides of the cardigan (which I got in a large because I wanted a giant cozy sweater) come nowhere near touching. If they’d added two inches in the width, it would have made a world of difference. It has no shape, and looks boxy, but without the extra fabric to at least relieve the boxiness with drape. It makes my shoulders look HUGE, and that’s not a problem I usually have.

The sweater is soft (it’s itchy out of the package, but with some wear, that will go away). It’s a little on the delicate side, but I expected that, given the materials it’s made of. Despite the instructions of cold wash, tumble dry, I would hand wash this baby and lay flat to dry.

If you don’t mind sequins, prefer long, shapeless cardigans that don’t close (or you have a very tiny frame and bust), and don’t mind the finish on the yarn, you will likely love this sweater.

VS Winter Wardrobe Roundup Part II

So, let’s start off with the great!
Print Legging
Overall Rating
5 out of 5
Fit Rating:  True To Size
True To Size
Prinnt Legging by Victoria's Secret

A fresh look for our wear-with-anything legging, balancing a super-sleek fit with soft comfort

I got these in the smudge print, and I absolutely love them. They’re super comfy and very stylish. Every time I wear them, I get compliments.

They’re thick enough to ward off the chill without being bulky or too warm. They conform to my legs perfectly. With just the right amount of stretch, they bounce back but aren’t too constricting. These are definitely leggings I could wear all year long.

These make the perfect addition to any wardrobe!

Easy Mixers Tunic
Overall Rating
5 out of 5

Fit Rating:  True To Size

True To Size
 Easy Mixers Tunic by Victoria's Secret

This sleek tunic is totally effortless, cut with a simple crewneck and raglan sleeves. A lounge-and-live essential from our Easy Mixers collection of breezy basics made to mix and match.

 This tunic is a lot of fun, and its versatility is still surprising me over a week after I received it. It’s pretty straightforward, so let’s hit the highlights:
  • soft
  • comfy
  • perfectly slouchy, but not dumpy
  • looks great with leggings
  • goes great under sweaters
  • dozens of ways to layer it
  • Since it’s not too thick, I can wear it for most of the year where I live
Sizing: I recommend getting your usual size if you like the way the tunic looks on the model. As the description says, this tunic is relaxed fit, and it effortlessly pulls off slouchy chic. The banded hem keeps it from looking too boxy.
Versatility: the tunic goes great over tank tops, T-shirts, and looks great under T-shirts, sweatshirts, sweaters, casual vests, and many things I’m sure I haven’t even thought of yet.
My only gripe: By the time I found this top, only one color was left in my size. I hope they restock and add more color choices. Get one before they’re gone!Now onto the slightly disappointing:
A Kiss of Cashmere

Zip Hoodie

 A Kiss of Cashmere Zip Hoodie by Victoria's Secret

VS says, “With a kiss of cashmere and the comfort of a hoodie, you simply can’t go wrong. From our collection of feather-soft sweaters, dreamy to wear day to night.”

I’ve always loved the Kiss of Cashmere collection, and have purchased about 20 different sweaters from the collection over the years. The way it looks on the model, it looks like it’s long enough for leggings, and I even sized up for that reason. I wasn’t really worried because I have a short torso. It was still too short. It comes down about halfway down the hip, so it doesn’t cover the butt.
It’s soft. The sleeves are snug, but I like that. What I didn’t like was the width. If they’d cut a little out of the width and put a little more length on it, it would be a great sweater, probably one of my favorites. But as it is, it just didn’t flatter my figure (34G bust, small hips).
If you have a smaller bust and curvier hips, this could be really flattering and fun. It looked gorgeous on my daughter with some jeans. She’s got wider shoulders, nice hips, and she even has a large bust (though she’s just a DD). This sweater just wasn’t what I was expecting.
And, finally, the totally-not-what-I-was-expecting:
Super Soft Terry

Ribbed Legging

Overall Rating
2 out of 5
Fit Rating:  Slightly Large
Slightly Large
 Super Soft Terry Ribbed Legging (Sleepwear)

VS Says, “A lounge favorite turns luxe with comfy ribbing and a supersoft, lightweight feel. ” I say, “A lounge favorite that’s too baggy to be comfortable and the ribbing makes it impossible to tell if the thin fabric is even soft or not.”

I really wanted to love these. I can deal with thin fabric as long as it’s soft. Too many people mistakenly believe that thinner fabrics are all poor quality, and that’s simply not the case. I love modal, and viscose can be nice when done right. These are made of a polyester/viscose/spandex blend, which I’ve found is quite nice in other garments. These leggings, however, are a disaster.

  • They fit my waist just fine, perfectly, in fact, but…
  • They’re baggy in the knees and the butt, very unflattering.
  • They’re too thin for winter PJs
  • They’re see-through, so don’t imagine yourself running errands in these.
  • The fabric might be soft, but since the fabric is so thin, the ribbing makes it impossible to tell.
  • The fabric stretches, but doesn’t bounce back easily, so they’ll get really baggy really fast.
  • I did like the color (Winterberry).

If you don’t mind baggy leggings and live in a warm climate, these might work for you.