March 28, 2013

Flying Bras for a Worthy Cause

News Flash:  Last Sunday at the Esplanade du Trocadero in Paris, a crowd of women performed a striptease act, with a grande finale of bras thrown into the air!

Pink Bra Spring
Pink Bra Spring - March 24, 2013

Pink Bra Spring
What is this madness about, you wonder?  Surely arrests must have been made; these in addition to the anti-gay marriage arrests taking place further down the road. 

No, these burlesque dancers braving the cold in their sexy outfits, were all part of Pink Bra Bazaar's annual event, Pink Bra Spring, to promote breast health education.   This striptease not only entertained, but it was also instructional for the audience.   An important aspect of the dance was how it incorporated the movements for performing your own self-breast exam.  

Pink Bra Spring
Julia Palombe at the rehearsal
The show opened with several popular songs sung by the Mélodie du Bonheur choir. From the middle of the choir, out sprang Julia Palombe, burlesque diva, and the dancers - fishnets, feather boas and all.   Then at the end of their dance, scores of other women (and a few men and children!) joined in with them to throw their bras into the air.   Shutters clicked non-stop to capture the bras mid-flight, since this was the moment that the press and all of the photographers had been waiting for.    

[Note: to keep this event lighthearted and family-friendly, only the bras worn on top of people's clothes were removed.] 
Pink Bra Spring
Burlesque dancers getting ready for the grande finale.
Pink Bra Bazaar was founded by WICE's very own Kate Kemp-Griffin (Creative Writing Program Director). Here in the ex-pat community, it's easy to meet people who have decided to follow their dreams and pursue their passion in Paris.  But what's rare to find is when that passion selflessly focuses on helping other people.   Kate created Pink Bra Bazaar to serve the dual purpose of:
  • Preventative breast health awareness
  • Support for women who are diagnosed with breast cancer

self-breast exam Pink Bra Spring
Dancers demonstrating how to perform a self-breast exam
In today's culture, the main focus is on the appearance of breasts.  As women, we spend lots of time thinking about how our breasts look.  As a result, inordinate amounts of time and money are spent on making our breasts look more beautiful with lingerie, pseudo medical products, and cosmetic surgery. Unfortunately the same cannot be said about keeping our breasts healthy.  For too many women, self-breast exams and mammograms are just an afterthought, if thought of at all.  

Through Pink Bra Bazaar, Kate aims to bridge the gap between having beautiful breasts adorned with lovely lingerie and having healthy breasts.  By working with the Lingerie industry to spread awareness, Kate wants to make self-breast exams and mammograms become commonplace topics, and more importantly, routine practices for women of all ages, young and old.   

Pink Bra Spring
A young supporter at the event
To support women diagnosed with breast cancer, one of Pink Bra Bazaar's current efforts is to raise money to buy iPads for women to use during their chemotherapy treatments at Hôpital Pitié-Salpêtrière.    The iPads will be preloaded with several applications providing resources and links to current events, fashion, beauty, travel, art and humor.   The goal of this program is to help women mentally escape the burden of their treatments.

Pink Bra Spring
Kate Kemp-Griffin
Founder of Pink Bra Bazaar

Congratulations Kate for putting together such a unique and fun event for getting people talking about and spreading this important information to everyone! 

Please support Kate's efforts by learning more and donating to Pink Bra Bazaar at

***This post is dedicated to the memory of Vanessa Kugler who left behind a wonderful husband and three amazing and beautiful daughters.  May we find a cure so that other families do not have to endure the inconsolable grief that breast cancer causes.

Post by Veronica Kugler
Photos by Kayla Kugler (8 years old!)

March 12, 2013

Time to get off your A!

Luxembourg Garden
A as in the Automatic setting on your digital camera, of course.

So you’ve got this great SLR camera with 36 million pixels and just as many functions, but you don’t have a clue how to use them.  Surrounded by all of the amazing sights in Paris, you're frustrated that your photos don't seem to do justice to the beauty that you saw with your eyes.

To unlock the mystery of your camera, take Meredith Mullins' photography classes at WICE.  Here you will learn that 'capturing the moment' is a delicate balance of artistry and technical skill.