In between getting our boobs out at the recent pop up shop and spending way too long deciding on a word to describe what our normal feels like, we caught up with Kris Hallenga from Coppafeel! to find out all about the new campaign, and why you might just be seeing a little more of Coppafeel! in your lingerie drawer...
Becky: Hi Kris! So, how's the pop up going?
Kris: The pop up is going great! It's really good, and it's really surprising how many women are happy to bare all in our boob booth, we thought that would be a tough ask...
Becky: It's really encouraging to see so many women stripping off and joining in. We're used to getting our kit off on the Brastop blog and even we had a bit of a wobble beforehand.
Kris: When women realise that it's completely anonymous and they're doing it in private, and they're essentially donating their boobs to something really important, then it gets busy! People are coming into the pop up and learning about the campaign, and not just the shop - they're seeing the images and all the other work that Coppafeel! does, then they want to get involved, they're saying "I want to be a part of this and just do my thing", and that's great. How did you feel after going in the boob booth?
Becky: Really liberated, actually! It feels really good to be part of the campaign, we're all for boobs obviously. How did the idea of the pop up come about?
Kris: The pop up is just one part of the campaign, it's for us to have a hub and for people to come and chat boobs with us. It's lovely to have a gallery for the Rankin shots too because it's not quite the same to see them online. So to see those up close and the fact that we wanted the boob booth...it killed lots of birds with one stone so to speak! And it kick starts us launching the new campaign #whatnormalfeelslike because we've got the billboards going up, the images are going in changing rooms, and there's more to come in October...
Becky: Let's talk about Rankin and the campaign, how did THAT come about? That's quite a feat!
Kris: We just asked him! He's quite up for helping campaigns like this and he shot an amazing video for a friend of mine who runs a male cancer charity. He seems to really love the campaign and the execution of it, so he just jumped onboard, it was amazing! The whole idea for the campaign stems from chatting to women over the last five years - the conversation we were having and the vocabulary women were using when it comes to their boobs was actually quite sad because we found women are more likely to talk about the size rather than how they feel...
Becky: And a lot of the time, especially with size, it's more often than not quite derogatory.
Kris:Exactly, and who decided that? Who decided that big or small is good, beautiful, or even normal? We want to make women comfortable in their own skin and with their boobs, and we want to help do that by trying to get them to use new vocabulary when it comes to their boobs. But the only way that's going to happen is to get women to establish a relationship with their boobs, and to use new words to identify what is normal for them, to know if there are any changes or if something isn't right, and in turn helping with the early detection of cancer.
Becky: It's a multifaceted campaign but the bare bones of it is to remind women to check themselves, and to know their own boobs.
Kris: It's really about building a better relationship with your boobs and that's the biggest step in to getting people to notice when something isn't right. You might be thinking "yeah, I should check my boobs..." but if you don't have that good relationship with you boobs and you have those negative thoughts, you're not going to know what normal is for you, and you may not notice those changes.
Becky: That's true actually. Outside the booth a moment ago a girl was telling us that she doesn't even like looking at her boobs and another who had a scare. Whilst it just turned out to be lumpy breast tissue, she just didn't know that was normal. It just goes to show that's an issue that does need addressing.
Kris: There's some really interesting conversations happening and the longer we run Coppafeel! the more conversations we're having, and the more we're learning how women feel when it comes to their boobs. I really hope we've turned a corner with a lot of women, especially over the summer with festival season and now with this new campaign.
Becky: It's been a busy year for Coppafeel!, that's for sure (we headed to the charities very own Festifeel back in June, read about it here.). There's also the Bra Hijack, with labels appearing in bras reminding us to check ourselves. It's really exciting to see that here at Brastop, how's it all going?
Kris: It is really exciting now that’s coming into play, with all the new seasons and styles coming out, but we’re still plugging away at other brands. Most recently Alexis Smith have come onboard, which is great, but we’re still chipping away! I’d love for it to just be a standard thing; everyone would have the train of thought of bras...boob health...check yourself. And if you really have a problem with the label, you can just cut it out! Not that that’s ideal, but it’s so inoffensive. I mean, we know this isn’t the be all and end all - this is us trying something out and hopefully hearing back from customers that it’s made a difference.
Becky: Even if one woman is reminded to check her boobs by the labels, and catches cancer early, then it’s worth it. So what’s coming up in the world of Coppafeel!?
Kris: Sadly it’s all top secret right now; all I’ll say is keep an eye on everything Coppafeel! and of course, check yourself to see what normal feels like!
We were lucky enough to also interview Kris's twin sister, Maren. Stay tuned to the Brastop Blog to read her interview later this week!