This Breast Cancer Awareness Month (1st – 31st October) we’re proudly supporting breast cancer awareness charity, CoppaFeel! by donating £20,000 of the profits from our exclusive feel-good boutique collection of products. We caught up with the charities amazing ambassadors Charlie Launder and Jess Megan for a quick chat about life, self-love and the importance of getting hands on…
A: Hi ladies, please introduce yourselves!
C: My name is Charlie, I’m 30 and I live in London. I have been married for almost exactly a year to my university sweetheart George. I am a personal trainer, specialising in pre and post-natal women. I started a business called Bumps & Burpees and I absolutely love helping women feel strong and amazing.
J: My name is Jessica and I’m a body image activist, curve model and very proud CoppaFeel! Ambassador. My job is focused on encouraging women to get to know their bodies on an intimate basis, as well as normalising them externally. Hey, hello, hi!
A: Why did you first get involved with CoppaFeel?
C: When I was 25 I found a lump in my breast, after watching Kris Hallenga’s documentary Dying to Live (she’s the charity’s founder) so I have a lot to thank CoppaFeel! for. I had that removed and luckily no further treatment was needed, but a year and a half later I found another lump in the same place and they discovered a few tumours that all needed urgent surgery. I have been supporting CoppaFeel! ever since and don’t stop talking about what they does to anyone who will listen.
J: Because my message is based around getting women to get to know themselves, both physically and mentally. When we recognise patterns and habits, we can identify bodily malfunctions. These can include mental health blips, missing periods and spotting the signs of cancer. CoppaFeel! was the perfect charity for me, so when I was asked to be an ambassador, I was totally thrilled.
A: Why is CoppaFeel!’s message of early diagnosis so important?
C: If we all learn what to look out for and to get into the habit of checking our boobs when we are young then we are all in a far better position to spot anything ‘odd’! By taking ownership of our bodies and knowing what feels right, we can confidently ask for the help we need if and when we need it.
J: If symptoms are detected early, it can increase the chance of successful treatment. Many frightened women have approached me in relation to their own breast cancer diagnoses or symptoms they are experiencing. They’re worried about the results, the future, and their families. I tell them that while it will be hard and sometimes scary, they can still stand even with shaking legs, and they CAN move forward. Fear is okay, its normal.
A: What advice would you give to someone who feels awkward talking about/checking their boobs?
C: Firstly, you don’t need to talk about checking your boobs if it makes you feel awkward… But you do need to do it! Do it in the comfort of your own house and don’t make it into a ‘big thing’. Have a quick check lying in bed, or standing in the shower – it takes no time at all but that could be saving you a lot of time and stress later on.
J: We are all different. My breasts are saggy, with white stretch marks and large nipples, and they’ve been that way since I was sixteen. There, I said it! Breasts are a very normal and natural part of being human. We are all dangling, soft machines – there’s a lot of stuff happening in our big bodies all the time and occasionally malfunctions might happen. The only way you can know if something goes wrong is if you get to know your body intimately. Create a bond with your boobs!
A: What are your top tips to remind yourself to regularly check your boobs?
J: I have one tip and it’s the best tip ever (ever, ever, ever): Sign up to CoppaFeel!’s monthly text reminders HERE. They’re super fun, totally non-invasive messages that give you a little nudge every month.
A: What’s your favourite mantra or affirmation?
C: There can be no flowers without rain. When you have a bad day or receive some bad news it can feel all-consuming and like you’ll never get through it, but you will and when you do the good days will feel SO good.
A: Aside from boob-checking, what other self-care rituals do you have?
J: I eat what I want. If I want a salad’s bowl worth of pasta, I eat a salad’s bowl worth of pasta. If I want to sleep, I sleep long and hard. Self-care isn’t so much about face masks and baths (although if that’s what you like, go for it!) it’s more about listening to your body and knowing what it wants. My biggest self-care treatment is spending time with my dog. He’s a chunky, short-haired rescue and it’s so soothing to be with him after a busy day walking around London.
A: How important is it for CoppaFeel! to partner with brands (… like us!)
J: Breast cancer is an issue that affects so many and it’s such a worthy cause that needs as much awareness as possible. Influential brands such as Accessorize are vital not only for raising funds, but also to break down barriers of fear between ‘real life’ and the clinical aspects of cancer. Many women I speak to are frightened of hospitals, medical terminology and doctors. Familiarity brings comfort and big brands and corporations can provide this by bringing attention to important issues.
A: Finally, which are your favourite pieces from the Accessorize x CoppaFeel! collection?
C: With my job, I go to and fro from the gym a lot, and I love the printed drawstring pouch for keeping my gym trainers in. It works within my larger carry-all and I can’t get over the print – so cute!
J: The boob necklace! I have a million boob-shaped, boob-printed, boob-centric pieces in my house. I’m missing a boob shaped necklace in my life. A tiny set of golden boobs to perch on top of my boobs. Bliss.