OSU Students Break Body Barriers

What began as another night for two local students would lead to a life changing experience.


When Tiffany Schmidt and Danielle White met up for a night of simply hanging out and snapping photos, they decided it would be fun to enter a modeling competition White’s sister had mentioned. As time progressed, Schmidt and White became top 10 contestants in the same competition.


“We changed our odds from nothing to something,” said White as she described how she and Schmidt completed their entries the night before the deadline.


The contest was Curvy Kate USA’s “Star in a Bra,” where women from all over the country were given an opportunity to participate. Specializing in lingerie sizes D through K, Curvy Kate’s goal is to offer products for women they describe as having fuller busts with real curves. For Schmidt and White, this was also a great way to experience many big city firsts as friends, while promoting a positive message to other women: Love who you are and love your body.


“It’s important to respect yourself before other people respect you,” said White as she described her experiences.


Schmidt and White initially met at a swing dancing class at Oregon State University. Not as much of a big city person, White recently moved to Albany after spending eight years of her life in Corvallis. Schmidt, on the other hand, has been all over the world, including Beijing, China.


Once they arrived in New York City, Schmidt and White received the star treatment while also experiencing other new perks that came with their trip to the metropolis. Together they both had many big city firsts, such as White riding on a subway for the first time and Schmidt getting to hail a taxi.


After meeting all the other girls, they went sightseeing and visited locations like Central Park and Grand Central Station.


“We wanted to have a good, cheap New York visit and not have to spend all of our time at a museum,” said White as her and Schmidt outlined their initial plans.


Schmidt and White described the actual modeling competition as fast-paced and highly professional. Lots of work also went into getting models prepared behind the scenes.


“There was lots of hair and makeup,” said White. “You spend more time at hair and makeup than you do in front of the camera.”


Schmidt, White, and the other models were required to adjust quite rapidly as they were photographed and showcased in the competition.


Following their trip to New York, Schmidt and White had no problem returning to their daily routines, though promoting themselves for final votes in the contest was work in itself.


“It was back to business as usual,” said White. “You won based on how many votes you had. It was basically a part-time job.”


Neither Schmidt nor White won the contest, but reaching the top 10 and visiting New York City were still quite satisfying experiences. The two friends even planned a Disneyland vacation following the events, even though they both described their New York adventure as its own mini-vacation.


As a final takeaway from the experience, both friends mentioned how important it is for women to get properly sized for their bras. Out of curiosity, Schmidt and White took one last fitting trip to a Victoria’s Secret store to explore their options. Unfortunately, there weren’t many options, and even the clerk honestly admitted they would need to search elsewhere for the correct size.


“I think it’s a dilemma they have with customers every day,” said Schmidt.


For women who are interested in getting locally fitted, Schmidt and White recommend a smaller business like Donna Bella Lingerie as opposed to bigger chains. Local boutiques are more likely to carry a greater selection of proper sizes for all women, and also have the necessary tools to help women get correctly fitted. From a medical standpoint, White says it’s important for women to be properly sized and wear their correct size.


“It helps your self-confidence when you’re just feeling better, but it’s also biological,” said White. “It can physically hurt your back if you’re not wearing the right size.”


Both Schmidt and White agree it’s highly important for women to wear a properly fitted bra, and to seek out help if they experience any level of pain or discomfort.


By Sean Bassinger