I have always loved Fergie’s song Big Girls Don’t Cry (Personal) and every once in a while when I am brought to tears for personal or emotional reasons, I tend to laugh and think of this beautiful song.

The title is catchy and some of the words resonate with you and just hit home; “1, 2, 3, 4. . . Be with myself, in center, clarity, peace, serenity. I hope you know, I hope you know that this has nothing to do with you. . . It’s personal. . . It’s time to get on with my life and it’s time to be a Big Girl now and Big Girls don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry, . . .fairy tales don’t always have a happy ending do they?. . .” The words went hand-in-hand with my feelings this day. The point being ‘big girls don’t cry, or do they?

Well, the day we produced our CRISSCROSS Intimates photoshoot I was definitely sleep deprived. I had been working day and night for weeks to prepare all the last minute details to ensure the designs in the collection, costume jewelry, accessories, props and the like items were all ready and set for the production shoot. I was literally exhausted.

Then I was asked by my Producer/Videographer about my script which would follow the shoot the same day for a Survivor video. I laughed and replied, “What script? If I don’t know my story by now, my bra collection, my 30-second elevator pitch, and so-on, I’m in big trouble.” And again, we both laughed! He knew I had years of experience producing videos from writing scripts to shooting TV commercials but this was my baby. Coming from this industry in media, sales and marketing, I knew the drill.

So I went to work anyway and drafted an outline for him so he had an idea what I would like to cover. Sure we had briefly discussed it before but not in depth. I created a timeline, how I envisioned the piece to be produced, the series of key talking points, and so on. We definitely work well together. I sent him a one or two-sheet doc. highlighting these topics and away we went to work. I sent the file to a branding colleague, she gave me a few pointers and we felt good about my planned survivor story.

Then the very next day of the shoot, as with all production shoots, it always gets hectic. I had to juggle many things as we all wear many hats. I hired professionals to assist but I had to direct all. It was a busy time and I was exhausted. The make-up artist took care of my models and I forgot to request to have her primp me. Good think I did my hair and make-up at home that morning, I thought.

A few outfit changes for me, and many for my contracted models, we successfully completed our intended 10-hour photoshoot in about 8 hours ahead of schedule. I had 10 minutes for a break, then, we regrouped and discussed my Survivor video. Where should this shoot take place in the studio? Should I sit or stand? What props should we use? etc. We got started immediately.

After just a few takes, I’m not sure what got into me, but as I verbalized and told my story, this so-called big girl of an entrepreneur began to CRY! All of these emotions and thoughts starting pouring into my head while we were rolling with the camera! Thoughts from pre- and post-surgeries flew, journaling my medical history when I wrote called My Pain Woke Me Up: BLISS!, the ideation to create the first breast cancer bra and dedicate it to my dear, beloved, late Aunt Nina, who died from stage IV malignant breast cancer, and then, the ideas to create an entire collection of post-surgical undergarments for women and men. WOW!

So I cried on CAM and we, of course, cut some of the pouting out. The thing is I hardly cry ever since my divorce and breast cancer because I truly am happy. I feel that clarity and peace in my life.

I’m a tough business woman. Some have told me I’m shrewd and I’ve taken that as a compliment. I work hard and long hours and was used to a long day like this day. So what on earth got into me? Well, I’ll tell you what? We are all human.

From one survivor to another, Big Girls and Boys do Cry that’s the thing. So every time I hear Fergie’s wonderful song, I smile.  It’s not necessarily about her story in her video but whatever YOUR story is, be proud of who you are. I am not ashamed to cry on video. I am genuine and this is my survivor story by Jean Criss.

SHOP CRISSCROSS Intimates and help put an end to breast cancer forever! Don’t let cancer get the BREAST of you!

All the breast, Jean