ginny: on bras

I would like to make clear from the beginning that I was thinking about making “clothes” the topic for the week when Julie messaged me and asked me if I would consider “bras” as the topic.  It was close enough to what I was thinking about so I said okay, but I am only claiming partial responsibility for it.

A couple of years ago I was reading a magazine at work and I came across an article about bras.  The bras looked something like this:

Before I continue let me just say that if you attempt to Google “bras” for photos, plan on spending at least a couple minutes looking at some very interesting contraptions.  For instance, this one:

or this one:

or the apparently Lady Gaga inspired this one:

Yes, that is bacon.

Anyway, back to my lacy bra story.  I held up the magazine to a female friend of mine and said to her “Who in the world would wear a bra like this?”  She replied “That’s what all of my bras look like.”

Ahem.  Awkward.

My bras are utilitarian in style and color.  They have no lace, no extra padding, no push up, no bacon, and, for heaven’s sake, no under-wires.  I’ve been told I should wear a bra with under-wire support, and I’ve tried one or two, but … no.  Hell no.  I can’t abide wearing them.  They are poke-y and uncomfortable and I just can’t bear them.  If I sag in my old age (or possibly now) because of my aversion to under-wires, then so be it.

When I was still playing around with the idea of wearing such things I got “professionally” sized.  Everyone says you should do it because apparently 97% of women are wearing the wrong bra size.  I just made that number up but I do remember it is a rather large percentage.

Here’s the thing about the internet.  As I’m typing this post and making up a statistic that is only marginally important to my point, I realize that I don’t have to make it up.  One “open new tab” and Google entry later and I have discovered, without even reading any articles, just looking at the preview lines on several website hits, that the percentage of women wearing the wrong bra size is between 80-85%.  I saw those numbers several times, so I can be reasonably sure that it is accurate, or at least as accurate as such a statistic can be.  Certainly more accurate than my WAG.  Google that acronym if you don’t know it.  Googling is quick and painless.  Google has not paid me for this shout out.

Also, Google does not agree with me about what WAG means.  Because I suggested you Google it I had to Google WAG, and I discovered that it is a pet food supplier, the New York Stock Exchange acronym for Walgreens, as well as an acronym used mainly by the British tabloids meaning “wives and girlfriends”.  There are also Wag Hotels, full service cat and dog hotels in San Francisco and Sacramento.  I meant none of those things when I said my WAG.  I meant “wild a$$ guess”.  Perhaps Google doesn’t like a$$.  I will not be researching what comes up when you Google a$$.

So I got myself sized, tried on a couple of different styles, bought three or four with the infernal under-wires, and left thinking that a new phase of my undergarment life was beginning.  Two weeks later, maybe less, all of the new bras were shoved to the back of the drawer, never to be worn again.

I understand to a point the women who feel sexier or more attractive or more confident when they wear certain bras, but I am not one of those women.  Fortunately for me, and I’ve been trying to avoid saying this because it just seems like TMI,  my husband – or any of the other men before him – has never once rejected me because of the lack of lace and frills and push-up-ness of my bras.  I’m fairly certain that once I’ve gotten to that point with a guy they have been more interested in getting the bra off than they are in a momentary “ooh, that sure looks nice.”  There is a chance I have only dated, and then married, undiscriminating heathens, but I’m okay with that.

There is only one other thing I want to say about bras, and I will lead with a couple photos of my friend Deborah:

Bras can be fun and funky and they can be art.  Deborah is involved with The Breast Cancer Resource Center of Austin, and every year they have an Austin Art Bra fundraiser.  Breast cancer survivors model bras made by local artists in a runway show to raise money for the BCRC, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing support to those with breast cancer.  Deborah gave me permission to include her photos here, but I didn’t want to put up anyone else’s face without them knowing about it, so Google Austin Art Bra for some other photos of really interesting and imaginative bras.

You won’t see me wearing anything like these bras. Then again, it is highly unlikely you will see me wearing any bra.  I grew up in an era where showing your bra strap, let alone the entire bra, was considered either trampy or just in bad taste.  Nowadays girls and women don’t seem to have any qualms about it.

Qualm, by the way, means a sudden uneasiness.  Interesting how it sounds like calm, but is the exact opposite in meaning.  At least it is interesting to me because I do have qualms about writing about bras, as evidenced by my multiple trips to Google.  I am not sure why I agreed to writing about this topic, unless it was to give Julie the opportunity to write about the Oprah bra.  I hope she does.

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