Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Comfort Is Not for the Poor

"That clicking? It's just me taking a picture of my cleavage in the work bathroom."

I cried the other day. I don't cry often, but suddenly I was tired of being cold all the time, and not having as much fruit as I'd like (hardly any), and my breasts hurt. I'll spell this out for all the men who read here:

Proper breast support is a necessity.

Seriously, I knew as soon as I heard about bra burning that it never happened. (It really didn't.) I knew this because I walk around every morning before my shower without a bra on, and it's not comfortable. Walking around every day without a bra would be like walking around without shoes- on blacktop that's under direct sunlight on a 100F (38C) day. The bouncing, the chafing, the bouncing. Ow.

Anyway, I'd been passing off sore breasts as "this time of the month" or "huh, my lymph nodes must be swollen" and then I thought "I probably need a new bra." Walking around in a stretched out or too big bra allows for bouncing and chafing and underwires digging into odd places. (Walking around in a too small bra results in chafing, calluses, bruising and serious shoulder pain.) Fun facts about bras: cheap bras are crap and even nice bras don't last that long. Not a good combination for the poor.

You've seen it: women walking around either bouncing or with half their breasts spilling out of the side of their bras. They're not ignorant or being deliberately trashysexy*, they just can't afford a decent bra that fits. (Although as many as 80% of women aren't wearing the proper bra size, because other fun fact: even 5 lbs of weight gain/loss can result in a different bra size, and your period comes with about 5lbs of water weight gain. Wheee!)

So, off I go to Victoria's Secret (fuck the phone bill, my breasts are sore), and I requested a 32C with super pushup because cleavage has not been happening around these parts for a while, and I like me some cleavage. The woman looks at me and says, "C cups shouldn't have trouble getting cleavage, let me measure you."

Turns out, I'm a 30C now and Victoria's Secret doesn't carry "extended sizes" in store. She suggested ebay because "extended sizes" are super expensive. Because if you're poor, you have no business being comfortable. Fuck you for wanting breasts that aren't sore, bruised and/or callused.

Fortunately, I was able to get a "seconds" bra in a 30C for $10 with shipping. (The lace trim on the cup was sewn on wrong in one spot. Can't be sold as perfect, but wtf do I care?) It is so comfortable. I have noticed my breasts about as much as my belly button today, which is the goal on my end.

Unfortunately, I have one well fitting bra. I now need to keep money in paypal and stalk ebay for more bras. Yeah, that's easy when you're poor. Another note for men: We wear bras every day, you need a minimum of 5, and that's the low end. You're wearing one every day, right against your skin, and sweat pools in the cups of a bra like you wouldn't believe. Bras have to be hand washed and air dried, so you need to allow time for that. You need at least two skin coloured bras to wear under lighter or thinner fabrics**. You need a black bra to wear under black fabrics (lighter colours shine through). And damnit, I'd like a pretty floral, because why shouldn't I have something not exactly practical? Oh, right, POOR.

It's just one of the many, many, many ways in which poor people, especially poor women, get to suck it.

Next week: why I buy expensive tampons and the electric company should really take that into account.

*Nothing wrong with that, but millions of women have no choice.

**Never, fucking ever, wear a white bra under a white shirt if you can avoid it. You may as well wear a neon pink bra under a white shirt.


  1. This is one of the ways in which an eating disorder can be really expensive, actually. Having bras on hand for fluctuation of weight that can be either water-based or actual fat-based, and which can happen a great deal more often than once a month around PMS time. I'm wandering around in a too-big cup right now because I have bras in my drawer whose bands are too big and cups are too small; whose bands are the right size and cups are too big; who are too big all around; and just... I am wearing sports bras right now.

  2. I sew the bands and straps smaller, which looks all lumpy and doesn't last that long, but it's better than nothing at all.

  3. Yep, same problem happens with a 32D. Do you have a Kohl's there? They have pretty good sales and carry extended sizes.

  4. honestly, the ONE good thing about getting fat was that it became a bit [SMALL bit] easier to find bras that fit.
    i don't think they even MAKE 32FF bras. but they DO make 38FF bras, they're just a LOT harder to find and it's the only thing i go to Lane Bryant for - bras

    i'm curious about your anti-white bra/white shirt issue - i can't wear anything under white BUT white - tan and/or "flesh" show thru MUCH more than white...?

    [but i WILL wear a white tank with a colored bra. see, i have about 30 bras that i never, ever wear, that "fit", as in if i futz around with them i can make them fit, because my entire effing family knows my bra size, and not a gift-giving holiday goes by without at LEAST 3 different people buying me a bra. generally something with flowers, or an odd color, or... and they're all NOMINALLY 38 or 40 FF - no matter what i don't, i can't get my idiot family to GET that bras you can't just BUY - two different bras of the exact same size and make will fit DIFFERENTLY. but noooooooooooooooo, they want to "help" - so i have 40 bras i can almost never freaking wear, and only TWO that fit at ALL, and they're not really comfortable but they work... because when i say "I need new bras, BRAS THAT I HAVE FREAKING FITTED, please for the love of all that's holy and good GET ME GIFT CARDS - NOT FUCKING BRAS BUT *GIFT CARDS* THAT I MAY GO AND FIND BRAS THAT ACTUALLY FUCKING FIT - they buy me bras. and they're ALWAYS clearance, or like your new one, with something that means i can't even EXCHANGE for one that fits. and i can't figure out how the FUCK to fix this!!!!!!!!!]

    i'm going to my appointment to find out if i can really be steralized this time - everyone send me GoodThoughts, please!

  5. I never thought bras were so complicated.

  6. Okay Andy, when the only thing you ever have to do with a bra is unhook it, that's not so complicated. Try walking around in one all day. Oh, and get pictures. *grin*


    Yikes!!! People actually buy you bras?!? That's one of those things you just sort of need to do yourself. I would have thought other women would know this.

  7. D'Ma;

    they do. all the fucking time. and it's almost always prefaced with "well, i know how hard it is to find bras your size, so when i saw one, i just HAD to get it! i know that it's got giant fugly daisies on the cups, or rather ARE the cups, but it's the right size and that's what counts, right?"

    and, generally, they DON'T FIT. that's why they were at Oddlots or wherever - they weren't ACTUALLY the size they were marked as.

    but they KEEP DOING IT. i swear, i'm just gonna go Amazon and cut 'em off, one of these days. or, at least, get a reduction.

    sigh. and honestly, it's the women who are WORST. i just don't get it - i once bought the cousin who's WORST about buying me bras a really pretty matching bra/panty set - and she threw a freaking FIT that i bought her "intimates" that she hadn't tried on! and i said "oh, why would i think you care about that? i mean, i've only been trying to get YOU to stop doing the same fucking thing for 15 years, and you keep doing it, so i assumed you wouldn't care, since you seem to think *I* shouldn't"

    worst bit: i'm now the "bitch" of the family, and she still buys me bras

    i'd weep but i'm too excited, since i'm a GO! for Essure [steralization, without tubal ligation - yay!!!!!!!!]

  8. We went to Kohl's the other day, since they were having a huge sale, and then another 30% off everything. My sons and husband bought work shirts and pants. I went to look at bras. I finally asked if they carry 38Ds, and the salesgirl (who was about a 32A) showed me to the "minimizer" bra section. I don't need any extra padding, but I don't want to walk around squashed all day.

    Luckily, I found the Just My Size outlet in another mall.

    denelian, can I presume you have found bra extenders? I usually find them in sewing stores, and they're just a hunk of elastic with 2 or three rows of hook-and-eye closures to add inches when you find the right bra with a too-small band.

  9. PF, I if ti means more shots of your cleavage on the blog, I will glad donate to the Personal Failure Bosom Support Fund(tm). I realize that probably marks me as a shallow person, but - hell! - in some ways I *am* shallow.

  10. @denelian: Okay, note for future me: no buying bra's for women. Give money instead.

    Actually, I'm not the sort of person who'd give that sort of gift anyway (unless asked or given fairly strong hints*): I'm easily embarassed and tend to overthink gifts.

    *footnote: And by "fairly strong" I mean "Hey, I need a new bra, and it would suck if you didn't buy me one for my birthday and I had to murder you with your own spleen." I kinda suck at hints. Seriously: just ask.

  11. @denelian:

    they do. all the fucking time. and it's almost always prefaced with "well, i know how hard it is to find bras your size, so when i saw one, i just HAD to get it!

    Somehow I don't think there's going to be a rush on 38ff's. It might just be easier to tell you where they saw it? Anyway, LOL! Don't you just love those fugly daisy cups?


    I think miss 32A might have just been jealous. There ain't much cleavage to be had with those! I guess maybe Kohl's in different places carry different things? The one here does a pretty good job of carrying extended sizes.

  12. mutzali;
    i make them, actually - but, generally, the problem isn't the band - it's that bra marked as a "38FF" will be, say, a "38DD" and was just mismarked. or the cups are uneven, or something like that.

    TRUTH. seriously - i, ONCE, asked Pete to pick out lingerie for me, and *wrote down* my size.
    luckily, *PETE* isn't one of those people who only buy super-marked-down-not-returnable stuff - and he got a reciept and gave it to me.

    you'd be shocked - 38FF [anything FF, and anything bigger than a Dcup but smaller than a 40 inch] is *really* hard to find - NOT as hard as a 32FF, but yeah -
    and if they were, i don't know, ROSE cups, or orchids, or something NOT HIDEOUS! :)

    hey, PF, you never answered my question about white bras!

    [also: YAY! getting steralized!!! sorry. i'm excited all out of proportion :D ]


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