Saturday, March 25, 2006

Do you buy a Tit Sling or do you buy a Brassiere?

This is how I think all conversation on the topic of my boobies between me and Mr. G should go:
B: Hi, let’s get naked.
G: awesome!
B (naked now): look at my amazingly sexy breasts!
G: oh my god I love them!!!

This is the reality:
G: you should buy some super expensive bras.
B: because….?
G: most women are wearing the wrong size! And my friend who works at a bra store says all women need expensive bras! And I read this article in the times!
B: so… what’s wrong with the way my boobs look now?
G: nothing!
B: so… I’m spending this money because….?
G: most women are wearing the wrong size! And my friend who works at a bra store says all women need expensive bras! And I read this article in the times!

Now I acknowledge that when we first started dating none of my bras fit right do to my weight loss, I know this, I went to Nordstrom’s, I got measured I bought some $30 bras, DONE. Right? Unfortunately the multitudes of women wearing the wrong bra size has pushed America into an unjustifiable war in Iraq, gotten Hamas elected into power in Palestine and ruined this years tomatoes crop. Luckily, Oprah and the New York Times and good Samaritans throughout our fair land have kindly stepped up to get American women back on the path to righteousness via $100 brassieres.

Buying bras is no fun -- bra size is a sensitive thing in a society where the breasts size is so often seen as directly proportional to sexiness which leaves many women in a particularly vulnerable position. I find the “all women are wearing the wrong bras” movement irksome because it seems so similar to the “all women are too fat”/”all women need to pay $100 for a hair cut”/”all women need $300 jeans” movements. The idea that women need to spend inordinate amounts of money in order to meets society’s unrealistic beauty goals reeks of The Beauty Myth. I’m happy with the way my boobs look now, why do people keep claiming I need a different bra?

With expensive bras there is an under lying implication that not only will you look prettier but somehow wearing a “better” bra will make you healthier. I suppose this is true in the most extreme cases; if you have really large breasts and you are wearing a very wrong bra it seems believable that you might have more back pain than if you had a bra that fit correctly. But let’s say that my 32C should really be like a 34B what is the difference going to be? I don’t have back pain or painful rubbing or anything with my current bras so I’m not sure what a slight adjustment would help.

Of course maybe I can’t even imagine the changes that will occur in my life once the catalyst of fancy new bra is triggered. I *think* I’m happy with my boobs now but that’s probably because I have never experienced the bright shiny utopia that lies beyond the land of incorrect fit, right? Again… so what? I’m *happy* now – why must society constantly question women’s happiness with their own bodies? Why am I not the best judge of how I look and feel?

I suppose in part I just don’t wanna be a sucker. I picture some Scrooge McBrassier swimming in his pool of money laughing at all the women he’s conned into expensive lingerie and I think, “Not me bitch! I bought my DKNY bras on ebay for $7!” I know there probably is no mastermind consciously out to keep women down by making them spend all of their money on beauty enhancements but women are still asked to spend way more money on their look then men (despite consistently making less) and this can only lead to women never being as financially secure as men who make the same amount of money. I’m not sure the expensive bra fad is a sham – it’s probably more credible than diet pills and padded jeans – but when women are told that need some product to be pretty/happy/good enough I get suspicious.

7 comments:

Geoff G. said...

So, really, your only problem seems to be economic? And the fact that you are currently satisfied with the economies of scale that are working in your favor (ie -- only 12 sizes available for the infintesimal variety of women in the world...but $7 instead of $50) suggests you have no problem in having less selection for cheaper prices. Which is fine -- you can shop at CVS for lipstick even though the perfect color is at Sephora. But your arguement doesn't seem to be a feminist one, since this price gouging on women's good seems to extend to everything...and with good reason -- women continue to pay for it. The bra thing seems to be a supply/demand ratio you don't want to buy into...and not that you actually disagree with my premise that what you think your size is may not be correct.

PS -- your boobies are awesome.

alia said...

i feel i cannot comment on the quality of your boobies... cough cough... but i have heard the "bras don't fit" properly thing before... the bras that are supposed to fit? they hurt. i hate bras. i think they *are* a tool of oppression and hegemony and the patriarchy and all that stuff. when the prince albert comes back into fashion for men, then i will wear too tight bras.

me

Brianna said...

it's an feminist arguement because women are continually asked to spend money on products to improve thier looks even though such products offer very little tangible benefit. ultimatly it's probalby a feminiest economic arguement.

the issue is not so much lesser selection for cheaper price it's that no one can explain to me what i'm getting for my extra $43. your argument that there are only 12 commenly available sizes and that it's unlikely that these cover the full variety of women's bodies still isn't a good arguement for buying an expensive bra unless you can explain the benefits of having access to these other sizes ("cause there are lots!" is not an explaination). I don't think my size is incorrect and even if i went to a fancy shop and was told my size was incorrect I still wouldn't believe this unless upon trying on another size there was a noticable difference -- then we could have a discussion of if the difference was worth $43.

themikestand said...

Is it bad that the phrase "tangible benefit" in this context excites me?

Hmm. Probably.

amy said...

i was into a nice serious feminist coversation until Mike's comment... then i was rolling on the floor laughing

Anonymous said...

Lady. I am completely down with your feminist take on consumer culture creating a sense of inadequacy and then preying on that space to sell shit. I am just waiting for the, 'real boobs get saggy but your silcone boobs can last forever' ad campaign. O wait, those ads are in the back of EVERY women's magazine.

All that said: my bra hurts. This might be because it's cheap. Or the wrong size. Or maybe because it's technology that's made almost no advances since its creation. I don't know but I happily await the day I can go down to my woman owned bra shop and be digital imaged for a bra, made by fairly paid ladies, that fits only me, for a mere 7 dollars. That's the kinda economy of scale I'd embrace.

bethany actually said...

Oh, good gravy. I have seen the movie Beaches at least ten times, and I even used to own the SOUNDTRACK, and it never ever occurred to me until I read the title of your post that there was a pun in the name "Otto Titsling". Thanks for enlightening me!