Point blank: I have always hated bra shopping. Okay, not always. I distinctly remember how pumped I was to buy my first real bra—a satin baby pink underwire number from Target—when I was twelve. And man, did I feel like hot stuff! How little did my pre-teen self realize that bra shopping was about to be up there with going to the dentist—it’s something I’d dread each and every time.
It all began back in high school, while bra shopping with my BFF. The sales woman told me that my 34B breasts were “lemon boobs.” She said this after I’d gone through about fifteen bras, having the inevitable small boob issues—a gaping cup, slipping straps, and bulging under the arm due to a super tight band. In the end, she told me that I just had to deal because my lemon shape would always be difficult to accommodate. As a result, I stocked my drawers with super comfortable bralettes and embraced my relatively boob-less reality.
Since then, I’d only visit a lingerie store on occasions when I felt inclined to impress my boyfriend (just about every lingerie ad makes it clear that’s what’s expected for anniversaries and Valentine’s Day, right?). And as a self-proclaimed modern-day feminist, I would absolutely love to say I’ve gone bra shopping solely to make myself happy; but quite frankly, it’s miserable. Trying to find a bra to make you feel sexy, only to be reminded how much you fall flat (pardon the pun), is a pretty demoralizing process. And for me, there is something about bra shopping that is inherently confidence reducing. There is nothing worse than feeling like you don’t fit the shape of what’s considered to be ideal beauty.
Courtesy of Rebecca Norris
But luckily something is changing in society. Women are taking back their bodies, embracing their flaws, and changing the narrative on female worth. So, I wanted to reclaim my own bust—however small it is—and make the absolute most of it by giving this whole bra shopping thing another chance. I tried on 24 bras in total, and here are the ones that made me proud of my body for what it is, instead of ashamed of what it’s not.
SELF – Fashion