I open the paper on Sunday to read the following words:
‘Something has happened to the breasts of Australia. Nay, the world. I’m being dramatic for a Sunday morning, but it’s true. What once was big is now small. What once was hard is soft. And what once was pushed up is no longer … Big breasts, it seems, are out; banished to the roadside where they can only watch the new and fashionable whizz by, headbeams alert. There’s a new kind of sexy in town’.
(Source: The Age, The Rules: Time to ditch the wonderbra, soft bras are here to stay)
What a wonderful world this paints! We can ‘now’, apparently, live unconstrained by the ‘hardware’ that ‘pushed you breasts up, out, or made them bigger’. We can live ‘free’.
How fantastic will that be?
…’the rules have been … abandoned in the name of comfort, but also in the name of cool. It espouses that wonderful, free look, where girls who look like they haven’t made extraordinary effort in matching shoes with their bags, or lippie with their polish, always come out on top.‘
Except not all of us can just ‘be free’ – well, not not if you are going to ‘stop the jiggle‘, or even worse, apparently, ‘the sag‘. That’s ok:
‘if your bosom* is big enough to sag then you’re probably wearing underwire anyway’. * (because, at our size, clearly we no longer have breasts)
By inference, those of us in the category are not part of the ‘cool, wonderful, free look‘ – instead, we can ‘only watch the new and fashionable whizz by from the roadside‘.
I say this is a lot of rubbish.
I know they trot this ‘revolutionary’ shift out every so often, and every time, it grates on me. Because it’s just not true. It suggests something that for most of us isn’t possible, and that is to change our bodies substantially to suit a current fashion agenda. But many bodies don’t work like that – not without a lot of surgical intervention, anyway.
Sometimes – strange though this might seem – our bodies don’t get the message that there is a ‘brave, new world’ out there. Sometimes we can’t make our bodies change substantially, even if we try lifestyle changes to try and force and reshape our bodies We can’t just swap and change at whim of fashion’s preference. And to be honest, it’s a complete lie anyway. Soft cup bras haven’t gone away, and underwire, or more supportive soft cups, will remain.
I know all this, and I know it’s just marketing. But I find, regardless of how much I know, that reading too many of these articles is unhelpful for my body image – yes, even at my age. Which is why I very rarely read fashion magazines, look on line or take notice of marketing campaigns. Somehow this one slipped through – not sure how.
Reading these sorts of articles, repeatedly, and seeing them encapsulated on billboards, within the new season fashion lines, and so on, tends to make me progressively critical about what I look like. That’s even knowing there is no real problem with how I look (and not that it would matter if there was – against whose measure would I be judging this, anyway?).
I find myself focusing far more on my outer appearance – which I take some care of, but not heaps – rather than what is going on inside. And when my focus changes this way, I start to doubt myself. I start to doubt what I know suits me, and works for me in terms of comfort and dressing to suit the specific occasion (work, going out, being at home, and so on). And I also doubt what I know to be true, both from personal experience and from having it drummed into me over three years working at David Jones in the lingerie department – a good, supportive bra is important for our posture, to enable us to exercise more effectively, and to minimise back pain. I know these might not be ‘cool or sexy’ reasons to consider what you are looking for in underwear, but, in my opinion, they are more important reasons.
My body is what it is – give or take some additional measures to improve my health by more consistent exercise, better dietary measures and more sleep. Continuing to improve in these areas will lead to some changes in my appearance, I know. But not enough that I will be embracing this new change.
So, good on you, small breasted women. Embrace the freedom that you have been permitted to become part of. But as for me, I will not get sucked in by this sort of marketing.
Maybe that’s the difference between fashion and style? Anyway, it’s a trend I won’t be following (although, maybe, there might be a little more lace in my super supportive ‘armour’ – who knows?).
How about you?
Are there fashion ‘directions’ (whether real or hyped up) which you just won’t touch, or are you open to embracing whatever is going?