Oh no – my body’s out of fashion!

What all the free, cool women will be wearing - apparently
What all the free, cool women will be wearing – apparently

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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.

Right.

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?).

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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?

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24 thoughts on “Oh no – my body’s out of fashion!

  1. Well done, Helen!

    It is good to read a youngish woman ( at. my age everyone under 50 is young!) being assertive about the fashion nazis! Good for you. A blow for common sense!

    Mum xx

    Sent by iPad power

    >

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    1. It’s weird, isn’t it? Scrapping the barrel for a story, probably, but in the past, I’ve found it easy to get into the trap of believing it (hopefully I’m moving past that stage now).

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  2. Small breasts are in, you need minimising bras, you need new tops, you need a breast reduction…
    And next time big breasts are in, you need push up bras, you (still) need new tops, you need a breast enlargement.
    I love a fashion magazine but I think just I tune large sections of them out.

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  3. I agree and can totally see why it rankled!!! This sort of stuff becomes a much bigger messed up thing. It actually makes me really angry as its about so much more. X

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Edie is right, it is just another form of control. But we’re on to it. Taking back that control, by recognising how amazing our bodies are – in whatever shape or form they come in – has way more appeal that any fashion of the moment.

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    1. Luckily I’m passed the stage of getting too caught up in fashion (the advantage of getting older is that you see how quickly it passes to the next thing), and so I’m usually pretty good at staying away from those sorts of temptations, which do play on our self esteem. At the same time, I think I’m just jealous – it would be great to be able to comfortably wear something so light weight, and know that it is all I need! Still – not going to be the case …

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  5. I totally get that Helen. My tits are like as big as my head. That’s exaggerating a bit but yes I wish I didn’t have that issue. It shits me with running and in all sorts of other ways. I wish I was more cool with it. It’s an emotional subject. Also I am always astounded when someone feels the need to mention a women’s breast size. I’m like WHAT!!!!! I can have a jolly good rant at such times. In fact I could rant about this for ages. Feelings run deep!

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    1. One of the best things for my self-esteem was working as a lingerie fitter in a department store for about 2&1/2 years when I was at uni (not that this was the reason I did it – just needed a part time job). You see bodies of all shapes and sizes – especially as we had a bit of specialisation in extra large fittings, mastectomies and fittings for breast feeding mothers – occasionally straight from the hospital, which was a bit uncomfortable for her – emotionally (often at a teary stage) and physically (your boobs are all over the place and a bit painful, plus leaky, so soon after giving birth), but anyway, it was important. We also had the other extreme of up market skimpy lingerie – interesting contrast. It really puts things into perspective when you help women over and over, to the point you don’t really make any value judgment anymore – you’re just looking for comfort, support and so on. I need to hold onto this, especially as I feel a bit like you – looking to get fitter, but need to accept myself that I need to get a better (bigger) bra because I’ve put on weight. Hate acknowledging that – but it’s the truth (and it’s nothing to be ashamed of, really – other than I’ve been eating too much. But size isn’t the issue. Must remember that …)

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      1. Yep so much better to have a good fitting sports bra. I’ve always found the bra measuring women lovely. Yay for the getting fitter endeavours 😀

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      2. I’ve got a write up to do for Dani (Eatmystreet – part of the Blogging with Pip alumni group), about my first 14km fun run a month ago. Which I didn’t run – I rawked it (new word for me – run / walked) – a bit disappointing but unsurprising given I didn’t train properly. Still, finished, and looking for the next one, which I will run completely. But I’m not being drawn into a cult 🙂 (Plus, if I don’t go to bed, I won’t be doing any running – nice talking to you, but bed awaits!)

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  6. Hey girls, I’ve just signed up for the 5km Colour run with my family. I know 5k isn’t much, but it is for me! Feel like I need to invest in a harness bra for this training! I went from a C to DD in pregnancy – three kids later and yes, still a DD. But, they did what they were meant to do so I have that to celebrate.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It would be for me too (I didn’t quite get to 5km before I ralked) – when’s the Melbourne event, do you know? (Oh, and just bought a new Bendon sports bra – I find them good – they are harness like but that’s what you need). I slip back, if I drop a few kg, to a D, but go to a DD if I don’t. I remember the C cup stage too pre kids – so much more comfortable not logging them around, but you’re right, they fulfilled their role (they got to an E during breastfeeding – such a sore back!)

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Yay for colour run, that one looks so much fun…. Lucky you’ve got dark hair Collette, I would have to wear some sort of flowery swimming cap because those colours stain blonde hair. Not being party pooper but lots of people don’t know that and a friend of mine had green and blueish tinge for quite some time! Flowery 50 s swim cap fashion could be good though!
    Yay for the 5 k… 5 k is a great distance ❤️xx

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    1. Collette – think I’ll book us all in for this! (And deal with the hair staining issue later – maybe it might look festive, Edie???) – either that or I’ll book a hair appointment straight after!

      Liked by 1 person

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