In the past month, I feel like I've read approximately 9,847,601 articles about bra size and bra fitting and bra washing and bra conspiracies and bra science and bra crime and why everybody on earth is doing bras better than me. This is the thing right now. Huh, they snort. Did you know that 250% of women are wearing the wrong bra size? Did you know that a rogue underwire was what brought down Amelia Earhart? Did you know that if you put your bra in the dryer it becomes sentient and starts trying to ruin your credit score in the night?
But here's my question: WHY ARE WE SO GODDAMN PERPLEXED BY BRAS? Surely we invented them on purpose, right? Surely someone on earth knows how to use one, yes? Why is it that as soon as we step inside the Bermuda Triangle of human bodies + tape measurers + adjustable nylon straps, we all start smoking at the ears and coughing up springs like a robot that somebody just spilled hot coffee into? (My bad, Kevin-3000.) How can this thing of our own making bewilder us so?
The New York Observer ran a trend piece yesterday about custom bra fittings (headlinemouth: "Bra Boutiques Bloom as Big Bazongas Bewilder the Bamboobled!"), detailing the experience of getting your boobs honked by a professional after waiting in the cold for eight hours. The verdict: It's stressful and expensive and you're basically paying elegant ladies to be mean to you, but in the end your cans look great!
The fitter led me to a room, told me to strip, frowned and snapped the band of my brand-new Elle Macpherson. “Too loose,” she declared.
As I defended myself against her “bad bra” judgment—it was brand new! and the right size!—she insisted that I try on some models that would fit more snugly in the front. Before I could say no, I was wearing a bra I dubbed “Blue Swan,” for the ornate design work that cascaded down like a costume piece from Natalie Portman’s ballet film. The brand also made a “Balconette” bra, which I assume was French for “put your boobs in the balcony section.” I cried mercy after looking at the $216 price tag, protesting that those were orchestra prices. I nevertheless ended up purchasing the Balconette, along with a blue and white push-up by Chantelle that gave the kind of insane Victoria Beckham cleavage where the laws of gravity end somewhere around the midriff.
On the way out of Intimacy, I was reminded that even if I hand-washed my new purchases, I shouldn’t expect them to last longer than six months.
No wonder women don’t want to get sized. In two days, I had managed to spend $500 on six pieces of underwear that no one outside of my boyfriend will ever appreciate.
Seriously. Six months? $500? Why is this happening? Why can't we just DO BRAS NORMAL?
It's like 100 years ago this strange conical contraption fell from space and Bronson Pinchot has been trying to unlock its secrets ever since, while the rest of us just bluff like we know what to do with it like the goddamn Little Mermaid brushing her hair with a fork. And when the aliens finally show up they're going to be like, "WHY HAVE THE MEAT ANTS STRAPPED GRABOOLIAN BLOOD DIAPERS TO THEIR MAMMARIES? WE THREW THOSE AWAY ON PURPOSE, YOU GUYS."
Way to go, women—you embarrassed us in front of the aliens. It's like Intergalactic Traumarama. Now everyone on Tarvos calls us "Poo-Jugs!" We'll never live it down!
I don't know if this buzzy new Jockey sizing system (the "Volumetric Fit Bra") is going to revolutionize tit-having, but I'm willing to give it a try. I like wearing a bra, but I'm certainly sick and tired of being stabbed in my tender heart by errant underwires. And maybe, just maybe, if somebody finally figures this shit out, we won't have to have this conversation 9 million more times. Deal? Up-top, Poo-Jugs.
Image via KellyNelson/Shutterstock.