Feminism and Bras

21 Dec




Listen people, before you read my blog post click on the link above and read my friend Georgina’s blog post.



Did you read it? OK. Now you may read mine.


Georgina, the writer of the above blog, and a facebook community of beautiful curvacious women have opened my eyes to a very important subject. Bra sizes — and the fact that pretty much all women are not only wearing the wrong size, they are wearing a size 2, 3,4, or 5 cup sizes TOO SMALL and 3 or 4 band sizes TOO BIG! The problem seems to be even more rampant in the United States and Canada than it is in Europe (although it’s an issue there as well). I’m not going to talk about proper sizing and all that stuff because that is something that is very well covered by the awesome Georgina Horne in her blogs (seriously follow her blog fullerfigurefullerbust to learn all about the truth in bra sizing). Instead, what I want to talk about today is how this relates to my own version of feminism.

We’ve all been led to believe that women are supposed to fit into this A-DDD 32-40 sizing chart. We have all been led to believe that if we are larger than a DDD we either have fake tits, or we are freaks of nature. We have also been led to believe that our band sizes are way bigger than they really are. Plus- sized ladies like myself who wear a 36 (or even 34) band size are thought to be lying the way a woman might lie about her weight. It’s not a lie. We just know how a bra is supposed to fit. When I say I am a 36J (which I am) I am not saying that I am not chubby– only “big boned.” I know damn well I’m chubby, thank you. What I’m saying is I wear a 36J! Freaking deal with it!


Oh yeah, I was going to talk about how this relates to feminism. Well, you know… Women in our society (in most societies) have always gotten the message, either outright or subliminally, that we need to be SMALLER. Yes, even back in the 40ies and 50ies when the ideal female body was a little bigger and curvier. We were still smaller. We receive the message that we need to be smaller in personality, smaller in opinions, speak more softly than men, smaller in stature, and basically just less THERE than men. And bra sizing has been no exception to this rule.

Women have been led to believe that if they are larger chested then they must be fat. For example, if I follow the bra- sizing guidelines for playtex bras I’m a 42 C– which is INSANE! I mean… ANYONE who has ever seen me, knows that THAT is insane!! But it’s like society can’t allow women to be both large AND feel good about our bodies. We’re not allowed to be large AND comfortable. If we are large, we must be punished for it. If a woman has breasts my size, well… she must be a freak. Or really, REALLY fat or something. *sigh*.

So we are forced to smoosh our ample bosoms into way too small cups and pretend we are 40 DDD’s. That’ll teach us, right?


Back in the 1960s women burned their bras. Well, that didn’t work out too well because well, women kinda need bras. Especially women my size. Ever seen a large -breasted woman try to do jumping jacks or any sort of physical activity? Not a comfortable thing. But, that was the show of feminism in the 1960s (the second wave of feminism as its known). Bras, like their predecessor, the corset, was a symbol of female bondage. From the 60s through the 80s second wave feminists burned bras, wore shoulder pads, and pushed their way through glass ceilings (and I am grateful that they did). They told the world that it might be a man’s world, but we can play that game too– and we can match up.

Third wave feminists came along and said, hey– that’s all good and everything. I know we can play at this man’s game and do just as well… but we shouldn’t have to if we don’t want to. Let’s all just be ourselves. There is no shame in being a stay-at-home- mom and that job is just as important, if not more so, than any business goal one may have. And I agree. Amen to THAT sister!! 😀


But now, let me propose this to you: fourth wave feminism. We don’t have to be small. We don’t have to be quiet. We don’t have to be cute. We don’t have to pretty. We can work. We can be moms. We can be both. We can expect a man to take care of us financially, and we can take pleasure from providing a home for him if that’s what makes us happy. We can wear dresses, we can wear sweats, we can wear jeans– and all the while we can be WOMEN.

We don’t have to play a man’s game as well as a man. We can play a man’s game like a woman. Better yet– let’s play a woman’s game as well as a woman. Let’s not wear shoulder pads to make ourselves seem larger and more in charge in the office. Let’s not burn our bras because they are uncomfortable and are a symbol of female oppression. INSTEAD,  let’s get bras that FIT, are comfortable, AND make us feel feminine and pretty. Let’s burn the notion that we all need to fit some mold of femininity. Let’s stop talking about one another in terms of our body size and type. Let’s not let the artificial numbers that are made up by clothing and lingerie companies define who we are and what we are capable of.


We all deserve bras that fit, and are pretty, and comfortable, and… whatever else we need them to be. We own our bras– they don’t own us!! And… I just happen to think that we own this world too. It’s just that not all the men have gotten the memo yet.


Here is a newer (and REALLY AMUSING) blog post by Georgina that explains bra fitting way better than I ever could: http://fullerfigurefullerbust.wordpress.com/


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