An Open Letter to My Bras

13/01/2014 12:33 GMT | Updated 15/03/2014 09:59 GMT


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Dear bras (through the ages),

Man, what a rollercoaster. You've known me since I was a kid, desperate to fill out a cup, any cup. ('Does an AAAA exist?') You were there, in your soft, first bra material, noble and strong, even when I was forcing tissue paper into your lungs, believing you weren't enough. Believing I wasn't enough, compared to my early-puberty pals. And as I grew up, and you evolved, you never faltered. Always there for me, especially as I started to appreciate what I had. My milkshake, yeah, it brought a few boys to the yard. And it didn't give me back problems, either.

But now we're here, going through our first batch of relationship turbulence. Our first big fight.

It started a few years ago, after suffering months of having to adjust and wiggle in an unusual (read: disturbing) manner on the street. I suddenly realised that I'd just been sticking with what seemed to fit, rather than finding out my actual measurements. Pain and the aforementioned wiggling opened my eyes to the fact that yes, size does matter.

It should've been as easy as 'I'm a 34C'. But instead, I was in between sizes. All. The Time. Infuriating, especially when my friends were all certain about theirs. Those nice department store measuring ladies gave me a number and a letter, and that was that. If only that was that. You + my body still weren't compatible. If it wasn't bulging here, it was loose there.

I know, I know, it's my fault. After all, it's my body that doesn't fit. Really, I shouldn't have been surprised. My bottom half is a dress size 9, my top, an 11. My feet are a 6 and a half. The bigger half of my body is noticeably so. There's a little gap in the corner of the right cup, while the left side is packing weight, if you know what I'm sayin' (and you do, because you're the one packing it in). And yes, I know I'm lucky. Even though my measurements are skewed, I have a relatively normal, healthy body. But I guess that's why I wish we'd fit together - it would just be so simple.

Then, something happened. Having suffered various bra-buying fails, I purchased something on a whim. One of your distant cousins. A lacy bralet croptop thing, with no underwiring or padding. Basically, just a piece of material. It looked subtly sexy, and more importantly, comfortable. It demanded no specifics from me. It was low-maintenance, alright.

At first, I just wore it at home. But soon it became my go-to whenever comfort was imperative. And then, even when it wasn't. If I could get away with it, I would.

So when French research emerged, claiming that bras actually make our boobs sag - the opposite of their purpose - me and your chilled-out cousin did a little dance (not too active, mind, what with the lack of support). This might surprise you, but despite the exciting notion of bra freedom, I don't really buy the research. We've grown up understanding the logic of you guys, and ain't nobody about to take on logic. But I have to say, your cuz is a nice in-between. I can't go Rachel Green circa all ten seasons of Friends, because it feels alien to me, but I can't be doing with pesky wiring, either.

You'll always be close to my heart, and I'm sure one day we'll figure it out. I'll change shape, you'll be the perfect fit. Whoomp, there it is. Right? I'll keep switching between you and your pals, and maybe give up your cousin for a while (it's for the best).

I wrote this letter because I wanted to get things off of my chest. Let you know that it's been rough. But I believe in you. Even when you dig into my sides, rise up, and yes, even when you make me do a weird wiggle in the street.

Oh, and do me a favour. Have a word with your new high-tech pal, who can tell women when they've eaten too much. I get it, but still, not cool.

Yours forever, maybe,