The Mail online often makes me want to cry and yesterday was no exception to this ritual of despair. In their Monday morning article, I, along with every other female reader, was ordered to decipher which shape of breast I was, and use that essential piece of information to select a bra accordingly. When I first laid eyes on this piece, I really laughed. So cheers guys, you gave me a good laugh on a Monday morning, fair play to you. However, seven photos of women standing in their bras smiling like cheshire cats with wording such as 'East West' and 'teardrop' underneath their bosoms, is pretty hard to take seriously.
Is the Daily Mail's aim to patronise women and mould us into exceptionally placid airheads? I'm really confused about what goes on in the DM headquarters and would genuinely love to be a fly on the wall for one day only (anything longer and I suspect I'd be on a high risk alert for severe depression). I have a request. Can we please stop pigeon holing women into stupidly named categories? Trinny and Susannah (thank god those bullies disguised as presenters have gone eh) sparked a compulsion for British women to box themselves into a pear, apple or (flatteringly named) brick body shape category and I don't like it. We can acknowledge our bodies and dress accordingly (if we WANT to that is) without having stupid, patronising nicknames for our figures. There were many more including the goblet, vase and skittle. I highly recommend google imaging them if you want a laugh.
Where is the men's ball shape article? Why are the men not told to start their week boxing themselves into a physique group? Where's the Tony and Stuart show which forces men into a fear inducing 360 degree mirror (where many women would frequently burst into tears by the way) and tells them they are a skittle? I'm not for one moment suggesting we patronise, humiliate and demean men aswell, but trying to highlight just how outrageously cruel we are towards women. If I waltzed up to the BBC now to pitch a male version of 'What not to wear' I would be laughed out of the building, as it would be seen as ridiculous. Well guess what, the female version is ridiculous too.
Of course body shape, height and structure affects what suits you. But let us all decide that for ourselves and also allow the people that don't want to take any notice of it, to do so. My mum's worked in fashion for years and I've worked with her a lot so I've grown up with an awareness of what works for certain bodies. I'm quite small so I personally wouldn't wear a very long dress without heels, but that's my own judgement and I don't need anyone (let alone the MAIL ONLINE!) to tell me I'm a short arse and can't do maxi dresses. Certain men will suit certain jeans or necklines better than others, but they aren't urged to categorise themselves in a flurry of self hate like we're encouraged to.
My issue here is not people advising kindly what will suit someone's body, as that's a worthy job that I respect. My problem is the way women are screamed at from every angle to adhere to inane rules. My problem is that we're told we're not good enough, doing 'it' wrong or could be doing 'it' better. We're told this in every area of our lives and as a woman in my mid twenties I'm only just starting to grasp how brainwashed we've been and it makes me quite angry.
I'm sorry DM but if you hadn't noticed, women are generally kind of busy people. We have a lot more demands put on us that men, we're scared and exhausted most of the time (as Caitlin Moran wrote in one of the most resonating articles I've ever read) and we can't really afford to spend precious minutes thinking about whether we're a 'round' or 'bell' boob structure. So kindly, f*** off, as you're really getting on our tits.
Stop dissecting us, let us buy whatever bra we want and leave our goddam bodies alone. Oh and if you are going to do a moronic chart of women's breast shapes, at least do it properly. You missed out the 'bee stings', 'fried eggs' and 'pancakes'. Obvs.
This post originally appeared on Lily's blog here