Monday, February 11, 2013

Bras: Entertainment vs Supporting Breasts

North America has a very confusing relationship with bras. On the one hand we see them everywhere in advertising, music videos etc and accept this as the norm. On the other hand we are embarrassed by our breasts (large and small) and are shy to talk about how bras should fit, how they impact our health and how they make us feel.

Images of lingerie have become so commonplace in our society that we think nothing of seeing a magazine cover with a lingerie-clad celebrity staring at us while we buy our groceries and yet many of us are too shy to go for a bra fitting. I think it's very healthy to express yourself through lingerie but the enormous disconnect between images of women in lingerie and a huge percentage of North American women feeling embarrassed by their breasts and bras worries me.

Do women feel empowered by the juxtaposition of lingerie and sport or is it a flimsy marketing ploy?
So why is lingerie so acceptable in the entertainment sphere but shrouded in embarrassment in relation to its actual job, supporting breasts? Somewhere along the line we undermined the importance of the bra and it has been relegated to a marketing tool. Something like the Lingerie Football League can belittle the importance of bras because the lingerie is there as a gimmick to attract media attention. The trivialization of bras through well-worn 'sex sells' advertising, like the cringe-worthy Pussycat Dolls GoDaddy Superbowl commercial in 2012, undermines the core purpose of bras - to support our breasts!

I think many women have disassociated lingerie with real life and relegated it to an airbrushed world where lingerie is just for show because the gulf is huge between bras used in entertainment and bras that need to support us every single day. The Victoria's Secret Angel in American Flag wings has little relevance to the 34GG mother of three in Ohio whose bra has to withstand a constant workout, stay in place, be comfortable and make her feel beautiful.

This image could be empowering if bra fit knowledge and confidence were commonplace. Sadly this bra doesn't fit the model (wires resting on breast tissue at the center) so it seems to suggest bra fit is secondary to entertainment.
The Victoria's Secret Show has become a highlight of the annual TV schedule raking in millions of viewers and advertising dollars. The event keeps getting bigger and bigger and yet the fundamental fitting issues at Victoria's Secret boutiques are legendary. What use is a bra if it doesn't fit? You'll look great if you get caught in a surprise runway show?! The lack of attention to fit in the VS Runway Show reinforces the idea that fit isn't as important as looking a certain way. The Hollywood tinted lens through which we see lingerie can alienate women who self-elect that their bodies are too big, too small, too different to be worthy of confidence let alone beautiful, well-fitting lingerie. 

I don't think that lingerie needs to be eradicated from our entertainment sphere, however, I think we need a considerable redressing of the balance to bring the bra back to the real world. We need to make talking about bras and good fit as commonplace as pop stars dancing up a storm in their basques. If you've never had a conversation with the women in your life about if they feel happy and confident in their bras then I urge you to start that conversation. Let's take back the bra and make sure it's doing the job it was intended for, supporting breasts. If you need help working out your best fit then our Free Fitting Services is a great place to start xx

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