Monday, February 18, 2013
How to Help Friends and Family Find Better Bra Fit
It is wonderful and necessary that women who understand good bra fit share this enthusiasm and knowledge with others. You may know someone in the wrong bra and have tried to share your knowledge but found that you were met with resistance. This reluctance to embrace, or even discuss, good bra fit can cause many of us to get frustrated and disheartened. To try and alleviate the frustration I want to give you some tools when talking to women in badly fitting bras.
1) Your bra knowledge can be seem quite complex and overwhelming for someone else.
When we're excited about something it's easy to forget that not everyone else feels the same way. If you unleash all your bra knowledge onto someone (who may not have actually asked you to share it with them) they won't be able to take it in and the whole thing will seem daunting rather than liberating so they shut down. When this happens I truly understand that it can be frustrating. Why aren't they whipping off their terrible bra and immersing themselves in the joy of good bra fit?! But getting frustrated and cross with someone isn't going to help bring about positive change.
You have to appreciate that change takes time and during this time your consistent (rather than all at once) bra knowledge can lead to big changes for others. Be enthusiastic about how your bra fit has improved your life "I haven't had those horrible headaches since I started wearing the right bra" or "It has meant so much to me to start running again since I got properly fitted for a sports bra." Leading a bra-healthy life is the best example you can set to other women and inspiration always creates longer lasting change than simply telling someone to do something.
The frustration we feel when someone is in the wrong bra is born out of the knowledge that they will be so much happier in the right bra and we want them to be happy because we care about them. Be careful though, it's important not to turn that desire to share joy into making someone else feel bad. One thing I know for certain is that you have to be READY to change your bra fit.
Related Article: The Mental Leap from the Wrong Bra to the Right One
You cannot tell someone else when they are ready for better bra fit, so instead of coercing someone into a bra fitting make yourself available. For example, "Any time you want me to come with you to get a fitting, I'll be there." or "If you ever want me to help you work out your fit and buy some bras to try on at home you only have to ask, I'll have the martinis and measuring tape ready!" Making yourself open rather than appearing frustrated means that when the women in your life are ready to change their bra fit they trust that you will be there and trust that you won't judge them.
3) You never know how someone's emotional history and self-esteem are bound to their body.
This is the most important one. We are all a product of our experiences and if you grew up without any bra education then you may have internalized the discomfort, embarrassment and frustration of your ill-fitting bras into something being wrong with you. Avoiding sports, altering what you wear to hide your bust, shying away from public speaking or being noticed in general can stem from years of being in the wrong bra. Many women associate clothing of all types to be a measure of how 'wrong' their body is and so trying on bras will just be another occasion where they feel bad about themselves. Being confronted with lots of bra fitting advice can trigger body insecurity for lots of women.
You may read their reluctance to go bra shopping as stubbornness or stupidity but you have to remember that you don't know that woman's relationship with her body and specifically her breasts. I encounter lots of well-meaning young women berating their Mums for not wearing a better bra and I'm afraid it just won't bring about change. I always suggest that you start with baby steps and build up to a bra fitting with confidence first. It can take years to give someone the confidence to address their bra size so don't get disheartened but instead be part of that woman's journey. Give her the tools to believe she is worth supporting, mentally and physically and let her know that when she's ready to get her bust into a bra that's worthy of her, you'll be there.
Related Articles: These two personal stories of finding the courage to face bra fitting would be good recommendations for someone nervous about trying new bras. Layla's Story and Claudia's Story
I know it can be agonizing to see someone wearing a bra that is obviously painful and unflattering but I also know that you can't make someone prioritize their bra fit (and it's not your responsibility to get other women into the right bra). It's very important we don't segregate women into 'women in the right bras' and 'women wearing the wrong bras' or even more starkly put 'right women' and 'wrong women'. Great bra fit is for everyone we're all just at different stages of our bra journey. The women you know wearing the wrong bras are fortunate that they have you in their lives for when they're ready to take the next step in their bra journey xx