Posted in Writing Life

*Of Bras and Fruit Salad

You may remember my foray into a bra boutique last November. Having had some time to digest the experience and to wear the bra for which I paid a relative fortune, I’m thinking that there is a conspiracy afoot. I don’t believe that it is a conspiracy of elites who want to take over the world. I don’t even believe it is evil. I think it’s the ordinary sort of conspiracy to which we are subjected daily, especially as women.
Oprah even has shows about it–not exposing the conspiracy but happily complying with it.

It’s this: some experts tell women that they’ve been doing things all wrong. Generally these have been experts on child rearing, experts on fashion, and experts on diets. I suppose these are the areas that women are assumed to be most concerned about (or made to be, I suspect, in the case of things related to body shape, like fashion and diet). By changing their opinions every few years, making women anxious, and selling books and other products, these experts have made big piles of cash. So why shouldn’t bra sellers get into the act?

And so they have, telling women that they have been wearing the wrong size bras for years, making them look fat and sloppy, when they could look trim and sexy. It’s so very simple, just change the measuring criteria so that every woman is a size smaller around the ribs and a size or two bigger in the cup. Cleavage is back in fashion! And the right bra will push your boobies together and up to enhance it.

The bra for which I paid a fortune has been sitting in my drawer since November. I wore it one day. I have passed it along to someone dear whose size it really is.

Recently I went to Sears with my children, who were greatly amused and finally worn out by my trying on dozens of bras. I ended up with 3 moderately priced bras. They’re made by Olga, which my sister-in-law had told me were exceedingly comfortable. I’ve since tested out 2 of them, and I can attest to it. She did me a favour by telling me about them, so I am passing along the tip. My friends of the female persuasion, if you are a C cup or larger by any measurement, try them out. Awesome!

On the subject of awesome, fruits and vegetables are in season here in Ontario and we are feasting!

fruit salad made by A, binoculars for bird watching

And last, my children called me from the living room, yesterday evening, saying, “Mom! Come! It’s so beautiful.” And it was. Here it is.

Click to enlarge


Lilian is the author of Web of Angels, a novel about a mom with DID (multiple personalities). She's also the author of the historical novels, The River Midnight and The Singing Fire, about secrets, friendship and motherhood in 19th century Poland and London.

3 thoughts on “*Of Bras and Fruit Salad

  1. I find it particularly distressing that women are always being told they are doing things all wrong. This is NOT a ploy that gets used when it’s men in question. Where are the books telling dads they’ve been doing it all wrong? Nope, they get gently encouraged to do more, applauded and congratulated when they do more, and told that their policy of loving neglect was right all along. Where are the books telling them to get beer drinking under control? Or berating them for only listening to what reinforces their prejudices? We girls have got to stand up to the constant ticking off that takes place around our lives. Very glad to hear you are comfortably supported now!!

  2. Yep, totally agree with you and LL, Lilian. But I do think women are their own worst enemy with some of this stuff.

    The bra thing is incredible (although you did make me laugh). I hate bra shopping, and even just hunting down any sort of bra – any at all – that didn’t have an uncomfortable underwire proved a TOTAL mission the last time I was forced into the fray. I couldn’t believe the selection. There was one brand, one style. Everything else was a gussied up instrument of torture. I don’t care how frilly it is (in fact, I hate frills), those damned underwires pinch. Forget it. I’m not wearing them. I guess I have been fortunate to be very small-chested, though, so there’s not a lot to manage. I could practically wear a training bra. I think it helps in the comfort department. But those outrageously expensive bras? I can’t bear them. They don’t make me feel sexy, they make me feel sick.

  3. Litlove, yes–you are so right. It is a double standard and an unfair one. And we need some kind of women against so-called experts union.

    Di, yes we are our own worst enemies, but it’s hard to resist the tide of social pressure. I know at times I hear words come out of my mouth I can’t believe I’m saying because, though they are conventional “wisdom,” I don’t actually believe them, and then I have to catch myself and back pedal.

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