My sisters Donna (left) and Deanna playing dress-up in Mom’s bras.

Some of you have written about how, as little girls, you didn’t want your breasts to grow as large as your mothers’. For my part, I didn’t want mine to grow as large as my sister Deanna’s.  So of course I surpassed her.

Eight years ahead of me in age, Deanna was like a warning of things to come.  Fortunately, by the time I caught up to her experiences, she had already given me the tools I needed to deal with them.  My mom took me shopping for my very first bra, but Deanna took me shopping for the bra that gave me confidence.

The summer between my sophomore and junior year of high school, she drove me across Central Florida to a lingerie store near South Orange Blossom Trail.  There, Kay Cotner, the store’s seasoned owner, scooped and pressed me into my first Cameo* bra.  By the time she finished, my breasts weren’t going anywhere.

Cameo bras don’t have underwires, but they are more serious than any underwire I’ve ever worn:  four hooks in back, absolutely no elasticity in the cups, a special internal band for support, and clips like a nursing bra so that you can make sure your breasts are properly positioned each and every time you wear one.

The bra that got me through my 20’s.


My “sports” bra because
Kay said it was
even more supportive.
Can you now understand my
aversion to seamed bras?

Thanks to these bras–especially the seamless minimizer version–I fit into shirts and dresses with just a few minor safety pin adjustments and, more importantly, I walked without fear of bouncing.  I felt secure.  I could stand tall and concentrate on other things.

Eventually, my back outgrew the band sizes available in the seamless cup, and I discovered and wore Wacoal bras until this blog opened up a new world of beautiful and supportive options for me.  I found one of my Cameo bras in a drawer the other day and measured the band: 27 inches.  So many women are frustrated at the lack of bras in a 28 band or less, but thanks to Deanna, I never had that problem.  Yes, I had a problem with hideously ugly bras, but not with fit.

I’ll probably never throw out my old Cameo bras–partly because I’m in denial that I’ll never get back to the size I was in my twenties, but also because they remind me of my sister and some of the lessons she’s taught me with her life.  I’ve run out of time to share them today.  However, Sister’s Day is coming up the first Sunday in August (who knew?).  Maybe I’ll share them then!

Now that Mother’s Day is past, did last week remind you of other women who have influenced you to accept and care for your large-breasted figure?

*Cameo bras are made by the Jeunique company, from whose website I borrowed the bra pictures above. Jeunique has several different bra brands that are difficult to keep straight. The label in my old “Cameo” actually says “Colesce Couture”.  If you’re serious about support, it would be worthwhile to look into Jeunique. Keep in mind that they have a sizing system that is entirely separate from what you will find in department stores.  I wore a size 30ii at one point. I have no idea what size that translates to in other brands.

May 7, 2012: I have learned from a lingerie store owner that the company that purchased Jeunique after its founder died has decided not to continue producing Jeunique bras. There is a Canadian company who seems to be gradually filling the void left by Jeunique.

February 9, 2016: Cameo lives again! Here’s a great write-up about this bra style on ABTF.