Last December, I asked:

If you passed a well-developed young teenager on the street who was obviously wearing the wrong bra, and a magical lingerie store owner suddenly appeared out of nowhere, tapped you on the shoulder and said, “You are to be this girl’s D+ Godmother. Write her a heartfelt letter of advice, and you could win an unlimited supply of all your favorite bras (with matching panties!) for the rest of your life,” what would you write?

Five of you responded with amazing letters that I’m posting this week (the Soaks and Bring It Ups are on their way).  As you read their heartfelt responses, you’ll understand why I wasn’t about to choose the three “best”.  Instead, the writers have agreed for me to make a small monetary donation to Support1000 on their behalf.  When I tell you more about Support1000 next week, you may want to make your own donation.

Dear D+ Young Woman,

The last thing you want right now is someone telling you all of the feel good cliche’s about embracing your body image and loving your curves. You’re in high school. Breasts bring unwanted attention, detract from your perceived intelligence, and make you stand out from your friends.  But let’s think about that for a minute.  Attention is just that, attention. You can make of it what you will – it’s how you react to people’s comments and perceptions about your breasts that decide how the girls will affect your relationships and confidence. Think about the other big chested women you’ve seen: from porn stars, to librarians hiding underneath thick sweaters, to Marilyn Monroe, or perhaps an older woman who hasn’t heard that a good bra can bring her boobs from her stomach to above her waist. Go ahead, laugh. You know it’s true.

The only difference between those women (besides age, race, childhoods, etc., but you get the picture) is how they approach their breasts.  The porn star uses hers to make a living. She might be confident or exploited, but her chest is her defining feature to herself and others. That librarian? She’s so desperate to be seen as intellectual that she hides herself from the world – and make no mistake about it, hiding behind baggy clothes in an attempt to disguise your breasts is to be ashamed. There’s no need for that.

Then look at Marilyn Monroe – she is still adored for her beauty decades after her death. Size 12 and a D cup. She is adored because of her perceived confidence, not her body, despite what people might tell you.  Think of all the other beauties and babes – what separates them from Marilyn? An iconic picture, a smile, and an appreciation of her own body.

And that woman whose boobs swing below her chest? That was my mom. While her predicament is entirely of her own choice (she refuses to try on bras – I’ve even brought them home to her), it has been one of my greatest motivators.  I like to think of a good bra as my retirement plan – a little painful to purchase now, but when I look good at 50 or 60 it will be all worth it.

Want instant gratification?  I always thought I had back and shoulder problems – went away within days of getting a properly fitted bra. Some women want cleavage while others want to minimize their breasts, and because of that manufacturers provide bras that do both. You won’t find them at the mall though – if only it were that easy. Bras for the D cup and above require more attention from the salespeople, and as such cost cutting stores – like Dillard’s, Macy’s, and Victoria’s Secret – won’t help you find the one that fits you best. While we’re on the subject of Victoria’s Secret: go ahead, buy the underwear, but realize that their world does not understand breast support. Take a good look at one of their advertisements, after having looked up how a bra should fit. Even with photoshop they can’t get it right. If you disagree, that’s fine, just test try an expensive bra from a lingerie store (no purchase necessary).

Remember what I said about a retirement plan? That costs money. Good bras for the curvy women do too. Not because they don’t like us or because they think they can take advantage of us (although feel free to think so), but because it takes more thought to create a supportive bra. Boobs are heavy – would you rather put your schoolbooks in a drawstring bag or a supportive and cushioned backpack? That’s what I thought.

This is getting long, and I know you’re tired of reading. Just go try on a bra from a lingerie store, after asking for the salesperson’s help.  Then go look online (there are a number of blogs which can tell you just about anything you wanted to know about finding bras, dressing your body, etc.).  I won’t promise everything will magically be better, but it will let you know what solutions others have found and that it’s okay to discuss them.

Your fairy bra mother

P.S.  I’m an unemployed 22 year old with 30E/30Fs – it can be done on a budget (eBay is your friend) and your friends won’t care if you say you love your boobs. They might even agree with you 😉