Tuesday, January 06, 2009

A Further Disgrace to my Gender

Victoria's Secret is having its semi-annual sale, right across the mall from the Apple store where Girlfriend and I had to see a genius over another manuscript which went missing but retained the title. (We are creative in our screw-ups.)

Genius-John was at Macworld. Substitute-Genius couldn't find it. It is somewhere in the bowels of Girlfriend but is not revealing itself to me.

I buy lingerie like a guy would if guys bought lingerie. I hate to try on bras so I wear the same style in various colors until they stop making it. That way, I can just grab a handful and head right for the cashier.

These days my choices are limited. Nearly every bra available is padded so that we (presumably) have an entire population of women sporting huge bazongas which, however, are not made of flesh but of fiberfill or down or whatever they use. Some of them could easily double for life rafts.

Even the many women who have had implants are apparently wearing lined bras. "Lined" is the euphemism for "padded." When I was a teen, they were called "falsies." We've come a long way, baby.

I guess people who date take for granted that what they see is not usually what they will get.

Proportion seems to be missing from the aesthetic. I weigh about 100 pounds and am small-boned. If I had bigger mammaries than I do, I would have to walk on all-fours. Perhaps I would be pushing a wheelbarrow to support them.

Even the supermodels, who are all within an inch of their lives anorexic, have huge boobs. Are we really supposed to believe that women without an ounce of fat on them anywhere are somehow capable of growing those enormous chest mountains?

And why is it so important to create this illusion?

Of course I get that breasts are sexy. Ask any milk-sotted baby. What I don't understand is why women want breasts to be their first line of defense, the part everyone sees the second they enter a room.

I like mine. I do. I am also fond of my arms and legs and all the parts that together make up my physical body. But I prefer that people see my face first because that is the playing field of my emotions while my breasts register very little other than "we're cold." They are one-trick ponies.

Somewhere in outer space, extraterrestrials have nicknamed our planet "Land of Great-Uddered Beings." And they're laughing.

You would think that the one unpadded bra Victoria's Secret makes would be on sale since it is clearly unpopular, but in their infinite wisdom, it is not.

I bought flannel pajama bottoms instead.


Bob said...


that fact that most women get bigger tits "to feel better about themselves" says a lot about how superficial our society has become. it is especially discouraging that the number of teens getting them is growing every year.

of course you have to excuse models and actresses because fake boobs are a job prerequisite. it isn't necessarily unrelated that the majority of models and actresses are hired by men. no sir, not related at all.

I understand men can get pec implants now, too.

so maybe we're just a mammary-infatuated planet.

The CEO said...

I'll just bet that you also read books, can't find anything on TV to watch, vote in elections regularly, and look people in the eye when you talk to them. Somewhere, sometime, you were taught that his was how a grown-up acted. Be very careful who you let in on this. I hear there are excellent museums in San Francisco. Particularly that reading thing, and please, don't let 'em see you write in script with a pen, no, no, no.

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

I have a friend who, about 12 or so years ago when she was working as an exotic dancer, obtained surgically enhanced bazongas. She is 5’1” tall, weighs about 100 lbs, and her bosom is a 34 DD. She can find no bras to fit her, even at Victoria's Secret.

Once she said to me, “I don’t know why people (both sexes) stare at them. Don’t they know that they aren’t real?”

the walking man said...

"I can just grab a handful and head right for the cashier"

This action is illegal and insensitive and the reason men don't buy lingerie on the open market.

My wife used to say that she wanted to get bags placed in her boobs, personally I always thought her "pals" were perfect. Now that she is a wee bit older than a teenager I think she is liking the lack of sag. No smart ass will ever be able to accuse her of carrying around her own soccer equipment.

BUT on another note thank you for your PC problems Hearts...you and you alone inspired me to take the plunge and buy a separate hard drive on which everything is backed up. Thank You. Funny thing was it only cost as much as a high end bra and holds much more than underwear ever could.

nick said...

Interesting that all the comments so far are male!

As far as I know, padded bras are not yet the norm in the UK, this seems to be a US fad. Why breasts have to be bigger I can't fathom. Men tend to say they're happy with a woman as she is and breast-size doesn't matter - though their behaviour suggests quite the opposite.

I would have thought women would want to minimise them rather than enlarge them, seeing as they so often grab men's attention and impede any normal, intelligent conversation. Why make men even more breast-obsessed than they already are?

Anonymous said...

This is one of the best posts I have ever read. Pure gold, Ms HinSF. I wish every fifteen year old girl would read this post, and allow themselves the great justice of the wisdom here.

This, my friend, is beautifully stated, "I prefer that people see my face first because that is the playing field of my emotions while my breasts register very little other than 'we're cold.' They are one-trick ponies." If only we (not only those fifteen year old girls but all of us really) could feel confident in our faces, in what we have to say, what we have to give to the world.

Thank you for this wonderful piece.

Em said...

Well I'm gonna take a totally different approach than your other comments. Yes, it is sad that our society puts so much emphasis on a body part that we gladly accept fake over real. And sad that we equate quantity with quality. And sad that your face and eyes and smile aren't the first thing we all look at. I agree with all that.

But I also gotta say...I much prefer the flannel jammie bottoms to the padded bras. So very nice and snuggly. :)

furiousBall said...

i know a few women that have had boob jobs and then you hear the phrase that kills you... "this is the best thing i've ever done for myself"

really? better than having kids, better than graduating from wherever? better than ... that's it?

Glamourpuss said...

We're catching up with the American worship of the breast but it's still hard to find padded bras for anything over a C cup. I have to say, I usually but my bras in the US, simply because they seem to make more comfortable bras for women with big tits. I don't get fake ones - they look weird - and I don't get that size is everything - for me, it's all about shape and as you say, proportion.


Say It said...

smart move. I buy bra's online, they usually don't fit, but I hate going in and trying on stuff. So, there it is.

LittlePea said...

I hate bras. I hate wearing them, I hate buying them, I hate them, hate them, hate them. But unles I want to walk around with breasts that say hello to everyone, they are an unfortunate nesessity. And I don't even have all that much. I know someone who got fake boobs just so she wouldn't ever have to wear a bra again and told her doctor specifically to shape them that way. It sounds really strange but just because of my loathe of bras , I almost understood.....

And can someone please explain to me when they started inventing bras that look like they are design for 11 yeard olds. Polkadots and day-glo pink, yuk. I want to look a an adult please, not a prepubesent with boobs.

Voyager said...

I buy the "lined bras" (lightly lined, not the thick padded push up kind) so that my one trick ponies perform their tricks privately. I am on view in my job, and the last thing I need is for the whole room to see my headlights go on when I get chilly!

Anonymous said...

Personally, as a younger woman I wished I had bigger breasts. It seems like every message I encountered told me that was the only way to be okay. But now that I'm in my 40's and they are still right where they are supposed to be, I'm really glad I don't!

heartinsanfrancisco said...


When men start getting pec implants (and wearing padded bras,) Victoria will really have a secret, won't she?


There are indeed excellent museums in SF -- I especially like the Asian Art Museum. And I try never to read in public because I don't want to raise eyebrows.

St. Nick,

I am also 5'1" and weigh 100 lbs; I think double D's would give a person that size terrible back aches.

How can your friend not know why people stare at them when that was her intention? No offense, but I'm not buying her bewilderment.


When I wrote that line, I wondered who would pick up on it. :)

You never disappoint.

Congratulations on your external hard drive! They say a wise man learns from the mistakes of others.


Perhaps not all women crave intelligent conversation.

One of my college boyfriends told me that a woman's breasts should fit in a champagne glass (which he had read somewhere.) I was impressed that he might have actually had champagne.


When I was fifteen, I felt inadequate because the Marilyn Monroe/Jayne Mansfield look was in.

We would have a healthier society if young girls were encouraged to perceive themselves as more than sexual playthings.


Yes, the jammies are soft and snuggly. As for equating quantity with quality, we have s supersized mentality so it shouldn't surprise me -- I'm just shocked at the extent of it.


I've heard women say that, too, and I really wonder about them. It seems that such a sentiment comes from a shallow, empty life that is desperately seeking meaning in all the wrong places.

I guess implants could come in handy after a shipwreck, though, and keep their owner afloat until help comes (or hypothermia sets in.)


Exactly. Shape and proportion. I cannot fathom why they make C-cups with padding. That's just greedy.

Say It,

Oh, thank you! I thought I was the only woman on earth who hates trying them on in dressing rooms with unflattering light.

Sweet Pea,

I think you're describing the Porn Star lingerie that seems so popular, Day-Glo colors and "little girl" details. It's like the manufacturers are going "wink wink" so why don't they just write "Pedophiles, LOOK!!" on them?

I also fail to grasp why grown women want to resemble prepubescent nymphets and can only assume it's because so many men would really like to do children w/o the jail time. Which is disgusting.


I hear you. I cringe when people make jokes about headlights when there is no car in the vicinity.


It's so reassuring when our body parts stay where they belong, isn't it?

Ian Lidster said...

You were talking about breasts and I like a woman who can talk about breasts.

But seriously, some interesting observations on a fetishistic society.

I am very old fashioned, by the way, and cherish the real thing always, regardless of size and shape.

Terra Shield said...

I buy bras the same way you do. Unfortunately they always run out of the design in a year.

Jocelyn said...

Bwaahahahaha about breasts being a one-trick pony. I'd argue, though, that they have at least two emotions: they perk up when cold, but they can cry a little when a woman is nursing.

The whole padded thing irks me, too. I don't need MORE; I need my LOTS hefted up, that's all. I need the Scaffolding Bra.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Of course you do.

And yeah, I don't quite see the point, so to speak, if they're not real. I'm not judging the many who disagree, though.

I just wish the manufacturers of shoulder holsters, as my grandfather called them, would take into consideration that not all of us want to resemble figureheads on ships.


I know. And then the whole process begins all over again with a new favorite style. I'm just worried that they'll discontinue unpadded ones completely or relegate them to historical museums.

Thank you for your visit to these shores!


They do, don't they? (It's been awhile since mine served in that capacity.)

"Scaffolding" made me laugh heartily. Perhaps Victoria's Private Parts or La Perla could come up with a nouveau Iron Maiden, covered in lace, of course, with velvet ribbons at all the perforations. Just remember you heard it here first, folks.

meggie said...

I once knew a young man who had a chin implant. I could see why he wanted it- no one wants to be a chinless wonder! As for implants for gosh sakes, as my mother once said, "They ought to be glad they have little!" Of course, she had quite a large pair for a small person, so I told her it was easy for her to say.
I so agree about buying bras, it is one of my pet hates.

blooming desertpea said...

Haven't been here for a while but every time I do, I come to the same conclusion: Your posts are brilliant and witty, like this one. And when I leave, I leave with a smile and think: so true or I totally agree.

By the way, this post reminded me of an e-mail I recently got from a friend. I'll send it to you. If you haven't seen it already, I'm sure it'll make you smile, at least!

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Sometimes less really is more. More convenient, more comfortable, more shapely, even.

I once read that Marilyn Monroe had a chin implant and hence a star was born. They have also become commonplace now. So we are a race of big-busted strong-chinned people. What's next? I shudder to think of it.


So nice to see you here again. Please come back soon.

Thanks for the funny email. Love it!

Gayle's Joy In Life said...

As a naturally big breasted woman I have a heck of a time finding a bra without padding. And when shopping with my teen I have found there are absolutely no unpadded choices. It is ridiculous!

Thanks for the post, it captured my sentiments exactly.


seventh sister said...

I'm with Voygner on this one. I like keeping my pny tricks to myself. There is a wonderful discussion of bras here:

Pawlie Kokonuts said...

A well delineated diatribe deracinating bosomy excess and obsession.

On a limb with Claudia said...

I dislike Vicky Secret ... a lot... I go for uberexpensive, but on sale every August, Italian bras. sigh....

I think it's all an oddity. Having had large breast since I had them, I can't imagine every seeking them out.


heartinsanfrancisco said...


Your daughter and all her peers are being trained by the mostly idiots who set the styles into believing that more is better, even if it has to be faked.


I don't consider myself big-breasted, but my "C" cups don't need enhancing.


I try to stay out of drafts.

The link didn't work but I found the blog by keying in "Shakespeare's Sister blog;" couldn't find that post but enjoyed many others.


Deracinators R Us.


I know of your elegant lingerie tastes, which I share in theory if not in practice. I don't actually hate bras -- I just hate bra shopping.

But it's absurd when the makers of these things assume that ALL women want to be bigger. Some of us are perfectly happy with our allotted portions.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

Don't even get me started on this topic; I am steaming mad already.

Glad that you opened it up for discussion with everyone else, though.


Happy New Year, dear lady.

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

jameil1922 said...

i am in love w/their satin-lined pjs!! i never thought abt it but all those lined bras has GOT to be giving some woman a complex. and can someone tell me why vickie's thinks it needs to line a D!! that is ridiculous. i am not that blessed but if i was i would be rolling in the complaints! lol. chest mountains? HILARITY!!

velvet said...

Bra shopping, UGH! I hate it! I have a most meager endowment and they just don't make nice bras for my size (what, we're not "sexy" enough to want nice under-things?). It's an exercise in futility.

Fibbing bras and fake boobs... what's next, the return of cod pieces?

Anonymous said...

I, as a woman that has had a bilateral mastectomy, would like to say, please don't underestimate the importants of breasts.
Faces are wonderful and expressive, but the minute someone tells you that you are going to lose your breasts, they all of a sudden seem pretty important. Big or small, it doesn't matter, feel fortunate to have ones of your own.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


But you didn't say what you're steaming mad about.

Come on, don't be shy. Tell us how you really feel.


Exactly! Why would anyone with a D cup (or C) need padding? It's ridiculous, although I guess it makes for exhilarating mountain climbing excursions.


I first saw padded jock straps in a Greenwich Village store window many years ago, not that different from codpieces.

Nothing goes out of style forever.


I'm so sorry that happened to you. Both my mother and her mother had bilateral mastectomies so I have been concerned for myself and my daughters for many years.

You are so right that we should all be grateful when we (and our breasts) are healthy. I don't underestimate their importance at all - I think they are so wonderful that they do not need the padding which is so prevalent these days.

Thank you for your visit and your wise words.

comfortandjoy said...

Breasts are interesting.

Mine are large. Because of that my back often hurts.

But then again, men talk to them, allow them to walk to the front of the line, carry heavy things for them, and give them things for free.

Since my breasts cannot talk back, walk, hold heavy things or appreciate free stuff, I receive the fruit of their bounty.

For this I am grateful and understanding of women who feel the need to pad their way to the front of the line.


heartinsanfrancisco said...

CJ, you shameless hussy,

I'm glad it's worked out so well for you.

There are probably laws against exploiting your breasts and sending them out to work, but if enforced, half the women in the world would be behind bars. (Not St. Pauli Girl bars, the vertical metal kind.)

So could you get me some free stuff, too? I have a list.

Anonymous said...

I, for one, just want ONE, SINGLE, PERFECT, unpadded bra with push up powers God Herself would approve of. Why??! Oh WHY can't us gals with 'more than a handful' sized mammaries find a bra that will create the perfect cleavage???!

Enlighten me, please, if ANYONE knows of someone who carries them....bigger than a 38, please and thank you! ;)


Eastcoastdweller said...

Ah, men are just hapless slaves of evolutionary drives. Or at least that's our story and we're sticking to it.

But I am with Ian: Vastly prefer the real thing. Don't care about the size.

Speaking of VS, I am reminded of that lyric from Red Neck Woman:

"I can buy the same d%^* thing from a Walmart shelf half price and still look sexy ... I don't need no designer tag to make my man want me ..."

thailandchani said...

I buy from Walmart or Target. Luckily, I am so removed from this sort of thing that I can't imagine trying to be any different than exactly what I am.

Have you ever seen Beth Chapman on "Dog: The Bounty Hunter"? (No, I'm not a regular viewer - lol) There is no way on earth hers are real!


heartinsanfrancisco said...


The fact that you commented anonymously tells me that you are tired of men following you down the street on their hands and knees as they are wont to do with those endowed such as you.

I am not sure that God Herself could create the bra you describe, but then She has given us the great suspension bridges like the Golden Gate and the Brooklyn Bridge so all things are possible to she who has faith, and I would say to you, "Keep the faith, baby."

Thanks for your comment.


"Hapless slaves of evolutionary drives" has a certain ring which I like.

I am not familiar with "Red Neck Woman" as I am not especially into country music, but it sounds like an amusing song and the basic premise probably can't be argued with -- sexiness is not dependent upon trappings (up to a point,) so to speak.:)


Why would you want to be anything other than you? You'd be coming down in the world.

I've never seen that show, but most of the boobs on TV are not natural. And sadly, they set the standard.

comfortandjoy said...


I am, in fact, a shameless hussy.

I've been unmasked, or unhooked, I guess.

My free stuff is your free stuff.


heartinsanfrancisco said...

CJ, hereinafter referred to as SH (Shameless Hussy,)

Musicians are always putting out albums called So-and-So Unplugged. Yours can be SH Unhooked.

Does the free stuff include chocolate?