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Enlightenment and Lingerie

It is a terrible burden having breasts.

Let me amend that statement. It is a terrible burden having large breasts. Large breasts are an unfortunate yet undeniable reality of being a woman. They are something every preteen in a training bra longs for but an unwanted annoyance once they arrive. They’re like your period – highly anticipated until it arrives and suddenly ruins every semblance of normalcy you had worked so hard to achieve. Big breasts are the Kimmy Gibbler of embracing your femininity – annoying and unavoidable, and the more you try to suppress them or pretend they don’t exist, the more apparent they become.

Large breasts make every aspect of life more difficult through small yet highly irritating inconveniences. They invite unwanted attention, scrutiny and comments from people who don’t actually know you well enough to be commenting on the size/shape/overall aesthetic of your chest but who do so anyway. They become the center of outfit planning (“Is this shirt too low cut for a business meeting?”), dressing room visits (“I need a bigger size because it’s too tight in the chest”), and brunches with your girlfriends (“At least you have a woman’s cup size! I’m over here in a 32A like a preteen!”). They get in the way every time you go to the gym, despite your best efforts to buy an ultra-minimizing sports bra that won’t leave them bouncing like two sugared-up toddlers on a trampoline when you hit the treadmill. They collect crumbs when you eat a muffin while wearing a v-neck. They become the only thing your significant other ever wants to focus on, despite the numerous other alluring erogenous areas of your body. And, perhaps worst of all, they make shopping for undergarments a bitch.

At one point it became apparent to me that I needed to invest in some new bras, mainly because I realized I only had one that fit me properly without gaping weirdly under my armpits or digging into my under-boob area. Being a well-endowed woman, I’ve always been jealous of my small-chested sisters and friends who can pick up a cute polka-dotted, soft-as-a-baby’s-bottom cotton bra from the Target lingerie section during their weekly grocery shopping trip, throw it in the cart, and know that it will fit them more or less like a glove when they try it on in the comfort of their own home later.

I can’t do that. I must set aside a sizable chunk of my afternoon to undertake such a task. I can’t just meander through the Target bra aisles during a routine shopping trip, lest my frozen fruit thaw completely during my search for an under wire that won’t poke my ribs. No, I must scour the lingerie department for bras that actually come in my size. Then I must carry eight different styles to the fitting room and try not to act embarrassed when the fitting room attendant counts all the bras to make sure I’m not going steal them by walking out of the store with multiple bras on beneath my t-shirt or whatever. I have to try on that many different bras to make sure the straps won’t slice through my shoulders, the hooks won’t pinch my back fat, and the cups are big enough that my breasts aren’t spilling over the lacy fabric like bread dough rising out of a mixing bowl. But I’m sure the seventeen year-old 34AA fitting room employee doesn’t understand this, so I just fake a smile and proceed into the tiny, fluorescent-lit stall with eight bras and all that is left of my dignity. In short, bra shopping is something that rarely ends well for me, so it is something I try not to do very often.

Unless, of course, I am in desperate need of a well-fitting bra. Which, as I tried on a bunch of outfits after Christmas and noticed how saggy and unsupportive my once-cute bras had become, it turns out I was. So I gathered up all my self-confidence and strength and headed to one of my least favorite places on earth: Victoria’s Secret.

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