I haven’t shopped for bras in a long time, and a generic department store welcomed me with rows upon rows of them, hanging in all imaginable colors and designs. I went through an endless selection of ‘push ups’ and padded bras, all designed to make my chest bigger and stick out farther. The colors were bright and attractive to me, but why would I want layers of foam enhancing my natural curve, or ‘shelves’ pushing my breasts up? It looked completely uncomfortable, and felt rather odd to the touch. The selection was endless.
Eventually I found a little aisle that had a small un-padded selection. Checking for sizes my eye was drawn the tag, which shouted out in bold letters: Reduces size by 1.5”! I was dumbfounded. I realized I just couldn’t be alright the way I am! If I didn’t want to enlarge my breasts or push them up, I must want to reduce them…
Enhance or reduce, that is the question!
It seems that women can’t win. The main message these rows of merchandise were flashing at me, and all women, is that we need to hide what our bodies truly look like, and reshape it, so as to fool the eye of the beholder (men). A similar message was pushed on girls at the ‘training bra’ section. Aiming to get girls in the habit of disguising their natural body shape, the tags enticed them to make their bust look bigger (while everywhere else girls are looking the ads push slimness as the only desired shape). The one exception was that there were no Reduces size by 1.5”! models on offer here. All girls’ bras were heavily padded, insisting that they look like women before their time.
This is pure training in the art of deception!
Girls are offered only products that will enhance the size and shape of their young bodies. Women, on the other hand, are offered products that will either artificially enlarge their breasts, or put them in a straight jacket to make them appear smaller.
Like any other mask, such Breast Masks make sure that those looking at a girl or a woman’s body will receive the wrong impression. It also ensures disappointment on the observer’s part: when one is to look upon a woman’s bare breasts, the reality would be different than the marketed package. Either smaller or larger, there is going to be a clearly visible difference, which may well lead to a pronounced (or subtle) reaction. The message received by the beheld woman will be clear again: her body, her breasts, her natural form, are not good enough… And this, perhaps more than anything else, is what corporations want to imprint on women’s consciousness, starting at a very young age indeed.
Feeling not good enough will keep women in pain, which in turn will perpetuate their insatiable hunger for the next product to get them closer to the “ideal”; the next mask that will better hide their nature, or enhance it, to more effectively deceive their beholders.
I, for one, am not going to get my daughter anywhere near a department store for a “training bra.” What would it train her for??? Low self-esteem, dissatisfaction with her appearance, and the art of manipulation, designed to deceive herself and others regarding her body.
Instead, I tell her every day how beautiful she is!
© 2011 DeAnna L’am, All Rights Reserved