Vancouver
2 min

Talking Tits

Support for the boobalicious

By the Grade 7 dance, I had gazongas like Suzanne Somers in Three’s Company and not a clue what to do with them.

The Judy Blume training bra concept was lost on me, a remnant of a bygone Grade 5-ish era. It’s been downhill ever since. I lived in fear of tight sweaters, jogging and bending over. No sympathy from my A, B and C cup comrades either, even though we’re all unfairly judged. I’ve been unwittingly cramming a three-ring circus into a one-ring tent —neither comfortable nor audience friendly.

Last week, I found myself in the specialty bra shop that would change my life. It just sort of happened. One minute I was browsing, the next minute, a busty young woman in form-fitting yoga wear was pointing to my chest and shaking her head.

“Wrong, wrong, wrong,” she said.

Before I had a chance to get defensive, she added, “Trust me. I can help.”

Next thing I knew, she was hugging me with her tape measure and cupping my breasts in her hand. “You’re wearing the wrong size,” she stated.

As she went hunting for alternatives, I realized I’d never considered special sizes.

She came back with lacey abundance. I was expecting matronly, utilitarian nudes but she had options: colours, styles and functions. They seemed too sexy to actually fit.

“Here’s your size,” she said. But what she really said was that it’s okay to be exactly who I am. I thought I’d covered that territory when I realized I was a dyke. I felt welcomed by the queers of this community and this interaction was different —but it was also the same.

“We are what we are, right? Some of us are curvier than others and that doesn’t mean we don’t deserve super cute negligĂ©es.”

She was right. Everyone has something. And most people have things that are far weightier than mine. Yet here was a woman who shared my thing. It felt like coming home to apple pie.

I wish I’d met someone like her when I was 12 and trying to feel okay about the one-size-fits-all sports bra. Maybe I wasn’t ready to join the ranks before. Maybe I was shy about being so open and public about my physical needs.

Until last week, I cowered at bra shopping. I thought of it as something that should be kept private and done with minimal enthusiasm. I never complained; I thought it was a luxury problem, especially in comparison to folks schlepping around much larger issues than over-boobage.

It shouldn’t be too much to ask to feel comfortable in one’s own skin, and it’s great when someone lends a hand to get us there.

I’ve never felt so supported. Literally.