Just to throw the stereotype out there: what girl wasn’t obsessed with Victoria’s Secret at one point in their life? Their sticky lip-glosses and the cheeky sayings on their PINK underwear are very vivid memories from my middle school years. I wasn’t a 38D-wearing woman back then. I was at most a B-cup, but was still more developed than most of the girls in my grade.
I was cursed (or blessed, whichever you like to believe) with early puberty. Mostly just in my chest. I grew to become severely insecure with my body, especially when girls (and boys) would tell me that my boobs were too big. And as a girl whose mother is an A-cup and has never been interested in Victoria’s Secret, I had no idea what kind of bra I needed. Ever.
I was an athlete since I was six years old, so sports bras were the first thing I came across. No one decided to tell me that those give you the godforsaken uniboob. I went through every type of bra you could find in the PINK section. Push up, lightly lined, strapless, you name it. Nothing fit me well and I absolutely hated my body. I finally got my size checked by a woman in the fitting room when I was in high school and found out I was a D-cup when I had been wearing a 34B all along.
My world changed… briefly. I spent over an hour trying on the different styles of bras in my correct size and bought as many as I could afford, but bras are expensive. Did you know that D-cups are even more expensive than A-, B-, or C-cups? I soon discovered that the straps on the bras started to give out, even after taking good care of them. The wires began to rip through the seams and poke me. These $45 bras were falling apart after only a couple months. (Technically you should buy new bras after eight months, but nobody has money for that). Even just a few weeks ago, my friends and I tried to buy the Victoria’s Secret sports bras, and my size was over $20 more than my friend’s B-cup bra.
When I was younger, I loved watching the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. It’s basically a young girl’s Super Bowl. As time went on, I realized I liked watching the musical guests with more realistic body shapes rocking the runway than the “flawless” models. As a woman who has contemplated a breast reduction multiple times in life (my back problems are not helped by the literal weight on my shoulders), it’s so sad to see how women with larger breasts are never in this coveted fashion show. Vogue didn’t help matters by declaring cleavage “over.” Claiming someone’s body type is no longer fashionable is no way to inspire girls to be themselves. It’s hard to love yourself when the world is basically telling you that you aren’t beautiful.
As someone who has overcome a long road of negative body image and self-confidence, it hurts to see these very influential companies still completely ignoring or degrading this type of woman. To the young girl who recently cried over her body, please know that you are beautiful. Don’t listen to corporations and the people who make rude comments. Your looks are only a small part of who you are – who you will become is so much more important.