Monday, May 19, 2008

Bra-bbling about underwear

I say "grrrrrr" to anonymous writers, people who don't put their names on comments, letters or articles they post on the Internet.

If you've got something to say, by golly, then sign it. Take responsibility. Be proud of what you've written, so we know who to applaud or boo, depending on your stance and ours.

It's all there on the Net--somewhere -- politics, recipes, philosophy and, by the way, here's how my neighbor looks when he's half-dressed, half-smashed and half-witted.

And there are opinions on everything.

For instance, many aggrieved women have griped in print or online about that female-torture device known as a bra.

Fashion says there's no choice: We either strap ourselves into bindings to elevate our glands, sharpen their profiles and keep them steady, or we flip, flop and try not to catch our droop-boobs in the zippers of our jeans.

Bras are especially difficult after a certain age: As someone named Val wrote on a blog, "I used to wear a I wear a 36 long."

Some of the "bra-articles" surfaced first in newspapers or magazines, then migrated to the Internet, often because someone read the writing, liked it and wanted to share it with someone else.

For instance, Belinda Luscombe wrote an open letter, "Warren Buffet, Adjust My Bra," which ran in Time magazine Nov. 12 (,9171,1680142,00.html). Buffet owns underwear firms Fruit of the Loom and Vanity Fair (among many others), and Luscombe begged him to bring brassiere design into the 21st century.

I especially loved her tale of Herminie Cadolle, whom Luscombe said invented the bra strap about 120 years ago because "it made more sense for women's breasts to be suspended from above than cantilevered from beneath. So, instead of walking around wearing the lingerie equivalent of the London Bridge, women could slide themselves into a Golden Gate. This was a huge relief -- as anyone who has worn a strapless bra can tell you -- because the London Bridge pretty much always falls down."

Earlier that month, 52-year-old Lee Jackson of Auckland, New Zealand, responded online to the San Francisco Chronicle's "great bra debate" in the editorial pages.

Jackson said she wants to shoot the inventor who developed "an underwire to shove your boobs together for 'cleavage.'" If that inventor was a man, she said, he should have "paper clips wrapped around his testicles" and the clips "fastened to the waist of his BVDs with rubber bands."

Jackson wrote that she's tired of:
* "bras that fit wonderfully until I actually sit down, bend over, twist around or reach up for something";
* "so-called sports bras that make me wonder just what 'sport' they were designed for"; and
* "walking into a lingerie shop and having prepubescent, anorexic twigs advise me I might have better luck finding something that 'fits me' in the geriatric section of a department store."

Well done, Lee.

But we can't thank the woman who wrote of preparing for her high-school reunion with a quick diet and some fashion tricks ... none of which worked.

She battled with a slinky dress, body prep and makeup ("all-day, face-lifting, gravity-fighting moisturizer with wrinkle-filler spackle").

Then came a "black lace, tummy-tucking, cellulite-pushing, ham-hock-rounding" girdle and the matching "'lifting-those-bosoms-like-they're-filled-with-helium' bra."

The contortionist writer "pulled, stretched, tugged, hiked, folded, tucked, twisted, shimmied, hopped, pushed, wiggled, snapped, shook, caterpillar-crawled and kicked" her way into the girdle, then tackled the bra.

The saleslady had told her, "Put the bra on the way it should be worn -- straps over the shoulders. Then bend over and gently place both breasts inside the cups."

The writer groused that "the boobs weren't cooperating." After testing various techniques, she tried rocking back and forth to get her bosoms swinging. "Finally, on the fourth swing, pause and lift, I captured the gliding glands" and fastened the bra.

"Yes, Houston, we have lift up!"

She wrote, "My breasts were high, firm, and there was cleavage! I was happy ...until I tried to look down. I had a chin rest. And I couldn't see my feet."

She never did get to the reunion.

How I'd love to send her a fan letter, if I only knew who she was.

No comments: