In Bra We Trust
Every once in a great while, I come across a cause that I think really deserves attention. Recycling, dolphins, Frankenfish, back acne...these are covered by people with greater influence and personal interest than I can muster. But I can certainly get passionate about things. And you know what has me spitting nails right now? They discontinued my bra.
At this point, gentleman readers, you may want flip over to ESPN.com or go make yourself a sandwich. This here's Woman Talk.
Ladies, I'm sure we've all been here before. We spend hours in the department store, trying on bra after bra after bra. And because it's no longer the 70s and because we are no longer 19 and perky, we MUST buy SOMETHING. So, we pony up more than we should for a bra that gets the job done--barely. And we live with it. That is our lot in life.
But every so often, the heavens open, the stars align, our horoscope promises that we will find what we are seeking, and on that day, we find The Bra. You know the one. It is exactly the right color, and it feels good against the skin. It gives you lift and separation in a way you thought could only be bought from Dr. 90210. And, miraculously, it fits BOTH girls perfectly, in spite of the fact that they are clearly two completely different sizes.
You buy one in every color, go home, and for days afterward, see your tightest sweaters and skimpiest tank tops in a whole new way. You walk around the office feeling like a Victoria's Secret model, standing taller and straigher and with the confidence that comes from knowing You Are A Woman. Weeks, months go by, and you love your body again. And you wish you had found this sooner. You wish you'd known that all it took to look and feel this good is The Bra.
But then, one day, it happens.
You get up, get showered, get dressed. Huh. Something isn't right with The Bra. The elastic is loose, the girls are droopy, and you realize that it's time to make another trip to the lingerie section of Macy's and buy The Bra again. This will be a quick trip. You know your size, you know the brand, and you have your credit card in the holster. In and out, with time for a latte before you have to pick up the kids.
You march right up to the rack where you first discovered The Bra, but it isn't there. Did they move the racks around? No. Wait, did you find The Bra at Nordstrom? No. You were sure The Bra was made by Bali, but maybe it's by Playtex. Or Wacoal. Or Maidenform? No, no, no.
Because it just hit you. The Bra has been discontinued. Some stupid MAN (had to be a man) on the board of directors or in accounting or marketing has decided that The Bra is not bringing in an adequate return-on-investment and will therefore no longer be made. And when you call customer service to find out what they recommend you buy to replace The Bra, they give you three other model numbers, NONE of which is even remotely CLOSE to being The Bra. And you complain. And they don't care.
It's a tragedy, and it happens to women every day all around the world. And frankly, I wouldn't find it so irritating if retailers didn't continue to carry OTHER items for decades on end, often hideous, outrageously ugly and outdated items that have survived far past their fashion usefulness (banana clips for the hair, mom jeans, Christmas sweaters, turtlenecks with little flowers, anything Bedazzled or made of pleather...I could go on and on, but I won't). They don't seem to mind manufacturing and selling the same old unflattering outerwear, so why can't they keep making The Bra?
Ladies, I'm fed up, and I don't want to take it anymore, but I don't know what to do except cry, complain, and finish up the container of Chunky Monkey. What can one do? It's all been done before--PSAs, celebrity statements, sit-ins, rallies, bra burning....hmm. Maybe that's what made the bra makers so flippant about discontinuing designs in spite of who loves them. We burned bras in protest and in public. Obviously we didn't care about them THEN, so maybe they figure we don't care about them NOW.
Why, oh why, didn't we burn denim jumpers and Birkenstocks instead?