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The (Wo)Man In The Mirror


Written by Caisi Calandra

When you wake up and look in the mirror, what’s the first thing you see? For me, for a while, when I was younger, it was always the imperfections. The imperfections were the first thing I saw because they seemed so incorrect to me. Flat hips, chubby thighs, and chubby arms. Neck’s not small enough, and eyebrows need to be waxed. Chin is . . . well, we’ll just ignore that for now.

As I’ve grown older, waking up and getting ready has become less of “let’s pick apart everything” and more of “let’s wash your face and actually brush your teeth in 30 seconds so we can get to class on time.” The busier I got, the less time I had for negative thoughts in the morning.

Of course, they’d always come back when shopping, though. I come from a large-breasted family (as odd as that is to say because, y’know, you wouldn’t think about your family and breasts), so shopping for dresses and tops was nearly impossible. My mom wasn’t the most fashionable when it came to shopping, either. I know you’re probably thinking your own mom was probably worse, but believe me. I was drowning in a sea full of non-skinny jeans up until my freshman year of high school. It was a tragedy.

Any shirt looked boxy on me. And any dress I had was two sizes too big for me because of my breasts. I looked like I was trying to sneak a full course dinner into a movie theater. Some dresses were “it,” but most of them? Were NOT it.

Bras were a whole other story, and, for the most part, the main point of this article. Because I grew up with no fashion advice from my mom, my default bra shop was Victoria’s Secret because all the cool girls in middle school talked about Victoria’s Secret. You probably won’t believe this, but my first bra sizing at VS was probably the most traumatic experience of my life ever because my whole family was there. (This included my three sisters and my mom.)

I thought I was a B cup, but it turns out I was a D cup, verging on DD, in the seventh grade. Almost a DD. In the seventh grade.

One thing led to another, and I left VS with two new bras.

My only problem with VS now is that none of their bras fit me because they only size up to a DDD cup. Recently, I looked into the new models for the VS runway show this year because I was curious. I hadn’t shopped there in a while, and I had always felt a little connection with the store as the place I’d gotten my first push-up bra (a momentous moment for any teenage girl).

And what do I see but models who might only fit into a B cup. Nothing against B cups, really, but when I think about all the other bodies in this country, all different and just dying to fit into something comfortable and worth their penny — why can’t they be represented in one of the world’s biggest bra and lingerie stores? Why can’t there be bigger band sizes? Bigger cup sizes?

Honestly, what does the company have to lose for marketing toward a whole bunch more of women? That would pay? To have? Bras? That fit them? The logic seems to have escaped them, obviously.

And not just to market to women with different body types, but trans women, physically disabled women, and women with certain, visible diseases.

The question becomes, why not? Why not do all that you can to market your product to more women? Instead of looking at the runway lineup and seeing perfection, like I would’ve so long ago, all I see now is “same.” I see too much of the same. I don’t see myself, and unlike my younger self, I want to see her walking down the runway along some of the most diverse models.

That’s what my younger self deserved.


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