Can I just stop for a moment to talk about bras?
Because I am sick and tired of the fact that, accounting for supermarkets, fashion shops for young people, fashion shops for older people, dedicated lingerie shops and market stalls, there is a total of ONE place in my town that even stocks bras in my cup size.
I’m sick of wasting half an hour reaching into the back of every shelf of bras in a shop only to come away with nothing even close to fitting me. I’m sick of trying to avoid that by asking the sales staff what the largest size bra they sell is, only to find out that their assurance that they “have larger size bras” means “one bra we sell goes up to a DD” or that “we have a really broad range of sizes” means “we started selling an E cup bra a week ago.”. and that “I’m sure we’ll have your size” means “I didn’t even know H cups existed.”.
I’m sick and tired of the fact that, accounting for this, the section of the shop where they keep the bras which go up to my size - not that are my size, but which encompass my size as well as all the others - is 1/5th the size of the rest of the lingerie section.
I’m sick of the fact that, even in this section, half the ranges don’t go up to my cup size at all. I’m sick of the fact that, when they do offer a bra in my cup size, they put all the bras on one shelf, the knickers to match on the one below, and the bras in my size on the shelf with the knickers… behind the knickers, so I have to bend over and reach into the back to even see if they have my size in stock.
I’m sick of the fact that, of the bras available in my size, half of them are beige. I’m sick of the fact that half of them are plain t-shirt bras with awkward padding in the cups. I’m suck of the fact that none of the bridal lingerie - not the bustiers, not the corselettes, not even the basic bras - come even close to my size. I’m sick of the fact that, even though my size is always one of the first to sell out, they never get more of it in, so often even if a range includes my size, they’ll be out of stock.
I’m sick of the fact that those plain, beige t-shirt bras cost more than the pretty, fancy, lacy bras for smaller cup sizes. I’m sick of the fact that, when the one shop that sells my cup size has a sale, the ranges that even include my cup size don’t get reduced. I’m sick of the fact that when the ranges that include my size do get reduced, they get reduced by less than the smaller ranges which were already cheaper to begin with.
I’m sick of the fact that on the very rare occasions I find the magical unicorn that is:
- A bra in my size
- Not beige
- Physically comfortable to wear
- On sale
It still costs more than a smaller cup bra at full price.
I’m sick of not being able to go lingerie shopping with my friends, because shopping with me turns from a fun, giggly romp of everyone trying out new things, to a depressing slog while I watch them try on all the things I’m apparently not allowed to have.
I’m sick of having my only choice be to buy bras online, when those bras already cost twice as much as smaller size bras and now have postage costs on top, when I can’t try the bras on beforehand to see if they fit, and when returning them means waiting maybe over a week for the refund, during which time I still can’t pick up a new bra.
Oh. And I’m sick of other plus size women telling me that having large breasts means I have “shape privilege”, because large breasts are theoretically desirable.
Privilege is not about who wants to fuck you. It’s about social and legal barriers, both overt and subtle, that are only erected for some people.
Do I have bra-shopping size privilege over women larger than me? Sure! Some of them can’t even find bras in their back size in shops! But that has fuck all to do with the cup size I wear.