Monday, June 16, 2008

Devil's Spawn

The makers of bras are shepherds of the devil. There is no other way to describe them. Part of my nightly routine:

"Mama, can you unfasten my bra?" (Because I'm sitting at the computer and don't want to take off my shirt yet).

She patiently unhooks it. She surveys the permanent bruises on my shoulders and back and rubs them a little bit.

"Mama, can you scratch my side?"*

As she scratches very gently, she explains to me why she won't dig in like I want her to. The itching is from the bra irritating me and she doesn't want to make the red areas worse.

I agree, wait for her to go in her room, and attack my itchy skin with the stiff-bristled hairbrush I keep just for this purpose.

I am simultaneously tired of bras and unable to go without them. I have been fitted and am confident I am wearing the correct size--they fit comfortably in the morning.

But after all day, Lord!

I had a nurse tell me once to put a little vaseline on under my breasts and on my sides and shoulders, but then my bras were all stained.

Am I really going to have to go the rest of my life (if I don't have a reduction) hurting and itching at the end of each day?

*I'm a nailbiter and stopped wearing fake nails this past spring because I'd been wearing them for a few years and my mother kept making dire predictions about the state of my real nails. I will not be walking around all hang-nailed and chewed-to-the-quick in the fall, though. Sorry, Mama!


Anonymous said...

Switch to cholis, perhaps? FatChanceBellyDance ( offers some that are quite comfy and, of course, one can find cholis in any Indian clothing shop.

Anonymous said...

yikes, oww. sorry elle.
maybe you can live with the vaseline stains if it helps it not hurt? or maybe even better, there is some kind that vaseline won't stain? like maybe lycra?

RageyOne said...

I agree, the inventor of the brassiere is an evil person. Some days, I just wish I go without one.

The History Enthusiast said...

My mom has this same problem. She solves it by just taking hers off as soon as she gets home from work, and then if someone knocks on the door or something, she makes my dad answer it so no one sees her flopping around :). That is not a perfect solution though.

I have a problem with itchy skin on my legs, and I really like Aveeno lotions. I use the intensive overnight cream.

k8 said...

The Aveeno lotions are great for skin irritation. When I have bad skin irritation issues (I have hyper-sensitive skin, as in, I recently had to deal with irritation from band-aid adhesive), I've used the Aveeno concentrated lotion with calamine. Of course, there's the smell of calamine to deal with. There's also an overnight anti-itch lotion.

History Enthusiast's idea of taking the bra off when you get home sounds like a good idea. If you don't want to go completely without support, maybe you can find some tank tops or camis with shelf bras in them or even a swim suit top.

Melissa McEwan said...

The makers of bras are shepherds of the devil.

LOL! That's so my Quote of the Day.

I do what The History Enthusiast's mom does -- if I've got to wear a bra for some reason (e.g. work), I take it off the moment I get home.

I've also coupled that with a resolute lack of shame about jiggling in front of other people. If they don't like it, I figure it's their problem. ;-)

elle said...

the jiggle! the jiggle!

I really don't care anymore either (at home); haven't quite got up the nerve in public.

Liss, I saw on your site where you don't wear pantyhose--I gave those up, too!!

k8 said...

Pantyhose is way beyond evil! It makes Satan look lovable. I especially love the color "suntan" that makes a pale person like myself look like she has yellow/orange legs. It is a restrictive, snag-happy mess. I always hated wearing it on hot days, but my grandmother would have had a heart attack if 1)I didn't wear a dress or skirt, and 2)I didn't wear hose with it.

For some reason, though, I do like tights in cold weather. They've never felt as restrictive.

I also wish that women's pants were sized like men's - by waist and leg measurements.

Professor Tracey said...

I love this post!!!! Awesome!!! I am a life-long nail-biter, no fake nails for me, I'm scared I'd bite those too. LOL! Sigh!!!!!

eatmoregranola said...

Ugh, I have the exact same problem with bras, and I've been fitted, too. I second the recommendation about finding shirts that offer some support that you could maybe wear on weekends, at least in the summer.

elle said...

k8, I wrote a post about pantyhose last year that pretty much echoes what you said!

elle said...

from my friend Sarah, who comments via e-mail:

Read your recent blog on bra woes. My OB/GYN suggested I use Monistat's antichafing gel. It goes on clear and forms a powder like barrier without getting all gunky like powder can when you sweat. You can find it in the store by all the other Monistat products and such. My problem isn't so much the sides but under the actual breasts. I finally found some bras (Glamorise Magic Lift) I like and that actually support me like they are supposed to instead of just being a sling that keeps them from flopping to far up and down. They are comfortable for most of the day. They have wide shoulder straps that sit comfortably. I also found an online site called The bras are custom built to fit you based on your needs. For $10 bucks they will send you a fit kit, that contains three different cup sizes based on what you currently wear. You decide which cup size works best according to their instructions, fill in a form about your current size and then place an order. The basic bras cost $42 not much more than you pay for the larger sizes in the store. It took a while to get used to the fit because I had worn the wrong fit for so many years, I didn't know what a good bra was supposed to feel like. I am slowly getting rid of my old bras as I get ones that actually fit properly.

Zan said...

Mine come off as soon as I get home. I hate the damned things. Grrr. And pantyhose? Proof that evil is not just a four letter word. Grrrr!! Who the hell wears pantyhose in Louisiana during the summer? Masochists, that's who.

I want a bra that fits and doesn't make me crazy. I really really do. And you'd think a 46DD wouldn't be THAT hard to find...ha! I don't want to spend more money on the bra than I did for the entire outfit! No!!

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