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Thoughts Related to the Nipple Project

February 29, 2008

In a previous post on the Nipple Project, I included the project leaders’ statement about the Victoria’s Secret IPEX bra, advertised as providing “maximum nipple coverage.” I have to say, the Secret seems obsessed with hiding the nips. I recently received a gift card to the store, and went in search of new bras. Now, I have, uh, a generous bosom, and finding bras that are sturdy, don’t dig in, and don’t look like psych ward restraints is no small challenge. Even more difficult, however, is finding a bra meeting those criteria, or even just one the right size, that doesn’t have padding – it’s damn near impossible. Personally, I’m not the least bit interested in adding more volume to my boobs, and I suspect many women at or above a C or D cup agree.

So I walk into the store, get measured, and clearly state, “I want a bra with no padding.” The sales vultures immediately launch into an educational presentation about why I should, in fact, want some padding, and the pitch focused on the dreaded visible nipple. “Look, I want as little padding as possible. I don’t need more boob.” And yet, they persisted. “Winter’s coming,” they said, “you’re going to want a little coverage.” If I cared about that, I probably wouldn’t have started out specifically asking to be steered to minimal addition. The experience was irritating enough (as are their salespeople generally) that I won’t likely go back unless I’m given another gift card (hey, I’m cheap, and free stuff is free stuff).

Why is the nipple so dreaded, anyway? We all have ’em. Sometimes they show a little. Big whoop. It’s only embarrassing if we agree that it is. I just want a bra to comfortably support what I have, and I refuse to buy into the idea that what I really need is just a little more breast but absolutely no nipple, ever. It’s my body, and it is what it is. Now make me a decent bra, just the way I want it.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. February 29, 2008 8:15 am

    Several thoughts. One, I think this is subject to trend (as with many preferences regarding womens’ bodies and which bits are unacceptable). I distinctly remember a website in the 90s that was dedicated to photos of the webmistresses feeling a bit cold in their office clothes “now that nips are back in.” It followed several episodes of Friends in which visibly erect nipples were prominent.

    Two, As a kind of mid-sized person, I usually have the opposite problem. I like skinny straps since I wear a lot of tank tops, but a lot of skinny-strap bras in my size assume that I’m buying such a bra for display purposes rather than daily wear, and only provide solid material up to just underneath my nipple. Which is then covered by something impractical and itchy, like cheap lace. I suppose that would hide the dreaded erect nipple, but then your shirt would be all bumpy with that awful lace.

    Three, I don’t trust Victoria’s Secret anyway… I’ve been in several trying to get re-measured, and they consistently size me as a B (which I fall out of on both ends). They are not a pro-bosom enterprise, I feel. Fortunately, there are some very serious shapewear stores in my city.

  2. February 29, 2008 8:49 am

    You know, I actually measured myself at home first, because I wanted to make sure we were in the same ballpark. I don’t know if there are good specialty shops in my city, but you can bet I’ll investigate that next time. Sometimes the compulsion to use a gift card overrides good judgment. 🙂 And, cheap lace is the worst. I sympathize.

  3. babysinblack permalink
    February 29, 2008 9:30 am

    Have you ever tried maternity (not nursing) bras? They’re incredibly supportive, and usually lean to the more comfortable side. And sometimes, they’re no more expensive than “regular” bras.

  4. February 29, 2008 9:33 am

    Babysinblack – I haven’t, but that’s a decent idea. Thanks.

  5. March 1, 2008 3:33 pm

    Thanks from me, too. I don’t know whether the lack of unpadded bras is a recent development, or something unique to Nashville. Rachel, I keep having very similar experiences to yours here, which I never used to have when I lived in NYC. But I may have moved just at the time when nipples became naughty instead of a normal part of women’s breasts. The worst is trying to find a bra to wear with a deep neckline. I mean, I don’t mind some lace peeking coyly out of my dress, but no one wants something thick like padding showing.


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