I’m Fat and I’m Fifty—How Dare I Go Shopping for a Sexy Bra!
We 50-plus fat women are left with cages for our boobs.
We 50-plus fat women are left with cages for our boobs.(Photo: Shruti Mathur/The Quint)

I’m Fat and I’m Fifty—How Dare I Go Shopping for a Sexy Bra!

For the last few days, I have been bra-hunting.

And when I say “hunting”, I’m dead serious. I want a 46B, and simply can’t find it anywhere. All the companies with fancy advertisements seem to have stopped making pretty, sexy bras beyond 38C. Enter the 40s in the size chart, and your choices become fewer and fewer till they totally vanish. I mean, I may be fat but I’m not so heavy on the top.

Any woman post 50 has no right to want to wear a sexy bra
Any woman post 50 has no right to want to wear a sexy bra
Courtesy: Tumblr

For the uninitiated, weight and cup size are not proportional – your bra size progressively increases with your weight since it’s the circumference of your chest. The cup size may not balloon so much. But no, the bra companies have decided that all fat women are DDs. A or B cups do not exist for us. If getting fat meant getting bigger boobs, trust me, we would all be whales. Bye-bye plastic surgery!

So what are we to wear?

Also Read : The Booby Trap: Bra Problems We All Face

50 is Officially Un-Sexy

Any woman post 50 has no right to want to wear a sexy bra. We are deemed old. Sexy bras are only for the svelte youngsters who might need push-ups (which come in levels, ladies and gentlemen, like categories of missile launchers). See - “Lace Embrace Level 1 Push Up Multiway Bra With Laser Cut Wings-Pearl and Black” or an “Explosive Lift Push Up Bra”.

No one thinks of us poor women with sagging boobs that brush our knees who really NEED that Level 3 push up Bomber Exploder Bra in PINK, but in a size 46B.

Gravity is cruel.
Gravity is cruel.
Picture Courtesy: someecrads.com

Women my age but enviably thin and pretty boobless, can still take recourse to these. I have a friend whose boobs start just below her chin but I don’t have the heart to tell her, “Darling, when I hugged you, it felt like hugging a bulletproof jacket.” Indian companies selling bras online, or in retail, have decided that if you are fat, you have no bloody right to wear a sexy, lacy, printed, neon-coloured demi-cup bra.

An old ad for then revolutionary Lycra bra.
An old ad for then revolutionary Lycra bra.
Courtesy: Tumblr

Not only this, they’ve decided that we need thick two-inch shoulder straps, full coverage that starts from your collarbones – a bra which can pass off as a blouse or armour, tight from neck to ribcage to hold in our mammaries. Then, they pre-decide on suitably demure colours – white, black and “nude”. They can’t imagine a fat woman with modest boobs that are not going to poke anyone in the eye.

Also Read : Why is it So Damn Difficult For Women to Find the ‘Right Bra’?

What’s In A Name?

A certain popular brand comes up with a formidable body-armour in the name of “spill-proof bras” with extra strong fabric, double-stitching, full coverage up to your armpits, in case of any bra above 40 inches. One would think that boobs are those highly volatile elements which have to be contained. Not unlike steel-reinforced petrol tankers that say HIGHLY INFLAMMABLE HANDLE WITH CAUTION.

On most online multi-brand shopping portals, even the names of the companies become shady as the bra size progresses. Sandhya, Soujamini, Ragini… ek shuddh bharatiya nari ke liye shuddh naam.

Smartly named brands are too posh for the likes of us. These desi bras are more at home on the local store table in a narrow lane in Indira Market. This is where you are sure to spot a beady-eyed, serious, very skinny bespectacled guy who will scan my cleavage in one piercing glance and say “Chhotu, ek 42B nikaalna!” ignoring my own feeble inputs about what size I think I am.

Also Read : An Open Letter from the ‘Sexy’ First-Night Bra to the Modern Bride

Comedy of Horrors

In Kolkata there will be determined saleswomen saying “Boudi, achhe. Ektu daraan, ami baar korchhi. Bhishon comfortable, stretch kore eta. Aapni opor diye try kore dekhun”. (Yes, we have it. Just a minute, look that this one. It’s very comfortable and stretchy. Why don’t you try it on your clothes?)

And then, in front of a tiny shaving mirror hung on a display rack, she will yank the bra around my ribcage, over my kurta, grunting and straining, and then crow triumphantly “Bah, eta thik-thik hochchhe”. (Excellent, what a perfect fit!)

Breathlessly I will stare at my reflection—white bra over my red kurta—and yell for them to remove it before I asphyxiate.

Why don’t you try it on your clothes?
Why don’t you try it on your clothes?
Courtesy: Tumblr

In the end, I am left with only ONE brand, with ONE category that fits me. Unfortunately, it is too expensive for repeat or regular purchase. Even this is a full-coverage chest plate, but at least it’s lacy.

So, what is my dream bra?

I ask for nothing more than a pretty lacy pink one, demi-cup, push-up, thin straps, and basically something that I can snap on without dislocating my shoulder.

But until that becomes a reality, we 50-plus fat women are left with cages for our boobs. We are fat, hence we have no right to wear a pretty bra.

(The author is a teacher and freelance writer. This is a personal blog and the views expressed are the author’s own. The Quint neither endorses nor is responsible for them.)

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