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2/24/13

An Open Letter to Gay Travis

Dear Gay Travis,

The other day you forwarded me a link to a Crowd Cut coupon for "Strapless Mango V Push-Up Bras in Black or Nude."
I understand that during the 30+ years that you have lived on this planet you probably have not given much thought to boobs beyond their original purpose of providing sustenance to infants or for use as a comfy pillow. And I am quite certain the topic of bras rarely comes up in your thoughts or conversations. So I feel like a super short boobie/bra education is in order for you to understand why I will not be purchasing this deal.

Bras come in what we call 'cup sizes' because bras are like two coffee cups that are held together by elastic straps that secure it to the body, or in the case of the above V-Push-up bra, are held together by a tiny clip and glued to the skin.

The cup sizes are labeled with letters of the alphabet starting with A because apple starts with A and boobs are kind of like apples. There is also AA which is smaller than A and AAA which is smaller yet. Then there is B and C which do not come in doubles and triples. Bra makers saw a future filled with ever increasing sized breasts so in fear of eventually running out of letters of the alphabet they moved to a system of doubling letters as the size increased. So after C we have D, DD and DDD followed by E, EE and EEE, followed by F, FF and FFF and so on and so on.

There is some confusion surrounding the different meanings of doubles and triples found in bra sizing since in all cases except for A, the doubles and triples indicate a move up in size. But the bra makers had good reason to allow the confusion to exist. Having already started with A, upon realizing they needed to create a smaller size, they had to make a decision about what to call that smaller size. They foresaw difficulties in marketing the obvious solution of creating a -A size since 'negative' could indicate a concave breast. They went with doubling and tripling the letter instead and it does not appear that bra industry has suffered because of it.

As the breast and cup size increase, the weight of each individual breast goes up accordingly. The bra's purpose is to hold boobs high and motionless and, in the process, be comfortable. The result becomes a necessary increase in the amount of supportive material such as strong elastics, polyesters and metal wires needed in bra design and production as the size climbs the alphabet.

Probably because there is no room for a yard of fabric and elastic in its design, this bra you sent me does not come in any cup size larger than a D. According to a Redbook magazine article with "fun bra facts", the average cup size in the United States is a C. Being a larger than average woman with larger than average size breasts makes it impossible for me to use this bra. In conversations with other women, even those with average or below average sized breasts, I have found that there is considerable doubt as to the ability of this type of bra to do its job well. Its potential for comfort has also been called into question.

There you have it. A brief, potentially incorrect education about boobs and bras.

If you happen to find a Crowd Cut deal for a bra like this please send it my way.




Love, Cami

P.S. There are also XXX bras - but the Xs have nothing to do with size.

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