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bear by san

March 2017



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the heartbreak of armpit fat.

I have just discovered the official silliest piece of fatphobia I have ever encountered in my born days.

Apparently, we are all now supposed to be terrified of exposing our unsightly armpit fat.

Based on my admittedly cursory internet research, and exemplified by the image above, I would worry about the health consequences for any woman concerned with armpit fat, because it would suggest that she is not doing her breast self-exam properly. What we see above, in the damning orange circles, is in fact part of the boob. And the problem is that Madam is not wearing a properly-fitting bra, as the one illustrated above is at least two cup sizes too small and one band size too large. The little metal bits (we call them 'underwires') are meant to lie flat against the ribcage, not sit halfway up Mount Doom like the track of a sidehill hoofer.

Why yes, I am supposed to be writing a novel. Why do you ask?

But the patriarchy is in my armpits. Some things just can't wait.


Yeah, and most don't acknowledge there are sizes above DD. (And that only for 36+ band sizes, sometimes.) They also have very standardized formula's that don't necessarily work for different body types. I had years of bra fitters telling me I was a 38C or D before someone finally handed me a 34F. The amount of shock I felt when I suddenly realized I didn't actually store fat in my armpits was kind of ridiculous.
The truism I heard for years, to determine band size, was "take the actual underbust measurement, and then add 4 inches". This is... not helpful.

And I feel you on the shock. I was wearing a (sprung-out, probably closer to 42, because I had learnt to hate bra shopping and put it off for months) 40D before I got a proper fitting and hit 38F. The difference it made was kind of stunning. (To me, I mean.)
I saw 'measure the band area, then add three inches' on a helpful chart in a store fitting room this summer.

Someone at the good bra store I now drive over an hour to shop at told me 3/4 of US women are wearing the wrong bra size. When I heard it I thought that couldn't be true, but now I believe it. If the people we're buying bras from don't actually have any idea of how they're supposed to work, the customers don't have a chance.