Bras, Bras, Bras

As Dolly Parton once said, ‘I was the first woman to burn my bra – it took the fire department four days to put it out.’

Even though many gals long ago ditched their bras a recent  British study found that the average woman spends $4,000 on these necessary evils in her lifetime. She owns about 16 at any given time and tops up her collection with four purchases each year.

Apparently we all have enough bras to go at least two weeks without doing laundry.

According to a lingerie expert every woman’s ‘bra wardrobe’ should include three essentials – the everyday bra; the sports bra and the strapless bra.

There are bras with nipples on the outside to poke through tee-shirts. Water bras with gold fish swimming around in them and ones that can hold a bowl of rice and come with chop sticks.

If you are feeling extravagant or hanging with Miranda Kerr when she is cleaning out her closet there is the  A $1.35 million bra made of 2500 diamonds or the ‘Golden Bra,’ a steal at just US$1.9 Million.

There are even bras for men which are called ‘bros’ or ‘boob holsters.’

Millions of women around the world meanwhile do not own a single bra. Not through choice but simply because they cannot afford one or have no way of buying one.

Since 2005 the amazing UPLIFT PROJECT has sent 750,000 bras wherever women have requested them. They have winged their way to across the world to areas as diverse as the South Pacific, outback Australia, Kashmir and remote Pakistan.

Often the bra received through Uplift will be the only bra that woman owns.

Why do they even need one you may ask? Uplift explains:

“Women appreciate the common dignity of a bra for business or social occasions. Bras control breast swing when women bend to garden or cook at ground level. In humid climates rashes, fungal infections and abscesses occur between the breast and the chest wall. Bras help by allowing air circulation. Nursing mums everywhere leak, and bras allow the dignity of a dry shirt, and the comfort of support. A thrush rash on a mother’s skin may spread to her baby’s mouth, and then back into the breast itself. A mastectomy bra offers privacy about the problem.”

Swimwear is also needed. It keeps you warm while fishing or diving for cash crops. Diapers and new panties are also in great demand.

Mastectomy bras and prostheses are like gold.

So I have been collecting cast-offs from all my girlfriends. Many of them didn’t have a clue how many unworn bras were lurking at the bottom of drawers and the back of closets.

Local thrift stores have been saving their best ones for me. All are in excellent condition, many new. Top designers. Some are gigantic – and that’s great. I read how a Botswana lady – size 50H – recently received a perfect fit from an Australian sister.

I wonder how many bras Dolly Parton owns? Surely enough to outfit the rest of Botswana.





3 thoughts on “Bras, Bras, Bras

  1. And to think I didn’t wear a bra until I was pregnant at 34. How did I manage? I understand that the slightly heavier breasted might find relief in uplift but do we need to make everyone, everywhere, regardless of age, shape, condition and culture, feel they need a bra? In some parts of the world I believe they are primarily a status symbol. In England most women wear the wrong size bra which pulls on their shoulders, restrict their ribs, causes rub and chafe, and requires constant picking at in order to stop it either biting or riding up. These bras do nothing to support let alone enhance a woman’s figure. And young women, regressively, buy cheap badly-made bras, churned out in China and Cambodia which have little to do with their natural shape as they nearly all padded (and we thought that had all ceased! ). The truth is that most women cannot afford a proper, trained measuring service and a single bra, let alone 16, which fits, is comfortable and flattering. Rigby and Pellor, bra makers to the Queen (oh yes), know about bras alright and theirs start at about £60. I know, I bought 3 in my time, and they are amazing, beautifully made, and perfect (they don’t even need to measure, they just look at you!). They assert you should rinse them daily, dry them naturally and replace them every three to six months….takes a rich woman to accumulate 16 of those in mint condition. I dont think these treasures will find their way to the Botswana, and if they do, they arent worth wearing any more!


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