Great Racks Available . . . Off the Rack

Caroline Burau
Caroline Burau

At a recent dinner party, I couldn’t help but notice that I was surrounded by women with lots of fabulous cleavage who weren’t afraid to show it off. Don’t judge me, now. You’re supposed to notice. That’s the whole point of cleavage. (I quote my husband, Jim, who said, “What? I didn’t dress her!”)

Bra manufacturers have taken notice of those of us who don’t have fabulous cleavage by providing an increasingly insane array of non-surgical options. Lately, it’s more difficult to find a bra that doesn’t enhance cleavage than it is to find one that does. Pushups, gel inserts, foam liners . . . it’s not a question of whether you want the girls jacked up, but only of how high.

(Among the brand names of inserts I came across in my research: Chicken Cutlets, Takeouts, and Cleavage Cupcakes. What’s with all the food references? Wait . . . oh.)

Swimsuit bust-enhancement is also available in all manner of deception, large and small, removable and pushup. (A band-style strapless bikini top I bought a few years back absorbed so much water, I barely made it out of the Gulf of Mexico.)

So, when I went looking for a new yoga top, I should not have been surprised in the least to find padded inserts in darn near every top I tried on. I bought one, but it just seemed wrong.

Isn’t yoga where you go to drop all that competitive stuff and find your chi or Zen or whatever? I thought while warming up in a hot vinyasa class. Isn’t yoga my one last bastion of peace and serenity in a material . . . Whoa! Shirtless dude in standing bow at three o‘clock. Helloooo.

I took the inserts out of the yoga top eventually, of course. Hot yoga is no place for extra padding against your body, even if it’s only the size of a chicken cutlet.

Last year, Abercrombie and Fitch caught a ton of heat for coming out with padded bikini tops for young girls. That’s understandable. But is it any less bothersome when grown women pad their assets? Is it shallow? Does it send the wrong message about what’s important?

Am I wrong for wanting cleavage?

I don’t think so. If you’re short, maybe you like how high heels make you taller. If you’re graying and don’t like it, maybe coloring makes you feel prettier.

And if you’re a size 36-twofriedeggs, you buy the pushing-est, padding-est, cupcakey-est bra you can find. And then you go out with all your awesome chesty girlfriends and hope they don’t . . . bust you.

Click here to see more articles on by Caroline Burau.

Caroline Burau is a freelance writer and author of Answering 911: Life in the Hot Seat. Her debut novel, Sugarfiend, will be available the end of this month.

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