Friday, 26 March 2010

Dear Jezebel

My comment to your article, "The Marketing Woes of 36DD," has not been published (yet?), but I can't get that bad "I read some sexism buried in a supposedly feminist post" taste out of my mouth.

Here's (an excerpt of) what Margaret Hartmann wrote, in an otherwise very thoughtful and poignant critique of the bra industry. She cites

"Band size defines a clear distinction between a busty woman with an average figure who wears a 28-to-34-inch band but is a G cup, and a plus-size woman who may not have large breasts, but whose band size ranges from 36 and larger and is a C or D cup."

and then replies:

"Yes, it's important that we separate the woman with a 28-inch band and G cups from the woman who wears a 36C, because one may be a hot porn star with implants, while the other is just a fatty."

Thought #1 (a preliminary): Bra size is often measured incorrectly. For a good way to measure your bra size, see this wiki-how article. If your band size (i.e., the circumference of your chest under your breasts) is really 36 inches, then it is likely that "plus-size" clothing fits you. I'm not saying that wearing "plus-size" clothing makes you a "fat" person. It does mean that your chest circumference is larger than what the fashion industry has decided is the "norm" for women's bodies. So when the article calls women "plus-size" who have a bra band size of 36 or above, it is not necessarily making an evaluative statement about the woman's appearance.

Thought #2 (sticking to my ribs): When you imply that women who wear small band sizes and large cup sizes are "porn stars" who have "implants," you propagate a few very unfortunate and very anti-feminist myths: first (the smaller), the idea that women who get implants are doing so in order to look more like "porn stars," i.e., in order to sexualize themselves. Second - and what really offends me - is the notion that women who have large breasts for their frame have implants in the first place, or, even worse, that women who have large breasts are more sexualized than their smaller-breasted comrades. As a 100% natural 30FF (in British sizes, a 30H in American sizes), I hate the fact that people see my large breasts and make assumptions about my sexuality.

My point is that women really do come in all shapes and sizes, and naturally so, and it hurts us all when we assume that the way a woman is built implies something about who she is as a person. As a closing comparison, wouldn't you all find it horribly offensive if I made a statement like "all overweight women are lazy"? Well, saying "all giant-tittied tiny ladies are hyper-sexual" is just as bad, thank you very much.

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