Archive for May, 2010

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The Real Secret

May 10, 2010

I’m just going to say it: I needed a new bra.  Just trust me, the situation was getting pretty desperate.  My current strapless bra was so stretched out that it could double as a water balloon launcher.  So, with trepidation I set out for that haven of sorority sisters, future trophy wives and preteens who really shouldn’t be there: Victoria’s Secret.  The store just makes me a little uncomfortable; models in ads stare down at you from the walls like they want to get it on right there in the store, and I’m sorry Gisele, you’re very attractive, don’t get me wrong, but homey don’t swing that way.  That, combined with how they sell their product to women on the premise that it will magically turn you into this buxom, appealing sex kitten, and promote the idea that our only inherent value as women (aside, of course, from sandwich making) is to look appealing to men, just rubs me the wrong way. But damn do they make a good bra.

So I ventured in, and was immediately accosted by a helpful, if somewhat awkward salesgirl. For once it was actually a case where I wanted a salesperson’s help, as it meant less wandering through the store trying to find what I was looking for without being too visually scarred. I explained my need, and she asked my size, which I told her. She then offered to measure me to make sure. Right there. Five feet from the entrance of the store. I told her I was good. She said she could do it with my clothes still on, but I felt that even for over the sweater action, I like to at least have dinner before I let a salesgirl feel me up. I am a lady.

She scribbled a note on a card and sent me back to find another girl in the dressing room, and as I walked I spotted what I was looking for and brought it with me.  The salesgirl at the dressing room asked me what I was looking for, and I told her I just needed a strapless bra. “Ok, would you like a push-up? Some padding? Other colors? Maybe our plunging neckline gel Xtreme Very Sexy intimates collection?”  …Ok, one, I don’t even understand the words that you’re saying, and two, from what I do understand, no, I do not want that, really, really, not.  I want what I have in my hand, plain, beige, bra. “Ok, I’ll just bring you a few other options,” she chirped.  I went into the dressing room, and a few minutes later she brought me a couple others, including a black, very padded, lacy bra. I was irked. I felt like I had been told “Oh, poor little repressed girl, you want to be sexy, you just don’t know it. We will help you find you cleavage like wings. Fly, sexy little baby bird, fly!”

I purchased my tan bra and went on my way, but as I walked down the street I became keenly aware of how… ostentatious the bag was.  The bright pink stripes were just so obtrusive on the vision, especially against the various shades of brown that comprised my outfit that day.  And everyone knows. When anyone catches even the quickest glimpse of that iconic, stripy pink bag, they immediately think “Victoria’s Secret.”  Now, I don’t pretend to understand how guys think (at all), but I would guess that at least a few, upon seeing that bag and thinking of the store, think of those models in the ads, all trussed up in tiny, lacy, garments smaller than your grandmother’s handkerchief.  They don’t know that’s not what is in my bag. They don’t know that under the layers of pink tissue paper is the dullest, most plain and dare I say boring bra.  Seriously, it covers more skin than my bikini top.  I just needed a strapless bra that I wouldn’t have to hike up every three seconds! I mean really, there were sweatpants in that store sexier than the bra I bought. It felt like false advertising carrying that bag, like people who wear sweatshirts for a prestigious college they didn’t actually attend, or for that matter, women who wear those super padded bras.  Right?  I’m just saying, if you think about it, Victoria’s real “Secret” is that underneath all that padding, she doesn’t have a whole lot going for her, both bosom-wise and, I would bet money, brain-wise, if she has to stoop to a garment described as “Xtreme” in order to attract people. Frankly, that doesn’t seem like a secret I would like to discover. So Victoria, you can keep your water bras and plunging necklines. Secrets are far too much trouble to keep.

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