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Bras Are Scary Enough As It Is

, , , | Working | August 26, 2021

I’m thirteen and my grandmother has decided that I need a bra. Instead of helping me find one, she just takes me to a lingerie shop and hands me over to one of the saleswomen, telling her I need to get measured, and goes to browse the shop for herself. I’m very shy at that age, especially concerning anything about my body that is going through teenage growth spurts.

Saleswoman: “All right, then. Strip down and I’ll measure you.”

She almost pushes me into the changing room and steps inside with me.

Me: “What? N-no, I don’t wanna get undressed in front of people.”

Saleswoman: “You need to so I can get the right size. Now get on with it!”

She’s still standing in the room with me, staring me down.

Saleswoman: “Listen, girl, everyone does it. I’ve seen hundreds of naked ladies in here. Don’t be so shy.”

All this is said in the most condescending voice and accompanied by an eye-roll. While I slowly start taking off my sweater and try not to cry from nervousness, the changing room curtain opens and an older lady — apparently the manager or boss — looks in.

Manager: “What’s going on here?!”

Saleswoman: “This girl wants to get measured for a bra, but she’s making a fuss about it.”

The manager sees me clutching my sweater to my chest, still wearing a thin tank top.

Manager: “Are you all right, darling?”

Me: “I just, I didn’t know I had to get naked in front of people. My grandma didn’t tell me.”

Manager: “I understand.” *To the saleswoman* “You can go and help some other customers.” *To me* “We usually take measurements in the nude to get it exactly right, but maybe we can figure this out. Are you wearing anything under that tank top?”

I shake my head as the rude saleswoman leaves the changing room.

Manager: “Okay, then I’ll measure you with the tank top on, and we’re just going to subtract an inch and see how some bras fit.”

She helped me find some well-fitting bras that were also far more appropriate for my age than most of the lacy, sexy things available in the store. She continued explaining everything to me with a very caring voice. She then apologised for her employee and promised they’d have a talk. Years later, as an adult, I’m still glad she noticed a little girl in distress and helped her through a very awkward situation.

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