By Dave Barton
By LP Hastings
By Sarah Bennett
By LP Hastings
By Jena Ardell
By Steve Lowery
By R. Scott Moxley
By Joel Beers
You hear it all the time, and yet you guys will never be able to understand: It can really fucking suck to be a girl. Periods, babies, glass ceilings, UTIs, menopause, cellulite, etc. But while I hardly expect males to ever fully be able to empathize (I mean, seriously: Until you start bleeding monthly and stress out when you don't, I really don't care), there's one more thing you can add to that list: bras.
I hate to sound like your typical whiny gal—it's too late for that, isn't it?—but just consider that for a second. Bras are worn as "foundation garments," items meant to wholly restrict, support and reshape our natural form. They're just constantly there. Clinging. Fighting against nature, even. Sure, it's a step up from its ruthlessly constricting relative, the corset, which thankfully lost its popularity during World War I in an effort to conserve civilian steel usage, but we still face inevitable navel-reaching droopage, even if we opt to go without.
The bra has since become a politically charged item of clothing, with feminists charging it's just another example of bastardizing the true female form to aesthetic standards. On top of that, decades after its late-19th-century inception (though wealthy members of the Ming dynasty wore a similar garment), the damn things are still uncomfortable. Most of us are already incapable of purchasing a bra that properly fits, being way too caught up with the images the Victoria's Secret catalog feeds our brains. So every time a new development comes along, we get excited.
I've somehow managed to acquire several backless numbers—blouses, dresses, thin T-shirts—this past year, and I still have trouble deciding what type of undergarments to wear with the things. Those adhesive backless bras that they sell at Victoria's Secret never really worked for me—they itch and, worst of all, shift. And by the end of a long night out, they usually end up somewhere around your waist.
But there's hope yet: The Breakthrough Backless Bra by Maidenform promises to provide a natural shape while remaining undetectable underneath clothing—and this is supposed to even apply to you 38DDs out there. This bra was invented by single mother Elaine Cato and was first seen on ABC's American Inventor. The Breakthrough Backless is now finally available for purchase on Maidenform's website for a reasonable $25. The first reviews out list the obvious complaints: Some larger gals found the cups never stayed put, even flipping upward when they bent over. As with any bra, though, one should remember that not everyone's gonna like it, so one should view these on a case-by-case basis.
Whatever one's outcome, it seems a lot more promising than double-sided tape, Band-Aids, or, uh, no bra at all.