Push-up bras for teenagers?!?!?

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Last Sunday, I went to Target with my mom to shop for clothes. Because I’m a teenage girl, I wanted to look for some new bras, but I was appalled by the options in the lingerie department. Out of all of the bras, I was only able to find one bra that wasn’t lacy, sexy, overly padded or push-up. It frustrated the heck out of my mom and me. If an adult wants to buy a lacy, sexy, push-up bra with lots of padding, that’s fine. However, tweens and teens are not supposed to be sexy. All a tween or teen needs in a bra is functionality and comfort. Adults should also have the option of buying a purely functional bra because not everyone wants to be sexy. It is perfectly reasonable for women of all ages to choose not to wear a push-up bra. The only ones who believe that push-up bras should be the only options for women are the patriarchy, or, to be more specific, lingerie companies like Victoria’s Secret. And, perhaps more chillingly, Victoria’s Secret has convinced legions of tweens and teens that their undergarments must be sexy.

Victoria’s Secret runs Pink, a clothing and lingerie company they claim to be targeted toward college-age students. While I personally don’t choose to wear sexy lingerie, college students are generally 18 or older, so if that’s what they decide to wear, they have the right to decide that. However, back in 2013, the Chief Financial Officer of Limited Brands (the company that owns Victoria’s Secret and Pink) Stuart Burgdoerfer made this statement: “When somebody’s 15 or 16 years old, what do they want to be? They want to be older, and they want to be cool like the girl in college, and that’s part of the magic of what we do at Pink.”

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Bras being marketed to tweens and teens at Pink.

I’m just going to let that sink in for a moment. A grown adult man suggesting that teenagers should wear adult lingerie. Consider that for a bit.

As I continued to research this issue, I came across a great company called Yellowberry. It was started by a high school student like me who went bra shopping with her younger sister and was appalled to find that the only choices for young girls were padded push-up bras. So, she decided to create her own line of modest, age-appropriate bras for tweens and teens. They are brilliant! They come in several fun colors, but they are completely appropriate for young girls. The bras are pricey, though. Each one costs about $30-$40. However, as consumers, we have the power to dictate which products succeed and which ones don’t. When purchasing bras for young girls, do we want to buy cheaply-made push-up bras from a multibillion-dollar retailer, or do we want to buy age-appropriate bras from a small, family-owned company in the US? I know that not every family has the luxury of choosing to spend more money on bras, but if you have the option, support Yellowberry.

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Age-appropriate bras for tweens and teens from Yellowberry.

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Author: fabulousfeministfangirl

Intersectional feminist and fangirl of many things, including The Voice, Broadway musicals, Glee, and Jane the Virgin.

2 thoughts on “Push-up bras for teenagers?!?!?

  1. Hi Maisie,
    I totally agree with you — Bras should be functional!!! I am 26, and I still buy functional bras, and I still don’t want my bras to be padded or weirdly sexy. The evolutionary reason that female adults have breasts is to nourish a baby, and just because society has a strong opinion that women should be sexy, I wish society respected that not all girls and women want to own sexy bras.
    – Alison Schwartz

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