Earlier this week I wrote a post sharing my thoughts on a recent Salon article on dating in a pushup bra. The gist of my post was that I don’t think wearing a pushup bra is a big deal. Like makeup, high heels, clothing, etc, pushup bras are just another weapon in our accessories arsenal, no more dishonest than bright red lipstick or a smoky eye. An excerpt:
And really, what isn’t a little dishonest about the dating process? When I was dating I wore makeup, high heels, clothing that hid my problem areas and accentuated my assets. How is wearing a bra with a little oomph worse? Most partners could care less once they have you in bed anyway, or at least that is the common saying.
I think my words might have come off wrong to some people. Earlier today, I read a post from Caro from The Lingerie Lesbian (whose blog I am a huge fan of). Regarding the above quote she wrote:
Doesn’t it seem somewhat ludicrous that certain clothes are ‘honest’ and certain clothes are ‘dishonest’?
Now, I want to start off by saying that I in no way meant that pushup bras, or anything else are particularly dishonest. You aren’t “lying” to some person you’re dating by wearing them. My point was that a pushup bra, like the aforementioned bright red lipstick, adds something to your look. Heck, the entire dating process is about putting yourself in the best possible light. Some people may interpret that as “dishonest,” and I was poking a bit of fun at that idea. Honestly, I was a little baffled at her interpretation:
“The ickiness of the phrase ‘problem areas’ aside, this quote seems to be saying that there would have been more honesty if she had worn clothes that emphasized ‘problem areas’ and ignored ‘assets.’ But that doesn’t seem to make any sense– that sounds like honesty is making yourself look the way you don’t want to look.”
I thought it was pretty clear that I didn’t mean anything like this, but I guess it wasn’t. Of course I don’t think a woman has to downplay herself to be “honest” on a date. My point is that pretty much everyone puts in a little more effort than usual when they’re going on a date. This is true of both women and men. Whether that effort is makeup, nail polish, a spiffy new tie, a new pair of shoes, a sharp suit etc. Men and women go the extra mile on dates, and probably won’t be putting in that same work five years into the relationship (at least not on a daily basis). I loved dressing up for dates with my husband, but I also love watching Scandal with him in my yoga pants and college t-shirt.
Another point I want to make, is that I am in no way advocating or encouraging women to hide “problem areas.” I have written numerous times here on The Gloss and at our sister site Mommyish about my body issues. I said I was hiding MY problem areas and accentuating MY assets. Why is it that whenever a woman discusses a personal issue (how they view their bodies, they style choices, their parenting choices, etc. etc. ad nauseum) it suddenly becomes something people take as a personal affront to their own choices or issues? I refuse to be body shamed into pretending these issues I have with myself don’t exist.
Dating in general is all about putting your best foot forward, and to me that could very well mean putting on a pushup bra, the way the author of the Salon piece Delatorre does. To be 100 percent “honest” (if you’re going to look at it that way, and I really don’t) you wouldn’t wear clothes that “emphasized ‘problem areas’ and ignored ‘assets,’ you would wear your regular, knocking around sweats and t-shirts. Whatever you wear to do your grocery shopping or dog walking in. That would be the most accurate portrayal of what you look like on a daily basis. But what would be the fun in that. Half the fun of a first date is deciding what to wear and putting a look together, and I think this is true for both men and women. And as one of Caro’s own commenters said in her post, “We are not natural, nobody is, and there’s nothing wrong with that! “