There are many important milestones in a young woman’s life. Today my daughter and I tackled one of them!
My shy, soft spoken and determined 12 year old asked me to take her bra shopping. I should have been excited for this mother-daughter bonding time but for some reason I wasn’t.
I was really NOT in the mood for a trip to the mall but after a week of putting it off and tons of begging on my daughter’s part, I realized that I had a motherly duty to teach my daughter that:
Saggy boobies are NOT a good thing and they need a home in a properly fitted bra.
Before taking my daughter bra shopping, I reflected on why I was so resistant to go. AND then I remembered MY first experience and It all made perfect sense.
Negative reinforcement 101:
Oh Boy… do I remember that horribly embarrassing day in October 1983, the day my little sister, my mother and grandmother all piled into our Honda Civic hatchback and embarked on a family trip to the matronly Mrs. H’s – the Montreal “bra specialist” – to get “fitted” for my first brassiere. (Even that word still makes me cringe! )
I was an awkward teen in the midst of puberty, so bra shopping was taboo. I was not yet ready to embrace all the changes of my new emerging body with open arms!
I vividly remember that dreaded experience……the prodding and man handling of my itty bitty titties that took place in the front room of her home store complete with dozens of middle aged, saggy women onlookers, smiling, commenting and winking at me with pride. I remembered being mortified by that Twilight Zone experience and wanting to run out of the store and escape the craziness, but my mother forced me to try on bra after bra and then come out of the dressing to show everyone how they fit!!
I did not enjoy this foray into womanhood one bit and I would be damned if my daughter was going to have this same experience! I was now determined and cautiously optimistic that I would be able to make this a very different experience for my daughter!
5 steps to successful bra shopping with your daughter:
- Go shopping with JUST your daughter. No need to invite siblings, grandparents or friends to bra shopping day. You don’t need an entourage.
- For this important milestone, take her to a professional fitter. We went to Aerie at Fairview and was served by a lovely, hip sales girl named Taylor!
- Have your daughter measured with her shirt ON in the privacy of a fitting room
- Have the fitter take your daughter around the store discreetly, giving her several age appropriate bras to try on.
- Don’t tease your daughter about her desire to wear a bra. Help her feel comfortable with this big step and remind her that women come in all shapes and sizes.
Feeling good about yourself can affect your mental health and how your behavior. Some people struggle with self-esteem and body image when they begin puberty because it’s a time when the body goes through many rapid changes. Good body image is closely linked to good self-esteem. Mothers can have a crucial impact on fostering their daughter’s positive self-image.
Here are a few ways that moms can help:
- Be a positive role model.
- Don’t talk negatively about your own body. Try not to be overly focused on your appearance.
- Don’t praise girls solely for their appearance. Praise should be focused on effort and accomplishments.
I’m thankful (and relieved) that my daughter’s first experience down this road to womanhood was empowering, respectful, memorable and fun…..and of course shared with me!