My 14 year old daughter refuses to wear a bra - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 57 Old 03-23-2010, 11:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by SoulCakes View Post
How is that a myth? Skin is only so elastic; it stretches when weight (breast tissue) holds it down. It's just biology/physics. Bras counteract (to some extent) the being held down, therefore bras counteract (to some extent) the stretching of the skin.

Agreed, however, that if she doesn't want to wear a bra then there's nothing left to do or discuss.
breasts aren't held up by skin. they are held up by tendons in your chest. when you wear a bra, the tendons get atrophied and that can cause your breasts to sag.

i stopped wearing a bra 3 years ago and my breasts got perkier.
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#32 of 57 Old 03-24-2010, 09:26 AM
 
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Another point wrt sports bras, if "tomboy" includes athletic activity. My 16yo is extremely active in sports, but since she's not too large up top, doesn't have much discomfort going braless. BUT... when it's warm out, she likes the option a sports bra offers of taking her shirt off. She's still well covered, comfortable, and cool (temp wise).
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#33 of 57 Old 03-24-2010, 01:18 PM
 
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I believe that it is a modesty issue. But then again, I operate on the idea that I should strive to dress and act in such a way that I don't purposely cause another person to sin. If I have strived to act and look in such a way, and that person still thinks or acts sinfully, that is between that person and God.

On that note- wobbley breasts and prominent nipples can lead boys, and young and older men into sinful sexual thoughts.
I'm sorry, but there is no evidence whatsoever to back this up. The only association I've ever seen between being braless and sex is that our culture is (or was when I was younger - I don't know about now) so focused on bras as "proof" of modesty that any girl/woman who chose not to wear one was perceived as being "loose".

I also find the idea that dressing in a particular way "causes" another person to sin absolutely repulsive. If I walk down the street completely naked, and am raped, it is the rapist's fault, not mine. I can't "cause" someone else to sin, because the other person is responsible for his/her own actions. Period.

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And I, for one, do NOT want my daughter to be viewed as a sexual object.
I've worn a bra every time I've ever left my house, and there is no way that having a bra on is going to prevent people from thinking sexual thoughts. I'm not comfortable thinking about people ogling my kids, either...but whether or not it happens has nothing to do with what they're wearing.

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#34 of 57 Old 03-24-2010, 02:02 PM
 
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A video speaks more clearly than Mom. Some weekend take some close-up video of her walking around and doing her sports stuff. Play it back without comment! Let her think about it. In the meantime find a good store that does fittings -- try them out yourself to find a good fitter. I found Macy's seem pretty good, staff at 2 different stores knew what they were doing. Other places I've tried advertised fittings but the person on staff really wasn't very good. So try it out ahead because a good fitter makes the difference. After a week ask her if she'd be willing to go to a fitting. Try not to gag at the cost of basic underwear...and buy quality. Cheap bras are like cheap shoes.

It may take some time. I was 21 when I got disgusted with an old guy who clearly and repeatedly stared at my chest. It was pretty much the last time I forgot to wear a bra.
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#35 of 57 Old 03-24-2010, 09:57 PM
 
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I'm sorry, but there is no evidence whatsoever to back this up. The only association I've ever seen between being braless and sex is that our culture is (or was when I was younger - I don't know about now) so focused on bras as "proof" of modesty that any girl/woman who chose not to wear one was perceived as being "loose".

I also find the idea that dressing in a particular way "causes" another person to sin absolutely repulsive. If I walk down the street completely naked, and am raped, it is the rapist's fault, not mine. I can't "cause" someone else to sin, because the other person is responsible for his/her own actions. Period.
Again, this is all based on my opinion that is influenced by my experiences, upbringing, and world views.
I agree that a rape that occurs is the rapists fault. I am, however, not speaking of rape. Rape is about power and not sex, ergo it has no place in this conversation.
I am speaking of dressing in a way that is intentionally sexually provocative to entice a sexual reaction in others. IMHO- intentionally wearing tops that show your breasts or pants that are tight enough to look painted on is immodest, inappropriate, and purposely cause others to have sexual thoughts.
Lastly- I never said that a bra was proof of modesty and that women who do not wear them are loose. I have friends that go braless, and that is their choice. If they asked my opinion (as the OP did), I would share my opinion and why I have it.
As a PP mentioned, she has been ogled while not wearing a bra, as have I. I find the attention that my unencumbered breasts bring embarrassing.

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I've worn a bra every time I've ever left my house, and there is no way that having a bra on is going to prevent people from thinking sexual thoughts. I'm not comfortable thinking about people ogling my kids, either...but whether or not it happens has nothing to do with what they're wearing.
I agree. People are going to think their own thoughts, and I cannot control that. I can, however, control the image that I put out for others to see.

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Her body, her choice. If she is more comfortable without a bra, then she has every right to no wear one. Far more of a right to not wear one then her parent has to make her wear one. Plenty of women don't wear bras, plenty of women only wear bras some times, and plenty of women only take them off for a shower.

She's not going to end up dead because she didn't wear a bra at 14.

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#37 of 57 Old 03-25-2010, 01:48 AM
 
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I also find the idea that dressing in a particular way "causes" another person to sin absolutely repulsive. If I walk down the street completely naked, and am raped, it is the rapist's fault, not mine. I can't "cause" someone else to sin, because the other person is responsible for his/her own actions. Period.
Yeah, really. I mean are males so completely incapable of controlling themselves that it's up to the females they encounter to avoid causing them to think dirty thoughts? Not how I plan on raising either of my children. My daughter will be responsible for no one but herself and my son will be taught that he is the one who controls his thoughts and actions, not another person.

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#38 of 57 Old 03-25-2010, 02:23 AM
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How is that a myth? Skin is only so elastic; it stretches when weight (breast tissue) holds it down. It's just biology/physics. Bras counteract (to some extent) the being held down, therefore bras counteract (to some extent) the stretching of the skin.
If bras prevented sagging, then the breasts wouldn't automatically drop down as soon as the bra is removed. I've never seen large breasts that stay "up there" when a bra comes off (unless they're ridiculously silicone in nature). And I've seen LOTS of boobs from past employment experiences.
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#39 of 57 Old 03-25-2010, 04:29 AM
 
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And I've seen LOTS of boobs from past employment experiences.
Me too! I've worked in lots of nursing homes/aged care homes, and I can tell you .... I have NEVER seen a pair of perky boobs on an elderly lady. Bras or no bras - I think they all sag eventually. Our whole body sags as we get older, there's no reason our boobs would be any different.

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#40 of 57 Old 03-25-2010, 02:15 PM
 
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Again, this is all based on my opinion that is influenced by my experiences, upbringing, and world views.
<snip>
I am speaking of dressing in a way that is intentionally sexually provocative to entice a sexual reaction in others.
What on earth does that have to do with not wearing a bra? I've never in my life met a man who found a woman going braless more provocative than a woman with her breasts held up and pointing at him...not one. I'm just wondering where you got the idea that not wearing a bra is somehow sexually provocative. In any case, this doesn't apply to the OP's dd, or to many (most?) women who choose to go braless. They choose it for reasons of comfort, and sometimes, feminist views (ie. they refuse to dress to appeal to men).

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IMHO- intentionally wearing tops that show your breasts or pants that are tight enough to look painted on is immodest, inappropriate, and purposely cause others to have sexual thoughts.
None of that has anything to do with someone going braless, especially for rasons of comfort. I'm also not even remotely on board with you about "purposely causing" others to have sexual thoughts. Different people are titillated by different things.

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Lastly- I never said that a bra was proof of modesty and that women who do not wear them are loose.
I never said that you said any such thing. My point is that the only association between being braless and attracting extra male attention is that there are (or were - as I said, I don't know if that mindset is still prevalent) people who think that. I knew a couple guys who liked girls who went braless, even though those guys didn't like how it looked, because they believed that a girl with no bra was "easy". They'd been taught that "good girls" wore bras, and girls who didn't were, by definition, not good. But, they didn't find the braless breasts any more appealing than the ones in bras, in and of themselves.

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As a PP mentioned, she has been ogled while not wearing a bra, as have I. I find the attention that my unencumbered breasts bring embarrassing.
I'm genuinely curious. Where do you and the pp live? I've never left the house without a bra (except a few times, recently, when the kids took off and I hadn't put my bra on yet), and I've been ogled more times than I can count. I'm just trying to wrap my brain around the idea that there are men who are more likely to ogle a woman who isn't wearing a bra, because it's contrary to all my experience of men.

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I agree. People are going to think their own thoughts, and I cannot control that. I can, however, control the image that I put out for others to see.
Fair enough. But, be aware that there are lots of men who are more likely to think sexual thoughts about you, or your daughter, when you're wearing a bra then when you're not. The mindset that a bra is inherently "more modest" is part of why so many men believe that a woman who is simply trying to stay comfortable must be an easy lay, and that mindset does a huge injustice to women, in general.

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#41 of 57 Old 03-25-2010, 05:07 PM
 
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What on earth does that have to do with not wearing a bra? I've never in my life met a man who found a woman going braless more provocative than a woman with her breasts held up and pointing at him...not one. I'm just wondering where you got the idea that not wearing a bra is somehow sexually provocative. In any case, this doesn't apply to the OP's dd, or to many (most?) women who choose to go braless. They choose it for reasons of comfort, and sometimes, feminist views (ie. they refuse to dress to appeal to men).


None of that has anything to do with someone going braless, especially for rasons of comfort. I'm also not even remotely on board with you about "purposely causing" others to have sexual thoughts. Different people are titillated by different things.


I never said that you said any such thing. My point is that the only association between being braless and attracting extra male attention is that there are (or were - as I said, I don't know if that mindset is still prevalent) people who think that. I knew a couple guys who liked girls who went braless, even though those guys didn't like how it looked, because they believed that a girl with no bra was "easy". They'd been taught that "good girls" wore bras, and girls who didn't were, by definition, not good. But, they didn't find the braless breasts any more appealing than the ones in bras, in and of themselves.



I'm genuinely curious. Where do you and the pp live? I've never left the house without a bra (except a few times, recently, when the kids took off and I hadn't put my bra on yet), and I've been ogled more times than I can count. I'm just trying to wrap my brain around the idea that there are men who are more likely to ogle a woman who isn't wearing a bra, because it's contrary to all my experience of men.


Fair enough. But, be aware that there are lots of men who are more likely to think sexual thoughts about you, or your daughter, when you're wearing a bra then when you're not. The mindset that a bra is inherently "more modest" is part of why so many men believe that a woman who is simply trying to stay comfortable must be an easy lay, and that mindset does a huge injustice to women, in general.
I think Lisa handled this very well. In my experience, men are more likely to enjoy the look of "perky" breasts than the look of braless breasts. (And, as someone who is overly endowed, braless and perky have always been mutually exclusive. Mine have sagged since I was 10 years old.) Also, if I'm not wearing a bra, you can't even really see the outline of them under clothes - because they are large, and sag, they look much smaller braless than they do in a bra and "at attention," so to speak. And, since my nipples point mostly downward (very convenient for nursing!), a man is much, much more likely to get a glimpse of erect nipples when I'm wearing a bra than when I'm not. For me, it's more comfortable to wear a bra, but I don't think about being sexually attractive (or not) when I make the choice to wear one (or not). I guess I don't see what bra usage (or not) has to do with "causing a man to sin," since no one is privy to what is going on in individual minds. IME, pretty much anything a woman does can provoke lust in some man or other - the world takes all types, right?
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#42 of 57 Old 03-25-2010, 05:32 PM
 
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It so depends on the person. I myself feel much sexier with a bra on than off, but I do notice more looks with it off. However, basic concerns about health and comfort are more important to me than whether or not some guy is getting turned on by my breasts. In my experience big breasts will do it for many men even in a parka. For some guys if the wind blows the right way they will think about sex (some women too) Its a personal choice about the bra, but i understand not wanting to expose a 14 yo to mens reactions. She is probably inncent of how some people may percieve her, and she may have to learn through bad experiences. You as her mom can insist that she wear tshirts thick ebnough to conceal the color of her nipples( not even bras can conceal the shape of the nipple if they are prominent) and an undershirt will help control some wobble. I have 11 yo who don't understand skirt length, and I have to tell them to put something underneath many of their outfits. Because while it is true that men are responsible for their actions, many times in reality it is women who feel the consequenses. As an 11 yo, I wore a denim mini and a tank and as i looked 15 I got catcalls from men driving by. This and other experiences surrounding my breasts and body were so confusing and traumatizing to me that I spent the majority of my teen years wearing mens clothing, sleeping in my bras, and feeling generally horrible about my breasts. I wish I had had a mother to gently explain that my breasts were beautiful, that some men are pigs, and to help me buy bras and clothes. Not to add to my shame though. Not to discuss modesty in such a way as to make me feel that breast were to be ashamed of or hidden. I know I am not articulating this as well as i would like, but this topic brings up so many emotions for me as a busty teen. I think the OP should take a little of everyones advice especially about going and getting good bras and attractive clothes that make her daughter look and feel good. Her daughter is growing up, and she will become as sexual being just around the corner, and I imagine that this is the deeper heart of the issue.None of us want our babies to grow up. We don't want them hurt or used or made to feel less than. Good luck mama!

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#43 of 57 Old 03-25-2010, 07:20 PM
 
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Wow, Svart (the OP), you sparked quite a thread for your first post. I hope you come back and participate more, let us get to know you. It feels a little spooky to have a first-time poster start off with a bang and then disappear, so do come back.

I opt for layers rather than bras. And that's what I suggest to DD, but it's her choice.

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#44 of 57 Old 03-26-2010, 05:34 PM
 
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I have very large breasts (32 FF) and wore well fitting bras until this summer. I have so many lumps bumps and divets from wearing them and developed cysts all over where the underwires pressed on me. I now wear no bras, no camisoles, and my nipples show. I have gotten back some of my shape as my ligaments go back to doing their job of holding my breasts up and no more red swollen breasts.

I know it isn't the norm to go without a bra in our society, but I have never felt better. I don't get backaches or so much tension in my shoulders now. I wish I hadn't gone to such armor, worried about bouncing etc. I am planning to steer my dd towards the cami tank tops and decent exposures type bras so I don't ruin her lymph flow.

Google bra free and see what you think.

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#45 of 57 Old 03-28-2010, 04:42 AM
 
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Another bra free gal here (D cup) whose breasts got perkier after a few months of bra-free.

Anyways, I think that perhaps the best thing to do would be to talk to her about the possible effects her breasts (and showing nipples) may have on people, the attention it may garner, and the fact that it isn't really considered respectable to show the color of your nipples (I walk around with the shape of my nipples showing through my shirt regularly and the only one who seems to notice is DP. though as a teenager I hated showing my nipples and only wore lined bras, in the periods I wore bras.) Maybe talk about some undershirts, and making sure her armsleeves don't show too much breast. (though of course a bra doesn't change that, it almost makes it worse).

Really, it's her body, her choice. I feel so free not wearing a bra, and hated being badgered by my mother and sister to wear a bra. Even the most perfectly fitted bras are so uncomfortable for me at the end of the day.

(and for sports, if bouncing bothers her, may I recomend my favorite, the leotard under clothes? to me, its much more comfy than a sports bra, with similar (but gentler) smooshing and bounce negating effect.)

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#46 of 57 Old 03-28-2010, 11:17 AM
 
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Could you get her some thicker shirts? Watching the last few seasons of Friends and seeing Jennifer Aniston's nipples popping out of her shirt might give your daughter a different perspective. Personally one of the main reasons I wear a bra is to avoid having my nipples say hello to the world.
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#47 of 57 Old 03-28-2010, 05:21 PM
 
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For me I would try sports bras or sport tanks. I guess for me its more of a protection thing as in if people can tell she isn't wearing a bra and has nipples showing then I wouldn't want some pervert having more access in seeing the "goods" kinda thing. I wouldn't want to shame her either but I guess for me its just one of those things that I see as being a woman and with having larger breasts its appropriate to do so. Thats just me though

However for me I started wearing a training bra around 9 I think. So I was eased into the whole bra thing.

As far as the sagging issue when I went to the dr to see about a lift and implants the doctor explained to me that it is all about genetics. Has nothing to do if you wear a bra or not. Shoot yes having kids can play a part but even that is such a small part in the sagging issue. If you push your boob up against your chest like flattening it and you have a crease at the top then you are built to have sag. I can't remember the proper term for it but that is what I was told when I went for my consults when looking for a surgeon.
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#48 of 57 Old 03-28-2010, 10:36 PM
 
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My fear, one undoubtedly steeped in my history and baggage (sexually abused when I was young, and also someone tried to rape me when I was 12), is of rape.

I fear, both for myself and especially for my daughter (10, for whom this is barely an issue), unreasonably or no, that if I wander around showing my nipples through my shirt, or she hers, and if there is someone who would be the kind to commit rape, that then either of us is more likely to draw the attention of perverts.

I, of course, don't want to pass my baggage to my daughter -- so have focused, now that she's budding a bit, on asking her to layer if her nipples are visible through a shirt or if she's wearing something made of very thin fabric.

OTOH, a woman with a bra visible through her shirt would be equally as much a target, based on my fear-based logic, as a woman with visible nipples. My own bras are enormous, functional things as I'm a G cup. Most women wear prettier bras, though, and presumably, she will too.

So I don't have answer, except to say, define for yourself what the issue really is (movement/wobbling? visible nipples? social hangups about bras?) then decide whether the issue is based on convention or a feeling of needing to keep your daughter safe, then find the compromise if you decide the issue is definitely one you need to address.

For instance, if the issue is visible nipples, she would need a well-lit mirror to evaluate whether her nipples were visible through her shirt. Then she could decide whether to change her shirt or wear an undershirt.

Just my thoughts. I haven't been through it yet, but I think on it a lot, like I said, due to my own baggage.
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#49 of 57 Old 03-29-2010, 07:44 PM
 
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By the time I was 14, I was a D cup and was never without a bra. However, I always got teased by the boys (just for wearing a bra) and completely understand why a gril, especially a tomboy would not want to wear a bra.

I agree that video taping what your dd looks like when she goes without a bra may be the only way to convince her. If she is still in Jr. High, you may just want to wait until she is in the High School. Jr Highers are ruthless and immature and she may get teased more by changing her ways.

Comfort comes with a proper fit. I used to have huge indentations in my shoulders until I finally got the right size and style of bra. Shoulder straps should not dig, if they do, it is a bad fitting bra. Also remember at that age, what fit 6 months ago may not fit now. I remember changing at least 3 cup sizes in less than 2 years.
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#50 of 57 Old 03-30-2010, 10:42 PM
 
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By the time I was 14, I was a D cup and was never without a bra. However, I always got teased by the boys (just for wearing a bra) and completely understand why a gril, especially a tomboy would not want to wear a bra.

I agree that video taping what your dd looks like when she goes without a bra may be the only way to convince her. If she is still in Jr. High, you may just want to wait until she is in the High School. Jr Highers are ruthless and immature and she may get teased more by changing her ways.

Comfort comes with a proper fit. I used to have huge indentations in my shoulders until I finally got the right size and style of bra. Shoulder straps should not dig, if they do, it is a bad fitting bra. Also remember at that age, what fit 6 months ago may not fit now. I remember changing at least 3 cup sizes in less than 2 years.
Just want to say, proper fit and style doesn't mean squat. Babymoma only wear a bra when she has too. Even with proper fit and the most comfortable style she can find, it just feels like she's suffocating.

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#51 of 57 Old 03-31-2010, 04:47 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post
Just want to say, proper fit and style doesn't mean squat. Babymoma only wear a bra when she has too. Even with proper fit and the most comfortable style she can find, it just feels like she's suffocating.
Umm yeah. I agree. I've been fitted professionally, and gotten bras that overall, fit really well. Heck, they're even comfy for a few minutes. No bra is still comfortable after 2 hours, much less a school day. (Which would be why as a bra wearing teenager I was notorious for flinging my bra around the house, having taken it off the minute I got inside. I was always in pain. Even WITH a perfectly fitting bra.)

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#52 of 57 Old 03-31-2010, 09:34 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post
Just want to say, proper fit and style doesn't mean squat. Babymoma only wear a bra when she has too. Even with proper fit and the most comfortable style she can find, it just feels like she's suffocating.
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Originally Posted by Magelet View Post
Umm yeah. I agree. I've been fitted professionally, and gotten bras that overall, fit really well. Heck, they're even comfy for a few minutes. No bra is still comfortable after 2 hours, much less a school day. (Which would be why as a bra wearing teenager I was notorious for flinging my bra around the house, having taken it off the minute I got inside. I was always in pain. Even WITH a perfectly fitting bra.)
I'd at least let a 14 y.o. try to find a good fit in a comfortable style, and see if a professional fitting helps at all. If she really can't find anything she likes, then bra-free is always an option. Giving up at age 14 seems like giving up without really trying.

By any chance, has she always been a kid with sensitivities to scratchy fabrics, clothing tags, bulky seams etc.? I imagine that the same kids who are highly sensitive to these things are also very uncomfortable in a bra.
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#53 of 57 Old 04-01-2010, 01:11 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post
I'd at least let a 14 y.o. try to find a good fit in a comfortable style, and see if a professional fitting helps at all. If she really can't find anything she likes, then bra-free is always an option. Giving up at age 14 seems like giving up without really trying.

By any chance, has she always been a kid with sensitivities to scratchy fabrics, clothing tags, bulky seams etc.? I imagine that the same kids who are highly sensitive to these things are also very uncomfortable in a bra.
Or it could just be that she just doesn't want to wear a bra at this point in her life. It doesn't mean she's giving up...

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#54 of 57 Old 04-01-2010, 01:20 AM
 
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Skipping past all the "sinful thoughts" nonsense...

I developed quite early--way earlier than 14--and had to come into wearing a bra in my own time. I was much more self-conscious with one than without one. She may be 14, but she is still a child...try to see it as you would a four-year-old who insists on wearing his cape everywhere. Coming of age is difficult; her resistance is completely appropriate for a teenager!
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#55 of 57 Old 04-02-2010, 08:02 PM
 
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#56 of 57 Old 01-18-2011, 11:41 PM
 
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I started wearing bras later when I as 15 or so.  Leave the choice to her.  She will figure out if she's uncomfortable in them or not.  I also recommend looking up brafree.org or similar sites.  I stopped wearing bras this past year and it really help with my back pain!  During the summer I wear oversized sports bras just to help avoid all the sweating, but they do almost nothing as far as support which I prefer.

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#57 of 57 Old 01-18-2011, 11:54 PM
 
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I have heard my 12 year old girl chat with her friends............"your boobs hurt less after running if you were a bra."

 

I personally can not see how she or anyone else could do a sport and not have nipple pain.  The rubbing on the shirt would be "OUCH" for me.  

 

I hate bras also, wear them when I go into work. I also wear mostly shelf type bras because if I don't fungus likes to grow in folds :( Something to help life, air, and absorb moister prevents me issues (I know this is me)

 

I remember at one point in time, my mom put her foot down and said tank tops at school and bras and softball.  I honestly think she was tired of hearing me whine.  They came off right as I walked through the door, or in the car.  

 

I would get her sports bras and some powder to absorb sweat.  Then say request she wear an undershirt.  There are so many tank tops out there that look cute under clothes.  Heck my 12 year old often wears, bra, tank, and T-shirt. 

 

I don't always agree with "Her body, Her choice" growing up.  My 12 year old bought a thin white T-shirt.  It never dawned on her that it can be seen through. Same thing with a yellow bathing suit. At this age we are still guiding them.  I do think a blunt, but gentle converstation with her is needed.  She needs to know how people will perceive her and if she is ok with it.

 

If she wants to go braless then at least let her know why people might look and how to navigate the issues.  I feel it is no different than when my child purple hair or blue hair.  I asked them how they think people would perceive them.  Gave them the tools to navigate the situations.  I also through out adult situations.  

 

 

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