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

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#1 of 57 Old 03-21-2010, 10:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My daughter is 14 years old and has quite large breasts. However, she doesn't want to wear any kind of bra, nor a camisole. She says they are uncomfortable and make her feel weird, she is a tomboy. When she walks, her breast wobble, and often she wears a tank top or a t-shirt, so that you can see her nipples through her clothing. It's not modesty.

Anyone else having this problem? What would you do?
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#2 of 57 Old 03-21-2010, 12:42 PM
 
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I'd let her wear what she wants to wear (how are you going to MAKE her wear a bra?)

But I'd take her to a specialty shop and have her properly fitted. Then I'd let her choose what she wanted - sports bras, frilly bras....whatever.
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#3 of 57 Old 03-21-2010, 01:44 PM
 
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Sports bra seems like an obvious answer. I wouldn't push a bra on her, exactly... but hmm. It's kind of tricky. I wouldn't want people gaping at my young daughter's breasts, on the one hand, and it's not like I'd let her out of the house without pants. But on the other hand, you don't want to force her. I'd stock up on sports bras and - I dunno - perhaps mention that bras help prevent sagging?
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#4 of 57 Old 03-21-2010, 01:47 PM
 
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Oh! I just thought of something else. If she's a real tomboy and pretty active outdoors, she's probably already found out that bouncing breasts get in the way of running and jumping and playing sports. It's uncomfortable and distracting. Maybe point out that she'll have an easier time being active if she throws on a sports bra?
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#5 of 57 Old 03-21-2010, 06:24 PM
 
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They ARE uncomfortable!

Is she concerned at all about the modesty issue...if not your should avoid that as a reasoning.

maybe show her womans teams (that she likes, soccer etc) and that they all wear sports bras so they can do all the stuff they need.
How about showing a repeat of that OPRAH (I'm sure there has been others too) that show women how a good fiting bra makes them look better, be healty and draw LESS attention to them!

She likely is very unaware of how exactly it looks to others and how it affects them. I have two cousins who also had a period like this at this age who also could use some support but just didn't seem to realize how much other people noticed......they are also tomboys unconcerned with fashion/style. They are now older and wear what is needed of course.

Be gentle... don't shame her. Maybe find someone else in a crowd who has a floppy front and ask her what she thinks about it..... bUT really it seems a little wrong to force a young woman to be embaressed about her body..... Just a thoughT.
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#6 of 57 Old 03-21-2010, 06:31 PM
 
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I never liked bras when i was younger but my reasons where different, i didn't want breasts i hated it that my body was changeing, i even tried hideing my period by hideing my bloody knickers cos i hated the fact i was turning into a "young woman" back to the subject maybe you could try finding her something comfier like a sports bra or a t-shirt bra. something that supports like a bra but looks and feels like a crop top.

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#7 of 57 Old 03-21-2010, 06:57 PM
 
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Her body, her choice.
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#8 of 57 Old 03-21-2010, 07:55 PM
 
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Her body, her choice.
Yes! Exactly that

I haven't worn a bra for years, and I don't thank any woman should be required or forced to wear one.
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#9 of 57 Old 03-21-2010, 08:55 PM
 
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I was a similar kid to your daughter. Nothing my mother ever said could get me to wear a bra.

I did end up wearing one for a few years after a trusted camp counselor took me aside and talked to me- basically she just said if I ever wanted one, she'd be glad to get me one, no questions asked and threw in some other stuff about growing up. I thought about it for a few weeks and took her up on it eventually. And I still didn't say anything about it to my mother

That said, I've given them up again. The few years I did wear them I only wore sports bras. Now I wear undershirts (mens) or underarmour (also mens) if I need them to bounce less or am wearing something formal. I do have a large chest, and this works fine for me.

I would probably offer her some undershirts, and some underarmour. You might point out that even boys wear undershirts. Otherwise, I don't think its an issue. It makes you uncomfortable, but it obviously doesn't make her uncomfortable. I see one of two things happening- either she changes her mind as she matures, or peer pressure gets to her, or she'll decide she doesn't care about societal norms and continue as she is.
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#10 of 57 Old 03-21-2010, 09:02 PM
 
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Her body, her choice.
This.
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#11 of 57 Old 03-21-2010, 09:06 PM
 
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Soulcakes - I hate to disappoint you but bras don't prevent sagging: that is a big fat old myth put about by those who make bras.

If she doesn't want to wear one there is not much you can do about it. If she gets self conscious she may ask you for some advice on bra alternatives.

I can suggest a plain undershirt with a bit of lycra in it or a very stretchy crop to but I can't vouch for bras at all myself as I hate them too. Why should I constrict my body if I don't want to?
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#12 of 57 Old 03-21-2010, 09:16 PM
 
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Her body, her choice.
My Mom used to do bra checks. I hated having to prove I was wearing one. Humiliating!

Maybe she would wear a smaller tank underneath.

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#13 of 57 Old 03-21-2010, 11:08 PM
 
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Soulcakes - I hate to disappoint you but bras don't prevent sagging: that is a big fat old myth put about by those who make bras.

If she doesn't want to wear one there is not much you can do about it. If she gets self conscious she may ask you for some advice on bra alternatives.

I can suggest a plain undershirt with a bit of lycra in it or a very stretchy crop to but I can't vouch for bras at all myself as I hate them too. Why should I constrict my body if I don't want to?
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.
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#14 of 57 Old 03-21-2010, 11:09 PM
 
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If she likes to wear tank tops, how about buying her some running tank tops (very controlling/form fitting) and she can wear one of those with a "regular" tank or two on top. Or just several "normal" tanks.

If she does a lot of sports, she may be chafing on her bra strap (around the chest). When I played a lot of soccer it was common for us to actually tuck our shirts under our bra to prevent chafing. They have better stuff now though! (wish I had workout tanks like my DD has now back then).

 

 

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#15 of 57 Old 03-21-2010, 11:26 PM
 
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I have very large breasts 44 H and I hate bras. I don't wear them unless in public. If your daughter has the confidence not to wear one, support her Bra straps have permanantly dented my clavicle bones. I get headaches from wearing them and have arthritis in my midback since age 27 from the bras putting the weight so high up. It should be her choice, let her wear a thicker tank if you are worried about modesty.

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#16 of 57 Old 03-21-2010, 11:31 PM
 
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That was me. They do take some getting used to...as if you had spent your whole life never wearing panties

There's something annoyingly extra about them...so maybe getting tanks with cups built in or zip up sports bras will help.

I also feel that if someone had just taken a moment to neutrally fill me in on the culture, I would have chosen to wear them more consistently. At 14 I did not think about guys staring at my breasts or about nipples poking through, or bouncing around, etc.

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#17 of 57 Old 03-22-2010, 09:51 AM
 
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I also am large chested (42DD) and hate bras unless I have to go to a fancy party.
My mother always wanted me to wear bras, underwear, jeans without holes, no tye-dyes. She didn't like me climbing trees and swimming in creeks once I was about 14.
Now I do all those things all the time.
AND I have a daughter who has 25 bras, wears underwear, has nice jeans and fashiony shirts. She will occasionally climb a tree or swim in a creek, in proper swimwear of course.
Funny.
Essentially I have to go with Her Body, Her Choice.
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#18 of 57 Old 03-22-2010, 09:52 AM
 
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I thought bras were really uncomfortable, and went bra-less for years. I had tried a variety, but didn't really find anything I liked. Until I went to a specialty shop. That's where i learned the proper size and style bra for me.

Before I gave up on bras, I had been choosing wrongly. Then I stopped trying - and never really figured out what was right. Now, thanks to the helpful, discreet saleswoman and the wide selection at the shop, I wear one every day. I like them and I find them very comfortable. I've heard statistics that say something like 70% of women aren't wearing the proper size and style.

I'm sure that bras are uncomfortable for some women, no matter what. I'd give a 14 y.o. a chance to find out for sure that there is nothing out there for her, though.
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#19 of 57 Old 03-22-2010, 10:33 AM
 
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No bras for me, and it hasn't ruined my life or sagged my boobs. (C cup). I think it would have been AWFUL if my mom had been nagging me and on my case about it. (And, knowing my mom, if she DID take up that cause, I'd still be hearing about it now at age 33 - and, furthermore, if I ever changed my mind and decided I DID want to wear one, I'd have to be sure not to wear one around my mother, lest I hear her crow for the rest of her life how she was right).

A bra is a tool for a woman, not a necessity. If she feels bras help her, she should have them available to her. If not, they shouldn't be forced.

Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.

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#20 of 57 Old 03-22-2010, 01:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Bunnyflakes View Post
My Mom used to do bra checks. I hated having to prove I was wearing one. Humiliating!
If it's not possible to tell, just by looking at you, if you're wearing a bra, then...what difference could it possibly make whether you wore one or not??

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#21 of 57 Old 03-22-2010, 01:57 PM
 
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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.
I've always believed it to be a myth. I've worn a bra since I first sprouted "buds". I was sagging by the time I was 13. I try to remember that I may be the exception (as nothing drives me crazier than someone saying "blah blah blah doesn't do x, y, z - I know, because I had/did blah blah blah and x, y, z didn't happen to me"), but emotionally, I just can't do the "bras prevent sagging" thing, yk?

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#22 of 57 Old 03-22-2010, 03:37 PM
 
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From what I've read the "bras prevent sagging" thing is a myth, but I don't remember where I read it nor can I quote peer reviewed studies or anything. At the very least, it's not anywhere near a sure thing that bras prevent sagging.

Seems to me like pregnancy causes most of the sag.

It just seems weird to me that we're designed to be defective without modern clothing or something.

Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.

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#23 of 57 Old 03-22-2010, 04:31 PM
 
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The deal I worked out with my oldest (because I had modesty concerns as well) is that as long as nothing is showing whether or not she wears a bra is her concern but if she is hanging out of her shirt or showing major nipple through the shirt she has to wear a bra. For what it is worth on those occasions she wears a sports bra. She has a couple of tanks with built in sports bras and seems to like those best.

On the topic of saggy breast. Am I the only one that likes her sag? I think it looks nice. I look at my body, the stretch marks, the stretched out breast and elongated nipples, the loose skin at the bottom of my stomach and remember all of my pregnancies. I think to myself "Your body shouts I AM A MOTHER". I think the body of an older mother is beautiful, saggy breast and all.

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#24 of 57 Old 03-23-2010, 11:45 AM
 
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Seems to me like pregnancy causes most of the sag.
Totally. Increased breast size stretches the skin. My point was that there's also the "daily sag" of just weight vs. skin. If the weight isn't being applied to the skin because of wearing a bra, then it logically follows that the "daily sag" is going to be reduced. Bras certainly aren't going to prevent all sagging (I mean, even our face starts to sag after a while - it's just the nature of skin!). And those of us with less elastic skin are going to be more susceptible to sagging than others, not that that's all bad:

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Am I the only one that likes her sag? I think it looks nice. I look at my body, the stretch marks, the stretched out breast and elongated nipples, the loose skin at the bottom of my stomach and remember all of my pregnancies. I think to myself "Your body shouts I AM A MOTHER". I think the body of an older mother is beautiful, saggy breast and all.
This is beautiful, thank you.
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#25 of 57 Old 03-23-2010, 01:29 PM
 
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Hi Svart! I notice this is your very first post to MDC.

Feel free to post over at the Pleased to Meet You forum, as well. We'd like to get to know you better.

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#26 of 57 Old 03-23-2010, 02:31 PM
 
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On the topic of saggy breast. Am I the only one that likes her sag? I think it looks nice. I look at my body, the stretch marks, the stretched out breast and elongated nipples, the loose skin at the bottom of my stomach and remember all of my pregnancies. I think to myself "Your body shouts I AM A MOTHER". I think the body of an older mother is beautiful, saggy breast and all.
I don't like or dislike it. It's just there. However, it also doesn't say "I am a mother" to me, because I've had it since I was 12 or 13.

I like my stretch marks, though. I try not to think too much about pregnancy, but I do like my stretch marks. My body did something right.

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#27 of 57 Old 03-23-2010, 02:41 PM
 
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I support (oooh bad pun) the suggestion of getting an expert bra fitting.

I also think that having a chat about the "message" of wobbly breasts and visible nipple outlines is worthwhile. What is comfortable on a beach may not work in an interview for a great volunteer position, and your dd is at an age when she might be thinking about having fun on the beach with friends and also trying to land a great volunteer job.

She needs to know what part of her to project (sorry, these awful puns can't be avoided) and when.

It won't all become instantly clear. We're all different people at different times. That's not a bad thing. It's something we all have to learn, though.
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#28 of 57 Old 03-23-2010, 02:46 PM
 
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What an intersting thread!

I remember being about 13 and wearing a 'training bra' for the buds and my GRANDFATHER of all people came in and noticed right away and said "oh, I see your wearing a BRA!" how hummiliating! I was wearing a nice shirt over it of course! The nerve!

When your very young it seems like BRA's can draw more attention to your sexuality then not.... like telling the world that you are aware of your growth and am embracing your 'womanhood' and unless you feel ready for that, egnoring it seems like a logical delay technique!

I've worked with a lot of young people in this age group and MOST cannot stand to be baggered by Mom. I think you would have more sucsess if you pretended like it didn't matter to you and have a favorite relative (aunt, cousin) give her a tank top with a bra shelf in it!
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#29 of 57 Old 03-23-2010, 04:03 PM
 
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http://www.brafree.org/faq.html#1

I don't see why wearing under shirt or wearing an additional over layer like a vest is attracting attention to one's breasts any more than seeing the seams of a bra cup, the straps or the whole bra itself through a shirt.

The message of wobbly breasts and nipple outlines in volunteer interviews? Give me a break. What about dressing modestly? What do I have to learn, sorry? I have held professional jobs without wearing a bra and tend to go about my business expecting people to treat me as something other than nipples with me attached.

So many messed up messages y'know.
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#30 of 57 Old 03-23-2010, 10:55 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. And I, for one, do NOT want my daughter to be viewed as a sexual object. I have started having her wear undershirts now so she is used to the extra layer (not to mention that little girls pants are low cut, and undershirts are longer than regular shirts, thus they can be tucked in)

I am well endowed, as well, and have been wearing bras since I was 10. I found that going to the Bali/Hanes/Playtex store was very worthwhile. I was fitted and then had A LOT of different styles to choose from. I spent most of my preteen years in wirefree bras that were very comfy. I now wear underwire bras, and have a few heavily seamed wirefree bras for comfy days. I find having unencumbered bras is a actually a hinder to my movements and actions.

Some links you and your daughter could check out together, and find something that appeals to her.
Wirefree Bras
T-Shirt Bras
Yoga Tank with built-in shelf bra
Wire free T-shirt bras
Strappy sports bras (I am actually SUPER jealous of these! These look so crazy comfy! Personally, this is what I could choose. They look like crop tops, but have straps that could be worn under a dress or a tank top without having the racerback straps showing.

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