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#1 of 86 Old 09-19-2013, 05:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have an 11-year-old who loves to wear a bra but doesn't need one, so this isn't an issue here, but I remember when I was a kid refusing to wear a bra for some period of time. I was a late bloomer so by the time it got to be that big of an issue I was more accommodating. It does make me wonder what I would do if she were larger and refused, how I'd handle it?

What have you done, or what would you do?
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#2 of 86 Old 09-19-2013, 05:35 PM
 
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Interesting and timely question!

DSD showed up at our house a few weeks ago with sports bras for soccer and a 'bralette' to wear under regular shirts. She's 9.

Both DH and I think she's too young and not sure whose idea this was: her or her mother's.

Will read along....

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#3 of 86 Old 09-19-2013, 05:51 PM
 
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My daughter is a C cup these days- just turning 12. I do ask that she wear a bra if she is wearing a shirt that gaps at the neck or sides, and otherwise, I let her choose whether she wants to wear one or not.  

I can't fathom forcing her to wear or not wear a bra on a regular basis.  It is her body, not mine.

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#4 of 86 Old 09-19-2013, 05:59 PM
 
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I would "make" my daughter dress relatively modestly.  If she had developed breasts and chose not to wear a bra (or equivalent like a cami with a shelf), that would likely mean that I would insist on dark, loose shirts.

 

She prefers to wear a bra so it is moot here.

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#5 of 86 Old 09-19-2013, 07:44 PM
 
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What criteria makes someone "need" a bra?
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#6 of 86 Old 09-19-2013, 08:04 PM
 
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Interesting thread. My daughter is far too young as of yet, but I have already given some thought to this because I really don't like the way my mom handled it with me. I would not make her wear a bra because I think each person deserves to wear the undergarments they are comfortable with and I just can't see any positive consequences to forcing a bra on someone who isn't ready. I do think if she was wearing a shirt in which she'd be borderline indecent without a bra, I would probably keep her from leaving the house that way. 

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#7 of 86 Old 09-19-2013, 08:29 PM
 
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Yes I would. When I did my student teaching the nurse talked to the girl and made phone calls when a girl needed but wasn't wearing a bra and it was my teacher who talked to me about doing it as a child (same with my mom) so it could be something that you just have to reinforce once you get the call. I haven't had to reinforce this though but we did get the call about deodorant despite daily showers and shaved pits so it may have been covered in discussion then. I love school nurses!
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#8 of 86 Old 09-19-2013, 08:58 PM
 
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I am almost 30 years old, a mother, and literally do not own any bras (ok, one cotton-only sports bra for nursing)... Talk to your daughter about bras as she develops? Sure, just like hygiene and deoderant and all that... "Make" her? Absolutely not... I just can't imagine forcing that kind of decision about my daughter's personal body on her. 

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#9 of 86 Old 09-20-2013, 06:09 AM
 
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Mine asked me to take her bra shopping well before she needed one, as she wanted to go with me rather than her stepmom (who had indicated that it was time....). No big. We went, had fun, went out to lunch. At 19? She's a C-cup, and an athlete. And prefers to wear a bra of some type. Sports bra for sports and hanging out, a "pretty" bra for going out. I think it's appropriate. 

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#10 of 86 Old 09-20-2013, 08:27 AM
 
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Not an issue for us as my girls want to wear them. I got my older dd1 some training bras/bralettes when she was in 3rd grade (9) and going through a hard time with some girl drama. Some of the other girls in her class were wearing them (and needing to). Her little sister (6 at the time) wanted some too and I put her off with some camis for a year or two, but after a year or two I did let both of them wear some cotton non-padded ones whenever they wanted to. I don't see anything wrong with a 9 yr old having a simple basic unpadded cotton bra to wear under her clothes if she wants to. I would not be in favor of a padded bra at that age, but now that dd1 is age 12 and developing more I am okay with it because growing boobs can be a little ouchy at times. I would not "make" my kids wear a bra, but I would suggest to them that certain shirts might look better w/ a bra underneath. Dd1 really liked this new unicorn shirt she got, but it's black and that slub fabric which is a little bit sheer in places. Dd1 really wanted to get a skin tone bra to wear under it, so we did. She didn't want people to be able to see her bra, but really wanted a bra under the thin fabric. 

 

I remember not wanting to wear one in 6th grade when I was beginning to need one, but by the time I got to 7th grade everyone was wearing them and I was too.


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#11 of 86 Old 09-20-2013, 08:33 AM
 
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No. For years I often went bra-less myself. DD likes wearing a bra though.  More than I did at the same age, but I was quite flat so I could never find bras that I liked at that age. I did take her to a specialty shop a couple of years ago and she's gone through the fitting process, so she knows about proper sizing. She likes shopping for pretty bras. We have fun going to Victoria's Secret and other shops. It's a mother-daughter bonding thing.   

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#12 of 86 Old 09-20-2013, 10:22 AM
 
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Like beanma, I've never made my dds wear a bra but I have pointed out that certain shirts are too sheer on their own and they should wear a bra or tank top underneath. 

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#13 of 86 Old 09-20-2013, 10:46 AM
 
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No, I wouldn't make my daughter wear a bra.  I wouldn't make my son wear one either.  I regularly go bra-less myself, so it would be pretty hypocritical of me to make one of my kids wear one anyways.  Bras can increase comfort under certain circumstances, but they can also be uncomfortable and distracting to wear.

 

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Yes I would. When I did my student teaching the nurse talked to the girl and made phone calls when a girl needed but wasn't wearing a bra and it was my teacher who talked to me about doing it as a child (same with my mom) so it could be something that you just have to reinforce once you get the call. I haven't had to reinforce this though but we did get the call about deodorant despite daily showers and shaved pits so it may have been covered in discussion then. I love school nurses!

I would have a problem with a school nurse commenting on my kid's underwear, and then trying to dictate about it.  If one of my kids was wearing a bra as a top, with nothing over it, then fine, but trying to dictate what my clothed child wears underneath their clothes is creepy and inappropriate.

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#14 of 86 Old 09-20-2013, 08:24 PM
 
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I don't see the nurse or teacher talks as a big deal. I am glad they do it really because it helped me a lot. Wearing a bra helped decrease the negative attention I got from the moms who were horrified by my early and obvious development. Strangely the bra helped me feel more confident because the bouncing had been uncomfortable and made me very self conscious.
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#15 of 86 Old 09-21-2013, 08:51 AM
 
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No one should dictate whether a child even wears underwear, barring health issues. I have known dads who insist their daughters wear a bra, and that is just creepy to me. School faculty getting involved in underwear...a HUGE no-no. I wish bras weren't an issue in society. I hate wearing one but I am pretty floppy/bouncy and it feels physically awkward if I am just hanging loose in certain shirts.


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#16 of 86 Old 09-21-2013, 10:48 AM
 
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I needed one physcially far before I ever got one. I only wish my mom had taken me sooner. 

For me it will depend on their health. My health would have benefitted from having a proper supportive bra around 9-10. My DD? It's not even an issue as of yet, even though I'm expecting early puberty with my children, I'm hoping that it will be a little later than me. But if they have a significant need, then yes for the health of their back, breasts and body I will insist (but probably not have to), I was a full B in grade four and a full C in grade 5, and it was sudden!

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#17 of 86 Old 09-21-2013, 04:43 PM
 
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Definitely not. And I pity the school nurse who calls me about my child wearing *antiperspirant* (which IMO is really what is expected). I will tell her that *I* have a little 'Secret' for her: It is a drug, it is labeled as an OTC drug and no one in my family will be coating their underarms with Aluminum Chlorohydrate to prop up US prudishness.

 

My son actually prefers not to wear underwear to school and I don't really see why exactly he should have to . . . There is no situation in which anyone should be in his pants.

 

I find the idea that MOTHERS would be upset about the breasts of a developing child more than reprehensible and just speaks to the incredible breast obsession/envy in our culture that drives the billion dollar silicone implant industry.

 

As a woman who is well endowed, I say step right off the nursies of other women. If they are bigger than yours, well maybe you have better hair or something. Just appreciate what another woman has and be done with it, we are all blessed with something.

 

I am definitely someone who thinks underwire and padded & push up bras are WAY more offensive than no bra @ all.

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#18 of 86 Old 09-21-2013, 05:26 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dinahx View Post

 

I find the idea that MOTHERS would be upset about the breasts of a developing child more than reprehensible and just speaks to the incredible breast obsession/envy in our culture that drives the billion dollar silicone implant industry.

 

:yeah

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#19 of 86 Old 09-21-2013, 08:10 PM
 
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It seems to me that probably most girls want to wear a bra before or around the time that they're starting to be physically uncomfortable without one. The situation with a girl who is experiencing physical issues (as opposed to social) due to not wearing a bra, and yet she doesn't want to wear one as opposed to her parent not wanting to get her one, seems comparatively rare. But if you do happen to have that kid who has back/shoulder pain from large breasts and yet stubbornly doesn't want to wear a bra, and you discuss with her the benefits of a bra and how a properly-fitting one will help her feel more comfortable, and she still stubbornly doesn't want to wear one, then I just don't see where pushing it on her is going to accomplish anything constructive. She'll either take it off the first chance she gets, or wear it and seethe at you. As for deodorant, assuming she is bathing regularly and her clothes are reasonably clean, that also sounds like a social issue rather than a physical one, but I am not opposed to the nurse pointing out such an issue to parents, who may legitimately not have realized it. The parent can then decide how to proceed. 

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#20 of 86 Old 09-21-2013, 08:28 PM
 
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Whether or not to wear a bra is their choice.  

 

I have 2 girls - 14 and almost 11.  

 

The 14 year old always wears a bra, and enjoys getting pretty ones.

 

The 11 year old does have small breasts, but rarely wears a bra.  She does have a couple of camisole type ones she picked out.  Once in a blue moon I will let her know that a shirt is a little see-through (or is in some other way immodest) if we are leaving the house and ask her to put on a bra or change tops - but that is pretty rare.  

 

I was pretty resistant to wearing a bra when I started to develop in grade 6.  I was not amused at going through puberty - and somewhat in denial.  I do remember a couple of kids commenting on my lack of bra, and it was embarrassing, but honestly, I think it would have been more damaging if my mom insisted I wear a bra.  i just wasn't ready.  This changed - of course - and I started wearing a bra pretty consistantly from about grade 7 onwards.  Nowadays, I wear a bra about 75% of the time.  I do not find bras all that comfortable, so I do go without sometimes.  

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#21 of 86 Old 09-21-2013, 09:16 PM
 
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When I was 12, the school nurse yelled at me for not wearing a bra. I didn't feel any need for one at the time before she mentioned it. In hindsight, she didn't tell me about it because of my chest size- she was pissed off because it made the scoliosis testing more difficult for her. Rather than being sympathetic that I'd forgotten they were testing that day and had meant to wear my swimsuit under my shirt like I'd done every year beforehand, instead she decided to yell at me while I was half-naked. I basically left the room in tears and immediately got a bra just out of shame. I was never able to find comfortable bras, I always hated the way they made my clothes look, I don't know if I ever would have decided to wear them if left to my own devices- and don't see anything wrong with that- but it sure would have been nice for my decision to have been based on genuine interest rather than shame!

(If a school nurse really feels this is an issue that needs to be addressed: my opinion is that they should call the parents and leave it to them to handle. It is not the nurse's child, it is not the nurse's place to tell a child what they should or should not wear.)

 

If a doctor told me that my kid had to wear a bra, I'd address the medical concerns and try to find a solution that's most comfortable. Beyond that, I'll only raise concerns about modesty and otherwise leave the timing up to my children. My biggest concern is how to make it clear that they're free to get a bra whenever they're ready without coming off as pressuring them into one. If it seems like they may need one but aren't asking, I'm not sure how to make sure they aren't asking out of genuine disinterest rather than out of discomfort about raising the subject. 


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#22 of 86 Old 09-22-2013, 07:19 AM
 
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Sure, there are situations were I would. I force my son to wear a cup when he spars in karate (well, I used to "make" him when he was little... now he gets why one wants to do that lol.) My daughter is expected to wear a bra in productions (or a nude leotard in some cases) where it's a big distraction to the audience to have a lot of movement... or changes the line of a costume.... particularly period pieces. I've never had to force her though. On a normal day? No, wouldn't bug me but certain activities, support is a really good idea. Maybe a well-endowed runner or tennis player.

 

I did encourage her to wear a cami in 6th grade even though she didn't need one. I knew she'd go into the P.E. locker room and feel particularly naked and very likely to be the only girl without one (she was 10 and flat as a pancake.) However, she chose not to and I didn't push it. In a week, I noticed she was wearing them to school for the locker room reason. She didn't really wear them outside of school until 8th grade when she actually started having reason for it.

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#23 of 86 Old 09-22-2013, 11:25 AM
 
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No. (Old hippy mom here.) I often go braless (with a 38 C body) and I don't feel bras are absolutely necessary. I only wear them when I am seeing clients or going out to dinner or a party and need to make my clothes fit better.

 

All my girls asked for bras fairly young, and two developed fairly young. My girls wear bras to bed, which I don't understand, but it's their bodies and they do their own laundry, so it's their choice. :)

 

However, I have had to insist they wear deodorant. Asperger kids sometimes need some prompting, but then eventually they get it and don't need any help and just do these kinds of things on their own.


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#24 of 86 Old 09-23-2013, 05:57 AM
 
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Oh, how I remember the Battle of the Bra. My step mother took me aside & said if I was going to wear a sweater around dad, I needed to wear a bra. Looking back, I don't think of it as creepy. Our culture does sexualize breasts & dad was distressed at seeing me w/ sexual traits. I think it's more of a nipple factor than curves as I was never more than a smallish B. My mom did force me & locked me in her room until I put on the bra she had purchased when I was 11. It was horrifying & shaming, I remember distinctly being shoved into puberty. I still played w/ dolls & was the only cousin to get a huge pack of makeup at Christmas as opposed to a toy & no one understood why I cried. W/ 3 daughters now I'll probably follow their lead, but modesty is important in our house. My oldest girl is 5 so likely if it's an issue we'll knit some trendy vests.


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#25 of 86 Old 09-23-2013, 09:53 AM
 
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It must have been terrible to be shamed that way. So sad. I'm sorry you had to go through that. :Hug

 

IMO, "modesty" means different things to different people. As I frequently don't wear a bra, I don't think the slight outline of a nipple nor the normal curve of a breast to be sexual. What other people think, as I see it, is their issue not mine to have to wear things I feel physically uncomfortable about. (When you have fairly large breasts bras can actually cause pain. I'm a 5 ft woman, petite, with a 38 C almost D cup. Most underwire bras HURT me if I wear them too long and I can't go without an underwire because the weight of my breasts will work their way under the band of the breast without a wire. Bras without underwires don't make me look any different than simply not wearing a bra.  So I frequently go braless.)

 

I don't let my younger girls wear inappropriate clothes (and most of mine never wanted to anyway) but I don't think women should bear the brunt of the misconception that ALL men are thinking about sex (ostensibly with them ) ALL the time and it's OUR responsibility to stop them. Men don't walk around with jock straps on, and it makes sense why.

 

I would never force a child to wear a bra (what an awful experience it must have been, and I wonder if it made you feel ashamed of your natural beautiful female body!) From where I sit, too much which is often seen as "modesty" is actually internalized shame. I agree that young women shouldn't wear strapless tops or shorts where their butt cheeks stick out the bottom or clothes that say inappropriate things (we've all seen 6 year olds with shorts or tops that say "Juicy" or "Sexy" or some other inappropriate sexual message.)  But, I feel the natural curves of a female body are natural and beautiful and should not be hidden from the world.

 

As with most things, your mileage may vary.


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#26 of 86 Old 09-23-2013, 09:59 AM
 
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Once I was harassed @ work by some co-workers for coming to work without a bra. My wise Boss said 'why did we bother burning our bras in the 1960s if women are still acting like this?' and she said 'I would be much more concerned if you were wearing a padded, push up bra to work'. She also said 'men set up the social code & women enforce it on each other.' (That is a generalization, obviously, but I think partly true). Bras don't automatically equal modesty, especially the varieties on the market today.
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#27 of 86 Old 09-23-2013, 11:40 AM
 
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A girl should have the option of wearing a bra if she wants to, but she should never be coerced into it. How horrible to hear about school nurses trying to crawl into our children's pants like that! It's a personal choice and should be made by the person herself. It's nobody else's business!

 

That said, my 13yo definitely prefers wearing a bra to school because all the other girls wear them and she doesn't want to be the only one showing her bare breasts when she has to change for gym class.

 

I like going braless at home, and I'm a G-cup, but I prefer wearing bras when I go out, not because of modesty, but because my breasts hang down really low now and the bra gives me more of a shape. Young girls, in contrast, have a shape whether they wear a bra or not.


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#28 of 86 Old 09-23-2013, 12:08 PM
 
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Yes, I would make my daughter wear a bra if she needed to even if she didn't want to.

 

I had my daughter start wearing one as soon as she started developing.  I think she was about 10.  She wasn't getting boobs, per se, but her nipples were starting to poke out and show.  The way they make shirts nowadays, as well, t-shirts are so paper thin you can see right through them.

I try not to buy those shirts, but sometimes it doesn't matter what you wear, you're going to see a girl's nipples.

So I got her some sports bras, just so people would not see her nipples through her shirts.

 

We lived in a bad part of town and I did not want some perv to notice and maybe molest her. 

I know, we would all like to live in a world where we shouldn't have to worry about these things, but we do.

 

At her age she would not know how to deal some grown man who might say some lewd comment to her

or worse try to rape her, and I would rather her wear a bra than attract the attention of some pervert.

Granted, she could be wearing a burka and still be attacked, but I'm not going to increase the odds of her getting

unwanted attention.

 

And I'm not saying women that don't wear bras are asking to be raped, I'm just saying a preteen girl does not know how to handle

the attention a more experienced, older woman would know how to handle.


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#29 of 86 Old 09-23-2013, 12:30 PM
 
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My daughter is far away from this, being only 3. But I'd hope to make it a nice sort of experience, (like her first period), a type of rite of passage as she develops breasts (growing up knowing how wonderful and amazing breasts are), and make sure she gets ones that fit properly and are comfy. I developed late age 14. She will also be homeschooled though so not as likely to get teased if she doesn't wear one or does early. 


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#30 of 86 Old 09-23-2013, 12:41 PM
 
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OK, I am 32y.o. and I didn,t know that people wear bras for modesty!

I always thaught it was for comfort! if you have huge breasts. I got to D cup at age 15, and baught myself my first bras with my part-time job money, because I was getting not very comfortable. 

well, now I know what bras are really for! it explains why my flat chested friends wear bras!

lilitchka is offline  
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