Why Bustiers Are The Worst

Rula Al-Nasrawi is a Columbia Graduate whose writing has appeared in ViceThe Atlantic, and other online publications. Her first language is valley girl. Californian bred, NYC residing. @RulaOfTheWorld

For those of you who haven’t seen me in the flesh, I guess I would describe myself as little. Up until now most of me is pretty small; tiny hands, tiny feet, and nonexistent booty. But the one thing I can proudly call big are my girls. Yup, the only way to truly know I have made it past puberty is the fact that I’m a 32DD. Little lady big rack. Anyway, this isn’t so much about me as it is an open letter to the complete dumbass who invented the bustier.

So in case anyone thought otherwise, bustiers are the absolute worst. If you don’t spend all of your extra money online shopping on NastyGal.com like me, a modern day bustier is essentially a bra-like crop top with little cups that outline where your cleavage belongs. Yup, that’s right. A shirt is telling me where my girls can and can’t go. Excuse me? Don’t tell me what to do. I’m talking about bustier tops that you can wear out in public not lingerie. If I needed lingerie that fits I know where to go. And no matter where you shop their estimate in size for bustier tops is always insanely off. One cup of a standard Small bustier fits a Russian dwarf hamster and maybe a wood chip for it to chew on. Sorry, but I don’t have two Russian dwarf hamsters. Honestly they’re more like guinea pigs.

If you’re not “well-endowed” then you can proudly and comfortably wear a bustier and flaunt it girl. But like, if someone can have support for their areolas then can I also get some support up in here? I carry an extra five pounds minimum on my body every day, I NEED support. And instead of boosting, the bustier just makes me look like the loser who grew up not learning the concept of coloring in the lines. If I get a size Large to make up for it, then the top just falls down completely. So either way, I’m in hell.

The biggest nightmare is that I continue to buy them like an idiot, as if one day I’ll put on my 107th bustier and everything will sit where it’s supposed to. One of the signs of insanity is buying twelve-hundred bustiers expecting different results. It’s true, I read that somewhere once.

Ok but here is the main thing that drives me crazy about bustiers. I like them, I think they’re adorable, and they look amazing on the right body. But why can’t my body be the right body? What is this timeless assumption that little girls are little everywhere? Or that bigger girls are bigger everywhere? It’s something that I’ve been rolling my eyes over since high school, when I wasted hours of my teenage life trying to squeeze into the Hollister and Abercrombie tops with built-in bras that never ever fit me. But I kept wearing them, trying over and over again to conform to a built-in expectation of how my body proportions SHOULD be.

I should be able to wear a size small that isn’t tiny everywhere just as much as a woman who fits in size Large might need a small bust. It’s not news that women have all sorts of different proportions. So then why are we still having this conversation? Maybe instead of trying to color between the lines we should be able to dictate where the lines go. Wouldn’t that make a much prettier picture?


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