Ok, I have a confession…. I LOVE BRA AND UNDERWEAR SHOPPING!!! Whew! Now that that’s out of the way let me tell you why!
When I was a teenager both of my Grandmothers would often buy me pretty bra and underwear sets. My paternal grandmother, Grandmother Gwendolyn, would always find something to say about my dingy little bras, especially white ones! She’d make comments about how ladies should never wear ugly underwear!
Her favorite question to pose was, “What would happen if you got in a car accident and had to go to the emergency room and the doctors had to cut off your clothes? You should want to look just as good under your clothes as you do in your clothes!” LOL Funny right? Well as true as it was I did not want to hear that mess as a teenager! Who cared what my panties and bras were looking like? No one was going to see them but me! And if the doctor cared that much to judge me then he or she must have been worried about the wrong thing, right?…
Well, I definitely wasn’t the most confident girl growing up. I even used to call myself Fat Judy as a child because I thought I was fat and had a BIG BUTT. Little did I know, a name that I thought was just fun and games made me self-conscious about my weight and my curves. I was even nervous about changing clothes in front of other girls. As a dancer, I would always go into restroom stall to change for class rather than to change in the open with the other girls and have them see my hideous figure. And I was even conscious about wearing fitted clothing because I was afraid someone would judge me for my rounded body.
Fortunately, Grandmother Gwendolyn turned out to be the same woman who helped me overcome my insecurities. She started buying me new bras and underwear all of the time, making my old ones just vanish off the face of the earth! But something happened there that neither of us were aware of. Somewhere in the midst of going out with the old and in with the new, I began to feel a change! I actually started to like the way I looked, in my undies! I began taking longer to get ready and spent more time admiring all of my lovely lady lumps. I loved having underwear fashion shows alone in the mirror showing all of my figure to myself! I loved the sight of me, ALL OF ME!
Society has created such an unrealistically perfect image that it is almost impossible for any woman to attain. We compare ourselves to the appearance of super models, tv personalities, and megastars because they have been deemed “beautiful” or “perfect”, when in reality most of us will never achieve those photo shopped standards of beauty. Instead we should love and embrace our own beauty and shatter the face of our insecurities.
It is important to teach young girls how to have love for themselves and to be confident in their own skin. Teach her to love herself and to appreciate every dimple, curve, and crease in her body. When she is confident in the way she looks and when she embraces the uniqueness of her body, she then can feel confident enough to make her impact on the world! Buying girls pretty underwear and bras is one of the few ways to teach them love for self and their body image.
Nowadays, at the age of 22, I still love bra and underwear shopping, I still have my fashion shows, and I still feel confident about my body! The love that I have for my body naked or fully clothed is just the same. Give a girl the right pair of undies and she will feel confident to conquer the world!
Special thank you to both of my grandmothers, Gwendolyn Bailey and Gloria Hayes-Pool! I love you both!!!
By: Verinique Bailey, “The V. In Virtue”
***The picture above was taken after a recent bargain at TJ Maxx where I picked up several sets for under $60 (4 bras and 10 pair of underwear, not all pictured). I always find deals like this at places like TJ Maxx, Ross, and even sales at Wal-Mart. Also, check out lingerie stores like Victoria Secret and Soma. A good idea is to ask for gift cards to these places on birthdays or Christmas and rack up! :)***