Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Undergarments of the Gods

BreastBlog 2007 is winding down, but it can not die until some poor woman has blogging specifically about underwear.

Its my turn this year.

And, as I have been shown this dreadful "Public Service" Announcement which blames female bloggers for creepy street harassment on the part of people who should be acting more professional, this post will involve me discussing my taste in underwear specifically, as well as that of several well-known superheroes. And if any of you should approach me on the street and mention my underwear in the hopes of creeping me out, expect to hear a 3-hour talk on the virtues of granny underwear. It will be far more detailed than you wish to know, and shall involve a tangent about two men kissing and the opportunities to view such an event, as well as a lecture on how the yellow weakness was the greatest arbitrary weakness conceived of in the Silver Age, a rant on George Perez's Wonder Woman reboot, and complaints about people who think Frigga and Freya are the same goddess.

Unless, of course, I don't have three hours, in which case I will mercilessly taunt your visible physical flaws.

Anyway, I've been recently made aware that a bouncing chest is considered a stumbling block, something very trying for men who are attempting to stare open-mouthed at a perfectly innocent young woman and keep their thoughts pure at the same time. I feel no pity or sympathy for a man I've caught staring when my chest moves, because whatever awkwardness is felt on their end can't be anything compared to being attached to the dreadful things. Oh sure, as a body part there's a certain amount of unconscious comfort to it. A Bounce Tolerance, so to speak. It differs for every woman, based on her size and her choice of support, but there's a certain amount of bouncing that is to be expected and can be ignored. Even then, however, we are all well-aware of the bounce and know that nothing can be done to stop it (to be honest its quite rude to remind us of that fact, because its uncomfortable enough to know that your flesh is bouncing without some person calling attention to it!). Some women don't give a damn either way, but most women will take steps to minimize the bouncing. I'm one of those women who care very much about minimizing the bouncing.

For me, its a matter of comfort as well as self-consciousness. I don't like feeling that bounce. I don't like thinking about that bounce. I don't like others watching that bounce, and seeing others watch that bounce just makes me think more and more about how I don't like feeling that bounce or thinking about that bounce. This puts me in a foul mood and leads to a great deal of unpleasantness at work and on the internet.

Yes, that's right, Ragnell the Foul is cranky because her chest bounces too much. And here I bet you thought my shoes were too tight.

After evaluating various bras on comfort, dressing time, amount of movement, appearance, and durability, I discovered the perfect bra for me a few years ago. It has a racer back, a back-closing clasp, and an underwire. It happens to be about two cup sizes too small right now, and distributes my flesh into what my sister refers to as the "uniboob" but trust me once I get that contraption fastened there is as little bounce as possible and that is precisely how I like it. I find bouncing to be very unpleasant.

It may be surprising (well, to new readers at least -- "Hello to any perverts out there who googled women's underwear and came up my insane ramblings!") that I looked at Amanda Conner's Power Girl costume design and thought of that bra.

Its the creases, actually, and the fact that the costume does not appear to separate the breasts but instead distributes them into the aforementioned uniboob and looks a couple cup sizes too small. Adjusting for artist interpretation, I'd say an actual Power Girl costume would not dip so low on the breasts and instead would have the same effect as my favorite sports bra -- as much restriction of bounce as possible. There's still going to be some natural jigglyness, but absolutely nothing can be done about that with our society's support technology.

Which brings me to Wonder Woman. She is from a society of women that has existed independently of men for three thousand years, and has access to divine magic. If anyone can make a better bra, its the Amazons.

When Jodi Piccoult was hired, she was quoted as asking to change the costume because she thought a bustier would be difficult to fight crime in. A bustier is an undergarment which supports the bust from underneath, usually with plastic ribbing. I'm with Piccoult in that I think a bustier such as the red top that Diana wears would be difficult to fight crime in. Honestly, I think that a bustier such as the red top Diana wears would be difficult to do anything in. Diana's costume, however, was designed by the Amazons who must have superior brassiere technology.

By that logic, I propose that Wonder Woman is not actually wearing a bustier. Her bust is supported by the gold breastplate that lies on top of the red material.

It only makes sense. That belt is the girdle of Gaia, a major divine artifact. Those bracers are forged from Aegis, a major divine artifact. Her tiara is forged for Amazon royalty. Surely its not too out of the question to assume her breastplate has magic properties as well?

Some artists draw a tiny, tiny WW, but the Byrne years depicted the WW (and the classic eagle) with a decent amount of coverage. The eagle could clearly be a bra in itself, but the WW probably works with the red material to lift, cradle, and stablize the WonderTwins as well as protect Diana's vital organs. In most drawings it molds to her chest shape and likely has an attached underwire threaded through the red part of the costume. There's probably a decent amount of padding for comfort underneath the gold and surrounding the underwire. Add Diana's gift of flight and magic properties associated with any of Wonder Woman's gear and that bra must feel like an extension of her body, never too restrictive, never too loose, an undergarment forged by Hephaestus himself!

Yes, I have considered this at great length.

But there can always be a better bra. I think the capabilities of one are in the hands of Lorna Dane (Polaris) and Francis Kane (Magenta) of Marvel and DC respectively.

When I first saw the X-Men trailers a few years ago, I watched a clip of Magneto spontaneously create a bridge with random plates of metal as he was walking across it and was struck by the potential breast-tech applications of magnetic powers. From how I've seen magnetic powers used, a person can tear metal apart and assemble a costume over their body that fits their form absolutely perfectly. As this is made entirely of metal, there is no chance of it moving, and if those breasts are snugly contained and supported in the metallic bra there will be absolutely no bouncing. Its form fitting, so it lifts and separates if you want it to. No need for an underwire, as the entire outfit is an underwire. With the right kind of padding it could be very comfortable, and since you made it on your own it certainly wouldn't restrict breathing. And in addition to all of that you can reasonably expect it to withhold against most attacks.

I'd go so far as to say that if I could have any superpower I wanted, it would be magnetic powers to aid in the construction of the Ideal Support Garment.

In retrospect I suppose this is the mentality that led to the corset.

It would cut down on bounce, though. I certainly wouldn't want bounce if I was fighting crime.


  1. Hmm... I suppose I could do that. Do you think there is money to be made on that front?

    And excellent choice of superpowers! I have found that my nigh infinite mastery of magnetism has served me exceedingly well over the years.

  2. Alright, so now why is the yellow weakness so great?

  3. You know, the 1986 Perez redesign of Diana's costume bugged me for a few reasons. The big one:

    How did Diana BEND OVER wearing that pointy, pointy, SOLID METAL girdle, without doing severe damage to her internal organs? Hell, how did she SIT DOWN?

    I lived through the era of the Large And Ornate Men's Belt Buckle. I can tell you that THAT, more than anything in the "chestal region", is the most impractical part of any version of Diana's garb.

  4. I'm wearing a sports bra right now, as I just finished working out and am about to go cycling for groceries, and there's something so very comforting reading about support and anti-bounce while wearing something so supportive and anti-bounce. I own three sport bras and even so, only one will do for things like jogging and jumping jacks - it's obviously the most expensive and interestingly constructed, since I hurt even thinking about the bounce. And I totally love the idea of a super power created bra. Even of metal, which seems a little, well, inflexible. I guess that's where the mastery of magnetism comes in. While you're fighting crime and doing potentially bounce-inducing moves, you must also allow for the slight shift that lifting one shoulder above the other causes.

    Also, now I can't help but think of Power Girl in a really nice sports bra with a digital photo screened onto the top of a boob window, just like those really odd skirts with photos of bare backside in various underwear printed on them that went round the internet a few years ago.

  5. I don't know where one can find Amazonian bras, but I know that I want one. Hell, I NEED one!

    And I too have always wondered about the pointy belt. That HAS to hurt when she bends over.

    Now perhaps Dr. Polaris could use his talents for GOOD instead of EVIL, he'd have grateful women beating a path to his door. Or lair. Or whatever.

  6. Men have the same problem, just different. Just think of a jock strap as half of a bra.

  7. "supporting the wonder twins"

    I will be laughing about these four words for the rest of my natural life.

    "Just think of a jock strap as half of a bra"

    For some of us maybe...

  8. I don't actually see why you'd want to have a bra that reduces bounce. Most of the time, when women bounce, it's because they're not wearing the right cup size. For some , bouncing is inevitable. For others, like myself, sports bras are not made in our size, nor are many bras for that matter. Or any nice, fancy bras.

    I think that now that Diana has been rebooted, one of her roles should be a "Sexy Bra for Women With Rare Bra Sizes" advocate. Because really, there should be. And she can go on a quest for the perfect bra.

    P.S. I wouldn't want a bra that forms to my body. Reducing bouncing must actually be painful. The poor wonder twins wouldn't be able to move or "breathe", and the shape and design of whatever you're wearing over it would be ruined.

  9. Sallyp, I found reading your first sentence while looking a picture of Guy Garnder very disturbing for some reason.

    Ragnell, I've got the solution, straight from the Golden Age (home of the "moron hormone" and "the war-prevento machine").

    The invisible plane is made out off "elastic Amozonium," which, in addition to being the hardest substance known to man (um, and woman?), can apparently also be invisible. Thus, I'm willing to bet Wonder Woman (and the rest of the Amazons) have fashioned bras of the stuff. You get all the support of a bra, but because it's invisible you can't even see it (and it's impenetrable to bullets and knives and the like).

    Anyway, that's my theory.

  10. In the Marvel Universe, for decades now, Tony Stark's armor has used a kind of cloth that is limp normally but becomes nearly bullet-proof when you run a current through it. That would probably be more ideal that having Magneto or Polaris building bras, since I'm unsure if their fields hold once they stop concentrating. Plus, I can't imagine a constantly rigid, form-fitting bra would be much fun for a pregnant woman, given the swelling that (I believe) occurs during lactation.

    A semi-elastic bra made from Stark's fabric (I'm guessing) would be ideal given that it would take the shape of the breasts whenever you turned it on, and then retain that until you took it off.

  11. My big worry about any self-constructed super-powered underwear is what happens if you suddenly get depowered while wearing it? I mean, that's a pretty common occurance if you're a superhero and the last thing you'd want after a really bad fight is having to have someone weild bolt-cutters around your delicate bits to free them.

  12. I like the uniboob bras, except when driving. The shoulder strap gets confused and goes places I'd rather it didn't. Although going without a bra is worse - much too bouncy.

    I know some well-endowed ladies who love their SCA-ish bustiers. Supposedly they can be quite comfortable if someone who knows what they're doing makes one specificially for you. I'm not sold on the idea that they're as good as a sports bra, though.

    That "stumbling block" list you linked to is frightening. What happened to "judge not"?

  13. Did I actually use the word "uniboob"? My issue with these bras is that they don't really shape at all, they just compress your breast tissue in a way that will end up making it less firm, and increases the "breast tissue coming out of the bra" issue.

    I also take MAJOR issue with the Polaris/Magenta metal bra - sure, you wouldn't see bouncing...

    But I'm pretty DAMN sure you'd see it. Not to mention brusing from particularly nasty jolts.

    Much nastier than your underwire coming loose.

    But, I'm firmly on the side of the BRA OF THE GODS. That is what Diana has.

  14. Sinspired -- Yes, you did indeed say "uniboob." It was seve or eight years ago.

  15. I was at Sam's club last night and saw an endcap of sports bras. All I could think of was 'uniboob'. Thanks ladies, now that's forever stuck in my head.

  16. I'm pretty sure that Green Lantern/Jade powers could fashion a better bra than magnetic powers could.

  17. Green Lanterns can do anything! Bwhwhahahah!

    And Caleb, darling, I am indeed a woman. I just put Guy Gardner there, 'cause he's so adorable.

  18. Ragnell - Well, OK. I knew that when I was bugging you at Disney World that I'd used another word. Can't remember what it was...

    Dwayne - Kimfuscious say: be glad for humerous brain alterations - better than brain fumigation.