The Million Dollar Conundrum
by Alyssa Jackson | published Nov. 14th, 2015
I understand that bras are not technically a necessity for women. In fact, a French study suggests that not wearing bras may be better for women. Some believe that bras can actually contribute to a women's breasts sagging rather than preventing it. The study found that if you don't wear a bra, the muscles in breasts are worked out more, making it less likely that they will sag, according to CBS news.
So yes, technically I don't need to wear a bra at all, especially every day. However, societal norms say that I should. It isn't considered lady-like or professional for me not to wear a bra to a job interview — actually, there have been instances in which what a woman did or didn't wear affected whether or not she got the job.
My issue with the $2 million bra from Victoria's Secret is that it contributes to this idea that femininity and the items required are a luxury item. As a woman, I'm really sick of the fact that I have to pay extravagantly for things that I need. Two of the most expensive things that I have to buy as a woman are tampons and bras.
Obviously there are far cheaper bras than the Victoria's Secret Fantasy Bra. But the reality of the situation is that I could buy an incredibly uncomfortable, inexpensive bra for $10 or maybe less from Walmart, or I could bite the bullet and buy a better quality bra from some place like Aerie or Victoria's Secret. More often than not, I'll find myself shelling out $40 or more on a bra every few months so that I can be comfortable day in and day out. After a few months you may need to buy more due to wear and tear, and that money really adds up.
Tax on tampons is an issue that has more recently gained more media attention. Many women are starting to argue that they should not have to pay tax on things like tampons and pads because menstruating is not their choice. I don't get to choose whether or not I have my period. It happens every month and I have to pay around $8 each month for a box of tampons. Prices vary, but even the cheapest tampons can cost several dollars.
Even on "tax-free" holidays in the United States when there is no tax on computers or art supplies, there is still tax on tampons. Only five states have agreed not to tax tampons: Maryland, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and New Jersey. And because taxes vary from state to state in the U.S., each state would need to individually ban sales tax on tampons or bras in order for the ban to be a nation-wide movement.
The fact of the matter is Victoria's Secret, in making bras seem like a fun exciting thing that women get to buy, is contributing to the problem. I'm frequently scraping together pennies to buy myself these "luxury items" to make it day by day as a women. Stop charging so much for these items. Being a woman shouldn't be this difficult.