Thursday, January 13, 2011

Perky Boobs Part of Your Uniform

Another gem from my twitter feed.

Apparently an airport security firm have gone to court over dress codes for their staff, including underwear. Women will from now on be forced to wear bras to work, all "to preserve the orderly appearance of employer-provided uniforms." Yes, that sounds about right, because the first thing you think about with unsupported breasts is "disorderly"? Perhaps asymmetrical, saggy, small, or imperfectly shaped boobs are such an offence according to this airport security firm that they have to have a standard for the breasts so that they fit into the uniform.

Interesting is that this whole fight for the women to wear a bra as a part of their uniform tells quite a lot about the intentions for it. I mean, there are bras and bras. There are bras without padding, which are essentially no bras at all, or at least to the onlookers eye, there is little to no difference at all, because the bras do not lift, nor do they shape. They just sit there as an invisible support for the woman's comfort. Externally it cannot be seen whether the woman is wearing a bra or not, which probably means that they would not qualify as a part of a uniform for this particular airport security firm, as they do nothing to add to the orderliness required. If they are against no bras at all, the logic follows that they would also oppose bras that do not add anything particular.

There are also bras which are strapless and do not add much of a support, but can be comfortable to wear for women who wear strapless dresses or do not want their bra straps to show. They are not particularly great for health reasons as they do not usually give the back the support it needs for those women with larger breasts. Would these qualify as acceptable bras under the uniform standard? Possibly, since they could add to the uniform looking more orderly. What the difference would be, I do not know, perhaps the nipples would not be so obvious if the airport is a bit chilly?

But if this whole disagreement is because of the firm not wanting their workers to be looked at in a sexual way, then padded bras and especially push up bras should be banned too. Both make the breasts look larger and more artificial, which can be seen as 'sexier.' They also usually offer better support, but this really has to do with getting a bra that is the right fit rather than anything else. A bra, no matter if it is a Wonder Bra or a H&M bra will give you the support you need if you do not have your correct measurements, so in this case no bra would be just as acceptable. But, as the airport firm has itself argued, this is not for health, it is for orderliness.

Implied in this silly argument of orderliness is an expectation on how women's breasts should look to be deemed appropriate. If they are not perfectly round (as a padded bra must be used in order for it not to look like the woman is not wearing a bra), sitting at a certain level, exactly the same size, they are not acceptable breasts; they are abnormal, ugly and inappropriate for any professional person. It is a great insult to any woman out there and a completely absurd argument that violates a person's right to be. Asymmetrical, non-round breasts are not a sign of bad hygiene, the way that dirty hair can it be, nor can they hurt anyone or hinder a job, the way that long finger nails can. This is nothing but an attempt to sexualise women further and make the absurd society ideals a part of women's working uniform. What were the judges thinking? Are they now regulating breasts?

Ironically, in their search for the perfect breasts, this airport firm has effectively hidden everything that is natural about breasts. They are no longer allowed to be breasts, but rather the padding of an underwear garment.

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