By Amanda Wineman
Distinguished Young Woman of Montana for 2011
There are two girls that will never leave you no matter how much you complain about them, or wish they would change. They aren’t just any girls; they’re THE girls. That’s right. I went there. With so many girls exposed to negative images of what being a beautiful woman is really about, I believe it’s important to emphasize what we as girls love about ourselves. This entry is not to be interpreted as “risque” or “inappropriate” in any way; my intention is simply to be realistic and celebrate just some of the things that make us beautiful. There is a three letter word that can solve 99% of the problems we as girls are faced with today, and no it isn’t “man.” It’s BRA.
I went shopping the other day with one of my sorority sisters, and we walked into Victoria’s Secret; I was immediately reminded of the first time I walked into this iconic store. Simply put, the first trip to VC left me feeling horribly unqualified. Frankly, I was flat. I was not gifted with a chest that left people staring in insane jealousy. I was left thinking I wasn’t as beautiful as Miranda Kerr or Giselle Bundchen, (but really who is? They are like freaks of nature, beautiful freaks of nature). Realizing the differences between me and the model in the photo, I started to feel less beautiful, less feminine. I became very insecure about my body. Was I too skinny? Was I too fat? Were my thighs too big? Suddenly I found that every magazine cover, and every TV program that featured people like Kim Kardashian or the hotties from the Hills was leaving me with an unhealthy sense of self pity. I had small boobs, and there was nothing I could do but complain and be patient in hopes that God would eventually give me the same equipment He blessed these models with. Naturally this was all at the tender age of thirteen.
On my seventeenth birthday, I was peering up at Miranda Kerr. Naturally she was modeling some kind of lingerie, which naturally I was not interested in. I was not interested in buying something cute to model to my nonexistent boyfriend; I was not interested in making my boobs each the size of Jupiter; I was not interested in making sure I had the perfect leopard print bra that would make all the girls in gym class jealous. I was on the hunt for self esteem, and there was only one place that could help me. So I took the plunge and opened the glass door rimmed with gold metal that resembled the entrance into some kind of palace. Immediately this experience was different than my first encounter with the undergarment underworld. I was still intimidated by the overwrought sexuality that surrounded me, but I was focused. Nothing could distract me from the quest to conquer my insecurities. I began the hunt. I didn’t need anything basic like a white, black, or nude bra (EVERY GIRL SHOULD INVEST IN A WHITE, BLACK, AND A NUDE BRA), but I am also just a teenager who isn’t known for being particularly wild or sexy, so there was no need to seek out a lacy, risque bra. After briefly glancing about the store, my confidence started to dwindle. Gradually, I became increasingly discouraged. Then suddenly, in a last ditch effort I opened the only drawer that was labeled with my size that I had not opened. Every bit of my being was praying that this drawer held my sacred holy grail. As I peered into the drawer I heard angels singing a Lady Gaga anthem behind me, and I knew immediately that I had found the bra for me. It was from the Incredible Collection. It was perfect for me, because I live in t-shirts, and this bra is so comfortable and has a playful rainbow animal print pattern. This was my bra. As I walked towards the register, I felt as though the other girls and the employees were applauding me. The pride I felt after that is incomparable.
On this most recent visit that I took accompanied by a sorority sister, I greeted Vickie as an old friend who played an intricate role in me defeating low self esteem. When I was talking about this with a friend, they laughed and inquired why a bra was what I needed to feel beautiful. She added that it was a silly idea because I was the only person who saw my bra. That’s true. I don’t gallivant around town in just my bra, but the fact was, I see it. I wear it, and it is just something that makes me feel beautiful. So maybe it doesn’t solve 99% of girls’ problems. That may have been a tad bit far fetched, but I bet that there are just a few problems a girl will face that a trip to Victoria’s Secret can fix. It fixed my self esteem, and after I buy a new bra, even though it’s not “sexy”, I still feel like a million bucks. Who knows, maybe this is the key to curing female insecurities forever. What’s most important to remember, is that everyone needs to find what makes them feel beautiful, no matter what it is.
Amanda Wineman is a college freshman at Huntingdon College in Montgomery, Alabama majoring in Political Science with a minor in French. Originally from Cut Bank, Montana, Amanda was a participant in the Distinguished Young Women program and was selected as the Distinguished Young Woman of Montana for 2011. Learn more about Amanda here!