A personalThe most exciting part of this assignment came when we thought the water bra had sprung a leak. I was not wearing it at the time, thankfully; I had brought the lacy thing to work in a paper bag so the curious could give it a feel. The bag got wet somehow and the bra got soaked, providing us a few moments of hilarity. Hey, our newspaper is endangered, we take our laughs where we can.
encounter with a
By Betty Shimabukuro
But back to the point, which is that sometimes when your editor tries to make eye contact, you should run for cover. It could mean that she wants you to wear a particular type of underwear for several days, then expose your deepest thoughts. On the underwear, that is.
I believe I was chosen for this job because I am frontally challenged -- in terms of cup size, somewhat lacking. When it comes to bras, my theory is, ignore them. I can get away with that, whereas for other women it would be far too obvious.
The water bra -- marketed as "The Original Water Forms: A Bra Filled with Water, a Natural Cushion" -- is designed to add a bit of oomph to what nature provides, so the idea here was to see how it affected someone with no oomph to speak of.
Here are the obvious questions, answered on the basis of several days spent with two water balloons strapped to my chest.
What's in it, anyway?
The cups are filled with a mixture of 55 percent body oil and 45 percent water, according to the label.
And what does that feel like?
Kind of like those gel-filled freezer packs, before they're frozen --soft and squishy. Never mind what that resembles.
What does the bra look like?
Mine is a very pretty, lacy thing, which strikes me as a waste of esthetics. Who, after all, is going to see it besides the wearer? To expose it at, say, a romantic moment, would reveal the fact that you have been hydroponically enhanced.
Water bras also come in seamless and in a lace-free style with seams, in black, white and a few pastels. It looks like any other bra; the water part is not obvious.
It weighs -- in my size, anyway -- 6 ounces. When I went to Liberty House to buy one, the clerk pointed them out, saying, "They're the ones drooping off the rack."
How do you wash it?
By hand, and line dry.
Where can I get one?
Besides Liberty House, they're available at Frederick's of Hollywood and other underwear specialty shops. They sell for $25 to $30.
Can you freeze it?
No. At least mine stayed soft even after a night in the freezer. It did, however, get pleasantly cool, which could be nice on a hot day. By the same token, 30 seconds in the microwave made it nice and toasty, which could be nice if you were going out in the snow. The cool or the warmth lasts at least a half hour.
Are there other forms of chest enhancement?
Well, of course. There's the Wonder Bra, a stiffly padded and underwired creation; the Pocket Bra, which provides just basic support until you insert a little pad into the pockets; and the X-Bra, with its pull-strap "specially designed for adjustable cleavage enhancement." And there are always ordinary padded bras.
In the interests of investigative underwear evaluation, I tried on the Wonder Bra, which had a body structure all its own. There was me, an air pocket and the Wonder Bra. You could hide money in there. You could hide jewelry in there.
I pulled the magic strap on the X-Bra -- basically, that pulls the cups closer together to create greater cleavage. In my case, all it did was pinch. I guess you have to provide more working material or the effect is wasted.
Did anyone notice the difference?
Sadly, no. Not even when I thrust my chest menacingly forward. See previous comment about the need for more working material.
Personally, though, I saw definite, ah, growth in both extension and perkiness. I have a shirt with stripes that with the water bra peaked at stripe No. 6. Without it, we were peaking at the ninth parallel.
Is it comfortable?
For someone accustomed to underwire bras, it's probably about average. For me, though, the most cherished part of the day was the moment I could unhook the danged thing and fling it away.
What happens if it gets punctured?
You won't have a sudden fountain erupting from beneath your blouse. It took a pretty solid poke with a thumbtack to get mine to leak, and it did so slowly. The liquid, by the way, is oily.
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