Back Fat: The Ugly Truth
By John Festa
I passed Victoria’s Secret on Fifth Avenue the other night and noticed the bras on display in the window. They all had such a wide side wings and back bands that I exclaimed to my companion “These would be great to combat back fat” — only to look up at the signage and see these bras were being sold as just that: Back smoothing push-ups.
It is very noble to address the problem of back fat – those bumps bras create when they indent into a soft body. They can be unsightly and create an unkempt appearance. But how to prevent this
Fact: Except for the skeleton, humans are soft. Even those demigods with 4% body-fat will show a dent when compression is applied. Another inconvenient fact: bra fitting nowadays incorporates the belief that the majority of support comes from the bra band. All stores and fitters are putting customers in tighter bands and bigger cups. It was not always this way. When I first began selling bras 25 years ago, the axiom was if your bra left marks on your body, it was too tight. Things have changed.
Interestingly, when asked how to combat back fat, the consensus among professionals is to go even smaller in the band. The reasoning being that the band will sit lower on the torso. This makes no sense to me. Perhaps the idea is to move the bra band away from the armpit area (where it shouldn’t be anyway). But really, is one section of one’s back going to be so much less fat than 1.5” inches above it?
I very much like the smoothing bras that are available today. The width of the wings and back will, if nothing else, make the indents on one’s back farther apart. But this issue as a whole, which created a term now in our lexicon, drives us to perhaps a disturbing revelation: knits are not your friend. In most cases of back fat, it is under knits. Remember, a t-shirt is a knit. A tight t-shirt reveals as much as no shirt at all. Where knits are unforgiving, proper-fitting woven clothing will always camouflage flaws and up your taste level.
Everyone is soft. Bras got tighter. There is nothing wrong with you. Just be aware of the challenges tight t-shirts and knits can present. Keep calm and be mindful.
“The best things in life aren’t things”
—- Art Buchwald