When She’s Resistant to Wearing a Bra

by Apr 4, 2023Her Changing Body

When I was in the 4th grade, I got called “Nipsey Russell” by the boys in my class (I’m dating myself, but Nipsey Russel was a TV comedian waaaayyyy back in the day). Obviously, my attempts to hide my budding breasts under baggy shirts wasn’t working, and I finally caved to my mother’s insistence that she take me bra shopping (she had been repeatedly suggesting it, and I had been repeatedly refusing).

I’m not sure which was worse, the name-calling or the bra shopping. 😂 

As my sweet mother walked me into the lingerie department of our local Macy’s and announced (out loud!) that I needed a bra, I turned away and pretended I wasn’t with her. THEN, the bra-lady came at me with a long yellow tape measure, staring at my chest and reaching toward my tiny breasts.

I was mortified. 😳

 👉 Do you remember the awkwardness of your changing body?  

We hear from a lot of moms that their daughter needs a bra, but she’s resistant. If this sounds familiar, I’m happy to let you know there are better ways to get through this transition.

Here are 4 things you can try: 

1. Be the bra fairy.

Just buy some and leave them in her room. Sometimes she’s just resistant to the public shopping experience. 

Pick out a variety of styles and a couple of sizes, and leave them on her dresser (maybe include a note that says “please do not remove the tags!” so you can return the ones she doesn’t like). Ask her what she thinks of them, but don’t be hurt if she’s not appreciative. Just having them available will help her try them when she’s ready.

A good selection might include 

  • A cami with a built-in shelf bra (offers support but doesn’t “look” like a bra)
  • Some with “modesty pads”
  • Some without the padding
  • Front hook and back hook options
  • Pull-over sports-type bras

2. Normalize breast growth.

Her resistance may be related to feeling self-conscious about her changing body and not wanting to draw any attention to it. Acknowledge her discomfort but normalize her healthy growth and provide reassurance that it takes time to grow comfortable with our changing bodies. Stay as matter of fact as you can, and remind her that her body is doing what it is supposed to do.

3. Point out the Perks

Bras aren’t just utilitarian undergarments, there are lots of reasons girls choose to wear bras. Remind her that a bra can help with these things: 

Comfort – as uncomfortable as they might seem at first, a comfy bra can actually make growing breasts feel less tender because they hold them snug to her chest and keep them from jiggling.

Privacy – many girls who are resistant to bras feel that way because they don’t want anyone to know their breasts are growing, and if their bra shows through their shirt, “others will know.” If this sounds like your daughter (it was definitely one of mine), remind her that a bra can actually give her more privacy – by preventing her budding nipples from showing through her clothes or allowing privacy if she needs to change clothes in front of her friends.

Style – whether or not she needs a bra for support or privacy, she might just enjoy wearing something cute or trendy. Camis (with a built-in bra) can fill the need for style and function.  

4. Make it her choice

Finally, reassure her that wearing a bra is her choice to make. There are countries all over the globe where bras are rare or absent. However, adolescence in the U.S. is tough territory full of self-consciousness, teasing, pressures to conform, dress codes, and societal expectations. Each child's experience and support will be different, but one thing we hope all girls learn is that they should never let embarrassment keep them from feeling more comfortable, nor should they ever feel any shame related to their changing body.

For our members, if you want to share some of these tips with your girl, have her watch THIS quick video made especially for young girls.

If you want some tips on shopping for her first bra, we’ve got help for you HERE.

Did you know Girlology has grade-by-grade video on demand playlists to support her and you through all things puberty and adolescence. Our doctor-moms cover topics like this and lots others! Learn More HERE. 

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