Trapped in Beauty, or, What Happens When You Laugh at Others’ Misfortune.

Published June 18, 2010 by April Fox

So the other day, my dear friend C shared a story with me. It was a first-person account of a woman’s struggle to extricate herself from a girdle-type garment. I actually laughed until I cried, both because the writing was so hysterical and because I knew that there was no way my scrawny, boobie-deprived self could ever find myself in such a predicament.

Fast forward to today, when i think, hey, i’m going to embrace my adorable petiteness, lay off the padded bras, and buy some cute little tops for summer. I’m tired of having more sweat than boobs in my bras for half the year. So I found three very adorable things at Evil Store Which Shall Not Be Named-actually, I found more than that, but the riches I make telling you people stories limited me to three.

I tried the first one on. Ooooh… cute! Ruffles and stripes and heart-shaped buttons. Lovely. On to the second, over the new strapless bra (to fill things out a bit, and which was marketed under the brand name “Sweet Nothings”; my teenage daughter pointed out that “Sweet Nothings” was much better than “Cow Titties”) and by golly, I looked positively… what’s the word… gamine. Not macaulay culkin in drag at all. Not much, anyway. On to the third, a sweet little babydoll number with thin straps and a lovely floral pattern. It was a little tough to get on, but hell, life isn’t supposed to be easy. It’s on and is approved by Miss “Be Glad You Don’t Have Udders” and then I’m ready to take it off, throw on the ancient Nirvana t-shirt and get to bed.


It won’t come off. I have tugged, pulled, bent over and tried to pull it up from the bottom while jumping up and down… nothing. I have groped the hell out of this poor innocent shirt, trying to find the magic exit door… is there a zipper I missed? A hook and eye, perhaps? Nope, just a bit of smocking across the back that makes you think the top isn’t going to try and become part of your molecular structure.

I took a break from trying, thinking perhaps the difficult top was like a toddler, somehow… you know, you ignore them for a minute and then they forget about being a pain in the ass and cooperate. I forgot that kids are only like that on television, and in real life they kick and scream and grab on to you and will. not. let. go. Which, of course, is exactly what this stupid shirt did.

I posted a Facebook status about it, because come on, when you’re in crisis, you go to Facebook. Scissors were suggested, but I just spent seven dollars on this thing. I haven’t even had a chance to wear it downtown and have that crazy guy in the overalls tell me how pretty it looks, at least through his one half-good eye. And dammit, it looks cute. Do you have any idea how hard it is for me to find a cute summery top that doesn’t make me look like a giant finger with a brightly-colored band-aid wrapped just below the first knuckle? About as hard as that sparkly vampire guy gets when the werewolf takes off his shirt, and folks, that’s hard. I can’t just kill it.

So maybe if I turn it around backward it will come off. Really. Some law of physics says that if you’re stuck in your clothing, turning it around backward will change the molecular structure and it will slide right off.

Except that what really happens is that you’ll be sitting on the bed in a backward camisole, making sounds like “oooh-god-damn-ugh-stretch, damn you, gah-ugh-dammit, get off me!” and anthropomorphizing the hell out of this poor scrap of cotton who you’re convinced wants nothing more than to become you and steal your identity. Why? Who knows… no one can really see inside the head of a homicidal babydoll tank.

Eventually I resigned myself to the fact that I’d have to wear this forever. However, I was too exhausted to right myself after the struggle, so here I sit, in a backward tank top with the straps hanging down around my waist, freaking blogging about it, and wishing I’d never laughed at that poor woman and her spandex anaconda.

This is all her fault.

Update: I have been freed, thanks to lots of tugging and pulling by my wonderful daughter Jess.

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