BosomBuddiesBreasts and bras can be hard to fi gure out as our bodies change. Here's info to help you know and love your bosom buddies.
Girls help each other out in our online community, sharing info and support on body changes, friendships, and much more. Here's some advice on breasts and bras.

Q: I am really fl at-chested, and I always wear tank tops instead of bras because they are way more comfortable. But now I want to start wearing bras. Any suggestions?

A: When I fi rst felt that I needed a bra, I tried a camisole and loved it! A camisole is just a tank top with an elastic band that goes under your chest.
. . . Try a sports bra or training bra. . . Training bras aren’t intended to train your breasts to do anything. They train YOU to get used to putting on a bra. You don’t have to wear bras all the time, but if you wear a thin shirt or do sports, you may want one.

Q: Do you have to get a bra when all you have are breast buds? [Editor’s note: A breast bud is the small bump under a nipple that begins breast growth.] I don’t see the point of having a bra when your breasts are going to hold themselves up.

A: You should get a bra when you feel that you need one. My friend doesn’t necessarily need a bra, but she doesn’t want people to see her nipples through her shirt. . . . You don’t have to get a bra. I wear one because I’m getting to the point where they jiggle a little when I run, and it can be uncomfortable. It’s your own personal
decision. . . . I only wear tank tops because I fi nd bras uncomfortable, but you can try bras out to see if you like them. You could try wearing tank tops with bras built in so that you get used to them.

Celebrate and share bra and breast info!

A bra ad from the 1950s —what do you think of bra and underwear ads these days? Do body shape expectations still keep our bodies uncomfortable?

Q: I need a training bra. I feel uncomfortable wearing just a shirt. I don’t know how to tell my mom because she thinks I’m still just a “little girl,” but I’m going on 11. Help!

A: Don’t be afraid to ask your mom! I know this sounds cheesy, but she really just wants to help. When I want to talk with my mom in private and away from my dad and brother, I ask her to take a walk with me or go to a cafe. . . . When you’re at the store, look at the bras and say something like, “I should get one of these.” Chances are, your mom isn’t going to say no. . . . I’m 12, and I just got a bra. Sure, it was a little scary at fi rst to ask my mom, but that was because I was nervous. She was your age once, and she will defi nitely understand what you are going through. . . . If you can’t tell her, try writing a letter or email or text. If that doesn’t work for you, talk to a relative, such as your aunt, grandmother, or older cousin—they’ve all been through the same stuff.

Cancer Worries?Ever feel a bump in your breast and fear that you have breast cancer? You should always tell your mom or a trusted adult about things like this.

But you should also know that breast
cancer is extremely rare in girls and younger women. Lumpy-feeling breasts and occasional breast pain are typically benign (not harmful) conditions, says Kerry Anne McGinn, author of The Young Woman’s Breast Health Book.
Q: I don’t need a bra, but you can see my nipples through a shirt.

A: If you are self-conscious, you can get a training bra or sports bra. It doesn’t have any support, but it covers up your breast buds so they don’t look noticeable. . . . Tell your mom that you feel embarrassed by your nipples, and she’ll help you fi nd something to cover up. When this happens, I tell myself that it also happens to other girls, and it doesn’t matter because all girls go through it at one point or another!

Q: This is very embarrassing, but sometimes the nipple of my breast raises and shows through my clothes. Is this normal? Sorry I asked this question.

A: It’s perfectly normal—it happens when you get cold. Don’t worry about asking
the question; a lot of girls ask similar questions! . . . It happens to all girls and women. It’s a response when the nipple gets brushed or touched, and if you ever have a baby, a raised nipple makes the baby able to get milk. . . . Don’t be embarrassed—it happens to everyone! For me, it’s when I’m cold or just stepped out of the shower. Wearing a bra can help.

Shirtless soccer star Brandi Chastain celebrates victory. If shirtless male athletes are OK, why not females in sports bras?