BC Glasses and Tissues in Your Bra
Growing up in the late 1950s and early 1960s, teenage girls had some hard role models to emulate. The likes of Rita Hayworth, Jane Russell, Jayne Mansfield and Marilyn Monroe were tough acts to follow. Bombshell material R Not Us. Of course from about sixth grade on, there would always be one or two girls who seemed to go from training bras to about a 36C over the summer. I think the term used then was “blossomed out.” That made it even worse for the rest of us, the chronic late bloomers. Now had I come along in the Twiggie era, I would have been fine but no such luck. Soon I had two more strikes against me.
When I was about nine I got my first pair of glasses. I am not sure of the date since it was before I began to keep a diary or journal shortly after I turned twelve. Anyway, I could see clearly to about six inches in front of my nose and little beyond that distance so glasses it was. I was already a tomboy and soon would be riding horses and such so my parents were much more concerned with safety than appearance. I was already a skinny kid with knobby knees and very straight hair so what the heck. The first and many following pairs had plain metal frames with safety lenses which made my already thick prescription even heavier. Pretty they were not and they made my eyes (which I always considered my best feature) look small, distant and swimmy. For a short time I didn’t care but then I turned twelve and discovered boys. How I hated those glasses then.
Many years later while I was working at
I overheard some young female soldiers talking about the very ugly spectacles
that were government issue. Few wore them if they could help it. The young
ladies called them “BC glasses.” Now you might think they were referring to
prehistoric times, but no. the two letters stood for birth control. The girls swore no man in his right mind
would even touch a woman wearing them because they were so ugly. Fort Huachuca
That put my early specs into a whole new light. As I grew up I was convinced my father would have been happy to see me in a nunnery until I was at least forty five so long as I could get out into his protective custody when he needed me to work, more or less daily. Maybe those glasses were chosen with an ulterior motive. He seldom had to use a big stick to beat off the boys.
Now I jump back to the bra bit. Yes, it became a common stratagem, at least in my high school, to try to add a bit that nature had not seen fit to award, at least not in the early teens. A few tissues carefully placed added some enhancement and were much cheaper than the ‘falsies’ advertised in the likes of Fredericks' of Hollywood. You know, those push out and up concoctions that allegedly made anyone look like Jayne Mansfield.
I did not do this a lot, honestly, although perhaps on an occasion or two. ;-) I remained very thin and rather straight until I was well into my twenties and finally had the sedentary lifestyle that allowed me to gain weight and more feminine curves. Finally Twiggie was in and I was no longer echoing her image. Just my luck. C’est la vie.
By then I was finally buying my own glasses, able to pick some more modern and flashier styles. I recall one pair, the “cat eye” style all prettied up with rhinestones. Today’s kids would call it “pimped out.” Now they would remind me of a pawnshop window full of cheap jewelry but at the time they were the epitome of cool. I had many other styles, big and little, flashy and plainer as that became the vogue and none quite that wild again.
Now age is sneaking up on me. I wear plain metal glasses again—titanium now which is very light and flexible, and as myopia eased some with age, not as thick or nearly as heavy as they once were. Still, the magnifying lenses--from the inside--work the opposite from the outside and still shrink the appearance of my eyes. Vanity is long gone and since I use no eye makeup it does not make much difference.
And funny, too. Most of my summer shirts and sun tops do not have pockets. In the winter it is okay since I wear boy-style flannel 'lumberjack' shirts a lot but summer its a nuisance. Having allergies and now eyes that alternate from drippy to over-dry and require frequent use of artificial tears, I always want a tissue or two handy. Where is the easiest place to put them? You guessed it. I don’t need the extra padding these days but being imminently practical, I say why waste a perfectly good storage spot out of any false modesty or misplaced nostalgia? Once again it is BC glasses and tissues in the bra! What goes around does indeed come back around in time.
|Winter of 1961-2 |
as a senior in high school,
still in ugly glasses!