It’s all just a front

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Remember your first bra?

Mine was pink. It offered not an ounce of support, seeing as it was a flimsy pretence of a thing; trainer bras, they called them in those days.

At the time, I thought the name referred to one’s budding breasts; that in some way, this little criss-crossing of elastic would aid their growth.

Later, though, when very little had, I realised it was the girl herself who was being trained - into a lifetime of strapping herself into a nipping, pinching harness of wires and elastic in the name of femininity.

I certainly didn’t need a bra at 13: it was more about fitting in than anything fitting into it. One day after PE, I’d suddenly noticed that most of the other girls didn’t have a vest like me, they had bras like their mothers.

But girls are now becoming acutely aware of their body image, and of female sexuality, much younger than 13.

It’s achingly sad. And parents should be doing their best to keep their daughters’ worlds uncluttered of such pressure. And their wardrobes free of bras shaped to make it look like they’ve got a lot more up top than they have.

It’s tricky, though, when shops like Matalan are flogging them right next to school uniform for girls under 11.

Meadowhead mum Heather Thompson was so shocked when she spotted this example of irresponsible marketing in the Heeley store, she complained.

Their answer? Their moulded-cup bras were all about protecting sensitive girls’ modesty. They weren’t even big enough to admit they’d boobed.