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My Instagram Bra and Me

A story of love, loss, and medical-grade adhesive.

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A model wearing a strapless bra, pulling at a center chord for cleavage Photo: Perfect Sculpt Bras

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::looks at boobs being victimized by gravity::

::waves finger::

::reaches for pastie drawstring contraption and pulls::

So goes the script for the Instagram-famous strapless, backless, cleavage-enhancing bra. The credit for catapulting the sticky bra belongs to Amber Rose; after her sponsored post went live, the Instagram account of Sneaky Vaunt — creator of the bra — grew to more than 150,000 followers in one month. Fast forward to today, and hosts of micro influencers have all posted cleavage-filled selfies demoing the bra. (Fun fact: Sneaky Vaunt and Flat Tummy Tea are sister brands under the same corporation. Because of course.)

In some ways, the sticky string bra is brilliant. The current options for what to wear under strapless and/or backless dresses are minimal at best, and for those who’d rather not go braless, this thing seems like a pretty cool idea.

It’s hard enough for me to find a normal bra that suits my needs, let alone anything strapless that doesn’t turn into a waistband after an hour and a half. I prefer a medium-width shoulder strap, a semi-soft molded cup, no lace, no useless center bow, in black, somewhere in the vicinity of a 36DD — if there were such thing as a 36DD-and-a-half, that’d be even better.

But stickiness aside, the real selling point of the Instagram bra is the cleavage.

Sneaky Vaunt was the first account I noticed promoting it, though it’s far from the only brand selling these bras. As of now, you can find versions on several other fast fashion sites and on the hub of all things Insta-fashion, Fashion Nova.

My Instagram ads must have sensed that I was at peak curiosity and targeted a $19.99 version from Perfect Sculpt Bras right to my digital doorstep (this one is available in an E cup, while Sneaky Vaunt’s version maxes out at a DD and costs $49.99).

It took nearly a month to arrive, but when it did, I wasted no time playing Influencer in the privacy of my own bathroom. As luck would have it, my BFF happened to Facetime me just as I was opening the box.

“I got that Instagram bra, check it out.”

::goes to unwrap::

“Hold up, hold up — it doesn’t count if you don’t frown and wave your finger first.”

With this warm weather who doesn’t want to be in dresses all the time Model: @Kathypicos

A post shared by The Perfect Sculpt™ (@theperfectsculpt) on

First impression: Holy crap, this is very, very, VERY sticky. This is nothing like double-stick tape; this is serious. The texture is nubbly, and there’s quarter-sized holes where your nipples may nestle, protected from the stickiness.

To get the most from your pastie-cord bra, it’s all about placement. You want the sides to be far enough apart that the cord can have maximum pull and slanted upward for lift, plus covering your breast so that your nipples actually match up to the hollows. This trifecta is impossible. I prioritized and decided my nipples would be sacrificed in the name of cleavage. That cleavage though? Insane. Me and the girls were floating on cloud 36DD.

I tried tucking in the cord in case I wanted to go hog wild and wear a strapless crop top. That was weird, and it sort of felt like I had a pair of cargo pants between my tits. A small price to pay, though, for the whole new world of strapless, backless glory that was upon me.

Removing the drawstring bra is an unusual sensation, but not at all painful. That night, I dreamt of all the slinky Rihanna-esque slip dresses I would be wearing all summer. But alas, it would never be.

The next day I went to wear my sticky bra to see if it could last through a boozy brunch, but as soon as I touched it I knew things had gone sour. What was once a medical-grade adhesive had dried to the tacky texture of a reused piece of Scotch tape. Apparently, the bra needs to be cleaned with warm water between uses. Soapy water didn’t seem like a reasonable way to “reactivate” stickiness, but I went for it. I gave it another day to air dry, but no luck.

Nothing in the world of Instagram is quite as it seems, lingerie included. If you’ve got a special occasion, order one. Consider it an IG hookup, or the one-night stand of bras. When it’s over, it’s over.