Boob Job: Confessions of a Professional Bra Fitter tells about the years the author, Natalee Woods, spent working in lingerie departments as a certified bra fitter. Woods shares anecdotes about the customers she assisted (some of whom were more difficult to deal with than others), along with memorable events in her personal life.
What I Liked
It’s not surprising that my favorite part of the book was the many stories Woods shared about her work life. Her customer encounters went from humorous to heartbreaking and back again, and I spent most of my reading experience laughing out loud, or tearing up when a customer was in the midst of a vulnerable moment in the fitting room. There were moments when I found myself shocked at outrageous behaviors, or wincing in empathy for young girls being publicly embarrassed by overbearing mothers.
I also enjoyed reading about her friendship with a fellow fitter named Farrah, and a relationship she had with a man who worked in another area of the store, as well as stories about her parents. It was a nice way to see more about her life, outside of work.
What I Didn’t Like
I didn’t particularly care for the way the book ended. When I reached the end, my immediate thought was that it felt abrupt. I suppose I was expecting an epilogue of sorts: a brief chapter that wrapped up Woods’ career as a bra fitter, and shared what came next. In my opinion, not having something like that at the end left it feeling a tad unfinished. Perhaps I’m too picky about things like that, but that’s how I felt.
This is a pleasant read, written about a subject I’ve never read about before—which is exactly what appealed to me about this book. The best part of this book (for me) were the customers she encountered in her work. It was a lot of fun to read about those fitting room situations, and the hilarity that (sometimes) ensued in the store. The more somber conversations that took place within the safety of those walls were thought provoking and profound at times.
The book is well written and engaging, but the unfinished feeling the book left me with diminished my earlier enjoyment of the book, unfortunately. I struggled with choosing a star rating that felt appropriate, ultimately settling on 3.5 stars due to my dissatisfaction with the ending. Don’t let this deter you from giving this book a try, however—it’s well worth giving it a try so you can experience those same laugh-out-loud moments I enjoyed so much.
About the Book
Boob Job: Confessions of a Professional Bra Fitter details Natalee Woods’s experience working in the lingerie department of a well-known department store, fitting women for bras for over a decade. Woven into the humor are subtle and profound insights into larger issues, such as the relationship between women and their bodies, evolving ideas about women’s breasts and their sexual, social, and cultural implications, and how women negotiate all these influences and pressures as they stand before the mirror in the dressing room.
Filled with plenty of awkwardness and an undeniable sense of relatability, Natalee Woods has offered a peek behind the curtain to remind us that retail workers are just as complicated as the rest of us.