There comes a time in many teenage girls' lives when they need to make the ultimate purchase. No, not feminine products — although doing that is pretty commemorative. I'm talking about a bra. The cursed piece of cloth that harnesses your breasts and keeps your nips from detecting the weather is an emblem of impending adulthood and the end of one's youth — especially if you're Lizzie McGuire.
Back in my day, there was no young, awkward, yet oh-so-relatable teen quite like Lizzie McGuire. The sweet yet socially awkward young girl was a Disney Channel staple. Her attempts to get by in middle school, land a date with her crushes, and avoid the popular girls mirrored many teenage girls' lives. Her fashion sense was the stuff of legend and her friendship with her buddies Gordo and Miranda was heartwarming.
So, when it came time for Lizzie to embark on womanhood, it was bound to become an unforgettable moment.
Quick backstory: Lizzie and her bestie, Miranda, were formerly tight with Queen Bee Kate Sanders. But... things just didn't quite work out. Kate "developed" before they did, joined the cheerleading squad — you know how it goes.
Although Lizzie and Miranda begrudgingly accepted the status quo, one day they realized they were missing a certain item of clothing at seemingly every girl in school had. "We're 13. It should be a rule," Lizzie laments to Miranda. A bra, they thought, would transform them into entirely new people — confident, popular, unstoppable.
Naturally, the conversation was far too embarrassing to share with Lizzie's overprotective mother, Jo. Next thing you know, the two were trying to find a way to go to the mall alone to shop for "school supplies." Good grief.
When Jo saw right through their charade, she demanded the truth leading to arguably the greatest and most memorable Lizzie McGuire moment in history.
No amount of glittery butterfly clips and patent leather sky blue blazers could hide the humiliation we all felt for Lizzie screaming that she wants a bra. But this cringeworthy event marked a turning point for Lizzie viewers. The teen was finally asserting herself, granted not in the most eloquent way. But, she was proving not only to her mother but also to herself that she was ready to grow into an independent, young woman.
Naturally, Jo was too hyped and wanted in on the action — so much so that she completely missed the part where Lizzie and Miranda wanted to shop for "school supplies" alone. Yeah, not gonna happen.
The overly enthusiastic mom not only drove the two flustered teens to the mall, but also basically held their hands to guide them to the lingerie section. Malls were the apex of social life for teens in the early 2000s so the chance of being spotted by classmates were high. But the well-intentioned Jo couldn't help tossing Lizzie and Miranda bra after bra from lacy to cotton, speaking in the loudest voice possible until the girls couldn't take the humiliation anymore. Jo had to go.
But after kicking her mother out of the lingerie section for, well, being too motherly, Lizzie quickly realized that neither she nor Miranda had any idea whether they were a 32A or a 36DD. Low and behold, when the clueless pair spotted their other archenemy, the super popular Claire Miller, shopping for bras with her mother Lizzie realized she needed her mom, too.
Surely, you've been there. When it feels like you don't seem as mature as everyone else, you start to second guess who are you. Meanwhile, your mom's been telling you how great you are and how you should never change since you first started elementary school.
Lizzie's admission that she was, in fact, not ready to be a woman is what makes this episode so timeless. When you're young, all you think about is how much better life will be as a grownup — sitting at the grownups' table, staying up late, overcoming your awkward phase. What is often forgotten is that there is absolutely no rush to be an adult. Bras aren't as freeing as Lizzie imagined them to be. Her symbol of independence actually showed her how much more she needed to grow up before really becoming an adult. A bra won't make a girl more popular, more athletic, or more mature. Lesson learned all around.