A letter to my bras before I destroy them

Audrey Koster

Dear Bra(s),

Which one of you am I addressing? Frankly it’s hard to say.

Audrey Koster

The whole lingering slew of you Training Bras? Just throw yourselves away already. You haunt from an awkward past, the “training stage” of a pre-teen’s life. By the way, training for what? Certainly not the marathon of sexual encounters I wasn’t having at a whopping 14 years old. Training my breasts to develop into a perfect commercialized shape? More likely. Training me to tolerate a lifetime of comfortless restriction? Seems right.

Lacey Lu, you’re sexy and black, but also itchy and bitchy. You unflatter me with your too-tight torturous clips which gnaw at my chubby ribs.

But you, Mom Bra, you are the worst. At the opposite end of the feminine spectrum, you don’t even attempt to flatter cleavage. Strictly utilitarian, slightly discolored to a sweat-tinted off-white, and duct taped underwire to maintain impossible structural integrity–just sad. Grow a bow, will you?

Did I once think that your $40 superfluous selves were a modern woman’s necessity? Yes. The second drawer down in my wardrobe contains the evidence.

So I have to excuse myself when occasionally rising to the social expectation, which generally is followed by stripping the thing from under my shirt and shoving it in the nearest hiding place.

You actually confound men, who subconsciously—if not consciously—appreciate your general purpose, even when they are crippled by your kung fu grip at the most inopportune times.

Maybe someday I’ll stumble upon a clothing item that necessitates you, like a wife beater, or another bra that’s too big which requires a second bra underneath. That could be applicable to next year’s Halloween costume. Yes, Halloween may be the next time I even take you out of my drawer to make my Workout Barbie costume more authentic.

Since freshman year when I nixed the daily ceremonious strapping of my breasts, quit buying new makeup, wrapped a small braided piece of my hair with colored embroidery floss and tarnished my lower lip with a tattoo simply stating “BURGER” in Helvetica font, my mother has urged me to stop “acting out” and to “just get over this phase already.”

But I’ve realized that not all (real) boobies are perfectly round, frontal orbs. Hello—100 percent of the world has nipples. Not to mention that other percentage that has three nipples, including Marky Mark, man-babe extraordinaire. And I don’t think he even owned a shirt during the 90s.

To clarify, I’m not a bra burner, at least in the old feminist sense. I’ve never been concerned with function-over-fashion. I just don’t know that this should be every woman’s bleak respective future, engrained practically since birth.

What do I have to cover, to contain, or even to reveal?

A 15-year-long study in France found that no woman actually benefits from wearing bras. Quite the contrary. Women who functioned on a daily basis without had increased circulation and stronger upper body muscles which directly correlated to perky breasts.

Conducted on ladies between the ages of 18 and 35, the group feeling the full effect of gravity even admitted to running being a comfortable activity.

It stated that if you’ve been wearing a bra for “too long” – which was of ambiguous length or age – it might be too late to save twins. I assume this meant that they may droop a bit lower than before. But it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s too late to claim the comfort, posture or breathability of being braless. Nobody is at a loss for a good full breath of air.

Obviously nothing has given me a legitimate reason in the past years to wear one consistently. Not even my mother can convince me, who is very persuasive, which I’m convinced is due to the fact that we share 23 chromosomes.

And up until recently, the same bra.