The Perfect Bra
by Patricia Pearson

The other day I had a root canal, and then I decided to go bra shopping, just to see if that would be more pleasurable, or less. For those of you who are men, please do know that the only thing worse than removing a bra is trying one on in a store.

Most women, and I think I can generalize here, will put off buying a new bra until their straps disintegrate, and even then they might improvize for a while. Wear sweatshirts, for instance, or simply not leave the house.

I was reminded of this recently when I saw American soccer star Brandi Chastain whip off her shirt during the final game of the Women’s World Cup, and display her black, Nike Inner Active Sports bra to whoops from the stands. I thought: ‘oh, for God’s Sake, what’s the point of a sports bra? All bras are a tedious hell if you don’t look like Brandi Chastain.

The American Council on Exercise Science actually commissioned a study last year that confirmed that sports bras give no better support than regular bras. And who’s surprised by that? What are bras, if not dull, utilitarian necessities tarted up with an array of sewn-on daisies? (The most timid fashion statement, in my experience, being the teensy, superflous bow at the cleavage, that is intended to suggest…I don’t know what. A certain hyper-modest girlish femininity. ‘Hey, naughty boy, look at me in my sagging, fraying, beige-coloured, oversized bra. Bet ya didn’t notice the bow!’)

Continued… This article is presently being compiled into a new book of Patricia’s selected writings. Please visit the Books section for a preview.

© Patricia Pearson, 2001