My First Bra

by Melissa | in Bra, The Tell All

“It’s a special kind of undershirt!” I snapped, but the kids on the bus were laughing so hard, they didn’t really hear me. They’d just gotten their first flash of fifth-grade bra, visible through the oversized sleeves of my cartoon t-shirt.

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I wasn’t happy about this bra business. A few weeks prior to the bus incident, on a warm spring day, my mom came home with “a few things” she’d picked up at the department store: three white, soft cup bras. Plastic shopping bag in hand, she approached me with the same caution you’d take stepping into a psychotic prisoner’s cell—she knew I could freak out at any moment.

You see, I felt so rushed to enter this next stage in my life. Up until that spring, I was happy as a clam in my cotton Carter’s undershirts, but now, I was being forced to wear (what looked to me like) a grown woman’s bra. It seemed ludicrous.

With an open mind but a lump in my throat, I inched forward and inspected the items. Two of the bras had bows; one had rosettes. All were labeled “Large,” a small act of mercy on part of both the manufacturer and my mother. A bra labeled with my true size—probably around a 32B at the time—would have sent me into a spiral.

But when I tried them on—I locked myself in the bathroom to do so—I immediately noticed the difference. I felt more secure (“less bouncy,” I think were my exact words), and I even looked a little slimmer and smoother in my t-shirt. I wasn’t fully on board, but having simple, pretty bras made the whole thing a little easier to bear.

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