Underwire: July ’23 ‘To Bra, or not to Bra’

Ah, the ceaseless hunt for the elusive Unicorn Bra! She is a creature not of this world, who occupies our thoughts and taunts us mercilessly on Instagram. Through her magical powers she is able to defy gravity and corporeal physics, lifting the bosom without squeezing the torso, separating the breasts and making them smaller too, leaving no indent anywhere. Strapless, backless, sideless, plunging, covering the nipples, invisible under any fabric, matched to every outfit, and turns the wearer’s flesh into untroubled porcelain.

In all seriousness, I often wonder why we women put this kind of otherworldly pressure on this one item of our clothing? You would never think to yourself, kicking off your shoes after a long day,  “Blistered heel? Sweaty toes? That’s it. Never wearing shoes again.”

Maybe it’s because both bras and breasts are unique in their multi-functional demands. The bra is expected to cantilever a few pounds of tissue and look enticingly delicate at the same time. The engineering of shoes or suspenders is child’s play by comparison. Our breasts, for many of us, may be the most fraught part of our bodies: appearing during puberty, developing unpredictably out of the chaos of both parents’ gene pools, impervious to exercise, furiously signaling fertility through even the loosest of clothing, arousing desire in others at the least convenient times, functioning both reproductively and erotically…not to mention hosting the leading type of cancer in women–check your breasts and get your mammograms!  

Is it any wonder that most of us, at some point in our lives have wished for a unicorn bra or some such magic to relieve of us of this too, too solid flesh? 

Still I believe there can be no true happiness but in the realm of what is possible. We must not let a dream of perfection be the enemy of the good, and a good and properly fitted bra, cupping a pair of healthy breasts, is a wonder to behold. Let it be cherished, and enjoyed!