With Love, Your Basic, Beige Bra

By Elizabeth Oxendine, TIWP Student

I was born from the calloused hands of an elderly Filipino woman. She had made me in haste, stitches rushed but precise, lace trimmed speedily but with steady hands. She’d made hundreds of my siblings in the dawnless hours after midnight. To her, I was just another paycheck to feed her grandchildren. In the womb, I was merely a sheet of fabric, developing sturdy straps as my arms and a wire skeleton. My entrance into the world of the living was symbolized with the attachment of a minuscule metal heart. My journey from my place of birth to the place I would spend the rest of my days is an unpleasant one, characterized by being shoved onto a ship going to a New World, suffocated under plastic and pressed tightly against others that shared the same fate as me, going to America.

Once I reached the United States, I was auctioned off, placed on display for anyone to claim if they paid the right place. My first bidder is a young girl with big dreams of even bigger boobs. You see there’s this boy—Jeremy, from math class—and she’s just dying for him to notice her. Well, wearing me would get him to notice her, but not in a good way. The beautiful works of feminism that I’m supposed to support and flaunt are nonexistent on Jenny. My padding and size make her look like an alien life form whose breasts are bigger than her brain.

I’m returned to the shelf and the process starts all over again. For some, I’m too big, too small, too plain or too sexualized. Each time I set my hopes up, that I’ll be freed of the florescent lighting and taken away from the thongs. But each time I’m returned to the same dreary drawer.

I’d given up any hope when a set of tanned hands touch me gently. I am lifted from my prison and for the first time freed. I leave the store like royalty swaddled in pink wrapping paper and carried in a bag held together by silk ribbon.

She’s a kind girl, with the perfect size breasts for my holdings. I’m still left in a drawer amongst other undergarments. But instead of venomous things, I make friends with a loyal pair of boy shorts and a flexible sports bra.

Sometimes she’ll wear me under a knitted sweater whose yarn-y fabric makes me rub in all the wrong ways, or sometimes she’ll wear me under a silky blouse which allows me to see the world more clearly. In the eggshell backless number, I can see the boy behind her who she claims pisses her off but who she’d instantly lend a spare pen if the situation ever arose. On days we run the mile, I’m bathed in sweat and desperation. It’s the hardest day of the week, preventing my two clients from flying around like they’re pieces of jello.

I love my owner. Being pressed so closely against her heart allows me to see the goodness inside of her. One day my lace will become worn and her breasts will not fit like two peas in my pod. I won’t worry about that for now, but when the time comes I’ll be ready. She gave me purpose and adventure. She showed me the world and let me accompany her throughout the most precious moments of her life. She may not be my creator, but she gave me my life.

With Love,
Your Basic Beige Bra

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