Playwright Joni Sheram has written a piece for the stage called Cups. It follows the progression of a woman’s life through the bras she wears at various ages.
Here’s a list of garments featured in the play: training, front-hooked, strapless, push-up, nursing, foundation, prosthesis and finally, stays. (Stays are what makes your grandmother’s corset “stay” in place.)
As a working mother, I’ve made my way through virtually all of these – some with more enthusiasm than others.
I definitely remember my first training bra. I hated it: I developed early and my mother made me wear one of these beauties at the tender age of 9. I had three of them broken at school as a result of the abuse they took at the hands of my classmates. They took a perverse pleasure in snapping the straps.
Front-hook bras were a short term fascination of my late teen years – by the time I was 22 or so, I had to leave these undergarments to other women with smaller breasts.
You can’t forget the dreaded “bride’s maid” period. Well, if you yourself were a bride in your 20’s, it may not have been dreadful for you. If you took your sweet time finding Mr. Right, like I did, you probably spent a decade wearing one too many gowns that required strapless bras, in colors that you didn’t like.
Which brings me to push-up bras. If you are looking for Mr. Right, a push-up bra might just be standard equipment. I avoided them after that unfortunate “spillage” event. While my amorous suitor may have been counting his lucky stars, I was too embarrassed to see him again.
However, at some point in my rocky relationship history (which I’ve been known to refer to as “relationship roadkill”), I found my own personal Mr. Right and we decided that a few little Rights would be a good idea.
Enter nursing bras.
The good news is that nursing bras are much nicer than they used to be. You can even get a nice underwire, that helps you remember that you aren’t just someone’s source of nutrition. However, you can also find matronly things that deserve the term foundation.
The term “foundation” harkens from the time when you purchased girdles and long-line bras, as opposed to shapewear. Heaven help me if I ever actually own something as completely unattractive as the term foundation sounds.
Then, there’s the prosthesis – something no one would wish on anyone. We all know someone in our circle of friends and acquaintances who has had to deal with cancer. Here’s hoping that someday no one has to know what it means to wear a prosthesis personally.
I’d love to see Sheram’s play. Just reading a review of the show took me on a trip down memory lane. Unfortunately, she’s not around the corner. If you’d also like to see Cups, you’ll have to go to Colorado Springs to catch her at the Manitou Art Theatre.