Le soutien-gorge, the French call it, literally “throat support,” – “bra” in common parlance. Support is what it purports to give, but “upper-body-clamp” is more apt.

Some days, the straps dig into my shoulders sending pain streaming up my neck. Other days my empire line feels braced in a wide elasticated band that shifts up and down, unable to settle. I tell myself it’s about finding the right shape, design, model … but in truth they all suck. 

I wear one every day though I resent it. I resent it, but resentment pails next to the angry-irritation I feel at being unable to just give it up, throw them all away and be done. Too strong the brain-washing of the years, the socialization that has me in its grip.

We women have worn girdles, and corsets. Bras and shapewear like Spanx. Uncomfortable, constraining, constricting, cinching… need I say more?