i miss my bra

going braless isn’t as nice as you’d think

by ko im

Dearest Bra:

It’s been one week since I’ve had you wrapped you around my chest and clasped you around my respectable, lovely, B-sized sisters.

I feel strangely naked without you, even if the rest of me is fully clothed. But without you, I’m more careful when I bend over to retrieve my laundry, sans lingerie.

Sunday was easy because I wore a textured dress. Monday was the first day of teaching New York City summer school, and I hoped my kids couldn’t tell. After all, I’m already labeled the "hippie yoga teacher" by default. 

One of the things I most loved about you is that extra padding you create to cover up any acknowledgement of the cold I feel. Instead of perky, I feel self-conscious and roll my shoulders forward, but my shirt keeps brushing against my skin and making me feel worse. I think everyone’s eyes are on me—especially the construction workers. But I try to wave away any distracting thoughts.

In the middle of the week, I saw a confident woman strutting down the street without any underwire while donning a form-fitting, thin, cotton, white shirt. I was wowed. And I also noticed a gentlemen with man-boobs and wondered how he would feel in a bra. I feel so alert when I’m rushing on the crosswalk sans-bra, and I cross my arm over my shoulder bag. 

Normally, I’m so comfortable without you when I sleep—and now I want you back. I stare at you in my intimates dresser. I remember the first time I wore you as a teenager and how many of you I’ve cycled through—all different types, colors, and cut-out shapes. Some for fun, others for form and function. 

In the morning, I try to pick out tops made out of thicker material that will hide anything. 

I thought I was cheating on you with a yoga top, but it was impossible to go running. I tried the treadmill for one minute at a 12-minute-mile pace and it was no-go. I settled for the exercise bike, but was still bouncing about. I imagined the gay guys with racy tank tops were judging me as I was lifting weights under the basement lights.

One of my interns says she never wears a bra—oh to be young, wild, and free! Having long, mermaid hair to cover up my upper torso helps, but I’m fighting gravity and aging more than she has to think about. 

One of my girlfriends is a double D. She says she could never go braless. Only she knows my secret. 

Over the weekend in the Hamptons, I kept my promise to see how it would be without you. I had to wear a bikini top on the beach (it wasn’t a nude one—come on), but forgot about you when I was engrossed in a conversation with someone interesting or important while in a structured shift dress.

After seven days, I cannot wait until tomorrow for the warmth and security of your hug. Thanks for supporting me!