Thursday, August 19, 2004

I Really Don’t Give a Shit

Really. Especially when it comes to wearing bras. I HATE bras. If it weren’t for the fact that the breast wrapping hegemony advertised constantly that your breasts were bound to sag if you didn’t wear the ‘proper’ bra, I would never wear them unless it’s primary purpose was to do the whole not-really-there thing. Think delicate lace with Mallorca pearls, tie dyed ones with sunflowers on the nipples, bras like so.

Back in school, and in Primary school too, they’d get people from triumph underwear (the choice of lingerie for most women here, although it’s slowly being relegated to the market for mommies and aunties with the advent of chains like Eros and Blush!) to give us talks on how to choose the right bra, and to brain wash us with analogies of fat African women who could swing their boobs behind their shoulders to feed the babies in the baskets they carried on their backs.

Of course it never occurred to me then, as a perfectly flower-fresh 10 year old (whose only sin up till then had been masturbation in the shower) that African women did usually have breasts much, much, and very much bigger then Asian women.

But it’s too late, the damage has been done, and I wear bras out of the fear that my breasts will sag and look like my grandmother’s before I hit 40. (Although I heard the problem can be easily remedied by soaking them in ice cold water for 10 minutes, twice a day. Apparently it really works. I learnt that from a comic book.)

Despite that, I don’t put them on too often though. Possibly only on weekdays, and when I’m in running about from lecture to lecture.

Now, on the topic of schools and brassieres, Singaporean schools have a particularly odd rule. No colored bras. Which also meant no bras with political or feminist slogans. No lingerie that said SLUT or SMUT or had Osama Bin Laden’s face on it. And most of all, no neon pink ones; Only plain, white, or skin toned bras. Things is, only mommies and aunties wear those sort. The rest have prints on them. My ‘practical’ bras, and I must say, I am an extremely practical person when it comes to underwear. They’re either the extremely plain, sporty sort or the fully lacey, useless, meant to be taken off sort. Anyway, the practical ones all have a spot of bright cheery colour on them so that I can peek at my boobs in the bathroom and feel happy when I see the colour (I hope the boys that see it feel happier after they do too). But even that’s forbidden. So screw it, some mornings, I simply don’t bother to wear a bra. What a way to solve the permissible bra conundrum.

My Daddy hates it though, but he nearly always never notices when I do wear one and when I don’t. My brother though, is an expert. He never means it, but it always gets me a chastising when he opens his trap and goes, ‘hey! No bra again!’ Which would usually result in me getting called a slut and being asked to put one on before we went for dinner. The argument would always be the same.

‘My breasts are perfectly covered. The shirt isn’t even flimsy, and you can’t make out the nipples. Why should I wear a bra? They are so uncomfortable.’

‘Your mother wears one, everyone wears one! Why can’t you just behave yourself and stoop acting like a slut. Why bother to go to church if you behave like that?’

Ouch! God I have a lot of things to say to that, but I know my daddy doesn’t Really mean what he says when he’s upset, but it just proves that some really entrenched moral beliefs that can never be changed.

Seriously though, what is wrong with not wearing a bra?

My mom says it’s because I’d cause men to lust.

Oh. Is it my fault that they do? They only lust because society dictates that wearing a bra is the decent thing to do, and not wearing one is decadent. And anything decadent will always incite lust. Is it just that Iranian women cannot participate in the sport they are best at because they have to wear the burkha, least their hair emanates rays that incite erections? (It covers their faces because eyebrows and eyelashes are hair, and some older women plainly need to thread their mustaches).

I always loose. (you always loose with your parents if you’re Asian and the matter concerns sexual decency.) and end up putting on a bra while musing over the fact that with or without one, I’d cause men to lust. And how I’d be very sad the day I realize they don’t. And besides, it’s really Them and not Me. It’s what they choose to focus on. Keep on focusing on trying to be self-righteous, and trying not to lust, and trust me, you will end up lusting. The most decent men are the ones who think the least about being good.

From a very Christian viewpoint (At this point, I always feel the need to stress that I am in no way evengelizing, but merely stating an amusing fact I think you might find interesting), the law was really made to bring out our need for grace. So trying to be moral will only make the sin more apparent. We were not made for social convention, we made social convention, so why the hell are we being bogged down by it?

Perhaps, we are all simply called Priggish, Prim, and Proper.


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