‘I don’t want to wear a bra, Mommy!’

When I was 11 I longed to wear a bra like the people on TV. I was so mesmerized by how pretty it looks and couldn’t wait to start wearing it. Then a few years later I started developing and my mom told me it’s time to go ‘shopping’.

When I walked into the shop I got so shy that I actually just wanted to run away. My cheeks turned red and I just felt extremely awkward. I had a big sister and knew the drill but I was a tomboy so the fact that I would wear a bra horrified me (weird how something you wanted becomes utterly scary). We bought the bras and I refused to wear them. I would be different from my brother and our friends.

My mom did not understand why I was not embracing the fact that I am a girl.

I was used to walking and running and jumping around with no piece of cotton and elastic band around my chest. I felt constricted. Like this bra stood for everything a woman is and I was not ready for that.

In Islam once you get your first period you are seen as a young lady instead of the free spirited child that I wanted to stay. It was like the beginning of the end. Now I would have to start cleaning, making food and doing what ‘women’ have to learn because when they get married that is what is expected of them.

The bra represented everything I didn’t want to be. Some girls dream of a husband, a house and a white picket fence (only in the movies I know) but I have never been the girl who is going to settle down at 24.

But a decade later I am a bra-wearing woman who has embraced her feminine side in her own time and is ready to take on the world.

Have you been bra shopping with your daughter? How was your own first bra experience?

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