Yesterday, I wrote a 3-part post, “Gimpin, Given, & Gravel,” and it was a super-awkward mashup. So I’ve split them. This is part 2.
There’s a pretty little thing that’s been on my mind a lot lately, on my mind because it’s been on my BODY, and on my mind because someone went to a considerable about of trouble to not only make it, but to make it available, for free, to post-mastectomy women.
It’s a bra, a soft and pretty post-mastectomy bra. Now, those are words that don’t normally go together: soft, pretty, post-mastectomy. Nothing post-mastectomy feels pretty. Don’t go running off if you’re a dude. You can read a post about bras. It’s okay.
It’s clear that the designer, Stella McCartney (you’ve probably heard of her!) and her team spent a lot of time talking to women who’ve been through breast cancer and surgery. Unlike the binding corsets that immediately follow surgery AND unlike the equally unflattering stretchy nylon or T-shirt fabric bras I was later told to wear, this bra is soft, yet structured. It’s not underwire,(which I’m not supposed to wear) and it’s supportive. It has sleeves for breast forms, if needed, but they’re unobtrusive enough that I didn’t notice the first several times I wore it. It’s a vision of pink (NO, NOT PINK! YES, PINK!) 100% organic cotton that opens in the front with a zipper or from the back with hooks — did you catch that? It can open from the front OR the back! I’ve never seen such a thing. AND it’s smooth fabric covered in lace. People, I haven’t been in a comfortable, pretty bra that is flattering in so, so long. Post-surgical garments are… about like they sound. Functional, but not at all attractive.
I’ve certainly never been gifted a bra, but that’s exactly what this one is – a gift bra from McCartney’s Louise Listening project. If you had a mastectomy, you ask for one, and she sends it to you. I was suspicious, a bit, when someone sent me the link. Then I went to stellamccartneycares.org and requested a bra and it came and I put it on and I cried.
If you know someone who has had a single or bi-lateral mastectomy, whether she’s reconstructed with implants or flesh or uses breast forms, please share that link with her. However tough we bc’ers are are, we can all appreciate a gift that communicates so much care.