Every now and then I come across something on the internet that puts back together the pieces of my soul that shattered when Heidi Klum and Seal broke up or when Oprah Winfrey cancelled the Rosie O’Donnell Show. And, today, after reviewing the legal highlights of John Edwards’ criminal trial that is drawing to a close, I had just such a “making my soul whole” moment while buying a sports bra on-line.
In my mind I was still cursing that D-bag John Edwards for being interminably tanned (is that a spray tan? what’s his “tan plan” for prison?) and expertly coifed, not to mention the way that he cheated on Elizabeth and lied about it while she was occupied fighting for her life against breast cancer. (I try not to judge other people’s marriages. Except for John Edwards’. I judge the sh*t out of his marriage. I want to pin his shitty character (next to a certain oxycontin-addicted radio host) on my Pinterest board that is labeled “People Who Make The Idiots On Cops Look Like Model Citizens.”)
So, I was taking my time reviewing the bras at Athleta (because I had convinced myself that scrolling through the bras burned as many calories as actually running in the bras), and I saw this:
When I saw there was a special section of bras designed for women who have undergone mastectomies, I forgot all about former Senator What’s-His-Name. I started thinking about the women who would wear this bra. I was getting teary contemplating that (1) such a bra exists at all; (2) that after all the trauma of a mastectomy, a woman who wants to resume physical activity can log on and buy the Tender Care Support bra; and (3) there was no shame attached to this bra. The “mastectomy bra” section is sandwiched right between the “seamless bras” and the “racerback bras.” (Someone at Athleta is a little fuzzy on how to alphabetize, but I will let that slide.) It’s not hidden away on some hard-to-find corner of the website.
For some reason, this bra makes me feel like there is plenty more compassion in this world than I could have imagined. It feels like a victory for some reason–over cancer and invisiblity and infirmity and the view that our society is harsh and relentlessly uninterested in issues that afflict women.
I hope to God I never need this bra. I hope no one I love or that follows this blog ever needs this bra. But if one of us does have a mastectomy, I hope we live to see the other side, and the day when we’re ready to hit the trails or the gym or the trampoline in a bra that was designed for life after breast cancer.