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Like a Part of You

By Stephanie J. Andersen

As the summer approaches fall, while my eight-year old daughter waits outside the door, I stand in a Victoria’s Secret dressing room, considering my bare thirty-eight-year-old breasts.

They are saggy, small, speckled with stretch marks, nothing like the perfectly round, full, and unblemished breasts pictured on the walls throughout the store. But maybe that doesn’t matter to me anymore.

A new stage in my life has begun, one which I have decided will require a new bra. In my drawer at home is a mix of bras that no longer fit—sports bras that restrain and disguise, push-up bras that force and cajole, nursing bras that open and close like doors, full-coverage bras that put my breasts at attention, and bralettes that ride up every time I lift my arms.

About the Author

Stephanie J. Andersen writes about motherhood, loss, redemption, and, most recently, climate activism. Her work has been listed as Notable in The Best American Essays and has three times been nominated for Pushcart Prizes. She teaches creative writing and composition at Reading Area community college in Pennsylvania. Her writing life is enriched by her roles as climate justice advocate, runner, occasional yogi, Zumba instructor, and evolving cyclist and birdwatcher. She lives in Blandon, Pennsylvania with her husband, two daughters, two dogs, and one chatty bird.

 

 

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