First Bra Party and How I Refuse to be Slut Shamed

This last weekend, I went to something called “My First Bra Party.” It’s exactly as what it sounds like, it’s a bunch of girls getting drunk and having fun – oh, did I mention that you bring the first bra that you ever owned to show off? Did I also mention that if you are drunk enough, you can, and most of us did put on –or at least try to put on – our first bras.

Believe it or not, and honestly I didn’t when I was invited, that “First Bra Parties” are a thing and apparently they are going on all over the country. I really have to assume that this was not a social event concocted in the great city of New York or Los Angeles, but instead probably somewhere in the backwoods of Tennessee or West Virginia when a group of Dixie chicks got together with their friends, drank white lightning from mason jars poured from a brown jug marked XXX when one of them said, “Hey!! I got an idea.”

If that’s not really how it originally came together, then at least that’s my fantasy of how it came to be and I’d appreciate it if you would keep its true origins under wrap thank you very much.

For me, it was a blue with white polka dot number from the juniors section at Target. The label says large, but being an A-cup at the time, I’m not exactly where large would come from other. It was almost sports-bra-ish with no clasps in the back and very little support, but it did have a little bit of padding the cup so as to look like I was sporting something rather than a flat chest and hard nipples.

Nine Mike’s Hard Blood Oranges later I was feeling pretty good about myself, well, at least good enough for me to actually take my shirt off in front of eight other girls and put on a bra that barely fit. I had finally given in to the chorus’ of, “oh c’mon, it’s not like we are going to take pictures and post them online.”

As intoxicated as I was, I was clear headed enough to know that this statement wasn’t true. How could it be? I was taking pictures and posting them online just as fast as everyone else was, so it’s not like I instantly thought that I was going to be immune to the humiliation I was going to receive over the next few weeks.

Me in my first bra and after 9 Mike's Hard
Me in my first bra and after 9 Mike’s Hard

I made it very clear that it didn’t matter to me simply because I cannot be ‘revenge porned.’ There are already nude pictures of me online and to be honest, who really cares right? I mean, what’s a few more topless pictures of me and besides, if you live in Minneapolis and you haven’t seen my breasts, then are you really from Minnesota and how well do you truly know me?

I loved this bra, it was my first and it brought back so many good memories, memories of being comfortable in a bra instead of the current strain on my shoulders I’m feeling now.  But those good memories were suddenly hard to come by as I tried to get this thing around myself. It was like wrapping two watermelons in a rubber band and I was afraid at any moment, the thing would snap back into my face leaving a mark.

Once on, I extended my arms in a ‘ta da!’ like moment and was met with an applause reserved only for people of great stature – like Gallagher.  Sure Gallagher is widely applauded when he smashes a watermelon onto the entire first five rows of his now aging audience, but like Gallagher, I was pretty sure I deserved this round of applause for some reason other than the fact that I wasn’t holding a large fruit stained mallet.

Fruit stained mallet and three more Mike’s Hard aside, it was at least time to watch some movies, drink some more and talk about boys. Boys make me cry so I stuck to all of the heartbreak I either caused or have experienced in the past to some of my old girl friends but reiterated that I live my life with no regrets. Living a life without regrets is pretty easy when you basically have everything that you need and had attained most – if not all – of your dreams and goals in your life. Yes, it sounds selfish at best and conceited at worst, but living your life with a fistful of regret is as The Struts say, “a waste of blood and sweat.”

“God Claire, Have you no shame,” someone said to me a few weeks ago –or was it a few months…hmmm, not sure – but the quick answer to that is “No, not when it comes to my body.”

Later last week, some rando stranger tried to slut shame me online simply because I wouldn’t talk to him. Scratch that, I received a message online.  “Wanna fuck?” he said in an email with a picture of his privates.  That was it, two words and an unimpressive picture of a penis, something I’ve seen too many times in my life and not exactly the thing I wanted to see when I was downing a hot and ready from Little Caesars Pizza.

689“No thank you” I replied thinking that would be the last I hear from this guy. What made me respond in the first place is beyond me, I was now sitting with over 1500 unread emails and for some reason, the title ‘Wanna Fuck?’ grabbed my attention.

What followed was a three paragraph 400 word diatribe as to how and why saying “No thank you” to fucking this rando sight unseen somehow made me a slut. Yes, you heard that right, since I had no desire to hook up with this person after his two word introduction, I was somehow a “disease ridden slut.”

Mr. “Wanna Fuck?” concluded by saying, “I guess I believe in karma and treating someone how you would want to be treated yourself. Like begets like and I hope you feel great about yourself. I guess it’s a testament to who you really are.” All of this for saying, “No Thank you.”

I wanted to respond, I had to respond, the universe was asking –no, begging me- to respond, but I didn’t. I wasn’t going to give Mr. Wanna Fuck? The time of day let along a reason to engage with him further. I would take my slut shame, hold it up high like dudebros do when they win some sort of sportsing trophy and be proud of just saying, “No thank you.”

Yes, I have no shame, nor should any other woman have shame for what they do with their own bodies. It’s our body; we are the owners and we are the authors of the owner’s manual and collectively or individually, we do not need the random Mr. Wanna Fuck to tell us what we can or cannot do with what we own.