It’s amazing, isn’t it, the things one learns after one is married?  One of the most interesting things I have learned is that no-one can possibly enjoy my gorgeous new bra as much as I can.

Yesterday, instead of doing things that make sense/money, I went to Aerie, and blew a wad of cash on a pretty bra, and it has now dethroned my black floral fitted dress as the prettiest piece of clothing that I own.  I feel like an absolute queen, walking around in it, today.  Has nothing to do with anyone else seeing me in it; has everything to do with me knowing that I am in it.

I used to think that women bought lingerie “for” their husbands/lovers.  After I went to college, I realized this was, you know, sad, but I still kind of thought that the point of pretty underthings was to be seen, not to be worn.  The controlling “male gaze,” you see, saturates even the most educated feminists’ worldviews.   Even now, I make decisions about what to wear based on whether I think it will get “seen” or not—and this applies to all kinds of clothes, not just underclothes.  This is a helpful mechanism, in that it prevents me from wearing pajamas to work, but it’s incredibly unhelpful when it paralyzes me in front of the closet, sending a dozen different horribly self-conscious thoughts through my head, sometimes about whether some outfit is sexy enough to wear “out,” or whether other women at a particular event with be wearing slinky things.  I don’t think I’m the only one.

Now, even though Marshall does like the new bra, and even though he dressed up as The Flying Circus’s Lumberjack (“I’m a lumberjack and I’m ok”—look it up—you will laugh—) for Halloween, I’ve really come to a new understanding of feminine pretty underthings: It’s essential for me to feel my own prettiness, independent of anyone else’s “gaze” / evaluation of it.  And sometimes a new bra is the catalyst.

Actually, since I am woman in America, I don’t suppose I can quite repudiate the male gaze—and I’m not sure I would want to.  I guess my point here is to repudiate the male gaze’s power over my peace of mind/”self-image.”  It’s fabulously empowering.

Wisdom of the Day: Go get yourself a new bra, and wear it!

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