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Supported: The Stories Behind Our Bras

An illustration of a femme-presenting person with medium-tone skin wearing a pink bra and underwear holding a similar looking, supportive green bra on a hanger in one hand and touching a lacy, purple bra size 40 DDD in the other hand. The hands of two other people are coming into the frame from either side holding various bra options in a range of sizes, colors and styles. The bottom left corner of the illustration features the episode title “Supported.”
Charnel Hunter
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Anita pretty much stopped wearing bras in the pandemic, and she's likely not going back. But she knows that for many, a good bra is clutch for daily comfort. She traces the surprising history and technology of the brassiere with the inventor of the sports bra and an expert who consulted with the Army on their first-ever tactical bra. Then she meets two people whose bra stories bump up against how we define and redefine gender and social norms for ourselves and others.

Meet the guests:

  • Lisa Lindahl, an author and entrepreneur, tells the story behind the invention of the sports bra
  • Jené Luciana Sena, a bra expert, author and host of the podcast "Visible Panty Lines," explains the technicalities of bra fit and shares her work collaborating with the Army on their first-ever tactical bra
  • Destiny Liley, a freelance content creator, talks about the challenges of being a larger-chested person and her thoughts on bralessness
  • Ren Gutierrez, a first-generation Latine advocate for queer and trans mental health, reflects on going through his bra collection in the weeks before getting top surgery

Read the transcriptReview the podcast

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Audrey Smith is a writer, educator, and temporary producer of "Embodied" based in Greensboro, NC. She holds a Master's degree in Secondary English Language Arts Education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (2018) and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Nonfiction Writing from Oregon State University (2021).
Anita Rao is an award-winning journalist and the host and creator of "Embodied," a weekly radio show and podcast about sex, relationships & health. She's also the managing editor of WUNC's on-demand content.