I’ve always taken a “comfort first” attitude toward clothing.  I supposed I would outgrow my disdain for pantyhose and other constricting items as I moved into adulthood, but just the opposite has happened.  I will contend that bras have their place, but they’re the first garment to be shed when I bust (pun intended!) through the front door.  My maiden voyage on the “SS Foundation” occurred some years ago.  I attended a work function wearing a “body shaper” under my dress.  Like magic, it sculpted the area between my boobs and my knees into an hourglass.
I couldn’t breathe, but that turned out to be the least of my problems.  During the 15-minute intermission, every woman in attendance made
a beeline for the restroom – a veritable throng of ladies clamoring for two measly stalls.  Wrestling oneself in and out of a body shaper takes however long it takes, even if a full-blown mutiny is in progress on the other side of the stall door.  That day, I decided foundations have their place, too.  Like the trash can.  Or the donation bin at Goodwill.  (You’d be surprised what they will accept, as my friend Murisopsis discovered.)  Without further ado, two lingerie parodies:  Bras à la Emily Dickinson and Foundations à la Dorothy Parker:


Bras are the things with tethers
stitched to sturdy cups
that work together eighteen hours
to hold our hooters up

Lending them support and form,
defying gravity,
feats they managed for themselves
when we were in our teens

Still, they feel like prison walls
around our lady shapes,
who, yoked in airless Spandex yearn
for evening’s sweet escape



Shapers pinch you;
Corsets can pop;
Girdles cinch you
but make muffin-top.
Comfort waists aren’t;
Spandex snaps;
Fuck undergarments;
I’d rather look fat.

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26 thoughts on “LETTING IT ALL HANG OUT

  1. Tippy Gnu September 23, 2018 / 8:37 am

    I think if I was a woman I would not wear a bra. I’ve heard it’s a myth that not wearing a bra causes Coopers Droop. Apparently, rocks in socks is a genetic malady. So to hell with bras. Women were burning their bras back in the 70’s, so I don’t understand why they continue to wear them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan September 23, 2018 / 3:25 pm

      Thanks for the comment, Tippy. Bras are helpful in keeping boobs in their cups and men’s eyes in their sockets, but I see nothing wrong with an open-air approach in the privacy of one’s own home. The body shapers are my nemesis. I asked the clerk if maybe the thing was mislabeled–XL looked like it might fit a twiggy twelve-year-old. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • Tippy Gnu September 23, 2018 / 4:03 pm

        Yeah, I hear back in the old days, women were warned of the health hazards of corsets, as they tended to displace internal organs.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Just Joan September 23, 2018 / 4:06 pm

        Corsets were fashionable around the same time as fainting couches. Imagine that!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Ellen Hawley November 30, 2018 / 11:19 am

      All rumors to the contrary, we never did burn any. We just stopped wearing them. And very comfortable it was.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Just Joan November 30, 2018 / 5:25 pm

        So the bra burning bit was just a rumor, Ellen? I wouldn’t know; in the 60’s I was not even a twinkle in my parents’ eyes. I go boob-commando in the privacy of my own home and it is indeed comfortable. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Tippy Gnu November 30, 2018 / 5:36 pm

        Too bad. It would have been a sight, to see women at a public demonstration, burning their bras.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Ellen Hawley December 1, 2018 / 2:11 am

      Sorry–I’ve run out of reply buttons, so this is in the wrong spot, but somehow that myth about burning started circulating and nothing–least of all reality–is likely to stop it. It’s the power of the image, I guess.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. murisopsis September 23, 2018 / 2:39 pm

    HAHAHAHA! You nailed this! I’m snort laughing! I’ve had homicidal undergarments before and have kicked them to the curb in seconds flat. Then I’ve had others that were dear friends that made me look (and most importantly feel) like a fashion model. I’ve never understood those women who wear “sleep bras”. I suspect they were insane or drugged…. I have avoided panty hose for many years – last time I wore a pair was two years ago to a wedding… I’m hoping I have attended most of the weddings for awhile. Praying for summer nuptials only so I can wear a long dress sans hose!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan September 23, 2018 / 3:44 pm

      Thanks, Muri. There is no garment on earth that will transform me into a fashion model. Anything that snug would cause muffin-bottom (a condition in which the fat, having nowhere else to go, migrates out the bottom of the legs of the garment and makes a ridiculous-looking roll. Doable with a skirt. With pants, not so much.) What on earth is a “sleep bra” ??? Maybe that’s where you tuck in your prosthetic boobs for the night. Despite hundreds of lectures from my mom on acting ladylike, I will do anything in my power to duck a pair of pantyhose. So tell me, what does Murisopsis mean? 🙂


  3. L. T. Garvin, Author September 27, 2018 / 9:02 pm

    These are oh so true and so very funny, Joan! I can’t wait for evening either. Who needs undergarments? 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Chandra Lynn October 3, 2018 / 1:33 pm

    OMGosh! I almost laughed up my lunch! This was so hilarious–and I so need to laugh this month! BONUS: I love Emily Dickinson, so I really appreciate a good parody of her work. I’m making a note to reblog this post some time this month. Thanks for the laughter!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. judyrutrider October 16, 2018 / 10:39 am

    Since a dear friend informed me that we (people of a certain age) are sexually invisible anyway, I’ve allowed comfort to be the guiding force in my fashion choices. I did watch the link to the video and decided that it might be a good workout regimen.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Just Joan October 16, 2018 / 11:18 am

      Sexually invisible? To all but the makers of “little blue pills” and Astroglide. Donning a shaper does look like a good workout, but needing the Jaws of Life to remove it might be a bit of a deterrent. 🙂


  6. Chandra Lynn November 29, 2018 / 9:41 pm

    Reblogged this on Pics and Posts and commented:
    I ran across Just Joan’s blog a month (or so) ago and she made me laugh, laugh, laugh at a time when I really needed laughter. You will love her parodies of classic poems and poetic forms. Start with “Letting it All Hang Out” and move through more of her posts. Prepare for lots of laughter. Enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan November 30, 2018 / 5:09 pm

      Thanks for the re-blog, Chandra! ‘Tis the season of sharing, right? Always glad to see the WP circle grow wider. 🙂


  7. hollythreesixfive November 30, 2018 / 7:24 am

    When I was very thin and didn’t actually need one, I could wear a body shaper and be (more or less) comfortable (of a sort), or at least breathing. However, now that I “need” one, I find it impossible to wear. Yes, finding the strength and coordination to get them on and off is my first complaint, discomfort my second. And really, I didn’t look significantly better imo!! So, yeah… money wasted, lesson learned. My natural shape will have to suffice. And bras themselves? I keep seeing ads for super comfortable bras but haven’t found one, so… I have decided it is the unicorn of the clothing world. If I’m home, it’s mostly off. (I try to keep one handy for doorbell emergencies, ha!!) Again, when I was thin I didn’t mind it but now I can barely stand it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan November 30, 2018 / 5:19 pm

      Yeah, Holly, body shapers fit fine if you don’t need one, LOL. I’ve never noticed much improvement either, but I’ve seen some new ones that come all the way up to the boobs–if they cause muffin-top that overspills into my bra, they might be worth trying. The internet runneth over with ads from ThirdLove, Knix, Genie, etc, all too rich for my blood. I thought I was the only one who kept a bra handy for “doorbell emergencies.” Thanks for the read and comment. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. circumstance227 February 23, 2019 / 4:22 pm

    I just learned a new word: “foundations”. Have never tried one. And now, never will!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan February 23, 2019 / 4:54 pm

      Really? There used to be a directory sign at the top of the JC Penney escalator that listed “foundations” which I guess is the hoity-toity word for bras and girdles. 🙂


  9. Lightness Traveling October 4, 2020 / 3:29 pm

    I realize I have a somewhat culturally different perspective about having to artificially hold up my guts and (non-prosthetic) Asian-sized boobs as I lose my twenty-something physique. The traditional Japanese article was the “koshimaki”, which was just a long strip of cloth that served as a sort of universal undies, but that could be wrapped as high (or as tightly) as needed. That Japanese women used to wear this under as much as 50-pounds of kimono fabric notwithstanding, spend a steamy summer in Tokyo and and you’ll understand why contemporary restrictive “foundations” are most likely to be worn an air-conditioned “love hotel”.

    Liked by 1 person

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