Jaarboek voor Vrouwengeschiedenis vol:28 pages:104-123
This article explores the way in which to write a history of female corporality and identity by doing oral history, focusing bra’s. Underwear is interpreted as a situated bodily practice. Although talking about underwear is a rather difficult task, semi-structured interviews nevertheless offered unique access to prereflexive ways of the construction of meaning in relation to underwear, corporality and identity. With a performative viewpoint, and using the story of Agnes (°1926) in particular as case-study, the article demonstrates how catholic ideas and practices have lost strength in favour of the visual mass media. Breasts do not have to be concealed anymore. To wear a bra for the first time, can be conceived as a performance of a new identity. This first bra could mean a gain of the self. Just like the first bra, the ‘wedding bra’ can be seen as a contemporary "rite de passage".