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Qualifying TimesPoints of Change in U.S. Women's Sport$
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Jaime Schultz

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038167

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038167.001.0001

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A Cultural History of the Sports Bra

A Cultural History of the Sports Bra

(p.149) 6. A Cultural History of the Sports Bra
Qualifying Times

Jaime Schultz

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines the introduction of the commercial sports bra, one of the products that attested to the 1970s revolution in women's sport. Critics charged that breasts, like menstruation, symbolized women's inferior biology and their unsuitability for sport; but the introduction of the “Jogbra” in 1977 proved a material and symbolic landmark. It also signified a niche market for the product, and its popularity grew throughout the 1980s and into the 1990s. Yet it was Brandi Chastain's 1999 celebration, in which she ripped off her uniform top following her game-winning goal in the Women's World Cup, that proved to be the garment's coming-out party. This marked an increase in visibility of both the sports bra and the sports bra-clad body and inspired cultural conversations about the changing feminine corporeal aesthetic.

Keywords:   sports bra, Jogbra, women's sport, breasts, Brandi Chastain, Women's World Cup, feminine corporeal aesthetic

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