I wore a training bra from the age of three: One woman describes her extraordinary relationship with lingerie

I wore a training bra from the age of three: One woman describes her extraordinary relationship with lingerie

PUBLISHED:

20:48 GMT, 15 August 2012

|

UPDATED:

21:53 GMT, 15 August 2012

A woman has revealed how she has been wearing a bra since she was three years old, describing the great effect lingerie has had on her as a woman.

Erica Cheung has revealed how her long-standing relationship with lingerie enabled her to celebrate womanhood, instead of trying to hide it.

The Huffington Post style blogger said: 'I started wearing a training bra when I was three years old, not because I needed one or because I was self-conscious, but because I thought that bras were beautiful'.

Baby bras: Erica Cheung has revealed how she started wearing a training bra when she was three years old because she thought they were beautiful

Baby bras: Erica Cheung has revealed how she started wearing a training bra when she was three years old because she thought they were beautiful

After Good Morning America featured a segment on teenage shapewear – effectively mini versions of Spanx, undergarments with the sole purpose of masking the body insecurities of adult women – Ms Cheung argued how sad it is that young girls 'think that they have to adhere to some kind of image of womanhood that is equivalent to perfection'.

She said that wearing bras from such a young age enabled her to view them as a celebration of womanhood, rather than 'things that bound me to a particular image of what a woman should be', she said.

'I started wearing a training bra at age three because I thought that bras were beautiful'

While she believes it's
natural for girls to aspire to be like their mothers, like the rite of passage
moment when a toddler puts on her mothers heels for the first time, or wants to wear a bra, but she has come out against teens who feel the need to wear shapewear, like their mother's Spanx.

She said: 'I remember going to the department store
with my mother and helping her pick out her bras, black ones, lacy
ones, silky ones; they fascinated me.

'I remember telling her I wanted a bra and picking a sweet baby blue one that was lacy and too big for me. After all, I was only three years old. It was my camisole when I slept and I only really used it when I was five,' she continued.

The Huffington Post blogger said that wearing bras from such a young age enabled her to view them as a celebration of womanhood

The Huffington Post blogger said that wearing bras from such a young age enabled her to view them as a celebration of womanhood

But the concept of young girls wanting to copy their mother's sucked-in waists and thighs with mini versions of her belly-flattening shapewear, 'to hide their imperfections', is 'damaging' she says.

'The idea that shapewear is increasingly seen as a necessity for girls is extremely disturbing,' she added.

The New York University student told MailOnline: 'I think that today, with all the stereotypes about women that are only intensified by the media, it's important to remind ourselves of what it means for each one of us individually to be a woman.

'It just so happens that a part of what I identify with is bra shopping with my mom.'

She added that her mother never forced her to wear a bra; and that she
only put it on when she wanted to.

'Like other little girls, I
started wearing a real training bra when I was 11 or so,' she said.

'I don't think that being a woman means you have to wear a bra, but I do believe that bras are made for women (all kinds of women) and that's something to celebrate.'