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Hasyam (Joy)

Navarasam series (Graphite pencils on grey-toned 160gsm A4 paper)

The fateful sports bra moment: Chastain vs the world

Based on this podcast I heard on 99% Invisible.

When I started running 3 years ago, I knew my priorities- (1) a sports bra & (2) a decent pair of shoes. For all girls out there like me who were shy of their body and never took part in sports, the sports bra is a game-changer! The pain & discomfort waning, and confidence building up; that’s what it meant for me. Can you imagine that women were ‘saved’ from certain sports to as late as the 80s due to direct and indirect body-shaming? The revolutionary ‘jock-bra’, or the great-grandmother of the modern sports bra was introduced as a result in ’77, which was basically two jock straps tied together. I’m sure it was laughed at back then and it took another 20+ years for the whole world to witness the liberation that sports bra meant for women.

In the historic FIFA Women’s football world cup final of 1999, Brandi Chastain, the captain of the US team kicked the final goal, securing them gold. And then she did the utmost daring thing a woman athlete could imagine back then- she ripped off her jersey, swung it in her arm, collapsed on her knee onto the field in joy, let out roars of triumph that drowned in her team’s cries of exuberance! She was there, kneeling down, showing off her glistening black sports bra and toned body for the entire world to watch. And for the first time women athletes were seen!
Sure, some of you may call it a white-feminist moment, but this wave of change soon inflamed women all around the globe, which I’m thankful for and proud about, decades later! Listen to the whole podcast which inspired me here.

Inspired from the famous moment captured in film, in all her glory and display of passion and happiness, I present to you, in my navarasam series- Hasyam or an elated mode of happiness.

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