Jennifer Beals Story

Jennifer Beals

Internationally renowned as an actress, Beals, a Yale University graduate, has over 90
credits to her name, including critically acclaimed feature films and television series. A
Golden Globe nominee and winner of an NAACP, two Satellites Awards as well the
GLAAD Golden Gate Award, the Human Rights Campaign Ally for Equality Award and
GLSEN’s Champion Award Beals is also the recipient St. John’s Caritas Award and the
Pacific Heart Institute Honor In Innovation Award for her work on Heartlanta. She is on
the Board of Mount Sinai’s Children’s Environmental Health Center and was appointed
as a C40 Cities Ambassador by Paris’ Mayor Hidalgo.

I don't know how many of you have taken this test but I get there decked out in my most technical running gear and they ask me to disrobe from the waist up, they put electrodes attached to long cords all over my chest-9 in total. The med tech, a woman, had me first lay down on a table where she used a gelled up transducer to get ultrasound images of my heart at rest and then she says I need you to get on the treadmill. No problem I tell her I'm just going to put my bra back on. No, she says, you can't do that, it interferes with the electrodes. I stood there stunned and a little confused. Wait, what? You want me to run as fast as I can for as long as I can hooked up to a bunch of electrodes WITHOUT A BRA? Yes, she says. I look at her for a second. You realize that's illegal in like 6 states? "That's the way it is",she says. Well now I'm already stressed. I get on the treadmill and flapjack my way through the test which I am happy to say I pass with flying colors and yes, this is where the healthy dose of rage comes in.

As I'm walking out of the office I'm already reaching for my phone because I hear that whisper, "If not you, then who?" I called Dr. Ross on my way back to the car and told her about my experience with the test. I thought of all the women who had gone through that test, and had felt uncomfortable or humiliated especially if their med tech had been a man and who maybe didn't do their best because they felt that way. I thought of all those women who had been birthed by women to whom I now knew after childbirth I was inextricably connected. I told Dr. Ross want to design a bra that's compatible with this test so no woman has to go through what I just went through.

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