Unleash the Girls: The Untold Story of the Invention of the Sports Bra and How It Changed the World (And Me)

We rated this book:


Lisa Lindahl, the creator of the sports bra, recounts her journey to fame and fortune in this memoir, Unleash the Girls. The perfect story of a women’s journey to success, I would highly recommend this book to all readers, especially young girls. This memoir goes above and beyond just recalling the story of the “Jogbra,” as it also comments on the political atmosphere during the 1960s and 1970s, the expectations for women during that time period, and the women’s liberation movement. I found these supplemental passages a good refresher on this section of American history. From these paragraphs, I was able to further sympathize and understand Lindahl’s dire need, mission, and purpose.

In an attempt to keep off a few extra pounds, Lisa Lindahl took up running as a hobby. Quickly falling in love with the sport, Lindahl writes of her “runner’s high” and adoration of her newfound hobby. However, after a phone call with a fellow runner, Lisa realized that both of them suffered from their breasts bouncing uncomfortably upon running. Averaging thirty miles a week on her runs, she knew women such as herself would truly benefit from a bra that better supported their needs. From this realization, Lisa consulted with her costume designer best friend Polly and moved on to create the first sports bra.

A daily 6:00 am runner and Pilates goer myself, I must say that I have always taken for granted the invention of the sports bra. After reading this memoir, I now understand the complications and painstaking work that went into making this dream of Lindahl’s a reality. As she points out, the sports bra was groundbreaking for its time and completed what Title IX started in terms of leveling the playing field for female athletes. Lindahl is relatable and empathetic, and her remarkable success through unprecedented times, heartbreak, and medical turmoil are all beyond noteworthy.

Due to suffering from epilepsy, Lindahl frequently experienced seizures at inconvenient moments. Due to this, she felt those in her life refused to take her ambitions seriously, seeing her just as a girl with a serious medical condition. Boy, did Lindahl prove them wrong when she started the Jogbra empire! The part of the story that touched me the most was Lisa’s relationship with her partner, Hinda. As the reader will learn, Hinda was the antagonist in Lisa’s story, being anything but supportive and kind. Lisa’s patience and tolerance for Hinda’s blatant disrespect were beyond words.

Overall, this book is an ode to women’s empowerment and drive in terms of overcoming adversity. It’s a story I could not put down, and I encourage all readers to dive into this tale of strength.

Reviewed By:

Author Lisa Z. Lindahl
Star Count /5
Format Trade
Page Count 321 pages
Publisher EZL Enterprises, LLC
Publish Date 08-Sep-2019
ISBN 9781950282432
Bookshop.org Buy this Book
Issue September 2021
Category Biographies & Memoirs