"Oh, honey. Do you want to start wearing a bra?"
It's the question that can elicit either joy or pure terror for every pre-teen girl, and a new short film from director and visual artist Natalie Neal has beautifully depicted the moment that many girls realize they're becoming women -- getting their first bra.
Titled "Seashells," the short is steeped in pastel-colored nostalgia -- its young lead (Michelle Moores) sings along to Celine Dion and The Spice Girls as she imagines looking like the busty pop singers plastered all over her bedroom walls.
Neal told Dazed Digital that she first came up with the concept for the short film in 2012, after getting married.
"The abrupt change in how people treated me as a married woman was such a slap in the face that my whole perspective in life changed," Neal said. "One of the things that had me very interested during that time was how women are expected to change their decisions based on how other people react to their body."
She told Dazed about her first encounter with a bra. "I was 10 when my mom first told me I needed a bra, and the experience was totally traumatic for me. Of all my memories, this is the earliest I have of what it meant to struggle in an effort to meet society’s unreasonable demands for me."
Neal is best known for her 2012 short, "Rose and Sophia", which follows two teenage best friends who rekindle a childhood interest in spying. "Seashells" is her second short film.
Watch the full 9-minute short above.