THE GREAT BRA DEBATE - SHOULD YOU OR SHOULDN'T YOU WEAR ONE?

bra wearing, nipples, braless, feminism, #freethenipple

I was momentarily paused during a bout of endless scrolling into the depths of my Facebook feed by an article from the stylish and outspoken Leandra Medine of Man Repeller.

To Bra or Not to Bra” was the headline, and in it Medine talks about how she lets the girls fly unencumbered and has done so for a number of years now, far before it started becoming a trend.

I am not a bra wearer. And, like Medine, have never really had a reason to.

A story involving two weed dealing French boys jumping in through the windows of my apartment in Paris to have their tarot cards read, led to Nico and my new favourite way to describe our breasts… “Ils sont comme des citrons pressés!” (They’re liked pressed lemons!), ie, they’re very small.

Before I stopped covering my juiceless lemons, I owned a half-dozen bras or so. The defining feature of these elaborate booby traps was the three to four inch thick padding that I thought to be necessary to wear in order to give me the appearance of a larger bust. 

Why did I want to look like I had C boobs when what I really have are As?

The Short Answer: Low self esteem and a lifetime of being subjected to advertising telling me that’s how I was supposed to look.

That my natural state of being is not good enough and must be fixed/covered up/altered.

Medine’s article brought to light quite a few issues that arise when you go braless. Firstly, that there are bra wearing women who do so because they are naturally well endowed or really well endowed and suffer from back pain, and there are women with sensitive nipples that refuse to cooperate without covering. These women sounded off in the comments of that post about her perceived ignorance and failure to recognize that some people feel they need to wear bras.

Of course I wear bras sometimes. I wear a sports bra to the gym and I wear light-weight lace or mesh bras when I choose a gauzy dress or shirt. I wear bras to job interviews when I don’t know anything about the character of the interviewer. If I had sensitive nipples or had back pain from being top-heavy, I might also wear bras more regularly. The point that Leandra and I are both trying to make on this topic surrounds the why when it comes to bra wearing.

The problem really isn’t about your choices when it comes to undergarments.

The problem has to do with the reason why one would choose to wear a bra in the first place - if your reason is not to relieve yourself from physical pain.

How would your life be impacted if you stopped wearing a bra on a daily basis?

Another point, and one that strikes a deeper chord with me was when she wrote, “Why, on the one hand, do I feel like I’m disrespecting anyone in choosing how to express myself sans verbiage but on the other, I can’t kick the initial question impregnating my inquisitive mind: why should my dad, or brother, or grandpa have to stare my chest in the face when they see me? This then leaves me to wonder, if I feel most powerful when I’m not wearing a bra, must I accede to putting on one when I feel uncomfortable?”

I have a body. You have a body. We all have bodies!

My having a body is not inherently immodest.

And, even if one was to go braless and that be noticeable underneath the covering of your clothing, does that make you immodest?

Think about why breasts were put onto our bodies for in the first place. From what I hear, nourishing your offspring is probably one of the unsexiest things one could do. Men have nipples that serve zero purpose other than being a sensitive pleasure zone, and yet we as a society haven’t decided to sexualize or demonize their existence.

You can’t control what anyone else thinks about your body, but you can control what you think about it.

The backlash we received from our Vagina Shaving post was 100% from other women who said that unshaved vaginas were, and I quote, “gross,” “smelly” and a cacophonous “ewwwwww.” We even had an image of two women wearing bathing suits removed from our Instagram account because there were people who saw the pubic hair peeking out from the sides of their bathings suits as inappropriate and flagged it (the picture was later put back up because of course it doesn't violate Instagram's posting policy!). 

This suggests that there is a massive group of women out there who are insecure about their vaginas and the vaginas of other women. And there are women who quite possibly don’t follow basic hygiene practices when it comes to their vaginas (please see a healthcare professional if your yoni produces unusual smells, or read our post about how to naturally clean and deodorize yourself!). It also speaks volumes towards self-confidence issues, and more importantly, the fact that women still feel pitted against one another, rather than solidarity as a supportive, unified group.

I love my breasts! I love the way they look! I love the way they feel when they’re just there and I don’t love the way they feel when they’re confined to the strappings of a bunch of expensive elastic.

FYI, according to Science, “Medically, physiologically, anatomically – breasts gain no benefit from being denied gravity. On the contrary, they get saggier with a bra.”

Why do people love breasts, but only when they’re padded and squashed into a very specific form?

Why should I feel awkward or ashamed going braless in front of my brother or dad? Why should I feel awkward or ashamed in front of other women? My co-workers? Why should I feel as though I’ve wronged someone by allowing one of the defining elements of my gender to just be there?

Because there is sexism, nipples are a thing. Or rather, #FreeTheNipple is a thing, people verbally harassing breastfeeding women is a thing, women getting breast implants to mask their insecurities caused by the male gaze is a thing.

Don’t we have to accept the nipple first in order to be able to free it?

Do you go braless? Why or why not?


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