I understand why some women need bras. If you are a larger breasted lady, then you may need the support of a bra to help your back and to keep the beauties in place. Even my smaller breasts need some support every now and then, particular those rare instances where I actually work out.
However, on the whole I don’t like wearing a bra. Actually, I will put it stronger than that: I hate wearing a bra. Bras are restrictive, never fail to make me feel uncomfortable and don’t really add anything to my wardrobe. The only reason I wear a bra is because of social pressures.
There, I have said it. For me, the bra is a social construct. I wear a bra, because it is considered uncouth to display ones nipples in public, even if said nipples are covered by layers of clothing. When it gets cold, my nipples can make themselves visible through a thin jumper. Not to mention a tight T-shirt. And society doesn’t think that is appropriate. From an early age I have been conditioned to believe that a proper girl does not go out of the house without a bra.
I am slowly changing my stance on bras. Make no mistake: I have always found them restrictive and uncomfortable. As soon as I come home, the first thing I do is to take my bra off. Only then can I relax. But up until recently I still wore the padded underwire bra that squished my breasts into two smooth, round domes. Because somehow that is what breasts should look like, right?
This summer I drew a line in the sand. I was so sick of these pads squishing my breasts and the wire digging into my skin. As I said, I am lucky enough that I don’t need a bra, but in concession to my colleagues, I choose to still wear one. However, I went out and bought two bralets. They have no padding, are slightly sporty and they are more comfortable than the bras I used to wear.
They are still not comfortable though and I will still take the first chance I get to take them off. On the weekends – and really whenever I don’t have to go to work – I don’t wear a bra. Maybe the day will come, once, when I really say “fuck it” and burn my bras in a ceremonial, feminist burning, but that day has not come yet.
The one time I will willingly put on a bra is when I dress up for hubby in the bedroom. He loves seeing me in a sexy bra, and considering it never stays on very long anyhow, I don’t mind putting one on for him. It’s always worth the look on his face when he sees me in one. But that is my choice then, not something that society tells me to do.
As I said at the beginning: some women may need bras. I am not advocating that every woman should throw out their bras. But to expect every woman to completely cover herself up so that her nipples don’t show at all under any circumstance is ridiculous. We have nipples. If men can’t deal with seeing a slight elevation at the tip of a breast underneath clothing, then that is their problem, and something they need to deal with and change. I will continue to push the boundaries and I can foresee a day when I will show up in the office completely braless (but otherwise dressed appropriately for work).