No More Bras or The Day I Liberated My Tits.

Earlier this summer as I was getting myself dressed for the day I made a decision that in retrospect was rather bold, for me.

It didn’t seem all that bold to me in that moment. It was as simple as acknowledging that in rather hellish heat the last thing I wanted to do was add another layer, no matter how thin, to my body.

So I decided to toss the bra back in its home and carry on about my day.  

And I continued to do this. I decided that whenever possible I was not slinging my boobs into yet another bra. Now, I’m not the first-this. This is not ground breaking nor earth shattering for some. But for me it was. I would hardly go without a bra even when sitting at home, which for someone who works out of her home is what I do most days.

This did, however, become personal for me. As a mama who has nursed 3 kids my boobs have been the source of much anguish over the years. When I think of how much money I spent on expensive bras known for how they lift and separate, I shudder. When I think of how uncomfortable I would be, adjusting every five minutes, pulling up a wayward strap, I laugh.

Because I don’t deal with that crap anymore.

For someone who used to joke that if I bent over you could fit my tits into teacups (the joys of lots of expanding and contracting through years of baby nurturing) I realized that the act of going without a bra forced me to accept where my body was at right here, right now, not as a 25-year-old but as a 35-year-old woman who has seen some shit. Whose body has brought life into this world.

But I noticed that it gets all sorts of reactions from others. I notice that folks watch me more as I walk by. That those I tell of my boob liberation have a genuine shocked response. Even my own husband was astounded as I bounced back to the car one afternoon. “You’re not wearing a bra, are you? Don’t you find that odd?”

Nope, not in the slightest. But I find the reactions of others very telling.

What does wearing a bra do? For some it may feel necessary. For others it is conditioned that as women we MUST wear one. As though my hiding my nipples behind fabric will make you forget they are there. I can’t help but wonder if there are those out there who feel this is helping curtail the temptation of others. That is our job, as women, to make sure we hide what makes us women.

So then this decision became also my personal feminist statement.

For me not wearing a bra is a simple choice that was born in a moment of being too damn hot and turned into something deeper about personal acceptance and standing firm in my belief that what a woman chooses to adorn (or not adorn) her body with is up to her. I do not have to wear something because it makes others more comfortable.

As someone raising small girls the idea of body acceptance, healthful decisions centered on a woman being sovereign over her own body are more important than any insecurities I used to have as a woman surrounded by images of what my breasts should look like.

Now this may not be for everyone and this is not about saying I am more accepting of myself or more of a feminist by not wearing a bra than you are if you chose to wear one. This is not just about my no longer wearing a bra, either.  Rather it’s a personal narrative of examining why we make the choices that we do. In what ways are we making decisions based on what we are told is acceptable? How many ways do we allow others to shape the way we shape ourselves? Interesting questions to ponder above and beyond whether we wear a bra or not.

The real kick in the pants? As I have gone without a bra for the better part 4 months my breasts look fuller and better than ever.

No bras for the win!

 

Laura Brown