I hate bras. I have never been the type to buy cute, lacy, sexy, appliqué-smothered boob prisons. All my bras are black, plain, and push-up, because up until this point, society has told me that I need big, perky breasts to be attractive.
I am unfortunately a member of the itty-bitty titty committee, and have small boobs compared to my family and friends. While they boast double Ds, I struggle to make do by smushing my B-cup breasts into tighter bras with extremely high push-up promises.
Until recently, I consistently purchased overpriced fabric chest cages in hopes that I could better fill in dresses and achieve a perfect hourglass figure. But due to a mix of nipples coming into fashion again and my slacker tendencies, I decided to try going sans bra for a week.
The first day of my braless adventure wasn’t bad. I discovered that winter is a good time to start foregoing bras: since you’re wearing so many thick layers and warmth trumps cleavage, no one will ever know.
But my first time wearing a T-shirt without a bra was not so simple. I could prominently see my nipples showing through my shirt, awkwardly drawing too much attention to themselves like a millennial on Twitter (i.e. me).
I almost decided to stop my experiment, but luckily stuck with it. What I realized was that most of the time, no one actually cares. I got just about as much attention drawn to my breasts as I did with the push-up bras, which was a welcome surprise. I did get one pair of high school boys whispering to each other, “She’s not wearing a bra!” on the 145 bus, but my internal response was, “Yeah, and it’s awesome!”
The greatest change I have noticed after being braless these past few weeks has been in my confidence level. The once self-conscious, boob-oppressing me has become a boob-loving, self-assured woman.
I am not afraid of a little nip. After I stopped hiding my nipples behind layers of padding and fabric, I came to terms with the way my boobs looked. And I grew to like them. I stopped trying to morph them to look like what I thought other people wanted, and I let them be themselves. For years I thought I wanted bigger breasts, but all I really needed was an empowered view of my self-worth.
Sometimes I do have to make exceptions. It’s annoying to do physical activity without a bra. Even climbing up stairs really fast feels uncomfortable. So I do wear sports bras to the gym out of necessity, but change out of them when I’m finished. I’m not about to go burn all my bras, because sometimes they have a place in my wardrobe, but they are no longer an everyday accessory.
Life is so much easier without bras. My chest feels lighter, literally and figuratively. The feeling you get when you take off a bra feels so good. The feeling of never having to put one on in the first place feels so much better. I don’t have indents in my skin from having a wire poke me all day. I don’t struggle with loose bra straps. I don’t have to scoop my chest fat into place for optimum cleavage distribution, and I don’t have to feel bad for having smaller tits. I am free.