...On Bra Avoidance

Photographer: Omoleye
A few months ago, after the end of a 4:15pm work meeting, a colleague lackadaisically commented on how she couldn't wait to get home and relax. "Don't you just love that time of the day? You get home, take of your bra, and its... its freedom."

I chuckled to myself, "Well, I don't really wear bras but I imagine that moment would feel absolutely magical."

You could hear a pin drop in the silence that followed my statement.

What came next was a quickly shut conference room door, gawking, questions on whether or not I was wearing a bra at this very moment, how did it feel not to wear bras, what do i do in the cold weather, and a flurry of about 100 more words per minute.

A few weeks ago, a friend was discussing her struggles with finding cute apparel for her bustier frame. A bra wasn't always complimentary with the low back tanks or thin-strapped dresses of spring and summer. I offhandedly commented, "Eh. Just don't wear a bra.." and she responded with a look of bewilderment. Another [busty] friend commented, "Oh, no! No! No! NO! I could never not wear a bra. It's just too much...they'd fall down to my knees. It's not cute at all. You don't understand; your boobs are smaller." Yes, my size was smaller but I still had questions. "I don't think I understand why that is wrong. If they're big and there is gravity, aren't they just doing what they're supposed to do? Why is it wrong with that? I have busty friends who are bra-less all the time! Maybe it's really about comfort...?" My inquisition was sullenly shrugged off.

A few days ago, I posted a picture on Instagram and a friend complimented for my willingness to "let them out all free" and noted that it took a "heavy dosage of confidence" to pull the look off. I laughed to myself but truly am in awe that, in the year 2017, it really may be considered "brave" to be a women who lives in the land of the bra-less.

I never thought my quiet act of noncompliance as revolutionary nor did I ever intend it to be seen as such. When my breasts first grew in, I wore a bra mainly because I was into sports and running without one on was very annoying painful. As I moved away from sports, bra-wearing became a cover for my insecurities concerning having smaller breasts. After a year or two of stuffing myself into Victoria's Secret bombshell bras, I decided to accept my size and stopped trying to gain the approval (or appease the comfort) of others. Many justifications I heard for the necessity of bras centered around male gaze, male pleasure, and ensuring male comfort. For some reason, men are these maniacal creatures that can't control themselves when they see any inkling of the female form and it is our responsibility, as woman, to help them manage themselves.


....right.


I sometimes wonder why we are so eager to embrace these chest harnesses. I wonder if the back pain a lot of bustier women have is associated with their breasts or if its a by-product of trying to care all of that weight in one specific spot (as opposed to natural mass dispersion). How did women manage before bras? While I can't speak for everyone across the size spectrum, when it comes to my journey, the decision boils down to a point of self-acceptance. I'm a woman. Woman have breasts. They don't have to be a certain size to be acceptable. They don't have to sit a certain way to be acceptable. They don't have to bee positioned a certain way to be acceptable. Prop them or let them out. Either way, they don't have to do anything but be mine. It is what it is.

I can admit that, the less I wear bras, the more uncomfortable they seem to be when I do wear them, pushing me farther and farther away from what most would consider God's light. I can't give you more than a bralette these days and even that comes at a very last resort. There are days when I put on my clothes and am shocked by the obviousness of my body. These are the moments that I take a step back and remind myself of one thing:

I'm a woman. Woman have breasts. This is okay.

xo,
jana-lynn

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