Elizabeth King
May 26, 2015 8:00 am

In high school, I definitely remember wishing that I had bigger boobs. Of course this is a pretty common experience for those of us who fall on the smaller end of the breast-size scale, and like many young women I went the distance to get that extra boobage. No, I didn’t stuff my bra… not exactly. I didn’t fill my bras with tissues, but I certainly did stuff them into push-up bras that were a tad too small. That’s right, class of 2006! That cleavage was an illusion! Sorry… (or you’re welcome, depending on your perspective.)

Later on, in college, I sort of got over my cup-size and grew to really enjoy my boobs the way they are. Which is a great feeling, let me tell you. Because boobs are great! But my most recent epiphany came just a couple months ago, when I learned that, unless it’s physically uncomfortable not to, we don’t even NEED to wear bras!

Don’t ask how I didn’t learn this until the age of 26, but apparently we’ve been lied to. This whole time I thought I was preventing sagging later in life, but (and this would have made complete sense, had I ever stopped to think about it), it turns out that this is a total myth. Our breasts are going to sag at some point no matter what we do.

Feeling a little ticked off about having been duped since adolescence, I decided to give a go of not wearing booby-baskets for a couple of weeks, to see how that felt. There’s a lot of politics surrounding breasts, and in particular the… er… nipular area. So that was the aspect that made me the most nervous. I live in Chicago where we’re famous for having a good stiff breeze or two during the day, which means you can’t exactly hope to hide everything without a bra or heavy layering. Either way, because I am physically comfortable without a bra, and never really liked them to begin with, I thought this would be an interesting adventure.

Turns out I was mostly right. I felt sort of subversive and wild and free walking around and thinking “ha! No bra here! Nope, not even a sports bra, ladies and gents. It’s just me under this here shirt.” It was fun because it was so different from what I am used to, and it made me think about my body differently, because I was so much more aware of a particular part of it. Admittedly I did feel a little awkward at first. Would people stare? Would someone get offended?

But screw it, they’re just boobs, and these were my boobs, and I wanted them to get off the leash for a little while and run free like their prehistoric ancestors once did. Fortunately I did not notice any leering, nor were there any lewd comments directed my way during my little experiment, which made me feel less nervous when I left the house sans brassiere. I can’t say that the experience made me feel more confident, but rather it confirmed the confidence I already have. It made me think, “wow, I really am cool with my body.”

I know I’m guilty of having judged when I’ve seen unbridled boobies in public. But now I see that these bra-bandoners are secret geniuses! So I sincerely apologize to anyone whom I have ever given the side-eye in the past over your bra choices. That was uncool, and after my series of bra-free days, I know for certain you were really on to something.

Of course, everyone is different, and wearing a bra may in fact feel more comfortable, especially for anyone with larger breasts. In addition, there are plenty of people out there who prefer to minimize the appearance of the breasts as much as possible, and bind their breasts (hopefully VERY safely!) or wear sports bras to smush them down. That’s all completely between you and your t-shirt, and my 2 cents is that these are your tatas, and they should look however YOU want them to.

If you’re up for it and comfortable, I would encourage anyone who wears a bra out of supposed obligation (never going to forgive society for not teaching me bras don’t help sagging… NEVER!) more than aesthetics or comfort to give your chest a little vacation away from your bra, and just see how it feels. You may run screaming back into your house after one step outside, or you may feel like the queen of the world. In my case, I’m going to stick to skipping a bra as much as I can, and when I want my boobs to have a little hug, I’ll reach for my ultra-soft sports bralette. I think “the girls” and I will continue to be very happy together. *wink*

(Image via)

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