It started with hairy legs, and now I’m going braless.
Recently I braved leaving the house for the whole day with my hairy legs on show. And I felt completely and utterly empowered! Since then, I’ve realised that perhaps there really is something to this modern day feminism.
I’ve classed myself as a feminist for most of my adult life, but I still feel pressure from the unrealistic beauty standards that surround us on social media, in Hollywood, magazines, TV and just about everything else. The thought of going round to my boyfriends for the weekend with hairy armpits still scares me – although I doubt he’d even notice, let alone care. I don’t wear much make-up, but still struggle to leave the house without at least some mascara on. I don’t feel dressed up unless I’m wearing heels and fake eyelashes. Although I love rocking the pale look, I’m a sucker for showing off my tan when I have one. And I try to exercise regularly, and watch what I eat 70% of the time because… well because otherwise I feel inadequate when I watch Love Island.
It’s normal to feel all of the above as a woman in this shallow and heartless world. But you know what sucks about constantly trying to live up to the unrealistic beauty standards being set? It takes so much fucking time and money!
My most recent endeavour into this new feminist world is not wearing a bra.
If you’ve ever worn a bra, you’ll know that feeling of bliss when you take the uncomfortable boob holder off at the end of the day. Don’t get me wrong, I’m the first to admit there are advantages to bras. For starters, they stop boobs from bouncing up and down in a painful manner during any kind of movement. They also cover your nipples, which is great if you’re uncomfortable with having some nip showing through your top. As well, they keep the whole area warm during the colder months. There are plenty of other advantages, but let’s just list the main few for the time being.
However, no one can deny bras are ridiculously uncomfortable. They dig into your back, your under-boob, your side, your shoulders. And if you loosen it, the straps are constantly falling down and your boobs barely feel supported. So one day, I decided to go without.
I thought I’d feel on show, but in fact I didn’t at all. Yes, my boobs bounce around more when I’m walking, and yes I saw the odd person glance down at my chest. But that’s their problem, not mine. I shouldn’t have to wear an uncomfortable piece of underwear to stop men from perving on something they have no right to leer at anyway.
“I shouldn’t have to wear an uncomfortable piece of underwear to stop men from perving on something they have no right to leer at anyway.”
I felt more comfortable all day. It was as if my boobs could breathe for a whole 24 hours, not just the six hours of sleep at night!
It’s completely understandable why going braless is a big deal for so many women. Before trying it, I was terrified of letting the human pillows out. But it’s comfortable, it’s liberating, and you aren’t left with red marks all aver your upper body at the end of the day from where straps have been digging in.
If you’re tempted at all to give it a go, I’d sincerely advise it. You can buy all sorts of accessories now from tit tape to nipple covers that you can look into if you don’t want to go au naturale so quickly. Or if you fancy going all in, try with a thick tight top so you still have a small amount of support without feeling too on show.
It’s time for us to take our bodies back. Bras have their purpose in life, but they shouldn’t be an absolute necessity for every woman to wear every day. If we want to let our boobs roam free for a bit, we can. If we want to give them a breather for a day, we can. If we just don’t want bra straps showing with our fabulous new dress, we don’t have to. They’re OUR boobs and we dictate what we do with them, no one else has that right.
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