Women know the struggle of trying to find a good bra: one that doesn’t leave indentions in your shoulders, provides the right amount of support and doesn’t have underwire that pokes out of the seams.
From a young age, women learn that once they develop breasts, they have to keep them covered with a bra. Let’s be honest; a bra is one of the most uncomfortable articles of clothing imaginable. Aside from the aforementioned issues, women, especially those who are well-endowed, know that these contraptions fit more like suffocating compression tights than esteem-boosting undergarments. And nobody likes feeling so constricted during a long day of work and school.
I decided to take a week off from the strait jacket and learn what it’s like to go bra-free so I could decide if it’s better to free the nipples or stick to wearing bras.
I didn’t realize it initially, but the day I picked to begin my week of braless fun was the day my friend and I were going to a concert. I was planning on easing into the braventure, but, hey, go big or go home, right? So there I was, at a concert with no bra and music that I had every urge to dance to. All I wanted to do was jump around and let the music take over my body, but I was so self-conscious that my boobs would pop out of my loosely-fitted shirt that I just stood there and bobbed from side to side.
My friend reassured me that my braless nature wasn’t noticeable. But I kept crossing my arms and hoping that nobody would get too close.
This was the first full day I spent walking around campus. And, of course, this was a day where I had a million meetings to attend. I decided to wear a tight tank top, hoping that it would prevent the girls from peeping through the tight polo I had to wear to the monthly conclave I had to attend. I was so busy that day that I honestly forgot I wasn’t wearing a bra until I got home, went to undo the clasps and realized there wasn’t a clasp to take off.
Tuesday was a day with lots of running around. I attended the Office of Career Development’s “A Day in Our City” and, when getting dressed for the event, I was extremely close to calling off this no-bra test run. I was going to City Furniture to meet some people, make a good impression, and, hopefully, catch their eye to secure an internship or job. And how was I supposed to do that without my lucky bra? Well, I did it. I spent the entire day without my support system and had wonderful conversations with multiple people at the company. By the end of the day, I was feeling more than confident without my bra to hold me up.
Of course, the week I chose to do this was the week I presented at a marketing competition. Apart from pulling an all-nighter to finish the presentation, I was late to the DeSantis Building, where the competition was located. If you’ve never power-walked without a bra on, I don’t recommend it; I felt as if I was going to have a nip slip at any moment. I was almost positive that the people I was walking past noticed, but I was in too much of a rush to care at that moment. Prior to the presentation, I just kept fretting about whether they would notice I wasn’t wearing a bra and let it sway the overall decision because going braless isn’t always seen as professional. During the presentation, I pushed all that aside and focused on the reason for being there, despite the fact that I couldn’t tell which presentation the crowd’s eyes were focused on. Even though my shirt didn’t fit right and my boobs were slightly sore after a power-walk session, my teammate and I won the competition. Maybe, just maybe, going braless wasn’t so bad after all.
It wouldn’t be fair to finish out the week without at least one day of running errands. To do something, it has to be done right, after all. So this was the day of driving around town and letting the freedom flag fly in every store I went to. From going to a government building to Dunkin Donuts to Walmart, I owned the fact that I could do all of it without a bra and didn’t even care if people noticed. It was so comfortable that I couldn’t even remember why people wore bras to run errands in the first place.
Friday was the final test I had for my transition into the braless society. I had an interview set up for an internship that day, and the last thing I wanted to do was to make a bad impression because I didn’t wear a bra to meet with my potential new employer. But I didn’t let the fear get the best of me. I remembered that I had accomplished so much the past week, and I didn’t need an additional piece of uncomfortable fabric to get the job. I walked into the interview with my head held high and ended up getting the internship.
And on the seventh day, God said, “Let there be rest.” So I slept all day. Not much of a lesson learned on this day.
All in all, I realized that refraining from wearing a bra really does take some getting used to. While it is a heck of a lot more comfortable than wearing a compression band all day, being confident in your exposure takes a lot of practice.
At the end of the day, boobs are just boobs, and, if someone is comfortable and confident in going braless, let her be, and, if someone would rather keep it simple and stick to wearing her bras, then let her be, as well. Maybe instead of arguing about freeing the nipple, we should all just agree to do what makes us happy. After all, support comes in all shapes and sizes.