Friday, August 23, 2013

On not wearing a bra

"You really need it," an acquaintance told me with good-natured amusement when I admitted that I was happy to go bra-less - my cup size is E, so it's quite noticeable when I don't subject my chest to uncomfortable restraints. But the thing is, I don't need it. Not at all. I leave my bra behind as often as I can work up the courage to face the negative attention. I feel infinitely more comfortable, and since it's a conspicuous sign of my activism I don't necessarily need my custom-designed tee with Feminist written on it to indicate visually that I am one. 
As for the lash-back from the more conservative elements of Sydney's eastern suburban society, I try not to let it get to me, especially since they are in the minority. Most people don't seem particularly affected. After all, it's not like they haven't seen a breast in its natural state before. The freedom I feel when I choose to go bra-less often makes up for any uncomfortable glances I might receive.
A recent French study claims that women who don't wear bras have greater pertness to their breasts, which is just one more reason to go without.
I believe that bras are another means of controlling women's bodies in society. Women are expected to conceal their nipples (which are usually read as sexual) and to have their chests conform to certain norms of contour (to be more easy on the eye). Who's to say that the rounded shape that most bras encourage is more aesthetically pleasing than a breast left unlifted? A lot of us have been brought up to believe that this is true, but then we have been exposed to very few alternatives, and not given enough opportunities to develop a different taste. I would like to see more women go bra-less, so I can get a chance to find the natural look more appealing.


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