I used to love bra shopping. Victoria’s Secret, La Senza, Aerie, La Vie En Rose… You name it, I have a bra (or six) from it. There’s just something about showing off that new bra or piece of lingerie to a partner that I absolutely adore. As a card-carrying member of the itty-bitty titty committee, I have endless choices in the department of bralettes, bandeaus and teddies. I have what I now call ‘tiny boob privilege.’ I’m safe from a lot of back pain, I forgo a lot of hyper-sexualization because I lack basically any form of cleavage and I can go braless unnoticed most of the time.
I used to be very self-conscious about my tiny boobs, more than once described as a ‘decent handful.’ There was a time when I seriously considered a breast augmentation, and I have a drawer of ’emergency’ push up bras, once reserved for body-con dresses and first dates. Now, I’ve come to embrace my small breasts, and going braless has been a huge part of this acceptance – which is why I think everyone with breasts should consider going braless once in a while.
Many of my more busty friends will talk about the back pain that comes with having breasts, but this back pain can also affect smaller-chested individuals. I find that after a long day, bras with underwires and padding make my upper back scream in pain – probably because my body has to overcompensate for the weight and structure of a bra. When I go braless, I rarely feel any upper back pain.
Bralettes and thin sports bras can save me when I’m working in an office or attending an event, but over the past few months I’ve forgone bras almost entirely. The first few times I went braless, I was travelling – and though it was way more comfortable to not be adjusting bra straps on buses and trains, I found myself wrapping my sweaters around my chest more, and covering my nipples in public. Going braless was terrifying but also thrilling; I had a badly kept secret that people had to really be paying attention to see. I was embracing #freethenipple in the fullest capacity that I could.
There is no right or wrong way to have breasts, and thus there is no right or wrong way to go braless. You can cover up your nipples with adhesives if you’re concerned about a sheer top – or your can flaunt those raspberries. Women with larger and smaller busts alike can go braless; it’s not just an activity for those with small tits. Many ‘guides’ will tell you to always look for nipple adhesives, but nipples aren’t something to be scared of! They aren’t obscene or gross. And depending on where you live, they’re not necessarily illegal.
We’re conditioned to obsess over bras and to constantly search for the right amount of cleavage- bordering between sexy and innocent. We’re conditioned to hide a secret underneath our work clothes in case someone decides to ravish us on our lunch break. We’re conditioned to have matching underwear and shaved legs just in case a man decides he wants us. Because of this, it can take immense courage to go braless – and that’s why, for me, it was almost like a weaning process.
I went from push up bras with lace, jewels and painful underwires to bras with minimal padding and lace. I started wearing bralettes and sports bras – and eventually shed the bra altogether. There are also times when bras are completely unnecessary: Watching Netflix after work, hanging around the house, wearing tons of layers, etc.
Countless online articles will tell you about the ‘appropriate’ circumstances in which to go braless, but the only place I can think of as inappropriate is when you’re exercising at the gym or running outside with no support – and only because it can be painful! A sweater over a button up shirt will give you enough coverage and comfort for the office. A cozy sweater can keep the pointy nips to a minimum when out running errands.
Leaving the house in the morning sans bra not only feels amazing and free, but makes me feel confident and in control of my body. I’m actively making the choice to not wear a bra in a society that tells me unless I spend $30-100 on one from Victoria’s Secret, I’m too obscene and sexual. Aside from cutting down on my upper back pain, going braless is a daily reminder that my body is my own.
Do you like to go braless? Let me know in the comments below!