Bring Back Braless

Bring back braless, Just so I don’t feel like I’m the only flower child. In high school, I was all ‘Yeah, feminism, what’s the big deal with going braless anyway?’ I was raised very religious. There were ideals and standards about women’s dress. One of the standards for how women should dress is to minimize the bust area. 

It was in 8th grade, that we had a transitionary type of Sunday school class, with just us girls, taught by youth pastor’s wife. She was teaching about modest dress. She said to wear clothing that stood away from your figure, to wear clothes that did not accentuate your body at all. I asked, ‘What about the Girls? Are we to strap them down as if we don’t have them?’ She, in short, answered yes. (She wasn’t the only authority figure in our church to enforce this, I had been sternly talked to for wearing V-neck sweaters.)

I was beginning to run at the time. In sixth grade, I randomly decided that I wanted to participate in track without ever having run 100 meters straight. Two years later I was more athletic than girly girl. Except when it came to those sports bras. I still, against the practicality, was anti-bra. 

When I was sixteen, I remember my mother setting firm ground rules about bras. That one, they shouldn’t ever show, and two, you should most always wear one. I was never reprimanded for going braless however. (Though at that age, the Girls I had were practically infinitesimal.) The women in our family come into that asset at 25. Its once we hit 25 years-old that suddenly we inherit womanhood. At much of my dismay, its felt more like a prison sentence to delayed puberty. Why my friends had been enjoying them for years I had to learn the existence of underwire bras from my gym teacher. 

Here’s the thing, when you don’t have to deal with the Girls until 25, you, by that time, are out of the house and there’s no overhead womanly counsel to guide you through anything as daunting as Victoria’s Secret. This is not why I reject that undergarment however. I wear them for special occasions or for church. (For some reason, nipples and communion seem disrespectful.) 

But underwire, who invented that torture device? Underwire, for my frame anyway, gouges out whatever rib its sitting on, and proportionally my ribs are right where they are supposed to be, so I’m not going to use a bra to hold in the Girls just to give myself an evening of pain.

Strangely enough, I grew up under the wisdom ‘beauty is pain.’ I can handle my hair being yanked for hours on end for an enviable hairstyle, I can handle being waxed from head to toe, I can handle whole days in excruciatingly painful footwear. But when it comes to choking my lung supply to hide a nipple, I think not. 

Just food for thought from the girl whose probably a closeted hippie. Maybe I’ll just cave and buy that retro turquoise Volkswagen bus I’ve been drooling over for years. No shag carpet though, thats where I draw the line.