Why Do Breasts Have To Be Crammed Into Bras?
Let's have a chat about boobs, bras, and my choice to almost never wear one. For the longest time my routine coming home was taking my bra off the second I got in the door. I felt I had to wear one everyday, with every outfit, or I would look "frumpy", "gross" or "offensive". Yet I was always insanely uncomfortable - I had yet to find a bra that I can wear all day, everyday without uncomfortable pinching.
It's especially difficult trying to wear only ethically made or sustainable clothing. Almost no brands* make any with wide enough straps to comfortably hold the weight of my breasts without cutting into my shoulders. There are some shirts I feel more comfortable wearing a bra with, and I do love wearing beautiful lingerie from time to time, but more often than not I've worn them to make other people comfortable.
This doesn't make sense to me - why would I knowingly make myself uncomfortable in order to make others comfortable? That goes against most of the things I stand for. Who says boobs should be high and perky? Why are nipples inappropriate? Why shouldn't I be able to move freely, if that is what feels best for my body? My body is what it is, and I especially LOVE my boobs - I want to celebrate them, not constrict and confine them.
I used to feel like I had to mould myself into something different to fill a certain role. A lot of my self worth came from attracting the male gaze, or being "wanted". There was a certain way to look that would always attract that attention - push up bras, low cut tops and a small waist. I used to call push up bras "false advertising" and that's definitely what I was doing; selling an image of myself that I had created to fit in. I felt so out of place, so out of touch with who I was, that even though it didn't make me happy, it made me accepted, and that was enough.
There's a card that makes fun of the efforts we go through to attract and keep attention (the "I like you, I love you" card that compares lingerie at the beginning of relationships to established ones). I definitely used to be that person. But by the time I met Isaac, that dynamic had switched from "I like you" to "I love me". I did show up in my "unacceptable" granny panties because it was what I was comfortable in. By that point, I had it in my head that you either accept me as I actually am, or we're not meant to be together (obvs we were - he has always accepted me as I am). It's funny how something as simple as lingerie can be so damn complex.
I also do sincerely wish that there were more beautiful options for lingerie that is both ethical and comfortable for women with bigger breasts.* Some days I do want to wear something black and lacy - there's days where that is what makes me feel most beautiful and like myself. But something that is comfortable all day, not just looks pretty in a photoshoot or for just a few hours. I'm not hardcore one way or the other (to me, bras are not a necessity, nor are they evil).
All I'm asking for is for the ability to choose whatever makes me most secure in my own body. I still probably won't choose to wear it on the regular, but at least I have the option. That said, I want to not be judged or stared at for choosing to not wear one. More than anything, I want other women to feel they have that choice as well. Our bodies are our own, and no one should have any say over what we choose (or choose not) to adorn them with.
Update: I've found a few brands that make the perfect everyday bra for me - comfortable, natural and a perfect fit (I'll be sharing who in future posts).