By Maryam Outlaw
Pesky pinching bands, digging straps and awkward spillage: bras can be the biggest discomfort, yet girls everywhere insist on wearing them for normalcy’s sake. And if wearing a bra is so problematic, then going without must be a walk in the park, right? But how comfortable is going braless actually? I ditched those bothersome brassieres for seven days straight and this is what I learned.
This is so awkward. Physically, I am totally comfortable and it feels a lot more relaxing than I thought it would. I do not have to think about exposed straps, slipping bra bands or if my boobs are bulging out of their cotton cups. (For informational purposes, I am a 36DD, so spillage is a huge problem for me). But mentally, I have never been more paranoid in my entire life. Every time I talk to somebody, I wonder if they notice that I am not wearing a bra, and more importantly, if they care. I went to a meeting today and seriously, it was all I could think about. Today was also really sunny and I walk everywhere, so there is definite … perspiration going on right now.
I had to interview someone this morning, and again, I felt really insecure. Wearing a bra in a somewhat professional setting is a completely bizarre situation to be in. A part of me felt so embarrassingly unkempt and amateurish, but a more surprising part of me felt weirdly immoral, inappropriate and at times, sexually promiscuous. I wish I could say it felt sexy and empowering, but no. I just felt lewd and apologetic.
I am already over this little social experiment. I am astonished by the fact that this feels like an elephant in the room that apparently I only know about. I am also starting to notice that talking to males, whether a teacher, a friend or a coworker, makes me feel a lot more nervous compared to when I interact with women, which I expected. It is like even though I am fully covered, I still feel naked and therefore, unprotected.
WORST. DAY. EVER. On Monday I was in a semi-professional situation but today, I went to work: a completely professional setting. I discovered that wearing a dress shirt without a bra should absolutely never be a thing under any circumstances. It feels strange, it looks strange and it is strange. For some reason, my breasts are also starting to feel hefty and cumbersome. Admittedly, I find myself looking forward to going home and lying on my back in bed so I do not have to feel so much weight press against my upper rib cage.
My wardrobe choices have become increasingly baggier. I find myself wanting to divert whatever potential attention away from my boobs so I started wearing huge sweaters out. I am afraid to wear anything form fitting out of fear of feeling over sexualized. In addition, all the jiggling when I walk is really starting to aggravate me. It’s like they have a mind all their own!
Normally, I spend about 45 seconds total figuring out what to wear in the morning. Today, and I am not exaggerating, it took almost 15 minutes. At this point, I have gotten used to wearing no bra, but at the same time, I feel really self-conscious about showing everyone my breasts’ silhouette. I thought it would get better as the week went by, but I think it has only gotten worse. I eventually settled on the baggiest sweater I could find and draped a scarf around my chest for extra reinforcement. Because I lack security under my clothes, I overcompensate with a bunch of exterior armor.
I am beyond excited for this to be over. This was fun for like, two minutes, and then it just became emotionally exhausting. In terms of body language, I have been crossing my arms almost every minute of every day it feels like. I did not predict I would be this insecure about it but I really do feel vulnerable all the time, and I miss being able to hoist those puppies up and not have to think about how hot they are, how cold they are, if they are moving and if other people are noticing. After today, I think I will go braless every once in awhile, but not this often.
Conclusion: the grass really is always greener.