If you saw last weeks confessional post you will have read that one of my confessions is that at the age of 32 i have decided to ditch the bra.
Here’s the thing, I’ve been processing a lot of body image factors of late. From putting pressure on myself, not daring to looking at myself naked and then to finally accepting who i am and what my body actually looks like.
Us women are strong willed creatures aren’t we? When we we use that will for good, it is a force to bereckoned with, but when we use it for bad, more specifically beating ourselves up over how we look, well then it can be desperately hard to come back from. Once we have planted that seed, it spreads like a nasty weed that you just can’t dig that root up, and it sinks itself more deeply in to your psyche with each day that passes.
In the vein of complete transparency and honesty its probably best i start at the beginning.
As a young teenager i was teased awfully for being flat chested. I never had that growth spurt other girls had that seemed to take them from girl to woman. Being athletic in my youth meant i was just flat chested, and it just stayed that way.
The teasing made me insanely insecure, an insecurity so deep-seated that it would stay with me for the next 17 years (to this year).
As a young woman i would joke with friends about my “Fried Eggs” and how i would kill for a boob job, little did they know that what was said in jest was how i actually felt.
As i got older i invested in every push up bra on the market. Gel inserts, air pooches, pully systems and even “chicken fillets”, anything to give me that enviable cleavage that i so wished for.
Looking back i guess the reason i felt so out of place and less of a woman was because, even then, society dictated that women who had big boobs were more beautiful young men looked at page 3, watched Baywatch and dated girls with big breasts not scrawny girls like me.
Media also told me the figure us ladies should aim for is an hourglass, big boobs, big hips, small waist.
Why though? To please men? To look good in clothes? To fit in and all look the same?
I never left the house without a padded bra on. After years of ridicule i feared i would be judged as “less of a woman” or severely unattractive. All through my twenties, even happily settled with a wonderful man (who I’ve been with since i was 21) who loves me just the way i am, i still had this bitter underlying current of not being good enough.
But then hitting my thirties, i noticed a change in me. A slow change, but it was a definite shift.
I started to care less what others thought.
I’ve changed. My boobs haven’t, they’re still tiny, but actually that’s ok!
In fact, for me, its pretty great!
I am a woman, I am happy, healthy, I am married and have a beautiful family.
I am small breasted, but so what?
That doesn’t reflect on who i am as a person, just as being curvy, skinny, tall or short doesn’t.
Once i had this realisation, breaking the bonds of years of internal torture, i started to ask myself, why do i even wear a bra?
The simple fact of the matter is.. i do not need a bra.
So why do i feel the need to hide my boobs in a contraption that is uncomfortable?
The contraption that was keeping them in, covering them up, pushing up or flattening down.
It got me thinking why do we wear them?
The reasons are simple:
- Social norms dictate that’s what women should do (as they do with size and figure shape too)
- To de-sexualise women ( ie put them away love)
Since going bra free i have researched and spoken with lots of ladies about the topic, it’s great that we all have a point of view on this.
So here’s what i’ve learned.
Firstly we wear bras because of social norms, it is what everyone does and what is expected of us.
Our mothers do, friends do and it is the norm. We wear a bra to fit in, be the same and not stand out (there’s a nipple pun there i’m sure ;).
Secondly we wear a bra so that we don’t have them “on display”, God forbid our breasts distract anyone from going about their daily deeds.
Just like normalising breast feeding in public, women should be allowed to go bra free without being stared at, made to feel like a slab of meat, or suggested that she is promiscuous.
Men do not wear extra coverage of their nipples/pecs and that is completely normal.. yet all shapes and sizes of women feel the need to hide their boobs away.
The more we normalise it the more we will raise young people to see that our bodies are ours. We can do as we please with them, it is not for society to dictate to me or anyone else what i can and can not wear.
Thirdly? Why are we subjected to uncomfortable apparatus 12 hours a day with a garment that is currently in studies to see if they are actually doing our bodies more harm then good! Underwire digging in, pressure, and potential cancer threats.. why do we do this to ourselves?
I finally just wanted to touch on my personal thought, if i had seen more shapes and sizes of all types of women when i was growing up, then maybe i wouldn’t have had years of hating my body, loathing bikinis and investing in crappy bras just to try and feel more of a woman. It was such a horrible places to be that really took me years to come out of.
Nobody should feel crap about their body. Our bodies are amazing fantastic things that should be praised not criticised.
So this is me.
Small boob crew and proud.
Bra free, extremely comfy and happy. I’m not burning all my bras, there is of course times when i may need one, sports possibly or transparent tops, but i will be opting for a bralet type with no padding or wire.
Its so important that all shapes and sizes are represented in society so that we normalise and celebrate our magnificent differences and not feel we all have to look a certain way.
Going bra free, how does it feel?
The first time i went out bra free was to the supermarket, i wore a baggy top and felt myself hunching over to begin with. I was absolutely terrified. I was scared people would stare, i was worried what they would think of me, i felt on show.
However after being out for a small amount of time i soon realised nobody stared, nobody cared and i was sublimely comfortable in my own skin, just the way i am. I stood tall and gave no shits. From there i then went on to wear tighter tops and not think twice about it. Lets face it, the outline of my breast is really the least of the worlds problems right now. And why i should i/we be ashamed of our bodies and boob outline?
As time went on i felt liberated. I felt like i was in control of my body, my world, no longer pretending to be something i wasn’t.
I felt empowered that i am a woman and i am happy with my body and nobody can take that away from me.
Its crazy to think i hid behind bras for so many years.
I can only speak on behalf of myself of course, and i know there are many more larger breasted ladies who may feel they can’t go without a bra, but perhaps consider just being your wonderful self..
Naturally beautiful the way you are without the bra, big small, high or low, breasts are breasts and why not let them just be as they are.
We all have this preconception of how our breasts should look due to society and social media filling our heads with pert big boobs, but the more we are all open about our shape the more we normalise the real women of the world and all the fabulous shapes and sizes. I hope that maybe one day, young ladies won’t feel agonised by their size because society says that she doesn’t look right.
If you wear for comfort and support, i appreciate this is integral to how you feel, but the feeling at the end of the day, when you take the bra off is always one of utter relief isn’t it? Why not go free for an hour, an afternoon or a day.
They are part of your wonderful body that should be loved and celebrated.
Lets not let society dictate to us how we should look and our breasts should be kept.
So go on I dare you, let the puppies out for a day and see how you feel!?????
PS. Its worth mentioning that this is still very much a work in progress for me and this post took
A LOT for me to be completely honest with both words, images and content.. I’m still bricking it if i’m honest, but like i said, its a work in progress, my personal development. Sure there will be people who think i have an awful figure and that is their opinion, but this is about me being happy in my own skin.. something that has never ever happened and that I’m pleased finally is beginning!
* This is part one of an ongoing Body positivity series I am presenting. More to come soon!*