Why Your Braless "Feminism" Is Bullshit

I just want to preface this with a few things.

  1. I am somewhat of an informal “bra expert.” Correct bra fittings changed my life (another post for another day) and I’m really, really passionate about bras.
  2. I have nothing against girls who don’t wear bras. I think that’s ultimately your choice whether you want to wear one, and I would never tell you to if you didn’t want to.
  3. I am not claiming to be some sort of super-feminist. This is just how I see this.

Alright. Now that those things are out of the way, let me tell you how disappointed I am in the way we as women have been treating each other over bras.

A video has been floating around Facebook with the click-baity title of “Scientists Said You Should STOP Wearing a Bra” or something of the sort. Ahh, yes. Those scientists. Always being brought in to justify something when it wasn’t said by someone with credibility, you know, like a Facebook news website. The focus of the video is bralessness. At first, I was super down with it, because I thought it was about the choice to wear one. Everyone should have that choice.

Glamorous shots of Rihanna dancing in a shirt thin enough to see her breasts flash by. Of course anyone would be in support of that.

First, they start by saying that 60% of women have pain in bras. That is true. Mainly because it’s mainstream to fit a woman in too small of a cup and too big of a band. Example; Victoria’s Secret would have me in a 38C according to their measurements. If I measure properly, I wear a 34GG (UK), which translates roughly to a 34J in the United States. Funny how that works. That’s about 8 cup sizes off and two bands too big.

Then, the woman goes on to say that underwire “isn’t logical.” After that, they mention my favorite pseudoscience; not wearing a bra “might” make your boobs less saggy and cause them to be more perky over time. All the while, they say in the video that this is for feminism, and you hear a spoken word poet talking about how men need to stop staring at “the flop.” They even say that bras are  “idealized” because the hard (???), front-pointing shape is what a man wants to see and that’s why you need to stop.

Let me tell you why you’re full of shit.

First of all, most women are not wearing the correct size of bra, which would explain the pain. I don’t preach that to people unless it is invited. However, most women probably think a DD is “huge! The biggest they get!” Here is a link to several women in properly fitted-DD cup bras of all band sizes. Yeah. I know. I just screwed with everything you ever thought you knew about breast size.

Boobs come in all different shapes and sizes, much like genitals, but no one ever talks about it. I have seen people with bras in the 28-46 band range and cups in the A-O range. Yes, an O cup exists, and it’s not ridiculous or weird. Not to mention, they come in shapes! Shallow, projected, full on top, full on bottom, pendulous, and everything under the sun. (VS bras tend to cater to full on bottom, shallow shapes, if you were curious.) And god forbid we go over nipples; I’d be here all day.

So excuse me when I see women with small breasts preaching that I need to stop wearing my “illogical” bras and I start fuming with anger.

Women with small breasts generally do not need the support in a bra that a larger-busted woman does. I have worn bras for 11 years now at the age of 19. I tried not wearing a bra for 24 hours while I ran errands a couple days ago. It caused me immense back pain. I physically need the support. Feel free to have your nipples covered by nothing more than bottlecaps if you can do it without discomfort, but it is a statement soaked in privilege to assume that every woman can just freely let her breasts be unsupported.

Secondly, what truly bothers me is the “feminism” around it. “Yeah, fuck those men who want us to have hard, protruding, rounded, forward-facing breasts,” you probably thought as you watched the video. “They’re the worst.”

Except here’s the thing… The reasons often cited for not wearing a bra are those very reasons.

One of the main things that people mention, again, is that wearing bras god forbid make your breasts sag. I am here to tell you some cold hard facts.

First of all, your breast sagging is completely genetic. It can be aided by not wearing proper bras, but seriously. I know your grandma and your aunties and your mama have whipped their boobs out at some point. Breastfeeding, whatever. Did you notice you all looked a little similar? I know my boobs look a lot like most of the ones in my family as far as pendulousness and shape goes. Not wearing a bra is not going to fix that.

Second, not wanting your breasts to “sag” is catering to a straight male ideal. “But wait… I’m doing this in the name of women!” I know you’re well-meaning. But the fact of the matter is, the small, perky, non-saggy breast is what men told us our boobs should look like. It’s ridiculous to tell me I can’t wear my bra because it will stop my breast from looking like a male, societal ideal of appearance, but then turn around and say I need to do it to help free women from the confines of the garment that did absolutely nothing but try to help them.

I may have come off angry in this, and that’s because I am. I spent my whole life being bullied for having large breasts before everyone else did. However, I’ve come to an acceptance now with my boobs and can take these sorts of annoying things floating around… But there is some sad girl out there who watched that video and is causing herself excruciating back pain by not wearing her bra because a video made her feel bad for wearing it. I’m angry for that girl.

Wear a bra, don’t wear a bra. At the end of the day, it’s your choice. But let’s make feminism more about giving women a right to choose what the hell they want to do with their body and less about shaming them for it.


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