A Seemingly Crazy, Yet Sincere Call for a Bra-less Revolution

May 3, 2013
By

By Elvia Lopez

Bill Cosby knows that kids say the darndest things. Lying by the pool yesterday, I overheard my little brother tell my rather corpulent uncle he had huge boobies, what some have coined as “moobs” (man boobs). After wiping my tears of laughter, I began to think more closely about gender implications imbued through the wires holding bras and bathing suit tops together. What makes the difference between my uncle’s moobs and mine, besides the fact his may be a few cup sizes larger?

Before I go any further, I would like to add an important disclaimer—I am not a hormonal teenager looking for quicker access to second base, rather a young woman seeking emancipation of a sort. I question why it is the social convention to cover breasts in informal scenarios where men can reign shirtless. And on a less radical level, why is not wearing a bra deemed inappropriate? Before dismissing the question completely, as it may at first sound ridiculous, I ask you to separate yourself from cultural norms and consider the questions posed in this article — in order to understand the implications behind something so widely accepted.

Fact: Both men and women have areolas and nipples. Not the most enlightening fact, but one that is crucial to the core of my argument. Disregarding the existence of “moobs,” are the inches of fat beneath a woman’s areola what need to be hidden away? Last time I checked, an overwhelming amount of American citizens are no stranger to fat; a whopping whopper-eating two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese. The cow reigns sacred in India and its nutrient-rich milk is an integral part of the diets of billions worldwide. Maybe breasts are revered as highly as those utters of a sacred cow, due to their milk-producing abilities? If so, I’ll clarify that personally, I would prefer reverence in the form of overt celebration instead of protection, suppression, or whatever you want to call it. And if it is solely an issue of repression, then it’s definitely time to break free my friends.

I am not encouraging a nudist society; I don’t as openly question the need to cover either sex’s genitals, partially because both the penis and vagina are repressed from public view. Rather I want to equalize opportunities, and call me selfish, but I am also very interested in increasing my own comfort levels. I can attest to the seemingly ordinary, yet universally orgasmic feeling from un-strapping my bra. Yet I always feel compelled to quickly run to put a bra on when someone knocks on my door. I don’t run to put on make-up or heels, as these are less of a sanction for Western femininity, whereas bras are a requisite. There is the common notion that bras provide support, but as a woman on the less endowed side, at least I can wholeheartedly confirm that it bothers more than it helps. For those who prefer the support, that’s perfectly fine too; I’m not here to create more restrictions. But wouldn’t it be nice to have the damn option? Maybe you’ll be convinced once you read about a French study conducted in 2003, where 33 women who practiced a range of sports went a year without a bra, and 88% reported increased comfort and their breasts were firmer and more elevated. Dr. Laetitia Pierrot confirmed these results, repeating this study in 2006 with 250 women.

Next, admittedly cliché, fun facts: Beauty is subjective, and culture is relative. One glaring example comes to mind: Among the Kung of Botswana, small penises are culturally desirable, whereas large ones are perceived as grotesque and disgusting. American society as a whole does not further this notion; likewise, we do not have to submit to the popular idea that perky breasts are best. Considering tribal topless women, or the more common braless European women, the restriction is hugely cultural. My concern does not stem from the fact that I’d prefer an even tan rather than two triangles on my chest…or maybe it does a little. It’s America’s damn puritanical beginnings that are responsible for my uneven tan. What a liberating feeling it was to untie my bathing suit top for the first time in Barcelona, and what a wonder that the comfort could so easily escape me as soon as I crossed the Atlantic ocean.

I strongly feel this is an empowerment issue, relating to self-esteem and self-image, or rather projected constructions of what is acceptable. We feed off breasts as babies, and as adolescents learn to cover them up, hide them, make like Adam and Eve after they ate the forbidden fruit. Should something so many children, boys and girls alike, thrive on to survive as newborns, be covered up in scenarios where men’s are visible? I remember being able to take off my bathing suit as a young child and feel no shame.  But at some point I outgrew training bras and grew embarrassed of my body. There was a distinct point in time where I stopped feeling comfortable changing in front of my own sisters. Is my discomfort at the idea of joining friends for dinner clearly braless an unfortunate self-inflicting pain? If all women in a class attended a lecture without bras, would it be too distracting, or compromise the students’ learning abilities? Am I wrong to assume most women would also be reluctant to partake in such a liberating physical comfort? Do excuse me if this is not the case.

I would like to advocate embracing breasts in a natural state, regardless if they sag, bounce, or appear unpronounced. Who decided it would be socially unacceptable for the shape of a woman’s nipples to show beneath a shirt? It’s nothing men haven’t also experienced in the cold or state of arousal. Is there an exception for women since they are more openly sexualized, and why should this double standard hold true? If others cannot keep their heads clear (or down), why should women carry what I perceive as a burden?

I sit at my computer more than ever conscious of my strapless silky bra, creating indentures in my skin. Do these ideas cross a line of appropriateness? Should I hesitate to share these ideas with my friends, or one of my professors? Is this all together crazy or embarrassing? And for any critics who would be quick to say yes, I’d like to ask why this is the case given that it is a relevant issue to possibly you, your girlfriend, sister, daughter, or mailwoman. Ask any of them if they have reveled in the feeling of taking their bra off; I double-D dare you. While you’re at it, take yourself back in time to the 1800s and imagine if you would also ridicule those first women who dared to wear bloomers. I know my concerns may elicit laughter from discomfort or raise some disapproving eyebrows; imagining the possibility may also raise other body parts, but is that a bad thing?

Or you know, maybe my bra’s a little too tight; what do you think?

__________________________________________________

Elvia LopezElvia Lopez is a UCLA undergraduate involved in UCLA Sex Squad, where she uses humor and personal narrative to perform sexual health education for LAUSD 9th graders. She has volunteered in India and Costa Rica and has traveled alone throughout Spain, Portugal, Denmark, Germany, France, and Italy, interacting with Parisian artists, Portuguese taxi drivers, professors, and other students to gain deeper understanding of culture and social constructions. She possesses a hyperawareness to gender, class, and racial issues and an inextinguishable, fiery tongue. Focused on amplifying the reverberations of her voice, as well as those deemed incapable of speaking or protesting, she dreams of shedding light upon unspoken lived realities.

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156 Responses to A Seemingly Crazy, Yet Sincere Call for a Bra-less Revolution

  1. Anna on May 3, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    While I hear a lot of what you’re saying, I want to point out that for many women who have larger breasts — including myself — wearing a bra is not primarily about shaping breasts for the male gaze. As a G-cup, it isn’t comfortable for me to even go up and down a few steps while braless. Forget riding my bike, lifting weights, or any of the other more active stuff I like to do! On my cycle, when there’s more swelling and tenderness, I sometimes even sleep in a very soft, nonrestrictive bra, because it’s more comfortable than going without.

    I agree that the hypersexualization of women’s breasts is ridiculous, but I don’t think that means we have to hypersexualize the bra, too. For a lot of us, a bra is a genuinely functional garment, and I refuse to look at it primarily as something that makes my shape more palatable to a patriarchal society. For me, it is primarily a support garment that makes daily activities more comfortable.

    • Alliecat84 on May 6, 2013 at 11:47 am

      Thank you! I also have large breasts and appreciate my bra! A couple of years ago, I was in a car wreck and my boobs actually flew up and broke my nose (yes, this is a true story and yes, it’s ok to laugh). I don’t even want to think about what would have happened if I hadn’t been wearing a bra! That said, I don’t think that women should be encouraged to wear one if they don’t want to.

    • Saby on May 6, 2013 at 4:59 pm

      Thank you for saying this!! As a FF cup I always roll my eyes when people talk about how “liberating” it is when they don’t wear a bra… yeah, liberated to be unable to move without pain…

      I find t-shirt bras (the kind you buy at La Senza, all foamy in the cup) to be pretty uncomfortable, because they have no give so they try to force my breasts into a shape they’re not. But since I discovered soft, unlined stretch lace, cut-and-sew bras, I never want to take my bra off because it’s ridiculously comfy. If your bra is uncomfortable, maybe you’re wearing the wrong size, or you need to try a different style! Chain lingerie stores are all about pretty bras and not about how they actually feel on you.

    • D on May 7, 2013 at 8:19 am

      I think there is a lot of diversity among women with large breasts. I wear an H cup and feel most comfortable without a bra. I do not wear one when I am home and have no problem on stairs or even doing light exercise without a bra. My breasts are very sensitive to the light pressure of even a well-fitting bra and I find bras very uncomfortable. I only wear one outside of the home because it would not be considered social acceptable to go without.

  2. Anna on May 3, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    While I hear a lot of what you’re saying, I want to point out that for many women who have larger breasts — including myself — wearing a bra is not primarily about shaping breasts for the male gaze. As a G-cup, it isn’t comfortable for me to even go up and down a few steps while braless. Forget riding my bike, lifting weights, or any of the other more active stuff I like to do! On my cycle, when there’s more swelling and tenderness, I sometimes even sleep in a very soft, nonrestrictive bra, because it’s more comfortable than going without.

    I agree that the hypersexualization of women’s breasts is ridiculous, but I don’t think that means we have to hypersexualize the bra, too. For a lot of us, a bra is a genuinely functional garment, and I refuse to look at it primarily as something that makes my shape more palatable to a patriarchal society. For me, it is primarily a support garment that makes daily activities more comfortable.

    • Alliecat84 on May 6, 2013 at 11:47 am

      Thank you! I also have large breasts and appreciate my bra! A couple of years ago, I was in a car wreck and my boobs actually flew up and broke my nose (yes, this is a true story and yes, it’s ok to laugh). I don’t even want to think about what would have happened if I hadn’t been wearing a bra! That said, I don’t think that women should be encouraged to wear one if they don’t want to.

    • Saby on May 6, 2013 at 4:59 pm

      Thank you for saying this!! As a FF cup I always roll my eyes when people talk about how “liberating” it is when they don’t wear a bra… yeah, liberated to be unable to move without pain…

      I find t-shirt bras (the kind you buy at La Senza, all foamy in the cup) to be pretty uncomfortable, because they have no give so they try to force my breasts into a shape they’re not. But since I discovered soft, unlined stretch lace, cut-and-sew bras, I never want to take my bra off because it’s ridiculously comfy. If your bra is uncomfortable, maybe you’re wearing the wrong size, or you need to try a different style! Chain lingerie stores are all about pretty bras and not about how they actually feel on you.

    • D on May 7, 2013 at 8:19 am

      I think there is a lot of diversity among women with large breasts. I wear an H cup and feel most comfortable without a bra. I do not wear one when I am home and have no problem on stairs or even doing light exercise without a bra. My breasts are very sensitive to the light pressure of even a well-fitting bra and I find bras very uncomfortable. I only wear one outside of the home because it would not be considered social acceptable to go without.

  3. Anna on May 3, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    While I hear a lot of what you’re saying, I want to point out that for many women who have larger breasts — including myself — wearing a bra is not primarily about shaping breasts for the male gaze. As a G-cup, it isn’t comfortable for me to even go up and down a few steps while braless. Forget riding my bike, lifting weights, or any of the other more active stuff I like to do! On my cycle, when there’s more swelling and tenderness, I sometimes even sleep in a very soft, nonrestrictive bra, because it’s more comfortable than going without.

    I agree that the hypersexualization of women’s breasts is ridiculous, but I don’t think that means we have to hypersexualize the bra, too. For a lot of us, a bra is a genuinely functional garment, and I refuse to look at it primarily as something that makes my shape more palatable to a patriarchal society. For me, it is primarily a support garment that makes daily activities more comfortable.

    • Alliecat84 on May 6, 2013 at 11:47 am

      Thank you! I also have large breasts and appreciate my bra! A couple of years ago, I was in a car wreck and my boobs actually flew up and broke my nose (yes, this is a true story and yes, it’s ok to laugh). I don’t even want to think about what would have happened if I hadn’t been wearing a bra! That said, I don’t think that women should be encouraged to wear one if they don’t want to.

    • Saby on May 6, 2013 at 4:59 pm

      Thank you for saying this!! As a FF cup I always roll my eyes when people talk about how “liberating” it is when they don’t wear a bra… yeah, liberated to be unable to move without pain…

      I find t-shirt bras (the kind you buy at La Senza, all foamy in the cup) to be pretty uncomfortable, because they have no give so they try to force my breasts into a shape they’re not. But since I discovered soft, unlined stretch lace, cut-and-sew bras, I never want to take my bra off because it’s ridiculously comfy. If your bra is uncomfortable, maybe you’re wearing the wrong size, or you need to try a different style! Chain lingerie stores are all about pretty bras and not about how they actually feel on you.

    • D on May 7, 2013 at 8:19 am

      I think there is a lot of diversity among women with large breasts. I wear an H cup and feel most comfortable without a bra. I do not wear one when I am home and have no problem on stairs or even doing light exercise without a bra. My breasts are very sensitive to the light pressure of even a well-fitting bra and I find bras very uncomfortable. I only wear one outside of the home because it would not be considered social acceptable to go without.

  4. Anna on May 3, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    While I hear a lot of what you’re saying, I want to point out that for many women who have larger breasts — including myself — wearing a bra is not primarily about shaping breasts for the male gaze. As a G-cup, it isn’t comfortable for me to even go up and down a few steps while braless. Forget riding my bike, lifting weights, or any of the other more active stuff I like to do! On my cycle, when there’s more swelling and tenderness, I sometimes even sleep in a very soft, nonrestrictive bra, because it’s more comfortable than going without.

    I agree that the hypersexualization of women’s breasts is ridiculous, but I don’t think that means we have to hypersexualize the bra, too. For a lot of us, a bra is a genuinely functional garment, and I refuse to look at it primarily as something that makes my shape more palatable to a patriarchal society. For me, it is primarily a support garment that makes daily activities more comfortable.

    • Alliecat84 on May 6, 2013 at 11:47 am

      Thank you! I also have large breasts and appreciate my bra! A couple of years ago, I was in a car wreck and my boobs actually flew up and broke my nose (yes, this is a true story and yes, it’s ok to laugh). I don’t even want to think about what would have happened if I hadn’t been wearing a bra! That said, I don’t think that women should be encouraged to wear one if they don’t want to.

    • Saby on May 6, 2013 at 4:59 pm

      Thank you for saying this!! As a FF cup I always roll my eyes when people talk about how “liberating” it is when they don’t wear a bra… yeah, liberated to be unable to move without pain…

      I find t-shirt bras (the kind you buy at La Senza, all foamy in the cup) to be pretty uncomfortable, because they have no give so they try to force my breasts into a shape they’re not. But since I discovered soft, unlined stretch lace, cut-and-sew bras, I never want to take my bra off because it’s ridiculously comfy. If your bra is uncomfortable, maybe you’re wearing the wrong size, or you need to try a different style! Chain lingerie stores are all about pretty bras and not about how they actually feel on you.

    • D on May 7, 2013 at 8:19 am

      I think there is a lot of diversity among women with large breasts. I wear an H cup and feel most comfortable without a bra. I do not wear one when I am home and have no problem on stairs or even doing light exercise without a bra. My breasts are very sensitive to the light pressure of even a well-fitting bra and I find bras very uncomfortable. I only wear one outside of the home because it would not be considered social acceptable to go without.

  5. Zenobia Chaney Jefferson on May 3, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    I love this post. I can relate to why should it be so wrong for some nipple to show? It’s healthy to let the girls go free.

  6. Zenobia Chaney Jefferson on May 3, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    I love this post. I can relate to why should it be so wrong for some nipple to show? It’s healthy to let the girls go free.

  7. Zenobia Chaney Jefferson on May 3, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    I love this post. I can relate to why should it be so wrong for some nipple to show? It’s healthy to let the girls go free.

  8. Zenobia Chaney Jefferson on May 3, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    I love this post. I can relate to why should it be so wrong for some nipple to show? It’s healthy to let the girls go free.

  9. Jessica Valadez on May 4, 2013 at 1:03 am

    This is so amazing Elvia! Preach!! I totally took my bra off!!! They are annoying! It’s time to let them breathe and be free!

  10. Jessica Valadez on May 4, 2013 at 1:03 am

    This is so amazing Elvia! Preach!! I totally took my bra off!!! They are annoying! It’s time to let them breathe and be free!

  11. Jessica Valadez on May 4, 2013 at 1:03 am

    This is so amazing Elvia! Preach!! I totally took my bra off!!! They are annoying! It’s time to let them breathe and be free!

  12. Jessica Valadez on May 4, 2013 at 1:03 am

    This is so amazing Elvia! Preach!! I totally took my bra off!!! They are annoying! It’s time to let them breathe and be free!

  13. Abby on May 4, 2013 at 9:14 am

    I absolutely think that you’re right in that women should have the option. I, personally, wouldn’t mind going topless while lounging around on a beach, but would be incredibly uncomfortable without a bra on a regular basis. Just going up and down the stairs braless can cause discomfort and pain for a woman with much larger breasts. But I see no reason for women who don’t want to wear bras to be pressured into doing so!

  14. Abby on May 4, 2013 at 9:14 am

    I absolutely think that you’re right in that women should have the option. I, personally, wouldn’t mind going topless while lounging around on a beach, but would be incredibly uncomfortable without a bra on a regular basis. Just going up and down the stairs braless can cause discomfort and pain for a woman with much larger breasts. But I see no reason for women who don’t want to wear bras to be pressured into doing so!

  15. Abby on May 4, 2013 at 9:14 am

    I absolutely think that you’re right in that women should have the option. I, personally, wouldn’t mind going topless while lounging around on a beach, but would be incredibly uncomfortable without a bra on a regular basis. Just going up and down the stairs braless can cause discomfort and pain for a woman with much larger breasts. But I see no reason for women who don’t want to wear bras to be pressured into doing so!

  16. Abby on May 4, 2013 at 9:14 am

    I absolutely think that you’re right in that women should have the option. I, personally, wouldn’t mind going topless while lounging around on a beach, but would be incredibly uncomfortable without a bra on a regular basis. Just going up and down the stairs braless can cause discomfort and pain for a woman with much larger breasts. But I see no reason for women who don’t want to wear bras to be pressured into doing so!

  17. Chris Watkins on May 4, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    Well put. Some people find nipples arousing… But then, some people find knees, ankles and/or ears arousing. We generally manage to control ourselves in the presence of knees, so I don’t see the reason for continued discrimination around chests.

  18. Chris Watkins on May 4, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    Well put. Some people find nipples arousing… But then, some people find knees, ankles and/or ears arousing. We generally manage to control ourselves in the presence of knees, so I don’t see the reason for continued discrimination around chests.

  19. Chris Watkins on May 4, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    Well put. Some people find nipples arousing… But then, some people find knees, ankles and/or ears arousing. We generally manage to control ourselves in the presence of knees, so I don’t see the reason for continued discrimination around chests.

  20. Chris Watkins on May 4, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    Well put. Some people find nipples arousing… But then, some people find knees, ankles and/or ears arousing. We generally manage to control ourselves in the presence of knees, so I don’t see the reason for continued discrimination around chests.

  21. Shannon on May 4, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    I don’t know. I’m a feminist and think you should be able to do what you want (but I think there should always be a family beach available where i can choose not to see boobs), BUT I was shopping this morning and saw a young woman clearly not wearing a bra–she was thin and young and perky but I didn’t really want to know that much about a stranger’s body, ya know? Perhaps I’m just a prude. You’ve given something to think about.

    For myself, I’ve had two kids and I’m much more comfortable *in* a bra these days than out, whereas when I was younger the opposite was certainly true.

    • shaed on May 6, 2013 at 11:43 am

      Unless you want dudes to cover up too, the beach you want is inherently sexist and upholds ideology I wouldn’t want my family exposed to.

  22. Shannon on May 4, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    I don’t know. I’m a feminist and think you should be able to do what you want (but I think there should always be a family beach available where i can choose not to see boobs), BUT I was shopping this morning and saw a young woman clearly not wearing a bra–she was thin and young and perky but I didn’t really want to know that much about a stranger’s body, ya know? Perhaps I’m just a prude. You’ve given something to think about.

    For myself, I’ve had two kids and I’m much more comfortable *in* a bra these days than out, whereas when I was younger the opposite was certainly true.

    • shaed on May 6, 2013 at 11:43 am

      Unless you want dudes to cover up too, the beach you want is inherently sexist and upholds ideology I wouldn’t want my family exposed to.

  23. Shannon on May 4, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    I don’t know. I’m a feminist and think you should be able to do what you want (but I think there should always be a family beach available where i can choose not to see boobs), BUT I was shopping this morning and saw a young woman clearly not wearing a bra–she was thin and young and perky but I didn’t really want to know that much about a stranger’s body, ya know? Perhaps I’m just a prude. You’ve given something to think about.

    For myself, I’ve had two kids and I’m much more comfortable *in* a bra these days than out, whereas when I was younger the opposite was certainly true.

    • shaed on May 6, 2013 at 11:43 am

      Unless you want dudes to cover up too, the beach you want is inherently sexist and upholds ideology I wouldn’t want my family exposed to.

  24. Shannon on May 4, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    I don’t know. I’m a feminist and think you should be able to do what you want (but I think there should always be a family beach available where i can choose not to see boobs), BUT I was shopping this morning and saw a young woman clearly not wearing a bra–she was thin and young and perky but I didn’t really want to know that much about a stranger’s body, ya know? Perhaps I’m just a prude. You’ve given something to think about.

    For myself, I’ve had two kids and I’m much more comfortable *in* a bra these days than out, whereas when I was younger the opposite was certainly true.

    • shaed on May 6, 2013 at 11:43 am

      Unless you want dudes to cover up too, the beach you want is inherently sexist and upholds ideology I wouldn’t want my family exposed to.

  25. Weekly Feminist Reader on May 5, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    [...] Let’s go braless.  [...]

  26. Weekly Feminist Reader on May 5, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    [...] Let’s go braless.  [...]

  27. Weekly Feminist Reader on May 5, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    [...] Let’s go braless.  [...]

  28. Weekly Feminist Reader on May 5, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    [...] Let’s go braless.  [...]

  29. Jennie Kermode on May 5, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    Speaking as a European, I find the assumption that a woman should be / will be wearing a bra rather quaint and peculiar. What business is it of anybody else’s how she carries her body? If people find female bodies unpalatable unless they’re strapped into masculinised or cartoonish shapes, it’s really them who have the problem. Unless a woman does have the kind of build where she’s going to be uncomfortable not wearing a bra, I personally wouldn’t assume I could tell whether she was wearing one or not – it’s really not that obvious most of the time.

  30. Jennie Kermode on May 5, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    Speaking as a European, I find the assumption that a woman should be / will be wearing a bra rather quaint and peculiar. What business is it of anybody else’s how she carries her body? If people find female bodies unpalatable unless they’re strapped into masculinised or cartoonish shapes, it’s really them who have the problem. Unless a woman does have the kind of build where she’s going to be uncomfortable not wearing a bra, I personally wouldn’t assume I could tell whether she was wearing one or not – it’s really not that obvious most of the time.

  31. Jennie Kermode on May 5, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    Speaking as a European, I find the assumption that a woman should be / will be wearing a bra rather quaint and peculiar. What business is it of anybody else’s how she carries her body? If people find female bodies unpalatable unless they’re strapped into masculinised or cartoonish shapes, it’s really them who have the problem. Unless a woman does have the kind of build where she’s going to be uncomfortable not wearing a bra, I personally wouldn’t assume I could tell whether she was wearing one or not – it’s really not that obvious most of the time.

  32. Jennie Kermode on May 5, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    Speaking as a European, I find the assumption that a woman should be / will be wearing a bra rather quaint and peculiar. What business is it of anybody else’s how she carries her body? If people find female bodies unpalatable unless they’re strapped into masculinised or cartoonish shapes, it’s really them who have the problem. Unless a woman does have the kind of build where she’s going to be uncomfortable not wearing a bra, I personally wouldn’t assume I could tell whether she was wearing one or not – it’s really not that obvious most of the time.

  33. Maryanne on May 5, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    It’s always struck me as exceedingly odd that if you’re female and have lost both breasts to cancer and have not chosen to have reconstruction (leaving nothing but scars on your chest), some places will INSIST you wear a shirt, even though there are no nipples there to see and the men can still go topless. WTF? Plus the whole people having a problem with breastfeeding thing. What’s up with that? Gah. Such prudery!

  34. Maryanne on May 5, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    It’s always struck me as exceedingly odd that if you’re female and have lost both breasts to cancer and have not chosen to have reconstruction (leaving nothing but scars on your chest), some places will INSIST you wear a shirt, even though there are no nipples there to see and the men can still go topless. WTF? Plus the whole people having a problem with breastfeeding thing. What’s up with that? Gah. Such prudery!

  35. Maryanne on May 5, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    It’s always struck me as exceedingly odd that if you’re female and have lost both breasts to cancer and have not chosen to have reconstruction (leaving nothing but scars on your chest), some places will INSIST you wear a shirt, even though there are no nipples there to see and the men can still go topless. WTF? Plus the whole people having a problem with breastfeeding thing. What’s up with that? Gah. Such prudery!

  36. Maryanne on May 5, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    It’s always struck me as exceedingly odd that if you’re female and have lost both breasts to cancer and have not chosen to have reconstruction (leaving nothing but scars on your chest), some places will INSIST you wear a shirt, even though there are no nipples there to see and the men can still go topless. WTF? Plus the whole people having a problem with breastfeeding thing. What’s up with that? Gah. Such prudery!

  37. rando on May 5, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    I don’t have a “girlfriend, sister, daughter, or mailwoman.” So I guess, do what you wan’t It matters not to me.

  38. rando on May 5, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    I don’t have a “girlfriend, sister, daughter, or mailwoman.” So I guess, do what you wan’t It matters not to me.

  39. rando on May 5, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    I don’t have a “girlfriend, sister, daughter, or mailwoman.” So I guess, do what you wan’t It matters not to me.

  40. rando on May 5, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    I don’t have a “girlfriend, sister, daughter, or mailwoman.” So I guess, do what you wan’t It matters not to me.

  41. Becky on May 5, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    I stopped wearing a bra a year ago. If people are making judgments about me, I am blissfully ignorant of it – but I recognize that others might feel the social pressures more strongly.

    If you decide to go braless, you’re definitely not alone.

  42. Becky on May 5, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    I stopped wearing a bra a year ago. If people are making judgments about me, I am blissfully ignorant of it – but I recognize that others might feel the social pressures more strongly.

    If you decide to go braless, you’re definitely not alone.

  43. Becky on May 5, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    I stopped wearing a bra a year ago. If people are making judgments about me, I am blissfully ignorant of it – but I recognize that others might feel the social pressures more strongly.

    If you decide to go braless, you’re definitely not alone.

  44. Becky on May 5, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    I stopped wearing a bra a year ago. If people are making judgments about me, I am blissfully ignorant of it – but I recognize that others might feel the social pressures more strongly.

    If you decide to go braless, you’re definitely not alone.

  45. Jess on May 5, 2013 at 11:54 pm

    I quit bras when I was pregnant, because it was too bothersome to keep buying new ones as my breasts grew bigger and bigger. And then as a breastfeeding mother it was much easier to do without them. I would take an E cup but have never found bralessness to be a barrier to any physical activity apart from sprinting, which I do not do often. And yes, it can be quite a radical statement, to have your own deviant (by definition) breast shape semi-detectable. The gendered double standard is disgusting. I think of my bralessness as a service to other women, a small gesture towards de-escalating the beauty standards arms race.

  46. Jess on May 5, 2013 at 11:54 pm

    I quit bras when I was pregnant, because it was too bothersome to keep buying new ones as my breasts grew bigger and bigger. And then as a breastfeeding mother it was much easier to do without them. I would take an E cup but have never found bralessness to be a barrier to any physical activity apart from sprinting, which I do not do often. And yes, it can be quite a radical statement, to have your own deviant (by definition) breast shape semi-detectable. The gendered double standard is disgusting. I think of my bralessness as a service to other women, a small gesture towards de-escalating the beauty standards arms race.

  47. Jess on May 5, 2013 at 11:54 pm

    I quit bras when I was pregnant, because it was too bothersome to keep buying new ones as my breasts grew bigger and bigger. And then as a breastfeeding mother it was much easier to do without them. I would take an E cup but have never found bralessness to be a barrier to any physical activity apart from sprinting, which I do not do often. And yes, it can be quite a radical statement, to have your own deviant (by definition) breast shape semi-detectable. The gendered double standard is disgusting. I think of my bralessness as a service to other women, a small gesture towards de-escalating the beauty standards arms race.

  48. Jess on May 5, 2013 at 11:54 pm

    I quit bras when I was pregnant, because it was too bothersome to keep buying new ones as my breasts grew bigger and bigger. And then as a breastfeeding mother it was much easier to do without them. I would take an E cup but have never found bralessness to be a barrier to any physical activity apart from sprinting, which I do not do often. And yes, it can be quite a radical statement, to have your own deviant (by definition) breast shape semi-detectable. The gendered double standard is disgusting. I think of my bralessness as a service to other women, a small gesture towards de-escalating the beauty standards arms race.

  49. Shelly Kekes on May 6, 2013 at 5:50 am

    Don’t do it if you have larger breasts. I did it for 20 years, and realized sadly one day I looked like a cow with my saggy boobs. If you don’t have any weight to your breasts, more power to ya!

    • shaed on May 6, 2013 at 11:47 am

      Or if, you know, your self-esteem isn’t tied up in what your breasts look like.

  50. Shelly Kekes on May 6, 2013 at 5:50 am

    Don’t do it if you have larger breasts. I did it for 20 years, and realized sadly one day I looked like a cow with my saggy boobs. If you don’t have any weight to your breasts, more power to ya!

    • shaed on May 6, 2013 at 11:47 am

      Or if, you know, your self-esteem isn’t tied up in what your breasts look like.

  51. Shelly Kekes on May 6, 2013 at 5:50 am

    Don’t do it if you have larger breasts. I did it for 20 years, and realized sadly one day I looked like a cow with my saggy boobs. If you don’t have any weight to your breasts, more power to ya!

    • shaed on May 6, 2013 at 11:47 am

      Or if, you know, your self-esteem isn’t tied up in what your breasts look like.

  52. Shelly Kekes on May 6, 2013 at 5:50 am

    Don’t do it if you have larger breasts. I did it for 20 years, and realized sadly one day I looked like a cow with my saggy boobs. If you don’t have any weight to your breasts, more power to ya!

    • shaed on May 6, 2013 at 11:47 am

      Or if, you know, your self-esteem isn’t tied up in what your breasts look like.

  53. Paulina on May 6, 2013 at 8:56 am

    I agree with everything you said about going braless, Elvia. But your line “a whopping whopper-eating two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese” made me rather uncomfortable.

    It seems to be playing into the fat-shaming narrative that is so pervasive in Western cultures these days, and it equates fat with overeating (even though 1) you can’t tell by looking at a fat person why they’re fat, and 2) not all fat people are fat for the same reason).

    • bandit_queen on May 6, 2013 at 10:31 am

      I’m so glad someone else caught this. It’s so jolting, in a piece that’s otherwise pretty good (as a larger-breasted woman, I agree with other commenters that valid reasons for wearing bras are rather glossed over), to suddenly come across such an ugly jibe. In addition to your points, Paulina, using “whopper” also plays on that stupid stereotype that fat people make bad choices (fast food) about what kinds of food they should eat. It’s a stereotype that’s not only shaming but also obscures the real causes of poor nutrition among certain demographics, like poverty and food deserts.

    • Parker M on May 6, 2013 at 11:20 am

      Yes, agreed, Paulina! The author lost my respect after that sentence. Fat is a feminist issue, and it makes me sad that someone writing about subverting beauty standards somehow didn’t see the parallel between insisting women wear bras and implying that all fat people are fat because of gluttony. Not to mention the whole “moobs” incident seems to imply that fat people are ripe for jokes about their appearance. As a whole, this whole post came across as immature because of the fat-shaming elements. (To be clear, I don’t care if someone is fat because of gluttony. Fat shouldn’t be a moral judgement.)

      • William on May 7, 2013 at 8:19 am

        Parker M

        I find it strange that Feminist conversations can so often find so much humor in men who deal with breast development.

        If Feminists can not show empathy for others why should anyone give a crap about what they have to say?

        • Paulina on May 7, 2013 at 8:43 am

          William, I understand what you’re trying to say, and I do (to an extent agree). But I think your comment would have benefited from the use of qualifiers (“some feminist conversations” and “some/not all feminists”).

          By not qualifying your statements about feminism/feminists, you are presenting us as a monolithic bloc and echo chamber, which is false and silences the very vocal disagreements we have amongst each other. This thread is a prime example of my point.

          Finally, if you really think that all feminists lack empathy, why would you post that view as a reply to comments that demonstrably *show* empathy (to fat people, whether men or women) by criticizing the offensiveness of the term “man boobs” as it plays into a wider fat-shaming narrative?

          And thank you, bandit_queen and Parker M for your support! I was really hoping I wasn’t alone in finding aspects of the text problematic. And (bandit_queen), thank you for pointing out that using “whopper” also plays into the fast-food as a bad choice stereotype; I missed that one. Still learning!

          • William on May 7, 2013 at 5:18 pm

            Hi Paulina

            I stand by my comments. I did qualify them by saying Feminists “so often” instead “of always”. Unfortunately when Feminists do inject the fact that some men have breast development in these types of discussions the vein of the comments is most likely to be apathetic or worse.

            Yes there are Feminists who are able to discuss female breast issues without using negative comments about other groups to make their point. I have even seen Fat Acceptance Feminists use the attributes of fat male bodies in conversations and at the same time show empathy and support.

            I would feel better if I could see the same kind of empathy on mainstream Feminist Venues like “The Feministwire”

            William

    • closetpuritan on May 7, 2013 at 7:44 pm

      I agree. The fatphobia was a distraction from your point.

      It’s interesting that poor people eat less fast food than middle-income people in the US, and poor people also have the highest BMIs, yet we keep focusing on fast food and acting like it’s the primary reason why people get fat.

    • Melissa on May 8, 2013 at 9:00 pm

      As a country Americans are fat. Do genes, hormones, and other factors play into this? Of course! However, diet plays a huge role (no pun intended). I think the author’s descriptor “a whopping whopper-eating two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese” definitely alludes to fast food as a major contributor to obesity, but I don’t see how this is fat shaming. If she had said it was gross, some people should lose weight, “moobs” are unacceptable, then yes, she is fat shaming. Overall, the point of this article is that some women have boobs, some men do too. Why is it that women are obligated/expected to wear it in American society, while men aren’t.

  54. Paulina on May 6, 2013 at 8:56 am

    I agree with everything you said about going braless, Elvia. But your line “a whopping whopper-eating two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese” made me rather uncomfortable.

    It seems to be playing into the fat-shaming narrative that is so pervasive in Western cultures these days, and it equates fat with overeating (even though 1) you can’t tell by looking at a fat person why they’re fat, and 2) not all fat people are fat for the same reason).

    • bandit_queen on May 6, 2013 at 10:31 am

      I’m so glad someone else caught this. It’s so jolting, in a piece that’s otherwise pretty good (as a larger-breasted woman, I agree with other commenters that valid reasons for wearing bras are rather glossed over), to suddenly come across such an ugly jibe. In addition to your points, Paulina, using “whopper” also plays on that stupid stereotype that fat people make bad choices (fast food) about what kinds of food they should eat. It’s a stereotype that’s not only shaming but also obscures the real causes of poor nutrition among certain demographics, like poverty and food deserts.

    • Parker M on May 6, 2013 at 11:20 am

      Yes, agreed, Paulina! The author lost my respect after that sentence. Fat is a feminist issue, and it makes me sad that someone writing about subverting beauty standards somehow didn’t see the parallel between insisting women wear bras and implying that all fat people are fat because of gluttony. Not to mention the whole “moobs” incident seems to imply that fat people are ripe for jokes about their appearance. As a whole, this whole post came across as immature because of the fat-shaming elements. (To be clear, I don’t care if someone is fat because of gluttony. Fat shouldn’t be a moral judgement.)

      • William on May 7, 2013 at 8:19 am

        Parker M

        I find it strange that Feminist conversations can so often find so much humor in men who deal with breast development.

        If Feminists can not show empathy for others why should anyone give a crap about what they have to say?

        • Paulina on May 7, 2013 at 8:43 am

          William, I understand what you’re trying to say, and I do (to an extent agree). But I think your comment would have benefited from the use of qualifiers (“some feminist conversations” and “some/not all feminists”).

          By not qualifying your statements about feminism/feminists, you are presenting us as a monolithic bloc and echo chamber, which is false and silences the very vocal disagreements we have amongst each other. This thread is a prime example of my point.

          Finally, if you really think that all feminists lack empathy, why would you post that view as a reply to comments that demonstrably *show* empathy (to fat people, whether men or women) by criticizing the offensiveness of the term “man boobs” as it plays into a wider fat-shaming narrative?

          And thank you, bandit_queen and Parker M for your support! I was really hoping I wasn’t alone in finding aspects of the text problematic. And (bandit_queen), thank you for pointing out that using “whopper” also plays into the fast-food as a bad choice stereotype; I missed that one. Still learning!

          • William on May 7, 2013 at 5:18 pm

            Hi Paulina

            I stand by my comments. I did qualify them by saying Feminists “so often” instead “of always”. Unfortunately when Feminists do inject the fact that some men have breast development in these types of discussions the vein of the comments is most likely to be apathetic or worse.

            Yes there are Feminists who are able to discuss female breast issues without using negative comments about other groups to make their point. I have even seen Fat Acceptance Feminists use the attributes of fat male bodies in conversations and at the same time show empathy and support.

            I would feel better if I could see the same kind of empathy on mainstream Feminist Venues like “The Feministwire”

            William

    • closetpuritan on May 7, 2013 at 7:44 pm

      I agree. The fatphobia was a distraction from your point.

      It’s interesting that poor people eat less fast food than middle-income people in the US, and poor people also have the highest BMIs, yet we keep focusing on fast food and acting like it’s the primary reason why people get fat.

    • Melissa on May 8, 2013 at 9:00 pm

      As a country Americans are fat. Do genes, hormones, and other factors play into this? Of course! However, diet plays a huge role (no pun intended). I think the author’s descriptor “a whopping whopper-eating two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese” definitely alludes to fast food as a major contributor to obesity, but I don’t see how this is fat shaming. If she had said it was gross, some people should lose weight, “moobs” are unacceptable, then yes, she is fat shaming. Overall, the point of this article is that some women have boobs, some men do too. Why is it that women are obligated/expected to wear it in American society, while men aren’t.

  55. Paulina on May 6, 2013 at 8:56 am

    I agree with everything you said about going braless, Elvia. But your line “a whopping whopper-eating two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese” made me rather uncomfortable.

    It seems to be playing into the fat-shaming narrative that is so pervasive in Western cultures these days, and it equates fat with overeating (even though 1) you can’t tell by looking at a fat person why they’re fat, and 2) not all fat people are fat for the same reason).

    • bandit_queen on May 6, 2013 at 10:31 am

      I’m so glad someone else caught this. It’s so jolting, in a piece that’s otherwise pretty good (as a larger-breasted woman, I agree with other commenters that valid reasons for wearing bras are rather glossed over), to suddenly come across such an ugly jibe. In addition to your points, Paulina, using “whopper” also plays on that stupid stereotype that fat people make bad choices (fast food) about what kinds of food they should eat. It’s a stereotype that’s not only shaming but also obscures the real causes of poor nutrition among certain demographics, like poverty and food deserts.

    • Parker M on May 6, 2013 at 11:20 am

      Yes, agreed, Paulina! The author lost my respect after that sentence. Fat is a feminist issue, and it makes me sad that someone writing about subverting beauty standards somehow didn’t see the parallel between insisting women wear bras and implying that all fat people are fat because of gluttony. Not to mention the whole “moobs” incident seems to imply that fat people are ripe for jokes about their appearance. As a whole, this whole post came across as immature because of the fat-shaming elements. (To be clear, I don’t care if someone is fat because of gluttony. Fat shouldn’t be a moral judgement.)

      • William on May 7, 2013 at 8:19 am

        Parker M

        I find it strange that Feminist conversations can so often find so much humor in men who deal with breast development.

        If Feminists can not show empathy for others why should anyone give a crap about what they have to say?

        • Paulina on May 7, 2013 at 8:43 am

          William, I understand what you’re trying to say, and I do (to an extent agree). But I think your comment would have benefited from the use of qualifiers (“some feminist conversations” and “some/not all feminists”).

          By not qualifying your statements about feminism/feminists, you are presenting us as a monolithic bloc and echo chamber, which is false and silences the very vocal disagreements we have amongst each other. This thread is a prime example of my point.

          Finally, if you really think that all feminists lack empathy, why would you post that view as a reply to comments that demonstrably *show* empathy (to fat people, whether men or women) by criticizing the offensiveness of the term “man boobs” as it plays into a wider fat-shaming narrative?

          And thank you, bandit_queen and Parker M for your support! I was really hoping I wasn’t alone in finding aspects of the text problematic. And (bandit_queen), thank you for pointing out that using “whopper” also plays into the fast-food as a bad choice stereotype; I missed that one. Still learning!

          • William on May 7, 2013 at 5:18 pm

            Hi Paulina

            I stand by my comments. I did qualify them by saying Feminists “so often” instead “of always”. Unfortunately when Feminists do inject the fact that some men have breast development in these types of discussions the vein of the comments is most likely to be apathetic or worse.

            Yes there are Feminists who are able to discuss female breast issues without using negative comments about other groups to make their point. I have even seen Fat Acceptance Feminists use the attributes of fat male bodies in conversations and at the same time show empathy and support.

            I would feel better if I could see the same kind of empathy on mainstream Feminist Venues like “The Feministwire”

            William

    • closetpuritan on May 7, 2013 at 7:44 pm

      I agree. The fatphobia was a distraction from your point.

      It’s interesting that poor people eat less fast food than middle-income people in the US, and poor people also have the highest BMIs, yet we keep focusing on fast food and acting like it’s the primary reason why people get fat.

    • Melissa on May 8, 2013 at 9:00 pm

      As a country Americans are fat. Do genes, hormones, and other factors play into this? Of course! However, diet plays a huge role (no pun intended). I think the author’s descriptor “a whopping whopper-eating two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese” definitely alludes to fast food as a major contributor to obesity, but I don’t see how this is fat shaming. If she had said it was gross, some people should lose weight, “moobs” are unacceptable, then yes, she is fat shaming. Overall, the point of this article is that some women have boobs, some men do too. Why is it that women are obligated/expected to wear it in American society, while men aren’t.

  56. Paulina on May 6, 2013 at 8:56 am

    I agree with everything you said about going braless, Elvia. But your line “a whopping whopper-eating two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese” made me rather uncomfortable.

    It seems to be playing into the fat-shaming narrative that is so pervasive in Western cultures these days, and it equates fat with overeating (even though 1) you can’t tell by looking at a fat person why they’re fat, and 2) not all fat people are fat for the same reason).

    • bandit_queen on May 6, 2013 at 10:31 am

      I’m so glad someone else caught this. It’s so jolting, in a piece that’s otherwise pretty good (as a larger-breasted woman, I agree with other commenters that valid reasons for wearing bras are rather glossed over), to suddenly come across such an ugly jibe. In addition to your points, Paulina, using “whopper” also plays on that stupid stereotype that fat people make bad choices (fast food) about what kinds of food they should eat. It’s a stereotype that’s not only shaming but also obscures the real causes of poor nutrition among certain demographics, like poverty and food deserts.

    • Parker M on May 6, 2013 at 11:20 am

      Yes, agreed, Paulina! The author lost my respect after that sentence. Fat is a feminist issue, and it makes me sad that someone writing about subverting beauty standards somehow didn’t see the parallel between insisting women wear bras and implying that all fat people are fat because of gluttony. Not to mention the whole “moobs” incident seems to imply that fat people are ripe for jokes about their appearance. As a whole, this whole post came across as immature because of the fat-shaming elements. (To be clear, I don’t care if someone is fat because of gluttony. Fat shouldn’t be a moral judgement.)

      • William on May 7, 2013 at 8:19 am

        Parker M

        I find it strange that Feminist conversations can so often find so much humor in men who deal with breast development.

        If Feminists can not show empathy for others why should anyone give a crap about what they have to say?

        • Paulina on May 7, 2013 at 8:43 am

          William, I understand what you’re trying to say, and I do (to an extent agree). But I think your comment would have benefited from the use of qualifiers (“some feminist conversations” and “some/not all feminists”).

          By not qualifying your statements about feminism/feminists, you are presenting us as a monolithic bloc and echo chamber, which is false and silences the very vocal disagreements we have amongst each other. This thread is a prime example of my point.

          Finally, if you really think that all feminists lack empathy, why would you post that view as a reply to comments that demonstrably *show* empathy (to fat people, whether men or women) by criticizing the offensiveness of the term “man boobs” as it plays into a wider fat-shaming narrative?

          And thank you, bandit_queen and Parker M for your support! I was really hoping I wasn’t alone in finding aspects of the text problematic. And (bandit_queen), thank you for pointing out that using “whopper” also plays into the fast-food as a bad choice stereotype; I missed that one. Still learning!

          • William on May 7, 2013 at 5:18 pm

            Hi Paulina

            I stand by my comments. I did qualify them by saying Feminists “so often” instead “of always”. Unfortunately when Feminists do inject the fact that some men have breast development in these types of discussions the vein of the comments is most likely to be apathetic or worse.

            Yes there are Feminists who are able to discuss female breast issues without using negative comments about other groups to make their point. I have even seen Fat Acceptance Feminists use the attributes of fat male bodies in conversations and at the same time show empathy and support.

            I would feel better if I could see the same kind of empathy on mainstream Feminist Venues like “The Feministwire”

            William

    • closetpuritan on May 7, 2013 at 7:44 pm

      I agree. The fatphobia was a distraction from your point.

      It’s interesting that poor people eat less fast food than middle-income people in the US, and poor people also have the highest BMIs, yet we keep focusing on fast food and acting like it’s the primary reason why people get fat.

    • Melissa on May 8, 2013 at 9:00 pm

      As a country Americans are fat. Do genes, hormones, and other factors play into this? Of course! However, diet plays a huge role (no pun intended). I think the author’s descriptor “a whopping whopper-eating two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese” definitely alludes to fast food as a major contributor to obesity, but I don’t see how this is fat shaming. If she had said it was gross, some people should lose weight, “moobs” are unacceptable, then yes, she is fat shaming. Overall, the point of this article is that some women have boobs, some men do too. Why is it that women are obligated/expected to wear it in American society, while men aren’t.

  57. Elizabeth N. on May 6, 2013 at 9:59 am

    I am in favor of having as much freedom of choice as possible in clothing, but would like to suggest that there might be more useful battles to fight in the struggle to reduce/eliminate oppression of women.

    That being said, I’ve seen quite a few men who I thought would benefit from a type of bra–not for the shaping, but so that less anatomical detail would be on display. I’m not enthusiastic about seeing anybody’s nipples in the office or classroom.

    Elvia, you might want to consider getting a professional bra fitting, if you’re going to continue to be attached to the devices. Even for the “less endowed” among us, it can really help to learn what an excellent fit feels like :-).

  58. Elizabeth N. on May 6, 2013 at 9:59 am

    I am in favor of having as much freedom of choice as possible in clothing, but would like to suggest that there might be more useful battles to fight in the struggle to reduce/eliminate oppression of women.

    That being said, I’ve seen quite a few men who I thought would benefit from a type of bra–not for the shaping, but so that less anatomical detail would be on display. I’m not enthusiastic about seeing anybody’s nipples in the office or classroom.

    Elvia, you might want to consider getting a professional bra fitting, if you’re going to continue to be attached to the devices. Even for the “less endowed” among us, it can really help to learn what an excellent fit feels like :-).

  59. Elizabeth N. on May 6, 2013 at 9:59 am

    I am in favor of having as much freedom of choice as possible in clothing, but would like to suggest that there might be more useful battles to fight in the struggle to reduce/eliminate oppression of women.

    That being said, I’ve seen quite a few men who I thought would benefit from a type of bra–not for the shaping, but so that less anatomical detail would be on display. I’m not enthusiastic about seeing anybody’s nipples in the office or classroom.

    Elvia, you might want to consider getting a professional bra fitting, if you’re going to continue to be attached to the devices. Even for the “less endowed” among us, it can really help to learn what an excellent fit feels like :-).

  60. Elizabeth N. on May 6, 2013 at 9:59 am

    I am in favor of having as much freedom of choice as possible in clothing, but would like to suggest that there might be more useful battles to fight in the struggle to reduce/eliminate oppression of women.

    That being said, I’ve seen quite a few men who I thought would benefit from a type of bra–not for the shaping, but so that less anatomical detail would be on display. I’m not enthusiastic about seeing anybody’s nipples in the office or classroom.

    Elvia, you might want to consider getting a professional bra fitting, if you’re going to continue to be attached to the devices. Even for the “less endowed” among us, it can really help to learn what an excellent fit feels like :-).

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  65. Datdamwuf on May 6, 2013 at 10:22 am

    I was a teen in the 70s and I never wore a bra. I only wear one to work and that is nothing more than a stretchy thing to hide the nipples somewhat. I hate that it matters. I was totally surprised by the wonder bra thing and now it seems like everyone is wearing these heavy type bras. Thanks for the info on the sagging studies. I’ve wondered lately if my bralessness was to blame for the bit of sag I’m getting now, good to know it’s not!

  66. Datdamwuf on May 6, 2013 at 10:22 am

    I was a teen in the 70s and I never wore a bra. I only wear one to work and that is nothing more than a stretchy thing to hide the nipples somewhat. I hate that it matters. I was totally surprised by the wonder bra thing and now it seems like everyone is wearing these heavy type bras. Thanks for the info on the sagging studies. I’ve wondered lately if my bralessness was to blame for the bit of sag I’m getting now, good to know it’s not!

  67. Datdamwuf on May 6, 2013 at 10:22 am

    I was a teen in the 70s and I never wore a bra. I only wear one to work and that is nothing more than a stretchy thing to hide the nipples somewhat. I hate that it matters. I was totally surprised by the wonder bra thing and now it seems like everyone is wearing these heavy type bras. Thanks for the info on the sagging studies. I’ve wondered lately if my bralessness was to blame for the bit of sag I’m getting now, good to know it’s not!

  68. Datdamwuf on May 6, 2013 at 10:22 am

    I was a teen in the 70s and I never wore a bra. I only wear one to work and that is nothing more than a stretchy thing to hide the nipples somewhat. I hate that it matters. I was totally surprised by the wonder bra thing and now it seems like everyone is wearing these heavy type bras. Thanks for the info on the sagging studies. I’ve wondered lately if my bralessness was to blame for the bit of sag I’m getting now, good to know it’s not!

  69. Julia on May 6, 2013 at 10:38 am

    Amen – I really agree, and get angry that my body on its own isn’t seen as “good enough.” Unless your chest is really big, I don’t think bras do anything other than add an aesthetic, and that aesthetic is NOT what women naturally look like.

  70. Julia on May 6, 2013 at 10:38 am

    Amen – I really agree, and get angry that my body on its own isn’t seen as “good enough.” Unless your chest is really big, I don’t think bras do anything other than add an aesthetic, and that aesthetic is NOT what women naturally look like.

  71. Julia on May 6, 2013 at 10:38 am

    Amen – I really agree, and get angry that my body on its own isn’t seen as “good enough.” Unless your chest is really big, I don’t think bras do anything other than add an aesthetic, and that aesthetic is NOT what women naturally look like.

  72. Julia on May 6, 2013 at 10:38 am

    Amen – I really agree, and get angry that my body on its own isn’t seen as “good enough.” Unless your chest is really big, I don’t think bras do anything other than add an aesthetic, and that aesthetic is NOT what women naturally look like.

  73. senalishia on May 6, 2013 at 10:58 am

    I’m a stay-at-home mom. For the last few years, I’ve gone braless almost all the time, except when my entire mode of dress is more formal than usual, such as going to church or a job interview. I find it so much more comfortable to go without. I’m very much in the camp that if both sexes have nipples, they should be treated equivalently.

  74. senalishia on May 6, 2013 at 10:58 am

    I’m a stay-at-home mom. For the last few years, I’ve gone braless almost all the time, except when my entire mode of dress is more formal than usual, such as going to church or a job interview. I find it so much more comfortable to go without. I’m very much in the camp that if both sexes have nipples, they should be treated equivalently.

  75. senalishia on May 6, 2013 at 10:58 am

    I’m a stay-at-home mom. For the last few years, I’ve gone braless almost all the time, except when my entire mode of dress is more formal than usual, such as going to church or a job interview. I find it so much more comfortable to go without. I’m very much in the camp that if both sexes have nipples, they should be treated equivalently.

  76. senalishia on May 6, 2013 at 10:58 am

    I’m a stay-at-home mom. For the last few years, I’ve gone braless almost all the time, except when my entire mode of dress is more formal than usual, such as going to church or a job interview. I find it so much more comfortable to go without. I’m very much in the camp that if both sexes have nipples, they should be treated equivalently.

  77. jp on May 6, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    Funny thing- a lot of workplace dress codes, at least at the minimum-wage-level that I have personally experienced, have an “appropriate” undergarments addendum. I’ve asked and been informed that this generally specifically refers to bras.

  78. jp on May 6, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    Funny thing- a lot of workplace dress codes, at least at the minimum-wage-level that I have personally experienced, have an “appropriate” undergarments addendum. I’ve asked and been informed that this generally specifically refers to bras.

  79. jp on May 6, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    Funny thing- a lot of workplace dress codes, at least at the minimum-wage-level that I have personally experienced, have an “appropriate” undergarments addendum. I’ve asked and been informed that this generally specifically refers to bras.

  80. jp on May 6, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    Funny thing- a lot of workplace dress codes, at least at the minimum-wage-level that I have personally experienced, have an “appropriate” undergarments addendum. I’ve asked and been informed that this generally specifically refers to bras.

  81. Brittany on May 6, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    Perhaps next time you could avoid fat-bashing in a feminist article? Why is it funny that your “corpulent” uncle has breasts? Because it’s totes cool to body-shame men? Why is it okay to assume that every fat person is “whopper-eating” (and presumably non-exercising, lazy, gluttonous, disgusting slob, as your dog-whistle implies)? I expect better from a feminist website. Let’s get intersectional.

  82. Brittany on May 6, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    Perhaps next time you could avoid fat-bashing in a feminist article? Why is it funny that your “corpulent” uncle has breasts? Because it’s totes cool to body-shame men? Why is it okay to assume that every fat person is “whopper-eating” (and presumably non-exercising, lazy, gluttonous, disgusting slob, as your dog-whistle implies)? I expect better from a feminist website. Let’s get intersectional.

  83. Brittany on May 6, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    Perhaps next time you could avoid fat-bashing in a feminist article? Why is it funny that your “corpulent” uncle has breasts? Because it’s totes cool to body-shame men? Why is it okay to assume that every fat person is “whopper-eating” (and presumably non-exercising, lazy, gluttonous, disgusting slob, as your dog-whistle implies)? I expect better from a feminist website. Let’s get intersectional.

  84. Brittany on May 6, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    Perhaps next time you could avoid fat-bashing in a feminist article? Why is it funny that your “corpulent” uncle has breasts? Because it’s totes cool to body-shame men? Why is it okay to assume that every fat person is “whopper-eating” (and presumably non-exercising, lazy, gluttonous, disgusting slob, as your dog-whistle implies)? I expect better from a feminist website. Let’s get intersectional.

  85. aylin on May 6, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    A swing and a miss. Though I’m a bra-free proponent myself, the fat shaming in this article is SO offensive and off-topic.

    And the nipple shaming from other commenters–wtf? How is seeing covered nipples any worse than seeing goosebumps on bare arms? What’s so scary/offensive/disgusting about them? It’s these arbitrary opinions that teach women and girls to fear and hate their bodies and that keep me with my arms crossed in fear at work.

    I quit wearing bras except for exercise a few months ago and am thrilled at the new-found absence of back and shoulder pain, though still nervous about it at the office. I’m too fair to want the extra exposure at the beach, but the option sure would be nice, as much as I prefer nudity when possible.

    • Paulina on May 7, 2013 at 8:47 am

      Agreed. It was very jarring to have a subject that resonates with me interrupted with fat-shaming when I really wasn’t expecting it.

  86. aylin on May 6, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    A swing and a miss. Though I’m a bra-free proponent myself, the fat shaming in this article is SO offensive and off-topic.

    And the nipple shaming from other commenters–wtf? How is seeing covered nipples any worse than seeing goosebumps on bare arms? What’s so scary/offensive/disgusting about them? It’s these arbitrary opinions that teach women and girls to fear and hate their bodies and that keep me with my arms crossed in fear at work.

    I quit wearing bras except for exercise a few months ago and am thrilled at the new-found absence of back and shoulder pain, though still nervous about it at the office. I’m too fair to want the extra exposure at the beach, but the option sure would be nice, as much as I prefer nudity when possible.

    • Paulina on May 7, 2013 at 8:47 am

      Agreed. It was very jarring to have a subject that resonates with me interrupted with fat-shaming when I really wasn’t expecting it.

  87. aylin on May 6, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    A swing and a miss. Though I’m a bra-free proponent myself, the fat shaming in this article is SO offensive and off-topic.

    And the nipple shaming from other commenters–wtf? How is seeing covered nipples any worse than seeing goosebumps on bare arms? What’s so scary/offensive/disgusting about them? It’s these arbitrary opinions that teach women and girls to fear and hate their bodies and that keep me with my arms crossed in fear at work.

    I quit wearing bras except for exercise a few months ago and am thrilled at the new-found absence of back and shoulder pain, though still nervous about it at the office. I’m too fair to want the extra exposure at the beach, but the option sure would be nice, as much as I prefer nudity when possible.

    • Paulina on May 7, 2013 at 8:47 am

      Agreed. It was very jarring to have a subject that resonates with me interrupted with fat-shaming when I really wasn’t expecting it.

  88. aylin on May 6, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    A swing and a miss. Though I’m a bra-free proponent myself, the fat shaming in this article is SO offensive and off-topic.

    And the nipple shaming from other commenters–wtf? How is seeing covered nipples any worse than seeing goosebumps on bare arms? What’s so scary/offensive/disgusting about them? It’s these arbitrary opinions that teach women and girls to fear and hate their bodies and that keep me with my arms crossed in fear at work.

    I quit wearing bras except for exercise a few months ago and am thrilled at the new-found absence of back and shoulder pain, though still nervous about it at the office. I’m too fair to want the extra exposure at the beach, but the option sure would be nice, as much as I prefer nudity when possible.

    • Paulina on May 7, 2013 at 8:47 am

      Agreed. It was very jarring to have a subject that resonates with me interrupted with fat-shaming when I really wasn’t expecting it.

  89. radicalnicole on May 6, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    doing it right now….!

  90. radicalnicole on May 6, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    doing it right now….!

  91. radicalnicole on May 6, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    doing it right now….!

  92. radicalnicole on May 6, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    doing it right now….!

  93. anne taylor on May 6, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    after years of wearing a bra i now love going braless im a 38DD sag a little but feel really comfortable and painless to and o the freedom but i do wear one if i have to go out to certain places.

  94. anne taylor on May 6, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    after years of wearing a bra i now love going braless im a 38DD sag a little but feel really comfortable and painless to and o the freedom but i do wear one if i have to go out to certain places.

  95. anne taylor on May 6, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    after years of wearing a bra i now love going braless im a 38DD sag a little but feel really comfortable and painless to and o the freedom but i do wear one if i have to go out to certain places.

  96. anne taylor on May 6, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    after years of wearing a bra i now love going braless im a 38DD sag a little but feel really comfortable and painless to and o the freedom but i do wear one if i have to go out to certain places.

  97. Katie on May 6, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    Bras…well..I have moderately large boobs..I want them to stay on my chest where they belong and not a dangle for my belly button. Boob sweat is no fun and I enjoy rocking a bit too much cleavage…but sit in a room full of naked women and that goes away. Maybe not braless and exposed all the time but maybe from time to time.

    Signed

    I don’t want boob sweat

  98. Katie on May 6, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    Bras…well..I have moderately large boobs..I want them to stay on my chest where they belong and not a dangle for my belly button. Boob sweat is no fun and I enjoy rocking a bit too much cleavage…but sit in a room full of naked women and that goes away. Maybe not braless and exposed all the time but maybe from time to time.

    Signed

    I don’t want boob sweat

  99. Katie on May 6, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    Bras…well..I have moderately large boobs..I want them to stay on my chest where they belong and not a dangle for my belly button. Boob sweat is no fun and I enjoy rocking a bit too much cleavage…but sit in a room full of naked women and that goes away. Maybe not braless and exposed all the time but maybe from time to time.

    Signed

    I don’t want boob sweat

  100. Katie on May 6, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    Bras…well..I have moderately large boobs..I want them to stay on my chest where they belong and not a dangle for my belly button. Boob sweat is no fun and I enjoy rocking a bit too much cleavage…but sit in a room full of naked women and that goes away. Maybe not braless and exposed all the time but maybe from time to time.

    Signed

    I don’t want boob sweat

  101. Katie Rose on May 7, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    Elvia,
    I actually did a monologue regarding this issue with my social justice theater group in college. I started w a bra and pants and ended topless. It showcased not only my love for my glorious boobs, but served as a commentary on what society deems appropriate and inappropriate based on our sex. While I have big boobs and am most comfortable with a bra on, there are days i just don’t want to wear one…those are the days i am scolded, ostracized and laughed at. :/ but yes they do shape them in a pleasing manner (to the masses) bc breasts don’t atay in one area when you have big ones, they sag, no matter your age, but if course that is an unpleasant sight or so society tells me…Great article!

  102. Katie Rose on May 7, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    Elvia,
    I actually did a monologue regarding this issue with my social justice theater group in college. I started w a bra and pants and ended topless. It showcased not only my love for my glorious boobs, but served as a commentary on what society deems appropriate and inappropriate based on our sex. While I have big boobs and am most comfortable with a bra on, there are days i just don’t want to wear one…those are the days i am scolded, ostracized and laughed at. :/ but yes they do shape them in a pleasing manner (to the masses) bc breasts don’t atay in one area when you have big ones, they sag, no matter your age, but if course that is an unpleasant sight or so society tells me…Great article!

  103. Katie Rose on May 7, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    Elvia,
    I actually did a monologue regarding this issue with my social justice theater group in college. I started w a bra and pants and ended topless. It showcased not only my love for my glorious boobs, but served as a commentary on what society deems appropriate and inappropriate based on our sex. While I have big boobs and am most comfortable with a bra on, there are days i just don’t want to wear one…those are the days i am scolded, ostracized and laughed at. :/ but yes they do shape them in a pleasing manner (to the masses) bc breasts don’t atay in one area when you have big ones, they sag, no matter your age, but if course that is an unpleasant sight or so society tells me…Great article!

  104. Katie Rose on May 7, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    Elvia,
    I actually did a monologue regarding this issue with my social justice theater group in college. I started w a bra and pants and ended topless. It showcased not only my love for my glorious boobs, but served as a commentary on what society deems appropriate and inappropriate based on our sex. While I have big boobs and am most comfortable with a bra on, there are days i just don’t want to wear one…those are the days i am scolded, ostracized and laughed at. :/ but yes they do shape them in a pleasing manner (to the masses) bc breasts don’t atay in one area when you have big ones, they sag, no matter your age, but if course that is an unpleasant sight or so society tells me…Great article!

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