Since I was a child, I took for granted that wearing a bra was a necessity, right next to period pads or sunscreen. I even started using bras before I needed them, maybe to feel older and cooler.
As I grew older bras became a tool to change my body, I started using push-ups to have bigger and rounder breasts. Since then getting out of the street without wearing it became unthinkable. Without a bra, I felt naked, embarrassed, and self-conscious. Meanwhile, I got used to the indescribable feeling that follows taking off your bra after a long day.
It took me a couple of years to realize that something wasn’t working out, as I started listening to my body, bras stopped making any sense. So, I decided to stop wearing them. In this article, I'm sharing with you guys my experience and all that I’ve learned so far.
Before carrying on I want to make something clear, I criticize the use of bra for reaching unrealistic standards such as round shaped big breasts in expenses of health and comfort. But based on my own experience I understand that in multiple cases such as having big breasts or back problems bras can be helpful or even necessary.
1. The disadvantages of wearing a bra
When I started to openly talk about how useless bras seemed to me, I received a lot of criticism (especially from my oldest). People assured me that wearing a bra would prevent my breasts from falling. However, it never made a lot of sense to me.
Then I discovered Doctor Jean-Denis Roullion a professor from the University of Franche-Comté, who studied for more than fifteen years the anatomy of breasts. And guess what? He came to the same conclusion as me: gravity affects equally. Boobs fall. But not surprisingly, it's extended use accelerates the process.
When you wear a bra, your breasts are held by an external piece, consequently, all your bust muscles stop working. And as you know, when muscles stop being used, they lose their shape.
This finding made me start questioning the assumptions people make about bras. For this reason, I continued my research.
They are hard to find.
Back in the XX century bras were tailor-made which made them a luxury item. But with time the fashion industry took off, and the mass production supplanted all previous manufacturing systems. Bras started to be produced under different sizes.
This idea sounds practical and efficient but it's not. Unlike other parts of the body, boobs are too diverse and complex to fit into limited sizes. If you add to this mess the variety of models that the modern market offers (sports bra, bralette, push up) buying a bra becomes more complex.
In my experience finding a comfortable and useful bra, it isn't an amateurs job. My breast is doesn't fit the standards because though my cup size is rather small, my bust length is medium. Therefore, I 've been taking all my bras to be tailored since my firsts ones.
They can easily ruin a great outfit.
Great! You have managed to find a comfortable bra! But guess what? Its colour insinuates behind your blouse. And the strips can be seen... Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think bras are unfashionable. I often wear bralettes for fashion proposes. But, using them force you to consider all these details every time you choose an outfit.
They are expensive.
Bra prices are unbelievable high, especially if you are looking for cute, comfortable and useful ones. It's such a waste of money!
Summer, hot, sweat… Urgh!
Bras aren't as clean as the rest of underwear. We can’t afford to have one for each day, so we have to extend its use. On the other hand, it is a piece of fabric that stays all day long-held in your torso inevitably making you sweat more.
And lastly, but not less important. No matter how great your bra is, no one is going to convince you to wear 24/7, right? You'll take it off as soon as you can.
2. The braless journey
I was lucky enough to grow in a very open-minded environment, so when I decided to start this journey my family and friends gave me their full support. And despite being the first one in my immediate surroundings, I had already noticed an increasing number of girls that weren't using it.
This meant a lot to me. Those girls I could see every day in the metro or classes were so beautiful and stylish! I used to think that not wearing a bra meant looking sloppy and untidy. But witnessing their beauty gave me the strength I need it.
When I began this journey, I started to follow more and more braless woman in social media. This helped me find out a different kind of beauty that lived beyond any trend. The posts I’m using to illustrate this article come from those accounts, so I recommend checking them out!
However, my suitable surroundings and new icons didn’t make this process easier. In the end, the change had to come from me.
First stage: inside
I started in January, though it wasn’t a new year’s resolution it kind of became one. This was a point in my favour and made the starting point easier. All the layers helped me feel less conscious and allowed me to get used faster.
In this first stage, I started taking off my bra every time I got home, so I was only wearing it when going out. This helped me get used to not having anything holding my breasts. At the end of the day, my home was a safe space, and I never felt strange. I didn't even care about how my boobs looked through my clothes.
During this process, I wasn't able to perceive any apparent changes in the way my breasts look, but I was happy and free.
Second stage: Going outside
After less than a month I felt ready to take the next step: going outside for the first time. To be honest, I felt naked. I remember taking the metro and imagining that all the passengers would stare at me, which they didn't. As a matter of fact, not even my friends noticed it.
Behind the thick winter layers, no one could see the difference. Apart from the subtle motion every time I walked I looked like the rest. A few weeks later, I detected the first changes. My breasts were in better shape, they looked toned, healthier and even bigger.
Third step: Spring comes
Winter went by, and the warm weather prevented me from using sweaters and cardigans. This stage was the hardest. Behind the thin fabric, it started to be evident that I wasn't wearing a bra. Some days I wasn't able to handle the embarrassment, so to my frustration, I wore it for the day.
But fail was a part of the whole process. Surprisingly, it made me more determined. Whenever I wore a bra, I got more convinced of how uncomfortable and useless they were.
I started to pay more attention to myself and asking myself what made me feel anxious. I realized that my main obstacle was my fear of showing my nipples through the fabric.
Female nipples: the strangest obsession of humanity. Under strict censorship, they share the same appearance than the male ones. Curious right? The only noticeable difference is their functionality. While female busts have been embraced for centuries, nipples have been hidden under the shadows. Just think about barbies, for example, they have breasts yet no nipples.
This helped me get the reins back. My fear was unfounded. Unlike common trends, I knew that nipples were normal and healthy, so why worrying so much?
At this stage following the accounts I mentioned earlier was a game-changer. I got used to relating fashion, style and beauty with braless looks. I learned what kinds of clothes would embrace my bust and which types would make me feel conscious.
And lastly, I realized that it was all in my mind. What is more, I was the one perceiving every single detail, no one apart from me was looking and if they did it wasn't a big deal.
Do I ever wear a bra?
Yes, taking this decision doesn't mean that you have to give up bras forever. Life isn't white or black, but a scale of greys. I like to wear a sports bra when working out and when I'm wearing translucid pieces. Sometimes I use bralettes because I like the way they look, and that's okay!
The braless journey it's about having a choice and being able to decide by yourself if you want to use a bra without depending on fear or feelings of embarrassment.
Now I can honestly say that I feel great in my won skin. This journey not only helped my breasts to be healthier but encourage me to experiment with ways to embrace my attributes and my natural beauty.
Strategies and tips
- It’s great to start this process during the colder seasons such as winter or fall.
- During the first stages you can wear an undershirt this will help you get used to the feeling of not wearing a bra.
- The worse season to adapt is spring. While the easiest are summer and winter. In spring there lots of thin layers are translucid fabrics, whereas in summer clothes are colourful, printed and thigh.
- Ask yourself what makes you feel self-conscious. Break your fears apart. And share them with your friends. It's a great way to overtake them.
- Don't try to change everything drastically, you'll give up. It's okay to have middle grounds. For example, I always have a pair of nipple covers in hand. I use them on formal occasions to make sure the nipples don’t come out.
- When buying clothes, I consider what kind of fabric it's. If it's clear I tend to buy bigger sizes, while I wear darker tones for more tight ones.
- Surprisingly, tight pieces usually disguise it a lot better, especially if they are printed.
- A great way to embrace your looks is trying pieces with original cuts.
3. The beauty in health
When I was in high school, I had a great biology teacher. He taught us the origin of beauty, biological wise. He said that humans, just like the rest of the species, are instinctively drawn to the most likely to survive individuals. This meant that attributes such as health, stamina, intelligence were the basis of beauty.
He told us beauty standards reside under those premises and that modern trends were beyond that. A beautiful human has to be healthy, physical and mentally.
It took me a while to figure out what he meant but in the end, I did. Beauty mustn't be in expenses of health for the simple reason that as humans are unconsciously predisposed to like, admire, and love healthy people.
When talking to my boy-friends I came across with a similar conclusion. Despite I always thought that they prefer a woman with a bra, my friends confessed to me that there was nothing sexier that one that isn't wearing one. The kind of confidence, and natural beauty that resides in them. And this can be translated to all kinds of beauty impositions such as body shape, makeup, hairstyle, fashion in their more extreme stages.
I don't want you to stop using a bra to be more popular with guys, If you have this in mind, please don't. Because there's no way you will get through this process without a powerful mindset. And believe me, being liked is not a realistic one.
The point I wanted to settle was that just as my biology teacher said beauty is found in mental and physical health which translates into natural beauty. To me leaving behind the unrealistic standards of big and round breasts was the first step to this healthy relationship with my natural beauty, with no doubt it was one of the best decisions in my life!
What about you? Are you going to dive in? If you have any questions or tips I think we can create a debate in the comment section so that we can help and encourage each other. I'll make sure to answer everything!