Burn Your Bras To Light The Way

Burn Your Bras To Light The Way

"We are more than what covers us up"
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"Bras are like boyfriends- they're supposed to support you, but the reality is, they're not all that comfortable." - "Bras and Binders"

When I was younger, I thought I may have been born a boy and my family just forgot to tell me. My Italian heritage resulted in dark hair on my arms, legs, and stomach that I did not see on the women in magazine covers or the Disney Channel. It was not until third grade that my womanhood was confirmed: I was given my first training bra. It was purple and cheetah print- soft cloth with no wire. Virtually pointless. To me, however, it defined girlhood and marked an important moment in my life. I was an "early developer"- one of the only girls in my third grade class to wear a bra. After I was given my ticket to femininity, I felt empowered.

Looking back, it is sad to think that my first moment of pride in my gender and my body was when I was given a garment to cover it up.

I have grown quite a bit since the third grade. My breasts are now past the sizes you can freely purchase in department stores and Victoria's Secret chains. There is never certainty whether or not I will find a bra at the store, or will I have to delve into the depths of online shopping? The one thing that is always certain: they are expensive. Incredibly expensive.

I shouldn't have to spend an entire paycheck to cover my breasts to make other people more comfortable.

There is constantly pressure for young girls and women to maintain a pleasing physique for the satisfaction of others. Our breasts must be perky, but not too perky. We must be thin, but not too thin. Curvy, but not full figured. And God forbid we show any cleavage. The pressure of constantly adhering to society's standards has become a burden that I no longer wish to carry. My back hurts from wearing bras for twelve years.

In college, I decided to stop consistently wearing bras and only wear them when I want to. This has been the most liberating decision I've ever made!

Your bra is as oppressive and constricting as the system that puts men ahead of women.

Ladies, it's time to break free.

Reasons to Burn Your Bra:

1. They DO NOT define your womanhood or femininity.

Gender is defined by what society and culture deems masculine or feminine. Sex as male or female is the biological way which you were born. Therefore, your bra does not make you a woman. Your boobs do not make you a woman. In the words of the stunning Viola Davis:

2. It's almost impossible to find one that fits.

I am currently a 36 E, and I have been every size below. One of my breasts is slightly larger than the other, and no matter where I purchase my bras, they never quite fit properly.

3. They're Uncomfortable

There is a reason for the idea of a woman taking off her bra after a long day...they are absolutely torturous to wear for long periods of time. The underwire pokes you, the straps dig into your shoulders, they push your breasts up unnaturally. It's all around annoying.

Not to mention that when it's hot outside, it is one extra body-hugging piece of clothing that potentially causes discomfort, chafing, rashes, and sweat.

I'll admit that I don't find bras to be torturous all the time- but after I stopped wearing them frequently, I noticed just how much better it felt to go without one.

4. They're Expensive

Like I said before, bras can be anywhere from thirty to upwards of hundreds of dollars. It's unreasonable to require women to pay that much for underwear that is almost NEVER SEEN.

5. We Do Not Have To Wear Them

Luckily, we have a choice. If you love bras and feel comfortable wearing them, you can continue. If you dislike bras and do not want to wear them, YOU DON'T HAVE TO. What you wear is your choice .

So, metaphorically burn your bras by hiding them under your bed or selling them online to get your hard earned money back. Wear them, or don't wear them. Either way, embrace the choice. We are more than what covers us up.

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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Saying You "Don't Take Political Stances" IS A Political Stance

All you're doing by saying this is revealing your privilege to not care politically, and here's why that's a problem.

bethkrat
bethkrat
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I'm sure all of us know at least one person who refuses to engage in political discussions - sure, you can make the argument that there is a time and a place to bring up the political happenings of our world today, but you can't possibly ignore it all the time. You bring up the last ridiculous tweet our president sent or you try to discuss your feelings on the new reproductive regulation bills that are rising throughout the states, and they find any excuse to dip out as quickly as possible. They say I don't talk about politics, or I'm apolitical. Well everyone, I'm here to tell you why that's complete bullsh*t.

Many people don't have the luxury and privilege of ignoring the political climate and sitting complacent while terrible things happen in our country. So many issues remain a constant battle for so many, be it the systematic racism that persists in nearly every aspect of our society, the fact that Flint still doesn't have clean water, the thousands of children that have been killed due to gun violence, those drowning in debt from unreasonable medical bills, kids fighting for their rights as citizens while their families are deported and separated from them... you get the point. So many people have to fight every single day because they don't have any other choice. If you have the ability to say that you just don't want to have anything to do with politics, it's because you aren't affected by any failing systems. You have a privilege and it is important to recognize it.

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "history will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people."

We recognize that bad people exist in this world, and we recognize that they bring forth the systems that fail so many people every single day, but what is even more important to recognize are the silent majority - the people who, by engaging in neutrality, enable and purvey the side of the oppressors by doing nothing for their brothers and sisters on the front lines.

Maybe we think being neutral and not causing conflict is supposed to be about peacekeeping and in some way benefits the political discussion if we don't try to argue. But if we don't call out those who purvey failing systems, even if it's our best friend who says something homophobic, even if it's our representatives who support bills like the abortion ban in Alabama, even if it's our president who denies the fact that climate change is killing our planet faster than we can hope to reverse it, do we not, in essence, by all accounts of technicality side with those pushing the issues forward? If we let our best friend get away with saying something homophobic, will he ever start to change his ways, or will he ever be forced to realize that what he's said isn't something that we can just brush aside? If we let our representatives get away with ratifying abortion bans, how far will the laws go until women have no safe and reasonable control over their own bodily decisions? If we let our president continue to deny climate change, will we not lose our ability to live on this planet by choosing to do nothing?

We cannot pander to people who think that being neutral in times of injustice is a reasonable stance to take. We cannot have sympathy for people who decide they don't want to care about the political climate we're in today. Your attempts at avoiding conflict only make the conflict worse - your silence in this aspect is deafening. You've given ammunition for the oppressors who take your silence and apathy and continue to carry forth their oppression. If you want to be a good person, you need to suck it up and take a stand, or else nothing is going to change. We need to raise the voices of those who struggle to be heard by giving them the support they need to succeed against the opposition.

With all this in mind, just remember for the next time someone tells you that they're apolitical: you know exactly which side they're on.

bethkrat
bethkrat

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