Somewhere along the line, boob cages became the norm. How these torture devices became necessities for women is beyond me. Unfortunately, they did, and it has become more extreme to let your girls bounce free than it is to trap them in wires, padding, and straps. A great deal of today’s pressure to wear bras comes from the sexualization of women’s breasts and nipples (whose sole purpose is feeding babies, by the way— #FreeTheNipple). But you don’t have to be a bra-burning feminist to go bra-free (though it is certainly wonderful if you are). If you’re like me, and really hate the things and are itching to get rid of bras for good, here are the five reasons I stopped wearing bras.
1. They’re incredibly uncomfortable.
I don’t know anyone whose favorite part of the day is putting their bra on. The only thing I liked about wearing bras was taking them off. They dig into your sides, the straps fall off (if they aren’t digging into your shoulders), and if they’re not riding up your boobs, they’re digging into your ribcage. They’re the worst. So one wintery week, I decided I was going to stop wearing them. I didn’t realize how much I hated bras until I went a week without them... and tried to wear them again. I couldn't believe I ever tolerated bras. Let me tell you— once you quit the boob cage, you will never go back.
Now, when I first stopped wearing bras, my breasts were sore for about two weeks. After that, I hardly ever noticed or felt their movement. Now, at two years bra-free, I can run without a bra. If that’s not worth it I don’t know what is.
2. Going braless is extremely empowering.
Initially, I was self-conscious about being bra-free and would hide under baggy clothes. I was self-conscious people would be able to see the outlines of my breasts and nipples. Then, I realized I see men’s breasts and nipples through their shirts all the time. It is absurd that women are taught to feel embarrassed about something men sport shame-free. With that in mind, I was wearing whatever I wanted in no time. If someone has something to say— try me.
3. You can wear anything without them.
Wardrobe possibilities are endless when you don’t have to think, “How am I going to wear a bra with this?” Spaghetti straps? Yup. Strapless? Piece o' cake. Deep Vs? No problem. Backless? Hell yeah. Not only do your outfits get much more comfortable when you ditch bras, they also get much cuter. You know that really cute top you’ve been dying to wear but can’t figure out how to fit a bra under it? When you go braless, those problems disappear. Bring on the tiny straps with no backs.
4. They’re expensive.
You walk into Victoria’s Secret. You spot the cutest lace bra. You turn over the tag. Fifty dollars? EL-OH-EL. Do you know how much pizza you can buy with fifty bucks? How much ice cream? For the price of three Victoria’s Secret bras, you can buy a plane ticket. Now, if you love bras, go for it. By all means. But if you’re on the fence, take the comfortable route and save up for that plane ticket.
5. They’re actually pointless.
Many women are told bras are important for breast health, that they prevent sagging and provide necessary support. However, one 15-year study on 300 women found that bras provide no benefits for women, and may even be harmful in the long run. “Medically, physiologically, anatomically, the breast does not benefit from being deprived of gravity,” researcher Jean-Denis Rouillon stated. He found that women who go braless reap benefits such as greater muscle tissue, which provides natural support. Some women even experienced measurable changes in perkiness due to the growth of supportive tissue. Women who wore bras did not grow these tissues, which Rouillon thinks may actually accelerate sagging. Furthermore, women who did not wear bras reported breathing easier (that's a no-brainer).
However, it totally depends on what you’re comfortable with. You can wear them every day, wear them some days and go free for others, or ditch them all together. Regardless, I highly recommend trying the bra-free life. If after a week you miss them, by all means go back. For me, burning my bras was one of the best decisions I've made to date.