For years, women have been criticized for not wearing the right underwear. We're called teases if we wear push-up bras. We're told we can't let our nipples show if we choose not to wear a bra. It's a concern of the entire room if I sit down and my thong shows, or if I wear something tight, and have panty-lines. The whole world cares what I have going on under here. Well, if it matters that much, I'm going to tell you, not to make you happy, but rather to show the women reading this that you have a choice (Yay, Feminism!), and to show the men reading this that we don't give a damn what you want us to wear. My underwear is for my comfort.
Part 1: The freedom of the bralette
For the last 3 months, I've been wearing unlined bralettes and sports bras. My drawers are filled with pretty bras of all padding levels and colors. (I have a bit of Victoria's Secret problem because they cater to my tiny chest, and make me feel beautiful.) Well, my secret is out. I've stopped wearing normal bras unless I feel like an outfit calls for it. I purchased my first bralette from Victoria's Secret with the goal of freeing the girls, while still feeling pretty. My fellow Odyssey creator, Gabby Sandefer, wrote an awesome article about her experience with going braless, so be sure to check it out!
I've always been a small-chested girl, and for years my "friends" asked me why I even bothered with a bra because I didn't really need it. But that was what 13-year-old girls did, right? We developed breasts and got sized for our first bras. I remember when my friend, Brandy, gave me one of her old bras. It was a 30AA and was just what little Abby needed to lift her spirits, so to speak. Well, I'll admit I didn't really develop what most people would consider breasts until college. Some people still debate if my 32B makes the cut. I was ashamed. I just wanted to be like the other girls in my grade. Maybe if I had boobs, a boy would notice me, I'd be able to wear a strapless dress to dances, and I wouldn't get made fun of daily for something that was out of my control. I couldn't control what girls, and sometimes even boys, said to me, but I can control what I wear to make me comfortable, and real bras typically dig into my skin and make me feel trapped. My bralettes were 20 dollars. For 20 dollars, I've never felt more confident in my body. I'm not hiding anything, I'm not nervous that someone will question if I should really be wearing a bra, and what's better is that this was my decision, not a decision made from the pressures of those around me.
Part 2: The era of boxers
Yes, you read that right. Boxers. A few weeks ago, I bought men's 3-inch boxers from American Eagle. My roommate likes to wear them to bed, so I thought I'd give them a shot, and I'll admit: sometimes they serve as my regular underwear. They're warmer in this bitter Indiana winter, they hug my butt and thighs, and to be honest with you, they're actually really cute. This doesn't mean I've stopped wearing regular female underwear. I still love my seamless cheeksters, and little lacy underwear, because they're still mostly comfortable and make me feel good about myself, but men's underwear are just somehow better. Maybe it really is how they fit, or maybe I just like the sense of power I have when no one knows my masculine secret. Victor's Secret. The first time I purchased a thong I was with my mom, and I was 13. I remember riding back home in the truck with my dad, and fidgeting because this string wasn't doing its job. I remember thinking: Who would do this to their buttcrack!? I will surely be cut in half by the end of this trip.
Update: I am not cut in half. Perhaps young Abby just wasn't ready for the responsibility of wearing underwear that can disappear if you shift wrong. Maybe the style or size was wrong. Maybe the world wanted to watch me squirm... literally. But, thong stories aside, my buttcrack and I have never been more comfortable. I encourage you to experience boxers. If you try them and they aren't for you, that's fine, too. In the world we live in today, more women are giving the middle finger to what society and men expect to see on our half-naked bodies. But men, until you have to wear it, you don't have room to make the call. Maybe you'll try a dental floss-esque pair of underwear and decide that's what you've been missing all these years, and I hope for the sake of your self-esteem, no one tells you that's not okay. People should be able to wear whatever they want, because our bodies are delicate things, and need to be cradled, hugged, and made to feel beautiful. Not stabbed with wires and cut in half with strings.
*Note from the writer: This is from the point of view of a small-chested girl. I understand not everyone feels comfortable without underwire support. Do you, girl. Wear what works for your body.