The first bra ever was made of handkerchiefs, some lifetimes away from the memory foam padded ones available on Amazon today.
In today’s modern world, not wearing a bra shouldn’t be a big deal but instead should be a conscious, influential decision. Bras are entirely for aesthetics and at this point in our society, we shouldn’t be outraged, disgusted or even phased by a woman refusing to wear one no matter her physical size or shape.
While this chest undergarment is traditionally specific to a single gender, it offers no comparable protection like the universality that bottom underwear does. While underwear covering your genitals is necessary for proper sanitary reasons, bras don’t really offer anything of that manner.
Boobs are, well, boobs and typically only secrete liquids when pregnant or nursing. Even in this case, bras oftentimes worsen the effects in this situation by acting as a catalyst for the milk to seep directly onto the fronts of unsuspecting t-shirts and sweaters. Absorbent inserts are created for moms to add into their bras, only adding more expenses to an already expensive undergarment purchase.
From $30 to $300, bras aren’t cheap. This causes them to almost act as a symbol of classism, seeing that the average bra costs around $50 to sit underneath clothing all day, which is something very pointless yet very expensive for the average college student or single mom.
Even in the cases where bras are found cheaper in fast fashion retailers or grocery store lingerie sections (I’m looking at you, Walmart), the quality of these garments tend to shift from being made of uncomfortable fabrics to easy-to-rip materials. Not to mention, cheaper garments tend to sell in limited amounts of sizing, particularly excluding larger sized chests.
Within certain bra manufacturers and companies, fat-shaming is a real and prevalent issue. Not only are lingerie models expected to be size zeros in the industry, but they are also expected to carry the societal beauty standards of tiny waist proportions in comparison to larger rumps and breasts.
While recent streetwear fashion trends have drawn inspiration from the “Burn The Bras!” movements of the ’60s, we tend to also see on social media the fashion statement to only be praised on women with smaller chests. This ties to the long running stigma in our society of bigger breasts being unattractive, unsightly or offensive.
Fat-shaming doesn’t just extend to ad campaigns and streetwear. As mentioned before, stores often have limited stock of larger or plus-sized bras. Yet when they do have a style in stock, bras of bigger size tend to cost a significant amount more than those of A or B cup measures.
In the end, no matter how much you pay for a bra, the underwire will still break, and you’ll never not be relieved after taking it off after a long work day. So, I pose a question to women across the globe: why are we still subjecting ourselves to the torture of something only society tells us that we need?
My call to action is that we, as women, quit cutting off our body’s circulation for the sake of perkier, rounder chest spheres. We need to start doing things for ourselves and taking pride in our free-flying boobs.
Gabrielle Martinez is an 18-year-old mass communication freshman from Gonzales,