Haircuts, make-up, gym memberships, bras and even deodorant — all things 2020 has made us realize we can go without. I haven’t worn a bra since the pandemic began, however, to be fair I was someone who did not wear bras on a regular basis, to begin with. I realized, too late in my opinion, that a bra was an unnecessary restriction placed on my body by a society that expected me to look a certain way. A perky boob way.
For many of us, 2021 will be a fresh start to a hopefully better year. Possibly a time to reflect, and a time to decide what, and who is important to us. A bra may be an insignificant sounding thing to many people, but it is one of many small things we often take for granted and do not question. Maybe 2021 is a time to start questioning. A time to challenge the status quo?
At the beginning of the pandemic, I saw many videos of people converting bras into masks. Clearly many people thought masks were of more importance than a bra. I also understand that many people, for a variety of reasons, feel more comfortable wearing a bra than not. I am simply suggesting that if you do not want to wear a bra, but feel pressure to do so, maybe it is time to set your chest free.
Bras are not mandatory or necessary. Breasts may bounce and swing and jiggle without them because that’s what breasts do, and that is okay. If this bouncing and swinging and jiggling is uncomfortable for you, either mentally or physically, by all means, wear a bra, however, sometimes it just takes a little getting used to.
I have spoken with many people about bras and often I hear, “the second I get in the door the bra comes off!” Bras can be uncomfortable. They can leave chafed skin, red marks, dents in shoulders and bruises from the underwire. This is often because bras are not fitting properly. Most people never get a proper bra fitting and breasts grow and shrink when people lose weight, gain weight, get pregnant, feed children, age or take any kind of hormone, including birth control. It’s extremely difficult to always be in the proper size bra.
Bras can also restrict movement, prevent deep breathing and hurt your lymphatic system. We need to move, we need to breathe and breasts gain nothing from defying gravity. Breasts that are not restricted, especially during development, will naturally produce more collagen, which is found in the skin and connective tissue, to hold up the breasts. If your breasts are constantly in bras, less collagen will be produced meaning they cannot hold themselves up as readily as they could without a bra doing the work for them.
Not that perky breasts should be the goal. Society has trained us to value this type of breast over others, which is unfortunate. We should value comfort, feeling good about ourselves and making our own decisions. Hopefully, 2021 will allow us to do all these things.
Stacey Jacobs has been a Sex Educator for almost 2 decades. For 13 of those years she worked as a Sexual Health Educator at Planned Parenthood. She teaches in the Sexuality, Marriage and Family Studies Program at the University of Waterloo and when not educating, she enjoys reading, walking her dogs and eating good food. The life of a Sex Educator is usually not as interesting as people assume.