Recently (or maybe not so recently considering style trends since the 1960s), the trend of women not wearing structured bras has been a hot topic for discussion and campaigning. The hashtag “freethenipple” is about women speaking out about their desire to not have to wear bras.
This campaign claims to be about women’s empowerment and not feeling forced into wearing bras on account of offending someone because of their natural breasts (even when covered with clothing). The combination of women feeling like society has “forced” them into wearing certain things, like bras, and people being offended by something as natural as a woman’s body, is cause for a conversation like ##FreetheNipple and an even larger conversation concerning #feminism.
"Offensive" is the cry of the public
Let’s first discuss the issue of people being offended by a woman not wearing a bra. And while I realize there is a fine line between not wearing a bra and explicitly showing breasts, I also have to question why people are so put off by a braless woman.
Incidentally, the answer is that the latest trends in “womanisn,” if you will, has been that women are always wearing structured bras. Boobs are meant to be pushed up, supported, and nipples are meant to be concealed. Over time, we have all become adjusted to this “regular” way of women displaying their bodies.
Nipples are distracting
Is it also commonly believed that women should wear structured bras because it is, in fact, attractive to men, and can be a distraction or nuisance in the right situations. What I have to say now is simple: if men or anyone else find a braless woman distracting, they need not to look and can focus elsewhere. It is not a woman’s responsibility to stop anyone from regarding or becoming distracted by her own body. Allow me to make a point. If an incredibly attractive woman walked into a room, we would not expect her to cover her face because it was distracting us. It should be no different with a woman’s breasts then, right?
The idea that someone should or could be offended by a woman not wearing a bra is absolutely preposterous. How are we so put off by a woman’s natural body in a society where sex rules just about everything? That doesn’t add up. We, as a society, have become okay with, or, we have at least accepted the fact that sex sells. But when we see a woman in public who is explicitly not wearing a supportive bra, we are extremely putt off. Many of us think it’s gross, inappropriate, or that they should “just cover up” in order to avoid such a commotion.
Isn’t that just a tad over the top? Bras are uncomfortable, and a lot of women have long, active days. It is completely understandable that she would not want to wear a constricting, pinching vessel around her torso all day. So if it makes someone else that much more comfortable and happy, can’t we take a step back and just…let it go?