Earlier I already wrote about body image and self-love and how clothing can play a role in connecting to yourself and others. I believe that if we could value our appearances as less important, we would be able to connect more deeply with ourselves and one another. In this earlier post I mentioned simple clothing, being somehow neutral-looking and comfortable. On this topic, there is one specific thing I’d like to share further!
Last fall I attended a Vipassana meditation course. I was just wearing comfortable clothes, all was fine. Until one day during meditation I got enormously aware of how uncomfortably tight my bra was. And really, it wasn’t enormously tight. It had been one of my favourite, best-fitting bras for years. Bras are supposed to be tight, that’s how they behave best. Say what? I got very confused and frustrated. Is this normal? Is this how it feels? I had heard of women disliking wearing bras and being really relieved when being able to take them off after a long day, but I have never felt a thing. And now, all of a sudden, I did. What does it mean?
This got me thinking. Why are we supposed to wear bras? Yes, this is where I am going. Breasts are pretty special things. They are designed to feed babies. Women’s relationships with their breasts are very personal and there’s a lot of variation, as well as with breast themselves which come in different shapes and sizes. Breasts are often seen as a sexual object. In our culture, it is the norm to put your breasts in a bra, so they will be supported, will be shaped into ‘the right shape’ and won’t move ‘too much’. This is the right thing to do, it’s decent to wear a bra.
But what if you don’t have to? During that meditation session I experienced that it was pretty annoying to wear a bra. Also, there are stories about how wearing wired bras may negatively affect your breast health, about how bras are actually not that supporting and about how letting your breasts free is actually better for them remaining vital so to say.
I won’t go into further detail about the ethics of wearing bras or the health concerns, but I would like to focus on what I found to work for me and what may work for you as well – if you are a woman, of course.(more…)