There was a brief period in the 1970s when feminists were labeled bra burners. The term was coined following a picket of the Miss America pageant in 1968. There, women threw traditional feminine garments like girdles and high heels and bras into a “freedom trash can.” They didn’t actually burn anything. That did not stop “bra burner” from quickly arising as a pejorative.
All I can say to that is: They should have burnt more bras.
They should have burnt them all.
Fortunately, it’s not too late.
Look, for everyone who will immediately disagree and say they LOVE their bra, okay. If bras are a source of joy for you, by all means wear them. If you love them, and are delighted by their patterns, or their ability to catch boob sweat, or stop chafing or whatever, fine. I’m a pretty strong believer that people should wear whatever brings them joy, whether it’s bras or dinosaur costumes or those shirts that have unnecessary holes around the shoulders.
But if you, like me, whip off your bra the very minute you enter your home: JOIN ME AT THE BONFIRE, MY SISTER.
Because they’re uncomfortable, and they’re utterly pointless.
That notion that bras will keep your breasts from sagging is a lie. It is a crazy lie that has somehow been around forever. A 15-year study concluded that not only do they not prevent sag, wearing a bra routinely weakens the muscles that hold up the breasts, causing your breasts to sag more. .
So there’s no real upside if the goal is maintaining the teenage shape of your breasts into old age.
And if you’re wearing a bra in the wrong size — which 85 percent of women apparently are, although no matter how many experts you go to, none of them ever seem to agree on what the right size is — it can lead to a whole slew of health problems. Those range from stiff backs, as bras restrict upper back movement, to headaches, as bras put strain on your neck.
Now, you could perhaps find that extremely elusive, well-fitting bra to try to counteract those problems. Or you could just stop wearing them and save $68 or whatever that magic bra costs.
And perhaps save your own life. Bras can kill you in the rare event that you get struck by lightning. It happened to two women in 1999 when one’s underwire bra acted as a conductor during a lightning storm .
Now, okay, that’s very unlikely to happen.
But you’re going to think about it the next time you’re walking around in a storm wearing a bra.
And really, why risk it?
The only thing bras do is give the impression that your breasts are two nipple-less grapefruits. Which, fine, I guess, but for the love of God, why?
Do you know the only time men had to wear a garment that gave their sexy bits a fake curve? In the 16th century. It was when they were wearing codpieces. And codpieces at least made sense. You could whip them off and pee without having to take off your pants. Bras are hard to take off and the only thing gained by their removal is now your bra is off.
It could be off all the time.
If the idea of wearing a bra is that it will be seductive, eh, people who are attracted to breasts seem pretty into them being bra-free. So much so that “women not wearing bras” is a whole creepy genre of articles on the Daily Mail.
But then perhaps breasts are just too sexy to be free, on your chest, as nature intended. One piece of rhetoric often employed is that if women did not wear bras, our nipples might distract men.
Take a moment to laugh a hearty, full-throated laugh.
If nipples distract men, then men must be in a pretty constant fog, given that they also have nipples.
I guess that would explain some things about the place America is in right now. Maybe on election day a whole bunch of otherwise sensible men just caught sight of their own nipples and had a total mental meltdown.
That aside, if we were never going to change (uncomfortable, irritating) fashions because it might be temporarily distracting to men, we’d all still be going around in floor-length skirts, afraid to flash our ankles.
Change the world. Ditch your bra. Never wear it again. Let your breasts just kind of exist on your chest, like the body parts they are.
People will get used to it.
And keep that bonfire going, because next we’re going to throw in tight-fitting pants.