I know that the whole concept of a bra-burning feminist is a myth. But…I would like to volunteer to be the first bra-burning feminist. Lately, I’ve found myself absolutely hating bras. I hate adjusting them. I hate how expensive they are. I hate washing them. I hate choosing one that’s going to work with a particular top or dress. Every evening when I removed my bra, I thought, “Let the motherfucker burn.”
I know that a lot of women love and appreciate bras. And back when I had the bewbz, I did too. But in the decade since my reduction, my breasts have gotten considerably smaller and then smaller again. And while seeing curvier ladies sometimes makes me miss having big boobs (What’s that old saying? “The tits are always sexier on someone else’s chest” I believe it goes?), I really am pretty OK with this. It also means I don’t need to wear a bra for comfort or support.
Which is how I found myself wearing a bra on a daily basis mainly for two reasons: to give the illusion of having perky, round, Hollywood boobs, and to cover up my nipples lest I offend someone with them. And both of these reasons are…kinda bullshit, right? Exactly how bullshit it is became even more apparent to me after a few long days of traveling when, in the airport, I just wanted to my bra off SO badly, but I was wearing a super-thin shirt (as I am wont to do) and I knew that subjecting everyone around me to my nipples would probably be frowned upon. While I feel like others’ reaction to my body is not my problem, I tend to pick my battles and this just wasn’t one I wanted to fight.
Later it occurred to me that maybe my bras just sucked. Maybe what I needed was something without wires. (My 20-year-old-working-at-Victoria’s-Secret-self just made this face. Meanwhile, my mother is telling me she knew I’d turn into her eventually.) I halfheartedly looked for a wire-free bra at VS one day and then realized I was fooling myself and forgot about the issue. Well, except for every night when I’d sigh happily after I took my bra off, and announce to Eric yet again that bras were evil tools of the patriarchy. Most days, I didn’t wear a bra at all…I just kept one handy by my desk in case someone wanted to Skype and I needed my nipple disguise kit.
Then, earlier this month, Eric forgot to pack a pair of dress pants when we went to Michigan so we stopped at a Kohl’s on our way to Petoskey. While he looked for pants, I started wandering around the store and eventually found myself in their bra department. As I looked at all the different types of bras they sold, Bridget Everett’s song “Titties” started playing in my head.
And then I realized that they might have exactly what I was looking for.
(Side note: You’re going to want to start watching that video around 3:30, or you could just buy the song on iTunes. Also I wish I could find a clip of her performance on Inside Amy Schumer because it was even funnier there.)
Long story short, I ended up finding Warner’s Invisible Bliss T-Shirt Bra at Kohl’s that day. When I put it on, my whole body sighed with relief. It truly felt like I wasn’t wearing anything. I bought two on the spot because they were on sale. It has molded cups so you can fake having Hollywood boobs if you want (something I admittedly like to do from time to time) and is lined, so the patriarchy is happy. But it’s made of whisper-soft material and it’s wireless, so I’m super comfortable and I don’t curse it every day.
Now that I’ve accessed the Wi-Fi bra network, I’m confident it would take an act of God to get me back in an underwire contraption regularly again. I still feel like there’s room for bra burning, but when even Tina Fey’s best advice to women is “always wear a bra,” I know it’s a battle I’m just not going to win.