Why I Never Wear A Bra In Public, And I'm Sorry I'm Not Sorry

by Sheena Sharma

Picture this: It’s a hot, sticky summer day in Manhattan.

You’ve got a day packed with errands: a yoga class that you paid too much for, a quick run to the pharmacy and a schlep to the other side of town to meet up with your friends.

It’s too hot to think, and you’re dripping in sweat. You’re sweating in places where you didn’t even think it was possible to sweat.

But there are two danger zones on your body that are producing more sweat than all the other areas combined: your pits and your breasts.

Thankfully, God invented deodorant. As for the breast situation, I’m still trying to figure out how to tackle that one.

Bras are the enemy. I am morally opposed to wearing something uncomfortable for long periods of time.

It's not doing a favor to anybody. Why aren’t we acting out of pure self-interest when it comes to how we look and feel?

We act out of self-interest when it comes to everything else. Jobs. Money. Love lives.

Is there anything less sexy than having to wipe puddles of sweat from below your underwire, waiting for the air-conditioned train to stop by and save you?

Who invented underwire bras, anyway? Did someone actually think that residual red imprints from too-tight shoulder straps were a good look?

When I realized that bras were ruining my life, I decided to stop wearing them altogether. Once I did, my entire life changed. I was free.

Bras were created for men: Push-up, lacy, padded, you name it.

Women don’t generally wear bras outside of the bedroom because they want to; they wear them because they feel they have to (if you do enjoy them wearing them, more power to you. You rock that bra).

Still, regardless of where you stand on the bra spectrum, you can’t deny that society is afraid of a little unsolicited bounce.

Whenever I stroll braless down the street, every man gives me a creepy smile, and every woman frowns at me. I don’t care. Now that I’ve gone braless, I won’t go back.

It’s uncomfortable.

Plain and simple. Yes, you can sometimes make the case for sacrificing comfort.

Heels are uncomfortable, too. But at least they turn us into envy-inducing vixens. Bras don’t actually enhance our look in any way.

I won’t spend my day feeling uncomfortable. I want comfort and style.

Taking it off is the best part of my day.

Removing a bra should not be the best part of my day. But it is. It’s more satisfying than exercising.

It’s more satisfying than eating. It’s more satisfying than getting too drunk to remember your own name.

And you know why? Because when I unhook that pesky little clasp, I can actually breathe again.

I’m no longer strapped in against my will, and there is no feeling more empowering than breaking free.

It ruins the natural aesthetic of an outfit.

Clothes are beautiful on their own. The colors and fabrics speak for themselves, and bras detract from the statement the apparel in question is trying to make.

I hate seeing a gorgeous outfit cheapened by visible bra straps. It’s like watching a beautiful man open his mouth to say something self-incriminating.

We end up spending God-knows-how-long crafting the perfect outfit, and in one minute we ruin it -- all thanks to the lousy bra.

If I enter a cold climate, I’ll just throw on a sweater.

Sweaters are a quick fix. My nipples will get perky when I go from the sauna that is New York in the summer to the igloo that is Duane Reade.

But if my perky nipples are going to throw off someone’s day, I’ll just throw on a sweater. Or maybe I won’t.

If I had the choice, I’d rather wear something that hugs my breasts -- not squeezes them.

Wearing a bra perpetuates a false idea of what breasts should look like.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t have perfect boobs. One is noticeably smaller than the other. They aren’t perfectly round and supple; they’re imperfectly crooked and misshapen.

Life isn’t a Victoria’s Secret commercial. But we still expect women to have flawless breasts -- no matter their age.

There’s no doubt that women feel this pressure, too. Whether you’re 15 or 45, you’re conditioned to believe that you should want the body of a 22-year-old.

Let’s face it: We sexualize women any chance we can get, and bras don’t help the cause. I don’t want to see breasts conform to one standard; I want to see all different shapes and sizes.

I’d rather wear a bandeau or bralette.

Thank you to the human who invented these. They’re light and airy, and they support breasts without being overbearing or painful.

I have no desire to augment the look of my breasts. I like them petite and unrestricted.

I don’t care if you’re staring at my breasts; you’re already staring at my ass.

Hey, you. Yeah, guy in the corner of the train. Do you really think I can’t see you, tongue wagging and wide-eyed, staring me down like I’m a piece of molten chocolate lava cake?

Yes, that is my ass. Women have asses, and it just so happens that we have breasts, too.

Today is your lucky day. There’s a two-for-one display going on called “butt AND boobs.” Bonus: It isn’t for a limited time only.

My nipples will continue to run wild and free. What’s so wrong with walking around with erect nipples, anyway?

We have to change society's standards for women by freeing the nipple (#FreeTheNipple). If one woman does it, we’ll feel comfortable when all women do it.

Our boobs aren’t here to please other people. It’s okay -- put the bra down.