It wasn't even a month ago that Montana high school student Kaitlyn Juvik was called into the principal's office for going to school braless — and in the weeks since, Juvik's story has continued to be a viral online sensation, with the idea of "No Bra, No Problem" taking off in a big, big way. To catch us all up, a video posted on Facebook by Mic details everything that's happened with Juvik's story after she was originally reprimanded, and it's definitely something worth watching — for everyone.
Ironically, Juvik had been forgoing bras for over a year simply because she doesn't like the way they feel — but it wasn't until May 25, days before she was set to graduate, that she was reprimanded for it. School principal Steve Thennis told MTN News that the problem wasn't the bralessness in and of itself, but that someone else had complained that the way Juvik dressed made them uncomfortable. Said Thennis, "I'm not going to check student's undergarments. We are going to ask them to dress approporiately and if we feel it is inappropriate, male or female, we are going to ask them to cover up." But, Juvik told MTN, “What I was confronted about what was wrong and as long as nothing is showing and you’re covered up, girls should not have to wear a bra" — a sentiment which many others have rallied behind.
Mic's video highlights the actions taken after Juvik was initially sent to the principal, which include a protest that occurred two days later where more of her female classmates showed up sans bras. Their mission is a clear one: To stop the sexualization and objectification of women's bodies. Juvik also brings up another excellent point, and one which has really stuck with me: Just how offensive it is as a woman to be told that your body is making people "uncomfortable" purely because of the fact that it exists. Furthermore, while Juvik and her boobies have been accused of being a distraction, as the video points out, the only real distraction was how she was pulled out of class four times. Over a bra. Her education was interrupted four times, showing — once again — how frequently school dress codes devalue girls' education. I know I'm not alone in thinking, "WTF?"
Watch the full video below:
The video points to what should be obvious to everyone, and yet which we're still constantly having to explain to people: A bra does not define who you are. Going braless doesn't mean you're looking for attention, similar to how wearing a push-up bra doesn't, either. Your identity as a feminist doesn't change based on whether you're got an underwire or you're letting your girls fly free. This piece of material (because that's all a bra is) says nothing about who you are and what you stand for as a human being. Wearing a bra — or not — is simply a choice of personal comfort. No more, and no less. And no one has the right to decide whether or not you wear one but you.
While Juvik's story had already gone viral, Mic's video is skyrocketing the story to new heights. At the time of this writing, the Facebook post has collected over 54,000 reactions, nearly 70,000 shares, and over 4,000 comments — many of which are in support of the protest, but some of which are still arguing against going braless. "They were created FOR women, for comfort and support... Why are you protesting them?" commented one Facebook user. "Just put on your damn underwear like mom taught you to and everyone wins! These ridiculous protests need to stop."
But to the dismay of the "other side," these "ridiculous protests" are getting support from all angles: Even boys are chiming in, with many having showed up during the protest wearing bras over their shirts. Unfortunately, these boys were also causing a "disruption" (notice all the quotes?) and a parent called the police on them. The police, however, reportedly spoke with the parent and explained that this incident did not actually require police involvement.
While people are accusing Juvik and her classmates of simply looking to cause a commotion, that fact that there's a commotion to begin with proves that women are not free to dress in a manner that they're comfortable with, despite the fact that it affects literally no one else. Worried that it will attract unwanted and possibly dangerous attention from boys and men? Let's teach boys and men that women's bodies aren't inherently sexual, nor are they public property to be commented on as they please. It's that simple. Juvik's braless state made the person who initially complained uncomfortable because of they way they viewed her, not because of the way she dressed.
If you want to support the fight for braless freedom, head on over to the Facebook page No Bra, No Problem, which was created by one of Juvik's classmates. And always remember: Your boobies, your choice.