I am bra-attached and addicted to the support provide by my Victoria's Secret Shaping Demi. I have to be, since I'm a full D cup. The only time I go braless is when I am sleeping. Going braless is never really a viable option, unless it's for a quick errand, like walking my English bulldog Higgins, where I throw on a hoodie to maintain my dignity and conceal my not-as-supported boobs. While there are plenty of rules that busty girls can break, going bra-free isn't one of them for me. So, when a friend-in-need asked me to come over for an in-person vent session the other night, after I had ditched my bra for the day, I went through very specific emotional stages of going braless. We can't all be Rihanna, completely comfortable with going in public bra-free.
You see, it was after 8PM. I had settled in for the night, after working all day, going to the post office, hitting Starbucks, and going food shopping. I was ready to plop on the couch for a few eps of Cold Case Files. I was comfortably decked out in loose Forever 21 black sweats, a black Old Navy tank, and black Havaiana flip flops. When the call came in and I was summoned to be a sounding board and to offer some support to my friend, I had a support dilemma of my own: to bra or not to bra.
I literally argued with myself for 10 minutes about having to re-bra. I take care of my boobs like I take care of my teeth and my skin. I put extra time into them. I keep them perky as possible with proper support. I check for lumps every month. I pluck the stray hair that pops up here and there. Due to their size, I am acutely aware of my breasts at ALL times. So, yeah, going out for an impromptu hang without a bra is a big deal for me.
I ultimately decided to bite the bullet and leave my bra behind. These are the six emotional stages I went through when I made that somewhat unfortunate choice, which are totally different than the phases one goes through when doing something fun, like shopping for jeans.
1. The "Frustrated, Decision-Making, 'UGH!'" Stage
Bras aren't the most comfortable things in the world, but personally? I am 99.9 percent more comfortable wearing one than not. However, when I ditch mine for the night, after 12-plus hours of wear, I'm done. I've moved on. I'm relishing the freedom. I'm in the no-bra zone. So to have to put it back on is, like, a mental chore. After I agreed to go over and hang for an hour, I grumbled and groaned about having to put my bra back on and thus change my chill mental state. And then I decided not to don a bra.
2. The "Acceptance" Stage
Having elected to go bra-free, reminding myself I'd be home in two hours, tops, and did the dog walking loose hoodie move, telling myself that only my friend and her roomie would see me. I accepted my own decision, with much hesitation. I tried telling myself that hanging at her house was no different than hanging at my own without a bra.
3. The "Questioning My Sanity" Stage
While I gathering my keys and crossbody bag — which certainly highlights bralessness even with the hoodie — I started having totally irrational thoughts. What if I have to run, because, you know, her apartment catches on fire and we need to flee to safety? I can't even make it up or down a flight of steps without the ouchies from such an activity when I am wearing a bra! What if my boobs start to hurt? Wait, why would they hurt? What if one of her neighbors sees me and thinks I am sloppy or that my boobs sag? Why would I care what someone I don't know thinks? What if I get pulled over and the cop is revolted by my lack of bra? What if he turns out to be my future ex-husband? Ack! The hamster wheel started spinning. I had questions about my own sanity for having so many questions about something so basic. WTF is wrong with me?!
4. The "I'm Really Effing Uncomfortable" Stage
I was in my car, having made the decision to go braless and there was no turning back. As I cruised down the backroads of New Jersey, I felt like I was driving naked. I felt loose, and not in the good way. The seatbelt across my chest did not feel quite right. I didn't like it. At all. It was annoying.
5. The " OMG I'm Bra Co-Dependent" Stage
A lot of women have love-hate or even hate-hate relationships with their bras, which could be a problem due to wearing the wrong bra. I don't. I accept that I need my sling to defy gravity as a fact of big-boobed life. I am used to the straps and the underwire digging into my skin, even on hot days. I have no desire to set mine ablaze or incinerate it. The fact that I was so distressed at not wearing one for a discreet, evening hang with a friend, in her apartment, was psychologically eye-opening for me. It's not like I was going to an event in the city, letting Mary-Kate and Ashley hang out freely and unsupervised. It made me realize I am co-dependent on my bra and that I am a creature of habit, which is my way of forcing control in a chaotic world, right? Once I take off my bra for the night, it's off for good. Maybe I need to learn to be a little more flexible with my mental schedule.
6. The "Remember Not To Go Braless Next Time" Stage
Once at my pal's, I turned my attention to her. I listened. I forgot I was braless, but only after I told her that I was and to not look at my boobs while we talked. I know. Neurotic could be my middle name. We hung out for two hours. We hugged. I drove home, reminding myself that next time, no matter what the circumstance, that putting my bra back on is probably a better option if I don't want to go insane.
Images: Giphy (9)