I've always wanted to be the type of woman who had zero qualms about going braless. The type who wouldn't have to first sift through her anxious and messy emotions of going braless and instead, without a thought, breeze through the door and be on her way. I wish I could just be free and comfortable enough in my own skin to not give it another thought. But alas, I'm a more complicated (see: neurotic) creature than that.
“Women do it all the time,” I assured myself as I spritzed perfume on my wrists, glancing in the mirror uncertainly. Leaning in to double check if I had red lipstick on my teeth, I made sure not to peek (for the 100th time) at my shirt. “This is getting ridiculous,” I mumbled impatiently, forcing myself to walk towards the front door and out of my apartment. I’m a modern, sophisticated woman, I lectured myself. I could do this. I could leave the house braless.
And so I did.
I’ve always been intrigued with the Free the Nipple movement. I love the Bohemian, heavy-lidded feel of going out for brunch or complicated cocktails with nothing on but a baggy shirt or a loose shift. There’s something so unfussy and down to earth about it. It feels like it would reaffirm that, yes, I’m a woman, and yes I have these boobs. Can we move on now?
That and I really liked the idea of not being trapped by those wiry, lacy contraptions that serve no other purpose that to hide my nips. I'm the type of gal who begins to unhook her bra while waiting for the bus, so you can only imagine how on-board I was with trying out this trend.
That is, until I was actually on board it.
Going braless can force you into an emotional tailspin and — for those of us not used to freeboobing it — into a panicked inner monologue. An inner monologue that goes something like this:
1. VIVA LIBERATION!
"Oh my God, I’m doing it. I’m out here, on the street, walking around without these puppies strapped in and caged. It’s just me and the summer air. Is this what it feels like to be a mother-of-the-earth type of woman? Am I, like, mother nature right now? Yea, you’re right, OK, I need to slow it down. But man does this feel good.
Why haven’t I done this sooner? This might just be my new thing."
2. The First Licks Of Doubt Poke Through (No Pun Intended)
"Hmm, it’s a bit… cold tonight. I thought it’d be a little warmer. I didn’t feel this breeze coming in when I was getting ready, so I don’t know what this is about. But I mean, who cares? Who cares if my nipples poke through the top? They’re nipples! We all got 'em! Let them look, I say. Actually, I’ll challenge them to look. Yeah, that’s right, does my body make you uncomfortable? Should I hide myself just so you don’t have to feel uneasy?
Oh um, right, there’s no one around right now.
No, ugh, I just crossed my arms. Stop that."
3. Second Guesses Start Taking Over
"Wait, what am I wearing right now? Shit, is this shirt semi-sheer? Oh Jesus, it’s semi-sheer. It might as well be a mesh shirt at this point. How did I not catch this back in the apartment? I guess I really committed with this whole Boho, daisies in my hair vibe, huh? It’s because I had that second glass of white wine. Decisions were made, and in haste. Frick. OK, whatever. It’s not like anyone is going to see anything. It’ll be… fine. It is fine. We're all fine."
4. To Make Matters Worse, The Boobs Begin Their Dance
"Wait… are my boobs — are they bouncing right now? But I’m a B cup, how is this even happening? I have mosquito bites, little tangerines. Premature oranges, at best! By the laws on Newton this shouldn’t be happening right now. Jesus, there are just so many factors to consider before you ditch the bra, aren't there?
At this point, these two might just swing up and knock me in the face. OK, maybe if I walk slower, just take it down to a stroll. That’s right, OK, it’s working.
Nope, can’t do this. My mind is going to break in two if I walk at this pace. What should I do? Should I just go for it? Let’s just go for it. Ready, forward, march.
God, I feel like I'm in friggen Baywatch right now."
5. You Begin To Think Bandaids
"You know what would be good right now? If I had bandaids. Then I could at least put them over my nips and take care of the headlights situation. Oh wait, I have one in my purse! Would it be weird if I only had one headlight? Would people think I only had one nipple? Is that worse than having three? Right, off topic.
I’m going to do it. Where can I put it on? In the alley? Actually, that might be a bad idea. I might end up the star of my own CSI episode.
Right. There might be a teensy chance I'm over thinking this."
6. You Start Missing Your Captor: Stockholm Syndrome Sets In
"I miss my bra. Why did I ever hate it to begin with? It hugs my bubbies and keeps them safe and secure. Maybe I can go buy one really quick? I still have some time before I’m supposed to be at the restaurant. Worst case scenario is they order appetizers without me. Wait, that's kind of crazy talk. What if they eat all of them by the time I get there; do I really want to miss out on the tartare?
Food or nips, food or nips. We’ve seriously just hit crisis mode."
7. Moment Of Clarity
"It’s time to have a talk. You’re over thinking this. You’re not walking around topless, and even if you were, you’re mamasitas have never looked better. Stop. Freaking. Out.
No one’s looking at you. Hell, no one is even going to notice you don’t have anything on under here. Now, for the love of god, go.
Tartare is waiting for us."
Images: TriStar Pictures; Giphy (7)