Bra Today, Gone Tomorrow

Post by CM

*Disclaimer: This post was originally intended to empower women to feel free to go braless if they so wished, to feel comfortable and no shame about their bodies, but according to search terms it has attracted quite a few people in the hopes of gazing upon topless ladies, and more disturbingly, girls. I have taken the decision to remove some of the images originally attached, to dissuade the pervs from visiting, but I hope the message remains clear. – Aoife

In 2004 Janet Jackson SHOCKED the WHOLE WIDE WORLD when her co-performer Justin Timberlake ‘accidentally’ ripped her top during their Super Bowl half time performance, exposing her right boob. It wasn’t exactly the bountiful breast that caused all the consternation however, it was her star-spangled nipple.

Why are nipples (or rather, women’s nipples) so offensive to the general public? Men can saunter around in all their topless glory once a ray of sunshine peeks through the clouds, but women must keep their nips to themselves lest they cause a flurry of outraged fainting and probably projectile vomiting. Female nipples are so taboo that it’s even cause for concern when they’re to be seen poking out underneath a few layers of material, for fear they’ll put someone’s eye out maybe?


On a day to day basis your boobs are general appendages that react to temperatures as any other body part would, and at this cool time of year your dear old nip is going to make itself known more than ever, whether you like it or not. It just so happens that the reaction is exactly the same as it would be in a state of sexual arousal, and that could be why most people in polite society (particularly those who are disgusted at the sight of a disgraceful harlot deigning to feed her infant in public) are decidedly turned off at the sight of a couple of bullets on your chest alerting them to your arrival.


Now I don’t know about you, but I am over padded bras. My weird little boobs are a weird little shape and the padding just doesn’t work for me; I prefer a nicely shaped underwire number with a light material overlay which has been fine all damp, mild summer but is now betraying those-that-must-be-kept-hidden-at-all-costs. I don’t really care. A nip’s a nip’s a nip to me. I have long hair that does a good obstruction job when I’m in an office environment, but otherwise I’m not bothered . Why should I be, really?


Hannah Horvath (Lena Dunhamn’s character in Girls) is not my number one style icon, but I love how she wears what she likes, when she likes and never, ever wears a bra at all. I love that she is portrayed as being comfortable with her body and style choices (’cause let’s face it, she has enough to worry about). Hannah is self-involved and self-centered, but self-consciousness rarely ever gets a look in.

Likewise Mrs Kim K West. When going bra-less in the past she used gaffer tape (gaffer tape!!) over her nipples to conceal them, resulting in a perfect imitation of a shop mannequin, airbrushing out the actual sexy parts in an attempt to be sexy. Well now she has returned all that gaffer tape to B&Q and is more than happy to leave nothing to the imagination. More power to her! She’s following in the footsteps of little sister Kendall Jenner, who has been freeing the nipple for a while now.


How non-risqué is that look? Just a girl, going about her business in a ragged little top and no bra. It’s not particularly provocative, she’s not exactly making a statement, just taking an everyday stroll that happens to be sans brassiere. 


Anthony Vaccerello caused a stir with this look from his first show for Saint Laurent. Does the dress play second fiddle to the tin-foiled nipple, or do they compliment each other? That it was one of the most talked (and tittered) about looks in the often outrageous and frequently challenging fashion world says something – there is definitely something naughty about an exposed breast – but does it really have to be so shocking 12 years after Janet Jackson’s Nipplegate and in the midst of the hashtag freethenipple social media movement?

I’m by no means saying ditch the bra that you like and works for you; a good bra will often make clothes sit better, and bigger busted ladies often need one for extra support. What I am saying is that you shouldn’t have to wear one if you don’t want to, and when you don’t wear one, or even if your nipples make an unexpected appearance, you shouldn’t be subjected to jeers, leering or outright horror. You definitely shouldn’t be subject to drooling, objectification and dehumanising. What say you? Free the nipple or keep it caged? Let us know!


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