Your Boobs & Bra- A Potential Love Story?
Okay, ladies- hear me out. You and I might not <3 our bras very much. Especially on those sweaty, sultry days when your straps just dig in and torture you- arghh. But do our boobies feel the same way? Or maybe, just maybe, the right bra could be your breast friend? I know this sounds like a long shot. If I were to label my relationship with bras, I would say 'It's Complicated!'. But I am sure that's the case with most of us. But whyyyy? Is it because we have just not found the right bra that ticks all the boxes?
Why do we hate our bras so much?
Before I explore a potential love story, addressing the two-cupped elephant in the room is mandatory. Knowing full well I have many biases, I decided to speak with real women (my colleagues) and ask them exactly what it is about their bras that they hate so much. Girl, am I glad I did. Every woman I spoke to did have a love-hate relationship (leaning towards hate) with their bras. What did they hate?
Complete Lack of Comfort
Ammu always wears a lovely smile despite her bra making her feel 'claustrophobic.' Admirable, given in her own words, "I hate how claustrophobic bras make me feel. I may have one slip-bra that makes me feel like I'm not wearing one. Still researching on where I could find one similar to that." I could not have said this better. Bras that feel like you don't have them on- that's the dream.
But sadly, as Vidhi rightly laments, "They are supposed to support you, but more than that, you get back aches, digging straps and underbands." Like, come onnnn 'support sports bra'- what's with the third degree? Alisha, another cheery colleague of mine dons a sad face when she says she hates it when her bra is a 'hindrance to my movements' and they are 'not giving proper support'.
Where is the 'Support'?
When I asked Neha how her bras usually made her feel, her choice of words made me want to give her a hug. "You have seen that Glucon D ad years back where the Sun would suck the life out of that boy using a straw? That's what bras do to my boobs - try to make them lifeless while pretending to support them."
EXACTLY! All you want your 'support' bra to do is support you. And not hurt you. And definitely not make you feel like your life is being sucked out! The hatred bras garner is justified when they don't do their basic jobs right. Whether you have heavy breasts or smaller boobies, discomfort from tight or loose bras is just not acceptable.
Also Read: 6 Effective Ways to Avoid Panty Lines
When They Ruin Our Outfit!
Quoting Ammu again, "Other bras, either they make me look like my boobs are out of proportion or they are too tight I suffocate in them. Occasionally, I prefer nipple pads, but sometimes, depending on the outfit, that also doesn't cut it and sticks to my nipple hair." The way your bra complements your outfit matters. A LOT.
Also, like Divya says, "I simply hate how bra outlines show through clothes." Yup. Your bra, the friend to your boobs and the supporter of your ribs betraying your outfit is such a shame. More ways by which bras can ruin your outfits? "Uniboob! Hate it!"says Alisha. Also, as Vidhi points out, "the good ones are rarely available, especially in smaller sizes." Well, so many of us end up wearing the wrong bra size thanks to this!
Most of us don't like most of our bras very much. And for very understandable reasons that we can all relate to. In fact, many of us would happily ditch the bra completely if we could. The fact that we cannot, as Indian women, has very less to do with what we want and very much to do with eons of culture and tradition in place. Like Ammu says, "I'm very disappointed that I cannot be a Jennifer Aniston in India, I want to NOT wear a bra and really stop worrying about how my silhouette might not be perfect 🙁"
Are There Really Any Disadvantages of Not Wearing a Bra?
If you prefer not wearing a bra ever, what I say now might not make you very happy. While ditching uncomfortable bras entirely does have some benefits, ultimately it's better to just keep them on. Why? There are no serious side effects of not wearing a bra, to be honest, but the advantages of wearing the right ones do outweigh those of ditching them entirely. Wearing a bra can help prevent sagging, it could help improve your posture and also offers you greater support for your movements. Ditching your bra, on the other hand could deprive you of the basic comfort and support but let
Is There Hope for a Better Boob/Bra Relationship?
The short answer is 'yes'. You see, I learned by speaking to a lot of women who currently hate their bra that it is simply the bras they wear that they despise so much. Most of them would gladly wear bras and support their boobies with love if the bras offered them that love and support.
This brought on the next question I asked around:
What Would Make You Love Your Bra?
Just as eager they were to dish the dirt on their bras, the lovely women were so glad to tell me in depth what they loved about them as well. What I expected but found a bit surprising nevertheless was how all the women had pretty much the same things on their lists. Everyone wanted their bras to be comfortable and most importantly, supportive.
Here are four things that make women like you and me go from tolerating to loving our bras-
Yes indeed. Quite literally everyone I asked agreed that comfort is one of the most important things when it comes to bras. Comfort is a necessity irrespective of the type of bra - be it a high-impact sports bra or regular padded sports bras. If my bra is super comfortable, there is very little that would stand in the way of a fruitful relationship between us.
Comfort means a lot of things. I should be able to keep it on for longer than a couple of hours without feeling absolutely suffocated and drained out. Also, the bra straps must not dig in and leave marks. Ultimately, I would say my bra has succeeded in offering me comfort if I do not sigh in relief when I finally take it off.
Support, support, support! My breast tissues are so glad when my bra gives them the support they need during exercise- especially when I am running or jogging. A bra that holds my boobs in place and places a hard stop on the bounce is one I would gladly keep on. Support is a plus when I look for regular bras and a must when I purchase sports bras.
If a bra were to offer me excellent support, help me prevent backache and possibly improve my posture, consider me in love! This is everything I could hope to receive from my breast friend and some more.
Other Tangible Benefits
Sagging! Oh, do we hate the very idea? Gravity takes a toll on all boobs - large breasts or small. Wearing the right bra proves to be effective in holding the girls up. Just make sure you have the right bra size on - which includes cup size, bust size, band size and so on.
Unsupported heavy breasts = back pain. Well, wearing a comfortable and supportive bra of the right size and fit could potentially help prevent backache. On the contrary, if you were to wear loose bras or poorly fitted ones, this could just make your back pain worse - so choose wisely!
Also, my bra should be easy to put on and take off! When I am back home from a sweaty workout, I simply don't want the stress of a sticky, icky situation.
Also Read: 10 Strange Facts About Women's Bodies
So...Should You Ditch Your Bra?
A bra-boob friendship is highly possible provided your bra meets basic expectations of support and comfort levels. If our bras didn't hurt you and make us constantly dream of taking them off, there's no reason for bad blood between us! So what is the solution? Choosing your bras wisely, just like you would choose your friends!
Let me help you judge your bras and give them marks! If your bra scores 70 or above, it deserves to stay or else bye-bye! (Make sure you have the right size before you get judgy!)
It feels comfortable. Truly comfortable. (20 points for max comfort, 0 points for max discomfort)
It supports you. It's got your back. And your boobs. (20 points if yes!)
It doesn't suffocate you. (20 points for no suffocation, 0 for even a little!)
You can wear it for a long time. (20 points for yes!)
No uniboob. No outline visibility! (20 points if it doesn't ruin your look)
So, what did your favourite bra score? Which ones will you be dumping?
Let me know by commenting below. Meanwhile, let me go dump a few and adore the others.